when a mural is painted over… your gift erased

I came across these photos yesterday of these murals that I painted about 15 years ago in my parents house.  My mom had been wanting something with this Tuscan feel and when Skylar was a baby there was a time that we lived with them so I painted these murals kind of as my rent and a thank you to her and my dad.  I was about 25 years old or so.

This piece was on a large wall that went up the middle of the house in the main living area.

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Over in the hallway both sides were lined with similar styled, soft glowing italian countryside inspired art.

So these murals stayed up for about 5-6  years I believe.  My mom told me many times how much she loved them and the feel it gave their home.  My mom passed away in early 2009, her passing was unexpected and shook my world as you can imagine.

Fast forward a few years later and my dad and his girlfriend are living in this house and getting it ready to sell.  My dad’s girlfriend expressed a desire to paint over all these murals with a soft gray color.    I was completely okay with this.   What I didn’t expect was the number of relatives and family members who heard that these murals would be painted over and came to me with complete disapproval.  They couldn’t believe that they’d choose to paint over these.  Over and over for years I heard this from people

I want to share why I felt so at peace with giving my permission.  I think it translates to so many other areas of life.   Even though I had spent dozens of hours painting these pieces, I knew that that was as a gift of love to my mom.  As much as my dad was also there and appreciated them, it was really for her.  I knew that I was okay with keeping those pieces sacred with her, when she was no longer there to appreciate them and enjoy them, then I was okay with understanding that the purpose they fulfilled was complete.   They were no longer needed.

My next reason was more practical, I understood that these murals were not everyone’s taste and neutral colors sell better.

So, I consciously said goodbye to them, thanked them for bringing my mom joy and also felt gratitude that I was able to do something to have brought joy.

I don’t have a clear picture of that wall after it was painted but you can get a feel for the space after:

I share this because it’s not just about the murals.  This could be any heartfelt, handmade gift that is no longer needed.  Giving both the giver and receiver permission to release it knowing it’s purpose was served, love and gratitude were felt and it’s okay to let it go on to provide those to another.  Or in the case like the mural, it won’t be re-gifted… it’s just done. No longer there.   This could be a piece of decor that has brought great joy, like a bowl, dish, etc that gets broken.  Instead of focusing on the breaking part, focus on the joy it brought. Say thank you for that joy or usefulness.

Everything has a cycle, a time.  Sometimes we hold things past when they are meant to be there for us.  I think as a society we have a lot of work to do in giving ourselves permission to release things that no longer light us up.  Or to simply say thank you and let things, people, experiences go on their way. Hold gratitude for the role they played.  This can also be a friendship or job… not all are meant to be forever.  Things will sometimes end, don’t let the ending cloud the lesson and rewards of the experience.

My sister and Skylar in front of the mural one Christmas.

Me, Skylar and my mom

The question I’ll leave you with this this, is there something you’ve been holding on to that you need to let go?  Or a way you can re-frame an experience to find appreciation for it instead of focusing on the loss?

Sending you all love.

 

Intentional artwork – hidden meaning and love – 7 horses – New Artwork

I am in awe sometimes of the moments in life I get to be a part of.

This new painting was so special to me. It’s a larger piece, 6ft wide and 3 feet tall. It features 7 clydesdales and is full of meaning.

 

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I’ve created a video to show the the story and the hidden messages I’ve hidden within the artwork, click the link to see the painting unfold in this short video.

This artwork was coordinated by Robin at Front Door Coaching, she soulfully teams together interior design, coaching and bodywork and had the insight to bring me in to do this artwork. It was a group effort that I am so incredibly proud to be a part of.  It’s a kind of artwork called, Intentional Artwork.  Where there is meaning layered throughout the piece.  It’s a perfect type of artwork for people looking to capture a deeper meaning after loss, life changes or encouragement moving forward.

When you watch the video I’d be so grateful if you’d take a second and send love to the family this was made for. https://vimeo.com/180342361

 

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A light post full of love – how to add unique and personal elements to your yard and home

We all have them.  Little momentos in drawers, jewelry boxes, shelves.  For us they were sitting collecting dust and rarely looked at, shoved out of the way and not part of our daily visual.

When we moved into our house there was still a post from an old deck that had been torn down.  For the first year here we hung bird feeders from it, but once our waterfall pond was finished we knew that post had more of a story to tell.

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Here is how we created this lamp post full of personal momentos and whimsy.

