“I’m a kitty …”


“E” is a kitty.  Proof, you ask?

  1. She recently had a kitty birthday party (turning 7).
  2. She loves cheese, can purr, crawl, and snuggle like a kitty.
  3. She gets along very well with other kitties.

If any of you still doubt, click this short clip with proof that “E” can joyfully be a kitty anywhere.

Caroline Patrick BorNei: Featured Artist

Caroline and poppy

Caroline Patrick BorNei: Featured Artist

Medium: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor

Home: Camano Island, Washington, USA

Email: caroline@fengshuiartistry.com

Website, combination Feng Shui and Art: http://goldmountainpublishing.com/

Caroline, thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to share your passions.  I was captivated by your paintings of poppies, but understand there is so much more than painting those rich colors.

Everyone loves the Fire Element of Poppies. Washington state, in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, has these lovely poppies up and down the back roads.I took a picture on the way to a painting class a few weeks ago. Several of us get together and paint every week.

I like the idea of getting together for painting.  What are some of the first memories you had relating to art before you could just snap a picture of poppies by the side of the road?

My first memories of doing art was when I was around 3 or 4 years old and I remember drawing on the back of my mother’s Sunday Church bulletin (or program).  I remember working with oil clay to make furniture for my doll houses. And there was that time I drew with Crayola on our home walls!

Yikes, I guess that is something you don’t forget.  Were you always drawn to art?

Yes, I loved the outdoors and studied nature and environment from pulling   petals from flowers and seeing how they were formed to seeing perspective of buildings and all things. The brilliance of light and the beauty of darks. Seeing the vibrancy of life through color, sounds, smells, texture, memories of places and things. I feel an urgency to record things visually or from dreams and experiences.


The above picture looks as if it came straight from a dream.  

I call it “The Guardians” It relates to the Heaven section of a home in the immediate far right corner of a home when coming into a house by the front door. This relates to my expertise in feng shui principles.

I can see that you take pleasure from combining your skills in both art and feng shui.

At 6 years old my father bought me a box of oil paints and found my first teacher which was a distant aunt. Later a summer time teacher and as an adult would take workshops from instructors whose work I admired. But I am mostly self taught.

On the road to being self taught, I noticed you studied the masters.  Share the process you went through to make your version of the famous “Madonna.”


This is my rendition of Botticelli’s Madonna. It was a picture I admired which I completed in the old master’s way of painting in oil. The painting was done on unfinished Masonite which I cut and sanded until it was as smooth as glass. Layers  of varnish were applied, then dried and sanded each time…over 10 or 12 times. Then I drew the figures and begin painting the flesh and facial features and sanding them again each layer. This way the paint builds up bit by bit giving the piece a glow. This painting took many hours and layers of the linseed oils. After drying for weeks. I added gold leaf to the background and sealed the picture. A woman from the East Coast saw it in a California gallery and flew out to see it and bought the picture. This woman is a healer and uses it to help her bring the Christ energy to her clients. I wish I hadn’t sold the painting. Some pictures can never be reproduced, but I’m happy she saw the value of its healing properties.

I understand how an artist can be happy and sad when a special work of art has been sold. Seems you have taught yourself well, because now you are a guest teacher at the Lotus Institute in Seattle, Washington, USA.  www.lotusinstitute.com  Wonderful how you can combine both your passions so effortlessly.  I understand there is a new book on the horizon.

book cover pic

While traveling in China with a feng shui group, we rode almost to the top of this sacred mountain called Jiuhan Shan. I followed behind the group taking pictures of monkeys and soon found myself alone on this mountain top as the group had gone on to the top passed the Monastery. Not knowing where they had gone I became tired and decided to go back down the steep stairways to the gondola cable car and on arriving realized I didn’t have a ticket to descend to the village. A kind Chinese woman paid my way to the bottom. We could only talk with our eyes and hands, but she understood my dilemma!  This is an acrylic and oil painting of the Monastery which was chosen as the cover to my book which is on Kindle.

A great book cover.  What would you say to an artist who is reading this and thinking….I want to have adventures and paint, too.  What would you say?

Don’t wait another minute, sign up with a teacher that resonates with you and the medium that pulls at your heart strings. Although I do all mediums such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, conte’ crayon, clay, pastels, pen and ink and all new things, as there are new products every day to explore. For instance I would rather teach someone who has never picked up a brush, in fact I love to create with sticks dipped in ink or maybe crinkle a piece of rice paper and drop watercolor or ink to see what shapes inspire me.Another big piece of advice is to treat yourself to the best watercolor paper, I use 300 lb and the more expensive paints. This is your gift to yourself as cheaper supplies will only be frustrating. Save all the ‘opps’ paintings and cut them up for a new creations.There are no mistakes!

