Well, I was visiting some of my favorite blogs and stopped by The Dance of a Painted Lady, who in a recent post speaks most lovingly about trees. A kindred spirit, I thought about my most favorite tree in the world that resides on Deer Island. She's a California Bay Laurel that must be over 200 years old. I call her "The Mother". It's because I just feel so nurtured when I walk underneath her limbs. I have written about her several times here and I will most likely mention the great lady again, because she consistently brings a feeling of magic to my life. I took these pictures yesterday, it was still very wet and gray out. I took them because as I stood on the outskirts of her dripping, draping canopy, I saw across the way that her limbs come together to form a heart. I couldn't believe it! It felt like such coincidence, a cosmic joke, and a beautiful, loving gift -- all rolled up into one! For me it is just one more thing that serves as evidence that life is so much more than what on the surface it appears to be.
2009-10 Daily Journal Page Challenge -- Day 294: Shape Shifting
Again my eye seems to be drawn to how the past influences our present choices, or is reflected in them. Perhaps the pearl-encrusted little girl from the 19th century is the great-great grandmother of the mascara-laden, bejeweled diva. I have always had an "H.G. Wellsian"-fascination with the idea of time travel. What was life like for my anscestors, and if I was able to view them, would I see myself in any of their characteristics and mannerisms? Who knows maybe one day science, or supra-consciousness, will make it possible to do just this!
I've been out of my studio for most of the previous week because of house guests, and I'm chomping on the bit to get my fingers dirty with ink, oil pastels, and pictures. Yet the brakes still seem to be on. The story of my life. That's OK. Perseverance and creating any little thing is the name of the game. Stoke those fires! Get those doggies rollin'! First, though, here is a sneak at my messy, messy, studio. How many objects can you count in this photo? Will I ever be organized?
Here in Northern California it has been raining with very little sunshine for over 2 weeks. It makes for very little walking and dubious photo taking. However I took a few very magical photos during one of the rain breaks. Deer Island. My home away from home. The mist and the sunlight were just right. Can't you just imagine a unicorn appearing on the path ahead, or some great big full horned stag shaking its head at you? When I walk these paths, separate from any emotional turmoil I feel, my resolve is reinforced by the beauty, the quiet, the birds, the trees. I am aware that I am headed in the absolutely perfect direction.
2009-10 Daily Journal Page Challenge -- Day 292: Blossoming Aeracura
Back in 1982-83 I was a commission rep for the Washington DC area. I had over 20 gift and book lines. My favorite line was U.S. Games Systems -- the largest publisher in the world of tarot card and playing card decks. I enjoyed opening up people to the divinatory and game playing aspects of tarot. I never really learned all of the traditional meaning of the cards, but I have always used them as if I were interpreting dreams or calling specific energies to assist me through the day. It's fun -- it's a kick -- and it definitely adds to my creative life. One of today's cards was of the goddess Aeracura -- a Celtic and Germanic goddess. Key words: Slow down, have patience. Aeracura assists a person in putting goals and challenges into perspective, and I love this -- she's particularly fond of assisting artists and inventors!
Mixed media collage in altered journal: ink markers, dye ink pads, stars, paper, pens
It's been a week since I've done any "real" art. My Kentucky girlfriends, Janet and Nancy, (who I've known since age 14) came in town for a rainy California visit and there wasn't any real me time. But that's OK, I loved being with them and showing them the sites. Yesterday I took them to the airport, came back home and was zoning out watching the tube. My cat Zeus was zoning out next to me on the couch. I grabbed some art tools and started sketching. I never know at this stage what's going to come out. Zeus opened his eyes from time to time, but didn't move -- such a good art model. He was dreaming of an Elvis mouse, I think. Anyway that's what I saw!
2009-10 Daily Journal Page Challenge -- Day 287: Imagine a Place
Imagine a place where you feel peace. Where the demands of living in the day to day is pleasurable. Where you can be yourself fully. Where there is no effort but constant pure motion that is energizing, restorative, and fulfilling. Where you can be part of creation everyday. Where you feel a confidence and nurturing and love and passion is a moment to moment experience. Imagine a place such as that. You're already there.
