Sunday, December 22, 2013

Exciting news for the new year for you and your art journal!

Anyone who's been reading this for a while knows I have a deep connection to the work of Carl Jung, and the idea that the archetypal world of myth and storytelling is a very powerful way to understand ourselves and the world.  Well, guess what?  There is an on-line mixed media art class being offered called "2014: The Year of the Fairy Tale."

The teacher, Carla Sonheim, is a very fine illustrator and online art instructor known for using innovative exercises and techniques to help students of all levels embrace a more playful approach to creating art. She is the author of "Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun" and "The Art of Silliness: A Creativity Book for Everyone."

Her work is really magnificent, and here is a chance to learn some  of her techniques that will help your art making rise to a new level.  I am taking the class myself, so you will see lots of her inspiration here in my pages as the new year starts.  Letting mixed media loose on the page, and allowing playfulness and experimentation in our work is really a key element to unexpected surprises, joyful work, and exuberance in our journals.  I know I tend to just settle into doing the same thing over and over, and boredom can overtake me easily as I work in my journal.  I am so happy to have this opportunity for some inspiration and direction from someone who does such creative, playful work.
copyright Carla Sonheim

Here is a link to Carla's Blog:

and here is info for "Year of the Fairy Tale" Online Class:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Yesterday I showed you a series of steps to get from a doodle or painting to a collage in your journal. Here is a bit of that page with some stamping and penwork added.

Media used includes:
gel pen
copic marker
inktense pencil
carved rubber stamp

It's very relaxing to put on good music or a documentary film on youtube, and just make swirls and dots and marks. Because why not have fun with your journal? 
"I never did a day's work in my life – it was all fun." --Thomas Edison

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

something to try in your journal

Here's a little tutorial if you are wondering what to do today in your journal.  (We all need a kickstarted some times.)  Start off painting or drawing a little picture.  I did a couple of watercolors of birds.
Scan the paintings, and print a bunch, you can put them on different backgrounds if you want, and print them in a few different sizes.  This will give you a bunch of images for collaging.
Cut and tear the images in several shapes and sizes.  Get out your spray mount!
Here I have cut and torn some of the birds, and arranged them in my journal. I like mixing square images and torn images.  I used some scrap from the tearing outs to make a bit of a border.
Now spread out an old magazine, and spray the back of the larger images first.  Attach them to your page, then turn the magazine pages so you have a clean background to spray on for the next set of papers.  Spray the smaller images and attach them to your layout.
These are my inktense watercolor pencils, I LOVE them.  See the spray bottle?  Once I get some color on the paper, spritzing with water really makes the pencil work pop.  This is why I journal on heavy watercolor paper, it can take lots of punishment.

I drew around this bird with red pencil, then activated the ink with water.  It holds the images on the page nicely.  I also tend to dray parts coming off the torn paper onto the background, and stamp over the edges.  All these help blend the images so they sit on the journal page nicely.
Next will be some penwork, words and doodles and detailing.  Maybe some stamping.  I'll post a photo when the whole page is done.

Happy journaling!

Friday, December 13, 2013

risk taking

"Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks." -Mark Rothko

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It's a busy month, December, with craft shows to get ready for, making, wrapping, and mailing gifts, increased sales on Etsy, and all those holiday get-togethers.

I just spent about 6 days in bed, punctuated with a one day sitting at an art show I HAD to attend. Sales were good, and comments were so positive and encouraging, that I'm glad I did it, even if it meant a few extra days recuperating after. One thing I am learning as I get older, that it is the right thing to take good care of myself, even if that means saying "I can't" to some things I wish I could do. We tend to take care of everyone else so much that we lost sight of taking good care of ourselves. I recently initiated with a Crones Group, 8 fabulous women who celebrated being older, being in a wiser phase of our lives, letting go of the time of caring for others to focus on building our own visions and personal wisdom.

I am coming out of 25 years of raising kids, and it is a wonderful gift to be able to put my work and my health first. Journaling will be a part of this, even though my journaling takes a bit of a back burner to my December obligations, I am looking forward to some real solid journaling time to start the New Year.

I also teach a workshop in February, so I am looking forward to sharing some of those pages and techniques here. Hope you have a blessed Solstice, Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa, etc. (or that you already had a blessed Hannakuh.) The time of darkness leading us into the New Year is a blessed time for reflection.

Your journal is there to help you with this.

"The upheaval of our world and the upheaval in consciousness is one and the same. Everything becomes relative and therefore doubtful. And while man, hesitant and questioning, contemplates... his spirit yearns for an answer that will allay the turmoil of doubt and uncertainty." --Carl Gustav Jung

Saturday, November 30, 2013

go today in wisdom

"This poetry. I never know what I'm going to say. I don't plan it. When I'm outside the saying of it, I get very quiet and rarely speak at all."  --Rumi

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

moving forward

I had some dear friends over last night, and one had very interesting things to say about moving art into the world. I have a studio full of work, art journals, prints, cards, paintings, jewelry, etc. I need to exchange some of the items for money. and I have been a bit stuck how that happens.

Some really powerful advice she gave me:
1. Visualize it. Imagine exactly how it looks and what happens to turn your work into cash.
2. Go out and connect, do favors for others, and they will do favors for you. Sitting in your studio wishing the art would sell will certainly not sell it.
3. On line sharing only goes so far. Human connection is made with humans, not humans on machines. 4. You do need the marketing materials (I do have them) business cards, websites, social media, but then, you have to MOVE those things also. Have a constant flow of these things out into the world.

Isn't that advice awesome? She has used these ideas in her own freelance work, and has more work than she can do.

and I do have work in an Holiday gift show December 6 and 7, I'll post more here in the weeks to come.

"When we harness the forces of harmony, joy and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease." --Deepak Chopra

Sunday, October 27, 2013

today . . .

"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence."  --Ansel Adams

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I had a marvelous vacation at Hatteras, NC, a peninsula of ocean land 30 miles out in the Atlantic from the mainland.  Besides reading, gathering shells, sitting on the beach, a bit of yoga, and eating amazing seafood, I got to do a bit of nothing.
 It was glorious.
The fullness of life is there for us; happiness is a choice.

I am committed to using my thoughts to always create positive energy for myself and anyone I am in contact with.  Our thoughts affect the very small events in our day, which can shift our own attitude, shift others around us, and thus shift the world.
Why not choose joy?
Are you jealous of the ocean's generosity?
Why would you refuse to give this gift to anyone?
Fish don't hold the sacred liquid in cups.
They swim the huge fluid freedom.

Monday, September 16, 2013

What is your journal for?

Life is so complicated, there are so many choices and pressures. I sometimes am so overwhelmed with all those plans to make, lists to fulfill, dreams to realize. I am so convinced that working in my journal really does help me get where I need to go.

I can loosen up and just explore ideas.
I can write out dreams and goals.
I can mess around and fantasize about crazy possibilities.
I can just take a break from all the striving and have some fun.

Keeping a journal can and should be a tool for all theses ways of exploring what and who and where and why you are here on this planet. So much of life pushes us to fall into an expected pattern, to drive us to be mindless cogs in a wheel of civilization that makes us consume, work to pay, consume, work to pay.
All of it a bit mindlessly.

I want to have clear intention in my life. My journal really help me create this. Everyday.
Try it.
“The Universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts - it gives you what you demand with your actions.” --Steve Maraboli

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Sometimes, my journal is about words.

 I have been in a long fallow period, waiting to hear about a job (I did not get it), waiting to see where my work will take me. It takes so much trust to know you can just be, and not be making and doing all the time, and that it is okay to be with the space, to not struggle or strive or despair . . . that sometimes the long spaces of life just need to happen. To know that the cup must become empty before it can be filled.

I worked on a series of collagy-watercolory owls last year, I had 12 that I liked enough to be a calender, and a publisher, through my rep, is looking at them. and as I wait for an answer, there are numerous other things to do, but somehow I am still in the waiting mode. I applied for a job, had an interview, waited, waited, waited to see how much my life might change. For my art's sake, it was better not to get this job. I will pick up the watercolors soon (next week!!!) but for now, I think the waiting has been okay.

A philosopher, Meno, once asked: "How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?" Sometimes the hidden and mysterious take patience to discover, and all the busyness we think we are supposed to constantly inhabit can result in missing a subtle quiet whisper of what is to come next. My journal is the place I can release the words of wondering, insecurity about what I am to do, lists of maybes and what-ifs and intentions. and once I've done this, done the day-dreaming (and night dreaming) and setting intentions and goals and planning paths, I can sit and see what happens next.

I am waiting.

"Certainly for artists of all stripes, the unknown, the idea or the form or the take that has not yet arrived, is what must be found. It is the job of an artist to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar, it's where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long disciplined process of making it their own." --Rebecca Solnit

Sunday, August 18, 2013

done at our monthly journaling group

"Oh soul, you worry too much. You have seen your own strength. You have seen your own beauty. You have seen your golden wings. Of anything less, why do you worry? You are in truth the soul, of the soul, of the soul."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Finding new ideas

This journal page is from Guillermo del Toro's concept art for a movie. Lots of creatives think by drawing, and an art journal is the perfect place to do this. The biggest hurdle is often worrying what the page looks like. Make a bunch of messy pages, add some ugly drawings, and you will be much freer in your work. and after you've filled a bunch of sketchbooks, look back through them, scan some pages, and collage into another book.


Seriously fun, and this always helps me come up with new ideas.

"The creation of an art collage from the soul is an inner journey that allows your soul to speak to you. Your soul's voice can be heard through the images, feelings and insights that surface..." --Kathleen Carrillo

 "Rapid-collage prevents any elevating movement toward a fixed goal. To 'be nowhere' is to let oneself be." --Josh Goldberg

 "Collage is like a hall of mirrors. Every direction you look, you see something different and visually stimulating." --Nita Leland

 "Collage is the twentieth century's greatest innovation." --Robert Motherwell

Thursday, July 25, 2013

some things I admire

a volcano (Nature's power), Frida, a circle of women, Mary Oliver
"I live in nature where everything is connected, circular. The seasons are circular. The planet is circular, and so is the travel of the planet around the sun ... The ancient people understood that our world is a circle... Do people live in circles today? No. They live in boxes." --Eustace Conway

Sunday, July 21, 2013


"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."

-Alexander Graham Bell

Friday, July 19, 2013


A new moon teaches gradualness and deliberation,
and how one gives birth to oneself slowly.
Patience with small details makes perfect a large work, like the universe.
What nine months of attention does for an embryo
forty early mornings alone
will do for your gradually growing wholeness.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

to make art is to be filled

What was said to the rose
that made it open
was said to me
here in my chest

What was told to the cypress
that made it strong and straight

What was whispered to the jasmine

So it is what it is
whatever made sugarcane sweet
whatever was said
to the inhabitants of the town of Chugill in Turkistan
that makes them so handsome

Whatever lets the pomegranate flower
blush like a human face
that is being said to me now

I blush
whatever put eloquence in language
that's happening here

The great warehouse doors open
I fill with gratitude
chewing a piece of sugarcane
in love with the one
to whom every "that" belongs

What was said to the rose
that made it open
was said to me
here in my chest.


Friday, July 12, 2013

reverent owl

"The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it."   --Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

a new fun tool

For my birthday, I received a magnificent set of Derwent Inktense pencils from my Mother-in-law. They really are fun, you draw a simple pencil drawing, but then when you add water, and the colors just jump right out. Having fun tools really makes art easier to be happy with. I can scan this fish, print a bunch, then use it in a multi-fish collage in my journal. (Repeating fish makes sense, since they hang out in bunches, ya know?)

and also, noticing how very beautiful life is, it's fun to try to get those colors to be as lively as they are in real life. Livelier, perhaps.
"We began as mineral. We emerged into plant life, and into the animal state, and then into being human, and always we have forgotten our former states, except in early spring when we slightly recall being green again." --Rumi

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Got Journalers' Block?

When stuck, do this:
1. put some color on a page
2. tear out some magazine images that attract you, glue them down here or there.
3. tear out some similarly colored images, and tear them into strips. glue randomly around the page as a border.
4. now write in large letters: FIFTY THINGS
5. list 50 things you love and are grateful for. Works every time.
"Do you think I know what I'm doing? That for one breath or half a breath I belong to myself? As much as a pen knows what it is writing It may be the satisfaction I need depends on my going away So that when I've gone and come back, I'll find it at home." --Rumi

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


This is a collage done with various bits and pieces that were just hanging around my desk, an old envelope from Hong Kong, a sketch of an owl, some stamps, a translation page from a guidebook, some tissue paper, spray from an ink spray bottle. I printed out part of it for the cover of a little journal I am working on using dreams as part of my art practice.

