The BIG re-set . . .


The BIG re-set . . .
Chillaxin'  9x12" oil on linen panel

We're rollin' into March and I'm wondering what is on your mind!  It seems we are over the Covid-19 epidemic and signs of Spring are starting to pop.  Soon we will be warming up to Summer... and then... Fall.  Honestly, I'm doing my best to accept whatever happens this Fall. Now, I want to be a duck and let the stress roll off my back.  No matter how much we all might complain or disagree about "this or that", we still live on the same planet and need to eat, breathe, and sleep.  Perhaps add a bit of "exercise" and the world is just right.  Or, perhaps a little bit of dark chocolate might help too...but I digress.

How do you wash away your stress?  For me, I go to my studio to create art and experiment with ideas.  I have discovered that either a flow or flop day at the easel is still a good day.  Most of the time at the easel is spent standing on my tired feet alongside my palette, applying mixed piles of pigment onto a vertical surface.  Somedays might result in a destroyed idea, while other days birds deliver golden eggs. Even if a piece is nearly finished, it can still take an abrupt direction resulting in a fried mess.  Regardless, every day's a good day when I paint! Sounds familiar?  Y e a h.

Rest brings another day, the sun will continue to rise and set, and we are all on this earth together.  Skip polar opinions and apply the practice of asking and listening to the "why".  Understand one another by listening carefully.  We may never agree with everyone... or anyone for that matter, but we are all orbiting around the same sun together.  Perhaps we all could use 
an interstellar trip ...and we're not too far from that happening either!  What's on your mind?  How do you "re-set"?

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Moving Forward...


"A Different Direction"  60x48x1.5"  (in process)
Happy New Year!
If you were to walk across an unsteady bridge, head towards an undiscovered direction, or stay in our world of the familiar, your comfort level matches that of the path.  If you are one to make new resolutions or personal goals, then you know how daunting a small commitment can be...or not.  One thing is certain; change is always present.  It is not the future or the past, it is NOW.  We are always revising and redirecting from moment to moment, just like the flow of a small stream...into the future.  

What if you were to magically repeat the year 2023 with the added wisdom and knowledge you gained from 2023?  Would your life be any different?  The wisdom you gained from the past twelve months might seem small, but to some, a new direction could mean everything.

As I paint, I feel as if I am in a meditative state of mind.  It is a wonder... as I create I am challenging myself to make something out of nothing. Sometimes my direction changes after hours of struggle with one passage.  Have you ever made a wrong turn?  Yeah, it's like that, but all without frustration because creating is "a Journey".  What do you do when you take a new and unexpected direction?  Do you stop to take a closer look?  It might uncover an unfamiliar answer.

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The Gift of being Present

"Five Fifteen"  24x24" Pastel on sanded paper

The gift of being present...what a concept! I dare to suggest that most of us live in an interruption-based society and are simply busy working to live and survive. And when all our needs have been met we naturally move towards new goals. 
Planning, dreaming, and navigating the world around us can give us a sense of purpose. We can also get hung up on worrying about the past and lost opportunities. Why not? How come? Not me? Or how about the voices in your head that keep reminding you of all those "Honey do's"?   

What if you let off the gas and just coasted for a while? When was the last time you did that? A long overdue vacation? That in itself could be exhausting! Do you need more time for yourself? Living in the moment is possible with a bit of thoughtful effort. Become more aware of your surroundings. Quietly sit down and look outdoors at the colorful Spring season. What do you really see? When have you just sat and listened to the quiet sounds around you? Can you identify them? Being present in the here and now is such a gift to your well-being. Take a deep breath, pray, meditate, fill your lungs, and clear your mind. Just be here, and gift yourself the present.

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Clearing the way towards a fresh perspective


"Summer Field" oil on linen panel, 8x10"  $1,050
 Available through Art Elements Gallery

What does it take to make a small change in your life? Pretty easy, right? Perhaps for some of us, but it truly depends on each personal situation. We each are born and develop through experience, a unique perspective on life and how things work around us...politics, science, religion, the natural world...the "usual" circumstances beyond our individual control. So when a change is necessary, do you freeze or jump?

