Friday, November 4, 2016

This watercolor is based on a photo I took in Russia.  The rain and the slick streets, the darkness and the umbrellas, the people trudging off to work early in the morning intrigued me.  God makes the rain to fall on everyone.  Nature is often the equalizer, and the humanizer.  There is beauty even in a grey, wet morning.  That's how I see it through the Cottage Door.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I remember childhood...

I remember well the clear blue sky of October and the warm sunlight of Autumn.  Our maple tree turned the most brilliant shade of yellow and splashed its leaves against the ground until there were piles and piles of crispy brown into which we threw our bodies headlong. Like these two happy neighbors, Cullen and Max, we were deliriously happy with pumpkins, paint and the changing of seasons.  We felt safe, knowing each neighbor as family and believing that everyone loved us and looked out for us.

Often, thankfully, I hear the little tap tap tap of knuckles upon my front door and know before I open to these two what their question will be:  "Can Coach come out to play basketball with us?"  They adore the attention of my athletic husband who at age 74 can still dribble and shoot like the best of them.  More importantly, he is like a kid in spirit and brings the best of fun to the game.  His teaching and coaching have always been characterized by helping others, especially children, feel competent and loved.

So, this autumn I treasure the golden gifts Nature brings to our doorsteps, and the gentle but persistent knocks our little neighbors bring, which serve to send us back in time and help us celebrate the present.  God is so Good, and I see evidence of this once again as summer drifts into a new season, one that brings incredible beauty and much love, as seen through my cottage door.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The four images below are framed watercolors that
represent foods that are present in the Bible.  I am interested
in creating more images that are linked to Holy Scripture.

Eden's Garden

Bread of Heaven

Locusts and Honey

Five Barley Loaves and Two Fish 

The image below is a new watercolor based on a photo I took on a dark day in Moscow when the rain started in the darkness of early morning and persisted throughout the day.  People trudged about in the street and left slight wakes behind them as they charged onward to their destinations.  The wet beginning to that day seemed ominous, as least depressing.  But I found the cheerfulness of bright umbrellas and the determined sloshing and puddle-jumping off to work encouraging.  Though the weather was somber and chilly, my mind was alert and my heart warm as I experienced the lives of common people like myself, all of them God's children, rushing off despite the rain and gloom.

Off to Work
Watercolor by Elizabeth Roth, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

May Mary be the star which shines on your path...Saint Pio

We honor Mary as the Queen, the star, who leads us to the Father through her Son, Jesus Christ.  How blessed I feel that a woman, one with whom I can identify in daily life, is a sure guide to follow when things get rough.  How happy I feel that she is the supreme example of love poured out and self emptied for the Lord.  What a beautiful star by which to illuminate my life.  Jesus, you must have loved her deeply on earth and now in heaven.  Help me to love her and honor you through her.
(Shown:  star from a painting called "In Search of the Child" by Elizabeth Roth)

Monday, August 1, 2016

The simple pleasures of summer...

Each day now, I take a moment from inside work to venture into a little patch of vegetables and flowers Danny and I are growing outside our back door.  I pick a handful of green beans for dinner and they taste SO fresh and lovely.  We select a little red tomato from the bush we treat like a Christmas tree, watering it each day and babying its long flailing branches.  I pick little Zenias for a spindly bouquet on our kitchen counter and herbs for our salads.  In all, I can't thank God enough for what may seem mundane to others but is a true simple pleasure for us.  I am hoping that we are learning more and more to appreciate the tiniest things in this life, the minute blossoms that produce, if we wait long enough, the most rewarding of gifts.

Long ago, I produced an illustration (hopefully for a children's book) of a little girl I named Jessie and her fascination with green beans, giant ones, in her grandfather's garden.
                  Cooked or raw, I guess green beans have always attracted my attention, at least that's the way it seems to me this August day, as I peek through my cottage door!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer Heat
Watercolor, Elizabeth Roth
July 2016

These hot July days with little rain but high humidity are preferred by many but hard to take for me.  I spend time in my studio painting my reflections.  This painting shows the lush response of flowers and plants to these jungle-like conditions.  This plant is bursting forth with color and texture!

On hot days, I wilt, but God never wilts and I am sure he hears the prayers we sigh in our most exhausted state.

Hope the flowers outside of your cottage door are tended to and flourishing in this most sunny July.  I treasure this month, even in the heat, because it is my birthday month.  It is a joyful respite for the spirit, at least that is my view, from my cottage door.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Watercolor, Elizabeth Roth, July 2016

Immigrant is a watercolor I worked on yesterday and today.  I so admire our diversity in America, and wish there were not so many divisive elements today.  I deplore the violence around the world and in our own country, and feel almost powerless to impact things in a positive and meaningful way.  All I can do is write and paint and hope that somehow in my own little corner the dignity of all kinds of peoples shines through my work, as God would have it.  That is my purpose, through the cottage door.

This summer has been rich and full.  I have connected with many from my childhood and from my present, through a 50th graduating class reunion and through a week spent entertaining my elder daughter, my youngest grandson, and my great grandson here at the lake.  Days have been sunny, with little rain, so things growing have needed watered but as long as they are given the moisture they require, they have produced wonderful flowers, green beans, lettuce, and herbs.

This watercolor is called He is the Vine.  More and more I am truly dependent on his mercy and love.  I hope with his merciful "watering" in my own dry spells, I can produce the love, obedience and devotion he deserves from me.  I want to know him more surely, serve him more truly, and rest in his heart.  That's my desire, through the cottage door.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New Wool, Old Spinster II

New Wool, Old Spinster II, Abstract Realism, Elizabeth Roth, June 2016

This is a second version of a subject I painted in May and now have managed to do it the way I really like it, in a more abstract way.  Now I love it, the movement and the magic are released.
This is a watercolor image of a Russian woman walking along the street.  It is done quite abstractly and I really liked the way it speaks to me.  I think she is very patient and brave and though her legs might not be as flexible and strong as earlier in her life, her resolve seemed sure and capable.

I believe that God has an especially merciful heart for the elderly, who often express great faith in him.  I find that as I age, I am drawn more and more closely to him myself.  Through my cottage door, I am amazed at his care for me and for those he loves in this world.  We have so much to look forward to in the life to come.

Watercolor Windowpane Collage
Elizabeth Roth, 2016

This collage is a watercolor painting of the British Army, 8th Company, during WWII in Cairo.  It pictures my father (hat-less) astride an Italian Jeep on a training maneuver to discover land mines.  This group of soldiers was comprised of British, New Zealanders, South Africans and United States Army personnel.  My father did not talk much about the war, but he once told me that he rather got on well with the New Zealanders and thought them a friendly bunch.  Where are these men now?  I do not know if they each made it home after the war.  My father did, after spending four years serving our country as a radio specialist on the front lines.  These men are strangers to me, but familiar just the same as I feel a kinship and gratitude to them for giving what they did to my freedom.  Especially I feel that my father, who I loved more than life itself, was brave and should be remembered as a hero.  He was my hero, anyway.

Friday, May 13, 2016

At the Loom
This morning I uploaded a painting that I completed this week.  I have a fascination with all things textile including weaving.  Though I do not (yet) own a loom or have the slightest knowledge about how to use one, I dream of learning.

I think part of me is hoping that my life is like a woven journey and that the key thread is God.  He has made me and he is aware of my particular design and pattern.  His love brings consistency and order to each pass of the shuttle.  I think we all are part of a huge weave that is brilliant in color and resilient in strength.  Each individual thread counts.

At least that's the way I view it, through the Cottage Door today.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

River Music (from River People)
Wow!  I am super excited!  This week marks the beginning of a new venture in art.  I will begin with private lessons offered to two individuals this week, and then to a small group next week.  I have never yet felt confident enough or qualified in the least to teach others in the area of painting so I am telling myself I am simply "sharing" and that seems to calm my fears. The studio is prepared and I am working on some samples now.  I intend to see what kind of things the students ate most interested in, but I think that they'll have the most fun if they can let loose and let paint flow.  The painting above is from my River People series and it is inspired by a child on the river letting the wind and rain blow through her hair as her family steers the motorboat up the river.  Its something like my "students" and I will do next week, travel up new waters.  At least that's the way I see it, through the cottage door.  May God Bless each painting session.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Often I am drawn to scenes of people involved in everyday life and work.  So many humble individuals are gifted in their abilities and go along in their world, seemingly unrecognized for the important tasks they accomplish.  It seems glorious to record their work in beautiful tributes to their faithful service.  I particularly value the work of my elders, and their contribution to life.
Elder Gentleman, from River People

Monday, April 18, 2016

Someone's Watching

Someone's Watching is a watercolor painting posted underneath an old window and curtain fabric.  I liked the image and her pose so much that I decided to "frame" her in a different way.  She seems to be watching someone or something.  She has a slight smile on her lips.  We wonder what is on her mind.  Who is she expecting?  What will happen next?  She stands confidently hidden but not out of sight to the outside world.  I'd like to know more about her, wouldn't you?  It is interesting what we can learn through the cottage door, if we watch carefully...
New Wool, Old Spinster

I am fascinated by spinning, and though this lady is really not an "old spinster" she is an industrious woman in a country where wool is still spun at home and by hand, and in this case on a hand-held instrument. Her family's warmth entirely depends on her skill.  The most spinning I have done has been, so far, with words and watercolors rather than  with wool.

