Living the Dream



In the last year I read a book called “My Dream of You”. I can’t exactly remember what the book was about, as I was reading several books around the same time. I have a bad habit of only collecting the information that strikes my heart and soul and the rest of it slips away. The “slips aways” go to a place that is similar to a laundry basket full of mending tasks that I have in my basement.  I’ll notice them sooner or later.

However the important part of this post is “My Dream of You”. That title really grabbed me. It touched my heart, my soul, my psyche. I had meant to use the book’s pages, which are yellowed, to art collage. Somehow, I could not bear to cut up the pages especially the title on the top of each page.  I never knew why it resonated so but it finally came to me this morning as I photographed a pile of art supplies laying on my counter top (that needed to be put away).  The title popped in to my head and with it came a feeling of being enfolded in warmth and love.  At once I was struck with the reality of living a dream.  Thanks to the man in the upper right hand corner of the photograph , my honey Brent McFarland,  I am able to live this dream.  My days are spent in the forest, watching our chickens and feeding them,  spending time with our puppy and creating art.  (I do other things also, like dishes laundry, housework, yard work and things of that ilk but who needs to hear about that, right?) I was given this gift almost a year ago and I have learned about peace through art by studying meditation, art and mindfullness, time spent alone and with others of like mind and creating an art that changes daily. This art is the drug soothes my savage beast.  Whenever I feel unsettled or out of sorts I turn to art to settle me.   Thanks to art, I have no need to worry about side effects, drug interactions and the cost of drugs.

I’ll be seeing you later!  I’m going to toss back a shot of canvas and a chaser of paint!  Cheers!

Commitment to Art


Colored Pencil - inspired by a snippet of song that flitted through my head


Mixed media created at Char's Flying Fish Studio in Ironwood, MI


Three different stages of an intuitive painting


Now we can tell which suitcases are ours!

The Many Faces of My Art

Earlier this year I made a commitment to my art.  I committed to create something daily and to accept that every piece may not be saleable.  I knew that only through constant practice would I grow in my artistic endeavors.  I feel success in some arenas and in others I recognize an opportunity for further growth.  To date, I have not followed this exactly.  I had the best of intentions but I let others things get in the way from time to time.  The days that I don’t create, lack a peace and mindful sense.  It is a lesson for me.

Recently, I was reviewing my notes from the week long art class taught by Bob Burridge (  The setting of the class was Dillmans Creative Art Foundation Art School in Lac du Flambeau, WI.  Keeping in mind the lessons that I learned from Bob, I bravely approached my prepared papers. Each time I enter my studio or approach another surface, I keep in mind some of the lessons that Bob taught us.  He taught us to use his color wheel and I would highly recommend using his!  One lesson is to have an intention for your work, I name the piece and begin painting.   When I use other surfaces such as watercolor paper, boxes, journal covers or whatever I just start painting. Sometimes I use a photo reference and other times things flow into my head, the gift from the creative muses. I have recently began a journey using intuitive painting.  It is composed of several layers of paint beginning with all cool colors or warm colors. Each layer is allowed to dry and then the next layer is applied. This all happens with no intention. You slap paint on the surface with your hands, foam brushes, use stencils,  use whatever you have at hand. It takes a bit of bravery, I was surprised to find.  What a wonderful experience! 

Today I will share with you a variety of work that I have created over the last couple of months. Thank you for viewing this and create on!

Daily Art “From the Other Side” continues

This sure has been a joy to learn how to use my left hand to paint and create art. My goal is to be able to use my right hand again to paint and write by April.  Until then, I will be happy to have two hands. It sure has been a learning experience, but for the most part, I have been able to figure out how to do most things with my left hand. Some things, such as twisting together electrical wires, created quite a challenge but I was able to overcome them. Most people say,  “I could never do that!” but you would be surprised! People have reported similar experiences and one of my artist and one of my artist friends artist friends told me about one of her artist friends. She had a dry spell of creativity. Not to be daunted, she decided to use only her opposite hand, meaning her non-dominant hand, for one whole year. That simple exercise, as challenging as it may seem, may be the secret to unlocking the creative mind once again. Do a Google search. There are many exciting happenings and studies that have shown switching back and forth from your dominant hand to your non-dominant hand can help your brain work better. Who doesn’t need that?? Have a great day!


Art Sale Today!


Purchase locally created art today!  The art is being offered by members of the Manitowish Art League and can be seen at the Vilas Business Incubator on Highway 51 and Townline Rd in Manitowish Waters.  For more information contact Barbara McFarland at 715-543-2975.

