The Artful Codger is now Art By Maron at www.artbymaron.com  Hope to see you at my new location soon!

A door closes…a world opens

The Artful Codger's Studio Shelf

This is a bitter-sweet day for me. The Artful Codger (TAC) has grown up and blossomed into something bigger and more exciting! It has been my “baby” for this past year.  It has been the incubator for many an idea. It has connected me with hundreds of new people, some of whom have become good friends and an important part of my life. TAC has launched me into the life of creativity that I always desired. It has been a journal for my personal ramblings and a palette for my art. It has seen my creative life through dramatic spurts of experimentation and growth..over and over again. Who knew that creating a blog could be the catalyst for all of this and more? I really had no idea where I was going with the Artful Codger when I constructed the site. I only knew that I needed a place to showcase and nurture my art and writing skills. A lifetime of producing art, a lifetime of writing…and finally, a place to grow it and share it. A place to give affirmation to other creative people and a place to receive affirmation as well! What could be better than this? Well…having my own website/blog…that’s what could be and IS better as ART BY MARON launches today at 3pm EST!! And so we say a fond farewell to The Artful Codger but in name only because the Art By Maron Blog will have the same content, archives and artsy, crazy posts and pictures it always had under the old name. It will look a little different…a little more “grown up” but, trust me when I say that THIS Artful Codger is still here and always will be. Still experimenting, still growing and still looking forward to the connection I have with each one of you every day. Sooooo (insert drum roll here) please click here www.artbymaron.com to travel to my new website/blog and REMEMBER TO UPDATE YOUR BOOKMARKS, BLOG ROLLS AND RSS…See you “over there”…

The Potting Bench

Life is like a potting bench

Potential for growth is here

But how and why and where and when

Is not completely clear

The jumble of pots and tools

The smell of earth and green

A promise of things to come

Growing, but yet unseen

Roots to keep it grounded

Stems reaching for the sun

Leaves to shade a precious bud

Until its birth is done

It all starts at the crooked bench

Splintered and weather worn

A seed pushed into rich black soil

Life…waiting to be born!

 by Maron Craig Bielovitz


Fergus update…

Conehead Fergy

Well, here’s our boy two days post surgery. He doesn’t like the cone (of course) but I have to say that he deals with it a lot better than Maggie did when she had to have a minor procedure done a few months ago. Fergus can walk around with it just fine. He can even get up and down from the chairs with it on. I actually saw him take a drink of water with it on and chew his raw hide bones! I leave it off for long periods when he is with me in the office or if I am sitting right next to him reading or watching TV. But if I go out for a little while and at bedtime, I have to put it back on him as he does still try to lick the incision once in a while. But all in all, it has not been as traumatic as I thought it would be and he seems to be healing quickly. The most important part…after the initial grogginess wore off that first day, he is back to himself. Teasing his “sister”, Maggie, stealing socks from the laundry basket and begging for a treat whenever he can! He is a great little guy and we are lucky to have him in the family!


back garden path

Here we are again..it’s Spring and we are on the garden path. To be exact, we are on the back garden path. This is the area of our gardens that sits above our back patio. In the foreground you can see a circle of flat(ish) rocks that form a little area where we have a metal fireplace for bon-fires. We have a garden bench that will go next to the fireplace when we get the energy to haul it off the front porch, where we keep it (relatively out of the elements) for the winter.  To the left of the path is the mulched area that is under the bird feeder and that goes up to the treeline beyond which is woods. (and the animal cemetary) On the left of the path is a line of Hostas which, you may remember, I divided last spring and planted all over the neighborhood. As you can see, they could be divided again as they grow well there! The path itself is small red rock and (especially after a rain) it looks so pretty between the lines of green. The right side of the path is the bank that rises up from the patio below. That bank is covered with Creeping Myrtle, which right now,  is covered in tiny purple flowers.

Here’s the back birdbath (we have 2 others).  It’s next to the woods and conveniently,  right next to the back  bird feeder…a sort of one-stop plaza for the wildlife! Notice the circle of transplanted Hostas from last year!  In the background you can see an old fashioned “tiller” and no, my hubby doesn’t use that kind in the garden! It’s just a decoration. =)

Bleeding Hearts

Also in the area of the feeder and the tree line, because they do so well in a partially shaded environment, I have these gorgeous Bleeding Hearts. If you have them in your garden, take a look at them up close. They are so beautiful with the droplets of moisure showing through the tender transparent part of the blossoms! What a treat for the eyes!

