The winter storm has been raging without since the wee hours of the morning… Ah, New England weather. That snow is so amazing and beautiful but today I longed for colors. Hence, the wildly colorful painting of the day.

Today I am thinking about artists and spaces and the art making process… how an artist alters a space, and how the space influences the art, how all are changed and moved. How do we capture the essence of that relationship in a simple phrase? Random, I know. But, it has been on my mind.

I’m thinking of making today’s painting into a print – it’s a lot of work to get it print ready, but the practice is good for me anyway. Hmmm…

Fluttering of my heart

and butterflies in my core.

On the brink of something big.


A dream is awaken.

The mind is alight.

Imagination and reality are one.


I need not sleep

to see my dreams,

they are right before my eyes.


All I desire

for the taking

if only I will dare to try.


I do.  

I do dare.

A couple weeks ago, I submitted one of my painting/designs for a cool campaign with the women’s clothing company, A DAY. They were curating inspirational designs to share for International Women’s Day, which is today. I was so pleased to find that my art was selected. Yay! Just sharing this win here… 🙂

Happy International Women’s Day!

We do too much watching of our neighbor’s garden, and too little weeding in our own.”

-William George Jordan

I used to spend countless hours every week poring over instagram and pinterest for cool art and emerging artists in the name of research and inspiration but often found that I didn’t feel the better for it. In fact, I felt somehow insufficient and intimidated by those much further along on their artistic journey. Now, I limit my social time… paying less attention to who follows my work, how many likes I get, and I engage only long enough to appreciate the wealth of talent and art in the world. There is a happy medium to find… and I would much rather weed and water my own garden anyway.

“Simplicity means the light of the fullest knowledge. It means that the individual has seen the folly and the nothingness of those things which make up the sum of the lives of others. S/He has lived down what others are blindly seeking to live up to. Simplicity is the secret of greatness in the life of every human being.”

-William George Jordan

I seek simplicity… in all thoughts, words, deeds, and possessions… so that I might achieve greatness. 

“Any man may attain self-control if he only will. He must not gain it, however, except by continued payment of price, in small, progressive expenditures of energy. Nature has an installment plan for each individual. No man is so poor that he cannot begin to pay for what he wants from his life. And every small, individual payment that he makes, nature accumulates for him as a reserve fund of strength in his hour of need.”

-William George Jordan, The Kingship of Self-Control

Monochrome expressions may seem limiting but they can actually be quite liberating. The self-inflicted constraint of using just one color (in this case umber) pushes us to explore the full tonal range; to be mindful about dilution and water and flow; and makes one focus on the shapes and the movement of the brushes so that the resulting expression isn’t flat.

This morning’s painting was a reflection of my mood… I wasn’t in the brightest of spirits when I painted it, but I was determined to be present. Sometimes being present means embracing the internal shades of umber, making friends with all sides of our self, and letting it flow in a compassionate and gentle way.

That is the beauty of authenticity – to first know, then embrace, and finally to express our self.


This week was all about composition and color. I worked on building a palette and exploring compelling composition. It’s a work in progress… but progress is everything! I’m feeling good about what I accomplished this week.

Onward and Upward…  After defining the key colors in my current palette, I invested in Holbein tube paints. So, this coming week I am going to get to know my new paints and continue my work on composition and color. I’m currently creating mini paintings/studies that I will recreate on larger surfaces. I am super excited!

Compassion Cards + Energy Paintings

It’s hard to fully move on to a new project when a previous one is unfinished. So, today I devoted a few hours to updating my online portfolio at Essem Studio so that I have some recent content on there. It’s exciting to see the paintings up there and it gets me excited to keep working. Sometime you just have to take a step back.

I’ve included some of my favorite paintings here, but you can check out the whole portfolio of Compassion Cards + Energy Paintings.