Category Archives: inspired by Nature

Star Tree Goddess

If you have been following my work you know that I am inspired by trees and by the ancient wisdom of  Goddess.  In recent years the two have merged as one truth in my mind and my vision.

While reading Elizabeth Cunningham’s second novel in her The Maeve Chronicles series I was inspired to paint a star tree by her words.  A Goddess was involved in the magical, mytical scene in which a sacred grove turned into a Goddess Temple with a huge tree in the center.  The Goddess looked up and saw stars in the branches.  That was the beginning of my journey to find that image on canvas.  Here’s where I started.


Star Tree Goddess Study 1, gouache on paper, 15.5″x19″

Another study followed this one.


Star Tree Goddess Study 2, gouache on paper, 12″x18″

Read my latest post on the Feminism and Religion blog for more info on the sacred nature of trees to the Celts and to see the oil painting (probably still in progress) that sprung from Cunningham’s words.

And if you haven’t read Cunningham’s 4 book series, The Maeve Chronicles, I highly recommend that you do.


Seeking A Balance – Darkness and Light

“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.” – Theodore Roethke

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Golden-Bee-Light- painting-by-Judith-Shaw

Golden Bee Light, oil on canvas, 16X 20″

I began my latest post on the Feminism and Religion Blog with these two quotes.

King’s quote expresses how out of balance we were and still are.  Roethke expresses the truth the our world, when at it’s best, maintains a balance of the light and the dark.

In this post I explore my journey through darkness brought on by the recent increase in and acceptance of bigotry and hate to an attitude which embraces the light that shines in the darkness even more fiercely than before.  You can read it here. 


Gardens Create Community as Love Drives Out Hate – Day 23

Creating a community garden is a great way to bring neighbors together.  Not only can you get to know folks you might not know, you also connect with Mother Earth.  And the extra bonus – great, fresh veggies!

Check out this post on how to start one in your neighborhood.

start-a-community-gardenLove Drives Out Hate

Moon Light, Moon Bright – Love Drives Out Hate – Day 17

A new piece- Moon Light, Moon Bright –  Earth meets Sky in cosmic oneness.

moon-light-moon-bright-painting-by-judith-shawLove Drives Out Hate

Sex in the Sea – Love Drives Out Hate – Day 15

I heard a great interview on the radio this morning with the author of a recently published book called, Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection with Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep. by Marine Biologist, Marah J Hardt.  It is a fascinating look at the connection between the sex lives of marine animals and sustainable oceans.

So my image of the day honors the love between sea creatures.  After all life began in the sea.

seahorse love

Love Drives Out Hate


Love Trumps Hate – Day 6 – Trees Give Life

What could more emblematic of  love than the relationship between humans and trees.  Trees give life. Without trees the world we know would not exist.

A Medieval Forest, painting by Judith Shaw

A Medieval Forest, oil on canvas by Judith Shaw

Hug a tree when you feel let down by the current evil wind of hate blowing its way through out the world.

Here are a few articles on how trees support us in so many ways which you might enjoy reading. (Full disclosure – the second one is by me)

Follow Green Living

Trees Give Life

Loose Leaf

Trees – My Constant Enchantment

Life has taken me on a journey away from my studio the past few months due to the need to learn a new skill for earning money.   But I had the luxury of locking myself in my studio for the whole month of January in preparation for an art show I put up at the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club.  I was working hard to finish the largest painting (7’x7′) I have ever done “Our Enchanted Bosque”.

Our Enchanted Bosque painting by Judith Shaw

The Bosque is an amazing wild spot in the heart of a mid-sized metropolitan city.  Almost every major city with a river running through it has turned that riverside property into a commercial zone. Shops and restaurants line the shores of rivers around the world. Whenever I go to the Bosque since moving here in 2000 I say a prayer of gratitude for this wild spot.  I bring my water bottle and a snack while I bike or walk; sit quietly or draw; and feel the power of nature.  My soul opens and the problems of modern every day life recede for a moment.  Almost every other activity in modern life requires consumption.  The Bosque has been consumption free but that might not last.

“Our Enchanted Bosque” took me on a two year journey of pleine air painting, discovery about myself and of what I wanted to express with this painting.  Read about that journey on my post from February for the Feminism and Religion blog- Click here.