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guardian angel painting

Today’s Affirmation:
“Laughing makes me strong!”

Got back in touch recently with an old friend. She wanted to get together for coffee, so I picked a day at random and it turned out to be her birthday! 🙂

When I found this out shortly before our rendezvous, I quickly did a little guardian angel painting for her as a birthday gift. I thought at first that the second figure was another angel, but to my surprise it morphed into this amused lion-faced spirit guide.

It seems to me they are reading the book of my friend’s life (and she has had a heck of a life!) The angel seems loving and gently compassionate. But the lion dude(ette) (I’m getting masculine energy from it even though it has feminine features) told me to tell her, “Laugh. Just laugh! It will make you strong!”

As it will all of us! No matter what happens today, go ahead and laugh! 🙂

The holidays are not as far off as they seem. I’m taking orders now for custom guardian angel paintings to be delivered by or before mid December. Reply for details! 

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This is vital.

Today’s Affirmation:
“I make time today to play and have fun!”

Play time isn’t wasting time. It’s vital time! Get your dose today, and every day.

Love and blessings,

Christie

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Lilah angelI first started being aware of angels when I started doing chakra energy scans for people. They often show up for me in people’s chakras.

Lately I’ve been doing guardian angel art readings, but this latest is a bit of a variation. I love doing portraits of children, and decided for this one to tune in to Lilah’s guardian angel and include the angel, too.

In this case, looks like Archangel Michael also has her back!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed painting it.

P.S. I’m guessing an angel portrait would make an awesome Christmas gift. If you’d like more information about that, or to request a free 15 minute energy scan, just let me know! 🙂

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"Sun Worshippers" floral painting of echinacea

“Sun Worshippers,” (echinacea.) Watercolor on paper, 8×11″. This painting is available for sale – reply below for details.

 

“Loving myself heals my life. Treating myself firmly but gently nourishes my mind, body and soul!”

If you want to change your life, start first with loving yourself. Your own loving attitude is like the warm rays of the sun that allow your soul to grow.

Sometimes it’s hard to feel loving towards ourselves, especially when we let ourselves down. It can help to think of yourself as a very small child, just learning how the world works.

If a very young child falls on her face, do you beat up on her for her mistake?

Of course not! You comfort her and set her back on the ground to try again. And you trust that she will learn to walk and then to run. Sometimes the act of falling is just what she needs to help her learn!

Stop beating up on yourself. If you fall down, brush yourself off, give yourself a hug, and set yourself down again in the right direction to take the next step towards the Light.

You’ll be amazed at how you start to bloom!

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Wolf miniature watercolor

“Lone Wolf,” miniature watercolor. This painting is for sale – contact me below for details.

An Affirmation for Today:
“I open all my senses to everything going on around me.”

Here’s something fun to try. Go out in the woods if you can. Or your backyard if you can’t. Or even in your own home.

Without thinking of anything in particular, just spend 5 minutes observing. What do you notice that you don’t usually see?

Try it first with your eyes open. Then try it with your eyes closed. What do you hear? Smell? Feel?

(In my case, I’m afraid I can still smell skunk.) 😦

So often we’re so in our heads that we miss out on half of what’s going on around us!

Have fun with your senses today!

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Blues Sax watecolor painting

“Blues Sax,” watercolor, 14″x11″. This painting is for sale. Prints also available. Contact me below for details.

 

Whether it is true or not I can’t say, but I’m told someone asked Mozart once what his favorite part of music was.

“The rests,” he replied.

While his answer may seem flip, I believe he was deadly serious. Imagine music with no spaces between the notes. It wouldn’t be music at all, would it? Just a noisy cacophany.

Beethoven was also clearly aware of the power of the rest to amplify and strengthen his musical message.  The first minute of his Great Fugue is a masterful example. (Is it just my imagination, or can you hear in the silence the seed of all great music?):

So often we try to pack so much in that our lives become a jarring jumble, like music minus the rests. It’s good to remember that everything won’t come crashing to a halt just because we paused to breathe.

In fact, allowing ourselves time to rest often has quite the opposite effect!

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sheep skull and spiring beautiesIt’s a bit of a shock to look down and see a skull, even if it does belong to a sheep. (At least, I think that’s what this one was.)

I painted this piece during a walk in the woods when we still lived in southwest Wisconsin. The way the vibrant vigorous little spring beauties blossomed up out of the old skull’s socket reminded me of a project I did in college.

I attended St. Olaf college in Northfield, MN (many years ago now.) I don’t know if they still do, but back then if you wanted to graduate you had to take three religion classes. I have to admit I was rather curmudgeonly about it at first, but they turned out to be some of the best classes I took there.

One of the classes was a course on the Goddess. We had to write a term paper, of course, and I chose as my topic to write about goddesses of death. (Typical morbid college student.) 🙂

Well, it wasn’t long before I discovered something wonderful. Almost without exception, regardless of culture or time frame, I found that nearly every goddess of death around the world was also associated with birth and new life.

Wow! The circle of life. It’s something curiously missing in our Western tradition, which insists on a one-way trip to one of just two destinations. But all you need to do to see it in action is look at the natural world around us.

It’s easy to feel that no good will come out of tough situations. But I believe that if you give it enough time and space, you will see how everything fits within a harmonious whole.

What do you think?

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New painting: Skunk!

Skunk watercolor painting by Christie MichelsenSpiritual significance of Skunk: Self-confidence, protection, non-combative power, sex appeal, social authority
Shadow side: Malodorous, repulsive, obnoxious, passive aggressive

A Sunday Evening Skunk Story

“According to that online article,” my daughter Aster said matter-of-factly, “our house could smell like this for weeks.”

It all started when we ran out of dental floss.

Or rather, my husband went out of town taking the last roll with him. So my son Isaac ran up to Buck’s, the corner store, for an emergency floss run.

Now, we live in an upper apartment and have not one but three doors between us and the street. One at the top of the stairs, and two at the bottom, making a kind of airlock. Which is a very good thing, because we recently adopted a young coonhound named Melvin. If you know hounds you know why I appreciate this door arrangement. It usually keeps him in.

However, Isaac had only been gone about 45 seconds when here comes Melvin belting down the hallway, snorting and coughing like he’d eaten a ghost pepper.

And then I caught a whiff.

Now, I’ve smelled skunk before, plenty of times, but never like this.

“What the…?”

I started towards the stairs. The door at the top was open. I ventured through. So were the ones at the bottom. Both of them.

And there was something funny about the air. It looked…hazy.

All of a sudden it struck. A great chemical cloud rolled up the stairs and punched me in the nose. It smelled like the resulting explosion when a skunk-bearing guided missile hits a petrochemical plant.

Feeling a bit light headed, I ran up the stairs – too late. The cloud had become a choking olfactory tsunami, mercilessly invading the house. You could practically see it rolling through the hallway, crashing into the bedrooms, and lazily lapping into the living room.

Quickly, Aster and I sprang into action. Eyes watering, we got Melvin crated and sprinted through the building, throwing open doors and wrestling with windows. I ran up to the attic and opened the roof hatch. Then it was Melvin’s turn.

Ever give a skunky 70-pound coonhound a baking soda bath? It was lots of fun. Especially when I looked down to see my brand new cell phone that I had forgotten to take out of my pocket lying face down in the bottom of the tub. We fished it out, and dried Melvin off.

He still smells terrible.

My phone turned itself on and proceeded to go into electronic convulsions.

Then Isaac appeared, looking nonplussed.

“Buck’s is out of floss,” he said. “By the way, what’s that awful smell?”

Happy Monday. When a week starts like this, you know it can only get better! :-)

Love & blessings,

Christie (Anne)

P.S. I’ve been doing a LOT of housecleaning lately – both literally and figuratively. We’re talking attic, closets, junk drawers, the works. It often happens when doing any kind of healing work that things get worse for a time before they get radically better. Those negative energies like to put up a fight! In the spirit animal sense, Skunk can actually have some pretty positive meanings. I’ll write about them sometime. But in this case, it feels to me like that ‘ol skunk is just symbolic of releasing all sorts of old stinky stuff. If something like this happens to you, just smile and keep letting the fresh air in!

