Life Goes On

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Better late than never, seems to be a slogan of mine throughout the years and now, at 37, some things never change. It has been a good 3 months since we moved back to Michigan and into the house I have owned since the turn of this century. Now that things are starting to settle down, our desire to be on the move is strong. Oh, its not that I don’t adore this state, but have you ever tried to move back to an old situation while in a new situation all the while losing about an hour of daylight a day and the sun in addition to about 50 degrees? It ain’t easy, pardon my slang.

Moving back to northern Michigan in the middle of December after living in desert environment in the Southwest for 2 years is a challenge to say the least. Now that our sunlamp has started to do its job in addition to an added dose of Vitamins from a bottle daily and winter, it appears, is loosening her grip, my anticipation for summer, and all the things we craved while living in El Paso is returning. I find myself begging to get out just to “see” what I can see. Drives with frequent stops so I can jump out of the Jeep to get a picture just because the clouds look so perfect are an almost nightly occurrence. Again, my art seems to be inspired by nature and all her glory.

Now, armed with gloves, extra warm boots, a super warm jacket and a High Definition camera, we are out exploring the beauty of our beautiufl state and trying to forget how much we are missing our friends in El Paso and the stunning mountain and desert views. I will NOT miss 118 days straight of no rain, though I will miss daily sunshine. I will NOT miss day after day of temperatures in the hundreds, though I will miss days of 90 degrees with no humidity. I will NOT  miss frequent and unexpected sandstorms, but I will miss seeing the storms come over the mountain from 10 miles away. I will and do miss so much about Texas and even more so, New Mexico, but every day I see something new here in Michigan, I remember what I missed about our own Great Lakes State!

Plans are being made for weekend getaways to the UP to see the waterfalls and after work trips to any of the dozens of lakes just down the road. Plans to catch 12 inch blue gills on my fly rod with just a yellow popper on quiet lakes with no sounds but the cicadas, the fish jumping on the surface, the whippoorwils in the nearby woods, and the call of the loon from some distant place. Summer is coming, spring is here and everyday is one day closer to natures splendor in an amazing state.

This is pure Michigan. This is what we missed. This is why no matter where we are, we are still Michigan girls.

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Art and Finding Your Peace

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warningLocation, location, location….that is what it is all about right? mmmm, maybe not. Happiness is in your heart….right? Ok, well maybe that is it….well, maybe not. Ok, so what it is all about is a combination of both I guess. Generally speaking, I am NOT a fan of El Paso Texas, however, every day that I go outside and see those mountains and every weekend that we head up north to New Mexico becauase it is only a few miles away, I thank God for letting us be here, at least for a while.

So I am going to make it my mission to post at least a lot more than I have been in an effort to show everyone who reads this, the intense beauty of the area. I can’t seem to find my motivation to do much woodburning right now although I am starting to feel it again, however, my desire to paint has most certainly been enhanced, despite the lack of work to show for it. Now to get off my ass and start doing.

Get ready to see what my world is all about and see the naturalist in me again :). As we approach our one year anniversary of my arrival in Texas, my life is completely different than ever before and wonderful, even though I can’t wait to get back to Michigan :). So heres to the mountains and art as I find my peace with life in Texas. I hope you enjoy.

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Christmas 2011 Art

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This year has been a fun one for commissioned pieces as well as our own personal endeavors. Had great jobs for the holiday season including a personalized plaque for a football player who it appears will be heading to the NFL next year! Go Tydlacka 🙂 and a couple of pet portraits as well.

Even more enjoyable has been the newest addition to the portfolio with the help of my new partner :). Instead of just one, these plaques are two-fold and include the top portion with personalized text and the bottom portion with a picture to match.

Enjoy these new plaques until I get them added to the portfolio. And from both of us, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



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Art in El Paso

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el pasoI have never been accused of being able to focus on any one thing this is for certain. Neither age nor time nor even knowledge have gotten me any closer to this. So for this reason, this long overdue post will represent exactly who I am to the very core. It will be most likely to long, for certain a bit jumpy and I may even exaggerate some, who knows….point is, it will be from my heart with the intention of telling anyone who cares to read, what my inspiration is today and will be for years to come….welcome to my life in El Paso.

The Beginning

As a somewhat skilled writer, I do understand that I need to somewhat break this up, however, I am nothing if not stubborn and childlike!! I am bursting to tell the world where my art is, where my motivation lies and where I have been for months…I will start at sort of the beginning, with my inspiration.

