From Honoring Your Work

You Gotta Hear This

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A few weeks ago, I had the tremendous privilege of joining Sabrina Ward Harrison and Trent Reynolds on their new podcast called “Room In The Trees”.  

If you haven’t listened to any of their episodes yet, you really gotta.  I highly recommend subscribing!

“Room In The Trees” is a valuable (and fun!) resource for artists – they discuss lots of topics that matter to we creative types.  I’ve enjoyed every episode (but forgive me, I may be partial to the one where I’m the guest.)  

Listen in here y’all!  

And let us know what you think!!

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Still Treasure Seeking

In my 55 years, I’ve held a few jobs and one “career”.   However, my education was in cultural and earth sciences – archaeology and geology.  It didn’t take me long to conclude those jobs wouldn’t pay my bills – not very well at least.  So one thing lead to another and I mysteriously landed in the world of television advertising.  (The “career”.)

Long story short, I eventually married my boss.  Yeah, I did.  We didn’t want to work and live together, so I retired.  My new husband, or the “Dream Maker” as I like to call him, set me free to discover what it is I really loved to do.  Oh God.

Yes, that may sound like a blessing to you (and indeed it was).  But, not until a years-long-tortuous-journey of self discovery . . . I had no idea what I loved!  I only knew working to pay the bills, ya know?

Somehow, my husband survived it all.  Several years later, after much searching and crazy making, I discovered I am an artist.  Which is really weird, since I was raised by a lifelong painter!  (But until this time of wandering about, I had never once picked up a paintbrush.)

These days I may paint, wander with camera in hand, write a bit, teach an art workshop or host an art retreat, but I’m still treasure hunting and documenting my findings.  This is exactly what I did as a young archaeologist.  Now I KNOW, Treasure Seeker is my calling, my vocation, my career!  I was born for this.

Through a commitment to my 7 year long painting practice, I have found my process.  (I tend to paint deep layers of color-filled strata.  Then I begin my real work of uncovering the treasures beneath.  I use a handful of tools I’ve tucked away in my treasure hunter’s knapsack.)

On daily walks and adventures, I focus my lens on the world’s treasures.  I’ll go to any length to capture small moments of wonder and beauty.

In my personal journal and sometimes here on my blog, I document and share my discoveries.  I can’t help myself.

ALWAYS AND FOREVER A TREASURE SEEKER.

ALWAYS AND FOREVER SEEKER OF BEAUTY AND THE EXTRAORDINARY.

ALWAYS THE DREAM DIGGER.

I want to share with you some of my discoveries.

If you’d like to take a look, my photographs can be found heremy “Project Wanderstruck”.

Some of my more recent paintings can be found here.

My only hope in sharing this with you, is that it will in some way inspire you to dig your own dreams . . . Enjoy!

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My Warehouse Art Studio

I’m so fortunate to share a large studio space with my Mom,

Caroline Bell, a life long painter.

But trust me.  

Our studio doesn’t typically look THIS clean.  

But after 5 years here, we just freshened up the space with new paint/lighting/fans/etc.

AND this weekend, we had clients visit (so we had to clean, right)?

7 paintings were sold that day!  What!

(6 of her’s, 1 of mine.  Sigh.  LOL.)

Do you think our purty space contributed to selling so many? 

Naw.  Surely not.

I had to take some pics before those babies leave for new homes, ya know?

So here’s a little studio tour….

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A front “office” in our warehouse studio is used as a sitting area. Tea anyone?

 

The second "front office" is used as our kitchen.
Our second “front office” is a break room.  A small fridge and microwave mean we never have to leave.

 

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Just inside the warehouse is a VERY large worktable….we often paint flat and it’s big enough to work on together.

 

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We each have a rolling cart to pull to table or easel.

 

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To the right of the easel above is a rack loaded with paint we’ve “pooled”. We now separate it into bins labeled by color – it’s easy to see what colors might need!

