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Archive | 2016 Daily Animal Art

How my Animal Allies Oracle Deck emerged out of the murky + magical waters of new motherhood

On January 1, 2016 I began a daily project. The hashtag was #dailyanimalart on Instagram, where I shared them each day. Baby C was just 13 weeks old. The idea was to create an animal a day. Some days I knew I might only have 5 minutes. Other days I might get lucky and have an hour or two. Some days it would be somewhere in between. I knew I’d probably miss some days, too, but I made that an ok part of the plan, too. I tried to be gentle with myself but also to hold myself to my commitment, so I could stay in touch with my creative self while swimming through the murky, mysterious, intense waters of brand-new motherhood.

Some days were easier than others. Some days were practically impossible.

Badger welcomed in the project, in a quick 10-minute sketchbook painting, on January 1, 2016:

A longtime companion of mine, Badger helps me focus and find the space, the quiet, intense energy, and the determination I need when creating goals and commitments in my creative life. I don’t think it’s surprising that he is who emerged first in the animal series.

Just 3 days into the project, on January 3, 2016, a Fox painting emerged out of nowhere that lit me up inside in a way I hadn’t felt inspired creatively for quite some time. That’s her above. I remember I got to spend about an hour working on this one, part of it while Coen was sleeping beside me in our little rock n’ play, part of it while I held him on my lap as he watched me paint. It was fast and free and one of those magical times that a painting seemed to come through me rather than from me. I still feel a bit goose-bumpy when I look at this painting, which now sits on the mantle above the fireplace in our living room.

I consider this Fox painting the catalyst for the series as it continued for the remainder of 2016.

20 days into the project, on January 20, 2016, a Hummingbird emerged (she is so pretty that I decided to put her on the front of the deck box!) and lit the way for the rest of the project.

This was the first time I’d added the animal name underneath the painted image, and this sealed the deal for me. I continued to create animal paintings in this format for the rest of the year, and I ended up painting 164 of them in all! (There were 242 animal paintings total in 2016; I still headed to my sketchbook on some days when I didn’t have it in me to create a more robust painting.)

Hummingbird energy is all about JOY. Tapping into and appreciating the sweet nectar of life. Accomplishing the impossible. Saying YES to yourself, your life, your dreams. She teaches you to seek out and appreciate the magnificent beauty in all things.

Fox is about Invisibility, adaptability, keen senses and awareness of your surroundings. Camouflage. Cunning, charm, and magic. Shape-shifting and blending in, which will allow you to see and hear things you might otherwise not, to receive messages from Spirit, and to discover hidden truths. Fox is also a protector of family and home, always returning from her magical adventures to the warmth and safety of the den. She teaches you to follow your natural instincts.

Fox and Hummingbird. Two animal allies who’ve walked with me for some time. I didn’t actually realize until this moment that these two allies are the ones who held my hand through this project, beckoning and inspiring me to move forward, even on the days when I didn’t want to because I felt tired, lost, broken, or uninspired, depleted, or simply at the end of my rope.

I never set out to create an oracle deck. I think the oracle deck set out to find me, with the help of Fox and Hummingbird. I’m so grateful I listened, because now I hold this beautiful deck in my hands and it seems that I did accomplish something sort-of impossible. The fact that the images in this deck were created in tiny pockets of time during my baby’s first 15 months of life is magical to me. I’m feeling tearful and filled with gratitude and wonder at the parallel growth of my most magnificent creation to date – my child (who turns TWO tomorrow!) – and this deck, which is my most favorite and precious art project to date.

Everything is intertwined. We are not alone. Help and guidance are available in unexpected places if your heart is open for it (and sometimes even when it’s not open for it).

All this to say: this sweet precious deck is now available for pre-order.

The decks will be arriving here in early to mid-October, and your deck(s) will be lovingly shipped to you just as soon as I’ve got them in my eager hands.

