Musings, Uncategorized, Up Close & Personal ...

Last week started off so well, or so I thought! Monday I went to my drawing class and then later in the day to my watercolor class. I love both courses. The drawing is taught at a local community center and the watercolor class is taught by a local watercolorist at a nearby high school. I’ve been having so much fun learning new skills, meeting new people and having a positive environment in which to practice these new skills. I’d been feeling stuck in a rut for quite a while with a number of things in my life. Especially with some friendships. This stepping out of the box has helped me realize that I need to better advocate for my own needs and let go of relationships that for one reason or another no longer worked for me. And while I treasure all the good things that came from those friendships, the not-so-positives finally helped me make some changes to say NO more often. It has left me with much more free time, and also a clearer head about what it is what I want for myself and for those who truly matter to me.

Ribbit! Or coming up for Air!

Monday last week was great. We did a still-life, which turned out to be quite challenging.

Monday evening in my watercolor class we worked on finishing projects and autumn leaves.

A couple of days later I went to run some errands and by the time I got home I felt rather sick. The kind of sick where you feel like you’d gotten hit by a truck. The Zendog had been ill with a really bad respiratory cold for a few days and I guess it finally had caught up with me that day. Needless to say, I’ve spent the last week mostly in bed and on the couch, coughing, sneezing and trying to stay warm. I don’t get sick very often, but when I do, I really get sick!

 Elegant Writers are water-soluble and quite colorful with just a wet brush!
I did add some purple watercolor to the blossoms, but the not the cactus parts.

I had to postpone another trip to the Oregon Garden and cancel other plans, and I also missed my classes. Fortunately I’m on the mend and will start to catch up in my reader with all your posts. It might take a few days, but I’m working on that and also getting some new posts out.

Grapes or Wisteria? And I think I need a hungry baby bird inside the nesting box!

In the meantime I hope that you enjoyed a few of my favorite art projects,
one of which is Bart Simpson. I painted two of them:
one for each of our boys to remember watching this program together
with their mom when they were teenagers!

I hope you are healthy and in good spirits!


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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

48 thoughts on “Ribbit!”

  1. I also felt like I was in a bit of a rut Sabine and after I had that outing in the woods with the sketchbook, I bought some charcoal pencils and accessories and a book on basic drawing to sketch a little over the Winter. I initially planned to wait until I retired, but maybe it would be fun now. I know we have a long Winter coming and I thought I would break it up a little by trying my hand at drawing again. I also bought a few books in an effort to step away from the computer more and get back to reading again. I am inspired by your drawings and watercolors. How creative you are, not only with a camera, but your own hands. I hope you are feeling back to normal soon – I actually thought you were at the Oregon Garden when you didn’t post in a while as you told me you would be returning soon, until you mentioned your illness last week when you commented on some of my posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda, I remember that post you wrote about that outing. I’m glad that you picked up drawing supplies to have fun with! Hopefully you’ll share share some your drawings when you’re ready to. I find both, drawing and watercolor painting incredibly relaxing. Reading is important, too! I think many of us get stuck in a rut at various points in life. Change can be hard work, but to so worth it. Plus spending less time on the computer is a good thing as well. I’ve been working on that too! My cold is finally getting better. I wish I had made it to the garden again last week but I’m sure it will be beautiful there whenever I visit. It’s not far away from where I live so I would only go for the day. 🙂

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      • I have tried to spend less time on the computer and find it hard to do – so I have to try harder Sabine. I am here six hours per day for work. Then I am often here until 10 or later at night – twelve hours of sitting, only getting up occasionally. Thank goodness I walk! Two years ago (November 2017) I started getting WordPress followers and before that just had two people following/commenting on my posts, so I was really only here for posting and in those days I used stock photos, and only started using a lot of my own photos in 2015.

