Strength of the Butterfly

“FLY”by Susan Walker $43.5″X7″mixed media Acrylic

A man found a butterfly cocoon. One day a small opening appeared in the cocoon. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could go.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the small opening in the cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

From:http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/hard-times-make-us-stronger-the-story-of-the-butterfly/

An Angry Fish Head, it’s Sketchy!

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Tom made smoked trout spread for one of our Easter snacks. This fish head, this angry looking fish head I thought would be cool to sketch. I used a carpenters pencil. It right off helps me to be looser in my lines, though it was quite challanging with that eye looking at me and those TEETH.   Afterwards it was tossed away and snack enjoyed!

Some other fish that have crossed my path….

 

Prehistoric model from Carnegie Natural history museum and tanks from a Cabela Store (mountain goat one of their models too).

Lost finding an Old Cemetery 

Nice weather and a simple FB post leads us out to near by Moraine State Park and a hiking adventure!

As spring break was coming to an end and a beautiful day appeared, my daughter Taylor and oldest son Colton were ready to get out a while.So after a day in the studio we did just that. I checked a local Facebook page to see if any of the nearby parks were talking about some blooms or butterflies, though I suspected it was to early. But to our surprise someone posted about finding an Old Cemetery  off a horse trail.

Taylor thought they would make excellent photos. I thought now a hike with a purpose.

After what seemed like MANY miles and retracking…here’s a sketch of a lost cemetary we did find. Not the one we were looking for.😕

The iron fence was amazing. Especially  for it age I guessed. Head stones were difficult to read, some shifted and sad that families were too long gone to visit, pray for or maintain.  So maybe by remebering in this sketch it will show their not forgoten. I can tell the story everytime someone  asks about it.

*Still trying to confirm name of this one.

Draw a Bird Day&Cheer Someone! April 8,201

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
― Charles Dickens

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I was adding to my calendar some events to do with my students. I saw this,an actual
drawing theme!  As a person who loves birds and thinking the kids would too we would do something for this day. Little did I know the background,involved soldiers and now all the more reason to draw a bird! Won’t you join me? Draw a bird and post it on my FACEBOOK page to share. Then pass it on to someone to cheer them up. Here is how the story goes…

YES, Draw a Bird Day is an unofficial Holiday, but it grew through soldiers, medical personnel and their families. Today, it is celebrated world wide as a way to express joy in the very simplest of things in life and as a way to help soldiers forget war and and people everywhere  from suffering even if only for a short time.

“In 1943, Dorie Cooper was a 7 year old living in England. Her mother took her to a hospital in to visit her uncle who was wounded in the war. While they were there, Dorie’s uncle was very distraught, having lost his right leg to a land mine. In an attempt to cheer him up, she asked him “Draw a bird for me, please” Even though he was unwell, he decided to do as Dorie asked. He looked out his window and drew a picture of a robin.

After seeing her uncle’s bird picture, Dorie laughed out loud and proclaimed that he was not a very good artist, but that she would hang the picture in her room nonetheless. Her uncle’s spirits were lifted by his niece’s complete honesty and acceptance. Several other wounded soldiers also had their day brightened by the event and every time Dorie came to visit thereafter, they held drawing contests to see who could produce the best bird pictures. Within several months, the entire ward’s walls were decorated by bird drawings.

3 years later, Dorie was killed after being struck by a car. At her funeral, her coffin was filled with bird images that had been made by soldiers, nurses and doctors from the ward where her uncle had been. Ever since then, those men and women remembered the little girl that brought hope to the ward by drawing birds on her birthday, April 8th. ( from the site :http://www.dabday.com/ )”

Follow Draw a Bird Day Facebook page too!twitter-bird-business-sketch-001

Want to learn to draw birds? Join me as I guide you in class creating several and applying them to a card or bookmark.

April 8, 2107 in my Portersville PA Studio.All supplies provided.$10.

Register here001

Balancing an Artist Life

Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.      Mark Victor Hansen

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Page from my sketchbook. Items drawn at random times
I had a comment on a post recently that they haven’t drawn since before Christmas. It is the middle of February . Ironic, I too have been thinking about how one of the biggest struggles I hear from others is just that. They don’t have time.
I too haven’t always had time for my art.But looking back over the years I think what has become my secret is when I made a conscious decision to some how take/make time. Mostly in small ways that fit.I have always enjoyed drawing. In times life was so busy and demanding…I was happy drawing.  A small travel size book became my companion.Still happy to say my closest one!
I draw,keep lists,notes all right there. It wasn’t always easy.I didn’t think it was always proper or pretty.Giving it power ,being the only note/ sketchbook to keep track of helps,now goes everywhere. I don’t know what I’d do without it! My family and friends have come to know me with this little companion.wp-image-1957704430jpg.jpg
Which leads me to an article I came across about balancing life as a mom. I saw how many points could be transferred to creating a life as an artist or just creating that time for you.

Here we go…

Delegate chores..Didn’t change much of what they had to say here😉
“Even toddlers are capable of helping out, and they are usually more than happy to! Get your kids in the habit of doing their chores at an early age, so you don’t end up picking up after them as teens. And don’t forget that your spouse is a co-parent, not just someone who does the dishes when your sick.
 Have systems in place
Have routines for everything. They are what keep you from falling apart. You’ll read oodles of places to make an appointment with yourself. This does work. I’ve learned to say to others ” I’m working”. Seems people don’t question nearly what your doing if it’s “work”. And I think my brain doesn’t either! Also could be as little as leaving for picking up kids 15 minutes early and sketching at the bus stop till they came out. ( did this for a couple of years). Slowly building habits. if your shy about your sketching and journaling. Let kids, hubby, go into building for their appointment/practices and stay in car or sit out side for 15 minutes before joining them. Stay off electronics for a few minutes and replace with this time.
Without a system in place, everything just flounders. Make sure everyone knows the routine for getting to school, for instance. Have a laundry system, and a meal plan. These little things take some organizing, but are totally worth it once they become part of the family schedule. Then too I feel good about taking my time.
Be Prepared
Probably should have been up there first. As artist this would mean to have a sketchbook, pencils, water-brush, canvas,paints organized and ready to use at the moment time is available. In a suitable location to ideally leave out but definitely ready to bring out. Travel supplies by door or kept in car.have doubles of some supplies.Again, makes it easier to get to creating when you don’t have to run from car to house, office etc.
Ever Important, but often last for ourselves, Take care of your health
Apart from mental stress, not paying attention to your health can wear you out and make you feel less than yourself. Take small steps to eating healthier and exercising. Be regular with your check-ups. A healthy you is a happy you, and a happier you is a happier family.

Keep in touch with friends
It’s easy to get caught up with everyday life. But remember that your friends fill a social gap that make you feel complete and I find accountable with.This too would be your creative friends, or an organization to be with like-minded people. I know my family and friends don’t always get me the way my artsy friends do.So staying connected helps me. Meet friends regularly, and pick up the phone o talk to them once in a while, instead of just chatting on Facebook. In fact, don’t forget to keep in touch with business friends too. They will offer you a refreshing change of perspective!

Work on finding the right balance between finding happiness in being a mom,wife,daughter,hubby,dad, and doing the things that matter to you as an individual.Please share any strategies that work for you in the comments below. we all would love to hear.

Watch “Sketching on Location, Carnegie Science Center,Pgh. PA” on YouTube

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