Virginia, United States
I guess you could say I was born an artist! My intrinsic artistic abilities appeared around the age of 1½ years old when I began scribbling colorful imagery on my bedroom walls, later carving designs and cryptic messages on my parent’s fine furniture. Over the years, I have continued my artistic endeavors working as a monotype printmaker, painter, mixed media artist, and jewelry maker.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wishes for You 2012

Here are my wishes for you for 2012!

Strength to accept the things you can not change-shade at twilight on a summer afternoon-a heather plant to greet you-a friend who you are proud of-good hard work-one comfortable place to sit-your favorite music-warmth in winter-those old shoes-heat of the sun-ocean breezes-dark chocolate--cookies-a card from a friend-a single flower-windmills-funky cars-an infectious laugh-recycled stuff-people who let you be real-finding 10$ in a pocket-books that touch you-helping a stranger-pets-clean sheets- quilts- pleasant childhood memories-giggling children-drawing a picture-a favorite color-the things you belong to-a sunset-a sunrise-water-mountains-100% cotton-organic stuff-grass in the cracks-stormy skies-unicorns and mermaids-a clear pond-time change-peace-dinner and dishes by someone else-negative ions-clear counters-moss-time alone-warm a bath in a quiet house-a stranger saying 'Hi!' and believing it-dirty knees-laughing-a good cry-a box full of memories-picking and eating from your garden-a car you can trust-comfortable silence with friends-gentle children-giving unconditionally-making someone smile-setting a goal and accomplishing it-a toilet that flushes-standing tall-stamps-people with beautiful hearts-leather-plant and flower shops-old jeans-feeling good enough to be kind-a quiet faucet-ice cream-clean water-a friend that has one you can borrow-chimney sweeps-lightening bugs-evening breezes and bats-fantasies-being there-a heartache that is gone-a friendly tax appraiser-a friend that sings as she works-a cup of hot tea-lacy things-nosegays on the windwsills in summer-a single feather-the hours before the world wakes up-being gentle to Mother Earth-consoling someone-falling stars-spring aromas of honeysuckle-back scratches-no line at the check out counter-inner peace-an old t-shirt-a parking place-feeling the breeze-a time together-finishing a task-touch-feel-declared by mother nature-smell-hearing-seeing-ice on the window-a holiday-singing in a group-big men with little babies-remembering someone who loved you well-green apples-cheese-art that touches you-night sky-big trees-staying home-respect-affection-compliments you believe-a well deserved paycheck-big trees in little cities-motorcycles- Amtrack- airplanes- taxi's and busses-clean paper-giving something of benefit back to society-movies with gentle hero's-popcorn-the idea of enough-being able to read-being able to love-choices-saying' no'-saying 'yes' from deep down inside-babbling brooks-linen-a tax refund-the purr of a cat-and a meaningful kiss...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Life's Compass...Where Are You Going?

     2011, I do not know where to begin...
     Perhaps 2001 brought me the biggest message of all, so far. 

     The message of 2011, for me, was PEACE. As I became very familiar with death this year, I found PEACE in the passing of my mother, who had had cancer which occurred and re-occurred for a very long time. I knew she would finally have a pain free existence elsewhere, perhaps being reborn into a new body and life...perhaps her soul would evolve into making PEACE with herself and with others...perhaps she would come to know what happiness is. I am finding PEACE within as I have looked inside and out, pondering the treasures vs. the unpleasantries of life. 

     PEACE is sometimes a matter of changing your perspective, one way or another...

     PEACE is simply letting go. Letting go of all the tiny 'GNATS' we tend to allow to irritate us; life is full of 'GNATS'. Annoying, pesky irritations. (You know, he is this, or he does not do this, or why is it that???, what if....) Does it really matter? Is it going to make an impact? If the answer is, "NO." , then let go find PEACE. Listen to the stillness and breathe. In and out, slowly, and let it pass. When it's tough outside, be gentle with yourself, create something, watch birds, sit by flowing water, read a book, listen to music or nature. Take a friend some flowers...or homemade bread. Let PEACE be your mantra. Let PEACE keep you healthy, mentally and physically. 

     PEACE is standing up for what is right,  or making a difference for other people or beings. Stand up, without insisting on your own way. If you do have something to say, be kind. Believe in the ultimate goodness of others. Give something back of yourself, help, be a positive role model,  and teach positives. Do something amazing for some being or something (a cause, or an animal, or the Earth)...without asking for a pat on the back. It is a great feeling to stand back quietly and see the small, yet remarkable change you can make for some being or something.

     PEACE is knowing there are many great people still out there, and they are doing great things to make the world a better place. Applaud them and join them instead of being corrupted by the sensational negativity that hovers. 

     PEACE is knowing there are always solutions; oddly enough, most of those solutions are simple if we open our mind and practice re-arranging our perspective. we are stronger together, we need each others knowledge and skill, and we need to think of our differences as a spice of life. 

     I challenge you, in 2012, to find your inner PEACE and balance through amazing experiences or tough ones, in hopes that we all can make a difference. 

 PEACE within, PEACE throughout....carry PEACE where ever your compass leads. 

     To my friends  and fellow blog readers who have had challenges this year, may you find PEACE in 2012. 

Sailors Grace (C) oil, wax, collage 6" x 8"

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the 
snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  
It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  
It came without packages, boxes or bags.  
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his 
puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought 
of something he hadn't before.  
What if Christmas, he thought, 
doesn't come from a store.  
What if Christmas, 
perhaps, means a little bit more. 
 ~Dr Seuss

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dreaming of....

February Snow   ink drawing on recycled paper (C) gls

Dreaming of snow. 
The quiet. 
The colors. 
The Peace.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

History Lesson

Original Photograph "History Lesson" (C) gls

Lately, I have been interested in old walls. 
The one above held a particular interest for me. 
No special reason, other than it was etched with a painted history. 
The end results were these photographic abstracts. The more I  look, the more I wondered about the pits, scratched etchings from objects moving in and out, painting, and just existing throughout the years. If the walls could talk, what would they say?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Creating Heals....

 "My task which I am trying to achieve is, 

by the power of the written word, 

to make you hear, to make you feel — 

it is, above all, to make you see. 

That — and no more, and it is everything." 
                      Joseph Conrad

     As I ease into each new day, typically at 5:30 am, I reach for my coveted coffee and begin searching and posting for interesting facts and other information to share with my students. I gradually deepened my searches and interests, and began sharing my findings on facebook each morning as I sip that first cup of coffee.  
     My interest started as reading a quote a day, but then went on to include artist and historical birthdays and facts. One birthday I mentioned in todays post was that of Joseph Conrad, author of Heart of Darkness. While Conrad  does not hold a particular fascination for me, I was merely attracted to one of his quotes (The quote is the one mentioned above.) I then read a little of Conrad's biography since I wanted to share his birthday this morning on fb. 
     By the age of 12, both his parents had died of tuberculosis. Conrad's father was a poet and a translator; I assumed that at an early age, Conrad developed creative insight and interest. Conrad joined the Merchant Marine and travelled the world. One morning in particular, he just began writing...describing the sunlight on the "roofs and windows." Despite his loss, he never forgot beauty. ( He wrote, "It was an autumn day ... with fiery points and flashes of red sunlight on the roofs and windows opposite, while the trees of the square with all their leaves gone were like tracings of an Indian ink on a sheet of tissue paper.")
     As I read about Conrad this morning, I was reminded of several things. For one, I was reminded of the thankfulness I had that my mother read to me as a child. The stories were fantastic stirrings of the imagination and took me to places that were utterly delightful. I can still remember those stories to this day. Once, I translated one of the fables into my first successful piece of art...I drew what I imagined as it was read to me. I was appreciative of the travels and local color my father exposed me to. He pointed out the tiniest of details, such as the colors reflected in an old piece of brown glass we dug up in our yard.  These events began shaping the foundations of who I am today. 
     I began pondering how art, whether it be writing, music, dance, or the visual arts, appear to be developed from some sort of initial experience.  As I looked back at past postings, at the 'creatives' I have had the pleasure to connect with, and my own experiences, I found a renewed interest on how creativity and experience, especially painful ones, are so closely linked. 
     The visual arts, for me, have been a healing resource. As I have looked around, listened, and read, I noted in my readings and artist interviews that several 'creatives' I admire, have had an experience that has shaped them to respond to their lives in an esthetically moving way. I am more convinced now, more than ever, that the creative process is one of those inherent qualities that we all need to heal. I think more so that it is the drive to create the world to survive life and the experiences we endure that make our art and life more compelling. 
     As usual, tomorrow I will awaken and post about another amazing creative, or two. As I see it,  the infinite exposures of our lives, and  the glimpses looking into the lives of other creatives only fuels the energy and validates that art, in any form heals, and convinces us to really see.  

     Joseph, Thank you.  
     Mom and dad, THANK YOU. 
     To all of you who have helped shape my experiences,