Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

200 million years of emotional life can't be denied.

Has anybody noticed it's much easier to paint when you have no desire to go near to a computer? Right now, the outside world is a scary place, and computers are windows (HA!) to the outside world. Like most mammals, I react to panic by withdrawing further into my own social unit.

Paint is comfortable and happy, and my friends know how to avoid my triggers, meaning the things that we already know will set me off. This is great for managing times of stress. Experience has taught that a great thing for times of stress is avoiding, triggers, For example, I already understand that the compulsively following the 24-hour news cycle can lead to the sort of weird, compulsive, anxiety-ridden behavior of an addict, and, frankly, there are people who are paid far more than I am for those migraines.

Knowing that this is not my problem, and understanding that it's OK to step away from the monitor, is a powerful tool for controlling stress. I love all of you. Children of Earth, please work this out. You are above my pay-grade.

The most amazing thing I have learned this week was just how significant emotion is in our thinking process, once we really analyze the brain on the meaty-bits level. The science of the brain is a favorite "geek" of mine, but I understand not everybody shares it, so let me just give a link. This article by Stephen T. Asma has given me a great deal to think about.

The animal/ emotional part of our brains is much bigger, older, and more powerful than we tend to give it credit for. Vastly.

"After you spend time with wild animals in the primal ecosystem where our big brains first grew, you have to chuckle at the reigning view of the mind as a computer" ~Stephen T. Asma 

By giving myself larger blocks of time intentionally away from the computer and the possibility of news and its constant panic, I can reduce stress. By allowing myself a larger block per day to just do what I love and paint, I increase joy. By doing both, I can give myself an immeasurable gift. I'm not sure if I can stay with it, but I am willing to keep an open mind.

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