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SEED. spread empathy each day

logo for Seed spread empathy each day

Spread empathy each day. To grow empathy you need to lay the seeds of tolerance, acceptance and love. It is a practice like Buddhism, filled with self awareness of motive and action. I started writing SEED several years ago, but it is always topical as we face racism and mistrust in our unsettled world. I have decided to give the book away now like seeds scattered to the wind. I hope anyone who relates will further it to their friends and on beyond.

simply request a PDF at or you can view it through this link:

Danasimsoncom Matted art card with envelope, Love blooms image, text love grows love.

SEED. spread empathy each day 

This is my effort to combat a deepening culture of anger, mistrust, arrogance and short sighted actions based in ego, greed and power to benefit a few rather than the many. Integrity has been eroded by opportunism. The idea of “Us” now reflects various groups rather than everyone. This societal change has been festering for many years, forming an uncomfortable dark-minded normal. Empathy starts with each of us offering the light of consideration in our actions. It is my hope that this little book may act as a positve tool in the meditation of an open heart and listening mind.  Thank you friends! Matted art card with envelope, "Live in peace and peace will live in you" quote, peace dove over earth image.

a little book to open hearts

I still believe the pen is mightier then the sword. Images can change minds. That is what my art has always been about. In giving away my art and words I hope they become weaponized in the loveliest way. This is the kind of book you can open anywhere in its pages, to snack on a story. I like to write books I hope are useful, like my book to create positive environmental change; Come Together . handbook to retool for the future. Available as an ebook or in print. (178 pages of easy, smart action)

Thanks for your interest.

Stay safe . health & happiness.




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Fix a leaky birdhouse so it lasts

 This leaky birdhouse badly needed fixing after being battered by many winters on the bay. I hate to toss out stuff that just needs a tweak to save it from the landfill. First slap some paint on it- color is nicer- but it and unequally derelict sister were to go up along the white trim of the newly painted barn. The roof was clearly a problem and would make for a pile of soggy birds wishing they lived at another address.

fix a wooden birdhouse


Continue reading Fix a leaky birdhouse so it lasts

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Skyland, the magic that inspires

I created this video; Skyland last summer. It captures the magic I feel living on the Chesapeake Bay, sharing sky and water with my fellow creatures. It is a goal to include more videos on my blog, as I am fortunate to have lots of beauty to inspire me. 

Hurrah it worked!

Continue reading Skyland, the magic that inspires

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The earth is our ark art print of Noah's ark in the shape of earth full of animals

My thoughts are in Paris at the climate change summit. Thanks to Jerry Brown, Al Gore, Paul Hawken and those that are working proactively independent of the irresponsible Trump administration deniers.

Purchase any Earth Ark product on and I will donate 25% to The Chesapeake Bay Foundation or the Climate Reality Project.

art print of Noah's ark in the shape of earth full of animals

Art Print: Earth Ark. I believe the earth is our ark.
We are all in this together and our ship is precious. The archival art print; Earth Ark is a 10×13.5 image area centered on 13×19 cover stock paper. Backed with foam core & shipped in a plastic sleeve. Hand signed by Dana Simson.

The earth is our ark carrying all creatures as her precious cargo. The original oil painting for this image is 4.5’x5′ and hangs in an eye surgery clinic. Patients that have had surgery tell me how pleased they are post surgery to see this painting with its delicate detail.

All my images are available in archival prints. While I have specified a size, you may speak with me if you need a larger or smaller version. It is also possible to have the image you want printed on canvas. I can give you a price based on size. This popular ark image is available as an ornament, gift card and more.

Visit our Gallery/ gift store on the Wicomico River in Salisbury, MD full of original paintings, prints, handmade jewelry and gifts by Dana. There is also always something new to discover in unique finds, “green products” or fair trade items. It is a renovated hotel – now with 4 artfully decorated lofts upstairs available to rent. (Loft Links: Grande Luxe / Chic Sunny / Retro Loft  / Spacious& Gracious)Downstairs is yummy Riverwalk Cafe and the Ugly Pie Bakery. Well worth a road trip!

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artsmart . Imagination Exercise 2

How to strip away gray noise and hear single notes.


Imagination rises in a symphonic wake of what you have passed through on your individual journey. The flow of imagery and general quality of the “Life in your day” is lifted and made more vibrant when you pay attention to the larger world. These notes, while making your day spark like chili flakes in a zippy curry are efficiently filed in your massive library of recollection neighboring nose and ears.

Imagination is deeply hooked into all our senses.  That is why we each react to things uniquely. Reaction and ideas are tempered by volumes of what we remember and feel. Imagination is not just about pretty pictures and new notions. It is a lifestyle choice of being aware, noticing and  appreciating. But one step at a time.

This week quiet yourself and listen.

Notice the music of a ceiling fan oscillating.

The slap of a car door shutting.

The tinkle of silverware jostled when you pull out a spoon.

Wings over water. A sink draining. Someone walking briskly down the hall.

If you want to sit down with yourself and study; start a work book/journal and write down sounds that delight you followed by what images they bring to mind. Do likewise with sounds that grind at you or cause discomfort. The strongest gift of imagination is empathy; slipping into another’s story and  listening so deeply you may grow to understand what escaped you before. Little steps forward in a big world.

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artsmart; How To Do it . The sad chair goes to the prom

Sometimes I launch into doing things that may or may not go well. This is the basis of invention.

Failing is an option, but you always get a story to tell. Follow rules 1-3 and you will be fine.

1. Don’t be afraid

2. Imagine how to make it happen

3. Enjoy the process no matter what the outcome

paint chair

PROBLEM: a pleasant upholstered chair discolored by time and late evenings to a level of yuck.

ONCE i sat on a lovely couch in my friend Steve Swan’s house and remarked on it’s fine pleather texture and lovely hue. He said proudly:” I paint-rollered that couch like 5 years ago.” I said,” dang” and filed that info away.

A one color chair is easier and feel free to do that- however should you encounter a down on it’s luck striped chair here is what worked remarkably well:

Choose a color of latex paint that is close to what was and try a test to see how it flows onto the fabric. You don’t want it too dense or it will be tedious to apply and not blend into the texture of your upholstery. If you add water, give it a good stir. (an egg whisk is super for this) Apply in a less visible area of your chair. You want it to flow on easily and cover but not be so watery as to bleed out or be drippy. Your tools must be your friends-so make sure you have a good paintbrush- about an inch wide with flexible brush that you can turn side wise and pull forward to get a crisp line. Practice on some paper if that is helpful. Get comfy and prepare to go into a focused, content state which will empty your mind of extraneous issues like whether the fish is defrosting so you can loose yourself in painting calming stripes- each one more glorious then the last. From time to time you may become overcome by your own genius as the chair turns into a prom queen or at least someone who doesn’t have a bra strap showing in the after photos.

paint chair2

The best result of having secretly rescued furniture such as this is that when someone does catapult their glass of red wine into the seat of your newly lovely chair you are unconcerned- and further because this delightful chair is now coated in a thin layer of plastic based paint merely get the sponge, wipe and return to your evening.

Remember to relax.

paint chair3

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artsmart . 1 . Get out your imagination and dust it off

Blogs should be useful. Therefore besides stories about paintings or show and tell episodes of the latest thing I have conjured up I will be posting a series of imagination exercises and how to’s here as well.


Some people see my art and wonder what drug I am on.

I try not to take that personally. I have learned to trust my ideas and enjoy exploring them. If you are enjoying yourself you are going in the right direction.

Imagination is fleeting and does not always come when you call it. It has learned to be quiet in those that question it. To bring your creativity out you must encourage it to eat from your hand. Imagination must be coaxed, nurtured, and allowed to sit at the table without restrictions as to conduct. Many people slap their imaginations down, “I am not artistic,” They lament in a fit of self deprivation and excuses. Translation: I am frightened to let my thoughts leap out of the nest- they might fall- I will protect them deep in my breast pocket. “OK.” Think you are safe? You are just boring. Sadly, you are boring yourself- not me. I am busy seeing the world- loving every nuance- every pattern, every color and rhythm. I am never bored. But I work at this- just like that buff mountain biker, I work at building my imagination and giving it free range to keep it healthy everyday. How? By living awake. By paying attention to the beauty of the world that surrounds me.

Today- a small task- consider this is your first day on earth. See your surroundings with new, amazed and appreciative eyes. Find gratitude in light- early morning gold and the magic in the shadows of late afternoon. See invention- good design- color and the symphony of pattern in nature.

Have I thrown you into the deep-end on the first day?

Well drink it in- tred water and look around  . indeed it is a wonderful world.

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