Gardening, Pets & Cooking Blog

If you love creativity, beauty and nature, then WELCOME!  Here you will find my real life comedic inspiration – two Bourke Parrots, a 120 pound Leonberger dog and a 10 pound Chihuahua-Pomeranian-Papillion-One-of-a-Kinder-dog, and a patient husband – behind my artwork, books, music lyrics and green organic gardening adventures (and cooking mishaps).

My garden is my secret haven, and much of my recent artwork is inspired by the garden. My organic vegetable garden has 4 vegetable boxes (count ’em – FOUR)- which produce just about enough to keep the gophers and squirrels and blue jays fed! For example, every year I try corn – which the gophers appreciated until I added in wire screening to the bottoms of the boxes. The raccoons cheered the addition of the wire screening to the undersides of the veggie boxes, because now the raccoons have their chance to get all the corn. With great optimism I plant numerous species of heirloom tomatoes, kale, Swiss chard, beets, leek, peppers, spinach, romaine, etc., and frequently we are lucky to be able to share some of the bounty – once the garden critters are well fed! The berry box often yields luscious strawberries, a few blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. We’ve also planted many fruit trees – from Asian Apple pear to several varieties of apple, orange, avocado, apricot, cheery, donut peach, kiwi, and more. There are also lovely ornamentals – WE enjoy searching out rare beauties like trees with trunks that look painted and trees that flower in clusters like Christmas ornaments, and trees that have lovely leaf color changes. The blog shows pictures of these plants with information.

We have happily been composting in our organic garden – which we love because it eliminates so much waste that otherwise would be lost in a landfill, and turns everything from coffee grinds, eggshells, and unwanted veggie leftovers into precious nourishment for the plants. Even fruit that falls from the trees and would go wasted gets tossed in the composter. We call the compost we make “Garden Gold.” After quite a bit of research and advice from friends already composting and from Green Thumb Nursery, we chose a tumbling composter, and liked it enough to purchase a second one. The yield on our fruit trees has increased considerably! Apparently our exact Tumbling Composter isn’t available any more (poooey!) but here are a few that look similar to the two we purchased:

For those curious on how we compost for our garden, you can learn more at this link: How we compost.

The blog posts below show the progress (and setbacks) in the garden, as well as share some of my garden-related artworks that our secret garden haven has inspired.


Peony Parade

Artimagination : May 5, 2016 7:46 pm : Gardening & Animals & Inspirations, New Nicole Artworks

Peony Parade by M Nicole van Dam email

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peony Parade is inspired by what is perhaps my favorite flowers – peonies – with their plump, overstuffed with petals, blossoms.   Here in California peonies are difficult to grow but that doesn’t stop me from trying!  The colors were undoubtedly influenced by upcoming Mother’s Day.   “Peony Parade” also is an artwork using my newest technique, begun with Kisses and Autumn Butterfly, which enables me to layer colors more richly.  I wanted this artwork to be feminine and for each peony to have its own character.  Peony Parade was created in 2016.   Available in Limited Edition prints and more, available at Create.bz.

This site contains the valuable intellectual property of M. Nicole van Dam. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, M. Nicole van Dam® and Artimagination® are respectively federally registered trademarks owned by M. Nicole van Dam, and the contents of this site, including each artwork, each artwork element, title, storyline, book, character, poetry and text, are each respectively TM and (c) 1999-2016 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved. Similarly, the artwork on this site, including also the look and feel and style of the artwork and individual elements within the artwork, constitutes the valuable trade dress of M. Nicole van Dam. No contents of this site or any artwork or writing on this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of M. Nicole van Dam. To request such consent or to license the artwork or other contents of this site, please contact M. Nicole van Dam.

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Rodeo Rose

Artimagination : February 21, 2016 7:50 pm : Gardening & Animals & Inspirations, New Nicole Artworks, Nicole's News Hot Sheet, The Artist's Thoughts

Rodeo Rose for emailing flat

Rodeo Rose is a feminine twist on the Western Rodeo, and features a female rider on her bucking bronco, surrounded by softly hued, almost suede like colors, roses, and lucky horse shoes.  Some of the horse shoes are interlinked to make hearts.  To me this artwork is also a bit about the lively ride we call life.  I wanted to create a scene rich in movement and a bit of rodeo chaos, yet also with the rider in control.  Getting horse and rider to look natural together was a fun challenge, and I love the heart shapes the doubled horse shoes create.   Rodeo Rose was created in 2016.   Available in Limited Edition prints and more, available at Create.bz.

This site contains the valuable intellectual property of M. Nicole van Dam. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, M. Nicole van Dam® and Artimagination® are respectively federally registered trademarks owned by M. Nicole van Dam, and the contents of this site, including each artwork, each artwork element, title, storyline, book, character, poetry and text, are each respectively TM and (c) 1999-2016 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved. Similarly, the artwork on this site, including also the look and feel and style of the artwork and individual elements within the artwork, constitutes the valuable trade dress of M. Nicole van Dam. No contents of this site or any artwork or writing on this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of M. Nicole van Dam. To request such consent or to license the artwork or other contents of this site, please contact M. Nicole van Dam.

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Lovely “Papillons de Paisley” Rain & Garden Boot Just Released!

Artimagination : January 27, 2016 5:53 pm : Gardening & Animals & Inspirations, New Nicole Product Updates, Nicole's News Hot Sheet

Papillons de Paisley

FUN NEWS! “Papillons de Paisley” has just been introduced as a rain and garden boot. It’s so pretty, I can’t wait to wear these boots! I can imagine them cheering up any grey day paired up with trench coats or grey or charcoal tones, really fun. Bring on the RAIN! “Papillons de Paisley” features butterflies and florals all made of cheery paisley patterns. The more you look, the more you will see! ENJOY!

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Autumn Butterfly

Artimagination : January 5, 2016 7:12 pm : Gardening & Animals & Inspirations, New Nicole Artworks

Butterflies of Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Butterfly is a richly colored artwork featuring butterflies in velvety fall tones, using a new art technique I’ve been developing.   The more you look, the more rich colors you will find in this artwork, blended in a new way.  Inspired by butterfly cocoons we found in our garden, butterflies with all their colors and fluttering dance seemed an excellent way to perfect a new technique playing with color.   Autumn Butterfly was created in 2016.   Available in Limited Edition prints and more, available at Create.bz.

This site contains the valuable intellectual property of M. Nicole van Dam. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, M. Nicole van Dam® and Artimagination® are respectively federally registered trademarks owned by M. Nicole van Dam, and the contents of this site, including each artwork, each artwork element, title, storyline, book, character, poetry and text, are each respectively TM and (c) 1999-2016 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved. Similarly, the artwork on this site, including also the look and feel and style of the artwork and individual elements within the artwork, constitutes the valuable trade dress of M. Nicole van Dam. No contents of this site or any artwork or writing on this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of M. Nicole van Dam. To request such consent or to license the artwork or other contents of this site, please contact M. Nicole van Dam.

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Autumn Uninterrupted

Artimagination : November 2, 2015 5:58 pm : Gardening & Animals & Inspirations, Nature and Animals, New Nicole Artworks, Nicole's News Hot Sheet

Autumn UninterruptedAutumn Uninterrupted is my homage to M.C. Escher’s technique, because each outline of a leaf helps to form an outline of another leaf.  I also wanted to create the tumbling chaos and beautiful color of fall leaves, inspired by my love of nature and the beautiful fall colors I experienced on the East Coast.  The more you look at this artwork, the more leaves you will see, and in fact it is my hope that you can find yourself in a reverie of fall leaves!   Available in Limited Edition prints and more, available at Create.bz.

