Monday, July 27, 2009

Doodling under duress 5

I was running out of ink in my pen so I broke in a new one. I love fresh ink.

Anyway, I did a quick doodle in the home stretch of my stats class. This is the last week! (And I just had some tacos that were a little cold--I had better not get food poisoning and screw up my last week of this class!).

I hope everybody's having a great summer! If you want to throw some art in, you know where to find my work on eBay and Etsy or directly through me.

Okay, back to my homework. Almost...finished...


Saturday, July 25, 2009

What's the matter here?

I just finished a workshop on Child Abuse Reporting, which is part of my license requirement as a psychotherapist.

The instructor shared this video in class and remembering what it was like in the pre-Internet days (yes, try hard to imagine it, young'uns), I have to say I'm grateful I can embed and share the video with my readers.

What struck me the most about this video (which does not contain hard-to-watch footage of any sort) were two things:

1) That children (as well as the elderly and dependent adults) rely on those with the power to be heard to speak up.

2) It's important to do something, and it's hard to do something if you don't know what to do. One out of five Americans are concerned about child abuse, but don't do anything about it.

I have been a mandated reporter of child abuse in the past, and I am preparing to be one in the future. Even if I weren't one, I would still use my voice to help those who have been silenced.

This is not to say that I'm out to get children snatched from their homes or that I think abuse or neglect makes parents bad people. (Neglect, by the way, is the most reported and substantiated form of child abuse--not physical, sexual, or mental abuse.)

On the contrary, I think in many (not all) situations, families need support to be better families. Parents need skills to be better parents, or maybe help getting into rehab, or whatever--but it isn't a simple case of blame and punish (talk about abusive!) it's about support and educate.

If you know what your goals are, your path becomes clearer.

Long post short, if you reasonably suspect child abuse, please do something. You don't have to be a mandated reporter, and you can (and legally will) remain anonymous.

You can call your local police or look in the phone book or Internet and get the number for Child Protective Services or Child Welfare Services (or Adult Protective Services for elders and dependent adults). If you're in California, the Department of Social Services is a great place to start.

It's not just somebody else's kid and none of your business. I know it's uncomfortable. I know it might make you angry or sad. But if you make that call, somebody's life, somebody's childhood, and somebody's family could be saved.

In Santa Cruz County, call (831) 454-CARE (2273).

Invite Beauty,


Friday, July 24, 2009

Run, fundraiser, run!

My friend Michelle is an incredible person who embodies the Buddhist proverb, "Fall down seven times, get up eight."

In November, she won't just be getting up, she'll be running a half-marathon to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. She's running in memory of her son, Douglas, who died from cancer ten years ago.

Please help her reach her goal! Visit and donate at her fundraising page.


Being Koi

Little Beauties: Koi Series
10 cards & envelopes, 5" x 7"
5 images, handstamped with chop on back

This set has been enormously popular and this makes me happy. Get your own from my Etsy shop!

I need to come out with a Koi Series 2 once I have enough Koi Series paintings appropriate for cards. That will be fun!

If there are other places you'd love to see my cards, please let those businesses or me know--I enjoy making connections and sharing my work with a wider audience!

Many thanks to all who bought these cards, past and present. If you're in Santa Cruz and would like to buy my cards individually, please check out The UPS Store on 343 Soquel Avenue (see below for map and info).


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hang in there

Does July Need a Sky of Blue?, mixed media on canvas, 12" x 16"
Finger painted

The above Original Finger Painting sold to a collector through an "option-to-buy" payment plan that allows buyers to reserve the exclusive right to purchase artwork from me, for an agreed amount of time, by making a deposit. You can find out more on or just contact me directly for info. (Even better if you'd like to purchase one of my works!)

As I sell each painting, it does dawn on me that my personal collection of Original Finger Paintings is dwindling. This brings up two issues for me:

1) I need to make more art, outside of the commission work that currently occupies me.

2) I will sell all of my art and then be done. (As in, I'm not making art, at least not professionally, anymore.)

One of the reasons for the second issue is because it's difficult for me to make art. It involves a lot of introspection, self-confrontation, exploration of pain, and willingness to suffer--as well as sharing, challenging, delighting, and diving into joy. It is not the unexamined life.

Have I been unknowingly (or knowingly somewhere in my heart) moving towards resolution--a termination of this endeavor? Have I reached the opposite shore, one of many, and it's time to let this raft of painting go?

There's always more to discover. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees, and sometimes you can't see the mountain until you get out of the forest.


