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A fresh dawn of hope.

Dawn -a new hopeWhen we start a new year, we always attempt fresh beginnings; be it in our resolutions, relationships, hopes and aspirations or simply being a better person! Usually as the holiday season comes to an end, we find ourselves slightly melancholy, thinking about the year that has ended, contemplating all that we achieved, lost or learned from it and what to implement in the years to come.

If at this time we come across some inspiration that really moves us, we can get going with greater enthusiasm, not only for ourselves, but also energizing people around us. That inspiration maybe something that you read in the newspaper, perhaps the haunting tune on the radio or TV… It could even be a lovely, thought provoking painting such as “filtered light in Montana de Oro” by Suzanne Leasure. ‘Filtered Light In Montana de Oro’ by Suzanne Leasure.

What moved me here was the sparkling rays of the sun, playing a splendid game of ‘hide and seek’ with the big eucalyptus trees just like the limelight of life, sometimes making us the focus of all attention and sometimes highlighting the person next to us! Even the long winding road reminds us of the surprises and opportunities ahead. While the dried and weathered leaves scattered around are a witness of the gradual and inevitable passage of time, the lush blooming green affirms the fact that life goes on. Nature is always at her best, reviving with the same magnificence in spite of all human interference.Autumn Leaves

Surely, we can also let go of our disappointments, learn from all losses or failures and try to catch a piece of that elusive spotlight through all these twists and turns in our journey of life.


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How art aids recovery

Giving wings to your fantasies and blurring the gap between the virtual and the real, beautiful works of art provide the perfect nuance for relaxation, joy and thus lead to a quicker healing. Whether a sick person is at home or a hospital, it is obvious that he would be in suffering some amount of discomfort, pain or Paintings for Relaxationdepression. Surely, a near and dear one would love to make him a bit more comfortable and perk up his low spirits by putting up a bright and colorful atmosphere around. Positive art displayed in the form if multiple canvas paintings, ceiling tiles and

Art in a hospital

wall murals or simply wall paintings can bring in cheer, color, freshness and relaxation, besides banishing the starkness and formality of bare, intimidating walls.

As stated by Dr. Edward Bayne (University Hospital- Florida), “I believe that art can definitely be part of the healing process. The hospital atmosphere is often not conducive to healing. We know more and more now that healing is a mental process as well as a physical process. Works of art are opening up the hospital atmosphere and providing an environment where not only the body can get well, but the mind canLily also get well.”

HarmonyScientific studies like psychology have also proved that colors play a profound effect on the body and mind. Like shades of green and blue are cool and calming while warm reds can stimulate appetite and increase heartbeat. Likewise, yellow and orange can really create a friendly and warm attraction. Natural scenery like

A Colorful Pelican

landscapes, seascapes, animals, birds, flowers, fishes and lush green foliage that implicate growth and energy of life, can have a remarkable positive effect on sick patients and people with depressions, stress and anxiety. Art specially helps children connect to inspiration and joy, makes them forget their fears of a strange place, illness, pain, nervousness and boredom.

A landmark study also found that post-surgical patients who had a view of trees in full foliage had shorter

post-operative hospital stays, required less medication, and experienced few post-surgical complications compared to those who had a brick wall in front of them.

Two TulipsDragonfly in the PergolaIt brings to mind a classic story by O Henri, named “The last leaf” where a person suffering from serious pneumonia starts believing that her life would depart with the last leaf of a shedding tree in autumn. A realistic painted leaf outside her window manages to pull her back to good health as well as her senses. This story wonderfully portrays the effect of art as a curative effect as well as the immense dependence of a patient on a natural scene to get inspired and divert her focus from the pain.

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Marine Escapade

Tidal Churning -IIIf you’ve always wanted to be different, unique in your interpretation of subjects, known for thinking “out of the box”, and setting trends in your life and ambience, I am pretty sure you are always on the lookout for fresh sources of inspiration, motivation and abundant sources from where you can draw your energy.

You are indeed lucky if you live near places that are blessed with natural splendours, but like me, if you cannot help being in a bustling city where you may have to make do with crammed parks or flipping channels on the electronic media, you need to find out how to create an environment around you that encourages imagination, recreation and simply flushes out all the negativity and fatigue that creep into you.

One of the most successful tactics to do that is to have a ‘magic window’ to look upon or escape into a dimension where you can explore myriad dreams of boundless insight. For instance, I found my ‘magic window’ in a hypnotic painting by Paul Leasure, named “Tidal Churning-II”.

You will surely find splendid seascapes, each better and more moving than the last, but Tidal Churning-II is unique and mesmerizing with its flamboyant play of color, the realistic and amazing sense of movement portrayed in the feisty waves and even the glistening marine creatures in the picture seems to throb with life, clinging to the dark, enigmatic oceanic rocks! The whole picture is enthused with so much energy and an unexplained thrill that you can lose yourself in trying to find out the possible interpretations that moved your soul.