P.S. Got any good skunk stories? I’d love to hear them!

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Another new painting in the Chakra Power Animal series:

Root chakra meditation painting

This Root Chakra Meditation Painting is next in the Power Animal Chakra Meditation Series after my Bee Power Center painting. (No, I’m not doing them in order.) It’s intended to help balance and open up your root chakra. Root chakra issues include anxiety, fear, & lack of confidence; feeling ungrounded, spacey or disconnected; and feeling insecure in your wealth/prosperity space.

The root, in its position at the base of the body, supports all the other chakras. When they are all in balance, there is a direct open line of energy from your Root all the way up to your Crown chakra (connection to the Divine) and even further, to your Higher Self. So you can see how important it is to nurture your root!

This connection is symbolized in this painting by the snake’s reaching upwards and by the white stripe running from the tip of the badger’s nose all the way down his back to his tail. Both animals hug the ground and are wonderful carriers of Root/Grounding energy. Badger especially is very secure and confident in his being. If you are unsure of yourself, it is good medicine to imagine yourself as a Badger!

Badger is also a good totem for those who live a nomadic life or who have moved a lot. Badgers keep many burrows, and unless they are raising a litter they typically spend only a night or two in any one before moving on to the next. Moving can be very ungrounding, so look to Badger to learn how to stay in your grounded space no matter where life takes you.

You might try using this image as a meditation aid along with African or Native American drumming or drum music. Imagine yourself sending your roots deep into the ground, and drawing the nourishing energy of Mother Earth back up through them. Lift your arms and let that energy flow up and through your fingertips and the crown of your head. THen imagine it falling again as rain, seeping back into the earth for you to soak up some more. Doesn’t that feel grounding and refreshing?

(Be sure to nosh on something red afterwards – beet chips or pomegranate juice would be perfect!) 🙂

What have you done to ground yourself today?

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Just finished this child/pet double portrait commissioned by a lovely lady in Marquette MI. The little boy, Gunner, is her first grandchild, who loves the family dog, Russ, very much. (And the feeling is obviously mutual!)

But what I loved was Gunner’s grandmother’s comment when I first emailed her the finished painting: “Oh my, the portrait of those two is just how we should spend our days…  ”

Gunner & Russ child/dog portrait(“Have you hugged your child/dog/lover/friend today?” may sound like a trite bumper sticker saying. But I’m going to ask it of you anyway. If you haven’t, here’s your homework for the day: go give someone a hug!)

I actually had the presence of mind to shoot in-progress photos of this one.

Here is the underdrawing, based on a sketch made from the reference photo. In the original photo Russ (the dog) was chewing a bone, and it didn’t look very good. At first I thought I’d take a separate picture of him and merge the two reference photos into one drawing, but he just didn’t get how to pose for the camera. So I ended up moving Russ’s head and front leg a bit from the original photo. Luckily, it worked out.

I started with a very light wash of golden yellow. It’s not noticeable in the final painting (you can’t see it very well in the photo, either), but gives the piece a bit of warm glow.

under drawing Gunner & Russ portrait

Gunner & Russ underdrawing

Next, I went in and established the first layer of color in the figures. Most watercolorists work from light to dark, but I like to establish a value range right away, so I tend to go in and put in at least some of my darkest darks right at the beginning.  Here, it’s the back leg of the pants and the pupils of the eyes.

Gunner & Russ 1st layer

Gunner & Russ – first layer

For the next pass, I layed in the shadows on Gunner’s face and bare foot, and on Russ.

Gunner & Russ Layer 2

Gunner & Russ, Layer 2

Layer 3: From here it was simply a matter of deepening the shadows and adding details. (I love shadows because they often are full of color!)

Gunner & Russ layer 3

Gunner & Russ, Layer 3

I went in a few more times between layer 3 and the final layer but didn’t remember to take photos. Oh, well. But here is the final piece one more time (just to keep the sequence in order):

Gunner & Russ child/dog portrait

Now, take a good look at the pure joy on little Gunner’s face, and go give someone a hug!

(And don’t forget to give yourself one, too!) 🙂

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