One Word

One Word

Something I recently came across and thought I would share. The new year always brings on all the goal-setting, resolutions, diet plans, challenges, cleaning, organizing, researching, endless lists, etc.... In the midst of all this doing, a good way to get clarity is to choose a word, ONE word to focus on, to dive into, to be your theme for how you want to be for the year.

Some suggestions in picking out a word by Shakti Sutriasa are:

Heat Wave 52x64

Heat Wave 52x64

1. Ask-Get quiet and simply ask: What is my word for 2017? Is there something I could benefit from focusing on?
2. Use A Book-If you’ve asked and nothing comes to you, you can always try this cool trick. 
Grab a book, any book, off the shelf and close your eyes. Think about your word for the year and then randomly open the book. See where your eye lands and what it reveals.
3. Meditate On It-Once a word comes to you, try it on. Settle into the energy of that word.

• How does it feel?

• Is there an opportunity for learning and growth?

• Is this where you need to go in 2017?

My word for the year is “Feather”. I want to go through this year and not get weighed down by all the “stuff” that I must do. We are human”beings" not human "doings". How do you want to “be” this coming year? What is your word-I would love to hear it?



Atlantic Center for The Arts | 2016

December of every year I get the opportunity to paint with a dozen other accomplished artists at the prestigious Atlantic Center For The Arts. Being in this special environment seems to take my work to another level. These are some of the resulting paintings from my short time there.

Moving Mountains

I was thinking the other day about barrel-racing horses and how it correlates to how we live or not live or lives.  In competition I’ve always been a middle of the road rider when it came to speed.  It wasn’t my horses fault; they were certainly capable of going faster, because when other riders rode them they did.  All these years I've practiced, practiced, practiced, working on getting better and faster, but I always seemed to stay at the same speed, becoming a better rider but never breaking that speed zone.  I would watch faster riders and try to figure it out what they had that I didn’t.   I went so far as to give up, sell my horses and take a break from riding for 2 year.

Recently I have been given the opportunity to ride my neighbor’s horse, which is an exceptionally trained, fast horse.  As I was practicing her and made a run, something profound occurred to me.  During the run I rode her past my “comfort” zone before asking her to turn.  In the past, long before getting to the barrel I would start setting up for my turn, losing valuable time.   I knew I was doing this, and in my mind I had a lot of good reasons to justify it,  but I never realized till the other day what it truly was, fear.   Fear of looking bad, making a mistake, falling off, I am not capable, all the bad that could happen on the other side of my comfort zone.  What I found is none of that happened, but that I can do this and it was actually just as easy if not easier once I got out there past “my” comfort zone.   It astounds me that all this time the only thing that’s been holding me back from being faster is what’s in my head.

To sum this up, an appropriate quote from Edmund Hillary-“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves”.

No Body Gets Out Alive

This is one of my favorite quotes.  By a person who at 19 months old became deaf and blind and eventually learned to communicate on a scale that most of us will never realize with all our senses intact.  She graduated from Harvard, was an author, political activist, and met every president during her lifetime.  It's hard  fathoming just learning to communicate with only 3 senses.  It's simply amazing what she did.   In large part, it's due to the fact that she didn't let fear stop her.  How different would our world be had she held herself back and she/we would never have experienced the gifts she brought forward.

Playing it safe, letting fear hold you back.   Why?  To protect yourself from the unknown, your imagined worst scenarios which usually never come true.   Don't let your imagined little fears hold you back and keep you playing small.  Be the person of your wildest dreams.   Live your life to the fullest-you have this one wild, precious life-what gifts are waiting for you to bring to this world?

Have You Ever Really Tried?

I was lying in bed this morning, thinking about the text I received right before falling asleep. It read "I'll will try and make it there early".

Huh, I will "try"!  Boy, do I have issue with the word "try". It comes across as non-committal, wishy-washy, half-hearted, doubtful, and lacking in belief.  I learned this first hand from a very wise teacher years ago.

