Happy World Art Day 2021!

Since it’s World 🌍 Art Day here’s a look into how I created my artwork called “Thankful”.

Step 1 Original Daffodil Bouquet Photo in Natural light 📸

Daffodil Bouquet by Vanessa Thomas

Step 2 Composite of two photos 🌼 Second photo is of dewdrops on a cobweb

Daffodils and Cobwebs Composite by Vanessa Thomas

Step 3 Digital Watercolor effect in Photoshop 🖼

“Thankful” Digital Watercolor by Vanessa Thomas

Prints of the final artwork are now for sale on Fine Art America https://fineartamerica.com/featured/2-thankful-vanessa-thomas.html

Steps in creating “Thankful”

What will you create?


Happy first day of Spring to the Northern Hemisphere!

Spring touches each tree and flower with the magic of renewal after winter’s slumber.

Here are some local Spring sights that caught my attention that I hope will bring you a moment to breathe and enjoy!

Photo 1: Orange Daisies Awaiting the Spring Sunshine

to visually demonstrate the beauty of spring
Orange Daisies in Spring

Photo 2: Yellow Daisies Greet the Day

Yellow Daisies in Spring

Photo 3: Spring Colors in the Meadow

Blue Meadow Flower on a backdrop of orange daisies

A Gift of Poetry inspired by Flowers and Floral photography

Photographing flowers is how I like to share moments of beauty in nature. When these photographs inspire others to create it brings deep joy to my being!

Spring to Life by Vanessa Thomas

As Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman said in her recent interview with Trevor Noah – “some cleanse with water but I cleanse with words.”

These words from my yoga-loving friend Danai Christelis speak to the joy that the wonder and beauty of flowers bring to our lives and I am grateful for her gift.

This is the message I received from her…

Your beautiful photography inspired me to write this poem..enjoy!

Those Seeds We Need to Sow.

By Danai Christelis

“Like petals of a flower
What is the intent?
To brighten someone’s sorrow
Apologies not said?
Carnivals and canopies
Fading in the snow
Those petals of the flower
Are they just for show?

Like petals of a flower
What is it all meant?
Words not written by a loved one
Memories of time spent?
Wedding bells and baby showers
Celebrations far and near
Those petals of the flower
Serene and oh so dear

Scattered in a milk bath
Pressed inside a book
Sketched onto a canvas
Left wild to create that look
A pocket full of fantasies
Nature at its best
Ladybirds and dragon flies
Looking for a nest
Like petals of a flower
Where does it all go?
When all things said are forgotten
Those seeds we need to sow!”

Poppy Spring Magic by Vanessa Thomas

VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION: Joyce Moulden Retires after several years as LAA Secretary

The pandemic has not stopped milestone events in the lives of volunteers for our arts organizations and one that needs to be celebrated is that of Joyce Moulden.

Joyce has served the Livermore Arts Association (LAA) community as a dedicated secretarial administrator for several years and has decided it’s time for a change. However, it does not mean that Joyce has ended her support of the arts community and lockdown ushered in new connections and opportunities for her to share her expertise and one example is the Online Tech Team Group consisting of members of the Pleasanton Art League (PAL), Livermore Arts Association (LAA) and Dublin Arts Collective (DAC).

The Group is an off-shoot of a larger collaborative effort between the three Tri-Valley Arts nonprofits (PAL, LAA and DAC) to address technical challenges faced by visual artists as they pivot in the pandemic. PAL President Beth Okurowski initiated the larger Tech Group meetings and the sub-group is led by Christine Watters, Vice President of LAA.

Transitions like these can be intimidating but delving into new ways of doing things and approaching novel problems with courage is not new to Joyce.

“Her attention to detail, willingness to learn and caring and considerate approach has made her a valuable team member as well as a delight to work with,” said Vanessa Thomas, DAC Co-Founder and Fables and Flora Owner. “It has been a joy getting to know her and great to discover that we share an interest in science and literature.”

“It’s been great to get to know Joyce through this process.  She quietly makes corrections and keeps track of us as we have worked at finding our way through new (for us) online processes.  Thank you, Joyce.” – Lorraine Wells, PAL and DAC Board Member.

“Joyce, thanks for your steady support on the board and now with the tech adventures. I always looked forward to meetings at your house. Glad you are along for the tech ride!” – Christine Watters, Vice President and longstanding colleague at LAA

“I have known Joyce for only a couple of months now, but we hit it off immediately; it feels as if we’ve known each for a long time! I have always heard about Joyce and her academic & scientific accomplishments from a common friend, which was exciting coming from a family of scientists myself! Joyce’s expertise & experience keeps the Tech Team on track, encouraged, calm and composed. It has been such a pleasure to know you, dear Joyce, you’re not off the hook yet – you are stuck with us now!! I wish you all the best and look forward to working with you on new and exciting projects!” – Meghana Mitragotri, PAL Board Member and LAA and DAC Member.

