Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Another Owl Expresses My Feelings"

"Owl In Flight"

Just found out that a friend of mine (from writing class at the Center) passed away the day before Thanksgiving. I hadn't even known she was sick. But I am grateful to have gotten to know her as a writer and a kindred spirit. Though she wasn't in the class all that long, her writings were personal and I felt I got to know her on a deep level as a result.

It's interesting how one's creative work can reflect our feelings. I was feeling rather angry at first about her passing and painted a crocodile. The colors were rather dark but the teeth were glowing and formed a smile. Strange, it seemed my friend's spirit was coming through in the teeth. Make sense? She had fought a long cancer battle but was now at rest and in peace. So several emotions seemed to be fighting with each other.
Then soon after, I painted the owl pictured above. Yes, this is my friend who has soared to the Heavens. I have accepted this now. The lines all around her are the energy lines connecting us to each other. Yes, she has left this Earth, but her spirit lives on in my heart.

Once again, when words fail me, creativity becomes my voice!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Who Am I"


Who am I? Seem to be asking myself that alot lately. I know I find myself "loving" to create more and more every day. Allowing myself that joy to fill me from head to toe. And I felt a child-like spirit arise from within as I created "Owl". He/she kind of reminds me of one of those roly-poly toys that you can roll across the floor. No feet required on this little bird. I thought about adding them but Owl said "no, I'm fine as I am". Wise bird, indeed!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Precious Moments I Can Sketch!

Pen and Ink

My sister-in-law has lots of Christmas knick knacks lying around her house, perfect for someone who may need a little inspiration to create. As warm-ups, I sketched (in pen and ink) a toy penguin that glowed in different colors and a white reindeer sitting on a table. I could have been content with these two items, but then my eyes noticed 4 Precious Moments Christmas figurines ready to be put into a nativity scene. As they weren't in their final resting place yet, I felt the urge to sketch them. Once I get into that creative mode, I can't stop, thank goodness. The expression on this particular one resonated with me personally. Taking quiet time, during such a busy holiday, is necessary. The distractions away from one's heart can be detrimental. Energy can deplete quickly, leaving me crabby and off my center. Creative time, though, is a wonderful balancing tool.

I'm thankful for the small sketch pad and pen and ink that I had handy. Sometimes the more elaborate mediums just take away from the moment. Every Moment is Precious! Thank you for the reminder, Precious Moments Girl.....


Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Holiday Energy"

"Holiday Energy"
December 2010

Interesting how the holidays are inspiring my creativity. I painted the Christmas tree first and then added the window and present as an afterthought. Some spatters of paint with a toothbrush added to the festive scene. I feel this is an indoor/outdoor scene merging together. Everyone and everything is welcome to celebrate.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Power Of Touch

"The Power of Touch"
Digital Photo

Though I'm not a great fan of reptiles, I found this particular image rather captivating. I probably took about 50 photos of this rather large snake before capturing the one depicted above. The long line of children waiting to touch this "tame" creature made it the most popular exhibit at a recent nature event. Its little forked tongue went in and out during each petting, sometimes touching softly the hand caressing it, which didn't seem to phase the kiddies in the least.

Touch is a very powerful element and very sensual too. Even the texture of the cold-bloodeds can bring tingling excitement to those who venture into its realm. I need to push myself beyond my safe limits of the known and embrace the adventurous in life. Like this small child did. Unafraid, uninhibited, developing a kinship with those who share the world with us. Making a difference and leaving an impact, even if it seems relatively insignificant. There is, after all, the ripple affect, which can gain momentum in anything we do.

Let the Wild Snake Woman out!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Autumn In A Vase

"Autumn In A Vase"
Digital Photo

Sometimes I really like black and white images, especially when there are shadows involved. It gives a sense of mystery. I had placed a few Fall leaves into a small vase and set it on a table. It just seemed the leaves and vase wanted to be buddies. The early morning sun streaming in through the windows created some intriguing effects, giving the image an abstract feel. There appears to be a hint of red emanating from one of the leaves and extending downward into the vase, which is a nice focal point to lead the eye into the image. A bit of contrast can be a good thing. So I'm grateful for leaves and sunshine and for a potter's creation. All merging to make something new.

It's amazing what Autumn can do for the creative soul. I am thankful this Season is jump-starting me. Keep on falling, leaves......

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Drawing My Hands, Personal Revealing

"My Hand - Various Poses"
charcoal pencil on sketch paper

I've been cleaning out my studio, tossing out old creations that don't have much meaning to me anymore. Whatever meaning means, so many levels to that word. Then I found the above drawing in a sketch book and felt an emotional connection oozing out. Aha, meaning! My hands, posed in different ways, all on one piece of paper. Each pose seeming to convey a different message. Artist hands here without the paint remnants under the nails. Nails on this particular day so smooth and well-tended. If I painted or drew my hands now, I know there would be changes. Hands more natural, not so perfectly groomed, perhaps with a few more wrinkle lines drawn in. But no matter how they looked now, I would be content. It's like our aging process, where we say we're proud of every grey hair. We've earned it. So too with other parts of our body. But isn't that what it's all about? To accept changes in all aspects of our life and not resist them. And let the spiritual self, the soul come forward and say "it really doesn't matter. I'll always be with you no matter what happens to the physical self, that outer shell. And then I know that that particular inner voice, which is soft yet authentic, will help me to embrace the cycles of life and see it as an adventure, a learning experience. It made me appreciate my hands even more yesterday as I processed the feelings stirred up. Though it's always fun and intriguing to paint and draw others who pose for us, there is something very personal about recreating images of the whole form or pieces of who we are. And there's something about charcoal pencil, in its stark black and white and shades of grey in between that somehow feels more expressive, at least in this particular image. For that, I am grateful for all the mediums we have at our disposal. They can make a difference in what message we want to convey.

I feel strength coming from this drawing and I take the feeling within myself and breathe it in. Somehow, the extra energy gained will help me as I continue to clean and simplify my domain. I am grateful for the art process for it does sustain me. Even old creations from long ago still have that power to trigger something within me. Does creativity evoke power in you and allow transformation to take place? I invite you to share if you so desire.

Oh and to my art teacher, Dorothy, who I hope is smiling down from the heavens above, I pay you homage here today with one of the drawings I created in your class.... Thank you......

Sunday, October 3, 2010

freezing buns off, but heart was warm

Art fairs are challenging. On the positive side, they are each so unique that one can never get bored. Even being in the same fair year after year is never predictable. The people who exhibit, the people who come to look at one's art, and the weather Gods all change, even if it's just slightly.

Yesterday's art fair had its own logistics to deal with. Six of the exhibitors were on one side of the road (next to Aldi's). The rest of us (the other 5) were on the Jewel side (across the street). There was very little foot traffic as the day wore on. Would it have made any difference if all the exhibitors were on the same side of the street? Hard to say. As it was, the weather was blustery, cold and there were sprinkles off and on (Hey, at least it wasn't snow).

