A Grateful Heart

Posted on Nov 22, 2020 | 4 Comments

Pause for a moment and think about the beautiful & tender heart…beating strong, pumping energy into the human body. Incredibly powerful, rhythmic and super sensing this heart of ours is … it beats fast with feelings of excitement, it flutters with feelings of love, it pains with feelings of hurt, it pounds with feelings of anger, it warms with feelings of happiness….it is packed full of accomplishments as well as lessons learned. And when we fill our heart with gratitude for all of these experiences, even the painful ones, our heart grows and fills with more and more joy. And that joy from that gratitude…well, it is felt by others and it is contagious!

I have learned to be good to my heart as this lifeline is strong yet fragile. I have learned to honor my heart, allowing it to feel and heal when it hurts, embrace and share when it joys. This delicate dance will be performed over and over again in a lifetime… that is how resilient this beautiful, tender and strong organ of ours is. It was so brilliantly named & identifies as the symbol of love. Love, the most powerful of emotions that flows out into the world through our actions, magnified by our gratitude.

My heart is full…grateful for the incredible blessings in my life…my beautiful family, my dear friends, the sweet nature all around, the challenges experienced, the life adventures & people I have met along the way and the list goes on! I am grateful for this place to share my thoughts and thankful for you, the beautiful human who took the time to visit here! I wish you all a Happy and Joy-Filled Thanksgiving …with love, from my grateful heart today, forever and always!



The Sunshine On My Shoulders

Posted on Nov 16, 2020 | No Comments

“Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you
I’d give to you the day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that I could tell you
I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I’d make a wish for sunshine for all the while

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost all the time makes me high”

~John Denver

xo, Jana


Fireplace Romance

Posted on Nov 13, 2020 | No Comments

A recent trip to my favorite wood yard and cooler Phoenix temperatures has me in a cozy mood! Alligator Juniper and Olive woods are carefully placed upon my fireplace grate and with one match strike, the magic begins.

There is something romantic about the flames of a crackling fire. I get lost in the moment, staring deep into the strong, flickering light of the burning embers. Curled up next to the glow, I feel warm, grounded and peaceful.

Lights are turned down low…the room is transported to another place and time…completely dreamy…my thoughts drift away…far away …



Flower Love!

Posted on Oct 16, 2020 | No Comments

I have always been in love with flowers of all kinds! It is a love affair that began at a very young age. I would visit the flower nursery with my mom to pick out the most vibrant and velvety geraniums we could find. Once transported home, I loved digging in the dirt and then assisting with the careful planting of the pretty blooms. The love grew with the watering and pruning of the plants, teaching me tenderness & care.

To this day, visiting a flower nursery is a special outing for me. I always must plan for a few hours as I enjoy strolling up and down each aisle taking in all of the beauty, noticing the intricate detail in each species of flowering plant. Incredibly, there are approximately 400,000 flowering plants that live on this planet! It is truly mind blowing there are that many possible combinations giving each of those blooms their own unique look. Of course, not all can be seen at the local nursery but certainly a nice array live there…. enough to fill my senses and get my flower fix. It is that same feeling I get when I visit a doggie shelter …. I would love to take them all home with me!

My love affair with flowers shows up in my art. Currently, I am working on a new flower series and while my flower paintings are more of an abstract view of nature, I strive to capture that feminine and robust feeling! I have always enjoyed sketching, drawing and painting blooms … the first painting I ever sold (pictured below) is a painting titled , “Black Flowers” which lives in a lovely home in Phoenix. Flower love will forever be a part of me …these intricate gifts from nature give me energy, bring me joy, nourish my soul and plant more and more love in my heart each & every time I witness their incredible beauty!