We would like to extend the heartiest thank you to Joyce for all that she has done and continues to do for artists in the Tri-Valley.

Merit award for pal members show

In trying times when it’s not always possible to focus on my art – it was a joyful moment to receive a Merit Award by Pleasanton Art League Members’ Show judge Paul Kratter for my photograph, “Morning Revival”.

Merit Award Winning Image

There were several other participants in the show and the full gallery can be viewed online on the Pleasanton Art League website.

Congratulations to all the winners especially “Four Seasons” theme winner Chandana Srinath for “RUTHU-Life Cycle In Seasons”!

Where do we go from here? Which option should I paint?

Which option would you like to see me paint 🎨?

Thanks to the multi-talented Anne Giancola I have my next public art project for the Livermore Artwalk Light on Oct 10.

I’m stuck on which of these options to paint for the “Where do we go from here?” Theme.

Your feedback would be appreciated – please rank the options in order of preference starting with your favorite e.g. 2,3,4,1,5

Thanks a bunch! 💐 😊

Vote 🗳 for your favorite option for me to paint!

A Woman’s Touch – Up Close & Personal

Artists thrive on positive responses to their artwork and I was delighted to receive the following message – “Congratulations, Vanessa! You have been selected as our ‘Up Close & Personal’ featured artist in ‘A Woman’s Touch’!!

Rose Pink Swirl Macro Photography Vanessa Thomas

Later tonight or early tomorrow [Sunday] morning, this gorgeous rose macro swirl & a brief bio will grace our homepage for the week beginning 9.6.20. You are invited to share the homepage featuring your work on Social Media, with family & friends, and in any group discussions thread that fits. Fvl.” Brooks Garten Hauschild

Brooks Garten Hauschild has led a remarkable creative journey and it’s wonderful that she has decided to support other female artists in this way!

You can visit the “A Woman’s Touch” Group here to see more beautiful artworks!

If you’re a female artist – drop your blog link in the comments!





Fifty, Forget-Me-Nots and Joa Jerboa

jerboa, character, cartoon, illustration Introducing Joa Jerboa, a friendly, kind and adventurous critter

It’s a week away from my fiftieth birthday so it’s been a time of reflecting on years gone by, appreciating what I have in my life and planning for things I’d still like to do.

With my 50th looming I had one specific goal to achieve before then – which was to publish a self illustrated picture book. So on that subject, I would like to introduce you to the lead character of my recently e-published picture book – Joa Jerboa. I wanted a character that was African, friendly, kind, adventurous and that mixed raced kids like my own could connect with so Joa was born. Joa has her own unique style and like the typical jerboa looks like a mixture of a mouse and a kangaroo. What makes her unique is the addition of a magical tail which has a story of its own.

The picture book is called “Days of the Week with Joa Jerboa” and is now on sale in the Kindle Store on Amazon. The rhyming story was originally written while we were in the United Kingdom when my son was little and learning to read and I then posted a narrated video on YouTube just using some free clipart to illustrate it. It had always been my plan to illustrate it myself one day and with my early birthday gift of an XP-PEN drawing tablet from my husband that plan reached fruition today!

A closer look at the cover art on the picture book reveals the little blue flowers inspired by Forget Me Nots. One does not reach this age without experiencing highs and lows and lately there seem to be more of the latter. My thoughts have turned to those I’ve loved but who are no longer around to celebrate this milestone with me – like my parents.

Whenever I look at Forget-Me-Nots my thoughts go to those who have passed on and I whisper a prayer acknowledging what they meant to me. It’s no surprise that Forget Me Nots are associated with remembrance but interestingly their genus is Myosotis derived from the ancient greek word for “mouse’s ear” because of the shape of their leaves.

flowers, forget me nots, photography, macro Forget Me Nots by Vanessa Thomas

It is therefore apt that Forget Me Nots are scattered throughout the picture book published in my fiftieth year of existence and paying homage to all those past and present, near and far, who make my life more meaningful, purposeful and beautiful.

Today is a gift, and I celebrate the joy of surviving planet earth for half a century. Tomorrow is not guaranteed so today I hope you dance with your being and hold those you love close in your heart. There is no time like the present to be kind to yourself, to honor your journey and what you’ve overcome and to keep on making your ruckus!


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