Washington, KC, Ad Astra and Beyond!

Howdy all. It’s been well nigh a month since you last heard from me. By air, or road tripping, adventures have etched themselves into my travel journal and I can’t wait to show them to you. Also, I have a few things to share at the end!

Last month I flew off to Vancouver Washington to visit my friends, the Vancouvers (pen names, wink, wink).

The last couple of times there we have had adventures more afar, but this trip was spending time nearer to the family manse because of little ones needing naps. This maintained the sanity of all, and especially the adult contingency.

So, we spend time down by the close Columbia river, gazing at silent Mt. Hood, playing in the water, eating blackberries, and other snacks too. The picture below captures the silent majesty of the mountain.

This picture, as you can read below the painting, was painted with water from the Columbia! Love when I can do that! (By the way, the Okeedokee Brothers have a good song called “Roll on River” about the Mississippi that I think relates really well to this mighty ol’ river. And there’s “Roll On Columbia” sung by Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger that is pretty good too.)

On Saturday we traipsed down to the Vancouver Farmers Market. On the way we had coffee and pastries at The Bleu Door Bakery…a painting opportunity for sure! I eyed a beautiful apple tart and sought to recreate it later on with apples from the Vancouver’s own trees….see below!

Then we wandered to the Farmers Market through a lovely neighborhood of uplifting beautiful houses, mostly from the arts and crafts era.

At the Farmer’s Market, I bought mushrooms for a mushroom ‘flight’ later on, and tried not to drool too much at the flowers. If I had been by myself or another art friend, I would have promptly sat down to paint the lovely ladies making gorgeous bouquets, pulling flowers from five gallon buckets spilling over with color. My eyes thirsted for the periwinkle artichoke thistle flowers. Maybe thirst is too tame…I think I lusted after them.


And my mouth watered after them too. But I would not have eaten them, be assured. Just looked at them, drinking in the delicious flirtatious calm of purple and blue was tantalizing enough.

By then the kids were ready for a romp, and so we took them to a splash pad nearby. This splash pad is a dream -it looks like a natural stream -I hope the one that our city makes in the park resembles this.

After playing with the kids a bit, I sat down to capture them. Here’s how it turned out.

And another day, when we weren’t cooking or painting in the middle of home life, we went to the Sandy River for the afternoon. It was a great day for a picnic, and even a swim through the cold glacier waters!

After a lovely trip watering ourselves in the waters of friendship and family life, I felt back to Kansas City.

While there I went to a personal art Mecca, Artist and Craftsman Supply. There I not only got most of the materials I needed for IAMPETH the next week, but was also sweetly nourished by a warm and caring employee when I had a bad sugar crash.

Then I made plans to go seek a quiet spot and a beer to write an email to my sister, and as I wandered by a favorite restaurant, Grunauer, near Union Station, I saw that their patio was quiet and beautiful. And the closest parking spot open- just for me!


I went in, was seated right by a burbling fountain and saw to my delight that there was live music! I felt impelled to capture all the beauty before me and set about trying to paint it. The email was put off till later.

During the process, the waiter, also a musician, and I had a good conversation. In thanks he treated me to a delicious dessert of apple strudel! How sweet was that?! So I had to paint that too. By the end of the evening not only had I made good friends with the waiter, but also one of the musician’s wives, and also her very interesting neighbor, who happened to be an interior designer. Meeting all three of them was truly a great way to end that week of travels.

After an in-between week of job hunting and resumé-writing, the following week I went to IAMPETH – the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting. If you love writing and beauty, do check that out! Here’s a teaser of one of my instructors, Jake Weidman!

More on that next week, hopefully!

Another project I’m working on is a study on the Constellations and the Night sky while reading H. A. Rey’s work (a dear friend and colleague introduced that author to me, and I’m forever grateful!) – I’ll do a special post on that and share the illustrations soon!

Also, my writing and excerpts from my Egypt & Jordan travel journal were published for the first time in The Angelus! It goes into all the layers of what I experienced over there!

My first publication!!!

And lastly, as I pursue a new direction in life (I just stepped down from 10 years of teaching), I’m trying to decide how often I should write my blog posts.

Lately I’m pulled between the sitting down at a computer to write and edit pictures and the writing with a real pen and paper and painting outside! Any suggestions or tips to help balance this age of personal exploration and having turning up regularly?

Thanks so much for any tips you might have, and for reading and looking at this long post today!

Have a great rest of your week!

Before you leave, I’d love it if you would check out these items below. That’d be grand, because when you click the pictures/links below, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

The above is the bestest watercolor travel journal I’ve used so far! I just began this larger size and am enjoying the space of the page spread!

H. A. Rey’s small book on the stars -so simple and easy to use. It was in my car for a while, with a pair of binoculars!

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