Friday, March 21, 2008

So This Is Spring??

It's hard to believe Spring is finally here. The weather has been nice and sunny (but cold) the last several days, and my dad told me several days ago he has seen a robin. That's a sure sign of spring around here. However, the forecast today is SNOW...6 to 13 inches of it! This Winter has been one of the worst ones we've had in years. I think we've had enough snow....I know I certainly had enough of all the shoveling! Maybe the weathermen will be wrong and we won't get too much...wishful thinking, I'm sure.

Here's a quote for the day:

"Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself." - James Fitzjames Stephen

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Boyz

These are my 3 adorable little 'boyz', Mugsy, Otis, and Popeye. Otis is the oldest pug. He is over 11 years old now. I got him as a little puppy. He can't see well anymore, can't hear much, and is pretty lame with arthritis, but he has a little sniffer that is like radar whenever anyone has some food around. He spends most of his day snoring in a corner, but he always comes out of his coma when he smells food! Mugsy was a rescued pug that came into my life about a year and a half ago, thanks to my artist/friend, Bernie Berlin. Bernie is a wonderful, talented gal, who dedicates her life to rescuing dogs and cats from certain death, rehabilitating them, and finding them loving homes. Check out her story at She knows how much I love pugs, so when she found this guy, she immediately called me to see if I would like to adopt him. That is how we got little Popeye too. He came into our life last Fall, again thanks to Bernie. He had suffered some terrible trauma to his left eye when she found him, and about 2 months ago, I finally had to take him to the vet and have his eye removed. He is doing great now, and always looks like he's 'winking' at you. This photo was pre-eye removal. I'll write more about my little pugs in the days to come.

Here's a quote for the day that I like:
"What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
- Johann von Goethe

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another Project Finished

I finally totally finished the 2nd step-out project that I was working on (and
putting off working on) and typed up all the directions yesterday. What a sense of relief that I can finally put that project to rest. I was so close to finishing it for such a long time, but I just didn't want to do the step-outs for it. And of course, in typical Jill fashion, I didn't work on anything else during that long span of time, because I felt too much guilt in doing something else when the project needed to be finished.
Anyhow....last night I began the first of the gallery pieces I still need to do. Fortunately, I only need to send 4 pieces. I guess the pressure is still on me yet, but not quite a bad as it was.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I love incorporating quotations into my art. I've got several different books on quotations that I love to just flip through and look at. One book in particular is quite thick. I sat down one day and just started really reading some that seemed to catch my eye. I got a pack of post-it marking stickers out and started putting them by the quotes I really liked. It's so much easier to find quotes I like when they're already marked for reference. I love how profound some of them are. Here's a quote my artist friend, Kathy Malkasian uses in her correspondence that really sums up what being an artist means:

"The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something." -Kurt Vonnegut

Kathy is such a fabulous person! Her studio, "Valley Ridge Art Studio" is nestled in a rural area in Southwestern Wisconsin. She gets well-known and published artists to come and hold workshops there throughout the year. Check out her website at I started attending workshops there 4 years ago, and always look forward to them. It's a great way to meet other artists, and really learn a lot of different techniques from the best of the best!