Once when we were free

Jon Rappoport's Blog

Once when we were free

by Jon Rappoport

December 24, 2012

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit From The Matrix, click here.)

We’re so much more sensible now. We don’t live our lives as much as we arrange them and organize them. B follows A. D follows C. We take our medicine and our shots because the doctor says so.

We’re careful, because accidents happen.

We don’t say what’s on our minds a lot of the time, because other people might pass that on, and who knows? We might get into trouble.

But once upon a time, when we were young, we were free. We didn’t take any shots, and when we got sick we recovered. We were stronger than kids are now. We didn’t ask for much protection and we weren’t given much, and we survived.

There was no talk about the needs of the group. When…

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Michele ‘Mikala’ Ross – Artist: WHY MERCHANDISE YOUR ART ?

Michele ‘Mikala’ Ross – Artist: WHY MERCHANDISE YOUR ART ?.

Consignment Forms for Artists – We’re All In This Together

Very good tips!

Eric Merrell Art

Art Business: Yawn, right? Still, I think it’s important enough to write about. Of all the artists that I know, the successful ones (read: make their main income from art) are totally involved in the business side of their art, not just the creation of it. The romantic stereotype of the messy artist who just creates in a cluttered studio is really the image of an artist who won’t survive.

Gallery Consign ex Consignment form examples, front and back. Every painting that leaves the studio is accompanied by two consignment forms – one copy for the gallery to keep for their records, and one for them to sign for my records. I don’t go home without it.

I want to stress that this is directed equally towards Artists and Galleries, but is written from the Artist’s (my) perspective. Artists should realize that each of their business decisions, even on a small scale, affects…

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Great post from Jim, so appropriate for anyone in the arts or an entrepreneur of any kind.

Jim Ross Meskimen's Blog


You probably won’t remember this blog entry when it becomes most useful to you. And probably neither will I…

There’s something I’ve discovered about myself which gets more acute over time and that is, that I’m extremely impatient. That’s a benefit as well as a curse.

But because I get impatient, I get into a weird situation regarding work.

The cycle begins like this:

I get a lot of work, I’m in production, I’m not concerned in the least about generating new assignments, everything looks rosy… then of course at a certain point the work runs out and I find I now need to concentrate on promotion to generate more work.

I’m very familiar with that phase. That’s pretty easy. All part and parcel of being self-employed.

So, I get nice and busy and I PROMOTE, and soon bring myself to a point where that flow is reversed and I’m…

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The Art of The Selfie (for fun, business, and shameless selfie promotion)

The Art of The Selfie (for fun, business, and shameless selfie promotion).

My cushions on Zazzle

mikalas_fresh_mangos_pillows-rb82d6e6d3c894ea283b87e2efb5d0a85_i52ni_8byvr_325My Cushions on Zazzle

Such a fun thing to see my watercolors made into other products. You can find the cushions on Zazzle. Check them out here!

mikalas_favorite_plumeria_pillow-r63130337333c4f7ab2c11005cc18b868_i5fqz_8byvr_325 mikalas_favorite_plumeria_2_pillow-r9f00b717eb5b45f99124eed32e39de62_i52ni_8byvr_325




Wedding Day Smiles

Wedding Day Smiles

Originally published as a Facebook Note, I decided to make it more broadly available.

May 1st 2014 was our 37th wedding anniversary.

My goodness, has it been that long? We chose May 1st because it is Lei Day in Hawaii and brought fond memories of my childhood there. I thought when we hit 25 that was really something, and of course by today’s standards, it was! So here we are 12 years later at #37. Wow. We feel blessed and proud to have gotten here.So how does one manage to hit such a milestone? I’m trying to figure it out myself! It really does not feel like 37 years at all. I know one thing’s for sure, its an adventure and it’s work. Here are my musings on a few things that have worked for us… if anyone cares to listen to an old married lady.


We started out as hippies and rebels. Our wedding was not a traditional American wedding. In fact it was a Hindu ceremony. Non-traditional though it was, we’ve always felt we made a promise to each other. We made a firm decision back then that stuck, and we continue to decide to keep it. We took responsibility for one another and decided to see it through. There have been many, many times each of us wanted to change our minds. Many times we thought “Oh hell! That was dumb!”, but we’ve always changed it back. Have we made all each other’s dreams come true? Oh, hell no! But we’ve made many of them come true, and we continue to work together on new ones all the time. Now if my husband had turned out to be a drug dealer or an ax murderer I would have had no qualms in making a change, but thankfully he was no such thing. One cannot expect a good crop if one is constantly wandering to new fields. We planted our seeds and saw to the crops we had sown, then worked new fields together. Everyone has their own decisions to make, but that is what we decided.


We agree on enough things to make it work. We don’t agree on everything. There have been times when we actually freaked people out because we’d have a roaring argument about some difference of opinion… politics, money, food etc. We’re quite capable of having an impassioned debate. People didn’t always know that we simply did this from time to time and that we are quite capable of having a wild discussion of ideas and then dropping it and happily moving on to the next thing. We do like to spend time in each other’s company. We can drive for hours (and often do) and talk the whole time or simply say nothing for miles and miles. We can have it either way and be very comfortable and secure in each other’s presence. There are many little things that annoy us about the other all the time. So what! Those are small things most of the time. The bigger things we recognize and cherish. After many years together, it’s also quite cool to have a partner who knows your history because he’s been there for most of it. When I say “Do you remember that person…..?” He does, because he was there, and I do the same for him. There’s something wonderful about that, and the sharing of mutual long time friends as well.


Bob has always, always validated and supported my love of and time put into the arts. Not once has he ever said it’s trivial, silly or criticized the area. I made a pact with him years ago on road trips. I said I want to be able to stop the car at any time if I want to photograph, sketch something, or take a side road for the hell of it just to explore. I had a father who would not even stop for bathroom stops and this was a big deal for me. This is just one of many examples of his constant encouragement and validation of what is important to me. In return, Bob’s passion for scuba diving, guns, certain political and humanitarian activities are whole-heartedly supported by me even if I don’t fully understand them at the time. We also allow one another the space to create our individual interests without requiring any input from the other. If I want to go do something that I know isn’t Bob’s thing, I go find someone to do it with or get quite comfortable being alone and vice versa. We don’t expect each other to be our entertainment all the time. There are also things that we do just because it will make the other happy even though it might not be our own thing. This is part of the give and take or “exchange” in the relationship.


For us, this has been counseling and training at our church when needed and airing any transgressions we had against one another or the relationship in a safe supportive environment. Long ago we agreed to make sure we made time to create space to completely and safely communicate anything at all to one another, and this was the best way to do it. This also gave us the experience, stability and training to do it for ourselves when needed. We did courses on communication, finance and other things together to give us stability and make sure we were on the same page. In addition, we made time to have dates even when we had no money. Coffee at McDonald’s or picnics when that was all we could afford. Times when we give each other our full attention without any distraction from phones, children when they were little, television, computers etc. etc. It’s amazing what absolute full undivided attention can do for a relationship, and it doesn’t take much time as long as its full attention. People spend time and money to maintain their cars, their homes, their own bodies,their computers and gadgets and forget to run maintenance on their relationships, but it is so very important.


We don’t talk about our relationship challenges with others unless they are chosen advisers, or trusted family and friends that might be affected. Anytime we’ve violated that it has been destructive. There’s no reason to talk about our personal challenges with anyone who cannot actually help us, and certainly not with people who have no reality on us or our relationship or any experience and expertise to contribute.There are just a very few people that I would discuss my husband with in any meaningful way. Our laundry does not need to be aired and anytime that either of us have felt inclined to do so, or to complain about the other, it has always been because the person wanting to complain is actually the person who has done something wrong. Since we both know that truth, it makes it easy for us to find and fix what is happening. This advice rule especially applied to taking advice on marriage, children, or money.The first rule was never take advice from someone with a poor or non-existent personal track record in the area. I learned early not to take advice on rearing children from non-parents. No offense to my non-parent friends, it was just something we decided that has saved us much time and worked for us. Same for seeking advice on relationships from someone with a poor relationship record-it just didn’t make sense. It is also not cool to offer unsolicited advice to others either when they haven’t asked for it, we try not to do that. Even if the other might be wrong, we do not correct each other in public on important matters. This is one I had to learn, and my husband deserves medals for getting through my learning curve! It is still something I work on. Bottom line is,share only good news about your relationship with most people and keep your own counsel, and choose any trusted advisers or mentors very carefully. Anyone betraying our trust is handled individually, or dropped quietly. We guard each other’s backs and take disputes up privately. We try to broadcast only funny or good news about ourselves.