For people who want to make a living as an artist? Paint every day or at least 3 days a week. Take advantage of all the new paints and products, get friendly with technology or find someone who loves this piece of the puzzle. Giclee or prints are the norm for sharing your work affordably, such as cards, prints, wearable art and more. Get a website or use constant contact and go on facebook and show your work to prospective buyers. Learn all you can from artists who are making it happen. Join organizations if possible. Don’t let anyone stop your dream and of course in my opinion since I am a Feng Shui professional practitioner use feng shui in the home and or your studio to support your dream!

Very inspiring, Caroline.  Thanks for participating in this interview.  It’s good to know we can see more and even buy some of your art on http://fineartamerica.com/artists/caroline+patrick

Tinarity – Featured Artist


Tinarity: Featured Artist

3-D sculpture

Website: www.shapeways.com/shops/tinaritys

Twitter: : @tinaritys

Instagram:  @tinaritysshop

Pinterest: @tinarity

Email: tinaritys@yahoo.com


Winter: Sailboat in the Caribbean,

Summer: UK/Germany

A couple of weeks ago I was scrolling through my twitter feed and came upon a lovely sculpture that has such motion.

Wind in your face

I asked the person posting if she knew who created it.  She responded with a cheerful “Me.”  I went on to view other works by Tinarita and was fascinated by the process.  She was gracious enough to participate in an interview.

Tinarity, I think I am as interested in your art as I am in your process and where you do your work.  So much to cover, so let’s start with some first memories.  Thinking back, what drew you to art.  

Other than the painting that kids usually do, I remember carving a wooden old man when I was about 17 years old.  I was actually supposed to be working on my exams for school.  But I kept getting side tracked by sculpting.  Luckily, I passed my exams and made some more wood carvings in the following years.

What was it about wood or sculpture that kept your interest?

Creating something you can touch and hold is always very satisfying. Wood has wonderful haptic properties (warm, smooth etc.) Since then I became a great admirer of Michelangelo’s and Rodin’s marble statues (a very tricky material).

When I read that you did sculptures and lived on your boat part of the year, I was fascinated.  What about your environment keeps your creative juices flowing?

Nature and its close observation are always sparking my inspiration. Looking at macro photographs of plants or plankton is an endless wonder of forms, shapes and colours.

I live part time on a sailboat, so watching the weather, waves and wind is a natural part of everyday life. Even seeing the occasional turtle, manatee, cormorant, or pelican inspires me. With the ocean, everything is round, smooth (just look at beach sand closely) and a bit washed out. These are the forms I am mostly using. I have been travelling a lot and other cultures can give you so much new input, it can be slightly overwhelming. It certainly gives you new perspectives and/or point of views and a big supply of inspiration to feed on.

Since you live on the boat, I know you don’t carry around huge chunks of wood to sculpt.  You have taken your sculpturing skills to a new level with 3-D modelling.  How did you learn this and how does that work?

My present skill (3D modelling) is self-taught. When I became aware of 3D-modelling software (Blender, a free and open source software) I sat down and learned it (with the help of some very good YouTube tutorials). I was (and still am) amazed what wonderful things you can do with it (animations, sculpting, 3D-print modelling, movies etc.). So after wood carving it was a ‘natural’ development for me. In Germany I have 3 self-built 3D printers (for plastic only) where I test-print my models and do a few fun bits (like fridge magnets and desk toys).

Do you have some examples of what has inspired your work?

“Bacteria” pendant


I came across a picture somewhere on Twitter. The caption was something like “this is what you find on a child’s hand after playing outside”. Not to scare people, just making them aware of what we carry around all day. Anyway, I thought the shapes and forms intriguing, so I sat down and modeled my very own bacteria to carry around the neck.

Using software and the 3-D printers, I translate the drawing into a a real pendant.


It is popular in science circles and a favourite of my nieces.

“Connect” Pendant

This came out of nowhere, or actually just playing around with shapes and forms (I think playing is a very useful technique to improve our inspiration and we all should nourish the child within.)

on water

Being on Twitter, getting feedback and actually connecting to other artists is what this pendant represents. Connecting to people, ideas and/or the surroundings is important for me. It still keeps amazing me, to see and share pictures, music etc. with people from all over the world.

Modelling animals is challenging but utter fun and rewarding. You can find a frog, a weasel, a chameleon, a lion, a whale and a seal in my collection. I still have to work on the shark and plan to do a turtle.

The model below is quite dear to me as well. It’s an abstract pendant about the confusion of love. And love can be wonderfully confusing!


As you can see in my Shapeways shop, I love doing abstracts, so there will certainly be even more in the future. (There will also be a new website coming out soon.)

You have shared the positives and inspirations of living on a boat.  Is there a down side?

I work alone. The isolation is to one degree good, as I can focus on my projects without distraction. Space on a sailboat is limited, so working on my computer (solar and wind power allowing) is the best solution. Besides I can upload my models to my shop at Shapeways from anywhere in the world. On the other hand discussing problems or ideas would be great and whenever we have friends aboard I am grateful for their feedback. Social media (especially Twitter) is a great source of feedback and inspiration for me. So many talented people out there and I love seeing also those wonderful creations and connecting to fellow artists. So the isolation doesn’t feel so hard.

What kind of advice would you give those who want to make a living through their art?

I am not a sales person at all and it is the most frustrating part of the whole process. Finding an audience is not easy and I won’t ‘elbow’ my way in  (and I am glad and grateful to do this interview, maybe some new people may have a look at my creations) I still hold a job that pays the bills but carved out enough time to follow my passion. I think it is good for my art not having to go with what is popular (and therefore sells), but only create things I am happy with (and hopefully a few others). Everyone knows that making a living from art is a hard thing to achieve. My advice? Get a job that pays the bills and make no compromises to your art. Keeping this apart might keep the frustration level down and the inspiration level up.

Thanks for sharing your experiences and art with us in this interview.

Janet Wright Reed – Featured Artist


Janet Weight Reed: Featured Artist

Watercolor/Watercolour, Oil

Home: UK

Website: http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

Email: jcrhumming@hotmail.com

Blog: http://www.jcrhumming.wordpress.com

While scrolling through my twitter feed, I kept running into these delightful splashes of color.  These images would flit between my tweets in the same way hummingbirds hover for an instant then zip off for some unknown adventure.

I explored further and found that these watercolors were the creation of Janet Weight Reed who was gracious enough to allow an interview for my “Featured Artist” column.

What were your first memories of wanting to be an artist?

 My first memory of knowing that I wanted to be an artist was when I was about three years old. At that time my grandmother showed me a sketchbook belonging to my Aunt….which I can visualize to this day. Born in London at the end of WW2, my first impressions of London were of a war battered, drab and grey city.  Even at such a tender age, my Aunt’s colorful sketch book inspired me to want to be an artist and to love and appreciate color.

The other resounding memory and inspiration from that time were the pavement artists in front of the National Museum in London.  Their world seemed to be filled with color and light….a world I wanted to be part of.

That you can still visualize something you saw at the age of three is amazing.  Color caught your attention then and seems to be important in all your work since….your watercolors as well as your illustrations for children’s books.

Regardless of subject matter, observation is key to my life and work.   Nature plays a huge part in my life and is a constant source of inspiration.   I look for the drama in a subject, and tend to see the world as if I was looking into a kaleidoscope of shapes, color, lights and darks.

What type of education or discipline helped you hone your skills?

When I was sixteen I won a scholarship to The Medway College of Arts in Kent…(now part of the University of the Creative Arts)   However, I believe it is the years of consistent dedication and desire to ‘marry technical prowess with the intangible’ that makes the artist. I have enjoyed quite a few wonderful mentors in my life and career. There have been times when I thought I couldn’t continue for one reason or another, and it always seemed that one of my mentors were there to catch me, and encourage me to keep moving forward.

Your website and blog is filled with a variety of work, but it appears you have been enchanted by the hummingbird?       

I saw my first hummingbird in the mountains of North Carolina in 1968 – Since then I have used hummingbirds as symbolic imagery in large oil paintings and of course watercolors. The hummingbird symbolizes, for me, the ‘unseen magic’ in the world.

I love how you seem to use the viewer’s perspective to fill in the movement….having us catching glimpses as we would out in nature.


My goal was to capture a gentle, soft, moment in time with this watercolor ‘Hummingbirds with Flowers.’

single hummer

In this watercolor I hope to convey the flight of the hummingbird and again the essence of a moment in time.