The Morning Light

Posted on Oct 12, 2020 | No Comments

The air is sweet, peaceful, grace-filled ~ a time to just be, in silence ~ a time to set beautiful intentions for the day. With gratitude, I welcome in the morning light ~


The Truck Ride Home

Posted on Sep 22, 2020 | No Comments

“I love your painting titled: ‘Bright Abstract‘…I am driving my truck out to Phoenix at the end of the month to pick it up!” ~ Ginger

It is always a thrill to sell a painting and at the same time it is hard to part with each one…so much love and passion goes into the entire creative process. It is like attaching colors to my soul and then brushing those soul-filled colors onto a canvas. I have learned that I must stay true to self by painting what feels good to me even though it may not appeal to all. I am thankful my clients feel this honoring of “trueness“ when they share their excitement to own one of my originals. It is fun to listen to them interpret my work and think out loud about where in their home they will display it ….and it is really fun to receive a photo of my (now, their) art in action!

Art is an important addition to a space and creates a “feel” upon entering a room…art pulls it all together! Over the years, I have found that my work compliments many different home styles from Contemporary to Hacienda, Traditional to Mid-Century and Ranch to Mission. It is fun when a client invites my work into their home, creating a look that speaks to them. It is like my artwork has been invited to a personal decorating party!

Ginger has a deep appreciation for the creative as she happens to be an artist herself. She also owns & operates with love, Dust Devil Ranch, a horse rescue sanctuary in Cedar City, Utah. …a place surrounded by beautiful animals, goodness, hard work and joy! Thank you Ginger, for the tender care you give to those sweet & majestic horses… “Bright Abstract” truly went to an incredible home! Thank you for sharing this snapshot of where it landed in your cool & personal ranch space, after the long…truck ride home. I am honored!



The Little Leaf

Posted on Sep 9, 2020 | No Comments

It has been said that the “little things” in life are really the big things. A smile, a kind word, a handwritten note, a wagging tail, a hug from an old friend, rocking a sleeping baby, a sunset, laughter, a compliment, the flutter of a hummingbird’s wings, a helping hand, a gentle touch…

The collective energy of these little things makes our universe sing! We must remind ourselves, in this exaggerated world, to tune-in and experience the small day-to-day happenings. We have been programmed to believe we have to cram as much as possible into our every day to be successful. Experiencing the little things, the giving & the receiving, as we pause for that moment in time, is a huge success and is much more beautiful & significant than we could ever imagine!

On a recent grocery store trip, I noticed a little brown leaf on a lovely speckled pear. The leaf, incredibly dainty, yet still in tact even after the growing, picking, washing, transporting, displaying, bagging, buying and then the transporting again…to my kitchen. I just know that this little leaf made it through that journey to remind me to pay attention to the little things in life and that a successful day may be as simple as a smile. Thank you, little pear leaf, I am grateful for the sweet reminder!



Little Hands

Posted on Sep 6, 2020 | No Comments

“The Art of Surprise” has been on the road bringing the joy of creating to the children! Hunting and gathering in nature for supplies, combined with pigments & tactile mediums, welcomes creative surprises galore!

The happiness I feel sharing the love of art with these darling children is life-changing. The unbridled creativity that flows through these little hands inspires me! The freeness to explore in a nonjudgmental way is what I wish for my adult participants, as I always encourage them to tap into their inner child that knows no bounds. A child is not concerned about what is happening to the left or right of them rather, just the happenings that are right in front of them…the use of color and forms as they wish without hesitation. What a beautiful and freeing dance to witness!

Little hands will one day be big hands, with many life experiences stored in the heart on this life journey. My hope is that these little artists will always remember their creative time: The Art of Surprise with Miss Jana, and how they were flying free with expression. A place and feeling they can always tap into even when those little hands are all grown up!

The Art of Surprise / August 2020
“A Bug Named Silly” / Mixed media on canvas
Greyson ~ age 5


Monday Morning

Posted on Sep 1, 2020 | No Comments

The sunrise is peeking through my window blinds, gently nudging me to wake. It is the last day of August and it has been a hot one! I glance at my phone, could this really be today’s forecast? I roll out of bed & hop on my cruiser, the morning greeting me with a 79 degree soft breeze. I giggle, thinking it is almost sweater weather here in AZ… well, okay, that may be a bit of a stretch!

I ride by all of the sweet desert critters I usually see on my route and smile, bidding them all a happy morning. I approach the glistening golf greens where quite a few eager golfers are swinging away. A hummingbird flutters in front of me, almost as if to show me the way. Riding into the sunrise, I continue east.

It is time to turn around and begin my journey back home, the sun now warming my shoulders. Rounding the bend, I spot a pretty lady wearing a breezy blue floral dress. She appears to be enjoying the mountain view. Her face, soft aglow with the morning sun as she stares off into the distance. I stop for a water break and I say hello. We chat for a few moments talking about the nice change of weather, the sparse monsoons of the summer, and how thankful we are to live in such an incredible place. And then, she pauses and says, “We must always, each and every day, take in and appreciate this beauty.” “Oh my, yes,” I say. “Thank you for allowing me to share this moment with you on this glorious morning.” We sit in silence, allowing our senses to soak it all in. I then wish her a happy rest of her day. She smiles, and wishes me the same.

As I ride away, the pretty lady in her breezy blue floral dress stays behind, continuing to enjoy the morning on her cruiser… a wheelchair. Blessings to you beautiful lady! Thank you for blessing me with your lovely presence & the joyful reminder to appreciate the beauty all around us on this early Monday morning, and every day!



The Laughter!

Posted on Aug 25, 2020 | No Comments

I got in trouble in the fourth grade. I laughed during a spelling test, out loud. I wasn’t laughing at my teacher as she methodically enunciated each word, (which I remember was actually really quite humorous) rather, I was laughing at the funny boys that sat directly behind me. I don’t recall what exactly sparked their enthusiasm but I know it wasn’t directed toward our teacher as she was a likable gal and very well respected by the class. “I heard something funny and I couldn’t help myself“, I explained. She didn’t buy it. So, down to the office I went. Next thing I knew, I was being swatted with a wooden paddle laden with holes…the paddle that hung proudly in the principal’s office as a reminder to behave, or else. This was the 70’s…definitely wouldn’t fly today.

These two boys were funny, not just during spelling tests but all of the time. It wasn’t the little chuckle kind of laughter produced by their antics but the bring on the tears type of laughter. They weren’t inappropriate, just hilarious… at least I thought they were! I was certain they would one day earn a living on a stage somewhere as comedians. I could say that I knew them back when and had front row seats to their very first show!

Life can sometimes hide our funny bone, stifling our laughter. Maybe we don’t want to appear silly or vulnerable so we become a bit guarded, taking life too seriously at times. Why do we often hold back when we know it is so good for the soul? Granted, during a spelling test isn’t the best timing to break out in laughter but when the funny bone is tickled …I often think back on that day, wondering how different that scenario would have been if our teacher had simply had a good chuckle along with us and then calmed us down before getting back to business. Maybe her funny bone was in pause mode or was lost waiting to be found? Maybe she was having a bad day or maybe she just didn’t have a good sense of humor? It didn’t matter, she did not find the situation funny, at all, and ordered swats… swats only for me, but not for the comedians! I was happy to take one for the team… I don’t remember any tears which was odd for this, never in trouble, sensitive soul! I really think I just needed a good laugh and wasn’t going to let anything ruin that moment.

I am thankful for that day & for those boys! My elementary school days make me smile and remind me that I do love a good sense of humor. I am also reminded of how much I really didn’t & don’t like tests and how much I loved & still love art classes! I wonder if those boys knew what a gift they gave me … they brightened my day with a little levity until the bell rang and we shuffled off to the next class where creativity awaited. Maybe one day, I will see them again so I can personally thank them…thank them for the fun memory they built, the smiles and the great story to hold in my pocket as a wonderful reminder to embrace the laughter! I think I aced my spelling test that day and turned out to be a pretty good speller… most of the time…LOL!


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