Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pushing through Resistance!!
I am a huge Super Soul Sunday fan. This week Oprah's guest is writer & author Steven Pressfeild, "The War of Art," and  his message for me is right on time. He has placed a name to the maddening space of the "yet to be seen ether" in which I seem to be often floating. I have a dream that I have been steadily nurturing for a number of years now, step by step with one foot in front of the other. My dream is contributing to the world with my art and poetry and making a living at it. Opportunity has rung the bell and I dutifully courageously (with blind faith) answered the door.  Shouldn't that be enough though? Unfortunately not.
"Resistance", which is what Pressfeild is that nagging self talk that says "I will never make it, I am not good enough. It is that negative recording that plays over and over in my head, even though my heart tells me to push forward, to paint and paint some more; even though the essence of my spirit calls me to write and let my imagination  run free, that negatively still seems to ooze right under my door sill. That heavy heady fog that I know I have no use for continues to tap me on my shoulder when I least expect it. Alas Steven Pressfeild with "The War of Art" reassures us that this is normal, he says and I am paraphrasing in my own words and understanding,  that that negative voice is "resistance" at its finest. It manifest itself as fear and procrastination. 
That's what it is, it is resistance. and having a name for it for me, gives me the strength to fight through it. I tend to be my worst critic, and I need to be more gentle with ME.  I need to hold closer to my greater values; using even more powerful words, actions and intentions than this thing called resistance. Can you say perseverance... victory...determination...divine inspiration...Faith. I am gratefully reassured in the belief that "resistance" is loudest right before the breakthrough. Around every corner I am looking with great expectation for the right people and opportunities that will lead me to God's promise of my breakthrough. This I know for sure!    

True bliss is achieved when you are comfortable with who you are and you know and accept God's plan for you. My humble .02 (cents)  for you, please be a captive audience in your own journey. Journal, paint, write, sing, dance, do what you love; just be gentle with the essence of your heart.  Push through the resistance and reach your divine potential .
A Gentle Way to Grow ©

By Lisa M. Cliff
A Gentle Way to Grow
Bloom, Shed, Grow
Question, answer, know
Plant, Nurture, Sow
No more status quo
A Gentle Blissful Flow
Stop, Reflect, Go
Love,  Accept, Show
Dancing to and fro
Pray, Believe, Glow
Share Receive Bestow
A gentle way to grow?
Savor Life Slow!
Thank you for visiting and if you are also facing resistance and/or are in search of your life's purpose,
 share your story, leave a comment
"The War of Art," Steven Pressfeild says " There is magic in the beginning of something"
Let's begin the conversation,
Let's begin a revolution of positive change.
Sending you positive energy and prayers,
Lisa M. Cliff 
Don't forget to check out my website  
Buy one of my original paintings 
or limited edition prints today!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Summer's Almost Come and Gone-
But Wait there are Exciting Times in the Fall too!
"And Then it Started Raining Flowers..." 
Sunday, Oct.6 2013 Fall Afternoon Art Soirée' Home studio event

Well, I have had a fairly busy Summer, in the studio always looking to unleash that next big thing.

 I also had a booth at the Easton Art Affair. Nice show but it was soo hot! Grueling actually. The temperature was a humid 85-90 degrees all three days. The first day, I sold some prints but didn't do as well as I thought I could have.  I really try not to take these things personal, however, I honestly did have high hopes for the show. As I trudged into the second day, I had a conversation with another vendor, a jewelry maker who had driven in form New York. She also was disappointed in her sales and she had talked to several other booth vendors who had experienced the same thing. People were just not buying, the heat was too oppressive. I try to look at these events/ projects as key learning' opportunities.  I think I may be better served concentrating on the galleries. With that I am always trying to improve and produce gallery quality work.

