Earth Hour 8:30 pm EST Canada

Art By Miriam now speaks of something dear to her heart, the climate.  Climate change is happening and all who want to make the world a better place is shutting off their lights tonight at 8:30 pm for one hour.  In solidarity we show to everyone that the earth, the planet of our grandchildren, is important to us and that we want to protect it!

Earth Hour started a couple of years ago and is growing in strength.  Climate change is happening.  Sever drought, severe storms and flooding is happening all over the planet.  Some politicians of great power are saying that it is not true but we all know that it is and the fact is backed by science.  We can’t put our heads in the sand and continue polluting.  We have to minimize our carbon footprint.  Carbon footprint is how much gas is burned to support our everyday life.  Burning of gas and fossil fuels is releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which is causing climate change.  For example if we use cars, then we should commute or do a bunch of errands in one trip.  For example if we heat with oil then we should turn down our thermostat in the winter and wear a sweater.  For example if we have an air conditioner we should save electricity and turn the temperature up in the summer.  For example if we eat fresh produce we should eat local like apples and potatoes and less of the food transported in by truck or plane.  For example we should eat local meat and not meat that has been trucked in.  For example we should not eat beef from the tropics where deforestation is causing some animals to go extinct because of loss of habitat to beef farms.  There are a lot of things that we can do.

Show solidarity for a planet response to climate change at Earth Hour at 8:30 EST Canada.  The whole planet is taking part and your city will watch and notice that your lights are off!  Support climate change and change your behavior to reduce your carbon footprint!

Finding Ritual and a Safe Place

Miriam takes time now to reflect on something she has just read.  When dealing with memories of a past bad experience one should set up a ritual with a specific time to write about and deal with the situation.  One should do this in a safe place.

That safe place could be in your home, in a certain room, a bathroom for example or a separate room where you can expect some privacy.  You could light a candle or play music.  The idea is to envelope the act of remembering and writing with something agreeable to make it a ritual … some however may find a ritual threatening.  In my case my ritual will be to light a scented candle that a loved one gave me.  I will envelope myself in that feeling of love as I deal with something very difficult.  I have set aside Monday morning to do this for an hour.  Wish me luck!

A bad experience happened to me over 20 years ago.  I have not dealt with it and have talked about it rarely.  The theory is that my instincts have taken over and make me fear too much because of this bad experience.  I haven’t faced it, talked about it and above all I have not mourned the loss that happened because of that experience…the loss to myself as a person.

So I have decided to set aside March 20, the first day of spring, of every year to mourn for my loss.  I will light a candle and meditate on this day, every year from now on.  At the same time I will evaluate how far I have come in my healing journey.  Writing to you about this is part of that healing journey.  I hope that some can be inspired by what I write but at the same time it is a release for me.  It’s like a confession of sorts.

My anxiety is the reaction to the fear bottled up inside me because of this bad experience.  But I have never dealt with it.  Barely thought about it.  I have locked it away soooo deep that even now it is only peaking out at me!  I pray that with the help of a book that I am reading that I have the courage to face it.  I also have a councilor who will be helping me.

I have done some mindfulness meditation but it has made the situation worse because it has brought forth my fears from where I have buried them.  I am more anxious now than I was before I started being mindful.  I think that I have to face those fears, write them down, think about them, realize that it wasn’t my fault and then try to move on.  By writing about them and talking about them, I will free myself of them hopefully one day.  Wish me luck.

My painting really smooths over this fear and feeling of anxiety.  Writing helps to heal as well.  Wish me luck!  Courage…young grasshopper…courage!

A Curious Stare Pastel

A Curious Stare wordpress

Art By Miriam is pleased to release her A Curious Stare pastel painting.  The eyes of the red fox look curiously at you as if asking a question.

This pastel painting has a red fox of reds and beige in the middle ground with a black background.  I may do this painting on black paper one day.  I did not have the exact rust red of a fox and had to make do with what I had.  At first the colors of the fox were too stark, then I added a red brown overall and it looked better.  I painted this painting because of the eyes.  The eyes of an animal are what a person is drawn to.  This one has a curious stare.  My daughter loves foxes so this one’s for her.

This painting soothed me and relieved anxiety.  I had an anxious morning with demons of today haunting me.  Rendering (blending the pastel) the black background calmed me.  Painting this red fox relieved the stress and stilled my mind.  The afternoon was better.  I sat quietly and looked at my painting and found ways to make it better.  Sitting quietly contemplating my work calmed me even more.

This painting required a new technique for me.  It was rendering of a color as an undercoat and then adding a color on top without rendering.  It worked out quite well and you can see the individual strokes of the pastel pencils that I used.  I use Derwent pastel pencils in this case.  The professional fixative didn’t dull the colors either so I am happy!

The painting is for sale as usual.  This time it is about 9×9″ but will sell as a 12×18″ since it will be framed to a 16×20″ frame.  Please see the 2017 Price List for information and email me at artbymiriam@outlook.com.  I plan to get a paypal button set up soon.

Please like or comment below.  It means a lot to me to get likes for my art.  It really encourages me.  Please like or share on Facebook.  Or retweet on Twitter.  Or repost on Tumblr.  Enjoy!

Blue Heron and Clouds Watercolor

Blue Heron and Clouds

Art By Miriam is pleased to release her Blue Heron and Clouds watercolor painting.  It soothed her to paint.  She lost herself in the stillness of the lake and all her anxiety melted away, leaving her calm.

This is a painting of a blue heron in the middle ground.  The foreground is a lake with the heron and the clouds reflected in the stillness.  Do you feel that stillness?  Can you loose yourself in this painting.  It is a beautiful light blue with white billowy clouds in the background.  The painting is mainly light blue with the heron being two shades of darker blue.  There isn’t much value in the heron because it is mainly a silhouette.  It is accentuated by its dark image against the white clouds and the blue lake.

I was soothed by this painting.  Although I had to do it twice.  The first one was during a very anxious day.  Demons of today haunted me.  The next day when I redid the painting I was tired but patient.  It soothed me to be able to loose myself in the reflection of the lake and the stillness of that lake filled my soul.  I was at peace.  The haunting beauty of this image touched my soul.

As usual, this painting is available for purchase.  Framed or unframed.  Just email me at artbymiriam@outlook.com and we can make arrangements.  Please see the 2017 Price List for prices.  I would love to share the stillness of this painting with you.

If you like this painting please like or comment below.  You can also comment and like on Facebook, or retweet on Twitter.  You can also find me on Tumblr under artbymiriam.  It’s great to share this with you.  I am rather proud and have learned some new techniques!  Enjoy!

Why I paint and draw…

why

Art By Miriam explains why she paints or draws, why she paints what she does and why she uses the medium that she is using.  It is all to alleviate stress and anxiety but also to share the beauty of nature that is both majestic and awe inspiring.

I paint or draw to loose myself in the act of creating art.  My mind blocks out everything else and I think of the colors, the image and the technique I am using.  It is soothing and I am calmer after I have painted.  I paint animals and wildlife because this is what I find majestic and awe inspiring.  Some animals are threatened and have a special place in my heart and others are just majestic and demand respect and awe.  The environment, especially the fragile environment of the arctic, is very important to me.  So is nature.  If I can use my art to communicate the message that the environment or an animal is in trouble then I will use it for that.  But generally I try to capture the magic of the animal or scene to make it majestic and awe inspiring for you too.  I sometimes change the medium to give me a break from what I am doing and to refresh my attitude towards art.  I do pastel painting mostly.  Then if I am rested and patient I do watercolor.  Sometimes trying out new techniques…especially watercolor washes nowadays.  Then for something completely different I will draw a graphite drawing.  This is usually a portrait or a still life.

I use images of wildlife and nature found on the internet as inspiration.  But I do not copy.  I merely use the images as a reference to help me draw or paint.  I started drawing and painting dog and cat portraits because I thought that more people would commission my work for a dog or cat portrait than for a painting of a tiger for example.  But now I draw portraits for a change…it refreshes me to change what I am doing from time to time.  Especially graphite drawings.  Graphite drawings are done with graphite pencils and sometimes colored.  So changing from pastel sticks or crayons to pencil is a relief at times.

In general my art soothes my anxious mind.  Recently I have feared that I now use my art to avoid thinking of what makes me anxious.  But that’s not true.  My art has soothed the anxiety in my mind for the last couple of years.  Now I am beginning to face what is making me anxious.  My art still smooths this process over.  It buffers me and supports me and helps me to heal.

I share my art with you in the hopes that it can show you everything that is majestic and awe inspiring in nature and the environment.  If it instills in you the same awe that I feel for the beauty in nature then I am happy.   If it instills in you the fragility and vulnerability of the environment so as to encourage you to protect the environment and nature, then I am happy.  I am passionate about nature and the environment and want to share that passion with you.  I am also passionate about art.

I am trying to figure out why I paint or draw because it’s an important step in my business.  To figure out the “why”.  I am learning and have learned that to sell art you have to start with the why, what, how and who before you can even think of selling.  That’s so that you have a clear message to tell people when you try to sell your art.  So this post is helping me to figure out the “why” of what I do.  Please bear with me…

Please like or comment below. 🙂  It is great to hear from you.  Or share on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.  I am also on instagram but am still trying to figure out how to post!  Until the next time!  LOL.

The Puma: The Epitome of Adaptability

This is an excellent blog about the puma…

The Jaguar

Cougar by Art G. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It has been a long time since I have published any research-based posts. Now that I am living in mountain lion (Puma concolor) territory, I have decided to devote more attention to them. So here is a brief introduction to this most adaptable of cats.

Common Names

This is a cat of many names. It is called Puma concolor in the scientific community; mountain lion in the Western United States; cougar in the Eastern U.S.; panther in Florida; and puma throughout much of Latin America. For the remainder of this post I will use the term “puma.”

Range

The reason pumas have so many names is their expansive geographic range. Found from Canada to Southern Chile, they have the widest range of any land-dwelling mammal in the Western Hemisphere (Nielsen, Thompson, Kelly, & Lopez-Gonzalez, 2015). Despite this, substantial portions of…

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White Horse Graphite Drawing

white horse n blue

Art By Miriam is pleased to release her White Horse graphite drawing.  It soothed her mind to draw, shade and color this drawing.  But she was tired so she did it a bit too fast.

The blue and beige hues bring out the shading in this drawing of a majestic white horse.  The foreground is the horse itself and the background is colored grey.  The past two days have been stressful because of my anxiety.  Today I am therefore tired.  I am less anxious but tired.  I drew and shaded this horse a bit too quickly.  You can see the strokes of my pencil too much.  I may still fix it.  I went back and added value to the drawing.  It helps sometimes to just sit and look at my art for a while.  I have updated the photo.

Usually a graphite is done with just graphite pencils.  When at first someone said to color it I was frightened to spoil the drawing.  This time the colors have enhanced the shading of the white horse and look good.  I will continue to add color to my graphite drawings.

As usual, this drawing is for sale at $225 CDN framed and $125 CDN unframed.  You can also buy prints of this drawing.  Please see the 2017 Price List for prices.  Please email me at artbymiriam@outlook.com if you are interested in purchasing this drawing.  If you have a favorite horse that you would like to remember, I also draw horse portraits.  Please contact me via email.

Please like or comment below, or on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.  I would love to hear from you.  What do you think of graphite drawings with color added?  Please comment!