Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Exciting Year and Longest Dec 25 of My Life

This time of the year I always fly to the Philippines.  There's nothing more precious than spending the holidays with my family.  My journey started Wednesday, Dec 24 and I'm hoping to be in Manila evening of the 25th.  It was a fun and enjoyable journey from the Twin Cities to Narita, Japan.  We arrived in Narita on Dec 25 at 3:15PM.  Flight went well and all the flight crew made the flight fun and relaxing.

The most challenging part started from waiting for the flight boarding from Narita to Manila.  My flight was full and all other airlines' flights as well.  So I was stuck in Narita and have to plan for my next move. 

I sent messages to my family in Manila that I won't be able to make it and that they have a great holiday.  I'll just see them next year.

Thinking my best option is to turn back and just head home.  I think that's a good plan and went with it. I took the evening flight from Narita to Honolulu to catch a flight to Los Angeles then to the Twin Cities. 

Flight was 7 hours. Arrived in Honolulu on Dec 25 at 7AM feeling refreshed.  I can't imagine how time flies .....back.

Honolulu! It's not my first time at the Honolulu airport so I thought I'd stay a day and take the first flight out the next day. 

I took a Speedi Shuttle from the airport to Courtyard at Marriott Waikiki Beach where I had my good friend Laura book me for a night.  The trip to the hotel was good and just took a few minutes drive.  Our driver even said we're lucky because usually it takes over an hour drive from the airport to the hotel.  Next time I'm in Honolulu I'll take Speedi Shuttle again. 

At the hotel, I asked if they already have my reservations and the hotel associate said they don't have it yet.  Hotel check-in is still at 3PM so I walked around and went to Waikiki beach.  It was a good 5 minutes walk through nice shops and hotels.  Great weather too. 

Actually perfect weather.  Good water.  No great water, good waves, fun group of people just getting their tan and swimming. I sat for hours just basking under the sun not thinking about anything.  Just enjoying the sun, cool air and sound of the waves. 

I'd like to stay longer but I decided to just continue my journey home.  Fortunately, the hotel associate helped me cancel my reservation with her manager who was kind enough to let me.  Thanks Marriott!

I called Speedi for a return trip to the airport.  Got to airport on time with some to spare for shopping.  Los Angeles flight from Honolulu was good. Dinner was good.  Got caught up with sleep.  Flight was 6 hours.  Arrived in Los Angeles on Dec 25 at 11PM.

Finally it's Dec 26 for my final leg to the Twin Cities.  My flight left Los Angeles on Dec 26 at 12:33AM and arrived in the Twin Cities on Dec 26 at 5AM.  Great flight! Great journey!  I might do this again next year! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  The January 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge starts January 1!  Please follow my journey and wish me well.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

February Painting - Tulips from Kuekenhof

I've always wanted to visit Amsterdam but just didn't have the courage to venture out on my own. Finally a few years ago, I forgot my fear, went on a trip and I enjoyed every minute I was there.

I went to Keukenhof and toured the garden.  The flowers were so amazing.  One pavilion featured a tulip show.  I've never seen so many varieties of tulips!  Lots of tulips!

Here's my impression of one of the pink tulips variety.  My...

Tulips from Kuekenhof
5" x 4"
Watercolor on Paper

Monday, February 10, 2014

February Painting - Roses from Paris

Last year in May at the "Art on a Line", I offered my newsletter for subscription but unfortunately didn't get to writing one until last February 1.  I think I'm on a good start for 2014 with the start of a newsletter, of course the January 30 paintings in 30 days with all your likes, comments of support!  I can't thank you enough.

I really enjoyed the 30 in 30 experience that I decided to work on a project for a full month or two and continue to get my creative juices flowing.  

For February, I mentioned in my newsletter I'd like to celebrate the "Heart" month with a daily painting of popular Valentine's Day flowers.  I started with one but not happy with the results.  I was trying to paint on a 5"x5" size paper to use for cards but found it harder than painting larger.

At any rate I tried again and this is the result.  On the next Valentine's Day flower.

Roses from Paris
5" x 5"
Watercolor on Paper

Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 30 January 30 in 30

Finally the last day!  Day 30.

This is a really tough challenge for me this time.  I started out with a new medium- acrylic, new substrates- cardboard and styrofoam and new technique- palette knife painting.  That part was so fun because of new experiences, new everything!  Then I hit a slump, I don't know what to paint next.  So I stopped for a few days (ok they're not few) and re-grouped, re-think that's when the "Guides" series was formed.  I have so much painting that series that I almost don't want to stop but at some point I have to end it.  Maybe I'll get back to the theme at some point.  Then a lull again, re-think and I thought about my theme for 2014- "Life is Art, Paint It!".  With that I started painting scenes from my travels that speak to me.  I hope they speak to you too.


This scene is from a trip in Rome.  After a lot of walking we found the place that we were looking for- Pizzeria da Baffetto but it's still closed.  A long line of customers has already formed and this couple were at the front of the line waiting patiently for the restaurant to open.

Here's my Day 30.  Finally made it through the challenge!  I may be crazy but I'll do this again!

We're Waiting
12" x 9"
Watercolor on Paper

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 28 January 30 in 30

I started this painting last night and was hoping I'll finish so I can work on Day 29 tonight.  Unfortunately it took me longer time to get to halfway done, so I decided to stop last night before I ruin it.

Just finished and in a few minutes will try to start Day 29.  We're almost at the end of the challenge!


While on our way to find the Manneken Pis,

we came by this square where three friends were taking turns posing and taking their pictures.  After each take, they came together and checked out the resulting photos.  They were having so much fun!  I took a photo in one of their "check-out" times.

Here's Day 28, my impression of that scene

"Let me See"
9" x 12
Watercolor on Paper

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