This summer I also started working on a new  mixed media series which has been really fun and exciting. I want to produce about 12-15 works. In the meantime I have just begin contacting galleries.  I want to make a big statement and I am always reaching for excellence; everyone is unique and you can't please everyone . Beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder and I am learning from one of my new (authors) heroes,  Brene Brown from her book  "The Gifts  of Imperfection" to try and not take things personally; I really am trying to live "a courageous and wholehearted life. "  I count my blessings, pray fervently, try and produce my best work and keep it moving!
This Summer has also been eye opening for me as far as other art related events, events that I didn't necessarily participate in but had a chance to visit, The Decorator Show Case, Bexley Home Tour, Columbus Art Fest etc. I like to keep abreast of what's hot in the art world. The main thing that I did see was a lot of colorful abstract work. After studying what I saw, I begin to have these really vibrant dreams of random colors-  chartreuse, fuchsia, oranges , and turquoise.  As I continue the journey of pursuing art full time, I have responsibility to listen to these inner promptings and to be true to myself but also show good business savvy and do what will sell. Remember for the last 20 years I have worked in corporate sales & marketing, I refuse to be a starving artist, therefore I am constantly looking for the next big thing. I decided It may be time for me try my hand at abstract art.  You would think that creating an abstract is easy. Just throw some colors on a canvas but It really is not that easy especially when you are trying to paint with intention like I am. First, I did some research, bought several books and went to the Gallery Hop, then I started experimenting with color.  Abstracts have been very liberating taking me outside my box. I struggled at first but now I am really getting into it.
"A Heart Restored"
The 411 on the "614"
Also I got some really great news today. I have been profiled in the hot new September issue of "614 Magazine." God is soooo Good!! please check out the article and please pick up the magazine, it is a very upscale "free" publication, featuring articles on food, art, music and local interest stories. This month's cover features our own Ohio State Buckeyes; Go BUCKS!

Please join me on Sunday October 6, 2013  at my home gallery as I unveil my new series of abstracts most are larger for over the couch or on a long wall 24 x 36 and are very affordable at about $200 to $350. These works are very colorful organic and vibrant, I think you will enjoy them. At the home gallery event we'll have a little wine,  cheese & fellowship. Perhaps you will see something you'd  like to purchase or we can talk about doing something special and affordable just for you. For more details on the event, email me at

In the mean time, wishing you a wonderful rest of the summer. Talk to you soon!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Mid-Summer Dream

I can't believe we are half way through the Summer already. Well I have been busy, considering all my options for the future. It is such a blessing to have options.  I am a true believer in God's divine order, a faithful follower of God's plan. However, I also believe that God has intricately devised many paths specifically for each of us that he generously leaves up to our own individual free will. Our God is not an oppressive "my way or the highway" type of God;  He is a patient, grace granting, loving provider, who only wants the best for us. Thus, we are all gifted with options. And here I sit faced with many options. I recently read that a good way to pray for your best path is to ask, "which way will bring me closer to life purpose?"

 Ah, yet another question, leading  to those precious options.  Options deliciously hanging on the vine for the picking, like the sweetest mid summer purple grapes. If I had it my way, in my own perfectly purple dream  I would paint, day in and day out. Lending my own flavor or beauty to the world. My work would be in such demand I could barely keep up. I would continue weaving stories using my paint brush and a few tubes of acrylic paint. I would inspire others to dream big dreams; I would fulfill what I perceive my purpose to be and communicate positive energy, encouraging others to love and accept themselves; In my perfect world my work would help heal the world, starting or at least participating in a chain reaction of positive change in world filled with a diverse and broad spectrum of colors & cultures that converge and unite in beautiful creativity. Now that's what I would call a divine option.

Well that's my dream and I am blessed to realize that as far fetched as this dream may sound; I still consider it as a viable option and one that I work toward daily. As I navigate from dream to reality, searching through a sea of options which include pursuing art or returning to corporate sales to make a living, I settle in the knowledge that divine solutions will arrive. I know that through God's unlimited grace, all things are possible.

My mid-summer wish for you is that you also recognize your many God given options and that your soul sails in the direction of your best and highest good. May your dreams and options prosper greatly in business as well as creatively.

 Always follow your heart & follow your dreams and never forget to count your blessings! Oh and of course I also want you live a vibrant colorful life steeped in beautiful creativity; Remember like life, art is what you make it, MAKE IT BIG!     

Artfully Yours,
Lisa M. Cliff 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summa, Summa, Summa Time, Summa Time...
 Time to Sit Back and Unwind!
"Sista's Deeply Rooted"

We made it through a long winter and a bashful spring. I am getting ready for my out door art festivals. Starting with the Easton Art Affair, June 21-23, 2013. I have a few other projects coming up but I am really excited about this one. Easton is the perfect spot to see some wonderful art and while you are strolling along you can stop at one of the many great restaurants for a nice glass of wine. Please say a toast to me as I live in my purpose. Stop by my booth, say hello, unwind and see some of my new work. I have been BUZY.

I am watching Oprah Winfrey's master class. I am always so inspired by her and by all that she has overcome in her life. Most folks aren't aware of her troubled childhood. She is like many of us, a rare pearl which started as a mere grain of sand and through the crush of many challenges has gracefully  morphed into this brilliant luminous pearl.

