Instagram – Instant, Connecting, Creative & Invasive


I’ve recently discovered Instagram and was inspired to do the photo-a-day challenge thanks to one of my dance mom friends. It’s really quite easy and I’m quite happy at how artsy my images are turning out. I guess I will try to upload them continually to this post throughout the month. Here’s what I’ve done so far.

Photo-A-Day Challenge; Your view today!

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 1 – My view today. Painting with little dancers. 🙂

Day 2 Photo Challenge – Fav Holiday Movie.

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 2 – My favorite holiday movie

Day 3 Photo Challenge – Red

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 3 – Red. At South of the Border

Photo Challenge Day #4 Joyous!

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 4 – Joyous. The 10 of cups embodies that word.

#photochallenge #day5

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 5 – Today’s Temperature. From my car’s dashboard in sunny Florida.

DAY 6 – Shopping. Anthropolgie. One of my favorite stores.

#photoadaychallenge #day7

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 7 – Bright. My neighbor’s palm tree. It gets decorated every year and just gets brighter and brighter!

#photoadaychallenge #day8 #ornament

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 8 – Ornaments. Although we haven’t gotten the tree up yet, the ornaments are down from the attic. So I just snapped one of the prettier ones.

#photoadaychallenge #day9 Wanted to read it before I saw it.

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 9 – What I’m reading. Cloud Atlas.

#photoadaychallenge #wrappingpaper #day10

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 10 – Wrapping paper. Busy day. Uninspired….

#photoadaychallenge #day11 #green my awesome milkweed plants! #milkweed

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 11 – Green. My beautiful butterfly plants after an overnight rain.

#photoadaychallenge #day12 #abeautfulsight My daughter dancing. #dance

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 12 – A Beautiful sight. My daughter dancing.

#photoadaychallenge #family My loves!

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 13 – Family.

#photoadaychallenge #christmastree #day14

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 14 – Christmas Tree. No Christmas tree at our house yet, it’s the one from the sushi resturant.

#photoadaychallenge #day15 #favoritechristmassong

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 15 – Favorite Christmas Song.

#photoadaychallenge #day16 #outdoorChristmaslights

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 16 – Outside Christmas lights.

#photoadaychallenge #packages #day17 #cutecat

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 17 – Presents. My grey cat Sivee is the best present!

#photoadaychallenge #stockings #day18

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 18 – Stockings

#photoadaychallenge #candy cane #day19

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 19 – Candy Cane.

#photoadaychallenge #day20 #treetopper

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 20 – Tree Topper.

#photoadaychallenge #peace

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 21 – Peace

A Herbert Christmas Tradition! #tradition #photoadaychallenge #day22

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 22 – Tradition. Christmas Cookies, A Herbert tradition.

#photoadaychallenge #day23 #scarf

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 23 – Scarf. It doesn’t get very cold in Florida. This was kind of tough.

#photoadaychallenge #favoritepartifChristmaseve #mightnightmass

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 24 – Favorite Part of Christmas Eve. Midnight Mass.

#photoadaychallenge #day25 #morning #Christmas

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 25 – Morning. My grey cat Sivee is the best present!

DAY 26 – Grateful. Want to be more so in 2013.

#nighttime in Florida #photoadaychallenge #day28

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 27 – Night Time

#photoadaychallenge #day28 #words

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 28 – Words. From a book of Russian legends.

#photoadaychallenge #day29

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 29 – Sky View. Shot at the entrance to our neighborhood.

#photoadaychallenge #day30 #yourwinterwonderland My childhood winter wonderland

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 30 – Your Winter Wonderland. My childhood winter wonderland, circa 1971. Yikes! So long a go now!

Fun with beaded purses!

A post shared by Gena Semenov (@gypsygena99) on

DAY 31 – Fun! Christmas Eve with my designer friend/client KC Malhan. Check out their website!

The other really cool thing I love about Instragram is being able to see celebrities view of the world through their Instagram posts. My current favorite is @bigbaldhead or Norman Reedus or Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. Here are some of his latest posts.

