Sunday, July 6, 2008

Farm Noir...

That's the name of this series of paintings I recently completed. It was somewhat cathartic, getting away from my usual romantic floral themed paintings. It may not seem that the angel painting is compatible with the farm theme, however, something told me to include it. I was commissioned to do this series by Susan Ellison from the store Blue Springs Home
She was inspired by the bedding by Matteo

Friday, June 6, 2008

On Death

"...For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance."
Kahlil Gibran

It's the anniversary of the passing of my friend Jeff. I was present in the room when he died on 06/06/06...that's right :)This is a picture of Jeff. He was a cool dude. He had some pretty feet and he would paint his toe nails blue. I loved him.

Life is a series of deaths actually. I have always been fascinated with the topic. Well, it would be more accurate to say I've always been fearful of it. I'm not really fearful anymore. I like to stay open to the endless possibilities that await us after this life...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Music and lyrics are a big part of my life. I haven't been doing any song writing lately and I can feel it. Meg over at Pigtown Design sent me a link to a beautiful song called "Perfect Day" written by Colin Towns and performed by Miriam Stockley. I so appreciate the inspiration. Meg also designed the really stylish banner for my blog. A very talented woman...

On a side note...I'm currently being swept off my feet by a new love. Feeling a bit like a teenager. I wasn't looking, it just "happened". I see couples who have been happily married for years and I admire them. I, on the other hand, have struggled in this area.'s interesting to be making the attempt at love while on the verge of turning 50 (next week) time will tell...

"Maybe I get to walk the path of the damned. They say that I'm melancholy well maybe I am. I've thought about the situation and now I understand
that the river of life is not always pure. Sometimes it can be a little obscure. One thing I've found that's true as can be...I'm deep and I'm dark and I'm sad when I'm not true to me."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Spirituality, women in art...

It seems that women have been a favorite subject for many painters and sculptors. I have found it to be cathartic in some way. I tend to be very romantic and flowery in my style and technique. Sometimes though, I go for a bit of an ancient, primal and somewhat dark approach. Painting for me is a spiritual experience when I follow my intuition. So, there you go. Women, art spirituality all in one package.

I'm gonna try to go with my intuition with this blog thing. I don't wish to offend anyone, but I gotta be real. I have no current definition for my faith/spirituality. I'm a seeker. I paint. I sing. I write songs. I play guitar (umm..sort of)


Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Heart

Music is such a gift. My daughter attends Long Beach City College and she's in the music program. I attended one of the concerts tonight and once again they performed
"Blow ye the Trumpet". This is such a moving piece of music it always brings me to tears. I thought this time I wouldn't be affected. Wrong. The choir comes out into the aisles of the auditorium so that the audience is surrounded by sound. I look at the faces of some in the audience and for whatever reason I feel so connected to them all, though I know none of them. We shared a moment.
There's nothing "cool" about this song. It's just beautiful. I tried to upload a version from youtube but I'm having a hard time. I've pasted the html code for reference if that does any good. I hope you have the opportunity to hear it some time.

The Body

Before I forget, I need to write about my dream last night. I won't go into detail about all the bizarre aspects that are regular features in my dream time. No, I just want to remember the indescribable realism that I experienced physically last night.
When I was young I was extremely limber. I took for granted this natural ability. I never really developed it. I took maybe one ballet class and the instructor was blown away at how "bendable" I was. "Can you do this?" she'd ask. And sure enough I could.
There is a pose that is extremely difficult for most people and it was second nature to me. It's a combination of the 2 pictures shown. The feet come over your head as in the first picture, and the arms are in front with the elbows bent as in the second picture.
Last night, in my dream I did this pose. I can't put into words the exhilarating feeling that filled my body. I could feel the muscles working just as if I was actually in that position. I have sciatica in my left hip area, and I could feel a slight pinch there as my lower body kicked off the floor. I needed a little help, so I asked someone to hold my feet in front of me to keep them from lifting. So extraordinarily real.
My body remembers...

