Thursday, May 28, 2009

Praying for Guidance

"Praying For Guidance"
Digitally Enhanced Photograph

I'm not much of a churchgoer per se these days. If I had to label myself, I'd say I was a taoist (one who sees all of the universe as one and connected). Beyond these words though, I often find spiritual comfort by wandering sacred grounds surrounded by nature. The hands on this statue of the Blessed Mother drew me in for a closer look. The cracks I noticed there reflected its timeless age and beauty throughout the passing years. I find this longing for spirituality eased within myself when I can take a symbol such as in the above image and put my own personal creative stamp on it.I added some color to the statue which seemed to humanize it, which is what I was going for. As I did this, I felt a connective flow open up between myself and whatever stands before me (in this case, Mother Mary).
Yesterday, in preparation for writing class, I wrote about the above statue coming alive, sitting next to me on a bench and giving me advice and guidance (more humanizing characteristics). Then, during class time, several other fellow writers shared stories they had also written about Mary of Magdalene, each with their own unique take but with a similar theme. I was surprised at this synchronism, when two or more events which are causally unrelated occur together in a manner that is experienced as meaningful. I took it as a sign that the Blessed Mary was with us during that class, bestowing us with her loving presence. Sonia Choquette, a spiritually gifted psychic, reveals that we each have thirty-three guides to give us various levels of support, and considers Mother Mary one of the teachers in that group. I am not alone in my journey, but have many spiritual guides to aide and support me step by step. I felt comforted by this and took it all in, reveling in how her words somehow seemed to affirm what I was experiencing. I am grateful for my deeper awareness into life's events as time goes on. And continue to marvel at how my creative tools lead me more and more into my inner spirituality. It all feels good.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Digitally Enhanced Photograph

Sonia Choquette, a wonderful spiritual author, says that what you consciously desire and what you subconsciously believe about that desire must be in agreement in order to succeed. If I subconsciously harbor beliefs that are in conflict with my goals, I'll stay stuck. I think this last week I've been feeling this way. So much anger, much of it old and unresolved open wounds regarding lack of support, has come up within me, rendering me almost paralyzed to create anything. Consciously, I want to be creatively expressive, but on some deep level the demons were taking hold of me.
So I embraced those emotions, as painful as they felt, and went on long walks and meditated much of the week. I also mulled over a few other words that Sonia talked about. She says to focus on believing in the value your desires will bring those who are around you. Creating from a desire to contribute seems to bypass all those subconscious beliefs getting in your way. I took all these words in and let them soak for awhile.
Then yesterday, something broke within me. Some inner resistance crumbled and I was actually able to create for much of the day, creating new artistic pieces, working on photos and printing them out. The statue image above was the final creation I did before I called it a day. I took a photo of her out at a Wooded Catholic sanctuary where nuns live and then painted human features, which I often like to do with inanimate objects. This seems to personalize them. I was going to leave the background greyish black but then some voice within me said "Make some colored circles, like halos in a sense". So I did. The image above is dedicated to where I am at in my own life right now. Everything is unfolding just as it should. I look out to the world and thank my higher power, spiritual guides and believing mirrors that surround me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wind Chimes Sooth My Restless Spirit

Standing on Deck, I Hear

wind chimes singing songs
each distinct in voicing joy
piercing the quiet

Beverly Bronson May 2009

Kissed by loving breezes
a wind chime's lullaby soothes
me into dreamland

Beverly Bronson May 2009

I love wind chimes. Their soothing song is so meditative. I am always amazed at the different melodies produced. It is like an orchestra to me. Lately, I have been in a very reflective mood and am longing for quiet. Spending time walking in the woods or sitting on the deck listening to the sounds of birds and wind chimes is easing my restless soul. I have noticed a deep longing arising within me which I cannot name. It does not go away but seems to strengthen with each passing day. Being creative helps me alleviate some of this longing.

