Choose A Sunshine State of Mind

A  New Paradigm Shift: Choose A Sunshine State of Mind

When I was a little girl, playing house was one of my favorite games. All I needed were my teapot set and Gina, my doll. Isn’t it so amazing to see children entertain themselves when they are alone?!  As a result, their minds take them to a whole new world. Therefore they easily adapt and make a paradigm shift  to create, build, and  imagine. Why can’t we do the same? What is your “sunshine state of mind?”

So Let’s Go to Paris, the City of Lights

Arc De' Triomphe, City of Lights

Posing by the historic Arc De Triomphe            

During this uncertain time of a sudden pandemic crisis, we are forced to be alone staying home. And unable to socialize in person, unable to do our long list of many things we have routinely done. This 360 degree paradigm change shocks many people’s lives. As a result, a feeling of panic can set in. Alas we are alone with ourselves! But amidst this seemingly fearful state,  let’s choose a new normal. In other words choose a new paradigm shift. A sunshine, state of mind with comforting and sweet memories.

 I am frustrated I can’t travel now but I can change the paradigm and recollect those times I have been blessed to travel. For instance, I reminisce of my past travel to Paris and recall the delicious aroma of baked goods from a patisserie below my apartment. I smell the freshly baked baguette in the morning and it’s wonderful. I recall catching the Metro (Paris subway train) to visit the museums. And discover the grandeur of Parisienne architecture feeling like a treat. An evening cruise along Seine River is romantic again. This was my first time to visit France and I remember greeting everyone with my rehearsed French phrases  like Bonjour, Merci, Au Revoir. Oui!  It still feels very good 🙂

Versailles Palace gardens, Paris

Overlooking the magnificent view of the palace gardens              

2020 Paradigm Shift — The year 2009 in October

My girlfriend and I were set for an adventure. We visited the magnificent Versailles Palace and its gardens. The opulence is unbelievable. After that, I went to the Louvre museum that houses thousands of paintings and sculptures of past centuries. Another favorite museum is Musee d’Orsay at the centre of Paris on the banks of the Seine, opposite the Tuileries Gardens.  It was installed in the former Orsay railway station, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. So the building itself could be seen as the first “work of art” in the Musee d’Orsay. It displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914.

Standing at The Louvre and Versailles Palace grounds  


Monet’s Gardens in Giverny: The Heart of Impressionism

Artists and botanists alike love Monet's gardens in Giverny

Monet planted bamboos, wisterias, and colorful array of flowers. Floating lilies adorn the ponds.

Alone, I took a train to visit Giverny, 50 miles west of Paris. It’s a very  charming village  where Monet lived and painted most of his life.  Remember those paintings of waterlilies and ponds? He built a pastoral paradise complete with a Japanese garden and a pond full of floating lilies. Claude Monet was the leading light of the Impressionist movement and revolutionized painting in the 1870s.  Monet gave courage to fellow artists by enduring harsh criticism of impressionism. He hosted open air painting safaris painting landscapes, seascapes and ladies with parasols. Read:

Reminiscing Paris is one of my most unforgettable adventure. And so maybe tomorrow I will browse again through photos. Another paradigm change! And this time my recent trip to the Philippine  Islands. Au Revoir!


Monet's garden was his inspiration for his painting series of ponds and waterlilies

Monet diverted a river to form a pond, planted willows and bamboo on the shores.

Monet's painting of his Japanese garden

Monet’s oil painting of his Japanese Garden at Giverny — located 50 miles outside the hustle and bustle of Paris, would become a colorful, flowering monument to Monet.


Monet's Japanese Garden, Giverny

Monet hosted plein aire painting in his gardens




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Blogpost 4 April 17, 2020
Choose A Sunshine State of Mind2020-04-17T08:21:30-04:00

Discovering Historic Charleston / February 14, 2020 Post

Discovering Historic Charleston, SC

Can you believe it is February 2020, the second month of the beginning of another decade? It’s exciting to see this as a new  beginning. Every new year is a chance for new expectations, resolutions, dreams, and changes we vow to make. Mine is to focus on every opportunity for sharing and finding inspiration from my getaways, travels, and adventures with hubby and friends through my paintings. It is to pour my heart and energy into creating…

In this blog I share my visit to Charleston, South Carolina last Christmas. It is such a beautiful, charming city filled with art and history and of course – its sumptuous cuisine!

My hubby and I decided to explore downtown Charleston by horse and carriage!

Horse and carriage, Charleston

Horse and Carriage Around Town

It was a great way to navigate old Charleston’s historic streets. With seasoned guides and strong, powerful horses we trotted along the cobbled streets. I can still hear the rhythmic sound of the horse’s hoofs echoing down the narrow streets. It felt like Circa 1820 as we listened to the guide’s stories and anecdotes about the city, ghosts that still hover around a few haunted buildings.  It was just like walking back in time as we passed by the historic homes, plantations and churches.  I was completely enamored by this moment in time. The architecture was from the influences of both American Colonial and French designs.

