Painting – The Dandelion Network

Surprise many someones with a thoughtful wish or a note.

 A delightful legend has it, that dandelion seeds will carry your thoughts and dreams to loved ones when you blow them into the air.

If you were around in the 80’s, AT&T had very successful ad campaign called “Reach Out and Touch Someone.”
What to do, since “touching someone” again, is some time away? Go Retro, send a thoughtful card.
I truly miss “thinking of you” greeting cards. It seems email and texts have accidentally replaced this kindness. I can’t place a thoughtful email on my table and enjoy it each time I see it. Zoom and Facetime are a great solution in these current times, however, a greeting card is a gift from the heart you can hold in your hands. Compassion relieves anxiety, for both the sender and the recipient by offering a moment of kindness, delight, and wonder.

Yep! I am painting and producing North Liza Lane greeting cards with my terrific printer at AG.
I want the highest quality.
Won’t my recipients be tickled and surprised? So much fun!

The Dandelion Network

Leaving the cards blank inside will allow me to use them for anything. I can send a thank you, thinking of you, best wishes on your new job, or online schooling. The world is different now, with different challenges. I would like to send anonymous notes of gratitude to helpful store clerks, beyond my mask, and closer than curbside.

I am also inviting you to share this new original art card,
“The Dandelion Network.”

Send your own delightful hello, I miss you, a simple note, a thank you, support, or wishing you joy. This art and card is perfect for all ages with imagination. Share the love.

 

(BUTTON not supported in “WP reader”, Please click here Dandelion. Thank you!)

Dandelion Network 5pk Cards/Envelopes

Send a thoughtful wish to someone. Available in a package of 5 fold-over greeting cards (5"x7") with natural brown fiber paper envelopes. $22.50 per pack + $2.50 shipping. **Please make sure the PayPal shipping address is where you would like them to arrive.

$25.00

Thank you in advance for your order!
I hope you are as delighted to receive it, as I am to ship it.

Please allow two weeks (most likely 4 days) for your order to arrive.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at;
liza@northlizalane.com

My best to you, Liza.

Painting – Hope, Creativity & One Foot in Front of the Other.

Today, I took a break and created this painting and then added the text.

Each one of us have been facing numerous uncertainties. Myself as well. Many have lost so much. Each day there are more furloughs, layoffs, job losses, and so much more. Feeling overwhelmed can be a constant.

However, every one of us also has a great gift, we were born with it.

To myself and my sons, I call it “Flipping the Switch,” and then “Steady Eddy.” The switch is that incredible light within each one of us. It’s there and yet in difficult times we can forget we have it and how powerful it can be when we most need it. With any disappointment or change, I remind myself to “Flip the Switch.” The switch is a flood of relief, lightness, and solutions to problems begin to arrive in my mind and in my life. It’s choosing faith in your yourself, faith in the power of good, your own goodness, and faith in all others that support the greater good.

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.” — John Lennon

“The idea flow from the human spirit is absolutely unlimited. All you have to do is tap into that well. I don’t like to use the word efficiency. It’s creativity. It’s a belief that every person counts.” – Jack Welch

“And when the brokenhearted people living in the world agree there will be an answer, let it be.” – The Beatles

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” – Helen Keller

“We are all different. There is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being, but we share the same human spirit.” Stephen Hawking

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” e. e. cummings

“The greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one’s opportunities and make the most of one’s resources.” – Luc de Clapiers

“Art is to me the glorification of the human spirit, and as such it is the cultural documentation of the time in which it is produced.”– Hans Hofmann

To each and everyone every moment of the day,
Flip the Switch, One Foot in Front of the Other, and Steady Eddy.

– Thank you

Painting – ‘To Be or Not to Be…’

“To Be or Not to Be”. 48″ x 31″. Endeavor to be true to yourself and fly with all of the colors you are.

Shakespeare’s character Hamlet has a soliloquy that reflects a distraught man asking himself if life is worth living…’To be or not to be…’.

as well as another popular quote;

“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow,
as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

This painting illustrates the question a little differently, as well as reflecting the symbolism of this quest;

To Be or Not To Be –
True to Yourself…

I have heard “Be true to yourself” many times…but I never really asked myself what that means to me. At that late-in-the-evening moment everyone was surely sleeping, so I went to my backup guy, “Monsieur Goo-Gel.” Of course, there is a lot of info but this is a personal quest, and I settled on just ten areas to meditate on as I began to paint. I created a list and each topic had the same question to ponder;

“What do I truly believe that originates from deeply within my being, and not what I unconsciously accepted from misunderstandings, or outside sources, i.e., society?

1. Authenticity/Individuality

2. Integrity/Impeccability

3. Value

4. Belief

5. Serving the Greater Good vs. Self Serving

6. Truth

7. Ethics

8. Honor

9. Sincerity

10. Unconditional acceptance and love.

This was a great adventure. It’s like cleaning out the garage, surprising yourself with what was hanging around. Just let it all go. Being true to yourself and arriving at a deep understanding of what that truly means is personal, and can not be given, nor taken away. It is an individual adventure, and brings great peace and freedom…..like flying!

And in its own way…..in this current time on the planet, I think we are all being asked to “Be True to Yourself,” and what that means individually and in connection to the greater good each day.

– Thank you.

 

Art – A Creative Way to Honor and Respect Our Communities.

Variety, Whimsy & I am tired of my Face Mask.

Many people are excited to be out and about at this time after long periods of confinement.
Please continue to take great care of yourselves, and those around you.
However, the confinement is ongoing as the Covid 19 numbers triple daily, in many communities. I live in Arizona, and along with the other “Sunbelt” states the cases have been skyrocketing for the last month. Hopefully, we will all continue to take steps to be patient, as well as honor and respect the safety and wellbeing of those around us.

And, I am tired of my face mask. I want to wear face masks that are fun, original, or at least interesting. Those that want-for…..get creative! Therefore, I have created my own designs in a variety of styles. Here are (just a few) of my favorites I have created so I could order them for myself……!

Pretty In Pink Peonies with Crystal Butterflies. Helps me forget the current 116 degree temperature!

Aurora Borealis Abstract. Kinda reminds me of Las Vegas or a sequined mini dress!

Chic Business Neutral, very elegant.

BoHo Abstract Honeycomb design, for that fresh artistic flare.

Retro Hawaiian Hibiscus. Perfect for a curb-side Luau.

Compassion Paisley Design. Reminiscent of Haight Ashbury, 1967 and Poetry.

Brilliant Watercolour Leaves reflect a kind smile under that mask!

If you would like to see more designs, or would like to order for yourself or others, you can find these masks at;

North Liza Lane at Society6
and
North Liza Lane at Pixels.com.

and remember,

 “Let’s be careful out there.”

– Thank you!

 

WIP Painting – There’s No Place Like Home…

Sometimes, we have to travel far and wide to find out

we were already,

where we needed to be.

Small detailed section 8″x 8″ of a 30’x 40′ painting in progress.

Quite a few years ago, and for some reason, I decided I needed to change how and what I painted.
I began to experiment extensively with every medium, genre, and style, deciding to search for what truly felt right. I began each painting very hopeful, but most all experiments felt flat, inauthentic, and frustrating.
About a week ago just around dawn I was half asleep/half awake when I heard three questions arrive in my mind, about my own process of creativity.

1. “What do you love?”

2. “What techniques flow effortlessly for you, like breathing?”

3. “What do you love to paint the most?”

With each question the answers were immediate. They had been there all along. Time rolled back and it felt like coming home. “Home” happened to be where I was when I started this journey. I had to travel far and wide to find out, I was already, where we needed to be.

When I paint what I love, I can work for 12 hours straight and feel as refreshed afterwards, as when I sat down to begin. I think that is an important awareness for all of life. Yes, there are challenges, but the solutions are sitting right there as well.

I have begun a very large painting, 30″ x 40″ and it is full of detail. A few posts back, I was trying to avoid detail (and finding it difficult.) I love detail, and wildlife. Above, is a small section measuring 8″ x 8″ of a bear cub. All outlines eventually will be removed.

Small section in progress, of wild flowers.

Above is another small section of the painting in process. I like to work in a circular pattern over the whole painting. This is a corner of the painting that will soon be filled with wildflowers. It looks chaotic, but there is a method to this madness. Since this is a rather large and very detailed painting it will take some time.
However, as I work, it will also provide me with more observations, lessons, and a greater understanding about life itself.

First lesson;

Focus on what you love,

and find the love in all you do.

– Thank you

Painting – When Up is Down & Down is Up

Imagine a day at the park, strolling under colourful lily pads, when night is day, day is night, and gravity is optional.

Every so often while painting, I like to venture into the unknown, just to keep my sense of humor and “life muscles” toned. I decided to create a painting that contained no rhyme nor reason, but in the end….it sort of does, it contains imagination.

A little fun with quotes from Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.

“Why, sometimes, I have believed six impossible things,
before breakfast.”

“…you’re entirely BONKERS. But I will tell you a little secret…
ALL THE BEST PEOPLE ARE.”

“I’m not strange, weird, off or crazy,
my reality,
is just different from yours.”

“She began to believe that very few things
are indeed, IMPOSSIBLE.”

“I can’t go back to yesterday
because I was a different person then.”

“Not all who wander, are lost.”

“If everybody minded their own business,
then the world would go around
a great deal fast, than it does.”

“Look on the bright side,
I will sit with you in the dark.”

“At every moment of our lives,
we have one foot in a fairy tale,
and the other in the abyss.”

“It would be so nice,
if something made sense for a change.”

“What an idea,
a crazy, mad, wonderful idea.”

“Every adventure, requires a first step.”

– Thank you.

Painting – The One That Got Away…

Prints available here.

 I give myself creative challenges, and I never make it easy. Isn’t that what best friends are for?

Challenge; paint something bright, colourful, with very little detail, (ahhh!) and action filled. Okay, I love action. Think “Matrix” moment, when all the action becomes still and it’s a super slow motion sequence. Therefore, we have the colourful Kingfisher exploding out of the water with his catch…..but yikes!
Not quite.

I began with a simple background that reflected only colour and texture. This was already challenging for me, where are the trunks of the trees? The detail on every little leaf?  Walk away…..breathe.

I imagined the foliage along a river or lake, with bright irises, and dabbed these colours in a crosshatched fashion.

Here came the difficult part of the challenge to myself; trying to use very little detail. I am a detail-aholic. It’s been 17 hours since I last painted any detail, and that’s only because I have been transcribing a really interesting manuscript. This painting is my attempt at detoxing and finding a balance. Anyhow, I can’t help myself from getting deep into a painting like its a moment in creation itself. My desire to make it look so real that it could come alive and fly out the door can be very determined. Deep breaths. For this painting I was determined to forgo detail cold-turkey. I focused on loose strokes, and the only detail allowed would be the kingfishers eye and long, strong beak. Only that.

Adding the water was next. By the way, kingfishers have excellent depth perception, and a protective membrane that covers their eyes as they dive into the water to spear their catch. Again and loosely, I sloshed on what I imagined as the exotic background water, and added a big splash as the kingfisher surfaces from its underwater dive. But…..where’s the fun? What is the point of this image? I thought of the kingfisher capturing his prey, all puffed up and confident nailing fish number 35 of the day, and then what should happen? The little fish wriggles out of the kingfishers grasp and sails back into fishy freedom! Now you see, I have been playing a lot of chess by text recently, so that fact… just might have something to do with the “escape desire” in my creative process, (I keep getting completely thrashed)!

After painting a non-detailed fish, yay to our escapee! (think Papillon), I added some glazing to deepen the darks, and tone down the white of the splashes. The brightest whites needed to stay on the kingfisher.

I did it, I painted loosely and only added a small amount of detail. My youngest son said it looked very detailed……I told him to text me his next chess move.

If you have made it this far, thank you for joining me on this journey!

Painting – “Its Been a Stretch.”

So far the year 2020 has been quite a stretch, challenging everyone in the world, in every way.

The crane is revered as a mystical or holy creature, and represents good fortune, happiness and longevity. Like the crane in this painting, each day we stretch ourselves to be present in each moment of uncertainty. We stretch to rise above the fear of the unknown. As a result, step by step, we realize what truly makes us happy all over again, and how the distractions of a busy world separated them from connecting to ourselves and others. Kindness, humor, and creativity has recently risen to new heights, as well as supporting the welfare of others. Each day is a stretch within ourselves to overcome distress and find faith in goodness, courage, and the strength of spirit we did not even realize we processed deeply within, prior to this current time.  Maybe that is the diamond in the rough of this change.

Like the crane, stretch your mind, your body, and that spark mystical holiness within you. You just might feel the good fortune, happiness and longevity deeply within. Then, go share it with others.

– Thank you

Painting – When Life Feels a Little Prickly…

“Dive into the Sweetness” 24″ x 24.” Abstract Realism.

Dive into the Sweetness.

This painting is about the sweetness of life in the midst of the thorny moments.

I live in the center of a major city, an oasis surrounded by desert. Most all of the plant life that creates the oasis has been brought in from other states and cultivated over many decades. When I first moved here I thought, “Oh my God, it’s so hot….its so brutal, what have I done, how will I ever survive?” Over time I came to see that there is an incredible beauty to be found in the desert. The miraculous gift we have within each one of us is the ability to to suspend judgement, observe, and find the inherent gift in being right where we are in this moment, and simply being alive.

If we choose it. Joy is not a “gimme.”  I have found it is not a good plan to wait and expect joy to show up at my door and yell “surprise!”

Joy is an active choice of awareness.

I sometimes have “prickly” days. Over time, I have created a fool-proof recipe that snaps me right out of it. I know that it’s a possible prickly day the moment I wake. Like a stealth saboteur, a group shows up in the back of my mind. I call them “The Band” and they first show up as a faint murmuring and grumbling in the background. The Bands name is;

“The Commentator and the Beat Up Squad.”

Have your ever heard them?

If I allow it, they will jump on anything and everything, people, world events, even the colour of my toothbrush. They offer no valuable information, and no solutions, ever. They can really put a spoke in my bicycle wheel of life.

My recipe not only turns the volume down on the band, it disconnects their speakers, and they slowly slink back into the corners I have yet to explore.

The recipe.

I begin outload (louder than the Band playlist) listing all that I love, anything, and everything.
I can’t hear them if I am talking about what I love, it’s like changing the channel. I start right in the moment, I love my bed, I love air conditioning, I love my sons, and on and on, small to big.

Then, outload I thank everything I am grateful for; beginning with the fact that I woke up, therefore I can be valuable on the planet. I move through my morning thanking everything I see. I am thankful for hot-water, coffee, having a kitchen, a roof over my head. I can continue for 30 minutes, and by that time I feel so much love and gratitude that I have forgotten about “The Band” and the rest of my day is off to a positive start.

Yes, there are a few bumps in every day, and like most everyone, I have lived through horror stories, but the grounding in the sweetness of love and gratitude brings me back into my own “Oasis” in the desert. It brings me into the the sweetness of the gift of my life, and back into myself, a valuable person on the planet who is showing up to do my job of being alive, with gratitude and love.

And that is how I choose to beat the The Band,

and the inspiration for;

When life feels a little bit prickly, dive into the sweetness.

– Thank you.

Painting – “Peeps,” My Funny, Kind, Supportive, Imaginary(?) Friends

A few weeks ago, I snapped this image on one of my daily walks.

California poppies peeking through a wrought iron fence.

I felt this image illustrated perfectly the experience of self-isolation at this time. Naturally, I wanted to I paint this image but wondered if the fence might be a little too stark and oppressive. Ideas began to arrive in my mind; create it like stained glass, the leading can symbolize the fence (too obscure), and then more ideas arrived, but none with the “zing” that feels like inspiration.

I decided to just begin painting and see what happened along the way. After completing the flowers, I sat back and wondered, “what next?” From the corner of my eye I see one of my little friends waving, posing, and smiling its impish little smile, “OH me! Me! choose me!”

“Again?” I ask, “You’re already in two or three paintings.” My friend tilts his little head, and blinks his little eyes.

“Well, alright,” I concede, and he strikes a pose as if hanging off the mast of a ship. “So you’re Captain Ahab now?” I  snicker, and he just grins.

Once his image was added, the painting still felt unfinished. Now on my shoulder, my little friend reminds me that it will soon be Easter, why not invite Bunny? She will be perfect  symbolizing the celebration of “New Life and New Beginnings.” I thought for a while, “no, too hokey” I answered, and all the joy left the moment, and left the room as well. I waited. And waited.

Finally, in the lingering silence and knowing I had not chosen well, I whispered “Bunny, would you consider allowing me to paint you into this painting?”

For such a shy little creature, Bunny is exceedingly fast, and even reminded me of a previous painting session. “Jump in!” I invite, and the painting was soon completed. As we three observed the finished work i wondered what to name it. “Peeps” said my little friend.

“Like the marshmallow candy?” I ask.

“Like the candy, …..and for good friends.”

My little chickadee friend is exceedingly proud and pleased, and Bunny is shyly delighted, and together we wish you a heartfelt and wondrous Easter.

– Thank you

Painting – The Power of a Smile

“Everyone smiles in the same language.”

– George Carlin

“Iggy” Nature Spirit. 24″ x 36″

Many artists/writers/musicians have recently felt a shift within their creativity. At first it felt as if the well were dry, but slowly inspiration began to trickle back in, returning in a gentler, more thoughtful use of their skills and the messages they are sharing.  So it is with myself. I am happy to say I am working on a new painting, although it too is gentler, more thoughtful, and I am taking my time. I am fortunate in that I am still employed and working from home. Instead of the news, I “google” random acts of kindness caused by the virus. On my break I walk. It’s spring, hopeful and beautiful. I meet many on the path and our exchange of a genuine, simple smile is so very powerful. On my way home, I thought to re-post the painting “Iggy,” from a few years ago, along with some lovely quotes on the simple power of a “smile.” – P.S. – I am so very grateful to every “essential service” worker. Thank you. – Peace, and Goodwill to All.

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”Thich Nhat Hanh

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. “H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I love those who can smile in trouble.”Leonardo da Vinci

“A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.”William Hazlitt

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”Thich Nhat Hanh

“Smile, smile, smile at your mind as often as possible. Your smiling will considerably reduce your mind’s tearing tension.”Sri Chinmoy

“Always find opportunities to make someone smile, and to offer random acts of kindness in everyday life.”Roy T. Bennett

“Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile”Mother Teresa

“When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. “Unknown

“Nothing shakes the smiling heart.”Santosh Kalwar

“It only takes a split second to smile and forget, yet to someone that needed it, it can last a lifetime.”Steve Maraboli

“A smile cures the wounding of a frown.”William Shakespeare

“The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“Anyone can smile on their best day. I like to meet a man who can smile on his WORST.”– Lauren Graham

“A smile remains the most inexpensive gift I can bestow on anyone and yet its powers can vanquish kingdoms.”Og Mandino

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”– Joseph Addison

“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.”– Paramahansa Yogananda

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”Leo Buscaglia

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”Phyllis Diller

“After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul’s infeasible duty is to be of good cheer.”William R. Alger

Take care, and thank you!

 

 

Painting – Spring! “Bird & Bee” + painting video clip

 

Bird & Bee. “22” x “18.”

Spring!

March 19th was the first day of spring, I am a few days late with this work, although I had good intentions!

A bird and a bee ushering in spring. However, they are not located in the great outdoors, and something in the image appears to be missing, or is it?

Below is a short (55 seconds) fast-frame clip of painting the poppies and the stems of this image. Less than a minute, but super fun. I hope you enjoy it!

Spring represents new light, life, a new path, and balance. At this time, balance in all things is vital, along with choosing faith over fear, and one moment at a time. The present is certainly a new way of life, and we are all forging a new path each day. My gratitude for all things has magnified. Choosing acts of kindness, goodwill, laughter and love raises the spirit, and strengthens the immune system within the body. May we begin with ourselves, and offer peace, laughter, and comfort freely and abundantly to all.

This painting was a challenge in balance and light. A challenge in depth, texture and colour. A similar experience of myself and life at this time.  But with all things….I want to look back and say “….it taught me a great deal, and I had fun.”

Happy Spring! – Thank you for reading!

Painting – Pathfinder

“Pathfinder” 20″ x 26.”

Discovering the story, and painting it along the way

With every painting I create, behind the scenes there is always an adventure, a path of life experiences as the foundation for each painting. These experiences are a part of the painting process, along with experimenting, and discovering new painting techniques to accomplish a texture, colour, or light.

Lion Stage one.

This is not the typical “method” of art, but it is how I create, the discovery of what it is I am painting and why…the story of the image and understanding life through the creation of the painting. Maybe you create this way as well?

Stage One; An image of a Lion popped into my head and I wondered how in the world I was going to paint all of that fur! I also wondered why I was going to paint a lion. At that time, only a part of the greater image of the painting would arrive in my mind. Never the entire image. I began painting the lion. I found that if I painted a wash of colour and then scratched the paint, it would create a nice look for the fur.

Lion Stage Two

Stage Two; By adding more washes, and scratching them with different degrees of pressure, some of the scratches maintained the wash underneath, creating an interplay of light, tint, and texture.

 

Lion Stage Three

Stage Three; More washes of the deepest contrast were applied in specific areas, as well as some additional texture with a bristle brush.Then using an opaque cream colour, and a fine brush, I added the highlighted whiskers and hair around the face and random areas.

As the lion reached this third stage the “setting” for the background of the image came into my mind. This was an older type of subway system with brick walls. I had been listening to, and observing life around me, and all of the changes that have been happening so rapidly worldwide for all of us. Issues with lifestyle, belief, religion, and who’s right and wrong were escalating. I realized that the unconscious norms of society about “how to live life” were rapidly leaving, and leaving many at an emotional, economical, and spiritual loss, escalating an inner feeling of confusion, depression, despair, and mistrust.

Ruck sack, Candle, Clock and Compass

So what is left to one and all in these highly charged, and rapidly, changing times? The centuries-long mode of “follow the leader” is failing completely, and each person must now look within themselves, and find what is true for them.

I painted the rucksack, symbolizing that from the moment you were born, all of the tools and skills you needed in this lifetime came with you. As a very wise and funny friend of mine says, “sometimes, you need to remember where you left your backpack.”

I painted the candle for the light within each of us that is illuminating our way, especially in the dark.

The clock symbolizes time, in that the time is now, living someone else’s plan for you and remaining un-true to yourself is over for everyone. This is the discomfort, the “shake-up.”

I painted a compass to represent that although we may not trust it, we each know what direction is our own, and the world map, represents a reminder to be open to all possibilities, and that maybe our own path is not just one place, but many places along the way.

The young girl symbolizes the innocent child of the universe in each one of us, and through this part of ourselves, this goodness is available, by simply asking.

As I put the finishing touches on the Lion, this powerful, protective creature of grace and strength, I came full circle with my experience of the painting, and the present moment in my own life. The Lion represents the Creator, God, or whatever you choose that beats your heart. It is always present when we are confused, present when we stamp our feet and demand the whole “story” before we try, always there watching over our individual path custom designed for each and every one of us, with offering us what we need to know each step of the way when we choose to ask and listen. When we ask, when we follow our own truth, we are each a pathfinder of our own story.

Sometimes we bump into other people’s stories, but that is a different painting!

This is the “The Pathfinder”

The Pathfinder

Thank you

 

 

WIP Painting completed… and it was Magic.

BELIEVE

Thank you for following the creative adventure of this painting!

The magic has been added, and here is the final painting. Below, is another version that I created for a Christmas card.

Christmas is a celebration of life, of believing in the greater goodness within us all, and sharing the joy of that belief. We do it every day. We enjoy a sense of humor, and laugh a great deal of the time. As we continuously give our attention and actions to all that is good and kind, and we support that blessing for all of life, as we support life itself. We bring the light of belief into ourselves, then through ourselves and into the world, in each moment. We are grateful, and we become grace itself. Peace in your heart, peace through your thoughts and actions, and peace on earth.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND….

Thank you!

Conte Crayon & Pastel – “Listening….simply listening”

Listen

This drawing is about choosing moments of stillness, and listening.

Detail – LISTEN

There is a space between each thought. Try it. Stop and listen for the next thought. When you try this, you will find a space, a stillness, a few moments of peace. Try for another moment, and then another, and you may realize that you are no longer in your head, but listening within your chest area, and in your chest is your heart. Listen into the space, and in this space if you ask for the truth, it will arrive. It is the only place it can arrive. And this is peace.

Try this when waiting in any line

at traffic lights

or while washing dishes

while looking for a new job

or how to “make ends meet”

vacuuming

when the mind is chewing on a past conversation

when you are trying to fall back to sleep

I chose a black background to represent “the unknown”, which can frighten most everyone who has learned being in control equals safety. Once we begin to listen, we soon realize the unknown is simply pure potential. A choice to turn left, or turn right. It is the window of all change for the better. The unknown is where dreams begin to become possibilities. Why fear your possibilities and your hearts desire? I chose the bird as a messenger. The Messenger arrives in the stillness we create for it.

We create so much of our lives with our thoughts. Mostly, we are busy “thinking” that we need to defend ourselves from life itself. But life is pure potential, not an enemy, and if life is being created by your thoughts + emotion, then choose your thoughts from a place of peace. Listen to it.

– Thank you.

 

 

Painting – Time Out

Joy in Time Out.  36″x36″.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
– Pablo Picasso

Along the path of creative discovery in art and in life, I have been very busy…and, I have not added to my portfolio recently. I am currently working three paintings at the same time, experimenting. It’s a new way of working and feels balanced, so I am pursuing it.

Today, as I prepared this painting (created some time ago), to be printed on a large canvas,
I thought of the experience that inspired it.

I am fortunate that I live close enough to my day-job, that I can walk or ride my bike to work. One warm evening as I walked home contemplating a challenging situation, I chose to give myself a “Time Out.” I chose to stop thinking and simply focus on the walk. Quieting the mind and emotions requires me to let go. I know the challenge will still be there when I am ready, unfortunately. I began to focus on the comfortable weather, the trees, my groovy bento box I carry, my home, my sons, and the list began to grow, including all of the beauty around me. I immediately felt gratitude. Joy began to match my gratitude with each step I walked, and with my growing list. There is a lightness of being within joy and gratitude, my sense of humor returned, and I felt the renewed energy of being twelve years old, on a beautiful day. I felt like skipping (but I didn’t, sorta). No sudden good news, no surprising change from the outside. But a change from within, changed everything. Later, and not so surprising, along with my gratitude, an inspired solution to my challenge arrived as well.

That was the inspiration for this painting; the energy and inspired solutions that arrive with having a little “Time Out” for gratitude and joy. A daily walking meditation, all day, every day, even if I am just vacuuming. I try not to ever forget this valuable lesson, although sometimes I do. I will order a print for myself, and place it so I can see it each morning, and remember to begin each day with gratitude.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Magical Realism – Painting Retrograde

Every Storm has a Key to Wisdom

Retrograde Detail, holding steady.

