Category Archives: Life

Open Shores

Open Shores by Karen Gadient, 2018

Open Shores. Gouache and digital mixed media.

I’ve been struggling with the flu since returning from our holiday travels. It’s better now, but I’m still exhausted most of the time, so I’ll probably be slow to update things online for a bit.

Hope you’ve had a good (and flu-free) start to 2018!

I have seen the sea when it is stormy and wild; when it is quiet and serene; when it is dark and moody. And in all its moods, I see myself.
― Martin D. Buxbaum

Click here for more about what I do and to view my art galleries.

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Color, Gouache, Holiday, Life, Mixed Media, Painting, Quotes

Fragmented Influence

Fragmented Influence by Karen Gadient, 2017

Fragmented Influence. Pastel, watercolor, ink, and digital mixed media.

I’ve been busy, so I thought having the ‘Mixed Media Monday’ prompt would help me keep up with posting to the blog. But I think I’ll just post when I can and make sure it’s at least weekly. I’ve been doing more design work and less painting but I just bought myself fresh art supplies and I know I’ll be experimenting with them, so I’ll try to share some fun stuff here. 🙂

Hope you’re having a lovely April!

We live in a rainbow of chaos. ― Paul Cézanne

Click here for more about what I do and to view my art galleries.

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Color, Creativity, Decisions, Ink, Life, Mixed Media, Painting, Pastel, Prompts, Quotes, Watercolor

Mixed Media Monday: Fever

Fever by Karen Gadient, 2017

Fever. Watercolor and ink.

Apologies for this being a day late; I returned from my holiday family trip with a bug and finally forced myself to the doctor yesterday. Under the spell of medication and exhaustion, this is what I’ve managed for this week: chaotic but interesting. I hope you’re having a happy and cold-or-flu-free start to the year!

Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. ― Robert Service

Click here for more about what I do and to view my art galleries.

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Filed under Art, Color, Ink, Life, Mixed Media, Mixed Media Monday, Painting, Prompts, Quotes, Watercolor

KarPaiTwenMo 4 : Art Marathon

KarPaiTwenMo 4 by Karen Gadient, 2016

Once again, while the writing world wrestles with NaNoWriMo, I’m going to spend November creating twenty different pieces of artwork for your enjoyment.

I’ve ‘won’ NaNoWriMo twice, but as my life changed, my goals changed too. My writing became a personal exploration of my inner landscape and less of a word count situation. So, instead, I now spend November with art.

I call it KarPaiTwenMo (Karen Paints Twenty in a Month). Five per week.

See my original post here, which shows how this started.

Back then, I did mainly digital art… now, I primarily use traditional media, so the canvas might be different, but the idea is similar―make a lot of artwork of some kind or another. Now that I’ve done this for a few years, I also post with more regularity, so you won’t have to wait long for new stuff.

I usually blog two or three times a week these days, but expect to see posts from me five times a week in November.

Also, despite keeping the marathon name and hashtag I created back in 2013―it’ll be more than twenty; I won’t be counting FingerPaintingFriday and I’ll still be doing those.

Best of luck to all of you participating in NaNoWriMo―and a successful November to everyone, no matter what your plans and goals are. Have fun and keep the coffee/tea pot brewing!

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Coffee, Color, Creativity, KarPaiTwenMo, Life, NaNoWriMo, Painting, Prompts, Writing

Westray, Orkney: Noup Head

Noup Head Lighthouse by Karen Gadient, 2016

Noup Head is a dramatic and simply-beyond-stunning coastal area to hike, explore, and birdwatch. It’s worth the extra ferry to Westray from Kirkwall if you ever happen to be in Orkney.

According to the Northern Lighthouse Board, the name noup is derived from gnupr, meaning ‘headland locality’.

Noup Head Birds by David Gadient, 2016

Noup Cliffs is the nesting home to thousands of birds: gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, puffins, and other seabirds. It can be a bit of a challenge to snap photos of the birds unless you have the right camera gear―especially if you happen to be fearful of heights (I admit, I was nervous at the edge).

Noup Head Lighthouse by David Gadient, 2016

Noup Head Lighthouse is impressively seated above the sea cliffs. It’s automated now―solar, as you can see by the panels―but is well over a century old.

Noup Head by Karen Gadient, 2016

June was a lovely time to visit the area; the birds were in great numbers and the cliff tops were decked out in wildflowers.

