Thursday, January 2, 2014


As I transition into 2014, my goal is to be more mindful. More aware. More present by finding a deeper connection to that still, silent place within.

Developing our intuition is not about adding more or wanting more. It's about clearing the clutter and enjoying less.  Sometimes I feel like I have been holding so much clutter in my mind and in my lifestyle. Do I really need to book myself with appointments during every minute I have free when the kids are not at home? Is it a a good idea to buy that magazine at the checkout counter that I may or may not get to reading but it will sit on my night stand for the next month? Do I absolutely need that 47th pair of yoga pants?  Do the day's events change if I check Instagram for the 10th time today?

In my heart I already know the answer.

When we have cultivated a healthy space within, we can see, hear and feel more clearly.

The more I strip away, the clearer things seem to get.

I have found that by taking time when I wake up, or when I begin my morning practice to scan my body... to begin at the feet and slowly work attention up through my body, making sure to "touch" each of my body parts with awareness... this practice helps me stay grounded, stay mindful, stay clear.

This little exercise in mindfulness is something I can come back to throughout the day.  As I reach for the bag of chips, stop and I really hungry? Or am I tired and looking for an energy lift? Maybe it's thirst. As the children are bickering with one another and I can feel my blood pressure rising, instead of the release that comes with raising my voice, a quick body scan tells me I can and should fend this off and that everyone would be better served with a calm voice or me leaving the room until my blood pressure goes back down.

The more I clear the extraneous, the closer I get to my true self. My inner voice. My art. Things that I have been putting off or avoiding don't seem so intimidating. Like jumping into new works.  2014 here we go!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Tiny Trees, Be Light in Life

Hope your Christmas was full of wonder and miracles. The family and I had a lovely time celebrating. Leading up to the holiday, I spent a good amount of time in the studio, painting away, working on several commissions.

"Gifts made by hand warm the heart," has always been the thought behind creating art for special occasions. There is nothing quite like opening a gift that exists, from conception to creation, expressly because of the recipient.

I wanted to share some tiny tree paintings with you that were created as commissions based on a Client's picture from a recent visit to Aspen.  She wanted three paintings, 6" x 6" each, going to three different people whom she travelled with to give as gifts.

This was the picture she gave me to work from. Not looking for photographic representation, she wanted something in my artistic style, but which captured the brilliance of their hike on that day.  In her mind, what stood out was the light and the way it came through the trees and left a lasting impact. 

Her experience reminded me of a blessing I had heard someone say just days before, "Be light in life." Lightness, ease, the beauty that comes with grace. Isn't that something we are all looking to be touched by?  What a wonderful gift to give someone, a reminder to stay light, to embody lightness, to be the light in someone's life. What a joy for me to create these pieces for her, and be the conduit of this energy. 

Here's a detail shot of one of the three paintings. Although the paintings were based on a shared experience, they will each hang in a different home to commemorate that memory in its own unique way.  The art will live on as a tiny legacy, a reminder to Be Light in Life.

These tiny trees are part of an ongoing series for me. I love working very small. They look wonderful hanging in clusters or on its own. the link:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Newly Commissioned Painting, Soul Resonance

Soul Resonance
36" x 48"
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas
Gaitonde Collection
Fine Art Giclee Prints Available,
please message for more details

I was approached by a very kind couple who had seen my recent write-up in the Dallas Morning News and that lead them to my artwork.  They had been on the hunt for an original painting for their home and were moved by this piece. They asked me to create something larger, just for them.

A Platform for Consciousness
28" x 24"
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

Not looking for an exact replica, they gave me creative license to take the painting in a direction that felt organic as I was creating it.  I played with the same themes of synchronicity, and when souls find each other and resonate with one another. When this happens, there is a beautiful connection. I was highly inspired by the poetry of local Poet Jeff Clardy, this verse in particular:

To seek the truth
Takes courage and strength
To question the norm
And face its ranks
It's how we grow
It's how we evolve
The questions to life
Are there to solve
Be free In your heart
Wherever you stand
And know the truth
Is always at hand

Wishing you all a day where your heart is free and your soul is at ease.  xoxo, Gina

Saturday, February 9, 2013

New Painting, So Much Love

16" x 20" x 1.5"
Original is sold
Fine art prints available, please message me for details.

Studio doors flung open, music playing and painting with an open heart in the studio. Mumford and Sons' words, "Where you invest your love, you invest your life" has inspired me to revisit my heart/poppies series and create pieces full of love. This one was not complete without three simple words at the top: so much love.