I have been listening to Robert Moss talking about using our dreams to connect to the universal consciousness of the multiverse. He has written nine books on the subject, and really, all are wonderful. I have been writing down my dreams for years, but just for two years, I have been recording them in a dream journal. I believe his idea that our deeper Soul-self has messages to give us, and that it can use dreams to bring this information to us. Also that, in the multiverse, there are many realities that in dream-time can overlap and vibrate in an informational way.  Exploring this information and asking it to lead us toward a higher truth for ourselves is a very fun and magical path to follow.

For me, journaling also helps to unlock part of the puzzle of the soul's journey.  The words, the images, the strong feelings we get from certain collages help me to connect the dots, and I feel like I have discovered something deeper, it doesn't just feel like a pretty picture or interesting phrase.  Synchronicites can be found, and some sense of connection and revelation when I do work in my journal with my dreams.

It all seems connected - journaling, dreaming, shamanic work . . . . and how fun to open our minds and souls to finding the deeper/truer meaning all around us.
"The same thing happens when you realize that ordinary life is a dream, just a movie, just a play. You don't become more cautious, more timid, more reserved. You start jumping up and down and doing flips, precisely because it's all a dream, it's all pure Emptiness. You don't feel less, you feel more - because you can afford to. You are no longer afraid of dying, and therefore you are not afraid of living. You become radical and wild, intense and vivid, shocking and silly. You let it all come pouring through, because it's all your dream.

 Life then assumes its true intensity, its vivid luminosity, its radical effervescence."
 --Ken Wilber

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Have you journaled today?

"If I do good, I feel good, if I do bad, I feel bad." --Abraham Lincoln

Monday, June 3, 2013


Standing in line, waiting to get on the Southwest flight that took me to Surtex in NYC, I chatted with a very cute gal, and the topic went to our work and why we were headed to the city. Little did I know she was also an artist, Linda Schneider, and was on her way to the city to teach a calligraphy class.

Later on the flight, I woke up to the adorable little Chinese boy next to me saying a lady wanted me to have this notepaper. Linda had calligraphed (is that a verb?) a little note with my name, and the words "dream art." I don't remember mentioning to her my deep interest in dreaming, but maybe she had a chance to check my website? It felt quite magical. The words were so beautifully lettered, that I immediately glued them in a the journal page I had started working in on the plane.

Thanks, Linda! What a synchronistic way to start my adventure in New York!
and her beautiful, flowing and very elegant work is HERE.

"Reason is like an officer when the king appears. The officer then loses his power and hides himself. Reason is the shadow cast by God; God is the sun." --Rumi

Friday, May 31, 2013

What do you look at?

What do you put into you imagination? I don't watch the news, I surf (mostly) uplifting places on the internet, because why fill your head with pictures of sadness, violence, evil, anger? Oh, that means the news! I read some headlines and listen to NPR a bit so I am informed, but most of the other news is either misplaced sensationalism, or silly celebrity gossip. None of that helps me to be a better human on the planet.

There is so much beauty out there, let's look at that, and make more of it.
"The practice of imagination, on an everyday basis, involves clearing unhelpful images that block or misdirect our energies, and choosing to focus on positive, mobilizing imagery that gives us courage and confidence." - Robert Moss, The Three 'Only' Things

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

All working together:

"You're a star -- and so am I. I'm a genius -- and so are you. Your success encourages my brilliance, and my charisma enhances your power. Your victory doesn't require my defeat, and vice versa.
Those are the rules in the New World -- quite unlike the rules in the Old World, where zero-sum games are the norm, and only one of us can win each time we play.
In the New World, you don't have to tone down or apologize for your prowess, because you love it when other people shine. You exult in your own excellence without regarding it as a sign of inherent superiority. As you ripen more and more of your latent aptitude, you inspire the rest of us to claim our own idiosyncratic magnificence.

