Coconut Cake And The Art Of Aging…

Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been (drawing by Diane Mottl)

Are you at the age of grey hairs, wrinkles, slowing metabolism and gravity? When you look in the mirror do you like what you see or are you caught in the mindset that beauty is synonymous with youth? Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”  So, do you mind? Does it matter? I recently attended a friend’s 60th birthday party. Seated next to me was a 90-year-old woman who had a vibrancy that was contagious. We were mid-conversation when the two luscious cakes from Decadent Desserts were being cut: Coconut Cake […] Read more »

Taking Off The Training Wheels…

Pencil drawing of a child pedaling with training wheels (by Diane Mottl)

Confession time. My security blanket is to draw from photographs. I find one that stirs an emotion in me, print it then create a grid that turns it into sixteen mini-pictures. I get my drawing paper out, make sixteen boxes, tape the gridded-photograph to my easel and start to draw, looking at the photograph for reference to get the proportions just right. Once the whole photograph is sketched, I go back and do all the shading, smudging and highlighting to get the two to look alike. I know I am getting good at this. I know it takes talent to replicate a photograph, but deep inside I feel like […] Read more »

Easter Egg Hunts Were So Much Easier…

Pencil drawing of a child hunting for Easter eggs (by Diane Mottl)

Growing up in a cold climate, I have no memories of traipsing around fields searching for multi-colored Easter eggs. Since it was hit or miss whether the ground would be covered with snow, my parents had to be more inventive. My Dad hid our Easter eggs in the house, with hand-handwritten clues. The rules were simple. Decipher the clue, find the hiding space for the next clue and be rewarded each time with a sprinkling of foil-covered chocolate eggs. The final clue would lead us to the mother-load: a chocolate Easter bunny and the remaining chocolate eggs. Wouldn’t it be something if life worked that way? Discover […] Read more »

It Doesn’t Matter Where You Go…

It doesn't matter where you go in life it's who you have beside you (pencil drawing by Diane Mottl)

Which is more important, where you go in life or the person beside you (whether it is a love-partner, family, friends or children)? If you absolutely had to choose, which would it be? When I asked myself that question, my automatic first response was the person beside me. But then I thought about where most of my energy goes. Sadly, it is not towards my loved ones. I would hazard to guess that if we were forced to watch a play-by-play of our day, most of our time would be spent on work, to do’s, commitments and the rest of the […] Read more »

Seeing The Sun Even When It Rains (or Snows)…

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. (Pencil drawing by Diane Mottl)

After a long, cold winter with far (far!) too much snow, I feel like this little boy in the drawing, ready to jump into spring. What is it about bad weather that can put such a damper on our spirit? When I lived in a rainy winter climate, the weeks of overcast skies gave me such a dreary, closed in feeling that I felt my spirit suffocating. Although I was too stubborn to see if I had Seasonal Affective Disorder, I do think my mood was affected by the lack of sunshine. And now that I live in a sunny, albeit […] Read more »

Having an Argh! Moment…

The struggle you're in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. (pencil drawing by Diane Mottl)

No doubt about it, I am marooned on Argh! Island. I am trying to remind myself that it is just a moment and it will pass. I have been telling myself that since yesterday. But yesterday’s frustrating moments have multiplied like bunny rabbits and have invaded my today moments. My brain is stuck and the bunnies keep multiplying. What is so frustrating, you ask? (and even if you did not, here is the answer) After the high of finishing the first draft of my very first book, I have plummeted to the ground with a Splat! as I face the world of revisions, […] Read more »

The Little Boy in the Drawing…

Pencil drawing of a sad little boy (by Diane Mottl)

My guess is if you saw this little boy in the drawing hunched over, face burrowed in his arms you would stop and ask, “Are you okay? Can I help?” Unlike the hesitation some of us may have felt helping the man with the cardboard sign, most of us would come to the aid of a young child.  Something kicks in that makes us care enough to reach out and connect. Are we reacting to his vulnerability? Innocence? Is it the parenting instinct to protect (whether we are a parent or not). Or do we see a little bit of our long ago selves reflected in […] Read more »

Do You See Me?

Pencil drawing of a homeless man (by Diane Mottl)

Earlier this week, I was pulling to a stop at a busy intersection and a man walked between the lanes holding a cardboard sign asking for change. I am ashamed to say, I avoided looking at him. Hiding behind my sunglasses I watched him in my rear view mirror. All the drivers I could see were staring straight ahead. The man ambled back up the sidewalk, leaned against a building, and waited for the light to turn red for the next lanes of traffic. I drove by him, still hiding behind my sunglasses. All the way home, I thought of […] Read more »

Slow As A Snail Ain’t So Bad…

"Wisely and Slowly. They Stumble that run fast." (pencil drawing by Diane Mottl -

We have been going through  a record deep freeze where all you want to do is hunker down until Mother Nature decides she’s had enough fun watching us freeze our kahoona’s off and turns up the temperature. The crappy weather left me feeling sluggish and not at all motivated to do a drawing this week. So when I saw this snail (slug carrying his house – smile) slowly sliming its way up a step, I thought, perfect! With only a scratched outline of the drawing completed, I was already jumping ahead to what I could write. Something about holding on and […] Read more »

Being Held Up Or Being Held Back?

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on (pencil drawing by Diane Mottl)

There was something in this drawing that struck a chord within me. At first, I saw a tightly wound wire tethering a fence post that was only moments away from tumbling to the ground. But then I looked at the snarled wire again and it began to look more ominous. I saw how its sharp edges were poking this way and that; how it was snaking its way around and around, knotting and tangling itself up as it held fast. That’s when I looked at the fence post differently. Was it being held up? Or was it straining and pulling as it struggled to break free of its […] Read more »