Friday, July 17, 2009

The beginning of auctions

Mystical Buddha, limited edition (100) print
13" x 19" on paper

I'm going to start having seven-day auctions through my shop, starting with the limited edition (100) print of Mystical Buddha (13" x 19").

Other pieces will go up periodically, and I'll announce the listings here.

Thanks and please share this with your friends and family!

Invite Beauty,


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do over!

Yesterday, I deleted all my Random Tuesday Thoughts posts.

I really don't want to clutter up this blog and I know people are here to see me make art, dammit!

I thought about keeping the posts, just as a record of what was, but then thought, "Nah." They were kind of inorganically shoe-horned into my blog and so they'll just be gracefully deleted.

I was about to remove myself from the Random Tuesday Thoughts lineup of bloggers, but when I went to do it, I found that I had been removed!

Perhaps I wasn't random enough. Or maybe something didn't register. Who knows, but it fits in with my world (blog) view.

But I did lose something in yesterday's post that I wanted to repost (and it doesn't involve me painting). Life offers us many opportunities to have do-overs, but it's up to us to make use of them. It's a gift to be able to apologize, to make right, to start over, to try something else.

So I wanted to share (again) that my experience of learning statistics as an adult is different from how I learned math as a child; I actually enjoy it and one way I enjoy it is by relating mathematical concepts to philosophy. For example:

A binomial probability distribution has only two outcomes: A and Not-A.

In plain English, this means the outcomes of a binomial probability distribution are not opposites like heads/tails or yes/no but
complements, such as heads and not-heads or yes and not-yes.

This sounds like a concept in Buddhism, where karma-producing action is not "countered" with
inaction, but non-action.

It's not exactly dualistic, black-and-white thinking. Stretches the mind, don't it?

There’s a beauty and elegance to mathematics I can almost appreciate, but I feel like I’m walking through The Louvre without my glasses.
Invite Beauty,


Monday, July 13, 2009

Actually, I do love statistics

Amid the "I told you so" and "See? I knew you'd do fine!" I have to declare that I actually do enjoy statistics and that I did do very well on my test.

It's just that I've had a lot going on and it's been hard to concentrate and learn, but apparently something snuck in (or rather, was reawakened: remember, I shouldn't have to take this prerequisite, I've met it already!).

So a friend from my grad program sends me this video and I think it's hilarious. I thought I'd share.

Okay, back to homework.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

P(blew chunks on stats test) > 0.05

After (ahem) certain comments about my chicken scratch handwriting, I thought I'd take on the artistic endeavor of making my manuscript both legible and pretty.

Incidentally, did you know the word calligraphy literally means "beautiful writing"?

Anyway, I had my second stats test today and I don't think I did so hot. My recall hasn't been so good since being exhausted and overwhelmed, but this test is over and now I await the aftermath (nyuk nyuk).

Speaking of being exhausted and overwhelmed, I just received great news about my loved one's surgery and biopsy results: clean bill of health! Yippee!

Next up: Comprehensive ethics & law final. Rules are fun.

Invite Beauty,


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Go pick up corn

Alex the African Gray Parrot died a couple of years ago and I miss knowing that he was alive, well, smart, and telling his caretaker what to do (check out the video at the 1:00 minute mark)!

Asking for corn (00:44 seconds) always cracks me up, too. I don't know why.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Doodling under duress 4

I was really tired yesterday in statistics. My pen was running out of ink. Not that it mattered--I could hardly spell or remember what I had written down from one moment to the next.

I wonder if doodling Spider-man means I was "crawling up the walls" metaphorically?


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sex isn't a four-letter word

Something Tiki This Way Comes (Marquesan) SOLD
Part 2 of 3 (Triptych), acrylic on canvas, 10" x 20"
Finger painted

The last in the three-part painting,
Something Tiki This Way Comes, sold this weekend while I was off taking care of a loved one after her surgery.

I've had my doubts about whether this Original Finger Painting from my Tiki Series would ever sell, but I think those are normal doubts any artist has about what he or she creates (a symptom of being on the growing edge, rather than complacency with the tried and true?).

Granted, the huge penis on this Marquesan god didn't make things easier, especially in a non-Polynesian context such as ours, but in the end, I think the piece has something wonderful to say and someone heard it.



Thursday, July 02, 2009

Happy Fourth of July weekend!

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

I'm off to Southern California again this weekend and wanted to wish everybody a great weekend.

May you know the exhilaration of independence and the sweetness of interdependence.

Invite Beauty,