Cover_book2_add_2ndedition_rgbOriginal Art Meditation Coloring Books for Adults!
Introduction : Art Meditations Coloring Book 1, 2 and 3

About the Books:
This series of three meditations books created in 2014 are presented as an “Art Project” rather
 than a finished “product”. That tidbit may not be important to anyone  – but it is first paragraph vital to me.

I created these drawings as part of my own daily meditations, they are spontaneous and reflective of my prominent thoughts or intention for the day. The drawings are set in the order they were created and the imperfections intentionally left in – this I feel is important because it provides a natural progression to the books that can’t be contrived.




Sample of Illustrations Book #1

Sample of Illustrations
Book #1

Through this daily art practice and a short period of consistency can helped me to reclaim my footing by an direct action of accountability and honesty. The small drawings allowed me to ponder and explore thoughts using a quiet physical action. This combination (physical/intellectualize) in quietude seemed to
reveal and embody new clarities.

Coloring – like drawing possesses these same qualities.

Sample illustrations Book #2

Sample illustrations Book #2

I offer these book as something pleasant you may utilize as you see fit.
To color in the lines – to develop new habits
To embellish the drawings with more drawings (there is plenty of room left intentionally
for that sort of artistic freedom)
The small size (8.5″ x 5.5″) is designed to be easily taken anywhere.
Side coils make it easy to fold over for unobstructed surface

Sample Illustrations Book #3

Sample Illustrations
Book #3

I encourage your creativity or simplicity!
My drawings are just a foundation to begin…something.

Thank you for your interest in the books.

Buy Books here
Please visit my studio Facebook page for updates and images
Margie Darrow Studio – send pictures of colored pages!

Creating “Calif.”

Posted January 4, 2014 by m_admin

Original color sketch for Calif.

“Calif. ”
Acrylic on wood Panel 4ft. x 7ft

(The painting not the state)
was created as a commission piece for a private party.

From start to finish, it was a very interesting process of making the Calif. painting.

Creating commission artwork is a hybrid of fine art and commercial art. A lot of my work is commission work, and I enjoy the parameter of “realizing someone else’s vision” and being able to utilize my skills to guide in such way, that the painting remains unique to my style and is a fulfillment of the client’s expectations.

I had been taught the definitions of fine art and commercial art are basically this:
Fine Art = Creating art that pleases me.
Commercial Art = Creating art that pleases someone else.
I find there is a grey area in-between fine and commercial art that I am very 
comfortable with.
Is that called “Formmercial”?

4ft. x 7ft. wood panel being created as the canvas.

I had a discussion recently with my artist friend Greg Pickens. He also finds a great satisfaction in creating artwork on a commission type basis.
Working this way creates an interesting challenge – to embrace a subject you don’t initially gravitate to, nor would have selected on your own. Additionally, to find a way to reflect your own artistic voice – pinpointing a balance to collaborate the vision – but not overtaking it.

Most people do not think of art as “problem solving” – but there is a lot of creative problem solving involved in the formation of any piece of art. Composition, color palette, rendering, and when to stop…when is enough, enough?
Every mark you make is a decision.

Furthermore, Calif., had some of the same types of challenges of my prior public art projects – the large size (4ft. x 7ft.), creation of the wood canvas, mounting hardware, delivery and installation – even moving it within my studio was a 2-person operation.
Calif.  became like a good art workout.
I had assistance and advice from people who had experience and skills that were spot on – therefore all challenges had good end results.

So what am I saying?
Calif. was not an easy project, but what it is…is a successful project
 from start to finish.
Link to the full photo progression of Calif.

The finished piece right before it left the studio



On one of our many walks last summer, my writer friend and I began discussing the concept of “the muse“.

Inspiration, for me, is like an energy that ignites a torch on fire and then you run with it. You keep running with it till it just….runs….out…of…steam…
A muse possesses the same sort of inspirational rush. A person’s perspective, a place or an experience can be so interesting to me that it sends me down an indefinite path of prolific creativity.


I am pretty quiet in a crowd. I tend to observe. I enjoy some action, but really have to push myself on out there on the playing field. I am content with my own company, or with my most intimate friends and family. 

 But through art, I discovered that I really did have a lot to say in a crowd.

Art became my voice. I could express myself in a loud, but quiet way. I didn’t have to make small talk with my art. I didn’t have to summarize or use proper grammar or proper pronunciations. I could say whatever I wanted.

If you have ever been involved with an artist of any kind – It is a double edge sword. It can be very flattering to inspire a song, story, or a painting. In contrast, it can be very tough to be on the sulky or angry end of an artist’s hurt feelings.
Being notoriously sensitive, is the very nature of the creative.
Thereby, a feeling, bad or good can wind up becoming something tangible. A memory F-O-R-E-V-E-R wrapped up in drawing or a storytelling or a song. Invoking “the subject” of said art – to experience what I can only describe as a uniquely squirmy feeling, followed by a disgusted sigh and an eye roll.
However, this is the stuff that makes the arts real – the infusion of real life that is not
always pretty or polished.

A case in point is the song “Greensleeves” allegedly written by King Henry the 8th. He wrote the little ditty (that has lasted for centuries) for Anne Boleyn whom he wanted to marry by ditching his current Queen Catherine of Aragon. 
The charming love song rolling around court – Catherine of Aragon must have seethed when she heard it!

It is just a song to everyone else…lest the three people involved. I have to question then – Is it the song or the heartfelt inspiration behind the song? What made it endure? Perhaps there are universal moments in ours lives that we chose to document artistically 
in their depth that are more than art. These artworks somehow resonate the emotion infused within.

My best muse once said to me. ” If we split up, are you going to just paint me out
of your life?”
I thought about that statement- my muse, of course was extremely observant too.
How heartless that sounded.
Of course, nothing is so black and white as that.
Although, I do wish at times it was that 
simple to paint away a feeling (the arts would be as well funded as the pharmaceutical companies).
 However, I feel very fortunate that I have a skill that allows me to process my emotions in a way that is productive and healing.

So – for all the muses who have ever angered an artist and had to roll their eyes as they looked at artwork or listened to a song and saw the private message.
You were ever so worthy to inspire in the first place.

It is a compliment.

Research, Musing and the Collective Consciousness
Part ONE

How do artists get their ideas, inspiration and ability?

Speaking for myself – I view the ability to make art like any other skill. Granted, that may not be a dreamy way to look at it, but I believe people are born with aptitudes.
As a result an artist has built-in natural pool of abilities to draw from that makes them well suited in problem solving in creativity.
(And believe me – making art entails LOTS of problem solving. If it doesn’t – it’s a clear indication you’re re-creating the same art over and over again and not pushing yourself)

As a kid, we didn’t have tons of toys – and my sister and I made lots of things to amuse ourselves – so I created stuff all through childhood.
Creating things just made sense to me – plus the gratification that I continued to improve – so naturally, I stuck with it (human nature). Because the next step for all skills is practice – thru school or individually – but its just practice, practice and more practice.

Research is key to my creative process. Research comes in many forms –
reading, writing, futzing around with different materials, walking, talking thinking, and sometimes “dreaming” a creative solution or idea. Some days it feels I don’t have an imagination – an empty desert. But by using research in one or two or three of these forms eventually lights that fire back in the brain to connect and idea to a completed piece of artwork.

By nature – I am not a very spontaneous. But when opportunity permits – I will fly by the seat of my pants for “LIVE ART” performances. I still maintain for me – this is due to my prior countless hours of alone painting time.
You know what else – Live painting is fun! – Exhausting…yet really fun – even for an introvert like myself – Fun is a motivator!

I haven’t created a Live Art piece in a nearly a year – and tonight off I go – to paint for the “Talk Like a Pirate Day Party”. I suspect that I will have a really good time – but as with any push outside our comfort zone – I do feel the “anticipation” in my stomach.

AHOY – Ye nervous belly – Ahrgg – you will walk the plank! And Paint like a Pirate!
*As a notation to this post – Here is the LIVE Painting that I produced from the talk like a pirate event. And yes, It was fun.

Creating Something Out Of Nothing

Posted July 21, 2012 by m_admin

Several years ago, I moved my art studio to my home.
There are “goods” and “bads” to this working arrangement.

Good – You can work in your jammies!
Bad – You can work in your jammies!
You get the idea.

So when an opportunity came up for a temporary arrangement for a public space art studio to create Pacific-ly – I thought PERFECT.

And so it is!

Suddenly, I find myself at 344 3rd St. in LB. Physically putting together this sort of organic idea of an environment, exhibition and working space. I have enough space to build art and hang it as I go – and to arrange and rearrange. Building an exhibition around myself in a sense. How cool!

Anyway, I can’t wait to finish the cleaning and prepping (which I must mention is very important part of the process for me to set up a space) and get busy working on the rest of Pacific-ly art pieces – and creating this “alive” space in progress.

Here are a few photos of the space. Big white walls (still mostly blank)!
LOVE IT. I feel very lucky today!
Thanks Art Ex.

Margie Darrow Studio back to front photo

Space on 3rd Street – Looking to front


From outside – front window. Pacific-ly sign with information. Not much going on yet.

