Saturday, February 16, 2008

I've Moved My Blog!!

Hello! Please come on over to my new Blog at WordPress. Same great paintings, same great writing, new location.

Please change your bookmarks and links to me too. Thanks, see you soon!

http://kriscahill.wordpress.com/


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! & New Address

Happy Valentine's Day to you! May this day be filled with love, peace, and (really good) chocolate for you and your loved ones.

I have finally done it and moved my blog over to Wordpress. Hooray! I'm still working out a few bugs, but you can visit and tell me what you think.

Here's my new address: http://kriscahill.wordpress.com/

I will be posting there from now on, so if you just found me, come on over. Thank you!

"My Funny Valentine" 2007 40"x32" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at kriscahill.com



Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You're My Best Green Mwah Meme

It was a busy day out here in Blogland. I received 2 awards and a meme. Plus Obama won big yesterday, hooray! The thing I love is HOW MANY people went out and voted. That was cool.

This painting is one of my very favorite abstracts I have painted. It's called "You're Green Baby, Oh So Green". The title is a direct quote from 'Free Henry Goodbar, Telepath', which was written by my good friend James. I went to see the play several times, (Noel was in it), and loved that line so much I named a painting after it. I am feeling quite abstract these days, and will be flinging the paint at the vinyl in an abstract manner tomorrow. Wildly.

Then I won this award today. I was one of four featured artists in January at Designer's Depot. There was a Battle of the Artists at the end of the month, and I got the most votes! Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Designer's Depot is a wonderful site, with interesting artists featured and great design information. Check it out here.




THEN I got this from Diane Clancy, the Mwah award, which is a big red kiss. The award is described thusly:

"It's a big kiss of the chaste platonic kind, from me to you with the underlying 'thanks' message implied. I really do appreciate your support and your friendship, and yes, your comments."

Thank you Diane! And here's a great big Mwah! right back at you.



I am passing this award on to: Shoshana Rose, John, (hahahaha!), Sweet Irene, Heather, and Andrea. Mwah!!

Okelly dokelly, now onto the moment you've all been waiting for, neighbors. My Book Meme!! John at Typos.Daylight.Fate tagged me for this meme that I was watching going around, knowing I would catch it eventually. He has earned himself a permanent place on my list of people.who.must.be.tagged. :))

Here's the deal: Pick up the nearest book. Find page 123. Find the first 5 sentences, and post the next 3. Tag somebody or several somebodies.

My book: 'Riches Within Your Reach' by Robert Collier, 1947

"Like attracts like. Praise and appreciation bring back greater praise and appreciation to you. If you want health, happiness, in your life, if you are seeking riches and success, attune your thoughts to these."

I tag: Noel at It's Okay, and Brian at Who Got the Gravy?. More if I feel like it later!

"You're Green Baby, Oh So Green" 2006 32"x30"
at kriscahill.com


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Abstract Passion and Losing Touch With Reality

What concerns me is not the way things are, but rather the way people think things are.
~Epictetus

Ah, reality. What of it? Whose reality, is what I always ask, but then again I am a known troublemaker. I can't let well enough alone. Somebody hands me a "truth" and I tend to poke holes in it. With a sharp stick dipped in honey.

"Reality" can just be a picture of what is real. The more people who agree with the picture, the more real it becomes.

I am not advocating for anyone to lose touch with reality. I will be one of the first people to tell you grounding can be a good thing. It's the false realities that have to go.

I don't mean theatre and pretending and dressing up have to go. I mean those things everyone thinks are real when maybe they're not. I mean agreements over what's true. Think back to your childhood. What things were you absolutely certain were The Truth then that you know better about now? Maybe "everyone" believed something, so you didn't question it. It's hard to swim upstream.

Artists have a lot of lies to step over. They are not unlike other humans in this regard. The big untruths I am working on now have to do with being seen in the Art World, and making a living as an artist. There is a certain "wisdom" that says that only so many artists, a tiny percentage actually, will ever do this. I remember being in art school and hearing the conventional wisdom going around about how to actually make a living as an artist. Most agreed it was impossible. One needs a real job, or a sugar mama/daddy, or tons of luck. Marketing was not a concept taught at my art school. Seems odd now, as that is the way things are, for artists, dealers, galleries, and just about anyone else with something to sell.

I don't see this topic as just about marketing or selling one's art. Reality is a broad concept. There are as many different realities as there are people. Each of us is unique, and has an individual way of looking at life. When looking for yourself, it may be easier to see clearly. The lens fogs up when looking through someone else's glasses.

Do you have a discarded "Truth" you'd like to share? Please post if you do. Thank you!

"Abstract Passion" 2006 32"x30" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
at kriscahill.com

Monday, February 11, 2008

Knowledge Tree, Music, and Surprise

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit with a few friends; it was fun to catch up with them, hang out and just talk about stuff. I have a friend who plays the electric bass in a band, and yesterday she and I found out we both loved and listened to many of the same bands when we were younger. We share a fondness for dark and noisy punk music. We bonded over this, and made a date to watch a DVD of an old favorite band of ours, The Stranglers.

I love music, and cannot imagine a life without it. Music fills my days, helps me find my muse, cheers me, lifts me up, makes me laugh, brings tears to my eyes. Music is emotional and healing. Lately I have been listening to piano music, especially in the mornings. Modern, simple, ethereal, beautiful...piano. Solo piano. One of my favorite cd's is called 'Solo Piano', by an artist named Gonzalez.

I listen to music while driving. Rarely do I listen to talk radio or news, it's gotta be music. I have lots of cd's in my car, and choose for the mood of the day. Gentle if I'm tired or overwrought, rocking if I'm perky, lounge much of the time. Wild electronica when I feel like something more challenging.

When I am painting, I will often put my iPod on shuffle. I want to be surprised. If I am anticipating the next note or song, I am bored. "Shuffle" often surprises me with really appropriate songs for my mood, and helps me remember to be surprised while painting. I love surprises in my paintings, and always learn from them. Perhaps improvisation is the word I am looking for, it's still a fun creative surprise.

The element of surprise is an often underrated thing. Understandably, nobody welcomes unpleasant surprises. Years ago, I wanted more surprises to come my way, and consciously tried to manifest them. A few days later I amended this to "fun surprises"! It's good to be specific. :))

However, surprise as an energy can be quite lovely. Of course, it requires letting go of the need to control everything. How many times have you heard somebody say they don't like surprises? They may be afraid of letting go of control, or perhaps even of receiving. The funny thing is that people are surprised all the time, both positively and the reverse. If you are unsure of what it is you want in life, you are more likely to receive surprises, some of which you may not remember asking for.

One of the hardest things for some people to do is to ask for what they want. They will say they don't know. It looks to me like they have what everyone else wants for them and from them in their space. Or they are invalidated by even imagining the thing they want in their heart of hearts. Somehow they have come to believe they cannot have what they want. "I'm too old, it's too late, everyone's already doing it..." If this sounds like you, why not surprise yourself? Try something new.

My husband planned a surprise birthday party for me many years ago. We had planned to have a quiet celebration, dinner and a show, something simple. We arrived home after our evening out, and as I walked through the still dark house, I had no clue that 30 of our friends were busy being very quiet. So I had the shock of my life when I turned on the light and they jumped out yelling "Happy Birthday!" Noel was so pleased that I was truly surprised, which was obvious by how high I jumped when they did this. It was a really fun party. In this case, I liked being surprised.

Do you like surprises? What's the best surprise anyone ever gave you, or that you planned for another?

"Knowledge Tree" 2008 15"x15" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
$200. at kriscahill.com

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Energy of the Sea, Spirit, Art and a Hello

Today started off quite nicely, with a comment from Shoshana on Friday's post, telling me she had written about our meeting Friday. I thought, "how nice", and when I went to her blog, I was floored! She wrote a beautiful piece about coming to my loft and meeting with me regarding the project she is doing. I will be her first featured artist for the upcoming Artist Video Portraits she will be submitting to a producer who is interested in her and her work. I am truly honored to have been written about in such a loving and thoughtful way. Here is the link to today's The Artist in You Museletter. Today's post is titled "Love Song Colors and Trees". Thank you, Shoshana! You have truly brightened my day today with your wonderful words and way of making me look at myself and my effect on others. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to work with you too.

I am inspired by the topic of Art and Spirit. I think about these two together quite often. Spirit is my guiding force as an artist. At least it is when I allow it to be, rather than allowing something else like worry or invalidation to jump in there. I love looking at energy, at spirit, and to make art that expresses this. In my abstract paintings, I am painting the energy of what I see. This is where the Energy Series came from. As I have changed and grown, so has my work. I expect that to continue, since I intend to continue to change and grow. I see my work as one way I say hello.

When I was training to become a clairvoyant, I learned the value of a hello. There is a wonderful communication that can happen when someone receives that hello. Have you ever walked into a shop or restaurant where you were ignored? Where nobody acknowledged your existence? How did you feel? You may have walked right out of that place, never to return. I know that I do. And then there's the places that welcome you, the people who say hello and you feel like you are being seen, and valued. I've given readings to many people who have not received a hello for most of their lives! My reading has been the first hello somebody may have gotten in a long time. A kind and compassionate hello can change someone's life. They of course will do the changing, a hello can trigger the change.

The quality of the hello is important. I remember being told that the energy of my hello is, "hello, wanna play?". I was complimented by this!

So hello to all of you who take the time to visit and read. Thank you! And thanks to those of you who leave your comments. They are all appreciated.

"Energy of the Sea" 2007 14"x14" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at kriscahill.com

Friday, February 8, 2008

Blue To Red

Another one from my archives, "Blue to Red" was painted using a technique I read about in an artist's manual years ago. I apply the paint to newspaper first, then use the paper to put the paint on the vinyl. In reverse. This is my messiest technique, which adds to its allure for me. I need to make more messes, the painty kind. I love the texture and marks that result from this method of applying the paint in layers. My hands get coated with paint while doing this. I am usually quite careful, since it's pigments we're talking about here. I coat my hands with a barrier cream before painting, which does nothing to protect my manicure should I be foolish enough to think it will last.

I like how challenging it is to control the paint this way. I get blurry soft edges, and an unfocused look. I also like the "accidents" that happen. I'm working on a new flower series now, and one of the things I am playing with is focus, and object/background relationship. Often, while painting objects, I separate them from the background. I want to start mixing that up, softening some of the edges, playing with perspective.

Shoshana visited me today! I'll write more about that in a later post, but let me say right now that it was fabulous to meet her. I am excited about the new collaboration we are beginning this month. Thank you for coming to my studio, Shoshana!

"Blue To Red" 2004 30"x28" acrylic on vinyl in reverse SOLD

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Orchid Valley, Lists, and Yet ANOTHER Award!

Wowie Gazowie! I have been awarded yet again, this time by Kim over at Laketrees. This award is for "exuding sunshine and serenity wherever I go". Wow, thank you Kim! Coming from you, who I always think of as being a positive force out here in Blogland, this is lovely. I will display it proudly.


I suppose this award is well timed, since my post for today begins like this:

Ten Things To Do Instead Of Worrying:

1. Laugh out loud foolishly. Even if you don't really mean it. At least you might accidentally get some fresh air this way.
2. Make up silly riddles. (Do vegetarians wear fishnets?)
3. Eat ridiculously overpriced and amazing chocolate.
4. Read the comics before the news.
5. Read the obituaries. Notice how everyone died in alphabetical order again. Smile because your name isn't there.
6. Turn OFF the TV.
7. Breathe.
8. Try on hats.
9. Write country songs. (My newest one is called "Take the chains off my heart, it's not a snow tire."
(Dedicated to everyone living in Chicago, where 18 inches of snow fell today.)
10. Sit still for 5 minutes. When you begin to fidget after the first 20 seconds, really get into it. Fidget loudly and like you mean it.

I write lists just for fun sometimes. Often they are lists of goals, of what I want, of clothes I want to sew, improvements I want to make. Making lists helps me get organized. Lists also help me figure out what I want, which is no small feat. I can probably find 3 lists around me right now without looking too hard. Sometimes they are shopping lists, or lists of what I want to get done today. Lists help me ground my day, help me get to what I am trying to accomplish. And of course, I have permission to scratch things off the list, ignore them, or just fuggedaboudit if I don't want to do that thing at all.

Because of the many demands on my space each and every day, making lists helps me to stay focussed. When one is self employed, this is key to actually getting goals accomplished. Especially when one works mainly out of one's own home, with all its many distractions of laundry, errands, chores. Ev
en cleaning out the refrigerator looks good to me on a day I am procrastinating. So I have to look at my list. Nope, don't see 'cleaning the refrigerator' on it today. Funny, come to think of it, I never see that on any of my lists!

This blog has lists on it: my links list, links to favorite places I visit, a list of the paintings on this blog. And here's a list of lists I found today:

Timothy McSweeney Tips Out His Muse: Poetic, silly and fun list of lists.
Ta-Da Lists.
To Do List.

Here's a list by one of my favorite authors:

Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave
Had twenty-three sons and she named them all Dave?

Well she did. and that wasn't a smart thing to do.
You see, when she wants one and calls out, "Yoo-hoo!
Come into the house, Dave!" she doesn't get one.
All twenty-three Daves of hers come on the run!

