I have a fabulous, long time collector...Larry, who I've also become friends with over the years. He is an amazing stained glass artist, and I'm beyond honored to have one of his pieces of art recreated from one of my paintings that he purchased. He consistently collects new art and recently purchased the painting "Land of Wonder" when I was having my moving sale. Well, he had also seen my coloring pages, and thought how cool it would be to have a mural sized coloring page with hints of color handpainted by me...I was down for the challenge! I actually started my professional artist career painting murals in the Orlando, FL area, so I was looking forward to revisiting mural size painting.
Larry ended up choosing the coloring page (above) that the original painting "Land of Wonder", was created from, and I also gave him the original drawing itself, so he has a triad of original coordinating art that no one else has.
Larry and I worked together with one of my licensing partners Murals Your Way - you can purchase some of my art as murals from them, link here - to create the perfect black and white reproduction of the original drawing on three canvas panels totaling 9'x8'. The challenge for me was that I didn't have any table space this large, so I had to lay it out on my studio floor, which required moving everything out of the way and practicing my contortionist skills, haha!!
And the final results as shown in Larry's home! This was such a fun and different project for me; I love when my collectors come up with new ideas to challenge me as an artist, and this was one! Larry is the only person on the planet who has a mural like this. So proud to continue to have him as one of my best collector's and inspiring me to always step outside of my comfort zone with my art, thank you Larry!
Larry's description of the art in his home ~ "This canvas art piece draws the viewer into an eclectic mix of whimsy among a wood & glass framework at this, The MoonShadow House. Gotta Love It !!!!"
Time to do some inner awakening and self development. When we go through life changing events there is no better time to really take a look at ourselves and determine how we can be a better person for ourselves, the people in our lives, and anyone new we allow in. Reading books from others perspectives on how to maximize our potential and be the best versions of ourselves provides insight we can't get on our own, so I'm delving into these books while looking to improve myself :)
I know I have several issues that I need to learn to control and use for better purposes, or just not to do at all, here are a couple of them. First off, I have the need to always be right...problem is, about 90% of the time I am, causes quite a conundrum for me! Because along with this need to always PROVE I'm right is my obsessively competitive nature, more on that in a bit. I'm a well educated person that loves to constantly learn and know what is going on in the world around me, so I do know a lot, but the problem is...I don't ALWAYS have to show that I'm right. What purpose does it serve, other than to stroke my ego, to prove I know the answers to a lot of things? There is a place and a time to share information, and THAT'S what I need to remember, if people ask me if I know the answer for something, or it fits in with a conversation that's fine, but I need to not interject and make a point out of knowing what I do if it isn't serving a higher purpose to help others learn...this is my challenge and one I will be actively working on.
Now, back to the obsessively, intensely, competitive nature...this one is a toughy for me. I've been this way as long as I can remember, ask my family, they get a lot of laughs at my expense over this one! They love to think up stupid challenges just to be entertained because they know I won't back down from any of them, hahaha!
Here is an example of how ridiculous I can be, I tend to lose a little control when competition and adrenaline get together, lethal combination for my nature, haha! On my 40th birthday I went mountain biking at the local trail, I was feeling super strong and had on my Strava biking app where other bikers can compete against each other for the fastest times on the trail. Well, I knew I was on a PR time and the adrenaline was through the roof...that's what happens when I get competitive, waaaaayyyy too much adrenaline. So, I come around one of the last corners before the end of the trail, and next thing I know I'm off my bike sitting in the middle of the trail in a sandy patch. I looked around and realized my front tire must have hit the gnarly, crossed up root in that corner at just the wrong angle and launched me into the sand...well, no time to worry about that, I needed to quickly hop back on my bike and finish my PR Ride! So, I went to stand up and my left foot completely gave out from under me...what the heck? There was no pain, nothing, just was not able to use my foot, it was completely collapsed. So, I started hollering for my husband and other biking friends who I could hear in the parking lot talking. They immediately knew something was wrong and came running, my husband got to me first...and here's the really stupidly, awful competitiveness kicking in overtime...I literally tell him to take my backpack that had my phone with the Strava app still running, and tell him to quickly run past the finish of the trail (just around the corner) so I would get the full ride with my fastest times....yeah....pretty.bad. He of course looked at me like I was a lunatic, and rightly so, and kudos to him for telling me no, even when I insisted...well, it ended up that I broke my foot in three places and needed plates and screws. But, here is where my competitive nature actually helped me, I didn't stop riding my bike once my foot healed, I got right back on and wasn't going to let the fear of getting hurt hold me back. I love to mountain bike and wasn't going to let a little setback like that stop me, but I did learn my lesson to not be so ridiculously stupid with it, that's just plain dumb, haha!! But, it does give you an idea of the extent of my competitiveness and how I CLEARLY need to learn to control it, before it gets me into more serious trouble.
I also need to NEVER, ever again, play Monopoly with my significant other, that is just asking for trouble, haha!! You can ask my daughter Aroon and her friend Alissa...I think we traumatized her. It was NOT a "family time" moment, that's for sure, it was very cold, out for blood competition between me and my ex and didn't end well. I don't think he and I spoke to each other for the rest of the night...so I learned my lesson with that one, just.don't.do.it...DON'T.
I have been able to successfully use my competitive nature as an athlete, both as a kid with running, and even as an adult with mountain biking, and within my business, without causing harm to others. But, there are instances where I do stupid stuff in the name of competitiveness or get competitive with people I shouldn't...these are the situations I have to be wary of and instead focus my competitive nature on positively growing and building my art business to be the most successful I can...this will be my competitive focus (along with sports) for the most part going forward, turning what can easily be a negative for me into a positive :)
By looking within ourselves and our actions we can understand who we are and how we can fix ourselves, if we never delve deeper and acknowledge our faults we can't fix them. It's not always easy to dig deep and face the parts of ourselves that need to be worked on, but we can't be the person we should be and deserve to be if we deny ourselves that insight.
By speaking out loud about our faults, and sharing with others, it makes us really look deep into how we can better ourselves and hopefully inspire people to do the same for themselves...share your story!. We should always be striving to grow and mature throughout our entire lives, we are always a work in progress, just like my art :)
I'm finally back in Florida after spending the last 3 out of 4 weeks in Alaska, the 2nd trip was to escape Irma's wrath! So thankful everything is fine here in Miami, feeling so blessed that both my apartment and studio came through unscathed and I can get back to my new life here :)
I had a lot of realizations and clarity come to me on this last trip to Alaska, in such a way that I can truly move forward and explore a new life full of adventures, new people and being the strong, empowered woman I am. Nothing is holding me back any longer and I feel I am in a position to now help other women realize their full potential and inspire and motivate us all to reach for the stars!!
Before I left to Alaska I had just finished up this 3'x3' painting "The Power of the Moon". This painting is part of my enlightenment series where I have created a new set of symbols that empower us to find enlightenment in everything around us. I used my "moon/gravity enlightenment" symbol for this painting, see the circular black and white drawing below and find it within the painting 😊😊I created this symbol to inspire us to find enlightenment through forces outside of ourself. We all now how much power the moon has on our planet, how it pulls the tides in and out and creates light for us during darkness. I personally notice changes in myself when there is a full moon, particularly that I have a more difficult time sleeping, without fail every month for several days.
This got me to thinking about how we allow so many outer forces to dictate how we live our lives, and give more control to certain things, and people, than others. We can't avoid things, thoughts and people having an effect on us, but what we CAN control is who and what we surround ourselves with and make sure we have positivity in every aspect of our lives. There are times however, like me with difficulty sleeping during a full moon, that we don't have control over, but we DO have control over how we respond and act to those situations. We can either fight it and create negative energy in our lives, or look for the positives in the situation and find ways to learn and grow from those experiences. I've come to recognize the issue with sleeping and the moon and know that it is only temporary; and if I feel the need to take a nap to make up for my sleeples nights, I do, and I don't let it stop me from carrying on in a normal way, I just take the extra time to rest if needed. I have learned that most negative things in life are temporary and we shouldn't give such things power over us, for they will soon be gone and nothing but a distant memory. There is no need to spend valuable time and energy dwelling on things that won't last, instead focus on the important things in life that create positive energy and happiness, make those things permanent aspects of your life.
