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Mandala #38 Blue Lotus

2 Aug

Work in progress…
Expression.
Say 1) you’re open hearted, ready, in a ‘place’ or state of being where you feel so ready to give- but not sure exactly  what to give…
or conversely,
2) you have an idea of what you must do, but waver on exactly how to go about doing it…

heart open
-OR-
head full of ideas

Either way,  Expression is THE answer; the movement that initiates a new beginning for either of these modern stalemate positions.

…….and this is exactly the post modern, blockage point- our Voice. Our own individual expression. Our song. Our contribution to the expansion of humanity.


It’s also our voice, with a small ‘v’. We’re so tethered by the words we say to ourselves, the words in our heads.

Our hearts and minds are ready…

It’s our own inner voices that need our attention, our kindness, our compassionate listening:
‘Sit still and be quiet.
Who told you you could do that?
Put that down.
Who do you think you are?’

Replacing these old voices with updated expressions that better serve -who I am now- reseeds the ready compost of the past.

Start with the small voices.
Kindness here initiates the eventual blooming of the metaphorical blue lotus of self expression, located precisely at your throat chakra- the meeting ground of heart and head.


The Practice

24 May

The only way I have found to get myself unfreaked about the future, is to have a hand in its creation. 
I know I can’t control for the future, I know overthinking is going to kill me. I know worrying is not the answer. So I have practices.
I practice meditating every day. I sleep better. I process this crazy world better. It tips me away from all the fear –  allowing me to find solutions instead of invent problems. I practice for an open mind.
I exercise to stay flexible and feel good in my skin. I practice for a future where flexibility and strength might be needed. 
Then there is my third type of practice; I intentionally set the stage for my craft. I make my art every day, practicing for the days when it doesn’t come easy, when I feel like giving up or getting a ‘real’ job. 
My practices hold space for the reception of my future. It’s in the small, often uncomfortable moments of practice that I meet myself, that I can say with some clarity ‘This is what makes me tick, this is what I’m made of, who I am’ 
So when the future waltzes in, it may be completely unknown, but I, in myself, am able to greet it with presence and anticipation. The future, like everything else, deserves to be greeted with wonder and curiosity. 

My 100 Mandala Journey

24 May

Hello. I hope this finds you well. This is an unusual time and place to be, and I am grateful we can share this virtual space and create a community together. Thanks technology, thanks open- hearted humans!

In my 100 mandala’s journey, and I’m on #10…I’m discovering that my artwork has become a tool for me, an actual practice in the same way as meditation. 

As my consciousness is shifting and I’m deep diving in my hour+ a day meditation, I’m able to regard my work in a very different light. 

I see it very much as coming thru me, not in a woo woo way, although that’s not a wrong way to describe it- a better way might be the feeling that the whole design is complete and my job is to fill it in as best I can. Which makes sense intellectually, idk- I’ve never conceived of it in this way. 

The difference is in my approach. Now, when I sit down it’s as if I’m meeting up with something. Not *just* sitting down to draw. I carefully now arrange my tools, give myself enough time and space, clear my mind…and wait. 

I also sense a shift in my understanding of intention setting- the intention creates a net, a filter maybe- a vibration? A field of sorts – but I FEEL it now as a resonance that I am IN when I am drawing. Very whole/holy space.

 So this is what Joseph Campbell meant when he says it’s imperative that we each cultivate a sacred space… 

Its real. I can feel it. So wow. It’s such a subtle thing. And I guess my point is; this works. When you are consciously paying attention to yourself, holding loving space, something beautiful begins to stir. And it IS magic!!!

Much love to you beautiful souls today!!

Creative Arts Adult Artists!

10 Mar

Creative Arts is really a special place. And it’s not just for kids.

here’s a promo piece featuring some of our adult artists! more to come…

Susan, our Fearless Director has kept our ship afloat and leakproof during the pandemic. Now that people are re-emerging, we’re putting together a fabulous Art Event, partnering with The Dole to host over 140 individual artworks from our youth and adult classes. We have the great sound of Bourbon Country Music, a cash bar, and the beautiful old mansion itself.

