I am Super-De-Duper excited about my latest Creative Adventure!

I am in the process of putting together a new Business Plan and I am super excited.

“Every artist is an ENTREPRENEUR and every entrepreneur is an ARTIST.” – Dr. ‘E’ (Dr. Elliot McGucken). It is true, both entrepreneur and artist create. With that being said, I cannot help but start a new business adventure. If you have been following my blog for any time now, you know that I value creativity and that helping people of all abilities create art is a passion of mine. How it all unfolds is in the works. If any of this sounds interesting to you then sign up and be the first to know when my new business launches.   P.S. there will be some free art goodies once I get whole thing rolling.

join the giftjoy.org mission.

Stay tuned,


Finally got the art up on the wall.

It is the little things in life that create success.

I finally got my art up on on the wall, Here are a few photos.

Close ups

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Summer Goals

Summer is finally here and after a very busy Spring it is time to set some summer goals.

Although I am a graphic designer, I had to take many fine art classes to get to this point in my life. When I was younger I considered those classes as a “means to an end”—becoming a graphic designer. Now, I am beginning to realize how much I enjoyed those drawing and painting classes. I can’t just create a paying job whenever I want, but I can create a drawing, painting or mixed media project whenever I want. My goal is to keep my brain exercised. So this Summer I am challenging myself to paint two finished works of art each week. Some may be simple, some complex. Just get it done.

I am starting with a watercolor painting my favorite hotel, The Moana Surfrider in Waikiki Hawaii. This historical hotel is the birthplace of international surfing and has a charming plantation feel. plus it’s  right on the beach. Duke Kahahamoku, the father of  surfing and olympic swimming medalist grew up on this beach. The hotel is filled with memorabilia of the early days of Waikiki. The center court faces the ocean and is shaded by the biggest Banyan tree I have ever encountered.  Facing the street, the front porch has giant rocking chairs to lounge in and allows for  fantastic people watching and plenty of street artist performances. Within a few steps you can find shopping, fine dining, sculpture, an aquarium and a zoo. Oh yeah, and of course the beach. Did I mention the beach?

Below: the Westin Moana Surfrider

Here is a link to the google maps street view I am using to paint from. did you know you can drag that little person onto the map and look around as if you are there? If you haven’t ever tried it your should—virtual travel is the next best to being there. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=hawaii+usa&sll=42.052611,-124.283982&sspn=0.22561,0.503311&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Hawaii&layer=c&cbll=21.276899,-157.826464&panoid=R6ohlag071WckQiCjL4FTA&cbp=12,212.27,,0,-10.1&ll=21.27683,-157.826387&spn=0.002212,0.003932&z=19

My sketch of the hotel is light because it will show through the paint if it is too dark. The blue border is painter’s tape, it holds down the edges of the watercolor paper.

Below: laying in washes of color


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This is my final painting. It is much brighter than the actual hotel, I guess I just don’t know how else to paint. Sometimes I get caught up in the details and don’t like how I am painting. I want to encourage others to keep going. In the end, the little details do not seem to matter so much. I have to force myself to complete paintings sometimes. It is hard to allow mistakes, but do it anyway. It is so worth it! You will learn in the process.

Follow along with me, or if you are really interested you can paint with me. If you are not an artist, you can challenge your creative brain with cooking, gardening, or something else. What will your summer goal be?

Were you creative today?

Creative Adventures is all about challenging yourself each and every day to create something new. Today instead of painting, making jewelry, designing a logo,  or teaching kids, I helped a friend. We reconnected and talked about the current market. e commerce has changed things and we are forging ahead. There is so much joy in helping others. Here is a sample of  Karen’s work.


Check it out at “Little Bridget Jewelry” on facebook or ETSY. I would totally wear her designs, how about you?

April Showers, bring May Flowers, and Prom

Old gardens are extra special.

Today I went with a friend to her mother’s garden which was abundant with Lilacs and Snowballs. It is not the fact that her mother is older than us that made the garden glorious, but the fact that the garden is mature. What a treat to have to climb a ladder to fetch these beautiful Lilacs. We have a special project in mind for these flowers, soon they will become a wrist corsage for his Prom date.

This week Dillon and I went to the store to purchase crystals for Kayla’s corsage. We used elastic cord and made a three strand bracelet—two of the stands were tight so they would hold the flowers to her wrist. Above is the bracelet we designed. It has one large teardrop crystal at the bottom.

Dillon wrapping the flower stems with florist tape. Lilacs and Snowballs.

The flowers were attached to the crystals with florist tape.

Kayla wearing the corsage. For me, part of having a creative home is sharing with my children. The time I spent with Dillon working on this bracelet corsage will be forever in my mind.

Flowers are my favorite inspiration throughout the year. I loose track of time when I am in the garden. Every flower, to me, is like a intricate painting from God—a glorious creation, right in front of me. What a wonderful way to enjoy flowers, by sharing them with Kayla. How can I NOT get excited? Happy May Day!

Pass It On: trying to teach my daughter

It is Spring break here in Oregon and what better way to celebrate than to paint flowers. With extra time on her hands (Courtney, not me), I wanted to inspire her to paint. She loves art. Our quick sketch idea turned into quite an ordeal—five hours. First we looked for inspiration at morgue.com—a great site of royalty free photos by creatives for creatives. We picked a flower we both liked and sent it to the printer. Easy, right?… No. The printer was not going to cooperate. An hour later, with printer “woman handled” (ugh), we had our inspiration printed out.

Inspiration Photo from morgue.com

Now, to transfer it onto the paper. I like to use the grid method in order to enlarge (see earlier post of “June Foxglove”) the picture. In this case we decided to paint it at actual size, so we used graphite paper which allows you to trace right over the printout, thereby transferring the image to the water color paper. Place the graphite paper under the print-out and over the paper, trace the drawing.


Because we were using my old college art supplies that are over 20 years (yes, I attended college when is was 5 years old) we thought it would be great to do some test painting. This is always helpful to get a feel for your supplies. Simple enough for Courtney, my ten year old. Supplies include Dr. Ph. Matins liquid water colors and Dick Blick liquid water color magic, graphite paper, pencils, vinyl eraser, inexpensive practice watercolor paper, water, brushes, paper towels. As we improve, we plan to purchase better quality supplies. The Dr. Martins Dyes are actually very good quality, but mine are old and have separated from sitting.


Test colors

Next, we started on our background. Courtney and I have different plans on what to do. I love that about creative people. We all have our own ideas. I find that this is when most creatives get stuck. Either they are afraid to put the brush to paper, or they don’t like how it looks at first and get frustrated. Artists CAN NOT be fearful or they will never improve.

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”—Pablo Picasso.

I noticed CJ (Courtney) getting very frustrated as I looked on thinking what an amazing job she was doing. She had an idea, and I couldn’t help her create her vision—she was frustrated. I encouraged her to walk away and come back to it later. She is a perfectionist for sure. Here are our backgrounds that are drying completly before we move on to the next step of painting the flowers.

Holly’s background

Courtney’s background

So why write all this and call it “Pass It On”? Because as parents, adults, teachers. aunts, uncles sisters, brothers, friends—whatever we call ourselves, we owe it to the future generation to pass on our skills. I encourage all of you who read this to pass on the talents the Lord has given you—to not only your own children, but also, to other people’s kids. Whether you teach sunday school, art, horse back riding, chess club, cooking or gardening classes, I encourage you to volunteer in your community. Pass It On!

P.S. Jacksonville Elementary will have their Annual Art Exhibition in the gym on April 6, 2010. Hope to see you there.

Starting the flowers.

What we ended up with today. I celebrate young artists. CJ did a great job overcoming her fears. Pass it on.

Foxglove Watercolor

Keeping my brain exercised while I’m waiting for work is always good. I get bored and want to try something new, this time it is a five week watercolor class. So I finally picked out one of my photos to paint. I used a grid to transfer in onto watercolor paper, and it sat for a whole week. Finally, tonight the background is started. Hopefully, it will inspire you to try something new. Take a peek.