i'm coming out of hiding

so yesterday my wife showed me a video about buddha and it inspired me.

it got me to stop taking life so seriously - well i'm on my way, it might not be an overnight thing - especially when it comes to what other people are offering me if i don't want what they are offering. because when i don't take their anger, their frustration, their disappointment personally, it stays with them. it is their anger, their frustration, their disappointment. not mine

well i applied this principle today at my current full time job as a project engineer. i know i never say much about what i do outside of art. its because its a job, like most others - it pays the bills.

but what if i'm tired of doing something to just pay for the bills?

for the past 13 years, i've been researching and learning the secrets of some of the most successful people because i know there's a way. i know there are secrets they can offer. and that's inspiring too. super inspiring. in fact everyday for 2 hours a day i read and learn about how i can improve my life. i'm always looking to grow.

i guess sometimes i get too impatient. when i want things i want them now. not later. not tomorrow but now.

i know this may sound strange but i hear my calling. it is beckoning me

its time to listen again. its time to tune in. its time to believe.


exercise it out

the temperature boils. the mind is hot. ticking. a ticking clock. the sirens ready to sound. the world around me is caving in on top of me. what is happening to me? why is this happening to me now? did i ask for this? 

i need to find my center.

where am i to go?

i hear voices. louder and louder. there are more of them. their echoes drain my focus. i can feel them scratching at me. clawing their way in. 

get out now. go. go exercise.  

separated, i begin to breathe. i drop to the floor and let the energy pour out of me. the more i push my body up and down, the more prana builds within me.

yes keep moving. move. the body loves to move. the pump fills my arms, my chest. yes, yes, thank you.

the voices have left. i can feel my body rebuilding. all is well.

there is a time for quiet

i feel alone. i like the quiet around me.

i enjoy that moment. a peace comes to me. outside voices interrupt my train. stop asking me questions. you've called me out. you've asked for me to quit helping. is that a call for help? are you craving more attention? 

i've been putting your train back on the tracks for years and to hear it come screeching to a halt. have you derailed. is that what you want? are you looking to get off? do you want something different?

i do not understand.

it's not my game. it's not my story. 

i like the silence. so i retreat to it for a moment longer. i crave connection. 

i don't want to look at you. i won't do it. i have that choice.

why the sudden reverse? why does someone else's comments about putting on the brakes stop you. your train can continue. your train is destined for greatness. 

be okay with going at different speeds. not all can keep up. 

accept it as it is and be gentle. be kind. 

and breathe. breathe in the beauty that has just reawakened in you.

let go of the struggle

it doesn't need to be hard. feel that emotion - yes that emotion so deep inside of you, right now. yes, feel it, own it. it is yours. 

yes, all mine. all mine. and tears form but hover on my eyes. no need to worry. no more use in crying. 

confusion rushes over my body. a sense of lack knocks at my door. it wants in. it desperately wants to have control. it desperately yearns for my fear to kick in. it wants me to feel I'm wrong.

but no, no, no i can resist that temptation. it isn't me. i do not need to change who i am to make someone else happy. i do not need to change who i am deep down at the root of who i am.

i am who i am. and all is well. all is well within me. 

all things that do not serve me will pass. as hard as it is, sometimes the best thing to do is to let it go. let it go and surrender to the universe. surrender to that presence within you. that power you know is there. connect to your soul. connect to the soul deep inside of you.

i am. 

it is me. finally freed. freed from my own imprisonment. freed from trying to impress another. freed from my entrapment. 

it is time to get back to my roots. to get back to me. me

yes more of me. that feels good. doing more of what feels good. feeling more of what feels good. 

others can go off and do what they want. they have another path. they do not need to follow your path. you may think you can help them but not all want help. you do not need to try to be nice anymore. you do not need to feel their pain anymore. it is their journey. you are on your journey. 

harsh words will be said. pressure will be placed upon you. but stay rooted. you are willing to change. you are willing to adapt to the times. you have built a strong foundation and can flow and bend with ease.

this external attack just taught you a lesson. this challenge was another opportunity to go within and trust yourself.

go do whatever you want to do. it does not affect me.

