The Corvus Corax, also known as the Raven has come into your world, assuring you of the impeding change. He brings with him the ability to bend time and space for the perfect moment at the right time. He signifies rebirth, renewal, reflection and healing. He helps the transitions and transformations move along smoothly by casting light into the darkness.

We all have a sacred relationship to the creative force within ourselves.  We all have thoughts and views and together with the primal source of the Conscious Universe and our personal life experiences,  we are able to bring these gift of creativity  through and present them as a small glimpse of our soul’s journey to the world.

Expressing one’s self takes practice but if we simply get out of our heads and feel with our hearts this will help us shine our light.  Here are a few of my blog thoughts on life, creativity and what truly matters to me.  Much Love, Mary Ann

Sacred Roots

Sacred Roots








I am so happy Sara is finally sharing her wonderful knowledge and gifts.  Sara is a healer and she has been studying meditation and healing and herbs for years.  She travels to Rishikesh, India and Mexico year after year to meditate and learn often sitting for days chanting in meditation.  She has studied Kundalini Yoga, Vinyasa and many levels of Meditation with too many to name.

I feel so honoured to be taking a mediation class twice a week with Sara.  She lives on a farm a few miles from my house.

The Journey

I look forward to driving to Sara’s as I can feel her energy the moment I turn onto her road.  Many women that have seen Sara say that they feel the same thing.  I recall being at a low point in my life a while back and in search of a little lift, I drove down Sara’s driveway.  I saw her sitting in her window, but because I hadn’t made an appointment, I didn’t want to disturb her so I took in a few big breaths of her energy,  turned my car around and drove out. It was ok, it was perfect as  it was all I needed. Even with that brief moment, I could feel her healing energy soothing my soul.

The Pathway

When I walk down the cobbled pathway to Sara’s little home, the bricks are all sitting uneven and broken, and at one point you have to walk over some roots of a tree. As I walk towards her home I often think of the pathway of my own life, with all of its’ bumps, and twists and turns.  My  life certainly hasn’t been a smoothly paved golden road.  I think about how much strength we all need to walk through the lessons in life and  how we have to be careful not to trip and how sometimes we can’t see if its dark out and we need to use our intuition like a flashlight to see what’s ahead.

The Doorway

I walk up the wooden steps to her purple, open door and I feel the heat from her wood-burning stove wrapping around my shoulders, grabbing my arm, embracing me and walking me in the door like a dear old friend  that loves me, unconditionally.   Her home always smells like fresh sage and flowers.  She has a few well-loved deities and stones and candles adorning her perfectly imperfect stressed wooden cabinets.

When I am at Sara’s I always want to to stay and never leave. 

The Haven

Sara is usually draped in beautiful linen, a lot of which she sews herself.  She is tiny and thin and wears her hair up in a knotted bun on her head, no make up, no wrinkles and her olive skin is flawless.   She looks younger ever time I see her. Don’t mistake tiny with weak, she is strong.  She is the farmer, the tiller of the soil, her heart is in the earth and she honours and blesses the land that grows her food.  She eats most of her own home grown food and sells flowers during the summer. She will often mix up a blend of herbs or tea specific for her friend’s ailments or needs. She understands and is one with nature, Spirit and her own soul.

I have been around a few other healers, guru’s and spiritual teachers in my life, that are really not living the life of true spiritualness that they portray;

This isn’t the case with Sara.

I find peace at Saras. When she talks, her words are few but they  have meaning and truth and are helpful.

We simply meditate.

 We Be.

Every week Sara talks about something different. Last night she spoke about the importance of not talking. So many people just talk to fill up space.

So much of how we think about ourselves, others and the world is created through words and conversation. But if we take time for silence we can uncover a much richer, fuller world.

It comes in the stillness
A wordless knowing
Of everything
And beautifully nothing

It made me think of the constant chatter of others…often speaking nonsense,  undertones, out of jealousy, or with hidden agendas projecting fears of their own. Often people just talk on and on and on just to hear their own voice, (ego) or  to fill an emptiness inside of their own life.   One can always hear fear in another’s words.

After last night I took a very serious look at my own life and who I listen to, surround myself with…Time to weed out a few.