I hope you’ll find comfort, support, beauty, magic, hope, JOY, and whatever else it is that you need in this deck. Your animal allies are waiting for you inside. I promise.






Introducing my Animal Allies Oracle Cards (!!)


Today is THE DAY. I am thrilled and proud and excited and filled with joy to finally share my oracle deck with you. It’s been a long time in the making, and today I’m howling at the moon over getting to officially introduce you to my Animal Allies Oracle Cards. They’re real!!

And, they’re available for pre-order this week.

Everyone who pre-orders a deck this week will also receive a free 8.5×11″ animal totem print of your choice. 

Order two decks, receive two free prints. Three decks, three prints. You get the idea. (Perfect time to start your holiday shopping, perhaps?)

Simply put your deck(s) in the shopping cart and then let me know your free print(s) choice in the ‘notes’ section when checking out. Super easy.

The decks will be arriving in early October and I will lovingly ship them to you as soon as they are in my hands.


So. Today is about singing up to the sky and out to the world, announcing that the deck is HERE!!

On Wednesday I’ll tell you the sweet story of how this deck came to be (and show you some more sneak peeks of the cards, of course!)

Click here for full details about the deck and to order:


May you have a magic-filled week!



If you’ve been waiting for my animal totem oracle deck…

… then it’s time to get excited, because you’ll be able to pre-order one starting on Monday!

More details to come on Monday (including the big reveal of the deck’s name and box design), but just wanted to give you a heads up that you’ll be able to hold this magical deck in your hands very, very soon.



And my 2016 Daily Animal Art project comes to an end


Happy New Year!

2016 is over, which means my Daily Animal Art project came to an end as well. It is feeling so weird not to paint an animal each day! I counted everything up, and all in all I created 243 animal images in 2016. I think that’s pretty good! I knew I’d probably average around 5 or 6 a week, and 243 is pretty darn close to that number.

I am really proud of myself. I’ve never been very good at daily projects (I tend to quit after about a week or two!), but this one just kept on inspiring me all year long. I became a better painter. I felt better each day that I created my daily animal. It became a habit, and I looked forward to it (almost) every day. I had a great time and surprised myself over and over. I loved how much people connected to the images. The animal totem original painting sales that I held were such a fun thrill! Sending the beloved paintings off to their new homes was both bittersweet and exciting. (There are still totem paintings left to purchase, by the way! This is a potent time to find your animal guide, right at the start of the new year…)

According to the image above – from the #2016bestnine website (which tracks your nine most popular Instagram posts from the past year) – all I apparently did all year was paint animals! ;)


Here is the very last animal image that I created, while sitting on the couch on New Year’s Eve:


It’s what I hope for myself, for my home, for you, and for our world this year.

Here are some more recent animal images that I completed in December:




jessicaswift-dailyanimalart-bear jessicaswift-dailyanimalart-elephant



The ones on white backgrounds are being turned into something really awesome for a terrific company that I’ve partnered with! I’m excited to share more about that when I’m able to.


My favorite thing was laying out all the paintings in a grid and admiring them together. My husband was very nice and stood and admired them with me when I asked him to. (I did it often. Haha.) Here’s the evidence:





Thank you to everyone who followed along, to everyone who purchased paintings and prints, to everyone who asked when the oracle deck version of the totem paintings will be available (Answer: it’s coming in 2017! I will post details as I have them! I’m working on designing the packaging and getting final details sorted out.), and to all who encouraged me along the way. I am so grateful! This project brought me more joy than I could have imagined.

Check back tomorrow for a post all about my new creative challenge for 2017. It’s all about PATTERNS!
If you want a sneak peek, you can head over to my Instagram.

May 2017 be filled with peace, hope, love, creativity, good health, good food, laughter, joy, richness, and FUN!


new animal totem prints in the shop


Last week I released some new original animal totem paintings and this week I’m releasing the print versions of the same images – you can now find them in my shop right here.

