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

WIP Painting – It Began With A Bear…& the Post Office.

I was thinking about Christmas and what the season means to me. A painting I had created some time ago came into my mind. I still had all of the progress images, and thought it would be fun to share the progress of how it developed, and what I had learned. As usual I did not have a finished image in my mind when I began this painting. I simply trusted a painting would develop itself as I worked. The painting arrived in three stages, so I will be posting each stage over the next week. It began with a bear while pondering Christmas, “Believing in all that is good,” choosing faith over fear, and delighting in the cheerful anticipation.

Example; this morning I left my home early to arrive at the post office almost an hour before they opened just to get parking. There were a few spaces were available when I arrived. As I trundled my self and my heavy package into the lobby, the line of people were laughing and commenting how they thought they would be the first. Suddenly, the interior door opened. The postal workers had decided to open for business 45 minutes early for all of us! How great was that? Cheerful good will to all.

 What surprised me about painting the bear was that it was a minimalist application, yet appears to have so much detail. I used limited brushes, a broad wash brush, a smaller fine brush, and a brush called “nail.” Now for the friend.

Thank you

From Painting to Book Cover & Design.

A while ago I created the painting “Night Owl,” and then
it flew off!

“Night Owl” 24″ x 36″

Night Owl became licensed to Candace Lienhart and Kahuna Kindergarden, to be used as the cover art for her book SoThere Excerpts & Quotes.
While the painting was horizontal, the cover art needed to be in a vertical format.

Painting, Book Cover and Design

Continuing the painting into a vertical format was quite a challenge, and I enjoyed this project very much. Once the cover was completed within the book specifications, I also created the full book design, layout and graphics.

Back Book Cover and Inner Pages

I loved working with the information of this book. It’s wonderful, and I was able to read it page by page. The text was delivered to me in an editable word document by two people who had been collecting and compiling the information.

I used Adobe InDesign to create the book formatting and file. Originally InDesign was used for magazine and book layouts allowing continuity, and creativity with image placement and wrapping text for many, many pages. This book had 147. Now InDesign is used for many things, brochures, banners, eblasts to name a few.

Adobe Photoshop is the go-to for all image work. Images need to be formatted for clarity and size. Since the book was to be reproduced and bound by a professional printer, the images also needed to be formatted in CMYK for the colour process used by printers.

Adobe Pro DC is used for many steps of the process. From InDesign I can create a pdf file, edit, and rearrange pages. This file can be emailed to the client for proofing and review. It is also the program that the final “production ready” book file is created in for the printer. The whole book production process can take place in three different cities, without leaving home! But I like to meet my printer, they are an encyclopedia of “how to’s” and best cover and text paper choices. I like to make sure it feels good in my hands.

All three of these programs require some training by experimenting or online courses. YouTube is my main go-to, there are some creative problem solving geniuses out there, and I am grateful to them all! I have been using these programs since their infancy, I changed their diapers so to speak, and they just keep evolving and becoming more amazing.

That is the story of the painting becoming a book cover.

Are you designing a book or calendar? Questions are welcomed! If you ever find yourself needing digital assistance, an image formatted for web or print, or anything requiring text or design, email me at Liza@northlizalane.com, or go to my services page. Some tasks require as little as 15 minutes!

Thank you

Artist Anarchy – Work in Progress – Tufted Titmouse

Recently, I find myself working backwards.

Artists learn a lot of “rules” along the way. We keep some, and hopefully we break as many as we can, discovering what works for us in our creativity. Artist Anarchy can be really fun. Over the last year my paintings have been showing up in my imagination as “pieces.” Background, foreground, and main focus or character arrives at random times, and not necessarily in order. I paint or draw what shows up, and then sometimes that’s it. I just save it and move on. Eventually, all of the pieces do come together. The strange part…..is that they fit together perfectly, as if created at the same time.  My most recent work titled “Listening,” arrived in just that way. The foreground and background were painted months apart from each other. However, this tends to create very few posts, so I have decided to post all of the work in progress as it arrives. Hopefully once a week as opposed to once a month, and I will follow along with the story as it arrives!

To get started then

I saw an image of a Tufted Titmouse. Gotta love that name, and there it was, “me, me, draw me!” So I have. I sort of have an inkling of a bigger picture, and hopefully that will be arriving into my imagination soon. For now, I drew the Tufted Titmouse and hopefully these stages will be of interest. We all work differently, and I have learned a great deal from others, so this is “Share and Tell” time. Let me know!

