Alive in the Forest

4” square oil on paper

This is a small study from a walk in the woods. it wasn’t an epic hike of distance or destination, just a walk where I was grateful my body would still carry me, and a chance to practice feeling alive.

I love the way light filters down through tall pine trees. I love the crackle and crunch of pine needles under my boots. I love the sound of wind rustling through the canopy. And I love the smell of pine trees. Piñon smells like a fresh, clean version of the “pine” scent you find in candles and deodorizers. For me, it is a smell that carries with it wonderful memories of summers at Ghost Ranch with friends and family. The smell of fresh piñon after the rain is as provocative as looking through an old family photo album. Ponderosa is something totally unexpected. If you belly up to a big Ponderosa on a warm day and take a long slow sniff of the bark, you will smell something like cookies in the oven, something between butterscotch and vanilla. To me, that is nothing short of magic.

As the year comes to a close, I hope you have a chance to feel fully alive, wherever you are.

The Color of Joy

4” square oil on arches

I am loving these little studies, they remind me of Polaroids, capturing special moments of my days. These trees are from Turkey canyon, and the colors from my feelings. To me, this is the color of joy! Joy is what I felt having an entire day to walk in the woods with my husband, dog, and picnic in my backpack.

Mini paintings

I have a daily practice to find something beautiful in the world around me and paint it, causing me to slow down and be more mindful. The results of that practice become the most delightful reminders to slow down, be mindful, and look for the beauty all around us. These ‘minis’ are little beauties to collect and remind us of the moments in our lives that become formative. When I first started to sell my art, I was surprised and touched at how people found their stories in my art. I do the same thing when I read a book, and it was a delightful surprise to me at the same time. The sunset or sunrise might not be in the same location, but the colors of the clouds might take you back to your honeymoon, or the best family vacation as a kid.

Small paintings make great gifts because original art is special. You can see the strokes, and the colors are alive in a really special way. When that gift is small, you can share art without asking someone to redecorate their house. Like sending someone flowers or handmade chocolates, it is a wonderful gift to receive. I just posted over 3 dozen new 4” paintings to my webstore! Bonus…the minis are on SALE Click here to check them out!