Below is where you can get a sense of the drive and passion Marti brings to her world of HappyArt.

There are always a ton of HappyArt ideas, thoughts and images to delight and maybe even inspire. Welcome!

HappyArt News – New Products and Updates!

HappyArt News Today's HappyArt news offers a recap of what I've been up to artistically! Check it. Let me know what you think! Comment here, oor on any of my social media accounts. Drawings Recently I've been drawing and writing a whole bunch. I'm in the midst of...

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A Whale of a Great Time!

When I take a vacation, I like to vacate my normal routine. When we lived in rural Kentucky, for example, Mike and I would hightail back into the city. When we lived in the city we'd hightail it to the woods. So now that we live in the semi-arid countryside San Miguel...

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The Mexican Country Circus

Espectacular Something was happening on the other side of town, 0ver by the stone court that's used as a soccer field in our little village that's sprinkled on the side of a collapsed volcano. So Mikey and I did what raw curiosity had us do, got in the truck and...

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Birds and Butterflies

I am amazed at migration cycles of birds, especially the tiny hummingbirds who fly from central Mexico all the way up into North America. But what pretty much gives new meanings to how I think about life are the migratory journeys of Monarch Butterflies. They fly from...

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Downloadable Coloring Page

Seems like everyone is coloring these days and that's a great thing! It's meditative and fun. I have created two such coloring books for grown ups and kids alike and both are available on amazon.com. Volume 1 click here. Volume 2 click here. In the meantime, I have...

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Hope Floats in a Little Red Boat

You wouldn't think that in the high arid plains of Mexico's interior that you'd be able to have much opportunity to kayak, but in San Miguel de Allende you can! Thanks to the Amigos de la Presa (Friends of the Reservoir) you can join small parties on the water in a...

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The Magic of the Monarch

A Little Butterfly Background Early last spring I took a trip to see where the Monarch butterflies spend their winters in the pine forest highlands of central Mexico. It was a magical experience to witness many millions of these beautiful creatures swaying together in...

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Surviving Death

Huh? Well that's impossible. No one has ever done it! Or have they? When you look at death as being an experience of this earthly existence, then it does have a finality about it that's hard to argue against. Of course there are options, many of which are presented by...

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Custom Cartooned Cowgirl Boots!

I knew the moment I saw Carrie Cameron's Cock of the Walk boots-- in the summer of 2013 when we bought our house -- that I would be saving up for for my own pair. While I love Carrie's designs, I instantly began thinking about designing my own pair! She told me the...

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How Artists Handle An Angry Attack

I recently went through a situation with a fellow creative - someone known for creating and assembling offerings with a flair and a zest uniquely their own that is hugely popular, and rightly so, with their chosen target markets. Yet recently this person felt...

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How Can You Paint So Fast!?

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Part 2 I like to involve myself in good solid creative challenges, which is why I participated in a painting a day project last January. Well I'm at it again! For the entire month of September I'll be hoping to create one painting - of some...

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Authentic Zapotec Weaving

MuMu, my big horse, just got a present: a custom woven saddle blanket! I visited the shop of a husband and wife team here in San Miguel who bring rugs into their tiny shop that have been woven by various of their family members. They are happy to create custom pieces...

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A Look Into Marti’s Latest Sketchbook

With two massive coloring books for kids and grownups under her belt, (volume one and volume two) Marti has continued drawing in the mornings but now is merely doing so for her own entertainment. None of these will be converted into a new book. This is the only place...

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Happy Animal Book Project

What's Up? Those of you who follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter have already heard that I am diving into my next book project with both feet! It's a children's book that will be in both English and Spanish and will be offered free to any child who completes a...

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Home is Where the Art is

A Master of Color Anado McLauchlin is a colorful guy. Not only is his art packed full of every hue imaginable, his entire life glows with a vibe that taps into every corner of the spectrum and beyond into the unseen. I first came to learn of this visual wizard from a...

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Monarch Butterfly Paintings

As a result of visiting the Monarch butterfly preserve in Mexico (see my last post), I have been inspired to paint some pieces featuring these intrepid travelers. The one with the blue burro is on auction on my Facebook page. Click photo to be taken there. The other...

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El Milagro de la Monarca Mariposa

The Miracle of the Monarch Butterfly Migration I took a two day trip into the central highlands of Mexico to wrap myself inside the experience of seeing the millions of monarch butterflies who over-winter in this very specific geographic region. I returned altered...

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Happy 2015!

Finally! It's here, twenty fifteen. To open the New Year right I'm participating in a thirty day painting challenge. The suggestion is to paint one painting a day for the whole month of January. Well I'm easing into it. I started with this old rocking chair we've had...

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Oh Boy! All New HappyArt Shop!

Here I was struggling to figure out how to print and ship items from my new home in Mexico when all of a sudden I remembered there is a fantastic service in the states that does this for artists. Fine Art America produces high quality giclee' prints that you can order...

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Dream Drawings Book is HERE!

Just in time for the holidays, my latest book of four hundred drawings was released on amazon.com today! Even better, they're having a SALE for Cyber Monday so you can save 30% on ANY book all day today!! Use Promo Code: HOLIDAY30 Here's the link. The book is a hefty...

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An Educational Haven

Opportunities abound up here in the high plains of central Mexico. For example several weeks ago a Facebook friend suggested I look up a writers group here in San Miguel de Allende and check out their annual conference for aspiring and established writers  As I've...

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Everyone’s Coloring These Days!

Coloring for Adults is Relaxing Who knew! Adults are starting to get back into coloring big time. Apparently research is showing that people find it very relaxing. I know I have heard this sort of thing from folks who have purchased my first volume of drawings ("400...

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Timlandia and its Flying Concrete

Amazing Architecture Some time last year in my research for moving to San Miguel de Allende, I came across a website that absolutely blew me away! It featured the soaring and whimsical concrete architecture of a man named Steve Kormher for his client Tim Sullivan; two...

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Turning a Sketch into a Concrete Garden Planter

Workshop = Playshop I was lucky enough to be able to spend four information and action packed days with an amazing Artist from the Czech Republic this past week. The topic was concrete sculpture. Note: my mom worked for the mothership of all such materials (The...

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Recent Drawings

My second collection of drawings is coming along nicely. This surprised me as I have not been as regular with drawing as I usually am. Moving to Mexico kind of stirred up my equilibrium, to say the least, and routine was replaced with many novel experiences; some...

