Friday, November 21, 2008

The Art of Gratitude

'Thank You'
Watercolor on Paper by Sherie Sloane, 2008.

Photographic Letter Illustration of the phrase 'Thank you.  

I painted each letter with images of subjects, which names begin with the first letters of the words 'Thank You'. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Custom Logo

Another productive day.  I finalized the custom logo design for Cocamoke Chocolatier.  They'll be using this as product tags for their company.

Are you an entrepreneur or small business in need of custom product tags and labels?  Or perhaps a new image?  Contact UrArtist for an affordable custom design package.



Friday, October 31, 2008

Beyond Squares

Alpaca Handwarmers, $24

I didn't plan what I was going to do during my weekly 'time-off'. Once a week, every Thursday night, I get to go away from the house. And relinquish my roles temporarily as a wife and mom.

I took off and decided to bring my knitting tote. It was after all Thursday I realized, knitting night with my friends at the bookstore.

Thinking about the weeks that passed, I started crocheting in squares. Amy, who was sitting besides me asked what I was going to make. 'I don't know yet.' I'm known to be 'the designer' in the group. A lover of free-form styles.

This week was a bit more difficult than the previous ones. Most blame the economy. For myself, it's the lack of time to wind down from our hectic schedules. I think about the moments we miss trying to provide for our families and focusing on what's wrong with our situations.

When Jean told me how pretty what I was making, I was back to reality from my deep thoughts. My little squares have evolved to be a pair of hand warmers. Life is like that I mused. Sometimes, you're boxed in, not knowing when you'll be out. It's what you do with that time that matters.

For mine, a neat pair of mittens. Perfect for the cool autumn strolls with my man and my little one.

What have you done with yours?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reserved

'Reserved 1'
Mixed Media Illustration by Sherie Sloane.

In my heart, 
I reserved a spot for you.
 Take a seat my friend, 
Know that you're always 
Welcome here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's a Big Sea Out There

But we're not alone. We have others swimming with us. We need each other. So be friendly and don't forget to greet them once in a while.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Little Indian Man

Time are tough these days, not only in America, but almost in every corner of the world.  It seems as if dark clouds billowed on us all of a sudden.  Don't we wish at times, someone can just walk in and bail us out from the dimmed situations we're in?

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'Doorway, India' by Kate Minelli

Like Danny's little indian man.  My friend Julie told me about this story the other day.

Danny (not real name) was on top of his game, he was successful in every aspect of his life.  Then his business got hit by the downfall of Wall Street.  The pressure to produce to make ends meet challenged, not only his wits, but his faith.  

He never imagined that one day, he'll have to walk to a company meeting, and announce that he doesn't have enough to pay the employees anymore.  That the door is open to whoever wants to leave.  He knew half of his people will walk out, he was too busy being the 'big' businessman, that he rarely spent time knowing most of his employees.

But no one did.  They said they'll stay and see how things progress in the coming weeks.  He knew then, there's still hope.  He can't remember the last time he prayed so earnestly.  Within the closed doors of his corner office, he clasped his hands and prayed.  This time, for the people outside who decided to stick with him.  He prayed that they'll have enough to bring home to their families at home. 

Does he believe in miracles?  It was a rhetoric question a man like him often avoided.  But before close of business day, a little Indian man walked in to his office with ten thousand dollars.  He introduced himself as the son of the businessman from India he met months ago, whom he invited to invest with his growing company.  

He was speechless.  For there stood in front of him, the answer to his prayer.  How can it be, that his prayer was answered so instantaneously.  They exchanged pleasantries and talked business for a short while.  Soon after that, he gathered everyone in the office and announced that they will all come home with their paychecks that day.  Every single one of them.

The employees all cheered and he heard someone said 'Amen'.  He glanced at her, smiled, and mumbled 'Amen'.

Our prayers may not be answered so quickly like that of Danny's.  But my friend Julie made me realized, we all have 'little indian men' in our lives.  People who are ready and willing to bail us out, no matter what difficult circumstances we're going through.  

We have our partners, children, families and friends.  Everyday, they shower us with unconditional love.  They bring us cheers to lift our spirits up.  They are always there, reaching their hands and hearts to us.

Let's not forget about that.  Today, let's thank them.  For being the 'little indian men' in our lives.  Thank you, Julie for being one of them.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Scarf Featured in Trunkt.org

One of my newest scarf design was recently featured in Trunkt's Showcase.

TRUNKT is the premiere directory of creative designers and entrepreneurs.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Front Page

My item was featured in Etsy's Front Page last October 2nd.  Thanks fishlegs for the feature.


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Wearing Art



Fall is here and winter is coming.
You want your neck to be warm, 
And his to be cozy.
You thought a scarf will do. 
But you want style too. 

Being a busy gal and guy you are, you want something you can just grab and go. No bulky, weighty and long scarf will do. Because if it happens to be nice out there, who wants to be seen carrying a handful of rolled-up stripey scarf. However you try to keep it in, it's long tail unravels against your whim.

One crafty mom's answer to all this - the ultra chic 'scarflettes'. It's short and stylish to match your color fetish. It's cozy and warm, without the lengthy spam. You'll never tackle the busy windy city again without these. 

Available at UrArtist Shop in Etsy. To see more styles and colors, go to www.UrArtist.etsy.com

Friday, October 3, 2008

How Time Flies

If you don't know Etsy, you're missing a lot.  And I mean a LOT.  Its the ultimate place to buy anything handmade.  I've been on the site for over a year now.  It was one of my late night forays when my belly was growing big (with a baby) and sleep seems to come rare.  

This is one of my first creations that I sold there.  Not the gnome, I don't do sculpting, although I must say that gnome looks good in the garden.  The crocheted case is, a multi purpose little cozy I came up with while looking for something to hold the little trinkets in my purse that wouldn't seem to stay put in one place - credit cards, business cards, phone, etc.

Crocheted Cozy.  Photo by mybluemuse from San Francisco.


I realized I can do this, create things that will make life easier, at least to some, or even more.  UrArtist Shop in Etsy was born that day.  It's reputation for being a one-stop shop for handmade fine arts, crafts and accessories has grown since then.  So, if you haven't taken the plunge yet, hop on in.  


Save gas, shop online.  Buy Handmade. Shop Etsy.




Thursday, October 2, 2008

What Keeps You Going?

While browsing the forums in Etsy today, I came across this post, "Do you have a favorite that quote keeps you going?  What appropriate timing this post is, and what a great opportunity to lift each other up.

"Live each day as if it were the last."

In these tough times, this thought keeps my family going. We make the most of each day, doing things together that doesn't necessarily require spending.  

~ early morning tea time
~ morning jogs with the baby on the 'jogger' 
~ leaf hunting for the wreath I'm making 
~ praying, and praying a lot 
~ laughing 
~ leaving SHMILY notes 'everywhere' 

What are SHMILYs = See How Much I Love You.

Do you need some boost today? Read the complete thread and I'm sure you'll find a wealth of inspiration from folks like me, and us.


What's your Quote?

Now in Trunkt

I am so pleased to be accepted and be part of TRUNKT, the Premier Directory of Creative Entrepreneurs.

Want to find out more about Trunkt?  Go ahead and check us out:


Are you in Trunkt?  Let me know and I'll check out yours too.  Thanks for your time!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Opera

'Opera'.  Fine Art Jewelry, 2008. 

The lady sings at the Opera,
But all eyes were on her.
Her crimson necklace,
Adorned her lovely frame.
She too was a star,
All to her own right

A unique, handmade contemporary piece.
Created in my studio today.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The House Portrait

Our first house portrait
He drew in ink
Big oak tree stands tall
With deep blue skies

He's not crafty but made me
A neat handmade birthday card
With colorful pencils he wrote
You're unlike any other mother

Others just feed and bathe
Let little ones sleep alone
You sing and dance while
Holding his hands

Even when he cries out loud
You patiently cuddles
Rocks him to la-la land
I hear sighs but also see smiles

Auntie I may be thirteen
But I already know
You are one of the best mom
I've ever seen

Thank you Micah for a beautiful card and message.





Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lest I Forget


I always carry with me a little notebook, I call it my inspiration journal.  

Ideas, thoughts and inspirations come to me even in my most mundane tasks.  'Enrichment' moments are what I call those times.  Most of my rewarding endeavors started from one of those pages.  

There is power in writing.  Make a record of your thoughts.  At first, some won't make sense. And that's okay.  Patterns will emerge as you go over the things you wrote.  Perhaps, an idea or plan is surfacing up from the same phrases, names and thoughts you wrote.  Give yourself some time. 

You may not understand what it means today but in time, you will.

So, start writing. Believe me, you won't remember those mental notes in a week or month's time.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Lesson in Creation

He looked above
And I told him
It was made blue
Especially for you

He touched the grass
Then I whispered
It was made green
Especially for you

He heard the birds 
While I nudged him
They were made
Especially for you

He stared at me 
And kissed my nose 
I knew I was made
Especially for him 

I held his little hands
Thanked God
He was made
Especially for me

For you, my little one, for the lessons we learn together.


Monday, July 21, 2008

One Piece of Advice

After a week long of reconnecting with my roots under the mentorship of master watercolorist, Tom Lynch, I'm taking off with a new sense of purpose and renewed passion for art.

