Life Lessons from Lillian

 Life Lessons from Lillian

Last week I had an amazing experience.

While grocery shopping, I had an exchange with a lady named Lillian who was doing her shopping from a motorized cart. She shared with me that she was 91 years old (plus one month), and had all her “marbles”. She certainly does, and then some.

I was shocked.  Her eyes were bright and clear, her voice strong, and she had a wicked sense of humor.  She exuded life force.

What is the secret, I asked her, to being so vital at that age?

Her answer blew me away in its forthrightness, clarity and simplicity.  I paraphrase:

“When I was in my 80’s,” she said, “I identified three things that must be done daily, and after I turned 90, I added a fourth.”

Wow. What were these things that could help to sustain such energy, such engagement, such vitality, at such an age.  I wanted to know.

So, I asked her, and  this is what she said:


“Every day you have to learn something new.”


“Every day, and the most important one, you have to have humor, and you have to spread humor.”


“Every day you have to do a good deed, even if you only pick up a piece of trash and throw it away.”


“And then I added a fourth one; every day you have to be thankful for something.”

And she added…

“Now, if you can do all four of those before 9:00 in the morning, then you can screw up for the rest of the day.”

(Like I said, this lady  packs in a wicked sense of humor…)

Thank you Lillian, for doing the good deed of teaching me something new, with great humor, and endowing me with the spirit of thankfulness.  I won’t forget you, nor your life lessons. May you live long, and prosper, practicing your four  maxims every day, and inspiring us to do the same.

Let There Be Shadow

Let There Be Shadow

“There is strong shadow where there is much light.” —Johann Wolfgang von Gogh Goethe


As we begin a new year, and the teen years of the millennium, there is a great deal of talk, longing and intention around new beginnings, fresh starts, new leaves, new chapters and so forth.


Let a new day dawn.    I am all for that.

Let the new page be started, the new leaf turned,  the fresh chapter embarked upon, longed for beginnings begun, and previously stalled starts started.  Let’s find that rainbow at the end of the storm, that light at the end of the tunnel.


But, let’s not forget, as the writer Goethe so pithily yet eloquently states, where there is light, there must also be shadow…and vice versa…we cannot have one without the other.


So, when confronted with the shadow side of our own natures,

Halloween hands

even our own gifts,

Entry Shadow

 the coolness of the shade that we need as respite  from the sun,


and the shadow of our own fears, challenges, anxieties and struggles in the so-called dark,


as we move towards the light of fulfilling our longings and realizing our dreams,


let us remember that “Shadow owes its birth to light.” ( –-John Gay),


WEB4and not be stumped,


or stupefied by

its presence,

but know…

that shadow will always be there…

a companion on our journey….


to be acknowledged,


on making its presence known,


so that we can continue

to feel the glory


of the light.

Here’s to 2013!

E-LUMEN-8 your life


Your Life…

In an increasingly technological world, there is a corresponding need for work created by hand.  As humans, we respond to useful objects of wonder and beauty.

“Artissima Lumens”  are hand-adorned light switch plates created custom, one at a time  as art, celebration and decor. They are created of water-borne primers, paints, semi-transparent glazes, stencils, metallic media, and varnish.

The plain plastic, or wooden plate is sanded to create texture or “tooth”, readying the surface to receive the primer which creates a bondable surface for the painted base coat.  The surface is thus  prepared for more intricate layers of adornment.

Paints, semi-sheer glaze or other media are manipulated across the surface to create visual interest and an interplay of color and texture.

Gold, silver, copper and bronze metallic media add luminescence, glow, and glimmer which  catch the light and animate the surface.

Stenciled or hand-painted pattern and imagery establish a composition which can become playful, elegant, whimsical, retro,  nostalgic , contemporary or celebratory.

The necessary hardware or screws are treated as part of the whole, and treated to each successive application.  They become part of the visual composition, as does the aperture for the switch itself.

When at last complete, the work is sealed and protected with  water-borne varnish. The “Lumen” is now is ready to eLUMENate its chosen light switch, and give the user a jolt of light energy.

Experience shows that we can become more calm, energetic, stimulated, peaceful and alive through interaction with our visual surroundings.  Color, texture, pattern and imagery can enhance, beautify, communicate, and  transform our feelings and surroundings, and thus both our interior and exterior landscape.

If YOU are interested in ordering or commissioning an “Artissima Lumen” please email: