To Notice the Last Glow of Light

To Notice the Last Glow of Light.

To feel the softness,
and experience the gentle breeze,
to notice the last glow of light shining through…

Even amidst the things that choked you,
the experiences that broke you,
the storms that turned your world upside down…

These are the blessings of life,
that give us the strength,
and give us grace…

To be courageous,
and brave,
to persevere and to grow….

Into the confident beauty
we were meant to be
and share with the world.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Autumn’s Kaleidoscope of Color

Flames of crimson, pomegranate, and persimmon,
ambered gold, chartreuse, and mossy greens

struggle to compete with the saturated sapphire sky
marbled with softly suspended cottony clouds.

The intensity of the beauty surrounding me
almost overwhelms my senses.

My eyes and my mind try to absorb it all
as if snapping photos in a continuous burst mode

trying to find a special place to store them
to remember on a dark, dreary day

when my heart can’t remember the bright warmth
or the splendorous display of Autumn’s kaleidoscope of color.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

It’s All My Friends!

“It’s All My Friends!”

People author and illustrate and publish books for many reasons I’m sure.

Dreams of fame and fortune…
Checking off a bucket list item…
Creating a legacy…
Fulfilling a life-long dream…
Sharing an important story…

For many – it’s a passion.
Writing is like breathing.
It is something they just have to do.

I love to read.
I admire writers.
I admire artists and illustrators.

I never, however, really aspired to be an author…

Well – maybe it fleetingly crossed my mind from time to time…
Maybe a cookbook…
or an autobiography of sorts.

I definitely never considered I’d be an illustrator.
Heck – until about two years ago, I would have never
even dreamed I would share a stick figure I drew.

But then I discovered the joy of blogging
through the encouragement one of my sweet McHendy “daughters.”

And then I discovered watercolor art
through this wonderful blogging community.

With the encouragement of so many,
I shared my watercolor paintings.

I created some fun little animal characters
with silly rhyming stories to go with them.

One very special friend here at TheCreativeLifeInBetween.com
began sharing my little animal characters and their stories with her grandson.

Three and a half year old Benjamin
became one of my greatest supporters and fans.

Benjamin would ask daily to hear stories from his grandma “Gem’s” computer,
along with those of his favorite books.

He even started asking for special characters,
which is how “Earl the Squirrel” came to be.

So with full permission from “Gem” and his Mom,
I am sharing this joyful photo of Benjamin with his copy of my first-ever
authored and illustrated book, “Klaus the Mouse – and other Silly Animal Tales.”

Per Gem, when Benjamin received his book,
he squealed with delight and laughter,
“My friends!  It’s all my friends!”

Could there be any greater joy…
any greater reason or purpose…
to author and illustrate a book?

The joy in those words…
The twinkle in those eyes…
The delight in that smile…
Those beautiful little hands holding the book.

Thank you Benjamin!
Thank you Ellen (aka “Gem'”)
for fulfilling a dream
I didn’t even know I had.

Because of you…
I visited the dentist yesterday,
and the receptionist said,
“I just saw your book!”

Because of you…
a friend told me he purchased my book for his 4-year old niece’s birthday.

Because of you…
my book is being shipped all the way to Ireland.

Because of you…
so many sweet friends have bought “Klaus the Mouse
for their children and grandchildren.

What a joy it is to share a little piece of me...
A little bit of my art…
A little bit of my writing.

Thank you Benjamin!
I can only imagine the impact you will have on the world in 20 or 30 years!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

If you would like to order a copy of “Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales,”
you can do so by clicking here.

Autumn Art Sonnet

Autumn Art Sonnet.

I recently took my very first online art course at the gentle urging of my blogging friend Jill at Jill’s Art Journal.  Actually it is my first-ever any kind of art course.

The class was hosted on Carla Sonheim’s website and presented by the amazing Lendon Noe.  The short 2-week, 6-session class was on Meaning Making:  Inspired by Poetry.   They were short 20-minute recorded sessions that you could watch at your own pace and at a convenient time for you.

I LOVED it!  I learned so much from Lendon – about art, mixed media, poetry, and even about myself.

My first art love is watercolor, but I loved dabbling into the mixed media world.  And what fun it was to combine my love of words, writing, poetry, watercolor, and stamping.

In my art piece here, the lines are actually an artistic version of a Shakespearean sonnet, where verse is written in a pattern of AB AB CD CD EF EF GG.  You might notice that the lines are repeating in the same pattern.  I used a combination of Sumi Ink, Walnut ink, watercolor, water soluble pencil, and a splash of Dr. Ph Martin’s Iridescent Gold Ink.

I photocopied (directly on my photocopier) a sprig of burning bush leaves and berries from my front yard and gesso‘d it right on top of the “sonnet.”  I drew a trio of leaves directly onto the piece, stamped some patterns and words, and then “scribbled” a collection of autumn words on top with a Pilot Parallel Calligraphy pen.

I woke up early yesterday and created this piece after considering all the things I learned in the class.  It is my little mixed-media sonnet about Autumn.

The air is finally a bit crisp and cooler than it’s been in a long time this weekend. It is really feeling like Autumn.

And Autumn is quickly becoming one of my favorite times of year.  I wonder if it is because I am in the Autumn stage of life too…

Have a wonderful day – whatever season you are in or love.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Yellow Canary Named Terry

A Yellow Canary Named Terry.

Today’s post is a collaboration with my friend, Gary, from Spearfruit, in honor of our beloved Terry.

Gary wrote this lovely little poem late one night and shared it with me, so I knew I had to create a Terry canary as beautiful as I could, so we could share this little story and our love for a great man named Terry.

———

There once was a yellow canary named Terry
who had a good friend named Gary.

Terry lived in a birdhouse high in a tree in the city of Tampa
close to his good friend’s camper.

Terry was so full of life with vigor and glee
as he continued to blog in his house in the tree.

Then early one day, Terry became very sick
and from that point forward his health went down quick.

No matter the pain, no matter the grief
Terry always felt better and a little relief

when he blogged to his friends who provided him love
no matter his struggles or thoughts from above.

Then one day when Terry was perched in his tree,
he got a sweet gift from his good friend Jodi.

The gift was a yellow flower that was painted with love
to remind Terry that things are much better above.

From that point forward Terry raised his head high
and did his very best to hold back his cry.

Terry knew it would soon be time to let out his last chirp
so he got himself ready to depart this dear earth.

Although Terry is no longer here perched in his tree
his friends all know that his spirit is with me

always…
Love his best friend, Gary.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

—–

If you would like a 5×7 or 8×10 print of this painting or a box of greeting cards, you can order at McKinneyX2Designs on ETSY by clicking here or by stopping by Berry Vine Gifts in BradfordWoods, PA.

The Flowers of Fall

The flowers of Fall
are the beautiful leaves

that in the summer
produced the forest’s shade.

The emerald and olive and mossy greens
turn to persimmon and crimson and gold.

The joy of Autumn
is in the cool, crisp breeze.

that carries the memory
of warmth and life and growth.

A breath of air inhaled
full of brisk, invigorating possibilities.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

The Magic of Moonlight

Full Moon over Scottsdale, Arizona - July, 2017

Full Moon over Scottsdale, Arizona – July, 2017

The Magic of Moonlight.

The full moon’s smoldering glow
illuminates the evening desert sky

Peeking and hiding amidst billowy clouds
in shades of creamy coral and milky opal.

Palm trees elegantly pirouette
with delicate fronds fluttering fluidly

While the wind whispers a soft lullaby
in hushed tones of serene tranquility.

Good night sweet summer day…
sleep peacefully in contented slumber.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi