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Happy Art

Someone told me recently, your art is happy. I was both flattered and deflated. Of course, any mention or acknowledgment of what we are creating is a luxury. I should not split hairs on the quality of compliment. But the museum loving gallery junkie in me longs to make art with meaning, depth and that je ne sais pas quoi. But who am I to decide what that certain something is that makes someone stop and look twice or purchase or smile or feel good or all of the above. I’ll take happy these days.

I’ll take keep going where my natural aesthetic and creative pulls lead me. I do know that when I keep going and paint day after day, the work does evolve. And the artists I look up to and admire change over the months and years. Which means my art, too, is changing over the months and years. Is “happy” as a description so terrible? No. It’s not. In context it says this. It says it lightened someone’s moment. Maybe it inspired. Perhaps it made someone laugh. It’s likely it pulled some nostalgic memories. It made someone feel. Happy. And that is why I paint and create. Because it makes me feel good and complete and happy.

Tag, you’re it. xo

Cherry Tomatoes

The world appears to be falling apart. Or imploding. Or both and I’m scared and angry and frustrated at how helpless it makes me feel. Domestically, the word “Charlottesville” will sum up a national outrage for years to come. Internationally, Korea, Barcelona, Sierra Leone are top of the harrowing news. I don’t know what to do. So I keep going going with the small parts of my life where I do know what to do. Bringing a tiny slice of joy into someone’s life through art or an unexpected kindness through snail mail or….there are so many different “ors” for all of us.

I’m not born a political crusader, I shy away from conflict but the climate right now is so heated, so tender and raw, I can’t write without acknowledging it. And still, after mulling over this post with fingers pausing on the keyboard, I still don’t know what to do so until I do I’m going to go deeper and stronger into the creativity I do know.

I know how to capture little moments that make life sweeter. Like cherry tomatoes from the local farmer’s market. Or writing thank you notes. Baking treats and sharing. Picking fresh flowers. Running my small business with huge heart and attention to details and loving the real live kind folks who order from me. I know how to appreciate what I have and be grateful.

Today, cherry tomatoes. xo

La Vía Poética

How is poem born on a pilgrimage to the homeland of Pablo Neruda? I’m happy to say you can find out in the inaugural issue of Hidden Compass, where my essay & illustrations await you!

Permit Parking

VW parked on a Medford, Oregon Street

Untitled Flora

Georgia O'Keeffe

“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” 

 Georgia O’Keeffe

Fix & Finish with Silvia Trujillo

Fix & Finish with Silvia Trujillo

Rogue Gallery & Art Ctr is hosting a new class this Sat & Sun: it’s somewhere in between a workshop and an art evaluation. Bring your previous works which might need a bit of improvement for completion, or maybe just add a few finishing touches to make that painting sing!

Fix and Finish with Silvia Trujillo
Saturday and Sunday, August 19-20,10am-2pm

All painting media and skill levels welcome!
“Fix and/or Finish” a painting by figuring out what will benefit those pieces that are not quite working, or start a new project. The instructor will help with composition, color, and techniques to guide viewers’ eyes through your painting. Silvia has a wide range of experience with different styles and media, and will help you in mastering yours.

MEMBERS $75 NON-MEMBERS $90 Students to bring pieces to be fixed and finished and the materials they used. Register Here >>

Fireside Chat with Stefan Baumann – Fear of Judgment

 Fireside Chat with Stefan Baumann - title image of Baumann talking with a group of artists around a campfire

The Artist’s Greatest Fear 

Fireside Chat with Stefan Baumann - image of painting of a rocky mountain goat by Stefan BaumannThis week we were sitting around the campfire after a day of Plein Air painting and the question came up “What is the greatest fear that all artists have?” I thought for a moment and said “The Fear of judgment.” “Judgment from others, from peers, and from themselves.  And, for a good reason, because all artists are impostors.”

Artists prefer showing what worked and only what they want you to see. They will seldom show you the stack of paintings that did not turn out well and they have hidden under the bed.

Children have a natural attraction to drawing. They’re fearless when they use crayons and paper. In fact, when asked to draw anything, they will spontaneously burst into joyful creative activity. There is no end to the multitude of colors and creative compositions that flow effortlessly from their imaginations. But sadly, this all comes to an end for most people.   Why? At an early age around 3 or 4 when this burst of creative genus begins, it is so natural to make a mark on paper or even on walls.  Just like the drawings that the first cavemen drew in caves art has always been a way to communicate. This free expression has lead to some of most fantastic art ever created thousands of years ago.

Children create freely and endlessly the moment they see paper and any device that can make a mark.    When I ask students In high school “Why don’t you create art?” they most often say, “I’m not taking an art class.” Students in College say, “Its not my major.” Later in life the excuse is “I have to focus on a real career.” Then later, working people say, “I don’t have the time” and then finally, retired people say, “I don’t have talent.”

What happened to the Child, the free-thinking, creative spirit that inspired thousands of drawings and pictures? Art is one of the first things that children can do freely that they own.  In a world of “NO! Be Quiet! Sit-down!” art is something they can do that has no rules.  You can make a purple cow and a sun that looks like a star as long as it is yellow, until some day, Mom shows up and says “Billy, There is no such thing as a purple cow. And, by the way, that cow looks more like a dog. Let me show you how.” This critique is given as a learning opportunity by the parent, but the child experiences that he or she has done something is wrong. The free flowing creative moment is gone, replaced by rules and expectations.

I have coached many people over the years who long to be creative and learn how to paint. And very often, overcoming the fear of failing again as they felt at the age of 3 is as important as painting itself.

If you are interested in exploring your creative child or if you want to take your art to he next level, I invite you to go to my YouTube channel, consider phone coaching with me, and attend a workshop here in Mt. Shasta where we discuss life, art, and creative passion with other artists around the campfire.

Please visit my website at for more information.

Call me for information on workshops or coaching 415-606-9074


Creative to the Qor Art Contest at Central Art Supply, Medford, Oregon

Abstract Workshop with Alx Fox

Join Alx Fox for an Abstract Workshop

at Central Art Supply

Friday  & Saturday  August  25 &  26

From 9:30 am to 3:00 pm

Participate on any day or both days

Fees: $65 per day, $110 for 2 days


Explore new ways of applying and using texture on canvas or watercolor papers for increased focal point interest. Sample new media and sharpen your compositional skills in a relaxed informal atmosphere using acrylic paints and medias.

Call or email for materials list and/ or questions:

(541) 450-7092   [email protected]

Visit Central Art!

Dog’s Day

3 dogs waiting to be bathed at the 25th annual Ashland Coop dog wash.

Seed Pod Lantern

Seed pods from a Chinese Golden Rain Tree photographed at Baldessare’s Italio Garden in Medford, OR