It’s the weekend of International Women’s Day, so I’m sharing some of my paintings of female characters and some descriptions and/or inspiration behind them. Really, most of my paintings showcase female characters and female energy, so it was a bit tough to narrow that part down, but the overall focus here is on strength, resilience, love and positivity. So here are a few, along with some of my own thoughts, as well as some excerpts from a handful of poets/writers I admire.

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
-Mary Oliver

We move forward especially when we’re thrust into action. We look to the future with a vision in our minds of what the world holds. We put our world-view helmets on and go.


In moments of adversity, it’s because of Hope that we rise up to meet our challenges with courage, strength, and resilience.

You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere. – Ursula K. LeGuin


Aki (The song in her eyes)
She stirs the soil and sings it back to life:
“Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are.”


Ramla brings the balance of sensitivity and perseverance, along with peace and harmony. The presence of Ramla gives us faith and reminds us to trust our abilities, ignite our internal powers, and seek out new adventures.


To Rise Again
Things are continuously changing and evolving, always keeping us on our toes, quietly preparing us for moments of adversity.

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save the only life you could save.
– Mary Oliver (The Journey)


Hana Twins
Their bond is strong, and they exude a positive and powerful love, especially when together. When the hillsides and meadows are suddenly blanketed with flowers, you can be sure the Hana Twins have been there.
It’s lack of love we die from. – Margaret Atwood


Miitu (Much Stands Behind Me)

My life is not this steeply sloping hour
in which you see me hurrying.
Much stands behind me; I stand before it like a tree;
I am only one of my many mouths,
and at that, the one that will be still the soonest.
I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in discord
but in the dark interval, reconciled,
they stay there trembling.
And the song goes on, beautiful.
– Rilke


Created from chaos, she brings forth life. She is the giver of dreams, all-producing, all-nourishing. Surrounded by the fruits of the earth, she embraces the void, the everything, and is a believer that it all is interconnected.


I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable, beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.
– Mary Oliver


Trust your intuition.. but if you ever find yourself in doubt, you can look to Rai for guidance.

Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it. – Ursula K. LeGuin


The Rune Writer
There’s a story in the abstract marks and atmosphere, like subtle runes that are left to be deciphered and open to different interpretations. It might even be something that we all can’t quite put into words – and that may be one of the biggest motivations for us to keep scratching at the surface.


Rayen is a flower; beautiful, intricate, curious, and elusive in that she is seemingly fragile, but amazingly resilient and strong.


To know her is to know the vastness that lies within her. She is a source of wonderment where there is always something more to discover.


To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness. – Ursula K. LeGuin


Ora casts a golden glow especially seen in the breaks and cracks of a broken paragon, adding life and value to a sense of what may seem lost or a perceived notion of imperfection. Her essence celebrates a belief aligned with wabi-sabi which nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.


When you’ve seen beyond yourself
Then you may find peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you.
the Beatles (from the song Within You Without You)


Courage Is A Shapeshifter
We are all shapeshifters when we need to be, and it takes courage sometimes, but it’s possible. It’s essential. We owe it to ourselves to do this.


Return To The Vortex
Nobody can bring you peace but yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Holding On And Letting Go
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. – Rumi