The Other Side
The non-dominant hand art adventure continues!   This journey has been amazing and very rewarding. I have decided to call the work that I’ve created with my left hand “From the Other Side”. The work is like none I would have conceived myself ever doing. The challengers have actually been like having art lessons, I have learned new methods.  I have taught myself new ways to do things and have looked at other materials and types of art to continue on this journey. It has been a truly rich and rewarding experience!

The hand-painted  journals are called Midnight Journals because they contain 30 pages of thick, 90 pound black paper. The spiral binding allows for maneuverability.  The 5 3/4″ X 7 1/2″ size are great for going about on merry ventures.  The journals are great for compiling recipes, your favorite newspaper clippings, photographs, artist trading cards, painting with metallic paint or acrylic paint, using gelli-printing, or doodling with gel pens.  No more blank, white page paralysis! 
Each journal is complete with a   custom-made, matching bookmark, a fun gel pen and the front page also contains some painting or some wording that will help you to go ahead with your creative journey.

These journals and other wonderful art created  by artists from the Manito art league will be available for sale at a nacho on December 12th at the Vilas Business Incubator Center located at the corner of Highway 51 and Towline Road in Manitowish Waters.  For more information this sale contact Barbara McFarland at 715-543-2975.

Ordinary Beauty


I found a very profound statement in one of my daily meditations today. It came to mind as I was walking past a landscaped garden area today. I glanced at the plants that were cut back for winter and at the stones that surrounded the plantings.  It took a few minutes to examine the many rocks that were there.   Although they did not bear the smoothness and roundness of Lake Superior’s shoreline stones each rock had its own story and many different planes of beauty to look at. These very stones make up the photo that I took. Remember to look for the ordinary beauty around you everyday.  It is everywhere!

The Creative Bridge


Recently, I read an article that stated that the occasional use of the non-dominant hand triggers growth in the brain that stimulates creativity.  See this article at http:/ Wow!  Who knew! 

Because of an injury I have adapted to using my left hand for most things.  I have also been whining about it.  But! Continued use of my non- dominant hand has brought about an acceptance of my “imperfect, not-that-good” art. 

That attitude also lead to this piece of different images that somehow (thank you creative spirits!) came together as my October 20 gratitude creation.  The falling leaves are inspiring to me, I was thinking about marker trees and then I thought about something that I had learned from Terry Daulton.

All of this inspired a new project that is currently in the planning process.

Amazing!  The studies must be right!  Give it a try and see what happens!

After a busy September, I have found myself challenged to create on a daily basis.  September art included a solo show of my work, four entries for “All Things Birds” and three entries for “The Gathering”.  I was fired up by the challenge to get everything done. 

Then I kept waiting for my dominant hand to heal from a torn thumb ligament.  My mood darkened as the daylight did.

This all changed when my sister-in-law was telling me how her art was changing by doing a daily art – even if it was just prepping surfaces.  I had this a-ha moment and suddenly I was no longer overwhelmed and frustrated.  I had this great journal that my honey had bought for me that was waiting to be filled.  I decided that I would just work with my left hand and the images that I would create would be ” good enough”.  Much to my surprise, I noticed that some things got better, some were easier and I was really  enjoying the challenge.

The slowed process of using my non-dominant hand is giving me time to “look” more than I would otherwise.  Today I am grateful for revelations!

My October Solo Show


I was honored to be selected as the October  featured artist at the Boulder Junction, Wisconsin Library for the month of October.  The show will open on October 1st. There will be an artist reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The show is available for viewing during regular library hours through the month.  Check out the Boulder Junction Library website for their current hours.

The images that I have selected for this viewing offer forth a plethora of works that are a culmination of gelatin, fingers, breath, spray paint, acrylic paints and much more.  They are a final result of the challenge that began with an observation, grew through inspiration and came to be what you see before you.  Enjoy!

Downtown Art Place

The Downtown Art Place in Ironwood, MI is holding a silent auction to raise needed funds for their program.  On a recent visit to their art gallery I was asked if I was an artist.  Upon admittal, I was asked if I would be willing to create a piece for the silent auction.  I thought that I could solicit 4 of my artist friends to also paint a donation.  Only 2 people did – the amazing artists John and Barbara McFarland!  My 3 donations are below.  Make sure to check out the incredible art of the McFarlands by going to and Enjoy!