Never-Before-Seen Photographs of How I Paint my Patterned Poppies

Secrets of the Trade

In the fabulously expressive and creative world of art, I am probably best known for my gold spiral-patterned backgrounds that are usually laced with flowers in the foreground — which, in more cases than not, happen to be poppies (just because I am so very fond of them).

Here is the finished result of a painting called ‘Red Poppies’

(The original is for sale at SAATCHI — click on picture to take you to the gallery and to read a description of what urged me to paint this 😉

I managed to photograph the process, so come be a fly on my studio wall.

This is the first time I have ever done this and am now going to show you my best kept secret — drum-roll please…

I hope you enjoy seeing the project unfold:

1.  It starts off rather dull and messy, laying a black foundation…

2.  When the foundation layer of black has dried, I chalk out the poppy layout…

3.  Then I start adding the gold motif with an acrylic liner (a squeeze tube with gold acrylic paint inside).  As you can see below, I have to sign the painting before it is actually finished so I can work around the signature with the pattern…

Because this one is so large, I have to lay it on its side to get to the various different parts otherwise my arm will drop off with the effort…

4.  With the background finished, I can now start to add the colour to my poppies…

5.  I keep on adding layers of colour until I get that rich lustre I am after…

6.  Last, but not least, I add the gold stamen work to finish off the painting…

The painting is finished (and so is the artist…lol)!

You can purchase prints of the above by CLICKING HERE or on the pictures below — I’ve got framed prints, canvas prints, greeting cards, pillows and tote bags with this design on:

 red poppy cushion  red poppy print framedred poppy tote bagNow it’s time to check out the photographic painting process of ‘Iceland Poppy Mix’ 😀

Click on the picture below:

Iceland Poppies by Cherie Roe Dirksen

subscribe buttonOther articles you may enjoy:

Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

How To Branch Out — Painting Scenes With Trees

Reusable Art for a Dollar!

How to Paint a Quick and Easy Stain-Glass Effect

A Look Behind the Scenes — Painting an Abstract Landscape

Find out why I paint what I paint in my new Art Portfolio book (now available at all leading bookstores worldwide):

front cover amazon 1 lr

Commission a Painting

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Incredible Inspiring Art by Stephen Wiltshire

I just had to share this with my readers when I saw it circulating on Facebook.  What an inspiration this man is!

The below extract is taken from Stephens site, you can visit that here to see more from this incredible artist.

Stephen Wiltshire is an artist who draws and paints detailed cityscapes. He has a             particular talent for drawing lifelike, accurate representations of cities, sometimes after having only observed them briefly. He was awarded an MBE for services to the art world in 2006. He studied Fine Art at City & Guilds Art College. His work is popular all over the world, and is held in a number of important collections.   Read more HERE. 

Don’t You Get It?

Okay, these weeks are really rolling away fast.  I can’t keep track of time or the date anymore, it feels like we’re in a no-time bubble.  But, all blurbs aside, we have happened on that magical day of the week — yes, it’s Friday…again!  And that means that I need to cough up something useful for you good folks.

Today I am delivering on my promise and present you with another free e-card and wallpaper/poster download (see bottom of blog).  If you have missed out on all the previous weeks free downloads, — check my menu bar above;  under ‘free stuff’ you’ll find a drop-down menu.  Just select ‘free e-cards’ to browse through the steadily growing collection.

Do You Get It?

This is taken from my painting called ‘Do You Get It?’.  It is part of my private collection (because my husband refuses to let go of it and it hangs on his studio wall).  I’ve been working on a couple of designs for my Spiral Store, check them out below:

Do You Get It?  Shirts  Do You Get It? Design Galaxy Nexus Cover  Do You Get It?  Shirts

You can have a sniff about all the other stuff you can get with this design on it HERE.

Unleash Your Creative Force This Weekend

For those of you dying to get your hands mucky over the weekend and delve into some kind of creative endeavor of your own — have a squizz at my guest article which has just been published (this week) on Positively Positives site:

9 Great Reasons for Getting Creative (No Artistic Experience Needed)

Here is the e-card I created especially for you (click on the photo, then right-click and ‘save as’):

And last, but not least, here is your free wallpaper/poster download (click on the photo, then right-click and ‘save as’):

I hope you have a fun weekend!

