Reiki's Call February 22, 2018 16:05

large goddess mountain reiki painting by Lea K. Tawd
"Mountaintop," 2018 by Lea K. Tawd. Acrylic and pencil on canvas, 18 x 36." $1296

For the past several years, for no reason that I can explain, I have been wanting to learn Reiki.  I really didn't know anything about it, but that didn't matter.  Then last October Luna Wellness had an open house/art opening for my work.  They were offering free 20 minute healing sessions so I took a look at the clipboards, found one that I thought was for massage, and signed up. 

When it was finally my turn near the end of the evening, I found out that I had "accidentally" signed up for Reiki!  Which I honestly would have anyway if I had known it was being offered.  My healer, Alisha, was amazing, and while the session was short it was so powerful for me.  There were a lot of tears and some intense revelations about what I was going through that I didn't even realize. 

I knew immediately that Yes, I did need to learn Reiki and as soon as I could.  Alisha was offering a class in January and I signed up.  Then I spent the time before class learning, what IS Reiki?  To simplify, it is spiritually guided energy that is used for healing.  As I anticipated class, I felt that Reiki was still working within me from that short session.  I started getting knowledge throughout my days that I hadn't had before.  My meditation sessions were more intense, with some incredible visualizations (including one that inspired the painting above). I even had a dream that was so powerful that it woke me up in the middle of the night, sobbing with the knowledge of how to heal a relationship that needed help. 

I took Reiki I in January and am planning to take the next level in March, and in the meantime I have been busy doing a lot of personal healing. 

What does this have to do with my art? My work has always been spiritual but I haven't known how to talk about it.  I haven't had a practice outside of the art-making itself to feed that spirituality and strengthen it.  Reiki is not religious in any way, but it is becoming a spiritual practice--along with meditation--for me.  It is helping me to grow my Self and my art.  I am looking for more direct ways to combine the two and will share the results when they come to me.  For now, just know that I want to keep making art and I want to help you in your own healing and I know the two can go together.  

Much love.


p.s. If you are interested in the painting listed above, please click on it or feel free to contact me at <3

10 Things to Do to Show Yourself More Love! February 13, 2018 14:43

Love Painting on wood by Lea K. Tawd

"I Love," 2018. 8 x 8" mixed media on wood by Lea K. Tawd

Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and whether you love the holiday or hate it, have a sweetie or not, YOU can always use more love.  Can't you?  

Self love is tricky for so many of us.  It's something I've always struggled with, and the internal work that I do to get there is a big part of what my art is all about.  I still struggle on a lot of days, but it is getting easier!  These are some of the things I do (and want to do, and need to get back to doing...) to give myself some love:

1. Meditate.  Wait!  Before I lose you, let me tell you that as of last summer, with a 3 year old and a 17 year old and a business and, and, and... I had NO time for myself at all.  Then I was on an art business retreat with Alyson Stanfield and she asked me, "What do you do for self care?"  Umm... She suggested I get a meditation app and start with 5 minutes a day.  Now every night I put my little one to bed at 8:00 and spend 10-20 minutes meditating.  But I started with just 5 minutes a day (and the Insight Timer app--I love it!). It has helped me a ton with anxiety, overwhelmed-ness, sleeping better, feeling more creative, and seeking out other ways to find little bits of time for myself.  Totally worth a try.

2. Sign up for a fun class that you've been wanting to take!  Especially if you're a mom who can't seem to get a day away, this is a great excuse to take a few hours or a day just for you.

3. Start a gratitude journal.  Every night before bed I write down 3 things I'm grateful for.  This has helped me change my perspective throughout the day and notice all of the little things.

4. Take yourself on a date.  Even if you do have a sweetie, sometimes you need time on your own.  If you hate dining alone, pick something where you won't be so conspicuous, like going to the art museum, window shopping in your favorite section of town, or walking through the park. 

5. Move your body.  I don't mean run, unless you really want to...  Give yourself the gift of finding a way to move that you really love.  Dancing, hula hooping, a slow walk through nature, yoga, who knows?  I always hated exercise until I discovered some things that were really fun.

6. Delete game apps or other time-suckers from your phone.  Know where I found the 5 minutes to meditate?  Right here!  I realized that the silly games I was playing were just to clear my brain after a long day, and I spent so much more time on them than I wanted to.  It felt good to get rid of them!

7. Do you have a list of things that you want to do or learn but are always putting off?  Write it down, pick one, and do it!  

