On My Easel

I’ve been struggling with some things in recent weeks. Interpersonal relationships, stress, priorities, simplifying, decluttering, all of it. I think, process, sometimes scream, sometimes cry… and I feel my way. Painting often brings clarity, but like an exploring child, it would rather reveal itself when not being forced. I call this painting “We are All Children of the Light”. I know all the truths that it has brought to me, but I’d never dream of pushing those truths onto anyone else. Do you receive any messages in this painting? I’d love to hear!

October Paint Nights!

These are the paintings we will be doing in October at Ole’s Medium Rare in Clackamas, OR!  For more details and to RSVP, like our facebook page www.facebook.com/rlabartists! I will also be posting a poll to see what you’d like to paint at future paint nights!

As always, if you’d like to schedule an event, email us at rlabartists@gmail.com

Turning Down the White Noise

Last week I went to the doctor for what I thought had been a 5 day migraine. I figured that I would go in and she’d give me Imitrex. Instead, she decided that it was not a migraine, but a tension headache. I’ve had a stressful year and I hold all of my stress in my shoulders and neck. She prescribed a muscle relaxer as needed, but recommended them at night. I took one that very night and woke up extremely groggy, but headache free.

I considered this a “reset” and began formulating a plan. I only want to take the muscle relaxer once in awhile, because I don’t like the groggy. So, once again, I need to figure out how to handle stress so that it doesn’t lead to muscle tension, pain, and headaches.

Part 1: I turned off all facebook notifications to my phone. I don’t feel that I can remove the app, or deactivate my account due to social media clients, but if I didn’t receive notifications constantly I felt like it would help. To be honest, I still check facebook. But now it’s once every few hours (less often if busy) and the sense of urgency is gone.

Part 2: Decrease stress in relationships. There is a lot going on in both of my primary friend groups and I had to decide how I’d handle it. Once I realized that it’s not about me, then I knew that I didn’t need to stress. I had to remove ego, (i.e. it’s not about me) and then see how it plays out. I cannot manipulate the outcome, so I will just wait.

Part 3: Heat and ice to my neck.

Part 4: Breathing and stretching exercises.

So far all is going well. I’m hoping to need the resets less frequently and I’m hoping to not stress over things that i can’t control. I’ve also been working on decluttering my home. Clutter adds to my stress.

I’ve been feeling extremely inspired and motivated to work on my art career. So as I work on that, I don’t need to be debilitated by tension headaches.

Healing Takes Place

I received a call from a good friend recently. She asked for my help. I was a little unclear on exactly what she needed, but told her I’d help in any way. We arranged a time for her to come over. I knew that she had been having some issues and had a plan in mind.

She was on time, as she always is. I grabbed some tissues for the painting room and I had an easel set up with a blank canvas for her. She chose colors she wanted: a flesh tone, black, red, yellow… and she got to work. She painted efficiently as she sobbed, and her painting gave me goosebumps.  Three dark figures enveloping a girl, and a yellow light that couldn’t permeate the darkness to reach the little girl.

She told me the story behind it, and I will not retell that here, as it’s not my place. Instead, I will tell you that I guided her through some exercises. There were a lot of tears, and I could literally see her healing begin. After I time I handed her a pocket knife and she slashed the painting to pieces.

I carried the paintings (she actually painted two) to the fire pit where she was waiting. I felt the flaps of canvas on the one she cut and noticed the child was completely intact, though the rest of the canvas was completely shredded. More goosebumps.

She lit the canvases and we watched them burn. Sobs and tears. When she left, she looked taller than when she came. I’ve checked on her and she is doing great. I’m so thankful for friends who are not afraid to ask for what they need from me. And I’m thankful for my healing spirit and my ability to lead when needed.

On My Easel

I completed this recently. I was working to embrace the beauty of simplicity.  I’m also loving the human form, and want to do my best to depict it. I often have an issue getting the vision from my head to the canvas. I happen to love the results, but will keep working on paintings that are both simplistic and beautiful.


Change Your Mindframe

Towards the end of my big depression, there was one thing that changed my path more than anything else.

Want to know what that was?

The realization that I didn’t want anyone else to save me. The realization that I needed to be my biggest champion.

This painting is by my son Andrew and can be seen on our Facebook page

On My Easel


This photo isn’t the best quality, and this painting is far from done. I’m already proud of it though because I’ve been stretching my wings, trying new products and new techniques. For the sky of this one I tried Brusho, which is basically a granular water color that you can use in a variety of ways. I tried it a month or two ago with my son, but I hated it. Something just told me it was time to try it now, though. I love Starry Night, and yes, this is inspired by that. When I get done though, it will be so much more.

I will definitely post photos when it is done.



Time for a Change

I’ve been struggling with deciding what to do with this blog. Gone are the life coach days. I’m not currently promoting a book (though I will be in the future) nor am I promoting an online class.

Instead, I’m making art. I’m living life. I’m showing my work (and my youngest son’s work) in a local gallery. I’m teaching local paint nights. I’m working as an administrative assistant, I’m doing some freelance social media.

So why a blog? I have been struggling with justifying it, but you know what? I’m just going to be me. I’m sure I’ll share some of my work, and if at any point you want to buy some art, let me know. But this outlet is needed for me.

I will likely leave posts intact for now. No purge for me. Yet. I’ve always been a fan of the knowledge that every single thing that’s happened in my life has made me who I am.  That includes life coaching, sharing the experience when my ex husband committed suicide, talking about my Artist Empowerment Classes, about grief, about my Dad and his photography. It’s all me.  And right now, I feel like I’m an artist.

That’s a huge statement for me. I am an artist. I’d be a fraud if I didn’t tell you that that statement comes after about 6 months of the deepest depression of my life. It was not only the deepest, but the longest period of depression I’ve struggled with. There were days I didn’t know if I would make it. There were many days that I didn’t know if any of it was worth it. My entire world went grey, and there were days that I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I always did, but it was robotic. My emotions receded, I was hard to reach. I was never suicidal, but I would not have fought to live.

Then I had a very bad night where it was shown to me the effect all this was having on those around me. Did I mention it was a very bad night? Yeah… the worst. And it was a huge wake up call. I decided that I was going to fake it til I made it. I decided that it was absolutely no one else’s job to save me. As a result, I decided to stop sharing the darkness, and pretend that everything was alright.

Would I recommend that to everyone? No. But for where I was at the time, it worked. Let me pause for a moment and say if you are depressed, especially if you have any thoughts of suicide, get help.

So, here I was, with a new decision. Thankfully, that decision was perfect for me. I was able to choose to be happier, and to put on a happy face. Before I get all the hate mail, let me assure you that I’m not recommending this for anyone else. I am extremely honest with myself and I knew that I wasn’t suicidal. Just severely depressed. Had I been suicidal, I would have sought help.

My hope is to strengthen every single day.  To live this life to it’s fullest, and always do what’s best for me. So far it’s working, and every day I’m thankful that my life has color in it again and isn’t just grey.  I will be sharing some art work, but I think for now I’ll just send this out there… on a wing and a prayer.

Blue Snake Fortunes

Recently I met Anthony, the owner of Blue Snake Fortunes and I was so impressed by him that I want to share him with all of you! I asked if I could post an interview and he kindly agreed.

First a little blurb about him:

“When I was younger I bought a deck of tarot cards at a Renaissance faire. I took them to school and an older classmate was able to do a reading for me. I was captivated by her ability to flawlessly read the cards and use them to tell a story. I knew this was something I wanted to learn.

I found myself able to naturally understand the cards story and their meaning. My shop is a way for me to do something I love. I genuinely enjoy helping people and often a person’s problem can be so big to them, they can’t see the solution is staring them in the face. Reading tarot is a way for me to help others. I started with giving readings to family and friends as a hobby. Not long ago, I decided to open an online shop to help those in need as well as test my abilities for those that I don’t know personally and that also do not know me.”

And now my interview:

How did you get here?

~ I got here through following my heart. I know, it sounds corny, but it’s the truth. I met a beautiful woman who helped me follow my passion rather than force me to do something just to survive. I’ve learned quite a bit since my younger days, such as how to balance the heart and mind as well as how to listen to my instincts.

As a child, did you have an imaginary friend?

~ I don’t think I ever did. As a kid, I spent most of my time playing video games.

What drew you to the tarot?
~ I was drawn to tarot because the same 78 cards in tarot can become something so personal due to their many interpretations. Every fortune is dependent on the reader and the asker. Even if you get the same cards, their meanings could be completely different based on the question.

If you were a cat, what would your special cat ability be?

~ The ability to move quietly no matter where I go. I love that quality about cats.

How long have you been doing what you do?
~ I have dabbled with tarot for about 7 years, but about a year ago I was given the opportunity to refine my skills until I felt confident enough to open a shop.

What has been the most memorable moment for you in your business?
~ The most heartwarming moment for me was a woman who requested the “take a good look spread” to analyze her current situation and what needed to be done. She returned a little over a month later to thank me. It wasn’t disclosed at the time, but she and her husband were trying to have children. She wanted to let me know she was finally able to relax and was now pregnant.

What is the most common inquiry you receive?

~ I commonly have been asked “What is my future?” or “What does the universe want me to know?” These questions are a bit too open ended to give a proper answer. The universe may want you to know something, but our cards could say “Focus more.” Then a person could start to focus on the wrong area of their life. Such as their relationship could be falling apart because they are workaholics, and when told to “focus more” they think it is about work when in reality they need to focus more on their relationship.

Where can we find you?
~ Our shop can be found on Storenvy at bluesnakefortunes.storenvy.com
We also can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BlueSnakeFortunes
Instagram: instagram.com/bluesnakefortunes
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/bluesnaketarot

What’s the oddest question you’ve ever received?
~ I haven’t received any outlandish questions (yet) though I assume it’s because people are reluctant to reveal that side of themselves to a stranger. However, our shop is 100% confidential and judge free. We do not give out a person’s information or their story unless given permission. This is a safe space for everyone.

Paint And Sip Nights

My son and I have been painting together now for the better part of a year. He’s 20 and has been painting a year this month. I pushed him towards it because I saw his need for an outlet. I’m proud to say he paints every day, and pushes his boundaries often.

A few months back, I began hosting paint nights through a friend’s facebook group. I’ve also had some at my home with my son teaching alongside me. We are searching for more venues to host our paint nights in.

In the past month or two, in addition to paint nights just for adults, I’ve also facilitated two birthday parties. One was for an 11 year old girl, and the other was for a 13 year old’s birthday. Both had children of the ages 6-13, both male and female.

I love guiding a group through a painting!  Each and every group teaches me more about myself, and more about life. I’m thankful for the fact that I have this in my life. We provide all supplies, instruction, snacks and beverages. It is $25/person for the 2 or so hours. If you’d like more details, please email us at rlabartists@gmail.com.