We laugh a lot! Even in moments of stress. I laugh at his dumb jokes and he laughs when I burn dinner. I laugh when he forgets to take out the garbage and he laughs when I lose my glasses and has to find them for me. We laugh at ourselves and at each other’s foibles. We cultivate a sense of humor and don’t sweat the small stuff. We don’t cultivate any humor that is degrading or demeaning to one another. We create games to play with each other and have friendly competitions at times. We’re always encouraging each other to smile and laugh, one cannot have too much of that.


I used to tell our boys, “Your Dad comes first because he was here first. Without him, there would be no you in the family. As long as he and I put each other first then we have the strength together to put the two of you 2nd.” This may not work for everyone, but it worked well for us. We had more to give them as a united couple. We also knew one day our kids would be grown, and it would be, God willing, back to just the two of us. In addition, neither of us put our families (parents and siblings) before the other. That way we’ve been able to have the support of the other in relating to our families. Bob’s support through the deaths of each of my parents for example was absolute and vice versa. Personally I think that came from the strength of our commitment to one another and without that basic agreement things can get a little weird. It’s the same with our grown children, they are not in competition with my husband, which allows us together to make them a priority. I also expect each of my sons to make their own partners their first priority, and we encourage them to do so.We have awesome sons and though we cannot take all the credit, I think the above helped.


I always told Bob “I’m a less homes, more gardens & travels kind of girl.” I only need enough home to create a home base from which to operate and leave my things. This might be because I’m a military brat who moved a lot. I have plenty of nice “things” and I love my home filled with family heirlooms and memories, but I’d rather collect experiences than things. Before we had kids I was a clean freak. I drove Bob nuts when anything was out of place. Well that doesn’t work so well with children, and I soon learned that spending time with husband and kids was more important than a spotless home. The dishes can wait until toddlers are in bed, guests leave, or you’ve had that glass of wine on the porch with your mate. We also made it more important to DO things together than to have the newest furniture or gadgets. I’d much rather spend money on a trip to Hawaii or Colorado than have a new sofa or floor, and fortunately he would too. I don’t remember all my sofa’s nearly as fondly as I do time spent traveling together as a family or couple. It’s the same with going out to eat. Though we’ve enjoyed many meals at many fine restaurants, I’d rather spend the money on a couple of tanks of gas and pack a picnic to eat on a mountain trail or sit at the rim of the Grand Canyon.Fortunately he feels the same way. Flowers? Absolutely, but this lady prefers a living plant I can stick in the ground! Adventures? Yes! We’ve had many big ones, in many countries, but it’s the weekly and monthly ones that keep us going. Time and experiences together are the most precious.


We say please and thank you. We say hello when we get home, good morning when we wake up, goodnight when we go to bed, and good by when we leave. We acknowledge each other. There are very few meals Bob hasn’t thanked me for, and there are very few chores I haven’t thanked him for. It sets the tone of mutual validation and appreciation and makes daily life so much more pleasant.


I’m not a man, so these are merely the observations of a woman with a husband and two grown sons. Take it or leave it as you will.
A. It has been my observation that men don’t generally like unsolicited advice. I learned this the hard way. As wives and moms we’re so involved in solving everyone’s problems all the time that it becomes a habit to tell everyone what to do! since I’ve been a manager or executive most of my working life, this was especially hard to learn it does not work at home. I had to learn to remove from my vocabulary the words “I think what you should do is…..” and learn to ask instead “What do you think you should do?” or, “Do you need or want anything from me on this?” I actually practiced it in front of a mirror for awhile. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or you have the answer, that is simply not the point. It has no value unless they asked for it.

