Illustration – Comfort Food

“Only the pure of heart, can make good soup.”

– Beethoven.

The last seven months caught up with me this weekend. I have begun to feel weary and battle-worn while parsing truth over fiction, choosing acceptance over resistance, and faith over fear through all of the challenges.
It was time to make some comfort food. As I assembled my various offerings for a vegetable soup, a small empty container near my stove caught my eye. It is empty, yet it is filled with the secret ingredient that makes every meal, no matter how meager or grand, a five-star entree.

Twenty-some years ago I learned that each time I prepare a meal, or even a snack, it is important to center myself in the task and not to let my mind wander. Every thought and emotion you feel while cooking will go directly into the food, and into each person who shares in it. Emotions can also change the aromas and flavors. Whoever consumes the food you cried tears over, will feel the sadness you added to the food, or anger you felt as well.

However,
if you nourish yourself and your thoughts with love while preparing your food, the food itself will taste wonderful, nourish the body and spirit of each who eat, delivering exactly what is perfect and needed for each person. This is why I keep a small empty porcelain container near my stove with my “go-to” spices. It reminds me to add a the “secret ingredient” to each meal, to add a sprinkling of love.

Next time you make a salad, think of the journey these vegetables made to arrive into your hands and kitchen.
Bless the farmers who grew it,
bless the labor that harvested it,
bless the truckers that transported it,
bless the warehouse that shipped it to the market,
bless the market that made it available for you to purchase it,
and bless yourself who bought it, to lovingly prepare for yourself and others.
Add love, and serve.
All of these blessings will lift your spirits, and create a wonderful cooking experience, which otherwise could have been a chore.

This weekend I made a big pot of nourishing soup, and I painted the memory as reminder of the secret ingredient.

– Thank you.

 

 

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 – ‘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!

 

Painting – A Peaceful Nap…Sort of.

A Peaceful Nap…sort of. 40″ x 40″ painting of Mother and Cub Brown Bear in Alaska.

Parenting and those “oh so treasured” daily nap times.

Every parent has had the experience of “nap time” and drifting off into a snooze, only to be aware that the young one(s) are fiddle-faddling around, and nature seems to be chiming in!

This painting is the follow-up on my last post, and the final work. The creative and painting process provided me with valuable insights about life itself, and how I am choosing to live it.

Detail of Alaska Brown Bear Cub Face.

This little cub is gazing at a Silvery Blue Butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus) found in Alaska and the northern hemisphere. Once considered extinct, it has recently resurfaced.

“Love what you are doing.” I have all heard this said many times. And time is what it took for me to get the value of that advise.

I learned that in each moment of anything I am doing, painting, mopping my kitchen floor, or paying bills, if I am focused only on the task in that moment with gratitude and love, it is a joyful experience. My energy is endless.

However, this is also a conscious and disciplined choice, and more than occasionally requires a sense of humor. It’s like meditating. When I paint fur or feathers, I paint each hair, and each feather, and with each stroke it becomes a meditation on how much I love the subject. During the process I wondered why I had ever allowed anything else (doubt, fear, anxiety) to crowd my mind? Maybe this is one of hidden gifts of the pandemic, and the months in isolation, the time to evaluate and implement this valuable understanding.

 

Detail of Mama Bears face.

I have a friend who tells me that sometimes less is more in art, and this is quite true as well. But for this painting I wanted to paint all of the little details. I love to look at illustrations and paintings that are detailed and my eye can travel through the painting and find new details each time I look at it. I love a painting I can walk into and sit down for a time, and just soak up the experience.

I hope this painting becomes that kind of experience for someone.
Nature is a wondrous gift.

Now tomorrow, I will take on the long avoided task of decluttering my storage room, and LOVE it
…….(that is the part that requires a sense of humor).

– 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 – “Gently, gently…

 

..and oh, so carefully.”

The tag-line of my website is; “Living and learning through the creative mind.”

And this painting taught me a lot about life this week.

 I learn a great deal about life through the process of painting, and the many hours of observation and listening while I work. I believe it is the same for pursuing any endeavor. Living life is certainly a big job, and life is something we all have in common on a daily basis.

Over the past few years I have come to realize that if I get out of the way and pay attention, the painting will paint itself. That’s the challenge. Each painting is an opportunity to experience when I don’t do this as well.

As in life, my job is to listen and not “be” the creator or a bull in the china shop, so to speak. Not so easy to do. Life truly does have a plan in every moment, and it is always a good one, if I am not desperately seeking fulfillment out of doubt.

This requires the courage to trust my inner most self, not the self with its hair on fire. Doubt is always my first trip and fall. Trying to be the creator or “the boss” never works for me, it is unfulfilling and the results are always pretty bad. In life we tend to want to know the outcome before we begin, don’t we? Before we take any risk at all. If we don’t know the outcome we tend to force an outcome, or play “lets pretend.” When the outcome doesn’t match our fantasy, we feel defeated, or blame others.

Back to the painting. This painting is my second attempt, okay, it’s my third. The first is so embarrassing, it would hurt your eyes.

When I began all over for the third time, all I knew was that I was painting an elderly hand, and the lighting was vital. Once this was completed I was right on the edge of moving in and “making up” a background, but I stepped away and took a walk. On my walk, I saw this image on the porch; (yep, that’s my left foot in the bottom right).

This was my inspiration for the background design. Yea! I also knew a bird would be resting on her fingers, and once this part of the painting was done it still felt too uncompleted. Again, I walked away. Keep in mind, this painting took me 5 days to paint. Then I walked back and looked at it again, and again, like checking on a sleeping baby, listening for the next step. While cleaning, the idea for the second bird in the palm came to me. It appears to be quite natural now, but I had to wait for it. The three extra stems in the middle ground arrived next, and then nothing. I began to doubt, wanted to throw in huge splashes of bright colour and almost ruined it. Again, “Gently, gently…” came into my mind for this painting, and as a new life mantra.

Gentleness requires a great deal of strength … and courage.

A friend sent me this message describing the painting; “I am caught by the emotion. The beautiful juxtaposition of the brightly colored birds, so precise against her lovely translucent skin. It is really moving, capturing life, old and new, beginnings and endings, always cyclical.” – Thank you dear friend.

That was my experience of participating in this painting.  Life is a juxtaposition of collaboration or control. In collaboration, we all win.

 and thank you for reading.

4″ x 6″ Mini Print here.

 

 

Doodle Art – A Little Something Different

Just Doodling, a Delightful Get-away

So many of the wordpress bloggers inspire and delight me with their creativity. In a conversation with Judith at “Art Discoveries” , she was encouraging after I had commented on her doodling post that I had liked very much. Later, thought I would give it a go. I love the blogs Doodle Wash, Just Sketching, and Danny Gregory’s site. With pen in hand, I began.

Who knew doodling could be so relaxing? Doodling gave me permission to completely stop thinking and I did, I just zoned out. At this time, I really appreciate that. Doodling feels like meditating!  It clears the mind. I chose not to have goal or an outcome, I just began drawing a design, then an object, and kept going. Soon my “doodle” became a massive 18 inches as I filled the page, like a plant that has outgrown its pot. However, I still found my massive doodle sweet, quirky and kind. Then I gave it a message. Above all, I believe in a kinder world, and that it can happen.

Afterwards, I thought it might fun on a tee shirt. This can be found at; Society6. Then I thought it would also be cute for kids!

I Believe Tee Shirt

Kids I Believe Tee Shirt

If you need a break from the current situation and all the worries it contains, a doodle-break really works. You just may complete your doodle with a fresher, clear mind.
This was a fun experience, and I will do many more. Thank you for reading!

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 – Heading Out….

I was playing around, working with texture and colour.

Ideas were arriving, and changes in style as well.
This is simply a test swatch of that play. Bright colours, more texture and with it, as well as a little bird, a messenger.
This swatch has gone on to become a much larger painting, with its own story and is almost finished. However, the little bird was not included.
He was heading out, and only arrived as a reminder to reflect upon the end of another year, and all I have learned, realized, and experienced.

Heading out of 2019, and preparing for 2020 with the bright colours and textures of a life (hopefully) well lived!

Thank you.

WIP Painting – … and then along came The Girl

Stage two of three – Painting the girl.

In the last post I wrote about painting the polar bear. Next came “the girl” giving the bear a hug. The following images show the different steps of painting the girls face and hair. While I painted, I thought about what she would be wearing, and naturally, that would be a thick sweater and gloves. How was I to paint the texture of a knitted sweater? The detail needed for the knit seemed overwhelming, so I created test swatches to see if I could do it. The two knit test swatches and a detail shot from the final painting are included.

Next up will be the final stage.

The final painting with the background. I hope some of this has been interesting, helpful, and inspiring. – Thank you

My Cover Girl – Celebrating Spring & Easter.

I giggled the entire time I created this, in celebration of spring and Easter.

Looking at her face, I just can’t help it. Spring is joyful, fresh, new, loving and hopeful.  It is an opportunity to witness the transformation in nature, and within ourselves. A time to celebrate surviving and thriving through the challenges of the past year.

I had so much fun with this that I have decided to make this my new “Play Project” in between paintings. Creating magazine covers using my own artwork with articles I would love to read. Then I will print and frame each cover, and line my home hallway with them. I will call it my Happy Hall

I think I’ll create a Rolling Stones cover next…..

Happy Spring, and Happy Easter to All.

– 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

 

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/

 

PRINT GIVEAWAY

‘Tis the season of gratitude and giving

A Free print and Shipping!
I have a limited number of over-run prints that I gifted in this season. I am very happy to send a print to anyone who would like one,
and as they say….”While supplies last”.
The prints “A Joyful Light”, and “Peace on Earth” measure 12″ x 12″, with an image size of 11″ x 11″.

Please send an email  to Liza@northlizalane.com with “Giveaway” in the subject line, and let me know the Name and Address you would like it shipped to. All prints will be shipped Tuesday, December 19th.
If you would like to send a print to someone other than yourself, let me know and I will include a gift note.
Happy Giving – North Liza Lane

Print Giveaway, A Joyful Light and Peace On Earth

Painting Kindness & Compassion

I created this small design swatch as I thought about the power of kindness and compassion. Within the design, a figure emerged as the essence of kindness and compassion. She made herself comfortable and proceeded to pose for her portrait, so to speak, and became the painting. I felt she had a great message in her eyes, and a message needs a stamp. May all our moments also include the gift of offering kindness and compassion to all.

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.

 

Iggy & Images within images

Iggy, a nature spirit

Iggy

 images within images

Ivan

Green Man, Nature Spirit, Brother

Today I saw the well-known bumper sticker that reads, “The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth.” – Chief Seattle. Again, I thought of the technology and intelligence available and ready with the solutions. And again, I ask that those businesses with the focus on profit only, wake up within to the concept of harmony for the greater good.  Taking care of the Earth first, and making a profit as well.

I think Ivan would agree.

Painting a Bunny in 6 Stages

The bunny below, was painted in six stages. Under each image is a caption, with the steps, washes, and the colours used. I never tire of the surprise, when less of technique, can appear as so much more.

Bunny

Bunny

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