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

Sunday, March 3, 2013


"I have naturally formed the habit of restraining my thoughts. A thoughtless word hardly ever escaped my tongue or pen. Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. We find so many people impatient to talk. All this talking can hardly be said to be of any benefit to the world. It is so much waste of time. My shyness has been in reality my shield and buckler. It has allowed me to grow. It has helped me in my discernment of truth."     --Gandhi

Friday, March 1, 2013

I am ready for Spring.

"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."   --Plotinus