a profusion of plants and textures

One of our side gardens is pretty shady. The whole mound is mulched so a lot of the mulch is just bare texture which I love to see in a garden as it gives it some visual interest. In this particular shot you can see where the Lilies of the Valley are just marching right through the Euonymus fortunei, Emerald Gaiety. And what have we here? A lovely baby pine tree has taken root right in the midst of  it all.  I don’t know if I have the muscles necessary to dig it out and transplant it but I guess I’ll have to try or “deal” with it when it gets out of hand!! =(  Here is another bird bath for those discriminating birds, squirrels and chipmunks that might like a little more privacy….=) Notice, again, the hostas! lol!

flowering almond

I am so thrilled with this flowering almond bush that I transplanted from it’s former location on the back bank where it just did nothing for two years. Since I relocated it, it is such a happy, pretty little shrub! If something in your garden is just not thriving, move it to a new local and you may be surprised at what happens!!


Big Announcement.....

Well, the big day is coming fast now.  The launch date of my website and on-line Gallery has been set and the count down begins!! One week from Friday, the site will go live. So launch date is Friday, May 7th. I have been working with a web designer for just over 2 months now and we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! She just told me this morning that May 7th is LAUNCH DAY! So this is exciting. Finally,  a place to market and sell my art other than the usual venues available to artists. Am I nervous? Well, probably a little more excited than nervous and a lot relieved that most of the prep work is done…on my side anyway. I have been working more in my office and less in my studio since this process began just because of needing access to my computer. So my work has been mainly illustration and sketching rather than painting and collage work  for the past two months! I have been enjoying the change but will be glad to get away from the desk and back into my studio more. I need to get my hands into the paint and glue again. I am looking forward to the solitude of my studio as it is a more secluded spot in the house compared to my office which is a little too accessible!!  The original plan was to have a Gallery as well as a “Boutique” but I have decided to start with just the Gallery and add the Boutique later…after I get my “sea legs” so to speak. I have learned so much in the past year since I launched The Artful Codger. (the anniversary of which is coming up in June, I believe)  A lot of it has been by trial and error but I am surely a testament to what a person can do if they really have the desire and tenacity to do something!!  If you are toying with the idea of your own website, I would tell you to go for it.  I had a lot of encouragement from some wonderful friends and artists along the way. I picked many a creative brain before I got the courage to take the leap. You have to have faith in yourself. It is definitely a lot of work but you are worth it!!! (Plus the fact that you can “man the store” in your robe and bunny slippers and no one will be the wiser! ) lol!  So keep your eye on the launch pad here and if there are any updates along the way, I will keep you informed…..

Garden Time

Garden time

Well, sooner or later a Scottie Dog had to show up in one of my sketches. I won’t say if it’s Maggie or Fergus…use your imagination! You may notice the colors in this sketch are more vibrant and that is because I am constantly experimenting with new techniques and materials (an expensive thing to do). Anyway, I have discovered these awesome markers by Copic in my research and I requested a sample. Well, after I tried it, I had to order some in many colors!! I really love the way they bring a sketch to life! I even like the way you can see the marker lines as these are whimsical drawings anyway and it just adds to that fun look. Boy,  this is a tough job… but somebody’s gotta do it!!  Life is good…

Working Hard

Windy Day Walk

Shades of Summer

These images are not finished art, as you can tell by how light they are, but just wanted to prove that I am working hard!! (okay…I’m having fun too) These sketches will ultimately become note cards once they are completed.

crunch time

Well, the launch date of my on-line gallery and shop is coming fast and I feel a bit overwhelmed with all the details.  I did get some prints back from the printer and my 2 sets of  note cards are printed as well (the set of 4  cutesy summer scenes  and the set of 2 nature inspired cards).  I’m nervous about the details but working with a great web designer who has all the answers to my many questions and concerns  has made the process a lot easier! So for the next week at least, it’s nose to the grind stone for me and hopefully by mid May, the creative juices will be flowing more freely again…..

Celebrate the connection

These are the most important holy days for Christians and Jews as we celebrate Easter and Passover. I read a nice article this morning in the USA Weekend insert of the Sunday papers, written by Cathy Lynn Grossman. She talks about spirituality and how to recognize it when you are having a spiritual moment or awakening in your life. I grew up in a church going family and continued the tradition with my own family. Nowadays, I celebrate the fact that I can also share this part of my life with my Grandchildren and hopefully they too will nourish a closeness with God as they grow to maturity.  Today I wish you all a blessed holiday and holy day…whatever you are celebrating,  I wish you a spritual awakening. Celebrate your connection to God and spirit!

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