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Taking Pleasure in Small Things

July 2nd, 2019

Taking Pleasure in Small Things

I have to admit that releasing stress has been more than challenging lately. There are many things going on in this world that are of extreme concern to anyone with feet on the ground and even if my own life is basically okay with no major crises I see suffering everywhere and it makes my heart ache. Homelessness in Berkeley is alarming, as well as elsewhere in this world, whether refugees fleeing their homes in search of survival and better life, or people outcast by society for one reason or another. Life is extremely challenging for many and with rulers that are uncaring and only have interest in their own prosperity, life on planet earth can turn into hell for humankind. We are living in very challenging times and cultivating happiness has become tasking. I try not to take my own mind chatter too seriously since I know that turbulence is the nature of the mind, but I tend to get sucked into negative thought patterns fast and furious and I can feel the tension in the air. This is where taking pleasure in small things steps in for me, because I know that there are still also many good things going on in this world where duality is the name of the game. Trees and plants and water and earth and animals have always been a huge healing source for me. I try to spend as much time as possible in natural settings instead of in the cities where everything humanity shares, whether desirable or deplorable, is always concentrated. In my heart of hearts I believe that we can create a better world, but it starts with caring and compassion. There really is no better advice in regard to living than the golden rule. If we all would do unto others as we would like to have done unto us, this world would change. Based on my observations, there is simply too much selfish and self-centered activity going on with people. Me, myself and I first kind of attitudes do not serve the good of the all. Never have and never will. Everything on this planet is one and we are all in the same boat. Energy here only changes form, it never simply disappears. Eventually we all breath the same air and drink the same water. And nothing is really solid or separate. We now know that molecules travel through what we call dense matter constantly. This world is a place of wonder. This world and all existence is mystical and magical beyond our ability to comprehend. Remember to find joy in taking pleasure in small things. I know I will. After all, in the bigger picture, there is no great or small and everything is relative.

Busy Times

May 31st, 2019

Busy Times

It has been nearly two months since my last blog. I have been so busy with many aspects in my life that I simply have not had the time to create another blog article until now, at the end of May. I do not even know if anyone reads these blogs, except when I post them on Facebook and get some likes or feedback. Whether anyone will read these or not, I made a commitment to write them and they do serve a purpose as a form of diary. I get to reflect and share by writing these blogs. See, the truth is that my life has been sort of chaotic lately. Seems like I have had more than my share of things to handle and not much time for pleasure or fun. I hope to change this in the coming summer months. I acknowledge that I have arrived at some sort of crossroads and have to prioritize again what is truly important to me as a person and as an artist. This requires some deep observation, meditation and soul reflection. There is a part of me that truly wishes to simplify my life. I long to go into the nature and spend more time listening to the sounds of bubbling creeks and running rivers and ocean waves and soft summer winds rustling the leaves of the trees. And of course all the lovely music created by wildlife. I really long for the redwoods, where we have made many animal friends in the past and have had some of the most magical experiences in our lives. Luckily it looks like me and my partner will soon be able to go camping again. I was recently gifted a Dodge Grand Caravan by my mom and there will definitely be room to do lofty camping in this vehicle that is new to me. Once I get over handling some very necessary things in my life and have some more time in my hands, camping trips will become a priority. I find time spent in nature to be very healing and rejuvenating and inspiring. You might not be able to tell, but much of my art is inspired by nature, even in its very abstracted forms. I am really not a city girl in my heart of hearts. Ever since I was a small girl, time spent in nature has always nurtured my soul significantly. I think that more than likely elementals are some of my very true muses!

Think Round Fine Arts Opening Reception

April 1st, 2019

Think Round Fine Arts Opening Reception

In the late afternoon and early evening on Saturday, March 30, Nordic 5 Arts Nordic Light had an opening reception at the Think Round Fine Arts gallery in San Francisco. This reception had a good crowd of people and the artwork was well arranged and enjoyed. Overall the air was cheery and enthusiastic and filled with friendly conversations and repertoire. Several people I had invited showed up and commented on the beauty of my artworks. I met and talked with many interesting people, some of them artists I had not met before. I am hoping that there will be many sales from this exhibit. Think Round Fine Arts has a mighty mission. Based on Heidi Hardin, the founder and director, the mission is to create community and to bring people together in spirit of peace and creativity. Their slogan states "Earth is Home. Humans are Family".

