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

Let’s Make the World More Colorful

Let’s Make the World More Colorful Watercolor 11×14

Let’s Make the World More Colorful.

Let’s make the world a happier place.
Let’s make  the world a kinder place.

Let’s make the world more loving.
Let’s make the world more peaceful.

Let’s do it one person at a time.
Let’s do it one act a time.

Let’s Make the World More Colorful.

#WorldWatercolorMonth

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Yellow Rose for a Sweet New Baby Girl

Yellow Rose Impressionistic Watercolor 11x14 Saunders 140lb Cold Press

Yellow Rose Impressionistic Watercolor 11×14 Saunders 140lb Cold Press

A Yellow Rose for a Sweet New Baby Girl.

A sweet new baby girl was born this week into our extended family.  She was named after two of her great grandmothers.  One of the great grandmothers loved yellow roses.  They were her favorite flower.

So in honor of our new little sweetheart, I painted a yellow rose.

My inspiration for this impressionistic rose is from the amazing style of Jean Haines.

Colors used:  Daniel Smith Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Aliziran Crimson, Burnt Sienna, and Perylene Green.

If her Mommy likes it, I will frame it for our new little angel’s room.

Amidst all the tragedy and heartache in the world (especially this past week here in the U.S. with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the 15-year remembrance of 911), the miracle of birth continues to give us hope in the beauty of life and love.  May our little ones create and live in a world of peace.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Ethereal

Ethereal.

Everything changes
when you allow yourself
to be you.

Not the you
everyone
thinks you should be.

Not the you
you think
everyone wants you to be.

But when
you allow yourself
to be you…

You embody
the light
that is you

through the fog
that is
the world.

Be the light
that is you
to the world.

When you are real
you become
Ethereal.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Finding Purpose: Why I Blog

meaning-of-life-purpose-of-life

Everyone needs a purpose in life.

The older I get, and the more I experience new life (like the birth of my first grandchild), and the deaths of those I love (like the recent loss of my brother), the more I ponder my life’s purpose….  the legacy I might leave behind…  how people will remember me.

When I started this blog two and a half years ago on May 18, 2014 – just for fun and on the encouragement of my BFF’s daughter (my McHendy daughter, Jackie), I wasn’t sure what I was doing or what to expect.  I think I secretly thought I might be the next Ree Drummond or Rachel Ray and get rich and famous.  It was all about me.

But after posting daily for almost 1,000 days, it’s become something very different.  It hasn’t brought me the kind of fame or fortune I clandestinely fantasized about in the beginning.  But what it has become – is a purpose…  a personal mission of sorts…  a small way of giving to the world…  a place to encourage (and maybe even inspire) people to embrace the simple moments of life to cherish… especially those “in between” moments.

I have a very fulfilling career and full-time job I love that keeps me busy as the Director of Strategic Projects and Office of the CEO for a hospice and home health company.  I have a husband of almost 35 years, two grown sons, an amazing daughter-in-law and another soon-to-be, and a baby granddaugher that bring such joy to my life (and of course there is also Charlie!).  I have the most amazing BFFs a “girl” could ask for.

Yet, I still believe I need to have something that is my personal legacy, and that is what my blog has grown to be for me.  When I consider my few talents and gifts, I have often been told my greatest is that of an “encourager” or “influencer.”  I’ve taken many a DISC Personality Asssessment, and I am always an out-and-out straight High “I.”  I have taken “Spiritual Gift Assessments” that tell me I have the gift of “exhortation” or encouragement.  Hubby tells me I have the gift of “gab!”  So why not use that gift – one that comes so easily to me – to benefit others?

I have never had difficulty talking with strangers.  My goal in any situation, whether it be greeting the receptionist at an office, the UPS delivery person, the garbage collector, or a less-than-happy cashier at the grocery store, is to leave them smiling.  Not sure why it is important to me – but it is.

And that is my goal here too.  The goal of this blog is not to “show off” what I have or what I can do or to make you think my life is all peachy and perfect.  My life is not perfect.  That is not what I want people to think.  In fact, my life is far from perfect… like all of ours are!  I have an estranged relationship with my mother, I was separated from my birth father for 39 years until six and a half years ago, my brother struggled so severely with alcoholism that he took his own life by stepping in front of a train…  I struggle with my weight and have always been “chubby,” I’m not particularly attractive, I have no musical talent whatsoever….  the list could go on.  I tell you this not for pity or sympathy or for you to disagree.  I tell you this so that it might allow you to know that despite life’s challenges and adversity, we can still seek to find the joy.  We can still be kind.  We can still feel love.  There are still many, many moments to cherish…  And we must seek them, and we must appreciate them.