Art Event and the NHS

10 Mar
Creative Arts Big FAt annual ARt EVENT at The Dole!!!

We’ve been working so hard on this!!!!

Really really looking forward to this. It’s every artists secret joy- to attend a big deal art show. Thanks to all the wonderful people who are making this happen once again….still looking for table volunteers, and the National Honor Society is a wonderful thing, as kids needs community hours- and what is better than putting in your time at an art event???

The list of ‘events’ was this:

We would love volunteers for:

The Water Color Table

The Make a Picasso Face Table

The Rainbow/ Leprechaun Wall

The Mona Lisa Photo Booth

Scavenger Hunt Hint Giver

Watch “March: Extreme Shame – Kyle Cease” on YouTube

28 Feb

The Extraordinary state of being

11 Feb
silly frog/ janet balboa

I’m trying to be open, to be allowing, to be more about showing up experientially instead of intellectually or emotionally. Receiving and responding rather than judging and reacting.

I want to have tessellating, radiating thoughts that fill the world around me with joy, not add to despair. I think this is who I’m supposed to be. The essential me.

How’s that working for me? well? Ups and downs. Lots of days become hard; I get ground down into my past, longing for the ‘comfort’ of the way things were… I focus on experiences already spent; last year’s harvest; historical data… I keep dragging my past into the present moment, perpetuating my personal groundhog day of fear and disconnection. Wtf.

I flat-line; I rot in the stagnant waters of same old same old, I see that I am dying for something new, something real, some experience of being alive, addicted to the habits of my daily life, repeating the same choices, insanely hoping that something really BIG will grab me from the outside and make all the difference…

I ask myself, why I limit my potential, close off new possibilities, keep the magic at bay? I intellectually know better. But what is here, now, is far more subtle than intellect, here I am approaching the Soul. I don’t fully grasp my true creative super power, which is my being itself, me, being present, allows an opening between past and future – the stage upon which the Quantum Music of Life can flow into my divinely individualized consciousness.

I hold the tension between the past and future – I be in the only place I can ever be, here; now. The present moment, my precise location in space/time, the only space or time in which I can ever be located. I get this and I don’t get it. Cognitive dissonance… I know that this is a belief worth having, and I know the the cost is all my old beliefs. And they’re having a bit of a fuss to say the least. So there’s that.

This is what I’m working on. Not art per se, or classes or shows, but expansion of my consciousness. Getting my head wrapped around an understanding; a realization that is so gorgeously, deliciously, tantalizingly brand spanking new to me. This is the Source of those tessellating radiating energies. As old as the ancient of days, but so new to me in the sense that I resonate with it in a way that I never have before. Experientially.

and that’s new.

and that’s exciting.

That shit makes me want to get up in the morning… excited and ready for what will show up. That’s looking forward, not being in the future. That’s being fully grounded here; now, IN MY BODY. I know IT happens in the bodytemple of my localized consciousness. My feet on the ground, participating in my life, working on being present, fully participating in my life.

I want to experience the extraordinary, so I must become open to the extraordinary. I must be present to this moment, willing to expand beyond all that I am and welcome the unknown as the beautiful, mysterious lover who gathers me with wide arms full of comfort and receives my open breaking heart in exchange for the security of grace.

The willingness to experience grace, is the willingness to embrace the unknown, the willingness to create space for the radiance of pure potential to surge thru us with all the unicorn radiant beauty and exuberance of a newly formed universe. This is the power that longs to dance with us. The power of creation. Expression. What will my experience be when I am fully open to this way of experiencing belonging? idk. That’s what makes it scary AND exciting…idk. Yet setting my sails into the wind.

We’ll leave the light on…

2 Apr

Work in progress. Looking at the small magic all around me. A friend of a friend made his transition yesterday. I’m not sure if how, or what he ‘died’ from is even important. Certainly statistically it is. But from that place lying just beyond the need to quantify and categorize and know everything, I imagine he is simply continuing the forward momentum of his beloved being.