Annie Liebovitz

This is the first time I've ever posted any photos other than my own. Hopefully I won't be sued.
After the big brue-haha a few weeks ago with the Miley Cyrus photo shoot,I decided to google Annie so I could look at more of her work. I loved this series, the whole concept is really cool. I'm sorry I don't remember which site I found these on, bad form I know...sorry.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Madonna

With Mother's Day and all....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cake, bread and carbs of any kind...

I have this dilemma with body obsession. You know, obsessed about my weight. Just last week I felt ok with my weight. This week, a whole different story. I swear I've gained 5 pounds and I get super aggravated and into self loathing. I wish I could accept myself when I'm not thin. I see women much larger than me happily going about their lives. I'm almost 50 for godsakes, I seem to think I'm supposed to have the body of a 25 year old. I love cake. Bread and pasta are comforting too. As soon as I introduce these back into my diet I'm on a roll....more please.
I'm so influenced by the "thin" look that even when painting this nude, which was based on an ancient Roman painting, I shaved off a few pounds around the middle to make her more...acceptable?
I'm also noticing I mader her breasts bigger than the original. Once more influenced by the modern version of the perfect woman. She's still heavy by todays standards. That's just weird.

Friday, May 2, 2008

anonymous angel

Well, I've just visited a blog where there was quite a bit of dialogue, heated dialogue based on the bloggers critique of a certain interior designer...I wanted to jump in and be the big saviour. You know, say something profound to resolve the whole thing. I love to play the "fixer". I quickly realized it wouldn't be wise to jump in the mix. I would easily get wounded if someone lit into me with harsh words. Then I'd be pissed and have to come back with proof that I can be clever and good can come of that.
I will, however, comment here on my own blog. My observation....I believe that if someone is going to post an opinion and critique another's work, etc. it's cowardly to remain anonymous.
Anonymity can be a beautiful thing when someone is involved in an act of generosity or some noble deed and they don't want to bring attention to themselves. Otherwise, to rip someone a new one and do so anonymously is, in my opinion, lame.
I'm not sure why people find the need to tear others down anyway. I guess I do know why. Jealousy. I've certainly had my share of being envious of what others have in comparison to what I don't have. There are some extremely talented and wealthy people out there! I see some unbelievable homes on the design blogs, wow! When I get into the place where I'm comparing, that's no good.

Anyhow, this painting is interesting because the angel is below rather than above.


Monday, April 28, 2008


I love the colors in this's a photo from Romantic Homes magazine June 2007. The bedding is Bella Notte and Pillow Talk (I think?) I was very flattered to have one of my paintings included in this shot. As I troll around "blog land" as it's been called, I find so many varied styles of decorating. I'm drawn to them all! My dream home would definitely include multiple themes. Asian motifs are a favorite of mine. I like creating paintings that are a fusion of french/asian/floral. A series of geishas is in the well as a million other projects :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The View

Sometimes I forgot to be grateful....actually, many times I forget. Anyhow, I have this really gorgeous little garden I planted a few years ago in my back yard. I can just sit and look at it for hours. Especially now that the roses are blooming. I really love the sound of all the birds who hang out back there. It's peaceful. This is a photo of the view through the window...

Saturday, April 19, 2008


The word " happifying" keeps presenting itself to me...I thought, "is this a real word?" I asked my daughter, a college student, if this was a real word and she was pretty sure it isn't. Still, it won't go away. So I googled it and found that it is an un-word so to speak. Actually, there was a definition on (where the mission is "Changing the English language one word at a time.")

The origin of happifying comes from happy and gratifying, sort of a hybrid.