Oprah said she was unwanted as a child and her purpose today, because of this experience is to make people feel wanted, understood, and validated. This is powerful stuff. Each one of us is here for a reason and a purpose. The important life lesson is for us to identify and live within the blessing of our purpose. To continue the journey and assignment God planned for us long ago.

This is the life I am trying to lead. I am living within God's promise and though it might not make sense to many of you, this is the path I have chosen. I have had the big job title, the big house, nice cars and closets full of clothes and still have felt empty. Today, I am on the best and scariest journey of my life. I am obedient to my soul. I have now learned that "less, is truly more." I was the proverbial "Bag Lady" that Erica Badu sung about, "dragging all that stuff like that" but no more. I and streamlining and already feeling lighter. I am cleaning out closets and giving away those things that no longer serve me. My mind is clearing, my soul is rejoicing and my creativity is soaring. Don't get me wrong, I still get scared, but I am truly walking by faith, not by sight.

My intention is to continue to be a positive example of God's sweet grace for my dear family and friends. Living my life within my purpose, a life filled with vibrant color and unadulterated creativity.  Bringing (contributing)  beautiful and thought provoking works of art to this world in my own flavor.

Won't you also commit to finding and living your purpose. The world would be so much better if we all did.

Please come see me up at Easton June 21-23, 2013 and keep checking back to hear some of my other events and adventures in walking by faith, not by sight.      

I have also updated my website, please visit If you're on Pinterest, pin me. Facebook, like me and Twitter, follow me and  if you see me on the street, please simply connect with me, even if its just an. approving smile. I am buoyed by your positive energy.  
Life is a blank canvas, fill it with the color of you! 

Peace and blessings and Have a Wonderful Summer
Lisa M Cliff


Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Celebration of Black History Month

And unveiling of my new website


Greetings Friends,

For Black history month I would like to salute two of my favorite writers/ entertainers, Billie Holiday and Langston Hughes. Both of these colorful iconic figures gained popularity in the wonderful Harlem Renaissance. Can you imagine in the most dangerous of  times in the early 1920's and 30's in the height  of racial upheaval;  the mighty migration of hundreds of thousands of  blacks from the southern United States to the north;  the souls of some of out brightest stars find their way to Harlem, New York. Attracting droves of poets, painters, singers , musicians and other creative bohemian persuasions, settling all in one area; where individualism and creativity were openly celebrated.

 I believe that had I been a product of that era, I too would  have risked everything  and found myself pulling up roots and going to Harlem. I can imagine the sweet smell of unloosed creativity, the smoky jazz bars, and hearing the live spoken word of Langston who may have opened the show for the wonderful Lady Blue. I can imagine the excitement and would have been wearing my bad felt hat with the large peacock feather to the side, with my sheer black padded shouldered dress and just in time for open mike, I would have starry eyed but boldly, stepped forward with my tribute to the lady herself, Ms. Billie Holiday.

Lady Blu

by Lisa M. Cliff
Lady Blu, a single orchid in your hair
Heart of Harlem's Renaissance
A voice both melodic and intense
She rhythmically and carefully soothed my pain
I deliberately and carefully captured her essence
She sang my heart
I painted her soul
on her very foundation
life took its hard toll
Never forgotten, I will never forget
I painted her blu, She painted my heart
Lady Blu, an orchid crowned in her Hair
Heart of Harlem's renaissance
a  steamy  cool  nonchalance
She rhythmically, carefully sang my heart
and masterfully methodically unsung my blue
Inspiring this painting
to my discerning minds eye
This beautiful melodic  butterfly
The essence of cool I found in you
My dearest Lady Blu
An orchid crowned upon your du
Heart of Harlem's renaissance
soulful steely cool ambiance
Thank you Lady Blu for being the essence of cool
the essence of Harlem's steamy cool blu

Billie Holiday was a beautiful soulful songstress and jazz singer born in 1915. She had many hits on the jazz charts but was duly noted for her rendition of "Strange Fruit" a protest song about the horrific lynching's throughout the South in the early 1900's as well as many other memorable songs such as "God Bless the Child", and "Good Morning Heartache." Billie played in all the hottest clubs throughout New York and also sung with the great Count Basie's big band.  She was a  staple on the jazz scene,  I would call Billie the Anita Baker of our time. She was the voice of women everywhere, singing our songs, revealing our hearts, and helping us to heal. However, despite her many achievements, Billie led a troubled life and found herself caught in the drug fast lane, she left us far too soon.
I also want to salute Langston Hughes, in spite of  increasing racism, Langston a black man, made incredible inroads for that time. After spending time in the navy, traveled to South Africa and Europe. After returning to the states, received a BA from Lincoln University in 1929. Langston went on to write poetry and a number of plays and notable books. His writing was honest and profound, often leaned on the verge of  anger but reflected the frustration for racial injustice from that time when African Americans or Negroes as we were called, were being held in slavery, hunted and killed. For most Blacks there was little time for creativity, it was all about survival. Yet in places like Harlem, St Louis, Chicago and Cleveland, creativity and education of African Americans could not be suppressed.

My favorite and most well known poem of Langston Hughes was one of the inspirations that called me to write.  As I moved forward in my artistic quest , like many other tortured artists, I questioned if my dream of painting for a living would ever be realized. This poem captured my feelings as if I wrote it myself.

A Dream Deferred
By Langston Hughes
 What happens to a dream deferred
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun
or fester like a sore
and then run
Does it stink like rotten meet
Or crust and sugar over-
syrupy sweet
maybe it sags like a heavy load
Or does it explode?
I often wonder if Langston, like me, allowed doubt to creep in at times; I did feel like my world like a raisin would explode but by faith, I continued forward.  I am so appreciative of the work, spirit and commitment of our fore sisters and brothers from that dark time. For those that suffered tremendously and in spite of the most horrible circumstances, presented some of the most profoundly brilliant work in America. The following is another Langston Hughes poem. It's beauty brings tears to my eye.

My People
By Langston Hughes
 The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.
The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people
Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

Thank you Langston and Lady Blu for your strength and grace under fire. Langston died in 1967 of natural causes and our dear sister Billie Holiday lost her fight with drug and alcohol in 1959.  Two icons that have made an indelible marks on our country. Rest in peace my friends, rest in peace.

Let's make it a point to teach our children and honor Black History every day, ok? Will you join me. We share a deep colorful culture that has and continues to shape and affect the entire world.  Black, white, red or yellow, we are all deeply intrinsically connected by God's grace.  

Speaking of God's Grace, I also want to take this time to announce my new web site which is I tried to take it up a notch, separating the images by theme and I added a few poems. My intention was to "warm" up my web presence by creating  an inviting interactive site that would also be an artistic experience.  Of course all the art is original and is FOR SALE, most prices are clearly listed; all you have to do is contact me via email with the works title, I will call you back within 24 hours. I accept VISA, MasterCard and American Express.  As an emerging artist, I am always on the lookout for collectors, with this in mind I also offer lay-a-way so that you can pay over time.  Some of the work is also available in affordable  limited edition prints.  

There is also a contact us page where you are welcome to leave comments. Feedback on the site itself is also welcome. The one thing that I eventually want to do is change the name to, however, in the mean time, please check me out. There is also a "Tell a Friend" button on the home page that allows you to instantly share my website with others,  Please Do Share!
Remember, art should be a reflection of your personality, it should speak to your heart;  It is an investment and should reflect your tastes, sensibilities, values and styles; Art should add colorful dimension and bring life to a room and warmth to your home.  My intention with every brush stroke is to infuse positive energy into every work of art. To create work that will contribute to making our world beautiful and to  continue to make art that will remind us all of our own inner beauty and shared humanity.

Why don't you add richness and warmth to your home by investing in a "Lisa Cliff  Masterpiece" today!

Thanks again for visiting my art blog. Your interest and support means so much to me. Until next time and from my soul to yours,

 "Namaste" (Be Well)
Lisa  M. Cliff



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year, Commit to Find Your Bliss in 2013