 

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Two work tables in the back of the warehouse are great for varnishing finished pieces and laying down our stock of blank canvas.  (Hi Mom!)  Mediums and other supplies are kept on the table to the left of Mom…..

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Another small seating area inside the warehouse area. Here, we can sit back and take a look at work in progress. Yes that’s a (fake) fireplace. It’s really a heater that keeps us warm when needed.  Concrete floors get so cold in the winter!

 

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Tunes and candles – check!

 

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The “powder room”.
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Shelf units in the back hold lots of supplies and work as a room divider – behind which is stored works in progress or finished pieces.

 

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Stacks of work await!

Hope you enjoyed the quick looksie at our renovated workspace!

Creative Living With Jamie – Her Chat With Me!

Recently, I had the pleasure of being featured on Jamie Ridler’s podcast.  In it we talk about everything from my relatively recent journey to discovering I was an artist, to the various types of journals I keep, to making time and space for your own artistic adventures!

I hope you’ll take a listen.

The interview is right here!

I hope you’ll find it useful and inspiring for your own creative life – do let me your thoughts!

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Stacking Up (aka The Making of 2 Series)

I generally paint with no plan whatsoever.  Which means I have no idea of what subject I’ll paint.  I think the only time I’ve ever done that was for a class.

My plan is simple.  Choose 3 colors I’m drawn to, and add black and white.  That’s it.  Next, I begin smooshing the color onto the canvas in any way that feels good (expressive) in the moment.

I also try to keep my body moving and my head out of the game! Eventually a direction reveals itself and I go with that – until, and unless, it changes – and it often does.

So when I’ve stacked up a few paintings, it’s always a surprise to find similarities among them.  That’s how my “series” come to be.

I do recall painting the one below.  It was a dark and grey summer afternoon – a BIG storm was blowing in.  I had all the windows in my studio open to enjoy the breezes and tingly electric atmosphere.

It rarely rains in Southern California, so when it does it’s an event!

Newscasters excitedly repeated their “storm warnings” and bragged about their modern (but seldom needed) radar system.  No wonder “Storm Chaser” came into being.

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“Storm Chaser”

I remember feeling in my bones that my next way to paint was revealing itself as I blended the many shades of blue.

I was “in it” – the flow, that is.

That doesn’t always happen, but I always pray for it.

There’s no more joy-full feeling!

“Storm Chaser” framed (SOLD)

Since then, a few paintings have the same aerial feel.  As I paint, land and seascapes emerge from under my brush or fingers.  Hence, the “Bird’s Eye View” series is born.

(The painting below was four-different-paintings before this finally came!  I’m learning patience y’all.  Really – painting teaches you stuff.)

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“Thunder Island”

 

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“Indigo Harbour”

 

During this same time period (since June) another series is taking shape…..one probably influenced by my daily walks – during which I’m amazed by the beautiful vegetation in my neighborhood, or in the wetlands and beaches I frequent.

I’ve taken so many photos of flowers lately, I’m sure it is the inspiration that’s become visible on my canvases.

This series, I’m calling “My Secret Garden”.

"Under the Willow"
“Under the Willow”

 

"Honeycomb & Fae"
“Honeycomb & Fae”

 

Even my art journal pages seem to fall somewhere between the two series now.

It’s all a mystery to me.

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I never know what’ll show up!

If I’m not in love with a painting or page, I simply add another layer of paint the next day or flip the page.

Non-attachment is necessary, or I’ll make myself crazy – which is so NOT the point of creative expression.

“No worries,” I repeat under my breath.

“Breathe,” I tell myself.

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No worries.

It’s just paint.  

Let it go.  

Let it go.

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Tomorrow, I’ll share something new and exciting – I’ve been interviewed by Creative Life Coach, Jamie Ridler, for her weekly podcast!  OMGosh she’s about the most supportive and creative person I know!!

And guys – there’s 1 seat open for the upcoming art journaling retreat I’m hosting in Palm Springs in January.  I KNOW it’s waiting for just the right person…..if it’s calling to you,

Snag it here!