Random Acts of Art Wednesday

Random Acts of Art Wednesday

Changing the world one little arty bit at a time…because we can. And it’s FUN!

Well sweetums, it’s WEDNEDSAY! Ta-ta…And you know what THAT means, right? It’s time to share our Random Acts of Art. Now if you’re new here and not familier with Random Acts of Art Wednesday (RAAW), the rules are simple. Make a little something. Put some luv into it. Lots of luvvvv. Then hide it where someone can find it and take a photo. Your little gift might make a stranger’s day. If you have a blog, post the photos and add your link below. If you don’t have a blog, send me the photos by Tuesday and I’ll add them to my Wednesday post. If I get too many, don’t worry. I’ll make a slideshow for them  ALL.

My personal RAAW goal? Hiding one every day. But you can make whatever goal you want. Trust me, once you start doing it you won’t want to stop.

Sister Marjorie Ellen has joined in the fun. Since she lives in Norway where there’s LOTS of rocks she decided to do rocks too. Just chunks of quartz picked up off the ground. And gold leafed. And decorated with tags from Yogi tea.

margies rocks

Really, wouldn’t YOU want to find one of these beauties? Well you can…if you live in Norway.

Library love

And go to the library looking for the book Heart of Darkness. Because if you’re looking for that you definitely need a happy rock.

doctor rocks

Now blurry is part of the deal here. When you’re sneaking around leaving little gifties and have to snap a photo you don’t always have time to get things in focus. Even auto focus. This one was at her doctor’s office.

rock with cat food

The grocery store. Margie loves kitties. Has three of  ’em.


And after a long day of hiding her Random Acts of Art, time to head over to the wine store. Buy a bottle, leave a rock. Works for me.


I was walking in town the other night and couldn’t resist this window ledge. Do you know how hard it is to photograph neon? The sign was actually red. Go figure.

caged heart

This one is in a bird cage at the feed store. Fly free little bird…. An empty cage but I’m filling it with love. Or am I caging the heart? Oh dear….


The new pergola at the co-op. It’s at the head of a new trail. I’ll have to walk it during lunch some day.

bowl of hearts

Leaving you with my favorite. Heart rock in the heart dish.

So did you hide any arty bits this week? If you did, remember to link up. The link will remain open until Saturday night, Pacific time.

Brave Heart

Brave Heart

It’s been almost a year since I brewed a cup of tea in Mama’s house, the cottage that’s been serving as my temporary studio ever since she died. I’d bring my own tea when I came down to paint. And when I finished it I’d walk up the hill to my house and make another cup.

Even though Mama has a complete kitchen. Even though this was a place of countless cups of tea.

It didn’t cross my mind to put the kettle on down here. Until today. Today I decided to be brave.

Well, actually it was the assignment in Bloom True, Flora Bowley’s on-line painting class. Today we were to face our creative fears and paint them anyway. Embrace whatever emotions the process brings up, head on.  So I decided to take the horse picture from last week, the one that was in the early stages, and see if I could finish it. Because it’s easy for me to start paintings, much harder to finish them. Especially a painting that challenges me to find it in the marks, to let it be a dance between paint and canvas.

It’s still not finished. But it’s richer. Much richer.

Plethora of Ponies WIP

Here’s how it looked last week.

ponies continued

Here’s what I did today. Think the color is off in the photo. It’s not quite this yellow. This gives you the idea.

But this post isn’t about the painting. It’s about being brave. About letting things come up, And facing them when they do.

One of the first things I do when I come down to the studio is put on some music. Music and painting go together. Dancing too. I’m a multi-tasker. Today I chose Glen Miller. Big band stuff. Mama’s music. Just appealed to me for some reason. Then I put the kettle on. Her kettle. Her stove.

I brewed a cup and sipped on it as I painted. Got carried away with the painting and the music. Eventually the tea grew cold. I put the kettle back on to hot up the tea and as I was filling the cup with the boiling water it hit me…the last cup of tea I had with my mom. Or the last one we talked about having.

It was a day, maybe two, before she died. The days were all running into each other by that point and it’s hard to distinguish one from another. One sister was up at my house taking a much needed break, the other was enroute from Norway. All I know is I was alone with my mother and she was dying.

She struggled to get comfortable in the hospital bed we’d set up in her living room. As I helped her adjust her position she asked me why was her body doing this? She looked so perplexed it nearly broke my heart.

Why was her body doing this? Why was it finally giving out after nearly 96 years…

Because you’re so damn old, Mama. I said it lovingly. Jokingly.

But she needed more than that. I needed more than that. Because we had danced around the inevitable for years but never openly discussed it. She’d moved into the cottage seven years earlier so I could take care of her during her final days. It was the elephant in the room. And he was getting bigger every day.

She didn’t need me to give her the church position. She’d had plenty of visits from her priest, the deacon from her church, the spiritual advisor from Hospice. She knew all about the heaven and Jesus thing. But she wanted to know what I thought.

So I told her about an experience I had once when I thought I was dying. When I realized I couldn’t control what was happening to my body but I still had a choice how I could react. When I realized I could embrace the unknown with fear. Or with love. And I chose love.

“Oh, I like that”, she said with a beautiful smile. “Choose love.” And then she told me to put the kettle on. “Make us some tea. And we’ll drink it with love.”

So I did. But by the time it was ready she’d drifted off to sleep. So I sat there on the sofa within arm’s reach of her bed and drank the tea for the two of us. With love.


Studio in Progress

Little studio in the big woods is coming along.

studio construction

Look at that. Mr. Spouse had a busy weekend. Got to love that man. Oh, I do…imagine that!


Got the windows in. Skylights in a week or two when the roof happens.


The start of the wiring. Now I have to figure out the lay of the under counter cabinets exactly and uber precise so Mr. Spouse knows just where to put the outlet boxes.


I alway love this view from the front door. Now that the gussets are up it looks even more like a little chapel. Because this is a sacred space you know. At least it is for me.

And that’s it for this week’s Construction Update.


Open HeARTs

Open HeARTs

I was talking with sister Marjorie Ellen today. On the phone. Her life path took her to Norway after art school. Mine took me to California. Sisters by birth, sisters of the heart and yet for most of our adult lives, sisters by telecommunications. That’s just the way it is.

Fortunately I’ve found an uber cheap phone plan. PennyTalk. At two cents per minute we could talk all day and not break the bank.

Both of us are artists. Of course we talk family, jobs, weather, health, politics, all manner of things…but most of all we talk ART. What we’re working on. What we want to work on. New materials. New ideas. In other words…we talk shop.

Today Margie said something that really hit home for me. She talked about making art from the heart. Being true to what you really want to do. Which is what I’ve been doing ever since I began painting again last summer. Experimenting. Playing. Parking my ego at the door.

But it’s not easy. I have a degree in art. I have training. And an employment history as an illustrator and art teacher. I knows me the rulz. And I know there’s good reason for a lot of them. Like balance. Proportion. Contrast. Fill in the appropriate term here ____.

But…and this is a BIG but…THEY. CAN. BE. BROKEN.  Yes indeed! Stretched. Bent. Twisted every which way…if only I’m brave enough.

Which brings up another question. Can I be brave, can I be bold and STILL be financially successful as an artist?

I’m saying yes. In fact, I’m shouting YES!!!

I’m putting my intention out there. I’m putting my heart out there. My big, brave BEAUTIFUL heart that’s willing to take a chance and create the life I want.

Now here’s your assignment. Assignment? Yes, really. Go to Jennifer Richardson’s blog and read her yummy luscious beyond WONDERFUL poem  Dear Heart of Mine. And check out her Etsy shop while you’re at it. Because she’s got some good stuff and you should buy it.

Then come back here. Yes, come back here. It’s all part of the assignment, remember.  Come back and join in the conversation about being brave hearts. There will be a conversation, right? Because you are the best of the best, my sweetums! Every one of you. And I can’t wait to see where this goes.


Ice Cream

Got my feet up on the coffee table. Computer on the lap. Dog by my side. One of ’em anyway. One dog. One side.

I left the camera in the studio, no new photos tonight. I could walk on down and fetch it but then I’d get eaten by a bear. Which means you still wouldn’t get any photos. On top of that I’d be blogging from the other side and I’m not so sure I’d care much about blogging over there.

Eternity has it’s privileges, after all. And blogging…that’s soooo early 21st century.

I worked with a woman once who’d had a near death experience. She died from a pulmonary embolism. Not nearly as dramatic as a bear attack but an interesting story none the less. She went through the whole enchilada of witnessing the scene from above her hospital bed. Floating off…the white light. She was able to tell the doctors things that were said after she was supposedly dead. Things she saw. But she came back. I can’t remember why. Maybe for her kids. They were young and hadn’t turned on her yet.

susan hilary william

This photo was taken the summer I took the kids to Norway. We spent six weeks running around the woods, clambering over rocky hillsides. Not so much as a skinned knee. A couple days after coming home I took a tumble with the help of a large dog crashing into me at warp speed. My legs went up, head went down. On concrete. Of course I didn’t know any of that. I was just a formless being with other formless beings and I was pissed off. I wanted KIDS. I mean, LOOK at them. Look how CUTE they were. How could I be a mom WITHOUT A BODY??? And then the formless beings said some sort of celestial version of okay, okay, go back to your kids. And JUST LIKE THAT…poof… I re-entered my body. Only it wasn’t a poof, it was more of a crazy spinning round and round the third eye spot until whoosh I was back in my body. 

And in an ambulance enroute to the hospital. But I didn’t know any of that. All I knew was I was in pain. Excruciating pain. But that was GOOD. Because pain meant I had a body. It meant I was alive. And I welcomed it.

Meanwhile, Zach-the-dog-who-knocked-me-down, knew he was in BIG trouble and decided what the hell, in for a penny in for a pound…so he ate his girl’s American Girl Doll. Not a cheap Barbie knock off from the dollar store. Oh no, the EXPENSIVE doll. Taking him from bad dog to B.A.D. dog. And while he was doing that, sweet little DaughterDear began whining for ice cream because Mommy promised her some before she fell down. This did not set well with FirstBorn who had been so traumatized from the sight of his most beloved mother being loaded in an ambulance that he had to set her straight. He had to make her feel bad. As bad as he felt. Because that’s what brothers do.

So he told her no ice cream… because Mommy was DEAD.

Her answer… “So? Daddy will get us a NEW Mommy.”

It’s hard to traumatize a four year old, especially one with her sights set on ice cream. She had her priorities. And Mommy’s accident screwed up her trip to Baskin & Robbins. Dead Mommy. Dead goldfish–what’s the difference?

Oh yeah, she cried for the goldfish…

So I don’t really know what happened or where I was during my great adventure to what I call the void. But I’m reading a book right now about a woman who had a remarkable near death experience followed by a miraculous TOTAL healing of stage 4 cancer. Dying to be Me. Anita Moorjani was admitted to the ICU on the brink of death. She was in a coma, her organs were shutting down. She was dying. And she was in that other place, where everything was bliss. She made the choice to come back because she realized “heaven is a state, not a place.” Within weeks of returning to her body she was CANCER FREE. Completely healed. It’s a fascinating book. I’m not going to try to condense her experience in a few sentences here. If it’s something you’re interested in click on the link above and read the reviews.

And she wanted ice cream when she came back.