Category Archives: Scribble Picnic

What’s in a Dot? An Art Prompt

Scribble Picnic: Fill in the Blank

Mr Michael at #ScribblePicnic gave a very usual prompt this time. It was called “Fill in the Blank”. Take a look below.

Fill in the Blank

We were to take this exact shape and size (we could turn it around and change the colour) and incorporate it into a picture.

Since Canada 150 is still on my mind and I haven’t blogged much on my home and native land I thought of using this time to paint my Canadian picture. I used my micron pen 03 and my watercolour pencils.

Fill in the Blank

A Few Facts about Canada

  • Canada’s population is 36,286,425 and the country is 998,467,000 hectares in size.
  • Our 150th birthday is called our sesquicentennial.
  • Canada stretches across six time zones.
  • We have two official languages: English and French.
  • Canada is the world’s most educated country: over half its residents have college degrees.
  • Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world’s lakes combined.
  • The U.S. / Canada Border is the longest international border in the world and it lacks military defence.
  • “Canada” is an Iroquoian word “kanata,” meaning “Village.”
  • The butter tart was invented in Canada.
  • We don’t use dollar bills or two dollar bills – we use Loonies and Toonies.
Fill in the Blank

Group People Waving Canadian Flags Back Lit from Huffington Post.

We are now 150 years and 12 days old.

Don’t forget to drop over to the other Scribble Picnickners.

fill in the blank

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Tadeo Turtle enjoys a delicious piece of watermelon

Scribble Picnic: Watermelon

This week for #ScribblePicnic the prompt is watermelon. That is a savoury treat for this time of year.

Since I have seen so many pictures of turtles snacking on watermelons I couldn’t resist putting my little Tadeo in this week’s picture. Here he is enjoying his juicy watermelon treat.


Tadeo Turtle was published in 2012. In 2013 it won The Word Awards for best children’s book of the year. It’s a sweet story of a turtle who longs to be different. Through an exciting adventure he learns to accept the fact that God made him just the way He did for a reason. It is for ages 2 and up. With rhyming words and colourful pictures he delights the children. He is available everywhere.

In case you are wondering – Tadeo’s back leg is there – just off to the right in the air. He is so happy that he is kicking up his leg!!

I did this sketch with micron pens and with watercolour pencil – and somehow I just can’t get the blending I can with watercolour. But I’m working on it.

Here is Tadeo’s real professional photo.



Tadeo enjoyed an outing with his creator this past weekend at our local author’s group in Minden, Ontario to celebrate Canada Day. That is not my elbow – I’m taking the picture of the table. 🙂 Tadeo is hidden on the far right. I need to get better stands for all my books. That’s the next task. It was very windy, cloudy, sunny, and humid, and threatening thunderstorms but didn’t. It was delightful all the same.


A few week’s ago I was in Haliburton at the park – yup – doing the same thing. I didn’t have a tent covering that day. It was hot and sunny.


As for watermelon. I used to enjoy that occasionally but just found out I have a sensitivity to it. Can you believe that? Still not believing it myself.

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Did the Fox Make a Wise Decision?

A Fox – Scribble Picnic

Another week with not much time to paint. But I did do a sketch of this week’s prompt – a fox.


We have seen a red fox a number of times in our backyard here in Haliburton, but never in time to snap a picture. In my sketch I thought of him. Our fox looks very healthy so we don’t worry about the safety of our small dog. And she isn’t allowed out without us.

I thought about the fable of the Fox and the Grapes while I was sketching him.

Here is one version from Aesop’s Fables:

ONE hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the things to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”

I thought about that fox reaching for something that wasn’t possible and then going away making the excuse that the grapes would have been sour anyway.

Did the fox make a wise decision?

Sometimes the dreams we desire need more than jumping up and down. We might need a helper to fulfil our dreams.

Failures may not really be failures – they could be restarts. (tweet this)

The fox gave up.

Quotes on Failure:

“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” – Gena Showalter

“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be” – John Wooden

We might need to take one step at a time to reach our goals.

For me I like to ask God for those seemingly impossible jumps. He usually shows me a way around the problem. I think the fox might have wisely asked someone for help.

Here is this week’s sketch.



