Turtle Totem Finished Piece

This piece was a challenge. I do not know why though. It was not fluid. I never really found a flow to the drawing. Usually I know what I want to do just by looking at it. Not this time. I had no idea what I wanted to incorporate of how I wanted to execute it. Perhaps a small bit of it was that I am still learning how to use the watercolor pencils. It takes time and practice. I know this but it is still frustrating when something doesn’t look the way you want it to.

I feel like I could have added a lot more detail with my ink work also. I have noticed that I have slowly slipped away from adding pointillism to my pieces to incorporate shadows. In my earlier drawings, I used this technique frequently. I should have used it with the turtle to allow it to blend more and become more real.

Although, I encountered a problem with my pens. The ink from the pen activated the watercolor pencil on the paper, therefore, it gets gunk on the tip of my pen and stops working. I thought it would be easy to add the ink after the color but it doesn’t really work. Maybe I should try doing the ink first and then use the watercolor pencils. Or else I will have to try a different type of pen.

I also grew very bored and tired of the piece. I had so many other ideas that had popped in my head that I would have rather been doing. I should have just abandoned the piece and came back to it later. I think the end result would have been better. I was just in a rush to finish it by the end. I was ready to move on. This definitely did not help the outcome.

It is not my best work but it is far from my worst. I still like the whimsical feel of this turtle. I really enjoy the smile and added that feature for a good reason. The reason I wanted to draw the turtle in the first place was because of an incident that recently happened to me. I was driving down the road with my brother in law and we saw a snapping turtle trying to cross the road. It had almost been hit a handful of times so we pulled over to rescue it. It was challenging trying to move it without getting snapped at but we were successful and got the turtle to the other side with the help of another driver passing by. We felt like super heroes and referenced a funny quote from one of our favorite TV shows, Futurama. “I saved a turtle today. What have you done with your life?” I was thrilled to be able to save the turtle and wanted to create this design to go with the phrase.

Have you saved any turtles lately? Share your story in the comments below! I would love to hear more success stories about our turtle friends! If you like this piece, you can find this and others in my shop at Redbubble!

Thanks for stopping by!

Take care, free spirits!

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Birthday Blooms

Yesterday was my boss’s birthday at my landscaping job. Our birthdays are only four days apart! I’ve been with the company for a while now and she’s become someone I really look up to. She’s an amazing entrepreneur who works her “arse” off and is strong willed. I decided to draw her a picture and surprise her with it! I tried to figure out what her favorite flower was but no one knew. I chose an Iris since it is in bloom on her birthday. She was very happy to receive it! It was nice to get back to some realism work. I will have to do more in the near future!

Like what you see? You can get this image on apparel, home décor or a print of your own! Find it in my Redbubble store!

Mother Bear – Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all! I completed my Mother’s Day inspired drawing entitled, “Mother Bear”. I am so happy with how this turned out. Blue and orange hues together are some of my favorite colors! They really *POP* together. I have also been wanting to create a drawing of a mama bear and her cub for a very long time now. I finally got around to it and I’m happy I finally did it!

You can find it in my shop at Redbubble here. Available for prints, apparel, home décor and more! Check it out and get one for your Mother Bear!

You can also read about bear symbolism here on a post I created previously with my Bear Totem drawing.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope your have a great day with your mother and/or children. Plus, wish Mother Earth a happy Mother’s Day! Plant a tree, a flower or just enjoy a nice nature hike!

Carpe diem, free spirit!

Flamingo Totem Drawing

My Flamingo Totem is complete! It seemed like it took forever. Landscaping season started back up for me while I was half way finished with it. I can’t dedicate as much time in the day to drawing as I could over the winter. It really made the flamingo drag on but I forced myself to finish it and I’m glad I did. I am really happy with the outcome.

I actually have two versions of the flamingo. The first version, pictured above, was my initial idea of just doing the body so I had plenty of room to create the patterns and tangles within the feathers. Feathers are a lot of fun to create using Zentangle. While I was working on the body, I realized, aside from their color, one of the flamingos most distinctive features are their long legs. I thought it would be neat to incorporate the legs into the drawing making one big project. I used three sheets of my drawing paper to create one huge piece of the flamingo with it’s legs. I scanned the three images to my computer and pieced them together creating this long legged beauty!

I am really happy with how it looks as a full image. My only complaint is my scanner. Unfortunately, it couldn’t capture the really HOT pink color I was using so some of the areas are more dull compared to the original. Without comparing it though, the scanned image still looks pretty sweet!

I have both of these versions available in my shop at Redbubble. Click the links below to check out apparel, home décor, stationary and more!

Flamingo Totem (Body Only)

Flamingo Totem (with Long Legs)

You can also check out two patterns that I created from these pieces. The pretty blue background compliments the pink nicely. You can find these in my shop here and here.

Which design or drawing is your favorite? Leave a comment below! Thanks for stopping by today! I have quite a few ideas for my next couple projects so check back often for new work. I hope you are enjoying some nice weather!

Stay flashy, free spirits!

