Monday, April 14, 2014

Commissions- Are they Crazy or Cool? Sometimes Crazy is just CRAZY!

Commissions can be difficult.  Sometimes you end up spending time on a subject you may or may not feel passionate about.  There can be the difficulty in working with random people you don't know, and worse yet, this can lead you to dealing with unusual people and sometimes crazy situations.

As is often the case, truth can be stranger than fiction...Ohhhhh the stories I could tell!

Recent commissioned portraits- Mixed Media
Let's face it, selling paintings can be a challenge, and we are all tempted to do whatever will sell! Taking commissions...many artists avoid it like the plague, but others turn to commissioned work as a means of expanding their market. Occasionally I do commissions, but sometimes it gets a little weird...

Recently I had an appointment with a client whose pet died. The client dearly loved this pet, and when they sent me initial photos, I got some incredibly poor quality shots of what looked like a squirrel...I thought, "REALLY?!"  I began to smell a rat, even as  the "squirrel" ended up being something called a sugar glider.  Whatever it was, the photos were horrible.  The nose was sometimes in focus, or the branches around the animal were in focus, but the rest of the photos were blurry.  I began to think this commission was a bit too "out there" for me, but thought I'd reserve judgement.  I asked them to send more photo references my way if they had them.  The next day they didn't show up for our appointment.  The excuse was that they had spent the morning digging the poor little thing up from the grave! Initially my reaction was mortification thinking they did it to get more photo references...OMG!  I found out it was for purposes of an autopsy, but even's a squirrel, people!   I mean... it's a sugar glider, people!  That autopsy probably cost more than my portrait fee!  Needless to say,  I did not reschedule our meeting, but the photos kept coming.  None of them were any good, and thankfully, none of them were shots of squirrel-like corpses! I'm not worried about it anymore.  Sometimes crazy, is just CRAZY, and that crosses the line for me.

Another time, I was commissioned by an "inventor".  He needed help with a conceptual drawing for his new invention: I had never met an inventor before, so I was intrigued.  We met in the gallery where I worked (a public place).  He said he could not give me much information in advance about the project, due to the strict confidentiality which would be required.  Some of his inventions had been stolen before, and he needed to keep it secret until we met.  It felt a little "cloak and dagger", and I thought about wearing my trench coat and sunglasses to the meeting, but decided that he might not find it funny.  In the end, all the fuss was about a silly multi-purpose dog tool which would probably inhabit a display at a place like The Dollar Store.  It was a back scratcher, massager, detangler, fluffer, flea-picker, tummy tickler, plastic-bag carrier- all in one...yes, that's the info-mercials on TV.  This little thing was going to do everything but run and fetch the paper (unlike other TV promotions- it didn't come with a cap-snaffler. The client did however, give me another of his inventions as a free gift.  It was a grocery bag handle that you could slip through multiple plastic bag handles in order to carry more of them at once. Somehow that little gizmo never really caught on with the public, and he had a few thousand lying around...but I digress ). The client was very nice, seemed normal enough, and was willing to pay me what I wanted for my time per I found myself illustrating various little gadgets for his doggie gizmo tool.  He was going to take my drawings to someone with technical expertise, who would then figure out how to manufacture the product. That was strange enough, until I brought my finished drawing to a meeting for his review.   His girlfriend was there, and promptly got mad at him for having shared their "invention idea" with me.  They got in a big fight right there in front of me, and she stormed into another room in anger.  I couldn't leave, because he hadn't paid me yet... AWKWARD! Thankfully, he was basically a nice guy, liked my drawing and paid me...then he ran off to find his girlfriend.

I couldn't even make this stuff up...

Occasionally I do commissions, and find great enjoyment in doing them, as long as certain criteria are present...

So how can you set parameters for a good commission experience? 

First: It helps to have a great client.  What makes a great client? My answer: Someone pleasant who has a love for your work and trusts in you as an artist.  

