Looking Up While Looking Down


Sometimes I look down to look up

when my head feels too heavy to lift

I look down to look up

when I want to find something beautiful in the ugly

I look down to look up

when I’m afraid the sun might sting my eyes

I look up while looking down

when I am hopeful there’s a bright blue sky somewhere…


Pour Me…cheap therapy

beauty rising from the darkness

Art has become my therapy. Creating is very satisfying. Today I poured paint and torched it to make this cell effect. I am learning how to execute a technique and recreate it again and again. It’s a learning process for sure. I think a master artist is one who can create something over and over. I’m still a novice with paint but it’s a cool journey.

world on fire
lava fields

Parallel Play for Adults

Sagebrushers Art Collective Workspace

“Have fun at your therapy today” he said.

“Thanks, I’m sure I will.” I responded.

I dropped in on a Wise Women Mixed Media workshop at Sagebrushers Art Collective today. We began by sitting in a circle and setting our intention for the day. We were led by a lovely woman named Maria who talked about clarity and her desire for it and that we can all benefit by having some of our own. I couldn’t agree more! Then we were released to play! I had an idea of what I was going to do going in but changed it when I started. I went with a Dante’s Divine Comedy themed project. Here they are:


I’m not sure what stage or phase I’m in now personally…feels like inferno on Monday, purgatorio by Wednesday and paradiso on Friday afternoon…hmmm….linked to something? Life is too short–might have to consider how I can wake up to paradiso every day.


Art with a 12 year old gamer

Feels like yesterday when my daughter and I would color cute animals with crayons and colored pencils. Now, she games, a lot. Her game du jour is called “Hollow Night” and she loves the characters so her artistic outlet is to create new ones who would fit in the game. This one is called “Vine” but I told her it would be cooler to misspell it to “Vyne” because…you know.

My horoscope said to hang out with a kid tonight so I asked her if she wanted to paint with me (I really suck at her video game and neither of us felt like playing a game)…nope. She didn’t want to draw either but she suggested I draw one of her characters in “my style” (I don’t feel like I have a style). Well, ok…why not? That is good, quality family time, right?

So, here you have her (all her characters are female)–Vyne! (She approved although did critique her a bit.)

Avoid Click-Bait Temptation and Use Your Resources!

watercolor octopus

I’m often tempted to click on those persistent ads on FB when they pop up in my feed. One that I did click on recently is a watercolor subscription. They send you an adorable kit once/month for $35 that includes the image, the paint, brushes and a how-to video. So, I thought…hmmm…I could sign-up and review this on my blog and have some fun too. Then I realized, I have watercolor paint, brushes, graphite paper, mixed media paper and a whole bunch of google expertise! 🙂

So, I downloaded my favorite octopus tattoo picture, busted out my graphite paper and traced it to the mixed media paper.

Then, I watched the video on the website (you can view any of a thousand on youtube for free too) and painted my first octopus. Not too bad. I have some room to grow but I am digging it so far. I love water color because it doesn’t make a big mess, you use far less paint and it feels less toxic (I honestly don’t know).

Bottom line–check your inventory before you spend a bunch of money of more of what you probably already have in your garage! Happy painting!

Portraiture Photography Takes Trust


You can take a photo or you can develop a relationship. If your heart stays open it gets bigger and fuller (kinda like the Grinch). I love portraiture photography because I love faces and stories and connections. If someone trusts you, it’s amazing what you can capture. It feels like a gift every time too. I love the safety of having a lens between us but not taking away from the moment.

This is Emma. She has no idea how beautiful she is…her heart is open, she is kind and funny and generous. We are taking a journey together to capture her own personal before and during …her after has yet to come. She’s lived too many experiences to capture in one image but as you can see here, she trusted me to take the first step with her and so far, she’s timeless.

Perfect practice makes perfect-ish…

I painted today. This always makes me smile–in spite of all the wankers who try so hard to ruin my day. Some people jog to clear their heads, I get my hands dirty. Funny enough, my grandmother liked to paint with her hands too but I never once saw her paint. I saw the art on the walls but she never shared that with me…I wonder why? Sharing your art is a gift.

So, back to the fun. I have been thinking about my triptych project and although I’ve been thinking about horizons, I don’t want all 3 pieces to look the same or for the horizons to look uneven or forcibly random (is that a thing?). This is why I practice with small canvases.

Here’s today’s attempt. I created my horizon first and worked from there. I appreciate the layering process so I began by painting the canvas with 2 colors on opposite ends of the color wheel–my favorite combo of red and blue.

inspiration colors

Next, I decided to play around with 6 different colors that made me think of a sunset at the ocean. From the bottom up I mixed black, blues, purple, more blue and transitioned to warm yellow hues and back to black/blue. I applied these colors with a small brush and then dabbed a small, round sponge over each color.

While the paint was still wet (but drying fast) I took a wet paper towel and cleaned up the silver line and then pulled the paint from the silver line down to give it some movement. I also took the wet paper towel and dragged it across in a horizontal and vertical pattern to make the “sky” feel more natural but still abstract. Voila! I have my little sample!

sample abstract sunset painting

What do I like about this? The colors are gorgeous. I like the pull you see in the blues and the gradual fade of the oranges into the black. The texture isn’t captured well here but it is very textural–another thing I enjoy. What do I want to do differently next time? Move the horizontal line away from center–it’s too balanced. I don’t like the 50/50 look here. It’s much more interesting when you view things in thirds vs halves. Next time I will consider elongating the sky and minimizing the sea. Another thing to make your art amazing is to share a story or at least create a head-scratching name for your piece. I call this my sample (because it’s a practice piece) but I could call a final version something much more abstract like “poets dream” or “sadness” or “through the lens.” You get the idea. 🙂 It’s a journey you want to take your viewers on with you or at least make them think you are deep and artsy.