This makes things quite difficult at the McCaves'
As you can imagine, with so many Daves.
And often she wishes that, when they were born,
She had named one of them Bodkin Van Horn
And one of them Hoos-Foos. And one of them Snimm.
And one of them Hot-Shot. And one Sunny Jim.
And one of them Shadrack. And one of them Blinkey.
And one of them Stuffy. And one of them Stinkey.
Another one Putt-Putt. Another one Moon Face.
Another one Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face.
And one of them Ziggy. And one Soggy Muff.
One Buffalo Bill. And one Biffalo Buff.
And one of them Sneepy. And one Weepy Weed.
And one Paris Garters. And one Harris Tweed.
And one of them Sir Michael Carmichael Zutt
And one of them Oliver Boliver Butt
And one of them Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate...
But she didn't do it. And now it's too late.

"Too Many Daves" by Dr. Seuss

I'm adding "read Dr. Seuss" to my list of Things to do rather than worry!


Do you make lists? What do your lists look like?

"Orchid Valley" 2006 26"x20" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at kriscahill.com

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Green on Purple & Creative Blogger Award

Last night I had so much fun, giving readings at the last Psychic Night we will be doing at Burgundy Blue, a shop owned by a friend of mine. She has sold the shop so she can concentrate on designing. We had a full house, and I even sold 4 of my small heart paintings. I watched my friend sell my work so easily, absolutely no effort at all on her part, and with such grace and charm. I told her that if she ever decided to become an art dealer, I would happily give her 50% to represent me. Selling is such an art, and I tend to freeze up sometimes when trying to sell my own work. I do so enjoy watching excellence in this art form. I aspire to improve in this area. And I truly appreciate those who do it well, especially on my behalf. Lucky me.

One thing my friend has while selling my work that I don't, is neutrality. She sees my work as having great value. There is no judgment on her part, no question of worth. She is a businesswoman, and knows how to communicate to someone who is interested in buying. Did I already say that the ability to do this blows me away? I can do this for others, but have a much harder time doing it for me. I love to talk to people interested in my work, that is not the problem. And I market quite a bit, online and by email. It is the Value question that I am grappling with. Though I know my work has value, I get shy when presenting my art to someone in person. Especially gallery owners. I am working on overcoming this weakness on my part, and I see that neutrality is the key. Not taking any of it personally, not the praise or the rejections. It's all a part of it. And hey, I have the nerve to create it and put it out there.

Some books I've read that I find helpful with these issues include:

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orloff

If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland

And, on this note, allow me to brag about my latest award, another one sent to me by the lovely Sweet Irene, from Sweet Wood Talking. Thank you again, Irene! I am honored that people visit, comment, and get something out of reading my blog. And I am having so much fun writing it! Hey, there's that non effort thingy again. Hmmm.....


"Green on Purple" 2007 14"x14" acrylic on vinyl in reverse

available at
ETSY

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Deep Night, Change & Excellent Blogger Award

What an interesting day this promises to be! The eyes of the world will be on the U.S., as Super Tuesday is under way. I expect much fun today. Change is in the air. And, out here in the merry old land of LA (sung to the tune of "Merry Old Land of Oz), a record voter turnout is expected. Today is sunny, yes, and warmer. Should be an awesome day.

When I planned my Psychic Reading Night in Sherman Oaks for tonight, I quite forgot that it was also Super Tuesday. My predictions for today: change, games, tomfoolery, schtick, amusement, merriment, and theatre. I look forward to being among lots of people and reading the energy. This plus the impending end of the Writer's Guild Strike, (perhaps by the weekend?), will reset the energy here in the middle of the Winter of 2008. Sometimes it feels like it's a Deep Night indeed. Change is coming, that is certain. I say hooray!

What is it about change that makes it so damn scary? And exciting, exhilarating, anticipated, feared, resisted, welcomed, ignored, hated, loved? Here's a quote I found for today:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change.
~ Charles Robert Darwin


People want their politicians to remain solid on the issues. They want their friends and family to be consistent. They want their favorite bands to continue playing the same kind of music. They want things to stay the same. Change is inconvenient. Even if I don't like what's happening now, I don't have a clue as to what's coming so this is better. Change is a pain in the ass. If everything else changes, I might also have to. Waaahhhh!!

I wince when I hear people my age bemoan "kids these days" blah blah blah. I love seeing what kids these days are up to. They are changing, most of them aren't set in their ways yet. They have to figure out what it means to create their own lives. The division between generations exists mainly because each generation has its own reasons for being here. I think that's as it should be. Each brings in changes. Teenagers don't really care all that much about the music I listened to back in 1980. They have their own music. And hair, clothes, ideas, challenges, wishes, goals. The politician who sees this power clearly for what it is and can inspire younger people, some of who aren't even eligible to vote yet, will win big.

Meanwhile, the changes keep a coming. I like to take stock frequently, and look as clearly as I can in the moment, to decide what changes I want to make. Here's a few that are coming: a new website, maybe two. Letting go of the need to make sense so that I can create magic in my life. I am working on big changes in my art making, especially in my attitude toward it and preconceived ideas about what is possible there. I no longer want to keep playing my "greatest hits"! Some of them are becoming "oldies".



Irene over at Sweet Wood Talking, has passed this wonderful award on to me. This is a lovely award given to bloggers whose blog is deemed Excellent in quality. Thank you, Irene! When I began blogging more consistently last October, I didn't know yet of the many wonderful things I would find from becoming a blogger. I just knew I suddenly really wanted to do it. Besides writi
ng daily now, practicing talking about my ideas and art to others, the best part has been other bloggers. The communication, exchange of ideas, and just plain fun with artists and writers from all over the world has been so enjoyable. I look forward to much more. Thank you all for playing in this fun game with me!

The rules of this award state that I must pass it on to 10 others. I don't want to cause more work for anyone, so no pressure to do anything other than accept this Excellent Award from me!

I am giving this Excellent Award to the following: Jimmydumps/sunnyjimmy; Celestine Musings; The Artful Eye; Bad Kitty Art Studio; The Artist in You; Designer's Depot; Beth Kephart Books; Laketrees; Online Arts Marketing. There are so many more who are excellent!! I am not posting on anyone's site, so please know that when you visit and read this, you can pick up your award. Thank you.


"Deep Night" 2007 14"x14" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at kriscahill.com

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Peacock, Self Image, Reality

Peacock Energy: colorful, flashy, being seen.
Self-Image: not a problem.
Such a simple drama.
The peacock is the star.

Reality, here where I stand.
Reality, also over by you.
A different reality, each one is true.
One is not enough.

Aah, Superbowl Sunday.
Reality to many.
Halftime Petty.
Shall we tailgate?

Tomorrow's Post: Excellent Blog Award!

"Peacock" 2007 14"x14" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
Available at kriscahill.com

Friday, February 1, 2008

Something in the Wind, Validation, Vote For Me!

January began easily enough, picked up steam about halfway through, and ended on a wild and busy note. I couldn't even get online to post yesterday, the energy was so much. Which in hindsight is very good, but was a little frustrating at the time. However, I did manage to finally shoot photos of some new work, as well as pieces I've never had good photos of. This is a brand new tree painting, completed last week: "Something in the Wind". You can see it on my website here. Yes, it is for sale, through my website, or contact me.

And so February is here now. I know many of you who read my blog are also participating in the 2008 Creative Everyday Challenge. Leah's post today listed her January creative acts. Check it out, very inspirational. And it made me want to list mine, for myself if nobody else. This is where the Validation part of today's post comes in.

I have had the bad habit in my past of treating myself like a workhorse. My body and spirit won't put up with that kind of BS anymore, thankfully. As one of my favorite teachers in my life put it so well: "tell people you respond better to the carrot than the stick". I finally realized I also needed to use the carrot on myself. My carrot = new shoes, a nap, a fun day, time to just play. My point here is: with all these enormous goals piled up, I also need to take the time to validate what has already come to pass. What I have created. Take stock, before forging blindly ahead. Bwahahahaha!!

January saw more connections coming my way in my clairvoyant business. I began making plans for the first classes I will be teaching in Los Angeles. These will begin sometime in March. More details as I have them. I began expanding my visibility in Pacific Palisades, even getting some press there. There will be an article coming out in the Palisades Post soon, on top of the Events announcement that helped my first reading event there be completely booked up!

I also began expanding my online presence. I joined more blogger communities, and saw the readership of my blog rise. I've met countless amazing and talented people through blogging, and have begun making plans with at least one of them to create something amazing. Shoshana Rose has BIG plans involving a fancy new video camera and artists who inspire her. I can't wait!

I was the featured artist last week on Designer's Depot, which I posted about here. There is a contest for the best artist featured in January. (There were four.) You can vote for me by clicking on this link: Battle of the Artists. This is the first Battle of the Artists at Designers Depot. Please check it out! Thank you!! In January I was also a featured artist at Online Arts Marketing.

I found new inspiration in January for my painting process and my work. I can't wait to begin the new series I am planning, and then to share it here. Coming soon.

What works for me: kindness to myself. Present time. Amusement. Being in a happy relationship. Seeing clearly. Grounding. Good dark chocolate. Music. Color.

What works for you?

A bit of business: All of my Heart Paintings are marked 25% off through February 28, both on my website and Etsy shop.

"Something in the Wind" 2008 32"x30" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at kriscahill.com

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Evening Heart

I've had a relaxing day today, after a week of intense activity. I'm needing space to just BE. After days of much communication, parties, events, people... the best I could do today was to spend several hours on the couch in the afternoon sun reading "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood", which is a whole bundle of fun. The building I live in has a recycling area, with several bookcases next to it, filled with books people have read and are passing on to whoever wants them. When I brought my recycling down today, I went "shopping" for books, and found the Ya-Ya Sisterhood there. It was the right book to begin reading today, a fun fast read.

Last night's event went very well. After an intense energy event like that one, I need to take really good care of myself. One thing I've learned is that the major part of my work as a psychic happens when I am alone, just getting my space. That's the most important time, and without that, I am no good doing the rest. It's more than just preparing for this or that event. Taking care of myself is how I heal every day, how I have energy to create, how I feel well, how I attract great things to myself. It takes energy to create one's life, and creating my life is what I'm all about.

I've also learned that the relaxing days are as important as the painting, posting, and promoting days. My goal is to effortlessly and happily take more days to relax. This relaxation has to also happen on the inside, in all of me. Today, lying in the sun coming in the window, reading something light and fun, it was easy to stop trying to solve problems. Most of which I can't solve anyway, since I didn't create them. What a relief to let that pressure go.

Handling the daily demands that come with living one's life is part of the territory. I used to think all I had to do was dive in, headfirst, and I'd solve it, fix it, do it, make it work. I am learning a bit about grace and finesse, even subtlety. There is an art to living, and I believe one's life can be art. I'm creating a colorful abstract!

"Evening Heart" 2007 14'x13" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at ETSY

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Autumn Afternoon

"Autumn Afternoon" is one of the small abstracts I created for my Etsy shop, where you will find it now. A short post today. Tonight is a big event for me, giving readings in Pacific Palisades, and I am fully booked. In order to prepare myself, I am resting, eating well, and of course, blogging.

Yesterday I actually finally added my greeting cards to my Etsy shop. Geez Louise, it took me long enough. There is an unending amount of things to do in terms of promotion, and as February approaches, I am making my February lists. I am beginning with my goals for the month, always with an eye to much bigger goals. The bigger picture, broken down into the present moment, is much easier to handle and manifest. Today I can do thus and such...and so on.

I find this a valuable way to keep sight of the bigger picture, and not overwhelm myself in the present. This also keeps my focus on what I am doing, instead of comparing myself with others.

How do you work with your goals as an artist, creative, human?

"Autumn Afternoon" 2007 10"x10" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available on ETSY

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunspot and Sunshine

"Sunspot" was inspired by the energy of the sun itself. I saw some fantastic photos of the surface of the sun at the Griffith Park Observatory last spring, and my Energy Series was born. I was intrigued by the textures, variations in color and depth, and movement on the surface of the sun. This piece was created from my memories of the photos and a few simple line sketches. When I sketch quickly to remember something I see, I make notes: five shades of yellow from lemon to cadmium yellow dark, turquoise, alizarin, cad red lt, and so on. I sketch my little pictures and color notes in my small black wirebound sketchbook which is always with me.

When I began painting in earnest and was learning to mix color, I found it important to write down my recipes for the colors I was mixing.
I make notes in my color mixing sketchbooks, which are just for that purpose and live on my work table next to my brushes. A swatch of the color, with quick notes of which pigments from which brands has saved me enormous amounts of time and trouble, especially when I am commissioned to paint something similar to what I've done. I often see the complete palette of the painting I want to make, and a quick referral to my color books helps me get started immediately. I also have several color mixing books for artists, and sometimes use the recipes in there to practice mixing colors I don't often use. Last year, I decided to make friends with green, with great results. I had been afraid of green, kinda, and needed to get more comfortable with it. Now I have pages of notes on green.

Sometimes, when I'm feeling a bit blocked or stuck, I refer to my color sketchbooks for inspiration. Just looking at pages and pages of delicious colors can get me kick started when resistance has taken hold. And it's all about color! Color is my chosen method of expression. What I paint always begins with an idea of color. A red abstract, a blue heart, a green sky, a gold flower. Color talks, shouts, sings and skips. It dances, meditates, flows, heals, emotes. I am highly distracted by bright colorful objects.

On an energy level, color is one way that clairvoyants see. Energy itself can be seen as color, and color can be used to create healing.

Currently, I am enamored of magenta, red, orange, bright olive green, and rich purple. What colors do you find yourself attracted to?

"Sunspot" 2007 26"x20" acrylic on vinyl in reverse available at kriscahill.com

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mystical Harvest and Rainy Sunday

"Mystical Harvest" is a recent painting from my abstract landscapes series. I love the energy of the mystic, the mystery. One definition of mysticism has to do with mysteries, and the pursuit of conscious awareness of Spirit.

I understand now that I can use being an artist to answer some questions for myself. Many of my paintings, especially the more recent abstract ones, are to that end, though not always intentionally in the moment. I try to hold onto the picture I have of what I want to create. I paint because I want to see in front of me on a canvas some of what I already "see" on another, inner canvas. I am excited now to begin some new work along the lines of what has been moving and shaking for me recently.

I see movement and stillness in this piece. The energy is moving through the landscape. There is an almost ethereal quality of quiet and calm with it. When I had finished this piece and looked at, only then did I see that quality. Sometimes it awes me, wow! I did that? Then I have to own it and say, Yes, I did. How fortunate am I that I have this opportunity!

Today is rainy. I like it. It brings a calm before the storm that will be a houseful of people at my home in about 4 hours. Noel has gone out with our house guest, kindly leaving me some room to get my space before our Thank You Party we are having for all the people who have helped with Bikini Movie Review, his website. I will use it wisely, finding my own stillness and movement.

"Mystical Harvest" 2007 14"x14" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at kriscahill.com

Saturday, January 26, 2008

First and Last

"Red Front" 2005 30"x32" Acrylic on vinyl in reverse SOLD


"The Sea Has Secrets" 2007 30"x32" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at kriscahill.com

These two pieces are from a series I began in 2005 and feel I have now completed. I sold "Red Front" first and then was commissioned to make 2 others like it. "The Sea Has Secrets" came later, because I loved working with these colors. It is true that every painting has its moment. Every moment is unique. When I try to recreate one because I loved it, it can be very disappointing if I think I'm making the same painting. This will never happen.

For me, the hardest painting to make is a commission. Though I love and welcome them, and have done many, they take me longer as a rule. I tend to second guess myself more. It is also very hard to recreate one of my own pieces. First of all, it will never be exactly like the first one. That goes without saying. I've got to be in the zone to do this. Plus have a good attitude!

How do you handle the energy of creating a commission? What works for you in this process?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Dawn, Dreams and a Mon.key

I was a night owl when I was younger. I loved the mystery and quiet of the night time. I loved to see how late I could stay awake. It was peaceful, everyone was asleep, and I was free to imagine all kinds of things for myself. I'd enjoy the peace and imagine what I'd do when I grew up. I'd read massive quantities of books, or draw, or sew. One summer when I was a teenager, two other girls on my block and I would stay up all night long, until it was light outside. We hung out at one of their houses, and would talk and watch TV, and sometimes play ping pong. I don't know how we were able to get away with this, but we did. I'd go home at 6AM or so, and sleep as long as I was able to with a houseful of other people who had all had a good night's sleep. We didn't do this very often, just a few times, but it was really fun.

I continued in this vein for a number of years. There was something about the deepest part of night that always grabbed me in the deepest part of my chest. It was better when I was by myself, more profound. When I began to drive, one of my favorite things to do was to drive late at night in the very early spring, the first night it was actually warm enough to open the car windows. Which in Chicago is about 50 degrees.

Note: When 50 degrees F hits Chicago after a Long Winter, people actively cheer! and proceed to put on shorts, t shirts, and sandals. When it gets down to 50 degrees F in Los Angeles, people put on winter coats, scarves, and complain that it's cold. It's all a matter of perspective. And a source of unending amusement for me.

Back to the night time. Driving alone, accompanied only by the radio on those early spring nights, was something special. The air smelled tantalizingly like Spring. That smell brought up emotions, memories, longings I couldn't express. I didn't understand where they came from. I couldn't wait to begin living my life!

All through college, I did my best work late at night. I see now that I was able to get some space at night, that the cares of the day were behind me and I could relax. Then I began to really like the day time. Part of it was th
e W word, Work. As in job. Getting up early and such like. Needing enough sleep meant going to bed earlier.

I also began to like my dreams, and will often have a better dreaming night if I am in bed earlier, relaxed. For years I scrupulously kept dream journals, which I still have. I love remembering my dreams and still write them down. I have a few from the last two nights to record, some fun, some disturbing. I learn from them. They alert me to energies I need to be aware of. I love how dreams do not make sense.

Speaking of not making sense, I have been awarded the very coveted Mon.key Award by John Mora from Typos.Daylight.Fate. The criteria for this award is a combination of whim and grace, mostly whim. But I suspect the real reason I am receiving it because I recently included a link for Monkey Mail and John has become addicted to it. I have posted my excellently designed award in the right hand column, just under My Blog Log. John promises to hand more of these out, so if you want one, visit him and let him know you're in the running. Check out his blog and awesome art if you've never been. Thank you John! You Make My Day!

"Another Dawn" 2007 14"x14" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at kriscahill.com

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Purple Heart on Blue and Featured Artist

If days had grades, I'd give today an A+. Lovely and good things came forth today. Stuff I'd put out there and worked toward, came back in a positive way. It's so nice when that happens. Often, as most of us know, you just put it out there because that's what you do. And you keep doing it, for the love of it. There is a great joy in breaking through, in being seen, in reaping some harvest. Time to stomp the grapes, woohoo!! Let me take my shoes off!

First, I am the featured artist this week on a blog called Designer's Depot. Here's the link: Designer's Depot. You will see when you visit that you can also apply to be featured artist. This is what I did, and I am happy with the presentation of me and my work. Noel, the writer of this beautiful blog, sent me a list of questions. I sent my answers, my photo, and some jpgs of my work. Thank you, Noel! You did a beautiful job. (Note: This is NOT my husband Noel. Different guy.)

I've been working on increasing my visibility as a psychic here in SoCal. One place I have been expanding my business is Pacific Palisades, where I have been fortunate to have found a space to work part time out of. So that people can meet me and see what I do, I participate in events once a month at which I give free mini readings. Next Tuesday will be the first event in the Palisades, and it was written about in today's Pacific Palisades Post! I had nobody signed up, and now people have been calling all evening, reserving a spot for themselves. There will also be an article coming out about me and the woman whose Healing Center I work out of there. I'll keep you posted with that link when I have it.

Recently I have been featured on another blog I told you about, the wonderful Online Arts Marketing. I was just awarded the You Make My Day award, which was doubly fun in that I got to pass it on to others who inspire me. I will begin working with Shoshana Rose from The Artist in You Museletter in February. She is creating a featured artist video blog and I am her first artist. I have been fortunate to attract to myself opportunities that are delightful and also fun! Another reason to be grateful:

My husband Noel booked his first high profile commercial job since moving out here. It was one he never thought he'd get. He will be playing Abraham Lincoln in a two spot package for Civilization:Revolution, a video game. After being sent out by his agent on over 100 auditions last year, he booked one. He's had several paying acting gigs already, but this one is better. The happy dance has been danced all day.

The scenario: I am in Whole Foods, buying things Trader Joe's doesn't carry, (we had just left there). He is out in the car, parking lot is crazy at the WF in West Hollywood. All of a sudden, he is standing behind me, acting oddly, (which isn't really unusual of him) (actors!) asking me in a strange voice to take him to the White House because he is the president. Behind him, a man who has overheard is looking at us seriously alarmed. Perhaps wondering if he should rescue me from this madman. I am preoccupied with thoughts of Earl Grey and Roasted Tomatoes and where the hell are they? He keeps carrying on, saying he is the 16th President of the United States. "Wait, who was the 16th president?" I ask. "Abraham Lincoln!" is the answer, and I finally get it. Now we are laughing out loud, slapping high fives, and the guy thinks we are both nuts. So be it.

The heart featured in this blog was one of my favorite paintings at the time I made it. There are very few of my paintings I won't sell. This was one; for years it hung in our home. Then one day I was hanging a show and decided it was time to let it go, so I hung it in the show. It sold soon after. Around that time my work began to sell more, and I knew something had cleared up for me. I see now it was in the letting go. The present time looks like that to me too. I have much gratitude for this time in my life.


"Purple Heart on Blue" 2000 32"x30" SOLD

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It Never Rains in Southern California

But girl, don't they warn ya? It pours....man it pours! Rainy season is here, hooray! It's very wet and kinda chilly. After a bone dry year with the worst fires ever here in SoCal, this is a relief. I was able to stay home all day, working in my studio, cleaning, meditating, listening to the rain. It's rained a few days already this season, but today is the day I decided the Rainy Season had officially begun. Rain is very likely to continue every day, through the weekend, and most likely into next week. I am so happy; the air will be cleaner, spring will be greener, and I don't have to wash my car now!

Yesterday I was hired to do a house healing, for a woman I know whose home has been uncomfortable energy-wise for her to live in. This is the second time I've been to her home, and both times I've met her cat. He and I hit it off very well, he's a psychic cat. Yesterday he was very happy to see me, kept rubbing against me and saying hello. When the time came to read the energy and I sat down at the kitchen table, he jumped up on the table and got right in my face. "Look", I said to him, "I like you very much too, but I need some space so I can give a reading." He understood, immediately jumped down from the table and went somewhere to lie down for the duration of the reading. I was totally impressed with him. The reading went well, and my client was happy and more relaxed.

On the way home, I thought about space. Not outer space, or even inner space, but having space. Cats know about having space, and that cat instinctively knew what I was asking for. He was able to respond in a positive way without taking it personally. Which is more than people are able to do sometimes. Growing up in a large family, in a neighborhood full of large families, space wasn't exactly something people talked about having. One of my brothers moved into a long closet when he was a teenager. He had a twin mattress on the floor, his record player, and whatever else he could squeeze in there. The closet even had a tiny window. He was happy; he had his own room. The rest of us were also happy because he was easier to live with now. That tiny little closet became his sanctuary and gave him some space.

One of the reasons I first began meditating was because I wanted to have more of myself present, to have my space. I really can't imagine living well without taking time each day to do this. It is a creative act, also requiring patience and the ability to let go of needing to be perfect. Sometimes people think they are not ready to meditate because they get all squirmy and filled with silly thoughts. Meditation is seen as a serious, almost studious act. One must be kind of perfectly in a zone or something.

Here's the secret to meditation: it's never perfect. It's funny and messy and calming and also the opposite. Every time it's different. What I find works the best for me is amusement and forgiveness. Who do I forgive? First of all, myself. Next, whoever. The most important thing is that I am taking time off from busy-ness to work on my relationship with myself. That is the most important relationship I have. If that one is working well, I will be able to create my life as I see it.

"Winds of Change" 2006 33"x31" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at kriscahill.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sunny Land and You Make My Day



I have been honored with my very first award from another blogger. Sue O'Kieffe, from Sacred Circle Mandalas has kindly bestowed upon me the 'You Make My Day' award.

I met Sue very early on in my blogging career. She commented on my blog, said hello to me in a friendly way, telling me she liked my attitude. I went to her blog and was impressed and awestruck by the beauty of her work, her commitment to doing it, and her giving spirit in how she teaches others. Thank you, Sue! You Make My Day!

I would like to pass this award on to a few folks who make my day. I think it's important to let people know one is grateful for them. Since I became a blogger, I have met so many helpful, interesting, and fabulous artists.
So here are the rules: “Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about blogland! Beware! You may get the award several times!”

I recently met Shoshana Rose through the blogosphere when she visited my blog in a lovely flurry of kindness, validation, and enthusiasm. I am struck by her complete joy of life, her decision to live and create a beautiful life after going through some very difficult times, and her mission to tell the world about it. Shoshana has healed herself through dance, and tells others they can too. Shoshana writes some of the most wonderful things to me about how inspiring I have been to her. Right back at you Shoshana, You Make My Day!

I know she was just awarded this, and I don't want to put any more pressure on her, so Diane Clancy, you can just consider it a double award. Diane found me early here also, and has graced my blog with her thoughtful insights and kind comments ever since. She may not know this, but when I was in Chicago last month for the holidays, she was one of the few people who continued to visit and comment every day, though I was so busy with family and friends I barely posted while there. That meant a lot to me, as well as the generous sharing of information to be found on Diane's blog. She is fabulous at marketing, and shares what she learns. Diane, You Make My Day!

Ever since I found her blog, or she found mine, I feel as if she and I are kindred spirits. We share a similar love of red, lipstick, beauty, and fashion. Whenever I visit her blog, I am in awe of her latest creation, which she makes in an apparently effortless way. She has been through much in her life, and has compassion and grace. Neda Doany, You Make My Day!

Though I don't always comment when I visit, I read her beautiful words and appreciate them. She wrote one of my favorite books I read last year, "Undercover", a story about a teenage girl coming of age and discovering it is possible to achieve her dreams. When you visit her blog, you are greeted with her kindness, compassion, intelligence and grace, as well as her gorgeous photos. She talks about the writer's life, what it's like to be a writer, how she gets inside a character to flesh her or him out. I picture her taking a flat line drawing of the character and blowing it up like a beach ball, then writing what she sees! Beth Kephart, You Make My Day!

I learn something new every time I visit her blog. The first time I went was just at the new year, when she had published her amazing list "Top 101 Artists Blogs". Wow, what a labor of love! And she was still accepting submissions and adding them to a new list. Since finding Kim, I have met a lot of other artists who blog, learned about a fantastic free way to get stats on visitors to my sites, and been introduced to "Wordless Chicken Tuesday", among numerous other bits of fun and helpful information. (You'll have to visit her to get the scoop on WCT.) Kim at laketrees, You Make My Day!

He is a thoughtful, intelligent, and friendly guy. Chris O'Byrne from Online Arts Marketing
writes about exactly that, marketing online for artists. Make sure you check his blog out. It is written in an informative, clear and sharp way. He is concise in his words, and the information he presents is grounded and no nonsense. Unlike some other blogs that exist solely for this purpose, his is also interesting to look at. And he features a different artist every Friday. Chris, You Make My Day!

I love her work, her playfulness, and her ability to get loads of artists to commit to being Creative Everyday. Though this is her second time being awarded in the past two days, I can't help it. Every time I visit her blog, I am struck by her joy and positive attitude about life. Her ability to find the creative in simply living is catching for others. She is presenting a way to live life to its fullest, so I present to Leah Piken Kolidas this award: You Make My Day!

I just found her blog recently, actually both her blogs, and I am blown away. Though we don't know each other yet, I have been to visit a number of times, and intend to continue doing so. From the photos and statements on her banners, to her incredible artwork, to her humor, I feel a kinship for the writer of both The Artful Eye and The Way I See It. You Make My Day!

I find his visits and comments most unusual and fun, and I like that! His words are poetic and colorful, his monkey typing style is like choreography. I am happy he found my blog and began to visit, he always leaves me with something deep to ponder, or an excellent and funny phrase to laugh out loud at. His art is textured and also deep; I enjoy seeing what world he has created next. One of the many treasures I have found as a blogger, John Mora, You Make My Day!

I may be going over my allotted number here, but rules can be stretched and I don't want to leave this beautiful woman out of the mix. Not only are her mandalas gorgeous, her writing is a delight to read. Even while going through some health issues that would challenge any of us greatly, she manages to post to her blog every day. Her posts are friendly and open about her life. It's like visiting a friend for tea. Sweet Irene, You Make My Day!

Thank you as well, kind reader. I appreciate you taking the time to simply visit and read my blog. You, too, make my day.

"Sunny Day" 2006 32"x30" SOLD

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fire Sky and the Courage to Create

This is an excerpt from The Courage To Create, Rollo May, 1975:
"This courage will not be the opposite of despair. We shall often be faced with despair, as indeed every sensitive person has been during the last several decades in this country. Hence Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and Camus and Sartre have proclaimed that courage is not the absence of despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair."

I started art school in September of 1976, at the tender age of 17, and when I read this book the first time, I did not get it. I read it because it was assigned by one of my freshman year teachers. I'm sure I slid through my first reading of it half consciously at best.

I picked it up again, later in my 20's as I was beginning to look for some answers for myself. And again. I woke up today thinking of this book, and not finding it on my bookshelf, I ordered a copy. I want to read it again.

What stands out for me now as I read these words is the part 'every sensitive person'. Rollo May wrote this in the early 1970's, during and just after a time of great social upheaval. Everything was changing, more quickly ever day, as we all know now. He was referring to the courage it takes, in spite of the tumult going on all around, to create a new world. I see it as being more than a painter, or writer, or filmmaker, or musician. It is really about one becoming the artist of one's own life, and in doing so, creating a new reality.

In order for someone to create, to become an artist, it may be necessary to open up, to become even more sensitive. What a challenge now! In fact, I can't think of a time in history when it wouldn't have been a challenge to be sensitive. It's often seen as a negative, as in "oh, don't be so sensitive!" As I've gotten older, I've become much more so, to my delight. There is a deeper and wider range to draw upon. I've had to pull down a few walls to do this. In order to pull those down, I had to get safer, make new rules for my life, stop taking everyone's pain on as my personal crusade. Many people are reluctant to open themselves up, wisely so. Once someone has been hurt, that person understandably becomes a bit gun shy about letting that happen again.
But that is also how we grow, evolve, learn. Not that one needs to seek out challenging experiences. They tend to show up. :-)
(Read About How Joshua Trees Grow Here.)

There is a hilarious but painful scene in Art School Confidential. John Malkovich plays a bitter art teacher, leading a life drawing class. As his class is drawing away at their easels, he is lecturing them; "And remember, only one in one hundred of you will ever make a living as an artist".

One thing I have learned while becoming an artist is that if I wanted to make real work, I had to be able to Get More Real. This doesn't mean I have to paint realistically! It means I have to Be more realistic, ie, more like myself. That means less like you, or her, or him. But wait, I used to wonder, what does that mean? Who am I? Aye, there's the rub! To be me, or not to be me?

What does courage mean to you? Where are you most courageous in your life?

"Fire Sky" 2005 34"x32" SOLD

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sky Blue Heart, Greeting Cards, & Value

Continuing with the Heart Theme is "Sky Blue Heart". I sold this painting a while ago, but it is still available as a greeting card. In 2006, I licensed 12 of my original images to Arbutus Images, a wholesale greeting card company. They license work from artists all over the world. Go to their website to check them out here.

They are a wholesale company, as I said, so if you want to buy individual pieces, it's best to buy them directly from the artists. Like me, for example! Here's the link to my shop page on my website, where you can see all 12 card images: Buy Cards. I have 6 different heart images for sale, as well as 6 other images.

I am creating more spaces online to market my work, and the cards are one item I haven't promoted very well, until now. Sure, they've been on my website, now it's time to show them in other places too.

In getting so busy with other things I am building and creating, I forgot to value these creations as well as I might. However, today I sold a bunch of them through my website, along with "Blue Chord", the painting featured in yesterday's Online Arts Marketing post. Hooray! The funny thing is, and I do it often enough that it's not really funny but I have to laugh anyway, is that I forget how beautiful some of these things are. I have done them, and moved my energy onto the next 12 things. Then someone buys them, and I'm all "huh? I'd better value those!!" D'oh!

This is what blogging everyday is doing for me: helping me be more conscious and aware of the value of my work. Not just because I get praise and validation for it, heck, who doesn't want that? But more because I get a kind of neutral distance from it. I am becoming more clear about what I need to do, what I want to do, what is working. I write down my work goals for the week and each day. And when I am writing my blog I get to explore some of the spiritual issues I work on as a human being and an artist. Value is a big one.

I was given this lesson years ago in one of my first shows ever, Around the Coyote in Chicago, which is a huge group show and studio art walk each September. I was stuck in a basement gallery space with a guy whose art glowed in the dark. He would turn off the lights when people walked into our space. That didn't last long, as I can be quite fierce when need be. :-) Anyway, Mr. Glow-Art and I had our fair share of visitors, as off the beaten track as we were. I even sold some pieces from that show, including one painting to two of Mr. Glow-Art's friends, which for some reason seemed to irritate him. I also had several more shows as a result of this one.

Two men came in, looked at my work, and liked it. They looked to me like people who loved and bought art. But as they were leaving, one turned to me and said, "Your prices are too low! Nobody's going to value your work until you do." He was actually angry! I thanked him; I was speechless, which takes some doing.

He was right, and I had to begin doing some work on myself about this thing called "value". For artists, value can be such a strange thing. There are all kinds of incidentals that go into pricing work. One of the hardest things I've ever done as an artist is to raise my prices. But it's easier to do so when I look back at the pieces I sold for too little, and realize I value them much more highly now.

I have often told other artists their prices were too low also. I have been amazed at what people were willing to let their work go for. It all comes down to value, and more often it's about the individual being able to value him/herself.

This is where it gets all squirmy and dicey. (Love those words!) Self image, do I really have to work on that one to get a fair price for my work? How about even to SELL my work!

How about you, what do you have to say about this topic?

"Sky Blue Heart" 2005 30"x27" SOLD
Greeting Cards available at kriscahill.com

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sunset Heart

Exciting news today! I am the featured artist at Online Arts Marketing. You can read the article about me here. If you haven't been to this blog yet, and you are an artist wanting to market your work, check it out. Chris O'Byrne has created a well thought out and well written blog, with some very helpful grounded information. I am honored to be his Friday featured artist. Thank you, Chris! You are inspiring me to paint more colorful abstracts.

Today's post will be short and sweet. Here is another heart painting from my Etsy shop. I particularly like this one for its colors. Orange and purple is one of my favorite color combinations, and the title 'Sunset Heart' seems perfect to me.

"Sunset Heart" 2007 14"x13" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at ETSY

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Blue But Happy Heart

When and why did I begin painting hearts? I remember I was in total judgment of doing so when I began. Jim Dine notwithstanding, I had a hard time with this image at first. Why? I thought 'serious artists' didn't paint hearts. I painted them before I was very aware of Jim Dine. I wanted to paint them. He just gave me permission to do so. Actually, I gave me permission to do so after seeing his.

Though I have made probably 200? hearts since, I don't get tired of this symbol. My heart paintings have ranged in size from 8"x8" to 36"x36". The larger ones are much more textured and detailed, and sometimes darker too. They become more than just a pretty picture of a heart. There is a lot of detail in each heart painting, no matter what size.

The symbol of a heart goes way back. Seeing as how we are heading into Heart Season, I thought I'd do some research. Aristotle considered the heart the seat of thought, reason, or emotion, more so than the brain. Many others throughout history thought of the heart as the seat of human emotions. Phrases and sayings are significant: a good heart, wearing your heart on your sleeve, cold hearted, black hearted, without heart, it's got heart, deep in my heart, my heart longs for you...and many more. Simply put, we use the symbol of a heart to represent not only love, but feeling, depth, kindness, integrity.

The organ of the heart is associated with the 4th chakra, in the human energy system. This chakra is, appropriately enough, located in the center of the chest. It has to do with affinity, self love, love for others, love for what one is creating. Also, self image. As a psychic, when I look at someone who has a very active 4th chakra, it can mean that person is quite a healer.

Years ago, I had a fascination with reading the obituaries every morning. Right after the comics. (My father used to say, "everyone died in alphabetical order again today!) I read the obituaries to see several things: how old the person was when they died, and what they did for a living. I just wanted to know, and later when I began training as a psychic, I realized why. I was "reading" the obits while reading them. For instance, I noticed how many physicians died of heart attacks. Healers all, their 4th chakras were probably full of everyone's pain.

I learned a fascinating idea in my training: heal the spirit and the spirit heals the body. Wow! How mind blowing that was. I tried it, and it began to work. Once I began on this spiritual path, I wasn't going to turn back. I learned that my true work here on this earth may be a bit different than what I once thought it was. I used to think it was my job to fix and heal anyone and everyone. I tried, my body was in lots of pain. As I changed that to making it my job to heal myself, wouldn't you know it? My body began to heal. It's pretty happy now, and I'm much happier with it.

Many of the readings I give are to people who are trying to heal on some level. Perhaps they are deep in the process, maybe they are still trying to heal the world around them first. The miracles of healing I have seen over the years are really astounding. Here's a thought: when you heal yourself, you create healing around you. Just by being well.

"Blue Heart on Violet" 2007 14"x14" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at ETSY

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Amusement, Again

I write about amusement a lot. It is one of my favorite energies. And it'll do in a pinch if you run out of other things, like patience, or money, or clean underwear. Amusement is a very high spiritual vibration. It is healing to have. I have a lot of it; I am fortunate to be wealthy in amusement. Sometimes I am just full of it!! (That was a joke.)

Today was one of those days that had bunches of amusement, or at least I did so things were funny. From songs on the radio:
"He made his home in
that fish's ab-do-men..."
(Heard on KCRW this morning, "It Ain't Necessarily So")

After hearing this, I began laughing, and for some odd reason began thinking about Julie Andrews singing "A Spoonful Of Sugar" when I was a kid. Which led to the next thought, as I'm now driving along singing this out loud and laughing, which was about the comedians who do political satire. Some of them, like Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, and Bill Maher, understand the value of using amusement to communicate serious ideas. Their messages can be heard more easily this way.

People look to comics, clowns, fools and jesters during difficult and serious times. The Marx Brothers misbehaving in society, making huge messes, being fools and owning it. Monty Python not making sense, being completely silly, or blundering (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition...). The class clown. Many comics have made a name being inappropriate and offensive, treading on perfect pictures: perfect family, perfect bride, perfect life. The roasting of perfection is a healing because it is simply not possible to live one's life that way.

I am my parent's firstborn child. My mother was, understandably, protective of her new baby, and having had just enough nurse's training to become dangerous, sterilized everything in my nursery, constantly. When people came over to say hello, she made them wash their hands and wear a mask when they held me. I have often joked that I don't tan because my mother bleached me as a baby. Everything was all perfect for a while. Then one day, out of the blue, the boiler in the basement blew up. Everything in the house was covered with soot and ash, including me, my nursery, and all that perfectness. By the time my youngest brother was born, 5 children later, and kids from the neighborhood would come over to see the new baby, my mother said, "just don't drop him."

My sister Betty has an Etsy shop called snappyshop, and I model for her. My alter ego is Katrina. It all started very innocently, she asked me last year if I'd help her out by modeling her aprons so it was easier to sell them. She had been trying to shoot them while wearing them herself and if you've ever tried that, you know it's much easier to have another body there. Since they are unique handmade aprons, we shot them in her kitchen. We thought we'd use kitchen props. Here is my favorite. Yes, that's me with the butcher knife. Props are good. After laughing through our whole photo shoot, we go out to lunch and then go shopping.

Here's a few fun links for your amusement:
Happy Tree Friends Cute, cuddly, and sweet, until things go horribly horribly wrong.
Strindberg and Helium
Monk-e-Mail Send a talking monkey to your friends.

Have fun!

"New Year's Heart" 2008 12"x12" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
available at ETSY