Friday, October 24, 2014

Core Landscapes: Glass Butte, Eastern Oregon

Glass Butte, Eastern Oregon, September 2014. This painting is pretty good size, 15 x 23 painted on 300# Arches watercolor paper. I painted it plein air this last September 2014. I set up my supplies in the shade of a large juniper tree and just gave in to the sheer joy of being in high desert. 

If it is true that we each have a core landscape that brings us alive, then for me the high desert is it. I love junipers, pinion pines, sage brush; I have an affinity for skeletal rocks devoid of growth. I look for shapes, darks, lights, color and texture. 

Glass Butte is essentially a mountain of black obsidian. Obsidian is glassy, sharp enough to puncture a car tire, and exquisitely beautiful with colors ranging from the darkest shiny black to reds and grays. This painting is for me because

it takes me back to a September afternoon of sunshine, serenity, no time.
--Cheryl Renee Long
For fine arts watercolors of nature and birds at affordable prices, go to 

What is YOUR Core Landscape?

In this blog post, Cheryl talks about the concept of a "core landscape." What do you think about the idea of a core landscape--do you have an interior space or exterior place that always calls you to your most essential self?

What is it? Leave your insights and ideas in the comment box, and don't forget to leave your e-mail in the box at the right if you want to keep track of the upcoming conversation on this fascinating topic.

If it says "No Comments" below, just click there and add your and then the next person clicks on 1 Comment and so on!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

:Magnetic Boots Dream

Magnetic Boots 
...comes from a dream of August 22, 2014
I am in a  beautiful, spacious gallery. I am working as a staff member that day with two other women. I realize there is someplace else that I urgently need to be. I ask them if they will cover for me. They agree and I leave quickly.

Next I am walking with a young man. He is over 7 feet tall. He has very black hair and white skin. He tells me he is only 20 and that the Guinness Book of Records will not yet give him the tallest man in the world status because he is still growing. There is another man somewhere in the world and they are in competition for the title.

He and I come to a yellow art studio in the woods. It has many open windows and he easily steps in through a window. I am too short to easily lift myself up to get through the window. I think he might lend me a hand and he finally does offer a hand but he is not really any help. I finally am able to get into the studio but with difficulty.

I wonder why I feel so heavy. I look down at the my feet. I am wearing my leather Red Wing work boots. They are covered with screws, nuts, bolts - bits of metal and one of them is sticking me in the foot, hurting me. I think, these are magnetic boots and they are attracting all kinds of heavy shit. 

--Cheryl R.Long
Since I had this dream I have resigned from my gallery and taken a year off from producing retreats. I have completed four paintings so far this month. My two classes are full. Two other classes simply went away. Space in consciousness. I guess I just need a lot of room. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Flag of Me

 I created this mirror photograph in response to a challenge to create a "visual palindrome." A commenter on Flickr said I should make it the flag of my country. I love that idea --what does it mean? What would the flag of YOUR country look like?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Full Moon Lantern Festival - Travel Journal

The Full Moon Lantern Festival in Chaing Mai, November 2013. 

Thousands of people in the streets near the Ping River on this full moon night. Each individual, man, woman and child released a large 2-1/2 foot tall white paper lantern into the moonlit night with little competing light to spoil the effect. Each lantern gently filled with heat as the candle caught the flame. It slowly rises to join myriad of others in the night sky. A soft breeze moved the lights slowly across my line of vision, each rising -  a disappearing pinpoint of light.

Not an orchestrated show but joyful event created by everyone, tourists included. I very much felt a part of this awe inspiring Thai festival.


With a nod to my spiritual ancestor, Georgia O'keefe who painted  clouds from the air, this little colored pencil drawing in my sketch book is more realistic than you might think. Flying from Chaing Mai to Bangkok, Thailand I snagged the window seat. Very few people look out the window while flying. I always do and this is my reward.

Peace Like a River

Peace Like a River
(“How do you feel? Write about its opposite.”)

Push back against peace,
that river of green oxbowing
the high mountain meadow of my life now.

Freeze it right down
to the playful otter’s den;
iced juncos fall like raisins
from a Payne’s gray pudding sky.

Call all the bad birds:
Mock me, Bitter Raven, deride
my easy laughter with your own
ironic groan; prove to me

the cruelty of the real.
Carrion Crow, friend,
you have been pecking out my eyes,

forcing me down into darkness
with no extended wings. In the frozen
meadow, even the ravenous fox

has stopped, one paw up,
tufted ears cocked
for the sound of the poacher’s gun.