This site contains the valuable intellectual property of M. Nicole van Dam. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, M. Nicole van Dam® and Artimagination® are respectively federally registered trademarks owned by M. Nicole van Dam, and the contents of this site, including each artwork, each artwork element, title, storyline, book, character, poetry and text, are each respectively TM and (c) 1999-2016 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved. Similarly, the artwork on this site, including also the look and feel and style of the artwork and individual elements within the artwork, constitutes the valuable trade dress of M. Nicole van Dam. No contents of this site or any artwork or writing on this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of M. Nicole van Dam. To request such consent or to license the artwork or other contents of this site, please contact M. Nicole van Dam.

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Lady of the Leaves

Artimagination : October 20, 2015 9:54 pm : Gardening & Animals & Inspirations, New Nicole Artworks, Nicole's News Hot Sheet, The Artist's Thoughts

Lady of the Leaves

Lady of the Leaves

Lady of the Leaves, created in 2015, was inspired by my lovely childhood daydreams and imaginings (which I admit I still enjoy when working in my garden).  It was so fun to imagine flower fairies and magical beings enjoying the garden with me!  I wanted to use dreamy yet feminine earth tones where it appeared that the lady arises organically (and simplistically art nouveau style) from the leaves and blossoms.  This is also a nod to the earth mother that garening brings out in me!   I wanted to the roses to be a pink and beautiful balance to the leaves and geometrics.

If you are interested in purchasing a print or other fun items with this artwork or licensing this artwork, please contact me at M. Nicole van Dam.

Art Nouveau Lady is available in Limited Edition prints and many lovely stationery, household and wearable products, at Create.bz.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?  If you are interested in purchasing a print or other fun items with this artwork or licensing this artwork, please contact me at M. Nicole van Dam.

This site contains the valuable intellectual property of M. Nicole van Dam. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, M. Nicole van Dam® and Artimagination® are respectively federally registered trademarks owned by M. Nicole van Dam, and the contents of this site, including each artwork, each artwork element, title, storyline, book, character, poetry and text, are each respectively TM and (c) 1999-2016 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved. Similarly, the artwork on this site, including also the look and feel and style of the artwork and individual elements within the artwork, constitutes the valuable trade dress of M. Nicole van Dam. No contents of this site or any artwork or writing on this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of M. Nicole van Dam. To request such consent or to license the artwork or other contents of this site, please contact M. Nicole van Dam.

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Raining Cats & Dogs Boot is Adorable & it’s available now!

Artimagination : September 25, 2015 11:49 pm : Gardening & Animals & Inspirations, New Nicole Product Updates, Nicole's News Hot Sheet

The super fun Raining Cats & Dogs boot just became available on Amazon at this link:

It is SO SO SO CUTE! -and if you look closely, you’ll see one of my dogs (with his tennis ball) and one of my birds and a fav cockatoo friend and so much more. All sorts of dogs and cats and other critters, based on my “Raining Cats and Dogs and…” artwork finished just a few short months ago:

"Raining Cats and Dogs and..."

“Raining Cats and Dogs and…”


You might find a stylized version of this dog with a tennis ball on the "Raining Cats & Dogs" boot :)

You might find a stylized version of this dog with a tennis ball on the “Raining Cats & Dogs” boot :)

The super adorable "Raining Cats & Dogs" boot.

The super adorable “Raining Cats & Dogs” boot.

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Snowflake Sonata

Artimagination : June 12, 2015 11:31 pm : Gardening & Animals & Inspirations, Nature and Animals, New Nicole Artworks, Nicole's News Hot Sheet, Portfolio, Scapes

Snowflake Sonata

Snowflake Sonata was almost entitled “We are all Snowflakes” – each snowflake in the artwork is unique as each of us are, and yet the snowflakes also share many common things and interact. Snowflake Sonata was a very interesting artwork to create – I learned many new techniques and played with a different color palette. It is also reflects my interest in water themes and is an homage to the shimmery, breathtaking winter scapes I enjoyed every year on the East Coast. Available in Limited Edition prints and more, available at Create.bz.

