Every morning my dog and I take our daily walk. Our journey leads us by the same beautiful trees that I love to watch change through the seasons. This old Black Oak, weathered and worn by wind, lightening, and rain, is a tried and true favorite of mine (not to mention the halfway mark on our trip). This year I decided to take pictures of it as it progressed from its dormant state to its full and luscious self, wearing all those amazing fresh and new crisp green leaves. As always the transformation is breathtaking (my pictures don’t do it justice). The birds think so too, and I’m always happy to hear their chirping and see them swoop in and out of the bows as we pass by.
All this change, happening year after year, has made me stop to pause and think. I’m reminded through these pictures that life is all about progression. It has cycles and seasons, and yes – storms, but our ultimate state of being is that of moving onward and forward. You’ve got to love that!
“Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.” - Albert Einstein
Photo by Matej Peljhan
My niece sent me a link to THIS STORY about photographer and psychologist, Matej Peljhan, and the amazing gift he gave using his artistic talent to help a young boy named Luka. With Matej’s help, Luka, who is stricken with muscular dystrophy and bound to a wheelchair, was able to realize his dreams of adventure and freedom. The grace of this story reminds me how, in the midst of trying to make a career from the gifts and talents we all have been granted, it is important to remember that our ultimate job is to use our talents to better the world. What fun Matej must have had on this photo shoot with young Luka, and I can’t imagine how excited Luka was when he first saw the final images created! Brilliant! What an excellent example of how to ‘pay it forward’.
Wishing you an Art filled day!
This past weekend my sisters and I held a memorial service for my Mother. She had suffered for many years from Alzheimer’s disease, and we walked that journey with her. It was a horrible thing to witness and I know that my Mother is now finally free from her mind that had abandoned her, and is in a place where she can feel joy again and live without fear. It was a beautiful day, shared by a very special group of relatives and friends who were able to spend time together remembering my Mom.
My Mother was known to those closest to her as “Dottee Lou”, and she absolutely LOVED pansies. In honor of her, and this day of remembrance, I created a special card (above) to commemorate the day. Check out the amazing pansy reference sheet below I used to inspire my pansies. After putting this together I can absolutely see why my Mother loved them so much. They are amazing flowers! I had the cards printed by my favorite card company, MOO, and they turned out fantastic! I ordered extras to bundle into little groups to give as gifts to those who were able to attend. I know my Mom would have loved them and the day.
To Support Alzheimer’s Research – Please check out the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
WELCOME to my newly redecorated website! I’m loving how it turned out and I owe it all to my master Web Designer and Social Media Guru Kim Beasley. I’m really excited to get back to posting again and building up all the fun pages and features we’ve added to the site.
Stay tuned for Fun Freebie printables on my shoppe page, as well as gain easy access to my Happy Shoppe on Etsy (I have a new line of yoga girl ornaments coming out), and shop Little Aloha Flag Company for unique Hawaiian-style decorative house flags. If you are an Art Director or Manufacturer and want to see my full licensing portfolio, I will soon have a newly redesigned private Portfolio page for you to easily review my work for license or illustration consideration. I will be changing out and adding more preview blocks on my public Portfolio page as well, so no matter what, you will be able to see what’s new and exciting here at Kate Pitner Designs.
Phewww! There’s a lot going on! I hope you have a Great Day!
~ now, time for me to get back to work :0)
I am SO excited to share this with you – yesterday I had the extreme privilege to meet the amazing artist George Rodrigue (Blue Dog fame) and his lovely wife, Wendy. They graciously visited the elementary school my children went to and where I taught art at for years. Now the art program is run by my good friend Susan, who did the most amazing art project with the K-6 grade students honoring George Rodrigue. Susan has worked tirelessly since the start of the school year, going to each of the grades and classrooms teaching the children about George Rodrigue’s famous “Blue Dog” art. She took it a step farther when she had each classroom create a large image of Blue Dog in the style of another Master artist. The end result is breathtaking – from Blue Dog Monet, Blue Dog Andrew Wyeth, Blue Dog Jasper Johns, Blue Dog Frida Kahlo, Blue Dog MC Escher, and SO ON! You can see just a little glimpse below at the “street fair” style she had the pieces exhibited in.
When Susan emailed George Rodrigue about the project, he was so enthusiastic that he and his wife decided to come to the school for a visit! It was obvious when watching him admire the students’ work that he was blown away as well by their renditions of his famous dog. I’m so happy for Susan that she was able to bring such an amazing experience to the students, and I’m so grateful to the Rodrigues for their generosity!
To make it even better, George and Wendy stayed around to do two assemblies where the two of them talked about George’s influences, his journey becoming an artist, and where he is going into the future with his work. What an unbelievable moment the kids had meeting such a well known and talented artist, and I must admit that I was as excited as they were to be there and hear them speak.
OH, and a BIG extra cool part – he signed my book I’ve used for years to teach his “Blue Dog” art lesson! YAY!
