Day 233 – Saturday Apple

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred Thirty Three“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” ~Pooh’s Little Instruction Book

Until tomorrow.


Day 233 was created in mixed media.

Day 232 – International Apple

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred Thirty TwoTo the wonderful people I’ve met from all over the globe.

Tonight’s apple represents six countries of many and includes Great Britain, Canada, South Africa, Bulgaria, Pakistan, and the Philippines. I really never imagined that I would meet and get to know people from all over the world when I started this project 232 days ago.

It doesn’t matter where we are from – we are all united and working together for a common goal – raising awareness of all the forms of Spondyloarthritis. With our awareness efforts- a we want a cure!

My best to you all tonight – my best to anyone reading this from any country around the globe! Take a moment to say hello and leave a comment if you’d like or get my daily apple in your email by signing up to the right of this post!

Until tomorrow.


Day 232 was created in pen & ink – and google images of maps!

Day 231 – The Journey

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred Thirty One


The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

© Mary Oliver

Until tomorrow.


Day 231 was created in mixed media. I’m experimenting with fabric and paint – stay tuned 🙂

***My friend and creative coach – Teresa at Right Brain Planner sent me this today. She has been an amazing sounding board and supporter. Blessings to you @Stargardener!

Day 230 – Splotch Apple

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred ThirtyI love the creativity of artists!

There is a guy… isn’t there always a guy? Anyway, there is a guy who makes a watercolor “splotch” and then creates a monster from what he sees in the splotch!

OMG! That is just too funny and too cool. And – yes, there is another “and” – HE DOES IT EVERYDAY!

He has me beat by over a year of images – that is amazing! I have no idea if he’s missed a day here and there – who cares!

If you’ve posted over 500 splotch monsters – it shows commitment and belief and sheer, glorious craziness that I so admire.

I’d love to to give a big image a day artist hello and props to Steve Loya and his blog – Splotch Monsters!

Until tomorrow.


Day 230 was created in watercolor splotches!

Day 229 – Under the Surface

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred Twenty Nine“It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order – and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order.” – Douglas Hofstadter

Mostly what is under the surface is so much more interesting than the facade but your facade is so much easier to cope with. I can find the energy for your facade but getting to know you – the real you – takes time and you have to want to let me see you. Why would you want to do that? Why would any of us for that matter because it is so easy to be disappointed.

I want to get to know people but it takes an enormous amount of work – that is just the reality of life and of people. I would say that I don’t think I truly know anyone to a base, deep level but a handful of people and there are still layers and depths I’ll never see or understand about them. This makes me so sad and a bit lonely and it makes me understand more why people turn to God. I am trying to learn how to share more of myself – but I’m so not comfortable doing it. I want you to see the image I want you to see not the soft, vulnerable me. She’s boring and dull and tired and in pain most days. She puts up a very good front.

Until tomorrow.


Day 229 was created in mixed media.  This is a new technique I discovered. You lay down the beauty and color and cover it up with burnt umber paint; then scrape away to expose the beauty below. We all have the beauty below but many of us pile on the dark paint to keep others away – we’re afraid no one will want to go to the bother to scrape away the burnt umber of our facade to see the colors and life and sweetness below.

This post was inspired by the courage of some amazing people who are exposing themselves, their stories and their struggles – the least I can do it try to live up to their example. xxooxx


Day 228 – There Is No Try

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred Twenty EightTry not. Do or do not, there is no try.
— Yoda

I love Yoda – an amazing little creature who tells us that the true force is always within us. We should never try to do anything – we should just do it, come what may.

Until tomorrow.


Day 228 was created in ink and watercolor for my friend Ron. The force is with you my friend.

Day 227 – Simple Sunday

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred Twenty SevenIt was a simple Sunday.

Doug, Ella, and I drove downtown for the Arthritis Walk – photos will be on my Facebook wall tomorrow. Ella was treated like a queen with a pretty blue bandanna to show that dogs get arthritis too as well as treats and love. We managed to do the two mile walk around Washington Park but I have to admit that my joints were not too happy towards the end and I did decide not to go for the extra lap to make it the three miles. Oh well – there is always next year.

Until tomorrow.


Day 227 was created in watercolor.

Day 226 – Obsession Confession

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred Twenty Six I have a confession to make.

I’m a beast. A beast with a need to grab hold of something I believe in and lock-jaw onto it. I gnaw away and gnaw away until I get to where I want to go. I tear past all the meat and gristle of what’s in front of me looking to get to the goal – the soft, sweet marrow. Those closest to me, my friends and family know the signs. A grand scale, usually over the top idea, paired with a laser focused single mindedness that borders on down-right obsession. And, if I’m confessing – my passionate pursuits don’t border on obsession they become them – and quickly. I was this way before AS struck and once Remicade started to help years later, this part of me came back perhaps even stronger than before because I felt I had lost years not working, not creating, and not doing. I’m likely overcompensating at this point in my life and that makes me an absolute chore to live with not to mention the fact that it risks my health and well being.

Why am I telling you all this?  I would guess that any of you who have been following along with my daily apples or Hope & Apples can see it. It is clear as day to those around me but sometimes what is happening right in front of us is hidden, elusive. Even when others try to say “see it, it’s right there” we can’t identify it because it hides in plain sight like the classic black and white drawing of the woman – is she a beautiful young woman or an old hag – the stark contrast is there plain as day but we get locked into seeing one side. So much of life happens in tones of the same shade. We go through the motions day by day until light and color set off an event in relief to the rest.  The light blasted at me yesterday – and I saw – finally.

I need to find a way to unplug and relax more but the thing is… I haven’t wanted to. I LOVE what I’m doing. I’ve had projects, jobs, pursuits before that interested me – but what they lacked was a meaning behind them. They lacked a passion close to my heart, my life, and my struggles. A daily apple made with a purpose created an obsession in me – a good obsession. Showing others the way art can help us express pain, hope, disease, and joy all while telling the world about the spondyloarthritis is my calling, my passion and so – it is who I am. I cannot apologize for my love of this work and I will work every day to towards these goals but for the sake of my friends and family and especially Doug, I will put the work down more and I will apologize for not seeing what I was losing sight of – the importance of a man who has been my rock and my love and my biggest supporter.

I will walk away – I need to have time away and I haven’t been able to. I will unplug and enjoy my husband, our gardens, our home and friends and my family. I will find some time to do things that have nothing to do with apples or AS or Facebook or our cause so that I can hold on to what gives me purpose and joy. This obsession and drive and my daily apple will remain but hopefully in more measured doses.  That is my obsession confession.

Until tomorrow.


Day 226 was created in graphite and watercolor.





Day 225 – Follow The Dots

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred Twenty FiveOne, two, three… everything in order. Right?

Most days I think I’m going along with my life just as I had laid it out in my mind as a young woman.

I was brought up believing that if I followed the rules, colored in the lines, and took the steps in order that life would reward me. Mostly it has but some times following the dots and doing the right things makes you just feel plain old foolish.

I’m thinking life might be so much more interesting if I can figure out how to create the picture without a plan; without following someone else’s rules.

Until tomorrow.


Day 225 was created in pen & ink.

Day 224 – Cut That Out!

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred Twenty FourWinter – it’s time to release your hold – just cut that out mother nature!

My friend Christine sent me an instant message on Facebook last night after she saw the photo I had taken and posted of the snow falling here. She said, “Now you have to do a snow apple!” to which I replied – “Where were you an hour ago when I couldn’t think of a thing to do?” But she had a good idea – do a white apple on a white background. Normally after a long day I would jump at a simple and yes, easy apple. After all of these apples, I will admit that the ideas that are a bit more “easy” are a glorious relief some days. But it was too late to take the easy route – I had already finished yesterday’s apple.

When we woke up this morning in a winter wonderland with at least 5 inches of snow, I decided that Christine was right! I needed to do a white on white apple. So as usual I procrastinated and mulled it over and thought of all the different ways I could paint or draw a white on white apple. When the idea struck! Oh, the glorious feeling of an idea!

What if I took the concept but did a cut out? Yummy… and, FUN!

So here we are – cut out of white paper in honor of mother nature cutting out her fury!

Thank you Christine for all of your ideas!

Until tomorrow.


Day 224 was created in white paper.

*** Birthday shout outs to Jennifer and Brandy ***

Please also check out Erin Millard’s AS Awareness efforts posted on Hope & Apples!