~ featuring the art of Cia Williford of Briarwood Studio ~

Friday, November 1, 2013

Norma's Angel

My most recent angel painting. She is named for a dear friend's grandmother.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Energy & Art

So much is going on in my little corner of the world. It will get talked about in stages here as I sort through it all. First up is that I am undergoing training as a Reiki practitioner and just got certified in Reiki I. I'm very excited about this adventure as I've always felt a connection to the world around me and have always believed that we are all linked on a common energy, or spiritual, level.

This focus on energy and spirit has, of course, impacted my art work and I find myself being drawn back to an old love, fractal art, which has always touched me at a very deep level. Here are a couple of new pieces I've done in the last week. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Angel Eyes

Just a little sketch I did to take a break from getting ready for the Artful Affair show this weekend. I call her "Angel Eyes." She makes me smile.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Artful Affair: Fall 2013!

Those of you who are local, please come see us on Saturday for the Fall 2013 Artful Affair. Lots of new goodies (both edible and otherwise). Would love to see you!

To Frida, or not to Frida?

It seems that every female artist, at one time or another, does a painting of Frida Kahlo. It's a rite of passage or something. For the longest time I refused to do one. For one thing, I don't like doing what everyone else is doing (which is why a lot of online art classes -- "let's all paint a blue duck just like mine!" -- aren't a good fit for me). Plus, I have no particular love for, or connection to, Frida. I admire her work, her perseverance in the face of adversity, and her ability to overcome obstacles (painting in bed? while wearing a body cast? amazing).

But (and I can hear the collective gasp already), I never really "got" the Frida love.

Then I happened upon some quotes attributed to Frida and I thought, "Here's something I can love: her fighting spirit. Her willingness to know and love herself, just as she is. No pretenses." And so I painted Frida, and used my favorite quote on the print: "Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"

I will confess to having a bit of a soft spot for Frida now. Not so much as an iconic painter, but as a woman, a woman who knew sorrow, and immense struggles....and survived.

May we all have wings to fly.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


A new painting entitled "Alzheimer's." This was a labor of love and is dedicated to my father, my cousin, Mary, and my dear friends Barbara and Janet. It is mixed media pastel painting.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Goodbye, Barbie

On May 28th, I wrote a tribute on The Daily Goodbyes to my friend Barbara Taylor Vaughn and said that she'd be leaving us soon. Well, yesterday, two weeks after that post, she was laid to rest. The outpouring of affection for this woman on Facebook, where many of us met her, is incredible. Barbara was a woman who inspired others to be better, to open our hearts to each other, and to serve each other. She was a powerful proponent of volunteer work, cared passionately about the elderly and lonely, and hated Alzheimer's with all the power she had in that tiny little body of hers.

I will miss Barbara, but I am so grateful to have had her in my life. She will forever be a reminder to me of how I want to treat others, and how I want to live my life.

Rest in peace, my friend. You are missed.

P.S. This is a piece of art I was working on during the last days of Barbara's life. It was inspired by her and her daughter, Missy, both of whom love sunflowers. Barbara used to sing "You are My Sunshine" to Missy. I finished the piece today, and it is dedicated to the both of them. It's called The Sunshine Angel.

(Reposted from The Daily Goodbyes.)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Reworked and Finished

Final versions of the last two pastel/chalk pieces. I'm happy with them, and really enjoying working with pastels.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pretty Pastels

I've been trying my hand at pastels because I love the soft feeling you can get from using them. In this piece I'm working on, I've tried to make it very ethereal, but you can hardly see the wings and halo of the angel. I'm going to have to find a way to bring them out a bit more without losing the so-soft feeling that I love about this. Hmmm....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Moon Goddess

I was playing around tonight -- or rather very early this morning! -- sketching with charcoal and chalk. Then I took the image into my editing program and made a digital collage with it. It's important to "play" sometimes, without any intent of creating a "good" piece of art. The point is to stretch yourself, try new things, and, most importantly, to have fun.

I did. :)

Here's the original sketch:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gearing up for An Artful Affair - Spring Version!

This April 27th marks the first time that I and a group of fellow artists are holding a Spring version of our annual fall show, An Artful Affair. We are really excited to be doing a show in the Spring!

I've been busy in the studio painting, printing, and sculpting. Here's a sample of what will be available at the show. If you are local, we would love to see you there.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Choose Love

Every time something like the Boston Marathon bombing happens, I struggle to understand how someone can hate enough to want innocent people (children, for God's sake) to die. The enormity of that hate is staggering. At times, it threatens to overwhelm me, as if the weight of a thousand boulders was sitting on my heart.

Then today, I learned that an old high school classmate of mine has just been diagnosed with metastatic renal cancer. A cousin and a family friend recently had surgeries for breast cancer.

And, of course, there is the ever present struggle of helping my father on his journey with Alzheimer's.

Wow, the Universe knows how to throw its punches, doesn't it. And sometimes it takes everything I have to get back up and keep going in the face of all the pain.

But, it's not what life throws at us that defines our existence; instead, it's how we react to those moments that makes us who we are. I choose to react with love. I choose to celebrate good. I choose to get back up, even if it takes me all day and all night and every ounce of strength that I have left.

I choose life and happiness, friends and family. Most of all, I choose hope. With these, I can handle anything that comes my way.

What do you choose today?

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

**cross-posted at The Daily Goodbyes

Monday, April 15, 2013

Look to the Light

It's all we can do in the face of the needless and heart-wrenching violence we saw today at the Boston Marathon. As someone who feels things -- everything -- very deeply, it's easy for me to get pulled under by the overwhelming sadness of it all. I have to fight that tendency, and I do it by looking to the Light. Prayers and love to all those in Boston who have been touched by this horrific act.

A new painting, finished within minutes of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. She is dedicated to Boston, and everyone else who needs some Light.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Morphing Angel

This mixed media art piece started out as an angel, then sort of merged with goddess and fairy. That's why I call her a morphing angel, a hybrid. I didn't realize until I was done painting her that she pretty much sums up my ideal version of the Universe -- a mix of fantasy and tradition.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Have a Heart

It's been a while since I've been able to do any serious art since I've been recuperating from a bad back. I still can't sit for long periods of time, but it's getting better. When I finally was able to get back into the studio,  I found myself in the mood to play with color and texture. So, I did. :)

This is basically a 3-D mixed media collage on canvas. I'm loving the texture, but am undecided about the overall composition. These photos don't do the piece justice as the colors are really very vibrant in person.

What do you think?

Monday, February 11, 2013