New Whimsical Tree Painting with Floating Moon Shadows

Whimsical Tree Painting

Floating moons. A tattooed tree. Brilliant shades of blue.

This is my latest whimsical tree painting titled “One Stood in the Shadow of the Floating Moons II.” I call my whimsical trees with the tattooed bark “Peace Trees.” Peace Trees represent peace and good will. Often times I will have prayer flags with them. This one has floating moons.

Whimsical Tree Painting

“One Stood in the Shadow of the Floating Moons II”, 12″ x 24″, acrylic on wood panel, $575

Whimsical Tree Painting

When I first created painting #1 with the same title, I was in Prescott, AZ. I had never heard of floating moon shadows. I just came up with the name after I painted it. This painting was one of three whimsical trees in a triptych. I was showing it at the gallery in Prescott, AZ called Van Gogh’s Ear. It sold quickly.

One Stood in the Shadow of the Floating Moons 1

(Above: detail of painting titled One Stood in the Shadow of the Floating Moons, sold)

I liked it so much I made a card and a print out of it. You can find the print in my Etsy shop.

Moon Shadows

Last summer, during the solar eclipse, I definitely saw moon shadows! I immediately had to take photos! The moon shadows (or maybe they are reflections of light?) were floating on our garage.

Wow, it was amazing! They were all over our property. It was pretty cool.

solar eclipse moon shadows

Recently I was thinking about the floating moons and decided to paint another peace tree painting with them.

Favorite Titles

I have to admit I love the title. “One Stood in the Shadow of the Floating Moons” sounds like a lyrical poem when I say it which makes me happy. Just like my paintings.

Some of my other favorite titles are “Big Sun, Hidden Buddha,” “She Built Her Nest with Flowers and Bits of Sky” and “Red Dog Sleeps Under the Light of the Moon.

Did you see any floating moons during the solar eclipse? Any fav titles that you can share?





New Colorful Whimsical Acrylic Paintings

Whale, Raven, Sugar Skull Paintings

I’m in Mexico.

I can see I’m being affected by it’s beauty, color and magic.

I’ve always loved the sugar skulls in Mexico. I’ve done one other one a few years ago which you can purchase as a print. I felt the calling to create another.

Full Bloom Sugar Skull, 8″ x 10″, Acrylic on Wood Panel, (sold)

I’m fascinated by the raven and I’ve made quite a few paintings with him in it. This time I’ve added him to a painting with a dream catcher.

A good explanation of the dream catcher can be found at They say, “The shape of the dreamcatcher is a circle because it represents the circle of life and how forces like the sun and moon travel each day and night across the sky. The dream catcher web catches the bad dreams during the night and dispose of them when the day comes.” I like that.

I own a dream catcher that I have in my home in Washington. It has beautiful feathers hanging from it and is made from twigs and leather string.

Catching Celestial Dreams, 8″ x 10″, Acrylic on Wood Panel, (sold)

In Todos Santos, we can see the whales spouting and jumping out in the ocean. I love watching for them. Greg said one time he heard the whales singing when he was swimming at Las Palmas beach. That is cool!


Swim Deeper, Follow the Whales, Acrylic on Wood Panel, $375

If you would like to purchase one, send me an email.

Which one is your favorite?

Art for Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother's Day Gifts for Your Mom

Mother’s Day is almost here! Does your Mama love art?

I know you’ve got a wonderful Mom that deserves something really special for being the terrific person that she is. Someone who has made a big impact on your life, so I’ve got some great gift ideas for you!

I bet she’d love some new, colorful artwork to decorate her home or office, so I’ve rounded up the best Mother’s Day Art Prints that will make it easy for you to shop for her!

Treat your Mom to something personalized – a custom worded print for her walls to show her how much you love her.

Try a saying like:

Mothers are marvelous beings.
They love us with their whole soul.
Value us more than anyone else on the planet.
Bring us their strength with hugs and open hearts.
Mothers create memories and do for us more
than they do for themselves.
They matter more than our words can express.
We love you Mom!

custom art printOr use your own unique words to craft a personalized art piece she will treasure!

My popular print “She Wanted the Rainbow, So She Put Up with the Rain” is sure to inspire her.

