Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Land + Sea Watercolors - Abstracts from My Travels Part 2

My round-the-world travels provide endless inspiration for all my creative works, including my art, whether collage, pastels or watercolors. I tend to gravitate to landscapes, especially parks, gardens and woodland, as well as coastal venues. And these pieces below reflect that sensibility.

The birth of plants, with all their colors, textures, and dynamic energy.

Creativity born from the pandemic.

In my world, the brilliant colors of the sun drip through verdant forests.

For me, inspiration springs from a very colorful blank slate.

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

World Chaos - My Collages

Unlike with my watercolors, when I’m working in collage, I prefer the surreal.
Though some of these were completed pre-pandemic, the symbolism feels particularly relevant now.

My surreal musings on the chaos of the world.

A balm for those weary of chaos.

My yin-yang of the state of the world: out of balance —the natural + the man-made.

More surreal musings on the chaos of the world.

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Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sky + Sea Watercolors - Abstracts from My Travels

Even my abstracts are nature based. Here the sun penetrates the sea.

I see marine life in curious ways: with all their myriad shapes and colorful splendor.

I see the world in all its delightful mix of colors, shapes, and textures.

Many times I take my inspiration from the forms I see in the sky and sea.

In my sky, even the clouds have brilliant hues

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Watercolors - Travels in Spain

These are some of my watercolors from my many travels in Spain.

While Ronda, one of Spain’s Pueblos Blancos (White Villages) has always been a tourist focal point, I found plenty of serenity by hiking down to the bottom of the narrow gorge that defines the city’s geography.

Another of my daydreams: a village in Spain as seen through a rain-streaked window. Though I always prefer sun streaming through glass, in Spain even dreary weather is atmospheric and fills me with wonder and optimism.

Another pastoral village in Spain that gives me joy and instills me with a sense of tranquility and calm.

I spent many summers in this petite, isolated hamlet that’s snuggled in a deep, verdant valley three hours north of Madrid. Being enveloped by nature as I was there is what I crave right now.

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Sunday, July 5, 2020

A Luxe, Activity-Laden Resort in Rhode Island

After months of sheltering at home, most people in the Northeast are craving a getaway that safe. Ideally — at least for me — that means staying at a resort with myriad outdoor activities where it’s easy to socially distance with your partner, family or by yourself; where you don’t have to forsake delectable cuisine and fine wines; where you can order a multi-course picnic served on your private deck overlooking a pond; where you can put your pandemic worries on hold as you luxuriate in a jacuzzi tub in your two-story contemporary villa. The 3,500-acre Preserve Sporting Club and Residences in Rhode Island is just a short drive from New York City. This is my latest for Forbes on The Preserve Sporting Club and Residences.

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Watercolors Part 3 - Landscapes

Until it’s safe to travel widely, I’m spending time painting. This is part 3 of my landscape watercolor series based on my domestic and international travels. Each image reflects a scene inspired by one or more of my journeys. (All of my paintings are available as prints.)

Sometimes forests have colors that only I can see.

For me, the sky and sea are one.

Even though the only forests I see now are in my dreams, they still snuggle me with comfort.

In my dreams, the colors of the sky, clouds, and trees can be unusual but no less beautiful and inspiring.

Entering each and every forest is a magical and transformative experience for me.

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Sunday, June 21, 2020

Watercolors Part 2 - Landscapes

With my round-the-world travels on pause for now, I’m finding great comfort in the myriad creative endeavors I’m involved with, and that includes my artistic pursuits. This is Part 2 of my watercolor series. Each image reflects a scene inspired by one or more of my journeys. (All of my paintings are available as prints.)

When I walk through forests, especially those that have existed for centuries, I feel a great sense of hope, peace, wonder and vitality.

The sun rising above natural landscapes gives me hope that the day holds promise and opportunities.

It seems like nowadays even the trees are now crying.

I never tire of the varieties of colors, shapes, sizes and textures in nature.

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Saturday, June 20, 2020

Watercolors: Trees, Trees and More Trees

I had always considered myself a city girl who adores the country - especially forest lands. But with the pandemic that has me trapped in a distant neighborhood of NYC with no access to woodland, I feel like my love of the urban environment has plummeted while my need for nature grows with each passing day. This is part one of a series of blog posts featuring my pastoral watercolors. (Prints are all available for purchase. Contact me for more information.) For those who are sheltering or in some sort of lockdown in these pandemic days, perhaps these scenes will satisfy your wanderlust or act as a much needed stress reducer.

Trees have always been one of my favorite subjects, whether in my photography or paintings. But, now, I’m missing forests and woodland more than anything else.

These scenes are all inspired by my round-the-world travels.

I’m longing for the day when I can again walk through dense forests dappled with sun

I never tire of trees. Each has a distinctive personality. And each radiates a sense of calm. If I could transport myself somewhere right now, it would definitely be a forest, specifically the woodlands along the Camino dos Faros in Galicia, Spain that I had hiked. This painting of mine (below) reminds me of those forests.

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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Items for the Home - Sensory Delights

In this time of the lockdown, it’s the little things that count, whether that means a frothy cup of cappuccino or a heavenly scented shower. Focusing in on and being mindful of the sights, sounds, tastes, textures and aromas of different items in your home can take you away from this world that’s in dissarray, even for a little bit. The four items below are ones I highly recommend for their sensory delights. 

PowerLix Milk Frother Pro — There are so many things many of us who have been living under lockdown for 2+ months miss, including a cup of espresso with frothy milk. (And that’s especially the case if you don’t live anywhere near a coffee shop, and you don’t have an espresso machine at home.) One way to get a similar taste and texture sensation is to brew your coffee using a moka pot and then then foam the milk — including non-dairy such as almond or soy — using the Powerlix Milk Frother Pro. This relatively inexpensive device looks very delicate but it foams almond milk to a cloud-like texture in just 30 seconds. 

Rituals - Energizing Shower Scrub, Sweet Orange and Cedar Wood — Why not bring a bit of a spa experience into your home? This shower scrub, which is made of almond and avocado oils along with essence of orange flowers and cedar can be part of your morning mindfulness routine in the bathroom. The sugar in the product makes for a light skin exfoliant while the fragrance of orange flowers and cedar offers an invigorating aroma to luxuriate in. 

L’Occitane - Citrus Verbena shampoo — With all the time sheltering at home, I find it’s important to be mindful of pleasant scents, something that can bring a hint of pleasure to an otherwise boring day. This shampoo is made with extracts of lemon, orange and grapefruit, citrus fruits that offer refreshing scents that are reminiscent of summer. The shampoo is gentle, leaving your hair clean but not damaged even when used daily. 

Ginger Lily Farms - Apple Pear Hand Soap — With all the hand washing that needs to be done in the era of the pandemic, I needed a hand soap that was not going to irritate or dry out my hands. During the first month of lockdown, my hands became so dry, the skin began to crack and bleed. Luckily I heard about this vegan liquid hand soap that’s made with fruit extracts. Curiously, despite all the hand washing, my skin never felt so soft and the fragrance is pleasant but light. It only comes in a one gallon but it’s worth it. No need to search for liquid hand soap for quite some time. 

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