Sunday, May 24, 2015


Wow! Memorial Day is here already.  The jump starter to summer, vacations, heat, swimming, family reunions, gatherings and all the fun stuff we cram into a few short months. But this weekend amidst all the food and fun, we need to stop and remember those who have gone before us and made the ultimate sacrifice for us and for our country.  I give thanks to them and remember them in my prayers. Nearly every generation of my family has served, and now the younger ones are following. From the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI, Korea and WWII, my family has proudly served, and continues to do so. We had no one in the immediate family serving in Vietnam, but we are grateful to those who did and made those sacrifices.

Meet my handsome great nephew, Joseph, who is in the Navy, currently stationed  in South Carolina.  We are so very proud of him and the commitment he has made.  He was home on leave this week and present today (Saturday 5/23) for his sister's wedding shower, so he got lots of loves, kisses, hugs, "atta-boys", and congratulations from all of us. He left in December for basic training, followed by another school and now another, so we were all very excited to see him.  This great Auntie could not be more proud of this young man.  We are seeing so many wonderful and positive changes in his life and know that he is going to have an amazing career in the Navy, and all our buttons pop off with pride for his strong faith, his leadership skills, maturity, honor and integrity.  Well done, Joseph!

Let's get started on this week's prompt -- CIRCLES. Lots of circles. I had a lot of fun with this.  We love circles in our ARTFUL circle. <wink> Mostly I played with circles this week, almost always very late at night (or should I say morning) while trying to unwind so I could go to bed and try to sleep.

This first spread is all wonky circles -- perfectly imperfect.  Sure, I could have used my circle cutters or punches, or even a stencil. But I needed some down time with just me, my pen and a couple of other mediums while chillin' in the recliner.  I worked on a piece of 9x12 Bristol. The circles were all first drawn out with a Sakura Gelly pen, then I painted each circle and circular intersection with watercolor.  I followed by embellishing with Caran D'Ache NeoColor II and smudged some areas with my fingers and others I wet with a #6 pointed round brush.  I then added more NeoColor II to the background and did wet all of it with both a wide flat and a #6 pointed round.  Lettering with a white Signo Uniball.

After I finished this one, the next evening I still felt the need to make some more circles.  So I did. Again, nothing fancy or inventive.  Just focusing on the circles, the pen and the paper. The circles started by making random circle marks all over the page with a Sakura Gelly pen. Intersecting some, others not.  This time, I went with specific color families of blues and greens with my trusty watercolors and NeoColor II's.  Lettering with a #1 fine liner brush and white acrylic paint, varying letter sizes, density and style to create a little bit more interest.

Both of these pages have been tipped in to my Canson mixed-media journal.  I chose to do them independently, thinking I might actually cut them up, but decided to just include them in my journal. Looking at them makes me happy.  And they really, really, REALLY helped me to relax when I needed it the most.

ICAD-Warm Up #8
Also this week, as a warm-up to ICAD 2015 at Daisy Yellow, "circles" was one of the warm up exercises.  If you don't know about ICAD (Index Card A Day), this is a fun thing to do in the summer to force yourself to create art every day during the month of June and July.  ICAD starts June 1st, and this is my third year to participate.  We're not making fancy art. It isn't a competition.  It's more about the DOING. The CREATING.  We are using ordinary index cards, that are inexpensive, flexible and we use whatever supplies you have on hand.  This is the brainchild of the remarkable Tammy Garcia and she is quite inventive with her 61 days of prompts.....making us push the envelope and often think outside the box with technical and creative challenges.  Sure some of the prompts may be something we've done before, but for those, I try to do something different with them.  Pushing the envelope or getting out of my comfort zone. Some prompts can take just a few minutes to complete, others perhaps a little more time, but none are so challenging that you cannot complete them each day during the two month challenge.  So if you are interested, click on the linky over there on the right side of my blog and check it all out. Maybe you will play too.

ICAD 2015 - Warm Up #8
I couldn't do just one of these either, and actually my page for this week's prompt was inspired by the first one I did for ICAD, as you can see above.  This second image is a watercolor blending technique I also learned from Tammy at her Watercolor Playground workshop.   Very relaxing, blending these very wet watercolors.  I need relaxing right now.  And this week, circles came to the rescue.  For  both of these, I am using the plain manila tab-top 4x6" dividers.  I like the thickness of them for use with wet media.

So there you have it.  My circles for the week. Soft. Wonky. Imperfect.  And it's all good.  This week was more about play and less about thinking. Just the doing.

Now just do yours.  Get some relaxing done yourself, then show us your version of this fun!

Be sure and see what Melody, Tamie and Shana are doing by visiting their blogs. You can find the links over at ARTFUL CHICKS.

Happy arting!



  1. I really love the blues/greens circles....they make me happy everytime I look at them! And great work on the circles and the posts!! Just in case we don't tell you enough, YOU are also appreciated and loved! oxoxo

  2. Love the depth of the sentiment...when my clear got smaller my vision got clearer and the dreamy effect of the canvas.

  3. Very wonderful Betty! I love circles and I love the sentiments you used. The colours and composition just set it all off nicely!

  4. Love your circles Betty. Really like those blue colors.