I did sell two small prints to a mother and daughter who enjoyed listening to me describe my art technique. They asked if I'd always been so talented. I said I'd drawn in high school but had drifted off the art path into the business road. In the last three years or so, I've been reborn into the art side of me again. The daughter is an aspiring artist who I encouraged to keep creating. She smiled at me gratefully and seemed more upbeat about her own artistic path. The next onlooker who came by was a young woman, very pregnant, who was expecting her new baby boy in about a month or so. The wind blew some of my prints off the table and she awkwardly yet still skillfully, reached down to pick some of them up. I was amazed at her agility. She liked one of my prints, but didn't have the cash or check on her at the moment. She asked "could I take a photo with my camera phone and show it to my husband? Maybe then I'll come back later with money and buy the print?" I gave her the okay on that but she never came back.

Well, maybe she did come back but we shut down shop around 3:30 or so. All of us on the Jewel side pretty much gave up. Our hands were frozen, our cheeks were frostbit (or so it seemed) and we were tired of our tents being like sails on the sea.Really, outdoor art fairs in October is pushing it. Shoppers coming out of Jewel just seemed to be focused on getting to their cars and not being blown away. Makes sense to me. After dismantling our tent, Frank and I then went across the street to the Aldi side and helped a friend of ours take her tent down. She expressed gratitude. Helping others, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually, always makes my heart happy.

I had no expectations about the fair at all. I just wanted to push myself, exhibit in a new location and keep on getting myself out there. I made a few new friends, got to see the new art center with some wonderful art on display and breathed in some fresh air as well. Another adventure under my belt.

One day at a time.......

Saturday, October 2, 2010

my artwork is hard to toss out

I often wonder at those situations say when a house is burning down and a person has time to get out one or two things. Lots of people say they'd take photos.
Well, my place is not burning down but I am getting rid of lots of things, simplifying for the next abode we go to. Books are precious to me but I have so many. So I'm donating them to my library, which I dearly love to go to. They'll be happy there. Now mind you, I haven't let go of all of my art books. Books on Monet, Matisse, Georgia O'Keefe and several others of my favorites still line my bookshelves, for now anyway.
Clothes, well, clothes fill up my closet and they're outdated, I've outgrown them so time to discard everything but what feels "real" to who I am now. That can be a challenge as I wear many different hats. Don't know about the business side of me, that voice is quite small inside of me. So I'm donating most of them.
Now we come to art. This a tough area to focus on. I have original paintings unmatted, unframed in portfolio cases, I have a number of totes filled with framed pieces and I have lots of prints which I usually sell at art fairs.
Today I was in an art fair and sold two prints. Frank says to the people who wander by "everything must go, make an offer" and people laugh and smile. But he is serious. I have just started selling my originals and put price tags of $600.00 on them. Hm, guess I didn't want to sell them. But now in the last week or so, the price on them is $100.00 and less. Am I dismissing my artistic abilities? I don't think so. I'm just trying to make some money so I can pay bills, continue to make art and just generally stay positive.

Just curious, would you all have the same dilemma as myself if you were in this situation? How would you cope?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Angels Amongst Us"

"Angels Among Us"

I was at a resume writing workshop last night at our local library. During a break, a woman who had attended the same college as myself and knew many of the same professors, struck up a conversation. When I told her I liked to paint, she said "that she knew I was an artist, don't take this the wrong way, but you look like an artist." I took her words in, thanked her and later mulled on what she had said.
Yes, I was wearing jeans, a sweatshirt and some beady necklaces last night, so physically I might have looked the artist part. But this woman also said she "felt" I was an artist, she could feel it coming from me. And I realize as I accept myself more, it becomes evident to others as well.
This is a good thing because as I learn to write resumes, apply for jobs and go to job fairs, I wonder if the art side of me disappears for awhile so I can be this "job seeker", this adult.But why do we have to shift to this adult role? Why can't we be childlike in everything we do, looking at all of life with wonder-filled eyes? Something I'm trying to incorporate into my daily life. No, the child sense of me can still be there; it does not have to take a time-out and disappear for awhile so the adult me can take over. My adult/parent self takes my child self's hand and we walk together moment by moment no matter what we are doing. Not abandoning one another, not thinking less of the others but realizing these are all vital parts of my whole self. Loving myself, that's Number 1, of course.
I do believe in angels and feel their presence in the human forms around me, like the lady last night. And then I remember another woman, recently, at an employment office, who said to Frank, don't be so hard on her, when I was filling out some documents and got frazzled. I looked at her gratefully and gave her a hug. Another angel. And of course all of you who continue to support and sustain me and check in with me, well you're all angels too.
These "spiritual" presences help me as I continue on my path. To not waver, to stay true to myself and put one foot in front of another. And of course, my heart is a beacon of light showing me the way as well. I am never alone and this is reassuring.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Spiritual, Knocking on My Blog Door


I've been in a state of crisis lately. That seems harsh, let's call it inevitable change. During these times, I want to fly far away into the sky, like the dragonfly. It's as if the spirit is knocking me on the head and saying "Wake Up and Listen To Me". I peer at the dragonfly and note it's little hands almost in prayer position. Hm, perhaps the spirit "is" making its presence known in my artwork as well. If nothing else, this is reassuring and I don't feel so alone during these dark nights of of the soul.
As I become more aware, less in that "asleep" state, I notice stronger signs of the spirit in Frank's blog "7 Miracles" and in Elena's "My Quest" blog. The blogs of Doris and Laura have shown how the spirit can be found in nature. And there are other blogs, many more, that I read and which sustain me on my journey. Each of these fellow bloggers seem to be in a state of evolution, searching for a deeper connectedness, and I feel I am joining them. Their words give me hope and comfort and I feel peace after I leave their sites. I feel my blog will be taking a new turn and, as a result, reflect on my daily moods and process, wherever that will lead. I am grateful for the internet, which gives me a sense of interconnectedness when I'm feeling so disconnected within myself. If I give it time, the disconnect leaves and I am then one with myself. Patience.....
When I feel loss of energy as I face the external forces outside of me, I know this is a sign to go within myself, to refresh and replenish my soul. I find myself meditating and praying and reading inspirational/spiritual books as a daily/sometimes hourly practice. These offer me peace and respite, soothing me into calmer waters. Well, my artmaking soothes me too, of course. But the healing vibes are not always there. Sure, I go into that zone which to me is a place of nothingness, but now I really want to "feel" the passion when I create. Maybe working on bigger canvases like Elena is doing will help me. To let the brush dance on bigger dimensions. To play. Ultimately, to soar high, to dance with the angels.
I danced with an angel (young artist) yesterday at the Autumn Fest. She made a card depicting a pumpkin patch. I guided her along, but she did the actual creating on the paper. It felt good, different, hopeful My heart felt blissful, seeing her glowing eyes, sharing the connection of art. She was intrigued by my artwork, and then stated that she wanted to be an artist too someday. This made my heart sing, to touch others in this way. Then I thought of a friend's comment "I would just burst out crying with happiness if someone said they loved my art". Her words jolted me for a minute and made me wonder if I had lost some of that deep joy that happens when I hear positive words. Am I taking this aspect of art and sharing for granted? Hm....
I am realizing that natural settings help me in my process. Not an office, not a classroom do I need at this moment anyway. To heal, to create, to guide others seems to work best for me when things are unstructured, when daily occurrences just happen without preconceived expectations. I feel less stress, less pressure. When life is just flowing. And perhaps just continuing to do other spiritual practices will jumpstart me as I dive deeper into my heart. Then I won't have to be squeezing my art to death, looking for clues in my creations that my spirit/heart is emerging. It's an evolution and in due time, with patience, I hope that love will overcome the fear and my heart will open wide to art, and my spirit, without inhibitions.
I feel this continues to be an ongoing process, but now recognize the need to share more deeply of it here on this blog. I can ask questions of others and observe how they walk their path in life (through blogs, for example) and that helps, taking bits and pieces of what resonates with me and filtering them through my own personal perceptions. But ultimately, in the end, it's up to me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Landscape from my Childhood

"Landscape From My Childhood"
Digital Art

I found an "old" watercolor abstract painting I had done many years ago. Then I decided to incorporate the balloon photo. This is a partial photo taken from a young clown boy's waist where he had all these balloons attached. Soon he was blowing up the most magical animal critters and fantasy things you had ever seen. I was blown away and totally delighted. The faces of those watching was priceless. Well, anyway back to the image. I added some squiggles and drips via photoshop paint tools to tie the two images together.

