September Zen Art Challenge

For the last three months I have participated in an online zen art challenge. I didn't keep up as well this month as I did in July and August, so I found myself playing "catch up" today. I did the watercolor on the paper before doing the daily drawings, then tried to fit some of the "tangles" into the colored spots of the watercolor. I like how a unique piece of art unfolds as each daily drawing is added.  

If you think you'd enjoy doing this, check out the Facebook group called Mindful Creativity with Tangles. It's a closed group so you will have to request to join. Though this looks complicated, it's very relaxing. You can do the designs at your own pace and in your own way. There is no right or wrong way. It's just a way to relax and have fun!


International Print Competition

Last week was the annual International Print Competition (IPC) hosted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The name is a bit misleading as the only person you compete with is yourself. The goal is to achieve "merit" status with your submissions. Each merit gets you a point towards PPA's Master Photographer degree or Master Artist degree. It takes a total of thirteen image merits plus twelve continuing education merits for each degree. Only four images can be submitted in each category every year, so it can take several years to earn the degrees.

This year I entered eight images, four in the photographic open category and four in the master artist category. Out of those eight, two in the photographic open received a merit and three in the master artist category received a merit. One of my master artist images, titled "The Art of Geometry" was selected for the loan collection, which is considered the "best of the best", and received an additional merit. I am now only one merit away from my Master Photographer degree and halfway to my Master Artist degree.

Below are my merit images for this year. If there's any way I can help you to preserve your memories or create a unique Art for Your Heart ™ piece for your home, please let me know!


Do you know what your great-grandparents looked like?

Have you come across a box or old trunk full of old photographs of your ancestors? Isn't it fun to look at them and see if you resemble them? Whose side of the family do you look like? If our ancestors had not had these images taken and printed, we would only be able to imagine what they looked like.

What is the condition of the pictures from that old box or trunk? Are they still pristine because they were carefully stored? Probably not. Many will have moisture/water marks on them, be discolored, scratched, or may be torn and have missing pieces. If you have old pictures of your ancestors that may need restoration before you display them, please contact me and I will help you get great-grandpa and great-grandma looking their best!

Here is a before and after image of my husband's great-grandparents. It was originally stored in an oval frame with a rounded front. It had some water marks and discolored spots on it. I restored it as a surprise for my mother-in-law for Christmas. Now everyone in the family has a copy so they can remember Ma and Pap Bowman!



Did you have or make a macrame owl?

What household in the 1970s didn't have something made from macrame? Our Girl Scout troop did a project that taught us the basic knots. There was no stopping us then! Macrame belts with beads and long fringe were popular - they looked great with bell bottoms. Spider plants and ivy in macrame plant hangers were in most homes. And of course there was the macrame owl with its big bead eyes following you around. There's one in my coloring book, Memories of the 1970s. I hope it brings back some fun memories and makes you smile. Here's a version colored by one of my granddaughters. 

The Partridge Family!

Jill sent me this page that she colored from my Memories of the 1970s coloring book. She named it "The Partridge Family" because it made her think of The Partridge Family TV show that was popular in the 1970s. Jill said she thinks Memories of the 1970s is fun because it's lighthearted and there's so much variety in the pages. Thanks Jill! You can get your copy here!

A coloring book for everyone that loved the 1970s!

Here's what I've been working on the last few months! I have created a coloring book that will take you back to some of the fun things of the 1970s! The 1970s were my "growing up" years. I loved all the artwork in bright colors and the bold designs. I spent many hours creating colorful doodles on my blue denim three ring binder, my brown grocery bag book covers, and my folders. My favorite medium was Flair markers, but I also used colored pencils and pastels. If you're a child of the '70s like I am, I think you will enjoy some coloring fun and de-stressing with my coloring book "Memories of the 1970s". It's available on Amazon here. Let me know what you think of it. If you love it, I'd appreciate you leaving a positive review on Amazon.

Art for Your Heart ™

Art for Your Heart ™....what is that you ask? Art for Your Heart ™ encompasses my photography, painting, and other projects that make your heart happy. I am still doing traditional photography of people and pets, plus I'm also offering digital drawings and painted portraits, fine art, and even coloring books!

Capturing your story and creating Art for Your Heart™ that will take you back to a special moment in time is my goal. Art for Your Heart™ could be a family portrait, painting of your pet, a fine art piece for your home, or a coloring page that takes you back to your youth. Memories and smiles will be the results!