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Seldom Scene Farm Farewell: Part 2

It seems that after a summer of one delay and family emergency after another - the skies have cleared and our route down to Mexico is going to become a reality before the end of this week. It's time to say farewell to some of the nicest people on the planet and their...

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Kentucky Paradise: Seldom Seen Part 1

Stuck in Paradise The intricate paperwork that has had to be collected, assembled, notarized and perfectly coordinated into packets having to do with my hubby and I, our pets, our vehicles and the stuff we’re taking with us down to Mexico has taken a lot longer than I...

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The Martian on the Mantle

I got to experience my first ever Los Locos (the loonies) parade held annually here in San Miguel de Allende, Gto, Mexico. It was a blast and totally lived up to its name! Very unlike a Rose Bowl parade with gigantic floats funded by corporate sponsors, this parade...

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Los Locos

A Festival Dedicated to "The Crazies"! That's right, the folks of San Miguel know how to par-tay! Every year, from every corner, every tiny village and most major neighborhoods, people organize themselves around a theme and come together to parade through the street...

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San Miguel So Far…

So Far.....But Not THAT Far! For one thing, our internet is better than it was in Kentucky! Or Chicago for that matter. But that's because it was installed by a man named Jesus, so we knew we were in great hands! I've posted some introductory photos from our new home...

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Every Role Adds to the Success of This Globe

I got to attend my first ever TEDx event in my new city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico this past weekend. What a great way to get to know some of the more forward thinking, passionate people here! The topics were organized loosely around the concept of "de: spacio"...

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Synchronicity Rocks!

An Encouraging Sign? My mother passed away recently and as my sisters and I were going through her personal effects I came upon a keepsake that pretty much floored me. About 15 years ago my mom and dad befriended a couple from New York city. She was a theatre...

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What’s Next?

The departure of the spirit from the material self is the essence of the death process. The Habit of Being There is a strong nostalgic connection between the spirit and the physical body that has developed a retinue of large and small habits, routines, accommodations...

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An Open Ended Life

Like my American compadres, I am used to operating on tight and usually very definite deadlines. Events have dates and exact times they are meant to occur. You and I have an appointment to speak at 11 sharp. The art show load in begins at noon on such and so street...

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February Drawings

It's been an interesting winter, that's for sure. Usually my drawings reflect what I've been thinking about and this set certainly seems to. As we get closer to actually moving to Mexico, you can see me starting to get very nostalgic for horses, even more than I...

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Subliminal Messages

Is the root to the word "subliminal" sublime? If it is, I'm pretty happy with the message I'm taking from a painting I completed this past week. I think it tells the story of my feelings surrounding our upcoming relocation to Mexico. The mare represents my present;...

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Mid-January Drawings

After the holidays the new year starts to build itself from the inside out of darkened January nights and those occasional crystalline days it's known for in the northern climes. My life takes on a more cubby holed quality and I tend to pick up home projects like...

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Gluten and Wheatfree Gingerbread Cake!

Mid January calls for some drastic action in the comfort department, especially when the temperatures have dipped below what they seem to be on Mars, for crying out loud! Because I'm sticking with the being wheat-free thing for the foreseeable future, I'm curating and...

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Gluten-Wheat Free Happy-Turtle Pie

When you adopt a healthier lifestyle, it's all about limitations and can't-haves, right? Wrong! I don't have any specific food allergies, but about a year and a half ago I read a book called "Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to...

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Latest Sketches 601 – 618

Sometimes stretches on my calendar go by without me doing a whole lot of drawing, but this hasn't been the case lately. In fact, I've gotten pretty into some detailed images that have flowed down my arm out the end of my pencils. The topics have been as varied as...

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Sugar Skull Make Up

I'm getting ready to try my hand at a sugar skull look for this year's Day of the Dead celebrations. As many of you have already heard, Mike and I are moving to Mexico shortly after our home sells (more info on that here). In psyching ourselves up for this life...

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Thank You Sir, May I have Another….

Or why no one should ever check their Facebook feed at 2am. Yesterday I wrote that I had second thoughts about having a "Barn Sale Blow Out" of my work and one of my Facebook connections seems to have jumped to the conclusion that I was closing my animal rescue...

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21 Recent Drawings Late Summer 2013

It's been a super busy summer, preparing for and doing Art Shows as well as whipping down to Mexico to look at property and buy a home there! Oh, and keeping up with my new media clients. Gee, why am I tired, lol? But drawing keeps me sane. Here are 21 of the very...

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eBay Treasure and Collectibles

In the midst of pairing down one's possessions one comes to find several venerable outlets of utmost import. These are: Your friends Your kin Goodwill Craig's List and eBay Already Mikey has managed to score five hundred bucks for an old truck we thought we were gonna...

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Why on Earth Are YOU Leaving the U. S.?

....asked a friend recently. Mind you, she is the exception. Most people I mention this to have heard of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and are super excited for our adventures to come. I have several committed to visiting within a year of our arrival and others who...

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Topsy Turvey Life Changes

There's nothing like a major change in one's living situation to create a whole bunch of excitement that resonates through just about every subsequent decision until the change is assimilated and absorbed. For an interesting (to us anyway) set of reasons, my husband...

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Inspiration = Friends + Focus + Fun!

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? Inspiration comes from a whole host of sources. Great art comes from great risk coupled with great celebration. Some people may ask, "How risky is it to pick up a brush and slap paint to canvas?" If you're not an artist, the answer may...

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Happy Drawing Days….

Last week at the Lower Town Arts and Music Festival in Paducah, Kentucky a patron sidled up to me and whispered "I've been coming to this show for the past three years and this is the first time I ever bought anything!" as she handed me one of my "400 Mornings" books...

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Beauty is Embarrassing?

Today I want to bring to your attention the ongoing life's work of two very different, but amazingly simpatico artists' work. Wayne White and Dan Crowley. Wayne White came to my attention in the later 1980's because I was a big huge fan of PeeWee's Playhouse. He was a...

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Derby Day in KY

This will be my 8th Derby Day as a resident here in Kentucky. It's always a fun time. No, I don't go to the actual Derby. You have to know people or save a bunch of money to do it right. And I'm spoiled. I've done the Breeder's Cup right, with the banquet, the free...

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How to Draw

A friend asks: "Can you teach me to draw?" The most truthful answer is a simple "No." I can show you how I draw. I can explain my process, discuss my tools and describe the space I tend to find the most conducive: the time of day I find the most stimulating; the...

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When Spring Does

At first it sticks its nose out and tests the air for a warm breeze. Then a gust swirls up and smothers that thought with dollops of snow and frozen schedules. Spring is like that; tentative, pushed back under and then - Boing! Nothing can hold it back and everything...

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The ‘Ever-ness’ of Being

A Worldwide Event! Sunday, March 24, was "International Mini Comics Day" across the globe. Cartoonists were invited to participate no mater where they lived, or what their skills, fame or topic. I decided this would be a great way to reinvigorate my own participation...

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Inspiration From a Horsey Bush Poet

This past weekend I was lucky enough to become fully immersed in an event that was not art-centric at all. Or was it? A friend of mine scored some high-end tickets to one of the hottest horse shows in all of horsedom: "The Road to the Horse". Young Quarter Horses...

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Fifty New Drawings!

Drawing is Addictive! Since releasing my latest book, "400 Mornings" I've continued drawing. I tried to stop, or at least slow down, but I soon discovered I have become somewhat addicted to the good feeling of morning creation. The really nice side benefit of some of...

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Love is Everywhere You Look for it!

As a hobby I like to pick up books written by kindly, exceptionally clever physicists who are smart enough to know how to explain their difficult subjects in simple, easy to understand terms. So I read Brian Greene, Michio Kaku, and even the occasional Richard...

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Angels Hum

Lately I've been checking in on a sweet little bird nesting in sunny California where she lives. Her name is Phoebe and she has quite the following. You see, some clever people have set up a little webcam over her tiny tiny nest and keep it running throughout the...

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Art Car Synchronicity

Yesterday I filled out an application to participate as an Art Car Artist at the ever-fun Lower Town Art and Music Festival in Paducah, Kentucky. New for them this year will an Art Car feature. They're encouraging everyone within a 350 mile range of Paducah to give...

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How Does a Drawing Become a Painting?

Pencil to Paint If you're familiar at all with my work you've probably noticed that I draw and paint. Usually I draw just about every day. I explore new ideas and let my imagination flow. When I'm lucky enough to get some time in my studio I like to review my drawings...

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Book Progress!

Oh Boy! I had such a productive week! I made the final touches to 400 Mornings and under the auspices of DogTrot Press uploaded the whole shebang to the amazon.com book publishing unit! I added a book release Event to my HappyArt Page on Facebook and cordially invite...

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Often, Old Friends are the Best!

A Humbling Honor Bestowed I love people who help animals. Here where I live in Kentucky there are some stand-out thoroughbred (race horse) recue organizations and my all-time favorite has to be Old Friends Equine Retirement in Georgetown. Headed by the former film...

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New Paintings January 2013

I've begun the new year on a roll with painting! From my ongoing experience playing around with Instagram I have developed a newly discovered fondness for the square. Never before have I explored this shape visually. I tend to go with the more typical 'golden mean'...

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Finding Kindness in the Usual Barrage

Gifts From the Dream Plane Sometimes when I awake I'm accompanied by a quote or a saying that seems to have been percolating through my dreams. This morning had one such gem: Kindness is usually an act of courage. Animosity is usually an expression of fear. It took...

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Four Hundred More!

The New Creative Flow Many of you already know I recently completed the 400th drawing in a series. What I came to really appreciate about keeping up with what amounted to about a drawing a day was how the process kept my creativity flowing. I knew I'd be kind of...

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People and Their Beloved Pets

This holiday season I was honored to get to commemorate a whole bunch of animal lovers posed with some of their favorite companions. I can't tell you how much I love to get to do this kind of work. Of course I couldn't post these projects until after December 25th...

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Drawing Attention to Myself

Uh Oh... This week I got some feedback on my drawings from a well intended artist friend. The comment was:  the drawings to me were excellent character sketches and notes for a book or video, but they didn't function on the page. "Didn't function on the page." That's...

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HappyArt Thats’ Permanent!

She went and did it! If you follow my blog then you may remember that sometime last summer a friend of mine who's deeply committed to equine rescue asked me to design a tattoo for her. She's already got a bunch - and most of them are about horses. I took to calling...

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Your Chance to be a Visionary Shopper

Good Folk Fest This weekend in Louisville, KY you have a chance to buy from a collection of artists offering an unparalleled array of raw, outsider and visionary art. I'm here with my dog, JoJo's, sculpted cans as well as some of my own work. You'll also find hand...

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Treasure in Nashville!

Artclectic Last weekend I got to be a part of Artclectic in Nashville; quite possibly THE best looking show I've ever been lucky enough to be a part of. This event is an annual fund raiser for a private school adjacent to the Vanderbuilt University campus and you can...

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Commissioned Felted Rug Phase 4

The client decided to add a swoop of green along one end of the rug, which has been begun. Additionally a removable cotton backing has been created highlighting a meaningful quote! As we're entering the final stages of this piece all that's left to do is: ask the...

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Nashville Bound! Artclectic 2012

Artclectic Tomorrow at the crack of dawn I'm leaping into my intrepid colorful jalopy and heading southwest to Nashville Tennessee. My destination is a quirky-wonderful indoor art show put on by the University School of Nashville located adjacent to Vanderbuilt...

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Cartoonies

How Projects Evolve I've been making a drawing a day almost every day for about a year now. As I expected, doing so has done several things for me kept my creative juices flowing kept my thinking fresh caused me to think about my art and where it's going lead me to...

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Large Felted Rug Phase 2

Things are progressing on the special order large felted rug. [gallery orderby="title"] Building Layers I couldn't be happier with how things are going with this piece! Each phase is accomplishing what it has to in order to be built up into a luxurious whole. Matching...

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It’s not “Or” it’s “And”!

You. Are. Wrong. No, YOU Are! Are you finding yourself getting riled up this political season? I am. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to take the continuous feed of bombast and bullying from zealots embedded deeply within each party. What irks me the most is the...

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Making a Very Large Felted Rug by Hand Part 1

There's Big and Then There's Felting Big! In hand felting what constitutes 'very large' in rugs is a lot different than what you might think of as big when it comes to machine made carpets. But the very process of felting means when planning the final outcome you have...

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I’ve Been Horsey Lately

Fall has come to Kentucky and this usually means it's no longer too hot to think about riding big beautiful equines out under a cloudless sky. The air has freshened up and there's a renewed bounce in the haunches of my horse buddies, sometimes welcomed, sometimes not,...

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Another Chance Equine Rescue

Shopping here helps animals!! Last week I launched a new project where I offer art earmarked to benefit a particular animal rescue of one kind or another. I started with a couple of old faves in that new section here in my online shop. Today I am announcing a brand...

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HappyArt For Animals

Yay Animals and Those Who Help Them! It's no secret: I love animals. I appreciate all the joy they bring to the world and I have been lucky enough to get to live with a bunch over the years. People tell me that my animals are among the luckiest - I...

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Everything is Incredible

Today two identical and truly exceptional videos came across my personal news flow. You may not see these as the same at first - but look again. I know each of these videos is a bit of a time commitment, and will take about  16 minutes of your life to watch. Oh, my...

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300 Drawings – 75% Complete!

This morning marked a milestone in the project I'm calling Big Idea Two. I made the three hundredth sketch in this ongoing series! The goal is 400, and it looks like I'll be able to accomplish that maybe even before the end of the year. What I've Learned So Far Part...

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An Insomniac’s Purpose

Insomnia Yesterday on a radio show called The Story they aired a piece about about a guy who has a hard time sleeping. He copes by filling the small hours of the morning with routine. One thing he does is go for a walk to witness the sunrise. This guy is not a poet....

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Ziplining for an Old Friend

Who's Zippy Chippy? I came across the race horse named Zippy Chippy early on after moving to the "Horse Capitol of the World" here in Lexington, Kentucky. He became an immediate favorite for me. Not because he was such a fast horse, not because he was such a beautiful...

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Dog Would!

Anyone who has lived with a dog knows that they are uncommonly great at being upbeat optimists. They're always glad to see you. They love the food you give them. They're always up for an adventure. Well, most dogs anyway. Certainly every dog I've ever known - even my...

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Harmonious Pets

Every evening when the Dogtrot Hill clan convenes in our living room old timer JoJo will lay and serenely lick our wacky black cat Kittoonski. It's a weird scene and one that didn't seem possible way back when Jo was a pup. Man, that dog was wild. But he grew up and...

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Instagram

Like all curious creatives with an eye towards maximizing my online presence these days I've begun doing some posts with this uber popular photo sharing social network. I've been playing around with it, comparing its features to those I already use with Facebook,...

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Wealth Ain’t About Money

My heading here is a bit crass as it's coming from a citizen of one of the 'richest' most resource wasteful of all countries on earth. But as a member of a this population I can speak unequivocally about this. I have so much as do most Americans - but it isn't the...

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First Tattoo Art!

My friend Sabrina is a wonderful person and a compassionate horse rescuer. She asked for me to draw her a tattoo design to take to her local ink artist. I kept putting it off because having a small tattoo myself I know the pain involved with the drawing I do. I...

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Kerfuffle

My horses are fat and it's entirely my fault. Well, sort of. I hate having to put grazing muzzles on them so I have been putting off doing so for far too long. If you're not horsey then you may not know that grass can be actually quite fattening. Especially for...

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Anger is Always Optional

I had an odd exchange with a person I met on Facebook yesterday. Due to glitches in online media she had misunderstood an exchange we had had. When she brought it to my attention I immediately explained what I thought had happened and apologized for any confusion....

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Animals in Hats

I think if animals wore hats we'd all have a slightly better chance of seeing them less as meat and more like individuals. Once we start doing that I think their lives will start to get better. We'll think about pigs and chickens in factory farms and demand more...

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Ann Arbor Original Art Fair – A+

Recap It's a long show (four days) with Long hours (10am - 9pm). The booths are on the high end of what's typical these days for an outdoor art fair. To succeed at such an event your return on investment has to be higher than other shows. While the crowds were here,...

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Are You A Knight?

I am. Here's how. Armor Today I'm packing up my car to head to an art fair. I've done just about everything I can think of to prepare for this amazing event. Really all that's left are tying up some loose ends and getting myself into a healthy frame of mind for the...

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Felting: How to

The good folks at the Original Ann Arbor Art Fair asked the artists participating in the show if we'd care to demonstrate our art during the show. I love sharing the magic of felting with people because I remember how it felt the furst time experienced this art form...

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Featured Artist!

Wow! Popular art fair resource web site Art Fair Insiders named me as their "Artist of the Month" for this crazy-busy art fair month. What an honor! This is the go-to resources for art fair promoters and artists alike. Web site owner Connie Mettler asked me to submit...

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Excellence

Athletes and their entourages have begun converging in London for the Olympics. While I can't say I'm much of an athlete I am one who works to find excellence in my own pursuits. I think the amazing feats of these well toned, driven people illustrates beautifully for...

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Balance Ain’t Static

There's a misconception that's fairly popular where it's thought that you can buy your way into personal growth. But you can't. Not really. You can purchase the accoutrements of enlightenment, the accessories that suggest metamorphosis but true change comes from...

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Hope Floats

The Morning Mood This morning my mood was trying to darken. Maybe you know what I'm talking about. I woke up ok, but then as I lay there considering what the day ahead of me I began to sort of psyche myself out about some things going on. I could literally feel the...

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Strange Relationship

My pets are offbeat individualists. Often in the morning or after dinner JoJo, the blue heeler, will start to lick MeowRiffic (AKA Kittoonski) because this crazy black cat makes him! I think they demonstrate the wonders of inter-racial -- or in their case,...

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Unholy Hay Bales

Last night the phone rang after the lights were out (uh oh). I heard Mikey say: "The one next door? Ok..." and somehow I just knew it was a fire. I also somehow knew exactly where it was. There's a property that's been for sale for a couple of years. Yeah, the economy...

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40 Years Later: I’m the SAME!

Back to the Future In the 1960's I went to school with a bunch of kids. We attended kindergarten through 8th grade more or less as a whole unit. People just didn't move around like they do these days, so we had pretty good opportunities to get to know each other day...

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Higgs boson – the LOVE particle!

Particle physicists hate it when they hear laymen call the Higgs boson the "God particle". Apparently the reference started as a joke and actually was shortened from being called the 'goddamned' particle"! Kind of a different meaning, huh. Scientists were confounded...

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Stuff Happens

Wonderful, Perfect Lives We who have blogs sometimes get confused with having wonderful, perfect lives. The reason is because we get to pick and choose from our daily experiences what we decide will be posted. Eventually this adds up to a fairly dreamy array of...

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Every Night: A New Beginning

Dreams Cleanse I like to think that as each night melts into the next day, as we're dreaming, conjuring new realities and playing out alternatives - in fact at the root of it is we're reinventing ourselves from the stars down. So that when we arise the next day - we...

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New Very Large Felted Wall Piece

I am delighted to show you the latest in my felted series of wall art!  This is what I've been working on the past week. It's 55" x 30" and comprised of each and every variety of super soft fiber I have in the studio. The full-on Unicorn Custom Blend! What the photos...

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Animals Inspire Me

Pets or Teachers? I have chosen to include a small herd of animals under my direct stewardship in my life. These include three horses (well, two and a half really; one is a mini), three dogs and three cats, an indoor/outdoor version and 2 self-selected barn cats. Each...

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Be a Happy Artist!

Don't Just Survive - Thrive! Art fairs are a lot of hard work. They're also expensive to participate in and attend. They're stressful and full of physical challenges. Below are some tips I've created to help me not just get through the next show, but have fun doing so...

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Balance Trumps Bombs

When I pause and think about what the news loves to shout about, things like: war neglect abuse cheating greed bullying discord etc I generally get fairly depressed. It's why I absolutely have to limit my 'news' intake. I also try to make sense out of the existence of...

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Art Believes in You

You can art some of the people all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time. But you can't art all of the people all of the time. (With apologies to Abe Lincoln) Which is ok from the artist's point of view because it's not in our job...

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Protective Spirit Dog Drawing

"The compassionate spirit of a well loved dog lingers long past material existence." This image came straight to me out of the residual ether of a happy I dream I had last night. It shows my wonderful old dog (who died many years ago) protecting over my family and...

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You Can Lead a ….

Today's drawing features celebrity miniature horse, Iota McHippus and references a quote from my 8th grade earth sciences teacher Russell Ruswick. You can lead a horse to water but a pencil must be lead. Available - $25 - Free Shipping [nicepaypallite name="#234...

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EcoSystem of Joy

Today's sketch bubbled out of the creative ether. I started this piece with absolutely no preconception whatsoever. When I was almost done the words to accompany it presented themselves so I went with it!... An entire eco-system of JOY can be relaunched with just a...

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Envisioning What’s Next?

Sometimes life offers a switch that causes you to think about change or in this case downsizing, before you might be perfectly ready to do so. The best way I've found to minimize fearful thought loops is to picture the best case scenario of what that might look like....

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WHAT Kind of Pizza??

I'm going wheat-free for a while but I love pizza!! So what to do? Go insane! Here it is - cauliflower crust pizza! Step by step proof it works! I like to be honest about these things, lol. It was even worse than this - but I was too busy to reshoot. Ok, this is...

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The Process of HappyArt Revealed! Part 1

If there's one thing I love watching it's how something that seems mysterious to me gets made! I figure you might enjoy seeing that too. So today I'll post a series of images that show how an idea gets from the inside of my busy noggin' out into the world as a work of...

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Sneak Peak Wearables

I decided to play around with some more wearables as I continue to prepare for this summer's shows. I'm using the resist wet felting method where I cut a pattern out of plastic (that the fibers won't stick to) that's larger than I want the finished piece to be and...

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New! Mini Felted Wall Hangings

Everyone who wants one should have the opportunity to afford a piece from my felted collection. That's why I've added a whole new line into the gallery, the all new, scaled down but ever-wonderful Minis! Each piece measures about 7-8" at the widest. They're all made...

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The Challenges of Living

Some unknowns have inserted themselves into my life all of a sudden. You know how this can happen; those unexpected blips in life's path that cause us to question things? A big one of those has appeared on the scene and it's causing me, inspiring me, to think about...

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Happy Indy 500 Day!

Every year the Indy 500 rolls around (and around and around and around) and I usually find myself making art accompanied by the play by voice over of the race. I guess I tend to be preparing for a summer art show around the end of May. Weirdly it's a tradition I like....

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Needy Dogs – and a Crazy Plan

In my drawing series (about one a day until I get to 400) I wake up, have some coffee and let the muse tell me what's going to appear. Yesterday it was the notion of needy dogs. You know the ones. They're everywhere. Even here in the US where we LOVE our dogs! Not...

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A Sketch and a Test!

Things just keep humming along in the land of helping people connect online. The latest little bit of code that's helpful for an artist who sells things online is a quick and easy PayPal button shortcode you can add to a page or a post that brings a potential...

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New Felted Mini Wall Hangings

This past weekend I spent an absolutely pleasant time in Paducah, Kentucky showing my new felted work. This was my first festival of the season so I was keen to get feedback on what I was showing. Of course in the studio I just let the creative juices flow, as this...

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Rainbow Corn on the Cob!

Well thanks to my alert friend, Keiko Meowkami - I know what table corn I'll be growing next year. Can't this year - because they sold out already - so I'm on board for next year's seeds. It's called "Glass Gem" and will be available from a little place called Seed...

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Not sure About Pinterest

Ok, so I've toyed with Pinterest for a couple of months now - and basically it seems to be a site that's pretty much all about consuming. Shopping, food porn, home and garden upgrades, weird shoes, awesome outfits, rainbow hair and this sort of thing. I'm not saying...

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Sketches Celebrating Moms

[gallery columns="2"] Mother's Day is coming right up and if you're like me you often wonder what token can you buy that will convey your appreciation for your awesome mom? Well nothing, of course. There's no one thing a kid can buy that can tell a mom that much - but...

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My Unicorn

A friend who runs a B&B (First Farm Inn) that offers trail riding as an add-on option up near Cincinnati came up with an interesting challenge last week. "Can you make a felted unicorn horn to go on a horse's bridle?". Apparently a guest had wondered if she could...

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Friedburg Germany circa mid-1990’s

Because you never know where opportunity is going to pop, I try to keep an open mind - even when I'm experiencing an art show with what appear to be slow sales. Such a thing seemed to happening one beautiful fun weekend in Gainesville, Florida in the early 1990's for...

