Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"Wild & Free in Nevada" for Charity at Magpie Springs

Here's a little progression of this small work that I did for a Charity Auction in Australia. Called "Wild & Free in Nevada" The Auction ends on January 15, 2017, so make sure to get your bid in soon! - Michele

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tips for the Holiday Season (with smiles)

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat.
Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Most Important Tip of all: Have a great Holiday Season! - Michele

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING from Bob & Michele Ross


To all who are celebrating today
we wish you much good company, good cheer, and good food.

May your holiday be filled with love, family, & friendship.

All the best,

Bob & Michele Ross

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Wild & Free in Nevada" Painting to Support Charity in Australia

A Small World is an international exhibition of small works being held at Magpie Springs Gallery in South Australia.  Works submitted by overseas artists like myself  are a gift with any proceeds to  to be donated to the charity.

I'm delighted to be participating in this show being held this November through January.
The owner there, Avril Thomas is a very fine artist in her own right and has been a facebook friend for several years now. A few months ago, Avril asked all her painter friends if we'd like to participate in a small works show of post card sized work to help promote her beautiful venue and to raise money for charity. She has had an overwhelming response from over 200 artists from around the world.

I've just completed my piece. A watercolor of some of our wild Nevada horses, and I've titled it "Wild & Free in Nevada" as a declaration that I hope we will always have wild horses here in the west. Fun fact: Did you know that Nevada has more wild horses than any other state in the USA? We do love our wild horses here and work hard to protect and keep them free.

The show opens November 13th and runs through January 15th 2017 as this gallery is open for 3 days a week. The show will be accompanied by an online auction site so that people from any country may bid on the pieces in the show.  Its turning into a delightful collaborative effort.
I'll keep you posted on news as I get it as well as the links to the auction site.

Check it out, its sure to delight art lovers from around the world. And if you're in Australia, be sure to check out Magpie Springs. It looks to be a wonderful place.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Its a glorious 3 day holiday weekend here in the USA. Between the picnics, parades and fireworks. Between time in the pool, or on the boat. Before the BBQ cools down for the evening on Monday, I hope all my fellow USA citizens and residents take a moment to reflect on the anniversary that the 4th of July represents. The anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. A founding document declaring the birth of our nation. A line in the sand that was drawn by a brave group of men and women who had had enough from a distant power who allowed them no representation. And so these brave people decided to create a brand new form of government, a Republic the likes of which the world had never seen before, and may never see again if we don't work to keep it free and intact. I challenge you all to take the time to read, know and understand the most basic policies of our country.  Happy 4th of July fellow citizens, long may freedom ring in this beautiful land of ours.  - Michele

Here is a link that helps people understand our founding documents like the US Constitution in modern day language.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Memorial Day- An Ode to Warriors

Artwork by Michele A Ross ©2016
Note: I wrote this in 2009 for Memorial Day and it received national syndication. I'm sharing it again - my feelings haven't changed. Read the whole thing and let me know your thoughts. © 2009-2017 Michele A Ross

"I was thinking early this morning about this and actually got a little emotional.

First of all, I'm married to a veteran. My husband Bob was in the US Navy for 7 years during Vietnam, and was there during the evacuation of Saigon. And I'm also the daughter of one. My father was a career Army Officer in the US Army and a veteran of 3 wars, WW II, Korea, and Viet Nam.

Even if I don't agree with all the circumstances of each of these wars, there's something wonderful about someone who will hold a post and put himself or herself in harm's way to protect their group. Someone who will stand there and hold the line and say "I'm going to follow orders and get the job done for my god and my country- my group and my beliefs!" There's something above the crowd about doing that-.

When I was a child in Hawaii, we were stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu. One of my most poignant memories of that era was looking at the drill field covered in coffins and knowing those boxes were filled with men who had died for their country and that their bodies were on their way back to families who were grief stricken and in pain. That was the 60's and there were a lot of conflicting viewpoints about that mess over in southeast Asia. Yes, there was a lot of waste in that endeavor, but that was never any reason to dishonor those who did their job, held their posts correctly and held the line for the rest of us.

I know just a very little about what my husband and my father went through. My father spent time behind enemy lines in China and Korea and he was in Hanoi during negotiations. My husband Bob was there at the evacuation of Saigon. I can't pretend to know what emotions they felt in such environments nor what nonsense they had to weed through and put up with from both the enemy as well as lousy commanders, unethical comrades and being asked to do things that I'm sure pushed them violently up against the wall of their own integrity. I'm sure there are things that have plagued them both from time to time and still......, there's something about a guy (or girl) who is willing to take up arms, stand a post, and hold a line for their group because right or wrong at times its still their group....... I just know that while I was playing on the beaches at Waikiki, Waianae, and the North Shore, there were others who were elsewhere in the jungles of Viet Nam trying to get that job done against incredible odds from all sides. And as Memorial Day, and my childhood memories testify, many, many were lost in those efforts. Many, many warriors lost. Yes, I've walked through Arlington National Cemetery in DC, and seen the full ship salutes to the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor- and I dare you to do so without shedding at least one tear.

War is not the answer and I've always known that- however, what would I do to defend my group, my home and my country? What would you do? We can't handle lack of accord and understanding when the communications have become bullets and missiles, however in the right context I don't think I'd personally hesitate to use such means. Yes, I'd take up arms and hold a post if necessary..

