Beautiful in the Shadows

My eyes look like that of a Basset hound… red and drooping. Between the pine pollen and three hours of sleep, I feel the burn in my eyes like a mother with a new born. Fortunately, for me, I just dropped the boys off at school and a hot shower and a cup of tea will get me back on track.

But this tired was rewarded with the most glorious lunar eclipse last night.

It was magical. It filled my soul.

I set the alarm, but it wasn’t needed. I was too excited to sleep. When the earth’s shadow began to cover the moon, I went to the boys room to wake them up. (Something a mother of a newborn never does!) I had a flash back to my parents waking me up for a lunar eclipse while we were at the beach on vacation. I can remember the bunk room vividly and all of us on the deck watching while listening to the ocean tides pound the shore. I swear I could smell the salt air last night. I was mistaken, it was just stinky, sweat of my three growing boys.

My middle jumped up out of bed with a shot and was giddy and wild. The wolf is definitely his totem. My teenager, made his way slowly up the stairs and we remembered back to watching the lunar eclipse on the winter solstice two years ago. It was just the two of us and we ate a plate full of cookies and drank hot chocolate while wrapped up in blankets on the deck. That, too, was a night I will never forget; a favorite.

In our living room the south facing wall is nothing but glass. We rearranged the furniture and watched all snuggled up and decided to go out when the moon fully eclipsed. Chris shuffled in unable to sleep through Ry’s wild mood and our constant chatter. He didn’t say much, but I could see him smiling in the moonlight and the two boys carried on giggling and laughing over silly boy stuff. My sweet Charlie then appeared and climbed onto my lap and had the wonderful, imaginative observations that children naturally have. As it was near full eclipse, he thought the moon looked like a pig snout with a big white smile underneath.  His blonde hair glowed in the darkness and in that moment, I wanted to hold him forever.

Even the dogs joined us and took the opportunity to sneak in some extra attention. We talked about how we learned earlier that day that there was a 300 year period without lunar eclipses. So George Washington, Mozart, Napoleon etc. never got to experience the beauty of a full moon eclipse. We talked about Passover and learned a bit more about that as we waited. Ry continued to be as silly as ever and it was such a joyous moment in time.

As I looked at the beautiful glow of the moon, now a warm golden washed in burnt sienna and venetian red, I thought of my friend Lori and how many walls we created to be that color with glazes and plaster. It reminded me of the light in Italy. My friend Joy sent some silly texts of song lyrics and howling and I smiled as I  imagined her dancing ( I am sure she did) under this moon.

As we sat in the shadows, I felt like I could feel my heart glowing the same color. It was warm, full and allowed me to see and feel the beauty of being human and getting to experience the love these moments bring. We are told to shine bright and show our true colors, but tonight the moon taught me that in the shadow of something great, we may even shine more beautifully than we could ever imagine. And as I watched my guys laughing in the shadows of this magical night, they never looked more beautiful.

We all went out to the deck. What a perfect night. It was crystal clear and the moon, stars and planets looked almost reachable. The sky was the most perfect color of charcoal, the blue spruce’s black silhouette was only made better by the soft glow of Fort Collins below. It was stunning.

The guys one by one quietly made their way back to bed. I couldn’t turn away. Once cold, I went back and curled up in the chair in the living room and just soaked up the intense beauty and the quiet of the house. Never is there better medicine for the soul than a night like that.





Showing up

To my dear friends and family,

It’s up!

My first show in Fort Collins is now hanging. And my paintings are along side Valerie Savarie’s amazing altered books. I feel nervous, proud, excited and…… so very loved.


It is really surreal to me to see my paintings hanging together in an unfamiliar space.



My coach asked me last week what success would look like after Friday night. I guess after seeing them hanging, I hope that they evoke an emotion or a memory, and some peace as that is what the process of painting them brings me. And, I hope that there is a wonderful sense of connection in the coming together to share time and space around them. Community. That is important to me and I feel honored to be a part of this one. Through AIR Evolve Class, friendships, mastermind groups, my coach, my huge family, my spunky boys and my endlessly supportive husband, I have reached a goal and overcome some fears with all of the love, advice, and support I have been given.

Earlier this week, my son turned down an opportunity at school, mostly because he was scared to get up in front of others.

I completely 100% get it.

I tried to tell him what a great chance it was and that I thought overall he would not only learn a lot, but have a really good time. He struggled back and forth and back and forth and ultimately decided against it. I was sad for him, but I also understood that his fear is real and super powerful. I know how proud he would have felt if he had gone ahead and just tried no matter if he did well at the project or not. He would have beaten his fear back a bit and opened a new door. But he is 10. It has taken me 40 years to face many of my fears. I hope that I  that I can teach him showing up and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone has greater rewards than you can imagine. And, I hope that I can keep the conversation going so that he won’t waste decades of opportunities on account of fear.

I have been told I am “brave” (perhaps foolish)  sharing  here like I do. It is a very small fraction of the crazy that runs through my head. A crazy that I am learning to live with and embrace with my heart.  However, showing up here actually makes it easier to live the life I want. It helps me set intentions and holds me accountable. It has been a year since I decided to come out of the cocoon of my basement studio and into your worlds. Sure, sometimes I cringe and blush a bit at how much I share, as it is often more than just what is going on with my art. I hope that by showing you more than just the artist part of me, it helps to paint a picture of where some of my works come from. It’s a risk I am willing to take as it has made my relationships deeper, formed new friendships, opened doors to places I assumed I would never unlock and it feels good to live and paint from a place that is true to my core. Through sharing my joys, flaws, inspirations, failures, moods and adventures, others have reciprocated, making it easier to let go, easier to be in the moment, easier to find peace in reflection, easier to to set goals, easier to just be and be completely fine.  That said, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t lots of hard work involved, fears to constantly overcome or so much more to learn. There are days when the journey feels overwhelming, hopeless and frustrating and I don’t want to show up any more. And, of course there are days when it feels joyful, fulfilling and right. It has been a risk that has taught me so much about myself and rewarded me to have you by my side, helping me to spread my wings. I hope as a mother, I can do for my boys, what you have done for me and they won’t be afraid to go try.

So many thank-yous to all of you who have cheered me forward this past year. You showed up in front of me to pull me along, behind me to kick me in the rear when I need it and along side of me to share and listen. I really appreciate all the love and support you send my way. You  add depth, intention and color to my journey as a an artist and my journey as a human. I am ever grateful. I look forward to seeing  many of you on Friday and for those who cant’ join in the fun, pictures soon to follow! Cheers to you!

Gratefully, Catherine