I have three acrylic paintings on canvas on the wall in this exbibit and three small works on paper in the bin. My acrylics on canvas are titled "Learning to See", "Creating Unity" and "Peace and Flow". My painting in the image illustrating this blog, Creating Unity, is about bringing together opposites and making this world a better place for all. In this light, the more love and goodwill and acceptance and appreciation there is in this world, the better off everybody will be. We can all cultivate kindness and gratitude and the more there is of these in the world, the more uplifting and positive results we will likely experience.

We had a very successful and friendly reception at the Think Round Fine Arts. Check out Think Round Inc. at www.thinkround.org and I hope you will also end up supporting their very worthy mission! The gallery hours are from 9 to 12 Monday through Friday and by appointment. Our Nordic Light exhibit will continue through May18, 2019. Do go and visit if you can!

After The Rain

March 2nd, 2019

After The Rain

The past month in Northern California has been very wet and unfortunately floods have created a lot of destruction. We have remained safe here in West Berkeley and feel very grateful for this. But the fires last year and the recent floods have shaken up many communities here and have clearly reminded us all about the power of mother nature and the uncertainty that we live with in this world. Life and any earthly possessions can change and be destroyed in a blink of an eye, but luckily most material possessions can also be replaced, unless they are one of a kind, like original artworks. But of course, as long as the artist stays alive, they can always create more and most people who buy art also carry insurance on the art they have purchased. I hope that artists who live in the flooded areas did not suffer immense loss that is hard to recover from and will be able to pick up the pieces and start over again. To me it looks like Guerneville and Forestville and Sebastobol area residents are doing all that they can to support each other after the flood. Sometimes disasters do bring out the best in most people.

My own February experiences were mixed. My interior design and professional organizing business has lost clientele due to people moving out of the Bay Area and also not being able to continue working with me for their own personal reasons. But at the same time my creativity has been high and I have been making a lot of art and designs, both painting and digital. I will be participating in a Nordic 5 Arts group exhibition in San Francisco this coming April and May at the Think Round gallery. This exhibit is titled Nordic Light and I created a new piece that got accepted into this show together with two of my previously completed paintings. I will be showing three acrylics on canvas titled Creating Unity, Learning to See and Peace and Flow together with the numerous works of sixteen other fellow artists. This is promising to be a show worth seeing with a wide variety of styles and approaches to the theme of Nordic Light. My own approach concentrates on the inner light with the magical Finnish midsummer reflections on a time of the year when the sun never totally sets but only dips right below the horizon leaving Southern Finland in twilight for a couple of hours before it rises again. I have sweet memories of these warm midsummer nights in Finland scented with the sweet intoxicating scent of the blooming lilacs and midsummer tea roses and the delight of the birds singing all night long. I will always treasure these beautiful and precious memories.

Life is a mysterious mixture of light and dark, of pleasure and pain, of laughter and sorrow, of loss and gain. Life is an endless flow of energy from one form into another. Life is beautiful and at its core, all life is love.

Welcome to February

February 3rd, 2019

Welcome to February

Life can be so amazing. One day you may feel angry and frustrated and the next day all is well and even marvelous. Last Friday was a challenging day for me. I had overloaded myself with tasks to handle and many of these tasks were not what I wanted to do, but they had to get handled, and they did. But by the end of the day I was peeved. To my delight, after a good night's long sleep, I woke up feeling happy today and for no particular reason that I was aware of. Perhaps my body chemistry was in good balance today, or perhaps I had a subconscious sense of good things coming. I am not a person who is looking for fame, but recognition is always nice and uplifting. I belong to some artist groups on Facebook and have received some awards for my art in these groups, but never two in one day! Today I received an award for Best Drawing in Abstract Designers Group for my Gentle and Savage pencil and ink drawing. And a Special Award for my mixed media work in Abstract Expressions Group titled Higher Love - Heart of Hearts. I just joined the Abstract Expressions Group earlier today! Both of these awards surprised me and added to my good mood. I, like any other exhibiting artist, need recognition for my art and I am very grateful when I get this kind of soul food. So, thank you all for your support and encouragement and appreciation! It never goes unnoticed, so, keep it coming. Sales are great, but if you cannot afford to buy art, you can always acknowledge the works you like or love!

Goodbye 2018

January 2nd, 2019

Goodbye 2018

The year that just ended was one of the most challenging years I recall in my life. Many precious things broke down and developed problems, from our car to my computer and so much more. But somehow we got by and survived these at times extremely financially burdensome situations. Nothing that money would not solve happened to us, but at the same time my income diminished. I must say that I am glad we are going toward more light again as we slowly move toward spring. I feel better when the days are longer. Even though I am a night owl, too much darkness is depressing to me. The fires that took place in Northern California were horrendous. I have never in my life dealt with such poor and hazardous air quality and this is nothing in comparison to the loss that the fire victims experienced and likely are still experiencing. The strange thing about media is that once something else happens, yesterday's news become old fast and the focus shifts into the new disasters. The public is often left wondering about the developments that occur after the headlines change. Seems like everyone's attention span has become very short indeed. I think I followed news way too much this past year and found myself upset and annoyed at what I was hearing more than a few times. The whole political scenario could be enough to drive one crazy, not to talk about all the other annoyances and troubles in the world. Anyone who denies climate change should have their head checked. Seriously. This past year had so many different natural disasters happen all over the world that there clearly must be a link between climate change and the increased storm and fire and flood activity we have been experiencing globally. I hope it is not too late to make a difference in regard to this but I sense that time might be running out. After all, the glaziers are melting and the sea levels are rising even faster than earlier estimates. Seems to me that mankind creates many of its own calamities through ignorance and denial and irresponsible behavior. Leaders and decision makers could use a good dose of common sense and foresight. It is time that we show respect toward life on the planet Earth and not so much respect for money and greed. In spite of all the troubles in my own life and also life at large, I have managed to keep on making art and designing. Actual painting with acrylics on canvas has not been in the forefront due to issues with money and time, but I have been drawing and creating digital and mixed media art. If you have any ideas in regard to getting funding for paint and other art supplies, please, drop me a line! Happy New Year 2019 to Everyone!!!

About Making Art and Designing

November 30th, 2018

About Making Art and Designing

This past month my focus has been on digital art and design. Although I love getting my hands dirty with paint, digital art allows me to make very fast choices and changes and get good results in a fraction of the time that it takes me to create a completed painting by hand. As a designer, digital art is a great media for me and I often start creating surface designs for textiles and more with full or partial scans of my handpainted art and drawings. Also parts of photographs I have taken are not out of the question and very likely I will be moving even more to this direction in design in near future, at least to experiment. I work in many two dimensional media and occasionally create three dimensional works. I mainly paint with acrylics, which in my case usually have been layered many times to get the results I seek. I draw with ink and pen and pencil and also create mixed media and as earlier indicated, digital art. My subject matter ranges from abstract colorful works that are created to be mainly pleasureful eye candy to deeply spiritual and socially conscious yet surreal and most of the time playful works with strong aspects of abstraction. All of my art reflects my visions and understandings and at times I am called to paint more realistically, but my focus is really in imaginative art that deals more with inner visions, values and fantasy. My choices of subject matter and method are based on my passions and on what calls for me and attracts me enough for me to put the time into bringing it artistically into fulfillment. I expect people to see different things in my works based on their own passions and understandings. If you like my style but cannot find exactly what you are looking for, I invite you to commission me to make customized art or designs for you! It would be my pleasure to help bring more visual enjoyment into your life.

About Drawing and Painting

October 31st, 2018

About Drawing and Painting

I have been drawing a lot lately. Mainly because I can do this so very spontaneously without much preparation and effort. I have been very busy handling many issues in my life and getting hold of a pad of paper and some ink pens is basically instantaneous. When it comes to drawing I also admit that I truly enjoy the movements that my hand makes with a pen or pencil on the paper. When I work with ink I do not make any pencil sketches but draw directly with ink on the paper. There is no erasing these markings, so anything unexpected will change the direction of my drawings, which are stream of consciousness anyway with one thing leading to another. Rarely do I use any external objects or people for reference but draw directly from my mind and imagination. To me drawing is a form of meditation. But so is painting, which I hope to continue in near future. I have some works in progress waiting for me to continue. But setting up to paint always requires more of my time than drawing and since I paint with acrylics and not oils, I also aim at using all the paints that I put on my palette during any session. It is normal for me to paint four or more hours at a time. I get totally emerged in making art and painting and there is always some previously unknown point that I need to arrive to. Or at least I need to make sure that I use up all the paints before they dry up. LOL