The top photo is of a wooden wind chime hanging from some tree branches. Luckily, a soft breeze made the chimes move, giving it a rather interesting compositional effect here. I like the background for it seems rather mysterious to me. And I often hear the wood spirits calling to me through the chimes, adding to the magic moment. The bottom photo is of a wind chime of metal with plastic tear drop chimes enclosed within. I played with this photo, adding some computer effects, to give it a stained glass effect. I find myself feeling very spiritual, as if I'm in church, when I hear the chimes singing in the breeze. The small black lines on the chimes were an afterthought. As I drew them, I thought of cracked eggs and ancient times. Symbolically, perhaps my heart/soul is cracking open a bit to allow any resistance I am feeling to escape. Resistance to allowing my true self to emerge continues to make its presence known. I am aware of this and hope to conquer it someday.

Oh, and the wind chime haiku I wrote some time ago but now feel that they belong here with these images. A marriage of two forms of creativity feels just right to me.

May the breezes blow through your wind chimes and sing to you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Reflecting As The Years Go By

"Reflecting on Time"
Black and White Photograph

For some time now, I've considered myself a colorist. In other words, the brighter and bolder I can make my art and photos, the more satisfied I am. Yet, there's still something to be said about images done in black and white. The detail rendered can be exquisitely captured. I came across this still life I had done probably about 10 years ago. It was one of many images I created in an Introduction to Black and White Photography class. I set the bottle, small gazing ball and a crystal onto the lower edge glass piece of a clock of mine (which I laid out on my bed). The class assignment was to photograph reflections. The colors of the objects pictured above are lapis blue, soft purple, and blue-purple, some of my most favorite colors. Yet, these are lost in monochromatic shades instead. I look at this image and wonder what I was trying to convey. These days I am more thoughtful in what I compose, for I want the image to be meaningful. Hm, time, crystals and crystal balls I suppose spoke to the more magical side of me. Or maybe it just represents the timelessness of objects and the memories they evoke. Or maybe, ultimately, it really was just a way to fulfill a class assignment.
Do I miss black and white photography? As I reflect back, I used to think I would aspire to be the next Ms. Ansel Adams of the world. I'd often go out wandering in nature capturing details found in tree trunks, waterfalls, ice formations or how the shadows bounced off old tractor parts. Then I'd take the film back to class, develop it in the darkroom with all the chemicals and such and see what came out Those tedious processes made me appreciate all the work that the Ansel Adams types had to go through. But these days, I have a digital camera and find it so easy to use. And the colors that evolve can be eye-popping. And now, I aspire to be Beverly.
What am I trying to say here? I don't think it matters what media form one uses to capture creative expression as long as it is done with heart. Each experience in my life has been a stepping stone to who I am at this precise moment and I wouldn't have done it any other way!As time goes by, I am finding my unique voice which does not have to be like anyone else's. Thanks for going down nostalgia lane with me, and I am glad I did not throw
this photo out! Reflection is good for the soul.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Flower Spirit

"Flower Spirit"
Digital Photograph

If one does not dream, what good is existing? I choose to embrace mystery and magic, as these enduring qualities touch a place deep within me, where expression of self languishes. I know the journey into myself is never ending so I shall not seek the destination, but instead relish the process. As my writing develops, I am encountering some pain that has been hiding buried deep. I encourage these more resistant pieces of myself, no matter how sharp the shards feel. The rainbows that follow after the dark storms make it all worthwhile. And as these prisms of nature dazzle the skies up above, I dance with the flower spirits, feeling one with their essence. And then, spent, I languish in the world of dreams once again. Daydreams and nightdreams fill me with possibilities and that satisfies my artist soul, which yearns for meaningful existence. Perhaps I am getting closer to that with each passing day. Yes, that elusive passion may be within my grasp. I just need to accept it as my birthright, hugging it to my soul.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Heaven Has Just Welcomed An Artist

"Heaven Has Just Welcomed An Artist"
Digital Collage

Paint the Heavens as you now see them
what a sight to behold
your artist friends you've left behind
feel the void but
will remember you as a
wonderful inspiration
Never Stop Creating

An artist friend of mine has recently departed this earth. I just found out the news and felt the impulse to create an image and to write a few words here. This is why I am so thankful for the creative process. It is an outlet I can turn to when my emotions twist me up inside. This lady was an incredible spirit who toughed out hip replacement surgery in order to be able to attend some summer art retreats and plein air outings this Summer. I am so amazed at how the love of being creative will push us through any odds that might step in our way. Alas, it was not enough, although her fearless spirit is something I will always remember about her.
I am so glad that earlier this year she attended an energy healing at the Center in Palos Park. I would like to think that the healings she received there from myself and others helped her in some way, perhaps on a soul level. I gave her a hug that night and was so glad she was there as that would be the last time I would see her.
She had a witty bite about her that I truly loved and we used to banter back and forth during art classes. I shall miss her deeply but will hold onto the memories. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

The image above is actually two different pictures. The garden background was taken at Lake Katherine Nature Preserve when the flowers and bushes were in full bloom. To me, it feels like Heaven's garden. The foreground crosses I painted in acrylics soon after my own parents had passed away. The healing forces of being creative helped me cope with my personal losses during that time as well. I felt like combining the two images for some reason this morning. I think it expresses my own spirituality and lets out a number of different emotions I am feeling in a more complete way. Peace and blessings, my dear friend, soar high!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Flower Bouquet

"Flower Bouquet"

Today a friend and I painted together at her kitchen table. A beautiful flower arrangement captured my attention and I proceeded to paint its essence. "Did you draw this first?" my friend asked me. I said well I drew it with a brush and paint. Then she said "I like how you took what you saw and painted it in your own way". Well, I suppose she didn't say that in those exact words, but I did capture a few flowers from the bouquet that called to me and put them wherever I wanted to on paper. Usually, about this time the brush seems to have a mind of its own and I just let it dance with the paint. I'm told this is called artistic license. I call it freedom.
We were chatting, amongst a million other things, about painting outdoors in the summer with plein air groups, which I have done in the past. These groups go outside in nature and paint what they see right then and there. I told her how difficult it is for me on these outings to find a subject to paint. I tend to be dazzled by my surroundings and take it in all its beauty and time flies by. Many plein air painters who go on these outings seem dedicated and find their spot and begin painting almost immediately. I told her I sometimes feel out of sorts and even anxious because of my lack of focus. Usually with about a half hour or so of painting time left, the pressure finally hits me. I pick a subject and usually (hastily) get something, anything down on paper.

I am telling this story to set the stage for what happened next. I sat there at that table and proceeded to paint almost nonstop the painting shown above. Mind you, there were a number of distractions that proceeded to occur that afternoon. But I tuned them out for the most part and finished the painting, more or less, in a flowing manner. And my friend laughingly teased me, saying that it looked like I was pretty focused, just like those plein air artists I was talking about. Hm, I thought, maybe I had changed, maybe I was more dedicated than I had perceived myself as being.

It was a fun afternoon painting, drinking tea and getting to know my friend better. It's so nice to have friends who get you and accept you, isn't it? I share this bouquet of flowers with all my friends out there, thank you for your love and support!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Magic Cat

"Magic Cat"
Digital Photo

I remember hanging a framed image of this cat at the local library. The next day one of the librarians said to me as I was browsing the book section that "she just had to have that photo. It so reminded her of her own cat. I immediately thought that her cat had passed away and she wanted a memento to remember it by. When I offered my sympathies to her, she looked at me quizzically and then laughed. "Oh, no, I still have my cat, it's healthy and very much alive. I just wanted this photo because it looks so much like her. I'll hang it in the kitchen by the window where I can look at it every day."
We both enjoyed a chuckle over this and I felt a sense of relief that she still has a precious furball in her life to hold true to her heart.

These are the kinds of exchanges I am looking for when I share my art. People who are touched for some reason by what I create seem to make the whole process all the more worthwhile, and yes, even magical.