Monday, January 30, 2012

Celebrate Love this February

Women Creating
Oil on Canvas
9" x 12"
Original $275. available on Etsy
Between February 1st and Valentine's Day
I will be creating daily blog posts
on the subject of
~ LOVE ~

There will be stories of romance, sex and poetic intrigue. 
Ooh- la -la! 

I invite you, my friends, to share these posts as valentines for your friends and lovers.
Let's all light a fire and spread the love this winter!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dream of India

Dream of India
Acrylic on Paper
19" x 12"
Reprint available on Fine Art America
A couple of years ago I dreamt that I was in India waiting for a bus. I realized that under my feet the pavement was painted. Every door, building, signpost was brightly painted.  It was very exciting.
Last night I made this painting to reflect that dream.
(And yes- I dream in color.  Do you?)

There are two countries that I have always dreamed of...
England and India.

Sadly I have never placed my feet on the ground of either.
I need an excuse to go.
I need a reason to make a pilgrimage.

To tie a knot on a tree.

To dip into the water.

What excuse do I need?
Can you give me one?

Life is a pilgrimage.  The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns
-Swami Sivananda

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can you see the Lighthouse?

Point Loma Lighthouse
Oil on Canvas
9" x 12"
Original $275. available on Etsy

When we visited Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, California
I was especially taken with the lighthouse. 
This painting depicts it on a foggy day.
The sort of day when a lighthouse is needed.

Do you need a lighthouse? 
We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on our own light
-Earl Nightingale

True, true...  but sometimes it is nice to have a beacon. 
Is it not?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Gouache on Paper
23" x 15"
Reprints available on Fine Art America
This painting depicts both birds and a human woman "nesting" their young. 

We often view animals as savage beasts.  The instinct of survival reigning supreme.
Yet there is a tender side.  There is a primal care and warmth.

All animals and plants when living are tender and delicate. 
The hard and tough are parts of death; the soft and tender parts of life.
-Lao Tzu

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 Indiana Storytelling Retreat

Hirschten Storytelling to Stuffies 
Circa 1980
Yup- that is a picture of me...
Apparently I practiced storytelling on my stuffed animals long before I had a "real" audience.

This year's Indiana Storytelling Workshop and Retreat is filling up!
On May 26th I will again be leading storytellers, librarians and educators in a day-long storytelling retreat in the heart of Indiana.
(Course Credits Include 5 LEUs or 5 PGPs)

Join us by registering at:

Share the love- share the stories!

Hirschten storytelling in 2011


Friday, January 20, 2012

The T.C. Steele Surprise

T.C. Steele painting at IPS School 84
One of the most famous Indiana painters was T.C. Steele.  You can visit the T.C. Steele Historic Site down near Nashville to tour his home and studio. 

Imagine my surprise as I was walking down the hallway of my daughter's elementary school `when what to my wondering eyes should appear` but an original T.C. Steele painting hanging casually on the wall!

I have no idea how the school came to own this painting, but how wonderful is it that the children there can experience viewing the texture of a real masterwork?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady

Many of life's persistent questions can be answered in the wisdom of folktales.

So I ask you...
What is it that every woman wants? 

If you are dying to know the answer to this age old question click below to hear my latest podcast featuring the Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady.
Also available on iTunes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Story of the La Jolla Seals

La Jolla Children's Pool
Oil on Canvas
Original $275.
Available on Etsy
This painting depicts the La Jolla Children's Pool in San Diego, California.

In 1931 a protective wall was built creating a secure sandy beach.  The builder, Ellen Browning Scripps, envisioned a play pool for children.  Recently however harbor seals have been drawn to the area and give birth to young pups there. 

Thus the controversy begins...  The majority of San Diegans feel that there are plenty of beaches for recreation in the area and that the space should be designated for the seals.  Yet a few vocal locals want to reestablish the area as a human zone.