Once a child, always a child. I never want to lose that in myself!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Peacock Pose

"Peacock Pose"

A recent painting I did. I rather overworked the colors at times to get the darker tones. Watercolor can be so light and transparent it is often necessary to heap layers of color on top of each other. I could have added the tail and all the "eyes", but sometimes less is more and I just wanted to stay focused on the face and upper body.

The background was created by flicking big and small drops of color onto the paper. The peacock has a strength about her. I was feeling low energy right before I painted this and then somehow got some strength flowing through me during and after I was done painting.

Ah, the wonders of painting. My lifeblood!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

She Seemed In a Dreamy Mood

"She Seemed in A Dreamy Mood"
Watercolor, Pencil

I'm dusting off the cobwebs of my blog today. It's been awhile, guess I was taking a timeout without really telling anyone that I was.
Sketched the young lady above in pencil and then decided to add some watercolor to her. She had dark hair and a black outfit on so the color was crying to me.
I liked her pose, she seemed gentle and reserved. Like someone from Medieval times or the Impressionistic Period. There were seven of us sketching her. At first I felt intimidated by all the other artists and the close quarters. I found myself glancing at the other artist sketches and feeling mine wasn't good enough. After realizing that my ego was trying to wreck havoc with my creative time, I opened my artistic heart and it was just myself and the model.
Amazing the lessons I learn about myself. A lifelong education.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Originally A Cat"

"Originally A Cat"
Watercolor, Acrylics, Gesso

I guess I'm trying to figure out who I am as an artist. I keep evolving and changing at a rather rapid pace these days. I long for those days long ago when I consistently cranked out work in my one style. (Thought I had it down pat, but little did I know). Yet, face it, I know I would be bored if I used the same materials, same precise paint strokes, same colors, etc. etc.
So the Cat above is mimicking me, not sure who it is either. A little bit of this or a little bit of that. What fits its mood. A cat face, bird wings and a devil's tail, so to speak. I was in a rather dark emotional mood yesterday. Perhaps that accounts for the devil tail. Also, the paint strokes seem more expressive to me, which is an indication of my feelings erupting in my creative state. The eyes were added using some metallic paint and a little gesso to give them a glassy feel. The gesso on the body allowed for highlights.
I'm painting creatures that are more out of this world these days. Guess that's how I'm feeling, out of this world and into my painting zone......I seem to be tapping into some hidden realms within myself that are begging to be expressed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Red Fox emerges at Sunday art fair!

"Red Fox"

Just wanted to chat a bit about my day at The Fields Art in the Garden fair yesterday. I decided at the last minute to exhibit and thought "What else am I going to do on a Sunday besides read the paper and loll around? A rather low crowd turnout and lack of publicity seemed to factor in. Thorough marketing of these events really makes a difference. There was an ad in a local paper advertising The Field's 40% off on daylilies but nothing about the art fair. Guess that was up to the art league to promote. I didn't get postcards to pass out as I was a last minute but wondered if it would have made a difference. Art fairs can be an iffy chance one takes, like gambling.
Still, when I got there I was in spot #23, I was the 23rd exhibitor and my birthday is the 23rd so the numerology and universal signs seemed to be falling into place positively. Though I did move to spot #25 due to the more dominant shade opportunities offered. Sometimes, life (weather) throws you these curves.
I painted the fox above while I was sitting at my booth. Jamie Sams from Medicine cards says the fox represents the ability to meld into one's surroundings and be unnoticed. ....Hm! Sitting there painting I tuned out the world and painted my critter. Not so conducive when I "should" be interacting with public. And the tie-dye t-shirt I was wearing did not allow me to meld into my environment, that's for sure. A double-edged sword. Fox symbolism relevant or not, no sales were evoked (while I was in my silent, crabby mood) until I started chatting and being friendlier and more interactive. A fine line though because you don't want to be too pushy! I felt better myself to tell you the truth to socialize, though I was glad I got a finished painting done too.
It's very hard work setting up and taking down a tent. Even with Frank there. The Plainfield Art League people came around and helped us with some of the physical labor. That was very nice. Also, a member offered to give me a break. I really like the members of this art league. They are friendly and seem to work as a team. Even though I don't belong, I'd consider joining if it wasn't so far West. An excuse, maybe?
I met some really interesting people on Sunday and the conversations didn't revolve around art at times. Still, it's all about connecting as human beings in whatever shape or form, in my opinion. Today I'm a bit sore and am laying low and reflecting by writing here. And wondering if I am artist, a healer, a writer or just me. I like me because sometimes labels restrict me too much.
Until we meet again!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sometimes I Purr, Sometimes I Growl

"Sometimes I Purr, Sometimes I Growl"

Going through the after art fair blahs. Wonder if I'd paint again without that "art fair" motivation. No fears, I painted two images today, including the one above. I'm feeling a little pissy and though my intentions were to make a nice little purring kitty, a rather "fierce" looking one emerged instead. Or so I think. The eyes I started painting were rather tranquil but then some sudden anger became to flow through me. Keeping that emotion going, I reached for some red and yellow paints and began to scatter and scrub the paint willy nilly all around the body and background.
I didn't think I'd finish the image because then I started feeling depressed and what's the use began to fill my brain. Always painting birds, I muttered. Can't I step out of my comfort box and paint something else. I am bored and on and on my head filled with thoughts. No, this is not a bird, true, but birds were my initial project to paint this morning.
So how did I feel after I painted the kitty above? Kind of empty. I suppose that means I released some emotions. Still, what does the future hold for all my birdies and kitties? I'm pondering again, darn that ego.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

art fair and painted a baby peacock

"Baby Peacock"

Hm, don't know why black line is popping up to the right of the image. I'll let it be for now, just wanted to share. It's been awhile since I've posted here. Need to dust off the cobwebs and write a little bit here.
Painted this bird while I was at an art fair yesterday. The tail I concentrated on using little water and more of a drybrush style. Someone commented that it had a peacock tail so voila it became a baby peacock. I felt meditative while painting this yesterday. I wouldn't have painted at all (it was hot!) but for the encouragement of my husband. He "knows" me, for sure. People looked over my shoulder, little kids stood pointing at my various paintings displayed and cackled with delight as they named each animal or bird. Highlight of my day, or one of them. Fun, that was, for sure! And I got a new painting created too. Win, win situation!
Light crowd. Maybe due to limited advertising, that the Taste of Chicago was going on or that the Cubs and White Sox were playing each other. I was okay with this, it was the first time I had participated in this fair, a new adventure. Though there weren't all that many people, it allowed me to strike up some personal conversations with a number of them and answer their questions about how I paint.More people inquired if I teach. I think the Universe is really trying to tell me something here. It was certainly nice to go inside the gallery off and on to cool down. And see more of the artwork hanging inside. Lots of people inside the gallery, so that's where they were!
I'm sunburned today, yet the sun has some good Vitamin D, so I need to look on the bright side. Feels good to write here again today and get some thoughts down.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

