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?


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Six

Acrylic on heavyweight fine art paper, 2.5 x 3.5 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $42.

Six, 6, sixth. Read it aloud again. What comes to mind? The abominable phrase of all things evil.

I pity the number. Is it it's fault to be what it is, to represent the 'otherwise' of good? Or was it a scarlet given by a lonesome, hopeless fellow long time ago. If it only has it's own voice, will it protest the label we put on it? Will it say, 'Give me a chance'.

Chance. Today, I'm doing that. It's time to give 'it' the chance. This isn't just a word play on positive adjectives. This is 'it'. It wasn't at all difficult to ponder on the beautiful sides.

The number '6' is a symbol of fertility, of that amazing gift to produce life. I looked like that when I was pregnant. Tall, skinny with a big 'bloop' (as my husband fondly called my belly) in the middle. I find women sexiest when they're pregnant. I admire those who wish to be one and constantly pray for those who has not been blessed.

I miss those times when I can't bend or see my toes anymore. My husband has this funny picture of me attempting to cut my toenails during my last trimester. I mustered all my yoga moves that time but to no avail. The beauty of being in the 'sixth' figure - you get to be pampered with so much love. And have someone else cut your toenails.

Six. If you're in that 'sixth' stage in life where everything seems to fall out of place, disillusioned, alone, feeling ugly and labeled inconspicuously, give yourself a 'chance'.

Look in the mirror and focus on every curve in your body, mind and soul that is beautiful. Be thankful for who you are. You are an amazing creation. Believe it, live it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Take Five

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

The grandeur of five's.

Fifth day.
Five paintings.
Five months with my little man.
Five toes and fingers on both sides.
Fifth sibling I lost.

I'll take all five on any given day. Go ahead, celebrate your own five's.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Fourth

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

Life turns like a wheel, my mom would often say. Sometimes you're on top, other times you're down. Either ways, she say, you win. You learn humility when you're at the bottom and cheer more when you're up. What's important is to enjoy the 'distances in between'.

While painting this piece, I contemplated on those times in my life when I ended up fourth. This is the fourth painting anyways, so let me talk about being 'fourth'.

I was an achiever early on. My parents mentored me well when I was going to school. My first taste of victory as a child was when I graduated first honor in pre-school. That was the start. It will be followed by handfuls of academic achievements over the years until I finished college as a cum laude.

Not always the first. Some years I'll end up third, fourth or just in the middle. I stumbled countless times in my attempts to be the best. I learned to get up and move on. That's the beauty of being in the 'fourth'. You're still not there, but you know you're close.

Knowing there's a chance you'll even fail teaches you to remain humble. But there's still a reason to celebrate. If you turn your back, you'll realize you progressed from being the fifth, sixth, and so on. You're still a winner.

Fourth - that beautiful 'distance in between'. Just like this piece, my pledge won't be complete without it.

Mom was right all along.

There was an error in this gadget