2009-10 Daily Journal Page Challenge -- Day 286: What's There to Lose
"My bags are packed I'm ready to go..." And where exactly am I going? Haven't a clue! It's more of a metaphorical move -- a gamble that I'm pretty sure is going to pay off with a level of feeling and magic that I've always known exists but couldn't seem to manifest. But on a very deep level I've always been one to take a risk. When I knew I wanted to move to California 21 years ago, even a major earthquake one month before the move couldn't sway me. Throw those dice. Take the risk. Go into motion. Feel the wind in your hair.
I like the image of walking away...with great determination that nothing can shake. Maybe I am more enamored with and aware of walking towards something. Something that is more in alignment with who I am or who I am becoming. But when you walk away from a situation, place, person there always seems to be a cost, a price that has to be paid emotionally. At least it seems that way. Perhaps true freedom in this life is an illusion...yet it is something worth striving towards.
2009-10 Daily Journal Pages Challenge -- Day 282: Images of an Unseen Past
Somehow this collage speaks of and takes me to not only the past, but the future. The modern woman, a young Nureyev as a toreador, an Islamic temple, and skies before a storm -- all of these images together imply motion, time travel, and the theory of time as a continuum or spherical in nature. Many of us, maybe not everyone, walk around and wonder is there more to this life? If you are fortunate to feel rich, if not monetarily but emotionally, does this richness extend and incorporate qualities of lives we have lived before and also perhaps are experiencing in the future? Speaking for myself, I suppose I won't know until I get there -- but the question adds a depth and color to my everyday meanderings and a hopeful expectancy.
"We are the same as plants, as trees, as other people, as the rain that falls. We consist of that which is around us, we are the same as everything." -- Buddha
I have had this image of the Buddha for quite awhile. I liked the unknown artist's interpretation, and the use of the blue lotus leaves beneath him. I made this at the request of my art teacher. Although this is a very simple oriel it packs a punch vibrationally -- just like the Buddha did, I imagine.
2009-10 Daily Journal Page Challenge -- Day 277: The Love That Binds
Oh boy. Don't get me started here. You choose who you want to pick the daisies with and you choose the battles you want to fight. There are many beautiful gifts and there's always a cost. And there's no figuring it out.
Creative Every Day Challenge -- Day 2: I Sing the Body Electric!
OK, I'm doing a little backtracking here because reader koufax politely demanded it. Here was my submission for CED Day 2. I posted it in my Flickr set and sent it to the CED Flickr pool, but didn't post it here on my blog....mainly because I said in my Day 1 CED post here that there was no way that I was ever going to draw my thighs! Well, NEVER SAY NEVER!
When I saw Leah's CED post about body words, I thought of Walt Whitman's poem "I Sing the Body Electric". This is one of his twelve poems from Leaves of Grass. This is one of my favorite poems, because it's a celebration of the body, both male and female, of our physical humanity. And it contains some of the most incredible words about sexual love that was ever uttered by a man of the 19th century (written between 1847-1855). Move over D.H. Lawrence.
So, "I Sing the Body Electric" will be my words for this month, this year: to affirm, to act, to dance, to sing out, to paint, to create. And this mixed media collage came out of my musings, and yes, prompted me as I stood in front of the mirror, to pull down my jeans and draw what I saw! Is that too much information? Oh well, I was always a little bit of an exhibitionist! And I didn't say it would be a realistic drawing! Of course I had to embellish my grade school drawing to make it easier for me to submit it! LOL! So, koufax, you asked for it!
"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?" -- Frida Khalo
This new year I am restarting my personal Oriel Pendant Challenge to create one new pendant design a week. I may not achieve that, but that's what I'm going for! In this last week I finished one that features Frida Khalo. I used an image of her from one of her self-portraits, placing it on top of two ribbons fused together. I added tiny dried flowers to her hair, the kind that manicurists use to ornament fingernails. The back of the oriel shows the words "Perfumed with Flowers".
2009-10 Daily Journal Pages -- Day 275: Out & About
This spread kind of portrays where I plan on going in 2010: out and about in the world with my jewelry, my creativity. I mean this girl's a bit brazen, don't ya think? I like her. I like the look. I like how she's out there. She hasn't gotten on her motorcycle yet, but I think she's about ready to -- she's about ready to get on her motorcycle and ride into the sunset. Or maybe it's a sunrise. She's movin' and her jewels are right out there for everyone to see.
