February 14, 2017

Red Notice by Bill Browder

RednoticeDid you know that:

  • in 2012 Vladimir Putin's regime announced a proposed ban that would become law, prohibiting American families from adopting Russian orphans?
  • this ban is one of the ways in which Putin retaliated against the Magnitsky Act, a bipartisan bill passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Obama, that imposes sanction on Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky?
  • Sergei Magnitsky was Bill Browder's lawyer who helped uncover the deep corruption of the Russian government that stole money from its very own people?
  • Putin's regime captured, tortured and ultimately killed Sergei Magnitsky who refused to retract the truth about the corruption that he helped uncover about his country's kleptocratic regime?

I just finished reading one of the most harrowing books I've ever read: Red Notice by Bill Browder, which I first learned about through Katie Couric's podcast.

Do you want to better understand Russian history, the American political system, and the ongoing atrocities of Vladimir Putin and his regime? I recommend that you listen to the podcast and also read Red Notice. The most eye-opening, educational, horrifying and inspiring books I've ever read.

Horrifying because of realizing the long track record of the terror that Putin inflicts upon his enemies and how the current US President shadows the practices of this totalitarian regime and continues to align himself with Putin.

Inspiring because of humans (like Magnitsky and Browder and members of the US Congress and countless human rights activists) who refuse to back down from exposing the truth about terrorists like Putin.


February 13, 2017

482 Talk NErDy to Me

482 Talk NErDy to Me
24x18 inches :: original acrylic painting on stretched canvas
Click here to Buy
On this Valentine's Eve, I made this painting ... to express that to me, nerdy talk is the best kind of dirty talk. My other turn-ons? That would be people who:

  • read
  • comprehend what they read
  • listen
  • are smart, humble, compassionate

So here's to you ... you sexy ones who wear pocket protectors, work hard, read for pleasure, speak in complete sentences, listen to your partners, appreciate art, don't obsess about luxury, don't flaunt your possessions, get excited about science ... that's right ... YOU. Thanks for keeping so many of us truly turned on. Happy Valentine's Day. xoxo


February 11, 2017

#resistancelog (Freedom Edition)


#resistancelog (Freedom edition) Some folks have written me privately asking whether I worry about losing some business with my activism. Technically, I probably have lost some but I've also gained some so it's been sort of a wash. And honestly, it's not that I don't care about all of that. It's just that I care MORE about living as who I am and to achieve the status of being absolutely free.

And it's another reason to live within my means and resist being an over-consumer of stuff I don't need ... material stuff that bogs me down ... making me think I need to earn more to consume more ... all to protect that which makes me have to silence myself more. Such bullshit. (Does this topic intrigue you? I recommend that you watch the documentary titled Minimalism. It's on Netflix. It'll rock your world.) Here's more on this topic from the amazing Audre Lorde:

"And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my lfie that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife ... and this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe."

February 10, 2017

481 Flower Garden

Flowergarden481 Flower Garden
20x16 inches :: original acrylic painting on stretched canvas
Click here to Buy
My continued study and practice of painting flowers with an economy of strokes ... about 7-10 strokes per flower.

480 Rachel

The amish480 Rachel
18x24 inches :: original acrylic painting on stretched canvas
Click here to Buy
This is my demo painting that I started yesterday while teaching a private painting session to two humans. I finished it today. I felt that this subject took on the feeling of Rachel: the Amish woman as portrayed by Kelly McGillis in the 1985 film titled Witness. So I let it go there. It was a beautiful movie and a wonderful portrayal of a culture that is often misunderstood and for me, filled with such beauty laced simultaneously with serenity and longing.


#resistancelog (Chances edition)


#resistancelog (Chances edition)

There's this thing that some people say in response to my activism, which is "Why don't you give him a chance?"

Every single morning, I wake up with some hope that maybe he's been humbled and enlightened. Maybe he's been counseled by a level-headed adviser to tackle the day with increased compassion and awareness and presidential polish. Because even ideas that I disagree with can be accepted when delivered with calm. With polish. With respect. I think this hope is synonymous to chances.

He is given a chance every day to #actlikeapresident. And every day, I die a little bit more because he  displays his misogynistic, racist, fascist, and kleptocratic values by abusing his position in such an arrogant manner that incites true terror in my psyche. A terror of knowing that if allowed, my country will become ruled under totalitarianism by a regime that is allowed to exist above the law ... where my rights as a woman are stripped away. And that he will ignite unnecessary conflicts with the global community as he taunts and undermines delicate foreign relations all over the world.

And the thing about me is that when chances I give aren't taken, I resist.

So to those who continue to ask "Why don't you give him a chance?" I ask two questions in reply:

1 What the hell do you think he is given every single day?
2 How much longer can your conscience allow you to remain willfully unaware before your pillow gets so hard that you can no longer sleep? 

February 08, 2017

479 Capacity for Joy

Light and shadow479 Capacity for Joy
6x8 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
Click here to Bid or Buy Now
I referenced an image by @agusbobadillafoto for this work. And I've been reading a lot of Audre Lorde lately and getting so inspired from her words, including this powerful excerpt from Sister Outsider:

"And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife."

February 07, 2017

478 Sandra Bland

Sandrabland478 Sandra Bland
6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
Click here to Bid or Buy Now
If she were still alive, #SandraBland would be 30 years old today. In July of 2015, Bland was pulled over for a minor traffic violation by state trooper Brian Encinia in Waller County, Texas. The escalating conflict between Bland and Encinia as recorded by Encinia's dashcam is chilling to watch. Bland was incarcerated and died while incarcerated. Not a person I know who has watched the entire dashcam recording disagrees with the fact that Encinia over-reached with his power and escalated a situation that didn't need to be escalated.

Police brutality toward Black people doesn't mean all police are bad. Because so many are good. To me, it helps to understand by drawing a parallel to child sexual assault within the Catholic Church. To criticize the behavior doesn't mean that the entire church or all priests are bad. Just the ones who assault.

I join and applaud @womensmarch in remembering Bland. This sisterhood that has stood up around the world to denounce this nation's acute misogyny ... for it to move authentically forward, it needs to do so with the strength of women from all cultures, all colors.  #sandrabland #sayhername #dailypainting #allaprima #blacklivesmatter #resist #misogyny

February 06, 2017

#resistancelog (Shiny Penny Edition) :: February 7, 2017

Every penny#resistancelog (Shiny Penny Edition) I'm happy to report that I have officially been 50 years old for six full days. And so far, it's been great. I've been saying to friends that if life is 90 cents ... or maybe if I'm generous and say that life is a dollar, I've spent 50 cents of it. So if I'm being generous, I have 50 shiny pennies left.

But this morning it dawned on me that we're in February already. And before I know it, the year will be over. So maybe if I'm generous, I have 49 pennies left.

Shiny pennies. They go so quickly. I want to make every single penny count ... to take risks, to express my feelings, to declare my love, to roll around in poems, to not shy away from making audacious art ... to celebrate a room filled with one learner as enthusiastically as I celebrate a room filled with 100 learners. To allow myself to embrace my activism.

Speaking of which ... I just gotta say that it's a beautiful thing to see US District Judge James Robart (appointed by President George W. Bush) block fascist45's Muslim ban, causing fascist45 to tantrum like the non-disciplined disgrace that he is. Someone on twitter said that Judge Robart was kicking ass, to which someone replied, no, the US Constitution is kicking ass. So true. It's a beautiful thing.

As much as this fascist regime is causing me disgust, I have to say that it's also causing me profound appreciation. I just love seeing the awakening happening. I love collaborating with smart people. I love roaring with laughter when Melissa McCarthy punches the regime in the gut with her art. I love seeing Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus deciding to stop carrying Trump products. And I love great, informative podcasts ... including a recent episode that Katie Couric had on her podcast with Bill Browder. It's a chilling and eye-opening interview that gave me greater insight about the horrors of Putin. The kind or horror that makes me want to look away ... before I realize that actually, I need to shine light on it. Let there be light.

Every Penny. Shiny penny.

478 Lion Ryan

Lion478 Lion Ryan
6x6 inches :: oil painting on gessobord
Click here to Bid or Buy Now
I referenced an image of the cowardly lion from #WizardOfOz for this work. It is dedicated to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis) and all others in Congress who lack the courage to stand up against Oz ... all so pathetically scared about whether they'll be re-elected. (Your constituents will not be inspired by your cowardice at the polls.)

LION (RYAN): ... What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk, in the misty mist or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?
LION (RYAN): Then you can say that again! 



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