Tuesday, April 21, 2015

To Plan or Not to Plan

For years I have envied people who can make a plan and then stick to it. It's a no brainer for them. They make a plan so that they know exactly what to do when. I finally, finally realized that I am just not wired that way.
I love making plans but when I try to make myself stick to them, I feel trapped. I suddenly want to do anything but the thing I had planned to do. The funny thing is, I grew up in a planning society and in a planning family. And I realize that a good plan gives many people a sense of security. Not me. Mostly, it just takes the wind out of my sails.
Then it dawned on me: I make plans to get inspired. To brainstorm. To see the possibilities. To get my thinking unstuck and organized for a minute or two.
And once the plan is made, I may or may not follow it. The older I get the more I realize the importance of letting go of control and going with the flow. When I paint and I try to control the outcome, it never works. So when I get stuck, I get out the paints and paint with my fingers and hands, fast and without a plan - that connects me to the creative flow and always gets me going again.
The same is true for me in life. I don't like to know exactly what the year is going to bring. I don't like to make plans too far in advance. I need to have room for surprises, for changing direction, for play, and for inspiration.
If I had planned my life too strictly, I would have never started painting. I didn't know I could paint, so there was no way to plan for it. It was one of those happy surprises and I am so grateful I had room for it in my life!
Life it delicious and it moves and changes fast. And the most amazing moments I find are those that I didn't plan for, that aren't predictable. The ones that are easily missed when I follow a plan too strictly. Plus, when life does bring a surprise, it can completely throw me off kilter if I didn't leave room for flexibility.
And yet, I still plan because I love how a good plan organizes me for the moment and gives me a general direction in which to expand. But beyond that, I might change everything around the next moment. And that's quite alright!

Here's to a week full of delightful surprises for us all!

With love and gratitude,


Friday, April 3, 2015

Too many numbers!

My week has been dominated by numbers and words: Taxes!!! Our tax return is done and as an antidote, I have prescribed myself a lot of painting with bright colors!

So, without any more words and definitely without numbers, here is some color for us all to enjoy!!

Slow Down!
acrylics on 9 x 12 inch canvas

Available here.
In the Garden
acrylics on 12 x 12 inch canvas

Available here. 
Happy Easter!!

Linking to the fabulous and always colorful Paint Party Friday!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Happy Friday to you all! I cannot believe how fast a week goes by! Today I have a few things to share with you in addition to some art.

1. The flowers and plants in our garden are finally starting to come alive again. I took some pictures after a rain (which seems to happen daily at the moment - a very wet spring for us), that were just too pretty not to share.

2. Daniel found this amazing little abandoned wasp nest in our garden the other day. Isn't it perfect?
It now lives with the two huge dead bugs on our piano.
In good company!
3. Here is the progression of a pet portrait I worked on as a commission. As usual, I just started with some colors and shapes. These were so pretty!  
Then I did a very rudimentary sketch and started with the eyes. I always start with the eyes.
Then some more color and definition.
And finally, after all the shading, adding more color and some detail, Zachy was finished.
Zachy is Winslow's best buddy and he has a sweetness about him that I tried to capture in the painting. Winslow and Zachy thought I did a good job...

If you would like me to paint your pet, just send me an email (the link is in my profile) for the details.
4. It's actually been warm enough on a couple of days to go take a walk on the beach. Barefoot!
 It was glorious! Although the cold water made me jump when I put my feet in.
Not Daniel. He loves walking through the water, no matter what temperature.
5. The newest member of our family. He came to us from the storm drain on our street, wet during a rain storm, with a wound on his cheek and bad ear mites. We kept him outside at first and checked around if someone was missing him. He is quite young and very sweet. When the nights got very cold, we took him inside (he wouldn't go into the garage with our two outdoor cats) and discovered that he loves both Winslow and Ramses. It seems it was meant to be. The vet thought that someone probably moved and didn't take him, something that's inconceivable to me.

Meet Peabody!
And with that I wish you a beautiful weekend, an even better week ahead and as much joy in your life as you can stand!

I'm linking this to the amazing folks at Paint Party Friday and at I Heart Macro.

With lots of love and appreciation for you all,


Friday, March 20, 2015

Finding Routine

This year I am determined to find a routine that works for me. A flexible routine because I always need space for changes and spontaneity. 
Love is Kind
Acrylics on 11 x 14 inch canvas

Available. Click here. 
Part of that has been trying to figure how to blog, when to blog and most importantly how often.
When I first started my blog, that was all there was. I'd do a little art (not quite daily) and I'd blog (daily). Now, six years later that has changed dramatically!
Now I spend most of my day - every day - painting. And I'm very active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get my art out there and seen (and to connect with all my friends). Plus, I have an Etsy shop, an Artfinder Gallery Store, a Society6 shop and my new website to maintain and keep fresh, which takes a good bit of time. And then there's the rest of life...
Instead of always feeling like I'm neglecting my blog, I decided I will post every Friday. If I have art to show I'll link to Paint Party Friday, my favorite art blog hop!
The more creative my life becomes, the more I find I am in need of a little structure that gives it all a good framework so I have time and energy for everything I want to do! And I seem to be figuring it out!
Do you need a little bit of a routine? What works well for you?

Linking to the wonderful and inspiring Paint Party Friday.

With lots of love and light on this gloomy first day of Spring!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Arguments with my Inner Voice

Does your intuition or inner muse talk to you? I recently discovered that mine does. In form of thoughts that won't let me go. It's a very persistent inner voice. And sometimes downright annoying....
Gentle Eyes
acrylics on 11 x 14 inch canvas
Available here.
Here's what happened with this painting.
I had it to this point and decided it was finished. I even put it on Facebook and listed it in my shop.

Inner Voice: "It's not finished."
Me: "Yes, it is!"
Inner Voice: "It needs more. Here, I'll send a picture to your mind."
Me: "No, I decided it's finished."
Inner Voice: "It's not finished yet."
Me: "I can't hear you!!!"

Later that day, Daniel got home. I showed the cow to him. His response? "Is it finished? It doesn't look quite finished to me." Me: "Ok, I give up. It's not finished."

So, I painted the decorative items around the cow that I had seen in my mind the day before. 
I looked at it and thought, well, that's nice. I wonder if that's it.

Inner Voice: "Yellow"
Me: "No, not yellow."
Inner Voice: "Yellow."
Me: "No, I like it white."
Inner Voice: "I'm telling you, yellow. Listen to me."
Me (almost sulking): "Ok, let's try yellow."
Me: "Wow, that's yellow! Are you sure about that?"
Inner Voice: "Sandpaper."
Me: "What?! Sandpaper? Are you kidding me?!" 
Inner Voice: "Sandpaper. Go get some." 
Me: "Really? Sandpaper?" 
Inner Voice: "Sandpaper. NOW."
So, I went to the garage to rummage around and find some sandpaper.
And I sanded my cow.
And you know what? My inner voice was right. The cow hadn't been finished before. Yellow was a good choice for warmth and the sandpaper was an excellent idea to make it all look a little textured and less intense.
The moral of the story? I don't take direction well..... (Never have and probably never will.)

Linking this to a fabulous creative blog hop over at the talented Veronica Roth's blog.
And to the always fun Paint Party Friday.
And, because cows and inner voices are "strong" (this week's theme) to Illustration Friday.