Sunday, 29 June 2008

A Tree and Me (3)

As you can see from the above drawing, I have been "playing" again. I am working on a new icon, but took a break to draw this funny kitty cat. The drawing is entitled: "Cat in a Fence"!

I am still trying to get a bit healthier -- hoping that I will soon feel better -- so, rather than listen to me complain, let's just move on to the next installment of my illustrated art therapy story from some years ago.

A Tree and Me continued...
The next day, while taking my afternoon nap, I had another dream. I saw myself as I am now: scarred and in pain, but still green. I was standing next to a lovely, little stream and surrounded by birds and covered with butterflies. You know how the butterflies swarm when they are migrating and how they need a place to rest. I must say, they do tickle just a bit!

Anyway, as the dream continued, I was suddenly aware of movement inside of me. I looked and there in my branches – right where the lightening had struck me so long ago – was a robins’ nest. The mother robin was sitting on the nest and the father robin was hovering close by. As I listened closely, I could hear the eggs underneath the mother bird starting to crack open. Both parents were very excited. I watched with delight as the babies struggled and the parents helped and soon there were four baby robins crying for food! What a noise that was.

As I watched the parents excitedly catching bugs and bringing food for their babies, I marvelled that an old and broken tree like me could be the home to new life.

I felt so very happy and promised myself that I would do my very best to protect this little family sheltering in my branches.

(to be continued)

May peace be with you.

Friday, 27 June 2008

A Tree and Me (2)

Here is the icon of Our Lady with the Christ Child. It goes with the one of Christ the King that I posted on Wednesday.

And following is the continuation of the illustrated story I did in art therapy some years ago. Enjoy!

I had the most wonderful dream last night – did you not know that even trees can dream? In my dream, I stood tall and strong again the way I used to be. I stood on my hillside and there was no pain, no suffering. I was even dressed in my most beautiful autumn foliage.

Suddenly I heard the sound of children’s voices. As I looked up, I could see a lovely angel walking with two children

in the sunlit meadow below me. They seemed to be coming towards me and I felt so very happy as I knew that I looked so leafy and inviting.

But, then, just before they reached my hillside, they suddenly turned aside. They went instead towards an old, weather-beaten oak tree

where they sat down and begin to sing and play – leaving me alone in all my leafy beauty. I began to feel very sad and wondered why they had chosen that old tree instead of me.

(to be continued)

Peace be with you.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

A Tree and Me

Here is the latest icon. It is entitled "Christ the King".

One interesting aspect of this drawing is the footstool. You can see that it is not drawn using normal perspective.

The reason for this is that objects in icons are traditionally drawn using reverse perspective. This may be an additional way of trying to show the difference between the icon and the normal material world. I will have to investigate this matter further.

As to the matter of the title for this posting, it is referring to a story I wrote and illustrated a few year ago while doing art therapy.

I was working with a wonderful nun who encouraged me to consider more deeply my strong attachment to trees.

Here is chapter 1 (the other chapters will follow in successive postings). I am writing this as though I am the tree.

"My home is on the side of a gentle hill in a temperate climate. I have been growing in this spot for many years and am showing all the signs of age. About eight years ago, I was struck by lightening which almost killed me but, instead, left me very wounded and scarred. I will never be the same again, but I am still alive and the sap flows each year more or less as it should. Some days the pain is so bad; however, that I almost wish I had been killed by the storm after all. Deep down, though, I am grateful that each day the birds, squirrels, bugs and other creatures find a safe place in my branches."

(to be continued)

Peace be with you all.

Monday, 23 June 2008


The old saying is "variety is the spice of life". Well, I am hesitant to say that this will be a "spicy" posting, but I do have a variety of things to mention!

First is this drawing. As you can see, I am still playing with different textures and placements.

The drawing is entitled: "Blooming High" because the flowers are blooming high up on the tree.

This next item is something I drew because the photo made me laugh.

This one is called "Kissin' Kitty" and as usual, I enjoyed drawing the cat most of all!

This next item is not a drawing at all.

You may recall in my previous posting, I mentioned that I had had some good news. This was news that my cousin had been busy doing some amazing work online.

I am attaching her email so you can take a look for yourself if you are interested. I know that some of you will not be interested in the content as you are not Christians, but you might enjoy seeing what she has done with the website for women called EtL Cafe. I think it is very classy.