 

The eye was created with watercolour. This might be a Christmas image, but I am trying not to get in the way. Check back next Wednesday and we will see what turns up over the week to come. – Thank you!

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

Listen

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

Detail – LISTEN

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

Try this when waiting in any line

at traffic lights

or while washing dishes

while looking for a new job

or how to “make ends meet”

vacuuming

when the mind is chewing on a past conversation

when you are trying to fall back to sleep

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

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

– Thank you.

 

 

Painting – Time Out

Joy in Time Out.  36″x36″.

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Magical Realism – Painting Retrograde

Every Storm has a Key to Wisdom

Retrograde Detail, holding steady.

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

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

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

Thank you.

Painting – Harmony Within Chaos

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

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

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

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

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

Chaos is a teacher.

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

Chaos holds the key to learning harmony.

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

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

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.

Painting – “Fowl Play.”

I found myself feeling uninspired, and in a bit of a foul mood while trying to enjoy my painting time after a challenging week. What to do? I looked out of the window and observed Betty White and Pearl Bailey busy gossiping around the base of a palm tree.

Betty and Pearl are chickens living in the heart of a large city at a complex that feels as if it is not in the city at all. Betty arrived one day last year as a mystery, was quickly adopted, and Pearl was brought in to be her comrade in hyjinx. They are incredible at herding cats. These two chickens living in the heart of the financial district are quite popular, and even have their own website. It’s all quite comical, watching them at play and how they react to life around them.

“When work becomes play, and play becomes your work, your life unfolds.” — Robert Frost

Taking a my cue from Betty and Pearl I chose to play. I moved into the inspired moment, capturing the energy like a snapshot of spontaneity. Using quick loose strokes, splatters, and random colours, I worked rapidly and with limited thoughts. Then I added a little detail for the head. Later, I chose to add a background of gritty texture, replicating the dirt Betty and Pearl love to dig in for appetizers. My observation of play became the energy of how I painted, and the true essence of the image. I smiled as I worked, and my work became play. Another valuable lesson in truly living life. — Thank you.

The Abstract Realism of Life.

Do we see all that is in front of us, or just what we assume we see?

Wonder II is an abstract painting in technique and creation. However, by only adding a limited amount of shadowing to create a shoreline, it appears to be a view from across a pond in the late days of the fall season. I find this pretty interesting. My mind continues to register realism, but the painting is completely abstract. I know this, because I painted it.

I like this description of Abstract Realism; “…exploration of the pure exuberance of paint with just enough imagery to deem it realistic.” (Sherri McGraw).

So, how much of life around me am I aware of in each moment?

Detail Section – Wonder II

Creativity inspires me to wonder, and I wonder if we perceive life on a moment by moment basis, through unconscious assumptions. What we see…. may not be all that is available to be seen in the moment, and we may be missing so much of all that is truly around us. If this were true, then are we missing the information about whole truth by assuming we know the truth?

Perhaps our assumptions, or mental constructs do not allow us to see beyond them, and fully register what is actually right in front of us in every moment. What if the whole truth was available to us in each moment, if WE were fully present in each moment? If we were not thinking a few minutes ahead, or thinking about what just happened in the past, would we find ourselves without any anxiety? Would we be filled with a knowingness and with that, a peacefulness  in each moment?

Wonder II is acrylic on untreated linen, 20″ x 36″. The entire creative process consisted of adding splatters of paint, layer by layer in a rhythmic motion. Each additional layer created a “resist” for the next layer to follow. Finally I scraped all of the paint off and what was left had stained deeply into the linen. Then I added some highlights with oil pastel and washed in a shoreline.

This painting reminds me how a peaceful place can be found in the pure presence of each moment.

— Thank you

 

 

Painting – Just Makes Me Happy

 

 

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

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

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

Peace

 

 

Painting – One Puddle at a Time

“Wonder II”  Multimedia, Acrylic on linen with oil pastels. 15″ x 11″.

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen.” — Rumi

While working on a larger abstract piece, this section of detail caught my attention. My imagination saw a puddle and the sun emerging, filling the space with light and colour. I thought of life, and how there are stormy times that can feel never-ending. And always, the storm passes and a lightness of being and connection returns again.

