Summer Days

Summer Days

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Ah! The warm days of summer…Here in Santa Cruz, California , summer is fairly predictable. Foggy mornings followed by clear skies that then lead to breezy afternoons…What’s not to like? Not too hot, not too cold….just right!
Today I was practicing in my studio on a piece that I plan to teach to a group of new creators in the pastel medium. There wasn’t time for detail, for the goal was to get the job done in a timely manner to demonstrate the ability of pastels for creating art. So much of life can be this way. No time for the small details….rush, rush, rush….It’s as though if in this day and age, if we are not completely feeling overwhelmed by life, we feel unproductive, lazy even. So what are the details?
In a landscape painting, I would pay close attention to the foreground and carefully place dry blades of tall grass or perhaps just the right cluster of poppy flowers. Further back in the composition, I would look for the sunlight carefully placed on the foliage to let my viewer know just what time of day it is. This detail work comes later in the painting process…almost at the end.
Do I have to wait to the end of the day to put the finishing touches on my life? After getting all that needs to be done, done….is it then that I look at my loved ones faces and notice how they are? Is this the time I stop long enough to pet my needy animals? What about the tall sunflowers growing happily with their sunshine faces in my garden…did I even look today?
And so it is… another art/life lesson. Summer days are days to slow down and pay attention to the details of everyday life.
Wishing you a most lazy summer season….

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Spring Cleaning!

Spring Cleaning!

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Springtime! Longer days, warmer breezes, renewal and revamping….out with the old and in with the new!
Birds clean out their nests for the next brood. Seeds are planted in the garden boxes. The earth shakes off the excess of a cold long winter and it’s time to clean out!
In the studio, I have been busy painting almost on a daily basis and so my inventory has blossomed! It’s time to make room for more creations…
I am inspired by the birds and the flowers and the longer days for painting!
In gratitude for my lovely life, I am offering a special discount on all original paintings!
20% off plus free shipping!
Just enter Spring Cleaning in the coupon section at checkout and you’re all set!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Happy Spring to all!

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A Little Luck Peppered with a Lot of Love

A Little Luck Peppered with a Lot of Love

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A little story…
My husband I went birdwatching on our first date at Lake Hodges in San Diego County. Maybe a little geeky but ever so cute…Before this, having been raised in Los Angeles, the only association I had with birds was the famous Alfred Hitchcock’s film “The Birds”! So it is easy to assume that I did not really care about birds…
My husband and I married and went birdwatching…alot…we even went on a bona fide birdwatching vacation with alot of bird watching geeks. That was in Costa Rica. There were aspects of it that I enjoyed and some I did not. I loved watching how the birds behaved and interacted with eachother. I did not like standing around looking up and straining my neck in humid 100 degree weather in the jungle!
Birdwatching opened my eyes to a world that I did not even care to wonder about…being a city girl and all…and it led to other wonderful things. The Black Phoebe, pictured in the painting, is a lovely little friend to have on the trail. She will follow you or rather lead you along for when you walk by her, your walking will stir up any bugs that may be lingering around…so she has lots to eat. It’s a symbiotic relationship…
So my husband and I carried on traveling and birdwatching and then a family grew from our union.
First a boy named after his father and then a little blonde girl named Phoebe. We named her after this lovely little creature of nature…My Phoebe is full of wonder and loves to be by my side even as she matures into adulthood being ever my friend and companion…
This piece above entitled “For Phoebe” has brought me much luck in the pastel exhibition world having been selected for two very prestigious shows …
So with a little luck and a lot of love, what once was a nothing becomes something so much more!

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A New Year…A New Challenge

A New Year…A New Challenge

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Happy New Year my friends in art!
With the new year comes new ideas, new goals, new challenges, a desire to start anew…try something different…improve our lives in some way.
I am in the midst of a 31 daily painting challenge for the month of January. That is, I am painting one painting each day for the entire month. If I meet my goal, I will have produced 31 new works of art! Phew! Most of these pieces are 8 x 10 inches or smaller, so not a huge amount of real estate to cover….but committing to a creative endeavor on a daily basis does many wonderful things.
It puts myself first…that’s a concept! All of my life I have been in service to others…as young as age 15 I was working as a dental assistant after school! Ten years later I was embarking on my education to gain my degree in nursing…Ten years of nursing led me to become a mom….and 20 years later…here I am. Well, I’m still a mom gratefully and will always be, but the clutch has flown so to speak and now I am living for me after a very long time.
Life is a series of chapters and cycles and we cannot know the end of each chapter too soon. I don’t know how this artistic journey will play out…if it will take me to the end of this wonderful life I lead…but for today and the rest of the month I will be at my easel making beautiful colorful pastel paintings because it brings me unparalleled joy….
Wishing you all a beautiful 2019 filled with your brand of joy!

~Donna Theresa

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A Solstice Greeting

A Solstice Greeting

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The longest day of the year approaches as the last days of 2018 wind down. As is so inevitable, often we take this time of year in the calm winter days to review our lives over the past year.
Did you set any goals? Did your dreams come true? Was life good to you this past year?
For me, 2018 proved a fruitful and creative year. I wish to thank all of you my friends and art enthusiasts for your support as I continue on my artful journey. Art is meant to be shared. It gives me humble pleasure to share my artistic creations with all of you. If I can shine a little joy and beauty your way every now and then, my efforts are rewarded.
From my heart to yours, thank you and may your season of gratitude be fulfilled…
Happy Solstice and Cheers in the coming of the new year.

DonnaTheresa

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Seeking Solitude…Avoiding Loneliness

Seeking Solitude…Avoiding Loneliness

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Early November, I packed up my pastels and some necessary clothes and other sundries and headed to the desert for a personal painting retreat. I had booked this trip some months ago when spurred on by Alaska Airlines fare deals. I could fly from San Francisco to Palm Springs and back for a mere $150. Sold! Then I secured a hidden gem of an accommodation on Airbnb situated right on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park. Car rented, house/pet instructions given to my family, shuttle to the airport booked…I was ready.
Arriving in the dark of desert night driving up an unpaved sandy road with only my econo rental’s headlights to light my way, I finally arrived after some unsure twists and turns. Settling in and unpacking groceries and toiletries, I walked outside to look at the desert sky. YES! A week of uninterrupted painting and doing WHATEVER I wanted WHENEVER I wanted. What a concept. Years of service in the nursing profession, immediately followed by raising a family, it certainly was an odd feeling to have no responsibility…
The morning came with hot pink skies of sunrise….oh I was too tired to get up and catch them…
there will be more I’m sure. A little later, several visitors came to see the new arrival. BUNNIES…adorable cottontail bunnies waiting for me to sprinkle a little rabbit kibble for them.
My new muses had arrived…with deft movement I captured them on my inadequate iPhone camera for future reference…
And so continued a week in the desert. Early morning sunrises, visiting bunnies, walks in the Joshua Tree National Park. And painting. I finished 10 paintings of the desert and of course some of the bunnies…I just couldn’t resist.
By about the fifth day, I began to feel the twinge of homesickness and loneliness….what’s this? ME? Vagabond, world traveler, solo free spirit…what was this all about? I can’t really answer it except to say that age has mellowed me a bit…helped me settle…I don’t need to do it all anymore…being at home with my family and animals and painting everyday in my studio and playing the piano…these are my favorite things…Content to be grateful for what I have and releasing the need to seek …. Don’t get me wrong…I adore my solitude…but perhaps in smaller doses.

Cheers and love to you during this holiday season when everything is just a little bit tender….

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