Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Five

Today's Friday 5 is a list of 5 things that I am loving this week!
Here it goes:

1. My husband Nate
This weekend we celebrate our very first wedding anniversary. 
Yup, One year ago from August 1st, he and I were married.
I can't believe it's already been a year!
 Where did that year go?
To celebrate, we are planning on taking our bikes across the Ferry from Wood's Hole to Martha's Vineyard to ride around out there, eat dinner and then take the ferry home!

{This is an arrangement Nate had delivered to me today as a surprise...he is a sweetheart!}

I got the audiobook of this book to listen to on our trip up to Vermont last weekend and finished listening to it while I made art this week. It was an wonderfully crafted story that takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 60's. 
I can't seem to write a sentence to tell you what it's about with out telling too much, so I guess I'll just say, I became completely enthralled and wrapped up in the story and am still thinking about it, a few days after I finished it!

3. The sunshine, the cooler weather and this incredible Cape Cod sea breeze

the container says it
"brings courage and calm to face things that frighten or worry you, 
also aids the shy and timid."
I put a few drops in my water jar every day and drink it up! 
It even has a pleasant taste and I love it because 
it's literally liquid courage!

5.  This post is my 100th post! 
They add up fast!
It feels like I've come a long way since my very first post.
 I love and am grateful for where this blogging journey has taken me so far,
for all of you who stop by, visit, leave comments, and send me thoughtful emails, 
and for all the places this blog might continue to take me in the future!

Have a wonderful, happy weekend!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

I've been busy this week working on daily paintings!
As I mentioned in other posts recently,
my work seems to be slipping in a new direction
and I'm kind of excited about it!
I am also wondering where it is leading me too...
There is something about trying to finish a painting (or other piece of artwork, like a drawing) every day
that has really got my brain rolling around to new places.
It's challenging me to work faster and
therefore make more spontaneous decisions,
which is a lot of fun.
It's challenging me to find that place in the middle between planning things out and having things happen by surprise.

Here are a couple of pieces part of this daily series,
I've decided to put both the originals as well as prints of these two in the Art Asana Shop!

8x8 Original and Print 
are up in the Art Asana Shop!

This piece started with a sketch of the woman in the painting.
 To me, she's standing there as if wondering where her life is going to take her next. 


"Over Her Shoulder"
10x8 Original and Print
available in the Art Asana Shop!

"She glanced over her shoulder one last time before stepping out into the unknown,"
I wrote this next to the sketch I started with of the woman in this painting.

For my next few pieces,
I'm going to try and remember to take pictures of my process to
share with you!

Asana of the Day: Uttanasana (standing forward fold)
Yogic insight: I can find the place between planning everything out, staying steady, stable
and letting go, flowing freely with spontaneity!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Inspired by...

This week I want to share with you an artist that I've loved since I first found his work 
in a neat, artsy store in Jackson, WY. 
Not only is Brian Andreas an artist, he is also a storyteller. 
His short, sweet poem like stories touch upon deep truths in our human experience. 
I love how simple, yet profound both the words and images are. 
The colors and musings draw me in and captivate me:

Almost New-Age
it says,
"Is willing to accept that she creates her own reality except
for some of the parts where she can't help by wonder
 what the hell she was thinking"

Big Strange Family
it says,
"I don't think of it as working for world peace,
he said. I think of it as just trying to get along
in a really big strange family."

Angels of Mercy
it says,
"Most people don't know there are angels
whose only job is to make sure you don't get
 to comfortable and fall asleep and miss your life."

Andreas calls his characters, Story People and has created sculptures, kids posters and blocks, books (I have the one called Mostly True), cards, frames, and totes along with his prints and original sketches all featuring these inspiring, happy characters!
You can find it here at his website!

Hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday!


Monday, July 26, 2010



Hope you are having a wonderful Monday out there!
I have decided to start up something I've been meaning to do for a while:
create a painting or drawing or some piece of art
I have had this feeling lately of wanting to create things, 
but when I sit down to create, 
I find myself sitting face to face with
the fear 
that nothing will come out.
and that fear has driven me to avoid art-making time. 
as a way to face these emotions head on,
I am going to connect art making to my daily practice of yoga in a concrete way.

I'm dedicating the my daily yoga practice or perhaps even just one pose each day to 
opening myself to the flow of creativity.
Afterwards, I'll find my way to a canvas and
make art.
No matter what the outcome. 

Letting go of perfection,
and stepping into the flow of the creative process,
I am creating/painting/drawing one thing

I'll pop in with a once or twice a week update on how the exercise in art and asana is going and perhaps even put some of the artwork up in my etsy shop! 

Here it is for today:
"Lead from the Heart" 
(daily drawing)
Asana of the day: Reversed Warrior II
Yogic insight: When I lead with my heart, I am more courageous, confident and centered.


Friday, July 23, 2010

In the spirit of experimenting with new ideas and techniques, I'm going to my favorite go-to thing when I want to learn and play with something new: 
Today's random five list consists of five books I'm thinking about getting. 
Do any of you have one of these books?

1. Fundamentals of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegan
2. Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin
3. Drawing Lab for Mixed Media by Lee Hammond
4. Creative Photoshop CS4 by Derek Lea
5. Drawing People by Barbara Bradley

or suggestions for other great creativity/art books?
What art/creativity books do you love?

Also, on Monday, July 26th, I'll be sending out the July edition of 
The Art Asana Monthly Newsletter!
Get on the mailing list to receive your edition,

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Playing in the Studio!

I am sensing this need to stretch my creative wings lately and am thinking about trying out some
 new techniques.
You know, just to shake things up a  bit.
My current process is very
I painstakingly trace every little line
and then spend hours making tiny little cuts to take away the white space.
It is meditative and quiet, for sure
and I like that.
But do I love it?
I want
to LOVE it.

This week, I finished this painting (started last week and inspired by a photo taken in Hawaii)


"Pink Blossoms" Print of Mixed Media Original
(now available in my etsy shop)

then played around with palm tree inspirations,

and waves,

and then just to play,
I created this yoga illustration,


I had so much fun creating this last illustration!
What do you think?
(notice something you may have seen before? clue: check out the shirt!)
 I have a feeling there may be more of these coming...

I'm thinking there are endless ways to give life to creativity.

Maybe I'm just still searching for an art form that I really, truly, devotionally love. 

I've been on the swirly stuff for awhile,
the splash paint around in a circle
trace it, 
cut it out
and paste it
kind of swirly stuff.

Am I ready for something new?
Are you?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Inspired by...

I spent a lot of time this weekend going through the roller-coaster of emotions brought about by my engagement with the creative process. I went through the whole cycle, feeling uninspired and like giving up to pure elation and excitement about being in the midst of this wonderful, creative life. I brainstormed new ideas and new places I want to take my art and scribbled down all kinds of notes in my notebook. I filled out goal sheets and thought about a lot of things I could do with my art and this blog.
Now, I'm on an inspired up-swing!
I am having trouble falling asleep at night because of all the dreaming and scheming...
I am just hoping that I will actually be able to do something productive with all this creative energy!
We shall see....

One of the things I'd like to start doing is posting about people (artists/yogis/other creatives?) and things (products, ideas, causes) that inspire me.
So we begin today with artist,
Shayla Maddox and her fabulous light reactive circle paintings:

I ran across Shayla's work on etsy and was immediately drawn to her work. As I might have mentioned a few times before,  I really have a thing for circles.
Perhaps its the sense
 of wholeness,
of inclusion,
of cycle
that I am drawn to.

Circles feel safe.
They can be calming or energizing.
I have been thinking too about the Chakra system outlined in yogic philosophy that seems to me to be at play in circle symbology.

Anyways, with all the circle paintings I've been creating lately, it's no surprise that I was excited to find Shayla's beautiful work.
Here is what she has to say about working with circles:
"To me, circles are completeness. Atoms, molecules, planets and stars, the cycles of time, and the universe itself all exist within a circle, radiating outward, with no beginning or end. In Zen, a circle is considered a type of meditation, requiring clarity of mind and full concentration. Every circle is unique, and can be seen as a type of fingerprint of the artist who created it. Some hold that a Zen circle is the depiction of enlightenment itself." 
Aren't these incredible!
I love the idea of each circle being a fingerprint of the artist who created it, it's a lovely way to think about the art we make.

Shayla also said that when she looks at the universe
 all she sees is circles.
I have to say, I feel the very same way!
Thanks so much for sharing your light and work, Shayla!
 Check out her websiteetsy shop and blog for more!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Five Random Things: Organization Day


"Shakti Drops Mandala" Print of Mixed Media Original
(available in my etsy shop)

This week I have felt super busy, but haven't actually gotten a whole lot done.
Do you ever have weeks like that?
I was pretty jet-lagged at the beginning of the week, still flying high on Hawaiian time and so I was up all night every night and then exhausted and dragging during the day. Being away for several days also left me feeling behind on the tasks of keeping business up and running. 
In an attempt to catch up, I've been jumping around from task to task, catching up on emails, getting some new work started and it has felt completely unorganized and cluttered. 

I also taught my first scheduled yoga class at BLYS on Wednesday. I poured an incredible amount of energy into dreading and feeling fearful and doubtful about the class. It's amazing how much energy can be consumed by resistance! It always surprises me how the things I want most in my life (like becoming a yoga teacher), are also the things I am the most scared of. 

All in all, it's taken me the whole week to realize that I'm just not completely grounded.
So, in order to get myself back on track, 
I let go of my to-do list today and spent some time getting organized!

5 resources I'm using to help keep myself 
organized and motivated:

This blog, run by Charles Gilkey, has all kinds of daily tips about how to get creative, stay organized and   get things done. Also, he offers a whole bunch of planner templates which you can print out and use to organize your month, week and days! I printed out several and filed them into a binder which I am hoping will help to keep me organized!

I found this podcast series by a guy named Duff McDuffee and listened to an episode where he interviews another guy named John Wesley about letting go of shyness and becoming more confident. One of the points they made really stuck with me and is something I'm going to try on the next time I'm feeling dread and fear about my teaching. They talked about how if you believe you're cool (or in my case, if I believe I am confident), then I will be. If I believe that I am confident person, then others will believe it to. 
I've heard this same lesson before, have even written about it here. But a gentle reminder every once in a while is always a good thing, especially on a week of feeling a little less than confident.
(p.s I taught another class last night and went in with this attitude of believing I was confident and totally NAILED it. So there must be something to this.)

I ordered this book from Amazon and it arrived this week! I had the book Craft Inc. checked out from the library for a little while and found it very helpful. So I decided to get the business planner as well. I have begun to slowly work through it and it's helping me to organize and think about different aspects of running a creative business!

4.  Yoga Teaching Tracker
After printing out all the planner sheets from the Productive Flourishing website, 
I decided to make a couple of my own. The one below is a way for me to keep track of my teaching schedule and what it is I'm teaching and a place for notes/thoughts about how the class went, ideas for next time and that kind of thing. If I can figure out how to make and share this as a pdf, I will put it up here on my blog for anyone who wants it! (If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know!)

This is yet another helpful blog that I stumbled upon this week! This one has lots of great tips for de-cluttering and staying organized in my home and office. I'm planning on spending a few hours this afternoon and this weekend cleaning and organizing my living and working spaces, which have gradually deteriorated in their level of organization over the last few weeks. I learned from my mom that it is much easier to live and work in a clean, organized space then a messy one.
After this week of cluttered craziness (and not actually being all that productive) I am thinking that there might be something to this. Thanks mom!

What do you do to stay organized? 
What do your time management/planner/tracker systems look like?

Have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Smelling the flowers (and other fauna!) in Kaua'i

I thought I would share a few more pictures with you from my time in Kaua'i!
These ones feature the incredible flowers and fauna that exist on the Garden Island.

{me, stopping to smell the flowers in Hawaii}








One of the things I loved most about my time in Kaua'i was all of the fresh produce available. They have many "Sunshine Markets" all over the island that feature locally grown produce and food. We
picked up pineapple, papayas, apple bananas (a smaller, sweeter variation of the large bananas I find in the stores), cold coconuts, avocado, tomatoes, and kale.
Every morning, Nate and I would eat for breakfast the sweetest, most delicious pineapple we'd ever had.