More than learning new techniques, I gained helpful insights in life to carry on.  To share that 'common interest' with like-minded and equally gifted individuals was worth more than any masterpiece there is.  Thanks Tom and many, many thanks to my new-found friends.

The one piece of advice that made the greatest impression on me was 'To give your artistic extra", with every artwork you create.  

And that 'extra' for me is this - To paint as if it's the greatest masterpiece I'll ever create.  May that be enough to bring back glory to the One who has blessed me with these talents.

What is yours?


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Matchbox


We live in a box
Tiny bed and a cot
No kitchen and couch
Only a little bath

Squeezed between two
I call mom and dad
Space too little
Can't play longer

Easily you forget
How much you got
You say it's few
I call it a lot

Don't pity me
I like it here
Small it may be
It's home sweet home

Keep on counting your blessings, instead of what you're missing. You are abundantly blessed than millions of children around the world. This is for you our little one, our greatest gift of all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Sweet Pea

He used to be
Her little pea

Nurtured lovingly
In every degree

Sprouts came
Hers to claim

Blooms arrived
Excitement thrived

Once a seed
Of special breed

All grown
New peas shown

Ready to leave
It's comfort weave

It's his time
To make a rhyme

Plant his peas
Try not to remiss

Don't worry
He's still your sweet pea

I wrote this poem for parents coping with the separation. I hope they find comfort even in small ways in these simple words. Someday, Ill cross that bridge with my own son. Hear him say 'Mom, I'm getting married.' I'll try to remember this, so I can send him off with all good hopes, love and cheers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Beautiful Swan

A first look on the current ACEO series I'm working on.

'The Beautiful Swan'
ACEO Watercolor on paper, 2.5 x 3.5 in, $32
To purchase, click here.

Entry to this week's 'Illustration Friday' theme 'Hoard'.
The lady gathered all the flowers all to herself.

We have these beautiful swan flower pots outside our patio and they make beautiful subjects to paint. Enjoy, there'll be more to come.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

When It Rains

It was raining
The first time they met.

They held on tight
Under one umbrella.

I like us this way
Me too, she said.

I don't mind the rain
Me too, he said.

Then the rain stopped
And seasons changed.

They forgot the day
It first rained.

Yesterday, she told him
To look outside

There's a huge rainbow
Up in the sky.

The rain has stopped
Soon the sun will shine.

Perhaps she said, we can give it
Another try.

The rainbow yesterday was beautiful, it was the first time I saw it's colorful arc in its entirety. The scene was altogether serene and melancholic. After the rain, everything seems so refreshed. It's definitely one of my favorite times of the day.

The rain has passed and we can all start anew. Reconnect, reconcile and forgive. I hope you take that chance too.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Spectators

Have you ever walked inside a gallery or museum and find yourself a little confused on how to define one's art?  

I knew a lot of folks like that.  I count myself among them on certain occasions.  Only I'm the type who will spend a little more time to put myself in the artist's shoes and tries to envision his thoughts behind his artwork.  

He accomplished it to serve a purpose.  Whether someone like it or not, it's there for certain reasons.  One, the curator definitely preferred his piece.  Two, he planned it to come out that way.  Three, he obviously succeeded in conveying his message because he got my attention, our attentions.  

After few minutes of thought-processing, we aim to find out who the creator is.  We then shift our gaze to the bottom right to locate the artist's signature.  Unless he's like me who signs paintings in no particular location, chances are we'll find his at that  spot.   

We conclude our brief stay by describing the kind of artist we think he is.  Knowingly, we judged the person according to his art.  Without his presence and own introduction, he has been delimited.  And just like him, we will be depicted based on our outputs.

I am an artist.  Sometimes defined as an abstract maker, at times a realist.  Oftentimes, an impressionist.  Truth is, I'm a creation of someone I call the 'Master' of all, creating to bring him glory.  

That definition suits me just fine. I hope in the end, they'll say 'The maker is great, because he had such a fine handiwork.'

How would you want to be defined?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fit for a Princess

Princess Birthday Pop-Up Card
Mixed media on heavyweight cardstock, 5.5 x 8.5 inches.

The amazement in her eyes as she opened the pop-up card I made for her was priceless. Her jaw dropped as she exclaimed "Wow!". Her 'thank yous' that doesn't seem to end made my day.

Our little niece is growing up. I met her when she was just five, four years ago before I married my husband. My sister in law adopted her from Korea when she was just nine months old. She has those blushing chubby cheeks in her homecoming picture, and a huge bow on her hair. And the first word she said when her new mom pulled off that bow was "No!"

Yesterday, she turned nine. Soon, she'll be nineteen. For now, we'll enjoy watching our budding gymnast tumbles and flips. And today, she was on the phone, telling her best friend about her princess card.