I want to celebrate with him, to acknowledge his passing, his having been here, collected the metaphorical t-shirt, and now on to different lands, other pastures. Adventures. And a kind of beaming back to us, the earthbound, a sense of boundless un-conditioned love. I imagine also, that this is what we feel when we are connected, when we are still, when our hearts are blown wide open. The love that surrounds us, from all quarters, seen and unseen, can wash over our usual resistance.

I’m listening today. Not to the TV, or radio or social media. I’m listening for the faint footsteps of a remarkable man, a conscious human being, who is off journeying beyond the borders of my awareness. And I’m grateful; for his life, for my life, and for the shared experience of human life that connects all of us. And I’m feeling the love. Happy trails to you♥️

Ousel Falls

26 Mar

Marker and prismacolor pencil. And lots of white gel pen!!!

It will be a 36×48 canvas in a few days. Really excited to see the finished piece. On its way to a new home in Bozeman MT.

…on to the next art adventure!

Ousel Falls MT.

11 Mar

This was challenging! I’ve haven’t drawn a lot of water, let alone an entire insanely detailed landscape. Well. Happy with the outcome. It’s the center of a larger poster I’m working on. Have more pictures on my Instagram. Marker paper with prismacolor pencils and markers. 11 x 14. Oh, and the unicorn – like magic of a white gel pen…

What I love most about teaching

15 Sep

Tools of the TradeWhen my student is beyond excited. When they have that look in their eyes. When I know that something clicked, an alignment occurred with their soul. We are together for an instant in this blissed out moment that feels like the entire universe exhaled an immense and satisfied ‘YES!’

Last week, Jim asked if he could take his picture home to work on. He was so excited to show his parents his work in progress. He’s been in class close to 16 weeks, developing his style; drawing, painting, penciling what he loves- reptiles, lizards and snakes. He is a walking encyclopedia on everything reptile. He is also a connoisseur of morning glories. His enthusiasm is contagious.

Recently, he’s adopted a new tool- Derwent Inktense Ink pencils. He uses an easel, inventing his style of working as he goes- experimenting with different papers, pencils, techniques…and last Thursday- BOOM! Lightning struck and he was hooked. The muse had him by the tail and it was just the coolest thing to witness. He grew exponentially, expanded beyond his old story of his ability and I was able to see THAT MOMENT.

‘Oh wow’ he said to himself, looking at his picture, his hands full of pencils and paintbrushes, ‘I love this. I love this.’

When class was over, as he’s walking out the door, I saw that he also had the case of the studio’s Derwent pencils. Around $150 worth of these amazing things, cradled to his chest.

So I’m like, ‘Er…you’re taking the pencils too?’ A bit hesitant to let these things walk out the door.

His face was absolutely shining, as he said so seriously – “Yes! I promise I’ll be careful with them. I promise! Is it ok if I borrow them, since no one else is using them?’

In that moment, I could see the monetary value of those pencils was absolutely nothing compared to the value that they had to him, this gifted 13-year-old artist who had just discovered an entire world of wonder and awe in a case of pencils. We had discussed the price of him buying the exact set earlier in class that day, so he knew what he was asking.

‘Yes.’ I said.

He didn’t even say thank you or goodbye, (which he does every time, because he’s a polite and gracious kid) he instead just turned and floated toward his mom, clutching the pencils and his drawing.

Is that not connection we’re all longing for? A direct pipeline to joy? This is what is sustainable. Find the things that expand you, that inspire you to become more of who you are. It’s not about ‘Am I ‘good’ at this or any other external marker. It’s about what fulfills you. And that is always an inside job. How do you find a way to let the radiance out? What is it that tickles your fancy, that you do just for the sheer delight of exploration and creativity?

‘Oh wow’ (you overhear your soul say), ‘I love this. I love this.’

And honestly, it feels exactly like the entire universe is exhaling an immense and satisfied ‘YES!’ -through you.

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