Having a client who gives you artistic license is an amazing gift.  I've been fortunate to have a few of these.  Doing so allows me to have free reign in coming up with my concept and executing it.  I don't mind keeping a palette of colors in mind...the reality is that sometimes the painting has to live in a room with a certain set of patterns or colors in place.
New painting commissioned by a friend who saw a sketch of mine and asked for a formal painting.  She does fitness it's very fitting don't you think?  I think it would make a great birthday card too.  Cards and prints available for all my paintings.

Photo referrences can be a huge issue.  A client who has lots of photo references, or at least one great reference is really ideal.  I personally like to have too many photos, rather than too few.  Those clients who have a great idea for a painting may or may not have good photos for you to work from.  As the artist, you need to be ready to take some of your own photos when called upon.  I've had real photos sent my way which were laughable...everything from shots of locations, to photos of other people's work!  Really?!

A client with quite a bit of time or a flexible deadline is very helpful.   I'm not the kind of artist who can always crank out a painting on demand.  Sometimes I have to let the project gestate for a while, and then paint when the perfect storm of "opportunity + inspiration" hits.  Deadlines can be tough, and I'm sure other artists struggle with this same issue.  I teach art classes in Myrtle Beach and will be teaching on a trip in Tuscany this fall. Between work and family, I have a busy schedule, and sometimes my personal painting time is more limited than I'd like.  In the end, its about managing expectations.  I've found, if you let your clients know what to expect, they generally relax and let you take the necessary time required for a good result.

Recent pet portrait commission- Watercolor 

Every time I send a photo of a finished commission,  I always do so with bated breath...hoping that the client will like it...fearing that they won't, and worrying about THEN WHAT?!

I have to say that most of my commission experiences have been fantastic.  I love the challenge, even if it can be difficult.  I have one phone message which I received after I completed the nearby pet portrait.  In it, my client (also a dear friend) reacted to the first glimpse of the painting with an utter meltdown.  Her phone call message went through to voicemail.  I have vowed never to erase that recording! Listening to her brought tears to my eyes, as she literally sobbed with delight and expressed her overjoyed reaction to the painting.  (For those of us who are girls, we know this response is the absolute BEST compliment ever!).   My goal in art (and in life for that matter) is to be anything but boring, and yet, I always hope to emotionally move someone in a good way when they view my work.  Her tears represent "the ultimate" type of reaction for me. When I need affirmation, I just listen to her boo-hooing all over again.  She reminds me of why I am doing this...I guess it's like applause to the performer.

On the other hand, you also have to be ready to deal with uncertainty and ego risks when doing commissions.  Once, I sent out images of my completed commission, and didn't hear back for a few days... talk about flop-sweat!  I was imagining all kinds of reasons to explain the silence...none of them good.  In the end, the lack of response was due to reasons which had everything to do with my client, and nothing to do with me or my  paintings...Nonetheless, it was a difficult few days and my insecurities were challenged.

All in all, accepting commissions is just another avenue for connecting with potential customers and patrons.  I donate 30% of my sales to charity and do so because that arrangement helps me overcome my shyness and makes selling worth the risk and the trouble.  I like the idea of sending my work out into the world to do some good...kind of paying forward on the blessing of being able to make art for a living and doing this thing which makes me so happy.  If my work can make some money, make someone happy, and make a difference in the world, then that's the best kind of win-win-win situation I can imagine.

I hope you consider doing commissions if you're an artist.  If you are interested in having me paint for you on a commissioned basis, please feel free to contact me...but when I send you a photo of your finished painting...please don't leave me hanging! ;-)

I'm heading for France and Spain for most of the month of May...subscribe to my blog to be kept up to date on my exploits while traveling as an artist!  See previous posts about earlier trips...

Join me in Tuscany October 2014...there are still a few spots left on the trip.  See previous blog posts!
or Join me for Art classes in Myrtle Beach...

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons in all media
Myrtle Beach, SC

Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art!

Feel free to share this blog post or portions of it on your own blog or website, but I ask that you you include:
Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at

All paintings are copyrighted to Rebecca Zdybel with all rights are reserved by the artist.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

LOOSEN UP- Ideas for loosening up your artwork and staying positive in the process!

Do you wish you could "loosen up"?  I'm talking about in your artwork, but there may be application for your life here too.  Would you like to get more abstract or less stiff with your drawing or painting?  One way I would suggest is to try limiting the amount of time you take to do your work.

The painting below recently won an award in the Fall 2013 Show of Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild.  I love the figure and make it my business to draw and paint people whenever I can.  This particular piece was executed with the clock ticking and a limited period of time to get it done.   I have found that the energy injected into the process of doing timed studies really helps to impart a dynamic quality to my drawings and paintings.  Not all of them are great,  but this one turned out well.
"She's Got Game"
Charcoal and Ink on Paper $400 Framed

If you've never done a timed study, then I suggest you give it a try.  Set up a timer and begin with some warm up drawings- Start with 2 minutes and use newsprint paper or other throw away type paper, and a medium like charcoal or soft graphite.  A water soluble pen and a little brush with water can also work well and is less messy.  These materials allow you to put down some serious value quickly and also to quickly soften or put it light values.  Use the side of the charcoal, or smudge with your fingers to quickly lay in the big shapes.  Use the tip of your charcoal to find edges or details after you lay in the big shapes.  If using a pen, find the contours first and then lay in the shadows with a wet brush.

Use magazine photos, or real life.  To find people who are not moving around too much, think about taking your materials to a book store or to the beach.  People tend to stay in one place once they get settled in those locations.

After a few quick warm ups, increase your time allotment to 4 minutes and do a few more timed studies.  Think about working from shadow to shadow and connecting those shapes to form the subject.  

While warming up, AVOID JUDGING YOUR RESULTS!  This is very important.  Tell  the critical voice in your head to keep quiet and just do your best to connect your hand with your eyes and gain an impression of your subject.  

If you don't have time to do a fine piece of work, then why expect it?  Right?! 

Kathie George, a wonderfully positive and creative teacher,  calls this voice in your head the "Itty Bitty $#!**& Committee".  Isn't that a great term and a great descriptor of what can go on inside all of our heads as artists?  It's the voice that looks at whatever you have created and says things like:
 " That looks terrible."
" A 5 year-old could do better."
"What are you doing wasting your time?"
"You are not talented."
"What makes you think you could ever be artistic when you've never been good at this, EVER".

I have an old dog who currently wears diapers because she listens to the bad voices in her head more than the positive ones (of course this assumes she is listening, AND since she can't hear AT ALL this is probably unlikely...but that's for a whole different discussion).

Some of us battle these voices in our head, or the Committee of Negativity more than others.  Some of us even give voice to this inner negativity and take the time to say negative things about ourselves and our work out loud and possibly often.  I do not recommend this.  Words have power, and expressing that negativity is not you or to others who may be trying to do their best along with you.  

In my experience, all of us do our best on any given day.  That may be better or more effective on some days than others.  I have bad days, everyone does.  However, I have also found that no matter what, there is always something to enjoy about whatever results from someone's best effort.  THAT IS WHAT WE NEED TO FOCUS ON-  CELEBRATING WHAT IS GOOD.  What's not so good can also be useful as something to change the next time.

"You yourself deserve the same loving-kindness which you extend to others"

Back to loosening up your drawings:
Once the warm ups are finished, you will be ready to increase your drawing time to about 10 Minutes.  I predict this will feel as if you have been given an incredibly more generous time for your drawing, and you will find that your warm ups will have readied your eyes and your hand to work together more quickly.  Do a few 10 minute drawings and make it the priority to try and capture the important forms or the gestures.  

If you want to paint or animate the drawings, you can think about giving yourself an equally limited time frame.  


Here are a few examples of some timed studies I did after warming up.  I love the loose quality and semi-abstracted forms which come out of the need to work fast!  I especially love semi-abstract figure studies.

