Illustration – Portable Magic

 

I have just returned from 1950’s England.

Tomorrow, Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs will visit.  I will giggle, laugh out loud, and be dazzled by their sheer brilliance of language while I clean my house. I created this illustration out of my love of great writers, and the brilliant narrators on the audio versions. In 1996 I became a devotee to the magic of audio books, and have continued racking up over 500 books each year. A talented writer and a masterful narrator can transport your entire imagination into whatever world you may be in need of. Free for the asking through your public library. Just download and play!

In a time when pandemic fatigue, anxiety, politics, and the economy is wearing out our hopefulness, escaping into a wonderful book can refresh your body, mind and soul.

Take a break, take a walk, take a friend in your backpack, on your kindle, phone, or in your ears. You will feel less isolated, less stress, learn amazing things, and feel as if many of the characters are your best friends.

Since I am always searching for intelligent, witty, clever and terrific books and series (I can get so attached….) please let me know if you have any suggestions!

Enjoy

and as always, thank you!

 

Painting – Little Floating Altars

IMAGINE.
You are sitting quietly beside a little creek in the autumn sun,
listening to the trickle of the water
and a leaf comes floating by.
A small floating altar. Some of us as children made them.
We added a few twigs, maybe a small stone, and then sent them sailing on their way, most always with a giggle.
IMAGINE.
Today, you are the one to find the leaf sailing by…
This imagining, was the inspiration for the painting “Little Floating Altars.”
Upon this altar is wheat, two acorns, and two slips of paper with “Love” and “Laughter” written upon them. A key gently settles beneath the message. A dragonfly skims the water.
This is a gift for you, and your message.
This painting contains symbolism creating the message itself. Let’s interpret them one at a time.


Throughout history, water has been used as a symbol of wisdom, power, grace, music,
and the undifferentiated chaos that gave rise to the physical world. Possibly the current chaos we are all experiencing, will give rise to a renewed time of wisdom, power, grace, and music. The results of a harmonious relationship within peace. And we must choose this peace again and again.
A leaf is a symbol of growth, and the relationship between the leaf and the tree. What is your tree, your true heart, and the life giving energy that supports you?
In the Chinese tradition the leaves of the Cosmic Tree represent all of the beings in the universe. All of us together, the greater good of all.
Acorns have a deep and rich symbolism. The acorn as a seed, is a symbol of growth and unlimited potential. In its dormant state the acorn reminds us that we too, need periods of rest and dormancy to inspire periods of growth, to understand the importance of living within the seasons, with grace and harmony. Perhaps one of the gifts of isolation, is a time to reflect upon our “tree.”
The staff of life. Wheat symbolizes rebirth and resurrection, sprouting from the earth and feeding the people. Wheat is a product of efforts and the harvest is the rejuvenation of the spirit and the body. A bounty, a promise, and sustenance. It is also physics, our attention and emotions are our harvest, where are we placing our attention and emotions, with the truth or fear? One enables us, one dis-ables us.
In almost every part of the world, the dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. The change that is often referred to has its source in mental and emotional maturity, and understanding the deeper meaning of life. In your heart of hearts, aren’t we all striving for acceptance and joy? The enemy of joy is separation, fear, and demoralization. Inhumanity destroys hope, humanity nourishes and builds love, understanding and support.
At its heart, a key is an opener of locks. Keys are symbols of opening and closing.  Sometimes a key means the difference between freedom and domination, or life and death. This key represents the truth, each day and in each moment, ask for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. See behind the smoke and mirrors, and take great comfort in the truth of your heart beyond fear. This key is courage.
Love and laughter is a direct link to the truth, and the greatest builder of the immune system. Love and laughter can be found in every moment. Try it, with each challenge or disappointment, chose to laugh even if it is just a physical chuckle. This first laugh will trigger a sense of forgiveness, a subtle calm will follow, then information for the next step full of balance and wisdom. Try a chuckle now, and an instant smile will follow. Keep Love and Laughter as the guardians at the gate.

Chin up, steady on,
pray for what you want, and not what you don’t want!

If you have made it this far, then I am deeply honored and
I thank you!
Peace.
Art Cards & Print

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.

 

7 Paintings – In The Big, Big Picture of Life and Humanity…..

Well,
this weeks painting is not quite finished,…..
However,
I still want to share something that I hope has value to someone, somewhere,
and have unearthed a few paintings from the past few years, to help illustrate.

If I had a magic wand of miracles to arrive within every human being on the planet
– in the “Big, Big Picture of Life,” these are what they would be;

1. A Peaceful Heart

Choose Peace

“Acceptance does not mean inaction.
We may need to respond, strongly at times…From a peaceful center we can respond instead of react.
Unconscious reactions create problems.
Considered responses bring peace.
With a peaceful heart whatever happens can be met with wisdom…Peace is not weak; it is unshakable.”
– Jack Kornfield

2. Wisdom

Wise Woman

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”
– George Bernard Shaw

3. Hope

Hope

“Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success;
for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles.”
– Samuel Smiles

4. A Sense of Humor and Laughter

“Iggy” Nature Spirit. 24″ x 36″

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” – Charles Dickens
and
“Life is better, when you are laughing.”

5. Kindness and Compassion

Kindness & Compassion Stamp

Love and kindness are never wasted.
They always make a difference.
They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” – Barbara De Angelis

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people.
A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

6. Believe

Always you can go higher, for within yourself you are greater than you think.
Believe that, for it is a fact – a great, big, truthful, wonderful fact.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

7. Love

Love is Joy

“I have decided to stick to love… Hate is too great a burden to bear”
― Martin Luther King Jr.,

“We must discover the power of love, the power, the redemptive power of love.
And when we discover that we will be able to make of this old world a new world.
We will be able to make men better. Love is the only way.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.,

To someone, somewhere, and everyone everywhere……Chin up, and Steady Eddy.
– Thank you

 

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

 

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