The longer I am here on Mother Earth, I see that Love is the only answer and reality there is. I grew up with anger, which is fear in disguise. I felt I had to be the warrior to succeed in life. I built an invisible suit of armor around me so no one could come near. How lonely that was, but I didn’t realize it. I was an observer in my life not a participant. As I grew up had my first love and heart break in High school; Flitted through relationships that were painful, separate. Men who were unavailable to me; I didn’t get the connection from the armor I built keeping my emotions hidden so I only attracted the same people who also had armor built around them. As I found my spiritual Mentor, Connie Jackson, who taught me the invaluable lessons of entering the silence; meditating to quiet the mind chatter; Connie help put me on a path to learning about myself and following my intuition to removing the armor that kept my heart captive. Through heart break, I learned to develop a stronger heart and could let others in. My animals, my 4-legged kids as I call them taught me to be present in my life, how to develop joy in the simple pleasures. How to be amazed by how different viewpoints that make up the world….When my first boy-cat, Oscar, my very poised tabby who was my sounding board and confident died at five years old from FIV, he gave me the gift of shedding tears to feel love in the pain of his leaving….When I met my black and white tuxedo cat, Cleo, she taught me about gentleness and surrender. She was so aggressive as a kitten, I had to learn to throw down the gauntlet and be with her, calm and centered and then she learned to be gentle….I love the word surrender. I can let my ego dissolve and allow the Grace of Spirit to come in. And when I am troubled by another person’s actions. I can take a deep breath, let go and come into the feeling of love. when I send love to another, our relationship becomes more harmonious. Try it. when you are struggling with something or someone, take time to breathe in and out….get to a quiet place in the mind and then start breathing love in to the heart center….the more you do this, you will start seeing the challenge in a different way, then send love….
Yes, I am happy to report that life is good. I do work that is a joy, not a job. I still have time to do my art, continue my studies towards my Practitioner License; I am singing every week and playing the keyboard at my church. I am enjoying life with David, my playmate and husband for 12 years, and our 4-legged kids. We live in a beautiful home in a quiet peaceful, harmonious neighborhood with many birds, and other critters. I see this presence of connectedness when I am outside in the garden. I feel I am living my magical life. Does that mean I am through learning my spiritual lessons? No I am just allowing myself to recognize that as I move through my lessons I clear up that space so more joyful opportunities come in. Do I ever react and want to resist and retreat? C’mon, I am human, that is usually my first response. The same response when I was a kid-however, now I can recognize this as a sign that it is time to do more work and feel the fear but go ahead and receive the gift behind the lesson. I meditate every day to keep My human self connected to my higher self or God-self. I receive so much guidance this way, I no longer have to consult my Oracle cards on a regular basis. Although I love looking at the beautiful images and read the meaningful words that inspire me. I only have to breathe in and relax. As I have gotten older, I feel more comfortable allowing my inner radiance to come out. In this photo, I am not wearing makeup and I didn’t fix my hair. Because whatever I am doing, however I show up, I am still me. And in this photo I an sending joy to you. What makes your life Joyful? Take a minute or more and think of one thing that brings a smile to your face and warmth in your heart? The more you focus on these things, the more that the Universe sends to you. How do you think Same Sex Marriages became a reality? More people are seeing their pets as their 4-legged kids? People that are my age or older are still doing things they love-Paul McCartney is still “Twisting and Shouting” to millions of enthusiastic fans, Stan Lee is still bringing Spiderman, The Avengers to life; Louise Hay still shines through with her inspirational words. Because We all focus on what brings us joy. What things do you want to focus on with Joy to bring forth more of the same?
I did a short interview with Bruce Hilvitz, who is a very talented cartoonist, who is in the process of getting a new comic strip syndicated and also captures your pet’s essence through his digital pet portraits. I wanted to do a follow up with more examples of his work. Here is Reggie J. Rabbit:
I really love the fine detail of this cat:
and someone’s Canine kid:
And here is the artist himself:
If you are interested in immortalizing your pet go to
Bruce asks that you send him a high resolution photo. Tell Bruce “Visions Alchemy sent me.”
I love the ease of creating a new ebook and putting it on the web. It can take very little mazoola to produce it. If I want to make hard copies of my book that can be a reality. Recently I had a reading with a good friend, Tana Newberry, at Angel Heart 4 You, in Bencia, CA who talks with Angels. And we are conversing with the Angels about the music project I am currently working on to raise funds and awareness for the Bat World Sanctuary. Things seem to be on track. The angels say everything is in place. My feedback is to keep meditating and ask for guidance If I start feeling fearful or overwhelmed. Then my friend, Tana (Newberry) asked me if I had thought about writing a book. I had been toying over that idea because we have so many great experiences living with our 4-legged kids, I have been wanting to share more stories about our family. We really have a unique family tree. Two humans, 3 cats, 1 rabbit, 7 house plants and various crystals and stones and we all co-habitate under one roof. Do I communicate with every-one in the house-Yes! We may be in different body types, but we seem to communicate to the degree we are able. Now I am not a botanist, but when It comes to my plants, I can feel their energy when they want water or healing energy. And when I am connected to them, I can feel a energy that I interpret as pure joy. I have a special Elestial crystal I named Angelica. She feels like a youngster and when I hold her I can sense a giggling kind of energy. She loves being with the plants on the mantel. Sometimes I will hold her and rock her. I can feel a presence in her. I read that Elestials are very good in healing childhood trauma. We also have a nice size Rose Quartz and crystal Quartz that I use in my healing circles. I use a lot of selenite for keeping the energy in the house balanced and peaceful. I meditate everyday and 2 to 3 times a week I do a major Angel Therapy meditation that clears and balances the house, our family and friends. Why do I want to write a book about our family? Because I want other people to know that families that have human and non-human kids have struggles, challenges, loss when a family member dies, but there are also so much joy, love, compassion, happy surprises that we encounter on a daily basis. I have been taking more photos of the 4-legged kids and shooting more video that will go in the book. I want other people to see how much joy a rabbit can feel when they are doing their daily thing of interacting with their family. Or a cat that developed his own hand signals to communicate with me. I also want to share the experiences when we had to say goodbye to some of our kids when they crossed “The Rainbow Bridge”. It was sad, but so many blessings came out of this too. One thing I can share now is that they communicated with our family after they left their bodies to let us know they are ok. So I am excited on this new project. I am still working on a title. But I am leaning towards “Our Family Tree”.
I love creating things. Changing the elements of one design into something new. I started painting with water colors when I was 43. I also went through a phase of working with Pastels, and colored pencils. But Watercolor painting with Watercolor pencils still is what I love working with. As an artist, I feel my art, my creative spirit is always evolving and changing. The reason I call my art Visions Alchemy is because I love to take greeting cards, old calendars, my own watercolor painting designs and recycle them and change them into something new. I seem to be moving more and more into 3D art. I admire what Paper engineers can do creating 3D designs by using a ruler, pens and scissors. I am creating more and more 3D art and seem to love making 3D cards that can be changed into a wall hanging. Recently, a friend gave me this really cute birthday card designed by English artist, David Parsons. His line of cards is called Kat-Stars. I loved the card so much that I wanted to turn the design into a wall hanging for my music studio. I guess you could also call my art – “reclycled art”. And if you saw my art studio, you would see many things that I have saved because I never know when I will need them.
I started the design by taking a photograph of the card and then resizing the design to fit an 8 x 10 cat food tray I decoupaged and turned it into a shadow box. The design was then redesigned to create the layers I was to use to make the new design. It is time consuming because I use Mod Podge on most of the layers of the sheets I use to make it more sturdy. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to finish the design, but I wanted to create a feeling of feminine energy and playfulness. I will show more of my designs in my next few posts. When I interviewed Bruce Hilvitz of Flatwurks, It was an artistic kick in the rear, it is time to re-focus on my art. And so it is!
I have written about our Warrior Bunny, Reggie. He is funny, mischievous a little pushy at times but we love his spirit. Almost a month ago, we had a scare. Reggie came down with something. He stopped eating, and started losing weight. He became lethargic. So we took him to his vet, Dr. Riddle. He got an injection of antibiotics and an additional 7 day supply of antibiotics to take home. It took almost 7 days before we saw that he was making a recovery but he is doing awesome now and from this experience he has become more affectionate and sweet. He will come up to me and ask me to pet him. if he is in his little hiding place under his chair and I need to see him, I call him and he comes out so I can pet him. This experience brought us closer together. I realized then I wanted to get a portrait done of him. I have never been able to paint or draw rabbits but when my husband’s Friend, Bruce Hilvitz, who is a very talented artist donated a pet portrait for the yearly Humane Society of the North Bay’s Barkitecture, I asked Bruce to make a portrait of Reggie. It was an easy process. We sent Bruce a hi-resolution photo of Reggie and he sent us back a digital file of Reggie within the week. It was really fast. He really captured Reggie’s essence. As I am looking at Reggie’s portrait, these questions about Bruce’s art started flooded in my mind. How did he develop his style? Does he believe he has to suffer for his art? So I decided to ask the artist himself. Here is a short interview I did with Bruce:
Did you take formal art classes?
Bruce: One month in art school was all I could muster. Back in those days, where I was, there wasn’t any respect for cartooning in art school. Although, I did grow up within an arts community, via my Mother, so way before High school, I had experience in virtually all disciplines of art.
What was the defining moment when you realized you wanted to pursue your art as a career?
Bruce: I can’t recall one, per se…I’ve always drawn, played with paints, clay, whatever was handy at the moment. I’ve always relied on visuals, be it art, toys, cars, buildings…anything that I enjoyed looking at.
How do you describe your art?
Bruce: My art and career has been based on comic art mostly. Something I’ve been drawn to my whole life (no pun intended). It can run the gamut since I’ve had to learn to wear many “hats” in order to make a living … comics don’t pay very well, and they are time consuming. Illustrations a bit better, general graphic design, hourly, is the best. Special projects, here and there are also nice when there’s that opportunity…like book design, and editing, limited edition print production.
What artists influenced you when you were developing your style?
Bruce: Early on I was weened on MAD Magazine, of course…guys like Basil Wolverton, Jack Davis, Wil Elder, Harvey Kurtzman. I had a very short lived love affair with super hero stuff…I appreciate that stuff more now, than I did then…but my true love came to light when I first laid eyes on a Robert Crumb comic, and it finally struck me with the thought that ANYTHING is possible. And so it is.
How would you describe the medium you work in?
Bruce: These days it all seems to be based on digital technology. I sometimes start with a regular ‘ol drawing that I scan then work out color or details in a vector based program, usually Flash or Illustrator. I don’t draw “on paper” as much as I really should, digital art doesn’t have the tactual satisfaction that paper does…no originals to really drool over. You can see who has “chops” when you see an original drawing on stiff white bristol board.
Do you agree you have to suffer for your art?
Bruce: No, but it helps. Truthfully it’s a tough profession, if you are not willing to sacrifice common things in life, then you better think of something else to do.
When did you decide to start doing pet portraits?
Bruce: I started this past holiday season…I live in a neighborhood with many, many dogs, I figured someone might be interested…just another “hat” to wear.
Do you have any animal companions?
Bruce: The best dog on earth…a reformed runaway name Aristotle. A black Pekingese, only an Anti-Pekingese…he doesn’t bark, maybe twice a year, if that…he does sneeze, and fart a lot though…I can’t blame him, he’s in the neighborhood of 14 (years).
Any advice for aspiring artists?
Bruce: Don’t do it!!! no…just learn, work hard, be honest with yourself… The best advice I try to follow, not sure who said it, in the lines of… “Do art as if your parents are dead.”
Can you expand on that philosophy- “Do art as if your parents are dead.”
My interpretation is ‘don’t be afraid of what other people think…just do it.’ Criticism, and especially self-criticism, is the death nell of art. Even though it’s hard to avoid, or listen to.
For anyone interested in having you create a portrait for their pets how can they contact you?
Bruce: Easy as going to my site…
I am in the beginning stages of starting a new website titled “joyful-Words.com” but I have yet to give the login info to my new assistant. So I will be making more references to my new website as time goes on. I start off with a true story. A story about love that transcends all space and time-our human space and time and spirit time and space. My husband, David, and myself had the opportunity and gift of seeing James in person in Modesto California. That was a miracle in itself, because Modesto did not seem to be open to hearing topics about spirit communication-in fact the lady who opened the event, said that she got some static from some people, however the power of Faith and love was so strong-it happened. It is perfect timing for James to come share his experiences not only about our loved ones on the other side but the teachings that our allies and guides want us to know. When it was time to start the lady who opened the program said that James would start off with a song to raise the energy and invite our loved ones in. I don’t think I was the only one who expected it to be a quiet, introspective song, but instead the music was this very riveting, energetic song that had a disco beat. It got us all cheering and clapping, then we see him running on the stage dancing with the music and invited us to stand and move with the music too. It was so much fun. It became a spirit party. James did mention that spirits are attracted to light hearted energy. I bet the collected energy of 2,000 people went out like a lighthouse beacon. He said that besides getting messages from our loved ones he wanted to share teachings about how spirit works with us and what we can do so we have a fulfilling life while we are here on the planet. First thing he wanted to share is that “there is no death”. We just go into a different form of energy. Right before we leave our bodies, there is a shut off valve, so we feel no pain. He shared a new twist on the word ego. He said “Ego stands for Edging God Out”. That makes so much sense. When our ego is running the show, the energy is dense and blocks the higher vibrations of our spiritual guidance. He also shared that we are spirits living in a human body. As he is explaining spirit communication 101, I felt an energy on my shoulders. It was a warm energy. Very familiar, I recognized the energy as my mom! She stayed with me until he started give readings to others. The readings he gave to other people were such a blessing for people in the audience who had been having feelings of distress from their loved ones passing. One lady, who’s husband passed from an airplane crash got a message that said he is doing great and his gift to her was admitting that spirit communication does exist and it is not “B— S—” as he used to call it. He has been trying to help her connect with a new love. I would say that was two gifts he was giving her. In the middle of the show, he led an exercise that helped us connect with a loved one. Part of the exercise was to imagine a green orb of light coming near us and then seeing one of our loved ones stepping out. My mother, Nellie, Father Ralph, and my brother Michael came to me. My parents said they were proud of me for doing my inner work and releasing the sadness that I felt over my childhood. I hugged both of them and said that I forgave them for what happened in my childhood because I now understand what happened and I know they did the best they could. I was happy to see my brother with them because there was a lot of guilt surrounding his death. When my mother was pregnant with Michael, my Father’s mother said she was putting a curse on my brother and that he would die young. Michael got Leukemia when he was 10 years old and died. I can imagine the guilt and anger my parents felt. They had no one to talk them through their grief. And we were not allowed to grieve either. My parents shut down and our childhood ended. So to talk with my parents and let them know that I love them and forgive them was very healing for all of us. That was a wonderful gift for me. I was able to share that with my brother, Gabriel, that was the name my brother Michael told my mom to give him. Another teaching-you can heal a relationship whether your loved ones are in a physical body or in spirit. That teaching gives me so much comfort. I hope this comforts you also.