2011, I Shall Remember...

Give thanks for your life, your gifts, your blessings!!!

If you find no reason to give thanks, change your friends. Seriously. One cannot change one's family; but friends, you can exchange. Exchange them with those who will help you find meaning and reason to get up and love life, appreciate the sun or the rain, smile at your brother or friend who constantly tags you with every blurred photograph they post. Give thanks that they consider you important in their lives.



Love. Truly love with all your heart. There is a difference. Love until it makes you quiver, even your dog.

Cry and feel sadness. It is an honor to feel sadness and loss.

Celebrate. Anything and everything. Celebrate especially your loved one's birthdays, no matter how quiet. Honor them and give thanks for them. They enrich your life.

Celebrate your heroes. They inspire.

Give. Share.

Say "please" and "thank you." It is that simple.

Parents, love your children. You will affect their lives until the very end.

Make something. Create something. Make yourself useful. Stop fooling yourself with meaningless blather about self-actualization, of empty dreams, of sharing, when you do not do anything useful for the greater good.

Occupy work and industry.

Do not envy.


2011 is a mixed blessing. There was healing, growing, achieving, a lot of struggling and loving. My sister Leah was diagnosed with lung cancer this year. She continues to battle this dreadful disease. Directly below, is my favorite drawing. At her request, I completed that drawing in a period of four days in the Philippines. I drew day and night and while I accompanied her on doctor's visits. She loves that drawing. I gave the 11"x14" pen and ink drawing to her a couple of days before I flew back to the US. Three days after I arrived in the the US, my sister became very ill.  I flew back  once more to the Philippines. This is the last of my drawings that she saw for she became blind from complications of her treatment. One day while rummaging through a packet of CT Scans, MRIs and x-ray films, my sister Freah found this drawing and another drawing (right) which was my sister's first favorite, tucked between the films. Leah is very much loved by many. To everyone who help us care for her and pray for her, thank you.

The other day, in a group dynamic exercise, the speaker asked us to think of two people, dead or alive, whom we admire. It took me less than a millisecond to think of mine. I think the people who have followed me throughout my blog journey know that there is nothing more important to me than my family and my parents, though long gone, yet continue to inspire and guide me. From my son and daughter, my husband, sisters and brothers, nephews and nieces and the very closest friends whom I consider family, I am blessed over and over again. They make my paintbrushes and pen glide on canvas and paper freely. In the end, the people you love and who love you in turn are all that matters. They help you do things and give them meaning and significance. All the selfish things one pursues are meaningless when one turns around and finds no one or can't think of anyone with whom to share. So love your family or the friends who are your family.

To all my friends and visitors who accompany me on my journey here, thank you for all your kindness. May your life be prosperous, happy and meaningful.


These are some of over one hundred eighty five illustrations I did this year. As you can see I only completed four oil paintings. I am not including the intentionally ugly art illustrations I did earlier this year nor the over one hundred acorn ATC/ACEO I drew and gave away.


Marion said...

Oh, Ces, that is such a bittersweet, sad story about your beloved sister. I'll be sure to pray for her and your precious family.

You had a magnificently productive year with your amazing art. Your blog always inspires, motivates and uplifts me. Thank you for sharing your creations. I hope you have a peaceful Christmas and a great 2012! Love & Blessings!

Rick Forrestal said...

Good advice, Ces. You should print this, hand it out.
Totally in agreement.

What a great legacy of beautiful art.
With a gifted eye, and noble purpose.

Really nice.

sjmcdowell said...

Hello Ces,

Your story about your dear sister touched my heart. Life has many journeys with twists and turns along the way. You are lucky to blessed with a beautiful family and your art. Everything in this life is on loan to us to appreciate and to bring joy to all.

I wish you a Blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with promise.

Your friend,


Tammie Lee said...

I feel as though I have been on a journey with your heart felt art full post!
yes yes yes
you are a treasure Ces
a treasure
as are all those we love
thank you~

Curious Art said...

Ah, Ces, your words never fail to move me & set my head straight when I'm in a funk. You find beauty & meaning in everything, even the saddest things, & your art both pulls me in & lifts me up. Hugs & hope to you & your sister, & thank you for an amazing year of Ces-ness!
<3 <3 <3

Steve E said...

One word--WOW! (OK, 3 words.)

It is inspiring to read. Written from your heart.

To visit your work, all those drawings--squigglings--is another gift, for all who come here, Ces

Thank you.

martinealison said...

Même loin de toi, tu sais ce que je pense... Je vais être brève car mes yeux sont trop mouillés et je ne peux plus trouver les touches de mon clavier... Une petite flamme brûle pour Léah et tous ceux qui souffrent.
Gros bisous et merci d'exister... Continue d'aimer les glands!

k.h.whitaker said...

Ces, you bring tears to my eyes. You are inspiring and beautiful. Hugs and prayers coming your way. Merry, merry Christmas.


get zapped said...

Gosh, this is just what I needed to lift me out of my own stuckness (i think i made this word up). I am inspired by your post, art and attitude. I am gracious for many things and I will keep the reminders nearby.

Here's to a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Shirley said...

Beautifully stated, Ces. I am still sending my thoughts and prayers to your dear sister, you, your family, and to those who care for her. Your sentiments mean so much to me personally as I reflect upon this year too. I will do this..hold close the ones I love, and those far away I will hold close to my heart.

And of course, I have to comment about the simply stunning piece you gave to your dear sister..it is so beautiful, and so touching to know you worked so tirelessly for her while you were there..and I know she feels that love. I am always blown away by your fine work..to see so many gems in this post is glorious. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us this year, Ces. Tsup, dear sisterfriend!

Sarah-Bodera said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful artwork and the story of your family's trials this year. Yes, everything that happens in our lives can be deeply cherished when we approach each moment with a calm and peaceful heart. <3 I am amazed, humbled, and inspired by the amount of quality artwork you've managed to create in a single year.

In a recent comment on my blog, you asked about Copic markers. They are very easy to use. Being alcohol based, the colors tend to blend together effortlessly, leaving smooth colored areas without streaks. My speedily-done piece didn't really capture the markers' capabilities. I am a big fan of the markers. They are a little pricey, and also addicting and fun to use. If you're curious about what can be done with them, I suggest you take a look here: http://www.copicmarker.com/tutorials or here: http://www.craftcritique.com/2008/07/copic-sketch-markers.html

Have a wonderful holiday!

Purpletreebird said...

Your work is incredibly beautiful and so is your heart Ces.♥
Jess xx

Amalia K said...

Ces, this is such an inspiring post. Every word moved me, and your art does even more. It's so sad when you see a loved one suffering and I can imagine how it aches to have a sister that you love so much struggling. I hope you find more love and peace this last month of the year...thank you for sharing so much love all through the year.

Hugs, oxx

Julia Christie said...

I am so sorry to hear that Leah still struggles with this terrible disease - I wish I had a cure for her and anyone that suffers from this terrible disease.

Thank you for such an insightful post - Yes I need daily to be reminded that I must count my blessings, focus outward, and give more of myself. Your words pierce my heart.

Hugs and smiles and blessings to you and your family and a special prayer sent to Leah asking for her full recovery.


Caroline said...

What a marvellous post Ces. Seeing all your work here is a real treat - I am constantly amazed at how productive you are! So sorry to read about what your sister is going through - sending positive thoughts to you all. Re Cambodia - yes, truly beautiful country with tragic past. We learned a lot about it whilst there. One can see Kmer Rouge bullet holes at Angkor Wat but fortunately not too much damage.
Wishing you a wonderful Xmas and all good things for 2012. xxx

illustration poetry said...

stopping by to say hello, i am thinking of Grandewitch.

you have done so many beautiful artworks, it is absolute inspiration for me to one day draw something that can foster the same kind of emotion in someone else as your artwork fostered in me.

Ted Blackman said...

Ces, your first paragraph really hit me hard. I never heard it that way before, and written so powerfully. Bravo.

Unfortunately, I've been dealing with one of those 'fair weather' friends. Today I had lunch with two REAL friends and saw the difference. So, thanks for making it all clear.

I'm going to print your words out and post them on my fridge.

Andrew Finnie said...

' Stop fooling yourself with meaningless blather about self-actualization, of empty dreams, of sharing, when you do not do anything useful for the greater good.'

Well how esle am I going to fool myself? It no longer works when I look in the mirror with my face covered in sorbolene shaving foam and pretend I am a geisha girl born in the wrong country and the wrong coloured eyes ....

Ces, you are a genius artist, you are kind considerate smart generous intelligent and careing.

You know how crappy that makes me feel.... :)

I know, you have heard it all before. This is amazing the wonderous work you jhave made this year.

Do me a favour, don't destroy your work and never turn off your blog. Please.

Thank you for being my friend and for your kindness on my blog this year and your wonderful posts at IC.

Big Hugs from here. Sorry if I crack your ribs :0

I truly hope things look up for your sister.

Merry Chrissie Ces

Andrew Finnie said...

Hmm sometimes words don't get the meaning across, do they?

dosankodebbie said...

May your life be prosperous, happy and meaningful too, Ces, but not necessarily as the world defines those things. I trust you know what I mean.

You asked what holidays we celebrate at the end of the year. Tomorrow (Dec 23) is the Emperor's birthday, but it's simply a day off work, and not a festival day or anything. Christmas Day is not a holiday, but for many it is an excuse to party. Mainly, and traditionally, the end of the year is a time to prepare for New Years Day. Clean your house, pay your debts, post the greeting cards that will be delivered on Jan 1. Then wait for the sun to rise on a new year.

Ana said...

Thanks for this post. Your words are great advice and the drawings are the inspiration to keep doing what we love :)
Have a happy christmas with your family and I really hope your sister gets better ♥

paraskevi malouxou said...

i'd love to follow such an interesting blog

Andrew Finnie said...

Heh, I have no idea what you just said. But MERRY CHRISTMAS CES, sorry I did a faceplant on the pavement and really stacked it yesterday, thought I busted my collerbone, ckeebone and jawbone, but they are just bloodied and bruised but can't really type !

just in time for th hols :(

see youze soon

Steve E said...

I'd like to rent a minimum of space here on Ces' blog, to say to Andrew...OMG! Sorry Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. OTOH, glad you are not seriously hurt.

Wrote a long comment on your site but you have do many blogs I'm not sure you'd notice it.

PEACE...and GET WELL QUICKLY, like, soon (that "like, soon" was for Ces's ESL4U book!

barbara said...

Dear Ces,
you are a fantastic woman and artist. Thank you for this wonderful post. I will treasure and remember your words. I am so honored to have to of your masterpieces. I wish you a serene Christmas, a big, big hug to you and your sister.

illustration poetry said...

happy Christmas to you and family, i love you!