Ode To February

February Sunset
Rose Arizmendi (C) 2008

The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.”
– William C. Bryant

“I stood beside a hill
Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
From the cold evening glow.
There was not other creature
That saw what I could see,
I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me.”

– Sara Teasdale, February Twilight

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. Henry David Thoreau


I find serenity and peace of mind on my daily walks as I observe people and things in nature that catch my eye.

Often I bring my sketch book or camera just in case I find something that may give inspiration for later paintings and also bring back happy memories.

Sometimes all we need is a little extra inspiration and imagination to help keep the creative juices flowing, and my daily walk seems to do the trick for me.

A White Rose

A White Rose
Rose Arizmendi (C) 2008

The world is a rose, smell it and pass it to your friends. – Persian Proverb

In The Garden

I spent most of the day cleaning up our garden, removing fallen tree limbs, raking up dead leaves, and emptying water out of the bird bath.

Afterwards I was so tired I needed to rest for awhile, so I decided to take some time to sit and relax in our garden, it was so peaceful and calming as the warmth of the sun soothed my tired achy body.

In the Garden

In the garden

A Beautiful Day

It was a warm and sunny day and as I was working on a painting, the birds were practicing their spring love songs right outside my studio window. What a beautiful day!


Flowers in the neighbors yard

Burbank Gardens

Luther Burbank Gardens

ancient roots

Ancient Roots

It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot a.k.a. Mary Ann (Marian) Evans

C’est La Vie

This morning my art table was covered with paint, paper, gel medium and gesso, so I cleaned it up a bit before concentrating on the new piece I wanted to work on today.

I continued working this afternoon in the studio until around dinner time. Having finished some areas that needed more work, I decided it was time to quit for the day, and began cleaning up my work area.

There is something so wonderful about getting your fingers all sticky with acrylic paint and gel medium, except when you notice you have managed to get some of it on the sleeve of your favorite sweater.

Oh well, C’est la vie. The most important thing is I did what needed to be done and had fun doing it.

Sunny Day

Sunny Afternoon

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -Unknown

A Perfect Rainy Day

It was a perfect rainy day for painting, drinking chai tea and dreaming up new projects.

I got a lot of work done today and afterwards my painting area was a mess. Below is a photo of the aftermath.


The weatherman says we have a whopper of a storm headed our way this weekend bringing several inches of rain and possibly hurricane force winds, so we are battening down the hatches in preparation for this storm.

They are also expecting power outages so if I don’t post this weekend you will know what happened.

“The wind began to moan in hollow murmurs, as the sun went down carrying glad day elsewhere; and a train of dull clouds coming up against it, menaced thunder and lightning. Large drops of rain soon began to fall, and, as the storm clouds came sailing onward, others supplied the void they left behind and spread over all the sky. Then was heard the low rumbling of distant thunder, then the lightning quivered, and then the darkness of an hour seemed to have gathered in an instant”.

-Charles Dickens The Old Curiosity Shop

Images For Collage

I love making my own collage images with my digital camera and photoshop, because it’s easy and fun to create a one of a kind image. I also love using commercial rubber stamps but sometimes I need something unusual or a little different.

The first place I look are thrift shops and antique stores, usually it is there that I find a treasure trove of objects to take home and photograph.

As soon as I return home, I grab my camera and take a photo of whatever it is I want to make a stamp of, then I take it into photoshop to retouch and clean it up.

Here is an example of an antique watch I just made for a collage I am currently working on.

Antique watch retouch

Antique Watch Photo Retouch #1

Antique Watch Outline

Antique Watch Process #2

It is at this point I decide on just how much more I want to add or take away from the image. If I like what I see I go on to the next step.

Antique Watch Stamp

Antique Watch Stamp

Once everything is finished you can either print the image and add it to your collage or make a rubber stamp.

What A Great Weekend.

We had a great weekend here in northern California, blue skies, lots of sunshine and warm weather.

After all the cold weather and rain, it was nice to be able to work in the garden again. There is a lot more that needs to be done, but first we need to let the soil dry out before we can do anything else.

Of course, we went to our favorite book/coffee place to peruse the art magazines, and just sit, relax and people watch. My husband brought along his sketchbook and camera, and took some pictures.


Snoopy Statue

Today, I was thinking about what it means to be an artist, and how we define art. How do we define what it is that we do? It seems there are a lot of opinions about this subject and I wanted to share some of them with you.

Mirka Mora, painter
Art is the child of imagination and gives life.

Geoffrey Ricardo, printmaker
Having an itch you can’t scratch.

Bernard Smith, art historian
Art is anything that requires a maker; it cannot make itself – this is Aristotle’s definition in The Nicomachian Ethics, and I think it to be the best.

Kate Cherry, associate director, Melbourne Theatre Company
Art is indefinable.

Jan Senbergs, painter
I asked our dog Ruby and she didn’t know either …

William Wright, curatorial director, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
For as long as we’ve been able to hoot, toot, tap bones and make effigies out of bits of clay and other inchoate stuff, art has been integral to our species; the imaginative end of our need to conceptualize.

Sacred Moments

Finding meaningful moments as we hurry along in life, distracted and focused on a hundred different things is difficult.

It is when we stop to notice the love and beauty all around us, that our perceptions shift and change. Only then, do we become fully present in the moment, alive, and aware of the sacred in our lives.

Today I grabbed my camera and decided to take some photos. I played around with some of my favorite gemstones, crystals, journal, and some fabric.

In the process of arranging these objects, I felt a sense of peace and stillness wrap itself around me. This is the shot I ended up with.

Everyday is full of sacred moments waiting to be experienced.

Everyday Sacred

Sacred Moments (C) 2008
“The secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life, and in elevating them to art”. -John Ruskin

Lunch Break

I visited Jan Worden’s site this morning and got all fired up about creating a mono print. I can’t wait to get started.

One of my dearest friends Margie, taught me how to make one after we had visited a small gallery featuring some of her mono prints.

I was very impressed with the whole process. She used found objects like coke bottle caps, twine, feathers, anything she thought was interesting.

Margie would use these to create images in the ink or paint, and continue with this process until she was satisfied, then make a print. The whole experience was so magical, I could sit and watch her for hours.

Just finished with lunch and now I have some time to make a mono print. This is going to be so much fun! I have never made one using acrylic paint.

Lunch For Two

Our Lunch Today Pizza & Salad