In trying to classify this latest piece of art, I came across a list of 49 so called “painting styles and techniques. I did not know that I could choose from 49 techniques and styles. This list includes the various art media that can be used.

Media include watercolor, oil, acrylic, oil paint, pastels (oil and chalk), pen, pencil, charcoal, inks. Would you have included spray paint? Sand?

As for style, I could list abstract, impressionist, realism, graffiti. That still does not add up to 49. Also included are portrait, allegory, fresco, digital, etc.

So what is THIS art?

I would not call it any style or technique. Rather, it is an expression of me at my most creative and relaxed. I had nothing to gain; nothing to lose.

It all started with a watercolor that turned out to be a failed experiment. I chose to recycle or repurpose that piece. (I dislike waste. I even make left overs from my left overs.)

I had no end in mind. I had orange acrylic at hand and a wide brush and swished that over the watercolor image. When I took breaks from other pieces that I was working on, I’d bring this one to the forefront and add a layer: different acrylic colors, scraps of other painted pieces. After about 4 or 5 days and testing out some additional techniques (or just basic futzing), I had created this.

I call it Shifting. Shifting has so many meanings.

I made an artistic shift. The colors represent the shifting seasons. And if you turn the image over and over, there is a shift in perspective. You will see things differently and different things.

My husband liked it so much that he has framed the original and placed it aside my original Painted Bunting.

I hope you have an opportunity to “shift,” to pivot, to turn, to transpose. It is a wonderful feeling. Happy Fall.

Don’t Be a Boob, Support one Instead

Fall is a lovely time of year when the weather starts to cool, the leaves start changing colors, and we gear up for a variety of holiday celebrations. Let our celebration plans not overlook those who have fought or are still fighting Cancer.

During October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, nlightn notecards celebrates GoLisey with this tribute notecard.

If you make a donation to GoLisey Gofundme or purchase a GoLisey Glam Gown, mention nlightn notecards and you will receive a thank you gift of up to 5 notecards.

If you’d like to order Breast Cancer Awareness cards separately, please contact me. All proceeds go to GoLisey.

Trust the Magic of Beginnings

I got stuck! You know how that is? Well I am sorting it out. It’s not that I am in yet ANOTHER life transition or am I? All I know is that I have one foot in the planning, organizing, administrative, execution side of life and another in the creative, playful, boundary less side.

What happens when I go back and forth is, I just get stuck…. mostly on the creative side.

I thought that cleaning up my studio and reorganizing it would help free the clutter from my creative side. Well that didn’t work. Then I thought, I needed to get back to daily wistful art journaling using some word prompts. Well, that didn’t work. After a period of blaming my supplies (paper, brushes, paints), I decided to beat myself up for not having any imagination or technique. Well, that thinking certainly does not break you free.

So today, I decided I needed a goal – to create abstracts. While in search of an abstract image, I moved onto recreating a whimsical image from a few years ago. The going was rough, the paper is indeed horrible and my watercolor technique can sure use refinement.

All that said, I am willing to put myself out there and share the image…. mostly because I had a quote that seems to work with this image and THAT is what I really want to share with you today.

Trust the Magic of Beginnings

Wild and Free

Shortly after a friend’s mother passed away, a yellow butterfly landed on her shoulder. I was inspired AND intrigued.

In an earlier blog, I posted a series of butterflies that I had been working on for a special project. Butterflies symbolize change and transformation. And in grand style, I might add.

The yellow butterfly symbolizes even more.

Don’t be fooled by the description of the yellow butterfly as the Common Butterfly with little unique markings. It is a symbol of hope and guidance.

And here is the goose bumpy part: it also means the soul is at peace.

In addition, the color yellow symbolizes optimism, energy and joy. If there are any words that describe my friend, it is these words. I am sure her mother was saying, “I am well and at peace,” as well as sending a message, “…don’t despair at my departure. Despair does not become you. Remain true to who you are because, I am singing in the sunshine wild and free, playing tag with the wind and watching over thee.

Thanks to my friend for sharing her story and inspiring me to create another greeting card.

Singing in the Sunshine, wild and free

Let us all be optimistic, full of energy and joyful.

Living Life in Technicolor

Until I met my husband, my life was pretty black and white. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about my upbringing but things like camping, backpacking, rock climbing, cross-country drives to the Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and places in between, were all novelties. He introduced color that I didn’t know was missing. And I am so glad that we shared that with our kids.

So today as we continue to paint with different hues, reading quietly, watching favorite shows on our individual iPads, go on walks and watch the birds in our neighborhood and in our backyard, I thought it fitting to celebrate his Father’s Day with a painted bunting watercolor.

We have been trying to attract these birds to our backyard from the waterway nearby. So far the seed we have put out has been untried.

In the meantime, my husband has framed the original watercolor and hung it in our family room with the hope that we will see the real deal in our backyard before they migrate.

I think the bunting will make a lovely notecard. What do you think?

Art as Therapy

With Spring soon to give way to Summer, hot and humid summer, I completed this season’s gardening in ample time to relax and enjoy my back yard garden.

Sadly, some unexpected issues have caused me to undo most of my Spring gardening.

While waiting for a landscape crew to help move and replant some of the bigger items, I turned to one of my favorite artists who posted a video lesson that turned out to be amazingly therapeutic.

The session and resulting work turned around my sour disposition.

There is so much to be said for being creative. Creativity leads to hope and joy. How satisfying is that?

Freedoms Ring

The meaning of Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to summer, is often blurred by trips to the beach or other favorite vacation spots. With all the accompanying events, let us not forget to pause and remember that we are free to celebrate this weekend and the summer that follows because of those who fought on our behalf to protect democracy and our rights. Remember those we lost.

Home of the free because of the brave.

It’s SPRING!!!!

Weeeha. Can you believe it? We are days away from Spring. I have been waiting to feel light and airy for months now. And here we are.

Last spring I played with Daffodils and Irises. Why I bypassed the Cherry Blossom, I do not know. Having lived in the DC area most of my life, I was always thrilled to visit the Tidal Basin around the Jefferson Memorial. The Japanese Cherry Trees in bloom are breathtaking.

Just like Spring, Cherry Blossoms symbolize renewal, hope and new beginnings. In addition, the meaning of cherry blossoms in Japan runs deep, making the country’s national flower a cultural icon revered around the world not just for its overwhelming beauty, but for its enduring expression of life, death and renewal.

Tied to the Buddhist themes of mortality, mindfulness and living in the present, Japanese cherry blossoms are a timeless metaphor for human existence. Blooming season is powerful, glorious and intoxicating, but tragically short-lived — a visual reminder that our lives, too, are fleeting.

We need to ask ourselves, Why don’t we marvel at our own passing time on earth with the same joy and passion [as the Cherry Blossom]? Why do we neglect to revel in life …. or in the grace surrounding us everywhere: It is time, cherry blossoms remind us, to “pay attention.”

I am excited by the new beginnings of This Spring and especially to walk about freely and mindful of my blessings.

Without Valentine’s Day, February would be…well…

January. And what a tedious month was January. It felt like we were living the same day every day like in the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day. At first I thought this feeling was coming off of the holidays and the usual doldrums that accompany packing up decorations, uncluttering and reorganizing. Or perhaps it was weather: cold and dreary. Or the continued political drama and the Pandemic. Then I came to realize that it was all the above and I wasn’t alone.

So if it weren’t for Valentine’s Day, I would have curled up in a blanket left undisturbed until Spring, regardless what the groundhog said.

A little rusty, I headed into my studio and warmed up with doodles, sketches and watercolors with the quiet question, “what will you create for your Valentine’s Day card? Soon, the doodling became an obsession. I was getting stressed that I wouldn’t land on something in time to get cards out to my friends and family.

Obsessing Over A Valentine Image

And in case you wonder, obsession and stress demotivate the creative process.

Realizing this, I pushed aside my tendencies and relaxed into one image that floated to the top of the pile and ignited my usual glee and Valentine silliness. And what was born was a Valentine Fairy (named by a patron).

I wanted more for her. I wanted to embellish. I used metallic pinks – homemade watercolor paints from London – a Christmas gift from my son’s girlfriend. Because Tulle was so much fun to work with for my Butterfly series, I attached pink sparkly Tulle to her skirt. (I have so much glitter throughout the house from this exercise.)

And finally, I created and added handmade hearts.

She is so sweet. She makes February, well… not January. As I finished writing each personalized note to a friend or family member, my spirits were lifting. I was no longer obsessed but rather fulfilled and feeling pretty peaceful.

Bill Murray’s character, “Phil”, in Groundhog Day had a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you the rest of your life. He did however move from this dark and despairing character to one who seized each day to learn new things, give back and build relationships. If everyday were Groundhog Day, we get to learn from our mistakes and be better the next day. So how can we all take advantage of each day to keep our spirits lifted?

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Let it snow!

I made 2 special cards for Christmas 2020. One a Snowman, the other a Bird. Each one teased my creativity while offering different reflections.

The Snowman. Consider that for one season in the year, the Snowman braves the elements. Alas, in the end, it melts away, leaving memories of good cheer and loads of fun in the making.

The Bird. I think this is a Bluebird. At least that’s my story. I love watching these birds flit through our neighborhood. They just makes me smile. Did you know some birds hibernate during winter, others fatten up and fluff their feathers to trap heat and conserve energy? Can we relate to that this year? So this seemed a fitting image for 2020.

We may have fattened up, slowed down and conserved energy this year. Needless to say we have braved the elements for nearly 10 months. We surely can shake off any lethargy and like the snowman bravely face upward and forward with renewed creativity and resilience. Come on 2021! I am ready!