BE You!

BE You!!

Do you know who you really are? Do you like yourself?
When I was young, in grade school, I was extremely shy. It was the paralyzing shyness that in 1st grade I actually hid under my desk, and I would cry if I was called on. To speak up in front of others was petrifying. My life up to that point explains a lot of that behavior. Loss of my mother, put on a plane by my father to go live with family I did not know halfway across the world, that I didn’t even know their language. I think the fear and insecurity of my early life experience had a lot to do with shaping my shy introverted personality.

I remember in high school, reading a report out loud was nauseating. Even as an adult, speaking in front of a group of people took a whole lot of courage.  I know a lot of it was wanting to be accepted, fit in, be just like everyone else. If I was just like everyone else I would not be noticed, and I was ok with that.

I have been wondering, is that the personality I was born with? Was I destined to be ‘shy’ if my life would have been ‘normal’? Or are those traits something else. Could they be a shell, that we use as protection, to not be seen or heard in case we are not accepted by others? Do we use the titles ‘introvert’, ‘shy’, ‘private’, as excuses to stay hidden, and not do the work it takes to figure out who we are?

I do know that I slowly have found courage to speak in front of groups, to be open about feelings, to tell people things they probably would not be comfortable with or approve of.
When I started ‘waking up’, discovering who I really was after the life I had fell apart, I realized that fitting in, and being like everyone else was not the real me. I realized that it does not matter if others approve of what I say, do or feel. It’s not so much that it’s none of their business, but it’s none of MY business what THEY think! (There’s a difference!)

When you realize who you truly are, what makes you happy, and you truly love yourself for it, the right people will love you, because or in spite of it. You become comfortable in your own skin. Loving every bit of ourselves is what makes us beautiful. Once you really love yourself, you are not afraid of letting others see the beauty that you are!

And THAT is real freedom.

“Bliss #1″ 6″x12” Acrylic on Canvas


I have to remind myself often that people will hear and understand things from their level of perspective, or from their level of growth.

I came across an incident with someone that I did not really take as negative, or I did not perceive it as a mean gesture.  Not sure if I just felt the pain and sadness behind the comments or if I am just naive.  I commented out of love and I believe it was meant that way, but before I knew it I was unfriended.  No, I am not upset.  I guess I am sad for the friend that it involved.

One important thing to remember is that people's reactions rarely have anything to do with you.  If people get angry with comments and very quickly react negatively without any discussion, questions or explanation, they most likely are not ready to dig deep and figure out why that struck a nerve.  People can be so angry, unhappy or resentful because of their life situations that they cannot notice that the choice for change is theirs and it's not someone else's fault.

Yes, I do understand.  I have been there.  Several years back I was extremely unhappy and the easiest thing to do was to blame someone else for my situation.  Sure, that is way easier than doing the growing needed to realize that we are the only ones truly in charge of our lives.  Yes, situations happen that we can't control, but we CAN control our reactions to them.  In order to do that, we need to look at ourselves and understand why the pain is there, and yes it’s hard. As Eckhart Tolle says: "Accept- the act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.  Always work with it, not against it." And it’s true that doing that will change your life.

When I started studying and learning what is in my heart and in my soul, and begun my personal growth, I realized that we are in charge of our own lives.  We attract the energy we put out into the world.  We need to dig deep to understand ourselves and not blame others.  And, we have to be ready for the consequences when we do that, since those that no longer match our level of growth, our frequency, will probably no longer be part of our lives.

All this is hard work.  If it was easy, everyone would do it, right?  All I can say is that the work is totally worth it.



30/30 Daily Painting Challenge- New Update

Tough trying to keep these in order! I noticed I counted wrong so I had to re-number my previous ones.  I did new versions of my crosses because I was not sure about the first ones, but I ended up giving Gold Cross #5 as my gift.

I am having lots of fun doing this, and it’s good for me to paint every day! I hope I can keep up with it after the month is up.

(12/30) Gold Cross #7  8.5"x11" Acrylic on Paper

(12/30) Gold Cross #7 8.5″x11″ Acrylic on Paper

(13/30) Gold Cross #8  8.5"x11" Acrylic on Paper

(13/30) Gold Cross #8 8.5″x11″ Acrylic on Paper


(14/30) Peaceful Whisper  8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

(14/30) Peaceful Whisper 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(15/30) Enchanted Ruins  8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

(15/30) Enchanted Ruins 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(16/30) Finding the Magic  8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

(16/30) Finding the Magic 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas

Is Web Presence for Artists Important?

I think having a web presence as an artist in this date and time is very important.  I really is the best “store-front” we have to show out work to anyone interested.  I know there are a lot of artists out there that are intimidated by the idea of doing much on a computer (I know a lot of artists that do not like anything technical!) but it does not have to be scary.

There are many “art website” companies out there that have the template set up specially for artists and all you have to do is plug in the information and images.  The first one I found out about is Artspan.  An artist friend of mine still uses Artspan after many years and still likes it.  A few others that I have friends using are Zhibit and Fine Art America, which you may be limited in what you can do or add to the site, but if you want easy, simple & basic these work.  Also with Fine Art America you can sell prints of your work straight through them.

There are also non-art related ones like Wix, Weebly and even blog sites like and Blogger.  Again, there may be limitations, specially on the free or inexpensive versions, but it gets you on the web.

My Website!

My Website!

I feel the fastest & easiest way to get your work out there is Facebook!  You can easily set up a “page” for your art and sharing with the public is very easy.  People do not have to have a Facebook account to be able to view your work on a Facebook Page, they just won’t be able to comment, etc.

Now, lots of artists are afraid of having their work stolen or copied off the web.  My feeling on it is you can keep your work hiding at home and no one will see it, or have as many people see it as possible!  I feel it’s not much safer hanging in the public either with everyone having cell phones, so worrying about it will just keep you from ever showing it.  There are certain things you can do to make it more difficult for anyone to steal your work from the internet.  First, you can post images that are too small for anyone to make a copy or print of.  You can make them under 800 px and 72 dpi.  You should also add a watermark across your image.  I believe some of the art websites have a feature that you can automatically add a watermark to your image.

Of course there are many more sites I did not list here.  You can always hire someone to do a website or set up Facebook for you, you do not have to do it alone.

FYI- My website is built with, free web software, but you do need to get your own domain name & webhost.

Anyone have good suggestions for websites!  Please post on the comments and hopefully it will help someone!

Blog Post 9.2.13 (I Love my Smart Phone!)

My iPhone Photo Apps

My iPhone Photo Apps

I saw a post yesterday asking if the old master photographers were here today, do you think they would be taking photos with their iPhone?  My bet is yes they would!!



As a creative person, I find the camera on my phone so easy and handy.  It’s really always with me, and it makes it way too easy to just photograph any little thing I see.  I love the iPhone ad that shows how much taking photos with our phone has changed our lives.  Some may be silly or pointless, but some capture just beautiful moments that in a way we can keep forever.

FX Camera

FX Camera

I started taking photos with my phone with my old Android (Evo).  Some of my favorite apps were Vignette, Retro Camera and FXCamera.   I was very disappointed that they did not make Vignette for iPhone, but I have found plenty of apps to play with.  Have I used all these loaded on my phone?  Not really.  I got carried away, and I am sure there are some of you out there that have more apps than I do!  I do find myself using Instagram, Hipstamatic & Vintique the most.












Retro Camera

Retro Camera








Of course most of these apps have many filters and settings you can choose from.  The options seem endless!

I would love to hear what your favorite photo apps are!  🙂

Blog Post 8.3.13 (Determination…)

Determination: firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end.

I have wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember.  It definitely has not worked the way I had originally planed, but I am determined to do it anyway.  Easy?  No way!!  It’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life!! But I would not change it for the world! Creating art has been one of the most enlightening and gratifying things I have ever done.  Being an artist working a full time non-artistic job is tough.  It would be so easy to give up.  But I keep visualizing where I want to be with my art and I keep on going.

One of the things that has made a huge difference is spending the time really devoting to exploring my painting style.  When I am at the studio, spending time experimenting is huge!!  It would be easy to just whip out easy paintings just to sell, but I want that “something special”, something that will make my work stand out!  I am not happy with just doing a painting, I want it to “Wow” me, and if it does that, hopefully it will “Wow” others!

As my work has been developing, I have received lots of good feedback from fellow artists, collectors, etc.  My hard work seems to be paying off.  I am so glad I did not give up, but I still have a way to go.  I am determined to be a full time artist, making a fabulous living, better than I ever imagined!!  What a ride!! 🙂

If you are in Austin I hope you can come by!!

If you are in Austin I hope you can come by!!

Blog Post 3.1.13 (It’s going to be a Great Year!)

So far this year is starting out pretty good for me.  In January I started out with my first really big solo show.  I set up this show about a year ago as a way to force myself to create a good size body of work, so I can start submitting to different galleries around the country.  As it got closer to the date of hanging the show, I started panicking, wondering if I had enough art!  Well, the amount of work turned out to be just perfect!

"Beyond Limits" North Hills Gallery 2013 Panoramic photo shot with my iPhone 5

“Beyond Limits” North Hills Gallery 2013- Panoramic photo shot with my iPhone 5

At this event I sold 3 paintings, and was pretty well attended, which was just wonderful!  I had lots of positive feedback on all my work, from artist friends as well an others that I did not know.  (I also got a video of the show but have not done anything with it yet. That will be a new project for me to learn how to do! 🙂 )  Once the show came down, I decided to take one of the most popular pieces to my office at my ‘day job’.  Well, it did not even make it up on the wall before someone decided they had to have it! (see it below)

SOLD- Desert Ruins Under the Stars 30"x40" Mixed Media on Canvas

SOLD- Desert Ruins Under the Stars 30″x40″ Mixed Media on Canvas

Then yesterday morning, during a break I pulled up Facebook and I noticed that posted their yearly 21 Artists to Watch in 2013 list, which I love to look at every year (I find great artists to follow on Facebook and Twitter), and to my surprise I saw my name on the list!!!  I feel so honored to be mentioned with so many wonderful artists (and thank you so much Drew for the wonderful words and support)!

I am now preparing for the West Austin Studio Tour, which will be taking place over 2 weekends this year, April 27-28 & May 4-5, 2013.  I hope my momentum just keeps going, I am ready!

2010 in review (This is great info! Thanks WP!)

Well, I don’t think I did too bad for my first year blogging! Below is my info from WordPress.

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 180 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 369 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 48mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was December 11th with 36 views. The most popular post that day was Daily Photo 12.10.10 (Carnival at Night).

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for rolina van vliet, supreme court cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms, love nyc, and eclipse 12.20.10.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Daily Photo 12.10.10 (Carnival at Night) December 2010
1 comment


Austonian Lights January 2010
1 comment


Daily Photo 6.12.10 (ROT Biker Rally) June 2010
1 comment


Daily Photo 6.11.10 (Republic Of Texas Biker Rally) June 2010
1 Like on,


Daily Photo 3.15.10 (MacGruber-World Premiere) March 2010