back to nature · weekend getaway

Leaving Las Vegas-for a day

Summer is almost here, and with it comes an air of spontaneity! I find that there is nothing like a spur of the moment day trip to brighten your spirits and gain some much-needed inspiration.

There’s an oasis less than an hour from the Las Vegas city center, where lush trees cover the sides of soaring mountains and crystalline water reflects the warm sun. I’m fortunate enough to live a stone’s throw from this beauty, and I try to take a trip to Mount Charleston at least twice a year. The valley of the Spring Mountains is perfect for biking, hiking, some rock climbing, and camping. During the snowy months, you can ski at Lee Canyon down powdery slopes of brilliant white.

Each time, I’m enchanted by the mini hikes and the views. I’ve been there several times since I arrived in Las Vegas in 1993, and have since made it a tradition to stop at the Hotel first to see what changes have occurred. I always walk around the property and enjoy the sights, watching the high peaks and cedar trees as they reach toward the sky. 

Along with the views, there is a large outdoor patio seating area and a small bridge walkway to the front entrance. I have spent a lot of time just at the outside entrance, where a small and tranquil pond houses many birds and ducks. Inside the hotel is a large round lobby; to the left is the snack shop, stairs to other floors, restrooms, and the bar around the corner. After that comes the registration desk, and the restaurant entrance opens for lunch or dinner during the summer. Then the grand fireplace, where a cozy fire burns all year. 

The grand tour finishes as you return back to the entrance. You’re greeted by a taxidermy standing bear to remind you that you’re not in Vegas! Here you are surrounded by wood, varying taxidermy, and intricate antler chandeliers. In the middle of all of it is seating for anyone. The space is open to the public, to view, relax, or kick back and watch one of the large screen TVs.

About 20 minutes up the road is the lodge. It’s open 24 hours a day, serving unique food and drinks. I was told years ago they were known for their famous Mt. Charleston coffee, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. They serve over 12 different coffee drinks–all with alcohol and all delicious! With the lodge perched on the mountainside, you can walk around and explore most of it or sit down to enjoy your coffee. I always sit outside to soak up the full experience. 

After the lodge, I usually drive up the mountain and find a place to pull over and go for a moderate hike. Regardless of where you decide to stop off, the view is spectacular. As you eventually descend the mountain, your path can branch off into residential areas–like small cul-de-sacs or steep driveways–that are often private dead ends. Or for further exploration, you can head over to Lee Canyon, which is about 20 minutes to the north. It is open to the public all year. It’s packed during ski season, but it seems to be all yours in the vibrant summer. Lastly, you can head back to the desert mirage known as Las Vegas.

If you find this trip as inspiring as I did, check out some of my new work available now on my Etsy and my website! I love pulling enthusiasm from the brilliant places I visit and putting it into my creative work. You can find vivid, colorful, and warm paintings and bookmarks in my shop, ready to celebrate the summer heat. 

Congratulations to [INSERT GIVEAWAY WINNER HERE] for winning the May giveaway! June is here with a brand new giveaway on my Facebook page and a chance to win big. Just like or comment on the monthly giveaway post to enter. A winner will be chosen on June 30th at 3pm PST live on my page, so tune in and see if you’re the lucky one!

Keep up with The Healing Tree Studio by signing up for my Artist Insights Newsletter! You can receive a 15% discount with your sign up, and you’ll feel great knowing that you’re supporting organizations like One Tree Planted and a wonderful small business, ZeetaBody. It’s always an honor to work with these incredible groups.

Take the opportunity to “get away” for a while, whether you go for a walk around the block, drive a few hours, or fly across the world. Adventure is out there and waiting!

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!  

Artwork · back to nature · Bookmarks · cabin retreat · Facebook giveaway · Life · New Items · note cards · trees · Utah · weekend getaway

Friendships and Trees

The world around us holds a web of connection, each of us tied together in ways we might never notice as we go about the steady pace of our daily lives. But if you take the time to look closer and reach out to those around you, you’d be surprised to see how many people there are in your community who appreciate the wide and beautiful universe like you do. 

I found one of these unseen connections just down the street from me in my friend Bethany. Our friendship began over Facebook where I shared my artwork in a group called I LOVE TREES; there we connected over art and nature, and Bethany purchased one of my pieces. Online conversations led to our first meeting at a coffee shop, where we shared our love for trees and creativity. I was happy to find a kindred spirit in Bethany and she was eager to support my art and improve her own technique. Over time, we’ve created together, building on her technique and sharing a deep love for nature in our work. 

This connection manifested as a weekend getaway for the two of us and Bethany’s partner to their cabin in Utah, just a few hours outside of Vegas. Here, we were surrounded by other distant cabins but isolated in the middle of nature, where vivid light outlined the mountains, backed the lush trees, and sparkled against the water. Our days there were endlessly inspiring. 


Back in the studio, I’m doing some new artwork for 8 x 10 prints, ready for framing. The new artwork will feature trees in a new myriad of colors with some including leaf details and printed quotes. Printed on 110 lb cardstock, these pieces will have a backing and be sealed in a plastic sleeve, prepared to arrive safely in your hands and look stunning on your walls.

There are only two days left until the live art fair happening on April 17th that I’ll be participating in, located at Bruce Trent Park (8851 Vegas Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89128). The fair is open from 10am to 4pm, so stop by and check it out for some gorgeous handmade artwork!  

This month, my Facebook page giveaway prize is a set of cards in my new six-color watercolor trees series, and you can like or comment on the monthly giveaway post to enter. Stop by for a live announcement on my page on April 30th at 6pm, and find out if you’re the winner! 


In the words of Shakespeare, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” I believe in this idea; that together, connected by our invisible threads of thought and surrounded by the commonality of nature, we each have something special that becomes more beautiful when shared.