Winter Blossoms


blossom – 9″ x 12″ x 1″ – acrylic – mixed media on wood panel
{from the Mantras & Meditations series – available for purchase in my etsy shop}


We all have contained within us seeds of beauty, strength, compassion, understanding, creativity, love…  seeds that must be nurtured in order to blossom.  The trick is to discover the right environment within which to grow.  It’s not necessarily a place, but more a state of mind.

What does it take to get it just right?  Well, for me it all starts with honesty and self-acceptance; knowing that if I stay true to who I am, that is more than enough.


The Jewel

There is this cave

In the air behind my body

That nobody is going to touch:

A cloister, a silence

Closing around a blossom of fire.

When I stand upright in the wind,

My bones turn to dark emeralds.

James Wright (1927 – 1980)

Listen and Reach


listen – 10″ x 10″ x 1″ – acrylic – mixed media on wood panel
{from the Mantras & Meditations series – available for purchase in my etsy shop}


I have been thinking a lot lately about what’s most important to me and where I want to go next on this life-journey. Although I am energized by setting goals and making plans, I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions.  If something seems like a good thing to do, I either go for it or put it on the back burner until the time is right; if it’s meant to be, it will happen.  Nonetheless, there’s something to be said for rituals that challenge us to step back and reflect on who we are –  our values, our dreams, and our intentions to bring the two together – and so I’ve been thinking about what kind of ritual would help me move forward in 2009.


It’s funny how sometimes that universal magic of synchronicity can weave together so many random threads.  As I’ve been working on my Mantras & Meditations  series of paintings, I’ve been focusing on being still and simply listening to my inner voice for words and affirmations that are meaningful and inspiring. The practice of creating art around mantras and meditations has been very grounding for me, and I have been sensing myself opening up to new ideas and possibilities.  In the midst of this focusing on words that shape being and action,  I came across a post that Leah, host of Creative Every Day and Art Every Day Month, wrote about Christine Kane’s practice of choosing a defining word for the year.  Instead of creating a long, onerous “To-Do” list of resolutions that inevitably fall by the wayside, Christine suggests that we create a one word theme that will serve as a guide and inspiration throughout the year – an annual mantra! 


I chose two words, because they represent a process that is very important to me.  First, I want to learn to Listen more deeply and fully, both to my inner voice and to the unspoken words of others. I want to turn off the static that surrounds me and tune into the messages that come in silence. Then I want to Reach – reach within, reach out, reach for, reach above, reach below, reach beyond the limits I have intentionally and unintentionally set for myself. Listen ~ Reach… my mantra for 2009.  It makes me feel that anything is possible.


What word would you choose? 



shine within – 10″ x 10″ x 1″ – acrylic/mixed media on wood panel
{from the Mantras & Meditations series – available for purchase in my etsy shop}


The snow falls, the world is silent; yet there are voices that speak if we will only quiet ourselves and listen…


Sojourns in the Parallel World

We live our lives of human passions,

cruelties, dreams, concepts,

crimes and the exercise of virtue

in and beside a world devoid

of our preoccupations, free

from apprehension–though affected,

certainly, by our actions. A world

parallel to our own though overlapping.

We call it “Nature”; only reluctantly

admitting ourselves to be “Nature” too.

Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,

our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,

an hour even, of pure (almost pure)

response to that insouciant life:

cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing

pilgrimage of water, vast stillness

of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane,

animal voices, mineral hum, wind

conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering

of fire to coal–then something tethered

in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch

of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.

No one discovers

just where we’ve been, when we’re caught up again

into our own sphere (where we must

return, indeed, to evolve our destinies)

–but we have changed, a little.

Denise Levertrov (1923 – 1997)


The painting above is one of a series called Mantras & Meditations.  I will be offering that series, along with other smaller paintings and prints of larger works for sale when I open my Etsy shop in January. Happy Holidays!  

Late for the Sky


journal page – 10/18/08

October is the month of small migrations, when the air moves with restless, nervous energy.  The wind picks up, sending down a tumbling shower of ochre, carnelian, and diarylide yellow that collects on the ground like a richly-woven Persian carpet.  The sky, now broader through the thinning canopy, changes face hourly; misty in the morning, baby blue with streaks of clouds by midday, searing acid blue in the afternoon, pink-tinged charcoal near evening. Even on still days, some leaves (they know it’s time) let go and drift earthward on gentle currents.


Grackles in great noisy flocks populate the land beneath the trees, conversing loudly with one another as they pick berries and seeds from among the leaves.  Suddenly spooked by a movement,  they rise in a flapping cacophony of screeches into the trees and wait warily as I pass along the path, silhouetted against the sky like black-cloaked beadles.  Geese move overhead in v-formations and sparrow flocks dance through the air in brown waves before landing in a line along a wire.  Clinging and falling, noise and silence, movement and waiting, formation and breaking rank…  


The ancient maple behind the house creaks in the breeze as if to say… you want to stay, but it’s time to go.


I see my own soul in Nature, every day, every season.

How long have I been sleeping

How long have I been drifting alone through the night

How long have I been running for that morning flight

Through the whispered promises and the changing light

Of the bed where we both lie

Late for the sky


Jackson Browne


The 8″ x 10″ journal page above – which is part of a special Autumn book I’ve been working on – was done with oil paint-sticks and acrylics. The background contains some collage elements and the nature printing technique I recently learned in a workshop with my friend Lenna Andrews.

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