Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Lately I've been looking back at some of my earliest images. This is one of my favorites, from almost eight years ago when we moved to central Mexico for six months.

That move was such a departure from life as we had known it. I found myself with time to wander and explore, and discovered a botanical garden about a half-mile from the home we were renting. I borrowed Raymond's camera (never to be his again, as it turned out) and I was off. I hadn't been making photographs since college, and the joy of it came back to me at once.

Making time to explore has been a part of my life since then. Each time we've moved to a new area, I've delighted in discovery. Even now, being in Seattle for five years, I still make myself stop and go look. Sometimes it just shows up, like when walking my dog this bright and sunny morning, we turned a corner and right into a wispy, drifting fog bank. Magical.

If you're not already, I invite you to make time to stop and explore every day. Just look. Notice the details. Be here now. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Looking back over my last few posts, I see a theme was growing and gaining momentum... It's time for a change. I'm still not quite sure what that change is, but I trust I will discover it in good time. It may even be a re-ignighting of the passion for nature closeups that I've been making for so long. But I suspect it'll be a new direction in my art.

But just a few days ago I was inspired by a rose my husband gave me on the 24th anniversary of our relationship. Just this one rose of the dozen had this amazing spiral pattern at its heart... So I made a photograph of it. A nature closeup. Guess I'm not quite done with those yet.

And now we're gearing up for long summer holiday rest. No email, no Facebook, and very few solid plans over the next couple weeks. I have an intention - but not a goal - that a new focus will become illuminated. Or a new inspiration and clarity will take hold. I often get my best ideas when I'm most relaxed. So here's to that, and I hope you also enjoy your 4th of July holiday.

Ta ta for now!

Monday, June 24, 2013


I like this image I recently created because of its dynamic tension between light and dark. As summer tries to get a toehold here in Seattle and spring isn't quite ready to obey the calendar and give up its gloom and rain, so goes my art. I'm experiencing a tension between what I've done and what I want to do next.

It's a place of uncertainty, especially since I'm not clear yet what is next. But being able to identify it as uncertainty makes it easier to simply allow it to be, rather than resist it, which had been my course. There's a letting go of what didn't work, and even some letting go of what did. Logically I know one has to let go in order to even begin create what's next. But knowing something isn't the same as having access to it.

So here's to uncertainty, and all it brings! Happy summer, Everyone.

Friday, June 7, 2013


I made this image this week after watching a video about creating fantastic (surreal) art through collage. Although not inspired after watching to create collage, I was inspired to play with elements of form and create my own patterns and design.

When I first start making and sharing photographs after an almost 20 year absence, for some reason I had a rule that I had to capture my subjects as they were. Nothing came into the studio, it all had to be shot where it was, as it was. No idea why I had that rule. I was aware of it, but unaware of its origins.

When I finally started breaking it, I began to expand as an artist. I think part of the process of growing as an artist is to continue to see one's self-imposed limitations and choose to go beyond them. Wait -- that's the process of growing as a human. Damn, but I'm wise for a Friday. So here's to going beyond the rules, whatever they may be.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Today, I drew. Haven't done that since grade school. But I joined an online basic art class to improve my artsitic vision, and they encouraged us to try out some of the techniques demonstrated. So why not? Charcoal most appealed to me, especially when water was added, so that's what I did. For inspiration I used a photo I'd made earlier.

I'm not ready to quit my day job. I'm clear I have a LOT to learn. But I'm loving the journey.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I've been fortunate to spend two of the last four weekends on a beach in Sonora, Mexico. It's a beach that's a five hour drive from Phoenix, and I spent a lot of time there during my years in Arizona.

Even as a little desert dweller, I always appreciated the light patterns made by sunlight and water. I'd spend hours by the swimming pool, watching the light ribbons undulate in the water, and on the patio wall.

Returning to this beach with my artist's eye, I saw it newly. Early morning walks at low tide showed a side of this sea I didn't connect to in the past.

Water is deeply transformative. It can be devastating as a tsunami, or gentle as a soft rain that brings a fresh sparkle. Spiritually, the symbolism of water is profound. My own rebirth as an artist was reflected in leaving the desert and moving near the sea. I'm so grateful I got to bring this journey full circle.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Submitting. Submission. Not a very empowered word. Yet it's the word artists use when referring to offering our works to be included in exhibits. I submit my art to your judgement.

It is the artist's version of cold calling. Of shaking hands with people at the Chamber of Commerce mixer. Most of us hate, or at least, resist it. Yet it's usually the first step to getting our work shown.

This week I've pushed through my own resistance and have submitted six original pieces for a garden- themed show. I've had two more accepted for a gallery involved in the June Art Walk in Pioneer Square. And I'm working on submissions for a facility in Snohomish, WA; pieces that will likely end up being printed and colored on five foot square canvases. So the outcome is fun, even if the process is not.

I submit to the process. Resistance is futile. Perhaps I will even come to enjoy it. Perhaps.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


What's better than an image of a lovely thing? Seeing that lovely thing twice, of course. I've been shooting on patterned glass and the more I'm experimenting, the more I'm appreciating the reflection, sometimes even more than the subject itself.

I've long been drawn to water as a subject, but technically, it's never the water that makes the image. It's the light that hits it, the objects and colors it reflects, and the breezes and waves that make interesting patterns with all those elements.

Using glass in the studio gives me more control of the reflection, but there's still a magic to it that isn't manageable. And I think that's what makes it great.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I had a challenge from my photography club here in Seattle to shoot subjects so close up that they might cease to be recognizable. Challenge accepted!

This is my favorite of the images I made because it stopped being recognizable and became for me about balance, darkness and hope shining through. (No wrong answers in interpretation, right?)

