Between Christmas and New Years

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Footprints encased in the fallen snow…

We’re well into the holiday season…Christmas has gone and New Years is on its way. I, for one, am looking forward to a bright, shiny 2021, with the promise of good health, through a vaccine, to chase away Covid-19! Wishing everyone the best in the year ahead.

I’ve had some fun with my digital art groups…particularly Flicker’s DIGITALMANIA and THE THREE MUSES. In DIGITALMANIA, (https://www.flicker.com/groups/digitalmania) we enjoyed learning (virtually) about a French artist, Stephanie LeDoux. She’s a traveler, journaler and designer whose artwork reflects the people she’s met and the world she chronicles. She has a particular style that really speaks to me. Here are some of my creations in her style, reflecting my travels and people I’ve met…

The challenge to illustrate a favorite quote was put before participating artists at THE THREE MUSES (https://thethreemuseschallenge.blogspot.com). I couldn’t decide on just one…

Happy New Year every day of the year!

Hope to see you next posting.

Big Hugs, abbyj

IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: It’s beginning to look like Christmas…

the true magic lies

making holiday moments

that last a life time

As we head to the zenith of the holiday season, Covid rages on… worse than ever. Are you keeping safe…masked, washing hands and avoiding crowds? We’re taking it more seriously now as the numbers hit unimaginable heights…and are predicted to climb even further. In our house, we’ve put our hopes in the soon-to-be-administered vaccine. Perhaps that, with the prescribed safety precautions, we can see an improvement. We can only hope…

I continue my experimentation with Photoshop and some new-found techniques and skills…thanks to the expert instruction and patience of my friend, Todd. Art challenges put forth by TAKE A WORD (takeaword.blogspot.com) caught my interest with their declared theme, “Tis the Season.”

From Flicker’s DIGITALMANIA (https://www.flicker.com/groups/digitalmania ,) I answered the challenge to include a map in my creations…

Wishing you good health and the spirit of cooperation for the safety of us all. Enjoy your holidays…

Much love and big holiday hugs,

abbyj

ARTFUL READERS CLUB

AMERICAN DIRT by Jeanine Cummins

From panic to peaceful…terror to tranquil- those are the feelings I experienced over the 400 pages of AMERICAN DIRT, but it started with the first paragraph! Forced to flee from Acapulco, Mexico after the massacre of their entire family, Lydia and her eight-year-old Luca become migrants.

Fearing that she and Luca will be hunted down by the head of the cartel that slaughtered their family, they begin a harrowing journey to illegally enter the United States.

This is a timely, powerful and fictional portrayal of the plight of the migrant, but Cummins did her research. No one is to be trusted. Although, amid much cold-blooded barbarity and those out to make a quick buck at the expense of the frightened and needy migrants, there are good people who provide food, water and shelter… expecting nothing in return. Although Lydia and Luca struggled for their entire journey, they maintained a hopeful attitude about reaching a place of freedom and safety. They weren’t running for their lives or to find a better life…they were running to SAVE their lives.

I found AMERICAN DIRT riveting, informative, suspenseful and heartbreakingand I highly recommend it in the hopes that productive conversations and awareness will be generated about the issue of immigration. After all, we are a nation of immigrants!

Thanks for checking in. Hope to see you for my next posting.

Big Hugs,

abbyj

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