Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cowboy Up! - and Five Gifts to Give Yourself

Cowboy Up
Oil on canvas, 6x6

I hope you had a lovely holiday, no matter what you celebrated. And if you don't celebrate anything, I hope you had a peaceful day at home, or at work. 

We had a nice Christmas,  though our Christmas dinner was delayed until Boxing Day, as we ran out of propane, in spite of being on automatic delivery. Oh, well. There are plenty of worse things than Chinese food for Christmas. 

In the spirit of the season, and with inspiration from Marc and Angel  and, yes, I admit it, tags from my Yogi tea, I've come up with a list of five things you can give yourself, now that Christmas is over. These are all free, and when you're in the right place, they're easy.

1. Believe in yourself. What you feel, what attracts you, what inspires you, this is all legitimate. If you're drawn to a person, an idea, a pursuit, go with it. If you can't make time for it, if doing it seems difficult or insurmountable, whatever it is is probably not for you. Do what you're good at, and what feels good.

2. Tell the truth - or as my mother would say, tell your truth. Whenever you can, no matter how scary it is, you're better off telling the truth - especially to yourself. If telling the truth is going to hurt someone else, and you don't want to do that, then stay silent. Do anything but lie. 

3. Forgive yourself. Whatever you did or didn't do, said or didn't say, promised or didn't promise, it was then. It was in the past. You can't change it. What matters is this moment. What you can change is this moment. What you can participate in is this moment. 

4. Forgive the other guy. Forgiveness is liberation. It frees you from the bad feelings. It keeps you from living in the past. Forgiveness lets your forget, or at least minimize anger, hate, bad feelings. And without them, believe me, today looks much better. 

5. Accept who you are and where you are in life. You are perfect. It might not seem so, from time to time, but you are. The things you think of as failures, they are learning experiences. They are growing pains. The things you think of as shortcomings, they are motivating opportunities. The things you don't like about yourself, someone else loves. So today, take this moment to accept yourself. 

What would you add to the list? What gifts are you giving yourself today? Please use the comments below, or drop me an email at


NOW THAT CHRISTMAS is over, I am turning my thoughts and energy to my upcoming California Calling Painting Extravaganza! 

There's still time to sponsor me, at any of four levels. Sponsoring me means you will get art by me, access to a sponsor-only blog/newsletter, postcards from the road and a chance to win any painting I make, or that you want commissioned. 

As I found with my Tubac and Back painting trip, sponsorships change the landscape for me. Not only do they help me defray my expenses up front, but they also mean that I paint for you. I'm not painting for random people who might come into my booth, but for people who trust me enough, believe enough in me, and like my work enough to pay for art before I even make it. It turns a fun trip into a magical one. 


Our former neighbor, Dulcie, who is 92, has moved from Wachapreague to her family's farm/compound up the road in Quinby. We went to visit her in her new place a couple days before Christmas, and found her cooking dinner for eight people. Here she is in the kitchen of her new place. On the wall behind her is one of the paintings from my Tubac trip. 

Dog of the Day

This is Big Mama, a cat we met at the vet when we took Sam in the other day. She had sunburn so badly that her ears had to be amputated. But she can still hear, and in that marvelous way of animals, she clearly doesn't feel sorry for herself. She strutted right up to us, demanding attention and petting.

Want your pet to be Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at

No comments: