Painting – Mind Full of Miracles, Heart Full of Hope.

Imagine the possibilities.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” – Albert Einstein.

There is a funny story about this painting. It began as a doodle, a distractor, a -keep my body away from the computer and my fingers away from my phone, scrolling through updates from the New York Times- as the election wore on.

There was no plan or purpose. I did not have one iota of a creativity. I slapped and slopped, slashed and scrubbed colour onto the canvas.

However, with me out of the way the painting was able to paint itself.

Her eyes captured me. Her eyes tell the story found within millions of minds and hearts at this time. This year has challenged all of us in unimaginable ways.

Many quietly hold hope alive in their hearts like a candle on the hearth for themselves, their families, friends, for every person on the planet, and the future of planet itself.

These people are the generators of change, the guardians of grace, the spirit of the truth and love that ushers in the future. They are peace, they are gracious, they are humble and humorous, they are generous, they are spontaneous and serene within their passions. They are both incognito and available to see, they support and inspire others. They make the impossible, possible. They believe in miracles.

This painting is for all of those that unknowingly lead and inspire us all.

– with the deepest gratitude.

Imagine ALL the possibilities.

– Thank you.

 

 

Painting – “Change & The Center of Gravity”

 

“Center of Gravity” 24″ x 30″

***** I originally posted this painting and my process or experience of painting it, in February of 2018. However this morning, I felt this painting and part of the message was valuable during this time. A message to consider, and possibly find some comfort in. Excerpt; (the important part)
[……I continued to paint this young man, who is cherishing the light and the knowingness within his heart. I began to understand the symbolism, the adventure, the message, and the painting itself. We all have the truth available and running through us in each moment. Accessing this truth, and the choice to honor and cherish this truth is ours, and requires the courage of a personal change. We also have the choice to see only with our eyes, feel only our emotional reactions in a situation, or be mislead by the opinions of others. However, these visual and emotional perceptions are not the whole truth. Fear and anger are internal warning signs that something is a lie.

The message on the young man’s tee-shirt presented itself. “Question Everything”. The question is “what is the truth?” We can choose the gift we  have been given, to listen without an agenda or judgement. This is our greatest gift and power, and our center of gravity as we navigate through illusions, and the constant change of each day. Our center of gravity is our “knowingness”, the light within that supersedes the doubt, discomfort and fear. We have all been given this. Maybe it’s time to make friends with our knowingness, have a long talk and form a great, lifetime relationship….] Peace, and goodwill for all.

The original post of painting process is included below…..if interested! – thank you again, Liza.

It began with an image that had arrived in my mind. It was of a woman with a beautiful light shining from within her heart. Before I could get started on this new painting, a nagging tickle in my throat soon turned into a rib breaking cough, and days in bed with a cold.

During my waking moments, I continued to watch the image paint itself in my imagination. Once I recovered, I set to work on creating this painting. However, something had changed. The painting had changed, and it was different. I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me. What I had imagined was no longer there to work from. This was very disconcerting, and I experienced a few moments of doubt. Each painting is an adventure, and I see it as a sort of movie that I participate with. Then, I finally began to understand. Feeling the discomfort of “change” was the first note of the music, or film score for this movie.

Stage Two, painting the hands

Doubt is uncomfortable and difficult. I waited, listened, and asked, “What am I painting?” The painting had changed, and the main figure was now a young man. While painting his face first, I saw that the image appeared only from the bridge of his nose down. This is the face of anyone, and everyone.

Next were the hands. The hands are protective and cherishing his heart, his center. This is the home of his “knowingness”, his light, and his truth. The truth is there waiting to offer its wisdom, and only the truth can see through the limited perceptions of his eyes and emotions.

Stage Three, tattoos and the message on the tee-shirt

As I began to paint the arms, I saw the tattoos. I thought about the stereotypes that society has placed upon men, and women for thousands of years, telling them who they “should be”  and “should not be” in order to be safe, valuable, and loved. I thought about the confusion and disappointment this causes within each person, and within their expectations towards each other.  A decade later, these stereotypes will change again, and so will the expectations of who each person “should” be.