What if you took a magnifying glass and looked with your naked eye, at a colorful image in a magazine? There you would see thousands of red, blue, yellow, and black dots meaninglessly arranged apart from each other. But when you look at the dots from a distance, you see the individual dots are arranged to make more sense and become clear with a united idea. Continue looking at this image from 30 yards away, it becomes blurry, and inevitably...a blob!

We all know that we experience, over time, a huge dictionary of trials and tribulations that form our outward perception of life. This is what makes us 
so beautifully unique! The same goes for stepping back as an artist. I often step back and physically remove myself from my paintings. Viewing my work from a different perspective opens up unforeseen solutions. I will often turn the work upside down, face it towards the wall to get a break from it, look at it in a mirror, or take a photo and look at it in reverse on my smartphone. What and how do you gain a new perspective?  Change it up!

Moving along...    

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A thirst for first

Finally...winter is showing signs of exhaustion! While most of us have endured several chilly months inside our cocoons, a wariness begins to emerge, causing us to get up, shake off the cobwebs, and get out of our winter cave. Spring spurs a little urgency to evaluate where we will go next.  Some of us will be packing travel bags, and experiencing many "firsts", while some may stay settled into a comfortable, solid routine.  Oh, Spring!  What lies ahead?

Do you ever look at nature and wonder just how you are here in the present?  Does the outdoors bring forth new ideas? It surely does for me!  

One Spring I took a painting trip to California's Palm Desert that produced some of my favorite pieces (the inspiration for the piece above). The subtle colors of the old palm tree skirts were an unexpected sight. What amazed me while creating their likeness, was how I was present in an incredible moment of our earth's existence. The palm trees have been there for hundreds, if not thousands of years. drinking from the pools of percolating water that bubbles up from the infamous San Andreas Fault.  The thought came up that my paintings took an ensie-weensie second of their existence.

Time is precious. And while the palm trees continue to drink from the well, we continue to spin around so that we don't notice what is actually around us.  S
o here are a couple of ideas we can practice to slow down our busy lives and enrich our presence today...

Take a minute out for your "self" and just  b r e a t h e  deeply.
Listen to the sounds around you.  What do you really hear?
Go to the market and buy a fragrant bouquet to enjoy.
Get up early to view a sunrise.  How long has it been since you have done that?
Or touch the velvet of a rose flower...although they are out of season, you get the idea?
Use all of your senses to fill yourself up.  What will you do with your Spring?

Moving along...    

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Luck of the draw....or playing with aces and jokers?

What if you won a ten-million-dollar jackpot?  How would your life change?  Or would you try to preserve the "who, what, and where" you have become at this point?  It's quite possible your name would be reported on the evening news and the IRS would be banging on your front door. Or perhaps you'd move to Tahiti and wear coconuts for the rest of your life.

Some say that artists are "lucky to be born with talent".  Perhaps there is an eensie-weensie bit of truth to that statement, but there is one large aspect of talent that cannot be overlooked.  It's called TIME.  Having a talent is not luck of the draw. Making a career as an artist takes an entire lifetime of decisions, practice, failures, and experimentation...and there will always be more as time provides.

We each have some special gift (aka jackpot) that makes us who we are.  We all are dealt with opportunities (aces), and circumstances (jokers), that mold our destiny, and millions of decisions that can have a million outcomes. Could it be luck or lack of "the draw"?  Could it be fortuitous or happenstance?  
Perhaps "our time" is the only lucky thing we have.  So play your cards well!

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Wrapping things up with intention

Wrapping things up with intention

"Relevance" 6x8" oil on canvas panel,

Over the past few years, have you noticed how precious your time has become? The subject of time eventually revolves around more personal questions about "why we do with what we have". Personally, the subject of time has been a hot topic between me and my three-legged easel.

As a very young artist, I simply wanted to draw horses, yet I was completely unaware of how drawing the same subject repeatedly taught me a lifetime of skills. My "why" was to improve my ability to see better what I saw, and also get some sort of praise or recognition for my work. But life takes its turns...and time reminded me I had to eat.

Now..what time has taught me is to value an intimate relationship with what I paint. The "what" can be an emotional intention, a purpose, or a lesson at the end of each mark. My creative intentions revolve around my personal story more than any quantity, blue ribbon, or banknote. After all, is said and done, there is no better time than to discover and understand your personal "why"... now!  
What is your "Why"?  Do share!

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