"Tibetan Buddhist teacher Geshe Chekawa (1220-1295) specialized in bodhicitta, seeking enlightenment not for personal gain but as a way to serve others. On his deathbed, he prayed to be sent to hell so that he might alleviate the suffering of the lost souls there.
As you explore pronoia, you will discover that like Chekawa, you have a huge capacity to help people. Unlike him, you'll find that expressing your benevolence doesn't require you to go to hell. It may even be unnecessary for you to sacrifice your own joy or to practice self-denial. Just the opposite: Being in service to humanity and celebrating your unique power will be synergistic. They will need each other to thrive."

--Rob Brezsny

Friday, May 24, 2013


I have just returned from a visit to New York to attend the Surtex Trade Show, an event that lets reps show their artists' work to people who buy licenses for things like fabrics, wrapping paper, calenders, paper goods, cards, and all that fun stuff. My reps had a booth, and a banner with my work, and ipads set up with portfolios. (They put one of my designs as the ipad skin!)

All of this was very exciting and inspiring, but most of all, I enjoyed the conversations with various other artists who do what I do. Some of them have been doing it for decades, and I met several who were just so generous and open with their ideas. Others were cute young things, right out of school, who had invested someone's life savings to start up a design business, and it was super fun to chat with them, too, to see their fresh work and starry eyes. (and creative displays!)

The world of licensing is new for me. Rather than being out selling my work, I have been here on-line, showing the world my journal pages, and making collages for I think over ten years. I was selling cards and originals in galleries and craft fairs, on-line, and certainly to friends and family. Little local things that made a few hundred dollars, and involved me hand making all my own inventory. I knew the world of licensing existed, I just had no clue how to break in. The funny thing is, this timing is now perfect for me. I think if it had happened earlier, my work would not have been ready. For better or worse, maybe I have a slow learning curve, but it really did take me the last ten years of journaling and making collages to find my own style, and develop my own voice as an artist. Now, I feel ready. At Surtex, I had so much positive feedback, it was one of the more uplifting four days of my life.

and I must mention my amazing reps at Parcai, Teresa and Lainey.  They are simply such classy ladies, smart, professional, hard working, and deeply kind.

Usually gallery shows leave me exhausted, depressed, and wanting to quit selling art. This left me eager to get back to the studio and get to work! I have a few calender requests I am putting together right now, and other ideas in the making. So, I guess I am sharing all this here to say, thank you to my art journaling, a slow turtle like me is actually hitting the design world with my own style, personal and unique, and coming straight from my heart. Who knew at age 51, I would figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up?! Passion, maybe is a key to success, and I think I have that. I love what I am doing, and I am happy with my art.

What a blessing to be doing this work with such great people.
 "The road to success is not a path you find but a trail you blaze." --Robert Brault

Sunday, May 12, 2013

reading . . . .

For Mother's Day, I think I will go to Tattered Cover (best independent book store in Denver) and enlarge my to-read pile.
Suggestions welcomed!
“He took up books as if they were people and welcomed them into his family.”    --Michel de la Montaigne

Friday, May 10, 2013


 “The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up & get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part & a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you."  --Chuck Close.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


"Perfectionists live lives of sameness, wondering why new things never come. Perfectionism is the enemy of good, and good enough. But in an elemental way, perfectionism is the galactic enemy of action itself."  --Bob Sullivan

Monday, May 6, 2013

my studio

What are you working on today?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Where to start.

How do you get yourself to start creative work?  If you work at home, it is really hard.  There is laundry to do, dishes that need putting away, and that recipe you wanted to test.  There are errands, phone calls, e-mails, the cursed internet to browse (and blog posts to write!)
There are a million distractions, some important ones, not to mention family and social obligations.
It is so very very easy to take care of all these needs, then to address the creative urge.
I have learned, over many years of NOT getting to my work, that if I don't make it a priority, if I don't value it beyond a clean house, lengthy communication, new movies to watch, the garden to work in, I will never get to it.
Another way to get to prioritize your creative work is to do it somewhere else.  Travel to give yourself time and space to work is a great idea -- I love this little book: A Writer's Paris, by Eric Maisel.   I might not ever get back to Paris, and the chances that I can be there alone for 2 months just to work?  Very slim.  But reading this book reminds me that I CAN make my work a priority here.
I can say "no" to committees and projects and a very clean house.
I can say "no" to all those interesting social networking sites that beckon.
So here I am, typing this.
Right now I will cut this short, and get back to my work.
Now you go do the same.
"I tamed my personal art demon – the tendency to think about painting rather than actually painting – by throwing the stuff on the blank paper and telling myself I didn't care about the end result. I believed it and was saved."   --Rich Hawk

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

say yes quickly

“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about… say yes quickly, if you know, if you’ve known it from before the beginning of the universe.”   --Rumi

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

creative tension

I have a shelf with 28 years worth of journals on it. (The shelf is full)

It's over 50 books. Sometimes I wonder about my life work, other times I know it was not really a choice, it was what I had to do. In a month an artist rep is taking some of my work to a trade show in New York. This feels like a nice validation after years of work. I wonder what will happen? and I also wonder why do I need that thing that happens to feel like I have accomplished something?

I'll let you know.

"I don’t know how you reconcile the two sides of the creative spectrum (idea generation and production), but I know that it never goes away.

If you are an artist, you have to learn to live in this tension. You have to keep releasing your work into the world, and it has to be good. If it’s excellent, and nobody sees it, it doesn’t count. If it’s on display for the world to see, but ordinary, it’s irrelevant.

The path to compelling work lies somewhere in between the two extremes of genius-but-invisible and ordinary-but-in-your face.  Only the artist knows the true balance; only she can find the harmony. This is the person with the taste and passion to make meaningful work. She’s the ones with enough gumption to create change."
--Jeff Goins

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blue Jays and Branches

When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer   by Walt Whitman

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thought for today

Dear friends, please remember that in response to the pain of the world, we can add our loving kindness. Also, I am aware that tragedy hits every day somewhere in the world, perhaps next time we hear of a bombing in another far away place, we can send peaceful thoughts to all, and move through our days with small acts of love.
Focusing on beauty can help heal the world.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Cool app to use for sharing information

My brother told me about an online app that is a template for presentations, called Prezi.  I made a one to show you:
Becoming an Artist

and here is what it says, if it doesn't load on your computer:

The hardest part is getting started.
To find enough inspiration and belief in yourself that you go to that eisel, pick up some paints and paper and pens, or pick up those collage materials and your journal, and just begin. Becoming an Artist You've heard this before But first you have to believe in yourself.

Rumi said: "You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?" If you put in the time, your art will soar.

Jack Kerouac said "Something that you feel will find its own form."
What touches you?
What gets your attention?
What in the world draws you in mysterious ways you might not even understand?
Start there.

Don't strain. Plotinus said: "We must not run after it, but we must fit ourselves for the vision and then wait tranquilly for it, as the eye waits on the rising of the Sun which in its own time appears above the horizon and gives itself to our sight."

Rumi also said this: "Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of moon."
If we trust ourselves, look for the mystery, and then do what comes naturally, our work will become authentic. Our yearning to create will be satisfied. You do have a vision, and if you long to create it visually (or musically, or with your body, this can be applied to all the arts), your work will SING.

and last, I want to leave you with this: "In the language of the Tewa Indians, the three syllable term that is translated as "art" or "creativity" actually means "water-wind-breath." This is a beautiful evocation of the creative process. It's about catching the current, about breathing in and breathing out. In-spiration is literally breathing in Spirit; exhalation is releasing it into the world." --Robert Moss

Thursday, April 11, 2013

If you are creative, this might help you:

I read this on an article in the Harvard Business Review on how to treat creative employees, and I thought it would be nice to treat myself this way!

"Few things are as aggravating to creatives as boredom. Indeed, creative people are prewired to seek constant change, even when it's counterproductive. They take a different route to work every day, even if it gets them lost, and never repeat an order at a restaurant, even if they really liked it. Creativity is linked to higher tolerance of ambiguity. Creatives love complexity and enjoy making simple things complex rather than vice-versa. Instead of looking for the answer to a problem, they prefer to find a million answers or a million problems. It is therefore essential that you keep surprising your creative employees; failing that, you should at least let them create enough chaos to make their own lives less predictable."

and here is a peek at my portfolio on my iphone, I love technology!

Monday, April 1, 2013

New beginnings:

I am so pleased to be represented by these awesome folks:

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Need an idea?

If you ever need a journaling idea, here are more than 4000 of them on this amazing Pintarest board:

Happy Journaling!

Friday, March 29, 2013

A New York State of Mind

I'm in a New York state of mind. 

This Youtube video of Billy Joel's spontaneous performance of that song brought tears to my eyes. We lived in New Jersey for 11 years, a short 45 minute train ride to Penn Station. Every few months, I got to take that ride and explore the city, shop a little, have a good meal or a theater outing, visit a great museum, meet a friend. 

9-11 happened while we lived there, friends on our street worked in the trade center building, and the whole world focused on this great city during that tragedy. I think the reason I choked up is because New York really does express some of the greatest of human achievements, along with some of the most profound pain; great music, like great art, helps us feel this passion. We owe such thanks to people who dedicate their lives to creating music and art. I certainly don't think my work is anywhere near as interesting or meaningful as the iconic Billy Joel (or the amazing young man who plays with him in this video.) But I am filled with emotion that I will get to bring my work to the city and have thousands of licensing art buyers see it. I have worked for so many years at what I do, and this feels like a wonderful chance to have it out in the world, even if no licensing deals result. 

Thank you, New York City, I really am in a New York State of mind, and it feels good.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

and an owl.

I will be showing three collections of my work at Surtex, and art licensing trade show this May, in New York;  Owls (you're surprised?), Pears, and Sea Life.
More about this is HERE.

"We should see money in terms of the expenditure of energy and how we are going to transmute that energy into a proper use."   --Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Monday, March 25, 2013

And my news:

I have not been able to post my art for a while, for a very exciting reason. But let me start at the beginning. . . . grab your coffee, this might be lengthy:

I have been making art for as long as I can remember. I remember once when I was very small being taken to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and my heart filled, I felt like I was in a holy place, my love for art started then. But school and work and life caught me up in "reality", so I spent an awful lot of my life putting this great love aside, studying architecture and working in that field, raising a family, teaching, and working at "real" jobs. Jobs that would earn me respect and money.

I worked hard at these other professions, but always ended up coming back to the studio, to a pile of watercolors and papers and inks and pens; I found myself needing to play in an art journal to keep feeling that connection to the mystery, to keep true to myself and my vision. Joseph Campbell calls it "following your bliss", and he says it leads to where we are meant to be, in our truest authentic self. The thing was, I always felt like I was being indulgent, or neglectful, or starry-eyed and that it should be the "real" world that I engage in.  I don't think I really believed that actually following your bliss could result in success, it just seemed too far away from the mainstream, too impossibly unrealistic.

For the last three years, I had a mighty battle going on in my heart, I love more than anything making beautiful collagey images and playing in my studio, but no one was paying me for doing this. I tried so many other things -- I showed "sellable" work in a few galleries (with minimal sales), I taught art journaling workshops, I took up book design and taught a graphics class, I even applied to work retail, feeling quite desperate to earn a living. Still, I kept coming back to the studio, making layered papers and collage after collage, adding paint, taking photos and adding them to these textured images. I just felt blissful doing this, and guilty at the same time for not "contributing" more to the real world.

Well, a few weeks ago, all this changed. I realized I had quite a pile of interesting work here in my studio, and when a friend mentioned an artist agent was looking for new artists, I applied. Lots of back and forth later, and suddenly, I find myself with an enthusiastic supporter who will be taking 48 of these images to the largest art marketing show in the country, Surtex, in New York City. I now finally know I was not crazy to spend years working on these collages, that someone in the world might even pay me for them. Not that money needs to be our validation, but the fact that if we truly love what we are doing, if we commit to the vision, if this is the only thing that fills our hearts with joy, then of course that is the right path. Money or no money, praise or no praise.

Developing an art style takes years; years where you won't get a paycheck. But imagine if no one in history ever dedicated their time to this. No new creative work could ever bloom.  No innovation in the arts could happen, no progress, no evolution.   So artists, keep at it, give yourself to your work. Even if no one is praising you or writing you checks, one day, one day, your contribution will deeply enrich the world.  And in year heart you will know you have done good work, worthwhile work.

I promise.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

In the swim of things.

"The invariable mark of wisdom 
is to see the miraculous in the common." 
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thought for today

"You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?"   --Rumi

Monday, March 4, 2013

Another Owl

"Something that you feel will find its own form."  
--Jack Kerouac