The returning and increasing light is daily perceptible and cheering. This Imbolc, Candlemas time is associated with St. Bridgid. Mid-winter seems more like pre-spring when I notice robins congregating on the lawn.

I hope you realize how important and appreciated your interest in my art is to me.

Often, I face the future by evaluating priorities (my purpose) and my time (I’m not getting any younger). The trend has been to take more control of my business, as the pandemic is teaching us artists about how to share our art and make our living in solitary surroundings. Blogging and emails are my preferred way to have conversation with you. It’s meaningful when I hear from you about your artistic quests.

Towards this end I am adding a new feature via my website; a monthly offer, a Studio Special. Email subscribers will have a bonus discount. The first one, with Valentine’s Day and Imbolc in mind, is a series of 9 Amulets for Animals that feature exquisite hand carved boxwood miniatures, inspired by traditional Japanese Ojimi beads and several artworks on pastepaper, Light of the Earth.


Amulets for Animals Group,©Kathleen O'Brien

Amulets for Animals Group,©Kathleen O’Brien

The outcome of a contemplative journaling retreat for the month of December is my 2021 Mindmap Mandala. Communication is a top value in my daily life, like writing to you, right now. Basically, the Mindmap shows me that as I support my intention to love through trust, prayer, nourishment, laughter, communication and creativity, I am shown the path to my dreams.

2021 Mindmap Mandala, Kathleen O'Brien

2021 Mindmap Mandala, Kathleen O’Brien

During this time, I was focused reflecting on and writing What I liked about 2020. I looked back with grateful eyes rather than focus on the challenges.

Cover for 2020 review by Kathleen O'Brien

Cover for 2020 review by Kathleen O’Brien

The year ended on a high note like that of a Wood Thrush. From the Little Love Letter event I met a lovely couple who purchased Talisman for Water and Talisman for Fire, New Brush, Wood Thrush and several of the Little Love Letters. Since the studio walls were cleared after the sale, I was able to set up a preview of their expressed interest for their visit.

Studio Presentation, "Talismans for 4 Elements", 12.12.20, ©Kathleen O'Brien

Studio Presentation, “Talismans for 4 Elements”, 12.12.20, ©Kathleen O’Brien

It is truly a dream come true to hang There Are Places I’ll Remember All My Life, 2, in an Advanced Rolphing, Energy Medicine clinic. The new owner/therapist is fed by it as she applies her healing touch to her patients, who also may feel the supportive energy that emanates from it. It’s a charged space, one that I am honored to benefit from.

"There Are Places I'll Remember All My Life, 2", ©Kathleen O'Brien

“There Are Places I’ll Remember All My Life, 2”, ©Kathleen O’Brien

The year started wonderfully with an online class, Speak to me from everywhere, with Laurie Doctor. The main focus was on a writing and painting practice with intent to engage our muse. Using a paper new to me, and 3 pigments I neither like nor use, the practice resulted in freeing up creativity. This sheet

Full Sheet of a Book, ©Kathleen O'Brien

Full Sheet of a Book, ©Kathleen O’Brien

became this book

Book front, ©Kathleen O'Brien

Book front, ©Kathleen O’Brien

and now there are more. Seeing the inside will come later!

Books, ©Kathleen O'Brien

Books, ©Kathleen O’Brien

Meanwhile I maintain my discipline of the Art NXT Level yearly business planning. My main goal is to discover a new body of work and make my studio, that includes Open studios and website offers, my main venue.

It’s weird to think that the last exhibit I participated in, New Year, New Art, was over a year ago at Art Center of the Bluegrass. But, the online sale for Little Love Letters, was my best and most enjoyable exhibits along with the Annual Autumn Open Studio.

I am grateful to each one of you for collecting my art. Knowing that you treasure the art fulfills my purpose for being an artist.

a few "Little Love Letters" that sold, ©Kathleen O'Brien

a few “Little Love Letters” that sold, ©Kathleen O’Brien

I’ve been enjoying so much time painting in the studio and am somewhat resistant to screen time. Recently I mentioned that I am raising prices, so that will come soon. You will notice other changes to the website.

Does any of this resound with your experience? Please tell me how your year is beginning, and how you are responding to the increasing light, the receding darkness. What is the best thing that has happened since October 31, for you personally?