Joy List Monday -- getting into the swing of things

It was a very busy week and I've been struggling to find balance. The second week of a new (non-art) job. An art exhibit to prepare for and hang (I'll share more about that soon). The garden in full-on spring growth explosion mode. Painting.

My studio is messier than it's been since that time I completely cleaned it out. Projects in piles moved from one table to the other. Flowers. Flowers. Flowers.

studio, iris flowers, paint palette, inspiration, joy, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

When you're painting irises you need to work fast. No dilly-dallying. I think that was good for me. I need to get back into the habit of regularly finishing paintings.*

painting, watercolor, botanical watercolor, spring iris, colorful iris, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Even with all these recent challenges, life seems to be falling into place. I'm living with the chaos and not letting it bother me. I'm taking time to enjoy the little things. Remembering that making things and doing things and gardening (and spending time outside without an agenda) are all important to who I am (even if they mean time spent away from the studio).

gardening, harvest, chive flowers, spring, herbs, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I've been living my Joy Lists this week (not quite back in the habit of writing them down... ). I hope you've been taking time to at least think about joy and gratitude. Write your list and share it if you're inspired to. On your blog. On a piece of scrap paper beside your bed. In a Joy Journal. On Instagram. Wherever you feel is right.

strawberries, wild strawberries, gardening, harvesting, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Joy List Monday: 

a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day

  • colorful sunrise skies this morning
  • painting irises
  • watching spring transform my garden
  • spotting the first hummingbird of the year
  • salads, salads and more salads
  • seeing my paintings framed and hung together as a collection
  • thunderstorms and rainbows
  • the first ripe strawberry
  • sitting in the garden sipping a perfectly hot cup of tea
  • walking through a field of daisies and clover (and through a forest of pines, fragrant with needles)
  • harvesting chive flowers to infuse in vinegar
  • garden shopping with my mom
  • making rhubarb cake and harvesting rhubarb to freeze
  • dinner with my family (even my brother who was in town)
  • a big pile of books on my bedside table thanks to all your suggestions on this post (if you haven't dropped by to share your recommendations, I'd still love to hear them!)

garden, zinnias, petunias, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Have a lovely week filled with joys.

*This iris painting is now available in my shop.


  1. Reading your joy lists are a great start to the week: a reminder to savor the little details that make life bright and fizzy. Your iris paintings are so lovely. I am so enjoying each variety of bearded iris opening in my garden right now, like presents from nature. Keep painting, don't worry about housekeeping. That's the way life should be, especially in early summer.

    1. Thank you, Sharon! Love the idea of a bright and fizzy life. :)

      I'm glad to know that your garden is bringing you joy right now, too!

      Have a lovely week!

  2. I hope you are getting on well in your new job. Your Iris painting is exquisite. You have become such a competent watercolour artist in a relatively short time. Your 'still' life has such energy and movement emanating from the paper!!! I love your joy list. I managed to get another book that was on your book recommendations 'The Third Angel' and am going to start to read it later today. Happy midweek! :)

    1. Thank you, Simone.

      I hope you enjoy The Third Angel. I just finished reading Blackberry Wine and enjoyed it very much! Thanks so much for the suggestion!

      Have a lovely rest of your week!

  3. Hi,
    My Joy List
    Rain...we needed it.
    My plants are growing in my garden.
    My first farmer's market ... I was so nervous, it went well. Yay!
    Evening walks.
    Baby bunnies peeking out from their nest.

    1. What a lovely list, Carla! Thanks so much for sharing!!


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