Category Archives: revolution

A girl on the Underground

Oh how I wish life was as exciting as the 1st time Lily experienced London and riding the Underground.

These days many of us are doing our part to flatten the curve and remain healthy. I started this painting last Sunday and hope to have it finished this weekend. I’m only able to be in the studio once a week since I’m working from home for my day job.

I ordered a few new colors and hope they arrive soon. I think this painting would benefit from some diversity in colors.

Any way, this is part of a series I’ve named “A girl…”. It’s part of a mother and daughter collaboration with my artist daughter Lily. She’s busy with college still but has completed a couple of paintings so far.

Being in my studio and allowing myself to experience Awiya, creativity to flow through my being is my souls center. It is where I am most connected with myself. It is where my connection to the world around me is clearest. It’s not an escape from reality, on the contrary, it is a space where I am open, clear, vulnerable and honest with myself. It’s where I allow thoughts to flow by and simply acknowledge their presence without holding any of them. In many ways it is similar to an active meditation.

It is my hope, that in these difficult times, that many of you experience Awiya for the 1st time and create into this world some beauty.

Stay safe my friends and be well. until next time, stay in the Awiya side of life.

#American Zed

Finished 16” x 20” acrylic on stretch canvas

So I spent about a half an hour writing a blog post about this latest painting. Unfortunately when I pressed publish it disappeared. I have no idea where it went and I was like darn it that was a great blog post if I do say so myself.

Here I go again. A couple of years ago when my daughter Lily graduated from high school and at her graduation party we created a photo booth that included a handheld Polaroid style type frame made out of white eraser board. Guests could group together and write on the bottom with dry eraser markers on the bottom of the Polaroid goofy, cheesy, wise sayings or hashtags or the what not and then hold the frame up and then take a picture.

Well one of the pictures that was taken is represented in this painting. When it was taken I thought it was cute but it wasn’t until I saw the picture a few days later that it really spoke to me on so many levels.

First, this picture immediately reminded me of American Gothic painting by Grant Wood. It is said that Grant Wood in the 1930s went back to Iowa where he was from and saw an old farmhouse. He was inspired and wanted to do a satirical painting about the architecture of an old Iowa farm house. He titled the painting of the old farm house & its farmer & wife “American Gothic” as in reference to the lack of Gothic style architecture and it being the Midwest’s version. It’s further written that he utilized his sister and his dentist as models for this painting.

So now this is my version of a satirical painting of what I envision of a young Generation Z couple would look like on the World Wide Web posting on different social media sites, sharing their selfie’s.

I give you #AmericanZEd

Shifting Light

Spring is in the air, and I am in transition as well.

As many of my readers know, I circled the past few years completing a BA in Adult Education. That has come to a conclusion, and a diploma is in hand. I have decided to continue my education and go to graduate school. I am intrigued and curious about the process of learning. So, I am pursuing an MS in Instructional Design and Technology. I start CU Chicago Fall 2017.

Until then, I am in creative, Awiya, mode. A grand adventure to the U.K. has been planned and all travel arrangements completed. I will not disclose the travel dates because this is a publicly posted blog and well, yeah don’t really need to know, unless I need you to know, you know? ;D I will not be posting here until after the fact.

In the meantime, I am preparing a packing list. Yes, I need some organization to support my free spirited nature of exploration. Otherwise, I will be in complete chaos and probably end up in Italy. Well, that would not be too bad of an idea. However, the UK is the destination. I was contemplating what to pack and well, what type of art materials I would be taking with me. Some considerations for this trip included that I will not be traveling alone. My companion Stephen and my daughter Lily will be joining me.

I am excited for this trip for a couple of reasons.The first, this will be my first overseas trip. The second, I get to Plein air create while I am there. The third, my daughter, Lily, will have her senior pictures taken at Harry Potter film locations throughout England. English photographer, Stephen Smith, my companion, will have the honors of photographing throughout our trip. Why settle for the faux Hogsmeade Village at Disney when you can step off the North Yorkshire Moors steam train at Goathland rail station in England and visit the local village?  Say “Butter Beer” … click…click…click.

Now back to my list of art supplies. While I need to be mobile as possible while traversing the U.K. I really didn’t want to attempt to get my paints, canvas, etc. through customs and then lug around a heavy backpack through the countryside and Englands National Parks. However, the pull to use color and light in a creative way continues to tug at me.

Circling back around to the idea of Shifting Light and one transition into another. Over the course of a year, in conjunction with the tattoo artisan Scott Phillips, I now have an entire left sleeve tattoo. Yeah, that is Goddess Leia on my bicep. I need to update my photos since I have had more work done since these photos. I do plan on getting some ink work done while I am in the Uk, perhaps London.

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Now onto the connection between creating with color and light while in the UK and tattoos. One evening, while sitting under the tattoo gun getting some ink therapy done with Scott Phillips, he mentioned that he was given some Van Gogh oil pastels from the Netherlands that he would not use and wondered if I could use them. Of course! Who would not want to use high-grade art materials? So, I graciously accepted these oil pastels and had been waiting for the moon and stars to align and an inspiring, soul moving and AWIYA moment to arise for their use. I will be taking the with me to the UK. I purchased some new pastel paper to take along in my artist satchel as well. Now I can sit in the middle of a field, somewhere, anywhere in the North Yorkshire Moors National Forest, alongside the ruins of a castle or on the shores of the North Sea in Scotland and create using light and color. I will continue to call this Plein Air Painting since the oil pastels are still a form of applied pigment on an artist surface.

This trip will yield not only a series of Plein air creations on paper but also reference photos from my companion for many painting to come. I will complete a “Light of…. ” from pallet to canvas series from this trip.

When I return from the UK, the Light of Nebraska Series needs to be completed with an art showing then donation awards. Then I will move on to the UK series. I believe the UK series will eventually become a book series idea that my companion and I have been kicking around.

The Awiya Side of Life is in full swing and surfing the tides in grand style. Here’s until next time my creatives.

Happy Reminder 

As most of my regular and long time readers know, I returned to college a couple of years ago to finish my degree. In a couple of weeks I will be embarking on my last year. However, I received an email today regarding last year. I made it on the Deans List last semester and am just being informed now.  Giggle. Thanks for the reminder that in due time and with persistent hard work Happy reminders will find their way to brighten your day. Thanks BU!  Best of success to everyone returning to school this fall. Brain food on!

Light of Nebraska Update

Hello, my creatives,

It’s been a slow process from being to end. However, there is light at the end of the… road. HA, thought I was going to say the tunnel. Now that our original venue for the collective showing of paintings has recovered from the flood and reopened, it’s planning time and selecting an available time slot. All the painting were inspired from multiple counties in Nebraska and will be shown together for a free, one-month public viewing. Then the paintings will be donated to the respective libraries in those counties. And just think, it’s all because of a collaborative effort between you, our supporters and the artists of The Awiya Project. As soon as the details have been arranged, I will bring you into the loop.

Inspiring Young Hearts

The Awiya project teamed with the Wahoo Public Library in the creation of children chairs for the renovated children section. Last winter, Wahoo Public Library experience a devastating flood that closed its doors for many months. In celebration of its grand reopening, local artist were asked to paint a small child size chair for a display.  Take a look at photos below.

The Magic of a Secret Garden

The inspiration for the design of this chair came from my children. The magic of the warm summers morning sunlight filtering through a blanket fort and reading books aloud while my children explored nature around us.  The stye of painting I chose for the backdrop of the chair is impressionism creating a whimsical tone. While the illustrated style little critters play with the senses.  It is my hope that the chairs will ignite the imagination and inspire the children who view it at Wahoo Public Library.

Jes chair Louchair

New from the easel next door

Jes is busy working on pieces for The Light of Nebraska series. The framed landscape is a warm up piece. When you switch gears from one style of painting to another you also change palettes (the colors you paint with) . So it’s nice to do a warm up piece to get your color theory organized for the style of painting and the subject. I like to take a creative break- Jes calls it yummy baked goods. 😉 Stay on the Awiya side of life my creatives!



Spring Stretch Inspires the Spirit

Jes and I took a week of vacation from our work with a nonprofit. Much needed time off to explore the spring art on display and friends. Now back to the studio & work. Here’s the latest finished piece for the Palette to Canvas Light of Nebraska series.


On my easel


This current work in progress is for the From Palette to Canvas: The Light of Nebraska series. This developing landscape is from York county Nebraska. Will keep you updated as it progresses along.