Pacific-ly – The Squid Shoal

Posted July 18, 2012 by m_admin

Pacific-ly is a art exhibit that I am building.
The artwork is in different stages of progression. Here is a brief description of the project. I have also included progression pictures of one the pieces.

Pacific-ly – An Odyssey into the Sea

Project Description
Throughout the ages, there exists in the ocean a transformative quality of hope that has turned adversity into strength of the human spirit.

Pacific-ly is an art exhibit that explores the ongoing relationships that humans have with the beautiful and mysterious marine life of the Pacific Ocean. Principally, the exhibit encourages wonderment and teaches awareness. Pacific-ly follows a timeline of cultural connections with mythological and spiritual creatures of the sea. It explores the pre-industrial and modern fishing industry with a focus on environmental conservation.


Ghost map acrylic painting

The Ghost Map – The painting behind the story of a map.

Last year I became obsessed with the book “The Ghost Map” by Steven Johnson. It is the story of 1854’s cholera epidemic in Soho, London. 
 At the time of the epidemic little was known about how diseases were spread.  A doctor named John Snow stood up against the popular and politically correct theory called “Miasma – (that claimed you got disease from stink or bad air). When the one of the many cholera epidemics hit in 1854, Dr. Snow was convinced that it was being spread by bad water, and went about a methodical and painstaking field study to prove his theory. He created a map by conducted countless interviews of the families and neighbors of the dead.  He concluded that the sick and dead all had used a water pump that he believed the source of the disease. The map visually showed this connection by small lines for the dead and the pedestrian paths around the Broad Street pump in dots.

This had never been done before. And these steps led to opening doors to changes in thought and the public health department. I was unaware before reading the book by Steven Johnson “The ghost map” how much politics and played into science of the Victorian age.

The book illustrates the similarities to the treatment of contemporary ideas – of how many great ideas die on the vine as a result of politics or the powers that be not being able to think simply or outside of the box.

This book also gave me in insight to the internet mapping. As a visual artist – I was able to put together in my head for the first time a picture of the internet as connected paths and road. This was quite helpful, as I was building my website while I was reading the book. I loved this book it is chocked full of non-fiction information about the time period. It maybe a little graphic for some.

ghost map painting cholera epidemic

In this detail – the dots show the regular pedestrian travel route around the Broad Street pump, the source of the epidemic.







If you would like to see the original map by John Snow click here

New Format for my Blog – Hurray!

Posted July 2, 2012 by m_admin

Artist_blog_paintbrushesBlogs are hard – especially if you are not a writer.

Recently, I was discussing blogging with my writer friend. We discussed the parameters of content.  We concluded that consistency is a major factor in a successful blog.
I committed myself to actually writing a blog earlier this year, because I finally updated my website to contain neat-o things like a blog incorporated right into it.
Yay! I thought.
Now, several months later my blogs are stiff, willy-nilly and few.

As a result of this, I thought  – the blog should suit me – not the other way around.
I decided to change my blog format. To create a type of “journal meets picture book” style. I now feel suddenly free to document the experiments and mistakes that are part of my process of making art. Projects succeed and fail and some never get past the sketch stage.
So be it.

Here it is:  You have to start somewhere
Today – July 2nd 2012
Margie_Darrow_artist_blog_sketchesMy Studio today is riddled with sketches and ideas.

On this wall is varies stages of pieces that will become wood cut art pieces. Several of these will become “Headboards”. The headboard is art created specifically for over the bed. These work great for beds that have minimal or no headboard in the frame.




Artist_blog_shoal_of_squidI am working on a proposed art exhibition called “Pacific-ly – Odyssey into the Sea”.
This is one of the pieces in process. It is 2-piece set of a shoal of squid.  I have many pieces still to design and make.







Textural experiment
I can’t remember what I originally made this for experiment for – But now, I have thoughts of how I can incorporate this into the Pacific-ly exhibit.







Color – lately I have been so INTO Bismuth Yellow and Carbazole Dioxazine Violet. I discovered this combination when I was researching pigments that hold up best outside in ultra violet rays. I have always been a big fan of yellow’s – but lately this combo has been cropping up more and more in my palette.



Posted April 28, 2012 by Margie

I was randomly reading a Bio of an artist who makes these cool tables and furniture. (I Unfortunately forget his name now) He was quite the craftsman and artisan. His bio mentioned that when he was deciding where to go to college. He found that there was a great woodworking program at Cerritos College.

A couple of years ago, I had done some slight investigation on taking some wood working classes, and did see that they offered conveniently a whole program. Although, I currently have the skills I need to create the kind of wood art I produce.
I thought what could I create if I knew more?