your words are whispers of love.

what do you live for?

begin each day with yourself. your true self. what do you do? do you follow your heart? are you living from a place of fear and lack or from a place of trust and prosperity? 

make today great. it all begins with you. it starts up here - in your minds eye. can you envision life the way you wish it to be? or are you stuck in fear? are you holding yourself back from your deepest desires? are you creating your own blocks to your true success? do you even know what success looks like?

let go of the doubt. let go of the voice inside your head telling you you are not good enough. let go of the chatter. stop living to get approval from others and start living for yourself. connect with this all creative energy. be lifted. we are here for you. 

you are meant to be great. you are a creative spirit. a creative soul with much to share with the world. when are you going to let it out? when are you going to let the truth free? 

it is time to trust again. it is time to free your mind. release any past "knowing" - it no longer serves you. AND do what you feel is right. 

i'm on my journey and loving it. yes there are days, there are weeks and months and even years when i question who i am, what i am doing and what my life is all about anyway. its normal to have these feelings. its normal to have doubt. its normal to be scared. you don't need to do everything perfect. you don't need to be perfect. you are a success just the way you are.

i get up each morning and connect to my source of creation. this daily activity aligns me. it puts into balance again. 

it doesn't take long, it doesn't require any special equipment. it just takes commitment from you.

what will you do today that will put you in the direction of your dreams. leave me a comment below and share with all of us, what you intend to do today,

offer yourself this gift this holiday season

i am in awe at the wonderful magnificence that awakens me each day. ok i need to come clean. i admit, i do have an alarm clark but that's not quite the magnificence i'm referring too. I'm talking about my soul's ability to awaken before the alarm clock each and every day, and at around the same time each day. my inner clock - no i am being told it isn't even a clock. maybe it is the soul or a spirit guide looking to offer me something that cannot be heard during the hustle of the day. 

there is a time for communication and there is a time for quiet meditation.

i am just like you.  

the thoughts still like to play with me. they enjoy coming in, dancing around, causing a rise out of me and then move on. i like that dance. i am the lead. and when i meditate i choose to allow thoughts and feelings to come and go without any attachment to them. i give no attachment to these thoughts and they fade away on their own. 

i close my eyes and look up into my minds eye. my third eye. i see the writing on a black board. or is it blue? is it the sky? letters coming across from right to left. sliding almost, 

blurry fields

as i try to focus in on the words, the fog envelopes me. 

let the magic of life dance for you. let the miracle of life become a daily appreciation. 

each day is a miracle. it is whether you choose to see it as such. i'm at a point in my life where i say why not? why continue to choose to see problems when i can choose possibilities.  

when i go to that place of possibility, anything is possible. anything can be turned to gold. anything i focus my attention on has the power to show up in my life today. i feel this - i know this (beautiful). it is a fact for me. there is no attachment to the outcome. there is no one else confirming this to me. there is me. my soul. and i know. i have that burning desire that heats up. it melts away the bonds to fear and lack mentality. 

i am forever expansive. i am free.

i am true. i express the truth. and that truth is beauty.

oh it feels so good communing with you. i hope you don't think I'm crazy?

its okay, I'm not caught up in that game of comparison. besides its nice to have this chance to talk with you.

i am love.

you are love. spread your wings and fly. soar above the trees. open your wings. 

the peace. the fulfillment. the joy.

so simple, yet so very empowering.

in this time when everyone around me is go go go and rush rush rush, i choose to go inward. i choose to look for a place where i can offer myself a gift. and that gift is silence.

it is the new medicine of the world. you'll hear about it soon.

within you is the capacity for healing. take time for yourself this holiday season.

the comparison trap

are you a competitor? do you strive to be better than others? to always come out on top? to make more money? 

how does that make you feel?

do you find yourself comparing who you are, what you do and what you have achieved to others? 

social media has created a trap and Facebook so geniusly (and creatively) enables this comparison. Facebook is a powerhouse for information. daily, daily there are 5 billion pieces of content uploaded.

