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Postcard #079Friday, October 19, 2012
Releasing Echos

It was a great week. Mid-week I saw that my blog post from Sept 1 had been featured on Anne Ortelee's astrology blog I love. Today I finally finished a series of 22 images for my wall decor client, all being approved to healthy reviews. This afternoon I took in my last 2 eye paintings to Art & Invention Gallery, here in Nashville. They're selling the eye and lip paintings, and some of the mandala stones. I found out this afternoon the first mandala stone was sold yesterday.

Things seem to be falling in to place lately. I love what I'm doing now more than ever. I feel as though I'm finally making imagery and things that deeply sustain me. All kinds of juicy ideas are pushing forth now, setting up positions in front of my minds eye vying for attention.

Looking back at this week it feels like I've been releasing echos. Things I've created, some from awhile back, are now being reflected out and back in many forms, some being seen for the first time. Reverberations of images and words are now expanding hitting places they've never been before. It feels good.

As an artist you often make things not knowing in the end how they will be received, if at all. It takes great faith to follow that path and it's not always easy, in fact I'd say to contrary. But sometimes there are days like today and you get a nod or two, an affirmation of your abilities. And if you're strong, you allow that to sustain you until the next time.

I hope your week was affirming too.


Postcard #078Friday, October 12, 2012
Temple of Heaven

It rained all day after a topsy-turvy week. I almost took a nap tonight instead of making a card, but thought I'd feel better if I just dug in and got lost.

I love Catholic saint cards. I discovered them years ago when I was looking for a Saint Joseph statue as reference. I was illustrating a magazine article on burying one upside down in your front lawn when selling your house. Apparently it's brings good luck to do so, at least in Saint Louis where I lived at the time.

I was at "Catholic Supply"-yes there is such a place, and saw these wonderful saint cards. I bought several and hung them up in my studio different places. I loved their odd saturated color and style, comforting in some weird way.

Tonight I found this one, Mary and the annunciation. There's something compelling and earnest about them. I love using religious iconography to explore more psychological states. The images seem to set up a deep longing and intimate space for inner dialog.

The lower text is from a poem by Wislawa Szymborska. I'd torn a page out of the NYT years ago of her poems and found it tonight as well. The quote and the image seemed to intersect in a way that helped me put name to a feeling you have when you've made another leap spiritually. When grace has visited you and you feel "more space" inside. You psyche feels less claustrophobic than before.

I love poetry for that reason. It gives definition to feelings I often didn't know I had. Realizations swirling just below the surface are now illustrated in a way that brings about transformation, often subtle, yet powerful.

Have a great week everybody.

PS as I was researching Wislawa Szymborska I saw she'd died this year, ah... another beautiful artist leaves us, am a bit sad. I trust though new poets are born each day and will ripen soon in to their own voices.


Studio #048Monday, October 01, 2012

I started a bunch of small pieces for the postcards this weekend, none got done, but 5 were started. I find I enjoy them more when I do them in batches and add bits here and there to several. I was told years ago Pierre Bonnard did this, having several of his large paintings going all at once pinned up on the walls of his studio, going from one to the other seeing what needed to be done. I find it's much easier not to over do things this way, you see them in relation to each other and with fresh eyes. Synchronicity happens too, I paste something down on top of layers of paint. I don't know why, but it needs to be there. Then in a week or two when I'm back working on it everything falls together. I'm always amazed.

After the building up of layers I can really focus in on one, intuiting what needs to happen with what's evolved in the space to that point. This is the most juicy part for me, spending time on the details bringing forth the emotional content. It's usually then that I get to know what the image is about. But sometimes I don't get to know until later, even years. I know it's right visually, it works, but emotionally, mmm it's like life, you don't always figure it out until much later.

It is a grey rainy day here in Nashville. Today I have my old boom box going with Anonymous 4 singing "The Origin of Fire" by Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th century German Abyss and mystic. I must've been a nun in a former life. This music always comforts me and puts me in a deep contemplative place. It's perfect for cleaning out the studio today and organizing for what is looking to be a very busy October.

So with candles going, Oscar lying here next to me snug in his little fleece doughnut bed I wish you a happy and healthy week.


Postcard #077Monday, September 24, 2012
A Long Ride

Fall has always been a time for reflection. As I type this the sun is low, casting long shadows in to my studio from the trees outside along with long sun beams drifting across my keyboard...

I took a bookbinding class last weekend with my neighbor Alyce. We took an old book apart (mine was an old Bobbsey Twins hardback) and inserted blank pages to make a journal. It was nice to take a class with several women. My favorite part was sewing the signatures together. I got this elation, it was simple, repetitive. I realized how much I loved sewing and handwork and how I need to do more of it in my life. I had the same feeling the week before as I was machine sewing the small bags for my mandala stones. It just felt right and good and grounded. I loved seeing the silk patterns bumped up against each other.

So the postcard today has stitches, big fat thick stitches. Because stitches are so satisfying to make. The title is a chapter page ripped from the Bobbsey Twins text block. It seemed appropriate on this fall day where you can't help but look back and see your life as a long ride.

Have a great week everybody.

Postcard #076Friday, September 14, 2012
Between Worlds

I've felt like I've been existing between worlds for, actually now that I think about it, all my life.

I've always seemed to straddle different cultures, different religions, different ways of thinking about a lot of things. In a way I've always existed outside the box, but tried to pose as being inside so I wouldn't stick out, or as a shy child be embarrassed by being different. The last thing I wanted to do was draw attention to myself. I just wanted to lay low, to be left alone.

