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Saturday, February 14, 2015

My Secret Signature

When I was in first grade my teacher taught us how to draw animals using letters of the alphabet. I really only remember that we made a whale out the letter W ... and then there was the S-Duck. Since my name began with S, I quickly had a natural affinity to this letter.  Who knows, perhaps this is where my love for drawing birds also was birthed. I started drawing the S-Duck on every piece of paper I could get my hands on. I even drew it on sidewalks with chalk...and on a shirt sleeve...and maybe on a basement wall. (Not on a basement wall if my mom is reading this.)

The S-Ducky, which it affectionately became known as, needed scenery and a lovely, utopic world to live in. My drawings began to portray S-Ducky floating on top of blue ocean water filled with seaweed, clams, fish and rocks. The sky was always blue and the sun was shining. 

A bit embarrassing is the evolution of S-Ducky drawings after this point.  I'm not sure when I became so obsessed with love and marriage, but my six year old brain thought this must be the measure of pure bliss... so, of course Mr. S-Ducky met Mrs. S-Ducky and they expressed their love with marriage vows on the Sea of Love.

Years ago, when I was getting started down my professional painting path, my sister said I should put some sort of personalized signature on the back of my original paintings. She then said, "You need to put the S-Ducky!" We both laughed, and it definitely seemed fitting. For several years now, the S-Ducky has been my "secret signature" on the back of my paintings. So please know that if you own one of my paintings, you actually own two pieces of my art, and the S-Ducky is my love stamp.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Share Something With Someone Today

My request is that you share something about yourself with someone today that you normally wouldn't share, or with someone that normally you wouldn't share yourself with.  I promise, the result will be freeing for you, and it will open up communication with the other person that you never knew could exist.
Openly Sharing, 16 x 48, Sold
Recently inspired by a FaceBook campaign to get artists talking about their work, I realized how much we artists have to share and often forget the road we traveled, getting us to where we are currently.  This campaign has created the opportunity to see my artist friends work and hear their stories. Causing me and others to know them newly and in a richer context of who they are as people and artists. Artists often have to come from a vulnerable space to create, then they have to have courage to put their work in front of an audience, knowing that human beings will always be judging and assessing... that is just what we humans do.

This makes me think about how we human beings, in general, don't share ourselves enough in an authentic way. By authentic way, I mean exposing thoughts and feelings in a way that is real with no fear or concerns of being judged. Why don't we share? We don't share for so many reasons;  we want to be liked, we don't feel like what we say is important, it can be uncomfortable to share, we want others to do the work, we don't have confidence, we feel embarrassed, we are afraid of what others will say or not say, we think we are stupid ... And it goes on and on.

Creating A Community, 40 x 30, Sold
When we don't share, we forget our own greatness and rob others of our contribution.  It is freeing and can be the greatest gift to ourselves to be known.  We also forget that it is in us sharing that other people can be inspired and called into action about what they can have for their lives.  To have no constraints in being able to express ourselves, leads to love with no constraints in all of our relationships. And for those of you, like myself, that tend to want to withhold their feelings, have the courage to be open and straight with people. Remember, people like a straight shooter, they know where they stand, and you get to the experience of being true to yourself. 

The Artist 3x5 Challenge on Facebook consists of artists nominating other artists to share 3 of their works for 5 days. I think it has been beneficial for getting to know artists better and also created a sense of community with artists. 

Some of my artists friends that I have enjoyed getting to experience their work during the Artist 3x5 Challenge on Facebook are: Rip Caswell, Buzz Siler, Flora Bowly, Martin Burch, Theresa Andreas-O'leary, Juliette Crane, Jeni Lee, Katherine Treffinger, Paulette Insall 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Flight Of Imagination

Flight Of Imagination, 40 x 40, Sold
I was asked recently by the client who bought Flight of Imagination to provide any commentary on this painting that I could share with him. This ended up being a great opportunity to reflect on why I paint what I do and I thought it would also be nice to share with you.

The inspiration for the painting, Flight Of Imagination, came from my love of capturing the mystery and beauty of nature, and creating work that frees our minds from the ordinary. 

I have connected with animals since a young age and from my earliest memories, I have always used making art as my favorite form of self-expression. It is not surprising that as my artwork evolved, I began painting birds and nature.  

Birds to me have always been magical creatures that exist between the heavens and earth. I have spent a lot of time in nature and one of my favorite things to do is observe birds.  Their movement, social structures, physiology, and instincts are fascinating, especially observing these variations in different species. On a more spiritual level, they are symbols of freedom, inspiration, and transcendence. As someone who loves symbolism, it is interesting to read about the different kinds of birds and their meaning in different cultures.

In Flight Of Imagination, I patterned these birds after the swallow. Swallows are one of my favorite birds to watch, their movement is swift, fast and they can turn quickly.  Fighter jet wings were actually modeled after this type of bird wing. I took artistic license with the vivid red-orange coloring of these birds, creating a mood of energy and aliveness against the contrasting dreamy, blue backdrop. I can see the correlation between how a bird takes to flight effortlessly, and how our minds can drift, and in an instant we can be soaring with a new idea, eureka moment or beautiful daydream. 

