I want to travel to Africa at some point in my life. I have too! The closets I have come is at Walt Disney's Animal Kingdom. There is a recreated African village called, The Harambee Village. It really is amazing. From the heat, to the African safari, to the African landscape and the African drummers. I can only wonder what the "real" Africa is like. Here are a few drawings from the days I spent at the Harambee Village.
The phrase,"home is where the heart is", resonates well with me. Two years ago I moved to Westchester County in New York. (It is about 20 minutes from New York City). Jesus, what a beautiful place to live! Fall was my favorite time of year there. My mom, my sister and I would take drives during the weekends up the hilly and winding roads of New Rochelle, Fleetwood, White Plains and Scarsdale. Just to see the leaves changing colors. It was like driving through a fall fantasy. The streets would be blanketed with yellows, deep reds and oranges. It would make my heart melt and would give me a warm feeling. I knew I belonged there. A few months ago I moved back to Long Island, and boy do I miss Westchester. Today I got a chance to go up to the Bronx Botanical Gardens and once again it is fall. As I walked around the gardens today all the colors, and smells reminded me of fall in Westchester. I got that same warm feeling in my heart. I sat there today painting and just remembering. I look forward to the day I get to move back there. It is truly where my heart found a home. It just has a special vibe. -Danielle
I have gone up to Mystic Seaport twice this past year with the Dalvero Academy. It was my first time going. It is such a wonderful weekend trip spent with friends, drawing, and eating clam chowder. (Well I can't eat it since I'm allergic to dairy but I do sample a little). The first time we went was in January when it was about 30 degrees and snowing! It was really beautiful. The second time we went was this past September right when the leaves were turning. Both times spent at Mystic Seaport I instantly feel in love with, The Amistad. Which I found out was not referred to as a slave ship but a cargo ship that just happened to be carrying slaves. The Amistad has led me to many things. It really has allowed me to dig further into my history. It's really exciting to see what I find out and how I can apply it to art.-Danielle
Now that summer is becoming a distant memory I can't help but think of how wonderful it felt when it was 90 degrees in Orlando, I was drinking iced coffee and drawing with friends. This summer at Disney World's Magic Kingdom I ventured into Cinderella's Castle. I love that castle because of all the ornate details, the rose garden, swans swimming in the lake and the swirly flowers and images of Prince Charming. I couldn't help but draw this statue of Cinderella feeding the birds while I was there. I love to just fantasize when I draw. It just makes it seem real to me.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Usually I don't pay much attention to this cause. When I think of October I just think of fall, leaves turning colors, and the packing away of summer clothes. However, as I get older I realize this is something I need to pay attention to. Performing monthly breast exams is essential to early detection. I have to admit every time I need to do mine it scares me. But I realize it is something that has to be done.
In 2006 my aunt, Valerie McManus, passed away from Breast Cancer. I created these watercolors for her a few days ago. I hope she enjoys them. -love Danielle