The funny thing about painting…

I am, by nature, a word person.

The images I create and learn from and marvel at are a whole new language… and a vastly different perspective for me.

And, like a favorite book that says something new every time you read it, they keep teaching me.

This tiny glimpse of a huge painting I learned as Our Lady of Bountiful Earth is one of those which is teaching me, still.

These days, she’s known as In the Beginning. And she sits there on the canvas, in the midst of the mythical Garden, deep in prayer.

Gratitude, certainly.

For family and friends. For time together. For toes in the ocean. For many hands baking pies. For stories. For dreams.

Intercession, as well.

For returning home in the midst of the Georgia Senate run-off. For sanity. For justice. For voice and choice. For the future of our beloved Littles.

For timeless dreams carved in the tree which shelters her… For steadfast love. For remembrance. For creating.

For a world… a planet… able to sustain bountiful life.

The painting is an epic adventure.

Not simply one which ended when it was pronounced good.

An adventure which, if we are paying attention, continues to play out in every moment.

An adventure in which I have a part.

As do you.

And, yes, I believe this with all my Fiercely Compassionate Grandmother’s heart.

Tomorrow, The Legendary Husband and I are going to vote.

And then, the Divine willing, we’ll keep listening. And learning. And working for a world that is bountiful for more and more beings. Instead of fewer and fewer.

Painting will, I am certain, be involved!

Stories, too!

For this moment, though… so be it for you and yours as well.

ps…there’s a big sale happening in the land of FierceArtWithHeart. You’re invited!!!

pps… just in case you, too, are in the midst of the listening, learning, working adventure, and would like some help along the way, I’m here! Just CLICK HERE to get the calendar elves to set you up with a bit of Red Thread time for tea and making plans! (My gift to you!)

What the sign says!

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday with our kids!

Just got a text that they are safely back in Virginia, while we’re camped out one more night, waiting for our flight.

We are sandy and tired and – at least in my case – hobbling a bit more than usual. And already plotting our next adventure!

For tonight, though, it’s modeling time, as I learned it from my friend and teacher, Steve Glenn.

Or, as some of my Southern preacher buddies might frame it, time to walk the talk.

Which is to say that I’m letting the fabulous sign, discovered on our lunch time adventure, do the talking, while I take the rest of this night for a bit of introvert down-time!

For those of you in the USA, I hope your holiday weekend was just what you needed and that you’ve claimed even more things to give thanks for than you imagined.

For the more far-flung among you, it’s still a great time to claim things to give thanks for.

I am thankful for you!!! And for knowing that I can be the REAL me in this place. Out loud!!!

ps… you can, too!

pps… still have questions about what that might look like? I can help! Let’s start here… A few questions. An ah-hah or two. Some time to chat if you’re intrigued. Just click here and you’re on the way…


’twas the night before Thanksgiving…

…and all through the house, six people were stirring and laughing aloud!

…and working together to make apple pie, ’cause it’s something we love to do and to eat!

And, also, because it reminds us of those we love who’ve gone on to a world where every day is Thanksgiving.

I know you’ve probably got other plans for tomorrow, by now, but I just couldn’t resist inviting you to our table. Our Red Thread Circle. Because I’m grateful for you! So…

Great Grammy Sally’s Apple Pie

This was Dave’s favorite growing up. Great for summer holidays, but also for Thanksgiving, when you can often get superb local apples. Really good fruit pies crack and run a bit when you cut them. This is really good pie!


            [Note on Ingredients: Since pie crust is a very personal thing, I’m going to leave it up to you. You’ll need enough for a 2 crust pie. Organic Granny Smith apples are great, or try local, seasonal, organic apples. You want something crisp and a bit tart.]

            Arrange oven racks so that pie will bake in center of oven.

            Preheat oven to 425 F.

            Prepare pie crust as above or remove purchased crust from fridge to warm.

            Wash, peel, quarter, and core:

                        6-7 organic apples, as above.

            Into large bowl, slice apples into ¼ inch thick slices, so they’ll retain their shape and some texture when cooked. No applesauce, here!

           In separate bowl, mix together:

                        2/3 c. sugar, more or less, depending on sweetness of apples.

                        1 Tbsp. sprouted grain or all purpose flour.

                        1 tsp. ground cinnamon.

            Add dry ingredients to apples and toss to coat.

           Add apple mix to pie pan with bottom crust.

           Dot with small pieces of butter, about 2 Tbsp. total.

           Cover with top crust. Roll and crimp edges to seal.

            With sharp knife, cut 6 slits, about 1 inch long, into top crust to let steam escape. Place pie on a sheet tray to catch any drips. Place in oven and bake 50-60 min. Check after 45 min. or so to see if edges of crust are browning too much. If so, fold strips of foil, about 3 inches wide and curve to arrange over edges. Top should be nicely browned, with bubbles of juice visible at edges of crust and slits in top when done.

            Cool on rack. Serve warm-ish or at room temperature, garnished to taste with:

                      Good vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

                        Freshly whipped heavy cream.

                        A slice of sharp cheddar cheese.


ps… The Contemplative Grandmother, who’s surrounded with blessings and and hope – and a big batch of insight – would love to meet you and bring those gifts to you or someone you love… She’s ready in an accessible archival poster! FierceArtWithHeart!


It’s a complicated word for many of us.

Personally, I think the complications start with the whole spelling lesson bit!

i before e and all that…

Then there’s the blessed lesson.

Note: it’s possible that I’m about to go to meddlin’!

If you hung out in Sunday School, as I did, you’re likely to think that Jesus said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

A quick excursion to the land of Google (or an old-fashioned concordance) will suck you into all the complications of that thought, and I’m quite content for you to choose!

Let’s just say that those words can imply different things, depending on intention and context!

Also, I suspect, gender. (More meddlin’ !)

I don’t have any absolute answers. What I do have are decades worth of stories – most of them from women – about feeling guilty, or inadequate, for needing to receive help.

For letting themselves receive help.

And, some of those stories have been mine.

You, quite possibly, are wondering why this, on what is practically the Eve of the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA.

Well, because one of the things I’m learning is that it’s harder to separate giving and receiving than I used to suspect!

Here’s a pretty basic example:

The receiving I did, at my physical therapy appointment this week, has made me a whole lot more able to give.

Then, my literal hands and help for my dear friend, the mobile Veterinarian, who was working with one hand and a more complicated than usual relationship to the floor, during her blessed visit to the big dogs this week.

It took both of us, giving and receiving together, to make space for the magic to happen.

And the big dogs were giving and receiving, as well!

On a different level… laundry! There’s a LOT to do before our upcoming adventure and I can’t do it all. Not even all of mine. My hands and shoulders aren’t much for the whole pinchy-hanger, air dry bit.

So, while Bill helps with some of that, I picked up part of the early door shift with the beasties this morning so he could catch up on some sleep.

And, yes, on the days when the pain is worse than usual, I get bummed about needing help.

And, it doesn’t help!

Intention is a thing that does help!

Fingerprint prayer dots on a painting in progress, for hope. (For me, fingerprints often hurt less when my hands are brush-avoidant!)

Also dots for gnowing, as in the underlayers of the current Legend painting, above. (And, yes, I spelled that just the way I meant to!)

Rest… in the interest of more Helping. Giving. Making.

Hearing deep on Facebook. And a side order of activism.

You get this!

So… what if we turned the seeming dichotomy of giving/receiving into both/and rather than either/or???

I’m serious!

What would be different for you? And your people? And your world?

I’ve gotten serious about intending to find out! And yes, for me just now, that means putting it out there. Out here!

What might it mean for you???

You can leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Or email me! (

Or, if you have some ideas and could use a bit of help sorting them, let’s talk! My medicine basket is ready! Just get the calendar elves to hook you up for a quick chat as my gift to you.

ps… just in case you’re – you know – giving, the elves at FierceArtWithHeart have a special deal on great matted, wrapped art gift packs! Something for everybody!

Phobia: an extreme or irrational fear of/

…aversion to something.

Also, in my experience, something which gets one shamed, blamed, excluded, or ridiculed by people unafraid of the same thing.

And, yes, I’m channeling my inner counselor/coach!