  1. We created a post wrap that was 4 – 2″x6″ treated boards.  Screwed together to leave a 4″x4″ opening inside.  This also allowed me to lay the post down in our living room and work on a side at a time.
  2. We collected mosaic tiles, glass beads, fish bowl rocks, moments, broken necklaces, souvineer spoons, rocks, and all sorts of things that could withstand the outdoors.  If you are wanting to use a mirror here is how to easily break a mirror without making a huge mess.  Find a hard surface and put a layer of newspaper down.  Then the mirror then more newspaper.  Then use a hammer and starting gently tap the mirror. You can also place something small under the mirror like a pebble or coin before you hammer it.  Lift up the top layers of newspaper to check on the mirror and continue this to create as small of pieces as you prefer.  Then you can lift the larger pieces off as needed or put them in a container and gently lift the bottom layer of newspaper fold to contain all glass fragment then pour into garbage.
  3. We bought Liquid Nails for interior or exterior use.

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4. Working in less than an 8 inch spaces at a time, squeeze the liquide nails onto the wood, thinner if it’s for a flat mosaic, thicker if you’ll be sticking on heavier or odd shaped items. Use a flat sides tool to spread the glue.

5. You can work in patterns, or shapes, secret things like initials or messages.  We put our address on one side, another side had a favorite necklace of mine that had broken, a pendant of my mom’s, my grandmothers necklace, a collector spoon I got at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, rocks from people and places.  It was full of an unfolding and telling of our journey; past and future.

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5. Once a side was filled up and dried, there were places where I went in and filled in gaps, between items, essentially grouting with liquid nails.  If this was a flat mosaic with uniformed thickness then I would have filled with grout.  To do that; you’d attach pieces, wait to dry then scoop group onto top and use flat edget to smooth into cracks and openings.  IMPORTANT: use a damp cloth and wipe down surface will grout is still moist.  This will clean off the surface of your glass, mirror or tile pieces.  It may take a few times of wiping gently and rinsing the rag and doing it again.  Otherwise you’ll be left with a layer of grout over the top of your piece that’ll be incredibly difficult to remove later.   Once the piece is dry you’ll go back over it again with a damp rag to remove the dusty residue coating the piece.  You’ll then want to find a high quality grout sealer to protect your grout from absorbing rain, dirt, pollen, or other things.

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Before and After of the pond area and post.

 

6. Once our post was complete we slipped the wrapped post over our 4″x4″ post, topped it with a

board and attached a large solar lantern.

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7. Use this technique for other fun things too; furniture like side tables, dressers, bird baths, gazing balls and more.   Here are a few examples that I have made or others have made:

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This gazing ball was a very special gift given to me.  After my mother passed away my mother in law had gotten my mom’s bowling ball and bag.  Without telling me she secretely used my mom’s china pieces, the tag from her bag and more and glued them all to my mom’s bowling ball.  To this day, it’s one of my favorite things. So much thought from my mother in law and a piece of my mom not stored in a bag in our garage but our in our yard glowing everyday in the sunlight.  Adding joy to our days.

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Hope this gives you some ideas on how you can use things laying around your house to make some fun meaningful goodies.

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Commissions – the magical way to get exactly what you need

Have you ever asked an artist to create something perfect for you? It can sound intimidating, and truthfully some artists won’t do it.  But me, I love them.   I love seeing the ideas my clients come up with.  They are inspired by something they’ve seen, another piece of mine that they need a bit different, a name added.  You get the idea.

I want to share a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.   Some things to consider when you’re looking:

what colors do you love?

what color is the room you’d like the artwork?

is there a style you’re drawn to? Rustic, romantic, bold and abstract? Don’t be afraid to ask for something in that style.

General size of the art you’re wanting.  A bold, room statement piece or a subtle smaller piece to accent an area.

 

One piece I just finished this week went like this:  I had the client tell me she loved the guitar piece I had a few years ago.  She wanted something like that to go in her living room.  Except she wanted her and her husbands initials monogrammed on it and their wedding date.  Plus she wanted lots of colors in the background.   So I emailed her a few ideas with a few different styles of writing and we came up with her design.  For commissions I require 50% deposit for me to get started, then the other 50% is due after I send you pictures and you approve the design.   You can find this sign here and have it personalized with your monogram and wedding date here.

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Forgive the horrible photo on this one but it turned out to be one my favorites.  There were specks of coppers and golds in the fall leaf.  There is a beautiful story behind this painting (that I’ll leave sacred with the client) but this large 30″ x 24″ artwork has turned a special moment into a daily reminder of love.

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This is an example of a step during the commission.  For this one, the client asked to have teal, reds, yellows, oranges and a touch of green featuring the Colorado mountains.  Then their last name.   So one the painting was finished, I send something like this to them to get both approval on the background, see if there are any changes needing to be made and also select the text style that they like best.  This sign is on a great solid wood plan and will be going over a door.