King Cobra, not so menacing

"King Cobra"

It's been awhile since I've posted anything here on my blog. Almost a month. Hm, how time flies. Perhaps, like this snake above here, I am merely shedding my skin and getting used to the newly formed one that now adorns me. And needed some time away from here to quietly process this. Yet, I feel I am constantly shedding my skin, almost every day (this is not a one-time occurrence) and am surprised by who emerges when I wake up. I do not attempt to paste the discard skin back on myself but let it shrivel and melt away. Letting go, no second thoughts, no regrets.
And like the Kundalini energy that arises within me, like a snake, my inner creative self is constantly awakening, evolving, going from reality to dream state and back again. Cyclic.
Perhaps this is what living in the now is like, having no expectations of what others think. Having no expectations of what the day holds. Allowing whoever I am at each moment to just unfold. Letting my moods honestly come forth. And letting snakes crawl out on my canvas. This is not a scary thing, I feel, but just letting all the dark and light of my inner emotions come out into the world. Not worrying what others might think, but doing my art because it is just me.
I look at the reptiles I've been creating lately and feel their masculine strength, not their menacing presence. Yes, the birdies I create are usually rather soft and cuddly. Feminine. Yet all the paintings, no matter what their emotional feel, reside on my studio walls, together, not separate. In harmony. Once again, it's about balance, for me anyway.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Turtle Prayer

"Turtle Prayer"

"And the turtles, of course...
All the turtles are free-
As turtles and, maybe, all
creatures should be."
- Dr. Seuss -

I've been thinking about all that environmental destruction down in the Gulf area. Though I cannot be down to physically help, perhaps I can create a painting with intention and prayers. Yes, we as creative beings, can make a difference. This turtle is sending healing energy down to his Gulf brothers, sisters, and all creatures who reside in the Ocean and outside of it.

Perhaps I'll work more on the turtle's background in time. I notice that the paper has dark shadows above the creature. This came about unintentionally as I scanned it into my computer. For now, I rather like that effect. And, so I leave this creation now, hoping that turtle prayer will be heard across the miles......Hm, maybe being an environmental artist would be fulfilling.....

Friday, May 7, 2010



I love painting birds and butterflies, but sometimes I need a change of pace. I guess I wanted to try a more realistic piece here. The reflections always challenging, the horizon line a bit uneven. Even looks like shark fins to the left though they are the rudders from the motors in reality. The boys don't look too concerned, do they?

All in all, though, I had fun. It's on a small piece of watercolor paper, maybe 3" x 6" or so. I asked the photographer who took the image whether the blue in the sail was the ocean coming through or was it the sail color. He said it was the ocean as he saw waves. I thought "oh well" after I had already painted it as the sail canvas. Tried to keep the sail color a bit different from the water background to distinguish it. The little folk have an impressionistic feel about them as I've read we don't always have to put in every little detail. My husband, after seeing this creation, thought it was a little too realistic. He's used to my fantasy pieces where I put in every color of the rainbow, no matter what. Oh well, as I said earlier here, a change of pace needed!

I'm reading "Gifts from the Sea" with an on-line artist way group. So yes, there are many gifts from the sea.Not just the shells and stones that come washed up on shore. This sailboat, to me, is a gift. To float on water, how heavenly is that?

Why am I suddenly longing for a road trip to Chicago and Lake Michigan to see the boats? May have to fulfill that desire!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Window at Montego Bay

"Window at Montego Bay"
Watercolor and Gouache

Sometimes I need the inspiration of others as a jumping off point to my own creativity. A good creative writing friend of mine just got back from Montego Bay. Originally, he was supposed to go to Amsterdam, but a certain volcano got in the way of his plans. But he settled for Jamaica (not a bad second choice) and took some wonderful photos. He was kind enough to share a few with me and the window photo just blew me away.
Initially, I got out my watercolors and started painting onto a long strip of paper. The vertical dimension seemed to suit the window just fine. I noticed in the photo some interesting touches of white and decided to add some white gouache to mimic that effect on the image above. I also experimented with some other gouache colors, liking their opaque effect. It's a little darker and more colorful than the original photo, but that's okay. I could only follow where my brush was leading me.

I had fun experimenting with the two mediums. And I've always been attracted to doors and windows anyway. I've been tapping into my inner self lately, opening up some entrances that have been hiding, dusty with disuse. So there's much personal symbolism going on too!

Have a wonderful happy, creative day!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Flower Dance"

"Flower Dance"

I've been gaining momentum regarding my painting process. Sometimes I can paint two things in one day. I am finding I am painting quicker now, not thinking so much. The image above was painted on a small rectangular left-over scrap of paper. I didn't tape it down onto a board so the paper buckled just a tad. Oh well, in my anxiousness to get going, I sometimes leave out "rules" regarding how to paint in watercolor. Rules stifle my free-flowing creative process anyway. And I see one of the flowers going off the edge as I look at it now. Oh well, I've always been one to move things off the edges, these flowers are dancing and don't want to be held prisoner within the page. Like me, who wants to keep pushing the envelope, taking chances.

It was night time when I painted this. The world was quiet, the cool winds were blowing and then a tiny bug walked into one of the flower's centers. The environment was so peaceful I swear I heard his little foots making their way across the watercolor paper. I'd like to think he saw two real flowers on my studio table and just wanted to sniff their perfume and give me his seal of approval. So I'm happy in my own little fantasy world.

And then my brain the next day says "you're running out of things to paint, oh no!!!"
An excuse, who knows? Am I sabotaging my creative process? Probably! I have about 400 photos of flowers, etc I took still on my camera so no sweat! Time to download them. Then I'll probably be overwhelmed by all the choices. Is this my resistance voice coming through?Yet, I'm finding this resistance part not so loud these days. Maybe because my energy is low I do not have that "fight" to resist.Yet, when I'm painting my reserve strength comes through. Ah, the passion beckons me then and any tiredness is washed away, a distant memory. It's magic!

Anyway, back to my painting process. I'm painting the originals brighter now. This will alleviate me having to pump up the color slightly on the computer. In the past, I've had a light hand with watercolors, using too much water with the paints. This can dull the color. Less water now = stronger colors. So, two changes in myself. Painting stronger, brighter colors and painting at a quicker pace. And still another change. I am going to start framing the originals now. I don't think people like prints that are framed, though many have faithfully bought them in the past. I put some originals into a portfolio and lo and behold threw out some of my artistic creations that didn't appeal to me. I have never done that before! Wasn't easy, memories came up associated with that particular time in my life when I created a particular image. Positive/negative emotions came up. Processed them, let them go. All part of the overhaul cleaning process I am undertaking. Both internally and externally. Nothing is sacred anymore be it old drawings, business suits hanging like antiques in my closet, or whatever else I'm clinging to. I'm going the simple way, monk-like, buddhist-like, eating rice, drinking tea, meditating. That's my goal anyway, my soul feels lighter, baby steps to get there.