I continued to paint this young man, who is cherishing the light and the knowingness within his heart. I began to understand the symbolism, the adventure, the message, and the painting itself. We all have the truth available and running through us in each moment. Accessing this truth, and the choice to honor and cherish this truth is ours, and requires the courage of a personal change. We also have the choice to see only with our eyes, feel only our emotional reactions in a situation, or be mislead by the opinions of others. However, these perceptions are not the whole truth.

The message on the young man’s tee-shirt presented itself. “Question Everything”. The question is “what is the truth?” We can choose the gift we  have been given, to listen without an agenda or judgement. This is our greatest gift and power, and our center of gravity as we navigate through illusions, and the constant change of each day. Our center of gravity is our “knowingness”, the light within that supersedes the doubt, discomfort and fear. We have all been given this. Maybe it’s time to make friends with our knowingness, have a long talk and form a great, lifetime relationship.

Finally I painted the fabric background, symbolizing this young man’s “wings of protection and flight” as he trusts, continues to “Question Everything” and treasures the highest truth from within the core of his being. Thank you.

This is “Change & The Center of Gravity”

 

Illustration – Sidewalk Sentiments.

When I catch my mind furtively tip-toeing into the future,

and my emotions humming the “Oh No, What If?” song, I send out a rescue squad. Every second counts. It’s like rounding up a pack of shop-aholics at a 75% off sale, each feverish and making choices that will be later regretted when the emotional buzz wears off.

These moments require all of my self discipline, especially with the current challenges!

And I take a break, create a doodle, painting, or an illustration that will focus my thoughts on the present,
on something simple, kind, and inspiring.

I created this illustration right after a “thought round-up.”
Here are the quotes I selected, and I hope they offer a few moments of inspiration. They certainly did for me.

 

[From the poem “Desiderata” – Max Ehrmann]

Take good care.
– Thank you.

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!

 

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 – 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 – Autumn Flowers.

For quite a few days and nights the air was heavy with the smell of burning wood. Many of the hills and reserves were burning, and still are. There are 426 fires active in my state as of today. For weeks our temperatures soared well over 114 degrees, and I wondered how the firefighters could physically survive it. Each morning the fading moon was hot-pink or red from the smoke. And it is devastatingly worse for our neighboring states.

Yet through all of this, the untouched areas of nature are carrying on, painting a picture of beauty in its elegant grace.
Nature, our greatest treasure and teacher. I marvel at it all…and I am humbled.

We have known about global warming since the 1960’s. Yes. I hope all of those that didn’t believe in global warming now “get it.”
The planet doesn’t need us. We are its guests, we were meant to be the guardians of this gift.
I hope we have a new and intelligent government that places the earth as a top priority, finally.

A government that selflessly serves and represents the Greater Good of All.
We the people, can not do it alone.
It requires “We the Nation.”
We the world.

Peace and prosperity for all.

– Thank you

Illustration – Little Light Trails Everywhere.

For the Givers of Light.

Have you ever noticed the individuals that quietly, and consistently spread light wherever they go?
I created this illustration as an acknowledgement, and a thank you to those that offer a gentle, authentic light to all of life around them.
They are subtle, always listening, and compassionate. Rather than give advise, they ask questions, leading others along the way to discover their own best solutions. Givers of Light live in each moment completely. They are devoted to the light in others, to either celebrate or add their own, to illuminate the way out of despair and confusion. They hold hands with greater good of the universe, and it beats their heart. They have the greatest laugh that can ignite your own in a moment.

Their patience and grace may seem effortless, but is hard won through personal trials and experience. They are courageous and gentle in their courage. They are authentic. They command no attention or approval, while fulfilling a valuable service to all others.
I thank and honor each quiet, unseen Giver of Light, for you lead the way for many out of fear, anger and ignorance. You are a constant set of twinkle lights all over the planet.
You are the greatest sense of the word “warrior.”

– I see you, and I Thank you all.

 

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.

 

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

 

Painting – Moonlight & Daisies

Moonlight & Daisies. 20″ x 20″.

Creativity – Experimenting, Exploring, & Discovering

This week as I continued to create art for face masks, I decided to experiment with combining three styles I adore; Batik, Wood Block, and Tiffany Glass.  Above, is my first first experimental painting using this combination. Then I painted it again, expanded the design, and began developing the “copper foil” appearance between each piece. The copper foil method of stained glass construction involves wrapping the edges of each piece of glass with a copper foil tape, then joining them by soldering them together.

Moonlight and Daisies 40″ x 20″.

As I painted, I thought about how vital it has always been in my life to question everything, and explore new concepts and ideas. Being open to new information, broader truths, and expanding my awareness of the “bigger picture” of simply being a human. A good friend of mine has said; “Changing your mind, is one of the hardest things to do.” And also I think one of our greatest freedoms. In the last five months I have observed our world come to realize just how important it is to explore our own minds and hearts, and what it is we each truly believe.

Creating. Next, I decided to use my two new experimental paintings as the “finale” of my mask-creating adventure, adding them to this weeks “adventures in pattern making” collection.

Moonlight & Daisies Masks

“Inspiration” Pattern.

“Kindness” Pattern.

“Geometric” Pattern 2120.

“Hope” Pattern.

“Clarity” Pattern.

Creating these patterns was a great exploration of experimentation, and discovery.

With a lot of inspired take-aways for future paintings.

Stay inspired, question everything, and pass it on….it’s one of our greatest gifts.

All face masks can be found at;

North Liza Lane/Face Masks

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

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 – Resurrection of Fallen Warriors.

Print Available here, and here,

I chose a beautiful poem by Robin Decker to express the essence of my painting.

Hummingbird

by Robin Becker

I love the whir of the creature come
to visit the pink
flowers in the hanging basket as she does

most August mornings, hours away
from starvation to store
enough energy to survive overnight.

The Aztecs saw the refraction
of incident light on wings
as resurrection of fallen warriors.

In autumn, when daylight decreases
they double their body weight to survive
the flight across the Gulf of Mexico.

On next-to-nothing my mother
flew for 85 years; after her death
she hovered, a bird of bones and air.

About This Poem

“Inhabiting both earth and sky, birds serve, in many traditions, as emissaries from the afterlife, as they do in this poem. Here, I sought to combine the science of hummingbird metabolism, the cultural history of hummingbird mythology, and the personal history I associate with the bird. The words ‘visit,’ ‘resurrection’ and ‘hover’ contribute to the ‘otherworldly’ feeling hummingbirds generate in many who observe them.”
—Robin Becker

-Thank you

 

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.

 

 

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

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.

Illustration – A Promise Kept – Treasure the Little Things.

Many decades ago, I made a promise.

This week I learned that promises made to ourselves are important….even decades later.

Every five years or so, a thought will cross my mind. “Please draw Miss Hickory.” Every time it came into my mind I either ignored it, dismissed it, or had an excuse of why I was too busy. Mostly I pretended not to hear it.

When I was 6 years old I picked up a book in our school library; Miss Hickory, a novel by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey. I did not have the skills to actually read it, however, I already had definite opinions concerning the illustrations. Even then my life as an artist was already determined. I also had a serious balance of logical thinking as well, and was insulted that a creature made of twigs would have high heels, a knitted sweater, and –  just how did those flowers stick in her nonexistent hair if she had the head of a hickory nut? At the age of six I promised myself that one day, when my skills were better I would draw Miss Hickory as I saw her in my mind.

So, last week upon waking, when I heard “Please draw Miss Hickory” for the umpteenth time, I thought about it and said, “Yes.”

Drawing Miss Hickory was an opportunity to listen to my six year old self and in return, she opened the door to valuable information as I sketched and painted. Nothing is a mistake, everything is a valuable key. Our conversation gifted me a greater understanding of this incredible journey called life.

From my perspective…….

Listening to our thoughts is important. Within ourselves is a wealth of information, the library of “Us”. Parts of ourselves hold the keys that are the story of “ourselves.” Some we want to keep, some we need to update or “take to the cleaners.” Some have been a huge asset in our creative lives, and all need to be known. When we don’t listen, out fear of something “bad” is a lie. This is when we find it difficult to live comfortably in our own skin. A good friend of mine once said “Think of yourself as a corporation and you are the CEO.” This is so wonderfully creative and true. Will we listen to the “essential workers” of our corporation? Or be a petty tyrant, a bully. Or look outside of ourselves for answers.

I have never read the Miss Hickory book, but I have ordered it. Miss Hickory is a Newbery Medal award winner.  After completing my own illustration, I read reviews about the book – both good and bad, some replying it was freakishly dark. The book will arrive on Monday. It should provide either more opportunities and illustrations, or simply a good laugh and an opportunity to a close the door.

In this time of less distractions…….take the time to listen to yourself. You are an individual, a “one of a kind.”  That is what makes you a miracle.

– Thank you

Painting – Enjoy Your Rest Mother Nature

Nature Made Alter. What a Delight to find. Earth Day April 22, 2020.

Hi Mom.

Your children have all been sent to their rooms to think about who they are, and to remember, please remember, who they

could still, truly become….  even now.

In this rare moment of a little “Me Time,” you can breath a deep sigh of peace, your sky’s are bluer, your air is cleaner, and your bird’s joyful songs can finally be heard above the sounds of chaos lessened.

You, who have nurtured us and given us all we could ever want, beauty, bounty, and magnificence, have borne our ingratitude, ignorance and entitlement.

You carry the scares of our dishonorable actions towards you, our greed. Yet you continue to support us, provide for us, delight us, and unconditionally love us all.

I thank you, apologize for how we have offended and harmed you, and ask for your forgiveness. I am so sorry that we all fell asleep to your incredible love.

May we all learn that our thoughts and emotions affect you.

May we all wake to what we truly need, as as opposed to what we simply want and demand.

May we all ask for, work for, and support those inspired souls with the creativity for the better, kinder, and recompensable solutions for your resources.

May we sing a song of life in rhythm to the heartbeat of the earth, our mother, and live accordingly in honor, gratitude, and blessings in our every breath.

Happy Earth Day Mother, I love 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 – Contemplation & Solutions

Contemplation & Solutions – 24″ x 34″.

“Contemplation & Solutions”

While creating this painting, its essence became very dear to me. Contemplation is the choice of taking a few moments to listen within for the best solutions. Contemplation means giving up reacting. Each day is filled with a multitude of moments that we are constantly making choices amongst the momentum of “rush, rush, rush” and “hurry up.” When did we allow this rushed feeling become the fearful boss of us? Moreover, why did we? Giving ourselves permission to pause for a few moments, contemplate the best choice of our words or a solution, is an action of honoring the best of who we are, each and every one of us. We honor each other with our mindfulness, and this will always serve us and life, well.

Thank you.

Test Driving Procreate

Do you remember your first attempt at rollerskating, skateboarding, or snow skiing?

Arms out careening around trying to find your balance? That was me on testing out procreate today. Last night I received a new iPad. In the ten years since my first and only iPad purchase, a lot has changed! After powering up, I just had to hold my iPhone next to it upon start-up, and wahlaa, I was in and set up!

This morning I downloaded the procreate app and thought I would give it a test. Wow, what a learning curve! Arms out, careening around through brushes, layers, and colour picking. Of course the image I created is just a stab at random textures, and shy on anything creative (actually, it reminds me of something found on a 1918 tea towel after sopping up spilled tea for two decades), but that’s not the point. It was an adventure in trying to see if I could create anything in a foreign land. It was pretty tough and I still have no clue, but that is the beauty of knowing that brilliant and talented people share great information on Youtube and I can research their wisdom.

