GIVING THANKS

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: We gather together to give thanks…

‘Tis the beginning of the holiday season. It started (for me) with our first real snowfall…

With Thanksgiving on its way, I’m starting to count my blessings yet again…or should I say “still?” In these very difficult and challenging times, it’s important to remember all the good in our lives. In addition to dear family and friends, both near and far, I’m grateful for my online art challenge groups.

This week, I’m particularly thankful for the always inspiring group, DIGITALMANIA (https://www.flickr.com/groups/1683736@N21/?added=3) who introduces participating artists to the styles of other artists and challenges us to create in that artist’s style. Oftentimes, it’s difficult and out of my comfort zone, but always a learning experience. This week, LOUI JOVER is our inspiration. An Australian painter and artist, he’s known for his artwork in ink wash paintings, often on vintage book or newspaper pages. Here’s what he inspired for me: the first is a wish for peace in the world, in our own United States and in our hearts.

Wishing you a holiday filled with fun, love and delicious food. Know that I’m grateful for each of you.

Big Hugs, abbyj

SPOOKY AUTUMN

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Election Day…VOTE U.S.A.

Good Morning, dear family and friends. Well, today’s the day that we cast our votes for the future of our country…our democratic way of life. Hope and pray for the best!

Continuing working on my favorite way to pass the time…participating in the online art blog challenges…(keeps my mind off the fate of our homeland.) Apropos of Halloween (past) and the beautiful fall season, DIGITAL WHISPER (digitalwhisper.blogspot.com) requested we create something SPOOKY…

THE THREE MUSES (thethreemuseschallenge.blogspot.com) set their theme at AUTUMN

and TAKE A WORD (takeaword.blogspot.com) asked to see a stairway somewhere in our creation…

That’s it for now… Thanks for checking in! Looking forward to seeing you next posting.

Stay safe!

Big (safe) virtual hugs,

abbyj

HALLOWEEN EDITION

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: There is magic in the night…

Creeping closer to All Hallow’s Eve…and SNOW at the end of the week as well! Hope to enjoy both…and you? Hope this posting finds you and yours COVID-free and doing your best to enjoy this journey through a very unusual time in our lives. I’m back to passing some of my time creating art. Here are my latest: For DIGITALMANIA, (https://www.flicker.com/groups/digitalmania) Stephanie Rubiano was our artist-inspiration…

Here’s HERS…
Here’s MINE…

Next is for SUNDAY POSTCARD ART (sundaypostcardart.wordpress.com) whose theme was SKYLINE…

TAKE A WORD (takeaword.blogspot.com) chose BRIDGES for their art topic…

Finally, THE THREE MUSES challenge blog (thethreemuseschallenge.blogspot.com) requested to see SOMETHING SEPIA…

Wishing you all a Happy Halloween and time ahead, as we ease our way into winter. Hoping you’ll keep healthy…wear masks and continue washing those hands! 🙂

Big Hugs, abbyj

ARTFUL READERS CLUB: A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

This is the book cover I designed for THE LADDER TO THE SKY…

Maurice Swift is one of THE most devious protagonists I can ever remember in my readings. His goal is to be a great writer…to win the most prestigious literary prize. Unfortunately, he has no imagination, can’t decide on a theme or plot, and he’s unable to create interesting, believable characters. So, he uses his charm and good looks to extract stories from others, be it an author whom he admires, a wife who can write brilliantly, a son who needs his help…he’ll sell out anyone and everyone to climb that ladder of success. Maurice is an utterly amoral character and as much as I disliked him, I had to admire his cunning, ambition and his absolute dedication to achieving fame. We can see trouble ahead long before his marks do, and even get a pretty good idea of how he’s going to get what he wants…and we wonder just how long he can keep getting away with it. If you find this unrealistic, I recommend, for your consideration, the question of why Donald J. Trump has not seen the inside of a jail cell for his lifetime of criminality. Sometimes monsters walk free, regardless of what they’ve done!

A LADDER to the SKY is an exhilarating, unsettling and invigoratingly original read. It’s dazzling in its complexity, astounding in its fiendishness and astonishing in its absolute audacity!! John Boyne has given me a character that I love to hate. The book is COMPULSIVELY READABLE…I highly recommend it!

DANCE and DIGITALMANIA

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: DANCE is just art in motion.

DIGITAL WHISPER’s art challenge group (digitalwhisper.blogspot.com) is hooked on a DANCE theme for this week’s task. Here is my work for art-in-motion…DANCE.

Nick Bantock, this week’s inspirational artist at Flicker’s DIGITALMANIA art challenge group (https://www.flicker.com/groups/digitalmania) began his career as a 23 year old freelance artist, producing 300 book covers in 16 years. Schooled in England, he has made British Columbia his home since 1988. He paints, draws, sculpts, collages and has written some of the most wonderful interactive books…best known, the GRIFFIN and SABINE trilogy. A huge fan of his for years, I was anxious to participate in this challenge. Here are a couple of samples of his art…

and here’s what he inspired me to create…

Have a wonderful, art filled, blessed weekend and week ahead.

Big Hugs, abbyj

SHIPS, CANDLES and A SPECIAL VISIT

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: We are a nation of nations!

So many of us have been missing our dear ones because of COVID-19. We can’t travel to where they are, nor can they come to us. In my case, we have our most dear ones in Canada and the Canadian border is closed. But, since our daughter has dual citizenship, she finally felt safe enough to visit us, using her American passport. (Unfortunately, she has to quarantine for two weeks on her return to Canada.) We can visit her (permitted for FAMILY,) but we’d have to quarantine for two weeks also…before we were able to do anything…too hard after being cooped up at home for so long! Well…we had a most wonderful visit after not seeing one another in person for 7+ months. I’m ever grateful for FaceTime, but there’s nothing like hugging your daughter IN PERSON!!! We didn’t do much during our visit…mostly just basked in the presence of one another, shopped a bit and ATE!! Looking forward to the next visit…this time, with our grandkids (whom we miss soooo much!)

On to art challenges for the week, starting with SUNDAY POSTCARD ART’s request to see SHIPS in our work…(sundaypostcardart.wordpress.com)…

Immigration IS the American way!

…and DIGITAL WHISPER (digitalwhisper.blogspot.com) challenged artists to create a piece with candles included. So…

Short posting…hope to see you for my next.

Stay healthy but enjoy living your life!

Big Hugs,

abbyj

EDUARDO RECIFE: DIGITALMANIA

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Art is a celebration of life.

EDUARDO RECIFE, this week’s inspiring artist for art challenge group, DIGITALMANIA, (https://www.flicker.com/groups/digitlmania,) is an artist, illustrator and typographer from Brazil known for his distinct collage style combining vintage imagery, magazine cuts, textures,, stains and many details and symbols…very interesting art. He’s actually one of my favorites. I had fun trying to emulate his style. Here are some of his works…

and here’s what he inspired in me…

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a healthy, joy-filled week ahead. Hope to see you next posting.

Big Hugs,

abbyj

SECRETS, TRAINS and LAYERS

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Some of my secrets are now out!

POST SECRET is an ongoing community mail art project, created by Frank Warren in 2005. People anonymously mailed in their secrets, written and illustrated on a homemade postcard. It’s a fun idea that DIGITALMANIA’s challenge group (https://www.flicker.com/groups/digitlmania) has decided to make their theme this week. Loved doing this…

SUNDAY POSTCARD ART’s art challenge blog (sundaypostcardart.wordpress,com,) has picked one of my favorite themes for the week…trains. I have always had a love for all kinds of trains and it continues to be my preferred means of travel (when possible.) Here are my entries…

and finally, THE THREE MUSES (thethreemuseschallenge.blogspot.com) asked participating artists to create a piece of art with many LAYERS. All they had to do was ask…

Wishing you a productive, enjoyable and healthy week ahead.

Stay safe…

Big Hugs,

abbyj

ARTFUL READERS CLUB “An Elephant in the Garden” by Michael Morpurgo

MY cover for this book…

It’s no secret that I love elephants, historical fiction and adventure. This book, “AN ELEPHANT in the GARDEN” satisfied all those loves.

Not a typical WWII story, it’s a sweet tale that touches only lightly on the horrors of the war. Instead, we learn the perspectives of non-Nazi German citizens and their struggles with becoming fugitives in their own country…with a rescued elephant in tow. It’s not littered with facts but rather, with real feelings.

During WWII, Dresden, Germany was blasted and bombed unmercifully. This is a novel about an elderly woman, (Lizzie,) now in a nursing home, who recounts the story of her brave mother who worked at the local Dresden Zoo. Fearing that an elephant she had tended since birth would die in the war, she brought the animal home. Based on a real story the author came upon, Lizzie tells her life story to one of her nurses and the woman’s 9 year old son.

It’s the story of her family (minus her father, who was serving in his country’s military,) …her Mutti, who escaped the bombings in Dresden with a daughter (now the storyteller, Lizzie,) her son and Marlene. This group of refugees form a family with Marlene, the elephant, (named after Marlene Dietrich,) who work together to escape the bombings and the Russians by heading west, towards safety and the American allies.

It’s a beautifully written tale of survival, loss, unusual friendships and hope. While the author doesn’t shy away from the harshness of war, there’s no fighting or killing in this story. He shares how his characters feel about the war around them and recounts how little acts of kindness and moments of sheer terror shape their lives. His people leap off the pages and we’re there to share in their daily quests for food, shelter and safety.

The overall messages of “AN ELEPHANT in the GARDEN” are of courage, resilience, friendship and hope…its readership transcends any specific age category…it’s PURE MAGIC!

BUDDHA, ASIAN and the WRITTEN WORD

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Let the past make you better...

Buddha was a philosopher, spiritual teacher and religious leader who lived in ancient India 2,600 years ago. Not a God, he’s revered as the founder of the world religion of Buddhism. Buddha is not a name…his name was Siddhartha Gautama. Buddha is a title. It’s a Sanscrit word that means “a person who is awake.” Awake to what…the true nature of reality, freed from the “fog” of hate, greed and ignorance. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all work towards being free of that fog?

This week, SUNDAY POSTCARD ART (sundaypostcardaart.wordpress.com) honors Buddha by making him it’s theme. Here’s my tribute to the man and the practice of Buddhism that I so greatly admire.

Buddha is also revered in many Asian countries. This week, challenge blog TAKE A WORD (takeaword.blogspot.com) has declared it’s theme to be ASIAN. I could use Buddha to satisfy this theme, but chose to do this instead…

Inspired by a man I saw in a restaurant, in a small town in China…
… and this is a young monk we saw while visiting a monastery in Myanmar.

THE THREE MUSES (thethreemuseschallenge.blogspot.com) chose THE WRITTEN WORD as their theme for the week.

That’s it for now…wishing you a week that may start you on your path towards “enlightenment” …or help you continue your pursuit…and always, wishing you good health.

Big Hugs,

abbyj