December 5, 2014

little piles of hope.

I am collecting the little piles of hope from the floor of my room. and making them into things.

so then 

I wont trip on them. 

Hope is a beautiful thing. 

Hope is a powerful thing. 

Hope is invisible. 

But also. 

You can see it. 

                                                                24" x 24" acrylic on canvas $500.00


and in the spirit of hope.

I just learned that one of my all time favorite professors died yesterday.


Read about her here.

She won the Pulitzer Prize.

but will be remembered for her energy. breath. and inspiration.

She was my English Professor in college.

I sat in the front. and I usually did. But I leaned forward in her class.

I remember now that I went by her office and gave her a piece of art when I graduated. I wanted to show her how much she meant to me. It was a bird.  How amazingly ironic.

I thought she was magic. and she made me want to be something great.

to say great things.

She is responsible for my love of Ralph Waldo Emerson (appropriately)

and gave me more confidence and excitement in writing. and articulating.

because she was excited to teach us. She marched while she spoke. She moved around the classroom.

she was the real thing.


" Guys!" she smiled. out of breath.

"I was thinking about you today while on my walk around the lake...

I had an idea!"


and I knew it was authentic.

I love authentic people. who are smart. and full of life.

I was so sad to hear that she died yesterday. and suffered at all. because I would have loved to see her again. and I will eagerly be looking out for her poetry that will be published after her death.


I am definitely putting her in my backpack and continuing to carry her with me.

Thank you Professor Emerson.

I adore you.
your work.
your passion.
and your commitment to making this place better.


“I may not always be the smartest person in the room, but I am the most curious,” - Claudia Emerson.


December 3, 2014

People I want to high five.

Or who I want to attack. 

In a loving way. thats slightly too much. 

I know. 


are the people who DO THINGS. 

and I say this a lot.
But it is because I want to hang out with the people who 


and usually. usually. 

those people love. greatly. 

because thats how you figure it all out. 




I say I want to high five and attack these people because I think if we touch these people

 some of their work and their superpowerish dust will maybe transfer to us. or me. selfishly.
just some of it. 

and I also feel so ridiculously inspired by people.


Like my friend Alex Ginsberg-Whitbeck. who takes her social justice passion to the level of action.

Her creative arts program RVA Stories was presenting work and I just walked by the room because I was looking for my lost paint brushes.

so I walked by. and then walked in.

and before I knew it I was part of a free yoga class with students from area high schools who later presented work that revealed their inner struggles and environmental challenges.

so. she is doing things.

I hug her whenever I see her. You would too.

She also champions other people.

kind of the most amazing thing you can do with your power on this earth.

she will support you and your great things. she wants to see everyone succeed.

shes not in it for herself.


and my friend Lydia Buschenfeldt.

I should do an entire post on her. but she has them herself actually. a ton of them.

at her blog

(go there later. you will stay a while)

This is my friend from college. from art school. who became a teacher. found her passion. and was living it.

but see. she got hit with a virus of some sort. that literally changed her life.
her body.

she is in and out of the hospital and learning to live an entirely new life.
feeding tube. pacemaker. surgery after surgery. complication after complication.
very serious things.



she is one of the most beautiful human beings to walk the planet. who inspires me so much that I text her often. and usually. she is lifting me up.

only last time I was soaking up her wisdom as I found out she was headed in for surgery again that very next day. she mentions it as an afterthought.


because it isnt. All the crap thrown at her is not the real stuff. the mattering kind.

SURE IT IS DUMB AND PISSES ME OFF SEVERELY and no one should have to deal with so much ridiculous. painful. or life altering things.

she laughs in the face of medical tests.
hilarious things happen to her also.

and she puts others first.

she created a new business. at a time when she is fighting to restart.


"So teaching was my first try. 
I gave it my all, and I had big plans that went so severely off course.
But now I have big plans for health coaching, and my business, and although it’s not the road I planned, it is now the road I choose.

So I’m going to take a big ol' gulp of green juice.
I’m going to put on my big-kid pants.
I’m going to swim back to shore.

And I’m going to try again."


healthiest person I know.

and I laugh hysterically when I think of her painting cows in PaintingII.


Hatch Health and Happiness

I am so proud to know you.

to love you.

and I just found this when googling her. she doesnt tell people when things are about her. but look.

she kicks ass.

im loving this video:

shes gonna love the still frame AHAHAH.


I am inspired by people. and

by ideas. 

and therefore - most inspired- by 

ideas that make their way into reality. 

that took that little pillowcase sack. on a branch from a tree. walked down the interstate a while. and 

freaking went somewhere. 

usually you need to get on someones pick up truck. to make it somewhere.
(shameless plug to the best vehicle out there.)

but what I mean is. you go farther with someone.

so. teams are awesome.

teams are important.



You know the scariest thing. 

Starting something. 

You know the worst thing. 

Not starting something. 


and on that note. 

In my work right now. I am painting birds. so many birds. and honestly.  

It is the only thing I want to do. 

right now. 

but I am also simultaneously learning a lot and getting ready to make big things happen. 
I am lucky to have people around me itching to make projects. and try new things.
and support.


let me tell you something new


but it starts with something old

I teach students in an amazing program. I have mentioned it a million (and one) times.

I am one of MANY people who teach. and work in it.


LIVE ART is a groundbreaking, inclusive arts education program for students of all abilities.

some of my students are shy. 

some of my students like cats.

some of my students have Autism. 

some of my students make amazing creative choices.

some of my students are leaders. 

some of my students have Down Syndrome. 

some of my students have blonde hair. 

some of my students get tired fast. 

some of my students have William Syndrome. 

some of my students say poetic and deep things. 

some of my students have Cerebral Palsy.

some of my students have freckles.

some of my students process things in different ways. 

 some of my students are Deaf.

and I have always been excited about Deaf culture. and communication. sign language. all of it.

My college didn't offer ASL (American Sign Language) 

so I took a couple classes many years ago...

Just because.

and not realizing that I would have Deaf students years down the road.

But also realizing. that when you do things. there is usually a grand reason that makes sense later.


I knew enough to say hi and ask my students some questions. and talk to them a little.

(in class we have interpreters. usually at least two. and they are some of my favorite people)


But then. I just kind of fell into it and 

got better and 


I am going back to school. 
to study ASL formally. 

and mainly... I want to be able to communicate better. 
to have deeper conversations and. well. when my heart beats faster. I always listen to it. 


Thats how I landed at LIVE ART. 
Thats how I guide my art career.

image copyright Martin Montgomery

and now. 

im gonna buy new notebooks and pens. and sit in the front.

and it is going to be a lot of work.
But if something is a lot of work. it is usually worth it.
If something is hard. it is a big deal.


I am going to be reminding myself of this a lot in the Spring. 

Im kind of a crazy student. I never missed a class when I was in college. 
Im serious. 

people are shocked. 

(I did oversleep once for Sociology. and cried. ask my roommate Jameson. and I think I sat outside the door for the last ten minutes. because I am insane.) 

but the thing is- I love learning. 

I love when someone knows things. 



then. the things you know increase. and you can tell them to other people. 

and maybe do things with what you know and what you want to know. 


My life. is my art.

This career decision is part of my art path.

it is a part of the work I do currently with my students.

and the people who I work with fuel me. and make me better.
I have an insane amount of support.

and I am taking this road for a bit. to gain some knowledge.

to grow.

adding to the work I do now. not taking away from. not changing direction.

life is about drastic moves.

It is crazy short.
so I dont want to waste any of it.


I am working on a track that takes a few years.

to become an Interpreter.

and what I am sure of is that it has always been a part of where I am walking.

so I am picking up a jog.

to help me reach more people.

and learn from more people.

Communicating. is the whole point of the arts.

and the whole point of life.


and I know it is a big deal. 

Because I am scared.


So. I keep painting birds. 

November 25, 2014

look. directly around yourself.

I always describe my faith as being on a plane at sunset. 

If you are on a plane. at sunset. you will understand. 


and lately. I am painting a lot of birds. because they are part of it too. 

Birds are a reality. 

                                                                                                        24" x 24" acrylic on canvas $500.00


November 21, 2014

I have super vivid dreams.

 and sometimes they make me think something actually happened. 

so waking up includes determining what was real and not. 

sometimes a relief. 
sometimes devastating.


this is real.

                                                                                                24" x 24" acrylic on canvas $500.00


yesterday I was looking in the vanity and flew over to my bed to grab my purse and leave. 

and I nailed my forehead against the corner of the mantle. 

going full force.

it sounded like an egg cracked. 

I think my skull is broken. but it currently looks like I had an implant inserted so I would seem more dinosaur/reptile like. 

and with that. 

I am off to an out of town wedding. 

November 18, 2014

This morning I woke up.

 Sometimes I am at that place where I am living moment to moment. 

And I know that especially lately because my shirt was on backwards for half a day. 

And I inadvertently got a decent amount of paint in my mouth last night. 

And there has been a lot of rain. and a lot of wet socks. 

And my computer is at this really scary place of turning off when it wants to... mid project.

