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Spring! March 20, 2018 18:30

"Blush," mixed media on wood. 8 x 8" $130

Here in the U.S. Spring starts a quarter of the way into the New Year, but in many other places Spring itself marks the New Year.  This makes so much more sense to me--a time when the light comes out of hiding, flowers bloom, and we plant seeds for harvest later in the year.  It is a time for beginnings regardless of where you live or what traditions you celebrate.  Here are some of the things I'm starting/in the middle of/thinking about today as the Vernal Equinox begins. 

Spring cleaning may seem like a cliche, but it has consumed me these past few weeks!  I have been going through every nook and cranny of my studio and my house and Clearing It Out.  So far I have recycled, donated, given away, sold, and burned a small mountain of stuff, and I am not quite finished yet.  It feels so good to let go of old things that aren't serving me anymore. It opens up space for the new, physically and energetically. 

Being outdoors.  As the light has been changing we have been spending more time in our back yard in the early evening and the days feel so much longer! I don't just mean the light, but it feels like we are actually doing more, experiencing more, each day.  Today I am planning on taking my daughter to the park after school so we can enjoy a bit of nature in celebration of the new season.

A new, improved me. Self care has taken center stage for me the past few months as I've made changes throughout my life.  To continue on my journey and to celebrate the Equinox and my happier self, I am ramping it up by adding a yoga routine, walking outdoors, and signing up for some sessions and classes that will help me along (think, massages and another Reiki attunement!).  

I hope that you are excited about the new season, too!  I'd love to hear about any rituals you have for the day, or anything else that Spring inspires in you. 

 


Awkward Studio Tour! March 15, 2018 14:26

 

If you follow me on Instagram (@LeaKArts), then you may remember that last week I promised to give you a studio tour! Well, here it is.  This is my first time on camera in a long time, so there are definitely some awkward moments (how do I end this thing??), and some odd camera angles, but I make no apologies! I decided not to edit it--this is me, this is my studio.  Take a few minutes and look around!

I am thinking of doing a few more of these with a closer look into different parts of the studio--let me know if that sounds like something you'd be interested in, and which parts you want to see more of.

 


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 LeaK@LeaKArts.com <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 (leak@leakarts.com) 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 weedsandwonder.com.  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 leak@leakarts.com 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!