Sunday, November 16, 2014

Day 35, Small Pause, "Red Delight"


Aglow, 3x2in. Oil on linen/board.
Painted En Plein Air in Plymouth, Nova Scotia.

Available Here


Today's Small Pause...

While out on errands early this morning, my husband called home to say we should drop everything and go for a little drive. We had recently experienced our first snowfall of the season, along with some icy conditions. Ian knew I wanted to breath in that beauty while the sun shone brightly. Soooo I set my to do list aside and ventured out on a little tour. Life has been so busy, it had been awhile since we did this together. 

We drove along admiring the glistening of icy branches and boughs that drooped from heavy snow. We oohed and aahed the whole drive enjoying our little interlude.  As we neared the end of our drive, I suddenly shouted "Wow" and asked Ian to stop the car. 

My pause was  the sudden and surprising vision of a myriad of bright red crab apples hugging the side of the road. These crimson globes dotted the space within their branches as they hung boldly without their greenery. It was such a delightful surprise to witness such abundance, while the vegetation surrounding the trees lay crumbled and dormant. 







These little apples stepped out of their sheltered existence and shone brightly in their natural beauty. I thought it was a great metaphor to ponder on. 




I loved how the ice rested on the top of the apples!


Another winter scene on our drive.

I hope your day allows you to take a short interlude from your busy life to appreciate small moments!

Warmly,
Debbie


P.S. Please feel free to add your own small pause or comments below.





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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Day 34, Small Pause, "A Sense of Contentment"

 A Burst of Light, 4x4in. Oil on linen/board.
Painted En Plein Air in Powell's Pt. Park, Nova Scotia.

Available Here


Today's Small Pause...

Since November began, we have experienced an abundance of wet weather and gray moody days. Finally today, we were blessed with more sun than clouds. I could feel my heart sing as I witnessed the sun's cheery presence and warmth.

It was time to take a short pause in my day to sip tea and read in front of my kitchen window. I found my mind wandering freely, as I gazed up from reading and watched the clouds drift along. The sun peeked through for long moments, illuminating the space I occupied. My cat came to visit and sat on my lap. She enjoyed the pause as well, as I massaged her head and neck. Her purring made us both feel content and at peace.



It was a lovely small pause that set the tone for the busyness that would follow later in my day. I felt grateful for the sun and my quiet retreat, which brought me into a present moment. 

I hope you get to slow down for a few moments this weekend and just be present with yourself. Acknowledge what truly brings you contentment and what places you in present time. May all your obligations fade away, as you move in sync with your own small pause.

Warmly,
Debbie



P.S. Please feel free to add your own small pause or comments below.

P.P.S. You may also like to Subscribe to my free Fine Art Ezine and Fine Art Blog. Thanks!



Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day 33, Small Pause, "The Maker"


Summer Grace, 4x4in. Oil on linen/board.
Painted En Plein Air in Plymouth, Nova Scotia.






Available Here


Today's Small Pause...

Have you ever purchased a handcrafted item because you can feel the "maker's" touch imbued in the item? It might be a painting, pottery bowl or some other tangible item crafted by hand that elicits an emotion from you. I have purchased work because I feel this sense of charged energy or love as I hold or observe the item. There is something special present...almost like the artist is speaking directly to you. 

Being an artist, I have believed for a long time, that handcrafted items made with love and passion, are much different than big box store items. Not just because they are one of a kind,  but because the "maker's" own energy and love of craft becomes an intricate part of the item. 

This is one of the reasons I paint from life. Observing my subject from life, triggers my emotions and engages my senses. It helps me pour my whole person into my work. In the end, it is hoped that my love and passion for what I create can be felt by the observer. 

I recently watched a short video on this very thought, where Jonathon Fields explains this point beautifully. I have included it below. I hope you enjoy it and it gives you food for thought. The festive season will be upon us soon. Recalling this truth may aid in the type of shopping you do for your loved ones. Maybe, it will also entice you to create something handmade for someone, whether it be simple or complex. Handmade cards, baked goods, sewn items all come to mind. 


Warmly,
Debbie



Jonathon's Video 
(May take a moment to load)






P.S. Please feel free to add your own small pause or comments below.

