Brightfire Woman ™

Create. Believe. Become.

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Gardeners and Gallery Owners

Friends and I have been having a discussion on Facebook about what constitutes fine art verses illustration. An artist was told by a gallery owner that some of her work was not Fine Art but Illustration and accepted what he felt was fine art and sent her out the door with her hand painted ink and water color originals. She was hurt and confused as to how that could be true of her original works of art, long story short it was, of course, not true.

 “Illustration is a unique art form that is defined not by its medium, but by its context. Illustration finds its home in the public sphere of popular media. With a rich history and a modern, contemporary outlook, illustration brings life to concepts and stories through image-making. Whether created digitally or by hand, an illustration can be both a masterful work of art and a practical business application.”…/camd-cross-college…/illustration for a definition of Fine Art  In a nutshell from the dictionary “fine art noun
: a type of art (such as painting, sculpture, or music) that is done to create beautiful things
: an activity that requires skill and care”

Only the artist can decide such things. It is fine art if created for the purpose of beauty and expression and that fine art, if the artist so choses to lend the work to illustration, then it becomes a fine art illustration.

A gallery owner should be more like a gardener. A gardener does not worry about their mature plants, they focus on the young tender plants to see they take root and make it to maturity for all to enjoy. As an artist keep in mind it is the fruits of your labor that puts food on their table.

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Grandma's Webcam

I have to say I am overwhelmed, but having epiphanies, left and right, as the dots begin to connect…on all the various sites, it is like turning on all the lights and opportunities at once.  Today my grandson, Cameron posted his art to my Facebook and I in turn posted it on the Brightfire Woman pages. It was made on an app called Kaleidoscope and created using Kindle HD. It really made me proud for one and honored and inspired by how pretty it was. I am blessed in that bond we share. This is a webcam of him and I done when he was much younger that I took of us using a webcam set for distortion. I then used Photoshop Elements for the color effects. This is one I would like to try my hand at painting. What do you think? Is that a bond or what? You can see his art featured on my Brightfire Woman face book page.


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New Beginnings


It has been a very quiet day. I am enjoying my return to social net working. I am realizing that as an artist, perhaps just as a woman or maybe just a person, that I have made the becoming, much harder than it had to be, in feeling I had to do it all and alone. I did not integrate all of my life into my life as an artist and I have isolated myself in a creative vacuum, now all I can say is the world is much better when you actually try to stay in it. Family and long known friends have been wonderful and so supportive and seem not at all surprised that this is actually what I do. And I am meeting new people. It has created this lovely feeling of wholeness, giving my life this sense of continuation and ongoing. It feels good to realize all these compartments I divided myself and life into are not necessary. It feels very freeing to cross that threshold, less about integrating all the people and relationships and more about integrating one’s whole self together.


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Leaving my Cacoon

It has been awhile since I shared where I am at :-)I am in metamorphism and one that has been a very long time in the making. I think it is very hard work to be an artist these days because technology moves so quickly and you really have to learn so much more to remain self sufficient. All social networks are set up now to push your work to the public. Add to that there are now many companies trying to cash in on artist’s work by doing it all for you as 1 in a million on their marketplace. I have spent from 2006 till now in water wings learning websites and digital programs on desktop and Kindle. I enjoy digital art very much but as of late I have yearned to paint, so that is the new heading, although even those materials have changed oils that don’t use solvents and come in stick form and wood canvases…so much to explore.

I want the intimacy of working back, most times people don’t know what I am doing sitting at the computer day after day, yet if I was sitting before a canvas doing the same thing I would be surrounded and sometimes that is really nice. When I finish a digital work and log off my computer, I still don’t have anything that can be held in my hand or put on the wall to live with for a few days in contemplation of what works and doesn’t. So long story short I will be posting paintings here in their progress. This is a journey I have decide is worth making and sharing the ride of. And I am returning to my local art community for inspiration and camaraderie. It is not easy; the recluse is much easier for me to be, but Peoria, Il is rich with the arts and very talented artists, traditional and digital.

This is your view of an artist in their studio, enjoy, make yourself at home and come back often. Leave a comment, ask a question both contribute to my growth and will get a whole hearted response! :-)

Brightfire Woman


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Letting The Day Guide Us

I do not wish to be confounded by wisdom or blinded by ignorance. We are living in times
of great environmental changes coinciding with the arrival of many of the
consequences and damages that the last fifty years of our industrialization and
materialism has produced.

No matter where we live our governments are not fully happy that we can see what they’re doing;
for the first time, we can go to other countries’ searches and use a translator
and know what is the rest of the story is out there…and judge for ourselves
what is going on and what we stand for and against.

For the first time, with the Internet, we have produced something that frees us and
lifts the boundaries and borders we are contained by, something that gives a
broad view of what is really going on in the world; what is the problem, the
debate, our actions and the world’s response. The political magicians have lost
their wands and we see the puppet’s strings. It is a free education for all and
the means to express yourself to a world public.

We are the enlightened result of our technologies and for once we really can speak to each
other and see that our differences are sometimes that we are not allowed the
freedom to be the same or to know know the same and understand the same. That
corruption in all governments hides behind the efforts of good

We are capable of exchanging knowledge. Of cooling off the heated debates with answers
to questions that may have yet to be asked. Our social structure is not just the
cultural vertical, it spreads out horizontal and crosses oceans and plains and
deserts, no longer are we bound by our geography of waterways, mountains
too high and desert plains too wide to cross and survive.

These are the days when great things can be accomplished by simply beginning to do what we
can individually do to make a difference, to acknowledge so many of our choices
have been harmful to ourselves and others, as we begin to recognize the effects
those choices have had.

So many songs have not been heard, so many paintings have never been seen, so many
hearts have been lifted to a higher love for humanity, so many intellects have
been awakened to the call to speak the truths and see the solutions more
clearly, so much poetry and parable has not been shared. So many lives remain to
be spared. So many children to be raised. So any crops to be planted. So many
wounds to be healed.

So much love has been consumed by hate’s worst fears, when in the light of love and
justice there would be nothing to fear.

Sometimes you have to undo what went wrong, what has been done in ignorance that shouldn’t
have been done. Sometimes you have to chose between the lesser of two evils…
and without honesty? How can we chose wisely?

Couldn’t we start by looking past our own reflection on the water’s surface? Couldn’t we
could begin by diving into the depths of opposing views and by rocking the boat
by reading someone Else’s story or by really studying someone Else’s picture of
what is going on in their part of the world?

We have been given not enough truthful information about each other to know or hate one
another, can we not simply chose to hear one another out? What is the harm in
choosing to listen patiently? What if we chose to spread love not hate, to focus
on communication and understanding that every country is someone Else’s home and

My father, who had no sons, taught me that a man without his word was nothing and recently
at 87 he showed me that it does not matter what our minds can remember about
yesterday, as long as our hearts remember how to be kind and just in the stand
we make today.

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It is all in how you see it.

I am looking back at where I thought I was going… at what I thought I was doing. And in many respects I see that I do better when I do more and think less. There are discoveries made only through the act of doing. Some of my best new directions have evolved out of a day when for whatever reason I could do nothing that I had planned or felt was next, through no fault of my own. I was simply blindsided and blocked from what was routine to what I felt my work required and my day held. Change is born out of making different choices and the act of doing seeds the recognition of new options from which to chose from.

There are things that we can do, that we have no clue that we would be good at it or that it would be so fulfilling. And in the end it might very well be a huge undertaking that holds the power to bring enormous change into our lives, but at the start you don’t have to know that aspect about it. In that expectation lies the most singular undoing of ourselves…thinking that we do have to know the outcome of an effort and turning away from ideas that lack such certainties. We are afraid of progress. We are afraid of losing the status quo. We are afraid of putting our energies into something that will not produce what we feel society will value and respect.

Pride. We fear looking foolish to our peers. We fear that too many mistakes in judgment will ruin our good reputation that we have going for us and we will feel foolish in our thinking that we could have done what we once believed we could. Basically we don’t like to look bad to ourself and others. But not doing new things limits your growth and experiences in which we learn things we did not know before; doing brings pleasure and new insights into ourselves and the world. Doing shows us not only what we can do but what we enjoy doing, so much that we would do it even if we are not being paid to. So much that we don’t even mind that our first attempts suck… because we feel challenged by the room we see for improvement.