The river shifts, shivers:
a patterned craze of cracks

races to either shore.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Dream I Can't Forget

Using the Paper 53 app and a Pogo bluetooth brush stylus, I went to my Dream Journal and saw I had pasted in a Chagall reproduction to illustrate a dream I had of being outside my body, or, rather, I had two bodies and was in both at the same time. This is a loose "copy" of the Chagall and my dream both.

DAILY CREATE CHALLENGE: Draw an image from a sleeping dream you still can’t forget.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Water Musics

This is a video I made for today's Daily Create:

Create a short, beautiful video featuring moving water (fountain, river, etc.) Add music.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Magic Solstice Tree

Magic Tree, Watercolor by Cheryl R. Long

In a clearing not far from here,

a tree shimmers and draws

tendrils of thought

into its constant making.

You may braid a world

into being inside its thousand

lights. Find it in the old

growth forest that roots

itself in your ten toes,

explodes stars through fingertips,

eyes, your hair lacing leaves,

little lights to the solstice sky.

Sandy Brown Jensen

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fields of Lake Cle Elum Gold

October 24, 2013 found me visiting Seattle to go to a conference. I came a day early so Cheryl and I would have an Art Play Day--and what a day it was! We planned for one destination, but as the sun got lower in the sky, we instead stopped in the surreal basin of the lowered reservoir.

I loved the strong bones of this place, awash in shadows and sun, drenched with the colors of the changing season,

I put my photos into a slide show to the music of the immortal Eva Cassidy, "Fields of Gold."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Kandinsky's Excuse

Kandinsky, his cows and his maid,
a mere excuse for cobalt blue bleeding
to green gold,
foiled by white with new gamboge spots.
Yellow spots, outrageous on a cow as any red headed country girl knows.
Is that a sap green sea or is it a  ship about to set sail into
a ochre sky? 

"Painting en Plein Air": Let the Poetry Begin!

Nightfall View From a Kayak, Watercolor by Cheryl R. Long

Painting en Plein Air

My turquoise tangerine
washes cerise chartreuse
in the frangible
new gamboge
of the pear-shaped afternoon.

--Sandy Brown Jensen
Inspired by +Beth Camp, who is doing the October One Poem a Day 
Writing Month, I am teaching a creative writing class in poetry 
Winter 2014 for Lane Community College, so I am beginning to blog 
more poetry to get back into practice.
I follow a website called The Daily Create, and today the creative 
challenge is:
"Find a website with descriptive names for colors; write a story
or poem using at least 5 of those names."
My poem is drawn from looking at my sister +Cheryl Renee Long's
favorite painting practice, which is outdoors--a practice 
called painting en plein air.
She and I both love a color called New Gamboge, which looks 
like this:
New Gamboge

You can see her effective use of it in the painting above, 
"Nightfall View From a Kayak."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Where We Come From

Today's Daily Create assignment is:

Where did you come from? Create an image showing your family origins, ethnic heritage, etc.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Internet Flow

Today's Daily Create

Draw the Internet! 12 Oct 2013
Give us an illustration of what the Internet looks like you.
Created with Flowpaper.
At first I tried a random network scribble drawing, but that didn't express my sense of the Internet with all its major hubs. Flowpaper provides a geat sense of visual complexity.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tatoosh Range: Watercolor series fall 2013

In Pacific Northwest the fall colors are often soft shades of gray, blue and inky darks. These paintings are available at

 I viewed the Tatoosh Range from the hiking trails above Paradise Lodge, Mt. Rainier. WA. Sandy and I watched dense white clouds rolled, in knowing that a massive thunder and lightning storm was predicted. With a careful eye on the sky, we stayed up in the blooming mountain meadows until the last possible minute. As the first rain threatened we scurried on down the trail to the warmth and safety of Paradise lodge, and a before dinner toast to the day.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Silver Lake With Canada Geese

I will remember Silver Lake this way, with the morning mist and the Canada Geese. But the same day at the other extreme...paddling though acres
of crispy curling lily pads.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Silver Mist Man

Silver Mist Man

I stayed recently at the Silver Lake Resort in Washington State at the foot of Mt. St. Helen. The morning lake was misty and glassy, but the anglers were standing around drinking coffee and getting to go out after the big bass anyway.

