~ featuring the art of Cia Williford of Briarwood Studio ~

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dare to Dream

So, I took what I learned from Jane DesRosier's class in LifeBook 2012, then adapted it to my own style of painting, and here's what I got: "Dare to Dream." I challenged myself to a rather difficult pose, as well, and after a rough start, I'm really pleased with how this piece turned out. The pose was inspired by a painting by Dante Rossetti, a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, called "A Sea Spell."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Something different...

This portrait is for Week 16 of my LifeBook 2012 class, a lesson with Jane DesRosier. This was, by far, the hardest class yet for me. So different from what I usually do. I almost threw this piece away a half dozen times and there's probably about 15 layers of paint on it. But, I'm stubborn, and eventually something clicked. Thank you, Jane. I learned a lot from this class.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Sweet Song Bird

When you're taking the Alzheimer's Walk, whether it's your own journey or whether you are walking alongside a loved one, there are many . . . many  . . . things that will break your heart along the way. But the truly amazing thing about the Alzheimer's Walk is that there are also some stop-you-in-your-tracks beautiful, amazing, moments, as well. Amidst the heartache, one can actually find joy.

And that's how you get through the days.

For me, one of the most amazing things about the Walk is the people you meet along the way. People that will touch your heart so strongly that you will never be the same again. I'd like to tell you about two of those people now.

Barbara Taylor Vaughan has Alzheimer's. She lives with her daughter, Missy, who has MS. I don't know them personally. Only through Facebook. Barbara keeps up a running commentary on her Alzheimer's Walk with Missy at her side. Barbara's commentaries are priceless: sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always, always real.

Between them, they have more courage and compassion than you could ever hope to find in one lifetime.

They inspire me, these two wonderful ladies, and they don't even know it. As I walk alongside my Dad on his Walk, I often think of the two of them. And I wrap all of us -- my family, my Dad, Missy and her Mom, all the families out there dealing with this unbearable disease -- I mentally wrap all of us in love. And hope.

Barbara is my songbird, singing her song on Facebook and making me smile. She is the subject of my latest painting and it is entitled "Love Never Forgets Love."

To Barbara and Missy, with love. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Things have been crazy work-wise (and this is a good thing since I'm self-employed), but it means I haven't been able to do much painting. In fact, it's been almost a month since I've actually been able to finish anything of substance...and this is it.

This mixed media painting is for week 14, "Honoring Your Past", of Life Book 2012. One of the suggestions in the lesson was to pick an historical figure to base our painting on and I chose, obviously, Emily Dickinson.

I've had an affinity for Emily for many years because, like her, I'm a poet, an introvert, a bit of a hermit, a lover of nature, a sensitive. Emily's words speak to me much more strongly than any modern poet does.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—..."

I hope you enjoy viewing "Emily."