So that's where I'm at. Can't brood anymore, action is so much more effective really. Still, my imagination rears its head again. I'm wondering if that little bug is making watercolor footprints on his trek out into the world. Ah we're all artists, aren't we, longing to make our mark somewhere.......

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spread Your Wings, Oh Butterfly

"Spread Your Wings, Oh Butterfly"

For about the last 6 months, maybe more, I've been in a cocoon. Not bad sometimes, but detrimental when you don't want to face the world. Which is where I've been. On the other hand, it can be good to be in a cocoon especially as an artist because there's lots of ideas to be tapped into within the self. And quiet, alone time is necessary. To incubate, process, reflect. And now as I am aware of where I'm at now, I realize how low my energy is. Supreme effort to paint. Yet, the good news is.....

For the last week or so, I've been painting almost every morning for at least an hour. An antelope, a dolphin flying the air, a lion and now the butterfly here. Focus and determination really has to be my support now, for much of the energy I have lately has been going to cleaning, throwing away, looking for a job (not necessarily in that order). But I realize I need to take some of that precious energy (which is really pretty darn low lately) and devote some of it to my creative life. It is my therapy, my lifeblood and many other things words cannot describe.

When I was painting the butterfly, I started reflecting on a workshop I took many years ago when I lived in Florida. It was a chinese brush painting class and we painted lots of butterflies in that class. I think hints of those techniques came through as a created the creature above. The butterfly floats, I float the paint and twirl the brush like a dance. Also, there's elements of stained glass effects in the watercolor, spiritual symbolism.
I have to keep going, one moment at a time, facing each project, all aspects of what needs to be done. But I know I am saving/and or reviving the life of my heart and soul when I paint, And for those reasons, gotta paint.....

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Wild Mustang"

"Wild Mustang"
Watercolor and gesso

I guess I'm in an animal spirit/animal totem kind of place lately. Finding the meaning of animals and their connection to my personal life makes everything more connected. And I feel more one with the world. Jamie Sams says that "horse is physical power and unearthly power. In shamanic practices throughout the world, Horse enables shamans to fly through the air and reach heaven"....and that "true power is wisdom found in remembering your total journey. Compassion, caring, teaching, loving, and sharing your gifts, talents, and abilities are the gateways to power". Wow, some pretty deep stuff about the horse which I so love and am taking into my inner self. I think I'll share some more images and attach Jamie's words from the Medicine Cards book because it just feels right for me right now.

Now back to the image above and its creation. I like to make my animals more dreamy and less realistic so they're coming from the spirit world, right? Now I sound like I'm justifying myself. Just go with the flow..... Anyway, I scanned mustang in and some areas of the body got cropped off, like most of the tail. So I decided to crop the tail off entirely (hope it didn't hurt, horse buddy) and then eliminated some of the bottom area of the back legs. They didn't seem proportionally right anyway, oh that darn monkey mind chattering in my ear again. Now wait, this is a dream spirit animal (yes, Jamie I hear you in my other ear) so quiet down you darn chimp! Anyway, the front legs have more force and they're kicking up nice and strong so I wanted to emphasize them cuz he's/she's A Power Animal so flail away.

The sky background was originally an experimental piece on how to make skies using watercolor and lots of water. I decided then to add the mustang to it. So yes, I took an old piece collecting dust, and added some more life to it. Wild horses can't keep me down when I'm painting at times and even though I'm feeling some anxiety about life in general, I am taking the anxiety and painting with it. Many times today I wanted to stop and say forget it. but I persevered.

In the last few days I have painted a lion, an orange bird, the wild mustang and just now a great blue heron. All animal spirits who seem to have the power to alleviate some of my turbulent feelings that otherwise could build up and wreck havoc on me.

Thanks, Jamie Sams, for writing some great books on animal medicine. They're a good jumping off point for me in my creative process. Thanks, Judy, for suggesting me get the book "Dancing the Dream" by Jamie Sams. Just ordered it from library. And, Elena, I thought of you today as I painted, remembering the exquisite horse images you created and posted on your blog.

Anyway, I'm off to take a ride on the horse and fly to heaven. Well, maybe just to a higher spiritual plane but I'll be back to continue to share who I truly am becoming. Maybe not quite a shaman yet, but a warrier woman sure sounds good at the very least.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Easter

"Hoppy Easter"
Digital Art Painting

Today my inner child artist wanted to express herself. Playing and painting using the computer fulfilled that need.

I have a birdie painting I did yesterday which is still drying a little bit. Watercolor, gesso and even some crackle paint used to create the feathered friend. Experimenting with different effects was playful too. The key word is Play.....

And now out to enjoy the beautiful day. HOPPY EASTER!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Reflecting on Nature

"Reflecting on Nature"
Digital Photograph

I've always been a nature person. It is both my refuge and a place for me to recharge myself. When I was younger and life was pretty chaotic, I'd either do something creative or seek a woods where I could lie down on a bed of soft prairie grasses or lean my back against a warm, soothing tree. Both outlets helped preserve my inner soul.

My soul has been filled with yearning lately. Longing for more. For what, I am not sure. And this makes it difficult. All I can do is go with the feelings and see where it leads me. And I am thankful for digital computer tools for it allows me, on some unspoken level, to reflect on my my soul feelings and express it here. I was able to give the above image a more painterly, impressionistic touch with some dreaminess added for good measure. On a deeper level, I was able to enhance my experience, to tell more of a story about why I took the image in the first place. And it is a release, too, of so much more that is indescribable. That is where the spiritual comes in.

I float on the waves, not resisting or hiding in the murky depths below the surface. I reflect on this new state of being and watch it unfold. Happy Earth Day forever and ever......

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring brings out the dreamy self

"Sit Down and Have a Cup of Tea"
Digital Photograph

I'm feeling more playful. Maybe because it's Spring. Maybe because I am more willing to let my "child" out. Maybe I'm just tired of the serious side of me that seems such a spoilt sport. Whatever the reason, feeling these younger vibes is a good thing. So I'm going with it.

Today I spent much of the afternoon downloading some photos I've taken over the past week or so. I was going to paint today (still might, there's time) but somehow I actually got engrossed in looking at photos, touching them up a bit and remembering back to the day I took each image. I don't know maybe it's easier to work with photography than paint. I don't have to drag everything out like special brushes, paints, papers and so on. Maybe I'm lazy. I just need to honor wherever I'm at and go with the feeling.

For the most part, an image needs to call to my heart, to mean something to me these days. Maybe there's a piece of me in what I'm looking at. Or it has to be something that makes me look twice, pause, reflect. Oh and light and shadow are nice elements too. Throw these into a pot and voila, I can capture something that captivates me. My boredom alarm goes off if I don't follow this protocol from my heart.

The image above is a table and chair inside the visitor's center. I took this photo through a large window with the reflection of the preserve and lake shining through it, becoming a backdrop. I liked the lights and shadows that were playing off of everything, late afternoon sunlight is good for this effect. Kind of surreal, kind of mysterious, my cup of tea. And it makes you wonder about the people who might have just been sitting there and are now walking around the preserve. Well, it was a beautiful day, so why not?

