jhenna Quinn Lewis Melinda Whipplesmith Plank artists at work

February Recommendations

Winnie the Pooh may have the best philosophy on life after all. I find I research the quotes of this lovable bear and his furry friends often. They are honest, simple, comforting, and centering.

“I always get to where I am going by walking away from where I have been.”

Winnie the Pooh


I’m back in the studio full time now with many pieces to paint and sketch up. I have challenged myself to not only be painting in the studio and accomplishing art deadlines for this year; I have added some things I want to do from my bucket list. I have appointed my dear friend and fabulous artist, Melinda Whipplesmith Plank, as the designated person to report to. I have had a long goals list for years. This is the year to be accountable to it. There is much to learn and do.

One goal is co-organizing with Millie another workshop taught by our friend Terry Miller. He is an amazing graphite artist who excels in composition. Look for updates on this workshop when it becomes available. Last year it filled up in a few short weeks. The workshop will be here in Ashland and at the Scott River Ranch in Northern California. We are looking at the second week of August. Check out last year’s workshop here.



I have long admired this artist for their composition and skill at executing such beautiful and sensitive work. It is Alan Wollett. He was given the honor of Master Artist last year at Birds in Art at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. How fortuitous that I was also juried in to this show as I was able to see a roomful of his originals and hear his talk about his career and experiences. He was very entertaining and informative. This month, he had a pop-up sale on his website of a small sketch of an English Robin. I am now the proud owner of it! I look forward to framing it and putting it on my wall! 

Visit Alan’s website here.



The Heart is Noble, bravely written by the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. He challenges us to live more compassionately, mindfully and inclusively. It is written in simple prose and takes on some difficult contemporary subjects that generally bring about heated arguments. Some of the topics are relationships, consumerism, and greed. Thank you to this enlightened one for bringing this century and its current difficulties into our practice. I especially liked these thoughts about the environment:

“I do not see the earth as an inanimate object–a lump of stone. I think of it as being alive. Sitting on the earth, I feel that I am resting on a mother’s lap. It is thanks to her that everything exists. [She] can be a teacher to us, offering a model of how to care for and treat others. She especially shows us how to see everyone as completely equal. She does not make a distinction, but instead grants us all alike the conditions we need to survive and live out our lives.”

My meditation practice has also led me to volunteering for the Losar Celebration, a new year’s festival in the Tibetan tradition. It was celebrated at Kagyu Sukha Chöling, a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Ashland. I tasted the Torma, a specially-prepared barley and butter cookie. It was quite a moving experience to be apart of. I felt very fortunate to be there, to help be part of the preparations and receive the blessings.



I have been needing to paint with energy, so I have been listening to Kerry Muzzey. There is nothing quite like his selections from The Architect and Trailer Music 2 to paint by when you are in need of a jolt to get through a long day in the studio. I particularly like “Broken People” from The Architect, and “Bernini’s Angels” from Trailer Music 2 just leaves me speechless.

Link to “Broken People” on Spotify.

Link to “Bernini’s Angels”.




I am still very hooked on Ologies with Alie Ward. So refreshing. I learned about pumpkins, clouds, and fear. All I can say is: fascinating! And fun! Who knew?

Listen to Ologies.


Posted in