Procreate is fast, this test drive was just about a 3 hour drive. Again, I had no plan what-so-ever. I thought I would just make a brushes swatch page, but my circle strokes became an apple….and I just kept going. I can tend to become overwhelmed with having to learn a new program, but once I get my feet wet the challenge seems to entice me into more discoveries. I love the feel of the pencil and not a mouse, or a pen on a wacom tablet while looking at a screen. I purchased a “paperlike” matt protecter film that really feels like paper! The sketching feeling is terrific. Best yet, is that this is the “mobile” painting pallet I can take anywhere, and just doodle or continue a work in process. I am excited to see how far I can take this new program, today I just learned how to start it up and signal I was merging into traffic!

If anyone has suggestions of a great set of brushes, their experience, or tutorials, I would really appreciate it!

Best, Liza

Illustrated Quote

Wonder-

A feeling of surprise
mingled with admiration,
caused by something beautiful,
unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

-Webster’s Dictionary.

I was thinking about “a sense of wonder” as I painted this little bird.

I have decided it is something intrinsic to human nature, happiness and wisdom.

Could we long for the sensation of wonder, yet become too focused on time?  Now the word “drudgery mentality” comes to mind. Wonder only requires only a few seconds, and lifts my heart for hours.

Could wonder be something we allow to arrive, keep as a constant possibility, a sensitivity to, anticipate and embrace without prejudice? Without wonder, I begin to miss the magic contained in the many moments of each day.

Wonder is the heartbeat of thoughtful joy. Without wonder, we could become despondent and depressed.

We can not buy “a sense of wonder.”

Therefore, wonder may just be a conscious choice, a state of mind ready for the miraculous. Choose moments of wonder today. Find wonder in the ordinary. The smell of a lemon, the light on the pavement, the beat of your own heart…….so many choices.

…and have fun.

– Thank you.

 

Painting – The Importance of Having a Dream

Pursuing a Dream

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.” –MLK, Jr.

“A person starts dying when they stop dreaming.” – Brian Williams

“Dreams are different for everyone. For some, they may be personal, for themselves only. For others, they are to be shared, for the world to know. Some may think that their dreams are meant to stay dreams, while others do whatever is necessary to make them reality. Either way, these desires are our source of motivation. They provide us with goals and hopes for the future. Without them, life isn’t worth living; life becomes boring and without a purpose. Granted with great dreams comes great responsibility as they can’t come true without work and dedication. However, it is only with dreaming that one has the potential of reaching pure and utter happiness.

For these reasons I ask you to encourage your friends, your siblings, your future children and whoever else to dream, big or small, it doesn’t matter. There is nothing worse and more sorrowful than having the right to dream taken away. Make sure you realize that right, and make sure that the path you’re on, is the one no one has chosen but yourself.” – Vanessa Raffeale

In this painting the turtle represents the joy and vitality of having, and pursuing a dream. The ethereal images of the dolphins and fish symbolize the ever present guidance assisting us, and cheering us on our way. – Believe in your best.

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

 

 

Painting – Departures & Arrivals

Thank you for everything 2019.

Welcome in, Opportunities of 2020!

In this painting, the past year is symbolized by the Crow. As he exits, we can reflect upon a year of experiences, both personal and shared collectively, that were meant to bring transformation, wisdom, grace and truth. The image of the departing crow is a symbol of learned wisdom gathered throughout the past year. He has completed his job.

The New Year arriving is represented by the Titmouse. The titmouse is a symbol of love, faith, hope and honor. All of our daily experiences are opportunities to see beyond the form, beyond how a situation appears and our personal judgements. Beyond the form is the essence, and in that essence is the truth, a gift of wisdom and grace, and the best of who you truly are, will respond with honor.

New Years Eve Tradition

Every year by habit, I find myself thoroughly cleaning my home the day before New Years Eve. The Christmas decorations are put away and everything receives a good scrub. At the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve I open the back door and thank the previous year for all of its blessings, and each experience to learn as an individual and as part of the greater whole. Then, I open the front door, and welcome in the New Year and all of the opportunities it will bring.

I am not sure where I learned this tradition, it just seems to have always been there. It may be an Irish custom? Begin the New Year with a clean home, gratitude for the past year, and a warm welcome for the gifts and opportunities for the next!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.

– 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.

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