Friday, December 19, 2008


I'll Blog Blog Blog more on this later. But basically I am still working on my own healing- health post surgery issues with this one. AND I keep coming to the conclusion that we are all interconnected.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things I have Done In My Life

I found this on Haley Hughes Blog and I thought I would give it a try. It's a list of life activities and events and you highlight in BOLD the things you've done.

Things I've done in my life (in bold):

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

Want to play along? Copy the list to your own blog (or email) and highlight the things you've done

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Waiting for our New Dog

Still waiting on a rescue group to approve us for a dog. It's been a week and the Labrador rescue people haven't answered any of my emails after our home inspection so I am wondering if we passed it. The other Lab rescue place can't do a home inspection for awhile and won't consider our application until we are inspected.

In the meantime we're checking out other dogs. Arizona Weimeraner Rescue just posted "Buddy" who has lots of potential for us. Wondering maybe if he's our dog.

I hope we find him soon. Oz is still so incredibly heartbroken about his dog. Me too. We need some doggy love to fill this household. It would be nice if we found a match for Christmas.

Here's a photo of "Buddy" from Az Weime Rescue and there are others if you happen to be in the market for a used Weimeraner!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jewel Trees

On The Wish Granting Jewel Tree of Tibet

I recently downloaded a recording of Robert Thurman's The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism from . This series of recordings has really altered how I see the world and inspired my recent spurt of tree paintings.

Recently Robert Thurman has taken the place of my former committee PhD chair as my favorite old fart academic father like guy. Oh by the way- Thurman- yes that Thurman, in addition to being Uma Thurman's dad, he is also the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Colombia University

In the recorded version of Jewel Tree Thurman takes the listener on a 6 lesson retreat on Tibetan Buddhism. Here's a snippet from a review in Publisher's Weekly:

Thurman successfully spins the text's interpretation so that it becomes more transparent to a Western audience. He describes Buddhist karma, for example, as "Darwinian evolution with an individual twist," and also cautions readers not to adopt some blissed-out, mind-emptying idea of Buddhism just because they imagine that it's Eastern and therefore superior. "When we seek to enter the path of enlightenment, we have to engage with society." On the other hand, he notes, we also need to embrace ascetics like monks and nuns, and invest generously in their work toward liberation. The book has some truly beautiful moments, as when Thurman encourages readers to meditate on the loving-kindness of their mothers (even the bad mothers, he says, made sacrifices to keep their children alive and fed), or when he offers 11 steps to compassion, love and happiness. Although there are a few hiccups - moments when it becomes obvious that the "root text" of Mentor Devotion is a tricky one indeed - this is a fine tool on the road to enlightenment.

Thurman is quirky, deep, a total lefty politically and gets his politics in every chance he gets- most of which I don't agree with, well the end result but would argue the path by which he gets there, but I honor that view- as it is similar to my husband's view and he presents them in a hilarious way. He has these amazing rants that show the breadth of his knowledge, that begin with a pedagogical discourse, a history lesson, a quote from Shakespeare, Socrates, brings it back to Buddhism, pulls you into meditation mode, and soon you've left the planet and sank deep into the unified field- drawing from a deeper well of information I hadn't thought possible from a book on tape.

The heart of the audio retreat is learning the skill of visualizing the "Wish Granting Gem Tree". As I have been meditating on it every night for the past couple months I am just starting to get. It is a symbolic tree of refuge within which sits all the enlightened beings ready to reach out and assist you with any requests you may have. He leads you through the visualization- imagining a tree- seated with Buddha, Jesus Christ, Socrates, Lao Tzu, Krishna, Mary, whomever you choose as your mentor deity. Here's a description of the tree from Thurman's Inside Tibetan Buddhism/Rituals and Symbols Revealed: Rituals and Symbols Revealed (Signs of the Sacred)

You visualize a lush, green meadow in a vast heavenly field in a perfected realm. There is a crystal lake with delicious waters, from which grows a majestic tree. Its powerful trunk has five main branching sections and flowers and wish-granting gems hang on it like fruit. On the central branch at the center of the crown, there is a shining jewel throne with a glowing moon-disc cushion upheld by eight magic lions. On that throne sits your mentor in the form of a perfect Buddha. Above him or here there is a stack of historic mentors, a living, astral chain of mentors reaching back to the historical Buddhas and adepts... Before the tree circulates a vast host of fierce protector deities. All the enlightened beings on and around this wish-fulfilling refuge tree seem vividly alive, fully aware of you and your practice and dedication. They smile at you radiantly, and their delight in you fills you with joy and confidence. Around you in the field are all ordinary beings, including your family, dearest friends, worst enemies, and all animals (for the moment in human form.). All of them look toward you longingly, seeking help in their own quests for safety and happiness. You vow that your going for refuge will help all of them.

Thurman paints a portrait of this cherished Tibetans Buddhist tradition of "wish-fulfilling jewel tree" that is totally accessible to a 30 something Midwestern girl. He brings it down to a level where extremely difficult esoteric ideas are explained in a way I really get. The kernel of which is that what the Buddha taught has the power to generate bliss and enlightenment within all who absorb its teachings, be they Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim. Everyone one can benefit from his project because it is not religion but a way of seeing the world. Thurman argues that happiness, in fact, is the true goal of Tibetan spirituality. Wish-fulfilling jewel tree imagery acts like a mandala or a yoga pose to focus your attention on truths larger than yourself. It allows a space that is completely lacking in the Western imagination, a map you can jump into, look around and find out who you are and why you are here.

For me personally, it has become an incredible vehicle to better understand myself and the world.

It has inspired this whole new series of trees. Each one a "wish granting tree" that brought a new perspective to my practice and my art.

Interviewing For A New Family Member

We've filled out applications for a new family dog with a couple rescue organizations.

Desert Labrador Rescue

Arizona Labrador and Giant Breed Rescue

AZ Weimeraner Rescue

Under normal circumstances I would not be in a huge hurry to adopt another dog, but Oskar, our 3 1/2 year old had a difficult time with Tyler being gone. He has really been missing his dog. Which in turn, makes it a bit harder for me.

So together as a family we've been reading dog breed books, looking at photos online of available dogs for adoption in Tucson, thinking of boy and girl dog names. That seems to lighten the sadness a bit. We decided we definitely want another Lab, but not a Black Lab- only white or chocolate. We all agreed it wouldn't be fair to the dog if he look exactly like Tyler as no dog could fulfill that expectation. Also together as a family at dinner we took a moment and put it out there to the universe that the right dog for our family find his/her way to us.

A Desert Labs volunteer came on Saturday for a home inspection where they check out your house before they let you adopt. We'll find out this week if we pass their standards. The volunteer brought along her 5 year old chocolate lab "Chelsea" and it felt so nice to have a dog in the house again. We were all sad to see her go.

Two new dogs came up on the website today- Ben and Dharma. I am taking it as a bit of a sign about Dharma as I have been practicing Buddhist meditation the past few years- and this month in particular with all the health excitement dove right in to a lot of dharma study. So I wonder if she'll be our dog- or will lead us to our new dog. Either way it felt like a wink from the universe we are on the right path.

Here are their photos

Ben- 3 year old male yellow lab

Dharma- 6 year old female

I thought I'd post their photos here- just in case their future home was to be with a blog reader and seeing their handsome mug might make that happen quicker. I was surprised to see how many pure-bred dogs need good homes and are ready for adoption. Please click on the links above if you are looking for a Labrador in AZ or want to make a donation to a worthy cause.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Photos by Erik van Hannen

Many people have asked me the inspiration for the painting of Tyler running into the woods. I found an incredible photographer looking through FlickR one night named Erik van Hannen. He has a great series of tree photographs and that is what inspired the trees for Tyler's painting.

Click Here to view his profile and see his photos.

Here is the one I used for inspiration from a photo set called "In The Woods" (have a look there are several breathtaking landscape shots)

Photo Copyright Erik van Hannen

I've placed Tyler's painting below for comparison.

What drew me in about the photograph was it felt as if you could step right inside of an enchanted forest. I could feel the cool fog and smell the mist. As I was playing around painting I found myself inhabiting the space of the forest and it was indeed very magic. I had almost finished the painting and decided to paint the dog in as it felt so good for me to be "there"- I wanted him to go "there" too. As I painted it our last night together, I wanted to have a visual memory of our time together. A reminder that he would always be there for me in the enchanted space whenever I needed him. I am beginning to believe more and more that the ones we love never really leave us, they are always there, it's just they are in a different space. They are just a bit beyond where we are now. Too far away to feel, touch, hear, but close enough that if we are quiet and still we can know.

Another one of van Hannen's photos I feel really moved by is one called "Revenge of the Trees"

When you close your eyes and blur them a little it almost looks like a snowflake pattern in the spaces between the branches.

I did a painting of birch trees looking up for a child's perspective a couple months ago. I had so much fun doing it and it brought me so many memories of growing up in Wisconsin I wanted to do another one. This is my favorite of the photos I've collected from the "looking up perspective" for inspiration. The colors in this photo- particularly the slight sepia tone helped me pick the background for the current piece I am working on.

Photo copyright Erik van Hannen

Seems that many of my friends and family are going through big life events right now. When I was waiting on my cancer diagnosis after they took the tumor out in October/November (it's benign- everything is okay!)I worked on painting the trees that became Tyler's painting. It was very meditative and healing. Whenever I got into fear- I worked on another tree. It helped me stay calm but more then that I used it to train my mind to only think about healing and growth. Using it as an excise to find the beauty in each branch, gnarled and twisted, it was perfect. I imagined my body, like the trees, healing, growing, stretching with each branch, neurons firing, growth regenerating. Each tree I painted became a prayer, a good thought, a deep breathe. So I started that again with this painting. I have friends who are trying to have a baby- so I sat in the studio one night and focused on them, prayed, meditated, thought about them while I painted their tree, the joy with a positive test, the pregnancy, first ultrasound, holding their baby, another family with a baby facing health concerns, I did the same, focusing on love, Light, health, feeling of relief when they are all back together, a lifetime of family memories, first steps, first words, first day of school, joy with each, another tree, branches stretching growing, reaching out. My mother in law in India traveling alone for 5 weeks, all the new experiences, lots of growth, and then the bombing that happened 3 days before she left out of Mumbai. I did one tree where a branch had fallen and smaller branches reached out holding it up. Each tree has a story. Some of my tree/stories connect in knowing each other and their branches touch, meet in the air, others do not. Interesting how they come together and pull apart. What I am learning is how interconnected we all are, how we all need each other. Some branches block out the Light, others let Light through. Beauty comes through in the patterns and spaces that are created in the process.
Enough writing... back to painting.
Love to you all.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Progress 12-04-08

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Be Here Now

Moving Video putting music and pictures of Ram Dass reading from "Be Here Now".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Progress on New Painting

I started a new piece this week. Sort of a continuation of the Tyler Dog trees. Feeling like I have a bit more to process there, especially with the benign tumor diagnosis. I went back to the urologist today and it seems I am all healed up. I saw photos of my bladder from the surgery and doc was pointing out areas and explaining why they looked cancerous- what they cut out, etc, which I sort of got lost in the explanation- blur. Anyhow-- I left the office feeling a lot of gratitude. The rest will just work itself out.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Photos of Tyler with the Boys

Elizabeth McPeak took these photos of the boys with Tyler in September 2008. I am SO glad to have these! They are incredible and I just wanted to share them with everyone. She did such a good job capturing the boys and Tyler.

Thank you for all the thoughtful emails and comments about Tyler.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tangerine Gallery

Last night to clear my mind Liz McPeak and I went to an opening reception for Michael Joplin at the Tangerine Gallery. It's a great show and if you are in Tucson stop in and see it. There are some really great pieces. The show is up until January 10, 2009.

(Left) Photo from Tangerine Gallery. The colored square piece is by Steven Derks- you can see his work on line at at Tangerine or at Studio 801, 801 N Main Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705 (520) 461-1080 (Right) Glass Piece By Michael Joplin

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So Long to a Good Old Dog

Sleepy Tyler dog napping in the studio by my side as I write this...for the last time...


As I write this I feel like I need to provide a little back story for the blog reader who hasn’t been kept apprise of the events taking place in our household over the past few weeks. So let me rewind a bit. First of all Tyler is our dog. My dog actually, well initially, but now he is- or was- the beloved family dog. Tyler arrived on the scene in 1996 pre-husband and kids. Tyler was my first dog and my only dog. For over a decade he was loyally by my side as my service dog officially and my best friend unofficially. For the better part of a decade we were no further than a leash length apart. And fortunately for me, being that close to a source of constant support, encouragement, and unconditional love, can have a profound effect on a person. I have paralysis from a truck roll over accident in 1991 and for years Tyler trotted alongside my wheelchair, As I flip through the scrapbook pages of my life- my college graduations, first job, wedding, birth of my children, there is Tyler, or at least a recognizable Labrador body part, usually a tail, butt, back of his head, lounging lump of snoozing dog mass, somewhere in the photo.

At 13 years old Tyler’s been on the decline. 2 years ago moments before a toddler Halloween party he was bitten by a rattlesnake in our backyard, and upsetting as this was had he not been bit we might have had 18 toddlers on our porch painting pumpkins alongside a loose diamond back. (A short side note: this is only one tale of how Tyler saved the day his antics and bravery could fill a book that would put that Marley dog to shame!). After the rattlesnake bite Tyler never quite bounced back to his spunky old dog self. Despite this, he seemed content enough to follow the babies around wagging his tail while snagging goldfish crackers and forgetting all his service dog etiquette. Even when his eyesight began to fail he seemed overjoyed to hang out under the high chair and capture all the airborne peas and bananas catching food midair with almost a 6th sense. Then over the past months I’d noticed his back legs giving out- him having a harder time getting up and the cataracts that caused occasion diminished eyesight turn into complete blindness, but as long as we didn’t move the furniture around he did alright. Then one terrifying day a few weeks ago walking across the tile his back legs froze in paralysis and didn’t work at all, and he panicked dragging them behind him whining in terror and then as soon as it started they “popped’ back to working again as I watched in horror with a burning knot in my stomach.

Deep Breath.

Right about this time, approximately 3 weeks ago I went for a urology appointment. Those of you who may or may not be familiar with paraplegia urology is something that becomes a regular yearly thing to keep up on and well- having had two babies within 3 years, with all those appointment, I had skipped my annual urology duty a couple times, and then pretty soon it became 4 years and then I started having some symptoms and I thought I better go in.

During my visit the doc was looking at my bladder (from the inside) and said “oh mmmm” pregnant pause, and then “uh mmmmm”. And I knew that sound couldn’t be good, and as I inquired, she said. “See that there... that’s a tumor....and it looks, well, cancerous” and then went on to explain what a non-cancerous tumor looked like as opposed to cancerous one. Having no frame of reference of what the inside of my bladder looks like on a good day I couldn’t tell the difference just that this wasn’t sounding good, then the word cancer sort of settled in and rang in my ears, buzzing, over the sound of my 18 month old screaming in waiting room with dad and the rest of the doctors words morphed in “wahhh wahhh wa wa wa wahhhh” like the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons and I have no idea what she said until she asked “would you like me to have you husband come in the room” and I somehow squeaked out a “yes”. From the buzz of words the room and lights took the same unfocused slant and slowly she came back into focus through my tears with my husband pale white and serious standing by her side holding our baby waving his plastic giraffe in the air.

Deep Breathe.

We decided that tumor needed to be removed and biopsied and scheduled the operation and the waiting began.

Deep Breathe.

November 11, the morning of the surgery I awoke to this piecing squeaking noise and upon awakening I realized it was Tyler whimpering and whining in his dog bed. He had had another episode of his back legs giving out and was stuck and bed. He couldn’t get up and joyfully bounce alongside the bed until we all woke up and gave him his breakfast. Carl tried to help him up and his backside was totally limp. Here I am having surgery in 4 hours to take out a possible cancerous tumor, with my best friend now also paralyzed crying helpless before me, what could I do? Again to use a Charlie Brown reference “ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH”. I am not only worried enough about the two babies I am leaving in someone else’s care while I go under the knife now my old buddy decides to give out on me the morning of. So we give him an extra dose of his doggie anti-inflammatory drug and in about a ½ hour he pops back to his old self. So I told him that day just hang on buddy a couple more days- I still need you- then you can go, I’ll let you go, I promise. He licked my face- which he never does- he’s not a licky dog and I headed to surgery now my stomach in double knots.

I got through the surgery and then came the endless waiting for the results. 9 days of feeling my life hung in the balance. 9 days of not knowing what lie ahead. Tyler hung in there with us. Then Wednesday I got the biopsy results and they came back cancer free. Another Deep Breathe. We made it. Well, we made it, the humans of the household. Tyler was really not doing so well and I told him I remembered my promise and kissed him on the head- he met me halfway with a tap of his wet nose.

The next day Tyler stopped eating his breakfast. The next day I called the vet. This brings us up to today.

Right now it’s almost way past midnight on 11/21. I’ll bring him in sometime after 9 tomorrow and it will be the end of a long era of my life.

I’ve been sitting in my studio painting, sobbing, smiling, and remembering. Spinning in all the events that have taken place in a few short weeks. I breathe in and out matching my breathes to his calm dog deep breaths. Being still and quiet savoring the last few moments in my studio with Tyler by my side, sprawled out sleeping at my feet. I set the paints down a few moments to write this out. I wanted to remember the snores, the snuffles, the jittery rabbit chasing spasm sleeping dreams, the ear flips and sighs and how I’d look up from what I was doing to see him on his dog bed beside me. These fabulous all night painting sessions we’ve shared recently and especially since children came along. How much I’ve treasured these sacred and rare silent moments together in a still night time house.

I started this painting of trees when I got the tumor diagnosis and it was for me, a way to sort of paint the darkness and fear out of my head. Now that I am through that it seemed only fitting that Tyler be part of it, trotting happily back to the magical place he came from. Because in many ways it represents what he’s done for my life. That story, as I said, could fill a book, but in short he showed me the way- the way of kindness, silliness, not taking yourself so seriously, the way of merriment, gratitude, and most importantly the way of unconditional love. Tyler cleared a big bright path of Labrador Light romping merriment through what one could make into a dark and scary place and in the process his glow transformed it into something beautiful and mystical. The lesson Tyler taught me was its all in how you want to look at it that changes how it really is.

I’ll let the painting speak for itself. I know it’s sentimental and self-indulgent. I don’t care. I love my dog.

Thank you Tyler- you are a good dog. I set you free.

One more Deep Breathe.


It’s 2:30 am and I am just going to post this up on the blog and head to bed to catch a couple moments of sleep before we go in. So I am sure there are type-o’s and English errors. But I don’t want to chicken out and click “delete”. If you happen to read this and it is Saturday morning of 11/22 say a little prayer for my little doggy’s journey to the great big rabbit chasing field in the sky. And a little one for me- that I do alright getting through the departure this morning!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tangled Up In Glue

Oz's "Tangled Up in Glue" to which he says... get it mom "Glue!" "Glue" because I used GLUE teee heee heee rolling on floor 3 year old laughter

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blood on the Tracks

Listening to Dylan my 3 year old painted a rather literal "Blood on the Tracks"


More Trees

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cultivating Fearlessness with Paint

Cultivating Fealessness- Progression on my Tonglen Trees

Learning to Fly

Monday, November 3, 2008

Why I did not vote for Obama (or McCain)

Embed code:

This election I did not vote out of fear- I didn't vote for one - because I was afraid if I didn't the other worse one would win. I trust the republic will survive whichever wins, we will grow, and it is all divine- it is all perfect. Everything is in perfect alignment. My light will shine whomever governs- and the light of others- and we will shine bright against the darkness. I will, as Jesus says, "give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar"- I know my abundance does not come from the government, neither does my safety, my health, or my joy. I AM responsible for my destiny not the government. I voted for the only candidate who wants to end the war, bring our service men and women home, to end the patriot act, end the IRS, restore our civil liberties, dismantle the federal reserve. Since the only say I get in who leads my country is a little check in a box- that may or may not be counted. I know the choice is symbolic, energetic- and the universe always loves symbolism- so I choose the only man I could get behind 100 per cent. Who I would trust not to draft our dear children into an unnecessary war, bankrupt my 401K, and wiretap my phone, arrest me as a "homegrown terrorist" because I am a Anabaptist- and we have been cited at times as "homegrown terrorist" because we peacefully and publicly object to all war which is now illegal under HR 1955 and the patriot act.

Instead of voting out of reaction- I voted out of response. I voted out of Love- out of Joy- that a movement is beginning in our country- and that there are a few good people willing to stand up against the Bildenberg group, the Fed. Reserve, the Globalists, the Corporations, a few honest politicians that didn't vote for the bailout which fleeced the American people, that did not vote for the war or patriot act, that support my right to homeschool my kids, that won't force me to vaccinate them. I responded to their courage to stand out, to not be the "winners", to not patronize the American people with promises they can never keep, to not be popular, but instead to be honest- and for that- they got my vote.

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection..." John Adams

Viva La R3VOLution!

Funny Pics / george bush dance

No Matter WHO wins tomorrow it WILL NOT BE George W. Bush!!! THANK GOODNESS!
(well- hmmm...he didn't really win before- so maybe- well hopefully not)

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Inspired by our summer trip to Wisconsin/Minnesota.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Roger Snarfus

Here is Bobby the English Cocker Spaniel- I finally finished him this weekend. It took me over a month!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Do Schools Kill Creativity

As we've become more and more committed to homeschooling our children I watched some youtube videos this week that really sang to my heart that until the public education moves forward out of its industrial revolution factory format- educating our children in our loving, nurturing home is the best choice for us. I found these talks from the TED talks on education really good.

Do Public Schools Kill Creativity

Why We Don't Understand As Much As We Think We Do

Can Kids Teach Themselves

My first youtube video

Here's my first youtube video

Oskar's first roll over to the tune of 2001 space odyssey

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bobby- In Progress Cocker Spaniel

A couple of you had asked (probably the actual two people who read my blog) about the painting in the background of the KUAT filming. They actually filmed me painting and so this is the work "in progress" that' s featured. Hopefully I'll wrap it up this week. But the energy is coming through nicely. Amy on limitlessness knicknamed him Roger Snarfus and it's sort of stuck- so it may be titled Roger Snarfus.

This is a painting my three year old did of Alexander the hummingbird with his friends at the hummingbird feeder. It's really one of my favorites that he's done. They both love watching the humming bird. The funny thing he told me today is that he wanted me to make chicken pox for dinner. Two of his playmates have chicken pox so he heard me talking about it on the phone.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Filming For Kuat - PBS

Here are a couple photos from today. A producer from KUAT our local PBS filmed at our house and in my studio for the local show Arte! featuring Mutt Butt Studio! Very exciting.

The photos don't quite give the feel of the total chaos of two toddlers, blind 80 pound Labrador retriever, very expensive hi-def camera equipment, lights on tripods, etc.

It was exhilaratingly terrifying and I got very tongue tied which made me enormously grateful it wasn't live television. Hopefully I got my words out in a coherent way. Excited that with this opportunity many more people will be able to see my art.

It should air early October on KUAT Tucson channel 6 and it will also be available online and I will post a link to the video when I have it.

wheew. I got through it. yeah!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008



Sunday, July 27, 2008

This beautiful dog Miesha belongs to fellow blogger Dan Tristam "Padrones" who graciously shared this photo of her. You can also see more of his photos on Flickr

Saturday, July 19, 2008

These are some fun posters I made inserting my artwork into a automotivator poster program. Silly, but they turned out kind of cute.


Axel Painting

Axel "helping" out on a new painting.

July 17, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm Ready for My Close Up Now....

Here is Tyler in front of his painting. Most of the paintings went to the gallery this week (of course I kept Tyler's portrait) so I snapped a shot before they went because I thought they looked nice all grouped together.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Daily Star AGAIN!

Here we are again...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Arizona Daily Star July 10, 2008

Here I am in the Arizona Daily Star!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

OMG Made the Front Page!

Hi Everyone--

I made the front page of the Vail Sun... must have been a slow news week!



Friday, July 4, 2008

Mutt Butt In The News

I have an exciting announcement that my art and my story will be in two papers next week: the Vail Sun ( Wednesday July 9th and the Arizona Daily Star ( Thursday July 10th in the Eastside Arts Supplement. If it's possible I'll post a link here- if not check the paper if you subscribe or check the online versions if you are interested in reading it.

Very Exciting!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Loki God of Mischief

Here's a painting of a Swiss Mountain Dog named Loki I finished this week. The photo is by Haley Hughes (also a blogger )

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cicely The Dog

Here's some photos of Cicely the dog. I don't know this dog personally I sort of felt moved to paint her after surfing around Myspace one night. I did her this past week. She was a lot of fun to paint!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Worms on the Run

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Progression of a Painting from start to finish.
I've started doing this with the digital camera and it's fun for me as you can start to see them dogs sort of poke their way out of the canvas.