I always wished I was one of those eccentric kids who were just blindly themselves, either not aware of their kookiness or just highly evolved and not caring what other people thought. I always had way too much awareness and self consciousness to allow myself to really go there. Too much belief in the status quo kept me entrenched, even thinking it would be selfish to really be authentic. I was very good at faking it too. I think a lot of people are, we're taught, especially as women to be something that puts other people at ease.

But now that I am older it's much easier to embrace the kookiness. And I'm finding that it's a whole lot more interesting and fun on the outside of the box, so many more possibilities to embrace and try on.

So the card tonight is another trance-like intuitive thing where everything just started layering together. I usually do these friday night as a sacred way to end the week. I listen to Robert Ohotto's monday podcast and thursday night shows while I work. He's a brilliant intuitive astrologer who's depth of understanding in the realms of human emotion amazes me. I always come away with some realization about myself or someone I know. His work helps me have more compassion not only for others, but myself too. Check out his work.

And hey if you feel like it, try something wacky this weekend outside your own box. It might awaken something that you didn't even know was there : )

Studio #049Sunday, September 09, 2012

I've been meaning to write a bit about ROSEWORX here on the blog. It's my etsy shop I've been slowly starting. It's still "becoming". I have so many ideas and plans for products, it's one of the most exciting things I've done in a long time.

For now though along with some artist samples, there are some paintings of eyes and lips, along with mandala stones. The stones are palm sized, I paint them with calming white designs, then infuse them with Reiki energy.

The store is slowly blooming into a place where I can finally make and sell products that are aligned with who I really am. The products are meant to be non-dogmatic items that help people nurture themselves spiritually in gentle ways.

I'm currently designing packaging for the stones along with some related articles. The whole process uses all my skill sets, so I never get bored. But it also allows me to dive deeply in to one big project and spend long hours and days there. I've always loved working in series and this seems to be the perfect answer.


Last night Richard found a blog by Lark books that featured my stones. The internet is still such a magical place to me, where synchronicity seems to abound. So I will keep putting things out there and let the Universe handle the timing : )

I'll keep updating here to let you know when new products arrive. There are some just around the corner!

Postcard #075Saturday, September 08, 2012
Jonseing for Cheetos

I have been craving Cheetos for weeks, the fried kind. I love them, not all the time, but every once in a while there is no choice. There is just getting orange fingers. Finally I gave in today and stopped to buy a bag on my way home. They were even on sale, another nod from the Universe :) I think that's why the Wilde quote ended up on the postcard.

Funny how a thing like Cheetos makes me feel like I'm living, not just existing. I don't know whether to think that's really sad, or just mildly hilarious.

But the joy quotient is in direct proportion to how long it's been since I've eaten them. The more rare the instance the better they taste. If I ate them all the time they wouldn't be nearly as good.

I think most of life is like that. The really good stuff doesn't come along every day, if it did, it would just be normal. The trick is in the timing I guess, keeping things staggered in a way that keeps them new, inviting, and passionate.

Postcard #074Saturday, September 01, 2012
Letting Go

I am a big fan of astrology. As above so below. I've been greatly helped by astrological readings over the years. If you build a relationship with a good astrologer it is as much help as therapy, even more so if you're already a good internal thinker and observer. It's also less expensive.

I listen to a few podcasts every week. Anne Ortelee has three I love. Love her, she's a kick, grounded, honest, and caring. You feel like you're listening to a great friend, you know the kind who'll tell you if you have food in your teeth, or that you need to leave a crappy relationship.

Lately I've heard a lot about "letting go" on the podcasts. "Release, release release!", she chants and writes. I believe it. You know when something's true, how it rings in your gut. Everyone I know now is in deep transition of some sort. Huge multiple changes being made in relationships, jobs, kids leaving the nest, money. The circumstances seem to mount on top of one another, towering with underlying messages about sustainability and questions about what's really important.

So as I was making the card this week I found myself ripping a figure out of an old page from National Geographic. I wanted to keep just the pattern from the background. I pasted it down. Suddenly the hole that was left seemed like the most important thing on the page. It held the space for what had been, what was leaving. And it all made sense, release release release.

We all have ghosts, things from our pasts that work us. They need to leave now. So scan your inner landscape and notice what's still there, that thing you need to say good-bye to. I promise once you let it go and bid adieu the emptiness might feel a little unsettling at first, but the new thing that's waiting in the wings will fill its space, open you up, and set you free.

Enjoy the holiday everyone.

Studio #048Monday, August 27, 2012

Just a short aside to let you know the blog interview I did with "The Moon from My Attic" is up today. Thanks again to Alex for her interest.

Postcard #073Sunday, August 26, 2012
Connecting to the Divine

I took apart an old circular gold leafed frame the other day and this tiny clipped portrait, by I'm guessing Raphael, was inside. I've had her in my studio for probably 20 years as inspiration. I remember the flea market I found her in, the flash of "oh I want that, what a treasure!" feeling that came over me. I don't get that feeling very often.

I always thought I'd take her out and put my own painting inside, but kept her around as there was something holy about her, something comforting and supportive. Contemplative.

Now I'm getting ready to make some small altar-type pieces of mixed media, painting, jewelry, all combined somehow and it was time to take her apart. I wanted to pay homage to her, to thank her for all those years of her supportive gaze.

It seemed appropriate to pair her with these words too. I do think that "Art is God". I think life can be so full of distractions and hardship at times that we need music and poetry and dance and paintings and all the other forms that it inhabits to connect us to what is important, what is Divine in us and in life, or sometimes just to distract us for minute with elation or humor.

So here Miss Raphael Woman live on in another guise for another 20 years, while I take your gold guilt home and make more Divine connections of my own.

Have a wonderful week everybody.