        Since November 2017, I have watched myself spend more and more time sitting – sitting is the new smoking; it is not good for you. A year ago I had a problem with my left arm simply from sitting so many hours and that arm never moving – it has taken me a year of trying to sit differently, doing some exercises to try to improve my range of motion – it is not back 100% yet, but I’ve come a long way since one year ago when I could not put on my squall coat, nor use a heavy blanket because I could not lift the blanket. I could not put a pullover sweater on as I could not raise my one arm in the air. But now it is sitting that is the problem and a sciatic nerve issue – my mother had the same issue because she was sedentary due to her orthopedic conditions. I compensate on weekends by not sitting at the table with my laptop and using my old one in my room that I must stand to use it – no sitting on the weekend!

        So, I have realized over the Summer that as much as I love blogging – writing, the interaction, I am doing myself harm with the extra sitting. So I must remedy that. And sadly, I realized I don’t take good care of the house, yard and put off everything, so I must change my ways and the Winter, when not walking as much is a good time to make the change. I used to love reading and when my boss/I moved to a new office, not downtown, I no longer took the bus – I would love to dive into a book enroute/home from work and it’s been almost 20 years since I was an avid reader or even picked up a book! There are books here – my mom/I bought many books together and they are all downstairs in Rubbermaid tubs (that my mom finished already) and many up here and I bought six books recently that I heard about and liked the storyline and decided to get to start reading at Thanksgiving weekend … I am going to try reading on my exercise bike downstairs. I got a book light to clamp on the book – hopefully that will work, not sure about that.

        I am looking forward to the sketching – I really intended to wait until retirement, but I thought if I got these art materials for myself for an early Christmas present, perhaps I would be motivated to try harder. And the how-to book. I hope they turn out well enough to post.

        Also, I am a little worried after reading Tom’s post about the heart attack. I started walking as I was too sedentary and I have not eaten red meat in about four years – I try to eat healthy, have occasional indulgences, but after reading his post, I know I must be on the move more – heart disease runs in my family.

        With your weather being milder, when you return you will likely still see some flowers – after our bitter cold, and snow this morning, it did not do our flowers any good. The snow has all melted now, but I went out this morning and I took some photos in the snow.

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      • Start small with your changes and keep working on them! Maybe a book group on the weekend would help you get reading regularly again? I’ve been reducing my screen time as well, but I’m not anywhere near you in time. I just know that it’s kind of like watching TV. The more you do it, the less enjoyment there is. At least with me. Good luck reading on the exercise bike. I couldn’t do it. Keep up the good work and don’t get too wrapped up in all the details. It will all work out for you! 🙂

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      • I hope so Sabine – I need to take charge of my health by reducing this computer time. I am standing up now at this computer – that is good as well. I need to get back into enjoying hobbies I did before … I have not watched TV i years and don’t have TV so that is not a problem – I used to watch TV while riding the bike – years ago I rode 20 miles every night on the exercise bike. Baby steps!

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      • I’m sure going to try Sabine. Right now I have a lot of photos to use in blog posts, so after I catch up with those, I’ll not be posting as much, so will make an effort to change my ways.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. In the peppers and butterfly paintings, I love the combination of bright colors that diffuse into each other with some very sharp lines.  Looks like U have learned a lot about tricky watercolor techniques.  Congrats!


  3. Friend ruts are some of the worst…just experienced one myself after nearly 20 years….but it feels right. Have you always been an artist? I want to do stuff like this, but honestly, not sure the skill exists!! Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Pam! I agree on the friend rut. I’ve never taken any art classes until this summer, but have been an avid photographer all of my life. The drawing I was a little scared of, but it’s actually not that difficult if you take your time. Watercolor was an entirely new adventure. The instructor encourages us to not worry about “making mistakes”, to be creative and have fun. Anyone will develop their style in the right environment. I encourage you to find a class near you and to just have fun! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I may do that some day….I appreciate art in so many ways….I am a “photographer”, but feel the other stuff is out of my reach! Thnks for the encouragement.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Whenever you’re ready give it a try! You might pleasantly surprise yourself! Photography is an art in itself and I have realized that especially in drawing I am able to “see” shapes, patterns and light because that’s what we as photographers see and record. Thanks for reading and commenting! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love them all Sabine. Imagine new ways to express yourself – drawing and using watercolor, how nice. Good luck on these lovely activities.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Sabine, sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather. I can relate. There’s some not fun stuff going around. I’m excited for you and the art classes. Several members of my family draw and paint. My mom has a pretty good business with her art. I, however didn’t acquire the same talents as my family. Have fun, and continue to get well!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad to hear you are feeling better. And I do understand. Many friendships have an expiration date and it’s ok to let go and move on. I had to do that myself many times. It can be done pleasantly. We all have changes in our priorities from time to time. I’m glad to hear you are enjoying your classes so much and they are filling a need for creativity. Love your frog’s expression. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I hope that you are on the mend. Whenever, I get sick, it truly knocks me on my ass for a while. I think that it’s the change in seasons that does it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I’m on the mend Trudy! It’s been a wicked cold and my chest/lungs are still congested, but starting to clear. I hadn’t thought of the time change, but it kind of makes sense. It always messes me up and takes a good week to get adjusted. I hope things are going well with you! 🙂


