artists · Artwork · Facebook giveaway · getting focused · Life · Spirituality

I am fucosed

How do you find your focus? Do you center yourself through meditation, manifestation, or wishing thinking? Do you outline your goals to make them achievable actions? What allows you to pinpoint your thinking, and keep track of your conscious mind? 

Recently, I came across a post on social media about being focused. It stated, “Your life becomes what you focus on.” Seems simple enough, right? But I feel that there is more to it–that finding what we focus on requires deeply personal understanding and connection. As I considered my own approach to finding focus, I realized that my morning routine was how I began the day. This meant centering myself with my thoughts and my focus. I became more aware of what my first thought was and how to change it, if I felt that I needed to. 

This realization meant that in order to feel more focused overall, I had to start with becoming aware of what I was focusing on throughout my day. In the process, I have become more conscious of repetitive and intrusive thoughts that distract my focus.  Creating a morning focus journal has been a valuable step in my process. I’ve made it my goal to use this throughout the day, writing down what I’m focusing on to keep track of my thoughts. This way I’ll have a handmade reminder and training manual to keep me focused on the moment at hand, and most importantly, what I want to create.

It’s possible that I’m over-simplifying this process–there are endless avenues to explore as we seek the best way to center our minds. But in a time of restlessness and unease, I find it beneficial to clear my head and balance my inner thoughts. Focus is all about understanding what we do and don’t desire. Once you are aware of what you seek from the world and what you want to avoid, it will be much easier to focus on the goals laid out in front of you.

Some people may disagree with this thought process and say that it’s the same thing–that there is no need to examine what you do and don’t want, because you are saying what you’d like to avoid by writing it down. In this case, maybe your focus is fractured by non-specific thoughts: “I don’t not want a black car” vs “I want a white car”. I have witnessed this in too many cases. Back when I was a hair stylist, I’d ask my clients what they were looking for, and 9 out 10 times my client would start with “I don’t want…” The same process happened during my brief time as a Realtor: buyers were so caught up in the thoughts that brought them no joy. By beginning with a negative outlook on our goals and listing the things that displease us, we’re avoiding the key idea behind centering our focus. It’s important to put the energy out into the world that you’d like to receive. 

So let’s shed the negativity intertwined with our desires by writing these thoughts down and manifesting. Today, my words to my journal are: “I want to be focused.” Tell the world what you need, and positive energy will answer. 

My personal focus has manifested in wonderful new art prints, with three new prints created from acrylic abstracts. I’ve imbued these pieces with positivity and added some inspirational quotes to each one. The first features a line from Maya Angelou against a lovely green scene with a simple tree and three soaring birds: “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.” The second print is another acrylic abstract with the words, “Without fear you are free.” For the third print with the words “Today I am grateful for…”, I used a palette knife to create a colorful surface with soft flowers of green and yellow. All three of these pieces are available as 8 x 10 in. prints, pre-matted and backed with a 4-ply hardboard. They’re sealed in a cellophane sleeve for protection and available now on my Etsy and my website! 

May is back with a brand new giveaway on my Facebook page and a chance to win one of the above prints–your choice! Just like or comment on the monthly giveaway post to enter. A winner will be chosen on May 30th at 3pm PST live on my page, so tune in to find out if you’re the lucky winner!

If you sign up for my Artist Insights newsletter today, you’ll stay up to date with everything new happening at The Healing Tree Studio with an added bonus of 20% off my prints and cards! You’ll also be supporting organizations like One Tree Planted and a wonderful small business, ZeetaBody. Partnering with these two fantastic teams brings me so much joy. 

Remember to start your day with thoughts of peace in your mind. There’s so much beauty in the world to be thankful for! 

artists · Artwork · back to nature · Bookmarks · New Items

A Time For Celebrations

If you haven’t already noticed, spring is a time of celebration. With a very Happy Earth Day happening on April 22nd, there is so much to treasure about the natural world and our place among it. From its humble beginnings in 1970 to what has become a global celebration of over 1 billion people and 193 countries, Earth Day is the perfect reminder that we are here to nurture our environment to the best of our ability. 