Dare to Be Who You Are

Hay House Versus Haywire

small divine you cover 150x225 Dare To Be Who You AreI started writing my book ‘Divine You — Redefining Love in the New Earth’ in June of 2010.  It was an amazing journey of self and felt incredible to put it into words.  When it came to finding a publisher, I chose a publishing house in New York whose motto was ‘changing the world, one book at a time’ — I thought this was relevant and submitted my manuscript.

Since the momentous day, when they accepted my book and it landed on book shelves worldwide, I have tried to fit into a ‘spiritual’ persona category that just wasn’t me.

What Do I Mean?

Well, it took me 2 years to realize that I am trying to be something I am not.  I wrote a self-empowerment book but that doesn’t mean that I am, what I like to call, a ‘Hay House special’.

Louise Hay, as most of you probably know, has a publishing company called Hay House.  Some of her writers include the wonderful Wayne Dyer and Doreen Virtue.  If you take a look at my home library, you will see many of her signed authors on my shelf — I have a great love and respect for most of the authors in my field.

“We all have a unique energetic signature to graffiti this wall of life with — you need to embrace all the idiosyncrasies or traits that make you you.”

My confusion lay in trying to conform to be an ‘esoteric’, clean-cut, straight-laced author which is a far cry from what I am inside — which is more zany, loud and humorous (growing up on shows like ‘Monty Python’).   This is, however, not the image that my marketing consultant and I came up with to promote my website and book.

Poster 1024x759 Dare To Be Who You Are

Struggling With My Image

I didn’t even realize, until recently, that I have struggled to keep this clean-cut look whilst feeling like a wild and wicked butterfly just dying to emerge from her black velvet, gold patterned and red spray-painted cocoon (that is the abstract artist in me, banging the door down, trying to get out!).

Although I have chosen a spiritual path, I am anything but a white-cotton-wearing, new age writer.  My roots are firmly planted in rock, art and sci-fi.

If you were to be transported back in time, you would see the Gothic 15 year old version of me walking down the street wearing my black pixie boots, a long trench-coat, heavy-lidded make-up and sporting my bass guitar over-the-shoulder with possibly a Terry Pratchett novel poking out of my bag.

Origins in Rock

When I used to think back to that time I would give a little shudder of embarrassment — you know how it is, you fish out those old archived ‘teen’ photo’s and shriek ‘what was I thinking?‘.   But in hindsight, I look back now and say to myself — those were my origins, that is who I was then to mold the being I am now.

I left school and played in many different bands, the last of which saw us bringing out 2 CD’s.  I still love to listen to all the great musicians of our time and music is a big influence in my life.

I simply can’t resist having my first cuppa in the morning to a good, thumping tune (probably much to my neighbors distress) — it really gets my blood pumping for the rest of the day and sets a distinct electrifying mood.

We all have a unique energetic signature to graffiti this wall of life with — you need to embrace all the idiosyncrasies or traits that make you you.

Puff out that chest and be proud of your authentic, one-of-a-kind identity!

So Where Am I Going With This?

When you step into the integrity of who you truly are, you encounter that part of you that you may have suppressed for years due to social etiquette or fear of rejection, embarrassment or humiliation — not being accepted for who you really are.

“When you come into alignment with your true self you will discover that the world is an amazing place filled with opportunity, adventure and intrigue.  The only thing that was blocking your view before was your lack of higher perspective.”

We, so often, try to conform to what is considered normal or polite — squashing our true feelings or reactions to situations or people, restricting our very being that is bursting to come out and shine in the light of pure Truth.

When you can tie in all your life experiences and merge them with the current ‘you’, you have a recipe for the most delicious human that can spread themselves on any bit of toast and be a culinary delight.

You just need to see it for yourself — can you view yourself from a different perspective?

How Does Your Soul Script Captivate?

They say everyone has a book in them:

  • What does your script read like?  
  • Do you think you are interesting or dull?
  • Can you inject more pizzazz into your life?
  • What is holding you back from expressing your creative flame?

Photo 0151 250x187 Dare To Be Who You AreWhen you can speak and live your truth and it comes from pure source or your core/soul — you will be in your integrity.  When you come into alignment with your true self you will discover that the world is an amazing place filled with opportunity, adventure and intrigue.  The only thing that was blocking your view before was your lack of higher perspective.

