The Mystery of Mastery

I took a yoga class on January 2nd with a new teacher. Soraya teaches Kundalini yoga, using a gong and card decks to add dimension to the class. She mentioned that 2018, in numerology, is a year of Mastery.

Mastery sounds extremely important on the surface.

Mastery is fluid. It’s not easily pinned down, nor is it an endpoint.

Still, a year of mastery sounds exciting and I quickly thought, "This could be MY Year”! Whatever that means.

As Soraya guided us in a meditation, I felt blue butterflies encircling my head. Could this be a sign of Mastery? After all, butterflies have transformed from caterpillars into an entirely new state of being.

Did you know that while in the cocoon, caterpillars turn into a messy goo that resembles neither a caterpillar nor a butterfly? If the process is interrupted, the butterfly never forms.

Similarly, if the cocoon or chrysalis is tampered with while the butterfly is emerging, the wings are deprived of nutrients and never fully form. The struggle to emerge is essential to the proper growth of strong wings.

All this is a preamble to my latest Tree Diva: Mastery and Mystery. She was first imagined in that January yoga class.

I began painting her January 10th, a day that was filled with frustration. I knew I wanted to begin this painting and I was afraid to start — how could I possibly live up to her potential?

I felt frustrated and frenzied. My time was tugged in different directions by tasks that “had to be done” that day.

I finally shoved paperwork out of my way and just began to draw her — with my eyes closed (that’s a first). I started with her left arm; I wanted her energy to enliven the painting right from the start.

Of course, I erased and redrew parts of her before I was ready to paint, but for the most part, she came together smoothly.

I was excited to see her healthy root structure! This is the first time a tree diva’s roots are showing.

Having a strong foundation is essential for life.

I recently started to work with a personal trainer at the gym. I’ve been experiencing some problems with my right hip and decided this is the next step in my healing process.

My first goal at the gym is to strengthen my legs (my roots). I’ll continue to take yoga classes as well to maintain and enhance my flexibility. Both are necessary for continued vitality.

Reaching a goal once is not Mastery!

Replicating our achievements more than once, and then moving our target out just a little further, keeps us moving toward mastery.

I’m not ready to claim mastery, and will continue to work with the mysteries of life.

I love the magic!

Inner Wise Self, Part II

Inner Wise Self, Part II

Being a lifetime learner is a great thing. It means we continue to grow, and our brains remain active and alive. Neuroplasticity is the technical term. Yet we're not meant to get stuck in the Learning Mode. Instead, Learning is meant to fuel Doing which in turn fuels Learning. It's cyclical!

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Meet Stuart

Stuart is always ready to play — ball or just about anything else. His little body is filled with love and he was a joy to paint!

When entrusted to paint a member of anyone's fur family, I start with a good pencil drawing. I want to get him or her situated on the page just right.

First I paint the eyes. Next I paint the nose and add a little more love to the eyes.

The eyes, those windows to the soul, really need to shine forth.

You'll see me smile while I paint these loving pets. I feel their love and I express my love for them back into the painting.

When I'm pleased with the realistic features of the pet, I begin to play with color for the rest of the body. This is done in stages.

Sometimes I'm asked to paint a pet in realistic colors. These are just as much fun and as much of a challenge as the colorful portraits; I love painting them just as much as the colorful pets.

When painting in "Hawaiian-style" colors, I work to capture the nature of the pet with a joyful rainbow of colors.

Any white lines between the colors show where the pencil lines were. They help me to remember the different planes of the face and the shifting of the color value I want to paint. I carefully paint around the lines so they can be erased when the painting is dry.

The background comes last and is meant to highlight the portrait of the pet.

If you can feel the love of the pet, and the love I felt for and from the pet while I was painting it, the portrait is a success.

Stuart is one tiny, compact bundle of BIG loving energy!

Who DO you think you ARE?

Who DO you think you ARE?

I had a great time being photographed by Jeremy DeWeese last month. It was SO much FUN! And then I got self-conscious about the experience. Silly Me! Human Me! What a GREAT experience!

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Why Paint?

Why Paint?

Paint to relax, to clear your mind, to open your eyes, to see more of the world around you, to unwind, to enjoy more of life, to refresh your spirit, to give you a stable footing in the world, to round out your life, to have FUN.

Simply Paint.

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Taking Time to Play

Taking Time to Play

"I've looked at trees from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow. It's trees illusions I recall, I really don't know trees at all." A special thank you, call out, and begging of forgiveness for changing the words, to Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins!

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