What if I had a better understanding of wood engineering skills and more about wood altogether and to use more tools? What then?
Ha-ha, as I write this I am getting excited about what I could learn!
They do offer a summer course. Which does not start until June.
So I have a little time to ponder.

As always my problem is making the commitment.
Putting it down on paper.
However, as I think it through – maybe it is not the making the commitment itself – It is how seriously I take a commitment once I make it.

Additionally, as a self employed and free-lance artist – it is a time factor. You do not know when work comes in unpredictably – the feast and famine factor. There are always irons in the fire for long-term and short-term projects and proposals.

So…Do I have room for this?
Well yes I do, if I make room. If I use my time, just a little more effectively. I am better at being busy, than when there is lag time.
My mantra could be “On to the Next thing”.

A funny thing is that when I was younger I never liked school. I was so happy to graduate High school, and it took me so long to go back to school to get an even an AA degree (now in a field that I am not working in).

Nevertheless, if I may quote my other half Paul “Your education was how to learn”. Education found me as a late bloomer, when I was ready to learn that way.

In writing this, I can take the time to consider my own pro’s and con’s list in my head for going back to school.
It is definitely looking like pro’s outweigh the most of the con’s.

So when do you stop learning? I cannot seem to ever gather enough information in life or in skills that I find useful. I think learning needs to run in a continuous cycle. Live – Learn – Apply – Relax.

Perhaps, it is not in the naming of this cycle – but applying a balance to it that would be the best learned skill.

A little something about public art

Posted February 12, 2012 by Margie

My most recent public art project is the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Garden Signal Box.

Public Art Projects – or creating art in public places is always an interesting experience.

On one hand, you are working and trying to get the job done in a timely manner. On the other hand, you are at a location and if you completely block out the public comments, chit-chat and questions – you miss the opportunity to have an enriching experience with the community in which you are working.

For me, to engage too much – my artwork suffers from the distraction – but worse is to not engage and the artwork does not pick up any of that LIVE ENERGY that comes with working in public view.

I believe that public art should not be plopped into locations. It should have meaning and reflect the surroundings. To both stand out and be integrated with in its environment. Depending on the size of the public art – this can be achieved with the live element and/ or the research done before the design is created.

This piece is particularly successful to me, because it had the described elements – starting with the clear call out for proposals. I met lots of people and kids – and just had a good time painting.

The Neighborhood Services Bureau for the City of Long Beach contracted the artwork. The signal box is located on Orange Ave. (just south of 20th Street) in Long Beach, Ca.

This signal box is located across the street from the Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Long Beach. Within the MLK park is the Community Peace Garden.
The images on the signal box depict Dr. King and the Garden.
Orange and 20th
Completed 2/2012

A time lapse video can also be viewed of this project:


Sense of Humor

Posted January 17, 2012 by Margie

My New Years resolution for 2012 is to not take life so seriously – or perhaps to clarify – is to not take my ART so seriously! My goal is create serious artwork with out losing my own sense of humor and to make artwork whereas its quality is its humor. I know this sounds like a very serious way to talk about not being so serious – but 2012 has just begun.

In recent years, I have experienced my fair share of loss, transition, and change. My work as an artist draws directly from my life so that whatever is going on plays itself out in my artwork. When life shakes our tree, we can either harvest or let the fruit rot on the ground.

During this period, my work adapted to my vicissitudes. I experimented A LOT with different projects, and quite a diverse output of styles and conceptional art.
So there it is…all these things – all these art experiments – all this movement from one piece to another – and then I found myself asking – “Jeez? Where did my sense of humor go? – And … where was I going with all this?

Of course – I have missed some life lessons – I have let some fruit rot on the ground. Fortunately, that is being human – it is impossible to yield all the fruit from any situation and to know which fruit yielded is going to turn out to be good or bad.

At this point I began connecting again to my cubist work and rediscovering my older fun artwork … the I-con-O-rama illustrations of women and the So Effin’ Cute characters and all these little animals and creatures that have no conceptual value except to be cute or funny.

I am currently working with these older character designs and creating new ones as a series of EMBROIDERY PATTERNS for the DIY hand-sewing crowd.

It is funny that a little “Funnicus Bunnicus” embroidered bunny could have put so much perspective back into my life.

The patterns will be in a PDF format and are available through my ETSY store –


The PDF pattern kit includes:

  • A black and white pattern (2 orientations for either tracing or iron-on transfer)
  • A stitch instruction page
  • A recommended stitch and color instruction page
  • A color photo of completed stitched project.

I love stitching the embroidery patterns samples and creating the new characters! I hope others will enjoy sewing them as much as I do.

Up and coming designs – More Sea Creatures and Vintage Circus!