After I met my inspiration and decided to let my life lead me where it would, I was headed to El Paso Texas on a plane one cool March morning to begin a new life in a foreign land. I wrote while I sat on the plane…here is what I wrote in part…….


So perhaps the oddest feeling of my entire life at this very moment. Sitting packed like a sardine in the3 middle of the back of a crowded noisy plane. Good thing is my neighbor is from Minnesota originally and she moved to el paso 10 years ago and loves it. Im sure that I will too.

To the left of me, a guy is officially falling the hell asleep, he spent the first 20 min with his head in his hand, now he has given up and is slumped over , his neck is really going to hurt!

So on to the odd parts. First of all, I am on my way to live in El Paso, and I don’t live in Michigan anymore, just saying, that is a bit odd to say the least. Last night Harm said I can’t believe YOU are actually just picking up and leaving and moving to Texas, she is absolutely right, who would’ve believed it! No one close to me besides she seemed surprised at all, but now that I am just literally a half hour from my new home, I find it a little hard to believe myself!

The last year has been a journey of self discovery, a time of growth and change, confidence and self exploration, that of course lead up to a culmination of everything I have been looking for in my life with the opportunity for new love and to renew and start over on something that could have been so many years ago, if I were ready then…

Ok onto the other reason that this is odd, apart from the obvious, there is no ground, the clouds below us look like a Charmin commercial right now, or maybe the care bears from back in the day! It looks like Antarctica outside, a snowy mountainous landscape and of course it isn’t, but feels a bit more like what I am accustomed too, at least at this point in my life.

So all in all, this is by far the most crazy, unexpected to many, most important decisions I have ever made in my life and I never once questioned if it was the right thing to do! I don’t know why this was such an easy decision, I just know it was, but it didn’t come close to feeling like anything but a dream till right now, it will most definitely take some time to adjust , but I am looking forward to every day I have with her no matter where it is forever….

On The Plane to El Paso…………..An addendum to the story.

Ok so aside from the fact that it feels incredibly bizarre that I am on my way across the f’ing country to live in a desert, where incidentally one of my most inspirational artists in my life did the vast majority of her stunning work, there is something more about this that blows me away.

I am blown away by the love, inspiration, and encouragement from the person I love. Just 100% happy when we are together, and can’t think when we are not. In an effort to quell my spirit and fill my soul I am happy to be accepted and desired by the one I desire..completely and without preconceived ideas, without the desire to change and the with the desire to love unconditionally.


Today –   August 2nd 2011

Here I am, sitting in my office, listening to The Sundays, a great band and getting you all caught up with my art and my life, which are and should be synonymous to the artist. I have climbed mountains, spent 100 days without any rain, gotten poked by cactus’, rattled at by a rattle snake, fished in the Rio Grande, experienced a culture where I am a minority and don’t understand many of the population and met amazing people. To top it off, my woodburning has been only a small part of my life as I have painted and been taking thousands of photos. I just can not seem to illustrate to my liking, what it is like here to loved ones back home without a camera and so, my art has changed, at least for the time being.

This leads me to the next announcement,  we will be selling our photos here as well, look for the gallery of new photos to be available to browse soon.  It is a culmination of the many amazing things I have seen and done over the past four months.

In Temporary Conclusion

El Paso is a foreign land to a small town kid from Michigan, yes I am still a kid, believe me :)..It is like nothing I could ever expect, it inspires anger and irritation at times, but it also inspires joy and inspiration and I am blessed to be with someone who does and will encourage me to express my feelings no matter what they are in my art….Thanks for reading, I sincerely hope that you enjoy our photos.

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Happy Birthday Cezanne

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Often, I choose to talk about inspiration. I may be redundant, but if you look at art history throughout the ages, you can see and feel this in each and every master artist whom ever lived. For Georgia O’Keefe, one of my favorite artists, it was the desert and often skulls and flower studies, so nature was her muse, similar to how I feel.

Most of the most famous artists throughout history have been inspired by the same topics over and over. Non artists may not see the uniqueness of each, but if you truly study each artist style, you can be transported into the mind or at least the heart of the artist.

Thanks to Google I was made aware of another of my favorite artists having a birthday today. This article is in celebration of the skills, Cezanne one of the most spectacular and inspirational artists in history. 172 years ago, Cezanne was born and a chapter in art history began, quite literally.

In college, I spent many years studying the greatest art styles, artists and their mediums in an effort to understand more about art in general. If you have ever been an art student before you may understand how you begin to develop your favorites and begin picking and choosing which chapters you are going to truly read and which simply require a skim to pass the test.

For me, Cezanne was one of the artists that drew my eye and made me daydream while I flipped the pages of my art history book. In honor of all those days of daydreaming and inspiration, this is my ode to Cezanne, one of the most inspirational artists in history.

For more information on Paul Cezanne, check out this website

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Finding Your Inspiration

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hartwick-pinesWell, it has been a long time since I have written, and I will explain why. I am an artist and as such, everything in my life MUST BE INSPIRED!! I know, I have already written about inspiration, but what would life be without inspiration really? I firmly believe that life is nothing if it is not inspired. We can spend our whole life going through the motions of life, “living” life without truly living it and believing that it is enough. Then one day, inspiration hits and we realize that life has been nothing! Inspiration in life is life. Not just in art, but in our music, in our work, in our daily tasks, in our writing, in everything we do.

Until recently, I have had moments of inspiration, fleeting glances at what life could truly be if only I was really completely inspired in all aspects of my life not just some. Events have transpired that have opened my eyes to the true beauty of life as a whole. Not just parts of life, but all life. Everything becomes bigger, brighter and more beautiful. Art, not just creation, but truly inspired art is now my yearning. I find myself writing down ideas because I don’t want to forget them as they come pouring out of my head, free flowing, stunning, awe inspiring, amazing art.

This post represents my birth….no longer afraid to write again for fear of it paling in comparison to my last post, which was my last glimmer if true inspiration in my writing. I am truly inspired in my life. It shows in my ability to comprehend, my ability to learn, my ability to grow in all aspects of my life and my ability to accept the changes that have occurred in my life.

I have been told that I am cheesy and cliche, and yes, I am! That is who I am, I love life, I love love, I love art, music, writing, inspiration, creation, birth, the stars, the sun, the sky, growing and changing, I love it all. I feel blessed to be in this place in my life. I thank everyone who has been and is NOW with me as I continue my journey to true inspiration in my life.

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The Sound Of The Crickets and Trucks On The Highway

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kateDistant memories. I have often thought that the best invention in the world would be the invention which would capture your memories as you see them, like a built in brain video camera. Trying to describe what pops into your head at the slightest scent or sound, as it fills you entirely with memories of the past.

As I sit in the backyard, surrounded by houses, roads, street lights and a soft glow from my own house, the sound of the crickets and trucks on the highway is all I hear. I am not sure why the summer of my 34th year of life is bringing back these memories of a childhood long since past, but it is. I am immediately transported almost 30 years into the past, laying in my bed, a child, window open, nothing but farm around me and the sounds that I hear are crickets and trucks on the highway. The high pitched chirp of the crickets and the low drone of semis miles away from our home. The comfort I feel from my mom and dad and brothers sleeping peacefully, grandparents and aunt and uncle just 30 steps away, and the knowledge that all is perfect in the world. It is summer, no school tomorrow, no worries except whether to fish at the creek with Jon or go meet Jenny at the big tree, the happiest days of my life.

Though I am not complaining about my life today, richly fulfilled, wonderful friends a great career, my family still living, all my needs in life met, there is something to be said for the simplicity of life as a child. Days when time went by so slowly that it seemed that summer would never end, and I would certainly never grow up. Now as I sit here, 34 years old in my own home, one brother gone from this earth, all my grandparents long ago slipped out of this world and into the next, trials, tribulations, successes and failures, it is amazing to me that the sound of crickets an trucks on the highway can so easily take me back to those days long ago.

More than simply remembering, I feel I am literally transported to another time and place. It feels as if I concentrate hard enough, I am once again in my little green room, window open, the breeze on my face and the sound of crickets and trucks on the highway.

I know many others in the world have had the same experience in their life. That little something that all of a sudden, makes you forget who you are now, and takes you to a completely different place in your life. Memories are a gift from God given to us as humans to use throughout our lives. The ability for us to capture these moments in time and later recall them, simply by sound or scent years later, is a gift indeed.

I am sure I am not the only one who wishes that there was truly a way to allow others in our lives to feel what we are feeling when this happens. So as I sit outside listening to the sounds of long ago and a sense of peace overwhelms me, I only hope that you can appreciate a little more, the sound of crickets and trucks on the highway.

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The Beauty Of A Bog

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It has been a week or two since I went to the bog at Hartwick Pines State Park. To some familiar with the park, it is a well known destination, but to others an unknown. The fragility of this stunning and varied ecosystem has made it necessary to, in many cases have guided tours as opposed to self guiding.

Fortunately for the bog, not just anyone is willing to go on the hunt unless they have a purpose, for me personally, that mission is to go on the hunt for some of the most amazing and/or rare wildflowers in the State.

As a one time employee of Hartwick Pines State Park, where I was employed as a ranger, I have developed a passion for this incredible ecosystem despite the constant barrage of mosquitoes. Wildflowers specific to bog ecosystems are found throughout this bog and as with any ecosytem, are constantly changing. I have been going to this particular bog for over 10 years now, though admittedly, until this year, it had been a couple of years. The change in it were stunning. The eye is getting smaller, the grasses and sedges denser and the trees moving in. A bog is constantly changing, not at a rapid rate, but without human disturbance, times march will eventually change a bog into rich soils which will support an entirely different ecosystem.

Watching how the bog changes without the impact of non natives is a special experience indeed. I have not yet been disappointed with what I have seen and as I get older, find myself even more inspired by its stunning variety and beauty.

We are extremely lucky as this are is not yet invaded by non-native or invasive species and is, as a whole, a pristine ecosystem, still growing and blooming with the same flowers that have bloomed here for generations.

This year’s treks to the bog have also not disappointed. While talking about pitcher plants to a fellow artist, who happened to be painting one at the time, I mentioned the bog. It was the beginning of June and my immediate thought was ORCHIDS! Yes orchids. In fact, three species to be exact. Each protected, each stunning and each found in our very own bog. I headed right out after that in the hopes that I wasn’t too late.

Upon arrival at about 7 pm, I emerged from a dense canopy of black spruce, balsam fir, cedar and tamaracks into the light. Sun sinking in the horizon the vast sea of pink flowers blanketing the bog were highlighted by the orange-red of the sun’s weakening rays. I had indeed, not missed it. More orchids than I could ever remember virtually coated the mat, and the song of the white throated sparrow and the hermit thrush welcomed me back with open arms.

I sat for a while in quiet contemplation, reminiscing of times long past, times when class work and summer jobs were my only worries. After the mosquitoes attack snapped me out of my happy place, I took some pictures of the blooms. Round Leaved Sundew, Rose Pogonia, Grass Pink, Pitcher Plants, Marsh Cinquefoil, Horned-Bladderwort and Small Bog Cranberry were everywhere. Though most bog flowers tend to be pink or red, if you look closely, you can see yellows, and whites as well.

The number of flowers living in a bog is quite vast and very specific to the area, offering those in search of great subjects for photography, a perfect location. If you have never been to a bog, find one. Enjoy the beauty. Get down on the ground and really study the flowers, they are truly intricate and illustrate the beauty of nature.

I leave you with this….

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.

Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
– ~Anne Frank

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Heading To Iceland

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Ok, so I am not really going to Iceland, in fact, most people aren’t. Recent events have made travel in Europe near to impossible. The eruption of the Icelandic Volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, has me personally riveted. I can’t stop looking at the amazing pictures and information that is streaming across the internet.

While reading up on the most current information about the eruption, I stumbled across some of the most amazing pictures I have ever seen. I am attaching a link. If you enjoy stunning photography or are following the volcano action, you have to check this out!

More from Eyjafjallajokull

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Strolling In The Woods One Day

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Ok, so it wasn’t really a stroll, more of a drive, but beautiful none the less. Michigan astounds me every year with its diversity, both ecological as well as in the weather department. Two weeks ago it was 80 in April, now it’s been snowing, blustery and in the 30’s. Temperatures are beginning to stabilize with today’s being in the the low 50’s.

Taking advantage of the warm weather, a friend and I, grabbed the dog and hopped in the jeep in search of…..nothing in particular, but I did bring the camera. There is not really anything in my life that I enjoy more than the smells, sounds and feel of the woods on a warm sunny day. Waxing nostalgic, I set about snapping pictures.



The glorious white pine, the beautiful yellow birch, stunning white birch, all glistening in the sun. I can just feel my youth coming back, it happens every time.

This time of year, especially those exceptionally warm days, are a spectacular time to get out and explore natures bounty. Red and Sugar Maples flowering, animals scurrying about in search of newly exposed food sources, and a number of spring flowers and plants beginning to emerge.

Watch for the trilliums, morel mushrooms, arbutus, and many other species will be poking their heads up soon. Morels in fact are already being picked throughout Northern Michigan! Enjoy all that spring has to offer and explore Michigan’s beauty.

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