Wednesday, December 5, 2012


What might be behind this door? I don't yet know. Can't wait to find out!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spice of Life

Above you'll find my latest art journal entry: Spice of Life, inspired by The Sketchbook Challenge's November theme of the same name. This piece feels particularly art journal-y to me, more than perhaps most pages I've yet done (I'm quite new to this art form!). This time of year lends itself to many spices featured in yummy holiday foods; hence, the challenge theme. When I considered how spices add flavor to food, I began to ponder what exactly adds flavor to my life. Before I knew it, I had a rack full of bottles I dip into regularly to season my existence.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The holidays are quickly approaching, and that has many of us thinking about home. Do we go home for the holidays? Do we invite others into our homes? Maybe for some of us we're in transition, and we're asking ourselves where home even is!

Home can represent our internal "dwellings" just as much as it represents the houses we live in. I contemplated this idea a bit while creating the art journal pages above. I created these pages in line with an assignment from the online art class I'm taking. This project gave me a timely opportunity to consider how I've moved in my heart from the existence I had been living to my current life full of color, growth, mess, joy, love, laughter, and more. I felt stretched and freer as I cut, decoupaged, painted, stenciled, and outlined. My art is becoming more wild, and I've become at home with wild!

"Coincidentally," I've found myself hooked on the song "Home" by Phillip Phillips. The words fit with the idea of physical home as well as the home of our hearts. If you'd like to listen to it, here's a YouTube video of it with the lyrics:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Here are pictures of another art journaling page I recently completed: a leaf study. I enjoyed sketching these beautiful, petite leaves from different angles. As I look at this painting, I see one picture that makes the three leaves look like one leaf and another that doesn't look like leaves at all but more of a fire. Perhaps some truth resides in all of these angles.

I frequently have to remind myself of this truth. I can hold onto one way of looking at something, or I can explore additional perspectives. This is especially true when someone disagrees with me. I so badly want to be right! Yet probably more often than not, I hold a piece of the truth, and the other person holds a piece of the truth. Can we each be curious about the other's perspective? Can we hold our pieces together to make a bigger, more beautiful, more realistic picture?

I'm thinking about this quite a bit today, Election Day in the United States. This tends to be a divisive day for us, with people being equally passionate about "their" candidate and about their view of the outcome. Either we are saved or we are doomed. Can we somehow be open enough to consider each other's perspectives and have hope, whatever the outcome?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Drinking tea always feels luxurious to me. It takes time to prepare and to enjoy. Sipping a favorite blend while reading, drawing, pondering, or visiting with a friend is like a mini-vacation. I immediately go into rest and peace mode with a steaming cup in my hand.

So why not celebrate tea drinking with another activity that brings me rest and peace: art! I created these art journal pages as a result of the Art of Wild Abandonment Two: Bless This Mess online class taught by Junelle Jacobsen. If you're at all interested in learning more about art, I highly recommend this course. Junelle teaches it entirely via video, so you can go at your own pace. It's quite flexible, so whether you're a beginner or more experienced, you can jump into the mess on your terms. And it's quite inexpensive. It'd be a blast if you join me!

(Just FYI, I purchase most of my teas online through The Tea Embassy. They have a passion for tea and for sharing their knowledge of tea with others. I appreciate many of their blends; Almond Cookie Green Tea is my current fave.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Autumn Reflections, Part 2

In my post Autumn Reflections on Bravery, I took the bold step of posting a painting that didn't come out quite as I had hoped. I feel vulnerable sharing artwork because I am just learning. Yet, that's what requires bravery, and I am committed to this path.

Therefore, onward I go! I'd like to share a couple paintings inspired by the one in that posting. These are notecards that I will soon send to some dear friends:

Visually, I like these better than the first pumpkin painting. However, I feel great gratitude to that first poor child. It is very dear to me!

Speaking of that baby, it landed in my art journal, and now looks like this:
Not so bad after all! It just needed a good home. (But to continue the theme on overcoming perfectionism, I can't figure out how to publish pictures properly--this picture insists on being posted twice!)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thankful for the Beauty of Snow

A couple of days ago, we had our first snow of the season. I always find myself doing a happy dance when it snows, and the more snow, the better the dance. I realize some people find snow to be a challenge, and I grant that it's difficult to drive in. But for me, snow covers everything with a blanket of beauty and peace. Even garbage can lids look magical with six inches of powder on them. All of life seems covered with frosting.

When the snow comes, I find myself viewing my surroundings and my life through a different lens. My schedule, which on other days can seem so important and demanding, quickly goes out the window as I embrace staying home and spending time with family, taking the kids sledding, making hot chocolate and muffins, reading a good book snuggled under a blanket, creating art I so easily ignore when life goes at its usual pell-mell pace.

So, above is my little offering for the Interwebs, a small vignette from the snowfall of October 24, 2012. Whatever your weather today, may you sense the peace and comfort a snowy day can bring.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn Reflections on Bravery

This is my second tentative step into the blogosphere with this particular blog. (I used to blog fairly regularly under another domain name.) I feel ambivalent about this step, wanting to post yet feeling tender toward this particular picture and therefore wanting to protect it. It's a fragile little thing, a fairly quick painting that will end up in my art journal. I must confess I'm not 100% pleased with the result. The camera did wonders for brightening up the colors.

Yet I want to post it, and I do so for a few reasons. First of all, I want my blog to be about process, not product. I want to celebrate the enjoyment of creating as well as the quirky, "imperfect" creations that emerge. Secondly, this blog is about bravery. I am a recovering perfectionist, and posting this little picture is a stretch for me, a step into vulnerability. Thirdly, I just want to post! This blog is just a baby, and for it to grow and develop, I want to embrace my humbling beginnings and just go for it. (And honestly, at this point my blog is only known to a few close souls, so I feel safe in posting.)

So here we go! Autumn is, for me, largely about change and reflection. This painting and the posting of it celebrate both.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wind of Change

The past few years have brought much change to my life and my heart. All good changes, though not all easy. I've stepped away from some personal and professional pursuits and toward a grand unknown. Or perhaps a simple, humble one. Whatever it becomes, here is a small start--a page from my art journal that reflects this season. I hope it somehow refreshes your soul.