The Circular and Congregational Church is amazing, dating back to 1890. Its architectural style is Greek Revival, Romanesque. It is not really circular but a modified cloverleaf design and continues to be known as the Circular Church.

Circular Congregational Church

The Circular Congregational Church

Another church that stood out to me is Saint Philip’s Anglican church.  The steeple of this church is 200 feet tall and its glass windows once served as a lighthouse.  The bells were donated to the Confederacy and melted for the iron. New bells were not installed until 1976. The main central doors are 25 feet tall and were ripped from their hinges by Hurricane Hugo in September 1989. Wow! During Christmas it is well known for its most solemn candlelight service. George Washington, John Wesley and Robert E. Lee are just some of noteworthy individuals who worshipped at St. Philip’s.

St Phillips Anglican Church , Greek revival, Romanesque architecture

Sketch of St Phillip’s Anglican Church

We passed by many beautiful historic homes like the Aiken-Rhett House at Elizabeth street circa 1820, virtually unaltered and preserved. This was the former home of Gov. and Mrs. William Aiken Jr. The Calhoun Mansion at Meeting Street is the largest privately-owned home in Charleston circa 1876. This remarkable 24,000 sq. ft. private residence and its formal gardens are open daily for tours.

1800s Charleston home

An 1800s Charleston Home

After an hour of cruising the downtown of Charleston we dropped by a delectable restaurant, Florence’s Low Country Kitchen. We were hoping for a good casual Christmas eve dinner and weren’t disappointed.  Florences’s is popular for its delicious low country seafood cuisine. I must say it was the best seafood fare I have tasted in a long time. Gosh, great food can alter your state of mind!

On Christmas day, we headed to Folley Beach. I can’t miss a visit to the beach! The weather couldn’t have been any better. It was such a lovely day and I was ready to paint ‘en plein aire’! The ocean always gives me a special lift as I smelled the sea breeze. We found an ideal spot for painting and voila, I feverishly created several watercolor paintings.

Painting en plein aire at Folley Beach

Painting en plein aire at Folley Beach

The next day we visited The Gibbes Museum of Art.  I loved the informative, inspirational and enlightening galleries and its architecture. When the Gibbes Museum opened in 1905, the nation celebrated what Charleston has always understood: “the power of art – to inspire our imagination, heal our hurt, and nourish our souls.”  The permanent collection of the Gibbes Museum of Art has deep roots in history. The collection contains artworks inspired by the low country of South Carolina’s unique landscape and cultural heritage.

As the old adage says, a picture speaks a thousand words. As I viewed the paintings and artifacts housed in this magnificent, high ceilinged, three-story building, I really sensed the struggles artists of that era have gone through as they expressed the sentiments of their generation. From wars to slavery and colonization, this museum is filled with awesome history.

view of Charleston by Henry Joseph Jackson

“View of Charleston” by Henry Joseph Jackson 1853

Let me begin with the early landscapes. A new appreciation for landscape painting emerged in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. A fascination with ancient civilizations and a renewed interest in classical landscape paintings by Nicolas Poussin, Salvador Rosa and Claude Lorrain shaped artists’ work. Early works of landscape painting were imported to America from Great Britain, where Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable and Paul Sandby led the landscape movement. The generation of American artists working between the American Revolution and Civil War learned painting techniques by traveling to Europe for training. Some of the earliest American landscape compositions were created in Charleston.

But here is the sad part –The civil war left Charleston in ruins. It destroyed family fortunes, and fires and looting devastated homes and art collections. Artists were not isolated from the effects of war and of African slavery. During the war, painters such as William Aiken Walker and Conrad Wise Chapman who had successful careers became artists for the Confederate Army. They explored issues of slavery, and enslaved artist David Drake expressed resistance to his condition through his ceramic art. I have seen many sketches, historical objects,  etchings, and paintings depicting slaves. One section of a gallery showed tags with numbers identifying the slaves.

Slave tags Gibbes Museum Collection

Slave tags in the Gibbes Museum Collection

I share some of the sentiments these civil war artists expressed. I came from a country that was colonized by Spain and the United States.  Spain landed in the Philippines in 1565 and stayed there for 400 years!  The United States granted us independence on July 4, 1946.  For many long years my country has experienced its own tumultuous struggle for freedom and independence. Many of our history books, journals and works of art have documented the pain of being colonized. But ultimately independence was gained and we now have sovereignty. But sadly not without a price.