This lone figure out at the end of the dock seemed to me to be from that liminal space between dream and waking where I feel one foot in each world.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Artist on the Water

Artist Cheryl Renee Long out on the water late winter, Feb. 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rose Petal Eyes

Coyote has rose petal eyes

Rose Petal Eyes

I love my rose petal eyes;
they open wide like stained
glass mandalas of the soul.

High up in the airy nave
rose windows bloom spirit eyes,
and a yellow spider hangs on

a single silver strand
of silk. She will weave
spirit eyes, and a web

to catch the dead, so they
may pause like pale moths
struggling one last time before

escaping out my rose petal eyes
into that final light or dark.

--Sandy Brown Jensen

My Eyes Shoot Spirit Rays
 Every time I teach poetry, I eventually get around to reading the story about Coyote and his Rose Petal Eyes. This is my illustration from another time (May 4, 2009) I worked with this theme, and here is the link to the short short story I wrote to go with it that time.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Reading Questions__Wi.doc Nov. 29, 2004
In 2004 I still didn't know Wi. I set out from the pathetic little brothel where I was raised thinking Wi couldn't be far off. I limped my little limp down to the scruffy duff where I befriended the King of the Ants. He said that even though he had excellent long antennae perfect for the social media of the day, he didn't know Wi.

I stroked his long, feathery antennae and murmured over and over, "Wi, Wi, Wi." He wiggled and thought and finally sent me down in the dark culvert where he thought it was likely Wi went in wet weather. The culvert was dark and slimy with a special kind of toxic algae. There were a lot of folks down in the ditch coming and going from the river. I stopped rats and raccoons, small children and squirrels and asked if they knew Wi.

They threw me distressed glances, shook their dirty dreads, dribbled ginger crumbs and hurried away.

It was a long drop down to the river, and I was terrified of the way the vines shimmied in the wind. The blue rowboat had an oarsman named Paddy Olson and he said thought he knew Wi as he wended our weary way west. I slept under the gunnel and in my dream Wi came to me and anointed my feet and set my name in the stars.

When I awoke, I had several questions.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
Which is worse, failing or never trying?
If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

Paddy said to use the old laptop tied to the anchor chain; he said to write down The Wi in my dream and I did that and I gave him the old green jump drive with the chipped Betty Boop decal on it and he asked Wi and I said really, I didn't know Wi. That was Nov. 29, 2004. I just got this jump in the mail today. I wonder Wi?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Spontaneous Thought Forms

Spontaneous Thought Forms is a warm up game. The rule is you have to draw the very first thing that pops into your head. No editing allowed. I chose colored Pilot pens and Prismacolor pencils. After that each decision had to go down on first impulse. It is harder than it sounds, the urge to edit is so hardwired. No judging the results either. 

As far as I can tell this is strictly whimsical. The fantasy landscape reminds me of the recent  Alice in Wonderland movie with Johnnie Depp. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dream Street

Dream Street is really N. Grand in Eugene, my street in the late fall of 2012. It is an everyday street scene made strange through the magic of my i-Pad photo apps, but I don't think the fact that the changes are technological changes the artistic drive. I experience this kind of art the same way I experienced drawing on black paper. I am accessing and expressing dream imagery, source imagery, digging down to the well where the listening gets really good.

This image reminds me that layers of history predate my presence here. Even in my own double decade, so many odd, dreamlike things have happened on this street: the time the car was set on fire in front of our house; the time twelve eagles flew low overhead and lingered to fish before flying on south to the Klamath wintering grounds; the days of snow and ice that transfigure the world; stories of our neighbors; stories of the days when the bottom of the street was in the flood zone and neighbors visited by rowboat.

We all live on an aquifer of stories...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Aerial Landscape with Crops, Lakes and Roads

This is a whimsical sketch, strictly to engage my bratty little artist within. She is unhappy that she has not been allowed to paint and draw for while so she gets to do what she wants for awhile. Some people call these warmups but I secretly know better. The bratty little girl has to have her way, then she will settle down to work. 

This little image is a magical landscape, with a blue brick road and a green cobblestone path. Plenty of lakes for swimming and apple orchards, flower gardens and forests. She gets to play here for awhile.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Double Rainbow, April 26, 2012

I saw this double rainbow around 7:30 pm on Thursday evening, April 26, 2012. It appeared to be over the Kent east hill in Washington State,  but of course it is a mirage so it moved as I moved. The rainbow on the left was the most intense color I have ever seen in a rainbow, with the right rainbow slightly lighter with a misty feeling. The brilliant  setting sun through intermittent light rain provided the right circumstances for this rainbow to occur. Sandy and Toren also saw a double rainbow on the same evening at the same time in the Portland, Oregon area. This seems significant to me, even though I somewhat understand the physics. The way the miracles work scientifically makes them seem more wonderous rather than less. The fact that three sisters saw a double rainbow in different states at the same exact time seems incredible to me. 

It is even more incredible considering that this time is highly charged for our family. Our mother Mickey calls it a pivot point in time. She just underwent hip replacement surgery at age 86. She sees this time of healing as the point in her life where she will divide the time in her awareness. Before hip replacement and a year of suffering, and after hip replacement. She states:" from this point I move forward with the last years of my ministry on earth." 

From my perspective, she got a double rainbow thumbs up from the Universe. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dream Mixel

Dream Hands
My dream hands do the work
In another world, one I need
A black cat’s eyes to see.
I travel the red river of my own sleeping blood
In search of three strings I know
I must find and braid together.
Raven’s wings take me up
To that Rainbow Place
Where One Eye sees all.

Sandy Brown Jensen

Friday, January 27, 2012

Out of the Cave

Out of the Cave
I often draw in front of the TV, and this particular evening, I saw an image on TV of white bat shapes coming out of a cave. Then we started watching the Geronimo special, and whenever I glanced up, I'd see a shape of ocotillo cactus or the compelling shape of a desert wind blasted standing stone.  I drew whatever shape implanted itself on my retina. I like the results. I see people under the protection of the cave and in the powerful companionship of the Soul Stone.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Juggling Fruit For Fun

It was January 10th, 2012 and we were all rusty. Many of us had not painted over the holidays. Juggling Fruit for Fun started as a ten minute warm up class exercise. My students painted and I painted with them. It is not cheating to go back and complete the image later and that is what I did.

Fast warm ups often produce fun and energy, on the paper right where you want it. It is a good way to put the muse on alert, solicit the help of your art guides and convince your subconscious and other invisible sources that you are now serious about getting on with painting.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Playing with Artist Studio iPad ap

I downloaded Artist Studio onto my iPad 2 last night and started fooling around while Cheryl and I watched Season 13, Week Eight of Dancing With the Stars. 
This was my first sketch, all done with my fingers on the iPad2 surface. Taps change the color and pen size and other features. 

The experience is surprisingly satisfying. It feels very much like finger painting, and I find the result expressive of my mood, which is what I have always liked most about doing my kind of art, the people's art, art therapy, play, expressive art.  

I have ordered a stylus,  a kind of pen or brush sensitive to the surface of the i-Pad. I understand I can also do doodle-cartooning and screen capture a movie of the moves the hand makes in its creation. THAT could be fun!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hand with the Blue Agate Eye

This blue agate eye is very ancient and was given to me by the late Tibetan dream yoga master Tarab Tulku. October 22, 2007

Attunement Intention Hand

This is my exploration practice exercise for the Attunement gathering at Edenvale this weekend. I purchased 9 x 12 black construction paper so everyone would have enough room to trace their hand. I take them back to their childhood, perhaps the last time they traced their own hand. I ask them to first put inside their hand qualities and interests that they love/ appreciate about themselves. Then I ask them to depict their attunement world and the areas of interest and responsibility that they connect with most often . I will give each of them a chance to debrief and they will go home with a cover sheet on their art. What do you think, will it work?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So Many Bright Stones on Fort Ebey Beach

July 9, 2011, painting with Cheryl, writing with Peter at Ft. Ebey State Park on Whidby Island

So many bright stones turn in shoreline surf
that when I close my eyes at night, they still
shift, roll, shine in the water sliding down
the cave wall of my sleep.

In half lit trance I gather again green jasper, slick,
hard as jade. White quartz, rounded into thousands
of small bird eggs, is beach punctuation
in the grammar of the shore.

Once again, in dream I said, “Pile the clearest agates
on my grave when I go, fresh
from the tumbler of the sea.
Find them for me here, on this
sunny, specific strand of gravel beach,
headland to headland, where

even the oldest cliffs dissolve
to polished agates moved by waves."
The Bluff Trail entices us from headland to headland

The wind driven shapes of ancient trees

Art lessons on the picnic table; Cheryl's beautiful soft washes

my paintbrush overloaded with all the colors of the evening sky
Sandy Brown Jensen
Photos by Peter Jensen
Art lessons by Cheryl R. Long