From afar, the fruits of these trees looked to me like pineapples. I made the mistake of asking a local how they get the pineapples down and was reminded that pineapples grown in the ground and not in trees. He told me that they nickname these trees and their fruits, "tourist pineapples".
Apparently I am not the only one who's made the mistake! 


We woke up every morning to a whole cacophony of bird songs, including from a rooster and a gaggle of geese (not the quietest, sweetest singing birds out there).
Although we had many beautiful birds visit our lanai (porch/deck place) during our pineapple breakfasts, none of them were native species. We learned that native birds were less abundant below 1,000 feet of sea level and that most species had migrated further up into the mountains.
Chickens are one non-native bird that is extremely abundant on the island of Kaua'i and they roamed free everywhere we went. We were told that the chicken population on Kaua'i exploded after Hurricane 'Iniki in 1992 allowed for a whole bunch of caged, domestic chickens to escape.
With no real predator on the island, chickens have flourished and they all over the place (like the one in the picture above, just hanging out at the beach!)


We also saw some incredible trees, including one that grows it's roots from it's branches and starts a whole new trunk once the root hits the ground (I don't know if this actually what happens, but that is what it looks like is happening). We also were introduced to a tiny, ground cover plant called "Hilo" that when you gently touch it's leaves, they curl in on themselves! After a little bit, they return to their shape once again. Talk about plants sensing your presence among them!
 I probably looked like a crazy person bent over touching these tiny leaves and squealing with delight!

Then, of course, there was the quintessential palm tree, stirring memories of tropical breezes and romantic silhouettes at sunset....


ah, sunset.
In the presence of such beauty and grace, it's no wonder that Hawaiians have such a strong sense of the "Aloha Spirit" or "the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha)".


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Home from Hawaii

{colorful flowers and palm trees in Kaua'i}

We returned home yesterday from our honeymoon on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i.
it was
(big, deep, sigh)
Here are some pictures from our trip!

{Night lights of Waikiki, Oahu}
 We flew into Honolulu and stayed our first night in the high energy, fast pace Waikiki before flying out to the oldest island of the Hawaiian chain, Kaua'i.

{Rainbow over Hanalei Bay in Kaua'i}
We saw at least one rainbow every day!

{Rain on Pu'u Poa beach in Princeville, Kaua'i}

Rainbows form because of, well, rain! So it also rained every day on the North Shore of Kaua'i.
Usually it was just a gentle, passing, misting and refreshing rain.

{Sandy, golden Po'ipu Beach}
Sandy, golden beach= sandy, golden me 
(probably more sandy then golden thanks to gobs of sunscreen!)

{surfer riding waves at Po'ipu beach}
I surfed on waves of bliss, perhaps, but no real ones. 
Not this time. 

{Kalalau Valley on the Na Pali Coast, from the Pu'u o Kila lookout}
Evidence of the presence of Grace abounding in our natural world...

{Nate and I at Pu'u Poa beach}
Island Love.

{view of Na Pali coastal waters from the KalalauTrail}
We hiked in for a short day hike to Hanakapi'ai Beach. If I ever go back, I'd like to hike the whole thing The 22 miles round trip trail requires a camping permit and it would be totally worth it! Next time...

{Hanakapi'ai Beach, Na Pali Coast}
On the hike, we ate our lunch under hanging cliffs and on large, black pumice rocks inhabited by a ferrel cat. This got us out of the steady rain clinging to the mountains. It was a very muddy, slick trail and we were soaked through, but that really is what made it so fun. 

{Bali Hai view, back in Princeville, Kaua'i}
Watching the sunset on Kaua'i is a big event for us and everyone else visiting Kaua'i! 
There were always a lot of people gathered outside to watch the sun melt into the ocean.
 We were able to walk to a place where we could see the sun set over whats called Bali Ha'i. Remember the song Bali Ha'i in the musical South Pacific? Parts of that movie were filmed on the 
North Shore of Kaua'i!

{sunset over Bali Ha'i at Pu'u Poa Beach}

of contentment.



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