Painting of Clara and the Nutcracker stands alongside collection of Nutcrackers.

For the Love of The Nutcracker

The magic of The Nutcracker has been part of my family’s holiday celebrations for ten years now. Two of my daughters joined the cast of our local production when they were 7 years old. Every year, rehearsals would begin in the summer, and continue until the performance at our gorgeous local theatre in early December, right around now. I’ve always loved the extravagant beauty of this classic tale. From the glamour of holiday parties of a seemingly more civilized time, to the courage of young Clara in defeating the evil Mouse King, the tender and innocent love between Clara and…

Hello, Gorgeous

“Hello, Gorgeous” is the latest work in a series titled “Messengers from Another Realm”. I don’t think I am alone in admitting: this isolation is getting to me.  Despite my best efforts, I find my spirits flagging, the uncertainty of our future weighing heavy.  My ego-mind is ruthless, even questioning what am I doing, spending my time on painting — to what end — reminding me how useless I feel, especially during this time, when essential service workers are saving the world, while I sit at home… brushing paint on canvas. WHAT IS ART FOR? Luckily, once again, I’ve been…

People ice skating on the Rothesay Common.

Saturday Afternoon on the Common

“Saturday Afternoon on the Common” is a painting in a new series I’m working on titled “Be Here, Now”. THE MIND’S SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS The nature of the mind, of our thoughts, is to try to find where happiness may be found.  Our thoughts continuously point out what’s wrong in our lives, what must be “fixed” so that we may feel safe, comfortable, successful, happy.  When we “fix” one thing, the mind finds another reason for unhappiness. POWER IN THE PRESENT MOMENT Meditation teachings tell us true and lasting happiness can be found in transcending thought.  In identifying with the…

Ask. Let Go. Listen.

This painting is one of intention, hope and faith, from the Light chapter of Millennial Mom’s tale. Desire is fundamental to our human nature.  It fuels our growth, and leads us to evolve.  Ultimately, it is the path to our true selves, leading us to work for the things that bring the deepest fulfillment. It is a universal desire… a need… to be known, to feel understood, cared for, loved.  When those needs aren’t met, we turn to substitute gratifications.  We over-consume substitutes — food, drugs or alcohol, entertainment, shopping, sex, work, perfectionism.  Or we seek to protect ourselves with…

Millennial Mom Battles the Sweet Demon

This painting, Millennial Mom Battles the Sweet Demon, is of the Descent chapter of the Millennial Mom: I Have a Probem with Fantasy series.  I hope my artistic abilities are sufficient to convey this noose is made of candy, meant to symbolize those substances we turn to, which, when used in excess, (with fixation, imbalance, and loss of control) can harm us, either mentally, spiritually or physically. THE NAMELESS YEARNING Many of us turn to a substance/behavior to meet our fundamental needs that are not met.  We feel a nameless yearning for something other.  Believing we cannot handle these uncomfortable…

Forgive Me

Forgive Me, is a pivotal work in the final chapter of the Millennial Mom story. THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE Want freedom from suffering?  A good place to start is to face your painful truth.  In trying to make sense of challenging outcomes, rather than blaming those things we cannot control – other people, society, fate/the universe/God/whatever-you-believe-in –  instead, look within. After many years of struggle, I’ve found freedom in honestly and humbly looking at my part, in how things go down.  How have I contributed to what is troubling me?  Where have I selfishly wanted life to go…

Love Yourself First

I have pondered long the difference between selfishness and self-love. My husband has a problem with this one, says people will take it the wrong way.  Egos will read this as license to think only of themselves.  Mayhem will ensue.  That I fail to acknowledge the true One-Self of the enlightened. But I trust my readers will understand what I’m saying, largely because many have lived the consequences of what happens when we don’t heed this advice. Below, I share why this matters, and what it means in our day-to-day life. We can heal the world by first healing ourselves,…

Millennial Mom Battles Monkey Mind

Meditation has saved me.  Along with exercise, a nutritious diet, great sleep, sunshine and fresh air, a daily meditation practice is key to my health and well-being. Much of our suffering is caused by our thinking.  We can free ourselves from this suffering by learning to recognize what is true in the present moment.  We do this through the regular practice of mindfulness, otherwise known as meditation.   – Tara Brach, PhD WHY MEDITATE Very practically, meditation has been shown to help manage pain, depression, stress, and cortisol levels, as well as raise our happiness set point, that point on…

Smiling, happy family including Millennial Mom, husband, and four children

The Complexity of Love

If you’ve seen my work, you know my paintings aren’t pretty pictures. My art explores illusions, suffering, relationships, love, courage, trying to make sense of it all. Loving Can Hurt is about deep, long-lasting, Real Love. Here I attempt to lift the veil for a moment, and explore the idea that the true experience of family life is not the one we portray in our family portraits of harmony and connection. Those moments occur, sure. But many of us have seen another reality go down behind the scene captured by the camera, one which we often do not share in…