The World is our Oyster

The World is our Oyster

As we grow older,
we sometimes wish
we were that beautiful young girl or boy we see
who looks so “effortlessly” attractive
in their skinny jeans and tank top
with skin that is tight and glowing
and hair that is long and soft and flowing.
They appear so confident and self-assured.
The world is their oyster.

When we are young,
we often can’t wait
to be those older girls or boys
who are able to choose what they do
and where they go
and make important decisions
and be independent.
They appear so confident and self-assured.
The world is their oyster.

When we are down or sad
we often think
everyone else
has it better
or easier
or is happier
or is smarter
They appear so confident and self-assured.
The world is their oyster.

But you know what?

Nothing is really quite like it seems.

Let’s try to own and like
whoever we are
at whatever stage
of life we are at.
Let’s try not to compare
our insides
to others’ outsides.
We are all kind of a mess.
The world is our oyster.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Make Your Own Kind of Beauty

Make your own kind of beauty.
Create your own special art.

Make your own kind of happy.
Even if nobody else smiles along.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This work of reused, repurposed, recycled building materials is proudly and prominently displayed outside of Construction Junction – one of my favorite shopping spots in Pittsburgh.  Construction Junction is a non-profit warehouse that supports and promotes conservation through the sale and reuse of donated  used and surplus building materials.  I visited this past Saturday with a friend when I snapped this photo.  Then…. as so often happens, a favorite song came to mind.  The song “Make Your Own Kind of Music” came into my head, and I made my own “Make Your Own Kind of Beauty/Art/Happy” lyrics.

The Odessa Chronicles: My Art on the Cover of a Book!

The Odessa Chronicles.

What an honor it is to see my original watercolor art on the cover of a book!

A sweet blogging friend, Carolyn Shelton,  challenged me a while back to create a painting of the one of the characters she and and her writing “partner in crime” (and partner in humor and heart and spirit), Colin Chappell created in their ongoing collaborative fictional story that was being shared on Carolyn’s blog.  When I painted Odessa the barn owl as a special gift to Carolyn, she loved it.  So I decided to paint the other characters that lived on Moonbeam Farm as well.

As the story grew, Carolyn and Colin decided to publish their series into a book, and they asked if they could use my art for the cover and inside the book.  I happily agreed, and now Carolyn’s dream has finally come to fruition!

Odessa is a barn owl with an attitude who befriended Jaxon, a magical jackalope.  The two of them met Dewy, a cat who desired a life of luxury, and the three of them moved into an empty farm.

Joshua Jeremiah Jonathan Jacob Jackson Pebblestone bought his dream farm.  His life was going to be spent immersed in the peace and quiet of rural life… until he discovered three lodgers had already moved in!

The Odessa Chronicles is a 290-page collection of adventure stories about the friendship and antics of Odessa, Jaxon, Dewey, and the Man Servant at Moonbean Farm that is fun for children of all ages.


Thank you Carolyn and Colin for allowing me to be a small part of this adventure!

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Odessa Chronicles, you can purchase it here.

I have also written and illustrated a small book of silly rhymes and tales you may be interested in called Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales. It is available on Amazon here.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Navy and Peach

Navy and Peach.

They complement each other so well.
One soft and subtle…
One strong and bold.

It was fun to use just three primary colors – indigo, red, and yellow ochre to create this loose abstract flower painting.

I swirled and splashed and dabbed and splattered.
And then I scribbled with a micron pen to create some fun shapes.

So good to find time “in between” to let loose with my watercolors!
So fun to “create” make-believe flowers.
So glad to cherish the moments
at TheCreativeLifeInBetween!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Christmas in July

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree in My Little Red Wagon – 11×14 Watercolor

Christmas in July.

Today is July 31, 2018, and it is the last day of #WorldWatercolorMonth 2018.

And even though I’m wearing shorts and the air conditioning is on, I’m starting to think about Christmas.

Just a teensy bit.

Christmas is such a fun time to create art.

I chose to use my little girl character created for this painting (inspired by my first granddaughter) to feature in this first Christmas watercolor for 2018.

My oldest daughter-in-law and I are starting to think about what we are going to create for fall and the holidays for our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop and Berry Vine Gifts and the big Mars Fall Craft Show this year.

I’m looking forward to seeing what we come up with and sharing it here.

I’m looking forward to another Christmas, but with TWO granddaughters in our family this year!!

I’m looking forward to finding time for art.

I’m grateful to Charlie O at Doodlewash for hosting #WorldWaterColorMonth again this year and for honoring me wth the privilege of being a World Watercolor Month Artist Ambassador.  (Today is your last chance to purchase the souvenier pouch that supports the Dreaming Zebra Foundation in giving art supplies to underprivileged children throughout the world!)

I’m grateful for your visit here today.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Overflowing Abundance – Fuchsia in Watercolor

Overflowing Abundance Fuchsia in Watercolor 11×14

Overflowing Abundance – Fuchsia in Watercolor.

Water and paint
dancing and twirling
almost as if a ballerina
with delicate legs
and pointed toes
and a tutu in layers
of pink and purple tulle
emerges as a simple fuchsia.
Overflowing abundance.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

Mommy’s New Love

Mommy’s New Love – Watercolor 11×14

Mommy’s New Love.

The only thing
that can even possibly compare
to the indescribable feeling
of Mommy’s New Love….

might just be
Grandma’s new love.

This is another illustrative watercolor
meant to express the joy
that can only come
from watching your children
experience the joy
of having children…

and getting to be a part of it.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

A Daddy’s Love is as Big as the Moon

A Daddy’s Love is as Big as the Moon – Watercolor Illustration – 11×14

A Daddy’s Love is as Big as the Moon.

I was playing around with illustrative art one day as I continue to practice drawing techniques and watercolor.

I love painting loose, but I also admire those that can create bigger-than-life illustrative characters with their art.

Inspired by the birth of a new grandbaby, my heart feels as big as the moon.  I know my son feels the same way.

Today is also a special “anniversary” day for my Dad and me.  It is our 8-year reunion anniversary.  On July 17, 2010, my Dad and I were reunited after many years apart.  I now know his love is, and always has been, as big as the moon.

So this watercolor painting is meant to express that bigger-than-life feeling through illustrating the BIGness of that love.

Can you feel it?

I could picture this as a Daddy character in a children’s book, and it melts my heart.

A Daddy’s love…
my son’s – my husband’s – my dad’s……
is as big as the moon!

Just like my love is for them.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

Hope is the Thing with Feathers…

Abstract Feather 1 – 11×14

Hope is the Thing with Feathers.

Do you think
every feather
is uniquely different?

Just like
snowflakes…
and leaves on trees…
and blades of grass…
and grains of sand…
and people.

Abstract Feather 2 – 11×14

As I was playing around one day
with pouring paint
and creating feathers,
they sure were!

Abstract Feather 3 – 11×14

Instead of pouring on canvas,
I poured these abstract feathers
on 300lb cold press watercolor paper.

They are all so very different,
even though I used the same exact colors and same paper…
yet there is something I uniquely like about each.

There is something so magical about feathers…

What bird is it from?
Or did it perhaps fall
from the wings of an angel?

Hope is the thing
with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tunes
without the words,
and never stops at all.

– Emily Dickinson

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi