A Bowl Of Lemons

Posted on Mar 28, 2021 | No Comments

It makes life interesting… what you might see may be completely different from what I might see. Often I will ask someone if they see this or that in a cloud or rock formation and often times they do not see at all what I am seeing.  I find this extremely fascinating & love learning what others view through their pair of eyes!

It is like that bowl of lemons I have written about before… that art class I attended at a very young age, taught  by artist, Earl Linderman. We were instructed  to draw or paint a bowl of lemons placed on a wooden table in the center of the room.  A beautiful still life would hopefully emerge on our paper.  I was hesitant to begin, concerned I was not going to paint it “right”….. what if my painting didn’t look like those lemons so beautifully arranged in that bowl? The wise words Mr. Linderman gently said to me that day have stuck with me over the years… he told me to paint them “exactly as I see them” as that is, “the right way”! Those words were an incredible gift to a young artist and so lovingly received!  And so I did, I painted that bowl of  lemons through my eyes!

Give it a try, take the time to look around and see, really see the detail in your day… the colors, the textures, the shapes, the nuances, the so-called imperfections.  Be still and open to it, allowing yourself to really take in your surroundings.  You may just get the urge to paint “a bowl of lemons” … exactly as you see it… and oh how beautiful it will be!

♥️ Jana

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I Believe In Music

Posted on Feb 11, 2021 | No Comments

I admire and appreciate those that can play it, read it, write it, sing it. I was not gifted with musical talent but I am a huge fan! A painting on my easel and background music, the car radio turned up loud, during weekend house cleaning, upon awakening, at bedtime… anytime, anywhere, any opportunity to tune in!  When my girls were little we would stand on the bed, hairbrushes in hand, belting out Dancing Queen by ABBA…pure, uninhibited, joy!

A dear friend and I were on a roll, attending concerts by bands that were at their peak in the 1970’s & 80’s. Granted, not all of the bands are intact with original band members, but we certainly can close our eyes and pretend!  It is a great feeling,  singing out loud with thousands of other music lovers!   Missing our concert outings and hoping our valley venues will open back up soon, becoming alive with music & fans once again!

I have my favorites… artists and bands: Steve Perry, Michael McDonald, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, John Waite, Frank Sinatra, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joni Mitchell, Toto, Journey, Cheap Trick, Survivor, Tears For Fears, Bad Company, ABBA, Van Halen, The Cars, Boston, Loverboy, Eagles, Foreigner, to name a few. Steve Perry (a.k.a…my rocker boyfriend, smile) is my favorite artist, perhaps of all time!  Oh how I would love to see him tour again. Be still my heart if that should ever happen… what will I wear!?!

Music makes the world a happier place. A place where we can take a collective deep breath and for a moment come together with a common bond. A place where the lyrics have the ability to deeply resinate, pulling up memories while often transporting us back in time. A place to gather, tap our toes, unbutton our collars, let loose & show our vulnerable side. A place to believe, a place to love…

Music is love and love is music if you know what I mean

People that believe in music are the happiest people I’ve ever seen

I believe in music

I believe in love…. 

I know what you mean, Mac Davis….I know exactly what you mean!

♥️Jana

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Aging Gracefully

Posted on Jan 11, 2021 | No Comments

“The true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows.  The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

On a recent visit to the dermatologist, the doctor remarked on my product of the 80’s skin…my tennis playing, swimming, tanning oil, beach going, outdoor enjoying, sun kissed, skin.  “‘Your skin is quite healthy,’ he said, ‘even after all of these years in the Arizona sun…your more olive-tone most likely has saved you from too much damage…you do; however, have what I like to call, wisdom marks, but they can be removed.’”  “‘Thank you kindly,’ I said, ‘but these marks hold fun memories with a special story to tell, so just a little brightening cream will do!’”

I embrace the “marks” of my years as they are a reminder of the fun & joy of living life!  About 15 years ago I read one of Dr. Andrew Weil’s insightful books,  Healthy Aging.  The biggest take away, which has stuck with me over the years, is this: when we allow instead of fight inevitable aging, we are giving our body permission to relax into this natural life process.  Replacing defy & battle with embrace & enjoy,  allows us to be comfortable in our own skin & simply glow from the inside out!

As I approach my 56th year of life, I have been thinking about what being a woman and aging gracefully means to me.  Following are attributes I feel deeply in my heart and soul… always wanting them to reflect outwardly: caring, kind, determined, natural, deep, nurturing, creative, fun-loving, passionate, introspective, elegant, resourceful, gracious, peaceful, dedicated, thoughtful, soulful, real, gentle, respectful, sensitive, intuitive, lovely, soft, warm, tender, strong, endearing, graceful, and wise ~

Aging gracefully ~ allowing the glowing light from within to sparkle ~ a fun & madly beautiful story to tell… punctuated by life living, illustrated by wisdom marks & edited by a dab of brightening cream!  And the story continues…

♥️, Jana

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Shine Bright!

Posted on Dec 31, 2020 | No Comments

A new year is upon us and while I am not a resolution maker, I do like to reflect. I reflect on what has served my soul well, allowing me to be the best me I can be. I have found that when we honor the soul, we shine bright, positively affecting those around us. Sometimes, we may not even be aware of the beautiful impact we have had on others!

I will be a forever work in progress, so I like to call my reflections, “I will continue to strive to’s.”  I share with you here, my top 12 as I make my way into 2021.

I will continue to strive to…

♥️live each day with gratitude & view every moment of every day as a gift.

♥️handle inevitable life challenges with grace & dignity.

♥️always leave people better than I found them.

♥️learn & grow, recognizing  mistakes will be made along the way.

♥️be thoughtful to all those around me by listening intently and expressing kindness.

♥️keep in mind that everyone is on a different life journey.

♥️cherish the wisdom of others, of all ages.

♥️honor my intuition &  listen to my heart.

♥️be in the moment, taking in the blessings that live all around.

♥️never take for granted the roof over my head, food on my table and the family & friends by my side.

♥️remember that strength isn’t always a roar &  that laughter is the best medicine.

♥️be grateful for & honor the gift of the creative world my dad shared with me as a child by continuing to write, paint, create from my heart & soul … hoping it will inspire and touch the hearts & souls of others.

Happy New Year to all! May you shine bright in 2021…and beyond!

♥️, Jana

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The 8-Tracks

Posted on Dec 13, 2020 | 2 Comments

Three or four at a time fit in the glovebox of our Ford LTD,  Country Squire Station Wagon. You know, the car with the wood paneling down the sides and the facing each other rear seats! It was the perfect vehicle for our family, roomy enough to tote friends and tennis equipment around & came complete with an 8-track player!

I remember the  windows rolled down and the music cranked up on almost every car ride … it was the 1970’s, a decade of good music and groovy times. There were many trips to Circles Records, the “it” place to purchase the newly released albums.  I would ride my bike with the yellow banana seat and tall flag off the back to the music store at the mall (the open air Scottsdale Fashion Square) on weekends. I spent hours looking through the records and tracks & when an artist that I loved came out with a new release I would be first in line. The 8-tracks were just so cool & fun to collect. We had a pretty impressive collection but couldn’t bring the entire lot with us in the car, especially on hot summer days, so we took turns picking out which artists came with us on our drives.

I recall the tapes I went back to time and again: Olivia Newton-John‘s Greatest Hits,  Simple Dreams by Linda Ronstadt and John Denver’s Greatest Hits.  I can still see the cover of each one of those 8-tracks…played them so many times the label covers began to peel off. You couldn’t rewind or fast forward so if there was a song you wished to play over & over you had to be patient and listen all the way through before your favorite would appear again. I remember often sitting in the car on warm summer evenings, in our dusty desert driveway, waiting for the track to get back to my favorite song… bare feet relaxing on the dashboard, passenger seat reclined…most likely wearing my white Ditto shorts and my favorite faded Gap t-shirt!

One song was and still is my absolute favorite: “Blue Bayou” by Linda Ronstadt. Her voice like velvet, always taking me away to a peaceful place, a place of relaxation and dreams come true. I must have listened to that song thousands of times in that Ford Station Wagon. I got lost in the lyrics, belting it right out loud along with my fellow Arizona girl! My favorite songs now live on a playlist but oh, how I would love to see the 8-track make a comeback …the feel of the tape in my hand and that sound of the click into the player…waiting for my favorite song to take me to that beautiful, Blue Bayou.

♥️, Jana

Blessings to Linda as she continues the good fight with the illness that has taken her incredibly beautiful singing voice …she has truly blessed us over the years with her gift! And now, she continues to give us all a gift by the courage she sings!  ”In my mind — in my imagination — I can still sing.” ~ Linda Ronstadt

https://youtu.be/Kp9G0zkorio

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A Grateful Heart

Posted on Nov 22, 2020 | 4 Comments

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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, it 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. The heart was so brilliantly named & identifies as the symbol of love. Love, the most powerful of emotions, 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!

Love,
Jana

♥️My wish came true… I met the beautiful human who placed the first heart rock under the little tree on one of my favorite hikes. I will share more on this incredible meeting of ours but for now, my heart is glowing from this amazing experience!

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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

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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 …

♥️Jana

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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 lives 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!

Love,
Jana

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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 ~

Love,
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