This collage is part of my 2009-10 Daily Journal Page Art Challenge . Go here to see the entire collection...so far!
This past Christmas season I had the pleasure of creating quite a few custom oriel pendants. I so enjoy making custom oriels for people. It is an opportunity to create a beautiful piece of jewelry that showcases something they love or treasure. People have told me that their pendants hang close to their heart and whenever they touch them the oriel reminds them of a specific love, feeling, or memory.
I will first scan the photos or take the jpegs and reduce them to an appropriate size, print them, and cut them out and place them on my work table. I often sit with the images for a while and let them "speak" to me. This is such an interesting process, often filled with playful humor. What bubbles up is often surprising -- colors, collage materials, background images, beads, crystals, charms, even words -- just seem to appear from out of my stash and fall together to form a collage that once completed, resonates not only with me, the artist, but with the person who is receiving the pendant.
People send me images of their animal companions, near or gone:
2009 - 2010 Daily Journal Pages -- Day 274: Pity the Man (or Shoes) Stuck in...Idaho
Stuck. All dressed up and nowhere to go...don't you just hate that feeling? Like you're ready to go to a fancy ball and you realize you left your magic crystal shoes (or some magic man) in some godforsaken part of the planet. Can you even remember where you left them? Your make up is perfect, your dress reflects your beautiful, spunky, adventurous soul -- and you left the most important item of your outfit in some closet somewhere! Stuck! How can you possible fly without those shoes? Well, sister, you can -- just go barefoot! Your wings aren't on your heels -- they are folded on your back! Oh-h-h-h, those! Just spread them and fly! They'll beat a pair of crystal shoes anytime!
2009 Daily Journal Page -- Day 273: New Inspiration Taking Root Among the Ruins
That which we strive for often arises out of crisis. The dark of the night is followed by the morning sun. Creative inspirations often come out of dashed dreams. Both the clay soldier/warrior and the woman (an aspiring warrioress) are looking toward the future, hidden though it may be.
I began this personal art challenge in March of last year, with the goal of creating one journal page a day for a year. I am now on day 273 of my challenge, with a little less than 3 months to go. This has been a fabulous way to develop my creativity and to make a discipline of being creative. I use Paperblanks mini journals, which are small, and I try to leave a blank area to write in. It is a challenge that has been very easy, very simple, highly rewarding, deceptively motivating. Some of you have asked if I write in the pages -- I do, but mostly the pages reflect visually something I am dealing with in the moment or have dealt with in the past, or are hoping to achieve in the future. I have 12 completed journals now, a little more than 1 per month. I look forward to continuing this challenge for as long as I desire to do so.
I joined Leah Piken Kolidas' Art Every Day for a Month (November) and had such a positive experience with it, both in stimulating my creativity and belonging to an interesting artistic community. As a result I decided to join her Creative Every Day 2010 Challenge. This challenge encourages and supports you to create something -- art, word, photo, dance, music, etc., every day if possible and post your resulting creative piece on her site whenever possible.
As a result of my participation in November's challenge, I went out and found an art teacher (the mother of a close friend -- I will write about her later) to teach me how to draw. I have never had any art lessons, other than a week retreat of Betty Edward's Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I learned that I could draw, but I hated it. I felt ready after November to o past these feelings and explore my abilities. I want to be able to draw and paint what I see and feel and I felt the Creative Ever Day Challenge would support me in exploring this.
"The Body" is this month's optional theme. So this is first entry is a contour drawing (more or less) of one of my legs. I have never loved my body. I am more comfortable with it now -- I see its beauty except there is still an uncomfortableness, a dislike, about my legs -- really my thighs. I have never liked them. But no way am I drawing my thighs! At least not yet, and I don't even know that I would share those drawings if I did. But here is my leg -- and boy did I draw it FAT. Diego Rivera FAT. Fernando Botero FAT. August Renoir FAT. I added the butterfly stickers so I wouldn't feel SO FAT!!!
Welcome! My Mane Blowing in the Wind is a visual showcase of my art, oriel pendant necklaces, and creative musings. I have danced toward and away from art for the past 28 years. Much of the moving away from was due to what I guess you could call "artistic paralysis": I heard the muse but went internal with it instead of externally expressing it through art. But somehow my art keeps emerging and recently it seems to have taken on a life of its own. This blog is a record of that discovery.