Karen’s Amaryllis

30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 15

15-Karen's Amaryllis

“Karen’s Amaryllis”

10″ x 8″ Original watercolor and ink painting on watercolor paper.

Art by Adele Bower

Our children exhaust me when I hear about their incredibly full schedules. All of them make us very proud because of their accomplishments and activities. They are inspiring. I think a blog about each of them may be on the way.

Today my painting is of Karen’s Amaryllis. Karen is our daughter and one of the busiest young women I know. She is a wife, a Mother of two college kids, a dance instructor, a business owner with her husband, a Bible teacher at her church, a Houston Texans fan, a regular at the gym for workouts…..let’s see…..oh yes, and she keeps up a beautiful, big home including the patio. Recently she sent me photos of her latest beauties in her flower bed, several stunning Amaryllis plants, blooming in the bright Texas sun. What artist could resist painting them?

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,

since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.

It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Colossians 3:23-24

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Somewhere In Switzerland

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Day 14

 14-Somewhere in Switzerland

“Somewhere in Switzerland”

8″ x 8″ Original watercolor on watercolor paper.


In my photo collection from our trip to Switzerland there are lots of window boxes, interesting window treatments, sparkling reflections in the panes, planters profuse with flowers…..and color. One of my favorite colors is blue-green, and in various shades of the blue or the green. This scene with the colorful, rustic shutters caught my attention right away, with the bonus of  a window box, planter of flowers, and a bench. I can always spot benches from afar. Just ask David or the family when we go to Disney World; “Look, there’s a bench. I’ll be waiting there when you get through with your next ride.”

Speaking of resting on a bench, most of our walking in Switzerland was uphill. How is that possible unless you just stay up on the hill the rest of your trip! I promised that on our next trip there we would stay in a hotel right next to the train station. Yes, you guessed it; our hotel was on top of a hill. Each day started with an easy down-hill walk to the train station and ended with a up-hill trudge back to our hotel. I’m not a hiker. Of course, I could take the advice of Cervantes:

“Journey over all the universe in a map, without the expense and fatigue of traveling, without suffering

the inconvenience of heat, cold, hunger, and thirst.”

Well, that is a thought, but it wouldn’t be near as much fun.

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At Home In The Alps

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Day 13

13-At Home In The Alps

“At Home In The Alps”

10″ x 8″ Original watercolor painting on watercolor paper.


Switzerland surprised us, at first. We were not expecting the warm weather. The village of Grindlewad where we were staying was warm. The elevation of Grindleward is 3,392 feet, about the same as Lubbock, Texas with 3,256 feet. However, on our several train trips up into the very high Alps we found deep snow and cold weather…..just what we had expected.

From the train window we saw cattle grazing dotted here and there on the mountain slopes; and yes, their cow bells were ringing. Further down the mountain side were hotels with pots of  bright red Geraniums on the windowsills and porch banisters. But, to me, the most charming scenes were the many cozy homes tucked into the landscape well below the highest Alps. What must it be like to live amidst such beauty?

Will  I ever get around to painting from all the photos I took on that trip? Maybe so; this is just Day 13 of the Challenge.

Ever onward,

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Nala: My Story

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Day 12



10″ x 8″ Watercolor on watercolor paper.

“Nala: My Story”

It was six years ago. I had just finished my breakfast when a family came up to my space there in the animal shelter. I did my very best to look adorable and I must have succeeded because soon I was in my new home.

I was tiny, maybe weighed about two pounds, but big with an agenda of having fun with my new family. Soon I met my roommates; Simba, the male cat, Oliver, the lively puppy, and Boris, the turtle. Only Boris knew how to treat a tiny newcomer; he ignored me. Of course, he lives a life of pure contentment in his very own glass, environmentally-controlled house. Hey, I could run faster than him any day, so right away I liked Boris.

Simba accepted me and quickly became my best friend and protector. Gee, we looked so much alike, I asked him if he had ever been to the animal shelter over on Elm street. He told me he couldn’t remember that far back.

But with Oliver, the lively puppy,  it was different. He took one look at me and said “Oh boy, a cat of my very own; to harass; drag around, chase, sneak up on, ambush from the stairway, bark at until its ears stayed turned backwards, almost permanently, and sometimes take a nap with her curled up beside me.”

As I grew I learned how to handle all three of my roommates. All I needed was time to get my paws on the ground, become accustomed to the unwritten rules of my new home, and…….. size. It has helped that I weigh a little more than two pounds, now.

I like to think I’ve become the calm, lovely, talkative, cuddly…..and patient (long-suffering) Nala that everyone loves so much…..thanks to Simba, Oliver, and Boris. They each taught me something about myself, and how to treat others. Perfect!

 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Romans 12:18

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30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Day 11



10″ x 8″ Original watercolor and ink painting on watercolor paper.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.

Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

1 John 4:7

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The Smile

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Day 10

10-The Smile“The Smile”

10″ x 8″ Original watercolor painting on watercolor paper.

My blog yesterday was about smiles in portrait art. The fine art world has many rules, regulations and opinions about what is fine art and what is just illustration. Today I dared to be different and painted a portrait with a great big, beautiful smile. If my Day 10 painting is just an illustration than that’s fine with me. I’m content to be labeled “just an illustrator”. I love to smile, so why not paint smiles.

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”

Proverbs 15:13

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Lost In Thought

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Day 9

9-Sun In The Morning

“Lost In Thought”

10″ x 8″ Original watercolor on watercolor paper.

There is a belief within the art community that the subject of a fine art portrait must not be smiling. I do not know where that originated or why. But I do know it is difficult to find photos of people who are not smiling. Interesting, isn’t it? Recently, I was very pleased to add one to my collection of photos for art.

I truly enjoy portrait art and have done many; in fact, I once considered making it my only focus. However, it is very difficult to please the person you are painting or the one who commissioned the painting. I soon learned it was too much like my days in commercial illustration, where I created art ordered by another…usually with them standing over me, evaluating the art as I worked.

The great portrait painter, John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) once said:

“A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth.”

That makes me laugh every time. So true! I think Sargent eventually gave up portrait art all together. Maybe not. But I’ll bet he didn’t have a self-imposed deadline of “30 paintings in 30 days” to accomplish. Ha!

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The Agora in Athens

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Day 8

8-The Agora in Athens“The Agora in Athens”

10″ x 8″ Original watercolor and ink painting on watercolor paper.

For more information click link below:


Architecture has never been one of my drawing strengths, which resulted in a lack of interest in it as a painting subject.  My subject choices seem to be “soft lines” as we called them in my illustrating days; people, clothing, flowers, landscapes, and animals. Buildings, furniture, and boxes were examples of “hard line” subjects. Of course, as a professional artist I illustrated whatever the art director told me to illustrate, “hard lines” included.

At times I give architectural subjects a try as I did with “The Agora in Athens”. Our son and his family just returned from two weeks visiting London, Athens, and Rome. He sent several beautiful photos for me to consider for my 30 in 30 project which I appreciated.

From Wikipedia:
“The Agora (/ˈæɡərə/; Ancient Greek: Ἀγορά Agorá) was a central spot in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is “gathering place” or “assembly”. The agora was the center of athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life of the city. The Ancient Agora of Athens was the best-known example.”

I’ve read much about the importance of facing difficult things in order to overcome. Since I still have several photos with “hard lines”, maybe with practice I’ll get better…and maybe even enjoy the process.

“Practice and thought might gradually forge many an art.”______Virgil (70-19 B.C.)

Emmie at her drawing board for blog 9-8-14Back to the drawing board!

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The Dreamsicle Girl

Adele’s 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Day 7

7-Dreamsicle Girl“The Dreamsicle Girl”

10″ x 8″ Original watercolor and ink on watercolor paper.

For purchasing information click this link:


“The Dreamsicle Girl”
A Very Short Story Written and Illustrated by Adele Bower ©2014

It had been hot all day. A late afternoon rain shower had cooled the evening air and left the flowers and shrubs sparkling.

We had just finished our small supper on the front porch when we heard it; the long-forgotten ring of a bell. What was it? Where was it coming from?

Just then she appeared from around the corner, slowly peddling down our street. She sat on the seat of an old-fashioned cart; over her head was a brightly colored umbrella which must have shielded her from the recent rain. She was ringing a bicycle bell mounted on her handle bar.

Memories came back to us of hot summer days, playing out in the yard and suddenly hearing the wonderful sound of the ice cream cart and all play would stop. We would run into the house asking for money, so excited we could hardly talk. Oh, the joy of it all!

Wouldn’t an ice cream on a stick or a popsicle be perfect right now? We waved to the girl on the bicycle cart and went out into the now darkening street to make our selections.

As we walked back to our porch, I looked back to thank her and ask if she would be back tomorrow. I looked up and down the street but…….she was gone.

The End

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
James 1:17
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A Good Place To Stop

Adele’s 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Day 6

Adele, age 12 on Buddy's bike

Adele, age 12

Houston, Texas

When my big brother, Buddy, as we called him, went off to Texas A & M, I was very unhappy. I loved my big brother a lot. I knew a good guy when I saw one…even then. He grew up to be a devoted Christian minister, serving faithfully over 50 years. However, my melancholy was lessened by the knowledge that now I had full use and possession of his room AND his bicycle. My long legs never had a problem with it being a “boy’s” bike.

If the photo was in color you would see the gaudy colors Buddy selected to paint his bike…..of all things, maroon and white. And look at those striped handlebars. And what about the bathing suit, you ask? My bathing suit was my favorite set of play clothes, whether I went swimming or not. And hey, it was a two piece..not that I cared. At that time clothes and looks meant nothing to me…only play and having fun.

Why am I telling you all this? Because my Day 6 painting has a bike in it and I was reminded of “my” one and only bike.

6-A good Place To Stop

“A Good Place To Stop”

10″ x 8″ Watercolor and ink painting on watercolor paper.

For more information click this link:


 “A Good Place To Stop” shows yet another beautiful vacation location in Greece. Wouldn’t that be a lovely place to stay for a few days and nights? I’m told by good authority that it is indeed a lovely place to stay.

Part of my procedure in this series of paintings is the pen and ink sketch which I do first, of course. I like to keep the sketch as loose  as possible, while still depicting the scene somewhat accurately.

Ink sketch of balcony in AthensPen and ink sketch of “A Good Place To Stop”

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence,

with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Psalm 16:11

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