Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sea Change

I call this illustration Hungry Sharks.  I illustrated it after the gulf oil spill.  A hungry shark is not the kind of shark I want around.  It's just like the motto for my cat Hana.  "I like to keep her fat and happy"  I say that all the time.  There's less shenanigans that way!  

Sea is the theme for

Do you see change in the air?  Are the seas cleaner?  Are the beaches spic and span? Well, they cleaned up most of the oil from that particular disaster.  But if you missed this former post about beaches in Belize....

I don't want the Belize tourism board to come after me. So before I tell you that some of the beaches in Belize are filled with garbage, I have to point out that this is where we stayed.  An enchanting private cabana on a beautiful beach.  Just a few feet from the waters edge.  Heaven right?  Well, sort of.  Don't get me wrong.  This cabana was one of the highlights of over 12 weeks in Central America.  Amazing.   

Sunrise outside our front door.  But...

The beaches are filled with plastic garbage!  At least on parts of the main land.  We stayed on the beach in Hopkins during our first trip to Belize.  I loved it.  But I vowed to start picking up plastic on my next trip.  And to turn lemons into lemonade I decided to do a little art project.  So when we arrived in Placencia, I started collecting on our very first beach stroll.  And as you can see I stuck to a specific color scheme.   It actually became kind of fun to discover so many different shapes,  mysterious containers and the not so mysterious.  

The first thing I did when I got home was select a canvas that fit all of my art (excuse me) garbage. I laid it all out in what I hoped was an interesting manner and took a photo.

Then I painted the canvas in a kind of rustic, textured and sandy tone.

click to enlarge

Then for the fun part.  I started gluing all the garbage onto the canvas.  And so far everything has stuck!  Please take a moment to look over all the different pieces of plastic.  My favorites are the curlers and the little rocket.  The phone and mirror are also pretty fun. 

Still sticking!

And for God's sake recycle!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Help a Heron Out Hand Out

I got up close and personal with this great blue heron.  He didn't care a lick about me snapping his photo.  He was too busy staring intently at a fisherman at Lover's Key State Park in Florida.  And the fisherman's pail of fish.  I'm unsure if the heron got his helping. 

And speaking of licks.  My illustrated Kookaburra has his tongue wrapped around a gum drop. Yum. It's an illustration of the classic nursery rhyme Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree. 

And you'll find it in volume 2 of these books I'm handing out!  Each book is filled with fun illustrated nursery rhymes by the members of CBIG  The children's book illustrators guild of Minnesota.  They would make a great Christmas gift for the little ones in your life. You can find them on Amazon.

I'm also adding a copy of my book Maya Monkey. It's also available on Amazon.  I illustrated Maya for Teacher Created Materials last year.  But I didn't do a giveaway for her.  Until now.

 To enter the giveaway just be sure you're following me in my side bar and mention the giveaway in your comment.  Then I'll pick two winners.  One will receive a free copy of CBIG volume 1 and a copy of Maya Monkey and the other will receive CBIG volume 2 and Maya Monkey. I'll be sure to get them in the mail for Christmas!

P.S.  As of December 16th I've decided to discontinue the giveaway.  Because after 22 comments and 5 days I've only had 1 person enter the contest.  That makes me feel like a scrooge.  And at this point I wouldn't be able to alert the winners, acquire their address and get those books in their stocking by Christmas morning.  Plus, next week I just want to wish everyone Merry Christmas instead of Bah Humbug.  Bummer.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Glowing Give Away

Glow from my Birds and Bees category

I've taken a lot of Hummingbird photos in Costa Rica.  But this Cloud Forest favorite from my photo archives really shines.  I love the luminosity.  And I also caught him relaxing.  That doesn't happen very often! They are usually zooming around you like the movie Top Gun.

I did a giveaway last week to promote My 3rd Eye  Plus my new and expanding etsy shop. And last but not least to give a shout out about Finch's Holiday Boutique  Look how great it looked! It glowed...

And if you really want to see great photo coverage of the show visit for a complete photo low down.

My photo prints and cards were just a small part of all the arts, crafts and vintage goodies on display.  So who won a free set of photo cards?

I know you are all holding your breath in anticipation.  Ha! 

I'm happy to report that DJan won my card set!  She's been such a loyal follower for years.  So I was extra happy to pull her name out of a hat.  Or basket in this case. But all of the people who requested to be entered are special blogging friends.  So thanks for playing along.  Look for another book giveaway later this month!

P.S.  For local Minnesota blog followers, there's one more day of shopping.  Saturday, December 6th is the last shopping day at Finch's Holiday Boutique for 2014.  Click the link for details on how to shop small for your Christmas shopping list.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I actually love dressing...the stuffing kind!

Bored Turkey

Mischievous Turkey

Sick Turkey
I think this qualifies for a link up to wobble over at  A sick and wobbly gobbler. 

