Category Archives: Watercolor

She Saves Shells Steadily

Petrified Sand Dollar

My first view of the ocean was in 1975. We moved to San Diego. Drove in through the Orange groves. That first night, the fog rolled in. I still remember how bright the sky was. And how moist the air felt. It seemed magical to an eight-year-old. I loved it, still do.

None of these are from that first beach visit, but I did collect the sand dollars above. The dark one is “petrified”. Hard as a rock. The smallest is smaller than a dime. Less than a half inch in diameter.

Glass Houses

I often think, “Hey, I should paint a shell!” Lord knows I have plenty to choose from. Their complexity sort of intimidates me though. But I did attempt the large one above.

Shell in pen and Inktense pencils. 4 x 6. 2015 Sheila Delgado
Shell in pen and Inktense pencils. 4 x 6. 2015 Sheila Delgado
Green Tusk
Ebony & Ivory – Black Murex.
Strawberry top, a sand cookie and more purple.
Sea Biscuit

Above, sand stars, a sea biscuit, and a keyhole sand dollar. The two white Augers below are attached like Siamese twins.

Assorted Smalls
To The Point
White Stripes
Sincerely Small Shells
Tiny Treasures

I remember collecting these miniature shells. I was at Bonita Cove in San Diego. I spent most of the afternoon walking the beach and sifting the sand. All I had were my hands and a Ziploc bag. The water’s edge was loaded with shells. I remember I filled the bag and then started putting the larger shells in my pockets.

I cleaned out my cobalt jars the other day, and I finally took the time to separate the shells by size. I set aside the tiny and small shells. The medium and large went back into the jars, organized by types. Next, I organized the tiny and smalls by type as well. I lucked out and found mini jars on clearance. Perfect!

All that work to find the tiniest shells I have ever seen! Well, now I can see them whenever I like. They are no longer figments buried at the bottom of a blue jar.

Filing this under things that bring me joy. And calling it done.

Eenie, Meenie, Mighty Tiny
Hummer Nests
Crazy Shell Lady.

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
— Jacques Yves Cousteau

Are you a collector? Tell me all about it in a comment 😉

Soul Art 2019

Soul Art 2019. 12 x 16, Acrylics on Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.
Soul Art 2019. 12 x 16, Acrylics on Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.

Soul Art Day ( June 5th) with Laura Hollick is a day of creativity and connection. The insights from taking part in the process usually last long after the art has been created. This is from Laura:

Soul Art is a unique creative practice that uses art and creative expression to commune with spirit to awaken deep healing, soul-empowered insights, transformations, and high-vibe visions for your life and career. This is our annual event where thousands of people gather online from around the world to create art together for the day. as you’re journeying through your Soul Art process, know that you are held in the collective vortex of our Global Creative Soul Art Family. There is something deeply profound that happens when we collectively connect in this way. Even though we are each on our own journeys, our collective intention to create art on this day amplifies everyone’s creative power.

Creativity, Connection, Curiosity, Kindness, Respect, Joy.

Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

The day starts with a video from Laura. Guiding you through the Soul Art worksheets. This is your journey, where you find your intention and action. There are five steps in this process. Intention, Bodymapping, Creative Expression, Insight, and Spirit action.

To warm up, I made marks on a 4 x 6 piece of paper. I used new paint markers. I am not familiar with them, so it was one small step out of my comfort zone. I planned on doing more of these, but I quickly felt limited by the small size.

Warming up with paint markers.
Warming up with paint markers.

I mindlessly filled the paper with marks. When there was no more white to fill, I rotated the paper several times. Is it just me, or does that look like a fish?

Warm up, SMDelgado
Making marks.
Making marks.

A fish can symbolize fertility, feelings, creativity, rebirth, good luck, transformation, health, abundance, serenity, intelligence, happiness, strength, and endurance. Connecting us with the water element, it represents the deeper awareness of the unconsciousness or higher self. How serendipitous.

Angels are all around us, all the time, in the very air we breathe.
– Elias Freeman

I laid out my palette on a butcher tray. Along with what you see, I included white, two blues and green. But this turned into an analogous theme. For my first layer, I took a comb with paint and just made a mess on the clean white sheet. Gone with the “paper is precious”.

Body mapping is often done with the artist, laying down, and having a friend outline their body. For my map, I used a watercolor pencil. I drew my lungs, esophagus, and stomach. The parts that need healing. These layers are under what is seen.

Throughout the day, Laura and her guest artists broadcast their progress in the studio. Watching them work, and listening to the meditative music, lulled me into a relaxed state. Standing, I painted until the sheet was filled.

My only goal for the day was to participate. To put a brush in my hands. I didn’t really think about what I was going to paint. When we post our piece in the Soul Art Gallery, Laura asks us several questions. My reply regarding insight was this:

“It has happened before. I am not sure the insight has revealed itself to me just yet. I have the painting propped up in full view. I’ll see what it reveals. I feel more myself, more whole, having spent the day creating. This piece is about flow. Free flowing, exchange. Breath. Breathing. Taking nourishment in. Energetic movement (while painting). Release. Repair. Prayer. Connection. Healing. Freedom. Independence.”

Inhale the future, exhale the past.
– Author Unknown

Here’s a look at previous Soul Art pieces.

Soul Art SMDelgado

Awesome News!

My surgery is set for July 11th. 8 am. I have one more appointment with the surgeon and a class before then. This first surgery is to repair my esophagus. The procedure is basically the surgery that people have to lose weight. Bariatric. The class is on what to eat and what not to eat prior to surgery. I will have a second class after surgery as well.

