Dream Shadows

Dream Shadows-original-web

After all the recent inner work of the past year now resolved, I am floating along on a cloud of inner calm and serenity.  I feel solid and secure in life, and that’s nice.  Here is my newest painting which as always is a reflection of my state of well-being.  The softening of my interior boundaries is being mirrored by new spring blooms.  Dream Shadows is the title.

Dream Shadows-web

I had my miracle worker photographer, Sarah Block, work her magic in photoshop to create an even dreamier version with these lighter irises which is what I meant to paint.  Somehow I can’t resist the rich colors, but I wanted soft for this one.  We can do that now in the digital age- change the mood of an image with a bit of mouse work. I am offering this version in my etsy shop as a print here

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Every day for the past 9 years, after my morning painting session, I have headed down these stairs to the beach that are just a few short blocks from my house for a nice long beach walk

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There is something about the process of walking and being out in the bright light and fresh air that helps me settle the creative energy that has been stirred up in painting.

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I take off my shoes and walk barefoot in the soft sand, grounding into the earth through her marshmallow cushion of beach.

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There is usually some wildlife to observe- these are endangered sea birds.  I should know their name, but i don’t.  Look at that blue sky though- incredible.

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At my turning around point I always do several salutations to the sun, giving thanks and praise for this climate and beach which is my playground.  Yesterday there was a baby sea lion sitting on a rock here.  Born on the Channel Islands, the Mom’s sometimes swim them over here to eat if there’s not enough food there.  He looked pretty relaxed on that rock and well cared for by his mother :)

beach-blog2

I just read an article on brain health and the research shows the best thing we can do for our aging brains is walk 2 miles every day.  Apparently, heading out for a walk sends messages to the brain that we are entering new territory and it opens us up to receive new data.  Well, for me it might as well be getting under this bright blue sky of ours and feeling the sand between my toes, smelling the salt air and sensing the warm sun on my skin, the bright light opening my retinas.

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Of course our walk is the highlight of Georgie’s day and he likes a 6 mile loop. so that’s what we do.  Somehow it completes our day. Painting and Walking- they just kind of go together.

I hope you all have a nice walk you can do every day- it is such a simple pleasure~

 

Back to Bend

river

I was married in a small meadow along the Deschutes River at the end of Shevlin Park in Bend, OR in 1986- a bunch of lifetimes ago.  My dog Sally followed my dad and me down the “aisle” and stood at my heels.  We ate potato salad afterward that I made for our guests and played volleyball and threw the frisbee.  I was a high achieving hippie chick back then and come to think of it i still fit into that category.

me-hills2

 

Fast forward to the present- My beloved daughter Hillary resides here now, same age that I was back then, living out her own version of high-achieving hippie chick.  I just returned from a sudden 6 day trip up there to help my poor sweet pea through a broken collar bone surgery due to a snowboarding accident.  Here she is all put back together again, ready to take on the world.  She has big dreams like me.  We keep getting stronger when life gets hard.

mobile adventuture unit

She lives in a small 2 bedroom house with 3 other room mates, so her gypsy “vambulance” that she outfitted herself serves as guest cottage in the backyard.  This is where I slept in 32 degree temps (with a small space heater) nestled under the ponderosa pines.  Mobile Adventure Unit indeed!

never a dull moment

I would say that being a hippie mother means never having a dull moment.

bed-vambulance

I slept surprisingly well in this earthy sanctuary and had many rich, vivid, colorful dreams.  Dreams of flowers sprouting from my journal pages, dreams of my paintings being formed into clay vessels, dreams of Earth Mother Goddesses, an image of Zap Mama. I see my wooden prayer beads hanging from the ceiling- the emblem that served as my guidance after my kundalini opening in Senegal, Africa in 2000 that I brought home, passing them on to my daughter with prayers for her own enlightenment.  Perhaps their energy fueled my Earth Mother Goddess dreams… or maybe it was just me in my role as fierce Momma nursemaid, nurturing Hillary in her healing process.  Whatever the cause, I was touched deeply by the Great Mother archetype on this unexpected trip.

chicken coop

Hillary built this chicken coop which was next to my sanctuary and we enjoyed fresh eggs every day.  She wants to do urban permaculture design with this type of thing for everyday people.  The more power to her.

