What We Learn from Friends – Gratitude

I have a friend named I met while I was in Houston. She was one of those people I instantly liked.  She did not mix her words, she was funny and one of the most giving people I ever met. Lately she's been sharing daily post via Facebook on what she is grateful for in her life.It inspired me to stop and make this list.


  1. A family that is honest, fun, and loving (in their own way).
  2. Good people in my life that I can learn from and fulfill my life.
  3. For a world that is starting to learn that love is the way to a better existence for all.
  4. For children. Those who are a part of my life and make it so much more loving and those children that bring love into other people's lives.
  5. For a roof over my head, food in my belly and clothes on my back (there are many who don't have these basics. I don't take that for granted).
  6. For holidays that make us stop and just be.
  7. For Detroit, a hometown that encourages me to create, to love, to help, to not believe the hype and to know that no matter the odds, I will be victorious.
  8. For music, the universal language.
  9. Crayola
  10. A good book with a twist in the plot.

There is plenty more I am grateful for. I think that is the point of this exercise and the reason why my friend has made this a daily ritual in her life; to realize how much of our life is already beautiful and to recognize it. We must be grateful for what we have before we can be ready to accept any other gifts into our lives.

Today, stop and be grateful.


Weekend Inspiration – November 12, 2012

The past week has been politically charged with election day and voting. It was very beautiful thing to see so many people be responsible for their destiny and vote. Regardless of who you voted for or what proposal you agreed to, you made decisions and they counted towards our future. That is part of the human experience.  I was inspired by this week to go to an exhibit at the Charled H. Wright Museum entitled "Visions of Our 44th President." It is 44 differnent interpretations of a bust of our 44th President done by 44 of today's contemporary artist. This is such a treat to see and even more so because three of the artist are from Detroit (Gilda Snowden, Tyree Guyton and Shirley Woodson).

Seeing this takes me back to my early art classes when the teacher or professor tells all the students to draw a apple and when all the students are done, each apple looks different. This project was about the 44th President of the United States, but I felt it was so much more about the individual experience and the individual process of creating and thinking. Here are just a few.




Book Inspiration – November 1, 2012

I've been reading several books this month. I am an avid reader, but I think that I read to feed my creative spirit. They inspire me in my life and in my art. Here is a small selection of what I am reading right now:

Vacation by Deb Olin Unferth

I picked up this book while on Vacation in New York a few weeks ago. It is about a man named Myers who is following his wife who is following another man. That in itself is interesting. Yet it becomes more weird when the reader (i.e. me) finds out that the wife is following an old friend of the husbands. Coincidence? Maybe. A great plot for a book? Absolutely. How many times have you wanted to just know more about a person, delve in deeper without them knowing? LOL.

Outside of that the book is funny. Some of the things that happen are so outrageous, that you can't help but laugh and yet, they are things that some of us so thought of doing if you were in the situations described in this book.

As an artist and on a human level, this book feeds my soul, and it is just entertaining.

Brave Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley

We all need some help to push our art to different levels and this book has been helpful for me. What I like about this book is that it takes you to the core of what painting is, which is your inner self showing its self on canvas. The author talks about going within and being free to make mistakes when creating. Yes, I know that sounds like advice that you've heard before, but I think that the images and layout of the book and some of the tools and suggestions given in the book has made this good advice great. 

Now, I must admit that I would have loved to seen more step-by-step details in the book with some of the paintings and techniques, but I understand that a lot of that she shares in her workshops and web site. I am working on a couple of pieces now using some of her techniques. I will share when they are done.

Detroit (A Biography) by Scott Martelle

Obviously I love the city of Detroit since it is my hometown, so any book that will teach me more about it, I am open to reading it. There are several books about the history of Detroit, but I found this particular book to be interesting because of the details of this book clears up so many things that I see around my city now and as I grew up and I didn't understand why they were that way. Simple things such as the names of our streets and neighborhoods to the reasons behind some of the segregation and political corruption that is part Detroit. This book has given me a better understanding and respect for my hometown and really just great to learn while reading. That doesn't happen all the time you know.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Resistance is Futile! This is a powerful book people. If you are a creative person or a person who has goals or is trying to achieve anything you got to read this book. When we are trying to achieve something, we tend to be our own worst enemy and we get in our way. This book explains that resistance to achieve is something we can overcome and remove from our lives and by doing so, the sky really becomes the limit.

Steven Pressfield is honest people that you have to work at it. You have to put in the work to make things happen and to remove resistance in your life, but the more you do it, the less difficult it becomes. This is a pretty short read. I did in in a couple days BUT, I go back to this book all the time.  I have it in paper back and as an eBooks.  It's worth the money and worth several reads.