So no matter how busy my day, and knowing there is no monetary or fame reward or prize to be given for posting every day, I still make sure I do.  I spend a bit of time, often late at night, writing a post that might encourage you, that might make you smile, that might inspire you to bake or cook something new or paint something, or just look at something differently.  It might be a few words that will remind you of something that makes you happy.  Sometimes I am typing it at 11 pm with only one eye open.  Other times I get ahead by four or five posts and give myself a break.  But I still make it a personal goal to post something everyday (that appears at 6am EST) for my dear followers to either start their day (if they are living in my part of the world) or end their day (for my cherished blog follower friends in Latvia or Ireland or Australia or Japan).

So even on my toughest days, I seek to find something good and encouraging, because in encouraging you, I am rewarded in an even more profound way than could be achieved with fame or fortune.  I feel my life has a personal purpose.  I feel I am giving something of value to the world.  I feel I might be remembered… for being kind.  I might be creating my legacy.

Do you think about your life’s purpose?  Your legacy?  What you will be remembered for?

None of us know when our last year or day or breath will be, so my simple message is: Cherish the Moments!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Getting Geared up for World Watercolor Month in July

world Watercolor month

 

I’m very excited to partner with my buddy, Charlie @ Doodlewash to announce July 2016 will be the first-ever annual World Watercolor Month!

I’m so proud of Charlie for making this happen!  Over 18,000 applications are submitted each year for “official days” to celebrate, and only 30 are added to the calendar.  Despite the odds, Charlie’s idea made the cut, and it is official! July is now and forever World Watercolor Month!

So what does it mean?  July will be a month to inspire people to paint with watercolor (watercolour, aquarelle) while raising awareness for the importance of art and creativity in the world.   Anyone can join in on the celebration – from master watercolorists to artists just starting out with watercolor!  You can play along via WordPress or on Facebook.  If you create a watercolor painting you’d like to share, simply tag your art with #WorldWatercolorMonth during the month of July!

And, best of all, in this first year of the celebration, you’ll be part of raising awareness for children in need of art supplies and art education around the globe!

MAKE A CHILD’S DREAM COME TRUE!

The Dream Zebra Foundation Logo - Donate art supplies to celebrate World Watercolor Month July 2016 worldwatercolor.com 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.

ara_badge
Watercolor is the #1 needed art supply! Click Here to Help!

With your help, we can reverse this trend. To make this first ever month-long global celebration of watercolor affect real change, we’ve teamed up with The Dreaming Zebra Foundation, a charity providing support so that children and young adults are given an equal opportunity to explore and develop their creativity in the arts. Click here to shop the World Watercolor Month wish list of art supplies for kids! (hosted by Dick Blick) 

The Dreaming Zebra Foundation charity for Art supplies and art education for underprivileged children
Art education has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child.

The Dreaming Zebra Foundation is unique in that they provide an art recycling program that is free to the public. Reusable art & music supplies that would otherwise be discarded, along with new or unsold materials, are donated by individuals and businesses and matched to recipients who have requested those materials for arts education purposes in communities around the world.

Have some beginner watercolor sets you no longer use, but still have some life in them? You can also support the cause, by simply sending your reusable art supplies to:

THE DREAMING ZEBRA FOUNDATION
5331 SW MACADAM AVE., STE. 258-522
PORTLAND, OR 97239

With your help, we can raise awareness for art education worldwide and provide much needed support for kids in need. Art is an important aspect of child development and paves the way for a successful future. What would the world be without art? Together, let’s make sure we never find out!

I am personally excited to delve a little deeper with a bit more discipline into this art form that captured my heart and soul about a year ago and that I still consider myself a very new student of.  It has brought such great joy to my life – not only in the activity of creating, sharing, expressing (and even selling!), but also in the wonderful friends (like Charlie) who I have made along the way in this wonderful art journey.

I hope you will join in on the fun in any way you like – whether it be by painting and sharing, contributing, or simply by enjoying viewing what we all share at #WorldWatercolorMonth.

world-watercolor-month-july-2016-primary-logo

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Compassion

world love abstract

“Compassion” Original Watercolor – Jodi McKinney

Skip the religion and politics,
head straight to the compassion.
everything else is a distraction.
                                                                   – talib kweli

A while back, I read this quote shared by Beth at I Didn’t Have My Glasses On ,
and it hit me like a brick!
Went straight to the heart, and stuck with me.

I recently did this little abstract watercolor.
To me, it resembles the world surrounded by a heart.
And I call it, “Compassion.”

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi