Stray Dog Arts

Chop wood, carry water...and paint like there's no tomorrow!

I want to share with you a very favorite quote of mine. It's an attractive way of being that I've always been drawn to and, recently, have decided to live out to its fullest capacity.  It goes like this...

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life,and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

{the road to Everything :: Chippewa Nat'l Forest}
 On an unseasonably warm day in late March, I packed up my home and studio and headed in the direction of my heart. 

It is a life that I hope we are all willing to steer towards, despite risks. With our compasses pointed in the direction of NO REGRET, I'm glad to have you along with me on this next great adventure.

And so I suppose you're wondering: Where did I go and what am I up to NOW?! FEELS like, SMELLS like, SOUNDS like, LOOKS like:

{the simple things. Follow me on Instagram @straydogarts}

This year, I decided to do something exceptional and head to the middle of nowhere, a seemingly far-away place in Northern Minnesota, for an extended 6 month painting retreat. Oh, sweet HEAVEN! 

The goal is multifaceted:
  • To simplify life to the utmost degree.
  • To catch up with a hearty dose of commissioned art work (which includes nearly 70 paintings!).
  • To also dive earnestly into my next big project, a series of large-scale wild horse paintings.
  • To sneak in a painting or two to replenish the quickly dwindling collection of non-commissioned canine/feline originals.
  • To hike, paint, swim, hike, snuggle dogs, paint, paint, hike, hike, swim, paint, snuggle dogs, hike, swim, paint, paint, paint.... :)
  • To replenish, refill, and NOURISH--body, mind, and spirit!
  • To enjoy falling deeply in love with my life.  
  • To get quiet with my heart.
  • To read a few books.
  • To savor a thick blanket of stars, loon-song, and the crackle of the camp fire--all in one startling magnificent dose!
  • To, once again, become close friends with my essential self.
  • To chop wood, carry water...
  • And, mostly, to simply breathe in a whopping dose of quiet while doing all of the above.
Oh, but there's one other reason: BECAUSE I CAN!!! :)

Last year, while traveling to photograph horses out west, I realized that I am lucky enough to be able to work from almost anywhere.  And so...I've decided to take advantage of it! 

In short, I'm simply going to take awhile to live the dream life. ;) 

While on retreat, I'll continue traveling to Minneapolis (and beyond) for photoshoots on a semi-regular basis. But mostly...I'll be here. Lakeside. With these great big studio doors WIDE OPEN. Listening to the birds and the breeze and the snuggle-puffin sounds of my sun-bathing dogs.

All I can say is that it so insanely beautiful here that I'm already feeling inspired and REVIVED in about a million ways. 

I love city life, too.  But can you blame me for packing up my paint brushes and heading out on such a blissfully long-winded retreat when the view from my new studio looks like THIS:

{lakeside retreat in Northern Minnesota, with Louie (my love)}

May all dogs by happy!
...and may the fire always burn brightly.

With enormous amounts of four-legged painterly passion from the middle of nowhere,


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