Commission your own Art for Your Heart ™ by completing the form on my "Contact" page. I look forward to working with you! 

Painted portrait. Photograph by Pete Rezac, Reno, NV, painted by Alisa Whitley.

Painted portrait. Photograph by Pete Rezac, Reno, NV, painted by Alisa Whitley.

Skipper says "Hi!" in this traditional portrait by Alisa Whitley

Skipper says "Hi!" in this traditional portrait by Alisa Whitley

"FIre and Ice" Fine Art print by Alisa Whitley

"FIre and Ice" Fine Art print by Alisa Whitley

PPA International Print Competition

On August 7, 2014, five photographs I created were accepted into the General Collection of Professional Photographers of America's 2014 International Photographic Competition. My images will be on display at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee Feb. 1-3, 2015. This International Photographic Exhibition is held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers and several photographic associations.

A panel of 45 eminent jurors from across the United States selected five of my photographs from nearly 5,000 total submitted entries. Judged against a standard of excellence, just over 1,800 images were selected for the General Collection. My image, "Did You Say Baloney?" was one of approximately 200 selected General Collection images that will be published in the "Showcase" book by Marathon Press.

Titled "The Original Hipster”, “Radiation”, “Did You Say Baloney?”, “Weapons of Mass Seduction”, and “There’s A Band Playing In My Head”, my photographs will be in the International Photographic Exhibition alongside other top photographic works from the competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute one of the world's largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.

I also earned PPA’s Bronze Medalist status by having all four of the images I submitted in the Photographic Open category accepted into PPA’s General Collection. 

The Original Hipster - PPA International Photographic Competition General Collection

The Original Hipster - PPA International Photographic Competition General Collection

Radiation - PPA International Photographic Competition General Collection

Radiation - PPA International Photographic Competition General Collection

Did You Say Baloney? - PPA International Photographic Competition General Collection and Showcase Book

Did You Say Baloney? - PPA International Photographic Competition General Collection and Showcase Book

Weapons of Mass Sedution - PPA International Photographic Competition General Collection

Weapons of Mass Sedution - PPA International Photographic Competition General Collection


I miss you Mom - Happy Mother's Day

My mother's hands.



I've been thinking about Mother's Day a lot this year. This is my first Mother's Day without my Mom. She passed away on December 2, 2013 after a three year battle with lung cancer. 
I was in Walgreens recently and went down the card isle. I saw the Mother's Day cards and actually started to pick one up when it hit me I didn't have to buy a card this year. Or a present. It hit me pretty hard too. 
There are so many things that remind me of her. Flowers in bloom, cardinals singing, doves cooing, sitting on the porch drinking coffee. And so many things I do that she taught me. Just yesterday, while doing laundry, I was shaking the towels out as I got them out of the washer because she taught me "it won't take them as long in the dryer if you shake them out first instead of letting the dryer do it." That's just one of the many things.

My Dad, my brothers, and I, and lots of other family members and friends, miss her so much. But we know she's in a better place and she's not hurting any more. Those last few months were so hard on her, but she fought until the very end. She's still the strongest woman I know.

Little did we know that when I took this picture of her hands, she probably already had tumors growing in her lungs. I still remember taking the picture...telling her to hold still while I took a shot of her hands holding the coffee mug like she had done so many times while we talked and drank coffee. 

I though it would be fitting to post the picture because it brings back so many good memories. I wrote the following to go with the picture of my Mom's hands on March 25, 2010....

"These are the hands that made our house a home growing up. These are the hands that taught me how to cook, sew, iron, take care of a baby, crochet, wash dishes, sweep and mop the floor, make a bed, plant flowers, write, paint, and all the other things I needed to know to make a home of my own. These are the hands attached to the arms that are always open wide for a hug whenever I need one. These are the hands of one of the strongest women I know. The woman that taught me how to be strong and always told me I could do anything I set my mind to and be anything I want to be. She still tells me this whenever I need encouragement. My mom is the one that taught me how to be a mom, a friend, and how to love, all by loving me. My hands look a lot like hers, so one day this could be my hands. I just hope I am able to give to my daughter and granddaughters everything my Mom has given to me. For all of this I will be eternally grateful. I love you Mom! "

Happy Mother's Day Mama. I love you and miss you.