Puzzled Turkey

Turkey Tantrum

Frightened Turkey

As well they should be!

Maybe by next year I'll finally get around to painting my turkey sketches. I just read in the paper that there's a home movie film called, "When Turkeys Attack" being shown on Destination America.  What ever channel that is.  Ha!  

So we better eat them before the turkey take over!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S.  I'll pick a Best of Costa Rica giveaway winner next week.  Check out the post below to get in on the fun.  Thanks to everyone that has entered so far!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Best of Costa Rica Giveaway

The beautiful Orosi Valley

Vivid berry blooms

Dogs go together with Dominical beach like dogs and bacon

Tranquil Baru beach.  You'll have it all to yourself.

The road to Poas Volcano. 

An exotic moth butterfly

A friendly parrot.

Sunset in Playa Hermosa

The best of Costa Rica.  It was a no brainer to pick this category for my giveaway to promote My 3rd Eye  And my new etsy shop. This is my favorite new category.  And it just so happens to be my favorite place.  I hope the photo selections tell the story of just why I love it so much.  From the beautiful vistas, volcanoes, beaches and birds....It is paradise.

The gift includes 8 glossy images on 5 x 6.5 card stock with envelops.   Signed by me of course!  There's also a surprise inside.  9 interchangeable greeting stickers.  For birthdays, thanks, well wishes and more. It would make a great gift.  So keep my shops in mind for Christmas.  But for now all you need to do is follow me in my side bar if you haven't already and then leave a comment that you'd like to be included in the giveaway.  I'll draw a winning name next week.  Then someone will have one less gift to buy for Christmas!

P.S.  For local Minnesota shoppers you'll find my colorful photo prints, glossy cards and gift box sets at Finch's Holiday Boutique this year.  Click the link for details on how to shop small for your Christmas shopping list.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Life in the Slow Lane

Honey Do List

Have you seen my new banner over at Sharon's Studio? Well, put it on your honey do list.  And if you find that you are having a problem getting things done around the house (or forest) then you aren't the only one.

Slow is the theme of the week over at 
This piece was inspired by the Florida hammock bear that was all over the media awhile back.  Do you remember him?  He decided to sit in someone's hammock and the footage went viral. But this bear is all Minnesotan.  We're smarter in our neck of the woods.  We know when to lie down!

Saturday, November 15, 2014


I wasn't sure what we would see after all the leaves had fallen on this hike.  But look at the splendid contrast.  I think most of it was due to dreaded buck thorn growth.  Do you see the hawk in this photo?

Now you can see him.  I love the layers of fall color.

The sun sparkles.

Meanwhile the hawk hunts...

He thought maybe the view would be better from here before he finally flew off into the forest.

A splendid stem.

A fuzzy fall flower.

A splendid Fall day at Richardson Nature Center. Priceless.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fall Beauty


Moonshine.  From The Moon of my Life and My Sun and Stars category over at My 3rd Eye  If you haven't heard of those quotes then you don't watch Game of Thrones!

Stunning Yellow

I didn't always have my camera on most of my walks this fall.  You start to leave it behind and it becomes a pattern. I missed the most glorious and spectacular sunset two weeks ago at Lake of the Isles.  Heartbreaking! But I brought it on this neighbor hood stroll during peak season.  All I know is that fall colors seem to get prettier every year.  But I think it is just because I'm old enough to appreciate nature's beauty.  

Glorious Red

Red vines.  And not the licorice kind.

The last digit is an odd number. Literally!  Or that wood pecker is doing a number on that garage.  Hee, hee.  I can't believe his head is in focus when he was hammering at a 100 beats a second.  Or something like that.

Glossy, stunning, red

The burning bush.

Now most of the leaves are on the ground, composting and turning to brown.  As with all beauty in life it is fleeting.   Enjoy it while you can.

Friday, November 7, 2014

It looks good on paper...

Paper.  This theme could fit every illustration I've ever done.  Because I paint everything on paper.  But this early piece is different because I used to paint on textured and handmade papers.  They were filled with gold foil, flowers, herbs....lemons.   Hmmm.  It almost sounds like a good recipe for fish!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dangerous Dusk

A stroll at dusk revealed a glowing skyline.

And some geese gliding by.  Unaware of any danger that might be lurking in the twilight.

Blood red vines hung like entrails along the real trail.

Things started to look spooky.

The pompous grass reached up to the heavens like the hands of a skeleton reaching up from the grave.

We felt like we were being watched.  You know the feeling...

Prickles started creeping up along our spines...

Zombies?  We were terrified!  We picked up the pace.  (But mostly because we were getting cold and tired)

 I hope they can't get out...

You never know what will happen after dark.  Did we make it back alive?  Well, I'm writing this post. So it looks that way. 

 But then again...
 Maybe zombies can still read and write.

Happy Haunted Halloween from the Minneapple!

Yes, some people actually call it that!