Saturday, January 16

Dakar 2021 Sketches

Dakar 2021 has concluded after two harsh weeks of excitement and cut-throat competition. Manuel Andujar took first place in the Quads. 

Kevin Benavides (ARG / Honda) took first in the Bikes with Ricky Brabec (USA / Honda) at second and the adorable Sam Sunderland (GBR / KTM) taking third place.

Those are generally the only rankings I watch, however, I was watching the cars this year for Cyril Despres (FRA) because I was a huge fan of his when he did Bikes. Back in the day. 

So here are a few sketches I did during the Dakar.

A watercolor based on a published photo by Charly Lopez.

A pencil sketch of Cyril Despres based on a Red Bull Content Pool photo.

A colored pencil sketch of Manuel Andujar at the finish line, winner of the Quads.

A watercolor of Toby Price.

Toby Price at the start.

Sunday, November 29

Wiseman's View, Linville Gorge, Marion, NC Blue Ridge Parkway

I went back to one of my favorite places in America for a sunrise view - the Linville Gorge at Linville Falls, NC.  For sunrise, go to Wiseman's View, but you should have 4 wheel drive. It's a long drive on a gravel road with giant potholes. Every single passenger in your car will complain.  So worth it.

For sunset, go to the other side of the gorge at Table Rock, hike up to the Chimneys for an amazing sunset.

Sunrise at Wiseman's View:

Great view of Table Rock, NC:

I have two or three more weeks of work in Boone, working 6 days a week. Not sure where next Sunday will lead me, but I'll keep you posted. Muah, darlings.

Thursday, November 26

Blue Ridge-less Parkway, Boone NC

 When you can't see the Blue Ridge . . .

My folks came up to join me for Thanksgiving dinner.  I took them up to my favorite outlooks between Linville and Boone on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Everything was covered in clouds, it was gorgeous. At over 4,000 feet, we could look down upon the clouds and just about scoop them up with our hands. And of course, being Thanksgiving, we thought they looked like whipped cream. Then we wanted some pumpkin pie. Which we'd already had. But still.

A Thanksgiving dinner at the Dan'l Boone Inn is a must. Or anytime of year, if you're in the area, stop in for some outstanding homestyle cooking.

In these three posts on the Wilson Creek overlook, isn't it amazing how different it looks each time? Always a surprise. I'm loving Boone, but missing my kids.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24

Blue Ridge Parkway Boone NC

I keep returning to the Yonahlossee Outlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, usually at sunrise. I inch up the parkway in the dark and watch the sky wake up, then speed down the mountain to try to get to work on time.

Friday, November 20

In Which I Find Myself in Boone .... but not empty handed

I'm working in Boone, NC for a month in Nov/Dec 2020. I was a little embarrassed when my host saw how much stuff I brought with me. The thing is, one entire suitcase is full of art supplies. Another, crochet supplies. I'm working on a huge blanket for a Christmas gift and it takes up a LOT of space.

But the art supplies....

I was playing with my markers this morning and feeling so happy I brought them along. Do markers make you happy? I know there's a whole people group of marker enthusiasts out there, it's not just me. Right?

When I was very young, my parents used markers as rewards for nights when I would sleep without the hall light on.  Apparently, it was before night lights were invented. I remember it was a difficult choice - the hall light or a new marker - I was scared to death of the dark, but those markers won out. And here I am 50 years later, still carrying markers around with me (AND a nightlight) (But don't tell mom and dad).

As for Boone.... I landed in town in time for a gorgeous sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I unloaded all my stuff, slept and returned to the Parkway for sunrise in the Stack Rock / Rough Ridge area. I think these shots are from the Yonahlossee overlook.


Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, December 19

Where's Pookie?

I have not blogged much in the last couple of years.

2014 Crushed me.
2015 Broke me.
2016 Changed me.
2018 Fixed me. Wellness was my word for the year.
2019 Energized me. Vitality was my word for the year.

So. There you have it. And how's your life? Lol.

This year has been amazing. It required some serious courage, ambition and dreaming. I hope to resume creative blogging in 2020.

For now, I leave you with some of my art from this past year.  I hope your year was full of blessings and happiness as well.

Tuesday, October 15

Everlasting Life

Jesus said to her,
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. 
Do you believe this?” 

Wednesday, February 27

Oil Pastels

Now that the kids are grown and out of the house, I've resumed my art and have been surprising myself.
 Charcoal portrait of my son.

I joined Sketchbox and get a surprise each month, so that encourages me to try new things -- I drag my feet and need a LOT of encouragement to try new things.

Watercolor of me with my granddaughter, Charlie.