We talked about phobias a good bit during my Eriksonian Hypnotherapy training adventures. And – actual truth – I was healed of my phobia about bees, wasps, hornets, etc. while watching an ancient, jumpy, black & white video of Uncle Milton processing a fear of similar beast with a long-ago client.

Okay, watching is a bit of an understatement. It was probably more like joining the trance.

In any event, I am now able to greet flying pollinators in the garden and thank them for their work, from a reasonable distance for someone all too conversant with Epi-pens!

I once healed my fear of taking off and landing on plane trips while offering support to a “unaccompanied minor” parked beside me by a concerned flight attendant! Turns out that helping others can help!

The camera phobia has been one of the hardest for me to heal. Possibly since it kicked in long before I reached the abstract thought phase of my journey.

I hated school picture day.

I hated being dressed up in somebody else’s idea of sweet and dragged off to Sears or Penney’s to stand in front of a fake background and look like I was having fun. (I wasn’t!)

But, the world changed… as the world does. And, lately, sharing things that matter deeply to me often involves cameras.

Profile pics. Zoom meetings. Me, with my girls. Even videos.

Today was a day for summoning all my healing!

Yep, I made a video!

Something that matters a great deal, not only to me, but in this world where my girls are growing up. Now.

Support from my beloveds.

A big dog snoring gently on the studio floor.

My choice of wardrobe and background!

And, the best thing I know for getting from where I/you/we are to where we long to be.

The tool I’d choose if I could only choose one for my medicine basket!

And, of course, I’m going to share!

First, there’s editing to do. Blessedly, I have a wizard for that!

Then there’s a big Festival in December. You’ll be invited! (15th-22nd!)

For this moment, a question.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

And, yes, I REALLY want to know!

You can leave a comment to this post. Or email me. (

Or, if you haven’t yet, you can ponder SuperPower Paths with me.

Just click HERE to get started. (It’s fast, fun, and free… and there are NO bees.)

I suspect you’ll agree that our medicine baskets could use some upgrading, about now!

If you look closely, you’ll see my busy Weaver Dreamer buddy, Charlotte, in the corner!

ps… one of the things in my medicine basket is prayer dots! You can take some home! These are for hope and healing. Museum quality giclee of The Fiercely Compassionate Grandmother aka The Black Madonna aka my first ever Intentional Creativity® painting!

Once upon a time…

A time so long ago that there are no photos in my phone, I set out on an adventure.

A sailing trip, to be exact.

My first that involved jammies as well as a life jacket!

Technically, it was summer camp for young-ish adults. A week or so, island hopping in the Bahamas.

Two boats. Two certified sailing captains. And the rest of us – the campers – for crew!

It was gorgeous. It was fun. And, it was quite the learning experience in living with others!

A 40-foot Morgan is a treasure, indeed.

And, when you bring your toothbrush for several days with 5 other humans per boat, only one of whom you’ve met before, it gets interesting!

Then add, if you can imagine, a whole lot of versions of the way we’ve always done it!

The engineering student from Purdue who said – literally – “But I’m a guy so I don’t know how to clean a bathroom… you do it!” was particularly memorable!

Let’s just say that my son, in Kindergarten, was a considerably more capable human! And what I learned was to stay on that road… even when it was hard!

Here’s the Cliff Notes version of the trip…

We sailed. We snorkeled. We dodged jelly fish, which was particularly terrifying for me! We sang. We danced. We ate fabulous food. And we pondered faith questions… personal and connectional.

Did I mention that we disagreed?

Then, on our last night, when we had to get the boats back by morning, there came a storm.

No starlight. Waves. Lightning. Wind. The whole deal.

And one of my boatmates and I were steering! Through, I might add, the Bermuda Triangle. On the midnight watch.

Clearly, as you are reading this, we made it. And, I suspect, you’re wondering why this story, now.

The answer is kind of odd. Midterm elections and a painting journey called Vivid!

Well, not them separately so much, as the place where they’ve been crashing into each other inside me.

The photo is, indeed, my Vivid painting-in-progress, resting up after quite a bit of laying it down yesterday.

There’s more, of course, and we’ll get there, soon. (I promise!)

