Ellie dreams of being an Olympic figure skater. She practices every day and loves skating in the snow. The creek near her house freezes over in the winter and it is her favorite place to skate. She and her friends create a rink and a track on the frozen creek and they do pretend Olympic Winter Games all season long. Winter is fun where Ellie lives.

Today’s carved stamp is an abstract design and I carved it without a sketch. I drew in pencil right on the stamp.

All Souls Day / Day of the Dead

This illustration was done for the “scary great” challenge on the “They Draw “ website. It is based on the Scottish Prayer:

“From Ghoulies and Ghosties, and long leggity beasties, and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord Deliver us.”

I did a painting over 12 years ago illustrating that same prayer and gave it to my husband. The original location was a cemetery in Philadelphia and it was a plein air painting that I started and converted to an illustration. That painting inspired the illustration below, but this one is a compilation of several cemetery sketches I have painted plein air over the years.

Some people may think it is a bit macabre that I sit in cemeteries and paint them. A cemetery is the final, unavoidable stop on our life’s journey. We can choose to avoid them, but cemeteries can be exquisitely beautiful, contemplative places where you can sit and enjoy nature. The whisper of trees and grasses blowing in a breeze, the chirps and calls of birds, crickets, cicadas, and the busy activity of squirrels and other creatures. Painting in a cemetery can be a mindfulness lesson of living in the moment…and enjoying it.

And usually, no one bothers you there, either. And they are quite beautiful this time of year.

The link to the website is below, should you wish to see I there and leave a comment or “Like” it.

Or you can just enjoy it here….

Maple tart

The prompt for today is maple tarts.

We use Costco’s Maple Syrup. Maple tarts aren’t vegan but I use maple syrup in a lot of vegan recipes. You can’t beat Costco’s price either.