Art Before Breakfast

0219_drawing-breakfast-624x434Today I heard an interview with author Danny Gregory that charmed and captivated me.

He has just published a book:

“Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways To Be More Creative, No Matter How Busy You are”

(I have no proprietary interest)

I know that many of you who subscribe and read this blog have an affinity for the arts.

I want to share this work with you,

particularly, as Self Expression and the Creative Process is dear to my heart.

I’ll quote a little from the author, and you can see for yourself the appeal.

(I hope)

“Be here.  Now.  Art stops time.  When you draw or paint what’s around you, you see it for what it is.  Instead of living in a virtual world, as we do most of the time these days, you will be present in the real one…tell your story.

Danny's Breakfast
Danny’s Breakfast

Life is just a long succession of small epiphanies.  You need to stop and seize them.  By making art, you will be recording what you are living through and what you are learning about it.  Your art will set a frame around it and give you perspective on what really maters…

Welcome to the world.  It’s not perfect, but beautiful. And the most beautiful things have character and experience built into them…We all live in chaos.  It’s the natural state of things…everything is always changing…turning into cosmic mush…Creativity is the act of shaping the mush of the world around us into something–of creating your own order.

There are always to0 many things to do, too many obligations and chores that take precedence over you.  Maybe you think to yourself, ‘Sure, I’d love to make art, but I don’t have the time to indulge myself right now, etc. etc.’  It’s the essence of life.  It’s what distinguishes us from the mush.  And it’s why our ancestors survived while other less adaptive critters perished.  They responded to change by being creative in some way, by inventing new answers to the chaos…art-before-breakfast-680x450

Creativity can become a habit that fits into your life, like Pilates or flossing, only a lot more fulfilling. You just need to shift your perspective on what it is to be creative…You just have to be you–and express what that means.

I plan to read his book and use it.

Anyone care to join me?

We could form the Vox Anima Breakfast Club.

Vox Anima,  SDM


Illustrations by Danny Gregory

Other Art Credit: Tumblr

just one more…

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatter - Georges Seurat

“A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grand Jatte “

Georges Seurat

…just one more image that reflects the transition into autumn.

Yesterday, was the best blend of cool and crisp; warm and sunny.

The feeling in this painting reflects perfectly the energy in my household yesterday afternoon.  Sigh.

My beloved enjoyed his last cigar of summer (outside).

I pampered myself (inside).

Windows, doors open to let the blithe air in.

Birds singing their seasonal song.images-275e02e3671bdbdd831e5af4408de3d03


(I suppose I am blogging in reverse)

Saturday in Ashland’s Lithia Park was bliss.


Pure Gold.

After all the smoke and fire of summer,

we are enjoying our first true rain today.

(can you tell that I am not a linear thinker?)


Liquid golden wishes to you, dear readers.

Vox Anima, SDM


Be A Noticer of the Good


Ran Wu
Ran Wu


A simple message on a soft summer Sunday.

I am currently reading about art as a practice of “seeing”.


school flyer copy


Seeing, as in, slowing down to, stopping and observing the common and the ordinary.

This practice is transformational, and the everyday becomes extraordinary by the quality of attention we give it…

And in today’s world, so much to attend to!

And so much that is in CRISIS.


“Living in a time of well documented crisis–

environmental, educational, social–

we are often numb and overwhelmed

by what’s wrong,

what’s ugly

what’s out of balance.

The healing we need as individuals and cultures

cannot come only from practical solutions and prescriptions,

but must come also from many visions of wholeness,

holiness, visions of beauty.”

~Ruth Gendler

In this vein:



As Vox Anima approaches her first birthday, more to come on Goodness and Beauty.

Blessings to All, SDM


P. S.  I have some inner mischief makers.










A Memory Museum

“The only history you can really know is your own.  The only art I am truly an expert on I’ve  experienced firsthand.  As a critic, I am partly research analyst, comparing and evaluating new data.

But I’m also a curator of my memory, which carries traces of art encounters from over the years.

A few of those encounters–with certain objects, books, buildings –have altered the atmosphere, changed how I see and joined a permanent collection that I regularly revisit.”

~ Holland Carter,  August 5, 2014, NY Times

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia


After just finishing “The Goldfinch”, by Donna Tartt, let’s just say I have been steeped in the idea of how deeply art affects an individual, and why.

NY Times
NY Times

Cotter’s article, in essence, asks the question:  What works of art have changed you?


This had me musing and remembering the first time I viewed a particular painting,

and “got it”.

It was the direct experience of this painting that kindled a fire of knowing

how art moves and matters.


Georgia O’Keeffe

de Young Museum  San Francisco



So, now I ask you, dear reader,

to share about what art experiences have shaped you?

Vox Anima, SDM

My Big Backyard

One can’t always be living down in the depths,

one has to ascend to the topside world once in a while!

Today’s post is about a place in my big backyard.

Ashland Oregon.

I live at the border of Far Northern California and Southern Oregon.

A mere 30 miles away to Ashland, and I am on a mini vacation.

The Ashland Chamber of Commerce certainly does not need my assistance in promoting their community.

However, Ashland has been, and always will be a Soul Place for me.

I began frequenting Ashland regularly in 1997.

The year of the big flood.

The year I met my beloved Sandplay therapist, Sue Haskell.

I became familiar with the many good things Ashland had to offer,

and I am quite sure it had something to do with my healing process.

Do any of you, dear readers, have such places?

Good food, good books, and beauty are all on my Soul’s menu of necessities.

Here are a few photos from last Saturday’s Sojourn…

Upstairs at Bloomsbury Books.IMG_3512



Keep an eye on the kiddos when you are in the cafe.

The following was quite a tempting recommendation to order a little something to go with my cappuccino.


Um, I think I’ll pass on the daily special.

IMG_3521Downstairs at Bloomsbury’s.  One could get a little lost–happily.

One of my rituals after seeing my beloved Sue,

was to bring home a loaf of bread for dinner.


The Village Baker

And, a stroll in a nearby neighborhood.


The Library with the statue that proclaims:  “Light the Way”.

And sweet artful businesses…



It was a good day.

Vox Anima, SDM

Photo Credit:  My Trusty iPhone 5SIMG_3535