Overall, my work reflects that in life the Divine is always present, connecting us to each other and everything in inexplicable ways. It is the thread that weaves the magic, joy, and peace into our lives. The reason I use a lot of circles in my work stems back to my love of symbolism. The circle is an unbroken line which has no beginning, no end and no direction. With these attributes, the circle represents a completeness which encompasses all space and time.  Symbolically, the circle depicts the unending, the unknowable, the un-measurable, the un-graspable and the indefinable. In other words, the circle is the symbol of Divinity.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Its true... I can be a flake.  I say that about myself in the most loving and truthful way.  Some people excuse it by saying it is my artistic side, but I'm going to own it and say it just shows a lack commitment and integrity of my word.  I have been awesomely confronted this past month with my lack of commitment to what I say I am committed to.  It has been a great journey through my soul to re-examine my commitments and re-align with my highest self.  By putting my commitments in writing, I have gotten clarity and brought intentionality into the way I choose to live my life.  I can always come back to them for reference when wondering what my next step is or to center myself again.  These commitments fall under a very large umbrella that allows me the freedom to dream BIG.... REALLY BIG.  And that is really exciting.  So exciting that I can say I am lit up about life.  I'd like to share my top 3 commitments, because it is fun...and it will inspire me to keep living into them.  If you see anything that you like, steal them for your own list of commitments.  I would be honored... by the way, I stole a few parts from a very dear friend that likes to dream really big too, I think this just reaffirms that it is a really juicy and powerful commitment.
  1. Through God's will and purpose for my life being used for the highest good, I am committed to living full out and creating a life I love.  A life that is fulfilling, alive, lights me up and inspires those around me to do the same.  To balance mind, body and soul. To stand in love and alignment for myself, trusting and keeping an open heart, being generous, vulnerable, fully self expressed and being loving with myself.
  2. I am committed to my family, friends and all others having the life they love, so that they too are lit up and inspired by what they create and continue to create for their lives.  I am committed to standing in contribution and generosity for others, being love and a clearing for them to live into the possibilities they want to realize for their lives.
  3.  I am committed to having my artwork and projects inspire others in my possibilities like, but not limited to, love, aliveness, peace, openness, freedom, responsibility and care of all life on earth.  Through this experience my sales support me with financial abundance beyond what is even imaginable and I am able to spread the wealth into the world to cause transformation.   
In this self explorative exercise, I also wrote down how these commitments would look in real life to be realized.  Giving real actions to be taken to make these not just a list on paper, but bring them into reality.  This step is very important because it crystalized the actions I need to take and ways of being I need to be in order have the results these commitments will produce. Then I posted them in a few different places to keep me aware and in tune to their reality in my world.

My studio inspiration wall with lots of reminders.

FYI:  I am recommitting to my keeping my blog current and active - a place to share possibilities, creativity and inspiration.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

My New Website

You are looking at the new format for my new website and blog... coming soon!  I have been working on this new layout for a while now, and the blog portion has been launched so you can see what it will look like in the near future.  My blog and my website will be integrated, however, the actual website is not activated as of yet. This means the links in the header of this blog do not work, 
so please refer to my current website,, to find information about my paintings.

The new site will have more information, e-commerce, give more up to date happenings and stay current with what I am up to in my studio... plus it just looks cool.

I welcome feedback.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snowy Owls Come To The Northwest

In October 2012 I decided to paint white owls.  Although, Snowy Owls are not indigenous to Oregon, I thought a white owl would allow for beautiful play with color.  I originally was thinking of the Snowy Owl, but after doing research I thought the white Barred Owl would be more fitting.  The Barred Owl looks more like a traditional owl with the distinguished tufts around the eyes.  Also, I didn't think I would like the yellow eyes of a Snowy Owl in a painting.

Quiet Observers, 30 x 30
Available in Print

I joke that I must be a powerful manifester, because two days after finishing the owl painting I saw an owl about 20 feet away sitting up on a tree branch while walking my dog, Milo.  The dog actually noticed it first, stopping and looking up at it, I stopped to see what he was looking at.  I didn't have my camera for that one, but that was the only owl I had ever seen in the wild.

Then in January, I got word that Snowy Owls were spotted at Fort Stevens State Park, only 20 minutes from Astoria.  I grabbed my significant other and raced out there as fast as I could, to my amazement there were two hanging out just were he had seen them a few days before.  They were easily spotted with their magnificent white feathers, resting in plain daylight on logs.  I was in owl heaven, I took my telephoto lens (a mere disposable camera to the heavy duty, National Geographic lenses of my fellow on lookers), and got the best shots I could. 

Snowy Owl visits Oregon from the Arctic.

Snowy Owls like coastal landscapes.

I went home and went straight to Wikipedia, to find out why these beautiful creatures came to Oregon for the winter.  Apparently they are fairly nomadic and are hungry.  They will fly further south when food is in demand, this is determined by changes in their population and the boom and bust cycle of lemmings, which is their main food source.  They like open spaces that mimic the tundra, where they perch above and wait for their meal to pass by.  These two are either females or fledglings, the males are pure white.  

With my manifestation prowess, my friends said I should try a mermaid, a unicorn or a winning lottery ticket.  Hmmm.... that is definitely something to think about.

I went back the next day and got this shot to add to my Snowy Owl portfolio.