We are all attached to certain things outside ourselves from which we derive our sense of self; we're plugged into other people--family, friends, colleagues-- to our career, to success. Yet these things are tenuous--money and status come and go, people come and go, the years come and go.  We are all vulnerable. 

The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with the importance of the trivial things, petty things. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides to witness love in action.

Becoming aware of our vulnerabilities is a lifelong practice.  Realizing that we are not the ones in control is a great step toward practicing deeper empathy for ourself and others,  As we look ahead to the promise of Spring, it feels like perfect time to begin the process of "peeling away", being present and open to this endless unfolding journey, this lifetime of exploration into unlocking the power, compassion and infinite love that resides within us all.

Awake My Soul, by Mumford and Sons

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
My weakness I feel I must finally show

Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free

awake my soul...
awake my soul...

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
My weakness I feel I must finally show

In these bodies we will live,
in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life

In these bodies we will live,
in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life

awake my soul...
awake my soul...
awake my soul...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Happens When Street Art Meets Fine Art

Photo Courtesy JMR

The Dallas Contemporary is shining a bit brighter today. With the recent mural installation by local Artist James M Rizzi, or JMR, a once drab side wall in the Dallas Design District is no longer–now it's decked out in bold, vibrant colors and painted textures. JMR's process was astonishingly similar to that of your everyday graffiti artist, slowly and meticulously layering the exterior of a building with spray paint, rollers and brushes in a process that took about twelve Artists to complete. The only difference? It was entirely legal, and in fact commissioned by  The Observer in collaboration with the Dallas Contemporary for their annual Artopia event.

"The name of this mural is "Bridging the Gap". The reason its named this is the following: Its an accomplishment to go from painting walls that are illegal or under overpasses, in abandoned buildings, and other frontier lands. To then paint the side of a major art institution. Its important for me to remember my source. How I got here. And where I may be going," says Rizzi.

This idea harkens back to a long history of artists who use a term called ‘ready-mades‘ in their practice. From MOMA:
“Ready-mades originated from Marcel Duchamp, who borrowed the term from the clothing industry while living in New York. ‘In its strictest sense, [the term] is applied… to the product of an aesthetically provocative act, one that denied the importance of taste and which questioned the meaning of art itself.’”
This means, of course, that graffiti (whether identified as commissioned muralsstreet art or public art) does indeed qualify as fine art. So why isn’t it regarded as such?
I am a huge fan of fellow native Brooklynite JMR's art, here's a pic of him below.  His art is a living, breathing representation of who he is and what he represents. Visit his Website and go check out his wall at The Dallas Contemporary and his work all over town.

Tags: #jamesmrizzi, #JMR, #graffiti, #street art, #street art, #dallas contemporary, #Dallas Design District, #Artopia, #Dallas Observer, #dallas Artists

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Painting, You Brighten My Soul

New Painting
You Brighten My Soul
24" x 24"
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

We have to breathe in order to stay alive, but only when we have love in our hearts are we alive in the truest sense.

My husband has been traveling this week, so I used the evening hours after the kiddos went to bed to finish up this painting. I was putting the last touches on it, and wondering what to call it, when at that moment a text message from a dear friend popped up.

"You brighten my soul"  was all it said.

Just seeing those words cracked my heart open, and I knew at that moment the painting's name. Surround yourself with those who brighten your soul and you will see the divine love and happiness that is within all of us mirrored back.  May your weekend be filled with a brightness that shines from within.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Autumn's Early Glow

16" x 20"
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas
Original and Fine Art Giclee Prints Available HERE.

Close your eyes and think about something you are really grateful for. Tune into that warm emotional rush you feel when you focus on that something.  Experiencing that feeling of true gratitude, puts us into a state of grace.

This morning I awoke and heard that little voice inside got me out of bed and lead me out to the studio. As I painted and watched the sun rise around me, I felt grateful. Grateful for the moment to be surrounded by Autumn's early glow, (hence the title) grateful for my space to create, the time I lovingly carve out for myself to nurture my own spirit so I can extend that out into the world as a mother and as a teacher.

No matter what is happening, when you are able to feel gratitude, it helps to reduce fear and bring you back to an inner peace.

How different would our lives be if we could see everything that happens as a blessing?

Gina Marie Dunn, Utopia Pkwy. Art Studio's Fan Box


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