Self Respect

Skunk medicine has been coming in, showing up in the pre dawn hours as I make my way down the garden path to my meditation temple, carrying Georgie so he doesn’t chase the nocturnal creatures who are so active at this time. Skunk is very shy, cautious and illusive, yet one glance at her makes all mammals give her lots of space and utter respect. She only sprays when threatened and will do all she can to avoid this defense because at her core she is very peaceful. But when cornered or provoked she will retaliate very powerfully and the opponent will be sorry. I love her lessons of energetic boundaries and peaceful avoidance of conflict, yet with a powerful defense that demands respect of others. When we respect ourselves we honor our authenticity and we nurture ourselves and from that place of security we are better able to serve others. She is a beautiful emanation of this and she also sports the black stripe of kundalini energy up her spine, marking her connection to goddess energy. When I align with her I align with my true nature which is that of self love. I am taking a page from her book and making my word for the new year Self Respect. The animals with their healthy instincts in tact have so much to teach us if we open up to their messages. Skunk print available here: Skunk Print

I am happy to be offering a workshop at the Carpinteria Art Center on Saturday February 11 on Painting Your Animal Totem. Here is more information: Paint Your Animal Totem workshop


Process Painting Retreat

A couple of weeks ago I took a 5 day process painting workshop at the lovely Esalen Institute in magnificent Big Sur.  I always have transformative experiences there and this retreat was no exception.  I have a routine there of waking up at 4 am to go soak in the mineral hot tubs under the vast sky with millions of stars, lots of them shooting, and a moon so close and present her beams are an embrace. I am always the only one there at that hour and the solitude becomes complete union with the universe. My awareness this time was that the heart beat of the Earth where the Divine Mother emanates from in a field of loving vibration courses through my being and I am of the same energy as the earth and all the stars and planets. It was a very cosmic experience and fueled this painting.

It was completely liberating to paint from pure instinct and impulse after 31 years of painting for a finished product. It brought me back to why I was initially called to my path as an artist; to heal inner turmoil and to connect with my divinity. The cool thing about process painting is that you go into it with very little notion or idea of what to paint and you are guided by your intuition to see what the brush wants to do. You follow the energy and it guides you to secret places within. Imagery emerges and then the painting becomes involved in guiding you as well.

Subconscious material becomes form and color on the page and brings awareness to hidden aspects of your mind. You receive messages and even direction, solutions, healing. You learn to trust yourself at a much deeper level.

In keeping with the spirit of process upon returning home I returned the paintings to the Earth where Mother dwells.

Laying them down on the ground just outside the perimeters of my seaside meditation temple with a prayer of gratitude for her support, strength and nurturance which has provided the healing and movement forward from a very difficult recent passage in my life.

I have continued with the process painting upon my return and don’t know if I can ever go back to “painting to please”.  Not that the work created over the past 30 plus years has lacked authenticity; it has always been an honest expression of the joy of nature. But at this juncture in my life I am living from a depth in my soul that contains a wider expanse of knowing to express. May you live fully and deeply know your truth~




The original wound gets punctured over and over again until finally the gash becomes so deep it is an opening to the eye of God and tears of compassionate joy stream down, washing over the soul with love and tenderness toward oneself and all beings. The sacred wound becomes the source of new life, regenerating the body, mind and spirit with nourishing seeds that will ripen into bountiful fruits. One needs only to stay present with the pain and offer a witness of loving kindness to the injured self from the wisdom of God within. Then one becomes part of the flow of eternal life and love.


Shake it Loose



The birds seeded these sunflowers from the feeder. Multiple blooms on one stem so profuse. Sunflowers are symbolic of our solar plexus chakra and personal will- place of the most armored holding in my body in an unconscious effort to control.


As my ego unwinds, relaxing into Being and surrendering to what is, my belly has softened and become more fluid- especially with the release of my super ego, that inner judge so deeply internalized from our patriarchal culture.


I’m shaking him loose, out of my body, psyche, and soul. Freeing myself of the contracting constraints that question my innate goodness and my right to be myself, to feel all my feelings, to express myself.


There is a new sweet, open flow of feeling in my belly center now. There is a soft vulnerability but a sensitivity that allows me to feel more pleasure and sensuous subtlety. As the personal will releases the grip of the super ego, our will becomes aligned with Divine will of Love. So beautiful. So grateful. Thank you Spirit for this gift of evolutionary life.

Magical Flight

Birds, butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds have all seemed to enter my realm as of late. I am recognizing the energy of magical flight into realms beyond the mundane they symbolize for me as I heed their calling into a world of freedom, delight, and magic that I seem to inhabit more and more in my everyday life.

Let The Light In_Web

Original Painting available here:  Let The Light In

They are an invitation to return to our natural state of joy as we rest deeply with trust in the arms of the Divine Love which holds us every moment.

Joy Bubble_Web

Original painting available here:  Joy Bubble

These winged creatures are a living symbol of ancient Goddess energy, always have been associated with Her power. May they guide us with their magical flights of fancy and freedom.

Spread Yours Wings_web

Original painting available here: Spread Your Wings

Orchard in El Nino

Orchard in El Nino

Ah, we finally got our first true el nino storm which began at pre-dawn this morning. I was up at 4 to take in the long awaited nourishing water coming from the heavens while drinking my coffee, journaling and reading (I’m on the Course of Miracles). By 6 I was in the studio,  painting this orchard in the storm, celebrating water by using lots of it in wet-on-wet technique, celebrating how the earth and all her plants must be jumping in joy in the rain. I loved the darkened sky thick with heavy clouds.

A 492029

Yesterday I had received an order for this print titled Ojai Oranges, then connected with the oranges in my own yard during meditation yesterday, sensing how parched and thirsty they are. It came to me that I wanted to do an abstract version of this painting, and so that is how it came to receive the storm in my work today. It was like an offering of a prayer of gratitude for our citrus trees and other plants on which we depend. I love just following threads of things that come to me this way and seeing where they lead. This rain makes me feel very connected to the land right now.

Original framed painting available here


Surrendering to Aphrodite’s Pleasures

warbler visit


Lately I’ve really been experiencing the contrast between the state of surrender, release, and letting go that comes with the ability to just Be and rest in the arms of the Divine Mother with the different state of ego grasping, efforting, striving that is part of our conditioning of our achievement oriented culture. The former state is feminine and yielding and filled with pleasure and fulfillment, the latter is masculine and filled with frustration and restlessness. In my oceanside temple is where I can most readily access this state where the energy of Aphrodite rises to meet me from the sea foam below and fills me with her delightful bliss.

I am learning to seamlessly ritualize this state of sensual pleasure from my meditation temple and carry it up to my studio to channel it into my paintings. To me this is the best that creativity has to offer and is an expression of gratitude for the abundance of the Universe as well as an expression of self love which is a direct gift from Aphrodite herself.

Here is my first painting signed with my new name: Carissa Joie Luminess and expresses my connection to the Grace that permeates the Ground of being and which holds us all in an embrace of love. It is what we are made of and to where we will return. I figure we may as well enjoy it in the here and now too.

original unframed painting available here

New Year, New Self, New Name- Carissa Joie Luminess

The purification process that was initiated by my kundalini opening in Senegal, Africa back in 2000 is finally complete.  I know that transformation is a life-long process but I can say for sure that for the most part, all the false beliefs, the ego fears, the insecurities and doubts, the co-dependence, the ego grasping, the emotional neediness, etc etc has been burned away and dissolved form my body/mind/spirit vessel.  What this feels like to me is a solid grounding and stable footing in the energy of the Divine and a basic sense of Love at my core instead of fear.  It’s been quite a process and a lot of work and consciousness, including many daily practices, body work, dream work, inquiry and journeying inner and outer.