This lesson helped me to see clearly how important it is for me, especially as a highly creative person, to tune out, to change the channel and to not listen to useless words anymore.  It is time to hit the delete button on the chitter-chatterness so that I can think clearly as   this is really the only way that I will be able to sit in my own power and to see the pathway to my soul’s purpose.  For this to happen I need to:




and when I  think I am  done…

meditate some more.

“In the silence of meditation, I find the emptiness, the nothingness, where my soul can connect with my intuition and higher-self,  for guidance,  and creativeness, so that I am able to live out my soul’s purpose.” Mary Ann Burrows

We did a beautiful meditation last night that helps do just that –  remove the dust out of our minds.

I encourage everyone to connect with more people, like Sara, in the world.  People that inspire, but that possibly don’t say too much.  People that choose their words carefully and have integrity and that are real, but don’t have to keep telling you that they are.   When you find them you will know as what they do say has meaning and purpose and isn’t simply filling a void as idle chitter-chatter.

With So MUCH Love,

Mary Ann

Sara’s Website 

Addicted to Spirituality?

My name is Mary Ann and I am an addict.

I have discovered that Spirituality, like anything else, can become an addiction.  Somehow our culture has combined personal growth with spirituality into one and although connected somewhat,  they are certainly not the same thing. Personal growth is about growing, expanding, learning.  I consider spirituality to be a way of seeing the deepest part of ourselves and the world.  A way of being, in which we are connected to Source, to nature, to each other.

In certain circles, being spiritual has become somewhat of a catch-all phrase.   At times  spiritual groups can often leave people with a feeling of inadequacy, or of not being spiritual enough. A sense of hierarchy often occurs where one feels less than, or beneath others. We have all been caught in the trap of feeling that more is more -so what do we do? We go to more seminars, attend more weekend workshops, spend more money on courses, we buy more books, another deck of tarot cards, more crystals, healing beads and try modality after modality in an effort to reach higher and higher levels of ascension. We buy into the belief that being spiritual will ensure the manifestation of all our intended desires, after all I have invested, this is bound to give back to me a good life and all my dreams, karma is karma right?  It is a common belief that the closer we are to Spirit the more our dreams will come true. In both these scenarios, we run the risk of perceiving the world solely through the lens of spiritual advancement while nearly ignoring the very human factor of BEING ALIVE, of being in human form.  We forget to live.

I, like some of you that are reading this, have stacks and stacks of books, boxes upon boxes of tarot cards, crystals coming out of my ying-yang, necklaces with sacred symbols that I have carried around with me, feathers and stones – oh my goodness do I have stones, galore.  I have more stones then you could fit in my entire house.  I bought these things because they made me feel good, more enlightened, more connected, more on the path and yes, more spiritual.

The biggest lesson of all that I have learned, from my years on the path of spirituality is that its all pretty simple.   Spirituality is the awareness that underneath all of it we are all the same. You are no better or bigger or more important than me, or every other single human on the earth. We are one, seriously this is it. That awareness can not be bought in a store, it comes through living it, being in it, by being kind, showing compassion and love.  Life is like a mirror of sorts, and yes, you do get back, at times, what you give out the good and the bad.  It is that simple.

We are all equal beings, regardless of how many books we have read, how enlightened we think we are and how many courses we have taken, who we know, how many books we have written, how many followers we have on Facebook, the number of crystals or deities we have in our closet or hanging on our walls.  We all  have one thing in common and that is that none of us is calling all the shots.  There is something larger than ourselves running the show.  That is it. It’s the understanding of the human and spirit that makes life interesting. It is that in a nut shell. This is the underlying message in most of the spiritual books that I have read,  and from almost all of the spiritual leaders that I have ever listened to.

If we’re always escaping into other realms, and collecting things to make us feel more spiritual, more enlightened then aren’t we all missing the point?  We’ve lost connection to the curious, to the mystery and to what it really means to actually live life spiritually.

