Nocturnal Journey

On these cold bleak days of January I find that my dreams intensify and are filled with colorful, surreal imagery. They are rich in detail, along with extended messages, visions and dream friends to help me traverse through this mysterious inner world.

I have recorded these dreams in journals along with sketches and key words so as to help me recapture the essence, feelings and characters who show up in my dreams. Dreams have always been a rich resource for my writing and paintings and the image below is representative of one such dream.

Here is a peek at what I’m currently working on.

Nocturnal Journey ~ Digital Painting ~ 5 x7 inches. Digital Painting ~ using Corel Painter 7 ~ soft charcoal variant of dry media.

Nocturnal Journey in progress #4

The inspiration for this painting came from several recurring dreams that I have been having over the past few weeks. Strange landscapes and a woman’s face which keeps hovering at the edges of my vision. She is always there as if waiting just beyond the bend of my awareness…waiting… waiting there just long enough  for me to capture a glimpse or a scent of her essence. I never see her whole face because half of her face is always hidden or lost in shadow. However, there is always an overwhelming sense of peace when she enters the dream.

“Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.” ~ Marsha Norman

Dancing Paint Brushes

A great video  of a live painting session by Tali Farch to the music of one of Brubeck’s jazz standards.

It’s not so much the painting that attracted me as it was the idea of painting to music.

The total experience of getting lost in the rhythm, brush strokes, colors, mood and the energy expressed as the two paint brushes danced across the canvas. Wow!

I would love to try this process as one of my daily morning warm-up exercises.

thoughts for the day;

“Nourish your eye and spirit with inspiring things. They will bloom with your tending.” – Sark

“Art is the only proof we have of the existence of the soul.” – Author Unknown


I started out my morning with my usual daily warm up exercises. Instead of working with traditional mediums today, I did my morning warm ups using Corel Painter IX. 5.

My inspiration for the day came from the word “Lughnasa,” which is one of the four main festivals of the Medieval Irish Calendar, celebrating the beginning of the Harvest season.

It’s that time of the year when blackberry bushes are heavy with ripened fruit, and there are subtle changes in the light, a golden haze that seems to wrap itself around everything.

I love this time of the year even though there is a lingering sadness as summer comes to an end.

Lughnasa morning warmup

Lughnasa – Digital Painting – Oils – 4 x 5 – on heavy hand made paper

quote for the day;

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
–  Michelle L. Thieme, August’s Crown

Star Of The Sea

Star Of The Sea * work in progress

Star Of The Sea – Mixed Media – 5 x 7 inches – Work in progress

This morning I started working on an idea I had for a painting inspired by seashells I found in a box while rummaging through our garage.

There were tiny starfish no bigger than the tip of my little finger and seashells of every shape and color imaginable. I also found sea glass, tiny round stones, dried sea grass and a cornucopia of treasures I had gathered on one of our seaside visits.

I felt like a little girl who had found a magical treasure box!

Over the years I have found beautiful pieces of driftwood, and an odd assortment of sea shells, and sea onions for art projects, and as reference material for sketches.

I love the way sea onions look when dried and they are great for making rattles and little wizened magical creatures.

thoughts for the day;

“Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.” -Loren Eiseley

“Why do we love the sea?  It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” – Robert Henri

Butterflies in the Garden

There were butterflies in the garden this morning . . . .  So beautiful and so fragile! They inspired me to want to do something creative. I have been so busy with other projects, I haven’t had the time or inclination to work in the studio.

At times when I am feeling blocked, but feel the need to create something, I pull out my stamps, watercolors and various papers and create whatever comes to mind. I find it helps me to get the creative juices flowing again.

When I had finished this piece, I took it into Photoshop and added one of my favorite  quotes.

Butterflies in the Garden & Quote

“Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.” – Arthur Koestler

“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” – Nietzsche

It’s a Rainy Day

Rainy Day

Well it has been a rainy day today in the bay area and it came down hard at times. I snapped this photo as the rain water gushed down our driveway.

I spent the day finishing up an acrylic painting I have been working on, and later I’m going to finish reading my book “The Artist’s Quest for Inspiration” by Peggy Hadden. This book is absolutely wonderful and very helpful!

thought for the day: The spirit, like the body, can be strengthened and developed by frequent use. And  for this reason it is necessary for the artist to know the starting point for the exercise of his spirit.” – Wassily Kandinsky