If you were in the dingy, dark and smelly alleyways of Paris you may think that you have landed in hell itself. What if you were to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower and take another look — you may find that you were in paradise all along!

Original article was posted on LIGHTWORKERS WORLD

The Grand Band Reveal is Today!

The Shortlist of Muso’s to Make the Grade

I launched my new idea for an art collection last week, please read it here to recap.

The bands and musicians that I am going to explore auditorily and interpret visually on canvas are (in order of my being introduced to their music):

  1. David Bowie
  2. Queen
  3. Pink Floyd
  4. The Beatles
  5. Skunk Anansie
  6. Radiohead
  7. Rufus Wainwright
  8. Templeton
  9. Muse
  10. Jeff Buckley

Ha!  And there you have it…I will be embarking on the first painting of this series this week and, with a bit of cosmic luck, may have something to blog about next week.

Proceedings…

I am not going to pressure myself to paint in this order — I am basically going to work it on my mood and who I feel like listening to at that given time.  Make sense?  No?  Well, that’s fine!

Wish me luck as I have no idea how this is going to turn out  🙂

Click here to see the next stage

Who are your favourite musicians of all time?  Come on, list at LEAST 3 bands you could never do without.  Let them feel the love.

Digging Even Deeper…Inner Art Expression

Please read the past articles relating to this blog HERE (Going Deeper…Inner Art Expression) and HERE (Got It!  Inner Art Expression Expressed).

The Cosmos on a Canvas

A couple of weeks ago my hand, brush, paints and right brain hemisphere took my canvas on a journey into a very colourful cosmos.  Here is the outer manifestation of this inward expression:

‘The Bridge’ — Acrylic on Canvas — 18″ x 24″ 

I hope you like it.

If you are an artist, what are your biggest stumbling blocks?  What do you still wish you could do or want to achieve?

If you are an art lover, then what do you like to see in a piece of art?  What get’s you going?

I would love to hear from you…

Going Deeper…Inner Art Expression

Please read last weeks art blog HERE to recap on this interesting new artistic expression I have discovered in me.

Boring…

This week I started off doing my usual weekly art schedule.  Painting pretty pictures (you know, the ones that ‘sell’) and when I got to the end of the day this one popped out.

It truly took me by surprise as I didn’t know I had it in me.

What Sparked It?

I was listening to a talk on Project Camelot by Compton Rom Bada from ascendedhealth.com (do check it out — quite remarkable!).  In a nutshell, it was about how our body is made out of 90% microbes and while I was listening and painting — what I thought was going to be a cosmos painting — started automatically painting what looks like the ‘inner body’.  The microcosm cosmos.

Let it Flow

I love how my hand was just running over the canvas and splashing and doing all sorts of ‘things’ that I don’t normally do.  I just went with the flow and enjoyed the process.

Quite interestingly, the painting only took me about half an hour to complete.  I usually take about 2-3 hours for this size.  So there we have the law of least effort in place and working.

I sat on the couch after this episode and looked at the painting.  I liked it — it was different and different is good for me now.  Something was still wrong though…

The Missing Link by Cherie Roe Dirksen

I will let you know in next weeks art blog the epiphany I had!  And, hopefully, will have some tangible evidence thereof….

The Space Within Series — Inner Art

Artistic Frustration

I am experimenting with what I like to call ‘inner art’.  I have always been intrigued with abstract art and especially art that explores patterns, sacred geometry, space, shapes and colour.

“This series is going to be a reflection of how I feel inside, what is desperate to come out.”

But, professionally, I paint more traditional art and cater to ‘the market’.  This series is going to be a reflection of how I feel inside, what is desperate to come out.  Don’t get me wrong, I love painting the things I do, it’s just sometimes I want to ‘break free’ of the conformity and do something purely for myself.

“Whether we are looking through a microscope at the inner workings of our bodies or whether we are looking through a telescope at the cosmos — I can see a notable link.” 

The colours and shapes are all a mix of the inner space coming out into the material world.  I love the theory that we are a microcosm for the macrocosm, as within so without.

Our bodies are made up of omni-central atoms, everything is circular and has the sacred geometry formula.  Whether we are looking through a microscope at the inner workings of our bodies or whether we are looking through a telescope at the cosmos — I can see a notable link.

