Author: Jeanetta Darley

A crow was cawing

This morning the air is crisp and cool and a crow was cawing on the hillside. It feels like fall is here. I hope it’s not just a short visit but a long settling in.

fall pumpkins and leaves

Soon there will be orange and yellow leaves drifting from the trees.  There will be fire pits and pumpkins and sweaters and scarves.  I am really looking forward to the sweaters and scarves because my fall wardrobe is way better than my summer one.

There’s something about fall that seems just as inspiring as spring.  When it’s purpose is the exact opposite.  In spring everything is new and coming to life.  In fall everything is dying but it never seems that way to me.  It’s more like the earth is trying to live simply for a while.  De-cluttering and making a bare bones or rather branches approach to the coming months.

October starts soon and I hope to participate in the Inktober challenge.  I do so love pen and ink!

pen and ink drawing of daisies on woodgrain by Jeanetta Darley ARTIST

I have more events coming up this fall where you can catch me in person.  Check out my events page for more details.  I hope you will stop by for a chat.

Are you excited about fall too? What’s your favorite fall thing?

Check out my Etsy shop to purchase your own print of “The Fall Menagerie”

Will there be snacks?

Whenever I go to some event or program, this is my first question.

Well, no actually the first question is will there be coffee?  But then I wonder if there will be snacks.

I actually love the idea of snacking, small meals, tapas, etc.  But now that I work from home the snacks are always there!  There for the crunching and munching.  As an artist working from home, I have moments of intense boredom.  Painting, drawing, videoing it all, editing the videos, doing all the social media techy stuff.  Trust me I’ve got plenty to do but….

There’s a comfy couch and Netflix and SNACKS!

So, I have to be really diligent to keep the cupboards and fridge stocked with healthier options.  Snacking options that I can just grab a handful of and get back to work.  Yep, back to the easel.  Not the couch, with Netflix!

My favorite go to snack is so simple.  Seriously, I just combine two ingredients!  It’s cashews and cranberries.  The C & C.  Like in The Music Factory.  A music factory in my stomach! (I think I’m funny sometimes)

Cashews and Cranberries offer the perfect taste and texture combination.  Salty, sweet, crunchy, and chewy.  It’s all there.  And protein and other healthy stuff.  Healthy stuff is good.

So grab a bowl of C & C instead of cookies, chips, candy, or any of those totally bad for you things. (That also happen to start with “C”, hmmmm…….)  OK so maybe save a cookie for a special treat because you know….. they’re cookies!  And it you have a work from home or sit on your bum job all day don’t forget to move.

What are your tactics for the defeating the snack monster?

My Wholesale Line

I am excited to finally have my wholesale section of my Etsy shop up and running. This has been a goal of mine for the last year. If you are a retail shop owner, please contact me and I will send you a link to my line sheet.

A self-portrait

I am once again participating in Janine Crum’s #MakeWithMe daily sketch challenge. I am getting a rather late start. This was supposed to be an August challenge and here it is the 17th and I am just starting on day 1. Which is a self-portrait!

Watch my time lapse drawing of #MakeWithMe Day 1

I’d like to blame the fact that I was busy getting things ready for my annual blogging and social media conference but I really think the first challenge scared me off a bit. Ugh drawing a self-portrait or a portrait of any kind is always daunting because what if it doesn’t end up looking like the subject. So this was something I kind of pushed to the back burner.

But I do adore Janine’s challenges. I have become sentimental about them. When I started my first one a few years ago it was just the kick in the pants I needed to make art a part of my daily routine. To make it part of my life again. It’s like exercising. I know I’m supposed to and that it is good for me but OOH it so hard to make yourself do it sometimes.

So run over to Instagram and look at all the studious sketchers that started on time and are following by the rules. There are some really great interpretations of the daily themes. 

The Artist Energy Struggle

The sedentary, work-from-home lifestyle of an artist and blogger can make it hard to be active when you’re a person that doesn’t really like the idea of “working out”. Finding energy building activities that I don’t hate has always been a struggle.

In my younger days feeling energetic and being active was not something I had to think about. I was running across campus from art classes to theatre rehearsals. I was dancing in my dorm room, on the local beach at midnight, or at any student gathering where there might be music. No wonder I was referred to as a bean pole.

But in the twenty plus years since college, finding ways to stay active and be excited about it, have fallen rather flat. Once the kids were all in school and I started working outside of the home, most of my jobs involved sitting behind a desk and plunking away at a computer. I have never been a person that could stay excited about working out at a gym. I craved activities that naturally flowed into my daily routines. But when your daily routine kept you sitting on your bum most of the day, that flow of activity reduced itself down to a trickle. OK, probably more like a dripping faucet. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the practice of Qi Gong that I felt like my activity desires were satisfied.

When I mention qi gong, people immediately ask “What is that?!” I describe it as slow strength and energy building exercises. Sort of like tai chi only you don’t move your feet as much. Or something similar to yoga only you don’t get down on the floor. You stand.

“Qigong (alternatively spelled chi gung or chi kung) is a form of gentle exercise composed of movements that are repeated a number of times, often stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial and lymph) and building awareness of how the body moves through space.” ~ Energy Arts

Sometimes the explanations can get a little “woo-woo” for me. But the calm slow movements revive me. And the emphasis on breathing is something so simple. Duh! Of course getting more oxygen into your system is going to make you feel better. I’ve never been one for the jarring effects of running. I do enjoy a good walk, but let’s face it in these sauna-like Arkansas summers it’s just not that alluring. But spending a few minutes a couple times a day to run through a sequence of qi gong exercises makes me feel oddly relaxed and energized at the same time. These exercises also help me combat boredom and frustration as well as keep me from snacking on stuff all day long.

Sadly my original instructor moved away but I have found some great videos on that wonder of a creation called YouTube! I have created a playlist with some of my favorites. These are easy quick 10-20 minute routines you can jump up from you desk or drawing table or easel and do.

Let me know how you like the practice of qi gong or what you do to build your energy.

I sound like a frog

Aren’t summer colds the best? I’ve been drinking gallons of hot things just to keep my voice from going.

The garden looks lovely. The purple coneflowers are so tall this year. They are proving to be quite the inspiration for my artwork.

I am continuing to explore the mix of nature and nostalgia. And I get to create the most lovely bouquets in my artwork.

Luke helped me work up a video for a foodie Friday article for Arkansas Women Bloggers. They are called Choco-Raspberry Micro Cakes. Micro because they a small and you cook them in the microwave. You should check out the video and the post on their website for the full recipe.

Well, I have to pack up for an art booth I’m doing with Shakespeare. More about that later.

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A little sweet

Sometimes I can spend all day at the canvas when I get involved with a painting.  And by midafternoon I usually need a pick me up.  And sometimes I want something a little sweet.  That’s when I break out my recipe for Micro Cakes.  Micro because they are small (only a cup or a ramecan) and you make them in the microwave.

Check out the video that Luke helped me make and hop over here to get the full recipe!