My word for 2016 is Grace which to me means an embodiment of the Divine- that one has opened to receive the Holy Spirit.  On the night of the winter solstice I had a dream that I gave birth to my own grand daughter and I couldn’t figure out her name so I asked her what is was. She told me that she’d named herself Carissa which I’d never heard before. When I awoke I googled Carissa to find out it means Beloved, Grace. Over the years I’ve learned to pay great attention to my dreams and I trust the wisdom there more than I trust anything in this life. My dreams are my direct connection to Spirit within, to Grace itself. This dream had such potency to me and the meaning is so clear. My rebirth is complete and I am now Carissa Joie Luminess.  Carissa for Grace, Joy spelled the french way to honor my newly discovered 22% heritage according to 23andMe, and Luminess as in to illuminate (to shine light from within) combined with the royal “ess” as in empress, baroness, princess.



This new phase of the birth of Carissa Joie Luminess coincides with my second Saturn return as my change from Erin Roberts to Erin Williams coincided with my first when I married. This is a natural time to move into my new identity as a crone, wise woman as I take on teaching art/spirituality workshops and as an artist as my paintings have a significantly different look and feel that is all about Carissa who is channeling the creativity of the Divine.

Erin got me here and I am so grateful for her courage on the path she took- Wow, the intensities, the extremes and yes, the darkness. She was a true personification of the Persephone archetype, whisked off to the Underworld by Hades. I have truly been in that shadow world and know it well.

But, she has now returned to Mother Gaia during this light half of the year, reborn to the light last third of her life as Carissa to be in bliss and Unity with the Divine and the Holy Spirit. My hope is to spread my love and wisdom to the world in a bigger way.

Isn’t it just marvelous and amazing that we can co=create with the Universe to design our own lives and form our own identities, and even name ourselves if we wish.

How delightful reality is!

Love from Carissa Luminess~

Watercolor As Meditation Workshops

Opening to Grace_Web

Since the 2008 recession I have been forced to let go of art as a means of making a living and for the past 7 years have changed my primary focus to spiritual practice and soul evolution (I have been highly fortunate not to have too much financial pressure on me to make ends meet and decided to use it as an opportunity to move toward enlightenment instead of survival concerns).  Of course my painting has remained a constant in my life, but it has been secondary to my spiritual path. I have been reading psycho/spiritual books voraciously, attending numerous spiritual, yoga and meditation retreats, stepped up my yoga and meditation practice and have been doing kundalini yoga/pranayama/meditation at an advanced level daily. I built myself a meditation temple at my seaside home where I meditate daily, sometimes for several hours.


I’ve taken Goddess and God courses on line and done all the work diligently and thoroughly. And it has paid off. I have had an array of amazing energetic, spiritual and psychic openings which have really deepened my connection to Spirit and my higher Self. This 7 year cycle has now come to a completion of sorts and I feel rebirthed into embodying my Soul at a really authentic pure level of Being at one with the Divine.  (I’m even considering changing my name but that is another story).


My entire purpose has shifted- away from making art to please and sell, into connecting deeply to Source and creatively expressing that Divine energy from a place of embodied Grace. This has informed my approach to painting and the results have been a more free and spontaneous style.

Infinite Bliss_Web

I have come up with a new process and ritual of weaving together my spiritual practice with my painting practice and the results have been magical and effortless and joyous.


Being on this inner journey for the past 7 years has required solitary time for stillness, reflection and contemplation. I have had very minimal social outlets and those have all been primarily with other spiritual seekers at my various classes and such. But this cycle also feels complete and there has been an urge bubbling up inside me to reach out, connect and share my discoveries with others so they too may experience this ecstasy I have tapped into of inhabiting the mid point between control and abandon that comes when we can open ourselves up to the Divine and become a conduit for Universal creative energy.


It came to me a few weeks ago during an especially deep meditation that is is time to bring my gifts to the others and share my process, my practice and my space here at my oceanside sanctuary.  I realized I am all set up to accommodate 5 students in my temple, in my studio and at my dining table (I’m also a great cook love to feed people healthy food) and and that this space is meant to be shared in community for nurturing soul growth, spiritual connection and creative expression through watercolor.


So, I am busy getting all set up for the first workshop which will take place January 23.  More details will be forthcoming and you can sign up for my newsletter if you want to get more info or email me directly:

I hope some of you will come join me here to deepen into Source, nurture your soul, connect to Spirit and paint watercolors with joy as I guide you in painting techniques that will empower you to develop your own style.

With love and blessings for a Happy Solstice,





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