On this celebratory note, I also want to wish you a Happy Arbor Day, an annual holiday happening on the last Friday of April! Depending on your region, some might celebrate in November and some in May, but the same message is always there regardless of timing: Arbor Day was created to encourage people to plant trees, and in the Healing Tree Studio community that is an invaluable sentiment. 

Of course, we can’t forget about Mother’s Day, a celebration of our dear mothers who, like our bountiful earth, give us life. This year we have dedicated May 9th to share thanks with those who raised us while allowing them guilty pleasures, peace, and relaxation. My mother’s birthday was April 26th. Although Marilyn passed away in 1992, I want to wish her the happiest birthday. Thank you for this gift of life to which I am eternally grateful. 

I’ve been busy making new work to share with all of you, available now on both sites. Whether you’re looking for something portable like one of my bookmarks or a larger unstretched canvas piece ready to hang on your wall, you’ll find something great every time. The bookmarks are created with colored inks in tones of silver, orange, and red, and come in two sizes, 7 inches and 11 inches. My canvas paintings are unstretched pieces done in acrylics and ink that range in size from 8 x 8 inches to a larger piece of 48 inches. Shop online and find the perfect piece for you! thehealingtreestudio.com

I would like to say a warm thank you to everyone who attended the First Annual Art in The Park. While this was my first attempt at an outdoor event, it won’t be my last; just being outside with others was a rejuvenating experience! It was organized by the city of Las Vegas and coincided with a ribbon-cutting of a playground adjacent, where more than 50 vendors of artists, music, and food, drink filled the area. The next one will come in October, so mark your calendars and get ready to come together again! 

My art tent set up for the event

The incredible Dr. SunWolf once said, “The paradox of gifts: I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received.” Today I give you the gift of celebration; take some time to think about all the reasons you have to spread joy, tree-friends!  

artists · Artwork · Bookmarks · New Items · trees

Moving Forward in the new year

Welcome back, Tree-lovers. It’s a new era in the universe of The Healing Tree Studio. 2020 has come and gone and love is in the air!

December and January provided me with a sort of creative hibernation, and I’ve spent this time honing my skills and creating new pieces from the heart. Customizable and personalized bookmarks are here just in time for you to share some love with that special Valentine of yours. The growing heart design embraces a sensation of care, while warm and joyful colors bring light to the pages of your book. Add your initials to make this piece even more memorable, or customize it with a gorgeous tassel. 

These bookmarks are available on Etsy and my website, and better yet can be purchased on sale for $19.99 from $24.99. Whether you celebrate Cupid’s day or not, these bookmarks make the perfect gift to spread some joy with someone you love! (Or maybe even a treasured purchase to nurture self-love.) 

As we move forward into the new year and seek the things that bring us joy, I want to announce an exciting event. Beginning in January, I’ll be hosting monthly giveaways on my Facebook. Each month I’ll give a different item away, including a set of six notecards, a laminated bookmark set, a canvas bookmark, and many more surprise items to come. A live announcement of the giveaway winner will be on the last Sunday of each month at 6 pm PST, so please stop by and join us for a chance to win a work of art. 

If you’re as excited as I am about the new work coming to The Healing Tree Studio, you can keep up with announcements in my Artist Insights newsletter and receive a 15% discount for any item, at any amount. 

Maybe, wherever you are in the world, the trees past your window have lost their leaves and stand empty against the blue of the sky. Or maybe they’re full and green and lively, with birds nesting among the branches and leaves dancing in the wind. Maybe, like me, you look at these trees and reflect on how bright the world is and how wonderful it is to celebrate those you love and treasure. Here in my studio, the inspiring energy of creation has kicked into gear and it’s time for growth and discovery. Thank you for joining me on this journey and I hope you’ll stick around for the ride!

artists · Artwork · Bookmarks · Life · trees

What do I see?

It was the summer of 1989. I graduated cosmetology school (hair school as we called back then) in March and was working at SuperCuts honing my skills and soaking up all the free education they offered. I lived in Wichita, Ks. I just moved into my own apartment in June. It was a renovated 3 story Hotel and I lived in a studio on the third floor and paid $175 a month. I was happy.

I was working full-time, had my own apartment and took the bus to work. My apartment building was just a few blocks from the river that ran through the middle of Downtown Wichita. I felt like I was getting settled in and it was time to start drawing again. About 3 months into my 6 month lease there was a leak in my studio roof and it rained on my drawing table I had set up. I talked to the landlord-who by the way was a fabulous gay friendly girl with dark hair and was very funny- she gave me a one bedroom on the second floor as compensation.

I am settled in again, my cozy one bedroom with no furniture except my daybed and warped drawing board. It was an open concept layout. As you walk into the front door it was open to my living, dining and kitchen. Straight ahead was a wall with narrow windows on each side. To the left was about 2 foot of space and to the right was my walled kitchen and the door to the bedroom and bath. I placed my daybed against the wall in between the windows. There was nothing in my bedroom but a small dresser.

I am now ready to draw something. I wanted something different from my usual tools, paper and pencils. So I bought 3 stretched canvases. Two of them measured 3 ft by 1 ft. the third, was a 10 by 12 inches. I laid them on the floor in front of me and asked myself out loud “WHAT DO I SEE?”

A tree trunk came to mind. Not the whole tree, just the trunk part. I thought “OK cool, I’ll draw a tree trunk” I positioned the canvas to start drawing length wise and grabbed my gel black ink pen and started drawing. If you don’t know anything about an artist canvas, then let me tell you, it’s very textured. So getting a smooth line on it is impossible. But that was OK because I was drawing a tree, they’re not smooth either.

I had no idea what it was going to look like or how big, I was just drawing a tree trunk. I went about my daily life and would draw in my spare time. I don’t recall having a TV. But I do remember listening to Hiroshima, Enya on my Walkman cassette player and laying flat on my back with the lights out and candles lit and just meditating and breathing. I really had no idea what I was doing, it just felt right at the time.

612 E. Douglas, Wichita, Ks. 67202

I found this image courtesy of Google Earth. Looks like they are still renting out as apartments. I looked at their site and prices have gone up. A studio starts at $599. And of course they are completely remodeled.

After I finished the tree trunk I thought “Now what?” I used the second canvas and turned it length wise parallel to the first piece and started on the branches of the tree. Fast forward a few more months and it’s time time top it off. A total of nine months later and after multiple ink pens I now had a finished drawing. I had completed my first tryptic art piece.

So that is how I started drawing trees. All three canvases were completed I later sold it for $275. I hope it’s doing well.

As I continued to draw my trees, I was determined to only draw with ink on canvas and paper. As an artist of any kind, you will get people that will offer suggestions all the time. I was reluctant to take any of them. I continued to draw in black and white for years. Until one day I looked at my work and thought, “wow this is really old school” I started experimenting with other techniques.

A black and white in progress

There you have it. My exciting story of how I started drawing trees. Now here it is September of 2020 and I am still drawing trees, only now they are a bit more colorful. I now paint with acrylics and use colored inks as well. I play with texture, like a home made paste with baking soda, glue and white liquid acrylic paint. Here are some examples.

Honestly, I am feeling like this took way too long to write and this is where I tend to just drop off with my stories. But, before I go, Let me tell you something. I sometimes look at my drawings and think “Holy shit! did I do that?” I think I could have gone to school and improved my skills a lot better then being stubborn and thinking I should be able to do it naturally without structure and instruction but I haven’t. So here I am, doing more intentional drawing and creating then I ever have. And I am happy.