J.J. said that “…freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…”

To me freedom means that I can choose live (and love) unconditionally…some would say that’s not possible, maybe it’s not for some, but it is a great goal and I believe I am getting stronger and better at it everyday. 🙂

If I live unconditionally that means that no matter what is happening around me I will not allow it to steal my joy. My joy is not dependent on my circumstances. I can always reach for the thought that feels best to me in the moment and choose to stay the course, choosing one good feeling thought that leads to another good feeling thought; then I gather momentum with the good feeling thoughts, and then those thoughts actually turn to good feelings. (keep reading you will see my explanation below)

What I have been discovering is that when I keep that series of good thoughts going (momentum), then I keep the series of good feelings going as well and as a result it becomes easier and easier to ride that wave no matter what comes my way.

When I can find joy in the smallest things, it is then easier to pull out of a downward spiral; it doesn’t have to be something big to lift me into joy. I know that every time we think a thought that is good or happy or a thought of appreciation, then my brain (and yours) is creating chemicals that make me/us feel good, happy and appreciative. I also know that if I think a judgmental, bad, or negative thought that my brain makes chemicals that get me feeling that way too. The judgmental, negative thoughts are self destructive and that is why we want to be filled with compassion, love and joy because we want to, not only love ourselves, but love others as well and this is what the world needs most.

So knowing this is very empowering and knowing that we can train our minds and grow new neurological connections, moulding our mind, to be uplifting, loving and creative reminds me that we were given power, love and a sound mind.

It feels so good to love and encourage others and it costs nothing; don’t you agree?

This little painting is of a sparrow (another awesome symbol) in flight.
I have always loved birds and to hear them sing gives me such a sense of freedom and because of this I often listen to tracks of just birds signing while I’m painting…I’m as free as a bird 🙂 You can go to the link below to hear what I listen to.

Please click on my Vimeo account with that little icon in the bottom right hand corner; I would be so thankful if you commented and shared on there too because even though many have seen this video, it isn’t showing that on Vimeo. 🙂

Freedom, love and respect to you.



2 birdsjpg

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2 Sparrows

16 x 20

Oil on panel



I came from a family of nine children, I think it was common back then for couples to have larger families. I love my siblings very much yet I often found myself playing alone. I thoroughly enjoyed being by myself playing quietly; digging in the dirt was one of my favorite pastimes. Not just digging, I would be creating roads, whole communities where my imaginary citizens would live in perfect harmony, it was my creative outlet at the time, that is probably why that I chose Ceramics as my major at the Alberta College of Art and Design… I love dirt 😉

Growing up in a small village it was always rather quiet and so hearing the whisper in the breeze was ever present, in my heart I knew where the still small voice came from and it was ever-present, speaking to me. Another familiar sound that is so endearing to me are the sparrows songs. The sparrow has such  beautiful songs that hearing them makes me feel so at peace, so at home….it always brings a smile to my face. I know that sparrows are viewed as pests, but for me they bring comfort. Here is a link to some of the songs.

I recall dreaming and earnestly desiring to be a bird, I didn’t know what kind of bird, but I just wanted to fly, free in the air…they seem so carefree, so happy, so free…that is what I wanted.

It’s no wonder that I have chosen sparrows as my subject because the symbology (art of expression by symbols)  of sparrows is very telling and I feel it is no surprise as to the accuracy of this symbolism that has been attributed to them, this is how I see sparrows and because they are a small bird that seems to have no significance, I can relate. These symbols of the sparrow are very much the attributes of that still small voice in the breeze that I have been so familiar with for all those years.


    • Joy
    • Inclusion
    • Creativity
    • Simplicity
    • Protection
    • Community
    • Productivity
    • Friendliness

Still Small Voice of the Pure Breath that I heard in the breeze.

    • Love
    • Joy
    • Peace
    • Long-suffering
    • Kindness
    • Goodness
    • Faith
    • Meekness
    • Self-control

The Native American symbol of a sparrow is: Sparrow: Symbol of desire and fertility; manifests new love in someone’s life; understands the aspects of race; ability to use the power of song; understands all aspects of color.

It wouldn’t be too far fetched to say that sparrows are a symbol of love, not just manifest love, not just fertility, but LOVE.

Love is understanding, love is truth, love is compassion, love is forgiveness, love is kindness, love is empathy and much more.I know that I am being taken care of, just like the sparrows who have no worries. I know that HE has been watching over me all my life and continues to do so. I know that I am clay, He is the Potter and HE is the One who has kept me all these years. I am so thankful.

Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home

When Yasha is my portion
A constant friend is He
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me.

Civilla D. Martin

*Jesus or Joshua are English translations of the Hebrew name YASHA (Yahusha) here is the Hebrew number, meaning and name.

A primitive root; properly to be open, wide or free, that is, (by implication) to be safe; causatively to free or succor: – X at all, avenging, defend, deliver (-er), help, preserve, rescue, be safe, bring (having) salvation, save (-iour), get victory.


Rise Above

Rise Above

Click image to view larger

16 x 20

oil on panel


My younger sister always used to say “water off a duck’s back” whenever anyone was faced with adversity. She would motion with her hand as if stroking the back of a duck…that movement looked like an airplane diving and then at the last second taking off up into the air…and it is a good saying and a good motion because both of them imply rising above the strife, rising above the toils, the troubles and pain of this life.

This painting ‘Rise Above’ is a little sparrow that has flown up high into the air and turns to look down at the place where s/he once was, to see that s/he is not trapped by the snares of this life, s/he sees that s/he has power, power to choose.

I am choosing to paint sparrows right now because they are considered to be a pest and are not given much significance. I have often felt that I was considered to be a pest, not very significant…a sad truth, but I repudiate that image that was placed on me.

I Rise Above the labels, the voices of the past, and even some voices of the present that do not agree with what I stand for. I Rise Above because I choose to live a life that is real, a life that is filled with truth and love and understanding. I choose to live a life that is aimed to do good, to help others, to love others freely in the best way that I know how. I Rise Above because I have decided to be the change that I want to see in this world…to love mercy, to do justly and to walk humbly with the Creator.

When one can Rise Above and overcome, then one can truly listen enabling others to be heard, to be free, to Rise Above.

But even the hairs of your head are all numbered! Do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:7