Young at Heart

October is “Adopt-a-Pet” month. It’s the perfect time to order an original watercolor Pet Portraits. Today I’m sharing one of my recent Hawaiian-style Pet Portraits. They're also available in the true colors of your pet.

I live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, but Keanu and I both love animals. About two years ago, we heard a tiny mew coming from a drainage ditch behind our house.

It took a few weeks for us to find the kitten living there and calling to his mom.

I like to start the portraits by painting the eyes, nose, and mouth.
If I can get that right, the rest is sure to follow suit.

Alas, we found the kitten too late to save him, but we were able to capture and spay his mother.

“Mommie Cat” remains our feral cat today. I suspect she once belonged to a student in the neighborhood who either couldn’t find her when it was time to move or couldn’t take her along.

Mommie doesn’t want us to touch her, but she expects, and receives, food and water whenever she asks.

“Mommie” has a boyfriend, “Tom," who’s part of the package deal. We haven’t been able to capture him, but I suspect his “tom-catting days” are numbered. He’s a beautiful, but a scrawny specimen of a once handsome cat.

Our pets carry within them seeds of love and sprinkle them freely on our days.

It’s been said that domesticated dogs, unlike wolves from whom they’re descended, remain puppies their whole lives. They never fully mature into full-grown, “I can take care of myself” animals.

The play behavior exhibited by all baby animals turns into much-needed survival skills by wild animals.

Our pets rely on us for their care, allowing them to remain young at heart.

Our pets keep us young at heart with the ever-present love they convey in a myriad of ways.

“Puppy-dog” eyes are eyes filled with love — and sometimes a question. When we respond with approval, a “smile” engulfs the entire countenance of our pet.

The love our pets bestow upon us and stir within us, far outweighs the cost of food, shelter, and medical attention we provide.

If you’re able, I hope you’ll go to your nearest pet shelter and take a new pet/friend home with you. Or volunteer your time to walk a dog, or foster some tiny kittens or puppies too young to be adopted.

ONCE you find the “love-of-your-life-pet” remember that when you order one of my pet portraits, whether a realistic one or Hawaiian-style one, $25 goes directly to the Humane Society.

Growing Pains = Growing Gains

In the last 18 years, I’ve learned a lot about these wonderful islands and all that grows here. My painting style continues to evolve along with my vision of what I want to paint.

Along the way, I’ve developed a passion for writing and have begun to nurture this skill.

My creative writing began with an idea for a children’s story that popped into my head a few years ago.

Federspiel-Stately-MouseWeb.jpg, Meet Mouse Childrens Book

I’ve never had kids, so where did this come from? I’m not sure and who cares!

Whenever we start something new, we face a new learning curve. It starts out pretty steep. It takes perseverance and trust to keep us facing that uphill slope.

It doesn’t matter how often we’ve faced a similar slope, each new incline brings a fresh set of inner and outer challenges and opportunities to be met.

Have you heard of Inner Critics? I learned about them from SARK last year.

Inner Critics are the voices in our head trying to keep us safe.

Unfortunately, they do so by telling us that we don’t know what the heck we’re doing, or that we don’t have time to learn what we want to do or myriad other problems that are sure to get in our way.

Inner Critics flourish in times of growth. Fortunately, I learned methods to handle them.

In addition to a diverse band of inner critics, I've got an insatiable drive to learn, to grow, and to expand out of my creative comfort zone.

I bore easily.

My race to mastery of anything is futile. Once within touching distance of reaching a goal, I start to look for a new creative mountain to climb, or a new way to paint something or a new subject matter to tackle.

I’m currently facing challenges on several fronts: subject matter, creative skill sets, and internal “upper limit issues”.

AND my desire to have FUN is more important than being consumed with my ingrained Midwestern work ethic.

How can I have fun doing all that I want to do?

Be on the lookout for something “new-ish” in the months to come.

Telling you something new is "afoot" is my way of ensuring that I stick to my new adventures and continue this current uphill climb on my life-long rollercoaster ride of living life creatively, from the inside out.

Weaving a Journey

Weaving a Journey

We each weave a journey through life — picking up threads as we meet people, move about, and change directions. Enjoy the tapestry of your life, remembering that it will shift and change as you go.

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Inner Wise Self, Part II

Inner Wise Self, Part II

Being a lifetime learner is a great thing. It means we continue to grow, and our brains remain active and alive. Neuroplasticity is the technical term. Yet we're not meant to get stuck in the Learning Mode. Instead, Learning is meant to fuel Doing which in turn fuels Learning. It's cyclical!

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Meet Stuart

Stuart is always ready to play — ball or just about anything else. His little body is filled with love and he was a joy to paint!

When entrusted to paint a member of anyone's fur family, I start with a good pencil drawing. I want to get him or her situated on the page just right.

First I paint the eyes. Next I paint the nose and add a little more love to the eyes.

The eyes, those windows to the soul, really need to shine forth.

You'll see me smile while I paint these loving pets. I feel their love and I express my love for them back into the painting.

When I'm pleased with the realistic features of the pet, I begin to play with color for the rest of the body. This is done in stages.

Sometimes I'm asked to paint a pet in realistic colors. These are just as much fun and as much of a challenge as the colorful portraits; I love painting them just as much as the colorful pets.

When painting in "Hawaiian-style" colors, I work to capture the nature of the pet with a joyful rainbow of colors.

Any white lines between the colors show where the pencil lines were. They help me to remember the different planes of the face and the shifting of the color value I want to paint. I carefully paint around the lines so they can be erased when the painting is dry.

The background comes last and is meant to highlight the portrait of the pet.

If you can feel the love of the pet, and the love I felt for and from the pet while I was painting it, the portrait is a success.

Stuart is one tiny, compact bundle of BIG loving energy!

Mother Nature, Mother Nurture

Mother Nature, Mother Nurture

This painting is part of my Oracle Series. Oracles were once sought out as a source of wisdom and advice. All of my paintings teach me something about life. I hope that they also show you something about yourself and your life.

We’ve all seen images of flowers and seedlings growing out of rocks. Life won’t be stopped. This tree appears ready to take flight.

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