20-11-15 - 1 (27)

This watercolor/gouache image is more vigorous, attempting to capture the movement and total integration into the natural world of this amazing little creature.

You said you had many mentors along the way.  What are suggestions you have to others who want to make their living (or their life) as an artist.

Don’t compare yourself to others, only to yourself. Be as creative in the way you make a living, as you are in your artwork.  i.e. During my own career, I have exhibited widely, given workshops, talks, and during the middle of my career, between 1987 and 1993 – Painted large commissioned murals for corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.  I believe that using social media offers all sorts of opportunities, but again, this can only happen if it is used consistently and persistently.

I really like that phrase “consistently and persistently.”

Unless someone is independently wealthy, and I am not……be realistic and accept that life as an artist will most likely be filled with the ‘feast or famine’ syndrome.  Don’t be too precious…..meaning, sometimes we all have to do work that we don’t necessarily want to do…..however, I see it all as part of an artist’s journey and is often an opportunity to hone one’s technical skills.

Wise counsel, indeed.  Thank you, Janet, for being willing to take the time for the interview.  I hope my readers will take some extra time and go through your website and blog.  I found the exploration inspiring.


A Winner with Miles to go…

With full brag, I wish to say that I have run a TYPE of marathon and have won.

The NaNoWriMo Experience (National Novel Writing Month) challenges you to type  1,667 words a day, every day, until you have written a 50,000 word novel.


The pdf one receives may be cheesy, but I typed & printed, and  will hang it in our den with pride.  It was not easy; I feel as if I have really accomplished something.

The two main characters, the Carn sisters, have been floating around in my head for a couple of decades…with nothing to do except be an intriguing idea.  Finally, something was done with them and I’m proud of the results.


My plan is to tuck it in a drawer for one week, then take it out and begin the next step….the editing.

A shout out to my Book Buddy, Lara, who was with me daily and also won herself.  We did the happy dance/twirl, no matter that we were miles away from each other.

Someday as you are going through amazon or even (gasp) Target or Barnes & Nobel, you might run across a book that started in November 2015.


*Cover is mock up using tool I had on hand and the generosity of a stunning niece.


Happy Halloween

Hubs and our Halloween decorating used to start after we left work on the day.  We would light some candles, throw sheets over the furniture, turn on the porch light, and greet the kiddos.

Once we had grands, it became a different story.  We now begin early and have eager hands helping.  Since Alaska, I’ve been drawn to ravens and crows.  So when I spotted this picture from Better Homes and Gardens (.com) I thought….oooooooooo    Below is the picture from the site.


My take on it:


I used a purchased faux pumpkin because I am NOT going to put those rhinestones on every year.  However, I’m pleased with the grouping and it sits on one side of our fireplace mantel.


The top part of the front window has sheer material with figures that show from either side (inside the house and out).  I purchased the paper cats, but crafted the pumpkins using black paper on either side of sheer orange material.  A pumpkin garland tops it off.


2015 is eventful because we attended two pumpkin carvings: One was a neighborhood event, with a delightful group sitting around a table carving pumpkins and sharing stories. Robert’s pumpkin is great.  Mine…meh…I tried a new “shaving” tool and was not so pleased.  Sometimes it does not work out.


The second carving party was a large affair with outside pumpkin stations, inside carving tables, a potluck, and a face painter.  Robert’s bald head was too tempting for the face painter who asked if she could do his entire head.  Robert, such a good sport, said “Go for it!”



There were at least three generations of newbies and old friends to chat with.


Robert brought a “ghost” pumpkin and did a great job.  Since scary faces were to frighten away evil spirits, I thought I’d make a little sad pumpkin to scare away the blues.  Succcess.

This same party planner, used to line his sidewalk with rod iron plant hooks, holding faux pumpkins he carved with a rotary tool.  After a decade of holding the parties, he decided….no more parties (logistics alone — mercy!) and gave away most of his outside items.

We were the lucky recipients and have enjoyed them each year.  While he changed his mind about no longer hosting the parties, he knew his former pumpkins had become a tradition in our household. The grands can’t wait to put them out each year.  Robert and the grands also make balloon ghosts.


So we are set to go!  Candy in the pantry, pumpkins on the porch.  Neighborhood trees are graciously doing their part decorating the ground with all the colors you’d want for a Halloween landscape.

Happy Halloween to all!

Sunday Comics

I enjoy following funny folks, and each week get chuckles from what is written.  It’s also fun picking some of my favorites for you all.