Totem Animal: Horse

I am happy with how his piece turned out. The mane was a lot of fun to draw. It resembles fire which is funny because I have always struggled with drawing fire, yet this came easily for me. Now that I have this concept in mind, I will have to experiment with fire again. I had to change my perspective a little to figure it out.

Like the orca, I did not add any tangles to this totem. I don’t know why. I easily could have but I just wanted to play around with the fading colors and the shape of the mane. I wanted the mane to be the focus of the entire piece. It’s wild and free just like the horse, which will lead us to our symbolism.

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HORSE SYMBOLISM

The horse has been an amazing companion throughout the history of mankind. No other animal has made a bigger impact in the lives of humans than the horse. They’ve aided us with traveling long distances, they’ve carried men through wars, provided the power needed for agriculture and entertained us with racing and horse shows. Horses have been by our side since cavemen. If you have horse for a totem, consider yourself extremely lucky.

The horse is a symbol of travel. They have always carried us where we need to go, making travel between cities and families easier. They also were used to deliver goods and news from place to place. They were the first to show us what it is like to have wings. If the horse has crossed your path, it may be time for you to take a trip. Are you stressed? Do you need to get away for a while? Let the horse take you away and show you what it’s like to fly. They will show you what it’s like to feel free again.

I loved riding my horse, Skyler, through the open fields by my childhood house. Once they have the open space, they will run as fast as their thundering hooves can carry them! The tears streak from your eyes! It’s a rush. The horse is a strong symbol of freedom. Remember to keep this spirit with you always. Do not stay tied down, no matter how domesticated you feel. Even domestic horses let go and let the wind guide them, their manes flowing wildly. Use this energy in your own journey to freedom. Live a little.

Horses are the greatest symbol of power. Each color of the horse represents an individual strength. The black horse rules dreams and the dark. They will guide you and show you how to find the light. The chestnut shows us the power of remaining playful and remembering the joys of life. They show us how to have fun. The palomino shows us the power of teaching others and sharing our enlightenment. It is important to help others when we can and guide them to find their own strength. Finally we have the white, or gray, horse. They are the unity of all the powers and your mount to and from the spirit realm. The white horse teaches wisdom and that wisdom cannot be obtained if power is abused. Keep all this in mind as you trot down your path in life. It will take you far!

Last but not least, the horse represents sexuality. The stallion is a strong representation of this. The stud. Need I say more. Strut your stuff, honey! You look mighty fine. Just don’t get too cocky. Wouldn’t want to take a kick to the face.

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s totem. It has been a long time coming. Horses are my favorite animal and have played a huge role in my life. They have truly changed my outlook on life. Do you have any great horse tales? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by!

Stay wild, free spirits!

Find Horse Totem prints and other products @Redbubble

Click here to get $10 off your first Redbubble purchase! Prints, canvases, totes, tapestries, apparel and more!

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Free Spirit WIP -VI-

I was commissioned to do a memorial piece of a beloved pet that passed away recently. I am truly sorry for their loss. I am still familiar with the heartache that accompanies such a tragedy. With the recent passing of Sasha, it is rewarding to be able to help someone else that feels the same sting. I hope I can do this beautiful dog justice with my next portrait drawing. I don’t want to give away too many details, about the subject, until the finished piece has been given to the recipient.

Here is the outline sketch for the piece. I am very excited to see how it turns out. It will be finished by next week! Can you guess what breed she is?

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Thank you for reading this week’s post! If you have recently lost a pet, feel free to share their picture below and what you loved best about them. In times of loss, we need to remember the good times spent together.

Until next time,

“I wish none of this had happened… ‘So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Dusty Drawings

I have quite a few pieces that I have started in the past and for some reason or another they have been left unfinished. I’m quite fond of all of them. It’s not that I didn’t want to finish them. They were just pushed to the back burner and forgotten about. I figured if I shared these dusty works that I just might get the motivation to complete them all.

My first long lost WIP is a mare and foal. I was working on it for a Mother’s Day art show. I completed a couple drawings for the show already and was hoping to finish this one to add. I didn’t have enough time to complete it, though it is half way there. I’m excited to finish this one.

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Next is a simple drawing I started for practice. I was using a reference photo that I took at a steeplechase in Nashville, TN. It was never intended to be more than practice which is why it has been put off for so long.

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This next one is also from a photo I took at the same steeplechase. I played around with the image on a photo editing program and exaggerated the already vibrant colors. I decided it would make an awesome painting and started working on it. Unfortunately, painting isn’t my true passion and will easily get surpassed by my urge to draw.

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Another painting has been waiting a very long time for me to finish it. I started a painting of flowers I had photographed at the Botanical Gardens in Toledo, OH. The colors were bright with many shades of pink throughout it. Again, my lack of ambition to paint has left this piece neglected.

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Last but not least, another drawing that I am itching to finish. This one is barely started. I haven’t even erased my grid lines yet. This faint sketch is to become a portrait of one of my parent’s horses, Spirit. He is a gorgeous Spotted Saddle Horse with a trademark “V” on his neck. He is a natural beauty and I was eager to incorporate his elegance into my work. Now I just need to do the work!

