February 4, 2016

Show me the small amazing things

Show me the small amazing things
oil on canvas
12" x 12"


As my schedule is filling up, I have somehow added more time for painting. 

It is very indicative of the need to make things. 

My need to make things. 

The less time I have, the more necessary it feels to produce the things I want say. 
Or see. 

Both really. 


I go to school until 10 pm some nights of the week. It buries my brain. 

I am trying to learn a language and how to comprehend, transfer and reformulate messages. 

(Sign Language Interpretation) 

It takes all the mental energy I have. 

But that exhaustion somehow makes my work more vibrant. 

and it puts me in a raw place more often. 

In my work with people of all abilities. 

This work will always keep me focused on the deep and important things in life. 
because of all the people involved.
their hearts. 

It is a liberating place to be really.

I feel like we are all looking for a place to be richly authentic. 
And I get to do that several times a week. For that, I realize how fortunate I am.

 To get to absorb this richness in life. The real meaning. I think. 

To find love through understanding. 

I told you I was walking around in a raw place. 


Here are a couple shots from artists at Milk River Arts talking about art. 
talking about 

Their Work.

integrated career-focused support for artists with special needs through professional studio practice and exhibition opportunities.

One of the artists turned all the way around in his seat when we were talking about his. 

Takes some getting used to...

Addressing your own work.

your insides are exposed. 

But the beauty of letting that happen. The next level that takes you to- WORTH IT.


February 1, 2016

I just want to see things, and love them.

Everything is complicated. 

I just want to see things, and love them. 

2' x 2' 
oil on canvas


January 28, 2016

artists. and glorious escaping things.

One of my students was having a hard time narrowing down what they wanted to say in a project. 

Her paper was covered in ideas. 

She said.. I just have so much to say. 

and put her head down.

I said, me too. 

That's why I am an artist. 

It is impossible to only hold onto the hard things. The glorious ones are bound to escape.
oil on canvas
12" x 12"

January 7, 2016

There is, of course, the option to fly.

There is, of course, the option to fly. 

12" x 12" 
oil on canvas 


December 23, 2015

Christmas. and a little SALE on one piece.

Christmas gets crazy because so many people are trying to show their love appropriately. 

I think that is amazing really. 

There is so much complaining about how wild it gets. and busy. 

But it can be exactly what you want it to be. 

The pressure is self-applied. 

My mom and I had too much to do this week, but we realized we were in the same area of town and got lunch. 
 it took an hour to get our food. We lamazed through the wait. HAHAHA. We had to laugh. 
We considered it a Christmas intervention. 

Being together. 

In the same spirit, social media is always looking like CHEER TOWN USA. but I don't think it is hypocrisy at all. 
Some people get very jaded and it annoys them. 

Not me. 

I see all of that as hope. 

It is what people want, even if they don't have everything completely perfect right now. 

No one ever will. 

But we can have moments of insane joy and thankfulness and love. 

So showing that is fine by me. 

I see it as good. 


I am very thankful for a lot of things in my life right now. 

I am also easily overcome with the reality of obstacles and the work that needs to happen. 

But right now there is a dog in the studio. So, if you see a picture of him on social media it doesn't mean everything is perfect. 
It means everything is perfect right at that very moment. 

Merry Christmas. 

I will be waiting for this little angel of a niece. 

December 18, 2015

Also. I painted a bee.

Also. I painted a bee.

and that is the title. 

10" x 10"
oil on canvas


December 17, 2015

In the midst of a wild winter.

In the midst of a wild winter. 

Winter Bluebird. SOLD
12" x 12" 
oil on canvas

little bluebird detail.

Winter Cardinal. SOLD
12" x 12" 
oil on canvas

 little cardinal detail.

the sparkly winter lights come on earlier. 

December 11, 2015

There is so much feeling while we are here.

Things are so much bigger than we realize. 

There is such a gravity to these moments that we feel on our own 
little tiny level. 

our personal islands aren't islands at all. 

They are connected to everyone around us. 

I am thankful. 

I am thankful that I am exposed to how big things are. how amazing things can be. 

and with that comes feeling the other things too. 

How painful things can be. how dark things can seem. 

Sometimes that gets me into trouble. Usually it does. 

I feel other people's pain too much. 
And not in a super honorable way... sometimes almost the opposite. I apply it to myself. 

I hear you. and then I too am in your place. 

I have to shake it. 

But I don't know that it's really bad either. 

It is who I am. 

Feeling makes me who I am and usually it pushes me to love people and make things. 
but with every superpower comes some challenges.


In classes I teach lately we are talking about acceptance. 

Which includes accepting yourself. 



It is so easy to write off cheesy expressions. beautiful flowery words. sad song lyrics.  

But they often mean very real things. and someone like me probably wrote them down. 

Someone with a lot of feelings. 

We don't know what to do with all of them. 

Maybe that is why I collect jars and glasses. Maybe I am trying to find places to put all of the things I hold onto. 


Most of them I like. Most all of them I love.
some of them I need to put down.

I LOVE that I carry my dad with me. I love that I could cry in one second when I think of how wonderful he was and is (inside me). and how much I wish he were here. 
sometimes I could just throw something across the room at how permanent death is. How that moment of loss goes by, but then some of us feel it forever. just like the first day. 

I LOVE that my friend's sick baby is on my heart. Heavy. Because it connects us more genuinely. Because it connects me as a friend to her and Because it reminds me that God is in control and we are forced to fly so we should fly Together. 

I LOVE that I feel crazy full working with people who have different abilities. That it makes my heart beat fast. And it also makes me want to cry because when my insides are full... those feelings have to shoot out somehow. and I haven't figured out how to shoot rainbows out of my eyeballs yet. 


The work I am doing in school is humbling. 
It is challenging and sometimes gives me migraines. 

maybe balancing school and work and life is the hard part. 

especially since the work I am doing in school directly relates to what I care about. It all feels very important. 

When I am exhausted, I am the most open to experiencing love from the people around me. 

I think I hugged my co-teacher the other day way past a normal length of time. and then I collapsed onto her like I was 7. And it was like. mmmmmmm. I am so cared for. 

Life is strange.

The rocky parts and the raw parts. 

There is so much feeling while we are here. 

I am doing a lot of that. 

but there are also so many opportunities to be better. 

That part, I am trying to do. 
To tie accepting little bows around all of the things. but to put some away.

There is so much feeling while we are here. 
$ 715.00 
2' x 2' oil on canvas


December 4, 2015

November 11, 2015

Life happens

I always start blog posts after long breaks with some comment about how I have been away. Then I erase those comments because that stuff is annoying and doesn't matter/ is uninteresting. 


This time I am not going to go back and erase all this. Part lazy and part- 

sometimes things take a back seat.
 and if it isn't due tomorrow, it takes a back seat. 
no matter what it is. 

except that does not apply to WHO it is. 

People always trump things

So I spend time with my people. because it is the most important thing. 

in the world. ever. 

My dad used to ask me to sit on the porch and look up at the sky when I was on my way somewhere. And I did not always do it. In fact. I probably rarely did. 

So. I am forever going by that now.  


This post
feels like you can see my floor covered with laundry on it and the spider web that is directly to the left of me
under my vanity. 

SPIDERS ARE FRIENDS. and it was just Halloween so.

Why am I on the floor? Because it is after midnight and I had a project due at midnight which involved video taping myself and for some reason I get the best results sitting on the floor and placing my laptop on a bucket. 

(I am back in school to become an American Sign Language Interpreter) 

One of the only subjects that requires you to not turn into a pumpkin late at night because you are visible in your homework.

I just reapplied makeup at 11:45pm because there was a zit on my chin distracting from my work. 


Halloween just happened and I spent more time on my new niece's costume than my own because she was just born
 and hung the moon. 

Since she worked so hard to put a giant star in the night time sky,
I made her Alice in Wonderland outfit. 

Best part about my sewing is the inside of it. There may as well be a village of tiny gnomes holding the garment together. BUT. 



And I did dress up. of course.
Donatello and Raphael.

made me wish I was a ninja more days out of the year.


I have been painting.

Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. 

title is a Winston Churchill quote. 
2' x 2' oil on canvas $785.00


I am also heavily consumed by LIVE ART classes. HAPPILY. 

I genuinely love that job. and the students. 
Also I am busy with MILK RIVER ARTS. more about that soon. but here one of the artists talks about why ....


I walked around a museum with this artist last week where she said over and over that she could look at art 24/7. and when she sat in front of pictures she went "inside" of them. 

I was inspired a lot last week. 

And challenged.  

I am constantly challenged by experiences in class and in the studio that change how I think. how I act. and how I appreciate life. 

It sounds cheesy if you weren't there. But, if you were, you would be like... mmmm. 



I am focused more on connecting with human beings.
When I remember my priorities.

I work with a population of people in many different aspects of life who face different challenges.

and by challenges I mean, they communicate differently, they have different physical needs, etc.

I also cannot always talk directly about specific people I work with which makes it hard to explain how powerful things are some days.

That is the only reason I want to share everything. Because the people I work with are fantastic.


 I work with an artist who has no arms and legs.

And if that sentence doesn't move you to a different place in your mind right now, then go back and read it again. 

I say that because he is faced with the opportunity to overcome a challenge almost every minute. 

and that challenge often is patience. because when I am pushing him around to look at art, I am constantly asking him what he wants to do and where he wants to go and how long he wants to be there. 

So, patience... with me!

But man. He is a talented artist with more patience than many people I know. And, that shows in his line work and his rhythmic style.

His work is detailed and crisp.


Last weekend I was drumming on a bucket in a class that I get to teach with on Saturday. And I was smiling the entire time to the maximum amount of smile I have in me. 

12 students at a time were drumming while the rest of the class danced. 

For a second we were all totally consumed in the moment.
And that is hard for young students to do.

but they do it.


And school for me is at night during the week.

It is overwhelming because it is fast moving and it is challenging. 

But I feel like it is the right place for me.

Uncomfortable feels normal at this point.

And I like wearing a backpack.


today. I had a lot due and I stopped by my friend's house.
And I stayed a lot longer than I planned. 

And that was on my to do list. 

I just didn't know it yet.

Sometimes you need to connect. and support each other.
just by being around.

Most people are fighting something pretty significant.

and time is precious.



So 1 am can just simmer down.

i love music. almost more than everything.