Sunday, January 19, 2020

Superstition - Bottle Tree

a quick study with black pen and chalk-pastel pencils. 


Three crosses dominate the pasture hilltop high above winding gravel road, Appalachian mountains a backdrop to these Christian sentinels.  Or superstition as some folks insist.  Wonder and well-being flood my soul but to each his own.

Here in the South, there's plenty of legend and lore, such as deep porches with ceilings of haint blue, traps between realms of the living and dead, tricking turbulent spirits as water they cannot cross.  I've seen cobalt blue dangling from crape myrtle trees, bottles that seize minions set on maiming souls, evil scorched come morning sun.  Bottle trees reside as folk art outside upscale shops; like Ouija boards in toy isles - yet one tempts me, the other terrifies.  They say the Devil's beguiled by his own handsome face, mirrors hang upon southern porches, distract him until the swell of morning sun, wherein he turns tail for hell, house-invasion thwarted.  And of course, Bloody Mary chanted 13 times, hand mirror held aloft, flight of stairs ascended backwards, room darkened, candles lit... beware, benign or wicked she may be.

Hold your breath, count graves
School bus stops at traffic light
Blue faces, wide eyes

By Margaret Bednar, January 18, 2020

Friday, January 17, 2020


My youngest son, a few years back, lakeside in North Carolina.  Preliminary study - I'd like to paint this scene. 

Hold Tight

There is something so endearing
about my little boy's silhouette,
delicate neck above narrow shoulders
and waist dwarfed by shorts
that flood past knees
and shade bare, dirt-dusted feet.

Last vestigates of pudginess
cling to lengthening limbs,
which increasingly take him far
from my protective reach.

The lake is deep, tree roots
snake in and out along the steep bank.
I warn him to watch his step,
"I will, Mom"; try not to hover
yet it's second nature.  Sees me coming,
he runs, I shout, he laughs.

The darkness of the water scares me,
of course, he's oblivious,
fascinated as he is looking for turtles,
fish, dragonflies, and such.

Notice Mother Duck's having trouble
keeping her own swiftly growing chicks inline;
my mind scampers to my other five
(check text messages, see if they need me)
call my youngest to me, spread out blanket,
hold tight to this moment, this little boy.

by Margaret Bednar, January 7, 2020

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Calla Lilly - Saturated Color

This was a daily sketch using colored pencils (which I have no skill :) but the idea was "color" so I saturated the page. 

Calla Lilly

Enchantment comes my way
as I walk the garden path,
a kind of whimsy, flushed pink,
extends an invitation

to slide, spiral, and spin
into a world of purity. 

by Margaret Bednar (excerpt from a poem written in 2013)  I like this version better! 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Acrylic painting Adirondack Chair

Acrylic Painting by Margaret Bednar

Still a bit reserved on my details as shadows and such could be more developed, I know, but I want to stop before I mess it up.  I'll make a second one after the vacation... hopefully lounging in a scene such as this!


Pink painted toes sink into buttercream sand,
white paint flakes from Adirondack
as ocean's sapphire sweeps my skin.

Swear I'm living within a sonnet,
a poem lovely as a first kiss.

by Margaret Bednar, August 9, 2018

The line "a poem lovely as" was our departure point from Joyce Kilmer's "Trees".

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Acrylic Garden Rabbit Painting

Acrylic Painting by Margaret Bednar

and a poem to go with it...


Bees like amber drops roll in the petals,
their buzz industrious, not threatening,
my childhood phobia placated.
(I avoided flowers, tiptoed through dandelion patches
afraid of being stung)

Perhaps it's the Adirondack chair
and the sun, both slanted just so
as to make movement nigh impossible
(like the stone bunny next to me).

Mid-summer I'm supine, moony;
observe crows at forest edge,
breath in fresh-cut grass,
distant whir of mower a lullaby,

content to cloud watch,
thoughts a shape-shifting mirage.
Perhaps it's part dehydration,
swear I'm floating on angel wings,
weightless, prayer frivolous
as I childishly plea summer never end...

and the bees drone on.

By Margaret Bednar, August 8, 2018

The first line is from The Roses a poem featured in American Primitive - poems by Mary Oliver 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Sand Castle Garnishes

and a poem to go with it:


I shake out the quilt, flip flops anchor corners,
and I'm beached for remainder of day;
cry of seagulls and sun upon my eyelids
an aphrodisiac I'm far too weak to fight.

May drag myself to water's edge mid-afternoon,
dip my toes, but full immersion's usually reserved for August.

Frolicking, chilly surf fazes not my children,
their chatter weaving in and out of my reverie
as they fill in, fill up pail after pail with water
for castle moat until the very ocean threatens their creation;

even I, sun-drenched drunk, sigh deeply, heave myself up,
move our sandy outpost out of harms way,

glad life guards scan horizon and shoreline
for far more serious danger,
watch as seagull and shell garnishes are devoured
by ocean's surge and my children laugh it off,

run past my oasis, shroud me with sand.
I suppose my penance for being lazy.

by Margaret Bednar, July 31, 2018

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Church Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion y San Fernando of Toa Alta - San Juan, Puerto Rico

First Pen & Ink Watercolor Study
This is the Church Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion y San Fernando of Toa Alta  - a Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Pen and Ink Study
pen and ink study - scale and angles are still off, but pen means no erasing... just getting a feel for it.   Will try another sketch tomorrow and play with watercolor perhaps.

The above is an initial quick sketch of Church Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion y San Fernando of Toa Alta  - a Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico.   I didn't continue with the shading and details as I made a major mistake on my perspective - the walkway angle is way off, and overall dimensions are incorrect - my artistic muscles need a bit of refreshing.   

Friday, April 30, 2010

Virtual Paintout - Canary Islands

This is my drawing for the Virtual Paintout challenge. This is located in the Canary Islands and I did a quick pen and ink study with colored pencil.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Virtual Paintout - San Francisco House

Monterey Blvd, San Francisco, CA. A watercolor wash over my pen & ink drawing. I have a lot to learn about watercolor ( everything!) and was afraid to put my brush of paint to the paper! A friend of mine told me to think "Matisse, and this is the result :)

This was the preliminary sketch:

and the outline for the painting:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Art Happens. A Beginning

Children are perfect artists. They are HAPPY when they are drawing and are PROUD of their work. My 7 year old daughter drew this picture.

Art Happens all around us.

Every day I see amazing images I want to draw or paint. I take many photographs, trying to capture a mood, a uniqueness. This blog is an attempt to help me reach my goal of growing in my artistic ability so that someday I will be able to express the beauty I see around me.

I have a sketchbook which has slowly, very slowly, been added to over the years. Twenty three years, to be exact.

I keep saying SOME DAY I will pursue art. Today is the start - I hope this blog will be that extra "push" that will help me stay on track. I am a beginner and I am my worst critic.

But, here I go.