A post shared by norman reedus (@bigbaldhead) on

A post shared by norman reedus (@bigbaldhead) on

A post shared by norman reedus (@bigbaldhead) on


Recent Portraits

I completed a couple of portraits lately and thought I’d share. I paint animals much easier than people but it is all about the process, applying the paint, choosing the right colors, letting the work grow and speak on its own.

The piece above was done for a girl turning 13, for her bat mitzvah. I’ve watched the girl grow up. Her mom is part of McRae Art Studios in Winter Park, FL. A co-op art studio that I belonged to for over 10 years. She has always been sweet, smart and goofy. Filled with grace, and sometimes aloof. A beauty and a tomboy.

The next piece was part of a donation the I agreed to do for my Montessori School PTA fundraiser. The winners of the donation were a very much-loved and hip teacher couple who work at the school. They are fans of the work of Sylvia Ji. They asked my to do a piece similar to her work. Enjoy!




Curious Cats

Cats are Always Curious About Flowers!

This is a commission I just completed and that I think really turned out well!

Here is the process;

1. I receive photos from the client and we agree to a size and price.

2. I create one or two pencil sketches for approval.

3. I begin the painting which can take a couple of weeks or a couple of months, depending on how crazy my life is.

4. I ship or deliver it to the client and they add it to their decor and awesome art collection!

For interior design help in the Washington D.C. area check out;

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Black Cats, Halloween & Healing

Sweet Meeshka.

One of my wonderful art collectors lost her beloved black cat this week, Mr. Meeshka. He lived a long and happy life (15 I believe) and from what I know about him he was a pretty cool and laid back cat.

Superstitions. A Witches familiar…..

In Europe a black cat crossing your path is bad luck. In Japan it is good luck. In Scotland a strange black cat appearing on your porch is an omen as well but a good one. It means that prosperity is on the way. If you hear a cat sneeze in Italy then you are in for a streak of good luck.Cats are not allowed in the room if family is having a private talk in the Netherlands. The fear is that the cat will spread gossip all over town, and the family secrets will be out. Don’t be too hard on the cat in Ireland, however killing a cat there brings 17 years of bad luck.

I think there’s something great about black cats! I’ve never met one that I didn’t like. They look at you with a knowing of the depth of your soul. They are playful and mellow, alert and smart. Unfortunately, they are targets for strange pranks around Halloween.

The first cat I owned in my adult life was black and chose me and my husband as its owners. It used to follow us into our apartment at night and because it was black, we didn’t notice it until about 15 minutes after we were in the apartment. The first meal we fed her was collard greens (the only thing we had in the fridge) and she ate every bite. We knew then that she was a stray. After about a week of following us around we decided to keep her and named her Mystic. She really lived up to her name! The first mysterious thing we found while giving her a flea bath was a tattoo on her stomach. It wasn’t a number, or a name, it was a symbol. It was the female symbol with

The symbol that was tattooed on my black cat’s stomach.

a 6 pointed star in the circle part of the symbol. We were quite shocked by this and I went to the library to look for answers. I really didn’t find anything except a reference that the symbol may be used as part of witchcraft ceremonies. A few year later, a psychic friend of mine put Mystic on her lap and intuitively saw that she had been part of a Halloween ceremony, perhaps a satanic ritual and had gotten the tattoo that way.  Mystic somehow had gotten away before the ritual was complete.

Mystic was pretty smart and would play hide n’ seek with us. She would also, always eat and eat just about anything you sat in front of her.

When my mother was home with hospice, dying of breast cancer, Mystic would not leave her side, except to eat or go to the bathroom. It was only on the day of her death that Mystic left the room and then did not return until she has passed. She lived to the good age of 13, fat and happy. At that age she began to have seizures. Alarmed we took her to the vet who said she had an advanced stage of cancer and should be put down right away. It was a shock to us and my poor husband helped Mystic in the end, as I could not bear to see her go.

Scientists now believe that a cats purr may be healing or a self-healing mechanism. Cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. investigations have shown that sound frequencies in this range can improve bone density and promote healing.