I really like the surgeon. She explained everything very well. The image below shows a dilated and narrowing esophagus. In addition to that, my stomach stays open. The little flap doesn’t close normally. Because of this, I have GERD. And that is what has damaged my lungs. My surgery is more about removing the damaged part of the esophagus. The stomach will be brought up and reattached to it.

Damaged Esophagus

Next month is going to be a very good month indeed!

Wonky Little Watercolor Cactus

Desert Bloom 2. 4 x 6 in. watercolor & gesso on  paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.
Desert Bloom 2. 4 x 6 in. watercolor & gesso on paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.

Last of the bunch. I have a couple others, but I think they are paint-overs. This card was sent out in the Pals-Poist exchange. It traveled a whole hour and a half up the road to Flagstaff, to my good friend Christine Brooks. Christine and I still have not met. Mostly due to busy schedules. But one day soon, right Christine? 🙂

In return, I received this lovely card. Even in winter, beauty is all around. Christine sent it in a protective sleeve, the marks rub right off. I love how the leaves look like a frilly, royal collar (a ruff). And the snow cap looks like a Beret. Ok, I know I am mixing my styles there. And centuries. 😉

I love it Christine! I hope you had a hot cup of cocoa waiting after your walk in the cold. Burr!

Pals Poist Postcard by Christine Brooks.

I re-discovered a long lost favorite artist. Birgit O’Connor. Her watercolors are jaw-dropping! I love her flowers. And her stones look like a photograph. Her paintings are huge! Treat yourself to some of her videos on YouTube.


Some times good things come in the mail. Unexpected, good things.

Unexpected. Multiple good things.

Nelvia McGrath and I were having a conversation about watercolor paper. If you follow her blog, you know she has been experimenting with watercolors in a class she is taking. If you don’t follow her, you can take a peek. A link to her blog is to the right, in the blogs I follow. Well, we decided to share some paper with each other. And I sent off some Bee paper, some Arches. And some of the cheap postcards I thought were such a great deal. I wanted her to see the difference between good and bad paper. Salvaged the cards though, used gesso to cover the paper. The wonky cactus is an example.

Papers to play with. Yupo, Artagain, Duralar, watercolor paper.

Well, a couple of weeks passed, and I had just about forgotten. I knew Nelvia was busy. (You know how forgetful I am. Ughh.) And what do ya’ know! A BIG box came, with my name on it. Not only were there papers in it, but sharpies, colored pencils, pencils, erasers, a paint marker, a mechanical pencil, a brush pen, and some command strips. WOW! Mixed media here I come!

It’s my party and I’ll draw if I want to!
Draw if I want to, draw if I want to!

I am so blessed to have made so many terrific friends online!

You know who you are. 😉 I see you every day, and I feel grateful. Thank you, Christine, for sharing your art and photography with me!

Thank you Nelvia for the fabulous art loot!

Cacti Postcards

Cacti, 4 x 6 in. watercolor & gesso on paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.

Cacti, 4 x 6 in. watercolor & gesso on paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.

These cards are on their way to my Pals Poist postcard partners. One is headed to Ireland, one to Norway and one to California. I meant to add a flower to the middle card. But dork forgot until just as I was putting it in the envelope. Three layers of paint and then the pen work, and do you think I would remember??

Pals Poist is Jacinta Moore‘s idea for a postcard exchange. In an attempt to fill the huge gap left by the cancelation of Kat Sloma’s LYA. Jacinta even created a cool little logo for the event. Check it out!

I have already received Jacinta’s wonderful card. She calls it digital art. It is a compilation.

Very intriguing.

Jacinta Moore, Pals Poist exchange. Digital art. 3 2019
Jacinta Moore, Pals Poist exchange. Digital art. 3 2019

Isn’t that a mind bender? Or is it just my mind that is bent? This is a photo of her photo. Not doing it justice. I apologize Jacinta. So glad you had the idea to do a swap!

Pile It On

Desert Bloom. 4 x 6 in. watercolor & gesso on  paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.
Desert Bloom. 4 x 6 in. watercolor & gesso on paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.

I’ll share more of these tomorrow. I’ve finished this batch, and I’m in the mood to do some abstracts. Some collage maybe.

Put him in a pot. 4 x 6 in. watercolor & gesso on paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.
Put him in a pot. 4 x 6 in. watercolor & gesso on paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.

The storm came as promised. Roads were closed, and offices shut down. Here at home, it was a gentle snow. I think it snowed for a day and a half. Big fluffy flakes. The next two photos are early in.

Piling up. 2.20.19, SMD
Piling up. 2.20.19, SMD
Let it snow. 2.20.19, SMD
Let it snow. 2.20.19, SMD

When the sun came up yesterday, Mingus was hiding in the mist.

Lost in the mist. 2.23.19, SMD
Lost in the mist. 2.23.19, SMD

It reappeared later.

Mist in the lowlands. 2.23.19, SMD
Mist in the lowlands. 2.23.19, SMD
Frosty. 2.23.19, SMD
Frosty. 2.23.19, SMD
Wascally Wabbit 2.23.19, SMD
Wascally Wabbit 2.23.19, SMD
Long way around. 2.23.19, SMD
Long way around. 2.23.19, SMD

They plowed our road today. But the cold means our view will remain white for a few more days at least. I’m going to enjoy every minute.

Winter blanket. 2.23.19, SMD
Winter blanket. 2.23.19, SMD