“Fraser” and “Fraser’s Flowers”
What a handsome boy! Such a distinguished but cute little gentleman.
Painting dark fur can be tricky, so I had fun using a lot of color to bring out the highlights. I decided to do an extra canvas, too. Sometimes when I work on something complicated (lots of flowers, for example), I start an extra painting to try out different colors and styles before I put them on top of layers that are already complete.

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Vintage Dutch children's books

I’d like to show you some Dutch children’s books that Thom Jeffries shared with me. These belonged to his late wife Julia. She grew up in the Netherlands, and her full name was Albertine Julia Johanna Van Mechelen Jeffries. 
My daughters and I have really enjoyed looking through them. The illustrations are charming, aren’t they? We thought it was fun to see her little scribbles in the books, too. In a future post, I will also share some of Julia’s childhood sketchbooks. Thanks again Thom, and feel free to add any information or corrections.


100 Days of Art!

I'm celebrating today...I have created art every day for 100 Days. I started the #100DayProject back on January 1st, and I made something Every Single Day. Some days it was a detailed painting and some days it was chalk on a sidewalk or writing a song on harp. I wanted creativity to be something that was part of all my days, just like coffee, hugs, and brushing my teeth. I think this project has really helped cement the practice of creating into my daily routine. I wanted to thank the creators of Everyday Creatives (the group of artists I worked with) for organizing this project. It has been such a pleasure to work with you guys, and all the other artists in the group. 
P.S. There are even a few more pieces I didn't include in here because my compilation poster filled up. :)

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Wonderful Words Wednesday

Whoops! (May I add that word ALSO starts with a “W”???) I got behind on my WWWs. I’ve been sharing them on FB and IG, but I don’t always upload my website in real time. I’ll catch up today.


The Three Moods of Celtic harp tradition

For Fun Friday, I wanted to share a concept called "adban trireach", which loosely translates to "the three moods".  I've put together three Scottish or Irish songs for you today to celebrate "The Three Moods" in a more modern way. If anyone knows more about this concept, please tell me all about it!

I'm fascinated with anything about harps, particularly Celtic harp traditions. To be considered an accomplished musician worthy of their high rank, they were expected to play songs that evoked these "three moods":
-geantraighe = happy/lively 
-goltraighe = sorrowful
-suantraighe = sleepy

In VERY early harping tradition-1200s/1300s, each ruling chieftan considered it a necessity to have a harpist in their court. They ranked just below the chieftan and the bard. And since the pinky was not used in this playing style, they would often amputate the pinky finger of harpers.
I think that's so interesting! 

Happy/geantraighe-Street performers dancing and playing concertina on the streets of Galway. I think this really captures the impromptu joy and "do-it-anywhere" quality of the Irish. 
(Starts :18 seconds in)

Sorrowful/goltraighe -"Amhrán na Eascainne" by Liam Ó Maonlaí & friends
This song is about a man whose new bride serves him a poisoned eel for dinner. The man's sister tends him on his deathbed and asks what he will leave for the rest of his family. It's so depressing, in the best sort of Orkney Islands way.

Sleepy (my favorite)-A Trip to the Islands/Keltische Harfe by Nadia Birkenstock
Here's a soothing harp piece played beside a running stream. This is an original composition by Nadia.

I forgot Periwinkle!

I forgot to show y’all Periwinkle!
This is Pumpernickle Pickle Periwinkle Chukwu Okorafor-
Space cat. Lives with Dr. Nnedi Okorafor 
I was inspired to paint him with nsibidi symbols on ukara cloth. It says-Beautiful woman hunter sets the table with meat for Chukwu out of love. Or at least that's what I was trying to write.
I was thrilled to hear Dr. Okorafor give the keynote address last night at the Highland Park Literary Festival. I'm grateful she's in Dallas, but I bet Periwinkle misses her. 
I'm honored to be teaching workshops with her and many other creative people today. It was a thrill to hear her talk about everything from nsibidi symbols to her library browsing habits to her love of bugs.
What a fascinating woman!

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Feline February Finale

If you didn’t already know, I painted a cat every day in February-Feline February! I asked people to send me photos of their cats, and I numbered each entry. 
Every day, I entered that total into a random number generator. Whichever number came up that day, I painted that cat. 
This was also part of a project called Colourful February, where artist Este Macleod suggested a color for every day of the month. I used each day’s color in the painting of the cat for that particular day.
This has been a really interesting month. It wasn’t always easy to complete a piece of art every single day, but I did it! 
I’m happy to have increased the work in my portfolio and to be able to share art with a lot of people.
Some of the pet owners I know, but many of them I do not. My favorite thing about art is how it can bring all of us together, even if in a small way.

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Here’s one last look at the colors for Colourful February.

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Feline February-Week 5

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Day 25-Indigo
Day 26-Pear
Calvin Lewis Champion- here are Tallulah and Hermione. Great names!

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Day 27-Pomegranate 
Day 28-Pebble
Here are the last two kitties for Feline February. Kayla Olson..your number was the final randomly picked entry. What are their names?
I’m ready for spring, so here are your cats welcoming the first bloom of the season.
By the way, Kayla is a published author. Check her out sometime if you’re on the hunt for your next read.

Feline February-Week 4

For this group, I wanted to create greeting cards.
These kitties belong to:
Coral: Tayelor Pierce
Green Smoke: Maggie Meek
Turquoise: Marty Woodruff
Mulberry: Alanna Cartier

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Amaluna -Cirque du Soleil in Dallas

Amaluna was AMAZING! This Cirque du Soleil show is in Dallas a few more days. The trailer is in my other post.
It is an experience like no other. Seeing that striped grand chapiteau on the horizon makes my heart beat faster. 
Amaluna is a rough interpretation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest", with an all-female live band and 75% female cast, which is really rare in the circus industry. 
I wanted to show Violet strong, creative women doing amazing things. Ama means "mother" and "luna" means moon, so it seemed like a great mama-daughter event for the night of the Super Moon!

The costumes, the music, the athleticism, the complexity of the show...I'm gushing! Photography is not allowed, so I only have photos from the entrance, but oh-my-goodness I want to run away and join the circus now. I’m sharing a few press photos from Cirque, too.
If you have the chance, treat yourself to this one-of-a-kind performance. You'll remember it the rest of your life.

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Feline February-Week 3

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Day 13-Sage 
“Backpack Unicat”
I’ve gotten the chance to pet this kitty in person. Megan, I was happy to see today’s number was Kit!

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Day 14- Slate
Today’s Random Cat belongs to Laura Rutherford. I’m posting this later, but I painted this on Valentine’s Day! To subtly celebrate the day, I made some heart shaped leaves. 

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Day 15-Arctic (pale blue)
Random number generator says...#50. This is Gypsie and she belongs to Jacque.

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UPDATE: Sparkle has been adopted!!!

Day 16-Parakeet (bright intense green)
AND Day 17- Glaucous (dull blue green)
Zeus and Sparkle
I’m hoping to turn this piece of art into real life. Sparkle the three-legged-kitty is waiting for a forever home. She is currently being fostered and is looking for a permanent family. If anyone is interested, please comment below.
I will happily give her new family a print of this painting too!
Sparkle and many other pets can be found at the Hunt County No Kill Shelter. If you are considering a pet for your family, please think about giving a home to a pet who really needs one.

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Day 18: Mikado (intense yellow)
Day 19: Mocha (dark chocolately brown)
Today's cats are named Smokey and Bandit. For real.

Remember that cheese-a-licious movie Smokey and the Bandit with Burt Reynolds and Sally Field? The Firebird he drove was almost as big of a star as he was. I have a long-standing fondness for the "Screaming Chicken" phoenix on the hood.
(Someone asked why I skipped a day---I didn't. On 2-cats-in-a-painting days, I double them up.)

Hunt County Public Art Shindig

I'm getting ready for the Hunt County Public Art fundraiser with Byron Taylor and Kim Coker (and pups). 💕 We'll be unveiling the two public art projects for 2019. I will be painting a mural and Pamela Edwards will create a mosaic in downtown Greenville. Thanks to everyone who helps support the arts in our community!

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Whew! It’s wrapped up now…the Hearts for the Arts bash was a blast! It was an honor to finally be able to unveil the plans for the mural I'll be painting, as well as a fabulous mosaic Pamela Edwards will be creating. I'm thrilled there are so many people who believe in the impact of public art in our community. Thank so much to everyone who has supported the Hunt County Public Art projects. You're giving back to the community in so many ways. I'm grateful to have this opportunity to share my work in Greenville, Texas. My goal is to bring joy to everyone who sees it.


Feline February-Week 2

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Day 7-Taupe
Moth Cat
”I won’t burn your house down even at all.”

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Day 8-Falu Red 
Cheetah as Ant Cat
Falu Red is the shade they paint the majority of barns in Sweden and Finland. America has lots of red barns, too. But Falu Red is a specific pigment derived from the processing of Scandinavian hematite.

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Day 9-Teal
Walter as Monarch Cat 
“I wonder if they’ll have nice snacks at the costume party,” ponders Walter.

I used teal as the background color the past 3 days to tie all the kitties together.

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Day 10-Tangerine
”Dreaming of Spring”
It’s dreary outside, but she’s looking through seed packets and daydreaming about her garden.

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Day 11-Cobalt

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Day 11- Dijon
“Moka Morning”

Highland Park Literary Festival

Join me at the Highland Park Literary Festival February 21-22. I'll be teaching workshops on creating graphic novels. All my sections are full, but the opening event is free and open to the public Thursday evening. Dr. Neddi Okorafor is the keynote speaker. 
Click here for more info.

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