Well, I ask myself why this word keeps creeping into my consciousness...I realize that the really gratifying tasks in life are when we're helping someone else. I mean really helping someone else. A life of service. Hmmm....let me be honest here and confess that I haven't been of real service in a long time. I love painting and it's rewarding when I do a painting and I'm satisfied with the results, and then someone else tells me they think the painting is gorgeous. Yes, that's fulfilling. However, I look at the real caregivers in the world who are selfless and genuinely giving individuals and I know I should be doing more. Ok, maybe the word "should" isn't correct. What I mean is if I want to experience happiness on a more regular basis I need to be of service more often. "How" is the question. Probably for you beneficent folks out there this comes naturally and so you don't have to look real hard for ways to serve. I, on the other hand, struggle to pull my head out of my *** and think of someone else. I'm seriously thinking of working as a part time caregiver for the elderly. I'll report back when I've made some progress in this area.

In the meantime, I think this painting of big chunky roses is "happifying".



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Attitude...lucky girl

I was complaining to a friend, well not complaining just bemoaning my current situation actually. Let me start over.
I am so impressed with the caliber of women bloggers out there. They are so gracious and poised. I love the decor blogs particularly. I notice some bloggers have mission statements as to the purpose of their blogs and they seem to stay true to their mission. I see so many gorgeous and utterly amazing photos of the most tasteful homes. I'm overloaded with visual thrills that compel me to want to paint everything at once.
Where I'm going with this, I don't know. I guess I'm looking for my voice. Relevance of some sort. A valid reason to have this blog. All I can guarantee is I'll stay true to myself, whatever that means. Hopefully the person I am will grow. Well, in fact I absolutely WILL grow, at what pace I don't know.
In the meanwhile, I am still the extremely self obsessed Susan Brown who may tend to go on and on about herself, her life her dreams and disappointments. There will be plenty of pictures as well.
Anyhow, about my friend and my complaining. I was telling him I don't know why I chose to be an artist and he said "you didn't choose, you just are an artist" and it hit a place within that rung true. My sister calls it the truth bell where you just know. And so, wah wah I whine sometimes about my struggles, but all in all I'm really lucky. Attitude is everything. And look at these roses I planted a few years ago. They're blooming again even though they were dormant all winter.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


In addition to my latest passion for painting the Madonna, I've been working on these paintings which will be printed on fabric and made into pillows and throws. I love textiles though I'm not a textile artist (see my post on

Black and white and sepia tones are so chic, I think. So I present to you "Ode to Toile".




Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mary, etc.

Hmmm....about this latest obsession with painting the "Madonna". Well, who knows why really? I think it's the feminine element that I'm trying to convey. No offense to the religious folk out there, however, I'm not necessarily promoting the conventional understanding of Mary.

There has always been a Mother/Virgin element running through multiple cultures. In my paintings I don't include the child for some reason...maybe I'll add that. I also have these Madonnas corresponding to a sign of the zodiac. I don't know why. Just seemed like a good idea.

I actually was baptized Catholic and went to catechism, did my first communion and confirmation. I don't think I was very good at the whole thing. I'm reading a book called "The Cloister Walk" by Kathleen Norris. It's about her experience as an oblate in a benedictine monastery. Very enlightening.

I enjoy reading, in fact I MUST read. It keeps me sane. If not completely sane, it keeps me from going too far into my shadow self.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New start...

This is my first official blog...and I'm not sure what to write about. How about, I thank Monica Dollison for creating such an awesome header with my art?!!

Words are powerful. Thoughts are powerful as well. I just came home from a seminar on energy, thoughts, and law of attraction, etc. Lots of new habits for me to implement. I have a word that I plan on eliminating from my vocabulary. It starts with an "H" and it's the opposite of love. See, I'm already eliminating it. That's going to limit me....I love using strong language.

Anyhow, I will be using this site as a way of communicating positive messages and images. Some of the art I put up will be a little dark at times. Dark can be good. Don't be scared.

I'm amazed at all of the creative people out there! I guess there are others (besides myself) who feel the compelling desire that can only be satisfied by making stuff. Maybe that seems like an "out there" sort of comment. The thing is, I tend to be very greedy when it comes to the creative process, I want to do it ALL. I need to realize I'm not the only artist in the world. There are many, and there is plenty of creativity to go around.

romantic homes

My goal is to connect with the other artists, writers and fellow travelers on this journey.