Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Art · Small Things With Great Love
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Small Things With Great Love

Al Parker - May 12th, 2014  

Some of Liza Fillmore’s greatest works are no more than a half-inch square. The watercolor and acrylic artist paints her tiny naturescapes as a way to deal with the world’s suffering.

“I can neither be a hero or a voice in the landscape of our times, but I can paint,” she said. “As Mother Teresa said, ‘We can do no great things, only small things with great love.’” Working in her rural home studio south of Traverse City, Fillmore paints detailed scenic views of Sleeping Bear Dunes, Fishtown and other northern Michigan landmarks.

Most are miniatures, but she also does a collection of larger works, focusing on angels. Professionally Fillmore is a project manager for a Traverse City tech firm, but took up painting five years ago. Her paintings are sold both matted and framed, or as brooches, pins and necklaces.


I come from a family that is both creative and inspiring. Artists, musicians, writers, craftsmen, gardeners … you name it. So being creative is very natural; a driving force. I took art classes at Saginaw Valley State University where I majored in sociology.

I am a Celtic harpist, with more than 20 years of experience, but when I discovered that painting was my own creation, opposed to music where I played the notes of another’s tune, it was a like a light turned on.

I discovered that people loved these little scenes. That was the turning point. I will never give up the harp or my gardens, but art is something so internal. It is something I can create in miniature – the world as I wish it could be.


It is the beauty of our natural world: the dunes, the lakes, sunsets and beaches and rolling coastal waterways. I wanted to share this beauty with visitors to Northern Michigan. So if one of my little paintings reminds them of a favorite place, or view or summer day, then I am happy.

I paint to create the world as I wish it could be: beautiful, surreal, and peaceful. There is always a boat sailing home at the end of a long summer day, or starting out, always a walk on the beach, a garden path or a cozy cottage view. These small joys that make our lives complete.


My collection of wearable art. These are tiny creations that can be worn on the go so the wearer can be reminded of a happy day in Northern Michigan!


All of my art includes an ancient Celtic symbol, the Awen. Dismayed by the often total disregard of core values for many key players in modern society, I use this symbol on every piece of art to remind me to live in truth, wisdom and love. The Awen is a Celtic symbol for inspiration, truth, wisdom and love.


All art is creation, so it is hard to pick favorites. There are so many! Beauty is everywhere, but Claude Monet, Josephine Wall, Georgia O’Keefe; local artists Mary Baines, Ruth McGrath, and my beautiful aunt Audrey Gladden are just a few that come to mind.


Deepak Chopra said, ‘If you really want to see your maker, become a maker yourself,’ which means go ahead and create. God is creation!

We are but candles. ‘Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared,’ said Buddha. So be the light, share the beauty and wonder of creation!


Evergreen Gallery in Traverse City, Greta’s in Leland, the Dennos Museum Small Works Show in May in Traverse City and at Dood’s Jewelry & Gift Gallery in Ionia. My work is also available at tcartists.com.

Clockwise from top left: Liza Fillmore working on her miniature landscapes. Wearable art. A handful of art. Some of her works feature angels.

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