When you submerge yourself in learning something new that you feel drawn to for whatever reason and the goal is not monetary or for approval or recognition, you discover a new form of freedom. That of living outside of societal expectations. People who are productive and creative in their own lives and homes do not need to rely as heavily on society for their needs.

The woman who uses cloth diapers is not dependent on a company manufacturing disposable diapers nor is she contributing to society’s problems of landfills overflowing with them or the chemicals that go into producing something that in truth maybe made to be thrown out after one use, but are impossible to dispose of really. The woman who breast-feeds has no need for formula, with it’s cans and lids and measuring cups. She has no need for the factories that made the can or the design firm that made the eye attracting label or the ad agency that produced the commercial. Or the factory that made the formula that goes in that can with the attractive label so it looked so good on the commercial. The woman who grows her flowers does not need a florist. The woman who sews does not need to pay $40.00 a panel for new drapes. The woman who grows her own fruits and vegetables, knows what has been put into them and kept out of them and what ones you plant once and enjoy for years.

There is a certain logic in having a population dependent on someone else producing what they need for them in that it frees them from the home and their own interests and translates it into needing a job to buy what they need in their daily lives. It creates workers. When you can no longer fulfill the needs of family and home upon your own land than you must leave it for work outside the home and when you are not home to grow your own food, cook your own meals, tend your own children, do your own household repairs and housewares, you need money to pay someone else to do it for you as large companies do not barter.

Our inability to trade our wares for the wares of our neighbors costs us a great deal in that the goal is no longer for an even exchange of fair value as it is perceived by the time and investment it requires to become a finished product or a marketable material. Bartering holds an appreciation for the not only the fruits of our labor, but for another’s. Barter is not a sale, it is an even exchange…thus there is nothing to tax. Not the sales. Not the income. Nothing was sold and no profit was made on an even trade.

We are still in a position to have an individual effect on the quality of life for ourselves and others by beginning to put more of our time and energies into becoming more creatively independent in how we live our lives, feed ourselves and our families, interact in exchanges in our communities. Shop local. Shop neighborhood. Shop small businesses. Consider repair at some mom and pop shop instead of replace. Re-sole your favorite boots. Sharpen the mower blades. Get the cord replaced on the vacuum that the dog chewed off. Buy used furniture made out of real wood and rub some love into the finish. In doing this you get more than you paid for, as these are doers doing their own thing, and doers like to help others find and do their own thing and share what they have learned.

And what I have learned is small things make a big difference, actually all kinds of big differences, as it is an accumulative effect, in that one small change can change many things via changing how we think about things, feel about things. So goes the saying, Seeing is believing. We all have the power, ability and means to become independently secure, we have just lost the expectation that it can be done and lost the awareness that… whatever it is, it is no more than something we have yet to learn how to do.

Learning takes time, as much time as it takes, becoming good at what you have learned takes time…as much time as it takes, so it is not an overnight or an easy fix, but a gradual evolution, as you are searching for what will hold your interest and challenge you, something that will keep you invested, keep you showing up every morning to make progress.

We no longer give ourselves time to mature at something. And the big example of that is so few go to college anymore, the reason being they have to work they don’t have time to go to school for X amount of time; not the semester, to be licensed; or the 9 months to be certified; nor the two years for an associate; not the four for a bachelors. We do not give ourselves the time required, not even the three years, for a plant to mature and we are not yet fully grasping, that the Internet holds a free education for all.

The turning point for me was realizing that using your brain is just plain good for it. Take it out for a walk and see where it takes you, let your thoughts ramble and see where they lead. If you enjoy something make more time for it, delve into what is known about it or being done with it and if it pleases you give it a whirl and see what you can do. None of us can do it all, but we can do something…and next week maybe something else and each time we do something new, we have changed our status quo in a positive way simply by being willing to give it a try. Willing to let our experiences lead us to what is possible for us and next. I truly believe that we breathe our own life into living and that we are such amazingly intuitive beings of freewill and choice and the grandest of ideas. We need no one’s permission to be who we are and to do what we can. We are not the lemmings we have been lead to believe. We can do moderation, we can meet ourselves half way, we can pick and chose what to bring forward from memory into daily life again that made us feel good in the doing.