8. Hating on your body?  Take a good look in the mirror.  Name the part that you like the least, and think of all of the amazing things it does for you.  For me, it's my belly, all stretched and lumpy from having kids and carrying a lot of extra weight.  Hey belly!  Thank you for carrying two children for me! Thank you for supporting my back the best you can.  Thank you for holding my digestive organs together.  You get the idea. 

9. Have a dance party.  I know, this could go under #5, but for me it's different.  Turning the music up and dancing alone is how I get ready to paint every day, and doing the same with my kids is a great way to let loose and be silly.

10. Write yourself a love letter.  Write it to your younger self.  What would you tell her if you could, knowing what you know now?  Forgive her for her mistakes and tell her how much she is loved.  


Do you have more ideas?  I would love to hear about them!

P.S. If you are interested in the painting at the top of this post, go check out the LOVE Show at the Ford Gallery in Portland.  If you're not in town just send me an email ( and we can work something out <3

Vision Boards That Truly Inspire January 18, 2018 18:28

Vision Board

Have you been wanting to create a vision board but aren't sure where to start?  Or maybe you like the idea of making one, but the idea of just pasting magazine scraps to cardboard doesn't really inspire you?

On February 10th, I am offering a vision board workshop along with Artist/Intuitive Healer Lauren Reiner of  Together, we will guide you through several modalities--meditation, movement, journaling, intuitive collage and artistic embellishment--to create a vision board that is not just a collage but a piece of art to get you focused and inspired for a long time to come.

You do not need to be an artist or have any kind of artistic experience to join us!  Although artists are always welcome, too :)  We'll provide some light refreshments and all of the supplies you need.  Sign up and get more information HERE!


For your Sweetie January 10, 2018 18:18

Portraits and Murals by Lea K. Tawd

What are you getting your sweetie for Valentine's Day this year?  What about for yourself?  Get your self, your sweetie, or both of you in one of my paintings.  This is a truly unique and thoughtful present that you won't be able to find anywhere else. I can work in a range of sizes to fit your space and your budget.

I only have time to complete 2-3 portraits on time for the holiday, though, so contact me at right away if you're interested! 

Custom art couple in a boat by Lea K. Tawd

Not for Sale, a custom portrait of my husband and myself

We could even do something really special, like this painting that I did of my husband and myself.  It is painted on a piece of wood that he used to mold the canoe that he built.  Our heads are books so we can write little love notes to each other that become a part of the art over the years. I would love to get really creative with you!

2017 Year in Review January 03, 2018 18:14

Powerful goddess painting by Lea K. Tawd
"Breakthrough," 18 x 36" acrylic and pencil on canvas by Lea K. Tawd

2017 was an intense year, there's no getting around it.  The politics alone, plus several natural disasters that affected members of my family and friend circle were enough to cause some crippling anxiety.  Toddler transitions and teenager transitions abounded.  We were super lucky to have been home--and awake--when our house nearly caught on fire from an electrical issue, so were able to catch it before any real damage was done.

But not everything was bad!  I got to participate in the Women's March with a great group of mom-friends and our kids, an experience that super-charged me with a lot of great energy.  I had an amazing spiritual experience near the end of the year that inspired me to learn some new skills and intensify my art work (more on that in a future post!).  And in between I made several new friends, had the chance to get closer to some old ones, started a meditation practice, and made lots of art.

My year in art was especially exciting.  I had more commissions and sales of original paintings than ever before. I spent the year selling my work at Artistic Portland, where I met a lot of new friends and great connections before I had to make the difficult decision to leave at the end of the year.  Difficult but good--my time is very constrained and I realized that a co-op gallery isn't the right fit for me when I can't put the hours in that I need to.  

I was lucky enough to be able to participate in Alyson Stanfield's Big Table Art Retreat, where I really focused on some business goals and met more new friends!  I pushed my knowledge of mixed media with my series of Painting in the Solstice 6 x 6" paintings (and sold all but 2 of them!).  Finally, I can say that I made some of my best work to date with "Breakthrough," "Whisper," and "Storyteller."  

All of this adds up to being able to offer more of myself to all of you!  I am really excited for the upcoming year.  I will have more stories to tell you, art work to share with you, and classes to offer you.

Thank YOU for supporting me and my art in whatever way you do.  <3

Happy New Year!

Solstice Art Challenge! June 20, 2017 17:42

studio drawing table with canvases being prepared
Where most of the work happens--my studio drawing table

Extended art-every-day projects are difficult for me at this time in my life, but I would like to give myself a little Solstice push through the end of the month. So every day for the next 10 days, I'll be creating a new 6 x 6" painting!  When it's done, I'll post it on Instagram for you to purchase for only $50.  If you're not already following me, I am LeaKArts.  

May your Summer be full of Art!

Generations - Mother, Maiden, Crone May 23, 2017 12:14

Mother Maiden Crone Moon Painting by Lea K Tawd
"Generations (Mother, Maiden, Crone), 12 x 12" mixed media on wood by Lea K. Tawd

We hear stories of artists, especially sculptors, looking into their raw material and seeing what it wants to become.  My painting process is also very intuitive. My first step is always painting the wood grain so that it will stand out.  This is a meditative time for me, during which I begin to feel out the image that wants to exist on the wood.  After the wood grain is prepared, I often add collage elements, and then draw out the picture.  After drawing, I add more collage, paint, ink, stamping, and whatever else the piece calls for.  

This painting, however, was calling to me before I even touched it.  The wood grain was shaped in such a way that I could already see these women standing before each other.  Each of their bodies is actually a shape in the grain, just the way it was before I added the smallest drop of paint.  These are generations of women standing before each other in Time.  Grandmother, mother, daughter; daughters all.  They are also the archetypal Women, the Mother, Maiden, and Crone, standing in their feminine power and wisdom before the crescent moon, with a starry compass to guide them.

If this piece is calling to you as loudly as it called to me, you can take a closer look and purchase it HERE.

Custom Portraits February 24, 2017 13:09

I wrote this piece for the Artistic Portland blog, but wanted to share it with you here as well:  


Have you ever considered buying a custom portrait but felt nervous about the price or the process?  I would like to share my process with you so that you can see how fun it is, and worth the cost for a personal piece of art for your home or as a memorable gift. 


family portrait by Lea K. Tawd

"Rita, Chris, and Rory" 10 x 10" by Lea K. Tawd

The most important thing you can do before you get started is shop around and find an artist whose work really resonates with you. As a portrait artist, the first thing I want to do is make sure that you are in love with my artistic style so that you will be in love with your painting!  I have lots of artistic skills and capabilities, but what is fulfilling for me about painting portraits is that I get to put YOU in one of MY paintings!  My style is whimsical and feminine, and my people are very stylized.  If you are looking for a realistic portrait, there's nothing wrong with that, but I am not the artist for you.  

The next thing you'll want to look into is the price.  My prices start by the square inch, so I can send a price list at your request.  This will help you choose a size that fits your home and your budget.  We will both sign a very simple contract to agree on any special requests and a date that I will need to finish by, and I'll ask for 1/2 of the price up front. 


Portrait Process - laying out the composition
Then we are ready to get started!  I'll send you a photo whenever I get to a "point of no return"--a part of the painting that can't be changed once I move to the next step.  I'll start with a simple composition in charcoal, which can be wiped away easily. 


Portrait Process - sketching out details
Then, working from photos that you have sent to me, I will fill in the details so that the subjects will resemble themselves.  I am not trying for realism, but I do want to capture their basic features and a "feeling" of the person I am painting.


Portrait Process -beginning painting
Next I'll start to add some color.  I'll go back and reference your photos throughout the process, and each time I send you a photo I will wait for your approval before I move on.


portrait process - getting all of the color down
I prefer to paint my subjects with their eyes closed.  When it is just one person, it gives them a sense of introspection and a moment of quiet.  When it is a group of people, it shows them really feeling the intimacy of the moment, enjoying each other's presence. 



Mother and babies New Mom portrait  by Lea K. Tawd
"Julia, Fiona, and Natalia," 2016. 11 x 14" By Lea K. Tawd
A few final details, and it's finished!  I'll send you a final photo to approve, sign the back and add a wire so that you can hang it as soon as it arrives.  My paintings are on a solid wood panel, with a 1.5" thick cradle on the back, so there is no need for a frame. 


The time it takes from start to finish depends on several things--my schedule, the time of the year, whether or not you have a deadline, and the size and scope of the project.  We'll talk about all of that when we get started and I will keep you updated if anything changes.  
Many of these steps will be similar with any custom work that I or another artist does for you.  I hope that seeing them laid out this way helps you to feel more comfortable with the possibility of purchasing custom art for your home!  I am always open to answering questions, and will gladly send a price list without any pressure to buy.  Just email me at