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A YES is a YES!

Dear Friends:

When did the first human being become an active participant in the mystery and magic of the cycle of nature? Was it simply a matter of observation? Did we watch seedlings mature without our help and recognize the miracle?

We know that the mysterious forces that give gifts of seed and plant, of earth and water, the cycles of the seasons and of the moon and sun gave way to ancient sacred stories — stories that remind us that humanity has always understood the provenance of earth’s gifts as sacral in nature.

For every one “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” (Thoreau) Our angle of vision is said to determine our world and how we see the things within it. The thought process we are told is our key to how we feel and what we see and also what we become.

My longtime friend, Cathy Drew, taught me a phrase I carry with me faithfully. Her words, “A YES is a YES, a NO is a NO, and a Maybe is not now.” So in my compulsion to edit, I reduced it to “A YES is a YES; and a Maybe is a NO.” I find, either way, the phrase works wonders. So the other day in class, I had my students sit with a YES card I printed in large type for each of them. The idea was to turn their card YES side down and sit with their eyes closed. They were instructed to recount that time, or times, in their lives when a moment occurred that was definitely a YES. Perhaps is was about loving someone, holding a new baby, picking out a new home, a new car, a new job, and to get to my point, working on a new piece of art!   When the memory of that YES came to them, they were to turn the card over so that I could see the YES. Now with eyes open I suggested that they use that memory every time they are working on their art and to keep their YES card handy so they are always reminded to stay in touch with their inner joy.


To participate in the mystery and magic of the cycle of nature is indeed a joyful and enlivening experience — one that can be had over and over again by simply using our gift of positive thought. As Cathy Drew, Intuitive/Artist/Poet, tells us, “Just a single wave is powered by the entire ocean, a single thought and feeling of love is powered by the entire universe.” So, when we are engaged in the gift of art and the opportunity to express it, let us all remember that when we receive our YES, our Maybe, and our No the universe is collaborating with us. We only need to listen.

I wish you all a healthy summer, God Bless, OM.


Cathy's Wave of Love

For the Love of Water

Photo by Cathy Drew

Photographer, Author, Intuitive, Life Coach, Speaker, Teacher

Soul Biz

World of Nature

Nature abounds. It surrounds us; and simultaneously, we are part of it.

Distinguishing humanity from nature is like trying to

separate a wave from the ocean that inspires it.

We are one and the same.

—Chopra Center July ’04 Newsletter “Namasté”

Nature is made to conspire with spirit to emancipate us.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Such souls, whose sudden visitations daze the world,
Vanish like lightning, but they leave behind
A voice that in the distance far away
Wakens the slumbering ages.

—Henry Taylor


Olivia H&E ABOUT DSC7785

Academy of Botanical Artsm

Sarasota Studio 20 w/ OM Braida

2068 Sunnyside Lane, Sarasota, FL 34239

Open Registration – To Register, Call 941-953-9999

Thursdays – October 6,13, 20, and

Saturdays – October 8 and 22. 10:30am to 3:30pm


Academy of Botanical Artsm

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens w/ Olivia Braida

900 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236

Creating Botanical Art in

Selby’s Secret Garden: Part I

Wednesday to Friday

October 26 2016 to October 28 2016 ·

12:00pm –5:00pm

Learn – Explore – Create in this three-day art workshop. Students will be presented with a short slide presentation on the history of Botanical Art and the manner in which antique botanicals were created and composed. Students will then enjoy a trip through the Gardens as they learn the traditional skills of measuring, recording and working from field notes. Field sketches will be developed into fine drawings in this first of two three-day workshops. An Academy of Botanical Art Workshop.

Class Fee: $395 (Members $350) – Materials Fee: $35 (pay instructor)

To Register

Or Call Laura Avery 941-366-5731 x239





Book Buys

Spiritual Gardening: Creating Sacred Space Outdoors by Peg Streep, John Glover

The Inward Garden: Creating a Place of Beauty and Meaning by Julie Moir Messervy


Gardens for the Soul: Designing Outdoor Spaces Using Ancient Symbols, Healing Plants, and Feng Shui by Pamela Woods, John Glover


Feng Shui Garden Design: Creating Serenity by Antonia Beattie, Leigh Clapp


Painting Tips

When you are feeling somewhat “blocked” and simply can’t get your paintbrush to do what you would like it to do, stop and rest within your self for a few minutes. This is the time to commune with the Gods. Meditate not on the problem, but rather float into that space of all love and that connects soul with over-soul. The experience is one of both giving and receiving and helps us to bring our heart to our art. Wait for the YES!



Regarding white paint in botanical art –

Yes, actually, white is used in botanical art, but not as a highlight. It is mixed with colors to create a “tint” of the darker color. Below is an explanation of Titanium and Zinc White from Golden Paints that I think you will find helpful.


Titanium White and Zinc White:

 What is the difference between Titanium White and Zinc White? 
These are two whites with very different characteristics, both of which are useful for the artist, depending on their current needs.


Titanium White is the more common of the whites used for painting. It’s known for being bright white, almost bluish, and has excellent opacity and high tinting strength. When mixed with another color, it rapidly lightens the color. The drawback of Titanium White is it can be over-bearing at times, especially when you are just looking to lighten the value a bit and not greatly change the color it’s mixed with.

Enter Zinc White. Zinc White is very transparent, and has 1/10th the tinting strength of Titanium White. The pigment itself is highly translucent, and compliments other transparent pigments, such as Quinacridones, Phthalos, and Hansas very well. You have more control when you add Zinc White. When you add it to another color to lighten it, it doesn’t immediately change it to a pastel shade, like Titanium White can. Both are great colors to have on hand, and you should test both with a variety of other colors to see their strengths and weaknesses first hand.


I have all six in my paint box because you never know.

  1. Titanium White Watercolor
  2. Zinc White Watercolor
  3. Titanium White Acryllc
  4. Zinc White Acrylic
  5. Permanent White Gouache
  6. Zinc White Gouache


For example, Zinc White mixes nicely with Cerulean Blue for “bloom” on fruit. It is not recommended when you need a more dense coating, however. For the exercise in Watercolor III, purchase your whites in small tubes to learn the difference.


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