December 26, 2010


10 x 10, oil on canvas
I enjoy catching a glimpse of the brilliant red coloring of the male Cardinals; Kentucky's state bird and a common sight outside my window. They are especially beautiful amid winter's more subdued palette.

"I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December
A magical thing
So sweet to remember

'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,'
I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December.
...Oliver Herford

December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

8 x 6, oil on canvas

Today marks the Winter Solstice; a day to celebrate LIGHT as we look toward longer days and shorter nights. Enhancing the celebration will be the brilliant light of a full moon.
I have always been intrigued to imagine what life, and this night, must have been like centuries ago when there was no electricity, when the onslaught of winter meant that many would starve or freeze. It is easy to understand why this night was so important, and why people celebrated with feasts as provisions were stockpiled for the approaching famine months, and there was joy in the lighting of candles. And today, while I was still having my morning tea, there was a celebration inside the Stonehenge circle, as onlookers watched the sun set. Centuries ago, the stones there were aligned to precisely capture the setting of the sun between two of the stones in honor of this day, and the promise of future days to come.
Light... Something to celebrate every day in every way. Wishing you the joy of family and friends, a peaceful heart, and the blessings of love and light this Christmas season.

"Somewhere across the winter world tonight
You will be hearing chimes that fill the air;
Christmas extends its all-enfolding Light
Across the distance...something we can share

You will be singing, just the same as I,
these familiar songs we know so well,
And you will see these same Stars in your sky,
And wish upon that brightest one that fell.

I shall remember you and trim my tree,
One shining Star upon the topmost bough;
I will hang wreaths of faith that all may see-
Tonight I glimpse beyond the here and now.

And all the time that we must be apart
I keep a Candle in my Heart."

Mary E. Linton

December 18, 2010


"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful"
~Norman Vincent Peale~

December 10, 2010

Christmas Cheer

"Red Star of Mexico"
8 x 8, oil on canvas

"Santa is very jolly because he knows where all the bad girls live"
Dennis Miller

December 5, 2010

all you need is love...

I have been happily engaged in Christmas commissions only to look up and realize that it is suddenly December. Well, I can't show what is on the easel (don't want to spoil any surprises), but I do want to take a moment to share a couple of new discoveries that are on my list of favorite things.

First, Dreama Tolle Perry has issued the book above on blurb: "Let There Be Love"
in which she is both the author and illustrator!
What I LOVE most about this book is that she explains how her paintings begin with written words of focus and intention penned right onto the canvas. Once the painting is complete, some of her beautiful words can be found incorporated into the shapes and colors while others remain hidden underneath which makes for a very powerful connection to her subject, the viewer and her heart. I LOVE that.

And my favorite children's book ever is by Nancy Tillman called "Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You". Like Dreama, Nancy is both the illustrator and the author. Wait, let me restate that...They Write As Beautifully And As Powerfully As They Paint--nothing short of astonishing! While I love all Nancy's books, this one carries its own special magic that is both timely and timeless, heart-warming and healing. In an interview once, Nancy's response to the question "What is the best gift you ever received?" was "a ladybug that my husband gave me". The moment I read that, I knew she was my new best friend. I haven't broken the news to her yet, but I assure you that is but a minor detail...And while I have never met either of these author/artists, their work reminds me of something Dr. Wayne Dyer often talks about: why we can only get orange juice from an orange (there is nothing else inside). And, he points out, if humans only have Love Inside, that is the only reaction we can ever offer to the circumstances and challenges that surround our days. So it follows that books like these happen only when the writer/illustrator is powerfully connected and aligned with the beauty and wonder of all those seemingly "insignificant ladybugs" out there.

Nancy and Dreama's books open up our eyes and hearts to what we already know, but perhaps were too busy to remember or notice. So wherever You are, my wish for you is that the love "hidden" in every moment will be revealed to you in the shapes and colors of This Day, and you will feel the ~swirl~ of~magic~and~wonder~all~around~you ~

"I wanted you more than you will ever know,
so I sent love to follow wherever you go...
you are my angel, my darling, my star...
and my love will follow you wherever you are"
...Nancy Tillman