Fairy tales do come true. I know three that ended happily. Hers and her parents.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Finding Home

'Our Patio'
Watercolor on Paper, 5 x 7 inches. Plein air.

Days like this come to me every once in a while. That nagging feeling of wanting to reconnect back to my roots. When that voice constantly resonates in my head, saying I need to be home. I was up at two in the morning trying to hush the wanderings in my head.

'This is now my home, my family is here', I recited silently. They're both sound asleep, my little one and his daddy. I tiptoed out of the room, careful not to make any noise. The wind was picking up and the trees outside the windows cast graceful shadows inside the house.

The shadows resemble my longing to be home, I can try to ignore it but I know it's there. Perhaps it's just another episode of homesickness. 'Home is where the heart is', they say. Why these longings then? I resolved not to find my answer that morning, I needed sleep.

I fixed myself a cup of tea and walked back in the room. The strong winds outside subsided, everything was calm. Someday, I'll be back again. In that place where I grew up, where the sun always shine, the trees are always green and the winds aren't that strong.

For now, I'm with them. My heart is here. This is now my 'home'. Yes, it's not the one I knew. But it's one I can call my 'own'.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

2008 Best of Show

Winner of the 2008 International ACEO Competition

The news came two days right after Mother's Day. Another achievement, another blessing.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Her Time

'Mae East'
Watercolor on Paper, 6x10 inches.


She stood in front of me
No longer to be called wee
Graceful, slender and tall
Not to be missed at all

Pigtails are gone
Shiny streaks have won
Growing too fast
Chasing dreams so vast

Stride slow my child
The world is wild
Hold my hand
While you still can

Enjoy your childhood
Be happy as I would
If only I can keep you
Until my time is through

Written for my little niece, Mae. I miss you my sweet pea. We'll soon be together again.
Is there someone you miss so much? A child growing up too fast, or a little girl now turned into a woman. This is for you, for her too.

I would love to hear your story.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Want to Remember

The day Mom picked me up when I stumbled and fell,
When Dad cheered me up with his silly spells.

Learning to read with Big Sisters,
And creating paper dolls and pigtails better.

The thrills of receiving the first love notes,
Walking with a best friend under a shared coat.

Tears that fell and laughters too,
Down that aisle to say 'I Do'

Extra beats and flutter kicks in my tummy,
As anticipation grew towards becoming a mommy.

An infant's first cry and smile,
That made each day worthwhile.

I want to remember today,
And not keep new memories at bay.

Poetry is a gift. Just like every moment of each day is. Even without you knowing, you're creating a memory for yourself and for someone. Someday you'll hear 'Mom, Dad or My Friend, I remembered when...' and they'll thank you for it.

My special memory today - dedicating our little one to being a Christian. I would love to hear yours.







Friday, May 16, 2008

Catching Raindrops

Growing up in a sunny region, I was used to having gorgeous weather almost throughout the year. Yet my favorite season of all times are spring showers.  My love affair with the whole precipitation cycle must have started when I was five, I love watching the raindrops trickle in our window panes.

The tiny drops resemble little gems, it was one of my first discoveries.  I was so enticed by it that I picked up a pencil and paper and started drawing it.  Trying to capture the misty scene wasn't that simple, I realized.  There must be some way I could portray it.  Coloring it with my stash of crayons didn't seem to help much.  That afternoon, as I watched the rain pour, I grew weary at my attempts.

Just like any kid, I finally gave up and set it aside.  In my young mind, I thought I failed.  Then I heard both of them exclaimed 'Oh my, what a beautiful drawing, great job! '  It was the first time I've seen those kind of amazement in my parents' eyes.  They both scooped me up and raised my artwork proudly.  

That's why I love rainy days.  In my young mind then, I learned it was alright to fail, to be disappointed at myself at times and allow sadness in life.   That everything doesn't have to be perfect or right.  Cheers of triumphs taste sweeter afterwards.

The rain brought me two things that day - an important lesson in life and my love to create.




Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Moments Ago

Just moments ago, I was in my desk, writing to my heart's content.  When all of a sudden, I felt a little shaking.  I thought my mind was playing tricks on me.  Having gone the whole morning without sleep from previous night, I was dizzy from exhaustion.  

I knew I had to rest.  But I made up my mind to finish my paper for tomorrow's deadline.  Besides, it's the big break I've been waiting for.  My first article as an official contributor to the biggest newspaper would have been out that weekend.

Then the shaking began again.  That time, it became more intense every second.  I tried not to move, still figuring out what was happening.  My heartbeats pounded my chest as fear crept into my mind.  Instinctively, I ducked underneath the table in front of me.  