I was very happy that despite the large "welcome" sign someone had placed on the beach the day I visited no one was invading the seal's space.    We humans have marked our territory by pissing over so much of creation.  We can spare this tiny space.  We can give it back.

My relatives watching the seals.
It was amazing to watch the wild seals from the wall!  I highly recommend visiting La Jolla to see the seals, enjoy a cafe lunch and stroll through an art gallery. 

(BTW- it is apparently not safe to swim in the pool anyway!  Why?  Because of all the seal poop.  Ha-ha!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Drinking Water

Penasquitos Creek California
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"
Reprints available on Fine Art America
My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender.
Oh yeah, and I have met my distant need in quite a similar way...

It is hard for me to believe, but the gushing waterfall depicted in this painting is often just a dried up trickle.  Yet now there is abundance. 

Would that I were a dry well,
and that the people tossed stones into me,
 for that would be easier than to be a spring of flowing water that the thirsty pass by,
and from which they avoid drinking.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Cliffs at La Jolla California
Oil on Canvas
9" x 12"

Reprints available on Fine Art America
Inspired by my recent trip to San Diego I am starting a series of paintings depicting the California landscape!  This one is of the cliffs at La Jolla looking northeast.  Normally you can see the mainland past the cliffs, but this was a foggy January day.

Life has loveliness to sell,
all beautiful and splendid things,
blue waves whitened on a cliff,
soaring fire that sways and sings,
and children's faces looking up,
holding wonder like a cup. 
-Sara Teasdale

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

White River Tree

White River Tree
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"
This painting will be available at the Fletcher Place show opening April 6th

Trees reflected in the river,
 they are unconcious of a world so near them,
so are we.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Autumn in Indianapolis

 Autumn in Indianapolis
Oil on Canvas
30" x 40"
Reprints available on Fine Art America

Santa brought me two HUGE canvases! 
I don't know how he got them down the chimney but THANK YOU SANTA!

This painting used up almost all of my oil paint it is so large. 
It depicts my favorite spot on the Broad Ripple Canal in Indianapolis. 

Notice how the light is different in these two other paintings of the same location...

Broad Ripple Canal #2
Acrylic on Canvas
8" x 10"

6pm on the Canal
Oil on Canvas
20" x 16"
This exercise of painting the same spot in different light is inspired by Monet.  He made it a practice of returning to the same place to paint over and over.

"It's on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way.
So we must dig and delve unceasingly."
-Claude Monet

Monday, January 9, 2012

This Summer's Show!

Fantastic Fables presents...
Sleeping Beauties and Beasties
Performances for Summer of 2012
Enter the land of dreams with puppetry and old-fashioned storytelling! 
This performance of fairy tales will enchant children age 3-10.

Every summer libraries across the country celebrate the Summer Reading Program.  Most libraries in my state of Indiana participate in a collaborative theme.  This year the theme is "Dream Big."  Hence my summer 2012 Fantastic Fables library program will feature folktales about sleeping, dreaming and mysteries of the night!

When I was a children's librarian I loved organizing these programs to encourage kids to read AND spark their imaginations.   I am so grateful to be able to share my stories with so many children through my shows.  Summer 2012 will be a busy one!   

My calendar is filling up fast.  Email: to book a performance.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

San Diego and Kupka

I just got back from a visit to San Diego. 
I must recommend the wonders of Balboa Park. 
Inspiration station.

One highlight there is the San Diego Museum of Art
My favorite painting there?  Oddly enough it was not a landscape, but Blue Space by Kupka.

Of course to see a painting like this in person tops this internet found image. 
But I can still ask the question...
what is this painting about? 

It reminds me of ice, a flower or something of this world... and yet it is not.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Greenway

The Greenway
This painting will be available at the Fletcher Place Show Opening April 6th
I have been enjoying hibernating in my studio! 

This painting is of an amazing spot viewed from the Central Canal Greenway walking trail. 
When I am there I feel like I am not in a city but transported to medival England. 
It is just that quaint.

Beauty awakens the soul to act.