My lie.

I didn’t realize how often I told myself this little seemingly white lie… but it’s not really a white lie and its unfortunately led me to be someone other than myself at times. The first step is being aware of it, right? If you haven’t been following me, I asked folks to tell me the lies they tell themselves and others. This one is my own, but I want to hear your’s too. Lie to me. •

Beaky

When we were kids, my brother found and injured magpie on my family’s farm in Southern Colorado and nursed it back to health. From them on, it followed him everywhere. We headed back to Denver at the end of the summer, but would still visit for long weekends and Beaky would be waiting for us. Eventually we stopped seeing him, but whenever I see magpies I think of him.

Saying no.

Maybe it seems negative, but 2018 is shaping up to be the year I feel comfortable saying, “no.” No, I don’t have time for that in my life. No, that doesn’t matter to me. No, I disagree or that is bad for me personally or for all of us. No! Politics aside, personally I have a habit of people pleasing and overcommitting myself. I make plans with zeal and later realize I’m not capable of giving whatever it was that I committed to. If I’ve done this to you, I’m sorry. Sometimes I don’t always think things through. In the future, I hope to have some foresight and say, “no” to the things I can’t do, or the things I can’t change.

Tyke’s Ghost

I was commissioned to create this piece of Tyke, a circus elephant that was brutally killed in 1994 after killing her abusive trainer. She was shot nearly 100 times until she died from her wounds. The photos of the incident are graphic and extremely heartbreaking. I’m going to create prints of this illustration to sell, with a portion of proceeds going to animal rights organizations. At least we can celebrate one thing about 2017 – the closing of Barnum and Bailey and the international trend of banning wild animal use in circuses.

St. Croix Animal Shelter needs your help!

I’m doing these holiday pet portraits to raise money for an animal shelter in St Croix, an island in the Caribbean decimated by Hurricane Maria. They make great gifts! For $75, your purchase gets you a single half-page portrait, 5″x6″. I’ll paint and draw it by hand with ink and watercolor. The price includes shipping and postage. I’m happy to do more than one animal in the image, too! If you’d like a larger size, just let me know and the price will go up in proportion to the size. These make awesome gifts! Turn around time is a week. 50% of the proceeds goes to the shelter — I have 5 prints left for sale with 100% of proceeds going to aid organizations. Get in touch with me if you’re interested.

In an Oregon Forest

Sleeping In The Forest
I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

– Mary Oliver