Thursday, October 29, 2009

We are all connected

Thanks to my friend, Jesse Vail, who shared this on his Facebook page!

The lyrics can be hard to understand, so I've provided them here. Do check out John Boswell's Symphony of Science for more science and music.


[deGrasse Tyson]
We are all connected;
To each other, biologically
To the earth, chemically
To the rest of the universe atomically

I think nature's imagination
Is so much greater than man's
She's never going to let us relax

We live in an in-between universe
Where things change all right
But according to patterns, rules,
Or as we call them, laws of nature

I'm this guy standing on a planet
Really I'm just a speck
Compared with a star, the planet is just another speck
To think about all of this
To think about the vast emptiness of space
There's billions and billions of stars
Billions and billions of specks

The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it
But the way those atoms are put together
The cosmos is also within us
We're made of star stuff
We are a way for the cosmos to know itself

Across the sea of space
The stars are other suns
We have traveled this way before
And there is much to be learned

I find it elevating and exhilarating
To discover that we live in a universe
Which permits the evolution of molecular machines
As intricate and subtle as we

[deGrasse Tyson]
I know that the molecules in my body are traceable
To phenomena in the cosmos
That makes me want to grab people in the street
And say, have you heard this??

(Richard Feynman on hand drums and chanting)

There's this tremendous mess
Of waves all over in space
Which is the light bouncing around the room
And going from one thing to the other

And it's all really there
But you gotta stop and think about it
About the complexity to really get the pleasure
And it's all really there
The inconceivable nature of nature


Monday, October 26, 2009

The Fountain revisited

A couple of years ago, I posted about the film, The Fountain, by Darren Aronofsky.

As I've gotten to know my way around the Internet better, it's been easier and more fun to share different things with you, like videos.

Here's the trailer to The Fountain. Check out my original post if you'd like to read what I thought of it (I added the trailer video there, too).

Invite Beauty,


Is this art?

Maybe, maybe not--but it's HI-larious that there's a site called Regretsy that pokes fun at the funny and outrageous things for sale on Etsy. It's the commentary that makes me practically wet my pants with laughter.

Check it out if you need some tension-relieving giggles. Yes, it's at someone's expense, but at least you're not buying what they're selling so it's not at your expense.

Invite Beauty (seriously),


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sneak Preview! Lovely koi

Here's a sneak preview of my next Original Finger Painting commission. It's 15" x 30" and will be of one koi.

I've decided the coloration of the koi, but instead of painting it directly on, I'm making it easier on myself by painting the background color first and then adding the markings after the white is dry, as well as fleshing out other details throughout the image.

The waterlily I painted more quickly this time than in my other paintings, which is a huge relief! Usually, it's what gives me the most trouble. I love painting flowers with watercolor, but I find it difficult with oil paint sticks and my fingers.

Right, so it's time for bed for me now.


Details of Pumpkin Pie

For the full Original Finger Painting of Pumpkin Pie, please visit my gallery.

For the full Original Finger Painting of Pumpkin Pie, please visit my gallery.

The Big Three

I just changed the title of my Biblical Series into the Abrahamic Series.

I had used "biblical" because I felt it united the common basis of the three, major, Western religions through their scripture--all founded upon the Jewish Torah. (By the way, "Bible" means "book.")

However, as I cleaned up my 2,000 labels on this blog to a mere 54, I thought again about the term and how "Abrahamic," even though it's more scholarly, was more accurate and encompassing. I like encompassing (it goes back to wanting to feel like I belong, I guess).

Anyway, just wanted to update y'all in case you noticed the difference and wondered what it was all about.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Sneakier preview! Pumpkin pie

Here's that cutie, Miss Pumpkin Pie herself.

It's kind of funny that the patron for this commission wanted a valley oak in this painting, because the (big-eared) dog and oak are so reminiscent of Rodrigue's "Blue Dog" work for me.

Of course, this dog isn't blue, but if you think about her oranginess, it's actually a complementary of blue! How 'bout them apples, huh?

Anyway, I'm sorry I'm taking so long to get the final photo of this handsome painting posted, but I did add some details (the legs are speckled and the chest is whiter), and then I painted the sides black instead of taking a photo first. (So I had to wait for the sides to dry before I could set up the painting for a photo shoot.)

When I was finally ready, I found my good camera's battery was dead. Serves me right for not painting more often and keeping up with the charge needs of my camera!

So to the good and gentle art lovers stopping by, I promise a final pic very soon.

Other than that, I've got my written comprehensive exam for my master's in counseling psychology tomorrow morning. Brushing up on some ethics, laws, psychopathology, and theories.

I'll be posting a sneak preview of my upcoming koi painting commission, too.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another hero: Philip Spooner for Equality Maine

You know, there's wisdom everywhere, and there are people who stand for certain basic things I believe in, like equality. Again, there may be the stereotype of the crotchety old person who's racist, homophobic, sexist, and what have you--but really, those delusions (I refuse to call them "overvalued beliefs" according to the DSM-IV-TR) can be in a young person, too.

It's a wonderful surprise, and humbling, to see this man speak about one of the principles upon which the U.S. was founded, and for which he was willing literally to sacrifice his life (I'm glad he survived).

I am moved because he and I are connected through our shared belief. He's an ally, and I feel less alone in the world for it, even though I've never met him, and probably never will.


Monday, October 19, 2009

I want it this way, too.

Aren't stereotypes funny things? Thanks again to Lam for sharing this video with me. It's refreshing to see people being themselves--and not how we might expect them to be, or have seen them depicted in our particular media.

No kung fu masters, thugs, or nerds in this one!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I want it that way.

I've been redoing all the labels for my blog and I'm almost done. What can I say? I love de-cluttering and organizing (and reorganizing) things. Trust me, you'll thank me for this. All of you. Any of you? Someone? Maybe that one person who uses these labels to find stuff on this blog?

I'm getting a little punchy again and I need to get out of here. The smell of the paint drying on my latest Original Finger Painting is getting on my nerves (not literally; the paints are non-toxic) and after finishing an article for my advice column on interracial relationships (this couple totally got denied a license because--get this--the justice of the peace was worried about their future children! I mean, what, one of their kids might become president or something? Give me a break, it's the 21st century!)

Okay, see why I need to get out? Bigotry is irritating, to say the least (but still, go read my article and leave a comment if you like)!

I'm off to drop off a giclee of Meow and Zen for a collector. Yay! Before I go, I would like to leave you with a piece of goofiness that I find heartwarming, sexy, and hilarious. Plus, this is like the only song from the Backstreet Boys that I love to bits. Thanks to Aman Chaudhury for sharing this video on Facebook.

Invite Beauty,


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New prices for a new economy!

See and You Shall Find, bumper sticker available at Everyday Beauty

If you've wanted my art on an eco-friendly tote bag, or a lovely bumper sticker, or a super-amazing magnet (I love magnets, I've said it before and I'll say it again), or even a hippo-sportin' tee, then check out my gift shop, Everyday Beauty.

I've lowered the price of every single item in Everyday Beauty to pass on the savings to you that CafePress has offered to its sellers. Viva la marketplace!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Sneak Preview! It's the Great Pumpkin

To some of you, this may seem like the first painting of a dog I've done, but there's actually Serenata Plata before this one. Serenata Plata was much more fanciful than this current commission, though.

When I asked my patron how he would describe the color of this adorable dog, he said, "pumpkin pie."


We talked some more and he threw out some other colors..."burnt sienna" caught my attention. One of my favorite colors judging by how little of it I have left! (Note to self: Get me to an art supply store, go!)

It was nice painting again after such a long break, and I'm happy to be able to share this particular commission with you. I've got another one prepped and have last year's winter solstice painting in line, too. (Gee, just in time for this year's winter solstice. I'm so behind!)

I'm also studying for my comprehensive written exam for my master's, which is coming up next week. Rereading the section on Virginia Satir and it makes me realize again how much influence her theory has had in the last 40 years! Basically, everything you've ever heard about having good self-esteem can probably be traced back to her.

I admire her for her compassion, and for her strength in standing up to male-dominated and -originated theories. It's just unfortunate that her theory has been interpreted and applied in such a way (according to my limited convenience sampling at the schools I've worked) as to foster narcissism rather than true self-esteem.

As for the concept of self-esteem, all I have to say about that is namaste.


Sunday, October 11, 2009


Perhaps the separation of thought and emotion is artificial, much like the separation of mind and body. Convenient, yes, but artificial when it comes down to our biological reality.

Anyway, I'm not posting this video in terms of its commercial value, but its artistic merit. How does one convey fragrance through vision? How do the arts bridge the chasm between us?

Through feeling and imagination; heart and mind. Through connecting that which we believed was unconnected: through compassion and memory.

We are, from moment to moment, lost and reconnected to each other.

(And disco's not dead!)

Invite Beauty,


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Woof sketch (dog and valley oak)

A rough sketch for a coming commission. The patron requested it to work out some compositional ideas, which were based on Meow and Zen and Essence of Motion.

Usually, I just sketch in paint directly on canvas--it saves a bit of time but I have to say, I've missed the ol' pencil and paper routine. It was nice to get back to it again.

I've also wanted to paint valley oaks (the last time was The Valley and I), and it was a pleasure to have this as the requested tree in the painting. Valley oaks are magnificent and as a fan of Rodrigue's Blue Dog and New Orleans, I love the moodiness and character these trees exude.

That's it for now.

Invite Beauty,


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

And here's October!

I'm getting whiplash realizing that it's now October.

Things for me seem to happen in October. It's my favorite month, but I have to say, that title has been challenged because pretty crappy things have happened in the past years in this great tenth month of ours.

Good news, though, is that it marks the anniversary and midway point of my master's in counseling psychology program. I'm half-finished and I can't wait. This is a profession I've been jonesing to profess for a couple of decades. And it's not the last.

So the Oktoberfest event went well. Today, someone stopped me and introduced herself to me as a new collector! Her daughter loved "Journey of a Thousand" and they won the auction for it. A picture may be worth a thousand words but the words she told me made me feel like a million bucks.

Speaking of journeys, I am still not sure where I'm going with my art. I have some commissions I'll be sharing with you as I work on them, but there's a part of me that feels as if my days of regular painting and exhibiting may go into hibernation as I devote myself to the practice of psychotherapy. It's a blessing and curse that I have a one track mind, but it's a mind that wanders so it only looks like I'm doing a bajillion things at once! In truth, I'm a poor multitasker but a great serial tasker.

Alright, off to do some sketching and research for a new Original Finger Painting.

Invite Beauty,