Young at Heart

October is “Adopt-a-Pet” month. It’s the perfect time to order an original watercolor Pet Portraits. Today I’m sharing one of my recent Hawaiian-style Pet Portraits. They're also available in the true colors of your pet.

I live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, but Keanu and I both love animals. About two years ago, we heard a tiny mew coming from a drainage ditch behind our house.

It took a few weeks for us to find the kitten living there and calling to his mom.

I like to start the portraits by painting the eyes, nose, and mouth.
If I can get that right, the rest is sure to follow suit.

Alas, we found the kitten too late to save him, but we were able to capture and spay his mother.

“Mommie Cat” remains our feral cat today. I suspect she once belonged to a student in the neighborhood who either couldn’t find her when it was time to move or couldn’t take her along.

Mommie doesn’t want us to touch her, but she expects, and receives, food and water whenever she asks.

“Mommie” has a boyfriend, “Tom," who’s part of the package deal. We haven’t been able to capture him, but I suspect his “tom-catting days” are numbered. He’s a beautiful, but a scrawny specimen of a once handsome cat.

Our pets carry within them seeds of love and sprinkle them freely on our days.

It’s been said that domesticated dogs, unlike wolves from whom they’re descended, remain puppies their whole lives. They never fully mature into full-grown, “I can take care of myself” animals.

The play behavior exhibited by all baby animals turns into much-needed survival skills by wild animals.

Our pets rely on us for their care, allowing them to remain young at heart.

Our pets keep us young at heart with the ever-present love they convey in a myriad of ways.

“Puppy-dog” eyes are eyes filled with love — and sometimes a question. When we respond with approval, a “smile” engulfs the entire countenance of our pet.

The love our pets bestow upon us and stir within us, far outweighs the cost of food, shelter, and medical attention we provide.

If you’re able, I hope you’ll go to your nearest pet shelter and take a new pet/friend home with you. Or volunteer your time to walk a dog, or foster some tiny kittens or puppies too young to be adopted.

ONCE you find the “love-of-your-life-pet” remember that when you order one of my pet portraits, whether a realistic one or Hawaiian-style one, $25 goes directly to the Humane Society.

Growing Pains = Growing Gains

In the last 18 years, I’ve learned a lot about these wonderful islands and all that grows here. My painting style continues to evolve along with my vision of what I want to paint.

Along the way, I’ve developed a passion for writing and have begun to nurture this skill.

My creative writing began with an idea for a children’s story that popped into my head a few years ago.

Federspiel-Stately-MouseWeb.jpg, Meet Mouse Childrens Book

I’ve never had kids, so where did this come from? I’m not sure and who cares!

Whenever we start something new, we face a new learning curve. It starts out pretty steep. It takes perseverance and trust to keep us facing that uphill slope.

It doesn’t matter how often we’ve faced a similar slope, each new incline brings a fresh set of inner and outer challenges and opportunities to be met.

Have you heard of Inner Critics? I learned about them from SARK last year.

Inner Critics are the voices in our head trying to keep us safe.

Unfortunately, they do so by telling us that we don’t know what the heck we’re doing, or that we don’t have time to learn what we want to do or myriad other problems that are sure to get in our way.

Inner Critics flourish in times of growth. Fortunately, I learned methods to handle them.

In addition to a diverse band of inner critics, I've got an insatiable drive to learn, to grow, and to expand out of my creative comfort zone.

I bore easily.

My race to mastery of anything is futile. Once within touching distance of reaching a goal, I start to look for a new creative mountain to climb, or a new way to paint something or a new subject matter to tackle.

I’m currently facing challenges on several fronts: subject matter, creative skill sets, and internal “upper limit issues”.

AND my desire to have FUN is more important than being consumed with my ingrained Midwestern work ethic.

How can I have fun doing all that I want to do?

Be on the lookout for something “new-ish” in the months to come.

Telling you something new is "afoot" is my way of ensuring that I stick to my new adventures and continue this current uphill climb on my life-long rollercoaster ride of living life creatively, from the inside out.

Weaving a Journey

Weaving a Journey

We each weave a journey through life — picking up threads as we meet people, move about, and change directions. Enjoy the tapestry of your life, remembering that it will shift and change as you go.

Read More

Spirit of the Land

Kilauea Volcano on the island of Hawaii has been "actively-active" since 1983. It’s in the news today because it’s created a new path of eruption, disrupting lives and claiming homes.

I first experienced the majesty of Kilauea in January 2000, during my first trip to the islands.


I painted this oil of my friend Kit at the volcano after that first trip.

Watching lava move across the land is like watching an otherworldly life force. The energy is palpable, HOT, magical, and very, VERY alive.

Pele in "She Walks the Earth"

Five volcanoes make up the big island of Hawaii. Kilauea is the busiest of the three active volcanoes.

You might wonder why anyone lives on or near an active volcano. The answer is not as simple as you might think.

Pele as "Birth of an Island"

The islands have been inhabited for about 1,500 years. (Westerners first arrived about 240 years ago; we’re the “newbies”.)

Generations of families have grown up on all of the islands. This is HOME to them. This is not their first rodeo — or their first volcano-induced evacuation.

You might as well wonder why people live in northern climates of WI or Canada or the heat and bugs of the Deep South or even in North Korea.

We are people of the lands that call to us, that welcome us, the lands that we know and love; often the lands where we grow up.

The people living on Hawaii Island have a strong, sincere reverence for the land and the sea they call home.

Time and again I’ve heard those displaced by the volcano accept their fate with dignity, faith, and an understanding that most would find astonishing.


Most indigenous cultures understand that the land doesn’t really belong to us.

Madam Pele (the goddess of the volcano) shows her hand by continuing to create this land before our very eyes and in our midst. She has exclusive rights and we must accept her creative whims.

The Art of Aloha Creative Cruise this August will stop in Hilo for a day before sailing around the southern tip of Hawaii Island to dock in Kona the next day.

Pele claimed most of the southern tip of Hawaii Island awhile back. Those of us on the cruise were hoping to see her spill into the ocean there. None of us want to see homes ravaged by lava.

We have room for two more people on this very special island cruise. If the islands are calling to you, please act today! Click HERE

I promise a trip you’ll always remember.
The Spirit of the Land is tangible here.

If you want an infusion of creativity and trust that we will continue to survive and even thrive during any upheaval in life, this trip is for you!