I hope this painting, and my moon/gravity enlightenment symbolism, will help you rethink what positive and negative influences and forces you allow into your life. Create positive energy within yourself, which will radiate unto others, and respond to all outside influences with positivity.
In addition to the moon/gravity symbol there are other symbols throughout the painting that I use frequently, such as the floral "true love" symbol. Be positive, stay true to yourself and embrace life and love.
I will be doing a blog post soon with more in depth details on my Enlightenment series, the symbols and their meanings. Created on a 36"x36" Genie Canvas.
So strange to think that 25 years ago, a week before Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida, I had packed all my belongings into one suitcase, had $150 in my pocket and hopped on a plane from Alaska, followed by a greyhound bus from Seattle headed to Orlando. I had no idea where I was going to live, no job in place, I didn't even know a single soul in Florida, but I was young, fearless and carefree, ready for a new adventure!
Here I am 25 years later with Irma bearing down on South Florida, where I just moved to. And I have the same sense of being fearless and carefree. I feel life has come full circle in many ways in my life.
3 months ago I ended my marriage and relationship with the man I was married to for 21 years, and have known since I first moved to Florida, and the father of the light of my life, my daughter Aroon. I left everything behind in Daytona Beach, Fl, and moved to Miami Beach (where my daughter was already living). I went back to Daytona a month ago to get my studio and that was all I have brought with me to start over. I literally had nothing but a small bag when I first headed to Miami. I had no idea where I was going to live down there, how I was going to set up my studio, nothing, but I needed to make this change for my sanity, health and soul.
I have since set up an apartment where I had to buy absolutely everything, I had nothing from my life with my Ex, I didn't want any of it, or the painful memories. I also have a beautiful, inspiring studio 2 blocks from the beach. But, here I am, back in Daytona, once again leaving everything behind, watching as Irma bears down on Florida, this time with the possibility that there will be nothing left of my new life...but you know what, I'M OKAY WITH IT. And it's because all of what is in miami is just things...even my paintings are physical things, and I can always create more 😊😊😊
It's such a powerful feeling to let go of the attachment to things, they just aren't important in the overall scheme of our lives. We need to release our fear of losing THINGS, and focus on our relationships with people, and our faith and purpose. "Things" detract and distract from living a fulfilling life...release the fear, and embrace living through enlightenment of who you are and what meaning your life has, and who is important to you. Free yourself from materialism and toxic relationships, instead focus on people who truly love and care about you, surround your life with positivity to Live Your Best Life.
Please stay safe all my fellow Floridians, praying for all of you and your family and friends. We will get through this, we are survivors, each and every one of us in our own way, dont ever forget that 💖💕💗💞
My heart is with all of you, Stay Strong and Hold Fast.
Every now and then someone will contact me about a painting they saw online and ask if it is still available, and more often than not the painting has already sold. This is true of one of my most popular paintings from 2008, "Aqua Burn", it sold in 2008, but prints are available of it. A recent, new collector, reached out to see if it was possible to similarly recreate it. I was more than happy to do so, since I haven't painted anything from my Circle of Life painting in months! I always enjoy revisiting certain styles and colors, and this is one of my favorite color combinations for any style or painting.
The original "Aqua Burn" was created on an 18"x24" canvas, but the new collector wanted a much larger size and we settled on a 60"x48" Genie Canvas. I always love to paint oversized, it's challenging and the effect of larger paintings is so impressive once hung. Here is a compilation video of the painting in process and finished hanging up in it's new home.
Below are pics of the painting hanging in it's new home in the mountains of Montana ( I lived in Montana for the first 5 years of my life :). The beautiful mountain scene is what the painting sees looking out the window, how magnificent and beautiful is that?!
It's amazing how well such a colorful, contemporary painting can fit in with the wild rustic beauty of the collectors home they describe as "Mountain refined with log accents". It's as though they were made for each other! It is always such a thrill to see my art hanging in it's new home, it's as if a part of me gets to travel around the world through my art.