In A Nutshell (Poem and Painting)

“His Hand In The Forest” ©Katie, 2008

In A Nutshell (a poem)

You ask me where to start
and before you know it
we are swinging
like monkeys on a limb
in a jungle of trees
full of screeches and chest-thumping.

What makes you think
I know
where to start here –
Does anybody?

You may notice
some of the gang
have pretty nice hair and nails –
and you should see
their tails!

And before you or I know it
they have us
with monkey advertisement –
otherwise known as:

“Over here” 

“There’s a better tree to swing on!”

And so it goes –
we are lost and asking
“Where do I start?”

So let’s get back
to the nutshell
of our lives

Where the one big seed
IS –
The one we plant
which has everything
it needs to become
a tree
A tree we can depend on
in this Life
This is where we start
Where our design
is magnified and shrunk
so it can fit
and be happily tossed
when we are ripe.

So let’s get it right
or we will never
get out of the jungle.
See how it screams every time we look back?

I believe everyone is a perfect tree
in an endless forest
of potential possibility.
Pick up your acorn
and behold your tree.

and I will reach up
should our branches
touch along the way.

©Katie Kidwell, 2020


“His Hand In The Forest” full-scale ©Katie (First in the series “The Rainbow Forest”)

I believe everyone is a perfect tree
in an endless forest
of potential possibility
Pick up your acorn
and behold your tree.
and I will reach up
Should our branches
touch along the way.

©Katie Kidwell, 2020 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.  She also works as a commission artist.

You can purchase Katie’s recent collection of poetry:  “Freedom Is My Nature, Victory Is My Song” at her store.

Between Here and Now

“Between Here And Now” ©Katie

Welcome to the first post of 2020 at The Living Of Loving Blog.  This watercolour of Emperor Penguins was started many years ago while I was wintering in Yuma, Arizona.  Recently I did the little bit needed to finish it.

Have you ever left something and forgot about it?  I find in my artistic work I have done this way too many times.  So now I can share what I have finished and write about it here. 🙂

In this painting of the penguins, there are faint lines where the outline was drawn.  When It came time to paint, however, I was captivated by the thought of leaving it open.  This makes the focus of the bent necks (the heart shape) more focused over the little one.

I have been playing with hiding lines for most of my artistic life.

While I was in Arizona I was attracted to the simple outlines of the cave rock art.  The problem was I didn’t want them to pop on the page.  So I set out to see if I could submerge them in the picture plane.  Here are a couple of examples of how I painted.

Holding Hands ©Katie
Rock Art Turtle ©Katie
Rock Art Snake ©Katie









I wrote the following in my Artist Statement for my 2017 Parkside Show, The Little Birds That Fly.

“The outline of anything is an illusion.  I play with form through the texture of colour.  In some of my paintings, the form is revealed in seen and unseen parts – where it may submerge into, or sit on top the picture plane.  This weaving of colour and form is found in movement.  As an artist, I search to paint the radiant expression of Life, (beyond the container – the “outline”).  Here I find the true identity of forms found in nature.”

I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts here on this.  Perhaps you would like to add your own in the comments below.  Either way, the nature of the Penguin painting “Between Here and Now” brings us to this present moment.  Nature is more than its form.  I strive to paint that.

©Katie Kidwell, 2020 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.  She also works as a commission artist.

The 28 Day Twitter Art Challenge

Abe the abominable snowman, acrylic (Universal Folklore)

In 2015 I participated in a Twitter Art Challenge hosted by #kidlitart.  The tag for that challenge on Twitter is #kidlitart28.  The challenge is for the month of February and goes like this.

One drawing/day for 28 days and it must be drawn in 28 minutes.

I chose to illustrate my 1988 South Cariboo Children’s Festival Theme Song,  Magical, Mythical Monsters – Monsters from A – Z.  My imagination went wild as I chose my alphabetical monsters out of Wikipedia.  I went no further than their name and geographical locations (folklore).  I didn’t want any picture “influence”.

I had a lot of fun over those 28 days, posting on Twitter, my 28 minutes sketched “monsters” according to the alphabet.  I also included two characters to make up the 28 days.  In this case, following the lyrics of my song I created a “star child” who had signed out his monster book from the “Librarian Moon”.

I highly recommend the imaginative experience I had drawing the “unknown”.  Since then I have gone on to create a colouring book from my sketches and to paint some of the characters I created.  Abe the abominable snowman for the letter (A) is one of them as is the Greek Garden Nymph for the letter (G).

I have a board at Pinterest of the rough sketches I made which you can view here.  Magical, Mythical Monsters

My 1988 Children’s Festival Song is at Soundcloud if you would like to listen.   It is a song about a young boy who signs out a library book on Monsters from A to Z only to have them come to life in his bedroom.  The monsters win him over with their magical nice monster ways and now his book is overdue at the library.  I had a lot of fun teaching the schools in assembly this song with growls, whistles and clucks.

As I said using your imagination to draw “the unknown” is lots of fun and I highly recommend it.  If you are someone who feels a special connection with something outside of yourself or inside maybe you could draw it out?  Give it a character and a name.

Somehow right now I hear Tiny Tim singing, Tip Toe Through the Tulips.

You and I both know a song like that will never come again but we all know the message it holds and it’s a creative one!  So start tiptoeing…

Garden Nymph (Greek Folklore) Oil

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.  She also works as a commission artist.





Bound To Forgive (a painting)

This week’s blog is a painting and a poem.  Though created years apart I feel they compliment each other.   Chaos and Forgiveness?  What do you think?

©Bound To Forgive (Oil), Katie Kidwell


His Chaos Into Art

How much wisdom there seems to be
In the man who can with bended knee
convert his Chaos Into Art
and see his bit as grand-full part;
Then sanctify his daily deed
with expressions of abundant seed.
He grows to live and give and learn
and so much more is his return
©Katie Kidwell, 1996

From my poetry collection:  Freedom Is My Nature, Victory Is My Song
©GWJ Creative Art, 2019

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.  She also works as a commission artist.

Where The Secrets Are

Glen Canyon, Colorado River (Oil) by Katie

In 2003 I painted this 8 x 10 oil while sitting outside of our RV in Yuma, Arizona. Out of an Arizona Highways magazine, I had found this photo of a beautiful place of water, rocks and blue sky. And it was amplified by reflection!

It was written down in the magazine to be in Glen Canyon and one of the very few places on the Colorado River unaltered. For sure, this made it even more attractive to paint.

But if my paintbrushes were to talk about it, they would tell you it was the yellow cliffs. I kept going back to them in fascination and enough to remember this later on.

As an artist just starting with oils, I had no routine. So I went for it on the canvas by deciding I would not draw it on but feel it on with brush and paint. It would be my second oil painting.

Years later I have learned about the natural “green” in the water and how much damage the Glen Canyon Dam/Lake Powell has done on the Colorado River. Here is a link if you would like to watch: Rediscovering Glen Canyon’s lost wonders by Kayak.

But the story I want to tell you is the one I caught on TV a few years ago. Remember the yellow cliffs?

A prospector in the early 1900s discovered a cave well hidden up there. Inside he found what he described to be “shiny metal machinery” and artefacts and symbols the like of which he had never seen before. Some of the items were hard to describe. So he went to the local newspaper and reported his find.

When he went back, he got lost and had trouble finding the entrance. After many months of searching, he found it again, but this time the entrance was sealed in thick cement. No one in the Government would talk to him about it.

“Hmmm…I thought. I remember those cliffs…I remember how my brushes kept wanting to dance there… So I no longer call my painting by its place “Glen Canyon” but by its mystery: “Where the secrets are”.

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.   She also works as a commission artist.  

Storm Fish (Thunder and Lightning)

Storm Fish w.c. on canvas paper ©Katie GWJ Creative Art

In light of the recent rain and lightning…I am reminded of the worst lightning storm in my experience.

It was the summer of 2016 at Howard Lake, camping in the isolated spot we call “The Legend”. Where we are right on the water, under tall pines, and looking down the lake towards the far end.

A few days before an American couple and their dog had stopped by our camp for a visit.

Our talk turned to the weather and I was asked if I had ever seen the “blue flash”? I had never heard of it. He explained “When a bolt of lightning comes down to earth – the earth rises up to meet it with a blue flash of her own. The man telling me this had spent his life looking for this phenomenon and had yet to see it.

 The next day I started a new painting. I was working with a fish shape I had in my painting “Raven’s Land” and with something still new to me – “canvas paper”. I wanted to play around. So I did. I even used a Raven’s feather with the paint. It turned out pretty wild looking.

It suited the night to come…

The flashes and bolts of lightning were continuous through most of the night. The thunder shook our motor home. Thank God we were on rubber wheels and as long as the trees stayed put… I decided my fish painting would be called Storm Fish, with the second title of Thunder and Lightening.

The next morning I met the American couple on my walk. He was definitely excited about the night.

That’s right! He saw the blue flash and wanted to know if I had seen it too?
No, but in one of those lake flashes, I saw a boat with a man in it wearing a sou’wester. In the next flash and thunder boom, he was gone. Blink…Blink…
©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
©GWJ Creative Art

When The Rock Talks

Several years ago, I had a mysterious experience while camping and painting at Marble Canyon. As soon as I arrived.  Every time I looked at the magnificent rock hanging over beautiful Crown Lake, I saw a face in moving gestureIt was absolutely fascinating and being the sensitive person I am I accepted it as real.

Not just one rock but all of them had come to life, with lips moving and heads turning.

So something must be happening, I thought. Yes, I’m ready for God’s mysteries in his creation! Ready to see them in action.

So I paddled out in my belly boat, ready to paint with this mysterious audience hanging over me.

That’s when I heard it. The pebble shaking sound of a spray can. Standing in front of the rocks on a ledge (the lake was down) were two young girls poised to spray the beautiful untouched stone of this canyon lake.

“Heh,” I yelled as I started paddling. “What are you doing?”
They both jumped to face me. The girls were surprised to see a “floating voice” out on the lake so close. The spray can’s arm quickly disappeared behind their backs.
“Girls!” Yelled a man’s voice from the far shore.
“Nothing, Dad…we’re doing nothing!” they yelled back.

And so the standoff started. The girls are waiting for me to paddle away and I’m waiting for them to head back to camp. Dad is standing on the shore, watching.

I had all the time in the world. I was floating, remember? I had seen the animated faces of the rocks. How did the rock know?

So the girls headed back and Dad returned to his site.

Later that evening I met the girls on my walk. I don’t know where this info came from but someone must have planted it in me because out of my mouth it came.

“Heh, girls. If you want to leave a message on a rock, then use a stone to etch it with.”

As it turned out, these campers from Alberta stayed longer than us. We had to head back after three nights and wouldn’t you know all the campers at the site left before us.

So we pulled our motor home out knowing the girls and the spray-can would be alone…except for maybe Dad…

It was two summers before I came back. I expected to see all kinds of spray-painted graffitti…but you know what? There was none.

There sure were a lot of names etched in rock.

Etchings you could only see close up from a belly boat…I hadn’t noticed them before and some of it looked pretty old.

Since this happened, I’ve longingly looked for the rock to come back to live animation.

It hasn’t happened.

Yet, this painting I did while belly boating in front of the rocks a few years after the event, dried with a face in it.

Wouldn’t you know? Can you see it?

“Face Me” w.c. by Katie


©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

Gone Fishin’ (Part two)

Well, I have returned from a wet camping trip to Howard Lake!  I decided on watercolour for my cartoon here and almost used rainwater.  I have been known to paint with hailstones as they melt…

The sun shines in my heart just being at Howard!

Right now I am thinking about illustrating some of my children’s stories and am working out different styles.  Maybe my worm on the sign should have an eye dot?  Yes?  No?

©Katie Kidwell Art

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
©GWJ Creative Art

In My Belly Boat

Lake Water Painting In My Belly Boat

I paddle out with a 5 x 7 piece of watercolour paper taped to a lightweight foam board and one plastic bag to hold it in.   In case I splash it on the way back in…but if I did…would it matter?

So I dip my brush in the lake

and with a small box of watercolours on the belly boat apron, I paint.   I keep extra brushes in my wet suit front pocket for easy access and to keep them from rolling overboard.  I am all business when I make my way out to the rocks at Crown Lake.  Once I have the view I want, I have to work the flippers to stay put.  Sometimes I get so caught up I forget and then I have to work my way back.

It all depends on the wind!

In the pockets of my belly boat, I have a few things I may need like an apple and water and some paper towel.  A few w.c. crayons, etc. and my Kodak camera.  Otherwise, I’d have a selfie of myself instead of flipper pictures.  But I like to frame my husband in his U-boat when I take the shot.  Yes, that is Wayne in the distance.  He’s reading a book.

Anything and everything could fall overboard at any time…

Since I started floating and painting I haven’t had any major spills.  I did the first time I went out in my belly boat.  It was when we thought we would fish. Wayne was some distance away fishing in his U-boat.    So I caught a fish and reeled it in.  I took the barbless hook out of its mouth and set the hook to the side. Then l released the trout with both of my hands supporting…Oops!
Now I’m horrified.  The hook I set to the side is gone and wasn’t it attached to my husbands fly rod he had long before he met me?  I look at the deepwater beside me. I can’t believe I forgot I am in a very small circle and anything and everything can end up….overboard!

I’m not as entertaining as I use to be getting into my belly boat.

Getting my flippers to pass the seat harness while standing on one flipper…and then walking out backwards to the deeper water… Holding my belly boat up around my waist until I can go down in the seat.  Ha!  My husband only has to sit back in his U-boat and push off!  We’re not trading but I can tell he misses the shows I use to put on.
No, I wouldn’t trade the belly for a U-boat anyway.  The round inflated tube and apron make the most perfect art easel.  And the water makes the memory of every painting special.
You may enjoy this blog I wrote last summer. It’s on belly boating in Marble Canyon including painting and poem: The Tree That Grew From Rock
When I can I will be posting at facebook my belly boat paintings this summer.
Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you can comment and tell me where you like to paint?  Or where you would like to paint?  Sometimes writing it out makes it happen faster!
©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving