Art Therapy #21

Art Therapy is where Rae & Nancy make postcards and send them to each other. Yes, we get real mail.


This postcard sat on my desk for weeks, waiting to be finished. Until I figured out it was finished. I tend to overwork things so it felt good to not add any more. That little card with the girl would also surface in my desk mess endlessly. I love her energy and it seems like you as a little girl, Nancy.


I am less pleased with this illustration. But this, for me, is also an exercise of not remaking something 5 times until perfect. I used colored pencils and watercolor pencils. I really like the drawing until I overworked it. The black lines in the flower seem too harsh and I should have done something else with the handwriting. But I learned things, so that was good.


I think this postcard of Nancy’s tells it own story. And knowing Nancy as I do I see this card as where she is in her life.


Nancy’s comment with this illustration was… trying out a new style or maybe same old style just different paper and pencils.

I think it is a little of both.

Mail is good. I am always excited to see an oversized kraft envelope in the mail from Nancy.

Make someone’s day, send some real mail.

Art Therapy #19

As you know this is where Nancy and I send art postcards to each other.


These 2 cards are mine. Both are entries into the Minted/Target contest. I like them both but I really like the first one. I really like the shapes and color palette. Always hoping for a win.

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I really like these 2 postcards of Nancy's. As usual interesting and thoughtful. Love her poem too.

We have been doing this since after the election. I think Nancy is putting on her traveling shoes. There is a possibility that this may be the last post for a while. No matter what it has been a good ride.

Art Therapy #16

Yes, it is postcard post time again! This is where Nancy and I exchange postcards that we make and send them through the mail.


Samsara: In Hinduism, the cycle of death + rebirth to which life in the material world is bound.


It appears that we started the new year with New Year's cards. Look carefully to see Nancy's wishes in the above shot. Nancy's is a collage and mine was made while cleaning my office. My rule is that I have to make my cards with what I have in my studio area. And to work quickly.

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Another thoughtful one from Nancy, meant to be a sort of New Year's resolution. She puts so much into her cards.


This is the view from my desk. Well, not today. Today it is all white and shades of grey and snowing. I want to paint again and want to do something abstract and quick looking. So these were some quick scribbles. And then I did 4 more. That is often my process. Although I think this was the first one.

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New paint brushes, new watercolor pencils. Arteza 24 woodless watercolor pencils. I do like these. First I drew with these and then used a watercolor brush to soften some of the lines.

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I also love these. You can get intense color with these. Derwent Inktense Blocks. They are ink sticks. I know I did the red line with one of these. I waited until the paper was damp, not wet. When the paper was dry I went in again with a blue colored pencil and added some black lines for the waves too. These are great fun. Make some art today. You know you want to.

Art Therapy #13

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If you don't know, this is where Rae & Nancy make postcards and send them to each other. We have been busy and are slacking off a little.

My postcard above is cacti illustrations I did for a Minted wrapping paper challenge. That arrangement is slightly different with more white space. But I like both the drawings and the colors a lot. I can't wait to be able to buy some!


I love to make soup. Especially in a snowstorm. Trust me this is the best tomato soup ever. Of course this is the basic recipe. Like my grandma, I add a little of this and a little of that. I know I add more honey. The basic recipe is from the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook. A Madison guide to cooking farm-fresh seasonal produce. It is always a bit of a garbage soup. I may toss in any appropriate veggies in the fridge that need to be eaten. I also use my immersion blender to create a nice smooth soup. Perfect with a baguette from Batch Bakehouse. Closest baguette I have found to the ones in Paris.


Nancy's postcards are all wonderfully thoughtful. She has gone through some well thought out changes in her life. She is really brave and honest with her actions, although she would probably say she is not. But I think she is wrong. She is a friend of many years that I am lucky to have.

"Courage transforms the emotional structure of our being. During the process of rising we sometimes find ourselves homesick for a place that no longer exists. We want to go back to that moment before we walked into the arena... straddling the tension that lies between wanting to go back to the moment before we risked + fell + being pulled forward to even greater courage is an inexhaustible part of the rising strong." - Rising Strong, Brene Brown


Among many other things Nancy is writer. This is an excerpt from her book, Get Lost: The Adventures of Ruby O'Hara.

Nancy and I are taking October off. She is off to writer's workshops and visiting her girls. I am ever so busy with Minted and will start illustrations for a well-known retail store. I think we will be back in November. Until then.....