During a storm I remind myself to tread carefully. When the sun comes out I will look back at how I weathered the experience, and I want to take comfort in that I did not cause distress for others, letting myself down as well.
I remind myself, “This too will pass.” I try to focus on the wonder created in the reflections of the puddles, and whisper; “Steady-Eddy,” one puddle at a time.

Thank you

 

Painting – “Me again…”

“Me again…”

40″ x 30″ Acrylic on Linen.

Inside any deep asking is the answering. – Rumi

This is a painting about a continuous conversation
asking questions about everything
learning how to listen
it’s about;
humble pie
incredible joy
the truth
forgiveness
kindness
apologizing
self-discipline
laughter
grace
living in harmony
giving
blessing
inclusion
cleaning up our own mess
receiving
compassion
courage
freedom
helping
supporting life
it’s about each moment within each day
it’s about asking what you can do to serve life
it’s about love.

 

 

Painting – Choosing the Long Way Home

Choosing the Long Way Home. 36″x48″.

This painting contains “hidden images.” For anyone who remembers Highlights magazine and the hidden images drawing on the last page, you may enjoy finding them as much as I did.

This work was a complete surprise. I had no “conceptual plan” whatsoever, but to just play around creating texture. It wasn’t until this piece was about to be set aside, that I saw a story creating itself within the painting. While peering closely at the detail, the painting extended an invitation to enter. I walked in as an observer, and was enchanted by what I found, beginning with all the little faces and characters. I gave this painting the title; “Choosing the long way home.” This painting also holds many stories, and you are invited in to share them. I invite your imagination to walk into the image, peek into the windows and meander along the lane.

I would love to hear about what you find, and any stories you see.

Happy New Year to all. — and I thank you.

 

Painting – Free Falling into Stillness

Free Falling into Stillness. 36″x24″

“So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” – T.S. Eliot

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” – Lao Tzu

“Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is — no matter what form it takes — you are still, you are at peace.” – Eckhart Tolle

This painting began as an assignment; “Paint as the neutral observer instead of the creative director.” My mind immediately wanted to have at least an outline, a subject, an assignment, and a deadline. It was beside itself. No plan? That was fine for daily life, but how do you create without an idea, without seeing it in your mind, first? It was two months before I could even sit down to work. I needed to discover what this meant…….

This was a journey into discovering an inner stillness, and the true creativity within the present moment.

In the present moment, in the stillness, is everything I need to know. Listening, and then responding is a rhythm in alignment within our very being, without the mental chatter and its judgements. It didn’t happen overnight, but a time came when the hostages were set free, and there was acceptance, peace, and the joy of creating in the present moment. Not simply for art, but in each and every moment.

– Thank you.

Drawing — Falling Angel

What if?

What if deep within each human being, is an original design of angelic grace, love, and wonder?

What if,

within each moment of our lives, and each experience, an awareness was present and available for us to realize this true design, step by step?

What if,

this could be achieved by asking for the truth in each moment, beyond the emotional reactions and fears?

What if,

our purpose in life is to trust, and remember what we have forgotten?

What if,

this spread, and man’s inhumanity to man and the planet, became part of the past?

What if,

this was all simply, a choice within each of us, and we became “Angels Rising?”

These are the thoughts that inspired the drawing “Falling Angel”. — 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

 

Illustrating Mother and Child

Stage 1 – Sketching and base washes

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

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

Stage 2 – Sketching Hair, Adding Washes and Detail

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

Painting the Peals (of Wisdom).

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

Stage 4 – Peonies and Butterflies

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is “Mother and Child”

 

Painting the Beekeepers Gift

Everyone has natural gifts, whether they are aware of them or not.

Bee within hexagons.

This painting started out abstract and simplistic. Just a few notes, like a melody. A bee surrounded by light, with a few hexagons to represent the honeycomb. However, the painting continued to expand, and so did its message.

Some people have gifts that they may be completely unaware of, however, these gifts are very valuable to each individual they interact with. True kindness, a sense of humor, patience, or compassion are just a few. Gifts do not require a tangible creation, like beautiful music, or a wonderful story. Gifts can not be put on like fashion accessory, or used for manipulation. All gifts are something that serve life, and live on within the recipient, lifting them up to a lighter self.

Bees symbolize community, light, and the sweetness of life. They also represent the heart, and personal power. Bees respond to, and respect the gentleness within an individual. Most people do as well. They become alarmed and threatened by insensitivity and disrespect. Bees can intuit true intentions. The Beekeeper symbolizes a pure heart, that cares deeply, and respectfully for the sweetness in life, dispelling fears.

“The Beekeepers Gift” represents the courage, and the great power of sharing our gifts in thought, word, and deed.  — Thank you.

This is “The Beekeepers Gift”

 

 

Painting The Orchard, A Parents Illustration of Transformation

This Is An Animated Painting

Transformation

My youngest launched himself from the nest two years ago. During the excitement, the packing, and the plans, I painted. Then I animated the painting to illustrate observing the transition, and the transformation we both were experiencing. This animated clip is very short, only one minute and twenty-three seconds.

The Orchard

Change has its own timing,
it can’t be rushed
and most likely it won’t be convenient,
that’s part of its charm.


Art & Design: North Liza Lane
Music: Joe Hisaishi – Evening Wind (Yuugure no Kaze)

When my children launched themselves into the world, I was required to experience a transformation from being the guide in front of my child, into the supportive position of standing beside a young man. My job now is to trust their own intuition, their path choices, and their own decisions. I ask questions to prompt their wisdom to come forward.

Their “owner’s manual” is deep within them, and it is private. I was not given a copy. It is fortunate that I could not get my hands on it, or I would have probably started a “protective” editing process. Possibly ripping out whole sections. Not a good plan. I truly enjoy this stage with both my sons. I really like this position. We are now good friends, and we laugh, and we enjoy the journey together. I also enjoy my empty nest. I am filling it up with discovering myself and who I am now, after a job that I can only trust, was well done.

The Orchard is my illustration of the experience of being a mother, a caretaker, and then releasing them into the world. This painting and animated clip is two years old, but it came into my mind when thinking about Fathers Day, of being a parent, or caretaker, or a guardian. – Thank you

Painting The DreamCatcher

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

Hands off the steering wheel.

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

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

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

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

 The DreamCatcher

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

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

Society6.com/northlizalane

Till next time…….thank you.

Painting “After the Rain, a Contemplative Walk”

The silent moments after a storm.

Sketchbook Doodle

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

Washes of Colour

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

Deepening Contrast and Reflective Light

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

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

“After the Rain, A Contemplative Walk”

Painting “Tribal Garden”

Sketching in my notebook, I began to play with a design and listen. It felt tribal, and I thought of tattoos, but I also felt a garden, and realized this image would represent a combination of the essence, thoughtfulness, and the respect many cultures live by, deeply connected in reverence with nature, honoring the gifts of the earth, and that which created it.

Beginning Tribal Garden, Sketch

The sketch is a connection for me, and when I begin to paint, I get to listen and learn.

Tribal Design – Representing a way of choosing to live, spiritual beliefs, and could be seen as a transition in life, embracing wisdom and understanding the grace of being truly aware and alive.

Garden – The original paradise created by God as a safe enclosure. The soul, and innocence, consciousness, happiness, salvation, and purity. Gardens represent the essence of the space between people that is a true state of living in peace, because gardens represent inclusion, community, and a sense of well-being.

Tribal Garden Design

Hibiscus Flower –  Delicate beauty, immortality, and the natural beauty of being one with God. The hibiscus, represents a state of royalty in the connection to that which created this earth, respecting and honoring the hospitality that the earth has always been generously giving to us.

I then painted two more panels of this piece.

Tribal Garden Center Panel

Tribal Garden – Third Panel

And I thought about this experience, about the tribal significance of living on this generous planet, and listening to what the garden and its creator is so diligently offering to teach us. Do I listen and make time to connect to the earth? Do I honor the planet in my life choices, in what I choose to support, and do I and thank nature each day for its wisdom, and the nurturing sustenance it offers?

This is the “Tribal Garden”

Tribal Garden

Thank you.

Painting “Opportunities & Choices”

I heard this painting before I saw it in my mind. I listened to the rythmic sound of the tracks. I drew my sketch and painted a train shortly after pulling into a station. As I painted the passengers, I realized they felt dull, and resigned to their continuous, and repetitive journey of this train. That became the symbolism of the train itself, outdated, dark and uninspired.

