Happy winter! over the past months, i've been gathering information about business, marketing and money. at last it is winter and i can absorb deeper, fuller. i have notes to read and write about and integrate. i'm selecting my priorities and strategies as i mark my route through this season. i am allowing the magic of my imagination to come to play with lists and numbers and words. and i am gathering my human community as well.


ritual is a magical connection to beginnings and endings and crossings and doorways. this week i gathered with friends in a ritual of wishing and dreaming and placing intention. we settled into knowing the dark unknown mystery of the longest nights of the year are with us; the shortest days that mark the transition to a colder season where we find the warmth of lightness within. we reached into our hearts and embraced those dreams and values we hold closest to us. we dreamed miracles and hopes and blessings for ourselves, our families and all beings in our universe. we placed intentions for what we hope to create with lighting a flame....and then we sang!! we lifted our hearts to the stars with joy and celebration in unison. the passion of singing as a group vibrates through me and outward. i feel connection, fullness and ease in the presence of voices lifted in melody. laughter and smiles and humility come when voices celebrate together. this is what love looks like to me. all my friends making this delightful noise amidst the twinkling lights and flames flickering! what magic we create!!! the magic of birthing and reaching and settling into the arms of winter and knowing that darkness is an adventure......i am revitalized by gathering, ready to snuggle into the months ahead and let my ideas, dreams and wishes incubate and grow strong within, remembering my connections to other hearts of love.

welcome autumn! i view the day of seasonal change as a portal, a doorway and an opportunity to place intention creatively, intuitively and from the heart. so, a few of us artists gathered at my home for the 3rd time this year to welcome seasonal change with a creative act. we spread out -- the deck, the garage, the kitchen table -- and persued our creative endeavors! Collage, oil pastel painting and preparing a wooden bench for finishing were the activities of this Equinox celebration!

I am always filled up by gathering to create heartspace for imagination. the experience gives me energy, inspiration and momentum to continue on my creative path. when creative folks gather, there is more than the sum total of creative beingness happening. there seems to be an emminating brightness that explodes outward bigger than the group of individuals creating. i believe that collective creative act spreads love in the universe. what better way to start a new season!

i recently read a blog post that discussed how we question our worthiness as artists.
we live in a mainstream culture of competition. thus, the "struggle" to "perfect" ourselves in whatever we do. art school taught us that as well as competitive sports.
i am learning as i age with my craft, that struggle or angst or competition is non-productive and actually puts me in a tailspin of questioning how i fit in. i don't "fit" in. nor will i ever. nor do i want to.
an artist's job is to not fit in. an artist's job is to present from a perspective that is not ordinary to inspire growth and beauty. so when i hit a wall, the first thing that comes to mind, or heart, is " how can i see from another point of view?" what this question inspires is curiosity, not angst. so the angst never gets a strong foothold. the ensuing process is not struggle; it is visioning, exploring, creating. especially as i let go of producing a product.
i strive to break the myth of the angst of an artist. misery is not a part of creating. misery is a block. it enables a continuing myth of struggle, angst, instability and, yes, co-dependancy on an addiction that artists can only create with the help of stress. as was pointed out, the process of painting and removing yourself from the world actually limits the stress. in that process is the quality of curiosity, exploration, creativity. and that is a joyous experience! if we view ourselves as measures of how we stack up or compete in the world, whether with other artists or with our culture, we stifle the very thing that brings us our unique vision and our ability to grow as artists and people.
so for all artists out there, let's look at our work as something positive that brings us joy and an opportunity to share another perspective without the limiting quality of angst. after all, when we work in our studios we are not competing with other artists or our previous selves. we are  explorers on an exciting path of creating. we are all worthy of the path we have chosen. it's all in a mindset or more importantly, a heart-set.

i'm working on a new project with dear friend sue hirschberger (www.suehirschberger.com) and at the same time reviving and expanding a character i created a couple years ago. "new myth" will be a series of images one can place themselves into for visioning, meditating. i love new projects! the energy is vamped up. ideas abound. i spend most of my waking hours in the studio. i get to live breathe think what i love to do with positive enthusiasm. i love the initial rush that comes with a new idea. that rush sustains my energy throughout the project. when it wanes, i know the project is either done or it needs new life, new ideas. and time for reflection, gestation. it's all the cycle of creating and inspiration. i call it heArt.

what a weekend! fun, art, music and creativity! my first street painting participation! i had so much fun! i learned alot while talking to veteran street artists. there were different approaches and techniques to painting the streets with chalks. the weather became a challenge with heat, wind and rain. we all worked through it with smiling faces. so many wonderful creations from artists of all ages. i highly recommend a visit next year to the 10th street painting event in elmira the second weekend in july.

check out the website and history of street painting at:



here's my tiger.............

and some of the winners..................

a small group of spencer/van etten artists are gathering seasonally at my house for a collage day. it is a way for us to share ideas, create together and remind us of seasonal transitions. for summer solstice i created this collage.

i am framing my artwork for showing at Briar Patch Vet Hospital, Ithaca, NY July-September. it's a completion of months of studio time, almost 7 days a week. months of play, exploration and excitment. that's what i feel when i work in my studio.

i love the time i spend creating images. i love the process of finding inspiration, deciding compositions and colors and what animals to group together and exploring their anatomy and personality. most of my time spent is intuitive and i experience a "flow" that rises and ebbs as i go along. i have so much fun with the process and i can't imagine doing anything else!

now the time is come to prepare the works on paper for showing. cutting mats, chosing frames and assembling everything to a finished "product" that gets hung on a wall someplace public for all to see.

i want the paintings to leave my studio and go out into the world. i don't have a possessiveness toward them. i created them for a new home.

sharing the finished work is an important part of the process for me. they have to leave to make room for new ideas. otherwise, the stimulation of those finished works intrudes and new ideas are clouded.

so now the circle is approaching completion. and there is a lull, a stillness and anticipation of "what's next?"

i haven't painted much this month, spending time doing practical things like framing, marketing. i miss the joy and fun of time spent in the studio and anticipate starting the momentum again. having blips of unsettledness wondering, "will i be able to start up again?"

i try not to pay attention to those doubts because i do start up again. i am learning to accept the lull of refueling and using the time to just sit, regenerate, look at other's art, read other's words. 

 and then the cycle begins all over again in a new way..................