P.P.S. You may also like to Subscribe to my free Fine Art Ezine and Fine Art Blog. Thanks!




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 32, Small Pause, "Passing Moments"


Upwards, 20x16in. Oil on wrap canvas. MacLellan's Brook, Nova Scotia.

Today's Small Pause...

As I opened my front door today and looked up the hill, I was struck at how swiftly the clouds were moving across the sky. They moved along like a rapid slide show, changing continuously. At times there were patches of clear blue sky and cloud; while, other moments merged into a gray cloud mass. 





I thought it was a great metaphor to life. Life seems to move along swiftly by times, moving from sunny moments to gray ones. It maintains a continuous flow, where change is the only constant. Time pays no attention to our wishes. It marches on inevidentably. 

Thus, it is up to us to savor the moments of joy we experience, whether they be large or small. Be present with these times. Drink them in with your mind and spirit, because the memory of those times are what help us move through the gray clouds that pass through. 

Warmly,
Debbie



P.S. Please feel free to add your own small pause or comments below.

P.P.S. You may also like to Subscribe to my free Fine Art Ezine and Fine Art Blog. Thanks!



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 31, Small Pause, "Strangers?"


"Sending Cheer", 3x2in. Oil on linen/board. Sold



Today's Small Pause...

A cruise ship came into our area today, filled with passengers from various locations. I was invited, along with several other vendors, to participate in an event that would offer a taste of our county's local artistic flair and welcoming climate. The event only lasted for about an hour. The passengers were truly made to feel special with local entertainment, refreshments and the ability to browse tables filled with a variety of interesting and beautiful wares. 

I truly enjoyed small pauses of conversation I had with mere strangers. We shared smiles, chuckles and fondness within those few minutes. Although I was a vendor selling my  paintings, I made sure I did not just talk about myself. I loved finding out about them; engaging them in conversation that gives me little glimpses into their life or day. 



Circle of Hands


Later in my day, I found myself smiling at their kind words, facial expressions or interesting tidbits they shared with me about their lives. They were strangers in a sense, but in the big scheme of things, not really. We shared a human connection. 

I loved the following quote by Deepak Chopra, which to me, expresses this idea perfectly.

“Meeting a stranger can be totally fleeting and meaningless, for example, unless you enter the individual’s world by finding out at least one thing that is meaningful to his or her life and exchange at least one genuine feeling. Tuning in to others is a circular flow: you send yourself out toward people; you receive them as they respond to you.”
Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life


Don't underestimate the lasting affect of a warm smile or a pleasant exchange with a stranger. You might just add a ray of sunshine to their day and yours!

Warmly,
Debbie


P.S. Please feel free to add your own small pause or comments below.

P.P.S. You may also like to Subscribe to my free Fine Art Ezine and Fine Art Blog. Thanks!




Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 30, Small Pause, "Residual Effect"


Autumn's Gifts, 4x4in. Oil on linen/board. Sold
Painted En Plein Air in MacLellan's Brook, Nova Scotia.


Today's Small Pause...

Over the years I have come to learn that "Joy" does not arrive in our lives in one continuous swoop after another. Sometimes we must find moments or "small pauses" that are subtle, but just the same bring small moments of joy. 

I especially became aware of this fact when my son Brett was very sick for a span of ten years. My life was not made up of continuous joyful moments. Within the worry and stress, I managed to find those small moments. Some were gentle, like a kind touch or a knowing smile. Others were bits of beauty I saw in my environment; like beautiful shadows that swept over the hospital wall as the sun shone through the window. Some were in my passion, as my brush moved gracefully over a linen surface. 


Beautiful Autumn Shadows and Light!

These "small pauses" gave me a joyful break from the reality of life in general. They brought warmth to my soul and uplifted my spirits. They were a welcome retreat, much like a waking meditation. Their entry into my life has brought me much joy. Although they are sometimes subtle, they culminate over time, providing a beautiful residual effect in one's life.