And I went on a very long bike ride to the river. across a bridge. where my hands were numb and my sweatshirt was wrapped around them.

and this morning. I finished a painting.

                                                                                               24" x 24" acrylic on canvas  $ 500.00


yeah.  this morning I finished a painting.

November 7, 2014

hey hey WINNER!

I was really touched by the entries on the WHO MAKES YOU BETTER AND BRAVER post. 

There was a winner. 

I drew # 8. 
so that means

Megan Remaley wins the print. 

Love what you wrote:

Anonymous Megan Remaley said...
My husband – I know that he is my biggest fan, and thanks to his unending support I am better and braver. Whether it’s a quiet whisper he sends my way to tell me to keep trying, or a roaring cheer to let me know he’s behind me all the way - he encourages me to go for it. He inspires, challenges, dances, waits, listens, shares, laughs, cries, motivates - all at just the right time. He lives his life full of love which he so freely gives to all who cross his path – and I am better and braver because of it.

So, send your address to me at-
and I will get that in the mail. 

November 4, 2014


or better?

One more day to enter a comment on the post below this one

I am drawing the winner tomorrow. 

So read that post. and write something. 

You have something to write. 

yes. you do.


October 24, 2014

the beautiful thing about people.


It is not easy to take risks. 
and it is not easy to do something new.
and it is not easy to be vulnerable.
and it is not easy to be courageous. 

and it is not easy to mess up. 

well the messing up is easy but you know. 

tell me about someone who makes you better and braver. in the comments section. and I will draw a winner at the end of next week. 

and you win a 10 x 10 of the print above. 

so you can give it to them yourself. 

so drink a coffee and share. and have a fantastic weekend.

October 19, 2014

real life! it makes you good.


is hard. and awesome. 



it is sweet.


details about this picture- wooden canvas. 8" x 12" 
$ 300.00

October 14, 2014


I cant even finish typing out the word. 

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. 
It is something I really like. which is weird because I am scared of lots of creepy things. 

but also semi-attracted to them. 

                                                                                                   found these at the fair. obsessed.

who am I kidding. very-attracted. 



( I make them)


(I work with them)


(I have a Christmas ornament alligator covered in glitter that I am really into) 

Costume Characters.

(I worked as a costume character in college and walking into the back work room was my worst nightmare and also amazing.

and just for your information some of those character heads only fit if you turn your head sideways first and straighten up after it is on- CLAUSTROPHOBIA TOWN. they also smell.)


I mean.. I always liked the bowl of eye balls at elementary school parties. 

Maybe it's that I appreciate effort 
and on Halloween I like to walk around and cheer for people who made their house or costume look awesome.

I think people doing things well should get
so much credit. 

I used to work in an office cube. and draw on millions of post it notes. sometimes I find them and really love that they exist. 

do what you do wherever you are. sometimes you look silly. but who cares. 

you do. 

so keep doing things. 

so I like remembering when I would draw on post it notes. crumple them up in my purse. 

and carve my lunch into creatures. 

because not a ton has changed. 

if you have a drive. you just drive wherever you are. 

so, hit the gas.

make a costume.


Do something cool. eat candy. and high five people who are 
doing good things.

                                                                                                 like this little creature I watch sometimes.  carry on.


October 8, 2014

he is everywhere.

I just recently started loving this picture. 

So much. 

me and my dad. 
the day I graduated college.

this picture is everything he was.

just so amazingly authentic. and genuine. 

I want to be like him. 

Shameless repost about my fantastic dad. 

so please,

and go outside today. it is beautiful.


September 29, 2014

September 25, 2014

I just cant be normal.

I dont know exactly how everyone processes the things they see and feel. 

but I am on a pretty high setting. 

which gets me in a lot of trouble. 


also makes me an artist. 


my nephew is an artist too. sometimes we do collaborative sculptures. no big deal. 


I have been consumed by life lately. and the good news is that my life and my art are the same thing.

at least I try to make them the same thing. 


and on that note. 

its kind of terrifying to now tell you about the two puppet men who lived on my den floor.

I am aware of my life. 

Yep. totally aware. 

I take pictures because I do these things by myself and I am sorry but I cant always handle it totally solo.

Taking these guys to work. 

Where Richmond Ballet adds breath.

These guys are going on tour with two casts of Don Quixote. 

So if success is measured by letting your puppet guys go into the world and DANCE.


I am doing really great right now.


and while I was organizing this post I sat next to two men who complained about the state of the world.


while part of me wanted to barf. part of me also felt really good that I was next to them. in the very same world. writing a post about puppets and heartbeats.
and one of the men has on high tops so... theres hope guys. theres always hope.

i love music. almost more than everything.