Archive of ‘The Latest Happenings’ category

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.

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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

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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.

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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,





From human longing to Divine Love

Infinite Bliss_Web

20 years ago when I was married I thought I fell in love with another man. We had some kind of magical, mysterious connection that was powerful and un-namable but very palpable within our energetic field. I became obsessed and filled with a deep, aching longing that took over my life. Being a good wife, of course I never acted upon this magnetic attraction. Instead I went to a counselor to try to overcome the debilitating feelings of overwhelm. She said “It’s a spiritual matter”. I was 36 then and not yet on my path of spiritual devotion so I didn’t really fully get that, though I was more than vaguely aware of the spiritual nature of my feelings and felt that God was somehow more present within the energies of me and this man. Of course, looking back I can see that it was just that he triggered some dormant part of my spiritual consciousness. He had a reggae radio show and would play songs directed at my life issues and through the music I accessed something previously inaccessible, or so was my illusion. The songs were filled with devotion to Jah and was the beginning of my transcendence from human directed, emotionally attached love to a more immense devotional love for God. Without being able to act on my feelings they were redirected by the music. This went on for almost 4 years. Then I took a trip to Senegal, Africa with my west african dance troupe to study dance and culture for 5 weeks.  I had an intense, spontaneous kundalini opening my first night there in that energy field of intense, heightened, spiritual-sexual  Mother earth rootedness. I thought I was dying but afterward I had an immense heart opening that filled me with boundless love so vast it never could have been held by this culture, but in this ancient culture I was normal and my wide open heart was held by the pure African friends I made there.


That experience broke the spell of my infatuation and started me on my spiritual path in earnest. It was 2000, just at the turn of the new millenium. When I returned I was changed and my entire life became undone. It was like the container of my life could no longer hold the person I’d become. My marriage fell apart, my art career took a nose dive, I turned within, studied classical ballet, and began a daily yoga practice in an effort to regulate the released energies flooding my system. Looking back years later, I recognized that it was the build up of pent up emotional, spiritual, devotional, sexual longing that I had projected onto the man of my attraction that led to the huge release of my kundalini awakening. It took getting myself out of our western culture with it’s confusion of romantic love for Divine Love to experience the totality of what the ancient people know in their bones- that connection to God is the primary source of Love and fulfillment. This opening dismantled my life but also began the long (now 15 year) process of purifying my ego fears which have at times seemed bottomless- perhaps they are. But I’m getting there.  One by one they are dissolving into the vast ground of being which is the new container for my life. It’s my connection to the Holy Spirit which has allowed my fears to be released. This is happening rapidly now and being reflected in my new paintings, which are more channeled, intuitive, fluid, spontaneous and free. Letting go of ego control has supported me in letting go of creative control.

Opening to Grace_Web

Two nights ago I had another kundalini experience of heart opening into Divine Love that altered me permanently I think. As a mother, the strongest love I have known in this human life is the love for my children. The mother-infant bond is completely Unitive in a way no other human relationship can compare. As my children have grown up and now live far away I have been filled with that similar deep, aching longing for connection with them that was fleetingly tasted as a young mother, but can never truly satiate in a sustainable way . This has been going on for 10 years at least and has become unbearably painful at times. Without contact with them I’ve had no choice but to go within to that deeper connection to Source for comfort. The other day it seemed my longing for that emotional connection with my children came to a head. I prayed in my temple during my late afternoon meditation. I literally called in the Holy Spirit as I lay in bed before sleep. This redirected longing for my children into summoning of God brought in a huge wave of healing Grace as I was literally awaked by an infusion of the Holy Spirit coursing through my body and my heart expanded in boundless love equal to what I experienced in Senegal almost 16 years ago. It felt like the kundalini had worked it’s way through the lower chakra issues and moved into my heart space, at long last. The love was so vast, so timeless and so much larger than the love for my children or even this lifetime and I was overcome by the feeling that my children will always be in my heart and I will always be in theirs and that together we are cradled in God’s Love. It left me with a profound sense of peace and deep compassion for all beings that I have not experienced so strongly ever before.


Here I share a bunch of my recent paintings that express my big shift that has been in the works since that catalyst of the man attraction those 20 years ago. It seems like a long time in the making and that it’s taken forever for me to understand that counselor’s words “It’s a spiritual matter” and I know the spiritual path has no end, yet I feel like I have made a quantum leap into my authentic essence of being and it feels victorious. I am in new territory. Blessings to you all~








Blackburnian Warblers


The fires of summer are warming and softening, allowing us to surrender to the heat that slows us down, to relax into just Being and invites us to daydream into the imagination of wonder and magic.


These so-called lazy days of summer are really the most productive in that in the energy of play and relaxation brings us closer to the realms of unseen forces and the freedom of allowing spirit to move through us.  We become like the songbirds, singing and flying for the joy of it.  Allow the heat to relax your body, let your worries go, and be in Joy that summer celebrates so beautifully~

Original painting available here

Dream Time


Blood red roses of Mother Earth, golden-yellow sunflowers of solar male power, magenta gladiolas of my radiant body, the green of nourishing plants and balance- I honor you and invite you into my Being, alchemizing your energies to enhance my wholeness and well-being.  I celebrate the vital force of life, in my garden, in myself.


I welcome the transition from day to night and when we enter into Dream time, to the realms of the vast Universal sub consciousness; a time and place where we can shapeshift and create infinite possibilities within our psyches and our lives.


This Weaver-Dreamer process of creation is seamless, from painting, to dreaming, to breathing, to witnessing and reflecting.  Energy comes in, circulates around, energy goes out like the waves that move in and out from the Pacific ocean at my temple gate.  We are just channels for this energy- here to receive and give back, all in the name of Love.  It’s a matter of staying centered in our heart space to attract and radiate Love.  I become more clear with each passing day that this is my one and only mission in Life.

Original painting available here

prints available here

Color Therapy for Solstice Light

One of the many beautiful benefits of art, both in the creating and enjoyment of it, is the healing quality of color therapy.

Peonies & Tulips

Peonies & Tulips

The vibrations of colors act on our energetic body to balance our emotional distress and acts on the subtle planes of our Being. My newest painting, Peonies and Tulips, was done during a week when I was dealing strongly with Universal Mother Love (pink), my sensual/sexual vitality (orange), and speaking my truth (turquoise).  At the time I wasn’t even conscious that I was using colors that directly correlated with the chakras that had been activated for healing.  It was only after going through this portal of initiation, growth, empowerment that I was able to look back and see how the process of painting had supported my inner process of coming into deeper alignment with my Divinity.  It is so magical and beautiful to surrender to our intuitive powers and let them guide us to what is real.  What is real for me at this time of the longest light of the summer solstice is that as I release false shame and blame from judgement placed on me by ego fears of the patriarchal culture, I am flying into the realms of the heart where I am vibrating at the frequency of Love, shining my light back to the sun as a reflection of the Divine Being I am.  And I am realizing this is my ultimate purpose- to radiate Love with my Being of which my painting is a direct extension.

Happy solstice dear friends- May you walk in the Light of your truth as a Divine Being and be happy in your heart for you come from Love and will return to Love, so Be the Love.

original painting available here

prints available here

Pow Wow


I am currently really interested in combining realism and abstraction in my painting.  Like coming into balance with our dual natures, my aim is to harmonize these 2 opposites of our reality.  As in life, bliss comes from integrating all our diverse aspects into our Being. We are then whole and holy.



Pow Wow is my ultimate fusion of these 2 approaches with my at the ready flowers from the farmers market on a field of paisley pattern- a distillation of abstract shapes into it’s most crystalized form.  It was an interesting experience and though I don’t think I will continue with this extreme contrast, this piece is sure to shape the creative expression yet to come.  I am curious to see what unfolds next out of this channel of mine.  Only the Gods know~

original painting available here

prints available here


GLO show

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The few hours I spend each morning painting is my time to make an offering to life, to the world.  It is really a spiritual practice of circulating my love back out to the Universe from where it came, without consideration of return.


This offering of my art springs from an overwhelming feeling of passionate adoration and devotion that cannot be contained, and overflows from the bounty of my gratitude.


The gallery becomes an altar of my offerings of love and gratitude to be experienced by people, so that the energy may recirculate once again, touching them with the vibrations of love.


This completes the circle and allows me to bask in the fullness that giving brings.


My featured artist show at Gallery Los Olivos runs through May 31.

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Hope you can swing by and soak in some love light.

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