B. Conversely, I let my partner know when I DON’T want him to solve my problem but simply want to be listened to. Men usually feel compelled to solve things for us even when that’s not what we want. Well at least my men do. They don’t know when I just want to be heard and acknowledged if I don’t tell them.We gals talk an awful lot and I know for me, part of my working something out has to do with being able to talk to someone who will just listen. I had to learn to clue Bob into this, so now I let him know when I just want him to listen and let me know I’ve been heard but not try to solve something for me. He also now knows to ask first.


I feel truly blessed to have such a long time loyal friend and mate in Bob. People who see how different we often are on the surface don’t usually understand what our relationship is really about, and that’s also fine with us. How could others know the real agonies and ecstasies we’ve been through together or the death-beds we’ve nursed each other back from? There were times over the years when we had “friends” advise us to split up. It’s funny but that advice usually came from people with no experience or a poor relationship record. That policy about who we take advice from on certain subjects has come in very handy over the years. Could things have been different? I’m sure they could have. Did we each give things up to be with and remain with one another? Absolutely. One thing neither of us has had to give up though is our own personal integrity or core values and that is a vital thing to consider in any relationship, personal or otherwise.

In the last year, we have had several friends who have lost their long-time partners. My heart goes out to them. The loss of some of these friends has left a gap in our mutual histories and lives. My husband is 9 years older than me, so I pray we still have many years together, we count each day and week as precious and try not to get too serious about it all.

Everyone is different so I cannot tell people how to get to this milestone nor can I presume that others want to. I can only share a little of our journey and what has worked for us. I can tell you that its quite lovely to have an old friend and lover by my side after all these years, one who knows me so very well, does the best he can, and whom I can count on for the important things. That is quite a nice thing.

Thank you my love for being such a grand and steady partner and friend!


Note: Bob read this nodding and smiling 🙂 I would never publish this if there was something he didn’t agree with, even though I AM the loudmouth in this partnership!!

Below: This year’s anniversary roses- some will end up in paintings to be sure. 

We Still Laugh and Smile a lot!

We Still Laugh and Smile a lot!


May22014 019b

Anniversary Roses

The Marriage Box

The Marriage Box

We’re Lonely

We're Lonely

“We Miss You”
My brushes left me the sweetest note the other morning. I’m working hard to get things organized so I can spend lots more time with them, but they are getting a bit impatient. Soon my dears, soon!- Michele

A New Beginning and a Return!

A New Beginning and a Return!

Its been a long time and I have a lot to catch you all up on! A move to a new purchased house, becoming a grandmother and new paintings… So much! I’ll be posting more very soon.


a colorful 10 minute increment

Command Central..

 My husband and I moved to Las Vegas January 31st of this year to help on a project near and dear to my heart. Since then, I’ve been working about 80-90 hours a week- 30 or so to earn a living and 50 or so to fulfill my dream of helping my church and several non-profits forward their goals and purposes. Since then, I’ve found that life has been lived in about 10-30 minute increments of compressed and concentrated units of time.

People have asked me, “Why are you doing this?” “It’s nuts, you’ll wear yourself out!” And, “ What about your art?, What about your family and friends?”, “How can you leave where you were living and just change directions like that?…. What about your BLOGS!!??”

Well.., yes the blogs, shops and forums and groups have been a bit neglected, and the brushes and paints are still for the most part unpacked. My daily art fix right now consists mostly of viewing and sharing the wide array of beautiful art that my dear, dear art friends on facebook display each day. Have I told them how much I appreciate their work? Not enough. I love my fellow artists, so that is another a service I can help do for now.

I have never been a conservative, middle class girl. I came from a large family grounded in community service and willing to take the show on the road. The kids are grown now and I am able to serve. So this ocean and tropical loving “girl” asked her husband of 33 years to pack up the house, leave my beloved California and move it all to the desert- Sin City Central in fact- Las Vegas, Nevada. I joined a movement that specifically focuses on helping artists of all mediums, music, film, paint, photography etc. There are people here to help and for the moment that is enough.

