Thursday, March 29, 2012


"When other girls were playing with barbies, I was a horse!"  Oh, I love the power of the horse, the elegance and grace, the eyes full of energy and the beautiful mane and tale become a perfect picture.  I remember the first time I touched a horse!  The shiny coat felt silky.  I ran my fingers through the coarser textured mane.  Now I can learn to draw the horse and add these animals to my collections of dinosaur and dragon "full of fire" crayon and pencil drawings.

I set out learning to draw the horse, a self teaching journey.  I bought books and studied master painters' pictures.  I watched muscles ripple under subtle coats.  I studied horses in pastures and learned to draw them.  I bought Breyer Plastic models and posed them, watching the light shift over the 3-D bodies and practiced with pencil and pen.  I became the horse as blue and black ink from fountain pens ingrained itself into my knuckles as I drew.  I wore a callous into one knuckle, still visible today! 

The Carousel in Kennywood Park near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania came alive to me with horses hand carved and realistically painted, a Dentzel piece.  Every ride, I shifted to a different horse, a jumper, a stationary model, all colors!  My mom bought a roll of tickets and brought a book along to read.  Being a one track pony, I had found my favorite amusement!   Riding Shetland ponies in Highland Park Zoo was a dream for me.  My favorite was Silver, and we saw soft pine trees and felt the naturally soft trail under his hoofs.  I watched TV Cowboy shows and ignored the humans and plots.  Watching running horses is hypnotic for me.

One of my friends reported, "I was a horse until I was fourteen years of age, and then I decided to become a human.  That was not a good thing."

Another told me she would enter the neighbor's pasture, full of beautiful horses and run with them becoming wild and free!

I am seeing a photo of a painting by Wesley Dennis, animal illustrator, in my head as I write.  It is a black and white ink wash drawing of a trotting horse and a collie is running with him!  Born to Trot by Marguerite Henry and illustrated by Wesley Dennis provided many hours of study and absorption for me.  Wesley so beautifully illustrated the Misty of Chincoteage pony stories; and my ultimate favorite, King of the Wind, the story of the Godolphin Arabian accompanied by his pet cat!

And of course there is Pegasus!  I can feel Fantasia all around by Walt Disney where I dragged my parents endlessly into the theater when it played.  The Greek Myth scenes sent shivers through me as I mentally photographed the magnificent flying horses and how to draw them!  Poets and Artists are said to mount Pegasus as they "take off" into creative realms.  Rob thinks, "Imagination is another dimension."  I can feel spring flower petals right now as the Momma white flying horse shakes a cherry tree branch, and the petals fall softly on her baby learning to fly.

 Free As The Wind!
*"I imagined a galloping bay stallion and set out to paint him...[He] sprang like a phoenix from the ashes....I painted a fleet horse skimming through the desert.  There was a hint of blue sky, and he kicked sand showers as he galloped.  There was no background.  He raced alone.  He was the central focus.  As I brought him to life on canvas, I felt I was tracing over invisible pencil lines, like a child playing, filling in a coloring book.  Was the painting Mary and the Angel the same experience only in front of others?"

My earliest pencil horse drawing recently came "out of the box" of treasures.  Learning how to write was much more difficult than drawing a foal frolicking with a butterfly while Mom watches!

Related Posts:  Mary and the Angel (Dec 2011),  What Kind of Animal Are You? (Jan 2011), Dear Dreamer and Escape Artists (Feb 2011), Creative Energy and Thin Ice (Feb 2012) Call to Colors (photo with *Emaus portrait, March 2012)

*Excerpts from Silver Butterfly Create A Vision by Dahlis Roy, free text and illustrated PDF E-book

Album of Horses by Marguerite Henry illustrated by Wesley Dennis and The Illustrated Marguerite Henry with Wesley Dennis and other artists.  Creative Adventures with the horse for all ages crafted by expert equine scuptors and hand painted by teams of artists.

Art of the Carousel by Charlotte Dinger

How to Draw Horses by Walter T. Foster, how to draw series many topics, still in print!

