Life is just Beachy!

“Blue Waters”
Copic Various Ink on Yupo

A BIG event happened in the Ottaway household recently… Our daughter graduated college!

I can’t tell you how good it feels to have my little chickie home and how proud we are!

                                                      Look at that happy face ❤️

After graduation was our yearly trip to Hatteras. (Thank you Chris and Vicki!). It was so much fun to get together with the family.

              We spotted this Raccoon carving on a nature walk on Ocracoke Island!

I guess it’s fitting that I am posting “Beach Waters”. I want to do another piece like the one above, but since each piece is unique and has a mind of its own so we will see how close I can get!

What have you been working on lately?



A Puppy for Brittany…

“A Puppy for Brittany”-Commission
Graphite on Bristol Smooth

Hello Friends!
This portrait is almost too cute to send to its new home.  Seriously, I wanna keep it, lol 
But I guess, I won’t…my client has been waiting long enough for her portrait.  I think I am so attached because it has been a while since I completed a pet portrait and I really missed it.

Drawing this subject matter again was not like riding a bike.  I had gotten pretty good at drawing animals, but in experimenting in other medias and different subjects, I was more than a little rusty.  In the end, I figured it out and she loves it, but it wasn’t without patience from my client and my stubbornness.

That’s all that is on my drawing table, but on a personal note, things at home are going great!  My daughter is home from college and I have missed her terribly!  I am going to be a great-aunt to a baby girl and the family is so excited! ANNNND I will be celebrating 22 years of marriage to the Mister on July 14th.

I hope your spring/summer is great and you are enjoying sunshine, flip-flops, cook outs and laughs!  Don’t forget the sunscreen  😉

Be Well and Happy!

Checking In…

Just for my benefit let’s pretend that there is a picture of a piece of art or at least  W.I.P. LOL

I don’t know if you would classify my life as of  late blog worthy, or exciting but it’s all I got and I don’t like being M.I.A. for long periods of time. So I thought I would check in and say HI! and fill you in on recent events.

❤ In September, I was the make up artist at the wedding of my  youngest niece.  I had a lot of fun and was extremely honored to be a part of such a special day.  For a bride to trust her face with you on one of the most important days of her life? I was touched.  The day was beautiful and made even more beautiful when I was able to spend some time with my sweetie, Alana.

My goodness, I miss my girl so much and I feel like I have this huge chunk cut out of me.   As a parent, I guess this is the sort of thing that we sign up for but man, it’s hard.  On the other hand, she is having such a good time coming in to her own and who doesn’t want that for their child.  I am trying to suck it up and I am certainly not going to lay in the middle of the road, but it’s a sad adjustment.

“Thank You God for Skype!”

❤  I have few short-term goals and personal situations that have me pretty stymied.

#1.) …..

#2.)  I’m in serious need of time management.  Yes, I am one of those girls who writes it down old school.  Now, I don’t write down,

12:00 /  Take Break

12:15 /  Pee

but  I have so many things in my life that I love doing.   I refuse to give anything up for the sake of anything else.  I just need to figure out how to have it all.

#3.)  Yep, saved the best for last.  Finally!  I have come up with 2 sets of series paintings that I want to do.  One is still an idea, but the other is ready to go, if I can figure out the scale.  Do I want to paint it on large canvas or smaller for prints?  Or two versions of the same painting?  Unless I do both sizes I will be limited either way, huh.  I have no idea if these pieces will be for competition, sale, show or print.  See what I mean?  I still have way  too many unanswered questions… (which is why you get to look at a sentence instead of art at the beginning of my post) but I guess this is a good problem to have.

I know this post, like most of my posts kept you on the edge of your seat.    If you stuck it out to the end then you are truly my BFF4L 🙂

Be Well and Happy

My <3 Belongs to Brody…

Brody 2014


Graphite on Bristol Smooth

Yes, I’m in love…Sorry David, but I am…

     Over the weekend we took the opportunity to deliver this housewarming portrait to our nephew and his girlfriend.  And this sweet four-legged fur baby met us the door.  Brody licked my face, laid his head in my lap and just let me rub and love on him as long as I wanted.  He is just precious as could be and (sorry guys) but if I could have slipped him out with no one noticing I would have dog napped him.

We also got to hang out awhile and have dinner together. We had a very good time.   On the way home we could get over the fact that they remind us a lot of ourselves back in the day.  Well except for they are smarter, prettier and more successful, but I can see many great things in stored for  them.  Anyhoo, They seemed to like the portrait, so that’s a good thing too 🙂

Well, since I didn’t post anything Friday, here is my sketch.  I love my erasers and I spend as much time drawing with an eraser as I do a pencil.  This was a quick sketch so it isn’t very detailed, but I suppose it is much better than a staple, lol


Be Well and Happy!