Try using large brushes to cover more area more quickly.  Try using large paper and large pieces of charcoal or pastel.  The secret is basically to "Try".  Play around and have some fun!  Eliminate the imperative to "create a masterpiece every time" may just surprise yourself with what results!

Enjoy giving this method of loosening yourself up to allow for more expressive and energized mark making.  I'd love to hear about your experiences.  Feel free to share your results with me or comment here.  If you're interested in art lessons with me, I'd love to have you!  

Share Love, Spread Light, DO ART!

Feel free to share this blog post on your own blog or website, but I ask that you you include:
Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Art Classes and Art Groups in Myrtle Beach

Where can you take ART CLASSES in the Myrtle Beach area?

Read on for a list of local Art Organizations and links to their websites...

Some might say that Myrtle Beach is not a town where you find a lot of art going on. I believe that is changing.  Places to study art and dabble in all kinds of artistic realms are cropping up more and more around the Grand Strand... in Myrtle Beach, Little River, Conway, Litchfield, and Georgetown. For the last 2 years I have I helped owner, Rita Levine, to establish a class program at her gallery Art & Soul Gallery, Cafe' and Art Center.  They have a classroom with supplies available and sometimes will even open the gallery space for larger class experiences.

My home studio is also really a great place to come and play in the paint.  I offer Open Studio Sessions and occasionally more structured classes that are tailored to individual projects.  Sometimes  my students who study with me elsewhere will come to my personal studio for extra time.  Everyone who joins me is dedicated to expressing their creativity and learning a bit more about art.  I have 2 governing rules in my classes:  "Don't be scaird!" and "What happens in art class STAYS in art class!"  We have fun while learning and exploring.
My home studio

In addition to the 2 locations I just mentioned, I also teach for OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) here in Myrtle Beach and I have taught classes for local groups in their clubhouses or facilities.

Here are some of the classes I offer:

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - YES YOU CAN LEARN TO DRAW!  This is a drawing class which explores ways of improving  drawing skills as outlined by the 2012 new and definitive REVISED book of the same name. It's a great drawing foundation, which has been time tested and it works!  Teaching some of the drawing fundamentals which are not intuitive. It's a wonderful way for adult artists to "back up" and learn some of the fundamentals they may have skipped over on their way to painting pretty pictures.

Re!ease Your Inner Artist (a class which is bound to take you places you haven't been before exploring techniques of Drawing, Watercolor, Mixed Media, and Acrylic).  This class is student driven and we try to incorporate areas of interest which appeal to regular class members.  We range in subject matter from drawing, to painting, to image transfers, to color theory, and the list goes on...
Student Margaret Burleigh created this masterpiece in class and Sold it!

Exp!ore Water Media:  This class varies and is designed to allow the students to explore Watercolor and Acrylic in a variety of ways.  Learning about new materials and experimenting with crossing boundaries is what we do.  Class ideas and techniques will be taught, instruction will be given, but students may always bring in their own work for assistance to any of my classes.
Martha Sledge created this cool piece in Exp!ore Watermedia Class

Exp!ore Design and Abstract:  This class is based on a method taught by John Salminen AWS.  We cover design fundamentals and make very interesting and beautiful abstract paintings in Watercolor, Acrylic and collage.  At least 1 award winning painting has emerged from this class and most students are rewarded with paintings they love.

Arty Party Painting Parties:  Paint on Wine Glasses, Mugs or Canvas 
Schedule an Arty Party and choose from a selection of paintings or paint an image of your choosing during a fun 2 hr painting party with me as your teacher.  We provide the supplies, you provide your own refreshments BYOB.  It's a great way to have fun painting and create a memorable event with your group or family.

Exp!ore Glass on Glass Mosaic:  I have recently developed this 4 week class to teach about a new technique using stained glass in a modern way.  It's much simpler than stained glass, and very light and luminous in it's results.  You can see an example of this technique below.  The class is fun and very playful...and the results are incredible!

I am planning future classes for this spring in Watercolor, and Painting on the Fly- Painting Outdoors or While you Travel.

