Growing Wild: The Creative Mind, Body, and Soul


Chalk Face, The Artsy Selfie


I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for – Georgia O’Keeffe

Something wonderful happens when an artist creates; the mind quiets and opens, the body moves effortlessly with grace, and the soul unleashes a torrent of creative energy. The walls isolating us as individuals crumble beneath the river of energy and we become one with the world. There is no needy and insecure “I” to satisfy, there is no past, and there is no future, all have merged with the present moment and that is all that exists.

Creating is as close to Eden as I have come.  This experience of unleashing creativity is the way we were meant to live every moment of our lives. We were meant to be free; children of the wild like we once were before we put up walls and let an illusion of who we think we should be drive our lives.  When I sit down to work on a piece, all of my obstacles melt away.  I transition from thinking and doing to feeling and being.  Time does not exist, problems do not exist; nothing exists outside this moment and the energy that has consumed me.  My hands work…strokes of paint on the canvas, shaping clay, pieces coming together, and I watch it unfold.  Unsure of whether I am experiencing or creating; I am one with the piece, pouring all of my being into it.  This melding of art and artist is what draws us in; it explains why we create and why we love to bring the works of others into our homes.

IMG_8194When you view or bring home a piece from an artist, you become part of that experience.  Your unique energy, interpretation, and meaning are brought to the story.  Have you ever viewed something that captivates you?  Your walls melt away, you become joined with the world around you, and you shift into feeling and being.  It is as though the energy of the piece connected to your very being.  You can feel the warmth and vibrancy carrying you away to a moment when time stands still and all that exists is you experiencing this work of art.  This sharing of creativity is why I love what I do.  I love being able to bring life, love, hope, adventure, intrigue, joy, and comfort to others.

We all have this energy coursing within us.  Let the term “create” become abstract in your mind and you will realize that we are all creators of the moments in our lives.  From drawing out solutions to sculpting your body, you can experience creative living anytime by harnessing it and staying in touch with your true self.   This true self is what remains when you let go of the past that defines you.  It is left when you no longer worry about societal pressures and norms.  It is felt when you stop struggling with yourself and just be yourself.  Be the light you find in your heart, welcome the light of others into your life, and become the joy you were meant to bring to the world.

Two people who have inspired me this week with their gifts…
1. Charcoal Drawings by Heather Hansen
2. Violin Music by Lindsey Stirling

I challenge you to share, what inspires you?  Express yourself in the comments below.


This post is inspired by the theme express yourself from the Weekly Photo Challenge.  If you enjoyed this, please check out other fun interpretations of this theme!


Dreaming Up an Off the Grid Paradise


In a busy world of social and industrial dependence, my husband and I have been longing to create our self reliance oasis. A home where we can break away from the norm and live more in tune with nature. We want to build a way of life that enables us to choose how we interact with society rather than being bound by our dependence on it. To us, this home embodies four areas…

Artistic and Eco-Friendly
Home is where the heart is with The Art House Project. Being an eclectic artist has it’s advantages, like turning our future home into one giant art project to promote eco-friendly living. I will be infusing our off the grid home with my original art pieces in a variety of mediums. From metal work to mosaics, I will also be striving to reuse, or up-cycle, as many “discarded” materials as possible in my pieces.

Life Cycle Management
The best way to know where your food comes from is to grow it yourself. We plan to produce a majority of our plant based food needs (including those for our animals) on site. The hope is to symbiotically grow gardens and raise animals together; joining animal, compost, and garden back into a natural cycle. This means gardens engineered specially for our chickens to roam, pastures planted with optimal nutrition for our horses, varietal orchards for our bees, and dog friendly edibles for the pups.

Natural Heating and Cooling
We plan to construct the home in a manner that takes advantage of the earth’s natural heating and cooling mechanisms. There are a few easy things we can do to accomplish this. First, we plan to construct our home with a southern facing exposure, allowing us to use the abundance of sun to heat it. We also plan to use earth berm walls for superior insulation from the cold in the winter and for cooling in the summer. Second, we will build with materials, like tiled floors and double paned windows, that enable heat or cooling when we want it without using a traditional furnace or air conditioner.

Generating Power with Clean Energy
We still desire to have some modern amenities so we want to have local electricity generation. The house is going to use as much free energy as the site allows. This may require a few different methods of production. Starting with solar, some photo voltaic cells are an easy kill for electricity generation. Depending on a wind survey, a wind turbine may also complement or completely meet our electricity demands. Finally, if there is a stream nearby with enough vertical drop we could install a water turbine. We believe that some combination will be prudent for our electricity demand. What we end up installing will be dependent on the property we can find and purchase. Our search will be with all of these methods in mind.

Interested in growing greener? Join us on our journey as we learn and explore how to make this dream a reality by following our blog, Under Open Skies. Each week we will be diving into something new and sharing what we learn with you.

This post was inspired by the prompt Oasis from The Daily Post.

Mapping out a New Direction

Sometimes in the winds of change, we find our true direction – Unknown

Thank You Mucho!
First, I would like to extend a huge thank you to our visitors and followers this past year! You have helped me to grow more confident in my writing and truly find my voice as a blogger.  Writing and creating artwork has been a childhood dream of mine, so it is unbelievably exciting to experience this coming together. Under Open Skies, has been an amazing adventure that I couldn’t have done without your encouragement!

I took a week off over the holidays to really think about the blog, how it has evolved, and where it is headed.  I wanted to refocus and incorporate the new big adventure in my life.  My husband (Kent) and I have been enthusiastically talking about living off the grid since we met in 2009.  With our big move back west coming up this year, we decided now is the time to start planning and preparing.

The new things you’ll find at Under Open Skies:

Author, Kent Reichle
My husband will be joining me in this blogging adventure, writing posts about sustainable living topics from his unique perspective.  Learn more about him on our Meet the Reichles page.

The Art House Project
Home Plans, Craft Skills Development, Design Sketches and Inspiration
Join me in the creative development of our low-impact, off the grid home.  I plan to incorporate as many of my handcrafted art pieces in various mediums as possible, turning our home into a collective work of art.

Sustainable Living (Refocused from Positive Living)
Raising Animals, Gardening, and Off the Grid Plans
Join Kent and I as we plan and embark on our journey toward self reliance and natural living.

What about Prior Topics?

Wanderlust is Here to Stay
Travel, Exploration, Adventures
Sharing some of our random adventures and travels.

The Fur Kids have grown up and moved to their own place.
PAWtrait Artwork, Classy Canines and Equines
Check out and continue to follow us at Playfully Refined, my new blog dedicated entirely to all things canine and equine.


This post is inspired by the theme new from the Weekly Photo Challenge.  If you enjoyed this, please check out other fun interpretations of this theme!