Truthfully, with the Internet, there has never been a better day to think independently and work from your home. Even if you are not well, you can set your schedule and work around those more difficult days. Even if you can’t get out of your house, you can get on line and contribute your thoughts and experiences and skills to others and learn through those interactions. Increasing your awareness of the world and have a better view of how varied all our daily lives are and of issues that your voice can make a difference in.

Just get up and do what you enjoy without worrying about rather you are good enough at it to be doing it. If you don’t like it, start over or pull from it to build something else or just add to it like a stew that is always loved but has no recipe limiting it’s flavor. Let the child in you run a muck and begin to experiment in living again…shamelessly. Forget pride. Forget the arm chair critics that want to sit on their bums and tell you it won’t work or you can’t do that, not you. They are the ones that can’t do, not you, in that they see every effort as a waste of time. Even in a failed experiment, you have gained knowledge that you would not have had otherwise and anything is better than stagnation, doing something is better than doing nothing and if you are going to put your faith in something, why not put it into your own abilities?

We all believe in giving others a chance, yet so seldom do we give ourselves the chance. How many times have you seen a woman support her husband in reaching his full potential at work, in business, in his interests and hobbies? How many times have you seen a woman tell her children they can do anything they set their mind on? We forget that we have the potential to be the example of doing well and how it is done. The days of sacrificing our own dreams to see that other’s find theirs, does not show them how to do it only how it does not get done. If we are doing nothing for ourselves all our wisdom that it can be done becomes just talk. We can motivate our loved ones better by giving ourselves the time to showing it can be done and sharing how we did it.

So let the day take you where it will sometimes, add something new into life and give it a chance to grow into more, let the big picture in without trying to control it; instead of only seeking in life what you expect to be there, just go see what is there, revive some old things and try some new. And if you are absolutely dreadful at it, but still had so much fun? That’s the best you can ask for, in that you like it enough to stay at it long enough to become good at it!

My father had this sort of farmer’s parable, that really has served me well and in all things and it goes something like this…

There is this traveling salesman and each day as he drives his route he passes this large farm and sees the same thing over and over again. Everyday, the farmer stops what he is doing in the middle of his day and goes out to the apple tree by the road followed by this big hog and when the farmer spots a the best apple he bends over and puts his back into it and picks the hog up and holds him while he bites the apple off the tree and then sits him back down and goes back to whatever he was doing.

This goes on for weeks. So one day the salesman just can not take it any more and stops and says, ” I don’t mean to interfere, but I have been watching you for a long time and I have been wanting to offer a bit of a suggestion…wouldn’t it save a lot of time time if you just pulled the apple off the tree and handed it to the hog to eat?… and without hesitation, the farmer said, Yes, but what’s time to a hog?

Brightfire Woman All Rights Reserved 2010



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I don’t care what the stars say

this is the age of women

women rising up and laying claim

in their God given gifted intelligence

And uttering new truths

against hypocrisies

How many of us can you beat down?

we will come at you

with that and a 1000 more

We are sick and weary

of your excesses

your abuses

your territorial

drawing of lines

in the sand not to be crossed

while bullets and bombs

rain down crushing

our sons and daughters


we are sickened by your greed

wars and unconscionable excesses

You have corrupted our children

with your hatreds and cruel expectations

we are not put upon this earth

to be in servitude to you

we who birth both sons and daughters

grow within us the very secret of all healing

we who are the foundation of the home

we are not chattel

you run around in a bag with a view all day

we are tired of you twisting religion to justify

your barbaric cruelty on our tender flesh

you deny us an education

so deeply you fear an educated woman

you make up laws that insure

we will be abused, starved, raped,

kidnapped and sold

stop imprisoning us for things you know

we work too hard to have time to do

We are not inferior

stop suffocating us with wet towels for lacking

a small piece of meat between our legs

stop throwing acid on our beauty

simply because 20 cents is a cheap revenge

and you can

Stop filling our bodies with bullets for standing up

speaking our truths and standing in our light

Stop reflecting your corruption

upon the mirror that is our hearts

when you know

we have done nothing wrong

but piss you off



Brightfire Woman © 2009 All rights reserved


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