And then I turned away from the window and saw this young lass gazing off, daydreaming or so it seemed. What was she thinking about, I wondered? The light glinted on her hair in a wonderful way. Her posture was intriguing to me, her hands resting on the rock just so. I liked this image because it's how I felt that day. Dreamy, full of wonder at life. We are mirrors of each other, after all.

Digital Photograph

So thought I'd share a bit of my world this week. The door to my dreamy, playful heart opens a little wider each day. I continue to be amazed at the possibilities that reside in there. And outside, the flowers contiue to bloom too. They bloom, I bloom, all good.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seagull in Flight

"Seagull in Flight"
Watercolor on 140 lb cold-pressed paper

Have been in a photo mode lately due to recent photo exhibit. I often struggle a bit to transistion to other mediums after I've been immersed in one for awhile. I did so want to paint, was feeling the urge. Also, I was pondering subject matter. What to paint, what to paint, what has meaning to me? Oh no my inspiration is gone, I'll never create again. Oh oh monkey mind coming in to add to the choir singing in my head. A choir is happy, joyful, spiritual so maybe just say the racket spouting off in the brain.

But birds always seem to call to me and after combing through 1,000's of photos yes 1000's, I found this photo taken last Summer. I was lazilly sitting near a dock basking in the sun, yet with eyes open for something stunning to focus the camera on. Well, after hours had passed, the bird posed for me quite nicely. Outstretched wings, flying in the sky symbolizing myself stretching my wings, embracing changes and soaring to new places. Gotta have personal meaning for me to create too. External image transformed into my heart, alchemy process and voila inspiration unfolds.

The face of the bird started out rather detailed as I began the painting process and then as I got to the feathers I decided to leave a more impressionistic feel to them. Besides, I was starting to get a bit lazy (no, we''ll call it dreamy-in the zone) which sounds more positive to me. The background I left pretty much white except for a few pink thin swirls here and there. I like the illustrative quality that the white background gives to the subject.

Well, the bird looks like he is soaring down but my take on this is that he's already attained some spiritual insight on a higher plane and is now coming back to earth to share his newfound knowledge/gifts with those who are grounded below. Hm, I suppose this sounds a little airy fairy but it feels right to me in my heart. Happy Weekend All!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Butterfly Fantasy

"Butterfly Fantasy"
Digital Art Painting

I am tired of fighting who I really am. Someone who loves color and fantasy with a touch of spiritual thrown in. Actually, let me revise that. I know what I love but don't always embrace it fully as coming from my heart and accepting it 100%. So "Butterfly Fantasy" celebrates this declaration of me. The image above went through many transformations. First it is was a monarch butterfly photo on a green background, then it became all purple in color via digital tools and finally I just decided to implode the image with all colors of the rainbow. It's also been cropped down a bit to allow the image to be front and center. The butterfly, of course, is symbolic of the transformation process from cocoon to full winged creature. And I join in too, transforming myself. We're really all so inter-connected, every creature on earth and have so many lessons to learn from one another.

And the writing process is no exception. In my last two stories for writing class, I have written about my prints and framed images coming alive, breaking lose from either the walls or baskets they are residing in and erupting in emotion (whether it be positive or negative or a mix of the two). In one story, my photographs duke it out with some "snobbier" photos they are sharing wall space in. This helped me process some feelings I was going through during an actual real-life photo reception last week which I squelched within myself for a few days. Therapeutic release..... In the second story, my prints jump out of a basket and begin rocking and rolling in a New Age shop. Playing tamberines, drums, crystal bowls, and living it up in a very energetic fashion. Through my writing, I am taking inanimate objects and giving them human characteristics. I find this is a very symbolic, transformative process for me. First, it alleviates my boredom as it goes beyond strictly reporting an event. Second, I am able to let out emotions in an observer role. Third, I gain more awareness of myself, and find myself coming alive (partying like my prints, letting energy explode, not holding back) through emotional freeing. A wonderful outlet which sometimes seems subtle to me but really it all adds up over time. This is really opening up my heart and soul. I am not always sure I will become a published author through participating in writing classes, but finding out who I am (and really always was from Day 1) is worth its weight in gold. Writing unlocks mysteries.....Okay, never say never, I might write a book someday about my creative process.

So transformation seems to be my companion lately. And the creative process is allowing inner changes to unfold a little more easily. Stretch your wings, little butterfly. The cocoon is too small to hold you now.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Magnolia blossoms

"Magnolia Blossoms"
Digital Photo

I'm thinking about Spring. As the rain comes down and the white patches of snow get smaller and smaller, the birds will get louder with their songs. All in good time...... Patience is a word that resonates quite often within me these days. And the following words are recited in order to soothe my emotions, to help me stay in the moment, where happiness and joy reside:

In; out.
Deep; slow.
Calm; ease.
Smile; release.
(Words written by Thich Nhat Hanh -
who is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Monk)

Like the flowers that are just beginning to bud now, I am opening myself up to possibilities never before considered. Like putting my photos onto different backings such as canvas or watercolor paper to give a more painterly feel to the image. I might do that with the magnolia blossom. Like walking downtown and talking to shop owners and showing them my artwork. And reading books that teach ways to welcome peace and calm into one's life. All things are being considered in all areas of my life. No stone is being left unturned.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Three Vessels

"Three Vessels"
Acrylic on Canvas

I find my resistance to looking for a job and trying to make some money seeping into my blog these days. I am not posting almost daily like I used to and find that worry continues to raise its nasty head to me, even restricting my writing here.
But something is breaking through and I am finding my creative passion beginning to conquer those ego fears (just a tad). Writing class and entering the above image into an art league contest yesterday were my saviors.
In writing class, I have a tendency to write fairy tales and fantasies. Usually it's my own life but disguised in a more childlike/imaginative world. I often will tell the class I am always seeking to find myself and that my writing reflects that pursuit. A fellow writer said to me "I hope you never find yourself. Otherwise, you'll just end up writing memoirs like me. Keep writing like you do". Her words gave me food for thought and affirmation.
And then lo and behold I entered the above image (which has a rather surrealistic feel to it) in an art league contest last night and got 3rd place. I had painted the original sometime ago and then a few days ago I touched up the third pot (it had little color before and almost blended into the dark surroundings). I also added turquoise, purple and bronze colors to a previously black background. And then I decided to share it. The members voted and I was quite amazed that they liked this piece. I'm saying this because these are artists who love realism where every detail is precise and artistic rules are followed religiously. But they seem to be thinking more out of the box and the result, for me, was feeling affirmed by more believing eyes.
I guess the best part of all this is that I am not changing my work to suit the needs of others. I am being true to myself more and more and am feeling content. And the ripple effect outward is resonating in a positive way too.
So we'll see what happens. I hope this is the start of more consistant posting and staying more connected to my blogger buddies and visiting them on a regular basis. And maybe I can stomp out resistance in the process one step at a time.

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Angel Meditation"
Digital Art

The other day in my writing class, one of the ladies said to me, "Let me know when you have found what you are looking for". This was after I had just read still another piece about myself and my journey thus far. Searching, always searching, looking for the meaning of who I really am. Actually, I'm kind of tired of looking for "it". I think "it" has been inside of me all along..... And then another classmate turned to me and said, "I miss your fairy tale stories that you used to write." Hm, do I like to write about my emotional process or would I rather just drift into fantasy land? Whatever the outcome, the process continues and like the angel in quiet repose above, I ponder my purpose here on earth. Ultimately, it's really about love, don't you think, and nothing else matters. I swear I just saw the angel in the above image nod her head. How nice to be affirmed!

