Saturday, December 31, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

In the past, I’ve sent out a physical holiday card, but this year I wanted to do something different. It wasn’t about saving money, but redirecting it toward something I felt strongly about. Something I felt was a better representation of the "season of giving" than I’ve done in the past. 

I’ve always had a strong interest in animals, especially those in wildlife. This admiration also carries over into my love of nature, the environment, our planet and beyond. So, with the money I saved by doing this ecard, I made a donation to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). An organization I think can truly make a difference protecting these magnificent creatures. 

Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday and new year. 

A little information about the illustration: I’ve recently been researching the Native American zodiac symbols for a calendar I was creating. The goose is the symbol for this time of year (Dec 22-Jan 19). I’ve also done illustrations for each symbol throughout the year and will be selling those in the new year, with a portion of the proceeds to also go to the WWF.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wonder from above.

This past weekend we took a short drive into the Southern Adirondacks to kayak on a beautiful small lake (or as my lady friend describes it, we went to church"). Toward the end of our excursion, we noticed something in the distance. Slowly circling above the tree line...was a bald eagle. I’ve seen these beautiful creatures many times throughout the area, but at that moment, it held much deeper meaning (we are talking about a freakin' bald eagle after all)Before I knew it, I found my kayak being pulled in the direction of the bird. I was mesmerized by the eagle's size and grace (hypnotized really). I was later informed that the Native Americans consider an encounter with an eagle, an invitation. An invitation to rise up from the earthly world and view it from above. From a distance. To look at the world with new eyes. I have deep respect for the Native Americans and what they believe. Their spiritual connection with the world, and with animals, is inspiring. Nature is my faith. My religion. Yes, it’s my church, too. It’s where I’m reminded to “find wonder in the ordinary”. I’m a firm believer that shit happens for a reason and refuse to take an encounter like this lightly. So, with all that being said, I gladly accept that invitation

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Save the Wonder.

I f*ckin hate politics. They take me far away from my happy place. And this election has been a real ball-buster. Believe it or not, I can understand why someone would vote either way, but I’m not really into convincing someone otherwise. I do believe it’s important to know the facts. Even though politics are not my thing, the planet is. It's our home. My inspiration. My playground. And remember, we don’t get another planet. This is it. In our lifetime, we are starting to see it’s decline…and it’s going to get worse. A shit-ton worse. There is no debating what we are doing to the planet. Science wins that debate easily…and the facts speak for themselves. Our coral reefs are dying. Storms are more powerful than ever. We’re seeing record droughts, record flooding. Coastal towns are starting to see evidence of the ocean rising from melting ice caps. In about 20 years there will be no North Pole. How’s that for some sobering crap? These are just a few of the problems, too. So, in my opinion, if any of the candidates don’t believe in climate change, they’re out. It’s an ignorance that we can’t afford. I'll vote for the future of our planet! It’s time for the public to change their view on climate change, then the politicians will follow. Not the other way around. Feel free to share this or comment on it. May be the only time I write or post anything like this. You can laugh it off, get pissed, ignore it…whatever you want as this is a free country. But I’d like to have hope for the planet's future…and my “hope”, is that you do too. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Time alone.

I recently spent some time alone in a cabin in the woods (in our amazing Adirondacks of course). Purposely, I cut myself off from my regular life and regular amenities (well, not completely cut off, but close - no electricity, limited cell reception, just the nature around me in a very secluded spot). I did it to recharge my creativity, to breathe new life into the things I care for most. It was a successful plan, but I must say, I got more than I bargained for. To be cut off from society, even for the limited amount of time that I was, allowed my mind to freely wander in and out of possibilities, ideas, and realizations. The clarity was paramount. I spent time truly understanding my life and what was important to me. It seems obvious to me now, but it made me understand only when we remove almost everything from our lives, do we truly understand what we need (which by default, really makes us understand what we don't). The objective for me was to recharge my creativity, but instead, I think it recharged my priorities (or maybe my life, but that may be a bit too heavy). Solitude isn't for everyone, but I will say that spending time with yourself, is one hell of a way to get to know yourself. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Find Wonder in the Extra-ordinary.

The Olympics are officially over...and I miss them already. For a short period of time, they create a world I wish we lived in. A world that only competes on the playing field. A world without war. A world where every nation comes together in the spirit of friendly competition. The Olympics are a lesson...and the whole world is watching. They are a lesson on what we are capable of, not only as athletes but as human beings. A lesson for every child (and parent) who wants to contribute anything meaningful to the world. Rarely are there Olympians who are not good sports...and when they are not, they are basically ostracized. The Olympics do not tolerate bad behavior or selfishness. They encourage our best, in competition and in spirit. No doubt they would lose their uniqueness if they were more often, but maybe we can all figure out a way to make their feeling last. If only we could bottle that spirit and consume it frequently while we anxiously await their return. If anything, the Olympics teach us that anything is why the hell not try!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Happy Place.

I have a place I like to go..and only I know how to get there. It’s not on any map. You can’t look it up on Google. There are directions to get there, but only I can see them. I’m not even sure what it looks like until I'm there. It’s always changing. This is sacred ground. No one is allowed in. You have a similar place. Protect it. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Get to Know a Tree.

I've always been somewhat of a loner.  I seek restaurants that have few or no people. I seek bars where no one knows your name. In today's society, this behavior is not considered "normal". Even in education, students are encouraged to work with others, to speak in front of a classroom of people. As a child this was terrifying. As an adult, I've learned to manage this fear, but I still prefer to be outside of the spotlight. As you can probably imagine from my art, I'm attracted more to nature and animals than to people. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate people. My friends, family and co-workers are among the best to be around. I adore their company (but usually one or two at a time). I just prefer a different lifestyle. If you are anything like me, I'm sure you completely understand. If you are not like me, you're probably struggling a bit. Am I an introvert? Not completely, but I definitely lean in that direction. Ok, so why am I sharing all of this personal information? Because I believe that only through these moments of introversion can I find wonder in what's around me. We all have to make a living but it's also important to occasionally walk out of your office once in a while. Go for a walk, get away from your computer or your desk. Put your cell phone down. Turn off the TV. Go outside and get to know the world. Get to know a tree.