Have you ever pondered over how incredible it is that there are no two snowflakes alike? As I look out on the majestic Red Rocks of Sedona, now covered in fluffy white powder, I am in awe! A peaceful feeling came over me as I watched the intricately unique snowflakes dance to their landing spot. And as the red rocks slowly became a blanket of white, it occurred to me…this is how God created us too, with our own uniqueness about us … each of us woven with our own design…just like the snowflake! Magical and breathtaking it all truly is! xo, Jana
The canvas is ready… how will you paint your 2023?
A childhood friend and I would sing songs late into the night, sometimes the same song over and over again….with Glen Campbell’s, “Rhinestone Cowboy” always a headliner! We had no idea the lyrics were so meaningful. To us, it was simply a song about a cowboy, being sung by a handsome cowboy, and was really fun to sing along to….and loud!
As I grew, I learned of the meaning. What I learned from this song has served me well in life… it is about working hard, even through adversity. It is about being proud of who you authentically are. It is about being proud of your accomplishments, not allowing anyone or anything dull your sparkle …it is about never giving up! It is about dreaming of the possibilities & going for it…and, it is about holding your head up high humbly, with dignity, and with grace! Maybe our teenage selves intuitively knew this was a good one to have on repeat!
I hope you will join me in welcoming the new year, “like a rhinestone cowboy… riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo” … being proud of how far we have come and confident in the journey, with all of the new things that have yet to be. Wishing you all a beautiful & bright 2023… sing it loud!
“Rhinestone Cowboy” written by Larry Weiss /Recorded by Glen Campbell
Gratitude is a beautiful and powerful expression of love! Gratitude can be expressed in many ways: in a symbol, in a practice, how we think, in words and in our actions. This expression of love expands hearts, reaching deep, having the power to transform lives! We can express gratitude to the earth, to the animals, to ourselves, to each other!
It makes sense that the color pink is associated with this beautiful expression, as pink also represents love. Pink is a calming, happy, peaceful color… a color that has always spoken to me. The color pink makes an appearance in each of my paintings, whether it be incognito or right there in plain sight, pink is always present, sending a gratefulness vibe out into the world.
I strive to paint the days pink, showing my gratitude, even when struggles arrive. My heart is grateful for this life that has been blessed upon me and all of the animals, nature & amazing people in it… keeping my heart open to that beautiful, soft and gentle pink color, shining it upon others so they may know what a blessing they are to me and to the world! Imagine a world painted pink…a beautiful & glorious gratitude-filled world!
photo credit: Pinterest
The ocean waves crashing on the shore, friends & family sharing great stories, laughter & tears echoing in the wind, sweet dogs lounging in the sand , “The Load Out” by Jackson Browne being sung by an amazing musician, a hug & shoulder to cry on from my brother’s dear and long-time friend, expressing my family’s gratitude to his family and expressing my admiration to him for the friendship he and Billy shared & for all of the friends here, some traveling from afar, on this beautiful Sunday evening in October…
We honored, we cried, we laughed and we said our good-byes to an incredible brother, uncle, friend, co-worker, human… Forever in our hearts is where you will be!
But when that last guitar’s been packed away
You know that I still wanna play
So just make sure you got it all set to go
Before you come for my piano…
~Jackson Browne, “The Load Out”
I often think about the people who were here on this land before us, inhabiting the Arizona desert, calling it home…
When I was young, I visited home construction sites with my dad. On many of these visits we would find American Indian artifacts like pottery pieces, tools and arrowheads. It was always so exciting to find such treasures! I was fascinated with the thought of people living where I lived, long before me…living in such a simple way, off of the land. It was not until adulthood that I really understood the beauty in this way of life.
I think of those before us especially while out on our desert mountain hiking trails. As I pause & be still, I can feel their love, their protection of the land…I can feel the loyalty to their people….their ethical standards. A wave of respect always flows over me.