Speaking of being affirmed, it will be great to be stepping out of my winter hibernation and sharing some of my newer pieces at a local gallery in Tinley Park, IL for the month of March.
Interacting with others, talking about my creative process, that's very affirming to me......The angel image above, along with several other photos depicting fog, ice, condensation and windows will be featured. March 5th 7-9 p.m.reception, Vogt Visual Art gallery, come on out and say Hi!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Where's my Heart?

"Where's My Heart?"
Digital Art

With life (and some fear emotions) getting in my way, my heart and art went down under for awhile. (To Australia to see Uta? Maybe). Yes, when I'm in these moods, I want to run far away or sink deep within myself. Last night, watching the Olympics, I thought, "let's move to Vancouver. It's so beautiful." My partner says "Beautiful, but too cold..... Still, the possibilities are there. Don't have much holding me back here. That's how I feel when I get down in the dumps. The last few days, though, I've been in recovery mode and am beginning to see the light again. Walking through the fear, taking actions somehow lessens the turbulence I feel. New opportunities are a possibility in the near future. In the past, "what's the use" was my mantra. I'm tired of this albatross. Now I say "I want to live again, feel the passion". And I want to trust and believe in my process.

My inner child was happy making this piece with me today. She liked the bright colors while I seemed determined to keep a bit of black adorning the image. My psychology/deep inner self scanned the image after I completed it. I like to do this, it gives more meaing to what I create, more connection personally to me. I think the black represents me mourning some parts of me dying away which seemed a necessary process. There's a rainbow tool I used, a computer element that made the rainbow circles on the black. There is a light at the end of the rainbow, my art proclaims to me. Yes, rebirth, new beginnings, transformation all making their presence known too. I'm paying attention to my inner child and responding to her needs again. I feel her tentatively dancing inside of me, ready to spring loose. "Is it safe yet to come out" she whispers to me. "I think so", I reply as I added a bit more black paint here and there. Doubt still lingers.

Stay Tuned. Loving you all on Valentines Day and always.......

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kiki the Cat

"Kiki the Cat"
Watercolor on fiber paper with
some scribble paints added here and there

I fell in love with a kittie photograph that a friend of mine posted on Facebook. The expression on the face was rather unique which really appealed to me. I asked her if I could paint it so I could get some more practice in painting animals. Once I got her permission, I hunted around for some paper to paint Kiki on. I was in an experimental mood and chose some fiber paper (cream colored with bits of green fiber intermingled throughout). It looked pretty sturdy, much sturdier than rice paper so thought I'd give it a shot! I sketched the cat in lightly and then proceeded to practice with some watercolors. Mistake!!! The paper was quite porous and the water sank through the paper. It became rather hard to work with after that. I wanted to toss Kiki aside and throw it in the reject pile as failed attempt. But a part of me said "keep going" so after letting the watercolors dry, I added some scribble paints here and there. The eyes got some of the glittery scribble paint as did the nose. It's hard to see the effect here, but on the original it is more evident. My husband said the final product looked tacky with the scribble paints and I should have left it in its original form. I welcome free speech.......

I really didn't want to share the painting with my facebook friend, but decided today to e-mail it to her (for the heck of it).

Lessons: 1. Be careful when you use fiber paper as a base for watercolor
2. Sometimes a photo is just too cute and sweet to reproduce and is better
left in its original form
3. Experimentation is the only way you learn sometimes!

I think in a past life this cat lived in China (note the slanty eyes)! Though this cat is not anatomically correct, I had fun bringing it to life on paper.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Holding Spring Back

"Winter Holding Spring Back"
Digital Art

You'd think that 12 years after my Mom passed away into the Heavens above, I would be able to move on. But there's something about her birthday each year that throws me for a loop. Of course, the fact that I have suppressed so many of my deep emotions during the years subsequent have not made it any easier. I numbed myself in order to cope with life, yet still felt I was sleepwalking. As I wake up to my authentic self each and every day, my emotions wake up too. I didn't think I'd be able to create during this last week or so as I worked through my grief and memories of Mom, but I did. The above creation emerged slowly, hesitantly, but it finally made its presence known.

I took a photo through a store window in downtown Frankfort. Lately I've been mesmorized by condensation and/or ice forming on glass. It makes for a rather mysterious, mystical image. A straw-like formation in the center flanked by small daisies stared out from the dark interior. I was also in a Picasso mood as I played around with some computer tools, forming small cubes that seemed to pop out. My love of Abstract came out to say Hi too. Extra lines added in represented the energy of Spring chomping at the bits, waiting behind Winter for its turn, imprisoned for another month or so. Thus the title. For a little while, as I created, I floated above my grief and connected with something else. A bliss danced with me and I forgot the sadness.

They say time eases the pain of those we have lost. Yes, it has, but its the birthdays and holidays that still hit some raw emotion. But Spring will be here soon and I will remember Mom in the flowers blooming and the birds chirping. For then I know that she is all around me and really has not ever left my side......For me, that is reassuring!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Light From Within

"The Light From Within"
Digital Art

The images from Haiti flashing across the TV screen lately have twisted my heart and stomach into knots. To alleviate some of this internal discomfort, I decided to turn to creativity, many times a savior in my life. I must admit some of my most emotional pieces have come when I am in the midst of crisis of some sort. After my parents passed on, I did a series of about 8 paintings or so reflecting my grief. While we were at the Cemetary for my mom's burial, I took out my camera and began taking photos of the Springtime buds on the trees. For a little while that day, my grief dissolved a little. The Apple Blossoms were so gorgeous that day. And now, the Haiti earthquake has evoked emotional tremors within myself and again, I reach for art to soothe myself.

Yet, I feel sad. I so love and feel passion for my creative spirit but it never seems like enough. I want to help others even more in some way. To heal them, transform them, make their hurts go away. And still I stop myself. Why, why, why? Just some conflict I need to process.....

The above image is a melding of three images. The background is of a blurry sunset sky image of peaches and blues. The figure on the left is a statue (I believe of the Virgin Mary) that I took over at St. Francis of the Woods. A beautiful place to retreat to, by the way. The figure on the right is a woman I had painted many moons ago and then played around with in photoshop. If you look closely enough, you can see some stained glass fragments nestled in there. Stained glass, a symbol of churches to me anyway, that gives me spiritual solace. I faded the figures a bit to give more of a dreamy, almost surreal feel to them. Maybe too, the effect is otherworldly, as that is how I feel about Haiti, like it's not happening, but it is of course. Someone commented on the image above and said she could feel much emotion, tinged with sadness. And yes, I feel sad, helpless that I cannot do more, give someone over there a hug, let them have a shoulder to cry on.....

I felt quite spiritual when I created this image yesterday. My emotions were pretty strong. And they have stayed strong. I think I have really stirred them up and they are not going away. I think that's why I stopped creating for a few years. The emotions got so intense I just couldn't handle them anymore. Yet, I must remember how good it feels to release them, to not hold them. I hope I am different now. I hope I can handle them now. Because if I don't create, I am empty.

