Licht Years

where are you going, where have you been?

Category Archives: random thoughts

stepping back











we were in between nor’easters.  feeling restless, we packed our toothbrushes, hopped in the car and drove to Maine.  with no particular destination in mind, we ended up in Portland for the night.  we walked all over the city, people watching, testing out some local culinary goodness, just enjoying being by the sea.  there is a sense of randomness and freedom in taking little trips like this..and somehow it got me to thinking about my work.  I want that sense of freedom and randomness here too.  I  don’t want my work to be measured in number of “likes”.   I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now and I’m finally disabling the “like” and “comment” buttons.  It’s so wonderful if you enjoy visiting here and even more wonderful that no one should feel the pressure to always comment or press that little like button.  so from now on, this will be a pressure free site.

should you have a question or concern, you may always email me, my address is on my home page.

I’m doing my work, then stepping back..


Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.

Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.

Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.

Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

~ Lao Tzu













“Life is maybe like deep-sea fishing. We wake up in the morning, we cast our nets into the water, and, if we are lucky, at day’s end we will have netted one– maybe two– small fish. Occasionally we will net a seahorse or sometimes a shark– or a life preserver or an iceberg, or a monster. And in our dreams at night we assess our Catch of the Day– the treasures of this long, slow process of accumulation”

~ Douglas Coupland

Random stuff:

Autumn seems to be taking it’s time this year.  The color is arriving bit by bit, the weather fluctuates from crisp to summer-like.

I am taking my daily walks around town lately as opposed to our woodland trails. It’s hunting season and I’m not fond of the sound of gunshots.

I’ve always been attracted to the culture of small towns. Thinking I may set my focus on small scenes and vignettes of life downtown.

Staging and creating still life images has always been fun but lately I’m striving for authenticity. THIS POST by my friend Shawna inspired me.

Traveling a bit soon, to Washington DC, then on to North Carolina. My son, Andy is getting married next month. Very excited to welcome Lilian to our family.  So looking forward to having a daughter-in-law.


I’d like to thank Rural Magazine for inviting me to share in their Fall Issue.  Have a look if you’d like..


good stuff


spring finally arrived






and this happened






My work is featured in the summer issue of Artful Blogging Magazine.  Whole lot of gratitude to Shawna Lemay for the writing prompt.  Her blog is always so thought provoking.   This beautiful publication, reads more like a book than a magazine and it’s chock full of wonderful inspiration.  Happy to be in the company of such talented people. Kind of a dream come true.


speaking of inspiration and dreams


The lovely and amazing Kelly Ishmael turned me on to this gorgeous book – Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein with Julie Chai.  Photos by Michele M. Waite.  All about growing, harvesting and arranging seasonal flowers.  Wonderful information and the photos are to die for.


How sweet is this??



Even Mozart was impressed!

Chloe Lemay is an art student at Sheridan College, soon to be majoring in cartoon/animation.  She did this adorable image of Mozart and I just love it!  He will be appearing at the end of each blog post from now on.  You may view more of Chloe’s wonderful, whimsical work HERE.   Word is that she will be doing commissions this summer if anyone is interested.


I’ll leave you with these beautiful words found on Calm Things a while back.

Wishing you all good stuff!


“The Monk Manifesto: Seven Principles for Living with Deep Intention by Christine Valters Paintner.

The Monk Manifesto 

  1. I commit to finding moments each day for silence and solitude, to make space for another voice to be heard, and to resist a culture of noise and constant stimulation.
  2. I commit to radical acts of hospitality by welcoming the stranger both without and within. I recognize that when I make space inside my heart for the unclaimed parts of myself, I cultivate compassion and the ability to accept those places in others.
  3. I commit to cultivating community by finding kindred spirits along the path, soul friends with whom I can share my deepest longings, and mentors who can offer guidance and wisdom for the journey.
  4. I commit to cultivating awareness of my kinship with creation and a healthy asceticism by discerning my use of energy and things, letting go of what does not help nature to flourish.
  5. I commit to bringing myself fully present to the work I do, whether paid or unpaid, holding a heart of gratitude for the ability to express my gifts in the world in meaningful ways.
  6. I commit to rhythms of rest and renewal through the regular practice of Sabbath and resist a culture of busyness that measures my worth by what I do.
  7. I commit to a lifetime of ongoing conversion and transformation, recognizing that I am always on a journey with both gifts and limitations.




 of a different kind..

My son’s VLOG got me thinking about how we often develop a skill set in one area but end up using it in new and unexpected ways.  In life, in work and in our creative endeavors, our experiences are somehow all inter-connected.

My talented friend, Linda Murtha, immediately came to mind as her work is a beautiful marriage of art and photography.  She very kindly agreed to share her experience, her thoughts and her amazing art with us here:

Lynda’s Journey

I was about 9 years old when my mother came home one afternoon and found me painting a winter scene with white house paint on a red floor tile left over from our basement renovation. I can still see my vision for that painting and I can’t imagine what she was thinking when she took a cloth soaked in Varsol and wiped the tile clean.  Afterward, she apologized, saying she didn’t understand what I was doing, but it was a long time before I showed anyone anything I’d created again.

