Tuesday, July 19, 2016

BEDROOMS, a Coloring Book for Adults!

Hi everyone! I know it's been a LONG time since I posted. But this is too awesome not to share!
My daughter Amanda has had a coloring book published by Pomegranate Communications:
  BEDROOMS, A Coloring Book by Amanda Laurel Atkins, and it's now available!!
(Source info available at bottom of post!)
A very young Amanda, who always loved drawing houses and room designs, was clearly very excited about her latest creation in this photo!
And here we are together, with her having come full circle by making her childhood dreams come true, holding the first copy of her BEDROOMS Coloring Book!!
This is one of the MANY bedrooms contained in the book (painted by Amanda as a sample).
All of her bedrooms are so detailed with so many fun little details just waiting to be discovered!
Here's another bedroom scene, half painted (by Amanda) as a sample. The book is filled with nature inspired bedrooms, forests, the bayou, wildlife, birds, book lover bedrooms and more!

Here's a bedroom with an ocean view! I couldn't wait to paint it!
The finished product, painted with a combination of watercolors and acrylics!
Baby would love to join me in some painting if I'd let her! But I want the book all to myself!
If you'd like your own bedroom book, filled with 50 delightful pages of bedroom scenes, vignettes, add your own details pages and more, you can order an autographed copy directly from Amanda at:
(there are only 4 left in her Etsy shop)
- or -
Amanda's book can also be ordered directly from her publisher, Pomegranate!
I hope you have as much fun painting as I have! Adult coloring books are SO relaxing, and this is one of the best!!!
Enjoy the rest of the summer, everyone!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Happy Little Trees...

The other morning while channel surfing (in bed!)...
... I came across an old Bob Ross episode.
Thankfully Baby had just laid down after finishing washing herself
(which had been totally blocking the TV).
Of course his show reminded me of the recent "Happy Little Trees" Bob Ross Remix
that's been circulating on FB for a while now.
If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth checking out!
Happy painting, everyone!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

In the arms of the angels....

Our sweet Tiger crossed the rainbow bridge one month ago today.
She was just shy of her 22nd birthday.

In the 1990's we adopted three kitties, (L-R) Mr. B, Spotty, and Tiger.
(Spotty and Tiger were litter-mates).
"The Catkins," as we affectionately called them, appeared in some of my artwork over the years, both individually and as a family.
It was next to impossible to photograph the three of them together, so I painted a portrait of them instead.
The Catkins were also the inspiration for one of my painting patterns.

As a young cat, Tiger loved to climb and jump, often enjoying walking across the beams of our family room.
In her older years, she was more content to relax in the bedroom that she and Amanda had shared until Amanda headed off to college.
Amanda's old bed remained in place...
... so Tiger could continue sleeping there.

I also moved my studio/office into 'Tiger's room.' She was the best roommate ever. Sometimes she'd watch me from across the room...

... and sometimes from under my desk. I put her on my lap when I was working on this latest piece and she'd study the painting-in-progress, then turn and look at me. I called her my little muse as she seemed so interested in what I was painting (which was a great encouragement when I was doubting the direction the painting was taking from time to time!)

I miss her very much, but I know she's reunited with her brother Spotty, who we lost back in 2009 at 16 years of age.

“Love never dies. Love will continue. Love keeps on beating when you're gone. Love never dies once it is in you. Life may be fleeting; love lives on! Life may be fleeting! Love lives on...” 
(Andrew Lloyd Webber)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

National Dog Day

In honor of National Dog Day...

Some of the precious dogs we've had the honor of sharing our home with...
Shu Shu in my lap. Born ? (adopted 1980) - 1987
Casper (an abuse case adopted from a Great Dane Rescue group),
1978 (adopted 1980) - 1986
Ms. Gizmo, 1992 (adopted 3/11/2000) - March 22, 2008
Mr. J, 2001 (adopted 2010) - still going strong at 14!
Just a few words since it's National Dog Day...
All of our dogs have been rescues, whether they were mutts or purebred dogs like our Casper (Great Dane) or our Sooshi (Shih-Tzu). You can find ANY breed of dog, or any loveable mixed breed, at shelters or pounds.
Just visit either of these sites and start your search:
Also, as you can see from the dates, many of the dogs we've adopted have been older dogs, often overlooked because of their age. Adopting an older dog has so many benefits. First of all, they're usually already housebroken (big plus!). They're also done with their 'chewing' stage (another big plus!) And most importantly, these dogs are forever grateful to YOU for giving them their forever home. You will never find a more loyal, loving companion than a shelter dog. Especially one who has been passed over time and time again because they might have a graying muzzle.
My prayer is that some day, every shelter and pound across this country will be empty and every dog (and cat) that once lived in one will be in a loving 'forever' home.
Happy National Dog Day, everyone!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Summer days, morning glories, and new (nautical) prints.

I can't believe that summer is almost over! Although I'm looking forward to fall, I am going to miss the long daylight hours and warm sunshine.
Last week some of my family went out on Boston Harbor with my cousin and his family.
 What an amazing time we had!

Is it any wonder that the ocean is showcased in one of the newest prints in my shop...
... while snippets of a sailboat on the ocean can be seen in another?
I am so drawn to the New England coast.
Back at the old homestead about 30 miles inland, the morning glories continue to thrive...

 ... while climbing our little homemade obelisk.

A blue jay landed on the top of the bird house while I was taking this photo.
Wishing you a lovely 'end of August.' I'll share a few more new prints in my next post. Enjoy what's left of the summer!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's cloud illusions I recall...

Gosh, I love that song by Joni Mitchell.

 When I water the plants at my mom's and dad's grave in the evenings, more often than not I'm treated to the most amazing sunsets that are truly the most perfect works of art! These are the clouds I captured Tuesday evening while watering.

Today I was back at the cemetery to replace a solar light that had stopped working and, once again, I was treated to some amazing daytime cloud formations.
I can't believe we're coming up on the last week of July already.

I'm not sure where the time seems to be going, but it sure is going quickly.
I'm hoping to be able to spend a little time out in the garden in the remaining 5-6 weeks of summer. I haven't had the opportunity to do much sitting out thus far, but I have a few books I'm anxious to read and I can't think of a more relaxing place to get started on them!
I hope you're all enjoying your summers!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pink Flamingos...

Last week Don Featherstone passed away. I'm not sure if you recognize his name...
... but you'll certainly recognize his most famous '1957' creation...
...the pink flamingos that adorn lawns all across America, including our own backyard.
We've had our pink flamingos for 7 or 8 years now.
They were a wonderful gift from a college friend of our daughter. I had admired the flamingos in her parents' backyard and she surprised me with my very own flamingos the next time she visited us!
Each summer they're placed in a new spot in the backyard...
... and they're always such a whimsical and fun sight to behold!
So thank you, Mr. Featherstone. I can't imagine our little backyard without your beautiful Pink Flamingos!
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Brand new (awesome) artwork in my daughter's Etsy shop,