She Wanted the Rainbow Print

I also like this print “They Were Like Beacons of Light” with it’s cheerful yellow birds and magical background.

Yellow Bird Print

Or if she’s a bike rider, she might enjoy this print “Peace Out.”

Bike and Raven Print

Another popular print is “Red Dog Sleeps by the Light of the Moon.” I love this curled up red doggie!

Red Dog art print


And to go with her art print, I’m sure she would love a Hummingbird Happy Mother’s Day card.

Hummingbird Mother's Day Card

And don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list to get info on my upcoming original painting sale in July.


Goals for Artists

Goals for artists

When I started creating my art. Nobody told me about business goals or how to actually start becoming an artist full-time. I had to figure it out myself by trial and error and searching online for articles to read. I also at one time hired an art biz coach who set me up with some of the basics.

I’ve found that for me having different income streams works really well. I not only sell my originals but I also sell prints, do art licensing and commissioned paintings. I do some graphic design work and work online part-time as an image specialist for a company.

Here is a big tip. Focus on what you want and limit your time on the computer! Spend more time in the studio making art and fine tuning an “art style” that is all your own.

And educating yourself about marketing and business practices really helps!

To be successful, it comes down to knowing what you want and figuring out how you will achieve it.

Here are some Goals for Artists to help get you started thinking about what you can achieve.

Goals for Artists

• Develop your brand and increase brand awareness

• Decide how much money you want to make, then figure out how many paintings or prints of each size you need to sell per month

• Start a blog with an editorial schedule (I haven’t done this myself but it’s on my list!)
Here is an example,
– Monday you post about your studio time
– Tuesday’s might be about a poem or saying that you like
– Wed. you post about your passion
– Thursday is sharing your process
– Friday you post about a goal you have

• Add new sizes of prints to your shop

• Start painting a new series

• Start painting larger or smaller paintings than what you have been doing

• Open an Etsy Shop and sell originals or prints of your work (learn about marketing an Etsy Shop)

• Launch a new product

• Write an e-book and sell it on your blog to generate cash flow

• Start an income generating project such as licensing

• Start an email list

• Encourage customers to join your email list by offering a freebie. Set a goal such as 25 customers a month

• Create a freebie on your website such as a free desktop wallpaper download, A list of resources, or a manifesto

• Create a marketing budget

• Develop a sales sheet of what paintings you have available that you can hand out to gallery owners and potential buyers

• Sell your art on greeting cards for another income stream

• Create a promo postcard to mail to your email list.

• Track progress on your website using Google Analytics

• Find out who your competition is and research where they are advertising. Which blogs or websites are they on?

• Figure out places to advertise your art whether online, in magazines or other places.

• Implement press releases into your marketing plan

• Expand your geographic reach by getting into more galleries or shows

• Develop a good accounting system to manage your money

• Develop a good system for recording your art pieces size, title, price, when sold, where it’s being shown, etc.

• Clean up your art studio

• Plan an open studio event

• Add an organization system to your studio with new shelves or furniture

• Convert a portion of your studio into retail gallery space

Now that you have a list of things you can do, you need to make a plan to accomplish them. Pick a few goals to work on at a time. Get out the calendar and start putting down on a timeline what you can do for achieving what you want.

Here are some of my fav websites and articles to find more information.

Licensing –

Marketing an Etsy Shop – Shop Fundamentals by Lisa Jacobs

Sell your art on greeting cards – Greeting Card Universe

Eureka Guides for marketing and selling online – Eureka Etsy Shop

Acrylic paints – Utrecht art supplies

Marketing info for artists – Red Dot Blog

Clear, protective sleeves for prints –



Do what you love and go on a fantastic journey.

This is post 10 in my 10 post blog series on using Beth Kempton’s PDF titled “Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.”  The Steps and journal prompts are taken from her PDF. You can also join Beth’s Do What You Love e-course, which will help you with a step-by-step process in finding your true passion to get on a path to doing what you love!


Journal prompts: There isn’t a journal prompt in the pdf for #10.

But there are some suggestions to try such as, “Declare to your friends and family that you are choosing to do what you love, and put a plan in place to embark on your journey.”

Flying Fish painting

© Lindy Gaskill, “A Fantastic Journey”, 24″ x 30″, acrylic on wood

When I was young, like in high school, I thought that I would like to have a career in the arts. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a fine artist or a graphic artist. (You can read more about that in my Artist Journey Series on my blog.) I eventually chose the commercial art route and got a degree in Fine Art specializing in graphic design. Fortunately it also allowed me to do my fine art on the side as well.

I tell people I’ve had a dual career as a fine artist and a graphic artist. It’s been a good mix for me. And now as I get more into licensing my art, my graphic design background is even more helpful.

I feel very grateful I’m able to follow my passion in the arts and make a career of what I love.

I hope if you’re not doing what you love, that you will look into how you can change your life’s direction and connect with your true calling. Good luck and good thoughts to you!


Celebration + the Declaration of You!

This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m  so happy to participate in alongside over 100 other creative soul bloggers. The Declaration of You! is written by artist and designer Jessica Swift and creative career coach Michelle Ward. The Declaration of You! will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer.

“I’m celebrating.” It’s Wednesday! Hump day. Mid-week day. A good reason to celebrate. Of course there is always celebration in art! And I’m always grateful for art being in my life!

But sometimes, it’s about something small. Something mundane. And that is all I need to make a little celebration of my day. I send out a thought and a thank you to the Universe. That small, little thing can bring out the “I’m celebrating” feeling and turn my whole day around.

Maybe I received a nice email from a customer or one of my plants bloomed with a beautiful bud, or maybe I had a terrific time in the studio and things flowed. Whatever it is, I’ll tell myself “I’m celebrating!” and then that’s usually a celebration in itself. Just the “thought.” Just the words to myself. That gratefulness and thank you I send out to the universe as I think to myself “I’m celebrating” and saying “Thank you. Thank you.”

It helps to pause and take notice. There is a saying by Doug King that says, “Learn to pause . . . or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.” I love that. Being mindful and pausing to say thanks and to remind myself “I’m celebrating.” I remind myself that Life is to be enjoyed and cherished and it’s full of abundance if we take the time to notice and give thanks.

For me, every day needs to have little celebrations during the day. Thoughts of “I’m celebrating.” It keeps me uplifted and my spirit happy.

Besides, you just never know when things will change as life has it’s ups and downs. So I am very grateful. Everyday, I try to write 5 things in my gratitude journal and say a little prayer of thanks!

In the honor of celebrating, I’d like to tell you about a very special book titled “The Declaration of You!” It’s written by two creative ladies, Jessica Swift, I adore her art and design, and Michelle Ward, whom I didn’t know before I heard about this book, but she’s a creative career coach.

It’s all about YOU! Finding the path you love, your own uniquity (yep, that’s a word they made up) and creating the life you dream of. To find out more, visit

And in honor of Celebration, check back tomorrow because I’ll be doing a fun giveaway!


Be inspired – Secret to Life as an Artist series

What fuels your creativity? For me, it is nature, pattern, texture, color, swirling lines, symbolism, contrast, duality, energy, animals, flowers, forests, mountains, peacefulness, play, joy and….my list could go on and on.

This is my Secret to Life as an Artist series and one principal to live by is “be inspired .” Fuel your creativity with this inspiration.

We are all creative beings. We are all artists! Be inspired everyday. Here’s a little creative wording to remind you about fueling your creativity.

This is my latest original painting. It’s titled “Just Ride and Fly.” It was inspired by my mountain bike, by my love of swooping down a trail and feeling the energy of movement, by the mysterious, trickster raven, by the forest and the flowers and the rain clouds.

© Lindy Gaskill, “Just Ride and Fly”, 24″ x 30″, acrylic on wood.

And if you like to draw and sketch, fuel your creativity at these two sites> and

The Secret to Life as an Artist Series

I like to add inspiring quotes to my monthly art newsletters. I’ve been a collector of sayings and quotes for quite a while. I’ve filled up a bunch of empty books. (You can read about my empty books here>)

My search for a great quote led me to one by Antoine de Saint-Exupery from one of my favorite books, “The Little Prince.”

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This got me thinking about the Secret of Life. Or rather,  what are the principles I live by? And this led me to thinking about what is the Secret to Life as an artist.

At that point, about a million questions ran through my mind. How did I get here? Where am I going? What principles have I adhered to? What do I stand for, stand by, or stand with regarding my art?

So I decided I’d do a series of blog posts about this and I’ll call it the Secret to Life as an Artist series.

My birthday is coming up next month and birthdays tend to nudge me into looking at my past and looking ahead to where I want to be and this always brings up questions.

One finds after living 53 years that some things work and some things don’t. So this series will be about those things that have worked for me, a little about what hasn’t and I’ll tie it into my creative journey as an artist.

So, back to the saying, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

For me, that would be intuition. To me, painting from intuition leads to a more soulful painting. I like to think I tap into my intuition when I paint.

And this is how I do it.  When I first start a painting, I just put paint down randomly. I don’t think too hard about it. I have fun with it and play with color and pattern.

how to start a painting

I use some textured cloth to stamp into it. I start layering cool colors onto warm colors.

My other essential item is Trust. Trust in the process. Trust that this swirling mixture of color is going to turn into a finished painting!

It takes a tremendous amount of Faith as it goes through the changing chaos of line and color, texture and pattern!

changes in a painting


Faith that images will appear and lead me down a path. This particular painting is a commission piece and it began to turn into a tropical garden.

tropical garden painting in process


So the principles I follow are intuition, trust in the process and have faith that things will work out exactly the way they are meant to work out.

Rumi's Tropical Garden painting


And so they do.

tropical garden painting

Rumi’s Tropical Garden, 12″x12″, acrylic on paper, sold

What are some of your essential items?

Today is one of those days

My camera broke again and my computer (but I fixed that one). It’s been one of those days.

It seems lately a series of events have been getting in the way of me accomplishing some of my goals. So I’m stepping back.

It may be awhile before I post anything here. I’m going to take a break from blogging and put my energies into some other projects.

I hope to be back at some point. I know you’ll understand.

I really liked this Brave Girls Club Daily Truth email today.

Despite the best planning, the most diligent working, and the very best intentions…..some days just don’t go at all like we hope for them to go. Sometimes weeks go like this, sometimes months. We do all that we feel we are supposed to do yet things go a different way than we had planned, than we had hoped, than we had expected.

What are we to do? Well, we just keep going….we just keep doing what we know in our hearts we know we are supposed to be doing…even when hurdles come up, even when we get tired…..we just keep going, keep following our hearts.

And we laugh, we sing….we enjoy life. We make things fun…we spend time with friends and family and we reach out and help others, no matter what. We keep believing that things are working out exactly as they should even if they are not what we had expected. We keep growing, we keep learning, we keep getting stronger. We keep becoming…that’s what we do.

So…just keep becoming.

It is happening.


And just keep on moving in the direction of your dreams. I’ll be trying, hope you will too. See you later.


Whimsical prints with quotes and sayings

One of my favorite things to make besides my paintings are the items I make using pieces of my art made into other things like prints. I’ve just created a new line with words and quotes.

I’ve been saving lyrics, quotes and sayings in empty books since 1975 when my parents gave me my first empty book as a gift. I quickly filled it up and purchased another and now I have 6 inspiring books filled to the gills.

It made perfect sense to me to pair some of my favorite sayings and quotes with my art. What better way to use my skills as a computer production artist and fine artist but to combine them into this line of  prints.

Below is a selection of my favorites. The watermark does not print when you purchase it. They are list for sale in my Etsy Shop. The sizes are 8″ x 10″ (20.3 cm x 27.9 cm, 11″ x 14″ (27.9 cm x 35.6 cm) and 13″ x 19″ (33 cm x  48.3 cm).

Print with Saying

purchase To Share with a Friend print here>

Print with Quote

purchase Walking with the Trees print here>

Pure Joy Print

purchase Pure Joy print here>

Home Sweet Home Print

purchase Home Sweet Home print here>

Cowgirls Kick Ass print

purchase Cowgirls Kick A** here>

This one below is purely a digital creation without any of my paintings in it. I love the quote!

Rumi Quote on Poster

Purchase Let Us Fall in Love print here>

I’d love to know which one is your favorite.

And speaking of Love…Greg and I are getting married on September 22nd! More about that soon!


Art is Everywhere

Aren’t these beautiful shells? I love the subtle color and stripes. The polished finish. The weathered white glass with it’s smooth surface.

