Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's A Wonderful Life

Yesterday was a gorgeous, sunshiney day here in the Northwest. After spending a little morning time with my animals, I woke up my daughter, who is on spring break, and took her to coffee and Krispy Kreme Donuts. We also went shopping for art supplies so I can get started on my watercoloring before the class actually begins.

When my daughter was young, we kept an art room stocked for her at all times; it was our tiled sunroom that looked out onto our landscape and gardening. It was a magical little room where she and her cat would spend hours at art play. She had her easel and canvases, brushes and acrylic paints in one area, and her sculpting table, with a continuing work of clay, at another.

I homeschooled back then, and felt that accessible art and lots and lots of animals were the key to raising observant and happy children. Part of their Science was to keep a Nature Journal where they sketched and painted things they saw in the natural world. They also had portable flower presses we'd made from scratch. We hiked a lot and, of course, my daughter became my number one riding buddy.

Those were some of the most wonderful times, and being with her at the art supply store yesterday brought much of that back. However, this time the art supplies were for me. (I have a feeling someone else is going to be tapping into them, though.)

After we got home, she had to go to work. My sweet husband was also at work. And my darling son was gone on a snowboarding trip to Whitefish, Montana. So, I was alone.

I spent the afternoon working with my horses in the sunshine and playing with the barn kitty. I also got to play piano for an uninterrupted two wonderful hours and, afterward, experiment with my new paints and waterbrushes.

I can't sing the praises of the waterbrush enough. You fill up the tube with water, replace the cap, and you can take it on the road. I watched the videos (below) about etching squares of color onto a sheet with watercolor pencils, then dabbing into those colors with the waterbrush, for a wholly portable and cheap system. Fabulous idea! It worked perfect. In fact, I created the picture of the Widow Grass with that method. So, you can go anywhere and sketch out, then fill in, a painting in your journal.

Today looks like another pretty one, and I'll spend it with my husband who wants to go out and get the food for the barbecue he's putting together for my 44th birthday party tomorrow. I'm really excited about it because my family is all coming up. Woohoo! That is the greatest gift--having family together. Unfortunately, I will be missing one of my sons, but hopefully we can catch up on the phone some time during the day.

We do have our stresses around here (Tax Day, for one), but I sure feel blessed. I feel loved and surrounded with people, animals, flora and fauna--all that exude sweet spirits. My husband and I have a plaque we put up that says, "It's a Wonderful Life." How true that is.


  1. You definitely had a creative afternoon yesterday. I watched one of Laure's videos below, the journaling one. She just makes you want to go out and buy the supplies and begin ... today! (Which I guess you did). I hope your daughter picks up the paints from time to time too, and you get a mother-daughter painting session going on :)

    It sounds like you have a wonderful weekend lined up, sending out early Happy Birthday wishes to you, have a great time tomorrow!

  2. You play the piano and paint? You're one talented lady! Have a wonderful birthday, hope the weather holds for you, sure was beautiful the last two days.

  3. You know, Joanne, it is much easier than you would think. You should run out and buy a few supplies and give it a try. You'd really only need one waterbrush (medium), watercolor paper and a set of watercolor pencils. She scratches out squares of color from the pencils and then uses the waterbrush to grab color from them. You can take it with you in your purse.

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, Shirley and Joanne!

  4. Hope you have a Happy Birthday, Linda!

    I've never heard of a waterbrush before. Is that something new? Well, maybe new as in since I went to school back way back when. LOL

  5. Have a wonderful Happy Birthday. You are so right there is nothing as important as having family around. Then again sometimes it's nice to be alone to paint and play with the ponies. Seems like you have the best of both worlds. Your painting looks beautiful.

  6. have a wonderful birthday! it is nice to read about folks who truly enjoy what God has given them...and yes, tax day is always a stressful time...jill

  7. My favorite expression ANNNND movie! God bless you in the coming year and happy birthday.

  8. Hope you had a happy birthday! Love the painting. Love the waterbrush - have never heard of that! Horses and art, what could be better, wish you were my neighbor:) And this quote from your blog I really love: "felt that accessible art and lots and lots of animals were the key to raising observant and happy children".

  9. great post about a blessed life and enjoying life in the moment :-) nice, peaceful read- thank you. Great to read about the homeschooling, art, and animals, too.


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