Tag Archives: friends

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Sun + Earth Day Miracles

Earth Day Sun Crystals

Earth Day 2012 dawned bright, sunny cold – 24 F and frosty. As I got in the car, dressed in winter garb, the sun hit the windshield and I couldn’t resist marvelling at the beauty of the sun co-creating with water crystals. Once the sun hit the window fully, they vanished almost instantly, and not before I was able to catch them with 6 quick shots… Pine trees and ice crystals, lit by the sun at dawn took my breath away.
My plan was to go into the woods and to the beach, to celebrate Earth Day, to capture the beauty of the little piece of earth I dwell in – my “material” world. That goal became immaterial… and was still realized.

Later in the day, as I was returning from the beach, (where of course agates appeared at my feet, as they seem to miraculously and often) a doe and yearling approached me… from the shadows of the trees. I spoke with them awhile, coaxing them closer… The older doe stayed in the shadows, cautious, yet the yearling came out into the sun, curious, interested, long enough for one full body shot… deer on the move. I crossed paths with seven deer this day, they have returned to the north woods after wintering south. The yearlings will soon be run off by the does, when they are ready to birth new fawns.

Yearling in the Sun

Yearling in the Sun

Yes, I talk to the animals in the woods. Yes, miracles happen frequently. Deer – I saw many deer on Earth Day. They are a symbol of gentleness and fit my current life theme… being gentle, with myself, others and planet earth.
Kindness, gentleness go a long way. Part of that kindness to myself has been to live life offline less and in the material world more. Less pushing to blog, more being quiet, learning, teaching, loving. Spending time with people, new friends and old.

For me right now, less of some things is more and all is well. It is pleasing me greatly to only open e-mail every few days… to be creating, building, choosing gently, and mostly, allowing… allowing miracles, allowing clarity and joy.
Namaste ~ Star Bear

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Win My Heart! and the Winners are…

The original 22 hearts...

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest, read through my blog and waited patiently for the results and answers!

First to answer Question # 1 correctly was Paula with her answer of 9, which meant surfing my entire blog and counting the # of posts with heart images! Paula – Congratulations for your Perseverance!
Q 1 was “How many of my posts include heart images? Not hearts, posts.”

AND
Congratulations to Wendy Fedan for being the first to correctly answer Q 2: “How large did the the first Big Stone Heart measure?” Over 6 feet x 6 feet.

AND
Congratulations to Crowing Crone Joss for her very close guess of 658 stones in answer to Q 3, “Guess the total number of stones in the 22 hearts in the photo.”
The total # of stones in the 22 hearts is 720.

Please provide your mailing address by writing it in a comment, so I can get your prize mailed out to you! (Comments here are moderated and only I will see it, it will NOT be posted).

To everyone else who entered an answer or made a comment, Thank You!

In Sunday’s post I said “see you tomorrow” – and this is a day late. It seems I am very human and my body is reminding me of it. While out and about enjoying the sunshine, I took a very bad fall and landed on my backside ~ hard and creating a brief NoCZ. Taking care of myself included not sitting at the computer for the remainder of the day. So once again, I am sorry for the delay… and I am fine this morning… (Apple cider vinegar and Vitamin C didn’t help with this! LOL!)

Just for fun ~ the small green heart, which I call “Evergreen,” consists of a total 20 stones and contains 2 other heart stones, visible in this close up.

Evergreen


This image also gives you a pretty good idea of the actual sizes of the hearts. The small ones, like this, are 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ I will be writing about each heart over the coming weeks, as the heart series continues to unfold… slowly.

May all of your hearts be filled with love and joy!
Namaste ~ StarBear
Copyright 2012 Betsy Lewis

Valentine’s Day Win My Heart Contest! The Sunshine Heart……

“Yes,”she said. Then “Good Grief…OMG!”
Today, as I was looking over the entries to the “Win My Heart Contest”, I re-read the original contest post and found the ONE BIG MISTAKE! Yikes! I’m not perfect! I am human! (Hurray!)
The mistake is here. Click on the word here (underlined) or just read this paragraph from that page:
What’s the prize?
A set of 4 Heart blank note cards – a $15.00 value – using images from the series of heart stones. Entries must be posted in comments by Thursday, February 16th, 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. Winners will be announced and correct answers provided on Monday, February 19th. Good Luck and have fun!

OOOOOPS! Today is Sunday, February 19th. It was supposed to say “The winners will be announced on Monday, February 20th!”
What to do? Stick with the plan… The winners will be announced here on Monday, February 20th. Hmmmm…. over 400 people read my blog since Tuesday… and no one mentioned the mistake or questioned the dates… I guess I am not the only proofreader who is human and misses things.

Isn’t it nice to be human? My sincere apologies to anyone who came here today looking for the contest results. I know you are sitting on pins and needles waiting to find out the answers to the questions and who the lucky prizewinners are. One more day, thank you for entering and your patience.
My plans for the day include enjoying the Sunshine. For now, here is the yellow sunshine heart from the series… it’s an imperfect quickie, showing what can be done with a happy heart, a light-hearted approach, with a little help from my winged friends… Some days my heart just glows and grows wings.

A Sunshine Heart Glows Light GrowsWings

Imperfect yes, and sometimes we just keep flying… playing in the light. (Photo note: This photo is not re-touched or altered in any way. Thus – a bit askew…)
See you tomorrow! May your day be filled with Light and your heart take wing, too!
Namaste ~ StarBear
copyright 2012 Betsy Lewis

Post-a-day 2011 ~ Teaching Learning and New Art

I make art. I write. I teach. Most of all, I learn. I am surrounded by beauty and beautiful people. OMG I am blessed!

Teaching~writing~creating.
I notice small things. I make big things out of small things.

About the joy of teaching:
“My” students are learning and excited about what they are learning. They are producing beautiful drawings and paintings. They are bringing them to class and sharing. They are motivated and doing more outside of class. They come into class and share AHA! moments that happened for them during the week. They are having fun with art and sharing with their kids and grandkids! They are seeing trees, colors, faces, shapes, light, contrast, textures, balance, the moon and the world in new ways!

Adults, they came into class thinking they “couldn’t” draw. They wanted to learn to draw. Oh! Did I already say how excited they are?… excited about learning and I am excited about how much they are learning and seeing. I teach from a fundamental principle of 90% of learning to draw, or paint, or make art is learning to see… then learning how materials work in the physical world, how our optical nerves register information and eye-hand motor skills. We practice. Then we practice some more – like riding a bicycle, practicing until AHA, we find our balance!
We look at art and what has been done before and why. We talk about art history, artists, why art, what’s art and what’s Art and who decides or decided. I ask a lot of questions, they think, then answer thoughtfully, listening to each other. I actually don’t “teach” much, I allow them to teach each other and me… shh! Don’t tell them. LOL! I’ve just learned to ask questions… and love seeing them think, watch eyes pop open and “get” their own answers, discovering, uncovering what they already know…

We are having fun, laughing a lot and are noisy and silly in the Library. Shhh! (Our Library is an exciting place to be!)

Teaching inspires me… opens my brain to new ideas and ways of looking at the world, people, my own work, what I know, what I have learned from GREAT teachers and friends and students.

About making art…
I first learned to see by looking, to draw by drawing, by daily practice… and now I make environmental art, noticing the small, putting many small things together, noticing shapes and colors and patterns in my messy studios. My students have inspired me once again… Less computer time and more studio time, working with my hands and physical materials.

As I tell these students, I once learned to draw like Michaelangelo, and he already did that and is dead! Revered, admired, copied ~ he did what he did so beautifully. The ability to draw is in each of us if we can write our name or make marks on paper or walls.

So, now I paint and draw with stone from a natural palette calling attention to small things. I paint with light, photographing nature and stones. For me, making art is an amazing balance between light and dark, heavy and weightless, lifted by laughter & joy and built on a solid foundation of ancient wisdom, observation, and yes, feeling. It is a dance requiring access to both sides of the brain simultaneously. Even that requires practice.. daily doses of right and left brained activity.

The color filled display of fall has fallen, leaves are on the ground, returning to nurture the earth through winter ‘til spring. The seasons flow and I will go to ground, as well, in a sense. Working with my hands and eyes and in my studios. I LOVE creating OMG responses, in myself and others.

This video says it so well: OMG moments from Louie Schwartzberg – Gratitude (shared by Cheryl Richardson)

Here is a tiny peek at my winter series in stone – many, many works in progress… this is part of one.

Bloomin' stone

May your day be filled with creative living and dancing with the right side of your brain! Life is not set in stone, just some of my art work. 🙂

Namaste ~ StarBear

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall Gold

Golden Sky, Golden Sparks on Ancient Stones

Ten straight days of sunshine and warm temperatures, unusual for October here, brought the most amazing color to the woods this fall. A friend laughed the other day as he said, “I think my eyes may have improved, the color seems more brilliant and is everywhere this year!”
For me, this has created a wonderful dilemma: viewing and editing 150 images a day and what to share online, what to keep for the books I am working on? On Sunday, I went to Lake Superior, a favorite beach, at dawn. This is my personal church service, to thank Creator for all of the incredible gifts this year. I am grateful for the gift of light, of eyes to see, for the spectacular colors and changes of seasons and life.
I am also grateful for the gifts of my way of seeing and for the cameras which allow me to capture and share. I am grateful to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for their willingness to dare and create what allows me and us to share this beauty. I am grateful for their willingness to try include everyone in their sharing. Because of their daring, we are capable of sharing globally. We can choose to share problems and we can share beauty. We can ask questions and perhaps find answers to global issues. As people Occupy Wall Street, I occupy the woods, the beach, in awe, gratitude and wonder.

I went to the beach in gratitude and returned home with one splendid agate, 150 photographs of nature’s splendor, and unlimited reverence for nature and the rhythms of life.

Golden Ripples, Golden Daze

Tide Pool Prism


Food for the soul, may you enjoy the feast of these simple images.

Namaste ~ StarBear

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall continued…

For all of you who do not get to see this every day…
a few more views from roads travelled. The fall color just keeps becoming more brilliant? Raucous? Audacious? Spectacular? Gorgeous? Beautiful? Splendiforous?
Sometimes there are no words.
A friend of mine once coined the word “Brazilliant” to name one my images he owns. It was such a fun and discriptive word, I use it for the title.
What do you call the amazing arrays and displays of color in the fall? Nature’s palette is so palatable and yet so brief in its display. I am so lucky to witness this each year and it’s never the same and always thrilling. Enjoy!

Reflected Glow


Lake Anne Louise, near a tiny place named Blaney Park always offers spectacular views across the lake. Lined with mix of hardwoods and conifers it creates a perfect complementary color scheme. (I happen to be teaching color theory currently – can you tell? LOL!)

Hardwoods and conifers line the shore demanding attention...

I know the photo challenge this week has changed to “sunsets”, and I’m choosing to stay with Fall for now, so more fall is forthcoming to be celebrated while it lasts! I think it’s called “Making hay while the sun shines.” The sunsets will be fabulous this week as well – no rain predicted for 10 days, so also no storms to take the leaves away.

More soon!

Megwitch ~ Starbear

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall

Fall ~ So fall this Fall so far is mostly RED!
Oh! Poor me. Life is so hard! LOL!

This fall is RED... 20 miles of walls of color...


I am forced to drive each day this road to work within these leafy walls
lined with red of every tint shade hue…
dark and light and wine and glowing reds
ablaze against green against skies of gray and blue.
The road glows without sunshine and where is yellow?
Hiding, peaking, sneaking, teasing between other brilliant views.

How glad the woods, they be not shy
shouting color to the sky…
“Look at us” they call, demand.
“It is FALL and we are leaving!”

Envy not this place in which I roam
travelling to work, then returning home
within and through these walls of color.
Poor me! Forced to endure this beauty for hours on end
over hills, around a bend…
a brief time this willing prisoner will remain
within these walls of color to exclaim
in awe and gratitude and joy.

Megwitch ~ Starbear

Celebrating Life ~ Sharing Joy

The day was September 18th, a Sunday evening, after time making new friends, re-meeting neighbors and friends, attending a 2-day event, sharing a meal with friends, simple pleasures in life. All of that on the heels of a visit from my favorite (and only) son, and numerous other wonderful house guests over recent weeks, working at  a job I love… and visitors to my studios…

Joy stick... in the studio

Sometimes there is more Joy in my life than I can contain and sometimes I just cannot contain myself. Sometimes it just bursts out in song, or dance or making something.
This day, and after the past 3 weeks, it was just too much to contain… so I gave it to the Lake, the Wind, the Sky. The Wind, the Sky, the Lake, the Light, and the camera all conspired to support sharing my Joy.

Joy~filled Light

Sometimes words don’t work for me. Making things works for me ~ so I offer you Joy and Gratitude for the simple joys in life.

Joyful Breeze

Namaste ~ Starbear

Remembering 9/11 and Happy Brains

2,987 (?) lives lost, families devastated, rescuers injured – “collateral damage”.
10 years later, how many more lives lost in wars and global conflict, in revenge? Over what? Water, oil, money, who has the bigger stick? The links below are what I wrote then. I still believe there are better solutions, more creative and life supporting solutions. In honor of the lives lost on 9/11, I ask this question – Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results?
“When will they ever learn?” from “Where have all the flowers gone?” sung here by Pete Seeger.
The good news – 400 trees planted at ground zero and a peaceful park plaza on many acres in NYC.

In the face of adversity, I choose joy. This weekend I am attending a Tele-conference called Choosing Joy , hosted by Cathleen Harvey Spacil, and created for people with brain injuries and mental illness. Brain Be Happy  is about finding joy in every situation and the choices we make. In my humble opinion, those judged mentally ill, brain damaged, may have better, more creative, healthier solutions than politicians. There is even helpful information for veterans and soldiers who have suffered brain trauma available on her site.

Where have all the flowers gone? – Cathleen is a flower blooming brilliantly in her life, my life and on the internet.
Yes, my brain is happy – and it makes these energy connections, leaps between the concept that if we are each at peace in our lives and hearts, there would be less global conflict. There would be more time and money and happy people available for finding creative solutions to caring for the earth and the wonderful people on it. More freedom to express kindness, compassion, love, with simple, elegant solutions.

These are the links from my “blog” 10 years ago.
Mourning Poem
Deepak Chopra  – Thoughts on Peace
My Personal Experience  –  A Quiet Voice
There are other links on these pages , as well.

Things are changing, some minds are changing. There are quiet, joyful voices singing in harmony. Peace to you this day, may your heart be filled with peace – and joy.

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Post-a-bit! Post-a-day 2011 ~ Time Matters

Taking a month long hiatus, cutting down on computer time in order to be with people in my life. My old computer is being renewed soon, updated to provide faster, better access, more memory. This is thanks to my wonderful offspring. House guests started descending in mid-August, a very special gift out here in the boonies… and while torn about blogging vs. not, I intend to enjoy each and every visitor to the max.

Ahh!  Fresh Air, Quietude, Blueberry Snacks, Wildlife - Char's on vacation!

NTC - on a ridge overlooking Lake Superior ~ Ahh! Fresh Air, Quietude, Blueberry Snacks, Wildlife - Char on vacation!

Last week, it was my friend Charlotte visiting, and I was delighted to be able to share a day hike on the North Country Trail with her. This week, my favorite (and only) son is here. At the same time, I have to work at my day job, produce artwork for an upcoming sale and prep for fall classes. A single blog post can take 3-4 hours with my limited access and slow computer (and sometimes perfectionism), so from now until September 21st I shall continue be more hit and miss than usual. Still taking lots of images, and thinking of my devoted readers.
Playing on the trail, taking time to smell the pines, taking leaps of Faith and growing… time to live more offline, for now. It is simply a matter of time… and loving the company I keep. Finding balance, yet again. I turned 66 on August 17th, and realized that with only 33 more years to live, it is a matter of time! 🙂 Time Matters!

Living on the Edge and Taking Leaps of Faith - Yes!

May your days be filled with leaps of faith, miracles, and love for life in the other real world of the senses.

Thank you for your patience and kindnesses, always!

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Megwitch ~ Starbear