Nestled In, 3x3in. Oil on linen/board. Sold
Painted from life--Alla Prima

As we head into this Thanksgiving Weekend, our family is experiencing much joy over Brett's new found health. We are very grateful! If you are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, I wish you many small moments of joy with family and friends. Pick up on the subtle joys that surround you everyday. Your heart will grow a little warmer.

Warmly,
Debbie




“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” 
Mother Teresa



P.P.S. You may also like to Subscribe to my free Fine Art Ezine and Fine Art Blog. Thanks!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Day 29, Small Pause, "Timeout"


Carefree, 6x6in. Oil on linen/panel.
Painted En Plein Air in MacLellan's Brook, Nova Scotia.



































Available Here



Today's Small Pause...

After being very busy the last two days completing domestic chores and projects, I felt like I had been in continuous motion. We have been blessed with an extra warm October day, so I decided to set my to do list aside and sit quietly on my back doorstep for awhile. 

While I sat in stillness, I suddenly realized how the roles had switched. I was still and nature busily flitted on around me. If I had not become an observer, I would not have noticed the abundance of ladybugs. They were soaring through the air on my deck, landing on objects and even me. 




I smiled with amusement as they crawled along my arm, tickling me as they ventured along. Chickadees were extremely active and entertaining as they ate from my feeders. A large blue jay landed on our outdoor umbrella, initially unaware of my presence. It was rejuvenating to just " stop" and become aware of the present. To slow down the pace of life and sit quietly in time out.



Interesting Autumn Shadows

It is easy to forget the importance of becoming still when the demands of life drown out the silence. Remember to slow down;  your inner self will be thankful!

Warmly,
Debbie



P.S. If you have subscribed to my Small Pauses Blog, I apologize for my long absence. I was involved in a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge and it kept me hopping! I literally did not have any extra time to write this blog along with my other one. However, I continued to observe small pauses on a regular basis. My posts should be more frequent again. Thanks for your patience!


P.P.S. You may also like to Subscribe to my free Fine Art Ezine and Fine Art Blog. Thanks!





Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 28, Small Pause, "Airborne"

Photo of MacLellan's Brook, N.S.

























Today's Small Pause...

It was a gorgeous day, so I ventured out to paint on location. A gentle breeze drifted around me as my brush stroked the canvas. I was in the groove; decisions came easily.

Once I finished my painting, I sat to enjoy my lunch. My small pause began, as I witnessed all that was airborne around me. To my surprise a hummingbird hovered for a few minutes close-by. Butterflies dipped and dived about as I sat quietly in observation. A bee buzzed and knocked into the decorative flowers on my teacup. Finally, bits of plant fluff soared on the breezes within the space.

The black spot is a butterfly in flight.

Another butterfly that was actually in flight, not stuck to the tire

All projected a great sense of freedom. It made me want to drift along with nature all day. Delineating my cares and just soar about. Remember to step out into nature. Quietly observe and allow the stresses of your life to drift into distant thoughts. 

Warmly,
Debbie 


P.S. Please feel free to leave a comment or add your own Small Pause in the comment section below!



You may also like to Subscribe to my free Fine Art Ezine and Fine Art Blog. Thanks!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Day 27, Small Pause, "A Sense of Knowing"


"As Summer Fades", 6x6in. Oil on linen/panel. Painted En Plein Air in Grant's Lake, Nova Scotia.

Available Here

Today's Small Pause...

There is a sense of knowing, when one becomes engaged in the present. This can happen in numerous ways. Being still and paying attention to the breath or engaging in a meditative activity such as yoga, can induce this sense of now. 
For me, it is when I paint in nature. All my senses are engaged as I experience each brush stroke and moment. It is meditation in motion, allowing me to set aside to do lists and live fully in the present. 

I was reminded of this truth today while I sat on my doorstep reading Pem Chodron's book " The Wisdom of No Escape". Her words of wisdom were a catalyst for my small pause today.

"This sense of fresh start can be applied not only to formal meditation, but throughout your whole life. This teaching, one-pointedness, means that you can be thoroughly present. If you find yourself feeling distracted, you can simply come back and wake up and give yourself a fresh start."

May you enjoy a small fresh start today, living in a quiet present moment!

Warmly,
Debbie




P.S. Please feel free to leave a comment or add your own Small Pause in the comment section below!


You may also like to Subscribe to my free Fine Art Ezine and Fine Art Blog. Thanks!




Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 26, Small Pause, " Eyes Shut"


Balance, 4x4in. Oil on linen/panel. Sold

Today's Small Pause...

After much gardening and yard work this past weekend, I decided to take a slower pace today.  Have you ever noticed how the sounds of your surroundings can lull you into a quiet relaxed state? Happily, I experienced this today while I read on my back doorstep. Nature sounds became my meditation today, causing me to gently shut my eyes and become attune to the moment. 

My fountain gurgled like a babbling brook beside me. While gentle breezes rustled the surrounding foliage and trees. I could hear them swaying gently, reminding me of surf on a beach. Our regular little visitors scurried and scampered across my deck indulging in their daily feast. Hummingbirds whizzed above my head.  Their sounds seemed amplified as I listened with eyes shut. 




I am always grateful for moments like these. They slow down one's mind, negate "to do lists" and allow the enjoyment of a present moment. 

I hope you get to experience nature or another quiet space today. Shut your eyes and become attune to your surroundings. Live in a present moment; if only for a short pause.

Warmly,
Debbie


P.S. Please feel free to leave a comment or add your own Small Pause in the comment section below!



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Day 25, Small Pause, "Discoveries"

Blue Skies Return, 10x8in. Oil on linen/panel. Painted En Plein Air in Grant's Lake, N.S.
Available

Today's Small Pause...

This morning while on my daily walk, I discovered a new place with hidden treasures. Being an artist I am always scouting out new view points and inspiration. While admiring all the beautiful wild roses below the roadway, I realized a ready made trail below the ditch would make a great place to paint future work. 

Off I traipsed along the pathway, tilting my head to view different angles and looking beyond the ditch to interesting views. The same views I have seen many times, but this time with a new perspective. Funny how the ordinary can become once again interesting when viewed with fresh eyes from a new angle.

A view from the ditch

 A trail in the ditch


























Being in the ditch felt fun and secretive. It brought back  childhood memories when we used our imaginations to play. We sought out nature and made our own fun in secret spaces that we thought only we were privy to. We giggled and laughed at the delight of seeing others, believing that we were invisible in our etched out nature spaces. 

Imagination sparks the mind and connects to one's true spirit. Playfulness and curiosity are the entry point to imagination.  Today's youth often miss out on imaginative play,when their world becomes consumed by technology. I think both adults and children need to maintain a playful spirit to allow joy's entry. 

Warmly,
Debbie


P.S. Please feel free to leave a comment or add your own Small Pause in the comment section below!




Friday, July 11, 2014

Day 24, Small Pause, "Feels Like Home"

Return to the Park, 16x20in. Oil on canvas, Powell's Pt. Park, Nova Scotia.
Available




























“I think what you notice most when you haven’t been home in a while is how much the trees have grown around your memories.” 



Today's Small Pause...

It was a joy to finally return to the park to paint on location again. I felt like I had arrived home once more. The sights, smells and memories of being totally immersed in the vitality of the park embraced me. There was a familiarity, like the presence of home, that made me feel joyful and relaxed. 

Painting En Plein Air in Powell's Pt. Park, Nova Scotia.

I believe everyone needs a space where they feel "at home". A place where they can just be at one with themselves. A quiet refuge where the noise stops and truths can be heard. This is where we catch our breath. It is where the noise of the world subsides and rejuvenation takes place.

Warmly,
Debbie



P.S. I would love to hear where you find the feeling of "Home". Feel free to share your small pause or thoughts in the comment section below!




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 23, Small Pause, "Smell the Roses"

A Harmonic Existence, 6x6in. Oil on canvas, Painted En Plein Air in Powell's Pt. Park, Nova Scotia.
Available Here.


































Today's Small Pause...

Today I literally had a chance to "smell the roses".  After a marathon week of gardening, it was wonderful to take a break and enjoy nature. This is one of my favorite times of year when wild rose bushes present their glory! 

On my walk this morning I was greeted by their sweet scent and refreshing hue. They danced within strong gusts of wind; like a sea of pink bobbling on waves of breezes. Oh the joy! My heart always sings when they arrive. 




