Thursday, May 7, 2015


Like other artists and craftspersons, I follow others’ blogs and belong to a bunch of social media groups where we share our work, challenge each other, and generally stay connected with the creative community worldwide.

I am struck by how often we diminish ourselves and the creative process by qualifying our posts by saying “just playing with . . . [color, media, paper, ideas—fill in your own here].”


I have come to realize that I am NOT JUST PLAYING.  In fact, I am engaging the Spirit within me.  I am giving expression to feelings, observations, and the impulse of creativity that has lain dormant for such long periods of my life.  I am fighting with letting go of the demons of my past, the voices that told me my work was not good enough, a pastime not worthy of responsible, mature attention.  The belief that art is a frivolous pursuit “just for fun”—the message that child’s PLAYTIME is over, that it’s time to get back to establishing a relationship and a home, making babies, learning a useful/productive/profitable trade, establishing a ‘legitimate’ career.  You name it; the message had been something like, “Put down your crayons, kid.  Playtime is over.”  No wonder I stomped my feet in frustration and resisted for so long.  Sadly, the resistance was mostly futile.

So I suppose that we do find some comfort—even triumph--in allowing ourselves to “play” now.  And, since we earned our money and love to spend it now, we buy tons of art supplies and books and courses and . . . well, we collect and “play” with lots of adult (that is, expensive) art supplies toys.  

To my fellow creators of all things whimsical, beautiful, imaginative, wondrous, colorful, personal, and inspired, I say this:  Let’s banish ‘just playing’ from our thoughts and especially from our posts!  Let’s stop diminishing the creative Spirit within and instead let’s celebrate our world, our uniqueness, our playfulness, our amazing expressions!

Whether great or small, every creative expression deserves our respect; especially by respecting ourselves and the time we spend documenting our observations of the world around us, our inspiration and imagination.  Our ART is a gift we give to ourselves and the world.  Give it proudly and often!

from IndiaMissions,

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Morning Mindfulness

Counseling and administration were never my primary passions.  I dared to attempt to do these things by learning from the people God put in my path.  Art has always been my passion, from the time I was little.  I remember sitting at my special desk, with crayons and papers and coloring books, happily creating away.  But after the early encouragement, I later got the message that I needed to earn a living, and art wouldn’t do that.  I heard, too, that I wasn’t ‘talented enough’.

So I began watching and following other people’s careers.  There were Vivian Golub and Mike Lunine at Kent State; Rick Pogue, Jan Hanson and Jim Schuerger at Cleveland State; Mary Sarosy and Vince Pinto at WRCS; and many others who inspired me to learn counseling.  And I did good things—for the battered women’s coalition, for Lake Geauga Center, for Luceille Fleming and ODADAS, for Mitch Carlisle and Lorain ADAS.  Some doors were closed and my direction changed often.   

I now realize that the end result was that for all those served wherever I went, living in recovery was introduced and sometimes flourished in their hearts.   My path has made a difference!

Yesterday I went to a wonderful, amazing Quilt Show at Lake Metroparks Farmpark with some friends.  As we "oohed" and "aaaahed"  over the amazing creations, Gayle and Rachel told me that I noticed things they never saw in the quilts.  And that made me realize that I do, in fact, see things differently than many people.  I love seeing in the way that I do; expressing what I observe is something I am compelled to do.  And that is joyous!

I am so grateful for the opportunities and gifts I have been given.  For the things that have been taken away (strife, struggles, roadblocks in the paths no longer useful to me).  And for what has been left:  time to be mindful of who and where I am, the people I am surrounded by, and the ability to express the gifts which God has given to me.


“When I slow down long enough to smell the roses, I usually see the beauty and all else that is ours to share.”       --MORGAN JENNINGS

"We overlook so many joys, so many hidden treasures, when we hurry from place to place, person to person, experience to experience, with little attention anywhere. All that matters passes before us now, at this moment. And assuredly, we will not pass this way again.

It has been said the greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention; additionally, living life fully attentive to the breezes, the colors, the sorrows and the thrills as well, is the most prayerful response any of us can make in this life. Nothing more is asked of us. Nothing less is expected.
We have just this one life to live, and each day is a blessing. Even the trials we shall understand as blessings in the months, the years ahead, as we can see now how the painful moments of the past played their part. Our attitude toward the lessons life has offered makes all the difference in the world.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

When will our legislators LEGISLATE?

This is a political statement; I will get on to the business of creating for the rest of today.  But my outrage at actions of 47 United States Senators who felt compelled to sign a "Letter to Iraq" and speak for us, the 99%, has left me wondering just what our Congress things we elected it to do. 

The following is the e-mail I sent to Ohio Senator Rob Portman.  Just had to express my right as a citizen to inform our elected official how "we the people" want him to carry our his duties.

Dear Senator Portman:

Please re-read your history books and the purpose of the United States Senate.  It was created, I believe, as part of the LEGISLATIVE branch of government.  Not Executive, not Judicial.  Elementary.

Your presumptuous arrogance in speaking to a foreign nation on behalf of our country is not what you were elected to do.  Forty-seven senators does not constitute a majority; neither are you folks empowered to speak on the behalf of this nation.

Get down to the business of working on the behalf of we who elected you.  Attend to our health care, protect our environment, assure that all who live and breathe our air can live without fear of each other, can trust one another, can get the best education possible regardless of our incomes, assure that all who work can earn a living wage, take measures to stop rampant taxation inequities, decrease the violence and crime which burden us with the moral and financial cost of incarceration.  In short, right our internal inequities and attend to the 99%, not the 1%.

Just go about the business of making this a better nation in which we can ALL safely grow and prosper.  SHAME ON YOU, MR. PORTMAN.

By the way, please do not plague me with justifications or unwanted emails, newsletters, or other communications.  Your legislative behavior will speak for itself.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sunny Saturday: Weekend Wandering

After another week of frigid, bone-chilling, huddle-up-indoors-and-stay-warm weather, the last day of February dawned sunny and bright.  As the morning air temps slowly edged out of the teens, my crazy kitchen thermometer picked up the heat of the sun on the glass like this:

Maybe that window glass captures some ancient sun-wisdom that our winter-weary bodies cannot yet perceive?  Funny how we react to this little dollar-store thing:  it beckons us.  It orders:  "Get out and explore the world around you!"

The Lakota Sioux call the Sun "Wiyo ate" and say "The light of the sun enlightens the entire universe, and as the flames of the sun come to us in the morning, so comes the grace of Wakan Tanka, by which all creatures are enlightened. It is because of this that the four-leggeds and the wingeds always rejoice at the coming of the light. We can all see in the day, and this seeing is sacred for it represents the sight of that real world which we may have through the eye of the heart." Black Elk   [There are lots of animal tracks in the snow, and my feeders and pine trees are alive with singing birds these days!]

The beauty of local farm and nursery fields under the cloudless, electric blue winter sky is  too vast to memorialize on camera.  And parking behind the big piles where plows have been blocks the view of this sketcher and the patience of my hubby.  So we drive on, in silent awe and appreciation of the scenes around us, bathed in beauty and light.  

Locally though, the old stone lion at Broadfield Manor (a country-house-turned-nursing home complex) seemed to be roaring to life.
[How about the glow of that stained glass at the front door?!] 

The big stone finials marking the drive were giving up their heavy caps of blizzard-borne snow to the sun as well.  I'm going to try and paint the blue of that sky for today's sketch (as taught by Prashant Miranda) -- it is absolutely breath-taking!

Meanwhile, across County Line Road, a local guy created this ice-castle and its resident monster in brilliant color.   Clearly, he likes to have BIG FUN and amuse his neighbors!

Creation has many interpretations!  What a study in contrasts, from the ancient peoples' understanding of the universe, to the historic structures and stone monuments, to one man's energetic efforts to use the cold, dark winter to amuse himself and us as we pass by.