Oil Paintings:  Double Trouble, Free as the Wind and On the Beach by Dahlis Roy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012



"I practiced Tai Chi on a sunny beach by the ocean.  The sand felt so good, and the sky was washed with clouds."  Therese turned to me, her eyes wide, "That's spiritual vitamins!"  Louise Watson, R. N., thinks our "Our body is like a fine piano that needs tuning.  Tai Chi helps to bring that piano back in tune."  My son, Rob, feels Tai Chi uses "Internal and external stretching, you stretch beyond the limits of what you already know."   Tai Chi practice jump started my painting to reach new brightness of vibrant light and color.  Creative writing expands my left brain logic bringing scattered thoughts and fragments of my self into a coherent wholeness.

Mountain Climbing, Achieve Goals, with Tai Chi
Daily practice of Tai Chi is a pathway to opening awareness and communication, verbal and non-verbal, physical and non-physical.  When you invite positive change into your life, you invite others to join you.  Generating unselfish energy with mindful intent, Tai Chi practice can help you achieve goals.  As you calm, center, and focus your mind becomes clearer and your goal achievements come into being.  

Positive intent represents Yin nurturing force while events and people turning and returning to you are active Yang energies.  Tai Chi practice balances Yang strength with Yin yielding to create a harmony of work, play, and rest.  

Tai Chi Morning
Recently I retired from many happy years of Tai Chi teaching to deepen creative adventures with writing and painting.  We keep together to practice Tai Chi as a group.  Rob notes that "Qi (energy) rises exponentially with group practice."  Louise adds, "Tai Chi is a blueprint for unlimited possibilities, a plan without boundaries:  Intuition to Fruition!  Color your life with Tai Chi!"   



The Story of Blue Shadows:  When I presented this oil painting to its owner, he immediately took the painting in his hands and turned it upside down! 

"Look!  The way it was originally painted it is 'Morning' with the light coming into the sky. When the painting  is turned upside down, it is 'Evening' with a darker cooler look and feel.  I plan to hang it both ways, depending on the mood of the moment.   The morning view is Yang Energy while the Evening represents Yin!  Did you plan it this way?"

"No! I had no clue!"  How like Tai Chi energy to present a painted surprise!

Related Posts: 
A-B-C's of Tai Chi (Nov 2011), Carry Water Chop Wood (June 2011), Universe Shadows of Cranes (Steps to Achieve Your Goal by Paul Lam, M.D., Mar 2011) and Catching Up (Apr 2011), Tonal Vision (The power of Music, Tones, and Frequencies, Jan 2011)

Resources:  Paul Lam, M.D., is a family practice physician in Sydney, Australia, He travels the world to promote benefits of Tai Chi for Health.  Free Newsletters:  Mar 2012 contains video about Tai Chi principles, articles and more.  Dr. Yang, Jwing-ming, Taiji, Qigong, and Martial Arts expert offers books, E-books, DVDs and much more including new Tai Chi for Beginners DVD presenting the Yang Long Form with detailed instructions. Jou, Tsung Hwa, Mathematician and Tai Chi Expert offers books, The Tao of Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan), The Tao of Meditation, and The I Ching, Way to Divination.  "Thank you for all you taught us."  Master Wing Cheung offers free DVD download of 18 Form Taiji Qigong (Shi Ba Shi).  Practiced by millions worldwide, 18 form is simple to follow and practice and can be used by itself or as warm up for Tai Chi practice.  Master Cheung learned directly from the co-creators of the form:  Master He, Weiqi and Lin, Hou Sheng.  inquiries, request free PDF E-book, Silver Butterfly, Create A Vision.

Blue Shadows, reversible oil painting by Dahlis Roy. Top photo Morning view as painted, and turned upside down, Evening.

Monday, March 12, 2012


* "I can see for miles and miles...." music floats along performed by The Who.  Today I searched long for a frequency (song or instrumental) that is the perfect fit for a lilting writing session inviting joy plus reflection.  A frequency that invites a sing and hum along, felt deep in the chest like a purring cat.  My cats love the harmonies here as I write, both asleep.  Dark tabby, Sasha, is draped over my keyboard.  Sancat, her golden brother, rests on his blanket nearby. 

"First writing" of a story is so fresh and free!  Thoughts flow like splashes of cool water.  Then the re-reads and cut and paste, if needed, for clarity.  I pick up a book  **Eyes Like Leaves by Charles de Lint, open it and see the sections:  Gathering the Threads, Weaving, and Finishing the Cloth.  How like life!  I prefer facts to fiction, but this novel compels me to read and savor a Celtic Tale of Mystery.

I marvel at the writer's voice, the musician's sound, the painter's palette, the sculptor's carvings, all are unique "weavers of words and worlds."  All voices (expressions) "touch each others' lives in ways no one else can," my friend Louise adds.

Next I pick up some "ancient bits and typed manuscripts" from an old box recently "re-discovered."  I touch again wanderings from the Celtic Book of Days  I read.

"The smile of melting snow"   Then: 

I am the wind of the sea,
I am the wave of the ocean,
I am the roar of the sea...
I am the hawk on a cliff,
I am a tear of the sun,

I am turning in a maze....
I am a power of skillfull gift,
I am a grass blade in the Earth...
I am creative, weaving....

I am definitely turning in "amazement" as the abundance of delight, information, discovery, wonder and more pours in from ever-opening dimensions. 

St. Patrick's Day is coming 'round again.  I am getting out my Irish Folk music Cd's!  In my imagination, I put on a heavy Aran sweater lovingly knit with sheepswool, hiking shoes, faded jeans, scarf and cap.  

My own words call from scribbled ancient journals and drawings: 
***  "Aran sweaters of old came in natural colors of umber, heavy cream, coal, and grey."  

Stone Creatures
"Mute crosses with cut-out halos stand on rocky hills, gigantic monuments to past memories....I can feel these ancient carvings' roots in the Viking past where W.B, Yeats notes in The Wanderings of Oisin, 'the long boats with the carven fronts,' come into the harbor.  Relics of the past live in stone encyclopedias.  I can see the twistings and turnings of ancient dragons, and battles of plants and birds.  I can see the Pict's intertwined snakes and leaves frozen in stone."

"I feel a chill....I look over the steep rocky-sharp bank to the coastline where ocean smashes against crags in relentless rhythm.  The sea is 'seafoam green-grey.'  Breakers beating the rocks are flecked foam and raw umber (a dark painter's brown)...."

"I can focus on the windy hill more clearly now...."

"Listen in Silence, and Find a Voice." 

I imagine an Irish Rose and hear:

"Let the petals of your life unfold like a rose opening, one at a time and each in perfect order," Louise Watson, R. N.

Related Posts:  Tonal Vision (The Power of Music in Our Lives Jan 2011),  Silver Stars and Moonbeams (St. Patrick's Day Reflections), Picture Perfect (May 2011), By An Unfaltering Trust (July 2011), Legend of the White Stag, Thin Ice, Creative Energy  A Stitch in Time, (Feb 2012), and Call to Colors (Mar 2012)

*  The Who:  I Can See for Miles, Who are You? and other music

**  Eyes Like Leaves, "This is classic high fantasy, written and revised by a master, unpublished when first completed some 30 years ago...." Booklist.  Charles de Lint is a Canadian author, musician, poet and loves to sketch with pencil and watercolor. Products: Cats Purr Cd, Lucy contributes her purr music for relaxation and healing along with binaural beats and nature sounds. The Celtic Book of Days is available.

The Wanderings of Oisin by W.B. Yeats, mystic author and poet

*** Celtic Crosses/Aran Sweaters:  Sculptures in Stone and Wool by Dahlis Roy

Patience and Timing, March 3, 2012  Debra Basham's Blog:  Yellow Brick Road, Your Path to Heart and Health   Joel P. Bowman, Ph.D., and Rev. Debra Basham, CHTP, NLP, RMT, HTt  Inquiries, request free PDF E-book Silver Butterfly, Create A Vision, Awaken Your Creative Spirit.

Photos:  Stone Creatures by Emilie and Neon Rose, by Dahlis Roy

Friday, March 9, 2012


Knitting With Color
While late winter melts (melds) into spring, make time for breezy colors!

Our silver Collie, Sky, inspired the matching Icelandic sweater Rob wears.  This one is knit from 4 ply knitting yarn.  **Collie fans can save undercoat from brushing their dogs and separate it into colors like black, white, and grey or various tans.  Next, processing and spinning collie yarn is possible!  This spun soft furry undercoat shed from collies (or other long coated breeds) can be used for knitting creations. 

Along with Aran sweater experiments, I added intarsia (color) knitting, stitched on circular needles for a seamless effect.  Absorbing techniques from special books, I learned to weave in every stitch on the color patterned areas as ancient knitters had done.  Weaving in while knitting creates a continuous fiber without loose loops of carried yarn on the wrong side of the work to catch in fingers or tear easily with washing or wearing.  "Weaving in" makes the chest and upper back area of an Icelandic design extra thick for extra warmth.

Patterned charts or graphs in books or online can be cut and pasted (designed on paper or computer) to fit into a certain multiple of (total) stitches in your work and grafted into your chosen sweater or hat template.  Sacred geometry effects appear as if by magic!  I see the wonders of precise mathematics at work increasing needed left brain activity.  You can now design your own concept of patterns and colors.

Mildred, "You visualize the finished effect as a colored mental picture, and put math into action!"

I chuckled back to my school days, most mathematical concepts are beyond my grasp!  Knitting helps.

Vision to Achievement:  Wholeness
* Paraphrasing Margie Kivel, a quilt begins with a vision.  Piecing together and finishing a quilt develop a wholeness of creation.

Piecing together a quilt into a unified whole reminds me of the "sewing up" in knitting.  Scattered pieces of fronts, backs, sleeves and more await completion.  A wearable painting in its final brushstrokes is being born.  I was surprised to find some of my knitting friends actually hired other knitters to sew up their creations!  I must admit, I was daunted by the sewing task.  However, gradually I learned to weave seams to be "invisible" and lay flat for comfortable wear with a slight stretch in the seam for flexible durability. 

Thought (Yin) leads to creative action (Yang).  Designing a mandala is another creative art.  Playing with watercolors on wet paper and "seeing" what appears  increases the wonder and magic of tone and line.  All these and more are learning exercises plus playful enjoyment.

Our Lion Cub wears a cap knit with sport yarn.  The smaller needles and finer yarn is more of a challenge.  This fun project, a child's cap, gives pride of accomplishment and is perfect for me to wear today, many years later!

As I walked into my creative room yesterday (jumbled notes and piles of stuff), a scrap of paper fell to the floor.  I picked it up.  Torn from last year's calendar, the anonymous message is a perfect fit:

                  "Your Imagination is Your Preview to Life's Coming Attractions."

Related Posts:  A Stitch in Time and Creative Love (Feb 2012), Out of Box Experience  (Who are the Sunnybank Collies? Aug 2011)
* Shine the Light, More From Margie Kivel (Jan 2011).  Rev. Margie Kivel is a noted author, poet, mystic, ordained Spiritualist Minister, and artist.  Rev. Rick Root's monthly free newsletter from Flint (Michigan USA) Spiritualist Church.  Margie Kivel is a regular contributor.

** Spinning A Good Tail (Using a Drop Spindle to Make Dog Hair into Yarn) article by Anne Lively, Gloaming Wood Collies

James Norbury, Traditional Knitting Patterns, including lace and more from Scandinavia, British Isles, France, Italy and other European countries.  The Family Knitting Book patterns for all ages.

Barbara G. Walker, Traditional Knitting Patterns, several volumes. 

Wendy D. Johnson, Wendy Knits Lace techniques and trends.
Blog:  free patterns, patterns for purchase, discussions

Gladys Thompson, Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys, and Arans, Fishermen's Sweaters from the British Isles.  Knitting Daily program on  "Make Time for Yarn Everyday."  Free PDF E-book, 40 tips for knitters of all levels, patterns and more.  since 1878, free patterns, lessons with illustrations and video instruction, help available, yarns, clubs, and more. free patterns, video instructions, yarns  learn to knit and crochet, free download.  Joel P. Bowman, Ph.D and Debra Basham, CHTP, NLP. RMT, HTt   Create Your Healing Experience! Yellow Brick Road Your Path to Heart and Health:  Patience and Timing.  Inquiries, Request free PDF E-book, Silver Butterfly, Create A Vision.

Photos by Dahlis:  Sky and Rob, sweater match.  Our blue merle Collie is Rare Editions Cloudy Sky.
Lion in Winter with knit cap flanked by painting of Estes Park, Colorado

Dahlis with Portrait of *Emaus photo by Rob.  Years ago I painted *Emaus, an Arabian Stallion, by *Naborr x *Egreta.  The horse, *Emaus, was owned by Lila Bates.  Portrait displayed with permission.  

Aran Sweater pictured is "The Blue Aran."  It sports plain diamonds, ladders of life, small cables, and ribbon stitch, plus lobster claws (up center of sleeve) and double moss (edge stitch for seaming).  I love wearing it today!