Look at my previous blog post for a description of a future traveling art class I will offer in TUSCANY!  The dates are Sept 27-Oct 4, 2014.

Contact me if you'd like to study with me in any of these ways...I have a number of ongoing classes and teach at various may be near you!

If you are interested in connecting with other artists or learning about art organizations in the area, then follow these local links to art organizations along the Grand Strand.

SC Watermedia Society
Georgetown Country Watercolor Society
Roundtable Art Group
Waterway Art Association
Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild
Seacoast Artist Guild
Create Conway
Artfields Art Competition in Lake City, SC
Colored Pencil Society of SC
OLLI- Osher Lifelong Learning Institute CCU

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons in all media
Myrtle Beach, SC

Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art!

Feel free to share this blog post on your own blog or website, but I ask that you you include:
Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at

"Like" my facebook page: Rebecca Zdybel- Artist
Join me on Google+ Rebecca Zdybel Google+ Profile

Monday, November 11, 2013

Let's Go to Tuscany! Join me for an Artfully Tasteful Tour of Tuscany 9-27 to 10-4-14

Sign up for this exciting trip by following this link! (Numbers are limited so sign up early)

Let's slow down and savor life the way they do in Tuscany...

Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from real life in order to gain perspective. After my fourth trip to this region, I have come to the realization that I love the Tuscan lifestyle!  I love focusing on the meal at the end of the day, with an appreciation of the fresh food and great wines that this region has to offer.  

I have a dream...

I am hosting a trip back to Tuscany combining all the things I love: Travel, Great Food, Cooking, Wine, Art, Teaching, Friends, Music…it's a dream fulfilled! 

Let's share the peace and tranquility created by the beautiful scenery.  

Let's share the experience of making art in beautiful settings. Personal and intimate connections occur with locations and people when you take the time to paint or sketch them while traveling.  

Let's learn more about how to cook "Tuscan style"...
and have a good time doing it!  

Then let's relax and enjoy delicious food and great wines! 
With home-prepared breakfasts, and dinners prepared by our excellent chef: 5 course gourmet meals and wine included in your price.  

In the process I hope we can cement new friendships and make some great memories.

Prerequisites if you would like to join us:

  1. A positive attitude and a capacity for laughter
  2. Willingness to dwell on beautiful things and/or indulge others as they dwell on them
  3. A taste for farm-to-table organic foods and wines,  
  4. Willingness to explore incredibly beautiful and wonderfully medievel Tuscan towns.  
  5. Interest in learning about art, and/or making art through drawing, painting, photography, and/or writing.  
    If you aren't an artist, then you can either indulge us when we talk about these things or do your own thing...take a walk, swim in the olympic size pool, grab a nap, read a book, write your novel, make notes in your journal, or take advantage of #6...
  6. Have an interest in Optional opportunities to cook with my favorite Tuscan chef, Andrea Anichini?  If you are part of this trip, then you can enjoy some cooking fun will it be to learn a few of Andrea's Tuscan Tricks of the Trade?! And yes...he is just as  FUNNY AS CHARMING AS THIS PHOTO IMPLIES! (He is also a sommelier!)
    Our Chef -Andrea Anichini
  7. Interest in Optional tours of local Tuscan wineries, viewing local art history sites and/or historical sites.  (These might be alternatives for artists and non-artists alike). 

    Act now and hold your spot on this great trip!  A deposit of $500 will hold your spot in this very LIMITED GROUP. This deposit may be made by following the link below.  I will cap the number to keep it manageable and friendly.  

In case you have health concerns, my husband Paul is a physician and is ready to lend medical assistance to our group members.  I always ask him to bring along antibiotics...just in case. 

The dates for this trip are set for Sept. 27-Oct. 4, 2014. I have developed an itinerary with Il Chiostro, who will be handling all the registration. The complete description of the tour is found on their website which you may review via this link.

I’d love to hear from you and possibly have you join me for what is sure to be a memorable time in Tuscany Sept. 27-Oct. 4, 2014. If you'd care to come early and/or stay longer, feel free to use this trip as a jumping off point for further travels in Europe...