Belle and Cody would agree. They have big smiles. 🙂

We always have fun at the beach!

We camped at La Ventana, Baja Mexico

During our Baja stay, we went over to an area west of La Paz called La Ventana to go camping for 2 nights.

It’s exciting to go somewhere we’ve never been before.

We had been in a cafe in Todos Santos having chips, salsa and a margarita when we struck up a conversation with Larry from Captain Kirk’s Wind Surf Resort which turns out is located in La Ventana. The very town we had been talking about going to!

I just love it when the Universe sends us the person or info we’re looking for! Synchronicity is a wonderful thing.

Larry, a yoga instructor at Captain Kirk’s, told us to definitely go check it out and that there was camping in an RV park that was on the beach.

So we headed out.

La Ventana is about 40 minutes out of La Paz. It is a small town known for great kite boarding that sits along the Sea of Cortez. We easily found the RV park but the gate was locked and no one was around.

We went down the road looking for a good place to camp. We came upon an area along the beach with trees which always makes a good camping spot. Greg asked some locals if it was okay to camp there and they said yes.

We got some stuff out and relaxed on the beach. Greg went up to the store nearby and bought some huge scallops for dinner.

On his return, he noticed there was a restaurant next door to where we were at with a great deck and view of the ocean. So we headed there to check it out.

Soon we noticed a man who walked in and sat down next to us. It was Larry who we had met in Todos Santos!

He told us about a better camping spot just down the road at the El Sargento beach. He called it the Hot Springs because he said you could actually dig into the earth and warm water could be found.

We said our thanks and good byes to Larry and headed to the area he told us about.

We found a great spot along the beach with some hilly areas behind us to make it seem private. There was a slight breeze which made it nice since it was hot!

It was perfect camping.

Setting up camp.

Greg built a great shelter for shade.

I kicked back and read a magazine while eating chips and salsa. What a luxury!

No one was around. Nice and private is just the way we like it.

Greg enjoying the scenery and his margarita.

A great place to enjoy the sun, sand and surf!

Have you had any synchronicity happen to you lately?

More Baja Trip Notes

Here’s a little video of me in the studio and then the continuing story of our trip to Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico.


After we got our auto import permit for our truck outside of Nogales we were on our way to San Carlos where we were going to spend the night.

It’s a pretty uneventful drive. Straight roads almost the whole way so that it feels like you’re just driving and driving and driving and the landscape is pretty much the same for miles on end. Desert and small little towns. There are some nice mountains though to look at.

San Carlos is a really cute town. A seaside resort is what they call it online. I sure wish I had the photos off our camera to share because then you could see how nice it is. You can tell it is a tourist town during the high season but for us there were not a lot of people around so it looked very quaint.

In San Carlos we stopped at the grocery store and picked up some food and supplies. We talked to a nice man who told us about a good place to camp. I’m always a little wary about beach camping. I fight my fears and so far we’ve always had a great time camping.

We headed to the beach and found a nice protected area with trees and dunes. Looked like a good camp spot so we parked.

Our two border collies, Belle and Cody, played in the surf while we unpacked. Then I walked the beach and collected a handful of pretty shells and rocks. Greg made margaritas.

After dinner we watched the sunset and then pitched the tent. We looked at the stars and then called it a night.

The next morning we had our usual cereal and yogurt. Greg made coffee.I packed up the tent and rolled up the air mattress and we were on the road again – headed to the Topolobampo ferry to La Paz  which is near Los Mochis.

More on that part of our trip Friday.

Our Baja trip notes

© 2012, Lindy Gruger, Detail of Palm Tree acrylic painting
© 2012, Lindy Gruger, Detail of Palm Tree acrylic painting

I took all kinds of great photos along the way as we drove a new route to Todos Santos in Baja. But I forgot to bring the camera cord with me so I could download the photos to show you. Boo hoo.

I’ll still tell you about our trip though.

Greg and I have differing opinions on our trip because he was the driver and I was the passenger.

From my perspective, I loved this new route! Mainly because it was faster and the roads were great.

Greg is a pretty fast driver and it can be stressful for me going the other route because of the constant passing.  Not always, but sometimes,  when we pass people, I have a hard time relaxing and enjoying the ride because of the super narrow roads and no shoulder. Yes, there are times, I’m gripping the car handle and  saying a little prayer there is no car coming in the other lane!  But this new route was a 4 lane, divided highway which I thought was super!

So the first day we drove from Prescott to Tucson and spent the night at a great inexpensive hotel that we found using Priceline. We like using Priceline when we take roadtrips because you can almost always find a good discount. We’re into saving $ so that is a good thing.

Then we crossed the border at Nogales with no problems. A few miles down the road we stopped at an office which was well marked to get our car import permit. I had all the paperwork in order from doing research online. We only had to make one copy of our passport entry papers to go with the other copies of things we needed like the truck registration, driver’s license, passport, etc. so it went pretty fast.

Then we paid the refundable $300 with a credit card (which we get back when we enter the U.S. proving we’re returning our vehicle) and we were on our way.

I’ll tell you more tomorrow in another post.


Artist's Day Notes – 2/26/12


painting every day

for warm Arizona sunshine


our house is still a mess from moving

humming and music

new paintings using new techniques

eating wheat
(we’re on our 6th week of no sugar, no wheat diet)

to finish my mini paintings tomorrow

some new art projects


detail from one of the paintings I'm working on
detail from one of the paintings I'm working on

Peace and Joy to you!

Finally in our new home

Happy New Year! We’re celebrating because we finally got into our new home in Prescott, Arizona! Wow, it was a challenge to get here but we finally made it!

We love the property and the view and the quiet. This house is a fixer upper though. We’re already on hands and knees, tearing up carpet and taking down the stuff we don’t need like the old shelving and yucky wood wall board in my art studio. There is cat fencing to take down and all kinds of junk that makes a huge pile to haul away!

But we love watching the transformation and getting rid of the things the house no longer needs.

And we’re loving the town of Prescott which was a wonderful, magical light show during Christmas and New Years.


I just couldn’t take enough photos of the magical tree forest in the Courthouse Square.


These photos just don’t do it justice. It was so beautiful with all the glowing, colorful lights!



And the Courthouse was pretty magnificent the way it was lit up too.


I hope to be back with more regular blog posts but we are super busy so I may be sporadic for awhile until we get more settled and into a routine.

Here’s hoping you had a wonderful Holiday Season and I wish you the very best for 2012!

I can’t wait to see what new art comes out of my Prescott art studio.

The Beauty of Blogging

The beauty of blogging is that it’s your blog and you can blog about anything you’d like!

My blog is about my art and artist’s journey and offering tips about things that can help other artists with their biz and about our travels when we’re not making art but sometimes I sway off course and blog about other things.

This is one of those “other” things.

This post is about beauty products. There have been a couple people that have asked me what beauty products I like to use on my skin. So I will tell you.

But first I’ll tell you a story. I am 52 yrs old. But when I was in my 20’s one of my best friend’s let me read one of her books about how to get good skin and stay young looking. I can’t recall the exact name of the book but I think it was something like “The Good Skin Diet”. Some years later I tried searching online for that title again and haven’t come up with that book so it must be called something else.

Avalon Organics Vit. C Lotion

But anyway, I read the book and I got a couple things out of it.

One, a diet high in wild caught salmon is good for your skin. The health benefits of fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids are well written about. Some of them regarding skin condition are oil production regulation, increased hydration, reduced acne and fewer wrinkles. And I do believe these are true. If you’re not going to eat fish on a regular basis then I recommend a purified, high quality fish oil supplement. I do both.

Another thing I got out of the book was the use of ester-C on one’s skin is beneficial. Since then, I’ve used a number of Vitamin C lotions and come up with two that I love.

The first one is by Avalon Organics. It’s called the Vitamin C Moisture Plus Lotion with SPF 15. I LOVE this lotion. I usually buy it when it’s on sale at Fred Meyer’s. But recently, I found it on Amazon and also at I’ve also used just about all of the other Avalon Organics Vitamin C products over the years and love them all but this one is my fav.

So, the other skin care lotion I love is Derma-e’s Ester C Cremé with E which you can also find at Freddie’s in their natural foods dept. or at Amazon or So there you go. These are my favorite skin care products.

The other thing I do is take anti-oxidant supplements on a regular basis and I think it keeps my skin in good shape.


And if you’re wondering, I’m not an affiliate for any of these products. I’m just sharing because I love using them!

What are some of your favorite skin care products? I’m always open to trying something new.

UPDATE: My friend who I mentioned in the beginning of this post reminded me the book we read in our 20’s was called The Wrinkle Cure by Dr. Perricone. So funny how our mind changes things over time, I was sure it was something similar to the “Good Skin Diet”, but no. Maybe we were in our 30’s, that would make more sense thinking about wrinkles. Ha ha.

A Love of Art & Letters

I’ve had a love of Art & Letters for quite some time now.

When I was in high school I used to write letters and decorate them and send them to one of my best friends. As an artist, I think it is a powerful way to express one’s self, the mix of words with one’s art.

I grew up in North Seattle and she on Mercer Island. We mostly saw each other at church on Sundays, if that. She came to our church because she was a friend of one of the other girls at church. She didn’t come every Sunday. But Marianne and I connected. She was a writer and I was an artist. We became kindred spirits. And there is something about art and writing that goes hand in hand. So we would write letters to each other during the week. We weren’t much into talking on the phone but letters were a different sort.

Our letters were filled with every day things. Marianne would write poetry and I would illustrate it. We would share with each other poems, sayings or lyrics from songs that inspired us. We probably wrote over a hundred letters during those high school years. I still have mine from her, stored in a big, yellow manila envelope. I’m not sure why I hang on to them except it is fun to read them and let them tug the memories back in mind. Oh, the memories from those teen years! We sure had fun and much to learn!

My letter writing led to being interested in books on artists and their letters. I began to collect books on the topic. You might have read a few of them yourself or if not, I recommend the following.

There is the book about Van Gogh titled “The  Letters of Vincent van Gogh” . I really enjoyed it because I came to understand more about the artist and what he was going through while he was creating his paintings. Or another book I love is “Georgia O’Keeffe: Art and Letters“. It really inspired me! One comes to understand the life she chose to live and why she made those choices. Her art is beautifully displayed. I always eat it up when I’m looking at O’Keefe’s work and then paired with her words, it’s really a treat!

Really, even the mundane things one writes about becomes a tribute to the artist, a diary of sorts and one can piece the events together to get a good idea of what life might have been like for them. When I read their letters, it makes me want to write and document my own life.

Another favorite book is Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. In reading this book of letters, you will come to understand what it means to be an artist and a person living an authentic life. You can read the 10 letters here>

Then there is Letters to a Young Artist. This book contains about two dozen letters by established artists to a fictitious “young artist,” a recent art-school graduate who is weighing the practical implications of being an artist in New York. This is a great book. I like this excerpt written by Xu Bing to the young artist:

“…My viewpoint is that wherever you live, you will face that place’s problems. If you have problems then you have art. Your plight and your problems are actually the source of your artistic creation. The majority of young artists who come to New York to develop their careers are eager to enter the mainstream. But a majority of people like you have to spend time working other jobs to support their costs of living here. It may seem like you are wasting time that could be used for creating art, but you needn’t actually worry about this too much. On the one hand, as long as you are a true artist every field that you are engaged in outside of art circles—living and working—will produce treasure, which sooner or later will be used in the creation of your art….” I like that our experiences are the treasure that is the subject matter of our art. So true.

I’ve also had an interest in “Mail Art” which is taking postcard size paper, decorating it with art and then putting a stamp on it and mailing it. I love this concept of original Art through the Mail. Often you can find Call for Artist submissions for Mail Art Exhibitions if you do a search on Google.

And if you want to send a postcard to someone just for the fun of it, check out Their website says, “send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person somewhere in the world!” I’ve sent a few postcards on Postcrossing and it’s pretty fun to receive them back.

And this leads me to my new Art Greeting Cards. I’ve always loved Greeting Cards and have purchased certain inspiring cards to put up in my studio just so I can look at the image. Currently I’m working on a new set of Raven note cards and Peace Tree Greeting Cards. They will be for sale soon in my Etsy Shop. Here’s a sneak peek.


Raven Notecards – 4.5″ x 6.25″

TreeCards-2011Peace Tree Greeting Cards – 5″ x 7″

If you were to write someone, who would it be?

Write a letter today on a great art card and bring a little joy into someone’s life.

Peace to you!

Joys of Moving

We’ve spent the last few weeks packing up our house and getting ready to move to some temporary housing before we head to Prescott, Arizona.

We had a little going away party at our house to say “bye” to a few friends and celebrate being together one last time out on the back porch which is a great place for having a party!


It was a gorgeous day and a great get together!


And then it was time to get really serious about moving! I spent a whole day packing up all my art and studio!


Greg made a special holder on the side of the trailer to hold the tipi poles. He’ll be pulling a pretty long trailer when we move.


I’m grateful Greg organized us! He had the boxes we had been packing for weeks all ready to go when we started bringing over the Uhaul pods from UBox.



I was concerned because we were getting down to the 5th pod and we hadn’t gotten our two wicker chairs in yet! I love those chairs!


But I swear, Greg is a master at fitting things into just the right spaces and he got them in!


We were even able to pack the sun!


Phew! That was a huge job! So that’s what I’ve been doing and why I haven’t been posting much to my blog lately.

But we made it to our temporary spot on the Deschutes River Rim. We’re setting up our stuff here for the next chapter before we move to Prescott on Oct. 31st. I’ll share with you more about where we’re living and my temporary art studio in the next post. We’re sure diggin’ the view!!


Exciting changes are ahead

Big changes are in our future!  Life is taking us in a new direction and we’re excited to follow a path that we’ve dreamed about and talked about and now is happening. We’re learning to trust the journey because when we do, the rewards are amazing.

We’ve been talking about moving out of Central Oregon for awhile and we did some exploring this past year, looking for a good spot to move to. When Greg and I both felt excitement and the feeling of home when we visited Prescott, Arizona in the Spring, we knew we had found the place. So we’ve decided to move there.

We want to live where the sun shines more often! We like that Prescott has 4 distinct seasons and that it is a lot like Bend in many ways. It has pine forest, 5 lakes, lots of hiking, mt. biking trails, art galleries, festivals, a rodeo, a hospital, 3 colleges and live music! And we experienced a welcoming community which means a lot!

I  feel anticipation and joy for what’s ahead. We look forward to having a place that we found together and feathering our nest there.

But we’re going to miss our friends in Bend. We’ll miss our home too.

our house

We’ll miss the view from the back deck!

Mt. Bachelor View

And the peaceful, natural setting!

tipi in peaceful setting

Bend has treated us well but it feels right to make the move! So move we will and I can’t wait!

What dreams are brewing in your future?

My Fur Ball painting donation

The video is from a visit to Kitty Heaven when we were down in Todos Santos. These adorable kittens were being cared for there and are up for adoption. They were so sweet and playful! We were so tempted to adopt one these babies.

Our neighbor down in Todos Santos runs Kitty Heaven which is a kitty shelter for homeless cats and kittens in the area. She also helps put on the Fur Ball which raises funds to help spay and neuter the dogs and cats of Todos Santos and Pescadero.

Last year and now this year too, I’ve created a painting for the Fur Ball. I mentioned it earlier in a blog post but just wanted to show you some more detailed shots of it.

Red Dog Finds a Home, Acrylic on Canvas, 12" x 12"
Red Dog Finds a Home, Acrylic on Canvas, 12" x 12"

I put a cat on the balcony of the casita because there’s something about a cat that makes a house feel like a home. Granted, I am  definitely a dog person but I think some day we will have a cat too. Greg loves cats and I’ve had two cats before in my life. Once when I was in grade school and once when I was in my 20’s. The early cat was named Jade and the later cat I named Jasmine. Love that name, Jasmine.

Detail of casita

But I have a soft spot in my heart for dogs! I’ve had a couple dogs in my life. One was Taffy that I got for my 13th birthday. She was part beagle and loved to put her nose to the ground and go! She was hit by a car when I was 17. One of the first big losses in my life. Then when I graduated from college, I got Deja who looked very much like Taffy. Thus the name Deja vu.

Detail of Red Dog.
Detail of Red Dog.

And now we have two border collies, Belle and Cody. They love Baja and the beach there!

I can never have too many photos of our dogs. This one of Belle below is one of my favs! I love her big smile!


What animals do you have in your life and what are their names?