Click HERE for more info on George Rodrigue and his “Blue Dog”
This is my favorite black oak tree on my morning walk. I love this scraggly old majestic beast of a tree. Its lived longer than I have, and even after lightening strikes it still stands (sans a branch or two)! I watch it through the seasons and right now it is starting to show the promise of Spring. Can you see the little green buds? I absolutely LOVE when the oaks burst out their fresh leaves every year. The color is vibrant and alive. Once the heat of summer hits that vibrancy fades fast, but the mighty oak tree is still marvelous in my eyes!
I’ve been working on some oak inspired art. It’s slow coming, and taking back burner at the moment, but I thought I’d show you my inspiration – both before and after. The below picture was taken last summer, the above this morning. I also am slightly obsessed with acorns. I need to do some sketches. I collected a big bowl last Fall when they were dropping from the trees. My “to do” list is growing, but it’s all good. I’m reminding myself daily that it’s about the ‘journey’.
Today’s challenge for you: Take a moment and check out what little spot of nature you are drawn to in your daily happenings. Take a picture, think about it, dedicate a few moments as often as you are able to stand/sit and observe it. I promise you this is an exercise that pays back great dividends. In my daily craziness I’m reminded that it is the simple things that bring the most wisdom and richness to my life.
Have a blessed day!
This past weekend my family and I got to flash back in time and see a piece of history I’ve been dying to see. We finally made it to the California Science Center here in Los Angeles to see the Space Shuttle “Endeavour” proudly sitting in its final resting spot! It was breathtaking and very touching to see her in all her glory and majesty, and it was all I had hoped it would be!
For my 40(ish) year old friends who grew up with the Shuttle from its birth to the end of the program, you know what a big deal the Space Shuttle was. I remember my elementary school gathering all the students in the center pod areas of the school to watch on portable TVs the shuttle take off and land. I remember the sad day when the Challenger didn’t return home, but I also recall all the successful missions and watching in wonder at this new technology and unbelievable advancement in space travel unfold right before my eyes. I am truly sad to see this program come to an end.
What once was absurd science is today practically an assumed reality, though when I was young I thought for sure we’d all be visiting the moon on a daily basis by now via Southwest-like spaceship airplanes. I suppose that reality isn’t too far off now, and maybe in my lifetime there will be opportunities for non-astronauts like me to see the curve of the Earth and the vast blackness of space for myself. That would be pretty cool, but for now I am just happy to have been able to witness this gorgeous piece of life, science, and wonder. I really, really love the Space Shuttle, from her complex and intricately created tiles to her heavy rubber tires. She is beautiful and it was an honor to stand in her presence!
I thought I’d share a little peek at what I’ve been up to lately… a close up of my desktop and one of the MANY versions of this character for the picture book I’m illustrating. Here’s the latest (and hopefully last) draft. I like her spunky face. I’ll keep you posted.
OH, and my husband just introduced me to the amazing singer Kat Edmonson. I made a Pandora station of her and it’s really wonderful music. Check her out, I think you’ll love her too!
For all my creative friends who may not have purchased this book yet – please go and do it now! It doesn’t matter if you create art for fun or for work, Lilla Roger’s new book I JUST LIKE TO MAKE THINGS is simply wonderful! On page 36 she talks about creating inspirational rituals for yourself. For me, my daily ‘pre-creating’ ritual is to pour a good strong cup of coffee and sit for 20 minutes with one of my favorite Somerset Magazines, Art books, and – now – Lilla’s book. She has great wisdom to share and the book has some fun exercises for sparking up the creative juices too. You’ll LOVE it, I promise!
I am illustrating my first Children’s Book and I know I want to create the artwork digitally but I don’t want to have it look overly “digital”. For the past week I have been brushing up on my digital painting skills and took an e-course from the amazing illustrator Will Terry (if you’re not familiar with his work please check out his website!). I always love to plug awesome online instructors when I find them and Will is definitely one to check out! Click HERE for his list of his e-courses.
In Will’s e-course on Digital Painting he mentioned that he pretty much exclusively sketches now on his iPad, and … get this … he doesn’t even use a stylus but rather his finger! I know I’m not quite at that level yet but I wanted to give it a try. I went to my iTunes Store and purchased a couple sketching apps and downloaded a few that were free, but none of them really worked for me. I finally decided to email Will Terry directly and see if he’d share what App he uses and I was so happy when he replied right away. The App he uses, and the one I just purchased, is called “Procreate”. It was $4.99 on iTunes and worth every penny. The key feature that Will mentioned he liked was the way you can rotate the canvas like you would a real piece of paper. I’ve been playing around with it too and I agree – of all the Apps I tried this one is definitely the easiest one for me to use. I’m not sure I’m ready to give up my sketchbook and pencils just yet, but this is a fun way to explore this whole new medium. Check it out if you have an iPad.