Sunday, March 29, 2015


I love family.  I love my real family. I love my way-extended real family that I rarely get to see. I love my online family. I love my art family.  We form bonds with our real families as children and those bonds last a lifetime.  Bonds are formed through the years with friends and acquaintences, and some of these last a lifetime as well.  And believe it or not, you can form these kind of lasting relationships with people you meet and get to know online. I can only hope that those relationships last a lifetime as well.  We adopt some folks into the family as the years go along through close friendships and relationships.   These interpersonal relationships help to form who we are are adults and provide so much emotional support, and always when we need it.  And of course, you can't have those close relationships without a few waves once in a while, but over the course of time, little wounds are healed and that unconditional love always prevails.

How wonderful it is to know aunts, uncles, cousins, distant cousins and way-distant cousins.  There's that connection that binds us all together through common ancestors and relationships.  My familial roots run long and deep in the United States, and of those roots I am very proud.  And of course, being a 5th generation Texan, I know there is no better place than this place I call home.

So the last couple of days I have been thinking a lot about family.  My maternal side of the family is having their 96th annual reunion this summer and it is something I always look forward to.  I think I have only missed 1-2 in my 60 + (cough) years on this planet.  I was fortunate enough to know my maternal great grandmother for 18 years of my life.  She and my gr. grandfather came to Oklahoma in a covered wagon, and I learned a lot about life from her and all of her children.  Sadly, I never knew my gr. grandfather. He passed long before I was born, but all 6 of their children lived long and very productive and successful lives.  Seeing all my great aunts and uncles and cousins from all over the country was always a thrill and those times hold a very special place in my heart. This side of the family heralded fantastic longevity so we all benefited from the wisdom they tried so hard to teach us. We weren't always listening, but those stories, legends and antics remain with me today, and for that I am grateful.

So to honor family of all genres, I created this journal page.  The background is a fantastic napkin I received in happy mail from my friend Andie Mayr in Bischberg, Germany.  It was huge and reminded me of a patchwork quilt, so I knew I had to use it.  And this whole spread just kind of evolved around that napkin.  The napkin was cut to size and adhered to the page with Dina Wakely's Soft Gel Medium.

Years ago, my sister made a wonderful gift to me of this same poem that she hand lettered in beautiful calligraphy and adorned it with fun embellishments. It hangs in my bedroom all the time and is treasured by me on so many levels.  So I thought immediately of this poem and got busy creating my page.

The lettering was placed on 1/2" strips of watercolor paper and colored with Copic Marker in Maize. Lettering was done with a black Signo Uniball pen.

I hand painted the tree with Diane Reaveley's Blendable Acrylics in Black Marble, Cut Grass, Lime and Melted Chocolate, with just a touch of Lemon Zest.  I used some craft acrylic in medium grey and nutmeg brown for the highlights.

I used all these colors in the top of the trees to signify all the family, new, aging and in-between.  The fallen leaves obviously represent those that have crossed over but still guide us from the heavens.

I hope you like what I created.  Document your family memories in a creative or expressive way. It will warm your heart.

Ciao familia!

I'm keeping it artful!
~~ Betty


  1. Super awesome!!!!!!!!!!! And I LOVE the background you created! thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful page Betty, it turned out amazing.

  3. What a lovely tribute to your family Betty!

  4. truly beautiful Betty, I enjoyed reading about your family.