Their presence is joyful and I can almost hear them laughing! I love their light hearted nature. Like children, they dance about without care.  As adults we could take a lesson from nature's free spirit by taking short moments of time in our day to "smell the roses"! 

Warmly,
Debbie


P.S. Please feel free to leave a comment or add your own Small Pause in the comment section below!



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 22, Small Pause, "The Sea and Me" Guest Blogger


I am delighted to share Today's Small Pause written by Antony Millen. Antony is Pictou County-born who lives and writes in New Zealand.



"Lines Spoken in Meditation at Foxton Beach"


I’d been staying in Palmerston North, an inland city in the North Island of New Zealand, three hours away from my home in Taumarunui. After finishing some business in the city one morning, I spontaneously turned left instead of right and continued until I’d reach the seaside settlement of Foxton Beach.


It was a blustery, grey winter morning here in the southern hemisphere and the beach was empty apart from me and the seagulls.


As I stood at the precipice where coast meets water, I looked out at the expansive view of surf and sky and listened to the winds and the gulls.


All of it seemed to warrant my attention – the gulls were obviously used to human contact and expected some sort of sustenance. The ocean waved at me, drawing my gaze higher and further – to a disquieting vista, one that overwhelmed in its enormity, especially in the isolation of my moment.


The seagulls offered me a safe option – smaller activity, shapely and contained, a particular curiosity and entertaining.


The sea offered me more and, I thought, too much more – enormous engagement, vast and unwieldy, a universal wildness and intimidating.


I was reminded of the words of the Baptist: “He must increase, but I must decrease” and sensed annihilation, a swallowing of a whale. But, in that, I also sensed that if I looked to the sea, if I lingered and tarried, I might discover more in the depths – something that at first looks like death but leads to life, an awareness of my universe, my world, my humanity and all that is daunting and inspiring and beautiful in them.



Antony


Thanks so much for sharing Antony!


Antony Millen is originally from Pictou County, Nova Scotia and a fellow member of the Lamey family. He is a gifted writer who now lives and writes in New Zealand and is the author of the novels, "Redeeming Brother Murrihy" and "Te Kauhanga". You can find out more about his books and read Antony's blog at: http://antonymillen.wordpress.com/.

You can also follow Antony on Facebook or Twitter.


P.S.
 Please feel free to comment or add your own "Small Pause" in the comment section below! 


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day 21, Small Pause, "The Small Things"

Today's Small Pause...

32nd Anniversary, July 3rd, 2014

As my husband and I celebrate our 32nd Wedding Anniversary today, I reflect on the truth that small gestures help build relationships. A knowing smile, a touch, support by just being present; those are the building blocks that culminate over time. It is not the big moments, for they are infrequent. It is the small everyday happenings that weave together to build lasting ties. Whether in a partnership, friendship etc. the small things are what count over time. They are subtle and grow unknowingly, until one day you realize you have supported each other during your long journey together. 



On this special day my peonies decided to bloom. They bobbled within gusts of wind, just like our journey through life. I smiled, feeling grateful for love, beauty and for being awake to the "small things"!

Warmly,
Debbie

P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts or small pause today! Please feel free to share in the comment section below. 



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 20, Small Pause, "A Few Minutes"

Freshness of Spring, 6x8in. Oil on linen/panel Sold

Today's Small Pause...

It is amazing how just a few minutes by ourselves doing something enjoyable can pull us back to our center. After a much needed yoga class tonight, I pulled into my driveway with a feeling of upliftment. Jasmine Thompson's soulful voice filled the space within my car as I observed and felt grateful for the presence of  sunlight again. Our days have been cold and bleak, life has been busy and filled with responsibilities, but for a few minutes all stood still as I enjoyed this moment. 


Spring's new growth and greens shone brilliantly as the sun brought them to life. Spring is like a song. It rejoices in new birth and makes promises of new beginnings. It passes quickly; thus, we must take small breaks from life to sing along with her.

Warmly,
Debbie


P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts or small pause today! Please feel free to share in the comment section below. 


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