About Maria - FlowingWatersArt

I'm a self-taught mixed media artist and have been creating art and a positive atmosphere in my life for as long as I can remember. I live in sunny South Florida, which serves as my inspiration for my use of bright fun colors with a whimsical flair. My goal is to inspire and empower you to find your inner happiness through creativity, as I have in my life. This website includes different tips and techniques that will hopefully inspire your inner muse to create. Welcome and join me on a wonderful journey in creating art!

Thoughtful Thursday Jack-O-Lanterns

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Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

I always wonder how things got started and who started them. With Halloween approaching in just a few days I thought it would be fun to learn about jack-o-lanterns.

The term jack-o-lantern started in Britain in the 17th century. At the time it was common for the British to call a person Jack when they didn’t know his name. So now we know where the “Jack” part of the term came from but what about the o-latern?

The o-lantern term was also commonly used in the 17th century to refer to a man carrying a lantern or a night watchman. And since they may not have known his name the term jack-o-lantern was born. But how did we go from the term jack-o-lantern to carving a pumpkin for Halloween?

Well there are quite a few theories on that. One is it was a Celtic pagan practice to carve out turnips or some other type of root vegetable and then illuminate it to ward off evil spirits. The custom was then carried on by Christians during the feast of All Hallows Eve.

Another more creepy theory is centered around an Irish folklore. There are several versions of this folklore but they all have certain common elements like a man named Jack, the devil and an illuminated turnip with which Jack’s soul aimlessly wanders the earth.

But here in the states during the 19th century, young kids who liked pranks would carve a grotesque face out of a readily available pumpkin to scare unwary people. Eventually this prank became known as jack-o-lantern. Today this has became a widely used and artistic tradition by many for Halloween.

Which is your favorite theory?

Hope you enjoyed this little history snippet. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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A work in progress

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I wanted to share with you today a little about my process. When I start paintings I don’t usually have a plan other than adding texture to the canvas. Normally, I just let things unfold and follow my intuition.

This was a 20×20 painting I started a while ago and it sat because well, nothing was coming to me. I would look at it as I walked by and my mind was blank. But that’s okay because sometimes that’s just how it goes and it’s part of the process.

I guess what I didn’t like was some of the greenish colors that emerged when I painted it. Over the weekend however, I added bits of color and liked where it was going. Now I’m working on adding shapes and more color. The slides below will show the progress of this painting so far. It’s still not finished so stay tuned to see where it ends up…..

Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Stephanee Ann Art

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“I’ll be outside” by Stephanee Ann Art

Last Sunday I was surprised to find the Las Olas Art Festival in Fort Lauderdale, FL was open. I love attending art festivals to get inspired and see what other artists are creating.

At the festival I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanee Ann a local artist from Fort Myer and I fell in love with her beautiful painting titled “I’ll be outside.” Her use of bright fun colors and whimsical style makes her paintings happy and uplifting and that’s what I loved about this one.

This 20×20″ painting ended up coming home with me and it puts a smile on my face every time I look at it ๐Ÿ˜Š If you’d like to see more of Stephanee Ann’s work, visit her web page at StephaneeAnnArt.com. You’ll be able to view her gallery and get her contact information if you want a painting of your own. Stephanee Ann can also be found on Instagram at @stephaneeann_

Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Bird Rescue

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It’s funny but you would think all the birds in our neighborhood have our address memorized. Whether they’re hungry, thirsty or need help, they know exactly where to go.

Last Saturday, hubby came home and saw something odd in the street in front of our house. When he took a closer, he saw it was a young bird, a fledgling. You could tell he wasn’t doing well because he was slumped over. It was getting dark so we put him in a box in the garage till morning because the rescue center had already closed for the day and mama bird was nowhere to be found.

We tried giving him some water but he refused so we just kept him safe for the night. First thing Sunday morning, we took him to the South Florida Wildlife Center where they rescue over 10,000 animals every year.

I couldn’t figure out what kind of bird he was. I’ve seen these birds a lot on my walks and the adults are gray with a bit of brown and a black patch on the head. They have pointy beaks and are everywhere here.

After searching the internet I finally found a bird that looked like him. It was a gray catbird.

Apparently these guys make a call that sounds like a cat’s meow and thus their name. They are masters at mimicking the calls of other birds and are known for singing beautiful songs. Sometimes they sing for as long as 10 minutes at a time. Very impressive!

I found this short video on Youtube that gives some pretty interesting facts about these birds.

I called the Wildlife Center to check up on the little guy and they confirmed he was indeed a gray catbird. They did everything they could but sadly weren’t able to save him ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

I was really saddened by the news because I had high hopes. We gave it our best effort and sometimes that’s just how it goes. That’s life I guess. I will say that I keep my eye out for these catbirds on my walks and really appreciate their beautiful songs even more.

I hope that you get to enjoy these beautiful birds in your neighborhood too. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!!

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I am… Mini Mixed Media Art Journal

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I finally finished my handmade 3″ x 4.5″ mini watercolor, mixed media art journal. I filled it with uplifting and powerful “I am…” quotes so I affectionately titled this journal, “I am…”

My favorite pages are the Frida Kahlo quote “I am my own muse…” I love the bright colors ๐Ÿ˜Š What are your favorites?

I hope you enjoying your weekend, thanks for stopping by!!

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I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be… Mini Art Journal

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These are the last 2 pages in my mini 3″ x 4.5″ watercolor mixed media art journal. I added a great quote by Diane Von Furstenberg:

“I did not know what I wanted to do but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.”

Have an amazing weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Yellow Crested Night Heron

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Yellow Crested Night Heron Fledging

I was very blessed this spring to watch these beautiful birds make their nests high up in the oak trees that line our streets. A few years ago we started with only 1 nest and now we’re up to 5 nests in all. As I went on my daily walks, I was eagerly watching each nest as babies began showing their heads one by one. These new birds have now taken up residence in our neighborhood and I see them often by the lakes.

When they were very young we would come home at night to see them walking in the middle of the street. I guess they were still trying to figure it all out. They would even visit me in our backyard every now and then.

These herons forage for food at dusk and into the night. However, you may also see them foraging during the day. They tend to walk slowly on land or in shallow water and will sometimes stand completely still waiting for dinner to come to them.

Yellow Crested Night Herons are primarily found in the Southeastern parts of the United States. Adult herons will lay anywhere from 2-8 blue-green eggs in a nest. Both parents will incubate the eggs for 21-25 days. Once the eggs hatch it’s up to both parents to feed the babies. They haven’t been studied enough so there is no data as to when they take flight and leave the nest. Fully grown they measure 1 ft 10 in to 2 ft 4 in. They are simply beautiful and amazing to watch.

I hope your enjoyed this little snippet about the Yellow Crested Night Herons and are able to see some. These are some of the photos I was lucky to get on my walks.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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“Beyond even the darkest clouds the wide, open blue sky goes on forever. Trust, let go, and allow yourself to take flight. So fly! Only then can you soar.” ~Martta Karol

John Adams Words of Wisdom Abstract Art

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Today I thought Iโ€™d share a motivational quote with you today by John Adams on one of my abstract paintings:

“Courage and perseverance have a magic talisman before which difficulties and obstacles vanish into thin air.”

These are encouraging and uplifting words of wisdom to live by. Hope this inspires you in some way today!

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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I am what I am Mini Art Journal

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I hope your weekend is off to a good start! I’ve been working in my mini 3″ x 4.5″ journal. I have 2 more pages to go and then it will be finished. I found this inspiring quote by Eleanor Roosevelt and thought it was a good fit for this journal:

“I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Vegan Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

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Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite treats for Thanksgiving but that only comes once a year. So to get into the spirit of Autumn sooner I love making pumpkin smoothies.

When you slowly sip this savory drink bursting with flavors of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg you can’t help but to sit back and take a moment to truly enjoy the season. This recipe is very easy to make and is super delicious! I always try to use organic ingredients when they’re available.

Pumpkin Smoothie

  • 1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Can Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Small Ripe Banana
  • 3 Tbsp Organic Rolled Oats
  • 2 Organic Pitted Dates
  • 1.25 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 heaping tsp Ginger
  • 1/8 heaping tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 C Ice
  • 1/2 Hass Avocado (optional) *

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Top with sprinkled cinnamon and enjoy! (Makes about 2 glasses)

* Note: If you prefer a thicker, creamier smoothie the avocados do the trick. They have a mild flavor and give you more of a milkshake consistency. But I would try it first without the avocado because you can always add it later, it should be thick enough without it ๐ŸŽƒ Another trick is to use 2 Tbsp Organic Chia seeds. Soak them overnight in water and add them to your smoothie mix and blend.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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