I found a painting that I had done a few years ago. He came second place in an art show at our little park in Arizona. He hangs in our home down

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Memories from Jars

Jars – Scribble Picnic

Today the prompt for #Scribblepicnic is JARS.

I checked the definition of jar, as most people would probably think of a glass jar.

Jar: a wide-mouthed, cylindrical container made of glass or pottery, especially one used for storing food. Synonyms: container, pot, crock, receptacle, cookie jar, mason jar, ginger jar


I painted this picture years ago after at trip to Tubac, Arizona. The lines are to signify ancient and I used a white and black spray paint on the paper first. The painting is hanging in our home in AZ. It is large about 24 X 14 inches.



Of course when I think of jars I think of the story of jars of water made into wine in the Bible. I remember telling that story to the kids at vacation Bible school one summer when each day we took a walk through some of the biblical historical cities where Jesus went.

It was great. I made a large bus from cardboard, painted it. Then we put a hole through the roof. Two of us fit inside with puppets poking out the top. My friend pretended she was the driver and the two inside the bus entered the church from the back with the CD player blaring with the entry song. Grab your shades and a bottle of water, this place is going to get hotter and hotter.

Then the puppets talked about what they were going to learn during the Vacation Bible School. I can’t find any pictures in my computer although I searched.

Good memories of that week.

On thinking about pots I also remembered a story I worked on awhile ago. Here is a picture from that story.


Sorry I didn’t have time to make an original this week. Can’t wait to see the rest of #ScribblePicnic’s pictures.

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Visit my bookstore to look at my children’s books and my Bible study.


Why I love the delightful songs of a bird in spring?

Bird – Scribble Picnic

It’s Scribble Picnic time again. This week prompt is BIRD. With spring finally arriving here in the Highlands it’s an appropriate time to thing of our feathered friends.

I have painted birds before so at the end of this post I will give a gallery of some of my earlier paintings I have found.


My first thought when hearing the word bird had to be a hymn we sang when I joined Explorers and C.G.I.T. (Canadian Girls in Training) in my youth. I also became a leader of Explorers in my mid twenties. The hymn is This is My Father’s World. I love this song and can sing almost all the words thanks to learning it in my youth.

Here are the words:

  1. This is my Father’s world,
    And to my list’ning ears
    All nature sings, and round me rings
    The music of the spheres.
    This is my Father’s world:
    I rest me in the thought
    Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
    His hand the wonders wrought.
  2. This is my Father’s world:
    The birds their carols raise,
    The morning light, the lily white,
    Declare their Maker’s praise.
    This is my Father’s world:
    He shines in all that’s fair;
    In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
    He speaks to me everywhere.
  3. This is my Father’s world:
    Oh, let me ne’er forget
    That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
    God is the ruler yet.
    This is my Father’s world,
    The battle is not done:
    Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
    And earth and Heav’n be one.


What memories that song brings to mind. Friendships. Gatherings. Skits. Stories. Campfires.

The line that I recalled was: “The birds their carols raise.”

That’s what I have been hearing this spring. I missed the bird songs from Arizona and was thankful when the little ones started to sing up here.

Seeing my first robin! Hurrah spring is coming. (tweet this)

These are Eastern meadowlarks. At least my rendition of those birds.



This is the underpainting.


And this week I found one of our garden stones really needed refurbishing. It had lost all the colour. I received it as a gift over 13 years ago when we moved into our newly built home. So this year it got a face lift – brightly coloured and ready to go in the garden.


Of course I am never content with the colours given to me by my hubby – had to mix them and get various shades of green and blues and browns.

Here is the Gallery I promised of former bird pictures.

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Are Letters Becoming a Lost Art?

Letters – Scribble Picnic

There are so many stories about letters that I couldn’t decide at first. After mulling this around I decided on the emotional ones.


My Dad and Mom met in 1945 on a blind date in November. By the end of December they were engaged and married in April 1946. My Dad, born in 1910 and my Mom, born in 1917 were the perfect match. I never saw a real argument between them all the time I grew up. My Mom might have what we called “snits” but no cross words were ever heard. It was idyllic.

When they had been married less than two years my Dad had to go away on a business trip. This wasn’t any business trip. He had to fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Back then flying that far took quite awhile. No cell phones. He couldn’t even make a phone call from New York.

All communication was by mail. Airmail. Thin letters so it wouldn’t cost too much. On one of the envelopes I saw CR $3.80. (no idea how much that was but I bet it was expensive). He was away for 3 months, from February 29, until May 30, 1948 (that was his last letter and I think it took him almost a week to get home).

lettersI have read through all the letters and made copies for my sister and my 3 kids.

I saw a different side of my Dad while reading these letters.

You could really tell he loved my Mom. I wish I had her letters to him as he answers some of her questions but it is hard to tell exactly what she was asking.

Two months after returning home I was conceived (from counting back from my birth) and when my Mom was 5 months pregnant both Mom and Dad went off to Brazil together. I am sure she enjoyed this a lot more than waiting for my Dad to come home.

Mom would never show us the letters while she was alive.

I knew where they were but I respected her privacy. I do wish she had let us read them so we could have asked all those questions.

My Dad died in 1993 and my Mom lived as a widow for 19 years saying that he was the only man for her. She died in 2012. My sister and I miss them both.

I am so grateful to have these letters and other correspondence as it seems to bring me closer to them, remembering how sweet they were to each other. Okay so this got my tearing up. Time to wrap up so I can finish this post.

You have seen the first sketch. This is the watercolour pencil final.


Here is the sketch with pencil crayons and the original letters so you can see the size of paper I am using . It is in a 9 x 6 Sketch Diary with weight of 94g/m2. It’s fine for watercolour pencils but not for watercolour paints.


Don’t you love the ribbon around them. That’s about 1/2 the letters. And I can tell they have been read many times over the years.

I might now start back into reading the correspondence that my Dad had with his Mom during the war years. My father was a captain in the Canadian artillery. He also wrote some stories of what happened during that time. Thank goodness I can read his writing.

Because yesterday was D-Day and my Dad landed on Juno Beach in the First Wave in 1945, I am finding these memories powerful and emotional. Every year, he always went to Guelph, Ontario, to meet up with his buddies from that time.

Is letter writing becoming a lost art? (tweet this)

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I Desperately Love to Read Books

Scribble Picnic: Books

Oh that is such a good word for this week’s Scribble PIcnic. I love love books. For that reason, I have had to pare down all the books I had on my shelves or I would be overrun with them. I keep the ones I have written in and give the rest to our church or Thrift store.

I’m once again joining Scribble PIcnic. Michael was dealing with a death in the family and needed to take two weeks off. To find out more about the co-operative, go visit Scribble Picnic. I am sure all of us are hoping Michael is back to his humorous, fine form this week.

Here is my booktable – changed from the picture as I move every book all around.


Check what’s on  my to-read or in-the-middle of reading list: (tweet this)

  • Smith Wigglesworth
  • Healing by Francis MacNutt
  • Why Pray? for your pastor by Richard Ciamitaro
  • The Joy of Missing Out (Finding Balance in a Wired World) by Christina Crook

Ones that I have recently read and would recommend:

  • Paula Parker – Sisters of Lazarus, Glory Revealed
  • Heather Gray – Mail Order Man (two more in the series, reading the second one)
  • Michael S. Heisier, Supernatural

I love historical fiction. I also read the Bible daily and books that will increase my faith. I have been reviewing books for over a year. You can find me on Goodreads.

Today’s picture is of my book table right beside my reading chair. I actually have two tables – one on each side. Most of the time I have books spread all over my area. As a result, you will always find bibles, devotionals, my writing journal, my sketching journal, and interesting books I use for reference. Yet if I store them away I will forget to refer to them.

My sketch:

I used pencil first, then micro pens.


My pencil crayon:

Using the watercolour pencil crayon I filled in the colours.


And lastly my final watercolour pencil crayon:

Using a thin paintbrush I went over the colours being careful to rinse my brush after each colour.


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Potted Plant – Scribble Picnic

Our prompt from #ScribblePicnic this week is Potted Plant. I had been given a lovely lily plant by the people who stayed in our home over the winter. I had taken its picture. Alas, the lily is no longer with us. It bloomed beautifully – then nothing. So into the garbage it went. So sad.

I don’t have any potted plants in our home because we leave it for 6 months of the year and turn the heat way down.

