Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cooking With Magnolias III... is here!

Cooking With Magnolias III is now here.  he 533 pages are all wonderful.  The cards, letters and e-mails from collectors are terrific!  Comments range from "inspiring" to "totally entertaining." 
Everyone says they are delighted with the $24. price for such a work and so many have ordered multiples for gift giving.
We even had one man who said he loves to read cookbooks!
Be sure to see the last short story that begins on page 495.  Halfway thru writing the book a question from my childhood was answered and the story is delightful and very surprising....
Order your books and I will be glad to autograph each one for you, but please add your own inscription before you give them as gifts.  It is the little things that add that very special meaning to your gifts and the things you leave for your heirs.  The order page on my web site is a convenient and safe way to order.   I hope you enjoy every page, recipe, story, illustration and doodle!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

This is a great opportunity for me to share with you how the emotions of life can effect your creative side of life. 
I count my blessing first, but we have to admit that sometimes life itself has to be tough.  It is just "part of the contract" we have with the wonderful adventure calling living.

For weeks, I have not painted much at all.  I made plans for a simple trip to explore the lower Florida coast for boat subjects.
 My first day out,  the landscapes were wonderfully natural along the coast below Cedar Key.

On a one lane road, I not only found a calm black water pond with palms, but also a great place to stand while painting.. in the shade of more palms.

 I decided my first painting would be small and simple: the rocks, the 2 palms and the nice colors of the "black water."  Everything else would be overly simplified or left out all together.

Before leaving on the trip I made sure I had all my materials in one neat canvas bag and they were just inside the back door of the car.  Bug spray, my phone and camera were also ready.  I had a stool but knew from experience that I might be too excited to sit down to paint.  Standing up is always good.  It keeps me moving and I am more aware of things around me.
I used my smallest covered palette and only a few brushes.

 The point of that day's work was more about getting back to my painting career and less about having a huge work, loads of paint and box of brushes.
If you will limit yourself in this way, the experience can be much more exciting and less work.

As soon as I had my drawing done a new calm came over the entire event and I found myself back with my old spirit and peace.  A photography student walked up from out of nowhere and spoke as he went on down a remote path in search of his next great image.  Later, a mini van with a young mom and 2 noisy kids parked near my location and I feared I would have to stop to entertain them and defend my equipment, but by never looking up, I think they got the message that this was not a public demonstration.  In getting the children rounded up from the marsh adventure she landed on her horn and birds flew away in all directions.  It took a few minutes to get my attention back to the little painting.
The day was hot, but my guardian angel was working overtime, clouds circled behind me and the rain fell over the Gulf with out coming ashore.  The breeze was wonderful and the bugs took cover among the grasses along the shore.  Peace again!

And so, my effort to get back to life after losing Dad a few weeks ago and being there to help Lewis in his fight against Lyme...or whatever they want to call it, was at long last an accomplishment. 

Pure worship and therapy on a dirt road somewhere near Cedar Key...
  another great day to celebrate life.

I will add more from this trip in a day or 2.  There were several surprise rewards as I found some old "friends" from decades earlier in my career.  Things I never even knew to hope for were waiting for me. 
Life is good when we get the courage to live it abundantly!  I hope to inspire you to make that next trip in your own life. It will keep you healthy and help you get through those dark times.