Appreciation and Hope

September 28th, 2018

Appreciation and Hope

These days the news are mainly filled with sad and bad and mad stories. We are definitely living in turbulent and chaotic times and many attitudes and values are hitting the fan seemingly spinning. I am hoping that this is the proverbial dark before the dawn. Change is in the air and old structures always need to be torn down to create room for the new. This demolition applies to both archaic notions about life and people and societies as well as just plain bad choices and values of those in power that have caused much destruction and outlived their questionable importance. Extreme opinions and reactions seem to be common now and there is much emotional commotion in the world. Patriarchy seems to be taking a nosedive and nobody wants Nero fiddling while Rome is burning. Looks like many people have had enough and they are not going to take it anymore. This brings to my mind the saying about the nature of worldly power. It really does corrupt even some well meaning people, not to talk about those whose intentions were selfish and greedy from the very start. Hatred and darkness and ignorance have risen to the top and even if they try, they cannot hide any longer. But I truly hope that all of this is another necessary phase in healing that which has been boiling below the surface for a very long time. I must say that I am optimistic about the possibility that the world just might be in a global healing crisis.

During any healing crisis things often get worse before they get better and even though it may be hard to see, I feel like there just might be light at the end of the tunnel. In times like this hope and appreciation can be powerful centering forces. Simplicity is one of those things that has great beauty and clarity and healing power. Things that are important to us and our survival and happiness can become grounding and nurturing and can make us focus on what is working for us in the world. This is why I painted Gifted By Nature. This painting of two peaches started with two delicious real life peaches and expanded from that to me thinking about the value of clean dirt and water and all the good things that make life possible and even enjoyable on this planet. Nature has gifted us with so much good that nowadays most of us mainly take for granted. I find that thinking about these things, like in this case, thinking about peaches with appreciation, is very centering. Life can be simple and wonderful instead of chaotic and nerve wrecking. When I concentrate on the simple things that I appreciate in life my focus automatically shifts from feeling hopeless to feeling more hopeful again and I feel my energy starting to move to the direction I wish to go. It is very true that happiness is an attitude that we can choose to experience by focusing and centering on what makes us feel good. After all, our own thoughts can take us down or lift us up. Do remember this when you find yourself at the mercy of your own mind. Life, just like vision, always happens in the eye and understanding of the beholder. Every one of us reaps our own interpretations on what is happening in the world. And in the meanwhile, independently, life goes on in the bigger picture.

You See What You Get

August 31st, 2018

You See What You Get

I am always fascinated by the individual nature of perception and I have come to the conclusion that we all literally only see things that we understand at least partially. The rest tends to escape us. The same seems to apply to focus, which calls for us to look and notice things relevant to what is important to us in the moment. It is possible that these behaviors might serve our survival and growth and even evolution. Or perhaps we are just called to endorse our perceptions of how we think things are and prove our viewpoints right. After all, human beings tend to prove their experiences and expectations right even when these are only one way of interpreting the truly multifaceted nature of reality. We all have to make sense of all that is somehow to keep our sanity, don't we? How many of us actually willingly stop to look at things that we do not understand? If you are one of the people who will just walk on by things that are not obvious to you and immediately call for your attention, how about at some point stopping to see what you might be missing. If nothing else, at least this will be educational. And maybe you will notice something that you did not see before and new ways of looking and seeing just might open up for you. This is why new experiences are so good for all of us. They literally expand our minds and this means that we are profoundly changed by gaining new understandings. How could this not be good in a world where people fight and argue and even kill over small and insignificant issues? Many of us could broaden up our understandings and grow bigger hearts.

Different ways of seeing is what originally motivated me to start my ongoing art project of alterable perspectives. I have been working on my The Joy of Design series since late 2012. I currently have 50 small original square acrylic abstract and semi-abstract paintings in this series and at this point I am aiming at making the total 100. I chose the square format for these individual paintings so that they can be easily and successfully displayed in any of the eight directions, including the four diagonal ones. I also chose the small format, currently ranging from 6 by 6 inches to 10 by 10 inches, so that these works can be displayed in groups and can also be easily scanned and used digitally as part of larger mixed media works. Just the other day some people got what my intention with these works is and that literally made my day. Often in life I feel misunderstood, in particular when it comes to my art. I appreciate that there are people who show interest in my works and most people will comment that they love the colors I use and that the works make them feel happy, but rarely does someone comment further on the interdependent content that to me seems clear. But I also have noticed that when I change, what I see and what stands out for me in my own works will also change. As time goes by I myself discover new aspects in my works. So it is clear to me that perception is fluid and not stagnant. I look forward to growing more as an artist and a human being. I have a desire to alter my perceptions and never to get stuck on just one way of seeing the essentially kaleidoscopic nature of reality.

 

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