Comment here or contact me via email. Andiamo!  (let’s go!)

Bubble Boys- Castellina, Italy
San Fedele Awaits- Watercolor by Rebecca Zdybel

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons in all media
Myrtle Beach, SC

Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art!

Feel free to share this blog post on your own blog or website, but I ask that you you include:
Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at

"Like" my facebook page: Rebecca Zdybel- Artist
Join me on Google+ Rebecca Zdybel Google+ Profile

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Divine Creativity- Celebrate the Divine within YOU!

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  Marianne Williamson

Takako's first watercolor done in class- YAY!!!!

This quote really speaks to me. and I firmly believe it's true.  Everyone can shine, and what's more, it would be my hope that everyone will be able to shine!  In my art classes, that is truly my goal for each student.  I celebrate right along with them when they do something they love! 

I marvel every day of late at the fact that I have the ability to paint and work as an artist!   I also have a new-found avenue for poetry and writing. Who would have thought?  Certainly not me!  It was not my intention to go out and find a job as an artist.  It was not my intent to become a poet...How did I get here?  What has the journey taught me?

I got here by pursuing what brings me joy. Joy is not the same as happiness for's deeper.

The pursuit of joy is not necessarily can involve stepping out into uncomfortable realms.  It can require paying attention to the "inner voice" which beckons you. It can be accompanied by anxiety.  But it boils down to being determined, and refusing to let fear dictate your actions. 

For me, joy is the result of faith.  Faith in a higher power, and faith in the fact that as a child of God, I am capable of wondrous and marvelous things. I don't have to have faith in my own capacity and ability, I can send that faith a little further up the ladder and relax, knowing that it's not all up to me.  What a relief!

Swimming With the Fishes- Watercolor and Acrylic Line
New Painting by Rebecca Zdybel
When I am "in the zone" while painting or drawing... I feel as if I am meditating.  Perhaps I am channeling spirit at those moments.  Who is to say?  

Am I the creator of the paintings which come off my brush?  

Do the words that come to me while writing all come from within?

Perhaps I am simply channeling the creative Spirit of God...or maybe it has nothing to do with me, and comes down to the fact that all creation is "of God"? I like this idea.   I find it romantic to think there is something a little divine at work in the process of making art.  By giving credit to a higher power for that source of inspiration, I somehow feel freer to celebrate the result.  I can stand back and say, "isn't that cool?!" and not feel as if I am somehow being a braggart. 

Humming in the Hibiscus- Watercolor on Aquabord
New Painting by Rebecca Zdybel

We should all feel free to celebrate our creations.  If they bring us pleasure and achieve what we hope, why not celebrate?   Few of us will be art superstars.  Fewer of us will sell what we paint.  Does it invalidate what we do?  Absolutely NOT!

Celebrate the art which you IS cool when you make time to be creative, and if you enjoy doing it, then there need be nothing further required.  It doesn't have to be great, you don't need anyone's validation, you don't have to frame it, you don't have to sell it.  

It's enough that it brings you joy just doing it! 

A painting by Susan done at an Arty Party with me-
definitely worth celebrating!

I encourage you to celebrate the divine in me...and in YOU! After all, you deserve the same loving-kindness which you extend to others.  
Namaste my friends...

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons in all media
Myrtle Beach, SC

Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art!

Feel free to share this blog post on your own blog or website, but I ask that you you include:
Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at

"Like" my facebook page: Rebecca Zdybel- Artist
Join me on Google+ Rebecca Zdybel Google+ Profile

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Loggerhead Fever- The Poetry Bug Strikes again!

A loggerhead turtle nesting at night

The tracks left behind by a nesting loggerhead- a sign of where the nest can be found

Living in beautiful South Carolina on the shores of the Atlantic, loggerhead turtles nest here in the summer and fall on our beach.  It's a quiet and natural beachfront, unlike so much of the Grand Strand.  Those turtles and their nests are associated with some of my most magical moments over the years.  Last year, it was my privilege to witness the emergence of a few baby stragglers out of a nest which had partially hatched the previous day.  They came out late in the evening one night.  The full moon and I were the only witnesses to their birth.  The experience is one I'll never forget.  

A baby loggerhead makes its way to the sea
22 years ago, I also had an amazing experience with the loggerheads.  My little children were in various stages of undress after a long day at the beach.  Rather than deal with sagging diapers, I let the youngest two just run around naked.  While there, during the twilight hours, a nest began to emerge.  We were able to escort the hatchlings to the water.  It was fantastic!  Watching my naked babies escort the baby turtles to the ocean is something I'll remember forever with nostalgia.  

As it happens, I was reminiscing yesterday about those memories, and felt inspired to write the beginning of a poem based on my ideas about loggerheads, their birth, and their relationship with the moon.  This is getting to be a new habit!  Having been bitten in Greece,  I lost yet another day to the poetry bug (yes, it seems to be contagious, especially among artists! )  I took the day off to relax and lost the afternoon developing an idea into a poem.  It was a great way to while away the day!

I don't know that it's finished, but I thought others might enjoy the spirit of the piece even in its rough form.  I've painted turtles in the past, but hope to let this poem inspire a painting or perhaps even a series of paintings!  I hope you enjoy it.  
Turtle Dreams- Abstract Mixed Media

Mother Moon 

and the Loggerheads  Poem by Rebecca Zdybel

Mother moon she shines her light,
Her kingdom is the sea.
She rules in silent majesty. 
The queen of night is she.

Her sister sun she steals the show, 
With heat and colors bright.
Her children; plants and all of life 
Who count on day for light.
The moon, no colors and no voice, 
Is left to rule the sea.
The waves, her arms,
Reach toward the shore, 
Her song their melody.

A mothers heart she does posses, 
But children she has few.
For nature often chooses day 
When life seeks to renew. 

The loggerhead is special then... 
Among the favored few, 
Who look to Moon as Mother, 
And their birth she oft will view.

When nest is lain 
On dunes piled high, 
The loggerheads will leave.
Trusting Mother Moon 
To guide their babies to the sea.

Her sister sun will watch the brood 
When night becomes the day.
She’ll  splash upon the peaceful scene 
With colorful array.

Almost home...!
All day she’ll shine and try to claim
These children as her own.
But mother moon, 
Does soon return, 
And wait for them, alone.

Vigil she keeps nightly 
O’er her sandy nursery.
Returning every evening,
Time of birth a mystery.

As nights do pass without event,
She’ll often shed a tear,
And mourn the prospect of 
Another day without them near.

On those morns, she leaves forlorn,
As night becomes the day.
Her sister sun allowed once more
The chance to have her way.

Mother Moon does come again
Whene’er she has the chance.
Waiting, watching, shining,
On the waves her light will dance.

And so it was that moonlit night,
So very long ago.
Their little noses poking through the sand
As if ‘twas snow.

Her lamp lit bright and beckoning.
She called them from below,
The blanket where they long had slept,
Warm and safe to grow.

Their hopes raised high, their path well lit,
They crawl over the shore.
Their fins imprinting on the sand  
A trail to come once more.

The water sings her lullaby.
Her arms, as waves do reach.
She woos them forth, 
With mother’s love, 
 As they cross o’er the beach.

That song rings on when e’er we hear
The waves upon the shore.
A song of love’s unending hope.
A song none can ignore.
Schedule an Arty Party and paint this turtle with me!


I hope you enjoyed my little poem.  I'm not sure about the title (it almost seems like it would be a great name for a rock band, lol!
 A Happy side-note- Since having originally posted this poem, I've been asked to read it for the local gathering of Turtle Volunteers later this month.  They are the stalwart folks who patrol the beaches daily and help to protect and preserve the nests and the turtle hatchlings.
They have some other surprise plans I can't reveal at this point, but I'll be sure to write about THAT experience later this month!  So exciting!!