people feel required to update their Facebook lives and keep up with others. it's so easy to scroll through the newsfeed, to see someone you knew years ago doing something today that you wished you were doing. it's so easy to compare. it's so easy to feel worthless. it's so easy to lose track of your own intentions. it's so easy to feel jealous.

you are not alone, i do it myself. i've fallen into the very same trap too (all too often over the past year). and it left me in a state of wanting. of wanting what other people seem to have. 

you can't come from a place of scarcity and expect to see what you want coming into you life. you can't come from a state of wanting more and more.

my mind likes to run (figuratively of course). and when freely open to the flow of abundance, i can direct the conditions I'm experiencing in my life.

stop allowing constant analysis. stop constantly comparing. suspend your egos need to constantly impose critical views.

nothing can stop your flow of abundance but your resistance to it. pay attention to your field of joy and joy will be what you experience.

you cannot be connected to your source and be stressed at the same time.

limit your exposure to social media and spend time doing what makes you feel good.

offer your soul a gift.

be brave. choose your own freedom and practice surrender.

Lindsay & Stuart - Outdoor Wedding Painting - Bend, Oregon

Tying the knot under the stars of beautiful Bend, Oregon, this happy couple did it right. They celebrated and shared their moment with family and friends in the great outdoors. To commemorate this special day, her (now favorite) sister and brother, searched near and far for an artist whose paintings they loved and style they admired.

And that's where I come into this love story.

Haley contacted me (in secret) - all the way from Switzerland - about a painting for her sister. Our adventurous spirits connected as she excitedly recapped that joyous day. Her poetic words echoed truth and beauty.

My mission was clear:  capture the essence of the day, the love of Lindsay & Stuart, and the happiness shared by all and put it into a memorable painting to remind them everyday of the bond and connection they have together.

I tuned into my divine creative force and let the alchemy happen.

And it completely blew them away. 

In fact, this was the response I got back, "Oh my gosh. I'm almost in tears. It is perfect!!!!!! You are very talented and the style of painting is exactly what I was looking for!!!!!" 

Thanks Haley & Jacob! It was a honor for me to be chosen as the artist to capture your sister's wedding in paint. Thank you for your trust, faith and vision.

I'd also like to send a shout out to their amazing wedding photographer, Erin Grace. Thank you for your genius on their wedding day and for opening up your closed, private gallery for me to gain inspiration. You rock!

Let the memories & love continue


Ask Derek: The Artful Brain: Neuro-aesthetics

you ask. i share. we talk.

Ask Derek is your chance to prompt me with your thoughtful, soulful & beautifully complex questions about just about anything! Art, writing, love, inspiration, relationships, friendships, business, creativity, time management, construction, health, mind body soul connection, where I get my adventure on? The doors are wiiiide open.

Click here to submit a question for a future post. And enjoy today’s conversation . . .

Dear Derek Russell,

    I am contacting you from Colgate University in Hamilton, NY where I am completing the first semester of my freshman year. I am currently taking a class called “The Artful Brain: Neuro-aesthetics” in which I learn about the visual system’s role in the appreciation and understanding of beauty in art….pretty cool right? Along with this being my favorite class, it also allows me to appreciate my passion for art. 

        As our final paper, my professor has asked us to pick any artist of interest, and write a paper that discusses the extent to which the artist’s work taps into some of the perceptual processes we discussed in class, and how the exploitation of those processes gives way to the aesthetic appreciation of this artist’s work. If you haven’t guessed it by now, I chose you as my artist and to study your work. I really admire your style and find each piece to be intriguing in its own way.

        My class studies various brain regions that appreciate the different aspects of art (color, line, massing, orientation, movement etc.) in an attempt to synthesize a system responsible for aesthetics. Because the field of psychology is still so undiscovered, we have been able to make our own opinions about the topic and speculate through extensive research and discussion.

        That being said, I wanted to ask you some questions about your art. Also, If you are at all familiar with or aware of the neural processes that your work taps into, I would love to hear your personal perspective on that.        


    1. Without a clear line drawing, how do you communicate an image through massing of color? What techniques do you use? 

    2. Do you think that the orientations of your brushstrokes alone create form in your pieces? Or does color play an equally important role in that effort?

