Susan Cain: The Introverts Among Us


#366/365 Paintings

Susan Cain. “Quiet” the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

“Poets and philosophers have been thinking about introverts and extroverts since the dawn of recorded time. Both personalities appear in the Bible and in the writings of Greek and Roman physicians, and some evolutionary psychologists say that the history of these types reaches back even farther than that: the animal kingdom also boasts “introverts” and “extroverts,” and we’ll see from fruit flies to pumpkinseed fish to rhesus monkeys.
Yet today we make room for a remarkably narrow range of personality styles. We’re told that to be great is to be bold, to be happy is to be sociable. We see ourselves as a nation of extroverts—which means that we’ve lost sight of who we really are. Depending upon which study you consult, one third to one half of Americans are introverts—in other words one out of every two or three people you know. {…}
If these statistics surprise you, that’s probably because so many people pretend to be extroverts.
If you are wondering why I’m going over 365 to a total of 367, I’m making up for 2 sick days (I posted replacements so it adds up to 367 now).
On Monday you will get the final wrap up posts. A painting and a lead in to the reflections article. Ugh, change… I need some chocolate.


Nancy Froeschle: Edwin and Maudey


#346/365 Paintings

An excerpt from Edwin and Maudey, a short film written by Nancy Froeschle.

Would you do it all again?

Edwin smiles at her. Takes her hand in his and kisses it.
Both seem a little drowsy.

You bet your boots I would.

Maudey’s eyes tear up a little.

I’m going to miss you. I’m going to
miss you, my sweetheart.

Edwin nods. All his love for his wife is contained in his

I’ve got you, Maudey – For always.

Sleepy, they both lean back in their rockers. Keep watch over
each other until their eyes close. Eventually the chairs stop


Do you know how challenging it is to concentrate on art with tears? This is a seriously beautiful short film. When Nancy shared this script idea that soon after became a short film, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. And when I got a sneak preview I was even more deeply in the story. What a life, what a story, what an ending! Beautiful.




Katherine Anne Porter: Notes on Writing


#339/365 Paintings

Katherine Anne Porter : NOTES ON WRITING

Berlin, December, 1931. From a letter to G.

… I can’t tell you what gives true intensity, but I know it when I find it, even in my own work—there perhaps first of all. It is not a matter of how you feel, at any one moment, certainly not at the moment of writing. Feeling is more than mood, it is a whole way of being, it is the nature you are born with, you cannot invent it. The question is, how to convey a sense of whatever is there, as a feeling, within you, to the reader;


I love the searching in her words. I love the sentence, “Feeling is more than mood, it is a whole way of being, it is the nature you are born with, you cannot invent it.”

She goes on to talk about the technical aspects of conveying ‘yourself’ to the reader. That it’s a matter of rapt attention and ability development. Again, I just love the struggle and search for how to get closer to her reader. The need in it.



Feather bed or Tightrope


#338/365 Paintings

“Life is always a tightrope or a feather bed

Give me the tightrope.”

~ Edith Wharton

Gosh I dunno. Right now? It’s featherbed for me. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. But all that food? Now I need to sleep it off. Featherbed please!


June is for Hedonists and Conversationalists | Food & Wine Paintings

Copyright. Niya Christine

Okay, so the fieldwork alone for the June showcase of paintings is something to salivate over. I really should have raised funds at kick starter for all the restaurant-eering that I ‘just have to do’ to get the details. Food painting is a science you know. Grant worthy. : ) What I dearly love about food and wine is how they kick off something primal in us to relax and follow the thread of conversation and allow a pocket of pleasure to end our day.

So, here’s what’s up:

This is the 6 month point. End of June marks the 1/2 way point of this project.

I’ll kick off the paintings in Ashland. Partly working from photographs of food & wine in restaurants, the farmers Market and local wineries. I will also be researching food and wine from all over world. Mid-June, I’ll be in San Francisco, living right in the heart of fabulous food excursions. On top of it, I’ll be living with a Chef. Cynthia Sasaki is truly gifted in many ways, but her food combinations? Just, wow. I’ll get some first hand tastes of foods I have never dreamed of. I’m not a chef at all (I swear I’d eat my basketball sneakers if they were edible). I’m a wanna be.  Which is why this month is especially exciting. I also plan to head up to Napa Valley. I particularly want to meet Margrit Mondavi and study her food/wine culture sketchbook.

Ironically, I will be 180 degrees from my kitchen this month. In the next couple weeks, I’m packing my home up into storage, selling about 65% of my stuff and traveling all summer. I have been thinking of this for months. To paint the themes on site, live. I’m angling for “Barns” in Vermont in July and “Seascapes” in August location, TBD. I’ll be shutting down the print shop in July and Aug. Looking forward to the adventure. And the challenge of painting and posting “in motion” — that should be interesting.

A few thoughts to wrap up May: Bunnies & Bicycles:

I want to thank you, subscribers and passers by… for being sooooo supportive during a difficult time. It was a shock to me to lose my rabbit, Molly. But what’s more… to lose her while painting for the rabbits theme. That was a big challenge. I’ve never painted during grief like that. It was satisfying and helpful. And you all jumped right in with insights and heartfelt support. Thank you.

Artistically, I’m excited about many of the rabbit paintings—the discoveries. Lots of finger-painting. The mono-printing class was fabulous.

Prints: Lots of print sales this month. I guess I’m not the only bunny lover. To see the full gallery in thumbnail view, you can do that here: store

Donations: May’s print sales donation is going to the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue. I have a soft spot for ginormous dogs. June’s donation will go to a homeless shelter in San Francisco. I’ve decided to have the donations be directed by the theme. Food & Wine proceeds should help those who are hungry.

Inspirations from FOODIES: Please post photos of food and wine on the Story Paintings Facebook page. I love the energy and inputs.. and who knows. It all gets dialed in somehow. I also plan to feature some chefs and foodies. One of my favorites is Georgeanne Brennan who wrote the book, A Pig in Provence and her new book, The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook looks wonderful.

My overall project notes: I just love the luxury of being able to obsess about my favorite subjects in color and share them with such an enthusiastic crowd. It’s happiness every day. Even on the very tired and grumpy days. I’m here, I’m in, more adventures ahead, I’ll sleep when I die, etc.!



A little of this, a little of that…

Shop. Niya Christine. Copyright

#87/365 Paintings

And this is what it might look like from inside the forest of flowers. I sort of want to tickle the tummy of the elephant on the right.

Project notes: These are my first experiences with collage. This past week has been full of experimentation (in the spirit of spring). I love it.


It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
—Rainer Maria Rilke