Art Therapy #11


This postcard happened because I want the new iPad. But I haven't really used the very, very old one all that much. So I thought I should apply myself. Plus the poor old iPad does not have much storage so I was also trying to delete apps. PhotoTropedelic is a keeper. You just open a photo you have taken and play with settings to add this kind of color and detail.

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I spent a week drawing cacti for a client and for a Minted fabric challenge. So that was my postcard for that week. I enjoyed drawing these a lot. I really like black and white. But I will also do something with these in soft dirty pastels too.


Nancy has once again outdone herself. Her comment on this card was, "I don't know where this card came from... I can't even explain it." I am very taken with it. I love the bird and all the repeating circles. And the texture. Really love the texture.


Nancy says, "Continuing my efforts to motivate myself to write Get Lost through art. This little goddess is exactly the way I pictured her in my imagination (this rarely happens!).

From Get Lost: Chapter 13:    I opened another drawer. Inside was a tiny beautiful angel. Or maybe a goddess with wings. I picked it up carefully. The features were delicately carved: the colors painted in delicate strokes. I could see feathers on the wings. It fit perfectly in the palm of my hand.

The crow got added because it seemed right somehow for Lost Things and Wisdom.

Nancy said I could keep this card. I am going to post it somewhere in my office with space to write underneath. I am in lost mode. All kinds of things I cannot find. And our place is not that big! The first thing on the list will be my Youth. I lost that when the boy who bought the Miata drove off.

Art Therapy #8

I am happy that Nancy and I are getting our lives back under control. She's moved. The Miata is gone. The Summer construction is finished. And we are back to sending weekly postcards.

A psychic once told me that I had 3 happy lives in Paris. I do believe that. I often search old photos seeing if something seems familiar. I have moments of deja vu when I see photos of the Montmarte area and the Sacre Coeur. This photo made Nancy think of me. And frankly I can't stop looking at it. When I see it I have that feeling when you are in a dream and can't quite remember something.

I think Nancy is happy in her new creative space. And it is showing in her postcards. Looking forward to a fall visit to see this new space!

These are all shots of textures from the Forge Art Show that was in our neighborhood. It certainly has a moody feel to it. Scroll down if you want to see more from that show.

I spend most of a day drawing these little mid-century looking trees for a Christmas card and then just tossed it all in the trash. One of those days when nothing works. I made this postcard out of the scraps and actually liked it. Maybe it will resurface again some day.


Art Therapy #7

Nancy and I have gotten off schedule. She is moving and my Miata died.

This was a pattern that I was playing with for a possible Minted card background.

And here are a couple brush strokes that I really like that I did use as a Minted background.

With the demise of my car I got a cool, red bike. On a bike ride I did a little watercolour. I like the water a lot. I could do this one again with much better results. For me the third time is generally a charm.

This one I did specifically with Nancy in mind. She loves the Mississippi and is in the middle of a move and rethinking the next chapter in her life.

This card is a Mother's Day card that is part of a book that Nancy is working on. Hopefully her new space will be a new creative writing space.

This card is Nancy's life right now. Lots of new changes, some life and others creative. Keep traveling in this direction Nancy, you have what it takes.

We may or may not pick this up when the dust settles. Either way this Art Therapy has been good for us, especially for me in the Winter months.

Art Therapy #4

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Yes... Art Therapy continues... with a few bumps. One week we both completely forgot and my favorite postcard got lost in the mail.

This is my second favorite of mine. I was finishing my Spring cleaning of my office and remembered I had to do that week's postcard. I decided to make a postcard with things I found as I cleaned. This one is called Foggy with a Chance of Snow. These were photos I had taken. The back of the card has a white corrugated board. It also gave more white texture. And on this piece I knew when to stop. Not always true.

Here is Nancy's postcard from that week. She was pondering thoughts of solitude and writing about it. Savaswati is her favorite Hindu goddess. She has a room of her own. And also has unusual white skin.

Getting a postcard from Nancy is always a treat. I get excited with a kraft envelope arrives in the mail. I generally send mine in a shimmery gold one.

This is my favorite so far. And this is the one that is lost in the mail. That makes me sad because once again the scan does not do the glitter justice. I like how loose this one is. Unfortunately I worked hard for that loose look. My plan is to turn this postcard into an art piece of maybe 6 or 9 teacups. I have a collection of my mother's, so that will be the inspiration.


This looks like a postcard but it is the cover of a 'zine that Nancy produced. I love these women, I think they could be a nice poster.

More Art Therapy in a couple of weeks.