Blessing Of The Day


Definition: Merriam-Webster
noun bless·ing
: approval that allows or helps you to do something

: help and approval from God

: something that helps you or brings happiness

Why do I write the "Blessing of the Day"? 

For the last three years, Monday through Friday, on Facebook, I have written a "Blessing of the Day".

The evolution of the "Blessing of the Day" starts with a sleepy eyed old crone, waking up to the world, looking for a conversation with the universe.  "What does the Universe have to say to me today?"

Depending on the mood I go to the heart or the head. The heart always sets precedent and always makes the last decision.  Sometimes the blessing starts with a word or even a complete sentence.  This starts a progression to go deeper.  I then contemplate on what is said and ask more questions if I don't comprehend or need further understanding.  As long as I ask, the inspired beginning always takes me to an answer.

My life is a prayer and I believe that the smallest thing we do can make a difference. The "Blessing of the Day" can be a small beginning to a big day.  

Some people respond, but some people prefer to read the blessing unnoticed.  Some say to me, "How did you know I needed this?"  Frankly, your guess is as good as mine; perhaps devine intervention. :-) 

Something I have seen or heard, a book, a movie, a song or a dream usually inspires the "Blessings".  My dreams many times have been the impulse of my blessings.  I am always listening to what the universe has to tell me.  And if I feel it's important enough I will write it down for use later. The "Blessing" is never hurried, but sometimes comes very quickly. Many times they come to me loud and clear in a voice unfamiliar to my own. 

In a world where it is to easy to be negative and find fault, I hope the "Blessing of the Day", can counteract that energy.  The "Blessing" is always brought to you with the understanding we are all in this together.  The "Blessing of the day" gives me an opportunity to think about others first thing in the morning.

"Blessings" are very intimate for me and please know that my heart and love for you surrounds it.  As you need, I need, we all need to feel included and not alone.  We are all looking for guidance.  It amazes me how a word of encouragement can change a person's life or be reminded that we are loved and make a difference.  I believe in your power and your beauty.

So often we are caught up in a rut with our thoughts. We need to open ourselves to a different paradigm and shift into a positive new way of thinking; trusting that what we hear is what we need to hear.

We all have a higher self that knows better and wisdom is always available if we listen.  My wish is these few words a day can shift our way of thinking.

I have always believed what we give away will come back to us and I have always felt very blessed. Imagine, everyone giving a "Blessing of the Day" to others, which would be a beautiful thing. The more you bless the more you are blessed.  You have given me much joy reading and accepting the blessings.

I would love to hear from you if  "The Blessing of the Day" has made a difference for you.  Please leave your comments below.



How Long Does It Take To Paint A Painting?



Give anyone who asks this, the answer that Whistler gave to someone when asked how long it took to do his "Nocturne in Blue and Gold". He said, "It has taken me a lifetime to get to where I can even begin to do this".

—Guest Flora

It always amazes me when someone asks me, “How long does it take to paint a painting?” I had wanted to create this painting shown above for the last two years. I then realized that painting a painting not only means the actual applying of paint but additionally the process of which it takes you to get to the point of application; some say years, some say a lifetime.

I guess the other question could be “When is the painting done?” There is a point when one extra stroke could ruin it and one less stroke would leave it unresolved. I guess I would rather have one less stroke. On observing a woman painting one day, I noticed that she continued painting until she had painted five separate paintings on one canvas, because she refused to stop and get another one. Each painting was beautiful in its own right, but soon became something else. After seeing that display I would often think it would be great to have an observer to tell you when to stop.

My process most of the time is to take photos for inspiration, then I may play with the photo that interests me, either change the color, always the composition, eliminate, exaggerate, combine with other photos, etc. Then the process is in my head. I see the painting painted in my minds eye. In fact, I have been known to paint a painting many times in my head before painting. Sometimes I do small studies of the painting. So much of the painting is done prior to painting the painting the process could go on for months or weeks. I may come back to the idea over and over until it pushes me to paint it. My mind is full, my passion is deep and my energy is at its peak, waiting to erupt at once at the canvas. I need this tension prior to my painting.

Through this process it allows me to spew out the painting in a dramatic speed.  I become an action painter, desiring to get out as much as possible on the canvas and as quickly as I can, fearing that my vision may disappear.

Everyone has his or her own style, which is another factor of time involved. Some are contemplative painters, some are action painters or perhaps a combination of the two. Some take years to paint a painting. Some have paintings that are ongoing and never completed, others may do a painting in a couple of hours. They are all approached differently, but in the end we all take our experience to each painting; we bring our education, our many hours of painting and knowledge of a subject, which is impossible to measure. All this combined can be added to the time it takes to paint a painting. So the answer to “How long does it takes to paint a painting?” could be 2 hours, a day, a week, plus 25 years; 25 years of experience.

And my painting isn’t completed until I sign it. Amen

 ** “Bicycle Memories” 36″ x 36″, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, Price $3240, If you would like to purchase this painting please contact me at or call (408)460-7237 Thank you!

Silicon Valley Open Studio

A Moment In Time, 9" x 12" acrylic on Ampersand, Price  $270
A Moment In Time, 9" x 12" acrylic, Price $270

  I will be participating in the Silicon Valley Open Studios this year. This is Silicon Valley's 29th year of participation and my 3rd.  It has been a while since I have participated in open studio, but am really looking forward to seeing you in person. You will be able to see my latest work and be able to enter my studio.  I will be glad to show you how my ideas are inspired, as well as the materials I use.  

Please save the date and come visit me May 16th and or 17th, between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Location is 18385 Castle Hill Dr. Morgan Hill, CA. There will be beverages and treats, as well as, a display of my art.  

Bring the coupon below and receive 10% off all of my art for sale displayed.  Coupon only valid for those dates.



Fine Art Coupon



Pond of Good Fortune, 36" x 36" acrylic and oil on gallery wrapped canvas
Pond of Good Fortune, 36" x 36" acrylic and oil on gallery wrapped canvas  Price $3240


"Context begins with other artists-seniors and mentors."~Kenneth Noland

This is part II, a continuation of the thoughts from “Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon. Past artists, teachers and mentors have influenced us all. As Austin Kleon says, “nothing comes from nowhere…nothing is completely original.” He advises that we look further in-depth of who inspired us and how they have influenced us.

Looking back at my influences, I do remember it started at a young age. Picasso was my first influencer, at seven, and I'm sure I didn't know who he was.  I was attracted to one of my father's album covers that featured a one-eyed painting of Picasso's.  This led me to draw portraits missing one eye for many years, up to and throughout high school. I tended to have an African influence in my drawings, of which through my research I found that Picasso was also influenced by an African statue Matisse gave him.  Below is an African motif sculpture I created in 7th Grade.

African Motif Sculpture I Created In 7th Grade

 Gauguin’s influence is also seen in my paintings; not only the color use, but also the flat planes and underlying abstract form. Matisse was always one of my favorites, reflecting the importance of design, color and flat shapes in my work.   Wolf Kahn’s influence continues with my fearless love of color. As an added note, Matisse also influenced Wolf Kahn’s expressionistic use of pure color. My desire, like Kahn, is to create a unique use of color.

My Artistic Lineage
My Artistic Lineage

Then there are the artists that others believe you are similar to. Many see a connection to Edward Hopper. Although I have admired his work, I never thought he was a great influence of mine, but on doing some research I discovered similarities in our loves and life. Hopper’s love of movies, Film Noire, bringing the theatrics in his scenes, his contrast of light and darks, and the theme of life still goes on, perhaps can be seen in my figurative pieces. My past teachers have also seen similarities in my work to Cezanne and Edvard Munch.  Neither have I felt were my influencers.

What I have found is that in my research there are amazing overlaps. The artists that I admire have had some connection to the same artists that I am influenced by; “no man is an island”.

 I realize that I am not only identifying with the artist, but also the technique. This became more evident as I saw the techniques repeated in many artists that I love. My desire now is to enhance these characteristics in future work giving me a future goal and direction.

This is a great exercise to not only help you understand where you have been, but where you are going.

Who were your biggest influences? Who is in your artistic lineage?


 ** "Pond of Good Fortune" 36″ x 36″, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, Price $3240, If you would like to purchase this painting please contact me at or call (408)460-7237 Thank you!


"There Is Nothing New Just Stolen"

"Remember" 30" x 40" Oil and acrylic on canvas SOLD
"Remember" 30" x 40" Oil and acrylic on canvas SOLD

"What is originality? Undetected plagiarism." William Ralph Inge

     Artists pride themselves on their artistic voice.  We would like to feel our work stands out in the crowd.  Hearing that my art is identifiably a "Vanderhoof" is the highest compliment I can receive.

     Austin Kleon, author of "Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative", believes that "nothing is original; nothing comes from nowhere"... He states our surroundings and other creators have influenced our artistic endeavors. 

     Kleon believes that the secret to being creative is to learn how to steal ideas creatively from others.  He doesn't want us to steal the style, but steal the thinking behind the style.  He advises artists to take from the best and "remix it".  You don't want to imitate or "rip off", but you want to transform the ideas you have discovered and create a new version. 

     Deciding to take Austin's idea further, I spent the last month investigating my favorite artists and their mentors. It was quite a discovery that I plan on sharing in my next post.

    Why not study your artists you love and study them deeply? From where have you stolen your best ideas?


*Please contact me by email or phone (408)460-7237 for any inquires, on original art or commissions requests.  Thank you!