December 31, 2012

starry, starry night

8 x 10, oil on canvas

When was the last time you stepped outside and gazed skyward?
 On a clear night, it is the best show in town - far better than anything on TV. 
If you ever feel the world has lost its magic, 
or you haven't experienced enough jaw dropping awe; 
grab your coat and hat, a cup of hot chocolate, 
and step outside for a little star gazing. 
Dancing is optional.

And if your sky is cloudy? Take a look at some of the grand images from NASA here. Appearing as gorgeous abstract art, the image gallery features constellations, cloud vortices, spiral galaxies, supernovas, and helix nebulas...just to name a few. Inspiration at its best. Happy New Everything.

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. 
I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful!
 And don't forget to make some art- 
write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can.
 And I hope, somewhere in the next year, 
you surprise yourself." 
-Neil Gaiman

December 24, 2012

making spirits bright!

8 x 8, oil on canvas

"Every sleepy boy and girl
 in every bed around the world 
can hear the stars up in the sky
 whispering a lullaby"
Mary Chapin Carpenter

When I think of food + children, I think of Jamie Oliver : chef, author, restaurant owner, humanitarian, and daddy of four, just to name a few of his many talents. His passion for cooking, and unparalleled enthusiasm for helping children learn to make healthy lifestyle choices is most refreshing. Click on his name above to visit his website and be inspired by the many projects he is currently working on. Ever charming, cheerful and clever; making spirits bright is what Jamie does best every single day.   
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! 

December 17, 2012

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

"An Old-Fashioned Christmas"
8 x 10, oil on canvas 

Today's inspiration comes in the form of a timely and timeless message for peace, written in 1999 by poet and peacemaker Mattie Stepanek, when he was only 9 years old:

December Prayer
No matter who you are, say a prayer this season.
No matter what your faith, say a prayer this season.
No matter how you celebrate, say a prayer this season.
There are so many ways to celebrate faiths,
There are so many faiths to celebrate life.
No matter who, no matter what, no matter how you pray.
Let's say a prayer this season.
 for peace.

(from Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek's "Journey Through Heartstrings")
Mattie's life and words inspired and touched many during his short life, including his friend and fellow peacemaker, President Jimmy Carter, who delivered this eulogy for Mattie.

December 10, 2012

Marvelous Monday Inspirations

"Show and Tell"
10 x 20, oil on canvas

One of the meanings of the word "inspire" is "to breathe". Born in the wee hours before dawn, I took my very first breath on a Monday morning. So, I think no other day could be more perfect to launch a new series of posts that celebrate all things inspiring.  (sorry Garfield)
Here are two Marvelous Monday Inspirations that I hope you will find as uplifting and encouraging as I do.

My model for the painting above may look small but she has such a big heart. After hearing stories about children who lost their homes in Hurricane Sandy, she sorted through her toys, organized a combination yard/donut sale with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross. A pretty impressive mission of hope and goodwill for a second grader.

 Young students from KY's Pulaski Elementary created a "kindness chain" where they anonymously share gifts, letters, or perform acts of kindness. A card explaining the "Mysterious Mustang" project is included in each gift, including a website where recipients have an opportunity to express their gratitude, and then continue the kindness chain. The real ingenuity of this program is that the students get to see first hand how their initial act of kindness grows and expands as recipients around the globe share their joy. How cool is that?

Once again, the best lessons of kindness, sincerity and caring come from the young, who are often our best teachers.

"Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. 
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."
Scott Adams