  8. Glad you’re feeling better, Sabine. I love your art work! I go to a watercolor studio time weekly when I can. I enjoy the fellowship with the other painters and the meditative nature of doing art. Please continue to share your art with us.

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    • Thank you, LuAnne! This has been a stubborn cold. It’s still in my lungs after almost two weeks. I remember some of your artwork in your posts and always enjoy seeing it. You are right about the fellowship with other painters. I always look forward to class. I’m also enjoying the drawing class. The instructor is fabulous and super helpful with his tips and tricks. I hope all is well with you! Are your wrists fully healed?


  9. Sorry to hear that you are feeling unwell, Sabine, and I do hope by now you are well and truly over it. Watercolour and drawing sounds like a fun new venture for you. The Gold chillis are really spectacular and show you have a lot of talent hidden there that is just busting to come out! Well done, you!

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    • Thanks Amanda! I’m glad I got over the wicked cold. I can’t remember the last time I couldn’t leave the house for almost a full month. The painting classes are starting up again shortly and I look forward to them. I hope all is well with you and that you’re feeling at home by now in your home by the sea! Happy New Year! 🙂


      • Yes it is starting to feel like home now. I love living here. It is so much cooler than the city. Always a sea breeze. The house is much cooler than the other houses I have lived in, as well.
        I am glad you are better now and continuing the painting. I have yet to start painting again. Too hot yet and have not fully organized my craft room.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sabine, we are well away from the fires. Canberra our national capital is on 42 degrees Celsius at the moment. – Awful. the whole of the central and southern east of the continent is on fire. We are positioned about 400 km from them but there is bush around us that could potentially ignite if we are not careful. We are usually protected by more frequent summer rainfall but that is few and far inbetween, so everyone needs to be vigilant, if you live anywhere where there are trees and bushland.

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      • We’ve experienced wildfires here in Oregon, but it’s been especially bad in California. A few years ago a city we used to live in got caught in a horrific fire storm and over 5400 houses burnt to the ground. Numerous people lost their lives. Then an entire town called Paradise went up in flames. This last summer, another huge fire forced the evacuation of the entire northern part of Sonoma County all the way to the coast. That fire came within a few doors of our old house in Windsor. Frightening truly! The worst part is the ignorance of governments across the globe. I’ve been on the West-coast for fourth years and have never seen anything like it. Now we a forest behind our house and I think a fire would be devastating. I wish people would wake up and admit the reality of climate change! But I believe until many of them are personally affected, they won’t care. Stay safe Amanda!


      • I am.safe here, well as safe as I can be. My goodness 5400 homes lost – that is a monumental tragedy. W have lost much more bush but not too much more than 1500 homes. Each home lost though, is devastating for the occupants. The black Saturday fires from years ago wiped out a whole town in Victoria in a similar fashion to yours. 3 years on, the bush still had not recovered, such was the intensity of the fires. Next year, the fire season may be worse if rain does not come.

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      • There’s so much devastation when our world goes up in flames. One family we know down there lost everything in the first fire and are just now getting ready to move back into their rebuilt home. The worst part of all these fires everywhere is the ignorance of our governments in regards to making changes towards a healthier planet for all!

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      • We can rebuild homes but I think it is the sentimental things that can never be replaced. That would be hard – baby photos etc.

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