Just try…you might impress yourself.


I’ve admired paintings like these for years because their little faces just make me happy. I can’t afford to buy everything I look at so I figured I’d try to paint them for myself…figuring “no way can I do this” but hey, NOT BAD, eh? It really is silly not to try when you think about it. We are all capable of amazing things when we want to accomplish them. Go for it, try something that makes you smile this week!

As for my 365 blog idea…yeah, 3 weeks of company and it wore me out to be creative and host people I love. I decided to show myself some grace and post once/week instead. It’s more fun for me and not a chore. Working full-time, being mom, wife, friend, host was just too much (I’m WonderWoman not SuperWoman)…be gentle with yourself too.

Try Something New

Modern Wave

I have an appreciation for modern and abstract painting–especially if I try it and it’s harder than it looks (which happens most of the time)! A dear friend introduced me to Heather Brown’s modern Hawaiian art and I love it. I’ve been looking at the piece she gave me for years now and smiling so I thought I’d try one for myself. It didn’t come out exactly the same (much messier too) but I still like what I did and I’m glad I gave it a go.

If you find a piece of art you love–why not give it a try?! If you stink, that will make you appreciate it so much more and if you rock it then you’ll feel proud of yourself, right? Go for it! ūüôā

Here’s a piece of her art to give you a taste…check out her website for more.

Heather Brown Art: heatherbrownart.com

Open Your Eyes–There’s Beauty In Your Home

Here’s a great exercise that you can right in your own home…walk around the house with your camera of choice and photograph the little things you love seeing every day. Think about it, frame it in a thoughtful way and be happy that you captured something in your own home that brings a smile to your face. Another step is to print it out and write on the back, or in a scrap book. Maybe you photographed a piece of jewelry you inherited, a souvenir from a great vacation, a gift from someone who has passed, an instrument you’re learning to play, or some flowers that made you happy today. Enjoy the banality of life–it’s all good.

Frame from the old Sahara Casino, Las Vegas (which is now demolished)
roses on the mantle
African mask to ward off evil spirits (Congo & Angola origins)–a gift from his trip to Africa
her uke, my guitar, and the trees through the window

Woman’s Best Friend



He puts his cheek against mine
and makes small, expressive sounds.
And when I‚Äôm awake, or awake enough 

he turns upside down, his four paws
  in the air
and his eyes dark and fervent. 

‚ÄúTell me you love me,‚ÄĚ he says. 

‚ÄúTell me again.‚ÄĚ 

Could there be a sweeter arrangement? Over and over
he gets to ask.
I get to tell.

This poem is by Mary Oliver, a feminist dog lover poet who wrote a book of poems called “Dog Songs.” It’s a lovely book that is dedicated to woman’s best friend–her baby.

Being Creative When You Have Company

Fiona Art (You Tube)

I am a creature of routine. Like a toddler, I do best when I keep a regular schedule, eat healthy foods, exercise and have play time. When we have moved or taken vacations my routine gets messed up and I find it challenging to slip back into things easily. I begin to make excuses, blow off my workouts, eat junk, and put off my art time. I do the same when we have company–I love hosting friends and family but I let the “rules” slip. I drink more, eat more, workout less and rarely sneak away to do anything as self-indulgent as an art project. I’m trying to come up with other creative outlets while we have company…forcing myself to blog is helping. I decided to research a few videos on You Tube and plan some projects for the weekend. I subscribe to a few but recently came across this one, “Fiona Art” and really love her work. It’s worth a try and thinking about the project gets me excited and wanting to commit a couple hours to playing.

I can’t be alone here–do you ever take time for yourself when you have company? Any advice?

Can exercise fuel creativity?

cre¬∑a¬∑tiv¬∑i¬∑ty/ňĆkrńďńĀňątiv…ôdńď/Learn to pronouncenoun

  1. the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. synonyms:inventiveness, imagination, imaginativeness, innovation, innovativeness, originality, individuality; 

I smiled when I saw this chalkboard outside a local pub this week because I fricken love the culture where I live. We embrace the outdoor lifestyle, we are kind and the beer is really, really good. Then I thought about these worn out, sweaty, thirsty PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) hikers and how nice it would be to enjoy a free cider and donuts. That made me think about how much guts it takes to set off of a massive hike (usually alone) like this and I started to compare this to that of an artist and how we are similar in some ways. My best thinking is done on nature walks (even walking my dog). I can clear my mind and really think, mentally create and even organize my thoughts. It’s magical. I wonder how many long-distance hikers or endurance runners (people who spend long periods of time alone in their thoughts) have their creativity ignited after their physical exercise. It can stimulate and refresh you to energize your body. Perhaps more artists would benefit from some combination of solitude outdoors followed by time to execute whatever creative idea they pondered while exercising.

I had a back injury this spring that has kept me down for months. The only thing I can do (without risking further injury) is hike. In fact, it helps my back and makes me feel great. As I am recovering and working out more, I will continue to blog and see how this affects (hopefully improves) my creative process…maybe we should all give it a try? Can’t hurt to get outside a little more and detox our souls to unleash our creative selves.

The Guilty Voyeur

My role as a photographer is to take. I enjoy this but its a guilty pleasure that I often feel bad about doing. It feels selfish to take. I can justify a lot of it by saying, “they agreed to it,” or “if I tell their story, maybe it will help someone else,” or “maybe these photographs will help this person move on or see how beautiful they are or tell their story.” I say a lot of things but I’m often left feeling heavy or guilty or selfish…but fortunately, more than anything, I feel privileged and trusted.

I am working with a beautiful soul who has lived through more pain than any girl ever should and has made it to the other side now. She isn’t far removed from the tough stuff but she’s come a long way and won’t go back. Her scars tell their own story but I wanted to go deeper than the scars on her skin. I wanted to learn about the scars on her heart and in her head. The healing is just as impressive as the stories themselves. She is healing and growing and becoming. It’s amazing to watch and I am grateful for her trust.

For our “before the healing” shot, I asked her to paint a self portrait of the person she felt like when she was in the thick of the pain. We will follow up soon with a joyfilled photo of her in a happier place (where she is today)…but this is her yesterday…before.

feeling the pain
the process of remembering

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.