"Go to Your Studio and Make Stuff" Fred Babb

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Think I REALLY Like Owls

I've been a bit off  lately.  Off from everything - I'm not painting or gardening or playing piano - I'm not cooking, not meditating - I don't even go out and about anymore.  

I feel like I'm waiting... for what, I don't know.  But I'm tired of it and so I got out the sketch book and did a quick little drawing of a Saw-whet owl.  

Not very exciting I know, but hey - I know I'm not feeling quite right if I'm not doing something creative.  I also know that I just have to do it even if I don't feel like it.  Then it will slowly creep back in - the feeling of wanting to create and then it will become fun again and I'll need to do it again.  Maybe that's what I'm waiting for.

BTW, I really, really, really like owls :)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

My Garden Journal

As you can see, it's been quite awhile since I made an entry with a painting in my garden journal.

I write in it several times a week, and sometimes make a sketch or two - but rarely anymore do I add a painting.  Which I think it's about time to do again!

When I lived up north here in the states, I'll always remember visiting with an elderly member of the garden club I was in.  We were sitting in her beautiful blue swing on her big front porch and she was showing me her garden journal.  

Oh - what a lovely, lovely work of art.  She wrote daily, she painted flowers, she painted parts of flowers and plants.  She painted the landscape.  She painted the seasons.  All along with her lovely penmanship and seed packets and pressed leaves and petals.  

I was so inspired.  She was magnificent!  Decades of gardening and her love for it was very apparent.

I haven't talked to her for years now...I hope she's doing well and still able to putter about gardening and painting.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

More of My Weird Art

Yes, it is true - I'm a little on the weird side, but hey...I have finally come to a place where I'm okay with that.  What a nice feeling!

Well, I am always fascinated with peoples behaviors.  I especially love reading quirky things that well-known people have engaged in. (I think my favorite is Nikola Tesla having some eccentricities that are rather fascinating.)  I know that not all things on the Internet should be taken as gospel, and I try to consider the source, so if you find something I've painted that isn't quite true, I would be the first to apologize.  

Anyway, I found this list somewhere of all the clothing that Imelda had to leave behind and it is stunning.  

Now, I'm not trying to rile anybody up or anything.  I posted this in an art group on Facebook and got an ear full of political hate and I'm certainly not trying to make a political statement.  It's more like a Greed statement.  That's all.  Geesh - the world has gotten way too Politically Correct!  

Speaking of PC, if you haven't watched the first episode of South Park's new season, and if you're a mature adult or live in another country, you probably haven't, haha - but, they really do current event satire very well.  They hit the PC nail on the head with their first episode.  Have a look at it and enjoy the laugh.  Because we all need more of that!  

Acrylic on canvas paper.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Animal Spirit Guide

I drew this coyote a very long time ago.  I've always kept it because I like canines - dogs, wolves, coyotes, fox, etc...not really sure how I feel about jackals - but I've got a special spot for this family of mammals.

Anyway, this is a brief account of how I discovered my animal spirit guide.  Oh, come on now, stop it - I can only imagine what some of you are thinking. Well, I am a little on the woo side but I like to keep an open mind. AND, as to how this happened, I can no longer think that things are merely coincidence.

Last year during meditation, I asked if I had an animal spirit guide and would it reveal itself to me.  The next morning as I was waking up - in that in between state of sleep and waking, I saw in my mind a piece of paper with the word "coyote" hand written on it.  

Hey, I thought "thank you" very much!  I certainly wasn't thinking about anything as I was waking up and it was a complete surprise to get that thought being flashed into my head.

The thing is, that evening when I went out back, I saw a coyote run right across in front of me!  Now, I would say the earlier thought of the word coyote could be nothing, but combined with seeing a  coyote (which we have in the area, but I hadn't seen until now) and having specifically asked, is well, quite amazing to me!  

I've also found that I've collected coyote items over the years without really thinking about it and even have a coyote skull that I'll post a photo below - it's kind of spooky, probably better suited for Halloween, lol!  But I just didn't feel like going to get the skull and taking another pic of it.  It actually drives my dogs nuts, so I keep it in a glass case.

So - there it is - my experience of asking to meet my animal spirit guide and receiving an answer.  Whether you believe in such things or not, I don't know myself, but I am connecting to nature much more these days and enlightening and wonderful things have happened since I started seriously meditating!  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Nonchalance in the Garden

I'm a bit of a nonchalant gardener.  I have messy borders, some things are a bit overgrown, and overall it's a rather raffish looking garden - but I like to think it has a certain roguish charm.  

This is my interpretation of it.  I'd say it's in a slightly abstract sort of way. 

I used watercolors and India Ink on a 5" x 7" multimedia paper.

This photo looks a little dark, I didn't take it in natural lighting and it looks kind of dingy compared to the original....I admit to not having had my tea yet this morning!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Digital Downloads

I've been mulling around with the idea of offering some digital downloads online.  I kind of like the idea of instantly printing out a pretty background for a scrapbook project or maybe as a poster to frame on the wall.  

They'd be cheap and fun and summery.  

Or maybe I could add some words to it to make it more interesting.  I don't know - just messin' around.  It's good to strain the brain every once in awhile with thinking! :)

This is a watercolor and India ink quick little painting on a 5 x 7 multi-media paper.  

I'm slowly adding to my Etsy store at backyardjungle.etsy.com

Many thanks for looking at my art blog!  

Wishing you a day full of lovely visions. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Summerhouse

I've titled this small watercolor painting "The Summerhouse".  I am a HUGE anglophile and adore anything English - especially their gardens.  

I'll always remember visiting England and wandering around the glorious gardens of an old estate, turning the corner and seeing a gorgeous little building amongst the flowers.  It was definitely memorable.

This is just a quickie 2.5" x 3.5" painting on heavy watercolor paper, but I plan to add some bigger paintings of English gardens to my Etsy shop in the near future.

"Looking out the Mudroom door" - well, I don't really have a proper mudroom, but I use part of my laundry room as one.  

And I most certainly have mud...especially now in the rainy season.

This is another little ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" (6.35cm x 8.89cm) watercolor on heavy watercolor paper.  

ACEO stands for Artist Cards, Editions and Originals.  They are a popular and very affordable way to collect artwork from various artists. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Etsy Store is Open - at long last!

It took me awhile, but I've done, diddly, done it - finally!  It was all the putsy stuff like shipping and legal things that took time to sift through - and I still don't have it all together and there's not much in it as yet, but I've been wanting to do this for some time and I'm excited that my Etsy shop is now up and running.

I will be adding more items each week.  Much more garden (and other) themed original paintings, prints, notecards, bookmarks, photographs and whatever else I come up with.  

Since I just opened yesterday, my Etsy link is not yet working, so I'll post that on the side bar when it is.  But if you go to Etsy and search Backyard Jungle Art it will come up.

Etsy has been in existence for 10 years now - wow!  I always seem to jump on the bandwagon a bit late...

This is a Watercolor and India Ink painting on heavy watercolor paper.  I've titled it "Lanai".    

Friday, July 10, 2015

Day of the Dead Mini ACEO Paintings

Day of the Dead - I know, it's been done to death...(sorry about that, hehe).  But when I read that the new James Bond film opens with scenes from a Dia de los Muertos celebration, well, that got me thinking it might be fun to paint up some sugar skulls and see how it goes.

If you search online, you'll find amazing artworks of this Mexican celebration that honors those that have gone on before.  

I didn't really know what I was doing and started with the piranha and just left it all blue around, then I did the horse and thought it needed something extra in the background, and then I really got going and decked out the last three with flowers and scrolls and that seemed to be more fitting with other artworks I've noticed representing this colorful remembrance holiday.

I love learning and experiencing other cultures.  I've had the great fortune to live in several different parts of the world and gained such interesting perspectives of how others than my own culture live.    

These are mini paintings referenced as ACEO (Art Cards Editions and Originals).  Sized 2.5 x 3.5 inches, watercolor and ink on heavy watercolor paper.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mini Paintings (ACEO)

Just finished a few of these little miniature paintings to add to my Etsy shop that I'm planning on opening this weekend.

They're called ACEO's which stand for Art Card Originals and Editions.  Only 2.5 x 3.5 inches, they allow for people to easily collect original artworks from various artists at a reasonable price.

Yes, I've painted Psychedelic Turtle again, haha - he's become a favorite.  Along with Funky Butterfly, Pink Octopussy, Contemplative Owl and Mr. Bug.  

I'll be adding a link to my shop on the sidebar when it opens.  

These are watercolors and India Ink on heavy watercolor paper.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Summer Solstice!

Summer Solstice, also known as Litha is about giving thanks and honoring all the abundance the suns rays give to all living things on our beautiful planet.  

Well, something like that.  There's a lot I could say about it, but it would take paragraphs and you probably already have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about...

I've put in some symbols of the Summer Solstice with the sunflowers, daisies and honeysuckles reaching toward the sun.

I stuck a red salamander down in the right corner, which is a fire elemental. You may not have recognized it - kind of looks like a tiny dinosaur, haha.

Oak leaves tied in her hair symbolize strength.  She's drinking mead made from honey and those are bees on her chalice, just in case anyone wondered about that.

Reds, yellows and oranges are the colors of the season - when everything is growing and blooming and producing at their peak.

I honor every day by being grateful and lighting a candle when I meditate.  But for the solstice, I light a big honkin' tray full of candles - since I can't have a bonfire...I hope you are having a lovely Midsummer and celebrate in your own way!    

And to my friends in the southern hemisphere, may you enjoy the winter!  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bloop, Bloop!

Just a quick little ink and watercolor of one of my favorite subjects - tropical fish.

I think this reminds me of batik fabric, which I love and have been meaning to give making some a try one of these days.

Or maybe I'll try some tie dye first in a Japanese inspired Shibori style.  

So many art forms, so many things to try....can't decide which to do first!  

This is a postcard size painting on heavy watercolor paper.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Psychedelic Turtle and other Pastels

Usually when I watch TV, I'm glued to the screen watching whatever it is that is capturing my attention.  For instance, Eva Greens performances on Penny Dreadful...delightful!

But sometimes I have to be doing something else along with watching, and it's usually drawing or crafting or something along those lines.

Recently I messed around with some pastels.  These are not oil pastels, but ones that are less messy.  I'm not a big fan of pastels, as they feel like one of those big, chunky sidewalk chalks in my hand. And I do like the oil ones better, but I'm not sure where I stuck them, so I'll have to do some hunting I think.  But it's always good to work with different mediums once in awhile.

Anyway, I just drew some things that were on my mind at the time.  Funny how I was drawing the jellyfish and the word jellyfish came up on the TV and when I mentioned that to my husband he said he had just came across the word jellyfish on his phone. Synchronicity?  

Friday, May 29, 2015

M is for Mermaid

As the crow flies, I only live about six miles from the beach.  Of course, to drive there - it takes about 20 minutes, and that's only if there isn't much traffic.  Southwest Florida can be very congested during the winter "season", so this less populated time of year is a great time to have a visit on one of our very beautiful beaches.

Sometimes I take a sketch book and doodle, and sometimes I don't. But I always take the camera, because I never know what I'll see.

I never did see a mermaid...or a merman...

But I can bring one to life in a little painting.  This is my usual quickie watercolor with ink on postcard size heavy watercolor paper.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Excitement in the Garden

Nope, I haven't seen a UFO in the garden.  But one can hope!

Little story:  I usually meditate on the balcony off the bedroom at around 10:30pm or so every night.  The balcony faces the huge preserve that we live against.  Last year I came to notice a light out in the preserve during the time I was meditating.  It was clear out there and it showed up from time to time, not on a set schedule and it never moved.  Then once I saw it moving!  I strained my brain trying to figure out what it could be, because no way is there anybody out there.  We're not "suppose" to go in the preserve, never mind there's no paths, it's pitch black out there at night, there's diamondbacks galore and of course other potential dangers including bear, boar and panther.

Well, this kept happening and I couldn't figure out what it could be and I teased my husband that we have "visitors".  

After the summer was over our HOA put a paragraph in the newsletter reminding us that we are not to go in the preserve and that local teens had been found to have DRAGGED A COUCH out there (unbelievable!!!) and made a sort of fort in a clearing!  

Wow!  That is determination!  I can't imagine dragging a cooler out there let alone a couch.  So anyway, that is what inspired this little painting on postcard sized heavy watercolor paper with watercolors and ink.  

I actually did see a UFO once up north...

Monday, May 4, 2015


I had never heard of a zentangle before and now that I've discovered them - I'm an enthusiastic fan!

They truly are a meditative form of art.  I lose track of time and forget everything except making the patterns.  It's very relaxing.  

People make absolutely beautiful and complicated zentangles, just google them and you'll see wonderful examples.

This one I did with a Sharpie on a piece of sketchbook paper.  For some reason it morphed into hair, I didn't have any plan when I started working on it.

Here's another one I did the same night.  This really isn't representative of anything.  It just came out of my mind like a jumble, and I think that's probably about right, lol!  

I think I might try one with different colored markers next...

Friday, April 24, 2015

Anything Amazonia!

Well, it's true - I love anything from the Amazon.  

Here's some Poison Dart Frogs that have had me enamored with their bright, beautiful colors.

I drew them with a pencil, outlined them in ink and then used colored pencils to finish.

I just used one of my sketch pads.  Quick and easy-peasy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Grandma Cleavage

Well, what can I say - except that my mind is filled with regular odd thoughts, and odd images.  Blessed are the weird, right? Haha

This is such a bad photo - I took it with my little Nikon Coolpix and didn't work very hard at getting a decent shot.

This acrylic painting came into being after watching an episode of Family Guy where "Grandma Cleavage" was mentioned.  Then I thought of who would be the "model" for such an egregious image - and George's mom on the TV show Seinfeld came to mind.  