Is it a coincidence that Mystic had cancer, as did my mother? Does it just say that our environment is screwed up? Was her presence helpful to my mother and her illness? I was to me at least. Will there be rituals and ceremonies performed on black cats this Halloween? Will it be bad luck or good luck the next time  a black cat crosses your path?

Our mysterious cat, Mystic.

Maitland Art Festival

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This art show is basically in “my neighborhood” and I have done it off and on many times through the years. It is a gorgeous setting around a lake with a big fountain in the middle (Lake Lilly). A few years ago they changed it from a 2 day 10-6 show to a 3 day night show, 10-10. It is beautiful at night and the art in the booths are just wonderfully illuminated. The orchestra plays in the evening and people watch them peacefully from a grassy nole. The 3 days show is hard on the artists however, long hours, 90 degree temps and sometimes iffy weather and sales. My advice to artists thinking of applying to the show; request a booth space on a main path. I was in a new area this year. It was nice and grassy but off the main path. It was, seemingly, for the dozen or so artists in that area, our own private cul-de-sac.

The highlight of this show and all outdoor art shows (if you do a lot of them) are my neighbors and friends.

Doug Delind. My neighbor to the left. A great craftsman who loves Raku, the process and drawing.

Kevin Kichar. My neighbor to the right. His work looks like painting from far away but when you get close, you will see that it is filled with texture and dimension. He uses papermaking techniques and paint to make his colorful, stylish artwork.

Cindy Anderson. Friend and president of McRae Art Studios, a local art co-op that I was part of for over 10 year. She created brand new work for this show and completely redesigned her booth.

John and Lynn Whipple. truly free spirits, greatly talented, with open hearts. They are always cutting edge and pushing themselves towards new work and processes. You will always see new work in their booths and gallery shows.

Pop Art of George!

Here’s a newly finished piece that my Middle School art students did for display at the student section of the Maitland Art festival. I am so proud of them! They did a great job and seemed to have fun They decided to do Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington portrait in a”Andy Warhol” style. Each student picked numbers out of a basket that corresponded to a square in the grid style painting. They drew out what part of the painting fit on their section of grid and painted their 2-3 squares in acrylics. We then put the piece all together and touched up what squares didn’t match. Did you know that the unfinished portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart was used as a model for Gilbert and his daughter’s? They painted around 100 paintings of Pres. Washington based on that great unfinished work and sold them for around $100 each. Probably a big amount for the time.

Gilbert Stuart’s unfinished portrait of George Washington.

Whale Song

Canadian Artist Patricia Carroll’s “Breaching Whale”

This past week I received a vision for a woman who’s totem was “Whale” which I had not personally encountered before during a reading. I definitely saw a Ballen whale, the ones without teeth. They strain sea water through bony plates, feeding on the plankton or sea life within it. Also, the whale was a humpback which are noted for their beautiful song. These characteristics were telling the woman to look to her inner depths and express herself  more through song, poetry and words. She should also look at her diet and perhaps change it to reflect fresher or more local foods.

Whales use a form of sonar or echo-location. People with this totem are good at using energy vibrations to determine where people are “coming from.” Sometimes people with this totem are very creative but must re-anchor themselves in the world, they must breach, breathe out of the water. Whale is a large and beautiful beast, creative and practical, it travel deep oceans but also surfaces to the air for breath. Duality and balance in both worlds.

Native cultures saw the whale as a gift form the Great Spirit. It allowed them to survive in a harsh climate. They used every part of the whale to live and gave thanks to the Great Spirit for it gift.

Photo By Whit Welles

Whale symbolize;

  • communication
  • music
  • emotional sensitivity
  • creativity

When whale appears to you it is time to examine the use (or lack of use) of your own creatively. Are you tuning into the sounds and frequencies around you so that you can navigate life better? Are you awakening to new creative depths and resurfacing to daily life with a new breathe?


For more information on Patricia Carroll’s work visit;

%d bloggers like this: