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My doggie - 1-5-2014My doggie – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress approx 1/4 sheet

This painting turned out to be a very late Christmas present for The Husband. It’s not quite finished, but finished enough to post.  Just like my hot air balloon painting that I was going to leave alone and then I didn’t which is here.  My pooch looks a little sad because we were up at my sister’s house and that’s where we usually leave her if we go on vacation. She gets to play with her cousin Gus the golden retriever and always has fun, but I think she has a little anxiety when we first arrive thinking we are going to leave her.

My old dog who we would also leave with my sister when we went on vacation would sit and stare at the front door of her house  resulting in my mother once declaring she thought my dog was “a little disturbed.”

We had a wonderful holiday season made extra fun by the kids in our family. One 4 1/2 year-old  niece who is a fan of Doc McStuffins (a  Disney cartoon doctor) got a child’s medical bag as a gift and proceeded to give everyone check ups and diagnoses.  One of my favorite diagnosis was when she told my brother-in-law he had “two inches of allergies.” Achoo!

My biggest faux pas of the season was sending gifts to my family in Alaska with the wrong address.  They took forever to get there only to be “returned to sender.”   Ugh.  I’m still waiting to get them back so I can resend them. Merry President’s Day!

The new year in NYC brings a new mayoral administration and possible changes in my job. I don’t know exactly what they will be, but I hope they won’t be too stressful.  I plan to eat better, following a “real food” diet. I also plan to do more exercise, draw and paint more and I swear, this year I will learn to speak Spanish!

I’m already exhausted.

Necesito una siesta!  Happy New Year everyone.

Clearly I did not move on. I decided to work on the balloon some more.   Here’s the revised version:

Hot air baloon over ABQ  12-2013

Hot air balloon over Albuquerque, New Mexico watercolor on Arches 300 lb, rough paper 12-2013

Hot air baloon over ABQ  11-2013

Hot air balloon over Albuquerque, New Mexico watercolor on Arches 300 lb, rough paper 11-2013

Spurred on by Rick Daddario I decided to give a hot air balloon painting a try. Once again, it was done with mostly painting without drawing except for the balloon which really needed to be drawn first.  I wanted to get some of the beautiful Albuquerque landscape over the Rio Grande with the gorgeous yellow cottonwood trees, but I also didn’t want to over do it.   I think I’ll just leave it alone and move on.

Moving on…it’s Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. and while I know I am truly blessed because, unlike many people all over the world who don’t have anything to eat, I have enough.  But sadly enough is not enough.  What? Well, we also are one of the most obese countries recently surpassed by Mexico (Viva la Mexico!).  So what exactly should one eat to be healthy.  Any quick log-on to Facebook and I’m hit with websites like the ones below. There’s the Paleo diet –  eat meat all the time to the vegan – only eat plants, to the diet I’ve been on most of my life:  Eat whatever you want especially if it’s salt, fat, carb and sugar laden.  Now I must change my ways.  But oh, which way to go? I’ll figure it out starting with cutting out processed foods and sugar.  And I will be thankful that I have the ability to make that choice.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  I am blessed and thankful for all of you who visit my blog, whose blogs I visit and get inspiration from and of course for the Husband, the dog, all my family and friends and you dear reader.  Thank you.

http://foodbabe.com/2012/07/18/sabotaged-at-starbucks/

http://www.trueactivist.com/top-10-most-unhealthy-cancer-causing-foods-never-eat-these-again/

http://issuccessmakingyoufat.com/

http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/natural-vs-synthetic-vitamins/

The Husband’s quest for the west continues with a week-long trip to New Mexico.  Land of Enchantment.  At least that’s what their license plates say. Now why would he want to take me away from this?

cityscape - Brooklyn 11-2013Street scene, Bushwick, Brooklyn – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress

 To this?

Cotton wood trees New Mexico 11-2013

ABQ Balloon - Nov. 2013

Rio Grande New Mexico 11-2013

Yes, I’ll admit, we had a great time and while we were there all the cottonwood trees had turned a gorgeous bright yellow.  We had perfect weather except for the trip to Santa Fe and Taos.   Luckily the weather didn’t get bad in either city until the afternoon so we did get to see some sights. The Santa Fe Museum of Art had an interesting collection including some works from famed collectors Herb & Dorothy Vogel.

We took a hot air balloon ride, which came complete with a crash landing. We rode horses down to the Rio Grande. And when I say “rode” I mean we slowly walked with a guide except for once in a while when my horse decided to trot because he thought we were going too slowly all the while I was shaking and looking for rattlesnakes.  Yeehaw!  My horse was “Chief”  and The Husband’s horse was a GIGANTIC Belgian staff horse named Bob.  Bob was the size of a 50’s Cadillac!

Before the trip to New Mexico I was lucky to take a workshop with Jean Haines.  I took the workshop because I wanted to paint more loosely.   Of course I hadn’t read any of Jean’s books and only saw a few pictures of her work so I was totally unprepared.   Luckily Jean is a wonderfully warm teacher with a great sense of humor although she did look at every photo reference I brought and hated all of them.  She does not draw at all except with her water and paint and really discouraged everyone in the workshop NOT to draw before painting.   Here are a two things I painted.  Flowers and half a dog.  half a doggie a la jean haines

Jean Haines flowers 10-2013

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