Category Archives: Flame Thoughts

Guardians by Flame Bilyue c2003

My Inspirations

Photo of Flame

I guess every artist has their heroes, other artists who we admire, who have had profound influences on our work.

Here are a few of my art heroes, and their effect on my process . . .

Bev Doolittle

Calling her work Camouflage Art, Bev is one of my favorite artists. Many of her paintings tell a much deeper story than that seen in the first view. I’ve been inspired by her techniques. Many of my paintings contain elements forming a more complex image. My Guardians actually didn’t start out to be cryptic. The first face just sort of appeared. Once introduced, I went on to add several others.

Susan Seddon Boulet

I love the artist’s metaphysical paintings, and how they evoke a connection with the dream world. She conveys multiple layers of emotion with her imagery. In Capricorn, I let the imagery evolve into each other.

Frida Kahlo

I am inspired by her strength and perseverance through so many life challenges and hardships, including chronic physical pain. I love her rich hues; Bright colors with dark topics. Within Reach has a darkness to it, finding inspiration in our pain and subconscious.

Branching Out

I even got some painting in!

I even got some painting in!

Thanks to Campout, and the organizers of the Virginia Women’s Music Festival, for another wonderful year.

This year was the best yet for me on many levels. Perfect weather worked well, not least because my easy-up was on its last legs!

Cindy, my helper this year, was awesome, skillful, talented, organized and very creative. (I could go on!). I told her one of her jobs was to make sure I had fun, and she succeeded so well. Her ideas for the display made my life much easier, and I felt completely at ease leaving her in charge of the booth. This gave me a freedom I’ve never had before.

As usual, I felt completely taken care of by organizers and workers! And the women who attend are wonderful – one participant brought me an orange, another, a beer.

Painted pieces

Painted pieces

This year, not only was I able to bring new artwork to the event, but I also brought my sculptured paper jewelry. I was happy with the reception – people seemed to love them.

Sales this year were almost as good as my first year there. On top of this, I had wonderful trades with the other vendors.

I left the event with new commission work and special orders, and even new business for our guesthouse in Charlottesville.

So, I was incredibly pleased with the professional success of the event. On top of that, I had the most fun that I’ve had in the five years I’ve been going. As is true every year, I thoroughly enjoyed the music.

I’m grateful that the memorial ceremony had the highest attendance I’ve ever seen, and was very touching. The last image of the weekend for me was seeing hundreds of candles floating on the lake at dusk.

Campout is the women’s land in Central Virginia where the event took place. It’s such a pleasant sanctuary for a woman to relax and share the company of friends.

I encourage my women friends to consider coming next year!


My World and Welcome to it

Dear family and friends,

I’m excited to share a tiny glimpse of expressing my life’s passion… Love of art, inspiring others and especially drawing and  painting.

2001 – I declared being an artist. (Actually “A Wealthy Artist.” I still feel bashful and even resigned to even want that. ) it would be nice to make a living at it and make a positive difference in the world at the same time.

2001 – Mom’s passing taught me to not waste a single breath of this precious life.

Jean and Flame

My Mom and me, 1984

2002 – I did my first commission piece of art, sold my first painting at a local gallery and sold note cards on a small table on the street for a holiday market.

2003 – I had my first  2 solo art shows and first of 15 or so outdoor arts festival.

2006 – I joined 2 cooperative galleries.

2007 – I completed an earth plaster 12 foot mural that ended up on the cover of a book “Handmade Houses”.

My largest piece to date - an earth plaster mural.

My largest piece to date – an earth plaster mural.

2009 – I completed my first large commission painting for a couple I didn’t know otherwise.

Now why am i sharing all of this? 15 years ago or so I began to consider that I had a view of my family of origin. Perhaps some of us did not believe that we as a group could have better. At best we could eek out a meager existence as hard working people and with any luck free of abuse or substance abuse. And certainly it is not practical to pursue ones passion for creativity in life that we have to or should work HARD to survive.

Thanks to my mother and brother for spending time drawing with me, and my sisters for providing me with creative and artistic activities, my father always sharing his inventive ideas as well as my boys for being so artistic themselves. Plus ALL of you have modeled and shared your talent and passion in such a way that has inspired me to believe more is possible and make a difference in the world.

Years ago my mother, my aunts Edye  and Grace and uncle Rich began to write about family history and hoped to change some dynamics for our family. Patience and I too talk of creating new possible futures for our family as far back as my teens.

Thanks to Eli and Raven’s talent of dabbling with computers I’ve been able to have my art on the Internet. AND NOW Raven has expanded the website and Web store. So please explore

This year we are intending to bring my art out into the world in a larger way. And I’m intending to do so in a balanced and gentle manner.

I love you all and thank you for supporting me on my path.