"The proper use of imagination is to give beauty to the world..." Lin Yu-T'ang

Friday, December 23, 2011

Many Paths

I've been busy, busy, busy working on photos and textures. Daysha and I went hiking recently and we got some great images before my battery ran out. It was an absolutely gorgeous, cool, fall day and a joy to be outside. These will all be included in my new Etsy listings. Click in the sidebar to go to my shop and order prints. If you want a different size other than 8X10, just send me an email. You can also download my newest texture, Storm Clouds, used on the image above for free as my gift to you. Just scroll all the way down to see the texture and click on the link to download. Enjoy!

I love John Keats. Have you seen this movie?  The photography is lovely, the acting is brilliant and the story...well, just have your tissues ready. It's a beautiful film. Keats says that beauty is truth and truth is beauty. We have also heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We rarely, if ever, hear that truth is in the heart of the individual. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we all find different things beautiful even if we have similarities, then the beauty that we see and experience individually is what we truly connect with at a soul level. Perhaps Keats is saying that if we can see the beauty in and around ourselves, we can become aware of our truth. And perhaps when we become aware of our truth, it becomes the measuring stick by which we find beauty. The purpose of art is to help us see things differently. Have you ever wondered why art is important? Why is it important to see things differenty, from another perspective than what we might be used to? What if we can see the art and beauty all around us? How would life be different? How would we be different? I believe that this is a skill we can develop and practice. I call it Embracing Grace Everyday.

When I look, and I mean really look, I find beauty in the most surprising places and in the most surprising ways. I see things differently than if I simply pass by, trading surface glances. I see beauty that I almost missed! Subtle and striking. I see the essence of something beneath the surface. I see layer after layer. When I really stop to become aware of and know what's really true inside of myself, I find my truth in the most surprising ways and places too. The more I find beauty and truth, the more I practice embracing grace everyday, the more committed I become to living my true self and my true life; to living a life I love and am in love with.

"Fairy Bridge"...I imagine this bridge leading to an ethereal world full of wonder, beauty and surprise.

Click here to download Storm Clouds texture.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Peaceful Lake

mouse over to see before image

This was one of a number of beautiful sites on a recent trip. I think it looks lovely with Kim Klassen's Annabelle texture. Very subtle. I worked for quite a while on this one to get it just right. I tried a number of things and nothing was "floating my boat" until...on a whim I added a warm photo filter and...POP! There it was. Just what I was looking for. That's how it is many times with art. You just have to work play it out and trust that something is on it's way. I suppose that's how it is in life too.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Faded Orchid Beauty

mouse over to see before image

I took this image of an orchid at the LA Arboretum while visiting there a few weeks ago. I used Kim Klassen's texture, "Lilly" on it. She's currently hosting "12 days of Textures". Pop on over and see some other images and what those participating have done with their images and Kim's texture. Very inspiring and lots of beautiful winter-y images from all over the world!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Foggy Hillside

New in my Etsy shop (or click the link in my sidebar)! I'm so excited to offer this print and "Solvang" posted yesterday. I think they are both beautiful and my hope is that they bring you as much delight as they do me.
I saw this amazing foggy scene driving back to where I live from Solvang. I used my newest texture, Warm Ginger (yes, I've had holiday scents and baking on my mind!) to bring out the reds and browns in the image. I'm so happy with it. I actually let out a gasp when I first added the texture and blended it! It really affected the image and gave such a nice, warm affect and I love how it accents the flowers in the foreground. I've been using Warm Ginger on a variety of photos and it looks great on all of them. Really happy with it! I'll make it available as a download soon.

Happy baking!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Solvang and Golden Light

Mouse over to see the before image

I've been making textures, textures and more textures after taking Kim Klassen's fabulous Art of Texture class. So fun! After Thanksgiving and on the way home from visiting family, we stopped in Solvang. Such a cute Danish town and the ebelskivers were so tasty! I'll have to try to make some sometime...looking for a recipe. On this photo, I used my new texture, Golden Light (below).

I think it's lovely. You can download it here. I'd love to see what you do with it! Hope you are enjoying the holiday season!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fall's Beautiful Colors

"We have everything here a scarecrow could want, the fall harvest, the beauty of the changing colors, apple cider, pumpkins and cornstalks." ~Mary Martin

I have been absolutely enthralled with this fall season's brilliant and elaborate colors. Here, in Northern California, we are fortunate to have them late into the season. Last year, there was snow in my front yard. It's great to be back in California! Although the snow is pretty during the holiday season, I do love sunshine and the way it sparkles and makes all of the fall colors pop!

Technical difficulties have kept me from posting for most of November. I'm hoping to remedy my situation by purchasing a much needed new computer (mac book pro) soon. I have learned two three four things:
  • I am only as good as my tools.
  • I am able to do what I can when I can with what I have.
  • Not being online as much gave me more time to do other things--(paint, cook, take photo walks)
  • I sooo appreciate my computer!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Painting: Embracing Grace Everyday

Computer issues and illness have slowed me down a little in the last week and a half. But here is my latest painting. This painting started out as this experiment in minimalism. Then I wanted to re-do it and make something colorful. I wanted to have a butterfly flying beneath the tree, but it turned into a Buddah. I don't normally paint people but this one really wanted to be on this painting. It wouldn't stop nagging me until I painted it on! Embracing Grace is my phrase for embracing, or accepting fully the grace that resides in every moment that we experience no matter how we judge that moment, good or bad. My favorite definition of grace is:
"Gracefulness has been defined as outward expression of inward harmony of the soul"
~William Hazlitt
 Isn't that beautiful?
Inward harmony of the soul.
Functioning along that alignment.
Living one's harmonious purpose through outward expression.
This is what I'm seeking for my life and I may need to continue seeking it for the rest of my life...
what better way to live.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dear Monterey...

I am in love.

You have wooed me with your beautiful trees

Your ocean and beaches have drawn me to them with a magnetic force I could never resist

Your beautiful light enlivens my soul
Your fresh air has cleansed my heart
After many miles, I finally feel at home.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Five Senses

burnt orange + chocolate brown
busy morning traffic, bicycles and walkers hurrying
morning sun filtering it's light through the window
chalkboard menus
changing leaves of fall.

busy voices--working, socializing
the buzz and whir of the cappuccino machine
delightful laughter and giggles of the little girl across the way
the crunch of ice in my daughter's cup
faint music drowned out by voices.

bitterness of roasted coffee beans
heat coming through the window
freshness of the shampoo in my hair
sugary bakery goods.

fall--cinnamon, nutmeg + pumpkin
sweet morning
bliss in my cup of tea.

softeness of the sweater against my skin
the silver chain around my neck that reminds me of friendship and brilliant colors of life
warmth of sunshine comforting both body and soul
slight tension in my heart
breath moving steadily through my body.

Where are you this moment? What are you sensing?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Painting

"Keep Breathing", 24X30, acrylic on canvas

Sometimes, all we can do is keep breathing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Today, I ran across Jen Lemen's brilliant post about what happens when you keep your truth hidden. Jen's words are so true. I know because I, like many of us, spent a lot of years with my truth in hiding and have experienced every one of the things on Jen's list. I've spent the last few years deliberately practicing my truth (or getting in touch with my truth) and practicing being open and being seen. I'm one of the slow learners. Things can take me a while and do and that's OK. Being seen can be incredibly terrifying. The most important thing is that we face our fears, not that we be fast at it. And if we push too hard before we are really ready, it's counterproductive. What I've discovered is this:
  • Peeling back each layer of fear brings me closer to the truth of who I am and what I am really about, I start to see and see more clearly. I have started to feel a relief, an acceptance of myself as I really am. 
  • Feeling all the pain that kept me hiding in the first place is scary and difficult, but as I continue to feel it, be honest about what I feel, what is important to me and what I really want for my life, it is gradually replaced by an embracing: of my truth, my story, myself. 
  • I've also come to realize that we all have this experience of wanting hide our true selves and opt for a manufactured self, one that is better, more acceptable. Where I thought I was alone, I was really just like everyone else. Where I was trying to be like everyone else and blend in, I made myself feel the most alone.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Little Quiet Reading

Texture: "Silence" by Kim Klassen
A little fall reading and feeling a little introspective lately. Fall does that to me; it always brings me back to my center after the heat and activity of summer. It's a chance to slow down, get back into routine and renew my priorities.

Walden, by Henry David Thoreau - I read this in high school and loved it. It's still one of my favorites.
The House of Belonging, by David Whyte
The Power of Kindness, by Pierro Ferrucci - I am loving this book! It will probably stay on my nightstand.
Creative Visualization, by Shakti Gawain
New and Selected Poems, Volume II, by Mary Oliver

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mint Lemon Tea

"There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea."
Mint Lemon Tea: Fresh mint leaves and a wedge of lemon in pure hot water. So refreshing, so cleansing, so lovely.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stay the Path

"Surely all art is the result of one's having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end, where no one can go any further."
~Rainer Maria Rilke
I would perhaps change the word, "art" in Rilke's quote to "life" as we are all "artists", whether we think we are or not, traveling a journey of discovery and creating ourselves.

Stay on the path.
Walk softly. 
Walk gently.
Slowly, if you must.
One step at a time.
Pay no attention to the cacophony.
Keep walking.
Rest when you need to.
Take good care of you.
Read the signs.