We still need our warriors, and in today's times, we must all step up to the line. Today's greatest and most urgent battles are for our own personal freedoms, our minds, our self-determinism, our bodies, our religions and the state of our immortal being. The battlefields are sometimes intentionally confused and hidden behind big media's disinformation, big Pharma, Big Chemical, unethical legislation and leaders, and destructive technologies who run a constant campaign to make us think they are there to help and that their particular brand of bullets aren't really bullets at all. They are lying through their teeth! The corpses from those campaigns are hidden behind advertising, legislation and propaganda campaigns- but like those coffins on the fields at Schofield Barracks Hawaii, they are there and they are just as real.

So, on this day I honor ALL the fallen warriors, those who have fought and died, and those who have served and lost a part of themselves in the effort whether it be in body, mind or spirit.

I also honor all the warriors still in there slugging on in today's battlefields both physical, mental, social, spiritual and ethical. Those who ARE holding a post, taking a stand, holding the line and forging ahead for their group, their beliefs, and their integrity against incredible opposition and suppression.

Today, I also ask myself and you too- What kind of warrior am I? What post am I holding?- what post are you? What do I stand for?, what do you? What arms am I taking up for the survival of my group, my beliefs, my spirit, my religion, my honor and my integrity? And in fact for ALL of humanity?

As the old saying goes- "The man who won't take a stand, stands for nothing".

I love true warriors!
Our own neck is only as precious as our fellow group member's is.

Find your cause, Take a stand, Hold a post,
Be constantly vigilant, Hold the line
Push ahead for a better world no matter the odds.

Be a warrior on your chosen battlefield and don't let the line be broken under any circumstances.

And on Memorial Day, honor all those who have served in battle, their chosen ones or not, and who held their post, did their job and have fallen before us.

Thank you veterans of all wars! Personally, I thank you very much."
- Michele Ross -"Mikala"

P.S., Miss you Dad
My photo of a section of the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. 


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Purple Flowers for Prince

Pansies from my garden-mixed media, ©MARoss
Like much of the world, I just heard that the artist known as Prince died this morning. This has been a tough year for losing performing artists for those of us in certain age brackets. Prince was just 6 months older than I am, so I felt this very strongly. I watched his career from young man who at first got booed off stages, to successful well known name who stuck to his own beliefs and integrity in the face of attacks, unpopular beliefs and controversy. He was very courageous, and a supremely skilled and talented musician.

Purple flowers for Prince is a nod to his very successful son & album "Purple Rain".

You will be missed dear artist, safe travels to your next destination.
- Michele

“Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. 
Yeah, everything is beautiful.” 
-  Prince Rogers Nelson  or  PRINCE (June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Happy National Tartan Day!

We've always been quite proud of our Scottish bloodlines on both sides of the family here in the Ross household. My family names are Kirkpatrick and Colquhoun. This image shows my husband Bob as a young man in Scotland years ago wearing his Ross tartan kilt together with a medley of of Ross Clan Tartans. I've always liked the Ross Clan motto "Spem Succesus Alit", which means "Success Brings Hope" or "Success Breeds Hope" or there abouts. Here is a little history on Tartan Day:
"April 6 Commemorates the Signing of Arbroath in 1320
The Declaration of Arbroath, a declaration of Scottish independence, was signed on April 6, 1320. Scottish barons and earls then sent the declaration, in the form of a letter, to Pope John XXII to assert Scotland's status as an independent state. It also asked the pontiff to recognize "Robert the Bruce as the country's lawful king," according to the National Records of Scotland. The American Declaration of Independence was modeled after the Declaration of Arbroath.
In the United States, the Senate passed a resolution in 1998 to designate April 6 as "National Tartan Day."
"Whereas this resolution honors the major role that Scottish Americans played in the founding of this nation, such as the fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, the governors in nine of the original 13 States were of Scottish ancestry, Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in its formative years and guide this nation through its most troubled times." the resolution said.
In 2005, the House passed similar resolution."
#TartanDay, #ScotlandtheBrave, #RossClan

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Watercolor  Image by Michele A  Ross Artist

Start where you are,
Use what you have,
Gain strength & skills,
Don't quit.
Expand from there.
Keep on keeping on.
- Michele

Friday, March 25, 2016


New Life!- Watercolor Image by MARoss ©2016
The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, and for Christians, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus' emergence from the tomb and resurrection.

I would like to wish all who celebrate, a most blessed and
Happy Easter.

And here's to emergence, and new life no matter what creed you follow.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Our Desert Garden 2015

Besides painting, and traveling, one of my few favorite things to do is gardening. A challenge in the desert, but we're getting there. This video is way too long, but its a recap of our efforts last year.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Aspen's Story..."LOOK AT ME GO!" Watercolor by MARoss
I love a good success story, don't you? This little wild mustang was a member of the local herd up in the Spring Mountains at Cold Creek. The herd has had a tough time of it in the last couple of years due to drought leading to decreased forage. Sadly, their popularity with humans has also taken its toll. When the wild one's are fed, they hang around waiting for more instead of going higher up in the mountains where there was more food. Well anyway, so many of the local herd was near starvation that the BLM* rounded a bunch of them up last August. A local wild horse advocate & photographer named Darcy Grizzle went out to observe and helped rescue this little one who could barely walk. I'll never forget those first photos of her that Darcy posted on Facebook, and how desolate,  thin and weak that little horse looked walking up the hill to the pond. You can see in the photos on the lower left how emaciated she was on Aug 30th when she was rescued. The photo on the lower right shows how robust she looked last week on December 29th. I asked Darcy if I could do some sketches of little Darcy Annie, now named Aspen, from the photos she took and she kindly said yes. So, the top image is my first piece of Aspen. I've tried to capture her spirit and the spirit of her story. - Michele

*BLM-Bureau of Land Management.
Note: All 3 photos credited to Darcy Grizzle.
Watercolor "LOOK AT ME GO!"  by Michele A Ross based on a photo by Darcy Grizzle