The February 2019 sketchbox contained oil pastels. Ugh. I hate using anything oil. And pastels? Double Ugh. However.... I have to say.... I've come to like them. I actually enjoy using them for certain things.  Here are some things I made with oil pastels.

 Portrait of Sophia, my granddaugher.

 From a view I had in Ireland.

I've discovered that for me, the best thing to do with oil pastels is something HUGE and very colorful.

I recommend Sketchbox.  It's a little costly, but so much fun and will push you out of your comfort zone.

Tuesday, October 23

South Carolina SC / NC Leaf Peeping Tour 2018

I took a leaf-peeping tour across South Carolina and North Carolina during a very sunny two-day road trip Oct. 21 & 22, I thought the leaves would be perfect then. Wrong. There was a lot of green on my trip.

I suspect the leaves will be better the following two weekends. We had a warm fall and I bitterly blame that.

However, let me give you my route because it was perfect. You should try it. You have to navigate by waterways with my directions, though. But GPS can handle it.

Going down I-20 from Aiken toward Augusta, I crossed the lazy Savannah, hung a right near Thompson, gave a nod to Aonia Pass and my GNCC friends, then crossed a mild tip of Lake Hartwell. I crossed the springwaters of Cane Creek, crawled through the parking lot at Oktoberfest in Walhalla and right out the other side, too crowded to park and stop.

I began the ascent to Stumphouse Tunnel on Hwy. 25 where I reminisced with a nod to the melancholy and got some exercise.

I then glided along the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway and crossed into North Carolina at the Nantahala National Forest border around 107 and 64. I hung a hard right, crossing Lake Toxaway, skirting past Gorges State Park and took the ol' Rosman Hwy. straight into downtown Brevard, white squirrel country.

Up the next day before sunrise following a night with the squirrels, I drove up to Pounding Mill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see sunrise over the smoky, blue mountains.

looking glass rock
I careened along the Blue Ridge Parkway, over Asheville and rolled that power on. ("but 'cepts" I was in my Jeep and not my former '86 Honda Rebel 450, sadly)

I motored past Mt. Mitchell, but you should stop there, it's worth it. As I was saying, I motored past Mt. Mitchell, stopping only when I ran low on fuel along Buck Creek in Marion, curiously familiar and again, melancholy memories fly.

I gassed up the Jeep, tossed sad memories out the window, kept it down and tooled up the 221-S hills. I set the GPS for home sweet home and danced along the Second Broad and Cathey's Creek, following Cleghorn Creek down to the Broad, the real Broad.

Passing about ten too many Dollar Generals, I steadied on to the Landrum Starbucks, a traditional Maslar family meeting place, short three Maslars.  Caffeine in my veins, I buzzed onto I-26E, arm out in the cold breeze, Bob Seger blaring "I could go left, I could go right, it was all up to me to decide."

I resisted the cloverleaf at Spartanburg and rolled up 26 like a rocket sled on rails, racing the N. Tyger river until she took a sharp turn north, crossed under me and began her flow to the Broad just above Columbia, knowing I'd get there before her.

It wasn't "the dark of the moon on the sixth of June," but I had the hammer down with a nod to the Rubber Duck.

Thursday, October 18

52 Weeks: FASTer Way to Fat Loss

So.... I did it. I signed up for six weeks of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program with Coach Patti Holsenback.  #FWTFL

There is a big learning curve, but Patti is patient and very good with instructions. Also, the first week is all about learning, you don't start the work for real until the second week.

I never had trouble with fat loss until I was in my forties and then it became a real problem. But this program is great, I feel great and am not usually hungry.

Patti also is a certified Pre- and Post- Natal Fitness Coach and Nutritionist. She works to improve diastasis recti, incontinence and more. She also hosts a strong core / strong mom workshop, offers free downloads, writes a column for a local newspaper and has a blog that she occasionally remembers to write on.

Speaking of Right-On!

This wellness thing has been working out great, the year just gets better and better.  I've experienced better wellness all year long, I really feel great.

Monday, October 15

52 Weeks: Max Living Chiropractic Care

So.... I did it. I've started seeing a chiropractor and it has seriously enhanced my wellness journey.

I chose a MaxLiving near me and I lovvve the staff. Max Living promotes five essentials to live your best life.

1.  Core Chiropractic
2.  Nutrition
3.  Mindset
4.  Oxygen & Exercise
5.  Minimize Toxins

I know, right?!  Basically the stuff I've been doing this year in my 52 weeks of wellness. So I signed up immediately to add that chiropractic care to my routine.  They swear a person can get off all medicines under their care.  Now that I still can't quite believe since I have cancer and take chemo.  But.... we'll see.

Meanwhile.... I've been thinking about joining a dating website as part of my 52 weeks.  ((nervously bites nails))  What do you think?  I think I'd hate it.