When I was 7 I’d painted a watercolour of tulips in a garden as an Easter gift for my grandmother. I remember not wanting anyone else to see it. Even as a child my sense was that my art was safe with my grandmother but no one else understood my need to create.  More than 50 years later, a lifetime since I’d even thought about it, I found that little painting among my mother’s belongings.  It wasn’t anything special but my grandmother had kept it her entire life and so had my mother.

In high school I excelled in art and not much more and I begged my parents to allow me to enroll in an art program. They left me in the academic program, and I simply painted on my own through my teens and into my 20’s but I often asked myself, that age old question…What if?

When I married and had three kids in 5 years I put the paints away but sewed and felt that too fed my creative urges. I didn’t turn back to painting for many years. When I did, my own critical voice had grown very loud. I studied for several years with a talented landscape artist who increasingly showed frustration with the faultfinding I heaped on my own work. In a moment of exasperation, she said to me, “If you want a painting to look exactly like a photograph, why not get a camera?”  The seed would take a while to germinate, but she had definitely planted it.

For a while I worked on trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) paintings and found great satisfaction in that. I’d proven to myself I could, in fact, make a painting look ‘real’.  And then, shortly after this stage of growth, I was gifted with my first camera.

Two images I took on my first roll of film hung on the wall of my husband’s office for years. I felt accomplished, acknowledged, and creatively happy just taking pictures for my own pleasure, much the same way I had once enjoyed painting simply for the experience.

In time though, that same creative bug that had bitten me so many years earlier, started to nibble again. More and more I wanted my photographs to look less and less like photos and more and more like paintings.  It was another season of cross-pollination and I was now flying backward.

I experimented with textures and layers, with off-lens photography, Lensbaby and with intentional camera movement, all in an effort to make images look like paintings.  And I found great satisfaction in that garden of creativity.

And then most recently, after dabbling just a bit in encaustics over photographs, I found myself longing to paint again, and have been trying some techniques with acrylics and alcohol.

I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I still hear that old voice muttering something about none of them being ‘note-worthy’ but now I can laugh and just go back to it and enjoy the process.  Who knows what I may learn here that I can take somewhere else.  Who knows as we cross-pollinate our experiences, and our attitudes; our criticisms and our praise, what the end results will be?

I’m proud of my work.  I’m proud of the journey too.  As each chapter unfolds I feel a hunger for the next and the next.

I started this adventure relatively early when I tired of crayons and colouring books and staying in the lines, but I’m thrilled to think the story may never end. There’s always something to learn from those who are also cross-pollinating their love of art with other skills they bring to the garden.


2012-06-17 Fathers Day-3 lm












12x12 canvas-FINALIMG_480451797 small


Painting flowers sm

Trompe L’oeil

2017-04-07 painting-1402

Thank you for bringing so much beauty to the garden, Lynda!

More of Lynda’s work can be found HERE.

As for Eric’s vlog…I posted it on Facebook where it made for some fascinating conversation.  It seems our education and knowledge, skills and life experience never go to waste no matter what plans the universe has for us.  It all counts.

 I’ll end this with a thoughtful take on cross-pollination from Kim Mendenhall Stevens

I’ve been thinking a lot about it throughout my day…the comment that struck me the most was the last comment to the question in regards to what she thought about pollination…and she says the bees, they are dying. And while the bees aren’t dying from their job of pollinating, they are dying because of the actions of mankind, and well, the inaction as well. I know he was talking more about cross-pollination when it came to our experiences and things we’ve learned and translating that to subsequent jobs and experiences, but I began to think about it more on a humanity level. If and how we decide to cross-pollinate with each other on a personal and general level, means a great deal for our own survival….because in many ways we are the bees.


floating into February



2017 started out with some changes, some new additions and some happy surprises

Our exhibit at The Bradley Estate turned out wonderfully
Met many talented, inspiring people
Loved the sharing of ideas
(a portion of the exhibit will remain on display until Valentine’s Day)

I was contacted by a magazine editor
my photos and a short article will be published
in their May issue
Will share more details soon.


And last but certainly not least
we adopted this sweet boy

meet Mozart
(yes, he is a genius)


All was good
until it wasn’t
and the world began to crumble
you already know the story
it’s everywhere
so much so, I’ve had to distance myself from social media in order to retain some sense of sanity.  I’ve never been comfortable sharing personal issues, religion or politics online, it has mainly been a platform to share photography and friendship.

I don’t live in a bubble. I read, I watch the news shows, I have lengthy discussions with my close friends and family members in the “real world”

And when I’m done with all of that, I go out with my camera. I climb on my raft..

“Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I don’t see a different purpose for it now.”

― Dorothea Tanning

I float, if only for a few moments.