Unity Principle

The Universal Unity Theory — for me — is the certainty that every one and every thing is connected on some level and I hope this comes across in my art

‘A leap of faith’ (painting above) represents the push into the unknown.  This is something I have been battling with recently and decided to express it through painting.

I want to be free to do what I want, paint what I want, say what I want — a leap into integrity, I suppose.  Wouldn’t the world just be a wonderful place if we could all express ourselves freely and without judgement or fear?

What are your thoughts on freedom of expression and the fear of ‘exposing’ yourself?

Left:  A close up of ‘A Leap of Faith’

Art Commissions — The Soulworks Project (Part 3)…Painting the Picture

Please read Part 1 and Part 2 if you wish to recap.

Let The Painting Begin…

So with the prelim sketch having been accepted, the real work starts.  You will see, in the photographs below,  just why I never show the client the process.

Layering

Art is done in stages and layers and, usually, only the artist can see where they are going with the process.  If someone were to step into your studio, say, whilst you were busy with your first layer, they would — no doubt — think you were an amateur.

“The reward for any artist is seeing the process evolve into your visualization of it.”

Paintings are built up layer upon layer until the desired outcome is realized.  The reward for any artist is seeing the process evolve into your visualization of it.

Here are the beginning stages:

The canvas is good to go…

The first layer begins…

The second layer starts and you begin to see where this is going…

And then, drum roll, the finished product (or is it?)

Just to recap, here is the prelim sketch that I worked from:

I was very clear with my client that the prelim sketch would not show the intensity of the acrylic paint colours.  The sketch is always just an ‘idea’ of the colour scheme.

Next…

The next step in the process is to e-mail a photo of the painting to the client.  In this case, my client came to see it in person.  

The Plot Thickens — Hitting Unforseen Snags

This is where things get interesting.  Next week I will give the final stage in this commission and divulge what to do if your client has a slight change of mind or vision for the project.

Read  Part 4

Art Commissions — The Soulworks Project (Part 1)…meeting with the client

A step-by-step guide on how a commission is put together

A lot of artists would like to know how one goes about starting a commission and there are also a lot of people who would like to have something commissioned but are too scared to ask.

What is the procedure and what is involved in the process of a commission?

The Key Steps

  • Meet with the client and get a feel for what they want — show them your portfolio
  • If you accept the job, the next step is to supply the client with a quotation for the job (upon acceptance of the quote, I usually require a deposit of 50%)
  • Draw up a prelim sketch of the artwork and give a detailed synopsis of how you got to this stage with the information and specs the client has given you
  • Start the job and show the client the finished work (I usually refrain from showing the client the process as it could cause confusion, as you will see in the blogs to come)
  • Present the client with the finished painting — I usually send a photograph before they actually see it ‘in the flesh’
  • Voila (oh, and get the rest of your payment!)

In the weeks to follow, I will be taking you through the last commission that I did for a very special client who wanted a triptych for her office.  I will be addressing every step that is taken up until the painting is delivered.

Today’s Art Blog is going to look at the first step:  Q&A

Step 1 — What does your client want?

This is obviously a very important step and one of the deciding factors if you and your client are on the same page.  When you have finished questioning your clients likes and dislikes, you can assess whether or not you resonate with each other and the project.

I never take on a commission that I don’t feel comfortable with.  If it goes against my style, principles or anything else, this step will let me know if I will proceed with the client to the next stage which is quoting for the job.

Here were my clients specs for this commission:

She wanted to incorporate

  • Nature
  • Butterfly (part of her logo)
  • Silver spirals/patterns
  • Peace
  • Connection
  • Mountains
  • Well-being
  • Joy, Beauty and Fulfillment
  • Inspiration
  • Passion
  • Green, purple and silver colours
More specs from the client — you can never know too much, only too little!

When we discussed these ideas, she conveyed to me that she liked the spiral patterns I use in my art (see picture below for example) and she also liked the idea of having a human form in a tree (see my other picture below).

 “It is vital that you show your client a portfolio…”

This was important information and got me on track to visualizing this piece.  It is vital that you show your client a portfolio so they can point out the colours, subjects and styles they like of yours.  It also helps the client get an idea of what you are capable of doing.

As she is having this painting commissioned for her office, we also delved into her practice and what that entails.  She is an NLP practitioner (Neuro-linguistic Programming) who wants something pleasant for her clients to look at whilst in they are in session.  It has to be something that ties in with what she offers.

Next week I will be posting the prelim sketch of the painting along with the detailed synopsis of how I interpreted her needs.

Read Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Why I love to paint flowers…

When I paint a flower I feel an overwhelming bliss – an excitement to capture the beauty and magic of what I see and feel when I am in their glorious presence.

I am never happier than when I have a house full of flowers and the scent hangs on the air. Or when I am in my garden just being present with the smell of lavenders on the breeze.

They are my main source of inspiration because I still cannot fully fathom their exquisite beauty. Eckhart Tolle put it in a nutshell when he said that we could look upon flowers as the enlightenment of plants. I could look upon flowers all day and still be mesmerized. They are a true gift to us and to gaze upon their delicate wonder is to look at the unfolding of pure potential.

Here is an example of one of my floral paintings called ‘Red Poppies – Finding Beauty in Chaos’ from my new portfolio book – the original is still available and can be found in my art brochure 2011, which can be downloaded for free (see sidebar or click here to download):

To read more about what inspires me, please visit  or click on the book below – you can view a full preview of the book (preview button is at the bottom of the book icon on Lulu.com).

Art Portfolio - Cherie Roe DirksenSubscribe here to receive my monthly newsletter and free gift or click ‘sign me up’ in the side-panel to receive blog updates as they are released.

Christmas Gift Ideas…Part 2

A little bit of silliness never went astray!

Over the past couple of months my husband and I (no, I am not the queen) have been trying to plant our own vegetable garden.  This is not as simple as it would usually sound as we live near Cape Point and have baboons for neighbours.  And as you can surmise, baboons eat vegetables.

So the plan is to build frameworks with chicken wire around our vege garden to protect it from our hairy adversaries.  A challenge to say the least.

So what has this got to do with art?

Well, during our spates in the garden, we have come up with some witty vegetable ‘catch-phrases’.  I was wondering how to incorporate this new avenue into my art and have come up with a bold solution.

The vegetables have given rise to new unfounded inspiration…(picture opposite – ‘Can you handle me?‘:  Warning!  I come with many different layers…and I can make a grown man cry!!!).  This has led me to create the….*drum-roll*…

The Vege-Tate Gallery

In a moment of pure silliness I invented a joke shop, which I have named The Vege-Tate Gallery, that hosts a number of incredibly cheesy vegetable quotations accompanied by my digital artwork of these tasty morsels.

I wanted to make the designs simple yet effective.  At first I contemplated freehand drawings and then scanning and cropping them into a T-shirt design but decided to go the digital route.

This involved my hand, the mouse and the simple paintbrush program that most Windows packages come with.

I then transfer these crude drawings into Photoshop, where I can put them on a transparent background and ‘clean’ them up.  Finally I add the text and upload it to the site (at the moment I am using RedBubble but you can also do this on Zazzle – see my previous article for all the goodies you can create there).

Voila!

Another gift idea for Christmas in the (shopping) bag…

How can you do this?

If you struggle with the graphics side of things, you can use photographs instead.  Ever taken a funny photo of a child or pet? – well, use that! Everyone has at least one crazy catch-phrase they can use as an excellent and unique gift idea for that someone special.

The wonderful thing about both these sites is you can have the gift sent directly to the person, so it is simply fantastic for those relatives and friends overseas!  No excuses.

Can’t be bothered?

Visit my ever-growing store and have the hassle taken out of Christmas shopping.

This is my first batch of vegetable produce:

Feel free to post some of your creations here for others to see and get ideas from.

Painting Dolphins

As promised, in my previous blog about whales (read here), this art blog is going to be about painting dolphins.  As I explained in the ‘Why you have to love whales’ blog – I live in Cape Town and am privileged to see these beautiful mammals expressing their joyous souls on a regular basis.

I have not, sadly, swum with them (yet) – as was the case with the whale – but I have seen pods of dolphins in the False Bay area and what a sight and fuel for inspiration they are!

I have no fantastic tales (or tails) to regale with today so I am simply going to stick to the technical aspects of painting underwater scenes…

The technical side of painting underwater (and no, not physically!)

Dolphins - Cherie Dirksen original paintingPainting underwater scenes are quite involved as they require a lot of layering.  This ‘wash’ of blue that needs to be repeated until the desired effect is achieved, needs time and patience…and I paint in acrylics – for those who paint in oils the process takes even longer as the drying time is slower.

  1. The first layer consists of getting the basic blue background started – then I apply the subject matter.
  2. When that is done the watered-down blue paint wash layering begins until the right monotone colour is produced and ready to go out into the world.
  3. The most rewarding part of this journey is in the varnishing.  As soon as you apply that coat of gloss varnish the painting comes alive and the water looks wet again (like it does when the paint is first set to canvas).

Magnifique!

Perhaps this can give you a better appreciation of how much time and effort (or in some cases, curses and tears) goes into these deceptively tricky aquatic scenes.

Inspiration

With every work of art comes the inspiration behind it.  With this painting, as with the whale painting, I have put it down in the form of a poem.

The Poem 

‘Dolphins – The Spirit of Freedom’

You never let us forget how to love
How to laugh
How to smile
How to be light-hearted

You never let us forget how to be
In the moment
In this space
In this time

You never let us forget about beauty
About simplicity
About friendship
About sincerity

You never let us forget about fun
Being in the heart
Playing with each other
Soaking up the bliss

You never let us forget why we love you so
Why we feel connected
Why you are important
Why you are here

You never let us forget
Who we are
Why we are
When we are

Please never let us forget

If you also have an affinity for dolphins and would like to splash out and have this original painting gracing your wall – click here for details.  I also have a wide variety of products to choose from with this specific dolphin design – for prints, posters and greeting cards click here, for gift ideas click here.

For those of you who still need convincing about how wonderful dolphins are, please do yourself a favour and watch this incredible short video – your heart will melt…go on, you know you want to. 🙂

Why You’ve Got to Love Whales (and Paint Them!)

Whales - Cherie Dirksen original painting mammals marine life cetacean

Today’s blog is going to be about the mammals of the world beneath the waves and what inspired me to paint this picture (left).

I live in Cape Town, in the False Bay area.  We are privileged to get the annual migration of whales to our seas every year round about July/August.  It is such an inspiration to be able to watch these majestic creatures from the shore as they play and parade their beautiful bodies for us to take snap shots of (I do believe that some of them definitely ‘work it’ for the camera!).

“After much coaxing, my father got me to come down off his shoulders and reach out as this tremendous toddler swam by…”

An Real-Life Encounter with a Human Toddler and a Baby Whale

I was only about 4 years old when I got to touch my first free-range whale.  My father and I where swimming at the notorious Fish Hoek beach (recently been in the news for shark attacks) when a calf – wanting to ‘play’ with another baby (me) – casually made its way towards us.

I was initially terrified, even a baby whale is the size of a small car!

After much coaxing, my father got me to come down off his shoulders and reach out as this tremendous toddler swam by, allowing me to touch it’s back before it swam away back to its mother.

An experience I shall never forget and one that has led me to feel a great bond with them.

“I often get a flipper coming out of the water in recognition (or perhaps telling me to stop)”

My husband often raises an eyebrow when we are out walking along the coastline and I start wailing like Dori from ‘Finding Nemo‘ (you know, the fish character played by Ellen DeGeneres who can ‘talk’ to whales) but I tell you now – it works!  I often get a flipper coming out of the water in recognition (or perhaps telling me to stop).

Inspiring Grace 

But on a more serious note – how can you not be inspired by such creatures?!

My first painting of a whale was a creation of the pure love I have for these amazing mammals.  I am not going to go into too much semantics about them because I put my feelings down in this simple poem…oh go on – have a read then!

Whales – Beloved Cetacean of the Deep

In the depths of the ocean you reside
Anchoring the light for all
Majestic and graceful
You help us from afar
Your song passed down through generations
You never lose sight of your goal
Determined in purpose
Showing the way
Amidst the adversity of lower vibrations
You carry on your star mission

Some of us feel your presence
And we love you and thank you

Like the pod, we are all one
Unity consciousness will prevail
And contracts will be fulfilled 
Our gratitude is yours
As are our hearts

My next blog is going to be about…you guessed it – dolphins.  Well, we can’t leave them out you know.

Related Blogs:

Painting Dolphins