who does she think she is?

Caroline Graham teaching

This past weekend I took a workshop at Houston Art League with 11 other women. The workshop was called, “Painting People from Photographs.” As with all workshops I learned a lot from Caroline Graham, our instructor, but what was most profound was being in the presence of these women who were at all different stages of their painting skills but yet they chose to come & spend their weekend working on their craft, in the presence of other women. They left their families, children, husbands, chores, & homes to paint on canvases. Who do they think they are?  – following their passion.

etherial & Klimt like

Then this week I found the Netflix DVD, Who Does She Think She Is? in my mailbox & just loved it. I highly recommend it, it’s not only interesting but eye-candy for the artists soul.

The movie is a documentary filled with interviews of women artists & what it is like juggling family, home, & studio time. It shows how spouses often get jealous & feel as if they are less important than the art. I loved how Maye Torres from Taos said, that her ex-husband didn’t come second to her art, but that her art was who she is, without her expressing herself on paper & in sculpture she wouldn’t be fully herself. It’s not that her art was separate from her or just something she did. It is who she is. I really resonated with that idea.

Click here for a great video trailer of the movie & the website. http://www.whodoesshethinksheis.net/


updated version . . .

i birthed a beautiful being (finished . . i think)

So I think I’m done with her for now. I lightened her face a bit, added more details & it feels good. One of the ideas i was playing with was using different tones of white. I had some warm whites & a cooler white-painted around her to make it a little more dynamic. I actually learned about that idea from an article in a magazine about Flea Market Decorating where this woman had a house of different shades of white. It doesn’t exactly show up in this photo but the actual painting is distinctly different. I also like the contrast of the paint against the charcoal. It gives it a gritty sort of dirty imperfect feel.

Now to move onto the next painting.

Thanks for witnessing this journey with me. Blogging makes me feel not so much a lone on this path.

Big Love,


i birthed a beautiful being . . .

I birthed a beautiful being

This is my newest painting – well it’s a charcoal with paint around it. I call it, “I Birthed a Beautiful Being.”

I’m not quite done with her but I put her on my wall anyway, to sit with for awhile.  I love her body but her face is causing me a lot of grief, but oh well, I’ll keep on it.  This is the evolution of her.

1st sketch

Phase 2

I birthed a beautiful being

Words on Painting

The words are, “I birthed a beautiful being. I fed that beautiful being with my breasts. My baby is a miracle. My body is a miracle. I will honor me for the miracle that is me.”

I have to say it is so freeing to create without thinking about selling it or if someone will want to buy it or not. It changes everything. Since I embarked on my path of devoting the next 5 years to the study & practice of creativity in every form that ignites me, much has changed. I can see my skills getting better & I have a better grasp of how to approach a project with more confidence & not just guessing. I have a loooong way to go. It’s only been about 8 months, so while it is fun being in the process & seeing my progress, I can’t wait to look back & see where my journey has taken me! Okay, okay, I know . . . for now I will stay in the moment & enjoy la dolce vita!!!

For now, I’m going to work on lightning up her face!









my talisman

I made this!!

I was inspired by the jewelry in the recent Sundance Catalog, primarily with Jes Maharry’s necklaces, that I wanted to create one for myself. Now the difference, of course, is she makes all her charms & I bought mine in a little bead shop in Santa Fe (which was a fun adventure in itself). I was a little out of practice with working with wire & beads, so it took a few tries to come up with this.

I call this “my true nature.”  It has all the elements I feel are truly me; a blossoming flower, a flying bird, a sea turtle, different wires, all the elements, all the colors, combined to create contrast & intrigue.  It was put together a bit clumsily, not perfect (I can be a perfectionist around imperfection – don’t want to offend the Gods & all) There is a swirl, showing the constant movement inward. And I love the cloisonné bead & vintage bird design – perhaps these depict my old soul-ness. Anyways, it was fun & frustrating making, but I love the end result & I’m excited to start on my next one.

My true nature necklace


my reminder



therapy & a yellow umbrella

After my therapy session at the VA yesterday, I wanted to journal a bit about what we talked about & ponder some ideas – perhaps dive a little deeper into them. (I love my therapist BTW, she is perfect for her job & truly brilliant). We talked about a lot of things that have been difficult lately; how it’s hard to break through my depression some of the times, how it’s hard to switch from my right-brain-creative-space to my left-brain-time-to-prepare-dinner-&-take-care-of-the-family-space. Also, I just feel stuck in a place of not doing what I know I should be doing to have the experience I want to have – things like health, spiritual wellbeing, joy, etc.

yellow umbrella

Dr. Beckner listened & asked a lot of questions, but the question that sat with me in the end was, what has worked for me in the past? So I went to Antidote, a coffee shop near my house, pondering what has worked to shake me from a funk & i couldn’t stop looking at this large yellow umbrella outside the window. Next i noticed the couch i was sitting on was yellow & i couldn’t help but start photographing everything i noticed that was yellow. It’s now been about 24 hours & i’m still photographing yellow.

Oh & i thought of some things that have worked in the past that don’t involve moving to another country or state, or giving away everything i own & going to war.

Listening to Abraham regularly & applying what they teach has worked remarkably. Getting a clear vision of the life i want to live & seeing clearly the life i am living – the full, richness of it, the love & the depth of love & play in our house has pulled me out of the deepest funks in the past. Basically it boils down to focusing on what i want & not on what is not going well, or how blah & funky i feel. It’s focusing on what we have, what we have created, how juicy it feels & just relishing in that, has always worked well.

I had crazy scary dreams last night, actually more disturbing than scary & i woke with a distant feeling, as if a part of me was still in that world, not wanting to leave just yet. So i sipped my coffee in a spaced out state waiting for the nanny to arrive, then i went for a walk in the rain (as you know, i LoVE the rain).  I photographed yellow, got wet, savored the 85 plus degree air, all while listening to Abraham on my iPhone. I feel much better, i feel the shift.

Here’s my compilation of yellow (why yellow? I’m not sure except that I love green so much & can we know the fullness of green without yellow? Can we know green at all without yellow?):


yellow umbrella


yellow umbrella

the couch


another angle of yellow



yellow veneer


just a touch

hanging marigolds


near beer mosaic


birthday balloon


yellowing vine

sprayed yellow


yellow poles

yellow sea star


my rain boots






love these thunder thighs

loved til the end

I painted this from a photo of me & then exaggerated the thighs a bit, not much, but enough. I love her audacious movement. I call it, “Loved Until the End.” she seems to be like someone with the confidence, strength & beauty to be loved until the end of time. I think she is definitely a member of the Clan of the Thunder Thighs but check it out for yourself. (http://heatherbarron.blogspot.com/ ) I’m not quite finished with her just yet, but I wanted to share anyways. I’ll keep you all posted on how she turns out.

The piece to the right is an assemblage I call, “Riper for Revolution.” It’s a swan tied to a silver spoon with wire & other doodads. I love doing assemblage & with this one started playing around with embossing metal. I made all sorts of designs, swirls, flowers, etc. It is fun.


ripe for revolution


I started this mixed media piece in 2004 & just picked it up again to work on it. The top squares are all photographs I took. I should take a few closer photographs so you can get a better looksy.


That’s it for now. I just got into Santa Fe, NM, so I want to get out & see the enchanted city.

wurlitzer on the 4th of July

This 4th of July we dropped by the Milroy Mansion for some barbeque  that had been cooking all night by the famous Doc Hawkins. He started the night before & stayed up all night tending to the fire. Doc is one of those characters that takes his barbeque seriously – he has one of those barbeques you pull around on a trailer. He enters contests & has been on the Food Network channel. Doc is also Larry’s chiropractor, that’s how they met – Doc looks a bit like Sam Elliot from Lonesome Dove & is the only chiropractor I know that smokes. He says he picked up the habit in the Navy & has never stopped, then he handed me a handful of peanut m&ms.

We swung by last night to check out how he puts together the brisket & to hang out. It turns out we got more than we expected & were pleasantly surprised to meet an odd clutch of characters & get a ride in the 59 Cadillac convertable. The only way I can paint the scene of the people & the space is to have you imagine a David Lynch movie with his odd-ness that usually leaves me scratching my head, saying, “huh?” or “hmmm.”

There was Allen who owns the Milroy Mansion & many mechanical musically machines too many to count. His historical mansion is filled to the brim with them. Incidentally he decided he was going to live in this house when he was three years old & he actually bought it when he was 30. I find that interesting, something about focus & having a visions.

He & I had a lot to talk about because when I was in high school I worked at Pizza & Pipes in Bellevue, WA where a Wurlitzer organ was played while people ate pizza. He was familiar with the place & knew the musicians that played the organ. He was also the owner of the 59 Cadillac that was once owned by Jaja Gabor, apparently bought for one of her lovers. Good story, I love objects with a good story.

The Romanian woman who listed every detail of her day with her 3 years & 8 months old daughter. Her child is learning three languages & three sports, all with private, focused lessons. And she asked with a drippingly sexy, Romanian accent, “what else besides swimming is your son in?” “Nothing,” I replied, “we are practicing the fine art of under achievement.” No, I didn’t, but I wish I had. I mean, what would she have said.

Then there is the Doc, looking a bit like a man who should have lived in Texas when it was still being tamed, much like “the Cowboy” in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.

It was an interesting party, both days, unfortunately no one but Allen would let me take a photo of them so instead I took photos of the Cadillac & the Musical Machines. I loved these machines with all their carvings & colors. They do give me a feeling of a carnival or an arcade, which is interesting & has a mysterious side. You know, behind the scenes something else is playing out, but up front it is all music lights & games. Kinda reminds me of the party & the space where it was held. There was a lot of mystery, but there was also this front of playfulness & fun. I have so many questions to ask.

wurlitzer player piano

music & pipes

Allen at the recording piano in Milroy Mansion

Imagine that! There is a piano that records your playing with holes in a role of paper and then plays back your music,

 100 years ago or so. That’s so cool.