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That concludes my neglected WIPS collection. Now that I have brought them to light, I know there are at least a couple that will reach completion. The urge may strike at any moment!…….maybe.

Which piece would you like to see completed? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“Hard work may not always result in success, but it will never result in regret.”

Contrary Creatures

HoliflyI have finally completed my second artwork of my equine/butterfly collection. This one is surrounded with innocence and curiosity. When I created my first piece, “Holifly“, I was intrigued by the natural acceptance these two diverse creatures shared with one another. This great majestic beast, capable of amazing feats of strength, mingles with a delicate flower gliding in the wind. The fragile meets the hardy.

I took this a step further with my second piece. A playful and curios foal discovers the vibrant monarch. Even for an adolescent, a foal is immense compared to a butterfly. Yet they have a delicate interaction of discovery together. Though this clumsy mammoth could easily squash this tiny bug, the monarch is only met with curiosity and a gentle nature.

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I enjoy the relationship, though brief, between these contrary creatures. They are unique from one another yet peacefully coexist. Much can be learned from such a terse interaction.

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For this work, which is still untitled, I used graphite, colored, and charcoal pencils. The charcoal gave me the dark contrast with a hint of white chalk to pop out the highlights. This is also the first time I have used this shade of paper. I like how the white stands out. Perhaps I will do a drawing using only the white pencil. This is also fun to do on black paper.

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I hope you enjoyed my latest work. I am glad it is finally complete. I already have an idea for the next piece in the collection. What will it be? You’ll just have to wait and see!

What animal opposites have you seen mingling? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.”

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Related posts: Free Spirit WIP V ; Free Spirit WIP VI

Canine Crone

Today is our beautiful Sasha’s 14th birthday! It’s hard to believe she has been with us for so many years. She has been a wonderful member of the family. She is very caring and kind, especially to children and young critters. We always refer to her as our son’s nanny.

Sasha is a white German Shepherd and often receives compliments on her wolf-like appearance. She is as loyal as she is beautiful.


Happy Birthday Sasha! We are glad to have you in our lives. Thank you for being one of the greatest dogs a family could have!

Have any of your furry friends celebrated a birthday recently? Give them a shout out in the comments below! Thanks for reading.
Until next time,

“That’s the funny thing about birthdays. They’re kind of an annual thing.”

An Artist’s Library

My son and I took a well-deserved trip to a local bookstore today. It was actually, quite literally a warehouse filled with used books. All books for a dollar! Who can pass that up? At that price, it was easy to find one to add to my collection. I am quite proud of the books I have accumulated over the years for my artist’s library. I’ve acquired most of them from bargain bins and auctions; uncovering each one has been like finding buried treasure!

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Today’s find is Michelangelo and Raphael in the Vatican  compiled by a small group of hard-working individuals. There is detailed photography of the Sistine Chapel as well as descriptions of the artwork and what it represents. There are also stanzas from the 15th century, sharing the history from the time these paintings were created. I haven’t read much out of it yet, just quickly flipped through the breathtaking photographs. There is so much to learn and I can’t wait to see what this book has in store.

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I have another book about Michelangelo by Frederick Hartt. It has over 130 reproductions of Michelangelo’s artwork; each one is printed separately from the book and perfectly adhered to the pages. It’s a gorgeous book with gobs of information. A must have for any kind of art enthusiast.

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Another great one to have is Norman Rockwell and The Saturday Evening Post. This was a gift from my husband. It is another fantastic compilation of great works by a great artist. Every piece is accompanied with a paragraph explaining the inspiration behind each cover done for the Saturday Evening Post.

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An artist’s library isn’t complete without Van Gogh and His Art by Rosemary Treble. This book so far is the easiest for me to read for extended periods of time. It’s a biography but it reads like a story. Once you get started, you’re enticed to keep reading. So either the author is great at their job, Van Gogh had an interesting life, or both. I think I would choose the latter.

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To throw things off a bit, I also have a compilation of The Art of Todd McFarlane. He is a well-known comic book artist that is known for adding intense amounts of detail in his work. This is a solid book with a lot packed into it.

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Last but not least, we have another master, Leonardo da Vinci. An artist’s library has to have him on the list. This was a lucky grab. I got it for a steal at Border’s right before they went out of business. It was the last one and for good reason. This is one of my favorite books. I haven’t even read a fraction of this monster yet. I like leaving it open on my desk so I can read the same page over and over again. I feel like it will take me a lifetime to really absorb this 700 page beauty.

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I have many other favorites by artists Terry Moore, Claudia Nice, and National Geographic photographer, Annie Griffiths. You can never have enough books. Especially ones filled with pictures! I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into my library and hopefully there was something of interest to check out yourself.

Are there any books not mentioned that you enjoy in your library? Share a comment below! I’m always on the lookout for a good art book. Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“Welcome to the library, young man. Don’t tell me. You’re here for a special book.”