This watercolor was fun to do.  I just love painting real folks at work.



Slowly, tiptoeing, like a shy maiden, Spring approaches us here in the cold and windy north.  Bud coverings litter the ground and tiny leaves peek out along branches.  Flies begin to buzz on windowpanes, birds race around building nests and preparing for new births, and we all get the urge to visit the outdoors and take stock of new plant growth and longer days.  The white egret returns to stalk still waters, aware of the need for patience and waiting, traits I am in need of improving within myself.  Thank you, Egret, for this lesson in serenity, to be found in these warm spring days to come.  I watch you through the Cottage Door, and wish you all a wonderful April and May.

FYI:  I am in the process of registering adult watercolor classes for this summer.  Contact me at if you are interested or have questions.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Every Ending is a New Beginning

Every ending is truly a chance for a new beginning.  Yesterday was the final day of my Carrington Arts Gallery solo exhibition.  I have been extremely grateful for the opportunity to display watercolors in this new and welcoming professional environment.  I am grateful, too, for the outpouring of attendance at the opening reception on January 15 and the daily gallery visitors in January and in February.  Even snow held off so that visitors could attend and view the paintings and poetry these past four weeks.  Now the exhibition comes to an end and the gallery will ready itself for a new show called "BLUE" that promises to be exciting and stimulating, full of surprises, and ever imaginative, an exhibit featuring many fine artists.

I was thinking that Lent is a season of endings and beginnings, new possibilities, exciting, stimulating and ever imaginative, too.  It is for me a time of deep searching, of repentance, but not despair.  It is also a time of hope and great longing, a patient waiting and sacrificing, believing that to feel the love of the Risen One which will come with Easter morning all in this life is worth living.  Because I continue to be unworthy, I can only hope to touch the hem of His cloak, yet through my sifting of his words as he approaches Calvary I am reassured once again of the Father's forgiveness.

Now my studio is waiting for me to begin another project, actually two.  One is in preparation for a new exhibition that will begin in June at the Carrington Gallery,  It is an intriguing concept:  Familiar Strangers.  I am hard at work outside of my usual comfort zone on this one!  It is exciting to be challenging myself in this way.  The second is the creation of my Lenten prayer card.  I have crafted a prayer card every so often during Lent, as shown here.  They are as varied as my Lenten thoughts sometimes are.
We think deeply, don't we, and hope strongly throughout Lent, at least that is how I view it through this side of the Cottage Door.  Peace to you.

Monday, January 25, 2016

I am very grateful for the outpouring of interest shown by folks from Sandusky and well beyond, old friends and new, who made the trip on a rainy Friday, January 15, 2016 to Carrington Arts Gallery to see my work.  It was a wonderful evening, full of happy conversations and warm colors on the walls.  Marsha Carrington really knows how to host an exhibition, and her work alone shone in the "playroom" display, while mine was featured on all other remaining wall space.  What an honor to be a co-artist celebrated in this show.  The gallery remains open for viewing and purchase 12 to 5 Tuesday through Thursday, and 12 to 7 on Fridays and Saturdays through February 20.  If you have not seen the exhibition, please come as I know you will enjoy it!

Meanwhile, Danny continues with golf, playing chess at Veteran's Home, serving daily mass, prison ministry and two newspaper carrier routes.  He is amazing and his battery never runs down.

I have been painting on my studio days 2-3 weekdays on average.  Here is my latest--another illustration for a children's book, Dragonfly Summer.  Susanna is a character in the story whose peculiar interest in the dragonfly is an important element in the story line.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Opening About to Happen...

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The day is getting closer and I am getting more hyper, because this is the biggest professional thing that has ever happened in my art career.  I hope I can "come down" from it afterwards and get back to work in my studio---it will be a show that runs for a month but I need to also devote my time to painting and exploring.  When I look through my cottage door at my many blessings from God, this show shines like a diamond in His light, and I am so grateful.  The are just snapshots inside Carrington Arts Gallery while Marsha Gray Carrington and I are working on the displays.  Much yet to do!

Monday, January 4, 2016