A Merry Mindful Holiday Season to You!

As we move into the holiday season, many of us are swirling with mixed emotions that trace back to childhood.

Regardless of detail from our lived experience – we may feel excitement, hope, intrusive bad memories, hurt, loneliness, and anger.

Your emotional space is your sacred subjective world. Be mindful of what comes up this month, hold your lived experience in a sacred zone of validation and then get curious about what thoughts, feelings, sensations and actions you choose (with clarity) to carry forward in this moment. This is your moment.

Mindful Artists, Brave-gentlemen Warriors

With enthusiasm and pride, I wish to celebrate the art of two young gentlemen: Javier and Antwone.

At the Reframe Your Artistry Workshops, featuring the Next Gen, these radiant souls surely did shine.

Javier showed up with perfect attendance and ideas plus supplies galore.

Antwone, often begrudgingly showed up – to appease mom or brother – though, regardless of what got him there, he made his presence known when he did.

Their works speak for themselves.

As we celebrate works in progress, this week, in a reframed artistic world, let’s look up to these young role models. They exemplify how to show up, and show back up, no matter the glitz and glamour that may or may not surround our creativity. Instead, as they model best, it is time to listen to the wise ones, expressing themselves with authentic voice and vision.

Fall on the Wall, by Javier – who gathered then encased in a repurposed frame, leaves of the present season; he regularly re-uses the frame to feature pines around the holidays or hearts in February.

Fall into creativity.

‘Tis the season to be enveloped by the elements. The weather is not too hot, not too cold. And bold colors, they swirl around us. Be reminded, that even as things devolve, there is elegance in the breakdown. Allow your eye to wander in unassuming directions. Here, I looked down, to capture the magic of wet leaves (they are more than just a nuisance:). Engage in your world, just as it is: for that is beautiful.

Mindful Artists Connected by Water

Photography by Peter Slater

Many of you are aware of my penchant for water, and what wetness – persistent albeit ever changing degrees of wetness – teaches us regarding our radical interconnections to the environment and one another.

It is with that sentiment in mind, and the grace of Peter Slater, that I feel a sense of kinship to someone’s work that is outside my own country of origin; some might say we are separated by the distance of one ocean, one pond, and yet, my mind likes to think, artists like ourselves remain connected by the continuity of a fresh perspective (including one that values how water flows constantly between us, connecting us, more than separating us).

Please offer a warm welcome in the comments or by reaching out to this talented, mindful artist – directly.

This month, I am honored to introduce to the Reframed world, the wise-angled point of view of Peter Slater. Peter is self-described as “retired” from the world of Sports and Leisure Management, living latterly across the pond from my US digs, in Newcastle upon Tyne. The “retired” in quotes, as he appears to be in the middle of a budding artistic career. Photography has been his means to express his interests in the natural world, particularly birds. He also has a keen interest in music and art.

I am grateful to learn of his refreshing and soulful perspective via the Instragram-Community. He is located via @pasjest510.

While you’re there, send me a hello at my budding platforms @jesshonig and @reframeyourartistry, and share your work via #reframeyourartistry to continue growth of a mindful artists’ movement capturing moments – just as they situate, right here and right now – of compassion for self, other, and the planet.

Find Beauty in the Hornet’s Nest

This week, I am totally inspired by an abandoned hornet’s nest that fell from a tree outside our home. My spouse encouraged me to be brave and wait out the hornets, and here is my reward. Marvel with me, at the amazing talents of these tiny animals. Join me, as we zoom in on life, beautiful – just as it situates.

Share your natural wonders with me via a tag #reframeyourartistry. And follow my pursuits in the Instragram world @reframeyourartistry and @jesshonig.

Big Picture Dreams


Get outside, get into nature, and explore….Dr. Scott Sampson


This was a slow morning in Vermont. My partner and I were visiting a dear friend, en route to a wedding a few miles north. Vermont. The heart of it: desolate (minus the bleak and dismal), small towns, and strung together by lush woods, hills, rivers,  Northern Lights, and rolling green.

It is here, I like to visit. It is anywhere that might meet the description: strung together by….nature. Because, I believe in nature as the inspiration that connects us all. For now. For now, it is what we know. The rest, detail.

I refer to this way of thinking – seeking big picture, natural and broad rather than detail of who wears what and how to coordinate with: SELECTIVE AMNESIA.

SELECTIVE AMNESIA: def. the ability to let go of what doesn’t matter, to move into the next moment with greater focus and clarity.

It’s my personal take on BIG PICTURE living.

I practice it in neighborly conversation, when politics could get in the way.

I practice it with family, when memory could ruin a perfectly fresh celebration.

I practice it with my artistry, showing up to do that thing that I love to do, letting go of labels regarding the shoulds and used-to’s.

In art, as in so many labels for what we do – challenge yourself to resist labels. What to produce? Who am I? These are secondary questions to the notion: be – as you are, as you intend – where you are at, NOW.

Join me, my fellow mindful artist. Begin again. Head into nature, and do as the fabulous Dr. Scott Sampson would suggest – explore.

Find a roaming hill, as I did, pictured above. That was a slow, clear morning for me (in Vermont). I intend to find that slow and clear place (no matter the geography).

Welcome back, you’ve got this.

Textured Toyin’ Around

Play around, just because it’s fun. And play around with artistic textures via these three easy steps. Bonus – repurpose expired food!

  1. Choose a medium to sketch the base image of … anything
  2. Grab some random supplies in your home to repurpose
  3. Glue or gloss (try Mod Podge for gluey gloss)



On boredom…



Make snow out of flour…

The topic of boredom has come up a lot lately…with clients, with acquaintances, with family. Last evening, I was guilty of a monologue regarding the hives that grow (in my head), when I hear this word.


While I practice and actually believe in empathy no matter someone’s point of view – valid – because it is their point of view, I have struggled with people claiming boredom lately. At first, I got super righteous and described to my spouse that my allergic reaction felt on par with every time some (privileged-in-my-eyes) person might complain that their stock portfolio is stressing them out. My social worker within, as they say – born into our profession, perhaps  – the social worker in me hears the idea of boredom or stock portfolio issues – and I immediately think of hierarchy of needs. I think of my work with persons who are chronically homeless, I think of clients or colleagues who wish for a safe place to sleep, I think of people on the threshold of psychosis (the terrifying state where awareness meets the edge of a spiral) and I think of brothers and sisters of different skin tone from my own – and I automatically think, boredom? Stock portfolio? Really? Many people might be glad to have what some might coin #privileged problems.

My spouse felt I was being unfair. And, like most any spousal disagreement, he is not entirely wrong (just like, 99%, right? wink wink). The belief, he supposed, was itself too generalized. Dang it, he has a point. In my line of work, after all, I do not see much variance between the haves and the have-nots regarding hierarchy of needs. After all, there is some alleged research that says beyond a certain base income or poverty level, suffering is merely a state of mind.

I get that. I can absorb that. I witness the inner pain of the highly pressured teen student; I witness the dutiful spouse who gives of their health for the pride of the family; I witness the person who surrendered their own dreams and imagination – to stay the course for basic freedoms or finances.

But, why then – do boredom and stock portfolio references illuminate as my privileged problem? 

It’s a bit ironic, I suppose. It’s kind of my take-back on trauma. It’s my take back on my own sense of an oppressed experience – an experience less defined on my terms, often, and evolved til devolving from identity as seen by others – religious minority, female, abstract thinker, introvert (…less than, as you should be, or as I know you to be); a long standing burden. I’m the problem solver, the saint, the mascot, the “Jew that I know…but she’s not that Jewish.” I’m the survivor, the terrified of…because it happened.

I’ve had to define and redefine my situation for as long as I remember.

And for that, now, in irony – and a sort of taking back of trauma – as the world struggles with a very real global trauma – I look into the faces of people who think something will make or break them. I listen to people who consider that they are bored, victim of the way things change. I listen to people acknowledging, perhaps, as if for the first time – the nature of the universe is impermanence and chaos.

And I say: listen to me – my friend, my brother and sister, listen to the wisdom from previous survivors – your personal definition, or ability to imagine and adapt to right here and right now, it is bound only by your willingness to redefine your situation.

Welcome to the other side, we are a land of nomadic wanderers. And, as the bumper sticker goes, “Not all who wander, are lost.”

Stay safe, healthy, connected, and nourished – that is all that we need to survive. The rest, icing…