This site contains the valuable intellectual property of M. Nicole van Dam. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, M. Nicole van Dam® and Artimagination® are respectively federally registered trademarks owned by M. Nicole van Dam, and the contents of this site, including each artwork, each artwork element, title, storyline, book, character, poetry and text, are each respectively TM and (c) 1999-2015 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved. Similarly, the artwork on this site, including also the look and feel and style of the artwork and individual elements within the artwork, constitutes the valuable trade dress of M. Nicole van Dam. No contents of this site or any artwork or writing on this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of M. Nicole van Dam. To request such consent or to license the artwork or other contents of this site, please contact M. Nicole van Dam.

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Papillons de Paisley

Artimagination : June 12, 2015 11:22 pm : Gardening & Animals & Inspirations, In the Garden, Nature and Animals, New Nicole Artworks, Nicole's News Hot Sheet, Portfolio

Papillons de Paisley

Papillons de Paisley is a fun play on paisley patterns, blending lively colors with my love of butterflies and gardens. The longer you look, the more butterflies you will see. Available in Limited Edition prints and more, available at Create.bz.

This site contains the valuable intellectual property of M. Nicole van Dam. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, M. Nicole van Dam® and Artimagination® are respectively federally registered trademarks owned by M. Nicole van Dam, and the contents of this site, including each artwork, each artwork element, title, storyline, book, character, poetry and text, are each respectively TM and (c) 1999-2015 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved. Similarly, the artwork on this site, including also the look and feel and style of the artwork and individual elements within the artwork, constitutes the valuable trade dress of M. Nicole van Dam. No contents of this site or any artwork or writing on this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of M. Nicole van Dam. To request such consent or to license the artwork or other contents of this site, please contact M. Nicole van Dam.

Leave a response »

Raining Cats and Dogs and …

Artimagination : May 8, 2015 7:43 pm : Gardening & Animals & Inspirations, Nature and Animals, New Nicole Artworks, Nicole's News Hot Sheet, Portfolio

 

Raining Cats and Dogs is a fun artwork filled with hidden smiles. The more you look, the more you’ll see – from various breeds of cats and dogs to bunnies, hamster, cockatoo, parakeet, rooster, piglet and so much more. I was definitely smiling when I created this one! It’s my way of doing a rain dance in drought times in sunny California!

Available in Limited Edition prints and on scarves and more, available at Create.bz.

This site contains the valuable intellectual property of M. Nicole van Dam. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, M. Nicole van Dam® and Artimagination® are respectively federally registered trademarks owned by M. Nicole van Dam, and the contents of this site, including each artwork, each artwork element, title, storyline, book, character, poetry and text, are each respectively TM and (c) 1999-2015 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved. Similarly, the artwork on this site, including also the look and feel and style of the artwork and individual elements within the artwork, constitutes the valuable trade dress of M. Nicole van Dam. No contents of this site or any artwork or writing on this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of M. Nicole van Dam. To request such consent or to license the artwork or other contents of this site, please contact M. Nicole van Dam.

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Below is screen show of some additional posts on a variety of things that might interest you – you can click on whichever post interests you to read the full post – ENJOY!

Nicole's Leonberger Art - All sorts of fun Leonberger-themed merchandise available at Leonberger.org - great gifts for humans, dogs and more!

 

Link to find Nicole’s Leonberger dog artwork and merchandise: Leonberger.org

 

COFFEEEEEEEEE!

It just so happens I LOVE COFFEE!  Rarely do I create a painting without a handy cup of coffee standing by, and of course my iPod playing tunes!  I created a Coffee Carousel website with all my favorite coffees for each of our three (3!) coffee machines – enjoy at CoffeeHound.bz!

Here is a poem I wrote for my java habit:

Daily Ritual

Every morning
Sleepy out of bed
Tussled head
I stumble to the kitchen sink
Seeking one precious drink
Ever so slowly from my mug, sip by sip
Savoring every dark, rich drip
Precious nectar, warming heart and waking mind
That magic potion that fuels mankind…

Coffee

Wonderful Coffee
Warm Coffee
Aromatic
Sensatic
Irresistible to this java addict
Coffee.

Our wonderful Leonberger dog waiting by our vegetable garden


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