I thought of my family, hoping and praying hard they'll be safe.  I thought of my younger siblings in their school.  I didn't notice I was crying, I couldn't tell anymore if it was from fear or concern for my loved ones.  All I know is that I wanted the earthquake to stop.

It all happened too quick, yet it seemed too long to endure.  My office was a mess, almost everything was broken and debris were piled on top of the other.  I didn't care.  I was safe, that's what matters.  

As I stepped outside, I realized the terror has just began.  The events that follow suit will be marked in our history as one of the worst natural disasters in Asia.  

Moments ago, I was writing.  Now, I'm praying, really really hard.  And running to save some.

Tonight, our prayers go to all the people who have been devastated by the recent earthquake in China. This post is a tribute to the brave men and women who are unselfishly extending their help.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Celebrating Imperfection

Is there any part of your body you would want to change?  

I cringe whenever I hear that question.  Assuming you have the power to do just that, will you opt to differ that one spot or part you are least proud of?

I would.  My toes.  Mine are not the prettiest, they have callouses and little bumps on top, a result of one of my childhood explorations.  Poor little toes, I decided to vent my creativity on them one day when I was seven, playing 'I can fix it'.  I'll leave it at that.  

Two decades forward, I walked down the aisle with my imperfect toes to say 'I do' to my husband of three years.  Few years after, I was trotting with a huge bump on my belly for forty one weeks with our firstborn.   And last night, we heard the sweetest sound on earth - our little guy's first spontaneous belly laugh.

With raised feet up on the air, I wiggled my toes (yes, those plain toes that need pedicure).  He found that so hilarious, for reasons only a baby knows.  Once again, I thank God, not just for my toes but for our little bundle of joy.

My parents did a fantastic job raising us to always appreciate our God-given features, always noting that we are wonderfully made, no matter what.  Pretty toes or not.

So, cheer up for being imperfect.  


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Third Tooth

'Miracle 7'
From the Miracle Series
Watercolor on cold pressed aquarelle paper, 6 x 10 in.

His broke out the other day. If someone would have told me before I'll be this big of a fan of tiny teeth, I'd probably beg to differ and say 'no way'.

Past forward to few years, here I am announcing to families and relatives that my little one's first upper tooth and third one finally came out. Yes, I am laughing quietly at myself, happy but not feeling foolish.

Out little man continue to astonish us everyday with little miracles. Pre-baby, I often wonder why almost every parent I meet say how amazing their child is. Though the stories are the same, each one sounds like a tale of genius. Like mine.

His bright eyes were open from birth and was able to stand (with support) at just two months. Starting at three, he lifts his neck up strongly on his belly time. At four months, he hiked the Phoenix desert (happily propped on dad's chest on his sling) with us and said 'Mama' before turning five. He smiles, giggles, squint his eyes and wrinkles his nose to people now. The list goes on.

I don't usually tell people our amazing stories, it's enough that we are able to witness these blessings transpire before our eyes. Parenthood isn't easy and first-time moms like me are faced with first-time challenges that are often unexpected.

But it also comes with great rewards that are beyond any worldly achievement, like the inexplainable joy of seeing that third tooth popped out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


Visit the Wordless Wednesday HQ.

Did I inspire you with this photo today? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Please leave your comments below. Thank you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chasing Dreams

'Not Letting Go'
Watercolor on Paper, 8 x 10 in.
Purchase archival print, $19.

While in line at the cafe, I overheard an interesting conversation. 'It's time you give that up, you're not getting anywhere with it", the man said. I looked at the lady and noticed instantly how her shoulders drooped and head hung low.

She let out a sigh of surrender and said "I guess you're right, I'm chasing useless dreams." My heart ached for her, for I know something inside her died that day. Her eyes shifted with gloom and her face filled with a pale expression void of emotions.

I wanted to tell her, 'Hold on to it, never let it die. Nurture it little by little. Stride towards it one step at a time. The hurdles may be endless and coveting the prize almost impossible. But I believe someday it will come true, for every dream is worth chasing. So, hang in there. Rest, if you must. But don't quit.'

But how can I? I don't know her, she doesn't know me. It's her life and the choice is hers. A little prayer is all I can give.

That day, she reminded me 'The choice is mine'.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Seasons

'Twice the Blessing'
Watercolor on Paper, 18 x 24 in.
Actual scene during my wedding. The two girls are my nieces dressed up as fairies.

When she was just a little girl, she asked her Mama, 'What will I be?'. Will I be pretty, will I be tall? Her Mama said, 'Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see.'

Now that she has a little one, she asked her Mama, 'What will he be?'. Will he be handsome, will he be smart? Her Mama said, 'The future's not ours to see. This I know, he will be a good man, because he has good parents '.

So I sing to him, "Someday you'll ask your Mama, 'What will you be?'. Will you be handsome, will you be tall?. Guess I'll just tell you, 'Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see, but this I know, we'll try our best to raise you the best we can."

My mom is a great singer. Some of my fondest memories growing up was hearing her sing to us . 'Que Sera, Sera' was one of my favorites as a little girl. Through it's perky tunes, she was able to teach us one of life's greatest lesson.

No one knows what the future holds. So, seize the day.

Friday, April 4, 2008

At the Foot

'At the foot of Mt. Hood'
Plein air painting from Mt. Hood, Oregon.
Watercolor on aquarelle paper, 4 x 6 in, $30.

Purchase.


He found himself at the bottom again. Exasperated from the task of climbing the huge mountain in front of him. To give up is so tempting. To do so means failure, he knew that. To fail without trying will make him less of a man. At least that's how he'll feel about it.

So there he is, at the foot of the mountain. Not sure whether he'll succeed in conquering the heights of it's slopes. One thing he's certain, he'll triumph in every step he make towards his journey.

Besides, a million steps begin at one.

Keep that in mind when you're faced with insurmountable trepidations. Take each day one at a time. It will end soon. Don't keep looking ahead to how much is left for you to endure. Instead, look back and cheer yourself for how far you've gone.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Not A Choice

'Miracle 3'
From the Miracle Series
Watercolor on cold pressed aquarelle paper, 6 x 10 in.

"It is not a choice, it is a child." So goes a bumper sticker.

Driving from downtown Chicago, traffic was a little slow at the Dan Ryan Expressway. Slow enough for me to read the lines from the trucks that went past me. Unlike others that I've read, this one made me ponder intimately all the way home.

The words hit so close to home. True enough, I resolved to myself. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here. Painting, writing and doing my part in helping the little ones out there. This blog wouldn't have existed. I wouldn't have existed.

I was once a child who came at an unfortunate time. She was young, rearing a three year old and just had a baby. Money was scarce, the future seems bleak, all was lost except hope. Then I came.

But she 'had' me. Because I wasn't a choice, I was a child.

Thank you for having me. Otherwise, I won't be here cuddling this little person I am so in love with.

My child, your grandchild.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Reminiscing Sydney

'Sydney Opera House'
Watercolor on cold pressed aquarelle paper, 4 x 6 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $55.


'Sydney Opera House' - detail
Purchase.

It is one of the world's most distinctive twentieth century buildings, and one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world.

There, at the heart of Australia's iconic city, we held hands together. No words were necessary, our hearts understood. We were meant for each other. Someday soon, we'll be together. No doubts, no questions.

There, it began. Two hands, two dreams, two lives now shared as one.



Saturday, March 29, 2008

Illustration Friday: Homage

"Emma Jean"
Watercolor on cold press 140lb. Arches aquarelle paper, 6x10 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork.
Click here for your own custom watercolor portrait.

Entry to this week's Illustration Friday's theme 'Homage'.

To a woman of virtue and kind soul.
A daughter,
A sister,
A cousin,
A grandchild,
A niece,
A Christian,
An artist,
A horse lover.
She is one of us.

This is for you.

Ode to Winter - Take 2

"Winter Sky 2"
Watercolor on cold press 140lb. Arches aquarelle paper, 6x10 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $70.
Click here to buy this painting.

Part 2 of a diptych painting.


Winter Sky 2 - detail

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ode to Winter

"Winter Sky 1"
Watercolor on cold press 140lb. Arches aquarelle paper, 6x10 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $70.
Click here to buy this painting.

Watch out for the second part of this diptych painting.

Winter Sky 1 - detail

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

A Time to Bloom - Part 2

"Time to Bloom 2"
Mixed Media on Paper, 18x24 in.
Watermark not present on actual artwork.
Click here to buy archival print, $20.



Winters passed and seasons changed
She breathed within her range
The warmer breeze of Spring
Filled her with the joy it brings

Walking calmly
She proceeded without hurry
Looking to see what blooms
Today will fill her room

Not too far
Almost torn apart
A familiar bloom
Lay completely in gloom

Trampled and wilted
Her branches almost dead
Once again her tears dropped
This time it didn't stopped

She picked her up with care
Saving her roots from the tear
Thank you for picking me up
It muttered while leaves flop

Hush my 'little bud'
Bloom again and be proud
In my garden just like in my heart
You'll always have a spot

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Time to Bloom - Part 1

"Time to Bloom 1"
Mixed Media on Paper, 18 x 24 in.
Watermark not present on actual artwork.
Click here to buy archival print, $20.


Where has she been? Looking back, she realized she is no longer her 'little bud'. She has fully blossomed, ripe for the picking.