(swinging into a new year of bliss)
Welcome to the New Year. Hopefully you are like me and excited about the possibilities this new year will bring. Below is a poem that I penned recently its called “Dwelling in the Possibility of Bliss.” It really does reflect my current frame of mind. I truly believe that life is about a series of pre-destined opportunities and philosophical choices. Our choices, although they may some time seem random and un-affecting can turn these pre-destined opportunities into long term life changing new paths. You see it’s not just the big life cycle decisions that make the difference, like whether to take or quit a new job or enter or leave a relationship.  It’s also some of the smaller decisions that can lead to greater paths. That is why I first consult “My Source” in everything I do, through prayer. When faced with decisions to move forward, go back or be still, I always pray first. I ask, “which way will bring me closer to my higher purpose?” Then I simply get still, attentive to the still small voice. Then I proceed by “dwelling in the possibility of bliss” confident that whatever decision I make will be blessed. With blind faith, I understand that there are no coincidences or random acts. I expect goodness to follow me. I know that life doesn’t always go my way but I believe there is a reason, season and lesson in everything.
The dictionary describes “Bliss” as “a state of extreme happiness. I was surprised that the great poet and playwright, William Shakespeare has used the word “bliss” in context at least 20 times. As in the next example “O what sympathy of woe is this, as far from help as Limbo is from bliss.” I do not claim to know Shakespeare but I do know “bliss” and I believe what he was trying to convey with these words in the tragedy of “Merchant of Venice” is how sad it would be to live a life of  indifference, never to achieve real happiness. I find my bliss in many ways, through love and family but my passion is truly painting and writing poetry; and this is ultimately about communication. Art is about trying to communicate a compelling message or story.  My wish is to communicate through art, messages of hope, faith and positive energy. This is the ocean that I choose to swim in, where I find myself and find my bliss. It is my place of self actualization. I am on a never ending journey as vast as the sand in the sea; color, images and words represent vast possibilities for me. The act of creating is exactly within my wheelhouse and I try and live in a constant state of positivity.  I could not imagine a life without art.
For this new year, 2013, I want to implore you again to find that which brings you to your place of bliss. Whether it is art, music, volunteering, leadership, or gardening. Whatever it is that makes your heart sing, just sing it with gusto. Claim your bliss and set aside time to nurture and swim in it.             
Dwelling in the Possibility of Bliss
By Lisa M Cliff
When all around me are losing their heads
Hindered by a constant state of dread
Finding myself caught in a brief moment of fear
Then I go inside myself to organize what I hear
Through all the chaos, chatter and confusion
Realizing beyond the facade, is just an illusion
Bliss quietly whispering my name
Reality is a figment of how it’s framed
And then consciously choosing to rise above it all
When bliss rings the bell, I must answer the call
A slave to possibility, a prisoner of hope
An opportunity to push bliss’ envelope
Yes, I choose to dwell in the possibility of bliss
Where inspiration and imagination kiss
Where fairy tales and dreams come alive
Where ingenuity and intention survive
Yes, some may call me Miss Polly Anna
But uber possibility is my Nirvana
And I would prefer to be called “Bliss”
A state of mind in which to reminisce
And look forward to, return and be
Where bliss and creativity run free
When all around me are losing their heads
I consciously seek my bliss instead
Choosing to dwell in the state of possibility
Where blissful dreams come alive and fly free

A few ago weeks ago I participated in Career Day at a local elementary school. I spoke to 1st and 2nd graders about creativity and pursuing art and poetry. They were so funny and inquisitive. I showed them two paintings and a copy of my book, “An Umbrella in Case of Rain”. I spoke to 4 different classes and told them that by using their own imagination and creativity, there would be no limit on where they could go, see or accomplish. When I asked for questions at the end of my segment, I got the gamble of questions including what my age was and how much money did I make. But I also got some really interesting questions. One child asked if I was successful. I paused then told the class to look at the picture and tell me how the picture made them feel, they yelled out “happy”, “joy”, and “makes me smile”. Then I told them, “Yes,” I was successful, because I accomplished what I was trying to accomplish; which is to make people smile and feel happy. In another class another child holding my book and had pointed to my picture on the back of the book and asked “Are you famous?,” without hesitation I told him, not yet but I am working on it. What I meant by that is “famous” for me, represents living my dream of making a living creating art and having my work become collectible such as some of my favorite “famous” artists like, Charles Bibbs, and Jonathon Green. “Famous” for me is also inspiring others to pursue their dreams; encouraging them to find their true bliss and “success” is the manifestation of dwelling in the possibility of bliss. I count both of these as part of my life’s mission and purpose. I truly am “working on it.”
Please join me on this journey by sending your prayers and positive energy my way and thank you to everyone that may have encouraged me and/or purchased my work over the past few years.
For this new year of 2013, I wish you many happy adventures, colorful experiences and boatloads of love.
Lisa M. Cliff
P.S. As a reminder my work is still hanging at the Art Mix Gallery/Studio at Easton Town Centre- upstairs near “Bar Louie’s.” My work will be there every weekend in January 2013 along with several other very talented artists. Please stop by and say hello and if I am not there, leave me a note. Come and enjoy the wonderful art, compliments of the Easton Foundation.