    3. Do you believe that the lack of line drawing lends itself to an emotional experience? With line, would your work not portray what you intend it to?

    4. How have you used color to capture/evoke emotion in a work? In other words, do you use specific colors to create specific feelings?

    5. Finally, fauvism (as I am sure you are aware) deals with freeing color from form. Do you feel that idea applies to your work? 

    Thank you for your time, and any answers that you have would be helpful in my effort to write this paper.



    P.s. As I looked around your website, I can’t help but comment on your inspirational writing. After reading one or two entries, the next thing I knew I had read 10 and spent a great deal of time engulfed in what you were saying. You brightened my day and I wanted to thank you for sharing your inspiring thoughts with me. Ill be sure to read the rest of the blog when finals are over.  :)

Hi Sarah

I’d like to share with you what I have learned over many decades of experience but not necessarily formal education. Much of what I do comes to me naturally, effortlessly really. When I am in a state of expression with paint brush in hand, the material world seems to slip away. The world of form (as seen as people, places and things) is still there but my own world does not even comprehend it. I connect with a higher vibration of energy, as I like to call it, a Divine Intelligence, and operate from this place of beauty and truth. All beauty is truth and truth is beauty. When we can see ourselves in this way, anything is possible. 

There is a consciousness shift that is taking place that focuses more on the intuitive nature of living and breathing with an understanding of higher vibrational frequencies. I feel we are moving out of the age of information and into an age of inspiration. Yes, you can still find anything you want with the touch of a button, you can “mask” any dis-ease with a pill…but more so than that, people are going to be able to tune into this genius within themselves to know so much more. To be able to know the answer to any question without needing to first research it. To be able to heal naturally without pills. When enough people learn and experience the amazing possibilities when we are in this field of intention, the gifts will unveil themselves.

Before I start any painting, I center myself. I balance my chakras. And I clear any energy out of me that no longer serves me. Usually this can be accomplished through mediation, intention, going outside in nature and/or Reiki. I communicate with the soul and many guides to lead me to where I need to go. I ask to be shown what colors to use. I ask that the process being intuitive, easy, and effortless. I ask that the energy from my work be for the greatest good of all. I see big things happening, and I trust the process.

If you are still reading, great, I’ll now get to your questions…I just felt guided to share the above with you.

Without a clear line drawing, how do you communicate an image through massing of color? What techniques do you use? Through the power of intention. I refer to photographs for reference. I experience life and observe nature closely. I stay present in each moment. I mass in large shapes and forms in one color, typically a burnt sienna. This step is critical to attain the likeness. Visually looking at what I do, I see the darks and lights jumping off the page. I adjust by adding more paint or diluting paint down. Sometimes I even remove paint to lighten up an area. 

Do you think that the orientations of your brushstrokes alone create form in your pieces? Or does color play an equally important role in that effort? If you were to convert my paintings to black and white, you’ll see more clearly that the shapes and intensity at which the paint is applied greatly captures the form. The movement, the passion, the balance of life is evident. By varying the brushstrokes, the painting comes alive. Yet, with the introduction of color an entirely new dimension gets added that speaks worlds. The energy of each piece is unique. vibrant color increases the expression. The black and white demonstration enables you to see depth of form that is created. the brilliant color gives you that freedom to feel the spirit of each subject. some paintings call for more color than others. 

Do you believe that the lack of line drawing lends itself to an emotional experience? With line, would your work not portray what you intend it to? An emotional experience can be had with anything. With a line drawing, far too many artists get stuck within the lines. They are afraid to step beyond the boundaries and experience the unknown. Once a line is introduced no one wants to cross it. Why is that? Why can we not grow? Why can things not change? It is about escaping out of the ego mindset that has trapped you from experiencing the beauty of creation. When you can surrender and let go of your need to be right and let the creation speak for itself, you awaken your creativity to live and love. 

How have you used color to capture/evoke emotion in a work? In other words, do you use specific colors to create specific feelings? Every one will feel something different when it comes to color. And when color is applied in various ways as it is in my work, the truth is told. I intend to create what the subject wants me to create. The emotion that comes from that is formless in the spiritual sense - the energy field. it takes form on the canvas. When I force colors, that is when I sense inside me confusion, doubt and frustration. It is me blocking the natural transgression of emotion. Yes, different colors do evoke different meanings. The combination of colors definitely will influence the feelings felt by the observer; this is why i allow my inner intelligence to guide me. i become one with the spirit that is creating and allow that flow to happen. it is when you become separate from source energy that you find fault and difficulty.

Finally, fauvism (as I am sure you are aware) deals with freeing color from form. Do you feel that idea applies to your work? yes absolutely influenced by this work. it is a personal journey and part of the journey for me was escaping from the known into the unknown and knowing and trusting that beauty and truth would prevail. vibrant & brilliant colors and what appears to be spontaneous brushwork have given me the freedom to be me and to paint my emotions and my world. 

Good luck on your paper. I’d love to read it.

Happy writing


slow down

slow down.

slow down.

derek listen to your breathing. your heart is pumping out of your chest. did you just run a race? why are you in such a craze? did something happen?

no i just woke up. i woke up wondering. i woke up inspired to write but uncertain where to begin. 

ok, let's get to a place where you can really enjoy the process of writing. we want to make it easy and fun for you.

take a moment (a beautiful moment) and close your eyes. soft and sweet. a kiss of life caresses your spirit. 

start to focus on your breathing

in and out,

in and out. 

breathe for a moment longer before continuing

do not go any further

are you still reading and not breathing?

why is it that the eye continues down the page without actively participating in this simple and important exercise? and why is the mind is still engaged in critical analysis?

my own mind wants more, it doesn't want to slow down. it doesn't want to take the time to pay attention. it is strictly focused on outcome. it wants achievements. it wants satisfaction from others. it wants, it wants, it wants. and it wants it NOW.

but what then?

slow down your breathing. reflect. listen.

a (great big) smile interrupts my pattern of breathing. i was just about to get silent too.

you are a creature of habit. you crave attention. you desire significance and importance from others. by doing more, you feel you are entitled to "their" approval. you even go so far as to rate how you feel based on your ability to do things. 

you could not be farther from the truth.

remember you are a human being. you are not a human doing. rejoice in your beingness. suspend your need to do anything in order to feel good.

happiness is not a result of more doing.

happiness is a choice. 

awaken the spirit within you

it worked. it worked. my spirit has come alive.

last night before i drifted off into blissful rest, i asked my spirit guides for guidance. and they are here with me right now. a soft beauty now surrounds my heart. a sensation of love. a feeling of togetherness. we are all one. 

waking up with the urge to write, to express, to share. i am doing it. its 5am and I'm writing again. YAY. so much joy right now, you don't even understand. 

for months now, i've been attempting to wake up and write. i want to share my story. i know when i share my story big things are happening. its an amazing journey that I'm proud to be a part of. there is a bigger part of me, something i am trying to explain through my words. when i write in the morning i am most connected to my universal source energy. there haven't been conditions throughout the day that have triggered emotions. i am at my most peaceful state. 

there is something about writing in the early morning for me. it is just me and spirit. words flow like water. gently caressing the page with ease and comfort. there is a peaceful ambiance to the air.

like water droplets hitting the roof and sliding down. life is a gift. appreciate every moment you have. appreciate and take it in. no need to be sour. no need to be someone you are not. 

release the baggage and pick up a handful of bewilderment. 

there are people out there telling me what to write. how to write. why to write. but in all reality. i write because i have an inner calling to write to connect to share my messages with you. i know you get it. and i know there are others who just want the facts, the meat, the pie. they can go get that but first, a blessing for myself. for awakening the spirit within me. thank you.

do you ever wonder why you are here? and what your purpose on earth really is?

you came here for a reason. you are reading my writing for a reason. we are all connected. we are connected to a universal power that is stronger than force. why would you be here otherwise? and if you are meant to be appreciating each moment, why choose to criticize and blame yourself. are you looking for help from someone outside you? are you looking for pity? 

now is your time to choose yourself. give yourself a break and live a little. you'll be amazed at all the possibilities that start happening in your life.

my genius has been asking to speak. out of my misunderstanding, i was taking the messages to be fatigue and boredom. but really, they were signs for me to move beyond the surface emotions.

your genius awaits you. your genius is here ready to connect with you. open up your minds eye and soul. breathe fully. breathe deeply. and love.

love the miracle of life that brought you here. love the miracle that connected us all. 

many of us have gone throughout our lives believing false evidence. we believe success needs to be hard to come by. we believe in order to succeed we need to work really really really hard for it. we need to pay the price of admission. and out of this force we expect unlimited abundance and happiness and prosperity.

the opposite actually happens. we see less and less of our families that at one point in our lives that was all we cared about. all we wanted was to be united with that special someone. all of our waking hours were consumed with dreams of who she is and what she was like. and how about that happiness card? have you really thought there is something you need to be, do or have before you can grant yourself the opportunity to be happy. to experience happiness is a birthright. and by all means, prosperity. what does prosperity mean to you? does it mean riches? does it mean gold? does it mean the fastest car? or is there more to prosperity than material wealth? 

the choice is yours. your time has come. will you answer your calling?

jumping back in

have you ever started something and never wanted it to end? 

have you ever tried to make the most of something but struggled to find the joy in it?

would you like to be more, do more, make a difference?

questions about worth and competency stroll their idyllic heads in trying to make haste. trying to stir up emotion. it's okay. i accept whatever needs to be presented to me today. 

others are pouncing on me. announcements becoming verdicts. what is right? what is good? you need to do this. why are you doing that? who are you anyway?

questions, questions, questions. will they ever let up! 

there is an aching feeling. a feeling inside me that won't go away. no matter how hard i try to let go. it may be days, months or even years later, but it comes back. i used to berate myself constantly for feeling this shame. i didn't know how to cope with it. it's really a strange feeling. a feeling like you are useless. you are a nobody. like what you do does not matter. i would drink myself to sleep at night. i know i've shared this about me before. i know i repeat myself. but it's helping. i'm releasing some kind of self-imposed conditioning that says i cannot be doing what i love. but what is it that i love? 

I feel this ache and let it air out. it needs to breathe.

tell the story of your life the way you see it. everything happens for a reason. don't you believe this? you talk about it all the time? 

and why are you just now coming back to write? where have you been? what do you really think will come of this writing anyway? 

freedom. love. abundance. joy. 

i needed a break, okay. i had some things on my mind, and i was not in a place to share them. i had other things to do. wait, i don't need to defend myself any longer. ego you are getting dropped at the curb. your days are outnumbered. i've recognized your face and its time to let my own beauty shine. 

its time to truly believe i can be me. without drugs. without alcohol. without any other addictive forces. forces trying to ease the pain of transition. forces pushing their way to make me do things i really don't want to do. i've done things to be nice. i've done things to be kind. 

maybe its time to let go of caring so much. 

struggle, perfectionism, doubt.

i guess those are the three things holding me back. its time to make a change. to let go and let the universe handle the details. 

you are healthy, whole and complete. you are a divine being. you were sent here to inspire. stop trying so damn hard. just be yourself. people want to know the real you. not the you that is created out of fear of disapproval. what kind of way to live is that? trust yourself. love yourself.

who cares what others think!

listen to your heart. you already know what you need to do. 

witness your life

can you spot the waterfall? so majestic!

can you spot the waterfall? so majestic!

okay, so that's a pic from our honeymoon to hawaii. AMAZING! we chartered a boat to take us down the Napali Coast. and we saw so many waterfalls. have i ever told you how in love with waterfalls i am?

so many magical places i've traveled too, explored and shared memories with family and friends.

it's so good to look back.

i am so gratefu

i'm aware of my ever expanding world of creation. i trust in my heart of hearts that life is protecting me. my ascended masters are guiding me.  

thank you for guiding me through this crazy world we live in.

it's only crazy if you believe it to be. instead of consistently using the word crazy, choose to see the perfect unfolding of life as it is. swap out crazy for amazing. and witness the miracle of life.

sitting here this morning i know i am exactly where i am meant to be.

i'm offering my body this time to heal.

ever since the 6th grade, i've worn glasses or contacts. i was afraid of seeing what lay ahead for me. instead of trusting in the Divine guidance, i lived in fear. that is no longer the case, because today...

i see with love and joy.

on expecting miracles

i'm not talking about tomorrow, not next week, not next year, not 5 years from now. today. this moment. be here now. this is your time. embrace it. open your heart.

this moment in life is yours. cherish it. 

stop worrying about what's going on outside of you, quit procrastinating about doing what you love, eliminate the thought pattern that waiting until tomorrow will make it all better. instead go inward right meow and experience what you are feeling. listen to your body, it has secrets to tell you. is it happiness? is it sadness? is it fear? is it confusion? is it boredom?

ask yourself why you are experiencing this sadness.

don't hide away from your feelings. accept them and know that you are exactly where you should be.

focus. i'm serious. focus on this moment, on this word, on this sentence. your mind may want to wander. your eyes may want to scan the page for something new, but i challenge you to focus. focus on yourself. choose to live fully. choose to live openly. choose to live now

because really when you think about it, you only have this moment once. soon it will be gone forever. there is no other time when you are able to embrace this moment but right now. 

i totally jumped in. screamed like a girl. and swam like crazy to get out. but it was so worth it

i totally jumped in. screamed like a girl. and swam like crazy to get out. but it was so worth it

this moment is exactly as it should be. exactly.

and it is a culmination of all the choices you have made in your life.

you created this moment whether you want to believe that or not. and you are meant to be right here right now. 

accept + love yourself. you deserve it. give yourself a big hug + smile. relax. let go. soon it too will pass.

my world has come together so magically. just the other day, i heard someone set the bar so low for themselves, you had to be careful not to trip over it. the man dug even further when he announced he doesn't believe in miracles.

are you kidding me?

life is all about miracles. expect them in your life now!

if you do not accept the idea that you deserve miracles, then when abundance falls into your lap, you will refuse it somehow, criticizing others about never having enough or being jealous when others have what you want.

do you choose to see miracles or where blinders?

i choose miracles.

because when i chose fear. my life, my body, my mind crumbled.

go within. be one with change. face your fear of the future.  

whatever you focus your attention on increases, so don't focus on barely scraping by. if you focus on lack and debt, then you will create more lack and debt in your life.

i look forward to discovering new doors in my life. i throw them wide open with excitement. & i find gold every time

a miracle awaits you today, will you see it? will you embrace it?


sharing the beauty

the colors of spring are here! love it. i love color. 

and being outside feels so good. the sunshine is AMAZING.

our minds have a powerful ability to imagine whatever we choose. and when we focus our attention on disempowering beliefs we destroy any sense of creativity we may have had.

with a slight breeze and the sun starting to lower, my wife and i head out for an evening walk. immediately we were in awe of the forsythia blooming brightly just steps away from my new studio (yes you heard it my own art studio with gallery). we had to stop, run back and grab a camera to capture this spirit

i'm so grateful for this opportunity to express my soul. to have my own place where I can create under the moonlight and before the sunrises is a dream.

what we think about truly becomes our reality. train your mind to create your desires. repetition is the mother of all skill. make those thoughts count.

painting bigger and bolder in the studio

lights are on, music in the air, i'm in the zone.

a couple of days ago, i was frustrated over not being able to paint. those frustrations were so strong. weird. crazy. instead of getting mad at myself, i accepted. i let go of my need to paint and did what felt right in that moment. i was guided to go bigger and bolder.

a couple of days later, i am presented with a gift. a gift from the angels.

know that each moment there are unlimited possibilities waiting for you.

i am chosen to be the vibrant portrait artist for a high end gallery in downtown georgetown.

and what do they want? large and colorful patriotic portraits. 

exactly what i felt. genius. YES!

i've got the canvases primed with a white ground (gesso). i'm waiting on more gesso so i can coat both sides of the boards. i decided to use MDF board for the rigidity and texture. i like the feel. it's what is working for me right now.

funny, how one day I'm so angry and the next, i've got 4 of my biggest paintings. love it!

fast forward a few days, the underpaintings are complete on 2 out of 4.

Derek Russell paintings of JFK and Ronald reagan

i dont want to miss a thing

i'm awake. it's another early morning, 4am. pretty soon the sun will be rising. i love being awake at this hour. i get to communicate with my soul. i meditate. but my mind won't stop wandering. the past few days it's been wanting to race. i'm not sure where the finish line is or where it is going. it is just all over the place. it races through questions, concerns, issues. i'm training my mind to focus on the positive. i'm training my mind to work for me.

with meditation, i'm recognizing the thoughts that are flowing through me are just that - thoughts. i embrace them, i accept them and then i let them go freely. i refocus on my breathing. an inhale. exhale. birds are chirping. the world is waking up around me. i feel whole.

i'm back on track, poop, there i go thinking again.

within each moment there are an infinite number of possibilities waiting for you. let them guide you.

instead of pushing away my problems, i notice them. problems are just sign posts directing me on my journey. there is no need to hate them. fear them. dread them.

but what about this physical pain in my body that i've been experiencing for months? why won't it go away?

i tried working out yesterday. it was the first time in over 3 months since i did a push up or pull up. those are my things. those are my exercises. i love training my body. i love sculpting my body. it is another art form of mine. 

i am an artist of life.

everything i do, i express the artist within me.

the art of love

the art of laughter

the art of dreaming

i love the energy that's pouring out of me.

but why this pain. why this physical pain? what am i missing? what is the bigger lesson?

i don't want to miss a thing.

Prints are available  here

Prints are available here


is the pain deeper? what is the root cause? rather than just focus on the surface level issue, go deeper and be willing to change. it all stems from your willingness to change. to change your patterns. to change your lifestyle. to change your attitude. you must commit fully to change. and know you won't miss a thing. you will experience each moment to the fullest. each smile. each laugh. each kiss.

trust that all is well and all will be well.

whether you know it or not, you are afraid of change.

change is good. change is natural. change is mandatory for life to exist.

think of a flower, always changing, always growing, yet beautiful all throughout her life. be that flower and embrace change.

when you do, your pain will go away. you will see you never miss a beat. you will never miss a thing.

thoughts escape out of me as i notice them flowing around me. they only have meaning to me if i put attachment onto them. with each step, with each movement, i am living, breathing, experiencing the amazement.

i settle into my morning - i am safe. i am experiencing a joyful day of abundance and love.

rise and sunshine

it's a beautiful day. and a special one for someone i hold close to my heart.

i first met her 3 years ago in a shaw's parking lot - apparently a park-n-ride is a sketchy place. i was standing outside my car, shades on, right knee bent and foot resting on the rear wheel. cowboy style.

it was our first date. the first time we would meet face to face.

we found each other online - yes, online. we both decided to take the gamble, why not go "shopping" for a lover from the comfort of our pjs and bed.

i daydream back to the day when she hopped out of that black mercury sable and bounced over to me with open arms, a smile so bright, + an aura so big. pure happiness still echoes through me thinking about it.

that day in february our worlds collided.

immediately i knew, she knew too - we were meant for each other.

our playfulness grew as we ventured off into the woods

with only 1 stale granola bar, it's all yours.

our bubble of love when nothing else matters, all time stands still, all worries disappear, all doubt fades away, + laughter fills the air.

Derek Russell with kara in arms

jumping forward to this morning when i rise from bed, one that we now share

it's a rise and sunshine day.

happy birthday monkey

i'm proud of you. so proud.

and i want to give you a gift you will always remember. i want to give you the moon. i want to give you the stars. i want to give you my heart.

take my hand, as i offer you my sunshine

you inspire me.

let's dance those socks right off

happy birthday little peach

<3 xoxo <3

4 words that will change your life

"Y.O.L.O." my twin flame smiles at me.

confused, i looked dumbfounded back at her. ok - thank you?

i know she likes making up her own words, and i'm learning to understand them but it's taking some time.

You. Only. Live. Once.

i really connected to it. it's loaded with meaning. it's fun to say. it's liberating to live.

Derek Russell jumping with Kara

each week on tuesday's i'll share a new Y.O.L.O. moment

what's yours this week?