Giving a Deer Style

Sometimes drawing one of my deer friends becomes an EXERCISE OF TORTURE.  Have you ever felt that death grip on your pencil? Lately I have been trying different drawing techniques to loosen up my grasp. It is truly much more enjoyable when you get out of the way. Here are some ways to develop a more stylized sketch:


One liners

Find several pictures of deer on the internet.  Next fold a paper into four squares.  Select a deer to draw into the first square. While focusing on the picture try to draw the deer with only one line. Go slowly and only peek a few times. Doing this helps your hand and little gray cells to be friends with your pen and paper. As a result, you will discover a deer image that is unexpected. Sometimes these surprises lead to a fresh, original style. Try this three more times.




Upside down

Using one of your favorite one-liners, draw it upside down. Your drawing brain will help you to draw what you see. This exercise is really good if you are a control-freak. You get out of the way and your creative muse takes over.   


Wrong hand

Select one of your favorite stylized one-liners and draw it with your non-dominant hand. Really fun style emerges as your hand clumsily chats with your brain. Scribbles and etched lines show up that you will want to add to your pieces.


Deer are so graceful and quiet while grazing in the 100-acre wood. I often see them peeking at me from behind an alder tree. By using these drawing techniques a new style has emerged that shows their wild gentleness.

Try it.  Please share your sketches.



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Sweet Dreams

Beneath the icy pond, our frog morphs into a sleepy state, and stays snuggled beneath her warm winter comforter.  I imagine her heart beat slowing down; sinking into the coziness of hibernation. She drifts off, gaining peace of mind within her security.

Should I sing to her this lullaby on my next winter walk?

Deep in the wood, under the ice

A bed of mulch, a soft green pillow,

Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes

And when they open the sun will rise


Here it is safe, here it is warm

Here earth’s wonder guards you from every  harm,

Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true

Here is the place where I love you.

(Adapted from a French lullaby)


How cozy and wonderful does that sound?

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Connecting Soul to Soul During Tragedy


I turned on the news this morning and I felt my soul cry. A tragic shooting in Texas had happened with many innocent children dead.

When will all this divisiveness and violence in our communities stop?

It is so very important that we reconnect with how valuable each person is to the whole of our communities. To put aside our political, religious, or values driven differences and look each other in the face. I think we really need to think about the value of each human. It’s time for us to gather together, look each other in the eye, and find a common ground of respect.

Start talking to each other. Are we truly invisible to each other? I have been striking up conversations with people that I pass at the grocery market. I am trying to simply show others that I believe in them… that they are of value. At my greeting there is sometimes a startle response from folks. Then they look at me, smile, and reply. It’s a start…a way to help us connect as one big human family.

We also need to be resilient. We can’t let this evil cause us to retreat into our shells. We need to be out there giving, loving and supporting others. We need to find the beauty in moments. This morning I didn’t want to walk with Lucy in the 100-acre woods. I felt as if my feet couldn’t move forward. Yet, I went any way. Morning sun was glistening on snowy branches. Nature’s beauty and God’s gentle love restored my strength.  As I grew stronger I thought about how we can make a positive difference in our hurting communities.

Please reach out to others. Go out and find the beauty in nature. Pray to find ways to show more compassion and understanding. Invite a friend to coffee. Reaching out to others helps ease the pain of this lunacy.

Love will win.

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Walking with God while Walking Your Dog

A golden carpet of autumn leaves greeted me this morning as I entered the forest with Lucy. My early morning fogginess moved to the side as my soul awakened to the awareness of God.  Early morning walks refresh my body, mind and spirit.



During these early morning walks I realize there is a precious connection happening.  My walks are like a metaphor of life. There is a path that winds through obstacles and moments of beauty.  Each step I take is a moving prayer. My thoughts move to the rhythm of my steps. The comfort of bird song and breeze causes me to open up to God about what is happening in my life. In the solitude of the forest I seek wisdom for whatever might be coming up for me on that day. Often, as I pray and walk, I become filled with the sense of God’s presence. This fulfilling gives me assurance that anything the day enfolds I will be guided lovingly through it.


I love God. I love my dog. I love the solace of the 100-acre wood.

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Summer Watercolors from my Garden

This summer I challenged myself to create at least two watercolors per week. It was fun to scan the garden to find what would tickle my eye.  In my Pacific Northwest garden there are herbs, flowers, native plants, yummy edibles, and adorable wild life.  Beauty all around me.

Seeing a baby fawn enlivens my creative spirit.


Gathering a bouquet of wildflowers in the early morning brightens the day.


Brushing my hand gently against rosemary or lavender awakens my senses.


Each painting is only 6 x 6″. Using this size took the pressure off of me for creating a full size illustration. By the beginning of September there were 30 new watercolors. It was surprising to find so many delightful snippets by the end of the summer. It seems that my brush strokes are relaxed and free. Easy just like a summer breeze.




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