Something New, Shoes, A WIP, A Haul and a Prompt…

Something New

I have added  two tabs to my bar (above).  The Portfolio tab has some of my previous artwork and Zentangles in 2 slide shows. The Tutorials Tab  include links to my previous tutorials and patterns, all for easy access 😉



I thought I would post the shoes that gave me the shakes Zentangling.  I think they turned out really nice and I hope my m.i.l. likes them.  My sister wants me to Zentangle her golf shoes….her Foot Joy golf shoes!  My goodness, I don’t how I am going to manage that one.  I did tell her, if I mess up and/or you don’t like them? It is on you and she still handed them over to me.  So we will see, so far I don’t even have the guts to pull them out of the bag.



This is a WIP of a pet portrait that I have been working on for my nephew and his girl friend as a housewarming present.  I have been having trouble with this little guy, and so far there are a lot of redos.  I haven’t picked up a pencil in a while and I’m rusty, but I hope that I can give them something special.


booksAlso, we went Dorm shopping with mini me last weekend.  And I found these awesome hard covered spiral bound sketch pads.  What’s so great about these pads, for me at least,  is that the paper is smooth. If you have a Ross, TJ Maxx or Burlington Outlet near you?  You’d better scoop these puppies up!


This week, I am going to commit to a sketch in one of these little beauties and we will call this Sketch Crawl Out Of Bed, LOL

But what will I sketch? Hummmmm……. What. will.  I.  sketch?…I think I shall sketch a door knob.  Exciting choice huh?  (Yesterday,  I took the knob off the door to paint and as I type this, it is glaring at me from the console.)

Would you care to join me?

  If you do, please comment in the post next week with a link to your sketch.  I would love to see it!

If you read my blog and don’t know how to draw, but always wanted to here is your chance.  You can only learn by doing.  I did not know how to draw until I started small sketching exercises.  So grab a some paper, a pencil and give it a go.

We will meet back here on Friday!

Be Well and Happy!


Family Vacation 2013: Biltmore Estate-Part 1

Sorry for my absence.  But art wise up until a couple of days ago, I’ve been doing technical boring stuff in trying to get acquainted with my colored pencils.  I do have a piece started, that I’m fairly excited about, but so far I have only the background completed.

This year we were able to take a family vacation for the first time in years.  I can’t say it was relaxing and we were always on the go, but it was jam-packed with site seeing….I love trips like that.  It was extra special because the three of us got to spend time with each other without worrying about work or talking about school, or household chores 🙂

The first couple of days we went to Asheville so we could tour Biltmore Estate. This mansion was built by George Washington Vanderbilt and is the largest private residence in the nation.   The mansion is  178,926 square feet featuring 250 rooms representing the Gilded Age.  Today, it is still owned by the Vanderbilt descendants.  I think they or at least some of the family live on the property.

You talk about stupid money!… I love that place and this is was our third time visiting, but this was Alana’s first visit.

DSC03386 alana

And she actually enjoyed it too.  She’s a photography buff, so there was no shortage of interesting things to capture on camera.   If you live in the area and planning a wedding, this is the perfect place.  It has such a romantic setting.  Maybe one day I can talk Alana into getting married here…One day, a long way away, in the very,  very distant future, lol…

After touring the house we toured the gardens.  They were beautiful, but it was a tad bit too hot to go traipsing around, but we sucked it up.

The  coy fish in the picture below loved Alana.  It was the strangest thing.  The white coy would follow her around the pond, it would face her and also jump out of the water toward her.  I don’t know if it was her clothes or her camera but something drew this fish to her like a moth to a flame.


After touring the house and the gardens we toured the winery.  It was pretty interesting.  I’m not a wine enthusiast and not one to be able to appreciate a dry red wine so I found the taste pretty bitter. I did like the white sweeter wines though.  Poor Alana was bored to tears watching us drink, but she was a good sport about it.

Well, That’s it for Part 1 of our vacation.  Stayed tuned for Part 2:  ” The Ottaway’s Go To Washington.” hahaha

Be Well and Happy!

My Week..

Happy Friday!  I hope this finds you in good spirits and geared up for the weekend.  I am so excited because it is supposed to be beautiful  and I am hoping I can break out those sandals!  But right now, the weather still shows signs of not wanting to let winter go but I still had a pretty good week and it went a little something like:

photo (2) ~ Last weekend my sister and I trucked it to Jerry’s Artarama in Virginia Beach.  Oh my goodness what a wonderful place that is.  I was in heaven.  Jerry’s has everything anyone would need in the way of art supplies.  Although it took great restraint, I was good.  I bought some of the new and re launched (mainly deco) colors in Prismacolor, 2 drafting film erasers, a pack of pencil length extenders, a plastic palette, and 3 pads.  But believe me, they had a silk screen press that I had my eye on and I kept reading the box and circling it like a buzzard.