As much as she wanted to get her for herself, she cannot. This time, she belongs to someone else. There, with him, she'll spread her own seeds and plant a garden of their own.

My time to nurture her has come to end, she said. She is yours now. Hold her gently and don't let her wither away. Her heart twitched with pain and bliss as she let her go.

You'll forever be my 'little bud', she whispered as tears dropped on her petals.

P.S. Friends, this post is a special tribute. Watch out for the second part of the story. Post your comments and let me know who you think this tribute is for.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Illustration Friday: Pet Peeve

"You're blocking my way."
Watercolor on Yupo, 6x9 in. Watermark not present on actual print, $19.
Click here to buy archival print.

When it gets crowded in my pond of thoughts and I lose focus.

Entry to this week's Illustration Friday's theme 'Pet Peeve'.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Metaphor in Flight

Click here to buy this painting.
Watercolor on cold press 140lb. Arches aquarelle paper, 6x10 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $90.

It spread its wings and flew. Once a caterpillar, now a butterfly. No longer a creepy crawler but a maiden of the sky. Graceful, colorful and beautiful. It's time has come to fly.

Whatever challenges you're facing right now, I hope you'll be patient. Take your time in your cocoon of ordeals, knowing that it too shall pass. Your perseverance will soon be rewarded. Next thing you know, you'll be soaring. Up in your own sky, perched on your dreams.

There will be days the sky will not be bluer. Just remember, you're up there. Out of that dark cocoon you left behind. It's up to you to stay afloat. Look back once in a while and whenever you can, hover down in the fields.

Help the flowers flourish, just as you were sustained in the past.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

A Dozen Pledge

Click here to buy this painting.
Acrylic on archival & acid free heavyweight fine art paper, 2.5 x 3.5 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $42.


Last painting in my twelve day pledge series.

When we set our minds to accomplish a task or mission, and actually finish it, we feel exhilarated. The sense of achievement is sweeter than the thought of completeness. To say 'we've done it', is a token far more precious than any trophy.

Today, I've done it. I made true to my pledge. Twelve tulips, twelve paintings in twelve days.

One journey, a dozen stories.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

11th Hour

Click here to buy this painting.
Acrylic on archival & acid-free heavyweight fine art paper, 2.5 x 3.5 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $42
.

The eleventh hour describes the last moment when everything changes.

Today is Palm Sunday, I remember. Let me tell you my favorite Palm Sunday story.

"It's one of her most favorite celebration. Every year on this day, she would wake up at four o' clock in the morning. She'll rouse up her sisters from sleep and cheerfully remind them of what's ahead, church at five.

Holding hands, the three girls will tiptoe to the 'big room' to check if their Mama and Papa are awake. Whispering so as not to wake up the littlest of them all. They all fought the urge to reach out to the 'battleship' (a.k.a. bed in the big room) and squeeze the cheeks of the little baby sleeping next to their parents.

In between little giggles, she whispered to them 'Ma, Pa, it's time!.' Their Mama and Papa stirred to wake up and as expected they heard them say 'Shhhh, the baby is sleeping'. One by one, they stepped out and headed to their closets. All excited to pull out their Sunday dresses.

'Can you tie my hair first?' she asked the oldest. She wanted to look nice, it was her first Palm Sunday as a big sister. She couldn't wait to show her friends their new baby. And to taste the warm porridge right after church. Going to the little eatery across the church was part of their Palm Sunday tradition. The place made the best porridge (a soup made of rice, chicken and vegetables). Perfect for warming hungry little tummies on a cold morning after church.

The soup was made warmer by the love they share. Happy for the simple life they have. They have each other, their Mama and Papa would often say. That's what matters. She led saying grace on the table this time. With closed eyes and clasped hands, she said 'Thank you for our baby, my sisters, my Mama, Papa, our dogs and cats. Oh, and our little ducks and baby chicks too. Amen."

She was smiling when she opened her eyes. That was twenty four years ago. Her baby sister is all grown up. And she has a little one of her own now, her own battleship. The last Palm Sunday they were together was nine years ago. Their Papa passed away three days after, it was Wednesday of the holy week. There were only five of them that Easter. All wore white.

It was her family's eleventh hour. Grappling with grief and tears with their eyes, they made a pact to carry on the simple traditions they all cherish. In their hearts, they'll always be together, their Mama said. That's what matters, remember that."

I'll remember, I'll remember.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Illustration Friday

Click here to buy an archival print of this painting.
Watercolor on Arches aquarelle paper, 6x10 in.
Watermark not present on actual print, $19.

