Sunday, March 30, 2008

How it all began...

"Any arbitrary turning along the way, and I would be elsewhere. I would be different." (Frances [Diane Lane] Under the Tuscan Sun)

That quote, from one of my favorite movies, sums up how I feel about my art career. It was a chance lunch with a friend on a warm September day in 1994... a chance stroll through our town center... a chance encounter with a painting shop that led me to where I am today. Had any of those things not occurred, I would be elsewhere...
Although I never took any lessons beyond that one night a week / 6 week beginner course that I signed up for that day, I was hooked. I painted furiously at home, which led to selling my work in craft fairs, and then to designing for books, packets, and magazines, and now to designing for the print and licensing market. (Who knew that little rooster, my very first painted piece, would lead to a whole career!!)

I'm not sure where I'd be had there been "any arbitrary turning along the way," but I am so grateful that there wasn't. I think this path, for me, was meant to be.

Donna

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spotty's New Friends...



Poor Spotty... He wants to invite his new friends in to "play," but they just want to eat the peanuts I tossed out on the deck.

This is Spotty's favorite place to recline - his hassock. We push it over in front of the slider for him so he can bask in the sun to his heart's content, although as you can see, today was quite the dreary day.

Look at those finger indentations I left in his fur when I stopped scratching his neck... he looks like he has eyes in the back of his head! All the better to see those squirrels and chipmunks coming and going!!
Donna

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don't be afraid to fall down...









I thought it would be fun to bid a fond farewell to winter by featuring one of my favorite Tascha videos (although it's hard to pick just one!)... I love the inspiration for "Skating Blissfully," and how Tascha incorporates into her painting demo an old home movie of she and her childhood best friend skating... I love that she uses the word 'bliss' (one of my favorite words)... and I love her message, one that we should ALL remember whether we're trying some new art technique or style, embarking on a new career, or simply muddling our way through this crazy, wonderful thing we call life... "Don't be afraid to fall down." Just click on the photos to go to Tascha's blog or to the skating/painting video... Enjoy!!
"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."
Mary Pickford

Donna

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ms. Gizmo (1992 - March 22, 2008)


The house seems empty; our hearts are heavy. We love you... we miss you... till we meet again, our little Gizzy Girl...

"My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet." ~Edith Wharton

"My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dog thinks I am." ` Toby Eileen Green

"I think God will have prepared everything for our perfect happiness. If it takes my dog being there [in Heaven], I believe he'll be there." ` Rev. Billy Graham

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Painting a Day

About a year ago, a friend sent me a link to an incredible artist - Duane Keiser. He is credited with starting the "Painting a Day" movement in 2004. This is definitely a case where "a picture is worth a thousand words," so I'm just going to provide a link to his blog, his website, and if you click on the slice of cherry pie, it will hopefully take you to the You Tube video that shows him painting it from start to finish! (One of many videos he has posted on You Tube, so browse to your heart's content!!)

Donna

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Art of Acting...



Today is my baby's birthday...Happy birthday, honey! My Courtney is involved in a different aspect of The Arts. She's a natural born actress! She absolutely wowed everyone with her performance as Mrs. Darbus when her senior class performed High School Musical last year. But it all started many years ago when she was absolutely the most precious angel ever in her nursery school Christmas play. (Where did the years go?)... Chase your dreams, honey...I love you! Mumsy

Time with Tascha


Most of you are probably familiar with Tascha’s art, but for those few who might not be, you must check out her blog! I guarantee you won’t be able to look at her art without smiling. And through her blog, you will feel like you are getting to know her, as she often includes video clips of herself (along with frequent appearances by her two Siamese kitties!)... And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, she has also provided links to videos where you can watch her complete a painting from start to finish, as well as links to her artwork that is offered for sale. It’s just the most colorful, joyful, all inclusive blog you may ever come across, so set aside a bit of time, grab a cup of tea or coffee, and head over to Tascha's for a little visit!

Wishing everyone a bright and joyful day!

Donna

Monday, March 17, 2008

Top of the morning to you!!!

Growing up, mom always made sure I wore green on St. Patty's day, so I'm wearing my green shamrock pin even though I have no plans to leave the house today!

Pictured is one of my newest designs, one of a set of five Irish Blessing/ Marriage/ Christening prints that my publisher, Penny Lane, will be printing soon.

So on this St. Patrick's Day...

May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand. ~ Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!!!

Donna

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"I Sought You Out"

I want to share one of my daughter's most recent paintings titled "I Sought You Out." (copyright Amanda Atkins)
Amanda paints as much with her heart and soul as she does with her brush. She's an amazing artist, full of ideas and creativity. She embraces color. Her love of animals, birds, and all of God's creatures comes through in her work. There is a gentleness and a kindness that I see in all of her paintings. I am in awe of both her and her art, and I feel like I can learn so much from her.
Amanda is graduating from art school this spring and I'm certain great things are in store for her.
Since she just wrote about Georgia O'Keeffe on her blog, I'll end this entry with a Georgia O'Keeffe quote: "I can't live where I want to. I can't even say what I want to! I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to."
Happy painting to my fellow artists. Always paint as you want to!
Donna

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Beginnings...



With the help of one of my two computer-savvy daughters, I am just now beginning to learn the 'ins and outs' of blogging. This being my first entry, I will make it short and sweet (until I get the hang of things!)... So thank you, Amanda, for helping me set up my new blog. I could never have done it without you! And I invite everyone to look at my daughter's blog - http://amandaatkins.blogspot.com/ ... her art and her writing are as beautiful as she is! Pictured above is the gorgeous banner she created for her blog. I love you, honey! Mumsy

Donna