Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Oooh, I love this oriel. She's powerful, fiery, sensual -- a force to be reckoned with. Actually, she's the Feminine Creative Principle with a strong inner male, determined, action-oriented, clean in her lines and her beauty, sees to the heart of a situation and goes into motion to remedy it. She sees the truth and her sword cuts through illusions -- her sword is flaming and cauterizes as it cleaves. No hesitancy here. Like that!
This graphic novel image was first used by me in a custom bolo that I made for a male friend. He had several dreams that contained the following images -- a girl or woman with a sword, a moon sinking onto a pyramid, a gryphon -- and asked if I could incorporate them into a piece of jewelry that a guy could wear. Wow! I had a great time finding the elements on the net and putting them together in a manner that worked for him. You can see the final pictures in my Oriel Custom Bolo listing in my Kentucky Girl Etsy Shop. I am also offering the Truth Oriel Pendant as part of my Sacred Journeys series.
What would it be like to not feel powerless? To just feel my mane blowing in the wind?
Sunday, March 29, 2009
What is it about mirrors? I have always had a love/hate relationship with them. Since I was a young girl, I often looked at myself in them. It's not that I'm vain -- it has always been a strange fascination -- who was/is that girl/woman staring back at me? In my life I have often been told that I was beautiful, smart -- but that never really felt real to me -- I never really felt it deep down inside. So maybe looking at myself in a mirror was an attempt to see that beauty, then to feel it. Or just an attempt to feel myself. Or an attempt to see something else entirely. What an odd thing to do! It's only recently as the wrinkles and the gray hair and the body changes creep in, that I've started to think, well maybe I am beautiful. Maybe I've lied to myself all these years instead of claiming my beauty. Or maybe it's not about any of that. It's just an exercise in looking at the facts, maybe even the fantasy.
I find it amusing to see that I started this blog with a post and a picture of myself that was snapped in the bathroom mirror. So I've decided to start a Mirror, Mirror Challenge for anyone to join. Anyone who has the time or inclination to post a photo they have taken of themselves in a mirror. To start with, it will be necessary to post a photo at a minimum once a month. But I will also have a Wild Card section, where if spur-of-the-moment mirror and camera opportunities arise, can be uploaded. Here goes! I invite you to join me!
What would it be like to not worry about aging? To just feel my mane blowing in the wind?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I take my husband his cup in bed where he reads the weekly book proposals, and I take my rainbow-colored harlequin mug (my favorite mug -- always the same) and step onto our backyard redwood deck. I slip into our two-person tub. Usually the birds haven't arrived yet, because the sun hasn't hit the backyard. When the first rays strike the back fence, they start to arrive -- usually a bold jay or mockingbird, sometimes a sparrow, chirping, squawking, making all those busy bird sounds. As the minutes go by more and more birds come to visit. Sometimes I sing to them (either "Bluebird smiling at me..." or "Mockingbird" or "Somewhere over the Rainbow"), and then even more show up, flitting about, curiously checking out the strange lady as they look for their morning grub.
Now here is my favorite part of the year -- our Redbuds (Cercis canadensis) are blooming! They are my absolute favorite blooming ornamental. Kentucky is filled with them, they are the first tree to bloom in spring. As a child, we had one in the front yard by the mailbox. My brother and I were always pulled like magnets to this brilliant tree. We would even climb it, sometimes breaking its skinny branches -- risking being scolded or paddled by our mother. It felt like a fairy tree and it was a moment of happiness and joy for both of us.
I love this small (3.5" x 5.5") "old leather" journal from Paperblanks. It has the appearance of an old book, the cover is decoratively foiled, and it contains a nifty accordion envelope in the back for holding loose items that you collect along your way. It also has an attached stretch band for holding the journal closed.
I like journaling small -- I gues that's why I like making my Oriel Pendants. Small little windows to the soul, or the secret recesses of your mind, or your innards. Take your pick. Visit my Kentucky Girl Etsy Shop to see which one you like -- I'd be interested to know!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I decided that I was going to create something in my journal once a day until I leave for my trip to London in mid-April. Even if it's not very pretty or "good art". Or even if it's just a pencil mark. Or a piece of a magazine photo. Or a scan of one of my oriels. Or a list. Or a song. Once a day. Let's see how that works :)......
What would it be like to create everyday? To feel my mane blowing in the wind?
Today is another tax prep day for me. Uughh. Double Uughh. Yesterday I helped a client with her tax issues. Today it's "Hello -- again -- how much longer can I put you off?" tax prep.
In the in between hours (and I create alot of them), I took a walk on Deer Island (early AM), had a wonderful chat with an new/old friend, took my cat Zeus out into the backyard for a meander, attended a live chat shop critique on Etsy Virtual Labs. I would say the highlight was when I was holding Zeus in my arms, and a Red-Tail Hawk cruised by overhead. My heart soared with the bird, and Zeus butted his head up against mine. There we were in the California sunshine, nature saying hello, me with my lover cat in my arms, and all the other pleasantries I had experienced this morning were alive in that moment. How great was that?
Now back to those **** taxes!
What would it be like to not feel I "have" to do something? To just feel my mane blowing in the wind?
Monday, March 23, 2009
And, oh yes, being on the computer, being on the computer, being on the computer. I must spend a minimum of 5 hours a day on the computer. Answering emails, posting dance workshops, checking my etsy account, listing necklaces, and now, blogging and reading other people's blogs. And today I really couldn't do that because I am trying to get the tax info pulled together. Ugghhh!!!!
So no art today, but here's a photo of one of my collages from the 80's. It still feels strong and generates emotions for me. Why is that? Maybe because it's black and white? It was one of my first collages -- I used several images from Dover's engravings -- the man and woman, the ocean rising. The shell and the "curtain" came from a beautiful book I had back then of black and white photos of shells; the background of droplets came from another black and white photo book. Maybe because of the woman's conflict? The man is obviously smitten with her and she's in conflict (turned away) and turmoil (choppy, whirling waters getting ready to swallow her life). Looking at this collage, there are a lot of stories that can be made up. That's why I love collage -- the Rorschach-ness -- of the finished piece.
It was an exciting period for me -- I was creating art, even though I had never received any formal training. I was also giving a voice to feelings I did not want to over-analyze. Is it any different today for me? Yes, maybe. I'd say so. I don't try anymore to work out feelings in my art. I try to just work with the materials and find beauty in the images, the materials. Yet no matter how much I get out of my head when I am creating, the resulting piece of art is still a combination of feelings, perceptions, thoughts that rise up out of my unconscious -- a Rorschach of my life's moment. What does it mean? Be my guest. What do you see?
What would it feel like to not try to understand everything? To just feel my mane blowing in the wind?
Friday, March 20, 2009
What would it be like to not feel like my wheels are just spinning? To just feel my mane blowing in the wind?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
It feels good...really good...when I go into motion. Just push away from the table, go outside, take a walk or run, come back and go into my studio. Deer Island was beautiful in its spring wardrobe -- green grass, yellow wildflowers, ducks and geese hooting and hollering in the wetlands. Fresh air...so when I returned I was (eventually) able to move into the studio, crank up the soldering iron and finish a few oriels. Not everything, but a few. Tomorrow's another day.
Here's some pics of my newest oriel -- another Boudoir Beauty -- this time a one-of-a-kind trading card from the turn-of-the-century (Cigarillos). I think I originally purchased this one from The Gleaner Zine, which I don't think is still in existance, although you can find old issues on ebay. While cruising the net I came across this organization The Ephemera Society of America. If you join, it seems you are privy to vintage emphemera that you might not find on your own. Will check out further. Seems to have lots of good stuff there!
I have too many options in my life and not enough self-discipline. After early morning errands and stopping at Peet's for a cup of jo to go, I hung out in the sunshine with my Zeus cat who is recuperating from his near death experience last week. The ornamental plum tree is dropping its white petals on the patio concrete, and a million gazillion honey bees are singing up a storm in the 70's plus sunshine. I need to go for a walk on Deer Island since I canceled my dance class this evening for lack of students -- 4 of the 5 have reasons not to be in class tonight. Must be "taking a leap" -- they'll be back strong next week and ready to shake their booties.
I need to finish 5 oriels and post in my Etsy shop. I need to get started on taxes for our meeting with the CPA next week. Too much to do for this sleepy spring day, endorphin-overloaded filly.
Let's see what happens in the next few hours.....
What would it be like to not feel so stuck? To just feel my mane blowing in the wind?
Monday, March 16, 2009
Where would I be, what would I have been without animals in my life? I have a picture of me as an infant in a stroller, and a black, furry cat lying at my feet -- my first "Kitty". Animals -- mostly horses and ponies and cats and kittens -- were always a great comfort to me, as well as an escape from an unhappy family life. I always felt better after stroking my cat or riding my pony through the woodsy trails. I think that I also learned from animals that watching and observing was a safer way of moving through life than being loud or confrontive. (Not that I don't also have those attributes -- "Oh boy, not you...," my husband would say.) So they are angels without wings to me, and for sure they have a special place in heaven.
For a description of the "Boxer Rebellion" necklace as shown above, as well as my other Earth Angel Oriel Pendants (I also do customs) visit my Kentucky Girl Etsy Shop.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
It's just really nice to have an art buddy. It motivates me to create. Even if it's just straightening up my studio, while my friend creates, like today. I actually had time to line up a bunch of oriels to finish, and I finally put together an oriel using a photo of my grandmother Mimi. We chat, we eat, we drink cofee, we create. Nice. United in the act of creation. A nice flow and a great way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. Thanks Tamara!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Last Friday, while we were still in Mexico, my best friend and pet sitter, Shara, took our male cat Zeus into the animal hospital. He was not eating and had a extremely high fever. I spent 2 worrisome days in Mexico and 1 flying home wondering if Zeus was going to live. I went straight from the airport to the hospital. They took me back to Zeus' cage and it was immediately obvious that he was a very, very sick animal. Yet my kitten and I were overjoyed to see one another. He struggled to stand up and started purring and pressed his head hard against my forehead. I was sobbing and he was purring. The feeling that poured out of me and back from my kitty was undeniable love. Oh my, it shook me to my bone marrow.
This past week has been a long road for Zeus and me, and my husband (who loves, if possible, Zeus even more than me). They finally identified some of illnesses and after 2 blood transfusions, massive amounts of antibiotics, thousands of dollars, he may at last be coming home this weekend.
Because animals cannot speak, there has always been a level of helplessness in my body as to deciphering their needs. It has forced me time and time again to look to some place in myself that knows the truth, knows that feeling and love and peace exist in a place that does not have much to do with pain, misery, and unhappiness. The latter does not exist in the same space as the former. But, where do you put your focus? You can't ignore the world around you. But neither can you ignore, beauty and love. Where do you put your focus without leaving something behind?
What would it be like to not feel helplessness? To just feel my mane blowing in the wind?
Saturday, March 7, 2009
This ItsyBitsy Oriel image is from a portion of a frieze found in a Santa Fe church. Whether you are religious or not, there is an undeniable sense of peace, or calmness that is communicated through such icons. They seem to capture and communicate a vibration of centeredness. In a world such as ours -- one filled with hope, despair, beauty, ugliness, discord, unity -- all swirling around us -- I like to make jewelry with images that remind me of the journey that I find myself on.
Our last day in La Penita. A quick stroll with my husband down the beach and through town. We were greeted by a dirty (but cute) white dog, and his companion, a very friendly, very clean white duck -- they both followed us down the road a ways, the dog running in circles, the duck quacking comments. I wondered if they were partners -- owned by the same people -- but I kind of didn't think so -- the duck was obviously very well cared for, the dog suffered from mange and fleas.
In the local cemetery, amongst all of the larger graves, was this little arrangement -- a lovingly and respectfully built memorial to someone: a wilted green plant, a luminous plastic flower, and a stone crucifix -- all surrounded by various rocks and discarded bricks from other graves. This little memorial appeared to be built with great thoughtfulness.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Each year (now 3 consecutive years) Mary and I bring journals, images, craft supplies and sometimes pick up local objects to alter and do art together each day. We go through all of the anxiety and joy that doing art brings (to some people, not everyone). Mary is a trained artist and has a wide variety of art skills. She's bright, colorful, BIG, and messy. I am untrained, more linear, a bit more minimalistic, learn by the seat of my pants, let's add some sequins kind of gal. But working together, we've each picked up on the other's traits and incorporated them into our skill sets. The result is some amazing art.