Now my sister on the other hand was not a good girl at all.  She almost bought out the store… well…not really but she did some major damage.  She got out of drawing  many years go but after getting chewed out by me about hundred thousand times she is finally dipping her feet back in.  She is so talented and it makes me happy that she is finding a renewed love for art.  But with that renewal of love, she had to stock her studio 😉  and the cart was jam packed!  I will not tell you the grand total but put it this way, it took almost 30 minutes for her purchase to be rang up and we laughed about how much she spent for days.  We do not spend much time together since she moved away, so it was a really nice, if our little sister was with us it would have been a perfect afternoon.   pedometer

~It is that time of year again.  I guess I should have never stopped walking but I did.  I was just tired of walking the same path and was too lazy to drive anywhere to work out.  I still am.  But I felt better when I walked so I decided to get back on the 10,000 steps a day with a 24,000 goal.

I added weighted gloves into my walk in hopes of getting rid of my bat wings.  These weights were only $10.00 at Walmart and really cool.  They close up kind of like a brace but they leave my fingers free so I can take a water bottle with me too.  Not to mention the weights provide some excellent protection.

I tried it yesterday.  I looked like an idiot walking up and down the street flexing and flapping but it was a good burn and I walked a little over 6 miles.  Today, I am so sore!!!!  My back is even sore so hopefully it will be good-bye back fat too.

~I am still working on the Discovery of Witches book.  And I think I may have to call it quits.  If you have to make yourself read a book then you are better off not reading it.  It’s really a shame, I hate to give up on a book but we will see.

Okay, that is about all the excitement that I think you can handle in one day from me.  hahaha

Be Well and Happy!

My Random Week?

I need to come up with better titles.  LOL

Well I do not know about you guys, but someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that it is spring in Virginia too!  It was snowing on and off all day yesterday and it is about 35 degrees as of 11:00 a.m. today.  People here are optimistic though, when I went out yesterday.  I saw plenty of capris, sandals and flip-flops.  Can you say CRAZY!

My week went like most others…a little something like:

photo (3) I am still working on the colored pencil book but I decided to take a break from that and start a drawing project.  I only started last night so there is not much to show as of yet.

 I have been trying to read The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkbookness.  The key word here is trying.   This book has had rave reviews like, “A page turner!”  “I couldn’t put it down!”  “Exciting!”  blah blah blah!  Me?  I’m having a hard time picking it up.  Is there something I am missing?  When I’m reading this book I have to make myself press on and it  is not pulling me in to the story line.  I’m still kind of early on, so I am going to make my self read more in hopes that it is just a slow start.

And in the Ottaway household, the youngest Ottaway got her  Driver’s license this week and Saturday she gets her class ring. I think she’s excited, but I’m never sure.   Good times ahead for Alana… scary and sad times for us.  Oh Joy! ~cue Sunrise, Sunset

Well Gosh, I guess that is about it.  I hope your week went well and weekend is better!


Randomness ;)

photo 2  Remember this portrait? This is Sheriff Graham/The Huntsman.  He was one of my favorite characters from my still favorite show Once Upon a Time.  THEY KILLED HIM OFF!  I was so upset. But they left a glimmer of hope in me when the last scene was of a wolf running through the woods…I said to myself,  Self?  At least they left an opening for him to come back.  And they are!  I am so excited!  I know it is lame, but there ya go…

I went home last weekend and was finally able to give my nephew Evan DSC03314this Tiger  portrait. He loved it and was rendered speechless.  He actually kept saying over and over, ” I don’t know what to say?”  So, I guess he was not that speechless.  It made me so happy, to be able to make him happy and all it took was a little time out of my days.

colored pencil  I have also, been working on this exercise from the book Masterful Color by Arlene Steinberg.  I will not say too much as  I plan on doing more of these exercises so I can give you a newbie review.

patty nailsI’m ready for St. Patrick’s Day nails and all!  This color is Miami Spirit from the Wet ‘n Wild Fergie collection. I really like the Fergie Polishes from Wet ‘n Wild.  And man, they are dirt cheap at $3.49 a bottle.  In the bottle the color has blue micro glitter that is absolutely beautiful on the nail (especially outside).  Alana and I both love funky nail polishes.  The brighter the better!  but my favorite…favorite color has to be and hands down Navy Blue!  LOVE LOVE

And lastly, yesterday my glasses finally came in.  I had to get bifocals. And it is so very lovely to be able to see and read using the same glasses.  I got the progressive lens so, I feel like  I am in a fun house for now, LOL But I really think I will enjoy them.

Welp, those were the highlights of my week.  Yes, I even find nail painting exciting.  You guys have a wonderful and creative weekend!

Be Well and Happy!

A VERY VERY Belated….


In January 2008 I began posting on Word press.  The reason I started my blog was that I grew tired of lugging my art back home for my family to see and also to minimize the risk of damage in transit.  And with the blog,  my kin can pop over and see what I am up to.  Well, it’s been 5 years with 101,174 visitors and 41 followers to date,  so it is a bit more to me now than storage space.  Which has been the best surprise ever!

I can not speak for everyone, but for me blogging and social media is more than “Hey, Look at me, Look at this!”    Blogging is a place where:

~Like minded people get together.  I have developed some wonderful relationships over the years.  After you read a blog for a certain about of time you do get emotionally invested in their lives.  Births, deaths, marriages, and divorce. I rejoice with them.  I have cried for them.  And I have had quite a few laughs!

~Learn from each other. If it were not for other bloggers I would not have learned to draw.  And I say this with absolute certainty.  I am sorry,  a lot of people will not agree with me but I am one of those people who believe anyone can learn to draw.  Anyone.  We may not all be Picasso’s or Monet’s but if you want it?  It is there. You just have to want it bad enough to practice; and practice a lot.  I use to believe it was all talent.  Not so, drawing and painting is more technical than gift and the talent is in the patience. (I do not have that much these days, LOL)  But I would have never known that and would not have bothered to learn at all if it were not for blogs.  And that is growing up with an artist living in the house!

There is so much information out there ripe for the picking, if you want to draw or paint or do anything creative.  And it is free!  Most of us want to help and are very eager to share what we know.  Giving back always weighs heavily on me.  I do feel an obligation to share what I have learned as well.  I have some ideas and I am still researching what I can do, but be assured I will do my part. And until then, I will an answer any question you may have.

~ Quite often it seems, the place you can get emotional support.  It is sad, really.  I read once and I am paraphrasing here,  A young lady was in a group, I guess in the middle of the conversation she called herself an Artist.  Her husband/boyfriend/Troll/dip-bleep called her down in front of the group and told her that she was not an artist and should not even call herself one.  Because his feelings were that to call yourself an artist you have to get paid!  The mortification that the poor girl felt, oh my goodness!  I still get mad when I think about it.  So please be careful and sensitive when you comment on someone’s blog.  Your words may be the one kind ones they receive.  And if you have to say something negative find something positive to say as well.

You can agree or disagree, but my definition of an artist is a person who creates.  period. end of story.  If you get paid for your work, then you become a professional artist.  Does being a “professional” artist make you a better artist?  No, absolutely not.  It only means that they have been able to market themselves better or had some very, very good luck.

~Self Confidence. It is very easy to post something awesome and flawless.  But when you are able to post things that you know suck?  Now, that’s confidence!  I tend to do that quite often and I will tell you that it sucks and point out everything that I do not like.  I do that because there are people out there who actually think that others have the Midas Touch and everything they do turns to gold. When actually 40 -60% of everything I do is poo.  Who Cares!  I do crank out a good one every now and again. But there are those stinkaroonies…And it is only fair that you see, the good, the bad and the ugly.

~Cons. The only con that I can think of is the hater.  Yes, I have been called names.  I have even been told off, as to why I still don’t know.   Not often, but it is there.   I remember  my first one.  It was at night, I grabbed my computer and took it in the living room crying to my husband.  Now, what he was going to do about it, I had no idea, I guess virtually beat them up ;).  I think I cried, because I did not want to approve that comment.  I read that it was wrong to cherry pick comments, but  it was mean and unkind and did not have anything to do with the post.

I just did not know what to do then I decided and I am going to be blunt here: My Blog. My Rules!   I have spent many hours of many years working my tail off learning to draw.  Yes, there are more artists better than me than not.  But this is my blog and I will not be disrespected in my own house.  I welcome constructive criticism but I will not approve comments or respond to a unhelpful,  mean-spirited  hater who’s only goal is to hurt me and put me in my place.  I hope you do not put up with such foolishness either.   Because you deserve better than to respond to someone who’s only goal is to watch (or read) just waiting for you to do a face plant!

Other than that Blogging is very rewarding and If you read my blog on a regular basis,  I just want  Thank you so very much and I appreciate your comments and support! I wish you knew how much it means to me.  And if you are visiting my blog, thank you for your time and I hope you drop by soon or you can click the sign me up box to follow me.  I guess that is it for now, and I really hope that I did not induce a nap.

To celebrate my blogaversary, I am going to  pull out a lovely square of 2013 Hershey chocolate from my sock drawer to munch on 😉  I hope you guys have a great weekend.