A Rule of Life


“Those of us
who are warm and dry
and safe and well-fed
must show up for those
who are cold and wet
and endangered and hungry.
That’s a rule of life.
Every ethical and religious and spiritual
tradition in the world
agrees on that rule.”

-Elizabeth Gilbert

The true spirit of the season is not in simply buying gifts,
but in giving and doing what we can for those in need.


Cheers & Hugs,



Oh the Places we will Go!

Watercolor Pink Hot Air Balloon 8x10 140lb Arches Cold Press Quin Magenta & Quin Gold - Rekab 320s Brush

Watercolor Pink Hot Air Balloon 8×10 140lb Arches Cold Press Quin Magenta & Quin Gold – Rekab 320s Brush

Oh the places we will go….
Oh the things that we will do….

Oh the beauty we will see…..
Oh the love that there will be.

Dreaming of the the places, things, beauty, and love that I will experience upon the arrival of my first grandchild – my granddaughter – in just a few short months…

Oh how happy I will be!

Cheers & Hugs,

This watercolor was done using 1 brush (Rekab 320s Size 2 Squirrel Mop that Debi Riley creates magic with), 2 paint colors (Quinacridone Magenta and Quinacridone Gold), and a splash or two of rubbing alcohol on Arches 140 lb. Cold Press Paper using a wet on wet technique.  I added the words by simply writing with a Stabilo Aquarellable #8046 Pencil.

painting watercolor hot air balloon with rekab 320s

When I originally bought this Rekab 320s brush after reading how much Debi loves it and uses it (and which I could only find via mail order from an art shop in Australia), I liked it, but basically only used it as a “mop” for big, wet washes. It was the second “good” brush I bought.   It holds an amazing amount of water and paint, and I was amazed at the difference painting with such a high-quality brush makes.

painting watercolor hot air balloon with rekab 320s 2

After inquiring a bit more about how Debi does so much with it, she mentioned it can be used in many ways, even to create fine lines by simply flicking off the excess water and allowing the hairs to form a tight point.  Well… Wow – was she right!   I have discovered the magic of this amazing brush and am so thrilled.  Thanks Debi!  I still can’t create amazing painting like you, but I sure do understand why you love this brush, and I plan to play with it a lot more.

And PS – do you see my awesome #WorldWatercolorMonth mug in the photos above?! Isn’t it pretty sweet?  You can have one too, as well as a number of other fun #WorldWatercolorMonth SWAG at Charlie O’s Doodlewash Society 6 Shop.  And the BEST thing is – 100 PERCENT of the proceeds from your purchases go to the The Dreaming Zebra Foundation, where you can provide art and music supplies to under-privileged children throughout the world.

Research has shown that art education has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the learning field across socioeconomic boundaries. Unfortunately, arts education programs are too often the first to be cut when cuts are necessary, so more and more children each year are missing out on the important benefits of art classes.

Please keep in mind that beyond having fun and sharing our watercolor painting adventures this month, a bigger and higher purpose is to help affect real change and begin to reverse this trend.   Please consider even a $10 donation.  Imagine what a difference we could make if we all gave just the cost of a lunch out.

Pink Zinnia Bluez

pink zinnia

Last week I posted a photo of a zinnia that seemed like it was just begging to be painted, and I couldn’t wait to give it a go!

One evening, I printed the photo and lightly drew it in pencil using my lightbox – a great tool for us beginners who so often struggle with the drawing part.  (Well – let’s face it – I often struggle with ALL the parts!)

I gave it a light water wash and first glaze of pink before quitting for the evening, as I am trying to learn patience and allowing drying time to achieve more complex watercolor paintings.

When my friend, Janet was over one evening, she asked to see what art I’ve been up to.  When she saw the beginning of the zinnia, she said it would be a great post to show progress photos of the steps I go through.

Yes – great idea, Jan….   but I haven’t really figured out what steps I go through really!

Anyway – Charlie and I arose early the next morning – around 5:30am – and I decided to give my zinnia another coat.  Well – that led to another, and then a disaster, followed by another disaster and a third disaster.

I kept re-trying to reproduce with watercolor what I had envisioned in my head.

Now I am one to promote that it is all about the journey – all about the process – but sometimes I just want to do it perfect – do it right – do it beautiful —- and alas, it wasn’t happening with this beautiful pink zinnia.

This was my fifth effort of it, and I got to where I gave up.  It is not even close to what I had envisioned, though somewhat pleasing…  at least compared to the first four efforts!  I tried wet on wet, wet on dry, sketch first, sketch after, no sketching…

But WHY can I not reproduce on paper what is in my head?!

This is where I call out for support and advice from my artist friends.

Please offer your wisdom.

I obviously tend to “overwork” it.

Watercolor is something I’ve just had this urging to pursue.  I’ve watched a few YouTube videos, perused a few books, and follow some amazing bloggers, but I have no formal training and no artistic experience.

I would so appreciate anyone who would be willing to offer their top advice for a wannabee watercolorist!

I am writing this a few days ahead of when it will post, so who knows where my head will be when this posts.  But I so look forward to your tips and advice, and hope to be feeling a little better about my watercolor journey by the time you read this.

Can the encourager seek some encouragement this time please?   😉

Cheers & Hugs,