do it. create. walk and see. cut and paste. scratch and sniff.
do whatever you have to do to feed your soul.
this is my commitment.

Friday, April 28, 2017

more cows

gentle giant, 20x20, 995.

just like honey (detail), 30x40, acrylic on canvas, 1795.

to see the soul, 24x36, acrylic on canvas, 1450.

preparing takes time, 24x18, acrylic on canvas, 995.

all cows are wired and ready to hang

Thank you, ALL, for your love of cows!

For inquiry or purchase information, please contact me here.
Please know that payment plans are easy to arrange.

follow the herd (and more):
kari maxwell, visual artist (facebook)
@karimaxwell_fineart (instagram)

just like honey at the Birchwood Cafe

Thursday, April 27, 2017 are the days of my life

I have been a morning writer since I can remember committing to morning pages back in 1997/98. For some reason, journaling comes easy to me.  I have found that it doesn't for some and I am grateful this exercise of discipline doesn't require much effort on my part.   Journaling is a tool that really works at assisting me in putting my life and process into perspective.

My husband knows that if we find our house in flames, my journals need to be rescued before my art.  More art can always be made but it still takes me rereading these pages to remember how far I've come and why I do what I do.  I am the sort of person that needs this continuous encouragement.

There are alternative ways to journal.  If a constant stream of writing on a daily basis isn't your cup of tea, you may want to try a sticker sheet.  Read my post, Children don't need sticker sheets, we do!

You may also like:
the art of journaling (or not)

This is a great place to insert my motto.  Journaling is another way I create.  Every.  Day.

an avalanche of water won't make an impression
a consistent drop of water will
create everyday

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

energy flows where attention goes

I can pretty much guarantee that this is the first image I have "borrowed" from the interwebs.  I did not take this photo nor do I know who did.  If I knew, I would site them in an instant.  My apologies.  I appreciate the fact that this photo was available.

I can also tell you why I haven't taken such a picture.  Just looking at this image creates so much anxiety within me.

But I find myself describing an image like this so many times to people I work with when discussing everything from the creative process to life in general.

Over two decades ago, I was a mountain bike rider/racer, primarily in the northwest parts of the United States.  A trail like this was not uncommon in my world.  I wouldn't consider myself a skilled mountain biker either.  I just loved biking, being outdoors and the way this type of excursion made me feel.

But, because I wasn't skilled, a trail like this provided an extra challenge for me.  It's difficult to see in this image, but, generally, the median would be curved.  What is evident, here, is the incline on either side of each rut.

The strategic mountain bike racer knew that it was imperative to stay out of the rut.  This was the slower route.  If the skilled racer was "pushed" into the rut, they could bunny hop their bike out while still staying in their pedals.  I knew the ideal strategy and lacked the skills to bunny hop my bike out so I lived in constant fear of getting trapped in these ruts.  This would require me to dismount.  If I did that, I feared I would never get back on my bike.  A trail like this was usually too long of a walk from home.

There can be such a strong, magnetic force that is constantly trying to lure us back into old habits or old belief systems.  If I stare at the rut, I immediately feel anxiety and I am probably more likely to find myself inside.  Our eyes lead us just as our thoughts lead us.  But if I keep my eyes on the distant tree (I think I would pick the one on the right, here), I am much more likely to experience less anxiety and stay out of the rut while experiencing more success.

I know most of us are familiar with the idea that energy flows where attention goes.  And, everyday (and sometimes, we need to take it moment by moment), we can make the choice where to place our energy. Are we going to stare at the rut with worry or hold our gaze on the possibility of success. The rut is predictable.  We know where our old habits and belief systems and negative thinking lead.  Why not take a chance on what could be a success?

How strong is the magnetic force for you today?
Is there a tree in the near distance you can rest your eyes upon?

If this post was up your alley, you may also enjoy:
go ahead...take that somersault
we must be vigilant
the soundtrack of my life

Thursday, April 13, 2017

National Library Week

a creative commitment involving visiting local libraries, 
visiting their ART shelves, perusing their children's books 
and finding one illustrator that inspired my daily sketchbook entry

Monday, April 10: Nokomis

Tuesday, April 11: Southeast

Wednesday, April 12: Washburn

Thursday, April 13: Roosevelt

Friday, April 14: Hosmer

I walked the 5.5 miles round trip to and from the Nokomis Library on Monday.  My sketchbook entry was inspired by How To written and illustrated by Julie Morstad.  Watch me read this book HERE

I walked the 6.5 miles round trip to and from the Southeast Library on Tuesday.  

In the midst of a day of errands and meetings, I drove to the Washburn library on Wednesday.  My sketchbook entry was inspired by Ideas Are All Around written and illustrated by Philip C. Stead.  Watch me read this book HERE

I walked the 3 miles round trip to the Roosevelt Library on Thursday.  

After teaching in the morning, I drove to the Hosmer Library on Friday.  My sketchbook entry was inspired by Bonjour Camille written by Felipe Capo and illustrated by Laia Aguilar.

Adding the walking element was tremendously satisfying and Brenda Ueland inspired.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

easter bunnies


My love and fascination with rabbits began with the book, Watership Down, a novel by Richard Adams.  Feeling oppressed in their current community, a handful of rabbits who are considered weak or misfit, combine their individual strengths and natural gifts to escape, survive a long and challenging journey and begin a healthy community of their own.

caught loungin' (detail), 11x14, acrylic on canvas (1.5" deep), 395.

pensive in purple, 12x9, acrylic on canvas (1.5" deep), 295.

lazy sunday, 12x16, acrylic on canvas (1.5" deep), 450.

the guardian, 14x11, acrylic on canvas (1.5" deep), 395.

rainbow rabbit, 16x20, acrylic on canvas (1.5" deep), 795.

For purchase information or to make payment arrangements, please contact the artist here.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

new abstract paintings

soul strength, 20x16, acrylic on canvas, 795.

In the spring of 2016, I started to develop a series of abstract paintings in my journals with the intent of putting the paint to canvas in January.  This feels like a long time project in the making but slowly and surely, these paintings are making themselves available in this new year.

plant dreaming deep, 20x16, acrylic on canvas, 795.

the heart of the matter, 20x16, acrylic on canvas, 795.

light dancing, 20x20, acrylic on canvas, 995.

because you are there, 20x20, acrylic on canvas, 995.

easter, 20x16, acrylic on canvas, 795.

Contact me, here, for purchase information or to arrange payment.

Monday, April 3, 2017

on Brenda Ueland, art sales and joy

This was actually a facebook post that I also thought appropriate to post here:

I've been tapping into an old inspiration this week - Brenda Ueland - and one thing has led to another. I am also hand delivering a painting today to a person I have not yet met but who found my work worthy enough to purchase. So there is that. Which brought me to this excerpt (or quote) from one of Ueland's books. I've also been noticing a lot of people or artists talking about investing in art lately and yes, I do believe this is important. And yes, I do hope my art continues to appreciate in value (of course) but, I must say, that in my experience, the people I meet who purchase my work aren't thinking about investing. I think the people who are purchasing my work experienced a joyful exchange with a particular piece at a particular time. And I feel so grateful for this. And, I believe it is for this reason that I do not have to worry about where this vulnerable work (joy is vulnerable, by the way) I pour my soul into, travels. It always seems to connect with the most perfect souls. And, because of this (there are a lot of ands today), the joy continues because what this excerpt says is true for me. And I so appreciate ALL of you who purchase my work. Thank you. There are many of you and I adore you all. I am so grateful my work is with you, that I don't have to worry about it being unappreciated or collecting dust because, really, these pieces I create are very much an extension of myself. And I believe they are alive and need to be lived with. So thank you. thank you. thank you.

cow trails

Free Your Mind/the Rest Will Follow (24x18, acrylic on canvas, 995.) was the cow who created the segue of a new series of cow paintings either created or finished (so far) in 2017.

Why cows? and birds and rabbits?  
One thing that cows, birds and rabbits have in common is that we are all familiar with them.  No matter where we live, more than likely we usually all have access to these living beings.  Cows, birds and rabbits can be found almost anywhere.  And, more importantly, we usually observe them in groups: herds, flocks or colonies.