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Ah, the Wonderful Confusing Wisdom of Pets

I have a friend who has a cat for some reason or another I find I can connect with from a distance and take in her energy. Call it animal communication for lack of a better term - but this isn't a skill I feel I have developed particularly well. Still, there are times...

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Happy Pup Poppers

Today's sketch came from that little part of my brain that remembers the joys of living with a weensy chihuahua. Here the pooch's happiness wafts up into the collector funnel, is concentrated and put into little pills for later popping! Addictive, but not dangerous....

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Tree Arranger Bear

Today's morning image allowed me to wrap my thinking around how bears might take matters into their own paws when it comes to human land development if we let them in on the process a little...

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Tell an Artist What to do!

I would love to have your opinion. You see, I'm making a body of work to take to art shows this summer, and I need to know what people think of some of the items I've made so far. Your opinions will help me choose what to do next! So if you're up for it, let's start...

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Art Hats for Horses – in Mini Size!

As fashion hounds, miniature horses have quite a reputation. Because they're addicted to accessorizing it is fun to play with their fashion sense. In this case I attempted to create a light hearted piece for Iota McHippus, "Celebrity Mini". That little dude gets...

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Find YOUR Artistic Voice!

"It's not your responsibility to get people to like your creative pursuits." Somewhere along the line I figured this out.There are some artists who start their careers out knowing this intuitively and off they go following their bliss. Since I came into art sort of...

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Early Early Spring

Around much of the United States this year spring has come early. What a gift! Sometimes when the warm temperatures come, the plants and the trees wake up too early and sent out tender shoots that get frozen off with the next snap. That didn't happen this year. So now...

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Sketch of the Day #147

Molasses Gasses! Like you, I get swamped with a whole bunch of dire news about the oil crisis and our dependency on it for just about everything. I'm thinking, hey, wouldn't it be cool if there was something else that was renewable, cleaner and just plain old more...

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Art Hats for Horses!

Yes, the time has finally come when our equine friends can get into the swing at high class events like the Kentucky Derby and Ascot in their own head confections! Here come Art Hats for Horses! Horses like to look their best just as much as we do. They also like to...

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The Miracle of Creativity

So Much Bad News With all the bad news, personal concerns and global challenges we're currently facing it's a wonder I can think creatively at all. I mean it. There's almost every reason why I shouldn't be able to. Indeed, there's almost every reason why I shouldn't...

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Felted Art Hats

Hats are a whole new world of idea making for this artist. There are many important factors to consider when one goes about creating something she envisions another will want to put on her head! This is quite a challenge for me! How whimsical dare I go? This is a real...

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Story Drawing!

As the process of drawing just about every day unfolds, little ideas bubble up. This morning I got all excited because as I finished the morning's sketch a little story popped right out along with it. That sort of excited me - because often a story accompanies an...

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HappyArt gets a New Label

Literally! By getting back into creating wearables, this time from scratch so to speak, I thought I should design a proper label. This was a fun project to wrap around my little February brain. Of course, me being me, I chose a BRIGHT color scheme. If you're...

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The Vision vs. The Reality

Sometimes before I conjure something up, I sketch it out. Actually I do that a bunch - but in sort of an oblique way...what with the dream world making all the time, lol. This time it was fairly literal. I had in mind to make a hat and a dress/tunic combo. So I...

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Big Idea 91 – 120 – Pencil Sketches

It's been a busy couple of weeks since the last Big Idea post. This time I've saved up 30 new images to add. It's fun to see how the sketches reflect what I'm up to....from imagining hobbies for my my mini horse to sort of documenting a weekend away at a serene...

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My Spirit ‘Other’ or Animal Muse

In a recent post I mentioned that my new favorite book is "The Arrival" by the incredibly gifted Shaun Tan. Without words he tells the compelling tale of an immigrant who experiences a sort of culture shock in a new land. Among the characteristics of the new place...

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My New Favorite Book

I read a whole lot. I'm also occasionally drawn to graphic novels (sorry about the pun). Not the pulpy stuff - but the gorgeously drawn, the full-bodied conceptual, the very most awesomest! I have had favorite novels and stories in the past - all selected for...

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Creativity in a Serene Setting

In Central Kentucky there is a beautiful Shaker village. It has dozens of authentically restored historic buildings, over 3000 rolling and wooded acres and oodles of gorgeousness. There's a restuarant, a craft store and tons of interesting things to see and do. This...

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Deep Winter Big Idea

Can I even call it "deep winter" when our January temps continue to linger in the realm of spring? I can't complain about having cabin fever because I've managed to get outside a lot over the past several weeks. You'll see I've gotten a bit involved in imagineering a...

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Unicorn Lucky Tunic!

I just finished hand sewing this tunic and I was so excited with how it turned out I thought I would share the results! Using my new drum carder to make various art batts in all the colors of the rainbow, I was able to create a very colorful base upon which I later...

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Fancy Kitty Drum Carder Fun

I splurged and popped for a Fancy Kitty drum carder. For one thing, I couldn't resist the name. For another, drum carders help turn gorgeous hand dyed fiber and silky odds and ends into what they call art batts. Art batts are some kind of most excellent gorgeous in my...

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Ten New Sketches

About a week ago I posted a note saying it was too bad I couldn't draw well, but I didn't let that stop me. I got such friendly response from my ever extraordinary friends and connections offering their support and telling me, basically, that I was full of beans. They...

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Sum Up Your Life in Two Words!

One of the hazards of selling your work on Etsy is that you're constantly exposed to cute stuff. This si how I came across a super cute ring design. It's a silver band with an inset tiny opal and it's customizable! You can see for yourself about how much lettering you...

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Nice Moments = The Meaning of Life

The meaning of life, well the meaning of life to me came whooshing into my consciousness yesterday in such an unremarkable and gentle fashion I almost mistook it for a passing fancy. But somehow I paused and absorbed what I was 'getting' and it slowly dawned on me...

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Winter Sketches From a Happy Artist

[flagallery gid=7 name="Gallery"] The theme of these next images definitely were being derived from the impact of the onset of the thought of winter. Where I live (Kentucky) there hasn't been a lot of actual winter weather yet - but the mood somewhat permeates the...

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When HappyArt Isn’t

Sometimes I wake up on the 'wrong side of my optimism'. When that happens that day begins with a gloomy tinge to it. This happened yesterday. I felt like Eeyore. That there is a children's story character already designed to portray these rather common moods tells me...

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Bear Pathway

In my morning explorations with drawing I get to put pencil to paper when I'm still relatively fresh from the Dreamworld. What I like about this is I seem to have a clearer channel tuning to collective consciousness. Sometimes I get to capature an image that really...

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The HappyArt Blog-o-Sphere!

Blog-a-Riffic! Besides making my HappyArt I also write several blogs. This one obviously, a couple that highlight my work and fun with horses: MerryHorses, Little Horse Big Trip, HorseJourney and my marketing tips one at martimcginnis.com.  I also write and draw one...

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I Felt, You Felt, We all Felt Great!

People wonder: "How do you felt?". It is almost a magical process. I am constantly amazed that it works! At its very basic, it is a 3 step process. 1. Preparing the Fiber First you have to get some animal fiber. I use super soft alpaca and merino wool. I buy it...

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Bounty vs Booty

Money Talks This holiday season you can make a terrific and positive impact on the state of the economy by how make your present purchases. Doing so will help turn this country back in the absolute right direction and set a new standard of living and gifting that sits...

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Big Idea 10+ – #31 – 40

The Big Idea 10+ project continues! This time I was very much influenced by some information I experienced while attending a training clinic with my horse MuMu. [flagallery gid=5 name="Gallery"]

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HappyArt Presents: Holiday Presents!

  What? 2011 is coming to a close and the Happy Holidays are zooming in? I can't believe it either. This has been a GREAT year creatively! I have been having so much fun with the felting! And doing some painting and lots of drawing too. You may have been noticing...

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The Next Ten Drawings Are Here!

The latest ten new drawings in my new Big Idea 10+ series have just been added the Big Idea 10+ slideshow link above, as a new set below AND for sale at $15 each in new Facebook album linked right here. [flagallery gid=4...

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Big Idea 10+ Second Set

The latest ten new drawings in my new Big Idea 10+ series have just been added the Big Idea 10+ slideshow link above, as a new set below AND for sale at $15 each in new Facebook album linked right here. [flagallery gid=3...

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My Paint Loves Color!

Presents When you live with me sooner or later you end up with your collection of things I make for you. It's inevitable. Two reasons: I'm usually strapped for cash (I spend too much on food, books and art supplies) and I believe what I create is infused with special...

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When I’m Insulted

Because I'm an artist I tend to march to my own drum. Usually that's just fine with most people. Sometimes it's not. When it's not they may say something. Maybe even something hurtful. Mean. Well that kind of thing can slow production! Artsist are also known for our...

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Is Imagination Faster Than the Speed of Light?

Just what are those guys over in Switzerland measuring anyway? IS thought faster than the speed of light (FTL or faster than light)? Is it "superluminal? Are dreams superluminal? Is imagination? The news that neutrinos sent from the CERN facility near Geneva to...

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Tree of Life with Unicorn

THE STORY One day a lonely pale sky blue Unicorn with a golden horn spied a plump purple pony eating apples under the Tree of Life. Delighted with his find the Unicorn was instantly overjoyed to see such a marvelous being occupy that space in his conscious he thought...

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A Dozen Alpaca Scarves

I've been felting this week and just finished these fun newbies. I would LOVE to get your feedback on these! What do you like? What doesn't float your boat? [fbphotos id=287067741308942]

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When Worlds Collide

Well, ok, maybe not worlds - maybe just passions! I've been exuberantly working with amazing new media clients all week and as a precious reward for time well spent on their various Missions to make the world a better place, I've allowed myself some hours in the...

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Inventing Happiness

I've snuck in some felted this week and what a joy it has been! I throw an audio book on the iPod and assemble my "unicorn fibers" within easy reach and jump right in. This latest piece reminds me of the way cartoonists used to draw animals in, say, the 1930's or...

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Shiba Inu Felted Art Doll

As I mentioned a couple of days ago I had the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary in my felting. A friend saved a whole little bag full of her doggy's fur for me to use in a soft sculpture. After sneaking peaks at the puppy-cam this spring of some Shiba...

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RainBoBo – The Newest HapiLanian

RainBoBo I just finished the latest felted HapiLanian in my ongoing series and I'm excited with how she (he?) turned out! I used "unicorn fibers" (hand dyed alpaca blended with sparkly soft metallics). I've been working on getting the process of needle felting onto a...

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An Incompararble Life

What a Happiness Waste I spend way too much time comparing myself to others. You probably do too. We're taught to do this from the moment we show signs of comprehension. Comparisons are demonstrated to us and advertising is lavishly designed to get this point across...

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How to Make a Happy Artist Happier….

Beautiful Day I'm pretty happy-go-lucky as these things go. So I get pretty darn shocked when I experience something not-so-good. Take last week for example. I was visiting the gorgeous 3000 acre property of the historic Shakertown at Pleasant Hill here in Central,...

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Creative Queen!

Generous Soul I have some very amazing and inspirational friends. Among the most versatile has to be Lindy Huber. She has talent out the whazoo and happily shares the bounty of her skills any time I ask. Yesterday was no exception. I had mentioned that I would love to...

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Memory, Creation + Connectedness in 138 Minutes

For ANY visual artist a great movie to see on the big screen this summer is "Tree of Life" by Director Terrance Malick. Every scene has been beautifully crafted to highlight the grace in the ordinary, and the overwhelming everythingness of the rest of the universe....

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Stinky Art

Once in awhile you have to do something ridiculous are words I live by. As a self employed artist you have to stick your neck out a lot - and this is probably why we occasionally go overboard. In this case what I've done is, I've combined a cartoon strip project with...

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Flying Artists

Inspiration comes from many sources and for the luckiest among us, it comes regularly. The other day my husband walked into  the house with the most precious little treasure I could ever have imagined. He had in his hands a small beautifully built bird nest made from...

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So, You Want to Make $ as an Artist

Recently I heard from a gal who is planning to set herself up in the self-designed note card business when her full time employment ends within the next year or so. She contacted me for some advice as to how to go about some of the basics. I'll start by addressing...

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Miniature Horse Approves Fabric Designs!

Mini Approved! Some of my cartoons are finally available for sale as custom printed perfectly color-wonderful cottons and silks! Wow is this company out of North Carolina ever amazing. Spoonflower.com lets designers upload designs for fabric that are then made...

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Doggedly Pursue Your Art

An Artist's Retreat with an Unusual Artist Summer 2010 I was fortunate enough to be able to go on a 2 week Artist's Retreat  at Blueberry View in Michigan. with one of my companion dogs. As it happens this dog is also an artist in his own right. He's a sculptor. I...

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Art That Has Withstood a True Test of Time

From whence comes one's inspiration? Sometimes within. Sometimes without. Chauvet Cave, Ardeche France In 1994 some casual explorers in the south of France came across one of the single most important discoveries in human expression ever recorded. As they entered the...

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Getting to Yes with the Jury

  Preparing Your Images Art show juries sit in dark room reviewing array after array of slides of artists' work. I've read posts from these people recapping this experience and each described the process as being quite a challenge. Part of my job as an artist is...

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Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Designer

Stefan Sagmeister the designer has inspired me twice now. Here's his TEDtalk from Ted Cannes. He shares how to approach the concept of creating happiness for himself from his own personal strengths. Man, is he ever successful with his ideas. What an inspiration!...

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Alfie & io Go Lily Pulitzer!

There are a plethora of fantastic opportunities out there to get one's designs onto things. For me one of the most amazing is spoonflower.com where I can design fabric using drawings I've made with markers and enhanced in Illustrator. Oh. Em. Gee. Suddenly the...

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Decisions…..Decisions…..

As many of you know - I am big on compassion towards animals. I mean, ok, people too - but animals are sometimes - often - way more forgotten. So it should come as no surprise that I try to do good things when I can for people who help animals. In this case it's the...

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Happy Quantum Travels e.e.

The second major wholesale show I ever did was a Rosen Show (Buyer's Market of American Craft) in Anaheim California. It was located fabulously close to Disneyland as was my seedy motel (no kidding, DL is surrounded by a rather run down neighborhood). I started asking...

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Wood Woodpecker, Me and YOU Too!

Woody Woodpecker and Me Years ago - like, maybe, twenty - when the internet was new I wanted to snag my business name as a dot com. Luckily it had already been taken by a cartoonist named Martin in New York (http://www.martoons.com). There was a show coming up and I...

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I have Amazing Friends!

This week EquineConnection.org the network I run for equine advocacy and rescue got the most amazing gifts from two uber-dedicated animal lovers. The first was a HUGE box filled with garbage bags stuffed with the super soft fibers from a herd of alpacas. It was sent...

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Re-embracing HappyArt!

A bunch of years ago I came home from being away for two years on a tiny island in the middle of the south Pacific. My two years as a Peace Corps volunteer had ended and I was ready to become a full time artist. I started by making crazy little mixed media sculptures,...

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Ever the Hopeful Optimist

The downturn in the economy has affected millions of people in a variety of ways. We're cutting back, simplifying and looking at ways to make ends meet. After several years of working with small businesses on their marketing projects I'm finding they feel pressured to...

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New Cartoon Series!

I've had a bee in my bonnet for awhile now about how to bring some levity to the oh-so-serious field of equine rescue. I think I've hit on a winner in the form of a talking flake of hay and his miniature horse sidekick!  Meet Alfie McFlakey and Iota McHippus! the...

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Spring has Sprung Nesting Bird

I am alight with spring's gentle breezes and the joyful noise from all the local songbirds! Right now all over the place birds are selecting their mates, their perfect nesting sites and tons of the perfect nesting materials to beak-build their chick raising worlds. I...

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Puppy Love

When I was a younger my sisters took to calling me "Puppy". It wasn't a slam - it was an endearment. I guess because I've always loved and related so well to dogs I have always included them in my art. Well with the new needlefelting this is no exception. Check out my...

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Wearables Come Back to HappyArt!

Thanks to the enthusiasm of some talented friends I have joined the marvelous world of needle and wet felting. I love it! The colors are as rich as oils and gouache paints and the fibers as soft as kitten tummies. I just added an assortment of scarves and kerchiefs...

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Healthy “Rejection”

Being open to creating illustrations and commissioned work for people means sometimes the partnership doesn't pan out the way you might hope. But as the saying goes "for every door that closes, another opens up" the professional artist soon learns to embrace what...

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Believing

As a creative person with a pretty active mind with a ton of interests and passions I sometimes find myself stretched to the very limit. I get offers for collaborations I have to pass which often presents a difficult internal personal struggle. There's just not enough...

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Felted HapiLanians!

My friend, Lindy Huber, is a breeder of champion alpacas and a fiber artist of exquisite skill to boot. In addition to those wonderful traits - she is also an exceptionally generous soul who taught me some things about needle felting which freed me up to explore this...

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Valentines!

I love painting and I love horses! So what better combination for these two passions than making some equine themed Valentine offerings - the proceeds of which went directly towards funding EquineConnection! - the former equine rescue networking site. We raised a...

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Finding Inspiration Part 2

I like to think about where my ideas come from. I don't believe they come strictly from me but rather they come through me. A friend of mine once said that all the media I play with funnel through "the Marti filter". I like that idea. "Eat, Pray, Love" author,...

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Needle Felting

Inspired by my art club friends I've begun exploring the fantastic new media of needle-felting! The idea is by using a very sharp needle with tiny barbs on the end you sort 'weave' together wool fibers. Here I've used a lamb's wool internal ball with an overlay of...

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Finding Inspiration Part 1

Sometimes during the gloomiest parts of winter it is hard to find inspiration to get on with the next creative project. In some ways this is where fellow artists come in handy. You can connect up with them and see what they've been up to. I have an online art club I'm...

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Marti’s Art Now Available on Fabric!

Throughout the spring Marti has set her sights on designing a fabulous fun line of fabrics. Here's the really great thing - you can get them in small quantities on a variety of swank fabrics. Through the auspices of a FUNtastic new site, Spoonflower.com, you can get...

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HappyArt Blog!

HappyArt is the Creative Output of Marti McGinnis Her mission: To add smiles onto the globe! The links above go deep into the various aspects of all her fine art projects. Below are news items having to do with projects and focal points she's had in her work...

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Art in the Barn

In the summer of 2009 I was a bit stalled in my career as a visual artist. I hadn't painted with the wanton abandon I used to and it was starting to bother me. So I made the logical conclusion that if I was stalled I should be in a barn! SO I set up my work table in...

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