Sketch & Train Body

Symbolism
 The train represents traveling through life with only the tools of a “mass form of thought” that is void of any questions, awareness, joy, or truth. The repetitive sound of this train represents all of the unconscious judgements, ignorance, and fear that has been repeated over and over again all around us, accepted, and then passed on, and pressed on, to the next generation.

Train with Background & Foreground

I painted the background architecture next, and the platform, wondering where this image was going? Was it meant to be this dark?

An elephant appeared on the platform and was quickly joined by a few friends. I chuckled at this.

Elephant, Zebra & Parrot

Elephant
Symbolizes nourishment,
instincts, focus, and family. Nourishing the true instincts within us, that we arrive with, daily shifting our focus to the bigger picture, to the bigger family of all of life that surrounds us, every person, place and thing. Practicing patience, and asking for guidance for the understanding of others while we question our own ignorance.
Elephant symbolizes letting go of the lies we may have been warned to “never forget”, and we may have held onto through our loyalty to those that gave them to us, as others had given to them, possibly believing they created some sort of safety.

Zebra
Symbolizes other viewpoints and new ideas, new ways of resolving problems, asking within to understand, and recognizing there is a higher truth connecting all individuals, and the world around us. Life is filled with millions of colours, and is not just black and white.

Parrot
Parrot is a symbol of mirroring habits, characteristics, or ways that are not necessarily reflective of who you really are. The parrot also represents the vigilance of paying attention to what you are saying unconsciously to yourself, and to the world around you with your words, attitudes, and behaviors, in the quest for acceptance.

The Child

In this painting, the child represents each moment of each day. In a moment of misunderstanding and confusion, we are being given an opportunity and a choice. Do we choose to shelter ourselves in judgements that condemn another individual as being less than ourselves? Does this unconscious reaction, really make us feel safe when misunderstanding another person, triggering a fear within us? Or do we trust in our connection to a much, much higher form of wisdom and grace, that will guide us into a larger awareness, unconditional love, and the patience to keep asking for the highest truth, until all of the lights come on within, and we see ourselves connected to all. Grace and wisdom has always been there in our suitcase, waiting to be open and unpacked.  Each moment is our opportunity. Do we board the train of mass thought, or do we choose to rise to a higher platform, and hold hands with the alignment of the greater good of all?  Thank you.

This is “Opportunities & Choices”

Opportunities & Choices

Painting “The Unknown is Calling”

Stage One; The Phone

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

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

Stage Two; The Crow

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is “The Unknown is Calling”

The Unknown is Calling

Mystery Blogger Award

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

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

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

 

Painting the Lightness of Being in 2018

In the wee small hours of New Years Day, I did not make a single New Years resolution.

Instead, I began to play around creating this simple image, and I as I did this I made a choice.
This choice will allow me to fail again and again, and walk away full of insight, inspiration and information.
That’s a Win-Win deal for 2018.

The choice is to be present and firmly grounded within the light that we each carry individually, and collectively.
If I find myself “thinking ahead”, or into the future, I will be powerless in the present, as well as if I am choosing to “sight-see” in the past lane.
Each time I become aware of this I can ask what was the thought or emotion that distracted me into leaving the present moment?
With this insight, I will learn more about myself, and create inspired changes with this information.

Mary Palelogos wrote it beautifully;

“There is a light that shines so magnificently that we forget it exists.
That is the light within us.

Each one of us is born with that light. We are the light at our core that’s our essence. Our light is always there, and it’s available to us to access at any time. What covers up that light is all the fears, negative thoughts and past baggage.
Our energy becomes dense and heavy as we walk around carrying the weight of the world.

We have convinced ourselves that this is who we are and we are meant to live in this way. This is not the case. The truth is we need to let go of everything that is weighing us down, holding us back and limiting us in life.

It is our birthright to feel true joy and a lightness of being. When we let go of who we think we are based on the ego keeping us captive, with its insistence that we are our thoughts, fears, personalities and dramas, we give space in the present time to find out who we really are. Who you are is a radiant soul that has come here, in this time and space, to shine your light and share your gifts with the world.”

To see the full article in the HuffPost, here is the link.

Painting “Whispers” & Happy New Year

Whispers

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.

 

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