Sending Blessings to Haiti. For now, that is all I can do! P.S. Am I losing it or what? I seem to see an image of a Haitian man? (face and torso) nestled between the two women. Does anyone else see him?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So Many Eyes I Can See With

"So Many Eyes I Can See With"
Watercolor/Digital Art

Newest creation unveiled. I was looking at several books on how to paint peacocks. I had a pretty decent photo of the bird with his feathers all spread out, which appealed to me. There is something about feathers that open up in all their glory. (Symbolically, opening up ourselves and letting all our gifts unfold to the universe). One of the artists from his book said to draw all the lines (for the back tail feathers) with a ruler. I did as he said, then redrew the lines on the computer free form. I love the ideas of others, but guess I still like to do my own thing. Need to keep that unique stamp!
I pooped out on making the many eyes on the feathers, so decided to just do a few and leave the rest to the viewer to fill in. They can always be added later, if I so choose! I also brightened up the four "eyes" because I felt like there was deeper meaning there that I wanted to present. (Window to the Soul, for example). I'm not sure if I like the title, but for now it seems to fit my present mood. My only regret is that I didn't make this painting bigger (it's about 8"x10" or so); those tail feathers might have looked more impressive in a bigger format. Next time!
Finally, I looked up the meaning of the peacock on the internet and got this:

Contemplate the powers of the Peacock when you need more vibrancy and vitality in your experience. The Peacock can also help you on your spiritual Path, and breath new life into your walk of faith.

The Peacock can rejuvenate self-esteem levels too. If you’re feeling “blah” and blue, imagine the glorious, techno-color display the Peacock provides. This puts us in a proper mood to embrace your own nobility. In no time, you’ll be walking tall and proud as a Peacock too!

PEACOCK symbolism: astral body consciousness - inward immersion - point of transformation - outward expression integration - purification - transmutation

All good deeper meaning kind of words which made me happy I had chosen the peacock as my next creation to paint! My rather "blah" feeling lately seemed to disappear when I let the paints fly! Note to Bev: KEEP CREATING!

A new painting to add to my bird menagerie. I hope all the chirping won't disturb the neighbors!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sharing Gifts is Timeless

"Sharing Gifts Is Timeless"
Digital Photograph
by Beverly Bronson

I hope I never lose my creative spark. For heaven's sake, it has taken much of my life to reconnect with, and embrace, this vital part of me. Peeling away the layers, so many layers to get to that gold. These three men, singing joyfully, are a reminder that age is not a barrier to that which we cherish and have a passion for.

Yes, as I stare at the image above, I am transported back to that day when three angels serenaded me during an Art Fair held during October. Though the weather was certainly chilly, my heart was warmed by their voices. The impact these gents left on me was, and still is, to this day, amazing. Memories like this sustain me on my path.........when I falter and forget who I really am!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Strength and Love United!

"Strength and Love United"

I finished this painting a few days ago. I got an eagle sculpture for Christmas and thought it would be a perfect model to paint. And besides, it seems to represent strength, something I continue to work on within myself. It would not fly away, shift poses, look bored or anything. A captive audience.Maybe quite not the challenge of going down to Starved Rock and painting the bald eagles flying around, but that's for another time. Perhaps the sculpture is really just a fossilized eagle from times long ago. Okay, there goes my imagination.....I do admire those who sculpt or do pottery and other 3D creative pursuits. Those classes just never grabbed me back in art school. Oh, and those who model in life drawing classes, by the way (what patience)! I so admire their stamina!

In the old days I would have painted every feather on a bird, every scale on an alligator, etc. Now I just do impressions, little dashes and swirls here and there. The rest can be filled in by the viewer. After I completed the watercolor above, I looked more closely at it and then something Elena had posted once on her blog came to mind. She talked about finding hearts in the world around us, in inanimate objects, if we just open our own hearts and soul.
Well, the wings on this bird look like a heart, don't you think? And how perfect, to have strength and love together, represented in the eagle and its heart-shaped wings. To be strong, but not so strong and tough that love is shut out. That sounds good to me!

I then grabbed Jamie Sim's Medicine Cards book and thumbed through to see what the eagle symbolizes. An overall summary with what I thought were key points follows:
"Eagle medicine is the power of the Great Spirit, the connection to the Divine. It is the ability to live in the realm of spirit, and yet remain connected and balanced within the realm of Earth... to look higher and to touch Grandfather Sun with your heart, to love the shadow as well as the follow the joy your heart desires"

So I really do believe in the power of creativity. I saw the heart emerging from the eagle as I painted it and then Jamie's words reaffirmed with words the connection of it all. Synchronicity, another word that comes to mind. Maybe I am putting even more of my own heart self into the image and it emerged in a visual way. Hope so.

Yes, I must admit I almost donated the eagle sculpture to goodwill. I have so many tokens and tidbits already and in my decluttering state of mind, nothing is safe. But then, I would not have painted the bird, which pushed me to new levels regarding meaning and symbolism.

And yes, Carol, you are right; it really does matter what we paint and its personal affinity to us. It's not just a little bird on a fence post, but a magnificant eagle that represents so much more. Love, strength, balance, flying to new heights, leaving the old behind, more intentions and more messages for me to embrace as the New Year continues to unfold.......Thank you, Eagle!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Warbler Wishes All A Happy New Year


A bird does not sing because it has an answer.
It sings because it has a song.
- Chinese Proverb

I've decided, as one of my 2010 New Year intentions, to do things differently. Even just a small change in routine would spice up my life. I did not go out dancing and drinking champaign in my glitzy, sparkling gown with cleavage showing. I did not even watch the ball make its trek down on Times Square in New York. In fact, quietude drifted all around me as I burned candles and incense while writing down some resolutions for 2010. Then I took the small piece of paper, put it into a little black kettle (cauldron) and, sitting outside, watched the flames turn my thoughts and wishes into ashes. Some of the ashes twirled around, dancing in the night air. The blue moon shone cheerfully overhead, adding even more magic to the moment. After I shivered in the zero temps for a few minutes, breathing in the beauty of nature, I walked inside and went into my studio. And a little warbler birdie emerged in watercolor to help me celebrate the wonder of the New Year. And I got so into my zone painting him that only the firecrackers going on outside my window reminded me that the Midnight Hour had arrived!

As I said earlier, I wanted to do things differently so I took a small pack of Cotman Water Colour Postcards and proceeded to pull a tiny sheet out. Yes, the size is only 4x6 inches, but still a good quality. (140 lb cold pressed watercolor paper). I have never done creations on such small paper before so this is where I would test my abilities. Surprisingly, I found drawing the birdie quite easy to do. I think sometimes the larger paper intimidates me and I end up almost chopping off the head or legs as a result. I just can't get the size right. I like to draw freestyle and not use charts or dimensional tools, as for me it seems to ruin the spontaneity of what I am creating, trying to get it to look real, too real! After I had painted the bird, I scanned it into my scanner. Here I had problems as the image was too small and the scanner wasn't picking it up. So I placed a sheet of blue mat board behind the image and that seemed to work. After I looked at it on the computer, I started playing around with the blue mat background and as I rotated it, white edge borders emerged from the blue as my fingers slipped a bit on the computer keys. But I rather like the off kilter effect and have decided to keep it here for the moment. Another experiment. Another way to add spice to my life.

I hope to continue to make changes, no matter how small, to offset any routines I may fall victim to. I have many more intentions to abide by as the New Year unfolds. And I am glad the warbler above was a witness to my thoughts and dreams, and will chirp a reminder to me when I falter.