Jean Arp had once remarked, “Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or like a child in its mother’s womb.” Similarly, this painting grows in you, and you may find it easy to have your home redecorated with a nautical theme to provide you that perfect getaway.

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Western Décor

Room with western decorYou love that look that is ruggedly handsome and timeless as the American West, but can’t decide where to start? It may seem to be an overwhelming task, but you can create your rustic style of décor, with a few simple tips here.

 One of the key factors is to use plenty of natural materials such as wood, rock, metal and leather. Birch bark, wool, bead work and antlers are almost as essential.

 The central colors to adorn your walls may be honey colored wood, gray rock and black metals, with the accents in terracotta, brick red, cream, gray or forest green to team up with a western styled rug or wall art.

 Add radiance to those late evening visits by uniquely crafted table and floor lamps that are also available as lovely accents in the morning sunshine.

 You may add vintage items such as cracked leather ottomans or old Indian blankets in tough, textured fabrics and couple it with some western motifs such as guns, horse paintings, moose, cattle, cowboys, mountains, lakes, pine cones, fishing, hunting, wildflowers and so on. “Wild Fire” by Suzanne Leasure

 “Wild Fire” by Suzanne Renee Leasure makes for excellent wall art in a western, rustic or cowboy theme as this painting is of a magnificent horse that looks untamed and defiant with his wild mane, flared nostrils and proud eyes. You can immediately feel the rebellious spirit and the regal disposition of this robust animal as captured in each detailed brush stroke of the artist in this majestic horse portrait. A perfect likeness, together with the spirit and personality of the animal portrayed can sometimes appear as a genuine sculpture in paint!

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Repainting Checklist

List notepadPainting your home is a big and time consuming job so you want to make sure you get everything from the colors to the undercoat right or you could be laying the drop sheets again sooner than you would like.

So before you start your decorating project, follow this simple repainting checklist;

1. Take color samples from the areas you are painting so you know you are getting paint colours which match your existing furniture or wall art, even photos of your current furnishings will help.
2. Stand back from the colors when you are choosing them as they are likely to be painted on a wall orWoman painting a wall with a roller. roof and will rarely be viewed closely.
3. Don’t make your decision on the spot, take your color samples home and position them where you intend to paint them, for example on the wall or as a feature around your wall art.
4. Different walls will also take a paint color differently so view the color on each surface you intend to paint. This has to do with the lighting, the time of day and the season so view the paint colors in as many different lighting conditions as possible.
5. Sample paint pots will give you an idea of the color in a larger area than the sample card so paint boards you can view in different places and you will also notice that colors are darker when painted in a large space.
6. Choose a top quality, durable paint to avoid having to paint numerous coats or repaint in only a few years time.

Paint colors, styles and sheens are decisions which should be made lightly so take your time and use our tips and you may even enjoy the painting and decorating process.

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Avila Beach, California beautiful photos

For a wonderful little place to explore along the Central Coast of California, check out the quaint town of Avila Beach. At peak times of the year, this hot spot for sun seekers is bustling with people of all age groups. Late sun at Avila Beach Known of course for the beautiful beaches, sea caves full of star fish, sea anenome, and other creatures, and easy surfing, this town has also undergone a complete renovation. Older buildings have received a face lift, while scores of new shops and condos have filled in every empty lot. Barely recognizable from the little fishing town of just a few years ago, Avila Beach is appealing to a wider crowd. Avila Hot Springs and Spa, wineries, a golf course, and many other attractions are bringing in a diverse group to enjoy this unique area. Avila Valley Barn offers fresh, local produce and ‘pick your own’ apples and other fruits as well as jams, spread, dressings, and other home made goodies. Avila Beach has something for everyone, and we love to get away for a bit of artistic inspiration for our ocean seascape paintings or just beach ‘fun in the sun’ with the family!


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Horse Art Black and White

This oil painting of a white horse’s profile against a black background has a

Horse Art Black and White

dramatic use of light. Black and white are misleading, since the white is slightly tinted with glowing yellows and orange in the sunlight


and cool blue and purple tones in the shadows. The dark areas behind the horse cause the lighter colors to pop, giving the painting a three dimensional quality. I really enjoyed painting this

with bold brush strokes and a looser style than usual for me. The dynamic motion of this spirited creature can almost be felt.


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Decorate a Rental

Whether you choose to live in a rental property because you know you can live in a much nicer house for much less than you would pay if you were mortgaged to it, or whether you are simply renting for the interim, don’t think you can’t make your home stylish, comfortable and your own, in fact not only can you do it, you should be doing it.Beatiful artwork can spruce up a foyer


Your home is the place where you will spend the majority of your time each day and while in between running around after your family and trekking back and forth to work, it may not feel like it, your home is where you go to escape the world, relax and recharge so its decorating style, furniture and paint colors must reflect what you want to see.


And don’t think that just because you are renting that you are restricted in your decorating as many landlords are happy to grant decorating approval to their tenants if you are respectful enough to ask first and paint later.


You can probably expect your landlord to allow you to repaint your rental as long as they approve the colors. You can also get approval for wall hooks or display areas to hang your wall art as a fresh coat of paint and your favorite art prints can have a dramatic effect on your home decorating style.


It is also easy to put in new light fittings, rugs and furniture and all of these, coupled with your new paint colors can easily transform a neutral rental property into your own personal space. Being surrounded by your own choices in wall art and paint colors is the beginning of decorating your rental home and it is easy to maintain a modern and comfortable style to your home, as long as you know your rental restrictions and you take a little extra time in your planning.

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What Color is Your Life?

We all have colors which we love and colors which we can’t stand and you can probably guess which colors a person is attracted to just by looking at what they are wearing, the accessories they choose and often even the color of their car. However, when decorating it can be a dangerous assumption to choose your favorite color as Red Dinning Roomthe major player in your new color scheme, as a color which looks great as a pair of stilettos may not look so great as a dining room.

So before you go and buy 6 gallons of paint in your favorite color for your next decorating project, you should know what a whole room of that color could do to you;

A red room will get your heart racing in more ways than one. Red will increase your blood pressure, heart beat and energy levels, as well as your feelings of passion. After getting all of your juices flowing it is no surprise that red increases your appetite making it a perfect color for your dining room.

Orange will create similar feelings of warmth but in a more subtle way which is why choosing a shade of orange in your decorating can lead you to a comfortable and inviting family room.

If yellow is your fave color you probably already know that is attracts attention from every corner so while being a warm color, it is best used in small doses in areas such as foyers or hallways.

You may be surprised to know that the color blue is actually an appetite suppressant so this cool and calm color is best used in bedrooms for a feeling of tranquility, and to avoid the urge for a midnight snack.

Green is also a relaxing color, and versatile because where lighter shades of green can take you to the bedroom and living room, darker greens are great in the kitchen or dining room making it a much more accommodating color, without losing its calming influence.

Many adults don’t like purple so it should be used sparingly in your decorating, however further down the color scale into the rose colors, we find that this is a great color for a dining room, bedroom or study. But if you are decorating your child’s room, most kids love the color purple so go for it.

We would love to see what you have done with your favorite colors! Post your comments here and let us know! Better yet, e-mail a photo to us at : )

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Want to Update Your Walls with Less Work?

painting and colorsIf you want a striking new look in your room but are not ready to repaint it, don’t give up yet. You can transform the complete images-1.jpegspace in your room or even your entire home by not painting the walls, but rather painting just the woodwork or trim. Not only is it quick, but also quite easy! Just painting the trim in your room can really change the complete area and according to the specialists, also be the initial ‘stepping stone’ to decorate and repaint the room at a more convenient time for a complete, brand new finish.




The experts confirm that you can virtually paint any type of woodwork, metal or even vinyl. Baseboards, Crown molding, doors, window frames, mantles, chair rails, and staircase railings are all very suitable for the purpose. Prepare beforehand on how much changes you would like to make and how each of them work. At the outset, prepare the surface that you would be painting, by carefully cleaning and drying it. Next you can scrape away flaking paint and make rough surfaces or edges smooth by sanding it. Further, prime all the chosen surfaces by a top quality primer. Decide on the gloss level and quality of the paint you would like to use keeping in mind that a glossy interior paint can add a good visual appeal on the trim. Besides, higher gloss levels are more durable, stain resistant and easier to clean than flat paints, hence are some important points to remember regarding tripainted base board trimm like doors and windows, which are likely to be handled frequently. Top quality paints are recommended to be used while painting trim and a top quality acrylic latex paint is the best choice according to experts at Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute. These coatings not only cover well in a smooth and even manner but resist stains, are easily cleaned and even touch up better than the other common paints. You could go for a fresh white color on your trim for that bright, spacious look or experiment with light tints like off-white, beige or ivory for your accents to get a pleasant surprise. If you like to have a more vibrant look and have neutral walls, you could zero in on your favorite bold color as almost any color is well coordinated with neutral colors. Pastel accents add sophistication and deep ones look fabulous on neutral walls. But if the walls already have a bold color, you can choose a deeper shade for your trim to create a color-coordinated look. Complex colors too, can be used in a beautiful manner where the trim does not match but is a slightly different hue, complementing the color of the walls. Get creative ideas about compatible shades, hues and tints from your color catalog’s, a knowledgeable salesperson, or the internet on sites such as before you actually buy the paint. You can also look up further articles here on how to choose your color and how using top quality of paint can pay in the long run.

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