A few of the new prints are pictured in this post, but there are many many more to choose from as well!


Each print and original painting comes with a description of the animal’s energetic qualities included on a lovely sticker (paintings) or small card (prints). For example:

Luna Moth. Love. Simple and true. The Luna Moth does not have a mouth and thus cannot eat. The life span is one week. Their only purpose is to mate – to love – and to make more Luna Moths. Let Luna Moth remind you that every moment is precious. Every moment is an opportunity to move from a place of love, to connect, to create more love, and to accept the light and dark parts of life with grace and beauty.


Giraffe. Higher perception. Clairvoyance. Seeing the big picture and an ability to clearly see into the future. Follow your intuition. Keep your eyes on the road ahead. Rise above the crowds and listen to your own inner callings and direction. Find your own unique grace and let it lead the way….


Hyena. I never really knew what a hyena looked like, it turns out! They’re kind-of cute, no? But make no mistake: this is one powerful animal. Hyena is about instincts. Following what feels right. Taking care with your words; loving words will be felt deeply. So will unkind words. Living and working in community is important for Hyena; more will be accomplished, and better, together. Let Hyena guide you in discerning your next right moves….


There’s still time to order for Christmas or Hanukkah if an animal totem print or painting is the perfect gift for someone in your life (or for yourself, of course). Unique, personal, thoughtful, and useful, too!

For example, yesterday I was in a bit of a bad mood, trying to rush through everything, getting frustrated and annoyed, and I looked to Slug for some help:


The message of Slug is about not needing a hard outer shell; strength comes from inside. Slug teaches not to put up walls and barriers around yourself. Go slow, take your time. Leave a magical, shimmering trail in your wake wherever you go. There is no need to hurry. All slugs are both male and female, so this unique totem is also about balance between feminine and masculine within yourself. Softness and strength. Intuition and thinking. Action and stillness. Listening and activating. Slug is tied to the moon, coming out mostly at night. Let her magical ways lead you toward your truest self.

It was helpful. It helped me slow down and shift my mood. And what’s interesting, too, is that it happened to be a full moon yesterday, which I didn’t know when I called on Slug, who is tied to the moon. Serendipity!

So, the totems are helpful if you let them be, is what I’m saying. ;)

Plus, the prints look so lovely all framed up:


Or hung on cool clips:


Anyway, I hope you like them and that you find a perfect totem for yourself and for loved ones to help guide you through this holiday season and beyond…!




Animal Totem Paintings Sale starts NOW


OK friends, it’s time!

My Animal Totem Paintings Sale starts NOW.

Head on over to the shop to find your special spirit animal(s).

Here are just a few of the lovely animals who are available:




Arctic Hare.







Each painting comes with a sticker on the back, describing the animal’s energy, like so:


I hope you enjoy looking at all of the paintings, reading the descriptions of their energetic qualities, and choosing your favorites to gift to your loved ones and to yourself.

Happy holidays and happy totem shopping!






the animal totem painting sale is near > December 6!


Just a quick reminder today that my Animal Totem Paintings Sale is in just 4 days, on Tuesday December 6th.

All the original animal totem paintings will be available in my shop at noon sharp PST.

Here’s a peek at a few of my favorites:





Each painting is:

:: 8×10″

:: $100

:: painted on 1/8″ birch panel

:: unframed


You can scroll through my Instagram feed to read what I wrote about each animal’s energetic qualities; these descriptions is included with the paintings on a lovely sticker on the back, like so:


Mark your calendars! If there is a totem (or multiple totems) that you have your eye on, don’t be late! Last time they sold quickly, and I don’t want you to miss out on the one(s) you want to scoop up for your very own. :)

I think these paintings will make wonderful holiday gifts for animal, art, Earth, and spirit lovers in your life. (And it’s also always ok to buy gifts for yourself, of course.)

They’ll show up right here in my shop at noon sharp PST. See you on December 6th!



Animal totem painting sale, December 6


T-minus 2 months until my daily animal art totem painting project for 2016 is complete. I had no idea I would have so much fun creating all these animal paintings when I set out in January. This project has kept me going creatively all year and has become so near and dear to my heart – it’s going to be really strange for it to be finished at the end of the year!

I just counted, and I completed my 151st animal painting last night. 151!! Last night’s was Grasshopper:


I was intimidated to paint this detailed critter, but I really love how she turned out. :)


One more animal totem original painting sale is coming, DECEMBER 6, 2016 at NOON sharp PST.

All the newest animal totem paintings, as well as some of the others that I’ve created throughout the year that are still available, will be for sale.

The details:

:: 8×10″

:: $100

:: painted on 1/8″ birch panel

:: unframed


If you’re following along on Instagram, you know that each day that I post a new animal painting I also include a bit about the animal’s energetic qualities.

This description is included with the paintings on a lovely sticker on the back, like so:


Here are a few other recent favorites:




So, mark your calendars, friends! Check out my Instagram feed to see all the totem paintings and to follow along each day, and head over to my website shop at noon PST on December 6th to claim your special animal totems. These paintings will make wonderful holiday gifts for animal, art, Earth, and spirit lovers in your life. It’s also always ok to buy gifts for yourself, of course! ;)


And you may be wondering when the animal oracle deck of cards is coming…. I am working on it and getting the manufacturing details in place. They will be a reality sometime in the first part of 2017, I think…. I’ll share more details as I have them. I’m SO excited for this deck. SO EXCITED!



Animal totem prints are in the shop!


My birthday animal totem painting sale was a big success and I shipped out so many paintings to new homes – what fun it was. Thank you to everyone who claimed a totem (or multiple totems)! I hope you’re currently enjoying their special animal energies in your homes and in your lives. :)

I’m excited to share today that print versions of all the animal totem paintings are now available in my shop. Hooray!

There are 3 sizes: 8.5×11″, 11×14″, and 13×19″. They are unmatted, printed on lovely matte white Epson paper, and has a small white border around the end of the image.

Here are a few examples:









And LOTS more.

I put some a few of the prints in a frame to see how they’d look and I’m in LOVE. The 8.5×11″ prints fit perfectly in an 8×10″ frame:




They also look cool hanging on clips:




If you missed out on your favorite original animal painting or if you’d just prefer a print version instead, today is the day!
You can find print versions of all 112 animal totems in the shop in the shop.

Enjoy! I hope you find a spirit animal or two who speak to you…




The Animal Totem original painting sale starts NOW!


Today is the day! My big Animal Totem original paintings sale starts NOW.

You can find all 112 animal paintings in my shop, right here.

The short and sweet details on each painting:

:: $100

:: 8×10″

:: acrylic paint and colore pencil on 1/8″ wood panel

:: unframed, no hanging hardware (good for propping, hanging with clips, etc)

:: there is only ONE of each. So if one is whispering your name, say YES to him/her quickly!


Here is just a tiny peek at the magical images that you’ll find in the shop:









There are so many more. You guys, I’m so excited! I hope you love love love these. I can’t wait to see which ones you claim as your own. I can’t wait to package these up and send them lovingly + energetically on their way to you. I’m not gonna lie. I’m sort-of nervous, too. I’ve grown obsessively attached to this series of paintings and I think it’s going to feel really strange not to have them here. But that is what artists do, right? We create, and then we let it go. We create, and then we send our loving creations out into the world, like whispers on the wind.


Each animal painting has a sticker on the back that tells you of the animal’s energetic qualities. You can also find this information right in each product listing in the shop. I think you might want to read through all of them to see which totems speak to you the most! You might find inspiration, support, and loving guidance in unlikely places….





ps – print versions of each of these paintings are coming in 2 weeks, on August 31. So if you miss the original painting version of your totem animal, not to worry. Gorgeous print versions will be available soon as well. :)