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This glass was part of a set of glasses commissioned and sent out to New York City in time for a one of a kind Christmas gift.  Inspired by the movie, “Birds”.

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I hope this helps take a bit of the intimidation out of having custom artwork created.  I’ve often had people come to me and say, what can you do for $500, I want a scene with “fill in the blank”.  around this size….    what can you do.    This is common.  It takes the fear out of not knowing if an artist is going to come back with a quote of $200 or $2000 and puts a bit of the control back in your hands as the client.

So take a look around, get inspired.  Look at your home, your office, is there something that could go in those spaces that speaks to you directly and inspires you?  Let’s chat and find out if we can create the perfect piece for you.

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Butterfly wishes from Grandma

This past year I’ve been shown in a million ways that I am supposed to paint the Sacred Hellos artwork.  Validation to others, they aren’t crazy when they see signs; especially the ones who aren’t as vocal as I am about talking about those signs.  Also a comforting, recognition to the hellos I have gotten. They give me so much comfort and peace. After losing my own mom and other’s since I’ve been open to receiving and paying attention to the signs thsey send.  I’m so grateful.  I don’t go looking for them but I do try to notice them once they are there.      Well I have tears today as I realize another perfectly orchestrated hello from a new angel in Heaven.

Since I created the Sacred Hellos artwork I’ve had people asking me if I had any butterfly art. But this week it was all amplified. This week I’ve been overtaken by inspiration, numerous people asking for butterfly art.  I knew that I now was the time to paint them.  I sketched, plotted then I worked all day on Wednesday painting butterflies.

Today, in a completely different mind space I spent time this morning watching videos that my ex-brother in law has taken of his Grandma. This would be my exes Grandma. Sky’s great-grandma.  She was an AMAZING woman.  I feel so blessed to have known and loved her these past 18 years. She passed away earlier this week.  I’ve felt a range of sadness for those she’s left behind and complete happiness for her; imaging her reuniting with her husband who passed away long before I knew her and also seeing her parents again.  She was ready to go be with them.

Below is one of the videos I was watching. It’s a couple years old, yet I haven’t ever seen it.  Feel free to jump to the 6 minute mark.

She talks about how she wants to come back as a butterfly.   Chills and tears.

 

Hal has taken hundreds of hours of video of Grandma. She grew up in New York and is a bold, beautiful Italian woman.  Her blunt, bold style was a new world for me after growing up with my reserved, Minnesota family.  She was full of love.  Her and Skylar shared a birthday. We were all Capricorns and she called us her Minnesota Nanny Goats.

I just sit today in rememberance of her.  I feel like I got a visit that I wasn’t even aware I was getting now looking back at the paintings of butterflies that have overtaken my week.

Thank you for the hello Grandma.  Love you forever!

Here are the paintings from this week. You can click on them to learn more.

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I am grateful I followed the nudge to paint these.  It’ll be fun to see who there were meant for.

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New artwork line coming soon!

I am so thrilled to announce that my new artwork line will soon debut!

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Starting over 6 years ago, the night after my mom passed away I had my first “visit” dream.  I knew that she met me in my dream to let me know she was okay.  I woke up from that dream with so much peace about her.  To this day years later I can see the vision from that dream and feel that same feeling of her letting me hold her sweet face in my hands and we poured love into one another.  I will always cherish it.

Fast forward to the night Aspen was born.  I thought my water has broke and started to trickle. I wasn’t sure.   Out loud I asked my mom, “Mom, help me out.”   I went and laid back in bed, then the contractions started.   I got up from bed and it was like it was slow motion, I looked at the clock as I stood up and just as it clicked 11:11pm, mom water broke and gushed out.   Thank you mom.   I counted hundreds of signs I’ve received since her passing.   Songs on the radio that I kept hearing, finally listening to the words and knowing it was from her.  A talk with a medium who validated so many things.  Feathers.  Many feathers.  Tvs, lights doing things.  Dreams.  Birds, heart clouds.   Things that when I saw them, I knew. I felt though every part of me they were hellos from her.

Have you ever experienced this?    I’ve been longing for years to visually bring these experiences to life.  Artwork to inspire, remind us of those who have passed.  Artwork to remind us that we are loved, never forgotten and we will see them again.

 

Today as I was painting one of the paintings for this series, I had to stop because I noticed something wierd going on with my brush.  Yes, this is what I saw.   Thank you spirit for yet another sign, I am listening!