I'm grateful I can use photography to create abstract images I don't otherwise have the painting skills to create. And it's an excellent reminder that beauty is everywhere, even in my dog's Kong chew toy. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Continuing the theme of being connected and working with the flow... I asked my fine hubby of 20 years today what he thought I should blog about this week and he said, "Breath."

So OK. Breath. From the beginning of making art (again) since we moved to Mexico and stopped being so damn busy all the time, my work reflected a certain peace. Yes, it was born of slowing down and really seeing what was around me. But after shooting for a while and sharing the images that really captivated me, I articulated a statement about those pieces.

It was this:  My work invites people to stop for a moment and take a deep breath.

That is the effect that art I love has on me, no matter who created it. It stops me in my tracks, and makes me breathe. I hope it does that for you, too.

Friday, March 29, 2013


This week I received the gift of getting sick.

For many years I was a left-brained professional organizer. I made a living keeping myself and others on task and productive. Nothing wrong with that. I still use those skills every day.

Then we sold it all and moved to Mexico. Living there was an opportunity to stop and breathe and see all the beauty in the details around me. It's where I picked up a camera again and began making art without a schedule or agenda.

Now that I'm doing my art business full-time, I've been grappling with walking between the right-brain world of artist, and the left-brain world of business owner. I make lists and put things on my schedule that feed my artistic soul, like going to the museum, or having coffee with another artist. I've been calling on my history about what it takes to make a business go to try to make my business go. (Make contacts! Reach at least ten people! Make art every week! Blog!) Again, nothing wrong with all of that. But I saw this week that my focus has been on a linear approach to time and results. As in, if I make ten calls, I'll make $x.

I believe getting sick is a communication from the body. Usually for me, it means slow the hell down. But I really haven't been working that hard. I have however, been feeling lots of guilt when I don't do what I think I should do.

So this week I used getting sick as an opportunity to release guilt and just do what was in front of me to do. If I felt like napping, I napped. If I felt like calling new art buyers, I did. I actually managed to create art this week, reach new art consultants, research and find several exhibition opportunities, and take care of myself. I read four books, took naps, and slept in so I could heal. All this without a list.

Below is an image I shot on my walk with Jake this morning after the rain cleared and the sun came out. I only had my camera with me because I felt moved to bring it.

I still love my lists and my calendar and will continue to use them. But I'm going to keep letting the guilt go and just do what I do, and not do what I don't do. It's what's going to happen anyway.

Friday, March 22, 2013


I woke up yesterday morning thinking about edges. (I swear this is true. My brain. Usually I wake up thinking about what's for breakfast.)

In honor of Easter, I just reread Christopher Moore's delightfully irreverent "Lamb:  The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal." It's a story about the missing growing up years of Jesus, where he and Biff went to China, Tibet and India to study with spiritual masters of all types. Great read. (And we learn why Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas.)

Somewhere along the line, one of their teachers asks them to consider that their skin is the not the barrier, not the edge between them and the rest of the world, but rather the place where they connect to it. (This is a quote by a famous thinker but I could not for the life of me find it again to credit it or quote it accurately.)

But the idea stuck with me as I've been contemplating the world, our connection to it, oneness, etc. I'm sure you've noticed that Oneness is a more and more common theme in art, music, Facebook posts, etc.

So it was with these ruminations in mind that I made images yesterday at my favorite conservatory/greenhouse here in Seattle. I ended up shooting familiar plants and succulents, but I attempted to approach them with this idea of edges as connection and not as separation.

I'm not sure how this image captures that for me, but I have to say that it does. It's a good inquiry. I'm not done with it yet. In fact I've got some ideas for more. Coming soon ...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What today looks like

Care for a tour of my desk and what I'm working on today? I'm putting the finishing touches of oil pastels on the canvas called "green after image." I printed it for a show last summer and now I'm playing up the patterns and softening the edges with the oils. The whole thing has this very painterly feel now, and other than the row of thorns up the right side, it doesn't look like a photograph at all. And I'm praying the fixative spray I ordered on Amazon gets here by Thursday, because I've promised this and five other pieces to a show that opens Friday. Fingers crossed.

On my monitor you'll see the latest email newsletter I'm getting ready to send out, and some notes in front of me on what I'm including.

I got this wireless mouse recently and I don't know if I'm supposed to get a mouse pad. (Have you noticed that when you get computer equipment nowadays they no longer include paper manuals? And yes, I could look it up online. I will at some point.)  Anyway, the mouse seems to work better on something, so there it sits on the Seattle Art Museum calendar, which is also reminding me to go see the new exhibition.

You can't see the wall to my right where I have a bulletin board with images I like, supportive notes, and my forms and charts and folders I use to keep my actions and projects organized. I haven't been an official professional organizer for about eight years, but I still love creating systems to keep me focused.

And that's what today looks like!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

After a two-year absence...

I am back! The more I've posted and shared on Facebook, the less I'd been blogging. But my coach kicked me in the butt about it, and she's right. Facebook provides a better interactivity, but blogging allows for a greater depth of sharing. So I'm happy to be back and share what's been going on. (Hint:  a lot!)

This past December, I wrapped up a part-time job I'd had for four years. It was a great job with a wonderful company, but even though it was part-time, I didn't feel like I had enough energy to really create my art business the way I wanted to. So with my husband's support, I made the leap to making art full-time. I've designed and launched a new web site, created a new action plan which I work from each week, and have made more art in the last two months than I did in the last year. (You can see the very latest at my new site here.)

This is piece I created during my 31 Day Challenge in January. Some folks do 365. For me, one a day for the first month of the new year was enough to get me back in gear. This image was originally shot last October when Raymond and I celebrated our 20 year wedding anniversary in Hawaii. Then I reshot it through textured glass last month.

So that's my quick overview of what's been happening. More next week. Thanks for reading!