Now, I certainly don't want to get in trouble for portraying that this particular look is unattractive or undesirable in any way.  

In fact, I'm probably headed this way myself some day...

It's just what I see out there - along with many other looks, and some just stick in my mind more than others.

So, that's it - this is an acrylic on an 8x10" stretched canvas.  She has a wonderful home with a lovely lady in New Jersey that proclaimed "Grandma just arrived!  She looks just like me!"  

Now, that made my day!  :)

Friday, March 27, 2015


I like to do nature crafts - every once in awhile.  Which I do consider art.  Here I've made a Dreamcatcher from stuff around the yard and some items from my art studio.

I used sticks from the ficus hedge out back and settled on a triangular shape, since I couldn't find any bendy sort of sticks to form into a circle.

I haven't woven anything since summer camp, many moons ago, so I'm not surprised my weave was a bit loose.  But I've learned now to keep it tight as I wind around making the web pattern.

Also used some feathers that my brother found in the woods for me, a beautiful pink shell I found on the beach with a hole already in it for hanging.  And then just some leather strips, burlap, some tie dye fabric and some fringe from an old hammock.  

I didn't really think about it, I just threw together whatever I had around that looked like it'd work.  And yes, I'm part Hippie, haha!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Vernal Equinox

A very Happy Spring Equinox to all my northern hemisphere friends!  And a very Happy Autumnal Equinox to all my southern friends!  

Here in Florida we didn't have spring, it skipped ahead already to summer!   It's been hot, but at least the humidity isn't around yet.

Anyway, I did this watercolor on heavy watercolor paper last year for the first day of spring.  Someone asked me why the girl had to pull up the roots on the flowers - oh, that cracked me up.  I hadn't even realized that's how I painted it and I have no idea, why - I guess I thought the painting needed some brown in that area to balance it out.  

Goes to show how painting helps take me out of myself  to where I just feel and not think.  And that's a good thing!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Garden Party

I'm saying this up front - I am not a tobacco smoker, but I'm not judging anyone that is.  Now, I'm not exactly sure why I painted my subject smoking except that I had already put the wine glass on the table and then I thought she needed to be doing SOMETHING - so I just stuck the smoke in her hand.  (people have asked me about this)

Plus, I like to think that maybe she's not smoking tobacco, but maybe something a little more medicinal, Haha!  

I do these quick little ink and watercolors while I sit out back in the garden waiting for the birds or butterflies to come around so I can get a shot of them with my camera.

I've included the smaller Bird-of-Paradise, Heliconia and the Passionflower vine in this painting.  Oh, and some palm fronds. 

This is a small postcard size painting on heavy watercolor paper.

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Weird Art

I'm not quite sure yet how to go about creating an art blog.  So, I'm just going to post some art work that I do.  And yes, some is a little weird and not all has to do with my backyard - but most of it does.

I am quite fascinated by peoples behaviors.  I love to read about their quirks or perhaps their unusual way of doing things.  

I had come across some information when reading about William Wordsworth and had jotted it down, thinking it was kind of charming.  Now, of course, we all know the Internet is full of misinformation, so I am just basing this on what I've read and of course, who knows if it is truly accurate or not.

I always try to consider the source, so hopefully I get mostly correct facts.

Anyway, this is my acrylic painting on canvas paper of William Wordsworth and his dog sauntering down the wooded lane reciting his poetry to his furry friend.

I hope you're enjoying poetry in your life once in awhile!  Cheers!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Self Portrait in my Backyard Jungle

I thought I'd start this blog off with an acrylic painting I did of myself in the backyard.

It's true, I shaved a few pounds off from me for the painting, haha - but I tried to keep true to the feeling of my jungle garden.  It's a bit crazy with the huge Giant White Birds of Paradise, the Sambac Jasmine climbing up them and spilling over onto the pool cage.  When it's all in bloom, and the humidity is heavy, the jasmine fragrance engulfs the whole backyard.  Heavenly!

I'm not sure what happened over on the right hand side of the painting, I got a little wigged out with the flowers, but that's what happens when I paint.  It doesn't always turn out as planned. 

I've included my cardinal bird friend Chirpy that has been coming to my breakfast nook window for the last two years to chirp for seed.  I then take it out to him and he sits on my hand to eat.  If you want to see more about Chirpy I have it detailed on my Garden Blog at www.southwestfloridagardener.blogspot.com.  You can link to it over underneath the follow by email area, directly beneath my photo.

I've also included some other friends from the garden including butterflies and snakes.  

I haven't any idea if this blog will be of interest to anyone else, but I've found that writing (in this case blogging) about something I'm working on in my life certainly helps clear my mind and helps me focus.  

I sincerely thank you for stopping by to have a look and welcome your thoughts!