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5 feathers – new artwork video

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This painting is so special to me.  I took a painting that was created out of joy, admiration and inspiration that had since had negative things attached to it.  An artist who let me take photographs of her and do a painting then later threatened to sue me for selling the artwork.  Lots of nonsense and negativity.  Everything opposite of what I stand for in my artwork and business.  When the exchange first occured I allowed myself to cry for a few minutes.  This person was trying to assure me not to take it personally…      could there be a more personal business than spending hundreds of hours pouring my soul onto canvas. Feeling vulnerable in my views, my work.   She then told me that she’d be happy to possible sell the work and we could split the money, blah blah blah..    I assured her that the work no longer held the same meaning for me.  That I could 100% guarantee that I would have no interest in EVER selling that work, in fact I’d be painting over it.  Then I hid all the email exchanged, said a prayer and promised myself I’d move on and use this as a growing experience.  (get releases in writing)

So that leads me to a few months back.  I joyously spray painted over part of the canvas and sat quietly and felt what it should transform into.  I knew it was supposed to be a dream catcher.   Symbolizing weeding out the negative.  Focusing and celebrating the good in people and life.  Celebrating our dreams.

I recorded the painting on on a time-lapse video.   It’s been sitting on my computer for over 9 months.

That leads me to today.  I woke up today and knew that today was the day.  It’s time to share 5 feathers with the world.   I lovingly share this video and I am so thrilled to have the background music be a recording done decades ago of my parents singing together.  (So special to me).

So I dedicate this painting to everyone who, in the face of negativity, has instead chosen good.  Chosen happiness, chosen to go for their dreams.

Behind each of the feathers I wrote a message.  They are:

– Leave the world a better place

– Abundance of love

– Connection.   Believe.

– Peaceful thoughtful life

– Serve

Those are some of the believes and goals I live my life by.   What would your 5 feathers say?

You can find the time-lapse video of me painting here on youtube:

http://youtu.be/3AwJxVNbfY8

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You can also find this original on my etsy site here (but don’t miss out on the video!): https://www.etsy.com/listing/228412253

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Pet Portrait Flash Sale

Monday, August 11th  –  Monday, August 18th!

Treat yourself and/or your loved ones to an amazing custom painting of your pet!  Show off your pet’s personality and uniqueness with a custom painting of them.  

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This is a fantastic way to honor a pet that has passed.  (If you’d like the name added or years, just let me know – I can do that)

Your custom portrait will include a custom acrylic painting of your pet on canvas, the edges will be painting black so it is ready to hang or you can frame.

You can choose from your cat, dog, horse or other pet. After your order, please message me and include 1 or 2 clear photos of your pet for me to work from. This price is for a single animal per portrait. Message me if you would like a quote to add additional animals to your artwork.

Choose from:
Closeup Option: This is a closeup of your pet’s face, similar to the styles shown on the left side of the 2nd photo. Choice of 11″ x 14″ canvas or upgrade to 16″ x 20″ canvas.

Full body option: This features your pet in a more scenic view, will include a non-detailed background, ground, field, etc. See examples on the right side of the 2nd photo. Choice of 11″ x 14″ canvas or upgrade to 16″ x 20″ canvas.

Save over 60% this week only!!!  Sale prices will show up automatically.  You can see all the options here in my store.

Larger sized are available. Message me for a quote! 

Paintings will ship out in 2-3 weeks from order day.

 

Want to see the behind the scenes process of a pet portrait?   You can watch me paint Hondo, the very loved dog of Vanessa.

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I’ll send you on over to my YouTube channel to watch the video here.

New Artwork: Prayers for Peace

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Use as a reminder that we are all connected, a reminder to pray for peace. Feel the connection to others around the world holding the same intention.

-She holds a space and intention for peace as she visualized collaboration around the world.

-She wears red to honor her root chakra and connection to the earth, to stay grounded and secure. 

-She wears blues and purples to represent the crown chakra and her connection to the infinite universe and all that ever was and all that ever will be. 

-She has olive branched along the back of her clothing, representing her prayers for peace.

-She is a modern woman, who pauses during a moment of her day to day life, she’s just like us. Busy, sometimes unsure if her added prayers can make a difference. But she offers them anyways, having faith in the bigger, unseen picture. 

-The flowers in her hair represent the delicateness of life, around in a circle, never-ending.

We are one, living separate life experiences with one greater consciousness.

 

You can find the postcard prints for this piece here.

4 day Flash Sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great chance to get original artwork for your home or cabin!  This artwork also makes a perfect gift.  The 11″x14″ size is under $70 and has free shipping.  Perfect to bring along as a gift for that family who is letting you stay at their cabin this labor day weekend.

Sized all the way up to 48″ across.  You can click the image or go here to see all your artwork and print options.