Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I really hope people watch this video of a talk by Dr. Brené Brown, who researches about shame-resilience, empathy, and vulnerability in her efforts to help people feel more connected to each other, which has far-reaching and positive consequences for everybody, including organizations such as families, governments, businesses, schools, nations, etc.

I've watched this video several times already. It's only 20 minutes but it feels like so much important information (delivered with humor and compassion), I can't take it in with just one viewing. I actually feel like I have to take notes, and the only times I take notes are when I'm learning a topic that's difficult for me to grasp (like when I took Elementary Statistics, remember that?), or something that I get so excited about that my mind kind of floods (I think it's called "overwhelmed").

Really. It's mind blowing what the good doctor has to say about connection and the root of disconnection. And if we're here to connect (it's in our genes and species), whatever's causing the disconnect needs to be pulled into the bright light of day and staked. (Yes, I've been watching TrueBlood and I ain't apologizing!)

I also did have questions about "healthy shame" and in another video, Dr. Brown answers this question and talks about how shame and guilt are different; whereas shame is what is most likely causing the "shameful" behavior (such as violence or exploitation) and is more about "I am bad (and unworthy of belonging and unlovable)," guilt is about doing or not doing something that doesn't match up with whom we want to be or perceive ourselves as being.

There's more to learn. I plan on reading both of her books, The Gifts of Imperfection and I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't)(If you're curious or have an e-book reader, you can probably download a sample; in the interest of full disclosure, please know that I'm an Associate and any books purchased through my links will benefit me.)

Invite Beauty,


Monday, January 10, 2011

Rest in peace, handsome

The Cat Who Came in for Winter Solstice
Oil on canvas, 20" x 24" COLLECTED
The collector who commissioned this Original Finger Painting recently contacted me to let me know of Miles's passing yesterday, January 9, 2011.

He and his wife were grateful for the painting, as a way to remember a member of their family. You can see the posts documenting the painting, from the sneak preview, to the finished artwork, to the commission inspiration.

I'm saddened. I actually had the opportunity to meet Miles a couple of times and he was every bit as handsome in person as he was in the reference photograph. He'll be deeply missed.

My condolences to his adoptive family, and my own gratitude for having been a part of creating something meaningful.

Invite Beauty,


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Know your ETs

Insomnia is annoying.

Well, not completely. I can be productive when I can't sleep.

Anyway, I recently purchased Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials from a new and used bookstore called BookBuyers. I got it hardback and for a great deal! If you're anywhere near one of these stores (they have two), please visit them and lose yourself there. Well worth the wandering!

Barlowe's book has special meaning for me. Years ago, I considered the profession of science illustrator for a long time (you can see remnants of this in my earlier work, Portrait of a Hippo), but I had difficulty, back then, inviting beauty into my life, so I didn't buy the book.

I've corrected that now.

Besides, I love reading dictionaries and encyclopedia!

I love that his work is a fusion of science and fantasy illustration. Ain't synthesis grand? I feel like it's the philosophy behind my engine.

Invite Beauty,