I painted, and then repainted this piece six times, and then I quit counting. I would give it up and then come back to it many times. The little bird with its fine feathers lifted by the winds of the storm is the only part that remains intact from the original. This is how the piece finally received its name; Retrograde.

A great deal of information about mercury in retrograde can be found on several sites. During a retrograde I try to find the customized clues within the storm of confusion. If the universe is putting in a great deal of effort, then shouldn’t I as well? Just short of dressing up and with the best of intentions I approach retrograde as a grand yet uncomfortable opportunity. I vow that my sense of humor will be my perch. I try to remain steady (and laugh), knowing the clues will arrive like random puzzle pieces smacking me in the forehead. After a lot of bruising the pieces will begin to assemble themselves, just about the time I find my perch being torn from its roots and I am not laughing anymore. Note; trying to force or reshape the puzzle pieces to fit together and into an insight is not recommended; I have tried. And then…it happens, the pieces become a key to a valuable revelation about life and I didn’t die! Yea Mercury in Retrograde.

Magical realism is a natural and favorite way for me to create. I have always wanted to see beyond what we perceive with our eyes, and paint what is occurring behind the scenes. My definition of magical realism is painting life through a mysterious lens, revealing an “interior” mystery using magical elements to make a point about reality. This is my painting illustrating mercury in retrograde. It will end on August 2nd. The next retrograde is October 31st through November 20th. Oh goody, we do get to dress up!

Thank you.

Painting – Harmony Within Chaos

This painting is about choosing to ask Chaos to have a seat & allow me to ask it questions about its job.

In every life chaos will arrive many times, the uninvited and somewhat dreaded guest.

Like the quote; “Guests are like fish, after three days they begin to smell,” chaos is a challenge, unless…we can find the blessings of change within the chaos, and the gifts within the opportunity. Chaos comes bearing gifts beyond our imagination if we are willing to receive them. Chaos is not for the faint of heart.

Chaos is not an easy adventure, and attempting to shove it out the door does not work either.

Hello Chaos, have a seat. If we make the choice to have a trusting spirit, an adventurous soul, and the courage it takes to find a peaceful place within ourselves to become still and listen, chaos will tell us what it is up to. Chaos will arrive to challenge our fears and control issues. It will ask us if our faith and trust are genuine, or just a platitude we comfort friends with, as we privately plot how the world should really be running along.

Chaos is a teacher.

If we choose the stillness within and listen with gratitude, it will direct us to a place of observation within the chaos, like a perch and a shelter. From this place it will begin to teach us about the creative force that arrives to upturn the stagnant blocks, uncover the lies, and offer the truth. Chaos can be an answer to a prayer of change. The truth will set us free unless we choose to react, run in circles with our arms in the air and join the conversations of fear, and judgement, and miss the opportunity know, to be the insider, and to watch it unfold.

Chaos holds the key to learning harmony.

Harmony is the shelter. It does not include resistance. It is a position of neutral. It asks us not to define it, or find a sense of safety in our immediate and ignorant definitions. It does not argue nor defend, it is the space that is a melody of listening and alert attention. It trusts that if action is needed, it we will will be specific, peaceful and in harmony with the moment. Knowingness and wisdom is the lesson of harmony. To know how to serve and when, and how to ask. Harmony is in the center of chaos, and chaos can usher in the light of creation and change for the greater good. Be the greater you by surrendering the smallness of you, (may include arguments). Find your perch, pay attention, ask for the wisdom and truth that chaos has to teach, and then you will fly.

This is my experience with chaos. Chaos is the greater good asking for change, and harmony is “E” ticket of the peaceful and effective path. — Thank You.

Painting – Just Makes Me Happy

 

 

Just Makes Me Happy — Detail Section of a Larger Piece, Acrylic on Linen with Oil Pastel.

Lately, I forget what I paint soon after it is completed, it seems to leave my mind within a day or two. The next time I see it, I view it as if for the first time, and I think, “Oh! Look at that!” and I am delighted all over again.
This is a detail section of a larger piece, and one of my screen savers. Each time I see it, it makes me happy.

“You have within you more love than you could ever understand.” — Rumi

Peace

 

 

Illustrating Timeless Laughter & Dreams

Laughter is timeless,
imagination has no age,
and dreams are forever.

– Walt Disney

I was laughing so hard I could barely catch my breath
and all the dreams I have ever had since before I could remember,
came rushing back into my awareness.

My inner cheerleaders exclaimed, “O thank God! The woe is me drama opera is finally over, let’s get to work.” I had just returned from traveling on the road of comparison and doubt, and inspiration could not find me there. Inspiration can only travel on the road of belief. There it is. I chose to change my mind, turn myself around and with that, inspiration was waiting to greet me. Inspiration doesn’t snicker, but,…I really know that I heard a faint voice say “Interesting choice for a summer vacation ….”.

Sketching in Facial Features

I began to work. This was just an experimental sketching exercise to get going again. I randomly chose a reference image I felt was reflective of a moment of bliss.

Expanding the image with shading and details.

I continued to sketch with line and shading. The face took form and I enjoyed her expression.

Laying in her hair as if a breeze of inspiration came to visit and inspire this moment of bliss.

While sketching her hair I imagined a breeze of inspiration that had come to visit her and inspire this moment to pause, accept and enjoy.

Okay, done with the exercise, move on.

After some time, I thought to myself this exercise was a great start, let’s move on, I can’t use her, she’s a recognizable figure. But then I thought, I was having fun and I loved the moment captured, so I decided to stay with it and expand the image into an illustration.

 

Sometimes we experience brief moments of bliss that have no connection to anything that is outside ourselves, and everything to with the truth and inspiration within, and inherently available to us all. For this, I am truly grateful, and will hopefully never get lost driving down the useless road of doubt and comparisons again. This is my experience while creating the illustration “Laughter & Dreams. – Thank you.

 “Laughter and Dreams.”

Laughter & Dreams

 

Illustrating Mother and Child

Stage 1 – Sketching and base washes

This piece began with listening to an inspired thought. I was going forward with the intuition to let the work create itself.  A new illustration technique arrived in my mind. I think I was vacuuming at the time.

I saw the face, and I saw the kindness and the strength within the eyes simultaneously. I didn’t worry about the challenge, although I wanted to. I wanted to commit to stepping back, and let the work develop itself. I assured myself it was just an experiment in trying. Lets see what happens.

Stage 2 – Sketching Hair, Adding Washes and Detail

We moved on to the hair. This was created by sketching and adding washes. This stage enforces patience. It feels like a thousand strokes, and with the right focus, can also be a meditation. It’s interesting how much I wanted to know the “outcome”, as if commiting to trusting that step by step process depended on if I liked the final work. I found this quite similar to life in many ways. The temptation is not to take a risk that involves your inner knowingness and time, unless you have an advanced guarantee of the outcome you hope for. In this case, I didn’t. And most work can take up to sixty hours.

Painting the Peals (of Wisdom).

I have never worked with pearls in an image, and this was fun.
Pearls represent calmness and centeredness. They also represent faith, loyalty, truth, purity, and personal integrity. Pearls of wisdom. Something was cooking here…..

Stage 4 – Peonies and Butterflies

The next time I sat down to work, the flower arrived in my mind, and the butterflies. Peonies represent riches and honor. Butterflies represent change, hope and transformation.

Then the work became quite. Was it done? Was it finished? I wanted it to be, I wanted to move on, but…I wasn’t sure. I left it up where i could see it. I would peek at it from time to time while I cooked or cleaned. At times I would sit looking at it. Nothing. All was quiet. It wasn’t done and I didn’t know why.

Days passed and I started a new illustration. I checked back, but still, there was no “green light” feeling. I had no inspiration for a next step, still I trusted that it just wasn’t finished.

While working on something else, I saw this illustration in my mind, and the next inspiration arrived. Her baby. And just like babies, we are not exactly sure when inspiration will arrive, but it will.

All that is represented here is about the challenges of trusting ourselves, trusting our inner compass. It’s about approaching each moment with the faith of a child, and caring for our faith as if we were our own children. It requires loyalty, truth, and personal integrity. It also requires patience, perseverance and a great sense of humor.

I think not knowing the outcome was worth the endeavor, and I am pleased. Which also includes the ability to celebrate ourselves. – Thank you.

This is “Mother and Child”

 

Painting The DreamCatcher

I thought about creating a design for a cell phone case, and then….

Hands off the steering wheel.

Inspiration politely sat down next to me, and with a nod I took my hands off of the steering wheel, and became a peaceful passenger enjoying the ride.

The experience felt like grace and trust, and my mind became still. The familiar motions of creating took on the synchronicity of a metronome. I enjoyed the view, and time passed without a single thought. This experience taught me that creativity can happen quite well enough on its own, without the interference of my “artistic considerations.”

Good, bad, right, wrong, contrast, light, shadow, colour. Or the doubts, “does this image make sense, is there a message, or, will anyone get it?” Considerations that any person in the act of creating may experience again and again. Sometimes, these considerations can also be fears, and a prison. These fears are a burglar invading the serenity and the joy within our desire to create.

I enjoyed the experience of not thinking. Four hours the first day, and then five hours the next, peacefully casting my line into a realm of dreams. The painting was finished quite quickly, and I felt that somehow, I had moved closer to a precious space within myself, and into the sacred space that is within all of us. Next, I will attempt the wonders of house-cleaning without a single thought, how great will THAT be? Until then, I now have my cell phone cover, and a few more items to share. — Thank you.

 The DreamCatcher

Links to the cell phone case, and other items to share.

Links; PrintCell Phone Case, Tote, Pillow, JustDreams Card, Mug, Notebook, Wall Clock.

Society6.com/northlizalane

Till next time…….thank you.

Painting “After the Rain, a Contemplative Walk”

The silent moments after a storm.

Sketchbook Doodle

Life is cruising along quite nicely and then, something within tilts, and then shifts. A storm of inner change is coming. More useless garbage will be blown out, and room will be made for a greater understanding of life, compassion, and the bigger picture. Still, it is difficult not to cringe while the pressure is building. It’s an uncomfortable time. “Can we do this next week, I wonder?”

Washes of Colour

This sketch is a doodle, abstract, yet linear and contemplative. It represents “battening down the emotional hatches”, focusing on paying attention to the opportunities to shift, and riding the storm into a new awareness.

Deepening Contrast and Reflective Light

As I lay-in the washes of colour, I notice I am still painting at an angle, as if reflecting the similarities to a boat in a storm, or the physical body in a storm, the equilibrium can be off. Life and the self, can feel fragile, uneasy. However the sense of baby steps, guidance and of being  protected is there as well.

Contrast and understanding deepens, equilibrium returns, colours and thoughts become brighter and reflective of a new mindfulness. The storm recedes, quiet waves move in bringing peace, and treasure. A deeper sense of grace to contemplate with each step we take, as we walk within the gift that is our life, on this planet.  — Thank you.

“After the Rain, A Contemplative Walk”

Painting “The Unknown is Calling”

Stage One; The Phone

Once a painting is completed, I begin to wonder what the next painting will be. This time, the image of an old black rotary telephone came into my mind. I thought this was great, I love these phones. However, this image also arrived with the essence of a mystery as well. Each painting is an adventure, a life lesson for me concerning the shared experience of us all.

I create black in a painting by applying a variety of colors on top of one another. I finish the section with two or three layers of  Lamp Black glaze,  a soft warm black. Black is the combination of all colors, and the absence of light. Most every surface will reflect the colors around it, even a piece of white paper, or the page of a book you are reading. Try it. Look closely at your finger touching the paper, then lift it about an eighth of an inch, and continue to look at that spot on the paper. If the lighting is good, you will see the color of your skin faintly on the page. When I first saw this, I thought I was having a “moment”, but with closer observation, I saw the truth of what I was actually becoming aware of.

Stage Two; The Crow

I began to create a marbled texture as well. Next, the name and the number on the phone arrived into my mind; “Unknown 0000”. OK, here we go I thought, we are painting that which we call “The Unknown”, something that immediately seems uncomfortable and mysterious. After the phone was completed, I saw that a crow was to be perched on the phone.

I sat with this painting for some time, just listening. While painting the background, the story of the image began to tell itself. To various degrees, we may consciously or unconsciously, for a false sense of safety, try to protect ourselves from the unknown. This can lead to a calcification of the light that is within all of life, by not allowing the light of awareness, joy, and love to move in and through any given moment freely. We could also grow argumentative and controlling, demanding that what we know, is the right and only way.  This would be simply our fear and not trusting an inner knowingness. This inner knowingness is created to be in constant flow through us. This is also the unknown, becoming known.

The Phone – represents information, and that life is continuously calling to us in each moment. Black represents information that is moving from the position of what you may not know in this minute, to what you will know the next, bringing it into the “light” where all of its colors can be seen.

The Crow – Crow symbolizes the void or core of creation, from darkness to light and alert for every call from the sacred.

The Dove & The Rainbow – In this painting both represent the highest truth available to all. At one moment it is unknown, and in the next, we have the opportunity to become aware of it. We do this by simply asking, by making our own phone calls, and then listening instead of hanging up. It is the peace, and the freedom we feel when we move from not knowing, into knowing. This is faith. This is asking what it is you need to know. When we think about it, this happens in each moment of every day. By choosing to remain open to change, to information with consideration, we are answering the phone in our own lives. We are being led to our own greatest selves. We become light, and within the light, we become pure color.

P.S. The day after I finished this painting a circumstance arrived at my door of life, and I was ushered into another opportunity of the great unknown. With a new set of observational skills, faith, questions, and a lot of focus/listening, and after 5 hours with a used car salesman……..a gruelling test if there ever was one, I exited dehydrated, but victorious, and with an entire new lifestyle. 100% Electric. (big smiley face)

This is “The Unknown is Calling”

The Unknown is Calling

Mystery Blogger Award

My, O my…….
It is quite a surprise to have been kindly nominated for the Mystery Blogger award by the inspiring poet and writer Ana Daksina, at Timeless Classics,  …….well Ana, I simply thank you!

What this award is;
“It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”
Created by Okoto Enigma.

The award was created by https://www.okotoenigmasblog.com/

 

Painting “Whispers” & Happy New Year

Whispers

Whispers illustrates a moment experienced as a nudge, an intuition, or simply the feeling of just “knowing” something, although you may not be able to explain why. It’s about becoming still and listening. It’s about asking what to do, and then listening for the answer that is calm and clear. To capture that moment visually and paint it, I decided to use the symbolism of the crow, the fox, and the willow. Although various attributes can be found for each of these, I chose the following;

Fox – The Celts believed the fox to be a guide, and was honored for its wisdom. Fox is alert, clever, and mindful of his surroundings.

Crow – Crow symbolizes the void or core of creation, from darkness to light and the keeper of the sacred law.

Willow Leaf The Willow represents balance, learning, growth and harmony. The willow tree represents strength and flexibility while standing firm, and withstanding the greatest of challenges.

Whispers is about listening, paying attention, discernment and making choices that are true to yourself.

Happy New Year to all in 2018. May you hear inspiring whispers of wisdom, grace, truth and lots of humor!

 

 

Flying Lessons & Life

About this painting;

I was pondering life again, which is a moment by moment habit. In times of confusion, I like to create metaphors for life’s perplexities. This allows me to put life or a situation into a context I can work with, like a picture book. Picture books are brilliant, not too many words and full of imagination. This method also allows me to see the parallels of any given situation with a sense of humor, and possibly an insight or inspiration will follow. The “Ahaa! I get it!” moment, and then I can move on.

This is how “Flying Lessons & Life” evolved. I was painting while I pondered (in my picture book metaphor method), how life is like flying. It takes focus and believing in what you know in your heart to be true, no matter how many internal or external hecklers show up. Looking down would certainly cause a wobble or crash if the flying part doesn’t have my full attention, and then I will be looking for the band aids, again.  Something that causes me to look away, or look down would be……..a distraction. So, now I ponder distractions. Do distractions receive job assignments each day when they show up for work? Who pays them? Do they have a union?

Something else to ponder, in the mean time, I will avoid looking down.

 

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