Archive | March, 2017

Inspiration And A Plan (3)

26 Mar

This is week three and the final week of my #21EmBody paint along. Who knew that a seemingly small commitment could have such a profound impact. But again, isn’t that how life is when you’re open to the unexpected and unplanned?



It all started when a friend posted to Facebook an invitation to paint, heal and show respect for our various body parts. Mmmm what an interesting idea! The event was orchestrated by Connie Solera a well known artist’s guru. I was intrigued.







And as I am prone to do, being the Torta that I am, I jumped in with both feet. Paintings are posted to Instagram and Facebook for the world to see. Not only did I get to follow the amazing work of artists from around the world painting the same subject, but I got to see my own work evolve. I have never produced an art journal before, and my 5×7 sketch pad is now a treasure.



I appreciate the many comments from other artists and friends alike. Even last night I ran into a friend out and about in Bacalar who had seen and appreciated my work on Facebook and is talking about picking up a brush.



I couldn’t complete this story without a shout out to George W. Bush. Our forty-third has become an amazing artist with no background but a lot of heart. He was making the rounds of late-night talk shows and I caught him on Jimmy Kimmel. He was friggin inspirational. The man is amazing AND funny. I know, who knew?



What did I learn? The creative process cannot be rushed. It forces me to slow my mind and listen to my inner voice. At the same time, I need to NOT listen to the inner critical voice. It showed up loudly when painting my breasts and belly. Especially my belly. That was the hardest. I learned that my work is mine and doesn’t compare at all to anyone else’s. I love looking at others’ paintings of the same subject. Their amazing work does not diminish mine in the slightest. I had so much fun.



Inspiration And A Plan (2)

19 Mar

The painting challenge #21emBODY with artist extraordinaire Connie Solera continues this week with the prompts EYES, LIPS, NOSE, TOES, SHOULDERS, NECK and HIPS. Retired and living in Mexico, I appreciate the creativity, structure and opportunity to nurture my artistic spark. The idea is to heal our body, one part at a time. I don’t know about healing, but it sure has been fun.


Hazel Eyes

Staring into my 65 year old eyes, with the wrinkles and skimpy lashes was hard at first. After awhile I became fascinated with me.



I used the painting of lips as my experiment with color. I’ve wanted to use myself as the model for this process and a blue painting was my attempt at playfulness.



A change from staring a my own face I decided to switch it up again. I choose another nose that is dear to my heart these days. Our dog Luna provides never ending entertainment. This is a replication of one of my favorite pictures of her.



Ah, yes, toes. I got down on the floor and played with camera angles to get this upside down perspective. Sketching has also been a fun part of the process. My need to be perfect is falling away.



Continuing to play with color resulted in this blue/green rendition of myself. I experienced  a lot of shoulder pain at one time and would wake at night with my shoulders reaching for my ears, my body’s response to stress. No more! I’m loving these relaxed shoulders.



A bit more stylized, this self portrait hardly resembles me today. It was fun to paint and I added a scarf as an afterthought. You who know me are familiar with my pleasure in making, collecting and wearing scarves .



And finally this week, I celebrate my hips. I went to the art supply store yesterday in search of some oil pastels. I’d like to branch out and try new techniques. I like the colors and texture the pastels produced.

As life has spun around me this week, painting has provided an anchor and a focus. I’ve surprised myself with the outcome. I am loosening my grip and need to control. If that’s not healing, I don’t know what is. DOS TORTAS



Inspiration And A Plan

12 Mar

Painting and being more artistic, whatever that means, has always been a big part of my retirement vision. It’s funny how I’ve had this corner of my brain where I put things for “some day” when I am no longer working. Of course that vision has changed with actual retirement. (Now Is As Good A Time As Any). Joining with other painters for Rendezvous 2015 and 2017 was fun and pushed me to paint but I returned home with no idea how to continue. No clear plan in retirement means trolling Facebook and playing solitaire  

When my dear friend Alison (Deva Designs, San Antonio), posted an invitation by artist extraordinaire Connie Solera to participate in a 21-day paint along, I jumped at the chance. I respond well to pressure and structure.


I’m all about self-exploration  and making peace with whatever is getting in my way. After all, what else have I got to do? In this case my body seemed like a good healing target. Lots of material there.


LUNGS for the kicker.

My first day was a blast. I never would have thought to paint lungs. I went in for the medical illustration, a career that I would have loved if I knew it existed. I have recently discontinued all asthma medication thanks to my Mexican pulmonologist. Woohoo I can breathe!



A shout out to my Catholic roots. This time however, it’s MY Sacred Heart with no thorns, thank you very much.



A bit more playful this time with a selfie in the bathroom mirror. This may be my favorite so far.



I started with an X-ray of my pelvis from a fall of a couple of years ago. This painting really took on a life of its own. Some days you have to get out of the way and let the creativity flow.



My other retrospection of late has been my relationship with God. This painting is from a pendant, a hamsa, which represents “the Hand of God”.  I like hand images and have a few.



Feet are not the easiest subject. I did notice that I hit a wall with each painting, doubting my skill, doubting myself. Mmmm I wonder how often I do that?!



I chose to celebrate the hug, the hugger and the huggie. My life would be so much less without them. My biggest lesson so far has been that I don’t need to compare myself to the other artists. My work (or play) is my own. Please visit, comment and share at #21emBODY on Instagram and Facebook to see the amazing art being produced by participants of this challenge.



All In The Family

5 Mar

Last week I made a trip NOTB which included a visit to my Atlanta family. Border crossing both ways was smooth sailing, unlike our Thanksgiving trip last year.


Pam, Jane, Joan, Patricia with myself (bottom left).

My mother’s brother Jack (97) and my Aunt Irene (93) preside at the center of a large family with so many grands and greats, they’ve lost count.


In celebration of their recent 75th wedding anniversary.

My uncle flew in World War II and if you get him talking about his flights over Japan, he is sharp as a tack. My aunt, not so much. Her dementia, and short-term memory loss however, makes life with my uncle quite bearable.


Lt. Col. John E. Marder decorated Air Force Pilot.


The lovely Irene.

The visit with my cousins was quite wonderful with promises to do it again soon. Busy lives and long distances get in the way. They are closet blog followers, so this shoutout goes to Joan, Jane, Patricia and Pam. Cousins are the best.





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