Noup Head by David Gadient, 2016

It’s truly one my favorite views now that I’ve seen it for myself, and a place I hope to return to again soon.

Well, that’s it for the photos from our Scotland trip. For this trip to Scotland, at least―we’re already planning a trip back, although it won’t be right away. Next time, we’ll tackle the western coast on our travel northward.

Hope you’ve enjoyed our photos (most were taken by my husband David) and my ramblings! If you missed any part… here are links to previous related posts:

Our First Day in Glasgow
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Our Day in Edinburgh
Scotland: Glasgow to Gills Bay
On a Ferry to Orkney
Orkney Wanderings
St Magnus Cathedral
Skara Brae
Standing Stones in Orkney
Westray, Orkney: Part 1
Westray, Orkney: Noltland Castle
Westray, Orkney: Lady Kirk, Pierowall

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Filed under Holiday, Journal, Landscape, Life, Nature, Ocean, Orkney, Photography, Scotland, Sea, Seascape, Travel, Vacation

Westray, Orkney: Lady Kirk, Pierowall

Lady Kirk 1 by David Gadient, 2016

Pierowall’s Lady Kirk is the shoreside ruin of a 17th century church built on the foundations of a 13th century church.

An impressive aerial view and other details can be seen here:
Westray, Pierowall, Lady Kirk: ScotlandsPlaces

In the far back of some of these photos, you may see a clear case protecting something from the elements; within it are several gravestones dating back to 1657. Sadly, we don’t have a good shot of those to share, but there are photos of them―pre-case―at the ScotlandsPlaces site too.

Lady Kirk 4 by David Gadient, 2016

Lady Kirk 2 by David Gadient, 2016

Lady Kirk 5 by David Gadient, 2016

Lady Kirk 3 by David Gadient, 2016

Lady Kirk is a beautiful place, resting near the green grass and blue sea.

Lady Kirk 6 by David Gadient, 2016

Another pair of David’s photos (he’s the one who’s taken most of the photos for these Scotland posts). I particularly like the through-the-window one.

One more set of photos from Westray soon!

Links to previous related posts:

Our First Day in Glasgow
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Our Day in Edinburgh
Scotland: Glasgow to Gills Bay
On a Ferry to Orkney
Orkney Wanderings
St Magnus Cathedral
Skara Brae
Standing Stones in Orkney
Westray, Orkney: Part 1
Westray, Orkney: Noltland Castle

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Filed under History, Holiday, Journal, Landscape, Life, Orkney, Photography, Religion, Scotland, Travel, Vacation

Westray, Orkney: Noltland Castle

Noltland Castle Approach by David Gadient, 2016

While in Westray, David took some photos during our visit to Noltland Castle, the castle built by Gilbert Balfour back in the 16th century. On approach, it seems like an possibly-welcoming Scottish tower house… but then you discover it’s speckled with dozens of gun-holes, has a massively thick wall, and is pretty much a fortress. Now in ruins, it’s welcoming enough and open to all guests.

For the intriguing tale behind Noltland Castle, click here. We were lucky to get the background told to us by Graham of Westraak as we explored the property.

Noltland Castle Exterior by David Gadient, 2016

Quite a few gun-holes, aye. Every approach to the castle is covered. 71 gun-holes, supposedly―more than any other Scottish castle.

Noltland Castle Walls by David Gadient, 2016

The upper level is a hall that remains unfinished. The stonework is fascinating and the color of the stone is quite lovely with bits of yellow and green.

Noltland Castle Interior by David Gadient, 2016

Noltland Castle Interior View by David Gadient, 2016

There are bars to keep you from falling as you wander the castle.

Noltland Castle Newl by David Gadient, 2016

The newel post that greets you at the top of the staircase.

Noltland Castle Courtyard by David Gadient, 2016

The courtyard is a relaxing place, especially on a clear day.

I’ll share more photos from Westray soon!

Links to previous related posts:

Our First Day in Glasgow
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Our Day in Edinburgh
Scotland: Glasgow to Gills Bay
On a Ferry to Orkney
Orkney Wanderings
St Magnus Cathedral
Skara Brae
Standing Stones in Orkney
Westray, Orkney: Part 1

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Filed under History, Holiday, Journal, Life, Orkney, Photography, Scotland, Travel, Vacation