Monday, March 28, 2011

My Pride and Joy

last week my daughter hillary and her boyfriend scott were here for a few days over spring break~

you may have read about my son , stew, who is my hero in an earlier post.  well, this girl is my pride and joy.  hillary came out of the womb smiling, content and confident and aside from a few rebellious teenage years, she has been a totally delightful spirit in my life. (even the teenage years were somewhat interesting in their sheer drama and honest expression of feelings). she rolls with the punches, goes with the flow, and really stays in the present moment very much in her body.  the only issue i think she might have is that with all her gifts and talents it might be hard to settle on one path.  she's good at whatever she applies herself to. no matter, things have always come very easily to her and i'll tell you her little secret that i learned from her and continually practice- she FEELS her contentment and from that state of relaxed bodily gratitude, all good things are magnetized back to her. she doesn't stress or worry or fret.  she  has faith and trust in the universe and that confidence really pays off. the universe comes through for her every time, usually in shining colors.
scott is an example of how she magnetized greatness to her. he is equally delightful and a guy to be admired in many ways- kindness, intelligence, sociability are all strong gifts of his. oh and did i mention how responsible he is? (excellent job steve and lu) you can imagine how good it feels to know your daughter has such a wonderful boyfriend. everyone should be so lucky to have their kind of relationship- they really bring out the best in each other.  she had just given him this haircut the night before they arrived. i didn't realize how totally handsome he is!

 we had cold, rainy weather the whole time they were here but who cares when you're in love and as playful as these two.  we went to the museum of natural history~

they are very good at entertaining themselves together

 too cute~

another day we went to the sea center out on the wharf.  they both love animals and science~

i think this sunflower star was their favorite- cheerful like them

there were two intertwined kind of like they are~

they are so nurturing of one another~ don't you think all couples should exchange foot massages?

they support each other in their school work too.  i love that.  here they are getting next terms schedules in order so they'll be prepared when they get back.

 everything they do becomes a fun exchange. our dogs loved having them around because they are so much like playful puppies. here's our black lab, kosmo.  hillary has her own black lab, dart who is 7 days younger than kosmo. she's raised him as a puppy since she was 11 years old. scott has an adorable cat named augustine and he and dart are like best buds, they cuddle together like their owners.

 we went whale watching their last day here and followed two young juveniles, swimming and playing together, very much like these two magnificent human beings do so much of the time.  enjoy these whale shots hillary took~

they have really good, open communication~

and have mastered the art of relaxation together~

here they are watching dolphins from the hot tub.  when hillary was a little girl, the dolphin was her totem and she wanted to be a dolphin trainer when she grew up.  scott is a zoology major and wants to go into animal behavior. they really are two peas in a pod and their energy sparkled fairy dust all around while they were here, leaving a serene magic in the air that i am still savoring.  i am entirely blessed to be the mother of this girl and now i feel she and scott have been blessed with each other.  this makes me very happy indeed!
i can hardly wait to have them back and next time we will enjoy our more typical beautiful santa barbara weather.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Taking Flight in to Blue Skies

as the unthinkable tragedy rages on in japan, i feel increasingly angst ridden and helpless.  sometimes in situations like this the only thing for me to do is turn to the positive- to my art.  i have been in such a mode of taking flight like a bird in a clear blue sky- soaring carefree, light, soaring above the harshness of this world.
last week i sold 2 of my bird paintings to a lovely jazz singer from the bay area.  she'd seen my work at the beach show and liked this one very much-

it's titled "Calling" and i think it spoke to her as a singer since the bird is doing just that.
she went home and looked at my web site and saw this one which i shared in an earlier post but hadn't framed yet so hadn't displayed it at the beach-

she decided to also buy "Bluebirds of Happiness" to go with it on her large living room walls.  luckily since i hadn't framed it yet i can frame it to match the other.  they make a beautiful set and they couldn't have gone to a nicer home.
it turned out there were many synchronicities in our exchange, one being that she'd just learned to sing a jazz standard a couple weeks earlier (the time we met) about bluebirds of happiness that she'll be performing in her band.  she sent me the lyrics and said she will always think about it when she looks at the painting:

Blue skies shining on me, nothing but blue skies do I see. 
Bluebirds singing their song, nothing but bluebirds all day long.
Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love my, how they fly
Blue days all of them gone, nothing but blue skies from now on! 
i am visualizing bluebirds singing their songs in blue skies over japan today.  it's the one thing i can do, at least to keep me calm.
in other bird news, i was invited to the juried Flora and Fauna show at the Carpinteria Valley Art Center at 855 Linden Ave in Carp as the poster artist- 

here is the link to the announcement for which they chose this painting-
it's large- 26 x 43 and i feel very honored to have it as the centerpiece of the show.  i feel compelled to inhabit the world of birds and think i will be painting them for some time to come.  i am currently working on another large one 32 x 40 of a variety of songbirds in a garden of spring flowers.  i look forward to sharing it with you and perhaps i will see some of you at the reception this saturday afternoon in carpinteria (where, believe it or not i also had family in the past- my father's uncle and his famous artist wife, maggie howe, who had her enamel on copper shown in the smithsonian).
 peace and well being for all~

Friday, March 4, 2011

mystical santa barbara connection

my connection to santa barbara is filled with mystique and wonder and the longer i live here, the more i believe in pre destiny as a force the brought me herethe story behind my move here is filled with profound meaning to me.  about 5 1/2 years ago, living in eugene  where i'd been divorced for 5 years and finally healed from that and psychically ready to move on with my life, i took my son and his friend sam over to the oregon coast for a surf trip as a christmas gift.  sleeping next to the sea, i had a dream that i believe came from the spirit of the ocean. in the dream i was about to enter a sauna but when i looked through the window and saw all the hairy, down and out male hippies of eugene, i was unable to enter back into that world and in my despair a voice came to me and said "go to santa barbara, your new life is waiting for you there".  when the boys awoke i told stew we were moving there and being a surfer he was thrilled.
two weeks later we took a road trip here and as soon as we entered santa barbara on 101 i felt- this is it. we decided to check all the beaches for surf spots. as we drove along shoreline drive up to the mesa there was a sense of familiarity about being here, like a deja vu, though i had never been here in my life except one overnight trip with my parents when i was 2 years old. well, let me tell you about another dream, a recurring one i've had my entire life since a very young girl; a dream i've had a hundred times.  in this dream i am going along a stretch of coast identical to the shoreline drive and i am seeking my beloved who lives in a house on a cliff.  but i never made it to him in my dreams and it was so disheartening.  i even had this dream in the 15 years i was married which is a little emabarassing but i'm baring all here.
anyway, that day was magical and at the top of the shoreline we turned toward the beach access and parked on cooper st. and headed down the long stairs that i now live by and walk nearly every day.  resting at the bottom was a very old man, named john cooper, from oregon who, i found out later, casey had tried to fix up with his mom. john cooper asked me where my husband was and i said i didn't have one and he said "you will".
i bought a newspaper and while at the beach while stew was surfing i circled some rentals and decided to check them out. the first one i looked at, which i found in a flukey way because it's on a one block street, was owned by casey and to make a long story short, when he came over to show it to me it was love at first sight. i rented the adorable duplex and moved in 2 weeks later.
i stopped having that dream about seeking my beloved because i found him and we are together here on a cliff living the dream. we live on the ocean- the same one who's spirit told me casey and my life were calling me.
well to top this all off, i just found out this week that my maternal grandparents lived here from 1933-1937 just before my mother was born (maybe she was even conceived here). my grandfather was a harvard medical school graduate and had a practice here.  because casey has all these old records from his own grandfather, who was a realtor, we were able to track down his house and office.  my grandparents went to the same church as casey's grandparents and we are convinced they knew each other since, at the time, it was a small town of only 5,000 people.
yesterday i went to visit his house and office, which is 2 doors up from my bank and the church is right across the street.  i swear i felt their energy during my visits yesterday. 
in one word santa barbara has been HEALING for me in countless ways.
here are the photos-

this was their house.  they had 3 young children. my granny lois was really into sewing and tennis~

this is the entrance to the courtyard where papa's office was.  it's right on state st.  

here's the front door to his office

he had a nice spot with this courtyard just outside

and lush flowers

i wonder if he planted this camelia

there is a nice dentist here now for the past 30 years and this is the waiting room
here's the episcopal church both our sets of grand parents attended.

when people ask me where i'm from and how i ended up here, it's never a simple answer but i always finish by telling them i feel like i'm coming back to my roots.  imagine my suprise at finding out how literal this is! it makes me marvel at the unseen forces at work in our lives.  i bet there's more to come with all this.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

American Heart Association

lovely laurie, the good licensing agent, the one i'm keeping, scored a beautiful license for me this week with the american heart association for this image to be used as a card~

it's one i did in 1996 when i lived in the little lorane valley in oregon.
 here i am in santa barbara 15 years later and i'm still painting tulips- this is the beginning of a painting i started yesterday~ 

when i lived in oregon spring was my favorite season.  here it is fall but i still do love painting these tulips as a bright hopeful harbinger of spring.  

at any rate i am very pleased to have a work selected by the american heart association. they do such good deeds and are a promoter of all things dear to me- good health and a loving, happy heart.

lately, during my reveries, i've been smiling inside at my organs to let them (me) know we are loved and cared for.  i think this practice makes for good health.
i am now heading to the studio to add some fuschia colored anenomes to the tulips. a pair of yellow throats will be perched in the beautiful mix as well.  i will share the finished piece soon.