How do we break our addiction to Spirituality? We stop searching, and get in touch with reality and start living life. We start by looking underneath and then we look beyond. Its kind of like being advocates for our health, we have to be the captains of our own spiritualism.   We have to be the leaders of our own lives, and start by living the life we are ‘in’ now instead of constantly chasing it.  It’s always important to continue to learn new things along the way but by being selective about who we listen to, not buying into the consumerism of it, just taking bits and pieces from authors that you love, and remembering to stop and weave them delicately into your daily life.

We need to come to an understand that buying spiritual ‘things’ does not make us more spiritual. We need to sit in silence, every day, alone and also sit in acceptance. We need to spend our precious time here inside of our lives, using the beautiful gifts that we have been given to shine in the world, such as creating, helping others, being kind, doing the next right thing.

Don’t you find that we live in a culture that is forever reinforcing our sense of lack?  We assume that by altering or escaping our external circumstances, we’ll increase our happiness. But life doesn’t work like this. If we’re forever chasing something outside of ourselves, whether it’s beauty, possessions, or even love, then we’ll be forever caught on a rollercoaster of disappointment.

The first step for me as a spiritual addict was to recognize it, and then do something about it. I gathered most of the spiritual books, tarot cards, stones and crystals that I have bought over the past many years that I have been beside me on this ‘journey’ and I put them into a really, really  big box. (because I had so much ‘stuff.’ I even had doubles of items that I didn’t realize I had purchased and that I had never even opened) . I could not believe how much money I had spent on becoming ‘spiritual’.  As I put each one in the box, I blessed it, thanked it for the lessons and the knowledge that I somehow felt that they gave to me.   I will be the gifting these items on to others, kind of like recycling, paying it forward to help people along on their journey.   I solemnly swear that I will not be purchasing any more Spiritual items.

My path now is to find joy and purpose and communion. There are so very many forms of beauty, and avenues to spiritual ecstasy.  I am gathering moments over things and finding my special gifts outside on the beach or in nature and not in a store. I have finally figured out that the key to happiness is in finding my own path and harmonizing all aspects of life: the physical, the mental, the emotional, the creative, the outdoors and the spiritual but without the ‘things’, and that just because one can afford to buy more Spiritual things does not make them more Spiritual then the next person.  Spirituality is in the doing, the being.   It is in the picking up of the phone and calling a friend that you know is feeling sad.  It is in stopping and breathing, being un-rushed so you are aware of what you are doing and how you are treating other people.  It is to make decisions based on love first coming from a place of knowing,  drawing from all of the experiences in my life and by trusting my own intuition, that has never let me down, for what is kind and good, and doing that. Choosing kindness. Choosing goodness and always doing the next right thing.  It is in taking the time to honour my body by eating properly, exercising and in walking my dogs and spending time when my family. It is in the knowing that I am always leading my life with my heart.  Always putting people before profit.  It doesn’t matter,  in the end what you have, it is what you are and what how you live your life that is what being spiritual is.  This is the essence that will linger on in the world through your family and friends and the people who you have touched long after you are gone.

Spirituality is in the letting go, the exhaling, and accepting that to be alive is, in fact, a beautifully, and sometimes unpredictable and crazy, lovely affair. <smile>.

Learn How to Create Your Own Magnificent Mandala.

Learn How to Create Your Own Magnificent Mandala.

I absolutely love making Mandalas. 

Mandala means circle.  A mandala represents wholeness, reminding us of our relation to the universe, infinity. Like the circle, the mandala appears to us in all aspects of life, the Sun, the Moon, the Earth.  Circles are all around us. There are conceptual circles of friends, family, and community. Just look around you and especially at nature and you will see everywhere.

The symbol is that life never ends, they are a spiritual tool in many religions Buddism, Hindu and more.  They can be used for meditation purposes, allowing people to become one with the universe.

The thing I love most about mandalas is that the whole purpose behind them is the experience of making them and not the finished product.  The power lies in the making, the creating the connection with mind, heart and hand through the process.  Setting your intentions forward through creativity, by connecting hand to heart and mind can lead to a more authentic and meaningful life

How to create YOUR personal Mandala

  • piece of blank paper
  • a round plate (for tracing)
  • ruler
  • crayons or colored pencils
  • a radio or CD player for music.
  • your imagination
  • your dreams


  • First of all sit with your paper and leave it blank.  This is the most important part. Let go of what you think you should do, or what you feel other people might like.  This piece of art is not for anyone else but YOU.   The whole purpose behind doing this type of creative work is for you to go inside yourself and discover who you are, what you want, what your dreams are and write them down on a piece of paper and then create this symbol of celebration and release of them through art.  Clear your mind of all the clutter, the to-do lists and the negative thoughts we all carry around with us. Put on some soft beautiful music that you love and breathe.  Close your eyes and empty your mind. Breathe and then…imagine all of the things that you love.
  •  What do you love? A beach? Sunshine? Reading? Love itself. Think of the feeling associated with things that you love.  Feel it.  Sit with it for a while and enjoy just that.  Start dreaming.  Think of what you want to see happen in your life this year, in 2017.
  • Love? Friends, Peace? Success?Write whatever words or colours that come to your mind down on a separate piece of paper.
  • It could be anything – Peace, Happiness, Restfulness, Health.  Write them all down – don’t judge it don’t analyze it just write it.
  • Now, get out of your own way…Yes, step back and allow the connection to the life force of creativity that we all share, to take hold.  Write whatever you see without judgment, critique or second guessing it.


  • Take the plate and trace the circle on the paper.  Divide it into quadrants. (use a ruler)
  • You can choose as many quadrants as you like.
  • Choose 4-6  words from your list that you feel JUMP out at you.
  • If you have more symbols you can simply create more quadrants.  You can use words, colours, symbols, anything that helps you identify with the feelings of happiness that you created in our mind.
    ( Peace might be a peace sign or a dove, Love might be a heart or two hands or a mother and a child.)
  • Create a centre point to your Mandala. Use a smaller cup to trace around this it doesn’t have to be perfectly in the centre but you can measure it with a ruler first to find the centre.
  • Put the symbol in the centre that you love the most.  The one that you feel sums up your dreams.  One idea is to draw small doodles out from this area if you want, that connect your quadrants.  (no rules though)
  • Most important – DO NOT OVER THINK IT !  Just draw out what comes to your mind, don’t analyze don’t judge your art. The important thing about this mandala is that it resonates with YOU, and no one else.
  • Take your time and as you finish each quadrant, sit with it a while.  Become friends with it.
  • It doesn’t matter if anyone else understands your images—it’s only important that they resonate with you. Don’t spend time analyzing, wondering or explaining what you have done to anyone.  

STEP THREE : The most important part is that while you are drawing, coloring or working on your Mandala, is connecting your intentions to your creativity.  Take the time to repeat your words or symbols out loud as you continue to create. This is where the magic happens.  It is yours for the year, so display it somewhere where you can see it; good places include on your refrigerator or computer or anywhere where you will get a chance to absorb it on a daily basis.

My Mandalas

Here are two Mandalas that I created for myself for 2017.  I finished them last night, on New Year’s eve.  My first one, Transformation 2017,  was created from an intuitive card reading that I did for myself.  I pulled three cards from three different decks that I work with.  In reading through their meanings I felt that there were a few key words that called out to me, Reflection, Transformation, Meditation, Intuition, Patience, Adventure, Gracefulness and Sensitivity.  I wrote these words on the mandala in several places.  I then drew symbols that I felt were important to me from each card, the dragonfly, the swan, the rabbit, mushrooms the dish, the north compass, and the bluebird.  My whole mandala centered around these images and words.  I chose colours that I felt were calming and limited it to 6 colours.

My second Mandala, Trust Synchronicity,  was created after I had meditated and sat with the first one.  This one was organic, and free and I love the message and had a lot of fun creating it.

These two mandalas will be my symbols for 2017.  I will most likely frame them and put them up in my home, possibly in my meditation area or my office where I can look at them daily.  Every time I look at them, I feel the same feelings that I felt when I emptied my mind and sat down to let the happiness flow in.

Please post your comments below this blog and if you like it, share it with a friend or on your Facebook page.  Happy Mandala Creating.

Here is a link to my article in the Delta Optimist on Mandalas.   Mandalas 


Mind Movies are so cool.

Mind Movies are so cool.

Im so excited.  The best thing that I did this entire Christmas season, was to make my very first mind-movie. Mind movies are an excellent tool to use in helping improve your life.

“A mind movie transforms a boring vision board into a fun, digital video vision board filled with positive affirmations, inspiring images and motivating music. ” (

To start with, I gathered a number of images that I really loved and I also used some of my own artwork that I felt really summed up how I envisioned my life going forward.  Assembling the images into a movie was inspiring, creative and just so much fun.  The whole premise behind a mind-movie is for you to put your desires, intentions and dreams out there into the world.  Once you set your intentions free by writing them down or using your creativity to bring them to life, they begin to  soar,  releasing themselves to the universe, like the seeds of a dandelion,  a beautiful energy that flows, takes hold where it lands, and then comes to life.  A word of caution – be careful what you wish for as it will most likely transpire in one form or another.

I used iMovie on my mac, and set my mind-movie to my favourite Adele song, ‘Remedy’.  I had purchased it a while back on iTunes.  You can use songs from your iTunes if the movie is just for your own viewing, and won’t be shared on the internet.

If you want to learn how to make one there are many sites that offer apps and programs like the mind site above, plus there is a lot of different how-to videos on U-tube with info on how to make one.  There are also sites that offer royalty free music for you to use on your movie if you plan to share it on-line.

I feel that a mind- movie is a personal exploration and not necessarily something that you would share with others.  You may discover, however,  through creating it, things about yourself and your life that you didn’t know.    I discovered that in  2016,  I really rolled up my sleeves and committed to my personal growth and my creativity.  I was in learner mode taking in as much information as I could. I was working hard and taking an average of 3 classes at a time in intuitive work and creativity coaching in addition to running the Non-Profit society and trying to get in to the studio to do my own creative work as much as possible.  Really focused on my path, while learning to help others, I was also able to also unblock some of the creative blockages in myself and in own work.

The most important words that I learned to honour this past year in relationship to my creativity were Consistency and Diligence.  I discovered that if you want to light your creativity flame it takes work, a willingness to look at where your creativity comes from and what you want to say to the world.  I also learned the importance of incorporating daily meditation and daily creativity into my life. Yes, DAILY.  (Even if its only 20 minutes.) I discovered that the creative mind is like a muscle. The more you use it the better it works.  Through personal experience I discovered that by committing to doing creative work every single day,  my mind began opening up like the petals of a rose peeling back, taking me to places I never imagined existed. (without drugs lol) Its like my creative mind literally had a mind of its own.  Today, 11 months into my creative commitment, I am left with a huge body of work, a visual journal of the processes that I and my creative mind went through together during this beautiful transformation.   By creating every single day my mind became ignited and on fire, I even found myself waking up in the night and writing down or drawing out my ideas that came to me in dreams.  I was literally creating in my sleep.

I discovered my desire to write more, create more, and support others in their own creative journeys by helping them move through whatever may be stopping them from becoming more  in tune and connected to the source of their own creativity, next to the spark that sets it all on fire.

My mind-movie is full of images of  travel, having  fun and being wild.  Its shows a year with more colour, bigger opportunities, lots of design, more public speaking, workshops, opportunities to coach, lead and mentor others.  My hopes include remaining strong physically, strengthening my connection to spirit and collecting more experiences and less things. I want to strive to wear life like a loose cloak and remain authentic, flexible and kind living each day by the words of Isak Dinesen, “Here I am, where I ought to be.”

Every morning since its creation,  I turn it up loud, sing ‘Remedy’ at the top of my lungs and play my mind-movie just for myself,  as a testament, an honouring almost like a prescription drug for my creative mind, a plug in for the wonderful, the magnificent and the dreams that I want to manifest for myself in my life in the next year.

Since I was left with a body of work , I also put together another little movie that I will  to share with you.  Although not my mind-movie, a collection of a few of my favourite pieces of art made throughout this past year.

2016 was a  wonderful year both personally and creatively.   I feel satisfied for having taken the time to unlock and open doors within myself, and my life which have led me through a series of layers leaving me with real sense of higher enlightenment and excitement about the world around me.  It feels as though it may be getting closer to the real core, the centre of my creativity, where my desire and fire lies.  The best part is, I will continue to change, become, evolve for the rest of my life and there so much to look forward to and discover.

I hope you enjoy this short movie,  a little bit of a reflection for me of what I was feeling and discovering creatively in 2016.

I hope that you enjoy it.  Happy 2017,  I have a feeling its going to be a great year.

with Love, Light & Creativity, Mary Ann


This is a short movie showing the art work that I created in the past year .  Thank you for your support and love.

Creating Space for Your Creativity

Creating Space for Your Creativity


  1. Find a table.
  2. Sit down.
  3. Start.


Sounds easy right?  Everyone can find a table.


Even though I had been creative my whole life, it took me two years to re-kindle it. My fire has been put out.  I wanted it back.

The whole process began years before I started selling my work, and well before I had an art studio. When I began my journey,  I started out working at my dining room table.  I had been working hard in my business as a product designer and importer, but still felt empty and unfulfilled.  I gathered up a few old paints and some paper and I thought I would paint a little. I found out that I really loved it. The problem with working at the dining room table was  that every time I wanted to work on my painting it took 10 minutes to clean off the table, 10 minutes to lay things out and 20 minutes to clean things up.  I had to allow for 40 minutes of prep around the actual painting time.    The dining room was the perfect place for me to create because it had a door.  I could hear the professional art-critics approaching the room.  A door made a clicking sound, allowing for just enough time for me to hide my work under a magazine before the critics peered over my shoulder. I started loving it so much that I became protective of my time and space there and started protecting it fiercely.  I would sneak in, when I knew I wouldn’t be disturbed, sit in a spot where family that passed by the glass doors couldn’t see me and I would work.  If people interrupted me, I would get angry.  I was like a tiger fighting for my territory.  The family soon learned that when I was working at that table to not disturb me, unless the house was on fire.

It took me a long time to understand that what people thought of my work didn’t matter.  It took me what seems like forever, to feel that creativity was important enough in my life to actually make my place at the dining room table into a special spot where I could allow my artistic mind to take off and flourish.  After months of secretly working at the dining room table, gaining confidence, and learning new techniques, I slowly began to feel different.  I absolutely loved the time that I was working on my art. It was my time to escape. I slowly began to feel that my creative work mattered enough to start making this time a priority and part of my daily route.  I started taking classes and workshops in technique. portraits, drawing, oil painting, colour theory, plein air and more.  The more I learned the more I wanted to know. I developed my own daily ritual, I would set up my table, pour myself a cup of tea in a china cup and paint for hours.  I learned to honour this time and this little area in my dining room as my very own sacred, special place. It was at the dining room table that  I learned that becoming an artist was a process and that I was not running a race.  This is where I learned to be vulnerable, open and tap into my self.  I found out that I needed to play with the paint, feel it on the paper and seeing how it moves.  I had so much fun. I learned that I would make mistakes and it would be ok. I knew that I would get worst before I got better and I was willing to put in the time. The hardest part about being an artist for me, was allowing. Allowing my work to transform.  Allowing each piece of art to go through an ‘ugly stage’ before its finished. During this phase of my artistic journey,  I also took the time to look within myself in an effort to understand where my spark came from. I wanted to know why it was that I had pushed and fought so hard to hang on to my ‘creativeness’, and why it was so important to me.  Through a willingness to look at myself, I discovered that my  ‘self-worth’  was directly connected to my creativity.  It wasn’t until I placed a higher value on myself and recognized myself as worthy, that I was able to see worth in my work.  I discovered that my creativity was driven in part by my desire to express myself as me, a person who follows her own path and shows up, somehow contributing something positive and beautiful, in an effort to help bring some sense of meaning to the world.

Slowly I started to see how important  it was for me to build creativity into my daily life.  I wanted to live a full creative life and became dedicated to honoring my creativity  as much as eating, brushing my teeth, meditating or going to the gym.

Before I started working at my dining room table I had spent years trying to drown my own creative spirit, because it just didn’t fit into my busy life, when my kids were young.   I didn’t understand what an important part it played.  I recognized that by not listening to my desire to express my individuality through my creativeness I had caused other areas of my life to suffer.  For years  I tried to hush, subdue, and push down my desire to create. This left me feeling angry, wanting, empty and sad, feeling incomplete and broken. That was a mistake.  I wish that I had understood the importance of honouring myself and my creativity earlier in my life.

I want to encourage you to start where you are.  Don’t wait until you have a room of your own, or a fancy studio to work out of.  Now is the time to start.

Your creativeness is important.  Pull up a chair and sit down at your table. Claim your sacred creating space, make it yours, even it means packing it all up at the end of your time and reassembling it back to your family kitchen table, it is still yours.

Make a personal commitment to live a creative filled life.  Write it out. 

Commit to whatever you can.  Even if you have one hour a week.  , commit to whatever you are able to squeeze in.  Start yourself a ritual for when you create in your sacred space. Surround yourself with things you love.  Make yourself a cup of tea, light a candle, turn your phone off, set the timer, whatever you need to do to help you remain inside of your creative mind with the least amount of distraction.

When you first start working in your creative space, don’t focus on the outcome. Focus on the act of creating.  This is where the magic lies.  Give yourself room to be.  Allow yourself to play.  Give yourself permission to be a learner. You need to build trust with your creative self so that you feel comfortable and safe exploring within your imagination and sharing your feelings as art.  Learn to empty your mind of all negative thoughts.  This is not the time to wonder if you are doing something right or wrong, what your friends or spouse will think of your work.  This is a no judgement space.  This is simply the time for you.



Latest Work.

Latest Work.


Rumi – The Persian Muslim Sufi poet

Rumi – The Persian Muslim Sufi poet

I have to ask myself why am I so drawn to someone who lived 800 years ago?  – Rumi or Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (1207 – 1273) was a Persian Muslim Sufi poet.  He was a  theologian, a philosopher and jurist, whose works have crossed all national, cultural and ethnic boundaries and still hailed with high regards.  Rumi was regarded as ‘the most famous poet’ in America in the year 2007.   Here are just a few of his words that touch me.

“Why should I stay at the bottom of a well, when a strong rope is in my hand?” 

“As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.” 

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” 

“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” 

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” 

“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”

“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.”

“Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of moon.” 

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” 

“Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison When the door is so wide open?” 

“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” 

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.” 

 “Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” 

“Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.” 

 “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

“Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.” 

How long will you think about this painful life?
How long will you think about this harmful world?

“The only thing it can take from you is your body.”
Don’t say all this rubbish and stop thinking.”

All Quotes by Rumi

All these in essence speak about our inner self, it dares us to look outside the box. to understand and challenge ourselves, it resonates acceptance of this life, and…in I guess in some small way it preaches love and hope.

with love, Mary Ann

Doris Duke Shangri La Islamic Art Collection

Doris Duke Shangri La Islamic Art Collection

January 14/15  – “Shangri La” named after the mythical land where no one grows old

I had to book this months in advance.  Last year I intended to visit Shangri-La but left it too late and could not get a ticket.  The tickets are only $25.00 and the tour went from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm

Why Islamic art? I am drawn to exquisite craftsmanship.  Putting radicalism, wars and differences aside,  I love art.   I think art is important to every religion, culture and person.  I wanted to see why this woman, Doris Duke, was so intrigued and so drawn to its beauty.

Now I know why.

It was my first exposure to the beauty and sophistication of  Islamic art.  The well-hidden mansion of Shangri-La sits quietly nestled down the side of a cliff on the far side of Diamond Head on the island of Oahu.  As visitors we had to be bused in.  It was a 15 minute ride and the bus showed a movie on Doris Duke and her life.  This home had a much different feel from the outside.  I think that this is pure class and shows that she was a very private person. However once you stood in front of the front door you could tell by the beautifully decorated door and its scripture that you were about to enter into a very special, sacred space.   The front door has detailed scripture from the Qur’an which is located in a small roundel and says in Hebrew “In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful.  The scripture above says ” Welcome to Paradise” (Qur’an 15:46).

