My Artwork - November 2017

My studio

I'm settling into my apartment, routine, and new studio space (a.k.a. my dining area) here in Tucson. The apartments where we're living are quiet, have nice scenery, and lots of patio space to enjoy fresh air and sunsets (my favorite!). I've discovered a multi-use path that crosses nearby, and have been enjoying starting my days along the Cañada del Oro Wash, admiring the desert plant and animal life that call it home. The quails, roadrunners, and hummingbirds are some of my personal favorites. I never thought I would be intrigued by birds, but they are so different from those we saw back home in Louisville. Or, maybe I'm just getting old.

Hard at work packaging up those new greeting cards!

Last month, I talked about being excited by the opportunity to make some larger pieces of art, and a commission helped me deliver on that promise already. I was honored to help commemorate one of the most special moments in a friend's life, the day she got engaged on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. I sure hope that her fiancé is wowed by her thoughtful and creative Christmas gift. I certainly stressed enough over it!

I also rolled out a new product - variety packs of blank greeting cards. I have currently two "themes" - my Teressa's Trek cards are landscapes from my adventures over the past year, and my Reverse Mermaid cards feature those whimsical friends I recently began dreaming up. They are all professionally printed on high-quality paper that makes them closely resemble the originals. I'm very pleased with the work that the printing company did on these. I also whipped up a special custom design for a friend to use for her Christmas cards this year. I love it when people come to me with their fun and creative ideas.

I sure hope that all my friends out there had a fantastic Thanksgiving and are looking forward to a peaceful holiday season. It should be pretty low-key for us here, considering we still know pretty much no one in the area. For our Thanksgiving, I was super excited to find an authentic Chinese restaurant serving up piles of dumplings near the University of Arizona (go eat at China Pasta House now), and those were a perfect substitute for turkey in my opinion. Later in the day, I made empañadas. It was a day of stuffing ourselves with stuffed foods. How fitting! 

Unfortunately, with the number of gift commissions featured on my art wrap-up this month (7 of the 9), I am a little afraid to share this post very widely and spoil any surprises. I guess I'll hit the "publish" button and hope someone out there in cyber land finds it and reads it. :-) 

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"La Familia de los Pescados está Acampando"

"El Pescado está Pintando una Sirena"

Hopkins, Belize: 7/4/17, 9:21:46

Saltese, Montana: 6/5/17, 19:01:31

Tulum, Mexico: 8/10/17, 11:14:31

The Isle of Slye

Sarah's Dolphin

Case's Sea Turtle

Beaver Tail Prickly Pear

A Little Vacation Before the Big Trek

Last week, I had the opportunity to head to Pensacola, Florida for a few days. I'd really never been to the Gulf Coast, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect.

The beaches and the city of Pensacola exceeded my expectations. Pensacola has a lot of southern charm, featuring buildings with ornate decorative wrought iron, bright colors, and lovely gardens. I didn't spend much time in the downtown area, but what I saw I enjoyed. They were hosting an annual seafood festival, and while I don't eat seafood, the food looked amazing and it was a great opportunity to check out the locals.

I love the beach, so after a day holed up in a hotel room with a nasty head cold, I headed off to the Johnson Beach segment of Gulf Islands National Seashore. What a treat! This beach goes on for miles and was largely unoccupied except for the occasional fishermen (and fisherwomen). I saw beautiful birds. Unfortunately, I also got eaten alive by what I learned were dog flies, so I had to keep moving to avoid their hungry mouths. At least I got my exercise!

The next day, I visited Fort Pickens and the lovely beaches along the way to this Civil War construction. The fort was built by slave labor, and once was used to imprison Apache Indians, including the famed Geronimo. It was beautiful in its age and slightly eerie due to its sordid past... and because it was mostly deserted. Unfortunately, there were more dog flies, which put a little damper on my fun on the beach that day, too.

Saturday, I drove out past Gulf Shores to Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. It was gorgeous and secluded, with slowly rippling waves and lots of large crabs to be observed. The jellyfish made their presence known with a few little stings, and the dog flies tried to have another meal. Goodness, I sure am delicious!

After my time at Bon Secour, I headed back through Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and returned to Johnson Beach, where I walked for miles along the water. The wind was enough to keep the flies away there, and I enjoyed the shallow Gulf Coast waters, walking quite a ways out... until spotting a couple of small sharks! These guys were probably too small to take more than a nibble, but I like my calves the way they are, so I enjoyed the rest of my time from the shoreline. It was amazing to see them there, though, and I'm glad I got to experience that.

All in all, it was a lovely and relaxing time as I gear up to vacate my house and work through selling the last of my unnecessary belongings. The drive back was a little mind numbing, but was highlighted by the opportunity to see cotton fields for the first time in my life in Alabama. I even swiped one of the little soft puffs as a souvenir.