"Dear Friends, GREAT News! I am very excited to announce that the landing page for our first project, The EtL Café, is now up, complete with sample material so you can get a sneak peek into what The EtL Café will soon have to offer. Please visit us at Although we're developing The EtL Café for twenty something Christian women, we know it will appeal to women of many ages and stages. I hope you'll take time to click on the various menu items, including a thought-provoking article about pursuing your passion and a Bible study excerpt that's not to be missed! The EtL Café will offer a variety of resources to satisfy spiritual hunger with great pick-me-ups for faith-building women! As we move forward, I welcome your prayers. If you want to know more about what's happening with Son Cast Media, I hope you'll visit our newly designed site at I'd love to hear from you with any suggestions and comments. Your support – past, present, and future – is great appreciated! Feel free to forward this email to young women or anyone you know who would reap the benefits of visiting And if you know someone who might be interested in partnering with us (either through prayer, volunteering, and/or providing financial support), I'd greatly appreciate your forwarding this email to them as well. Thank you for your support!Blessings!Jodi B. McMillianPresidentSon Cast Media, Inc."

So, that is all the variety I have for tonight.

I am working hard on a new icon.

Peace be with you all.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Taking it Easy

I'm just taking it easy these days and drawing mostly things that are easy or playful. This drawing is entitled: "Orange Tulips" and was mostly an exercise in perspective.

Yesterday and today I was drawing a baby wearing sunglasses being kissed by a cat! It's a silly picture but I should be finished with it by the next time I post on Monday night.

I am considering a new icon, but it is a fairly complex one so I think I am sort of getting myself prepared by doing other things for a while. We'll see what happens.

I received some good news today and some really sad news.

The good news is about a cousin of mine and I will be sharing it with you soon as it involves a new website that she has created.

The sad news I can't share, but I would ask you to pray for my friend, Brenda, in the States -- if you are a praying person. Otherwise, please just send lots of good energy toward the southern U.S.

I am still taking my antibiotics and am hopeful that by the time I finish them next week I will completely well.

Peace be with you.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

The Teacher

Here is a new version of the Christ the Teacher icon. I am simply calling it "The Teacher".

The original icon I was working from had the text in the open book in Greek. However, since my knowledge of New Testament Greek is limited to the alphabet and about 10 actual words, I inserted some English text instead!

The quote is from one of my favourite sections in all of the Gospels -- the 6th chapter of St. John's Gospel. It reads: "I am the living bread which came down from Heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever."

I have had a couple of emails in response to my comments in the previous post about not feeling too well. Thank you so very much.

I am still fighting an infection but the antibiotics are doing their magic and so I am feeling much better. Hopefully, I will soon be back to my usual state!

Meanwhile, I, along with the rest of the people in Ontario, am waiting for summer to begin. Technically, summer will start tomorrow night, but until the weather acts like summer, it won't seem real to me. Sunny and 75 would be lovely!

Peace be with you.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Flower Bells

Here is a little drawing I did last week.

It is a close-up of bell-shaped flowers. The common name for them is "Crown Imperial" which is what I also named the drawing.

The Latin name is fritillaria imperalis geophyte.

Interestingly, I had drawn a grouping of bell-shaped flowers 3 or 4 years ago. I worked from a magazine photo which did not give the names of the plants in the picture.

So, my title for the drawing was "Ring them Bells".

It looks to me as though I was drawing a pot full of Crown Imperials without knowing it!

I am posting this early today as I don't think I will be able to stay up for too much longer. I have gotten another infection and started a new round of antibiotics today. This has left me feeling very sleepy as I have been unable to sleep properly for the past few nights.

At any rate, I will be posting again on the 19th and expect to be back to normal by then. Maybe I will even have another drawing ready to show you.

Blessings and peace to you all.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Butterfly, Butterfly

I was in a butterfly-type mood this weekend and so I decided to finish drawing this picture I started working on last month.

I wasn't feeling too creative in the naming department and so I have ended up calling it "Sweet Butterfly, Version 2" for the time being.

I actually enjoyed drawing the purple thistle as well although it is not really a very attractive plant in the wild.

Working on this drawing put me in mind of some of the other butterfly drawings I have done over the past few years.

This one, as you may recall, is entitled, "Brenda's Butterfly" because the image I worked from was a photograph taken by my friend, Brenda Whiteway.

This one was entitled simply "Sweet Butterfly", but now that I have used the same name for my new drawing, I will have to rename it "Sweet Butterfly, Version 1".