'The Heavy Sleeper'

Entry to Illustration Friday's weekly theme 'Heavy'.
A plein air painting done in Sausalito, CA.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Perfect Ten

Click here to buy this painting.
Acrylic on archival & acid-free heavyweight fine art paper, 2.5 x 3.5 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $42.

The notion of perfection lies on what we deem are unscathed and unflawed.  Is it in beauty, health, companions, possessions or professions? Is the completeness of everything we desire defines our state of being 'perfect'?  

How many times did we faltered and said 'If only I had this, if only it didn't happened, if only I kept myself from doing it, or if  only I had done it... then everything will be perfect and I'll be completely happy'.  If only we'll learn to stop failing ourselves with all the conditions we set, perhaps we would have been happy earlier on.

It's never too late, today promises us a chance to finally be 'perfect'.  To accept who we really are, thankful of who and what we have and banishing the refutable 'if only's'.  

We are perfectly and wonderfully made, remember that, no 'buts', no 'ifs'.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lucky Ninth

Click here to buy this painting.
Acrylic on heavyweight fine art paper, 2.5 x 3.5 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $42.

Do not quit.
Aim higher.
Be hopeful.
Write more.
Give first.
Play music.
Read aloud.
Beautiful.
Lucky nine.

What’s with all these words? Take your time and read it again, paying attention to its structure.

You got it! These are nine positive phrases with exactly nine letters. Nine mantras to live by today.

Can you come up with yours? Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky too.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Four To Go

Click here to buy this painting.
Acrylic on heavyweight fine art paper, 2.5 x 3.5 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $42.

Eighth day.  

I am getting there.  No rush, I'll take my time and savor every sensation in this journey.  The palette is wet, brushes are soaked, my hands are flowing.  I am creating, giving glory to the One who has given me this gift.

Even the flower is rejoicing, petals opened up, praising.  
Four to go.  Four more reasons to be joyful.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Her Easter Bunny

Hello. Welcome and come on in.  
Get comfy as you join me in celebrating The Ultimate Blog Party this week (hosted by 5minutesformom).  Grab your tea or coffee and feel free to tour around my daily morning posts and paintings.

Today's post is a tribute to all moms.

Click here to buy a print of this painting.
Watercolor on cold press 140lb. Montval watercolor paper, 6x10 in.
Watermark not present on actual print, $19.


While sitting on her old Victorian lounge chair, I couldn't help but keep looking at her easter bunny. It was prominently displayed in the corner of her well-kept living room.

There, at barely two feet, it stood tall with it's yellow, lime green and pink dress. Yes, a bunny with a dress. It wasn't 'just a dress', mind you. Faux pearls adorned the silk skirt, the collar and sleeves were finished with shimmering organza. Lovely.

Looking around, I noticed she has almost finished putting out her easter decorations. She is not an artist but I always find her choice of pieces quaint and unique. The overall design is pulled together. But I can tell what matters to her the most. On top of the center table, besides the bouquet of spring flowers, sat a mahogany covered photo album. It is carved with the word 'Grandkids'.

I meant to ask her the story behind the easter bunny. I hushed myself and decided to wait. I didn't want to spoil one of the most beautiful memories unfolding before my eyes. A moment in time I wish I can freeze.

There, besides her easter bunny, she sat. Holding my son in her arms and cuddling him so tenderly. The room was filled, not just with easter eggs and bunnies. But with overflowing love.

Mine to her. Hers to mine. Ours to him.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Seventh

Click here to buy this painting.
Acrylic on heavyweight fine art paper, 2.5 x 3.5 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $42.

I like rhymes. I wrote poems just on the premise of rhymes. So typically, I thought of 'heaven' when I wrote 'seven'.

Seventh heaven. The epitome of bliss. It's a tall order to define such a phrase. Heaven itself is indescribable, try expounding it seventh folds. I can muster all my wit in writing but I'll fail to give it justice with my definitions. I lose my eloquence when I'm prodded with all things omnipotent.

The least I can do is trying. Life is like that too. A try-out. A practice season for the real game up^ there, where the final reward awaits. An attempt to be worthy.

Perhaps 'seventh heaven' came to be as a result of experiencing one miracle after the other. Maybe the first one who thought of it has been through seven life-changing spectacles beyond explanation. I wonder how he must have felt like to say 'Ah, this is my seventh heaven.' Was there a near-death experience that made him pronounced it?

I can't tell you what it is or how it feels. One thing I know, we can always try to achieve it by counting our blessings and helping others. Turn someone's ordinary day to a 'miracle' through kind deeds.

Let's do that. Imagine, seven people doing seven little acts of kindness today. Seven miracles multiplied by seven. I'm sure the results will be more than seventh folds. Somewhere along the way, one will say 'I'm in seventh heaven.'

Are you in?


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