The door leading to the Mughal Garden  is similar to the one leading into the main house and includes, among other verses, the same welcoming phrase, “Enter them in health, secure” (Qur’an 15:46).


The Front door



Once I walked through the massive carved front door, I  quickly felt the peacefulness inside.  Every last detail was thought out and placed in its spot for a reason.  Every thing seemed to be in its place for the sake of  seeing it as beautiful.  I could see that light played an important part in the planning of this room and its details and could see that this entry way was going to change with each hour of the light of the day. The back- lit stained glass cutouts that encircled the top of the room near the ceiling would eventually act as a filter through which to fill the room’s floor with a multitude of colour when the sun shone through them in the evening. As I looked around at its contents I could see that this room which looked out  through a massage black marble mali onto a center courtyard, was dressed with things that were loved and appreciated by Doris Duke.  It represented her travels from her honeymoon and more through the countries of Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Spain, Syria, Egypt and India.  All of her most loved countries were all represented by the treasures within its walls.  This entry room set the stage and the tone for the rest of the house and its contents.   The home held a very delicate balance of space and things.  I felt as though it was open and airy  but at the same time I felt surrounded by beautiful ‘things’.  It is chalk full of antiques that are exquisite.  The blown glass, illuminated manuscripts, inlaid metalwork, carpets and tile are some of the most beautiful examples of craftsmanship I have ever seen..

The workmanship is fine and detailed. This home has one of the nation’s largest private collections of Islamic art.    

My favourite piece was the gigantic Mihrab, created 1226-1353 by a family, which was purchased from a mosque in Iran
Mihrabs are traditionally used in Iran to point towards the direction of Kaaba in Mecca.  This shows a Muslim the direction to pray. (see for more information Mihrab)

Although Doris Duke loved Islamic art and culture of the middle east she was not a practicing Muslim, she simply loved the art, so in her home this Mihrab sits on a wall through a door way but it is not pointing to Mecca.  Its all about the art to her, and what looks best and where.



Mirhab (1226–1353) This piece was sought after by the New York Museum



The Syrian Room, a period room evoking late Ottoman affluent domestic architecture and associated furnishings










The Gardens


There is a lot of tile work – tile is everywhere on the floor, in the walls and it is beautiful. Some tiles are embedded with jade and semi-precious stones. The lamps were stunning, all metal or crystal.  They hung from the high ceilings and gently waved in the wind.

As you walk through the home you can see that she loved the middle eastern colours and wanted to be surrounded by things with meaning and beauty behind each piece.  Her attention to detail in this home was  incredible.  The ceilings were all hand-carved and painted.

You can see by the design of the home that she wanted privacy and seclusion.  You can also see that she loved and celebrated art.  As I walked through out her home I thought about what it would have been like here back in the 30’s on an evening as the sun was setting.

I thought about Doris, leisurely stretched out on her fluffy caramel coloured , L-shaped, thick corduroy sofa.  She’d have a cocktail in one hand, and she’d be dragging on a cigarette while watching her  40 foot full glass wall disappear into the basement of her home,  by the push of a button.  Now she’d sit and enjoy  her up to the outdoor garden and the crashing waves.  I feel that this would have been exactly what she would have done. It is hard to believe that this talented woman had such a vision to create this home at only 26 years old.

Today this magnificent collection and home is open to the public and funded by her organization

The day ended with the tour guide handing each of us a verse from the poet Rumi – One of the worlds best loved poets and one that Doris loved.

My poem read:

                                    ” The only lasting beauty is the beauty from the Heart” Rumi


For more info on Doris Duke’s life click here Shangri-La



Painting with Maui Artist Julie Houck

Painting with Maui Artist Julie Houck

Julie_infranceI am so looking forward to painting this month with Maui artist, Julie Houck.  I took a weekend workshop with her last January and learned alot. So I’m going back. This time it will be a whole day with just the two of us. Can’t wait. The best part was that we were painting on the North side near Hookipa Beach and these huge turtles started all coming up onto the beach.   I love painting outside especially in breathtaking Maui – at the ocean or up country -it doesn’t matter –  It is one of my favourite places in the world.  Julie also teaches in France every year – something I am tempted to do as well.  Check out her work Here – Julie Houck