In the Anishinaabe, Native American culture, a beautiful set of teachings is expressed called, The Seven Grandfather Teachings. These teachings state that “human beings are responsible to act with wisdom, respect, love, honesty, humility, bravery, and truth toward each other and all creation.”
Powerful words to live by…much can be learned from those who came before us, if we simply be still and listen.
photo credit: photographer unknown, image from Etsy
As summer comes to a close & glimpses of fall appear, I reflect upon these past few months and I am thankful for the journey. I embrace it all: the wonder, the u-turns, the excitement, the steep climbs, the joy, the sadness, the laughter, the tears, the awe, the memories. The beauty in wandering became even more clear to me, as I found myself deeply rooted no matter where I was planted.
During my travels, my senses & soul were ignited by: the stillness of sitting by a river watching as the sun danced upon the water, the picking of a sun-ripened apple from a sturdy apple tree branch, the smell of soup made from fresh greens curling through the air, the witnessing of the unique art forms in nature, the organic gardening in soil as rich as hot chocolate, the dark starry nights exploding with bursts of light, the silence & tranquility standing in a field of pinto bean plants as far as the eye could see, the animals playing & dancing freely, the rainbows magically appearing after a gentle rain, the handsome mountains and pretty white clouds in the distance as if an artist had painted them there….
As I make my way back home, the windows are rolled down…I am belting out my favorite tunes…. breathing in, breathing out, this wandering experience. The interesting people met along the way, some with stories to share, others simply sharing a glance and a smile. The gracious and loving hospitality, warmth, wisdom & hugs from dear friends ….the gratitude overflows! I re-enter now, grateful for what I have experienced, encouraged by what I have learned, and excited for what is yet to come! Summer Wanderings 2022, thank you for the magic!
As we experience art forms, our souls become awakened! Stirring the senses by exploring whatever may arise is a gift we give to ourselves… it is about being in the moment which leads to a lovely mellow wandering. It is about being open to new ideas & having fun …exploring without judgement, only grace… it is the art of surprise or most commonly known as, intuitive art.
At first, it may feel a bit like walking barefoot in the desert, heading into a rough unknown. But once the soul is introduced and awakened to the experience, there is a freeing & openness that occurs…just like the desert after a soft summer rain.
It is an honor to assist in this exploration, as I provide the gentle balance of teaching & holding space… allowing curiosity and surprise to take over. There is no right or wrong … what emerges from the heart & soul, out through the hand, is pure perfection.
Uniquely and thoughtful crafted, I offer individual and group sessions for youth & adults ….in a private home, on a mountain, in a garden, under the moon, in a park, at a party, in the desert, under a tree, by the sea…. the possibilities are endless. I look forward to exploring the art of surprise with you! Let’s go wandering, barefoot in the desert…refreshing & revitalizing the soul… a beautiful gift of self love!
With Love & Gratitude,
Today, I ventured out to my brother’s favorite Pacific Coast beach spot, Leo Carrillo, in western Malibu. As I sat looking out at the gorgeous sparkling waves crashing upon the rock and rolling on to the shore, I felt as though I had been here before…even before my brother had introduced me to this magical place. And then it came to me, I had, been here before, hundreds of times, only it was in a movie theatre and in front of a tv screen. If you wait for the popcorn to pop you might miss the intro …as the movie, Grease opens with a scene set at Leo Carrillo Beach…the tune, Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing, plays in the background. And so, in awe of it all, today I sat, with love, sadness & peace in my heart, honoring my brother and Olivia, two kind & tender souls that blessed me and countless others with their presence …now flying free! It was a beautiful day!
We all have a story to tell, unfolding as we live out our day-to-day. Sharing our own stories and listening to others share theirs…the real, the raw & the fun parts of our lives. And then, when our journey this time around on this earth comes to a close, the stories live on in the memories of our loved ones and get passed along for generations to come. It is an honor to know a life so well that you have special memories to hold on to…a beautiful story to tell!
In loving memory of my brother, Bill (1951 ~ 2022)