If you're interested in knowing more about Loggerhead turtle activity on the beaches here in SC, or want to get involved in their protection follow this link
S.C.U.T.E.- SC United Turtle Enthusiasts Facebook page

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons in all media Myrtle Beach, SC

Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art!

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Rebecca Zdybel is an artist, instructor, and writer in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at

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Monday, September 23, 2013

The Filippo Phenomenon- Designer Abduction Strikes Again!

Apparently someone else ignored their momma's warning not to talk to strangers!  

Once again, my old friend Filippo has charmed his way into another encounter with a female tourist...and here I thought I was special!  When in Tuscany, if you are in Florence, I think you can be on the lookout for Filippo Bosa.  It seems he gets around!  Here's a fun exchange I just had with someone who read my post from earlier this year: you can read it a previous post on my website titled:  Abducted by Fashion Designers in Florence

Hello Rebecca,

I came across your blog while researching Filippo Bosa the "designer" who "abducted" you in Florence last spring, and thoroughly enjoyed reading about it, because I had the very SAME experience while travelling with my husband last week!

We were approached by Filippo  and his "cousin" (his tailor, some say) at Gillo's while we were having an early lunch. He was wearing a dramatic white scarf wrapped around his neck, and blue suede shoes. We totally fell for the schmoozing, the compliments, and charming conversation, before following Filippo to his Por S Maria leather shop for "just a look" before our afternoon tour to Sienna.

When we walked in to the shop, all the employees fell silent and the attention was turned to  me in the mirrored room where wine was poured and filippo started to dress me in the softest, lightest, reversible leather coat I have ever seen with the same Roberto Cavalli scarf that I saw in      your photo! Like you, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and soaked it all up. I thought the price was a bit too high, and didn't really want to spend that much for a light coat ( 1,050 euros "65 percent off") but my husband insisted, it was our 40th anniversary trip, so we bought the coat!! And the scarf too..

Even though I have since learned of this so called " scam" being very common in Florence in order for the merchants to compete with each other, I still had a good shopping experience and do not regret having spent the money on the spur of the moment. And even if he is not really a fashion designer, having studied in Paris and New York , who cares, really?

The important thing is to be happy with the coat and wear it while thinking of this fun  and memorable shopping spree on Florence. Don't you agree?

A fellow gullible but happy tourist from Canada


It's always so fun to hear from folks that have read my blogs and had a reaction to them.  Here is some of what I told her. 

Thanks so much for sending me your note!  I'm laughing and happy to hear from another person who has experienced Filippo Phenomenon!  lol  My sister-in-law also encountered him and had a similar experience.  I find it charming and his tactics are good business really.  He gives an experience as well as a lovely coat for the purchase price.  If I have a regret from my trip, its that I didn't buy the coat!  Good for you that your husband encouraged you to celebrate the moment with him that way!  We don't get that many opportunities to have great stories attached to our trips or our purchases, and this will certainly be one to remember.  

How funny would it be to go back to Florence and confront Fillipo (nicely) about how we each thought we were the only ones he treated so specially.  hahaha, I'd love to have that conversation!
What about it folks?  Anyone else out there had an experience with the Filippo Phenomenon???  Comment here because I'd love hear about it and share it with others!  

Remember that I'm organizing another trip to Tuscany with art/cooking as a focus.  We will visit some of my favorite towns in the area and be staying at the gorgeous former Tuscan monastery called, San Fedele.  It has been lovingly restored and is a beautiful and spirit-filled place to visit.  Contact me for more information.  Dates are 9-27-14 through 10-4-14 for our stay.  You can easily think about adding on more days at the beginning or the end of your trip with me to see even more of this beautiful country.  I can't wait to get back!

San Fedele Awaits- Watercolor
Chianti region of Tuscany Italy
Rebecca Zdybel 

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons in all media
Myrtle Beach, SC

Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art!

Feel free to share this blog post on your own blog or website, but I ask that you you include:
Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at

"Like" my facebook page: Rebecca Zdybel- Artist
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