Hills-josh

This is her boyfriend Josh who shares the same passions and dreams as her- they met in a soils lab class at the college.  He made this rabbit fur lined, pendleton wool hat for Hillary for Christmas- another creative, yeah!.

hills-fashion

He also made her this white leather purse with beautiful beadwork by his sister.  High fashion Earth-Glam style.  Love it!!!

red osier

I went for 6 mile walks every day along the river, enjoying the contrast of winter to the perpetual summer of my Santa Barbara life.  The red osier dogwood it’s own beautiful expression to behold rather than the pink bougainvillea that blooms here now.  Like I said it was a back to roots experience, being here.  I also visited the local rec center each day for yoga and a sauna.  I swam in the pool here when pregnant with Stuart way back when.  In some ways I felt to be that same person, practicing self care so that I may better serve others.  A lesson I have learned well.

pennie

Pennie came with me to the river every day, swimming in the cold water while I sat on a rock and did my pranayama/meditation.  I seem to always a have a dog by my side- my Chinese astrological sign.  Lots of loyal canine energy.

twinsies

Strangely enough Josh had had surgery on his left shoulder (same side) just a week before Hillary and coincidentally they had the same surgeon. Some kind of karmic unfolding.  Anyway, now they are twinsies and here we are celebrating on my last night there.  So glad we made it through this catastrophe with ease and grace and even some spark of Divine magic. No matter what life throws at us, if we open up to the flow and beauty of what is and are receptive to the offerings, there are always gifts that are rich and rewarding.  It was wonderful to reconnect with my girl in her earthy world.

Now I am home and a bucket of tulips, irises and daffodils await painting in my studio- spring is around the corner.  new beginnings~

 

Plein Air Pleasures

Santa Barbara Bird Refuge-web

I am continuing with my weekly paint outs into nature.  There is something immediate about painting outside in the elements that brings a freshness to my process.  This is our lovely bird refuge here in Santa Barbara and the black ducks are called coots (as in that old coot- never hear that expression anymore).  They were entertaining  Georgie while I sat on the bench working.  The colors here are so bright from the nourishing winter rains that we’ve desperately needed and received- Ah, thank you heavens above.

Coots at SB Bird Refuge original painting available here

gaviota1

 

I’ve also gone up the coast to Gaviota, just north of Santa Barbara to paint this area for a SCAPE (Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment) fundraiser show that will take place at the Bacara Resort in April. I love this group- participating in offering my art to give back to the earth for all She gives to me.  I have the deepest honor for Her abundance and beauty. Namaste.

gaviota- georgie

Of course Georgie loves to accompany me on my outings and he is such a mellow, sweet presence.

gaviota coast2

Funny, I returned the following week to do another painting and thought I was doing an entirely different piece- more loose and free.  But, when I saw them together I realized how similar they are so am offering this one unframed in my etsy shop here

One of my professors in art college all those years ago once said that we paint the same picture over and over again- makes you wonder.

sunset-blog

I leave you with another infamous Santa Barbara winter sunset from my deck- we get an incredible show in front of our house every evening.  This is what I look at while I cook our dinners and it infuses our food with extra chi, I’m sure of it.

Blessings for beauty in your world~

 

Gates of Grace

Gates of Grace

Remember as a child how time seemed to float by and experiences were more dreamy as you flowed from one magical encounter to the next?  My latest painting, Gates of Grace, is an expression of that state that I am returning to after all the purification of these last 15 years since my kundalini opening in Africa.

temple-gates

 

Daily meditation time in my temple is all it takes to keep my heart/mind open and full of love.  Taking time to see and appreciate beauty around me keeps me receptive to feeling that heightened love as an innocent child does.

temple-gates

It is in these moments of emptiness that inspiration comes pouring in and I am filled with a need to create something beautiful as a thank you to the universe for this gift of life. Here is the path to my temple- the Gates of Grace where the yellow butterflies float by so dreamily along the pink flowers, against the blue sky.

studio-gates

And my studio far above the temple with flowers from my abundant garden.  This is where sacred ritual takes place.

gates in progress

And I am transfigured through the process of painting.  My emptying out becomes a filling up and a channeling out again- a circular process like life itself.

Gates of Grace

 

Dear friends, I encourage you to take some time every day to surround yourself with beauty and feel deeply into the love that the appreciation brings in.  Sunny smiles and warm hugs to all~

Gates of Grace giclee prints available here

 

Feminine Alchemy Immersion

collage

As I continue on my path of investing in my Highest Good, I recently signed up for an on line course through the Shift Network called Feminine Divine Alchemy (think Mists of Avalon, one of my favorite books).  It is based on the 13 Moon Mystery school and we will be delving into 13 different archetypes to deepen into.  Our pre-course assignment was to create a collage of what we want to achieve on this journey.  I decided to select 13 different females (including myself in the center) who embody a characteristic or quality that I feel inside of me that wants fuller expression.  I placed them like the hands on a clock in chronological order that they came into my life.  I wasn’t thinking about the specific archetypes but am curious to see if each of these women might perhaps be in alignment with the different energies.

Here is my list:

* Jackie O

* Audrey Hepburn

* Georgia O’Keefe (we share the same b.d.!)

* Princess Di

* Zap Mama

* Beyonce

* Marianne Williamson

* Bonnie Simoa

* Shiva Rea

* Donna Delory

* Snatam Kaur

* Lalita

We were also assigned to write our intention out and mine is what it has always been albeit more potently grand.

” I am taking the throne of my Queendom as an Artist-Priestess to spread healing love light to humanity in service of raising the vibration of the planet”

I truly believe that the best way we can serve the world is by fulfilling our potential.  I have a feeling this class will help me along my path and I send a wish that you are doing something to nurture your growth.

Will keep you posted on my process~

 

Weekend on the home front at a glimpse

sunset

My favorite weekends are being home with nothing scheduled but to enjoy my surrounds- sunset from my deck Friday evening.

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I started a new painting Saturday morning with flowers from my garden- hibiscus, cosmos, tulips, and yellow flowering succulents…all blooming in January. This is my paradise.

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Casey, Georgie and I went for a 3 hour walk on the beach in the afternoon and I got this driftwood and more rocks for my rock garden.

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I’m having so much fun with the ritual of creating this garden where nothing will grow.

temple

As always, plenty of daydreaming temple time- just laying there watching clouds float by…

templetime

the waves were nice to watch this weekend too~

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here’s the stone layout in my temple with my petunias which symbolize joy.

gaviota

The three of us went on a bike ride today along the path with a view of the mountains.  Here is a little plein air pice I did a couple of weeks ago hanging in Jenna’s room.

gaviota1framed

a close-up

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Here’s the other side of her room with one of my older paintings just for the fun of it.

Hoping you had a dreamy weekend too.

Sending love~

Dissolving Karmic Ties For a Pure Heart

Let Your Love Light Shine

 

I have been doing a lot of inner work around clearing the debris in my entangled relationships here in my angel temple (with Georgie- my constant companion).  I am finding that by dissolving karmic ties, I am feeling the deep deep love within that underlies the pain and longing, regret and guilt that are more on the surface.  This has been so healthy for me and the loved ones I have been working with (on a spiritual plane).

The end result is a filled up feeling of love in my heart and a purity and tenderness that was my original state- compassion for myself and other.  It is somewhat vulnerable but ultimately empowering.  I want to share this simple but effective ancient Hawaiian practice with you since it has been so immensely healing for me.

* Move into your Higher Self by sitting still, eyes closed and take several deep breaths into your heart space, centering your attention there.

* Call in the Higher Self of the person you want to clear with. Visualize them sitting in front of you.

* Tell them the following words:

Thank You,  I’m Sorry,  I Forgive You, I Love You

* Offer them a gift ( I have used a flower, a candle, a hug, a rock, a blessing)

* Receive any words or gifts they have to offer you

I hope you will try it with some of your relationships that feel bound and let me know how it goes~

With pure love in my heart,

Erin

Love Light

Love Light

When I am deep in mediation in my angel temple over the sea, I merge with my surroundings.

I breathe in and out of each chakra moving up the sushumna channel till I reach my crown, which then opens up to spirit.  Receiving this love light energy through my crown I allow it to spread back down like nectar, bathing my being in pink, golden radiance.  This is what it feels like.