Collection Gibbes Museum

Oil Painting, Collection of Gibbes Museum

What a great gift we have now in this big country I now call my own, America, the beautiful. We can enjoy the freedom to express our own minds and hearts as painters, sculptors, writers, film makers, journalists, men and women to the whole world!

Today, the Gibbes Museum of Art hosts art exhibitions from contemporary artists of various media and styles not only from South Carolina residents but artists from other parts of the nation.

FUN FACT from Gibbes Museum of Art on the Secret Life of a Painting: Museums prolong the lives of objects and paintings through specialized handling, storage and environmental conditions. If a painting is in poor condition it may need conservation or repair. Conservators use many techniques to examine a painting. Previous repairs require a Black Light to see them. Black light is a spectrum of energy that causes materials to react in different ways. A conservator can understand what a black light uncovers, such as another layer of paint or prior restoration, and about the painting’s authenticity. Visit:

Well, bless y’all for reading all the way through my ramblings! Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!

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Discovering Historic Charleston / February 14, 2020 Post2020-02-19T10:21:02-05:00

My First Blog! December 2, 2019

Hello Art Lovers and Friends!

Welcome to my new website and blog!  It has been a long process revising and recreating my presence on the World Wide Web.  I am excited to share my new works from Windy Porch Studios here in beautiful Asheville, N.C. and my desire is to connect with all of you like-minded, creative souls, and those who love and support the arts and artists.

In these blog posts, I will be discussing a wide range of topics beneficial and relevant to artists, art lovers, and art collectors.  I will also be referencing and providing links to sites that I find interesting to my readers, and updating my web site with new art works as they are developed.

I feel this is all a new beginning. Moving from California to North Carolina was a big change but from West Coast to East Coast was another change. Not without its challenges but now we live up on a hill overlooking the Pisgah mountain range, with lots of evergreens, foliage and a view of the sunsets and sunrises. Truly a refreshing source of subject matter for my painting — but bugs are everywhere! And wildlife too but not all of them are bad. Ladybugs and leaves dominate the garden and the porch in autumn. Summer evenings we have fireflies which I love. But not the mosquitoes. Oh well, I realized we live in a temperate rain forest. The birds wake us up in the morning. I must have seen over 20 species of these adorable creatures! The cardinals are my favorite. They perch on the dogwood tree just across our bedroom window. Sunday mornings we watch the deer nibble on some of our plants. Seems like they love to visit on Sunday mornings. And yes there was Teddy Bear one afternoon who toppled down the bird house to enjoy the bird seeds. The pros and cons of living in the midst of Nature. We are thirty minutes away from downtown Asheville so we often visit the galleries to view incredible art. Blue Spiral, Haen, Momentum galleries are some of my favorites and the River Arts District are always a treat.  Another favorite past time is dining at Asheville restaurants for the eclectic and farm-to-table good eats.  The Asheville chefs have a knack to elevate any recipe. For one, I love the Kimchi fries at the White Labs brewery and restaurant. Yum! It’s a another Asheville fusion of Asian and American cuisine. Oops,  this is an art blog but I can’t stop talking about food!

I am looking forward to exploring the terrain of North Carolina with its luscious, enchanting beauty  as it continues  to inspire me, and open my heart and soul to new visions.

In my website, there is contact info for those who wish to reach out and engage with me and other readers.  But most of all, enjoy the journey with me. I am happy to connect, or chat via social media or even a visit to my studio!

Here are a few of my activity highlights:

Color Your Heart Painting Social is a group I started here at my Asheville home studio (Windy Porch Studios) to bring together art enthusiasts, hobbyists, and those who love to dabble with paint and brush while enjoying social interaction and making new connections and friendships.  I enjoy sharing my studio and artistic skills with others as part of my intention to  connect with the local community!  My studio is open most weekdays and weekends for two-hour sessions. Join us at Windy Porch Studios for creative time, snacks and refreshments, and ample gab! I will post regular updates on my new schedules.

I have joined outdoor paint-outs with these fun groups: Asheville Plein Air Artists and Preserving a Picturesque America who meet on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays at selected scenic locations of Western North Carolina. During wintertime, they have indoor sketching sessions at selected coffee shops/restaurants. I have joined many of their events and met wonderful, talented artists. I enjoy the camaraderie and sometimes an exchange of thoughts on art and life. It is a real treat to paint plein aire amidst Asheville’s gorgeous landscape. All types of artistic media are welcome to join for its weekly painting sessions. It is free!

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Asheville Art Museum

Attending the opening of the newly renovated Asheville Art Museum.  Visiting the museum was a truly inspirational walk.

art lab pix-72

Inspired after the museum visit. Back to my studio with my favorite tools.

a visit at Asheville museum of Art

Enjoying the Asheville Art Museum at downtown Asheville. It will remain as a great landmark for generations to come.

My First Blog! December 2, 20192023-08-05T13:19:23-04:00