Rethinking the past


I have been working primarily on commissions lately… lots of peoples pets. I started to revisit some of the pieces I really enjoyed working on in the past. I decided to select a piece and highlight the process of painting it.

This was one of my first large pieces that I painted for the sheer desire to expel emotions. I listen to Gravedigger by Dave Matthews Band for days on end as my inspiration.

I was frustrated with my schedule of work, class and life (or lack there of) I squeezed in minutes of painting between each outing… and felt as though my head was going to explode. All I wanted was more time to paint. To mitigate and cranial damage, I created Angst.

To this day it serves as a vibrant reminder of busier times, when I was chomping at the bit to just paint, unfurling my love of color, emotions and self expression.

What I really love about art is how it can be interpreted by the audience in various ways.  It can speak all languages and tell many stories.

What does this piece say to you? Leave a comment…

Colloquialisms gone awry


There are many common day sayings which are not quoted properly. Some are just semantics, changed in small measure but some, by leaving off a few bits and pieces, have lost their true meeting in the tides of time.  My personal two favorites are here below…

1. ” curiosity killed the cat” … the actual idiom reads “Curiosity killed the cat and satisfaction brought him back.”   In leaving off the second part of this message it has a totally different meaning. Curiosity is not a bad thing, with it comes knowledge, experience and of course the satisfaction.

2. ” the world is your oyster”…  this is Shakespeare, and should be remembered as “The world is mine oyster which I with sword shall open.” Life is not just hand it to you it’s something that you have to go after, grab hold and sieze.

Go ahead, spread the word. We need these adages back in their proper form.

To which we are awake

Recent Projects, Thoughts

I came across a piece of wood. Not drift, more like a slice that had once been in a pallate gang. It grabbed my attention. So, I grabbed it. 

Already sprayed with intermittent azure, I dyed the rest of the bored board, blue. Begining with mandalas I tried to give it a new purpose. A voice.

With displeasure, I sanded away the poignant Thoreau truism. Again, I began to dye… the other side.

There are two sides to every story. The ambiguity of this, yet to be told… 

“Only that day dawns to which we are awake.”

-Henry David Thoreau

I’m Just as Strange as You…

Recent Projects, Thoughts

I have always cherished the art of Frida Kahlo. She embraced her own image, creating various pieces embellished with flora, fauna, mysticism and realism. I appreciate her raw representation of her own face… of her flaws, imperfections, vices, and idiosyncrasies which we have been taught to cover-up. I ventured to embrace my own (as perhaps we all should) with quick colored pencil and wet paintbrush sketches… 

I am using these as the base for my next self-portrait… a sans make-up, fully “flawed”, Kahlo’d version of myself, through my own eyes.

​I used to think I was the strangest person in the world, But then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. 

I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too.

Well, I hope that is you are out there and read this and know that, yes, Its true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.  

                                               ~ Frida Kahlo

An eloquent reminder


I came across this poem… It reminded me of Edgar Guest, it reminded me of the power that we call carry within ourselves, it reminded me to be cognizant of how I think, act, react, interact and live. I hope you enjoy this little reminder too.
If you think you are beaten, you are;

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,

It is almost a cinch that you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost;

For out of the world we find

Success begins with a fellow’s will

It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are;

You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win the prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man;

But sooner or later the man who wins

Is the one who thinks he can!
                                 – Walter D. Wintle, 1905

The Last Best Place


It has been three weeks since we left Montana… and much longer since I’ve had a moment to post. 

Over the past few weeks we have ventured through Washington down the coast on Highway 1 to Oregon and into California. We spent one week just North of San Francisco and finally settled at the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. 

Excited by the idea of a change of pace I felt that the Bay Area would provide that perfect opposition to the life we had been living in Montana. Diametrically opposed they were… cars replaced cows freeways where rivers should be… 

It made me sit back and reminisce about Montana. What was it about Big Sky country that was so special? Why was it considered the “Last Best Place”? Originally, I just figured it was a silly grammatically incorrect colloquialism, but now I know it rings with truth.

I decided to make a list of all the things I miss before I forget.

▪The speed limit is almost always 80, winter brings it to a snailspace of 75.

▪There are more cows than people. The people that are there are so warm and familiar.

▪There is NO sales tax. If it costs $1.00 it costs $1.00.

▪The residents have a pride that rivals the Texans.

▪Hiking through thigh deep snow, removing layer upon layer to sit in a natural hot spring forged out of a mountain side.

▪The redundancy of “Big Sky” for business names and everything else.

▪The lack of reliable cell phone reception.

▪Fishing the Yellowstone.

▪The scenery.. and wildlife, especially the moose.

▪Smiles and waves from every car (ie. truck) that passes by.

▪There is only one area code, 406.

▪You can just assume everyone is armed.

▪You don’t have to worry about locking anything. 

▪The only time you feel in danger is when you’re hiking alone and you packed snacks instead of bear spray.

I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.”                      -John Steinbeck 

There are so many more reasons why Montana is considered the Last Best Place. I grew to love it… I’m excited to grow to love my new home here as well.

Adventure awaits… 

Sweaters in July

Art in Life, Thoughts

Yesterday Gobstopper sized hail started gushing out of the sky. It’s July. In Montana. It has been in the eighties and nineties lately and absolutely beautiful – we were reminded yesterday about Mother Nature’s bipolar disorder. 

It was the first day since my 30th that I have worn anything but flip-flops and shorts. I had a hard time figuring out how to put on a sweater.  

Luckily some kind citizen took it upon themselves to protect and care for a very lucky soul in the area.

And she wears it well.

Version 3.0



I just hit 30.


Officially an adult, or so my age dictates.  I realized recently that Resolutions are not just for New Years, but also applicable for Birthdays, and heck, even Mondays.  I think in life we are always striving for betterment and our growth and development should always be a goal.  As Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” If we take those words to heart there is something to be said about accepting change and making the most of it.  We have a daily, never-ending opportunity to make our lives and ourselves into whatever it is that we want. Reflecting on my past decades I have realized that there are a lot of kinks to iron out, so, as I venture fourth into this new decade of life I aim to make it the best it can be… version 3.0.

“The world is mine oyster, which I with sword will open”

When Life gives you Lemons



Life has a sneaky way of teaching lessons.  Not all of them are peachy, however, there is always a lesson to be learned. Sometimes it feels like being kicked while you are down, or so I suppose (I have never been kicked, so I am just taking the popularity of this phrase as an indication of it’s supposed validity). But the most important thing is that you get up, dust yourself off, pick up the remains of your hubris and refocus.

Bad things will happen. Murphy said it best… “Anything that can go wrong, will” and that is okay! If nothing ever went awry how would we gauge when we are on track? How would we learn to appreciate the great?

It literally just dawned on me that something was off in my life, keeping me out of the flow in which I wanted to be- and all along I was pandering to it. Though I thought that I did a damned good job plastering over my stress with an over-exuberance of jolly… all smiles and margaritas. Today, it hit me. I was drowning my subconscious on something that was not benefiting me in any way. If it doesn’t suit you, do buy it. Simple as that.

I am stoked at the moment to be released from the burdens I allowed to weigh me down. Freer and lighter than ever I have a new lease on life, appreciation for the little that I do have and a sunny outlook for the days ahead. So, as you look into a storm just know that there is a lining of silver, no matter how faint. Focus on that – and as always, the storm will pass. What is most important is that you remember the storm, learn from the storm and always pack a pair of rain boots to dance is its wake! You may even see a rainbow.