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!

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So Far This Year

I’ve grown quiet here on my blog – but it’s for a good reason . . .

I’ve been diving deep into the creative well!

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve hosted the Creative Nomad Art Journaling Adventure, attended Flora Bowley’s painting retreat in Portland, refreshed the warehouse art studio I share with my Mom, started a major renovation on our kitchen (what a mess!) and have been following the muse’s call towards LOTS MORE abstract painting.   Woof.  It’s a lot.

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Our clean and renewed studio has really inspired me! 

I can hardly wait to get there and begin making messes of the place.

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Look!

I’ve been painting lots of “mini’s” lately – it’s totally challenging for me.

Bigger is definitely easier!  

Weird huh?  You’d think the opposite.  But not for me.

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These last three are what I’d call “medium sized” canvases.

(It’s hard to see scale on these closeups.)

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Next week, a few “Fearless Painters” arrive for a reunion at my studio.

We’ve all met through the years at Connie Solera’s art retreats.

It’s so good to have tribe to run a bit wild with.

You know it’s good when they come from as far as EUROPE to gather!

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I can’t promise I’ll be more any more frequent with my posts than I have been.

I’m actually incubating a complete overhaul of this site too.  

Suddenly, I just want everything cleaner, clearer, simpler.  

“White space” in my life seems to lead to more color on the canvas!

See ya when I see ya!

 

 

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Why My “Vision Board” Is Blank

For the past 9 months I’ve planned and prepped for hosting my first art retreat, The Creative Nomad in Palm Springs.  The event itself was held a few days ago and now, I’m back home and unpacked.

 Although the retreat certainly didn’t require daily work for that length of time, I can tell you it never left my heart or mind.  It was an energy-filled-gestation and birth!

Over those months, the vision board in my home studio was an ever evolving display of imagery.  Traveling nomads, wild horses, colorful artwork, circles of women, laughter, photos of the teachers and the venue, and many a depiction of “calling forth”, “open hands” and “abundance” filled my cork board!

When I arrived home after the retreat, one of the first things I did was clear the vision board of everything.  I fully intended to fill it the very next day with images of “what’s next”.

Yet, it’s been 5 days and still . . . nothing.

Even though I wake with plans every morning to begin cutting and pinning my next adventure, it just doesn’t happen.

I have finally realized, what I need now is space.  Duh.  That’s a good thing and an important part of the process I often forget to include.  One needs time to absorb, reflect and celebrate after any such important project!

T i m e   t o   b e.

B r e a t h i n g   s p a c e .

R e s t .

A n   e m p t y   c a l e n d a r .

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So, the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, is where I found myself today.

There, in my nearby sacred space, I had nowhere else to be – no schedule to keep.

A h h h h h .

D e e p   b r e a t h   t a k i n g .

The clearest of blue skies and the warmest pre-Spring breezes were a welcome balm for the soul.

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Normally the wetlands is a very quiet place – and it was – but first there was this . . .

Not far down the entrance trail, I was greeted by at least 200 teenage boys from a nearby military academy.  They were there training and as I approached, they formed a straight line to my left as their (pretty female) leader shouted commands,

” M a k e   w a y . “

” C l e a r   t h e   p a t h . “

” M a k e   s p a c e   f o r   t h e   l a d y ! “

“Thank you,” I whispered to the handsome-young-boys-to-men as I passed with blushing embarrassment.

(Yes.  Space is just what I’m here for.  Thank you very much!)

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some of the boys leaving the area after my hike (note their fearless leader)

I returned from my morning hike feeling quite refreshed.  It’s tempting to begin filling the vision board now.  Still, I think it’s best to let it remain clear for a spell.  Don’t you?

For now, dreams of spending time with family and friends, painting a lot, writing even more, hiking often and doing more yoga sounds divine.  A dream board of “what’s next” will surface soon enough!

Namaste.

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