Our friends also surprised us with a bouquet of tulips – what a breath of fresh spring air.


We have been experiencing a very cold wet spring. This morning there was snow on the porch. Yikes. And I dress up like Nanuk from the north when we take Snowball around the block. She doesn’t seem bothered with the cold at all. And she is used to Arizona warm weather.

potted plant


It is so lovely to be able to bring spring indoors. Do you have lots of potted plants? In Arizona we have a beautiful back patio where I have a number of potted plants (now gone into the garbage too – so sad).

On to the picture.

I decided to try to paint the Easter Lily Plant as my potted plant.

I used my artist diary today which is only medium weight (whatever that is). I used my micron pen and then my Design Watercolor pencils (and for my Canadian readers that’s the way the company spells colour). I used these colours:

I sketched out the flower. Then used the micron and the pencil crayons.

In order too help the white lily stand out I used indigo for the background.


Then I used water to make the colour flow. Final result: Potted Plant – an Easter Lily.

Now my next job is to plant all my outdoor potted plant (s). But we are waiting and waiting for this cold snap to stop. My vegetable garden and my front gardens are standing ready to be planted too.

Today is #Scribble Picnic. Visit more creations at Dottyhill.


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Door – Scribble Picnic

The prompt this week is door for #ScribblePicnic. I hadn’t picked up a paint brush and my watercolour for a long time. Not since I finished the last picture for I Remember – The Seasons. It was good to get back into it. I enjoyed the process again.

Now I should be ready to start on our next book in the series. I needed this boost.

Interestingly enough while my sister-in-law visited us in Arizona she showed us pictures of her travels to Europe. She is fascinated with doors and door knobs. She has sent me some of the pictures. This one is from Tier, Germany and she is sure it is a door to a church.

I noticed many doors in Germany were arched like this one.

Here is the original picture.door

Here is my process. I started using wet on wet and this photo below was still wet when I took the picture.





Trying to be true to the photo I darkened the door – but I think I like the one above before I darkened it. Too bad – can’t get it back. But I might try lightening it if I can – highlights always help. What do you think?


This exercise reminds me of a door we entered in Rome. We climbed up the back steps – it looked as if it might be a church but there was nothing outstanding – very white, no adornments. We walked in – and my goodness – it was stunning. The ceilings were very high, painted and the colour in the room was beautiful.

So we never know what is behind a door. (tweet this)

And we can think about that with people. Do we really know who they are? Is their door open or shut? Sometimes when we say, “Hi, how are you doing?” do we mean it? Have you really taken the time lately to ask someone how they really are?

I do hope everyone has someone to open up to.

Can you let your door open to another person? (Tweet this)

I am willing to listen. You can email me anytime. Email Janis.

Today is #Scribble Picnic. Visit more creations at Dottyhill.


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This week I joined:

Sitting Among Friends

Trees – Scribble Picnic

We arrived home from Arizona in the early days of April. Trees dot our landscape, both evergreen and deciduous. The prompt this week on #ScribblePicnic is TREES. Perfect.

We live about 3 hours north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Snow still lay in the bush for the first few days after our arrival and in  piles as a result of the snowplows.

It rained. It felt cold. No more blue skies every day.
No colourful flowers. Bare trees. But spring is coming. (click to tweet)

But the grass was green. The evergreens displayed their uninterrupted colour.


The deciduous trees are still bare. Some buds have begun to peep out.


I look for buds every day. I took my camera and went hunting for spring. You can see the results below.




I used watercolour pencils to paint the large pine in our side yard.



Then I used water to make it look like a watercolour painting.




I sketched in pencil our bare wild cherry. trees

We went to an Earth Day Event in the park put on by all our local churches. We were given gifts of tree shoots from Haliburton Forest.


We live on the Canadian Shield so we have rock – lots of rock. Mostly granite.


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Check out I Remember – The Seasons, written by Brenda Poulos and I did the illustrations.

Found at and

Building snowmen…going for hayrides…raking leaves. These are just a few of the pages in I Remember the Seasons that will bring fond memories to life for those affected by Alzheimer’s. I Remember the Seasons is a simple and effective picture book containing lovely illustrations by Janis Cox. Poetry, and discussion questions will set the stage for meaningful conversations between people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.