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Postcard #082Friday, November 02, 2012
Juicy Playground

This was a fun one to make. It feels East Indian to me, packed with color and pattern. I ended up carving back in to the oil pastel to reveal a contrasting color underneath, a happy accident. Love it when that happens : ) This was another one where the original wasn't working at all so I obliterated it with red and orange oil pastel. You can really work out some frustrations with this stuff.

But it's all good, good experiments for the fodder.

It's a holiday tomorrow, so Happy Veteran's Day everyone, and if you are a veteran or currently serving in the armed forces, thank you so much for your service.

Have a great week.

Postcard #081Friday, November 02, 2012
Isle of Quiet

It has been a quiet week. Richard has been in Dallas the last few weeks on business while I've just been finishing up odds and ends getting ready for several web site designs to start up soon. I like doing them, especially for small business owners. It is so much fun to help them realize their dreams in this visual way, helping make them special.

Part of the odds and ends of the week was voting early. I went to my local library to cast my ballot and while I was there I picked up a few great graphic novels by a Korean man, Kim Dong Hwa, and The Best American Comic Collection for 2010 edited by Neil Gaiman. A few weeks ago, at a book festival I bought several small collections of comics from Latvia that also include things from artists around the world. I love these small intimate views into other cultures. You feel like you're talking to someone close in another country. It feels like traveling to me.

I've walked a lot this week, there are several political yard signs out. At one point there is an Obama sign on the right and a Romney sign on the left, facing each other. (I should walk from the other direction to get the left and right correct) What's so metaphoric is the Romney yard is neat as pin, all the shrubs have been pruned within an inch of their lives standing like sentinels, three little packed mum bushes decorate like lolli pops. Across the street the Obama house has so much plant diversity everywhere it's hard to know where to look. Big blowsy plants spill over into each other swirling this way and that. I love it, I laughed, and have everyday that I walk by. That's what life is, choices to be who you are and vote for whomever expresses that belief for you best.

I hope you have a great week. And don't forget to vote : )

Postcard #080Saturday, October 27, 2012
Feeling Good

This has been a good week, getting lots of odds and ends out of the way, getting ready to work on several web sites over the next few weeks. Then on to some brand new projects after that.

On Wednesday I didn't feel like doing anything work related so I took the day off and took apart the last 120 or so silk ties from my mothers stash she'd collected. One of the bits ended up on this week's card. Now the ties are all done, it feels like I have a brand new paint box full of possibilities. Next I have to organize them by color making them easier to work with. So fun.

Fall is finally here, the leaves are almost all off the trees, and it's time to hunker down and work, eat good soup, and knit a few fun things when time allows.

I love fall so much. I love the internal cozy feeling of wanted to read good books, to nest, to watch a good movie with an old quilt or afghan around me. I'm glad I live in a place that has seasons, each one has it's gifts, each season I'm ready for the next one when it arrives, grateful for the one that just ended, and looking forward to experiencing the new one waiting in the wings.

Have a great week everyone, hope all in the Northeast fare well the next few days, you will be in my thoughts and wishes for safety and calm.

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.


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 : )

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.

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.