For this moment… somewhere deep inside me, the path is clearer and I am claiming my power. Intentionally.

(Which is a bit different than feeling it, but the place to start is right where we are!)

For now, laundry. Next week, video!!! Let’s just say that it’s a good thing I’ve been layin’ stuff down!

And one more moment for sailing…

Imagine, please, that we’re sitting on the deck of our boat, rocking gently in the waves, and watching a Sunday evening sunset in Nassau harbor. It’s time for some singing.

Miraculously, Joan Baez has joined us! With her guitar and about the closest thing I can imagine to a Statement of Faith for this moment…

The punchline is – as punchlines are – clear to the end!

ps… live big! Put me time on your calendar for December 17 at 2pm ET. And stay tuned… We’re going to unstick some stuck stuff… free!

pps… glorious BLUE wall art for your favorite spot. Or, for a first time voter??? Affordable museum quality art print from an original painting. Yours, at FierceArtWithHeart!

Galvanized Horse Troughs & Oracle Cards & Psalms & Concrete Pigs… oh my!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been fishing through your Medicine Basket – be it actual or virtual – for coping strategies.

I spent much of the day known as Election Day in the USA as chief in charge of visioning for the garden transformation project going on in our front yard.

And, as I write these words, Wednesday morning, we’re no more done with the election than we are with the garden!

Sitting down is also a necessary coping strategy in my world. And, having promised myself no news until after the polls closed, I needed something to fiddle with yesterday.

I reached for my box of Sacred Rebels oracle cards.

This is a new adventure for me. As is any understanding at all of eclipses and planetary retrograde events. And I tell you all this, knowing that I’m making generations of ancestors and teachers pretty anxious.

I also know – because I’ve been wandering in the family tree again – that there are others who came before me whose eyebrows are raised in that uh-huh kind of way while little smiles appear on their lips.

And, yes, I am able to choose!

So… a bit of the oracle card message which jumped out for me:

…Then you will be asked to embrace the deeper journey of sacred rebellion against judgement and fear, and into passionate creativity and unconditional trust in life (Alana Fairchild).

It really is a filter thing!

There was more but, for this moment… back to the garden!

Part of what’s going to happen out there is the re-location of a 350 pound concrete pig named – yep! – Wilbur! It seems he’s tired of hiding between the porch rail and the grape vines and feels he can be more help where people can see him.

And, as pigs are often associated with positive life changes, I’m all in!

Pigs, as Spirit Animals, also symbolize the ability to stand on our own “two” feet, weather the storm, and come out even better than before. They are often a sign that now is the time to move ahead!

All of which seems like timely intentional gardening to me!

When I gave up on CNN last night, I was disappointed, but not surprised.

Grandmother Moon – bless her! – was there on the wall, whispering hope, in the form of a dream about my trip to Hungary, just before the Eastern Block fell.

One of the things that became part of my soul during that adventure was the ninetieth Psalm. Members of the Hungarian Reformed Church repeated it from memory each Sunday in worship. I hope they still do!

The part which wrote itself on my heart is this:

Interestingly, it also wrote itself on the underlayers of the painting which eventually became known as Codex, or the home of Grandmother Moon!

The rest of the quote?

…establish Thou it.

For real!

And I woke, reminded again, that it’s a really good intention for life in this moment.

So… they’ll keep counting votes in Georgia. There’s likely to be a run-off. (Don’t get me started!)

And, among the signs in my garden, Wilbur will be holding intentional space for the world we all need.

For now, my hands have painting to do. And my heart has hearth tending to do. Among work-in-progress Wednesdays, this one feels really big!

And I have 2 granddaughters growing up in this world!

ps… just in case this whole journey feels familiar, and you suspect your basket could use some new medicine or you’re curious about the Filter thing, I can help! Let’s talk… 45 min. My gift. The calendar elves will hook you up!

pps… what the world needs now is FierceArtWithHeart! And we’re going to need some more tv ads in Georgia! So… 22% off nearly everything priced at $100 or more. (The elves will fix it in your cart!) Half the profits to Sen. Warnock! (Really!!!) It would be a great time to check out the divine hats & bags! (Looking for something you don’t see? Interested in a custom piece? !!!)

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach