The goddess has returned! Magical Michelle guest blogger extraordinare!

michelle dyson in my studio

I am happy to welcome my good friend and “goddess sister” Michelle Dyson as our guest blogger this month! You will love meeting her and hearing her thoughts on the collaborative painting we started last week. My heart is elated and filled with love and admiration….


I spent the first 4 days of my February vacation with my goddess sister Laura.  You have to understand that going to Laura’s is like going home.  As crazy ladies in our 20’s and 30’s we spent many nights at the cottage indulging in fine savory cheeses smooth silky chocolates and the best wine we could afford.  The conversation lasted all night or until I fell asleep and everyone else kept talking.  I feel most at home when these moments are recreated every time I visit Laura.  I get to forget what needs to get done and leave the lists behind, I sleep in a room that gives me retreat and my days are long and my jar is filled with contentment.

in progress painting 

We had planned to create a painting together but left the subject and approach to chance.  We both have specific painting styles and preferred subject matter, so we had to shake it off and be spontaneous.  As a painting teacher I had to let my classroom brain rest and not see the outcome but let the painting evolve and grow and challenge me.

painting in progress

I brought 2 old paintings that needed new a new life and Saturday afternoon (we might have done a bit of shopping and eating first) we jumped in head first. Paint brushes dancing and twirling until we could barely stand. This painting was truly an adventure for the mind, body and soul.  The trust and respect we have for each other I think is reflected in the work.  Laura is gentle and soft and bright and kind; I am in your face, hard, dark and kind.  I struggle to pull light into my paintings and Laura works to create a contrast that balances us out.  We are both Virgo’s but on either end of the spectrum.  Laura keeps the dream alive and I keep it real.  I am thrilled with what we have started and hope this will continue to grow and bloom.

close up


laura gaffke & michelle dyson’s collaborative painting 2012 ©the artists

note—> Michelle & I plan to look at this painting together when we see each other next (hopefully soon!) and are contemplating adding another panel. I will be sure to let you know if we do or when we declare it officially “finished”.


Thank you for letting me be a guest blogger and here is the recipe for poached cod:

For 2 people


½ lb of Cod or Haddock

1 summer squash

1 zucchini

1 large can organic diced tomatoes

4 cloves garlic

1 cup leeks

¼ cup pesto

1 lemon

pasta of choice

dill,cilantro or whatever herbs you like with fish


salt and pepper and lemon your fish

sauté chopped summer squash,zucchini, leeks and garlic in 2 Tbs olive oil about 8 mins

add tomatoes

cook 5 mins more

take ¾ of that mixture and put in a blender and puree

add the pesto to the blender and blend again


make sure to boil water for your pasta

add the blended mixture back to the pan with the remaining un-blended sauce

the fish usually has skin on the bottom you can have the fish monger remove it or you can take it off after the fish is cooked

add the fish to the sauce and cover and cook for 8-10 mins until opaque white all the way through

add herbs

put pasta in a shallow bowl add sauce and fish on top and sprinkle with chopped herbs and cheese

very easy and goood for you! Enjoy

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One thought on “The goddess has returned! Magical Michelle guest blogger extraordinare!

  1. Hi Michelle, It is so wonderful that you have taken the time to share your thoughts with us. These paintings certainly demonstrate the heart of the kind of work Laura and I are always speaking about here on the blog- collaboration. Collaboration will take you places you didn’t plan on going. I am always pleasantly surprised when I get there, as it looks like you two were.

    I looked at your paintings on your website and really enjoyed seeing your ‘folded landscapes’. I would really enjoy opening and closing the side panels each day for a new view of the painting. Imagine if you had a whole series of just these- from small/intimate you could put on a shelf to large/public you could hang on a wall or in a public space. This model would also be fantastic for a collaboration much like what you and Laura created.

    Let us all know if you decide on a third panel to make this a triptych.

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