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!

Artwork · Birthday Cards · Facebook giveaway · New Items

And the winner is…

Spring has sprung, tree-friends, and warmer breezes are headed our way at last! I hope that wherever you are, green growth is poking through the remnants of winter and brighter days have come to stay. Let’s brush away those fallen leaves and find something brilliant underneath. 

These days, I’m ready to welcome unexpected delights and a future full of endless potential. In a series of unstretched canvas pieces where I’ve explored the relationship between doors, windows, and the outside world, this potential exists as decisions we make along our life path. Through the creation of these tapestries with inks, watercolors, acrylics, and even real tree branches, these symbols of possibility can hang on your wall as a reminder of what wonders your future might hold. As windows give us a glimpse toward opportunity and new doors open to us, it’s important to take a chance once in a while and turn the knob. 

Let’s celebrate a breath of fresh air and wish someone close to you a very Happy Birthday! New birthday cards are now available in my shop, perfect for those spring-born friends and family members. These handmade cards are sure to put a smile on both their face and yours as we welcome the coming season.

I’d love to congratulate Theresa Amy for winning my February prize of a gorgeously framed print from one of my notecard collections. A new giveaway has started on my Facebook page, with a chance to win another special handmade artwork. Just like or comment on the monthly giveaway post to enter. A winner will be chosen on March 31st at 6pm live on my page, so tune in and find out if you’re the lucky one!

Let’s stay connected with my Artist Insights newsletter and build a community that supports beauty in the small things. Stay up to date with how The Healing Tree Studio grows while supporting incredible organizations like One Tree Planted and one of my favorite local Las Vegas companies, ZeetaBody. I’m proud to be partnered with teams like these that focus on giving back to the community and creating products that are good for our bodies. 

It’s another beautiful day out there, forest family. Open the windows and let the bright world in! 

Artwork · Halloween · trees

Happy Halloween

One of my Ink drawings gone awry.

Happy Halloween! The above photo is one of my Ink drawings over acrylic. It is a favorite tree of mine. Then I had an idea to add some gloss to it. As you can see, it didn’t go so well. So I just made it into a Halloween picture. I now share it every year, instead of making a new one, because things like that never occur to me until the day before.

One would think I should capitalize on this day of the year with my barren trees that look dead, but I have never thought of them as dead. Ever. Many years ago, when I was showing off my tree art to someone, that is exactly what they said. “Um, they look dead” Honestly, up until that point, it never occurred to me they looked any other way but expressive. I love everything about trees. Mostly how they have the audacity to grow anywhere they please. For example…

Here is my interpretation of Audacity.

And there you have it. I have managed to turn my Halloween post into something else. Maybe I should title this with “Happy Audacity Day.”

Whatever kind of day you celebrate, make it a fun and safe one. For me, I will be hibernating in my studio above the garage, where my roommate will be having her annual party. This will include inviting anyone who wants candy, alcohol, white chicken chili, and alcohol. And opening up the garage door, setting up tables and chairs, passing out candy -in her traditional witch costume- and “adult” Jell-O shots to anyone who looks like they need it.

Until next time,

Enjoy The Art Of The Tree