There I was sitting in a group of about 30 people and the group leader asked me something (what it was I don't recall and it doesn't really matter).   My response was "ok, I'll try".   She obviously didn't like that response and asked me to come to the front of the group, sit in a chair and instructed me to try and stand up.  I just stood up with a smirk on my face.  She said "no, sit back down and try to stand up".  I looked at her now with a  puzzled look on my face, sat down and stood back up.  "NO" she said "sit back down and TRY to stand up".  Now I am sitting down "trying" to stand up, tensing and straining my muscles, looking like a fool amusing the group.  Then I "got" it!  My only options were to sit or stand.  You either do it (commit) or don't do it.  The choice is yours and that's where your power lies-not floundering around somewhere in the abyss.

New Portfolio

I have added a new portfolio to my site of small drawings on paper.  Please be sure to check it out

Miami Art Week

I haven't posted as much as I had wanted to, but I've been busy getting some pieces ready for Art Week in Miami.  If you in the Miami area this week stop in Spectrum booth 811 and see what I've been working on. 

Hope to see you there!

Complimentary VIP passes here


My First Time

This is my first self portrait! I really should be painting for the upcoming Miami show, but got a little side tracked.  There's always next week.

No Place Like Home

The art of Karlene McConnell.  My studio mate, friend, and inspiration in the studio.  Her landscape paintings beckon me to slow down, relax, and are a subtle reminder that there's no place like home.

See more of her work at, or better yet see it in person at a show we will be in together, along with Pat Zalisko, and Audrey Phillips at the Ormond Museum of Art, January 22, 2016.

A Beautiful Mess

This ALWAYS gets me out of my slump!    Though, it's a love/hate relationship.  I know what I have to do,  but I always drag my feet getting started.  I dread the preparation, dragging all the canvases out, arranging 6-10 of them strategically on the floor, prepping all the paint, brushes, mixtures, buckets of water, planning out the order of application, what brush should go with what color, etc... Some days I just want to go in the studio, dip a brush in the paint and start painting.  But, no that's not to be for me, somewhere along the line I got the "action" painter virus.  Which entails using 10x's the paint, canvas, and energy that a somewhat "normal" (I use that term loosely) artists uses.

So, getting past all that, now I get to the fun part.   The part I love, the pouring, splashing, squirting, brushing, dripping, going from one canvas to the next, just getting paint on canvas, watching the colors merge, beautifully formed shapes that I couldn't make happen if I tried.  Love, love,  love the spontaneity + freedom of this method.   This process never fails in getting those proverbial creative juices flowing again!

Now we wait for the paint to dry....

Momma Said There Would Be Days Like this


Since today's painting session was preempted by the voices in my head second-guessing the direction I am heading, predicting a bleak future, and questioning my ability as an artist-needless to say I produced a lot of mud today.  So  I am filling in the regularly scheduled post with a pic of my 2 favorite subjects: Butters + Raisin while I go get my head clear....



Naming Artwork

Some artists prefer not to title their work, but I for one feel compelled to name my work.  For me it is the final part of the painting process, the work is not complete without the name.  Usually the name comes to me right after I complete the piece, as I am sitting there with my evocative  thoughts, feelings, and memories.  Out of this my titles usually come to me, thus adding another facet and finality to the work.


A Daring Adventure


One of my most favorite quotes!

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing". - Helen Keller

10 Easy Steps to Making a Painting

I've been working on this particular painting the last couple of days and when I get to certain stages I take pics of it with my I-pad to isolate it to get a better idea of what I need to do next.  As I was looking through my pics today I thought it would be a neat idea to do a slideshow of the progress of this painting. The size is 40x60 on canvas.  As for the title-I wish it could be as easy as 10 steps!

Melissa Mason

Planting Seeds

Seeds Planted Long Ago  42x33 acrylic, torn paper, on canvas

Seeds Planted Long Ago  42x33 acrylic, torn paper, on canvas

As I start my blogging journey, I've decided I am going to post everyday (except weekends).  What exactly I am going to be posting, I do not know yet.  There will definitely be pictures of art.  My head is full of ideas and I am wanting this to organically evolve into something that feels right for me.   I don't have all the answers right now.