I hope my work reminds the viewer that although every individual is more than likely part of a group, they are also, more importantly, a unique individual.  Perhaps these groups of animals we sometimes overlook because of how often we see them, can be seen differently.  Perhaps instead of noticing herds, we'll start to notice individual quirks and idiosyncrasies in each being which are all necessary when creating community.

from left to right, top to bottom:
She was a Good Listener, 24x18, acrylic on canvas, contact for purchase price
To Be Nuzzled, 24x18, acrylic on canvas, 995. available at The Grand Hand Gallery
No Bull, 24x18, acrylic on canvas, contact for purchase price.  available at Cello Gallery
Hope is Here, 20X20, acrylic on canvas, contact for purchase price.  also available at Cello Gallery
You'll Always Have My Attention, 24x18, acrylic on canvas, 995.
Lend Me Your Ear, 24x18, acrylic on canvas, 995.  also available at The Grand Hand Gallery

all cows are wired and ready to hang

Cows as canvas prints are another option.
These canvas prints are 1.5" deep, wired and ready to hang.
295. - 395.

no apologies, 20x16, canvas print

Bernadette (36x48, acrylic on canvas, 2450.) was painted after having met a cow on the side of the road in Fruita, Colorado two years ago.  She has been and will continue to travel with me until she finds her forever home (adoption papers required).  You can follow Bernadette's travels on my instagram account @createveryday.

Thank you, ALL, for your love of cows!

For inquiry or purchase information, please contact me here.
Please know that payment plans are easy to arrange.

follow the herd (and more):
kari maxwell, visual artist (facebook)

A post on my 2017 abstract paintings is coming soon!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

It's a NEW Year.

2016 was the best year yet (for me).  I experienced more freedom within myself.  I practiced new behaviors and beliefs I have wanted as a part of my life.  I experienced the manifestation of very personal long term visions.  I had more fun.   

Thanks to my 2016 journals and my annual ritual of The New Year Creative Workshop, I was able to sit with what has become and what I'd like to become.

I am so grateful for good health and my relationships both with myself and others.  

Today I feel especially grateful for a partner who lives his dream (which is entirely different from mine) and offers support as well as encouragement in assisting me in living mine.  And, that, somehow, we have time to meet in the middle. We're such good touchstones for each other.  

I am so grateful for the library as my primary source of enrichment.  A stack of books has always soothed my soul.  

I am grateful for those who inspire me to create, those who believe in what I do and those who feel something from my work.  I am grateful for those who choose to represent, host and sell my work.

I am grateful for more of an ability to notice and having more time to reflect on that noticing.

I am grateful for sunny days and my ability to embrace them with open arms.

I am so grateful to be able to spend time with young people full of hope, curiosity and joy.  
Children are our best teachers.

And, there are things that nag at me - like the hole in the wall in the kitchen where the dishwasher used to be. Or the fact that our health insurance premiums have doubled.  There is a long list of stuff like this that has a tendency to pull me down sometimes and create a feeling like I am moving through mud but, when set next to the list above, it's difficult to find reason why I should let this nagging list keep nagging.  It is what it is.

There are events that challenged my belief system and life values this year.  Like the Presidential election or discovering that my best friend of over 32 years has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer with only a 4% survival rate.

And, there is so much I want to live for.
More laughter
More fun
More self discovery
More creativity
More of my philosophy on living
Growing more in a partnership with my husband
Getting stronger within myself
Evolving alongside my (tiny, little) art school
More learning how to care for myself and age gracefully
More camping
More books
More nature
More delight

Just to name a few...

Happy New Year, Friends.

"To live is the rarest thing in the world.  Most people just exist."   -  Oscar Wilde

Monday, October 17, 2016

growth happens

Personal growth can definitely be uncomfortable.  Sometimes awareness of behaviors we'd like to change can be liberating.  Sometimes this awareness can be overwhelming.  And awareness is only the first part.  The transition from an old habit or behavior to a new one can be extremely difficult.  At times the desire to make this transition can require so much vigilance (on our part).  There can be constant temptation to return to what seems easy and comfortable.

I was thinking about this time of year and new growth.  During this time of year, there are physical manifestations of growth that surround us - *everywhere*.  When I observed this spruce in our backyard a few days ago and noticed THIS (photo reference here), I wondered, "Is this tree experiencing discomfort?  Is it overwhelmed?  Does it have a constant temptation to return to what it was like before THIS?"

And then I remembered the significant difference between our growth and the trees.  It is clear that a tree doesn't resist change (by kicking and screaming).  The tree lets go and lets growth happen.  Growth just IS.

Perhaps we could learn a lot from the trees.

"Imitate the trees.
Learn to lose in order to recover.
And remember that nothing stays the same for long.
not even pain...
Sit it out.
Let it all pass.
Let it go."
-May Sarton