A group of us from around the country converged on Vegas in fact. All with a common purpose to help this project and get it off the ground. I have found old friends and new, all working every bit as hard as I am. My daily routine at the moment would make most people cringe to say the least- and sometimes it makes ME cry! Up at 6 0r 7, eat, dress, and then 35 minute drive to the office, work through lunch, 35 minute drive back to the house, eat a very quick meal for a few minutes, 35 minute drive again and work till 11 PM., and oh- did I say that I work 15-16 hours a day on the week-ends? Okay, so I take the odd day off like today once in awhile to wash clothes, pay the bills and write to all of you. My new blackberry phone for the most part is command central for emails, calls, and texts.

But I have some wonderful 10 minute increments all the time. 10 minutes admiring a beautiful painting or photograph here and there. 10 minutes listening to the happiness of a parishioner who just finished a service. 10 minutes of listening to some new music performed by an auditioning musician, 10 minutes of laughing with a co-worker while washing the dishes after an event, 10 minutes of helping someone do better, 10 minutes of listening to an 11 year old soloist who knocked my socks off, 10 minutes of sharing a meal with someone I really love, 10 minutes of listening to the story of someone who helped someone else handle a lifelong situation and do better……. Oh yes, there are a lot of 10 minute increments that are wonderfully compressed in with the 10 minute increments of- “Oh my! I haven’t eaten all day!” or “OMG, I really need a pedicure- who has time for such things!” or “Oops, I better pay the electric bill- Geesh!”

The car is dusty and cluttered, the dishes aren’t washed and would someone please put the whites in the dryer so I can have some clean underwear!! Oh, right, too much information.

Well, I still stop and turn the car around when the sunset or the mountains are looking particularly spectacular- and yes, I might take 10 minutes just to sit and admire it. I still squint to see the large shapes in the landscape (careful not to crash the car) and ponder and decide how best to paint them. I still walk outside and look at the colors of the clouds and the different way the light is here in the desert- the full moons are particularly wonderful. I still stand and figure out how best to mix my palette for a particular color scheme and I still rush to snap a shot of a particularly interesting or beautiful face. My camera is always near to hand and I shoot happily gathering content for the paintings I know I will still do.

Okay, so life in 10 minute increments can be pretty darned crazy- but when you have a purpose and worthwhile work, it is not only doable but full of wonderful instances of human and spiritual, artistic contact and upliftment. It certainly is an adventure! So….. I’ll try to keep you posted on how it’s all coming along, and maybe soon, I’ll work my way up to more frequent 20 minute increments!

Love you all-
Michele Ross
©2010 MA Ross

My empty easel awaits patiently

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November 2017
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Acknowledgements from Buyers & Collectors:

cknowledgements from Buyers & Collectors: Gorgeous-another beauty ! Very impressive- I’ll be back Wow! Beautiful oil painting! I Love the print as usual; great site for quality art!!!! Absolutely beautiful ! Very happy-brings back special memories-Mahalo Nui Loa Lovely painting. It was more than what I expected! An absolutely breathtaking print. Great painting. It’s beautiful. Thank you! Great Hawaiian print. Mahalo The items were better than what I expected. The prints look like the actual water colors! Thank you! What an exceptional artist! Beautiful print arrived fast and well packaged. Wonderful print. I love it - brings back good memories of Hawaii. Thanks ! Shipping was prompt and The print is beautiful! I Love my art print, shipped well, fast service. I Love the prints! So pleased to have come across this artist! Absolutely gorgeous prints. A great artist! Gorgeous floral prints- could almost smell them! I’m very, very pleased indeed! I love it! Great service and most beautiful oil painting Fast delivery and excellent quality reproduction. Lovely Hawaiian Hula Girl watercolor print! Mahalo!! A lovely plumeria print. Thank you so much!! Very happy as always with my purchase; will continue to buy!!! I loved this print from the moment I saw it - not disappointed!!!!! Wow! Beautiful oil painting! Wonderful place to shop; you won't be disappointed!!! The only problem with this site (artist) is that I want everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great artist; professional service and fast delivery I absolutely love the print; couldn't be happier with transaction!!! Beautiful print; would definitely buy again Very nice painting! Talented artist! Great service! Thank you! Great picture and very well packaged. Thanks!!! BEAUTIFUL PAINTING Thank You!!!!!!!!!!! BEAUTIFUL PAINTINGS, SHIPPED WITH CARE, EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS. MAHALO!

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