This one is entitled "Monarch Migration" and is a much older drawing, but it is still a popular one for people who order greeting cards from me.
I hear the thunder rumbling again so I guess another rain storm is on its way. I understand the whole week ahead of us is supposed to be cool and rainy so I guess I won't be seeing too many butterflies.
Anyway, I do like thunder storms so long as they don't cause anyone harm -- so I think I will go and enjoy this one while it lasts.
Peace be with you all.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Sittin' and a thinkin'

Sittin' and a puzzlin' over things is more like it!

I sent my new computer in for diagnosis and treatment today (if you recall, I have had problems with the screen since I purchased it). So, here I am tonight trying to use my old computer.

When I went to set up my email on this computer again, I discovered that everything worked fine except for Outlook -- it refused to give me the option to send and receive!

Finally, I got MSN to work and am now receiving my email (and sending email) on the website of my ISP!

I am also having to use MSN to access the Internet. It works fine except each time I open the home screen, this cheery, mechanical voice says "Hello". I think that is going to get very annoying.

Hopefully, my new computer will be easily fixed and be back to me by this time next week.

This also means, of course, that I am limited for now in what I can share with you in terms of Sallie's art.

So, instead, tonight I will share with you a couple of really beautiful photographs by a professional photographer friend. Unfortunately, my computer downloads can't do justice to the spectacular shades of gray that he is able to achieve.

This was on the cover of this year's Christmas card.

He has been a life-long fan of Ansel Adams and I think you can see that influence in this photograph, but it is definitely more than just imitation.

This type of photograph is very easy to appreciate while many of his current works are a bit more demanding of the viewer.

I find this one especially beautiful in the starkness of its lines and contrasts.

I actually downloaded this one from a gallery website in Rochester, New York.

Well, I think I will now go back to trying to figure out how to do things on this poor, old computer that has never really recovered from the major crash it had a few months ago.

If all goes well, I may even be able to use my art software and start working on a new drawing. Wouldn't that be nice.

Peace be with you.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


The images of Christ as the Good Shepherd have always spoken to me of love and that is very much what I focused on while working on this newest icon.

I guess I will have to call it "The Good Shepherd, version 2" as this is my second attempt at drawing one of my favourite illustrations of the love of God.

I was also thinking very much of the young people I work with who are preparing for marriage.

I am privileged to witness so many variations of love -- of people growing in love for one another in all sorts of beautiful ways.

I just finished a session this evening and I am feeling truly blessed and very aware of the Good Shepherd who "leads his flock and carries the lambs in his arms."

I am also very tired and so I wish you all a restful and peaceful night.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Too Hot for Me!

I know that there are a lot of people out there who are saying how much they have enjoyed this hot spell, but to be honest, it has been too hot for me!

I am grateful that the weather is changing tonight and more normal temperatures are predicted for the remainder of the week -- and I am especially glad that the humidity will be decreasing.

Humid weather is really hard on arthritic joints!

Anyway, back to my art work.

The drawing at the top is a new one. As you know from earlier postings, I never get tired of trying to draw horses.

This work is entitled "New Friends".

This next item is something from my past that I stumbled across recently while doing an Internet search.

I was looking for something totally unrelated when I noticed in the items that came up on the screen, a link to a magazine article with my name on it!

And even more confusing, it said the article was from the Canadian Family Physician magazine dated December 1985!

This is what I found. An article that I helped prepare back in the summer of 1985 while I was working as a research assistant for a local physician. I had completely forgotten about it.

The Internet is truly an amazing thing sometimes. For good or for ill, it now hold a tremendous amount of information about all of us.

Peace and many blessings to you all.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Woofstock 2008

This is not a new drawing. In fact, I have used it both as it is here and also in a revised drawing with Christmas gifts as one of last year's Christmas cards.

But it seems very appropriate to use tonight as my neighbourhood is once again experiencing the annual Woofstock festival!

I had to go out the morning to run a few errands and was immediately overwhelmed by dogs from the smallest to the largest. Dogs and their "masters" were everywhere as were booths set up by vendors to try to get them to spend their money.

Being in a wheelchair meant that I almost had several accidents with overly-excited dogs and even had some dogs attempt to chase my chair -- probably thinking that it was some kind of small car. Anyway, I obviously made it home alive.

I spent the remainder of the day at home, staying cool.

Here is something else that you have seen previously. A drawing of St. Paul.

Since you last saw it, it has been revised a bit, but that is not the reason I wanted to post it again.

Rather, over the past few days, I have been doing a lot of research on my Greek lettering that is traditionally used on icons. I guess you could say that I am slowly teaching myself the rudiments of the Greek alphabet.

In the process, I have discovered that some of the words I have drawn on various icons are not quite correct. That was the case with St. Paul.

I have now corrected the spelling of his name and have also learned to read what I have written. I now know that the Greek says "Holy" and "Paulinus". Previously, I just assumed it was some form of St. Paul.

If those of you who know Greek see any mistakes, please let me know so that I will learn even more.

Speaking of icons again, reminds me that I received a very thoughtful comment from one of my viewers whose opinions regarding icons I respect. He wrote me:

"Just dropped in the say hi, congratulate you on the beauty and depth of your work, and offer an opinion about the "icon" controversy. I still think it's not the media, but the heart of the artist that matters. And that makes what you have done Iconic, to me."

Stay cool and be at peace.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Faux or Pseudo?

This rather unusual looking "icon" is entitled "Mother of God -- Inexhaustibe Cup".

In drawing it, I worked from a Russian icon which evidently has healing properties -- or so I was told. Evidently, numerous alcoholics have experienced complete healing while praying before the actual icon. I would not expect my version to have the same effect, but you never know!

Anyway, to explain the title of this posting and why I put icon in quote marks, I need to mention that there seems to be an ongoing controversy among some who have seen my drawings as to whether an "icon" drawn on a computer screen can really be called an icon.

Thus I decided to start calling my work pseudo-icons.

Upon reflecting upon this, however, I began to wonder if that was really the best choice. Pseudo means sham and I don't think my drawings are shams. That was when I thought that perhaps I should call them faux-icons -- as in faux-fur which means fur that looks real but isn't. I am still undecided, but I think I will go with faux.

Of course, there are also those who have asked me whether drawings done on the computer can even be considered real art. This is probably another area of controversy but I won't worry about it for now.

At any rate, I feel that those who like my work will continue to like it whatever I call it.

Now for something entirely different.

This drawing was among the art work that I inherited from my sister, Betty. I am unsure whether this was an item of hers or of her husband. At any rate, it is quite beautiful.

The frame it was in was almost rotten so I removed the print from the frame earlier this week with the thought that I would eventually get it reframed.

I wanted to share it with you but it is much too large to fit easily onto my scanner screen so I tried to get the tree in focus which leaves the outside areas rather blurry -- but you can still get a sense of the fine pen work.

At the bottom of the drawing, I found the artist's name: Gracie Melanson. This was followed by "ED 10 - 10" I really wish I knew more about this work and the artist. Ah, well...

That's enough rambling for tonight.

Peace be with you

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Still Taking it Easy

As you can see from the drawing above, I am still playing around with kitty cats and puppy dogs.
This one and the one I posted on June 1, are both from a series of animal photos where bunny rabbits are placed in unusual situations.
I have entitled this one: "How Embarrassing".
I mean it must have been very embarrassing for the dog when he was "asked" to pose with a bunny rabbit!
I imagine the poor dog is thinking: "What if my buddies saw me sitting here like this! How embarrassing."
Of course, I am also working on a new icon, but whenever I take a break, I look for photos of furry things to draw.
In fact, by the end of the week, I should have another icon in that first-draft stage which is when I initially share them with others.
Meanwhile, it's back to the kittens!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Playing with Kittens

You can always tell when I have taken a break from drawing icons or other demanding subjects: you will see a new drawing of a kitten or some other small, furry creature.

The drawing will not be particularly complex because it was done quickly; however, it hopefully is pleasing to the eye -- and maybe will contain just a touch of humour.

This drawing is entitled "New Best Friends

Before drawing the kitten and rabbit, I did finish off this icon.

It is another of the "sweet kissing" icons and the colours and background are intended to match the icon of Christ I posted on May 30.

Some customers ask for a set of icons where the figures are a similar size and the colours are similar.

I still have several orders underway so I am staying busy. In fact, I need to get back to work on one right now.

One of these days, when I have a bit more time, I will have to tell you some of my latest adventures with attempts to get my pictures on plaques. After so many mistakes and confusing assumptions, the whole thing has become quite funny!

Meanwhile, I pray that peace and joy will fill your hearts.