Love Light print available here

Quan Yin Winter Nourishment

veggies

Just back from our weekly Saturday farmers market outing- so grateful for our year round, fresh bounty that we have here in Santa Barbara.  Casey and I will go through all these veggies in the coming week, feeding our bodies and minds with high vibration gifts from the earth.  I have been a vegetarian since I was 14 and it just makes sense to me.  Casey loves my cooking so much that he has become a semi-vegetarian because it tastes so good.  My newest favorite recipe is cauliflower soup with tahini- yum.

sunset

I’ve been spending many many hours in my meditation temple, stilling my reptilian brain, coming into stillness and uniting Being with Presence.  Working with my theme of Boundless Love that is my intention for the new year- absorbing that energy into my Being.  This quiet time is not wasted time- in fact it is the most productive time of my day because it brings such power to the rest of my life, especially my painting.

Boundless Love-web

Hummingbird has become my symbol for Boundless Love- they live in the garden surrounding my temple and are becoming my teachers of joyful spirit.

(print available here)

quan yin

 

There is a soft rain today and Quan Yin by my front door reminds that this is the time of year to slow down, do less, reflect and nourish myself on all levels.  The emptying is a crucial part of the filling, especially since there was so much emotional purification last year.  Now my cup is filling slowly, consciously with food, thoughts, activities that nourish me with love and goodness.

rocks2

I notice myself going with the flow more these days, even if it means more zen and empty space.  This little section of garden has been a trouble spot for years.  A bed of pine needles from the 2 old growth pine trees overhead prevents any plants from taking root.  After resisting and struggling to get things to grow, I finally accepted the emptiness of it and am working on making a natural rock garden with found objects from nature.  I will gather some driftwood at the beach- it will be my sculpture garden.  Now I see it as a restful area in our lively garden and it reminds me that we need periods of rest, quiet, stillness.  That is what winter is all about.  Hope you’re getting yours~

Tofino, Vancouver Island

S, G, me

Last week I journeyed up to Tofino, Vancouver island to meet the family of my son’s lovely fiance, Ghislaine.  The wildness of this place is bigger than us and invites an awe that expands the soul.

Stu and me

It is a pristine rugged coast embraced by a bio-dense rainforest.  It is life on the edge where Spirit flows into the human experience.

me doing yoga

I felt a natural grace enter into my being and moved to the rhythms of the elements in union- doing yoga on the beach spontaneously.

me doing yoga 2

Standing on a rock in this majestic cove I was invoked to do sun salutations as I felt a praise welling up in me that begged for expression through movement- an honoring of the nature spirits.  It was such a deep feeling of love….love for our earth and for my place in it.  The 1st nation (native) people of this area live close to the animal spirits here and align themselves with the appropriate medicine of the local animals- bear, wolf, owl, whale, eagle, and hummingbird of some of their primary totems.

 

 

necklace

Stuart and Ghislaine gave me this beautiful hummingbird necklace by a first nation artist.  They know me well and it makes me so happy that they chose this totem for me at this point in my life, just after choosing “Boundless” as my word for the year.

“The Native Symbol or Totem Hummingbird teaches you to appreciate and love the miracle of living, and to help you focus on the positivity in your life.  They are messengers of peace, they heal your body and soul and they guide you through life’s challenges.  Hummingbirds are very independent and seem to have an unlimited energy supply.  they symbolize wonder and beauty.”

I am embracing this totem in my life now and find it useful as an energy to tap into to keep me in alignment with my intention.  Hummingbirds hang out in my mediation temple, sometimes coming right up to me while I’m meditating- I must look like a flower in my colorful clothes.  I always see them as extensions of the angels who live there.

In the past I have had different animal totems help me through various passages in my life- eagle, fox, owl, sea turtle, morning dove have been some important ones.  As I enter this new era of my life, I turn to hummingbird for guidance and revelation.  It is helpful to take on animal spirit as teacher and I encourage you to tune in to an animal totem and breathe the energy in fully.  For me, part of the wisdom will come from painting hummingbirds which I plan on doing in my next work.

 

 

 

 

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