Thursday, February 24, 2011

There are things that I don't know about painting....

"We worry about our needs being met because we have never noticed they are." -Charles Foster

The tea lies poured into its cup
yet my head is still steeping
too many grains yield a bitter drink
thoughts, ideas, images, words
I wonder how I will swallow it all
the tea goes cold
forgotten in the drinking of dreams

So...what are you thinking these days?
What do you think of the new painting?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bustling Activity...Yep, It's Spring!

Days filled with activity! Here's two paintings that I did yesterday. I generally do one painting in a day but yesterday I got two done. Here some other things that have occupied me over the last few days...

1. Road trip with friends to a book store in Chattanooga, TN. Books purchased:
Gustave Moreau: Magic and Symbols
Myth A Biography of Belief
3 book Treasury of Kahlil Gibran
Thematic Guide to World Mythology
The Square Halo and Other Mysteries of Western Art
Defining Art Messages from God
Fireflies by Rabindranath Tagore
Letters of a Young Artist
ATC Workshop
Artists Journals and Sketchbooks
Creative Awakenings
Die Schlumper: Art without Borders

2. Reading about different philosophies---Note "reading" not necessarily practicing...
perennial philosophy
religious pluralism
continental philosophy

3. Writing nearly every day...not a novel or anything just thoughts concerning philosophy, mythology and creating a life in the field of art

4. PROJECTS! Artwork for an upcoming local theater production, creating work to show/sell in a local salon, commissioned to paint a piece of glass, upcoming bookbinding classes at GSCC, and making some sketches for art pieces.....whew......

Spring with all it's busy-ness and things being born has officially begun!

I'll leave you with some favorite quotes, I've been thinking about lately....what do these say to you....

John Donne "...death is an ascent to a better library..."

"Are you going to go on the creative soul's quest or are you going to pursue the life that only gives you security?" Introduction to Joseph Campbell The Hero's Journey

"When people say they're looking for the meaning of life, what they're really looking for is a deep experience of it." Joseph Campbell

"The fear of hell is hell itself, and the longing for paradise is paradise itself" Kahlil Gibran

"God made truth with many doors to welcome every believer who knocks on them." Kahlil Gibran

"Art is a step in the known toward the unknown." Kahlil Gibran

"Fear of the Devil is one way of doubting God." Kahlil Gibran


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What ties you down?

The world needs to rationalize. In order for me to figure you out...tell me what you do. Once I know that I can move on....

Our 'thinking' brain needs to apply a label so that it can move on. The problem---labels inadequately place us in a box where we don't fit. The only label that might be adequate is...human.

We can cause an indefinite amount of problems by trying to label something....

Want an's a big one...


Break down into genres for further confusion...What is folk art? What is outsider art? Fine art? Illustrative art? Oh, dear heavens...craft?!?

The problem with labels, besides being possibly insulting, is that when we listen to them...they trap us. Limit our possibilities. Why? Because we're human. When your brain hear's a label applied most of the time, we accept it and say, yes, that must be true and we stop. Yes, I'm "X" and not "Y"...This stops us from pushing our boundaries because we've found our label...all should be well with the world. But it isn't.

The ultimate catch?

Guess who applied your labels?

You did.

We label ourselves so that we fit 'in' to whatever 'in' is to us. Because we live in a society which is our larger 'brain' so label ourselves, we compartmentalize into groups.

But as I said earlier, labels stop growth and movement into a move fully realized potential.

Sure, I know we need labels at some point, we live and operate in a world that demands it.

But sometimes we let labels control us and tie us into an Gordian knot. You know how to untie a Gordian don' cut it.

We need to cut our ties to inadequate labels when concerning ourselves, our lives and our passions. We need to move forward into becoming something new. But don't get trapped by new labels, continue cutting, continue moving forward. Life after all IS the journey, the great mystery to be revealed....And don't we all want the fullest life available....let ourselves go...

We deserve the freedom and movement to become who we in our greatest potential are meant to become...

Untied and free....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Spring is almost here! I can feel it! It's not just the gentle slow warming of the days...but I feel it in my spirit....a wakening, a quickening, a rebirth...

My birthday is next many years ago, I was preparing to be born in my mother's womb...maybe this is the source of these feelings...

It's just when the breeze filters in my open windows and takes away with it the winter's chill and old air and I feel like I could fly away with with the warm current of air into a warm, green place of growing....

Rabbits slowly take over the fields and their statue counterparts take over my porch. My father-in-law who passed away nearly a year ago, we shared close birthdays and these last few years he would always give me a porch rabbit. As we clean out his business I find more rabbit statues and want to bring them into our lives to honor his memory.

Rabbits, of course, represent many things, among them...fertility, new birth, intuition, promise, fulfillment and balance. Rabbits are tied to the moon and their gestational period is between 28-31 days which of course is the length of a month. The month being tied to the phases of the moon. Cool, huh?

And did you know you can see a rabbit in the moon...similar to the man in the moon?

And it's the Year of the Rabbit....

So, I suppose if I feel a little hoppy, springy, and full of life and possibility these's to be understood.

I think we have these mythic symbols and practices in place for a reason...they speak to our most centered humanity and beliefs. They are bits of our soul embodied in tangible be celebrated and honored. They are after all ourselves....

The paintings above are ones that I've done at different times. The first one I did in '08. And the bottom one was completed last week. Rabbits often pop up in my sketch books and it's interesting to note how my style has evolved over the course of time.

Which one do you prefer?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Struck with the Questions or Take this Hammer...

Well I'm feeling a bit wordy today so forgive for this long post.
Before I get on my soap box check out Flickr for my Illustration Friday submission.

Now...this morning I woke up with an affliction I'll call "Being Struck with the Questions". And I warn you...this is a snippet to how my brain've been warned. (At least I didn't follow James Joyce and publish it in a novel...)

Now it's simple really. I wake up inspired and after I've been up awhile the questions strike. Not bad questions...just random thoughts that pop around in my brain and have to come out. It could be things I need to work on, where I'm going (literally and metaphorically) and the great questions of the universe that may never be answered adequately...

What kind of questions you ask? Here's a sample:

*Note some of these "questions" are more likely statements or random jargon that is posed in a questioning manner...okay, here goes...

Warning again...this is non-linear and goes it a hundred different directions...

Is a "style" simply repeating the same thing over and over again in different ways?

Orpheus--as a mirror of himself? Is he a narcissist?

Beauty in decay? and Destruction as aid to creation? (These are old questions but were brought back to mind last night at a poetry reading.)

Woodie Guthrie?

This may seem odd, but I watched parts of Bound to Glory yesterday and read a few chapters of the book by the same title. Great words and images stream from this book. But this makes me think of the dust bowl and how it can be imagined through art...

literally--as in images of the era and people
"embodied"--exploring the feelings of panic and desperation...these painting aren't necessarily figurative or abstract but a combination of all these things to provide a new perspective of an event.

This train of thought leads me to...

Is there a place left in the world for Van Gogh? Simply meaning in a world where everyone is anyone or anything left unseen? I feel like yes...because there is so much we forget so much faster...we seem more isolated, more alone and more forgotten.

Which leads to....

Have we reached the age where Andy Warhol claimed we'd all be famous for 15 minutes? What does this say about fame? (a topic also broached during the reading last night) Why do we give it the weight and importance that we do? It's all imagery and glitter and lies. Actors (for a famous example) go broke all the time...but we don't hear those stories....we hid our sorry secrets, scary thoughts and reality under the rug and trample on them hoping to crush them...not that everything is's not....but this way of looking is unbalanced...we have glorious images and the grass is greener on the other side shoved at us all the time that we forget that sometimes we're stuck with the dust...we don't know how to deal with the negative stuff because it's not supposed to be real...the glitter, the masks, the shining glory is supposed to be real...and it is...but it also casts a shadow but we forget to look at it...

Balance. Oh, Lord, don't we need it. Too much darkness....too much lightness....never good. Balance.

Maybe this is why I've been drawn to music like the blues, people like Woodie Guthrie, folk art and all of the "human"'s an anecdote to the saccharine medicine that makes us feel like everything will be PERFECT....because it's not...but that's's not supposed to be...there's duality in nature...sun/moon, birth/death, creation/destruction....why should it be any different for humans?Why do we try to force one thing or the other? Why do we fight the duality, the cycles? Give too much to one or the other...

Remember I told you...soapbox....

Maybe my painting up there is a good image for all this....
It's inspired by the song "Take this Hammer..."
Now I know literally it's a prison song about escaping a chain gang...
But for me it is multi-faceted. I stuck with an image of a bird flying from the thorns. Which can be seen literally as escaping thorns or..... you can see so much more and thinking of the song....hear so much more.

What are the thorns? How and where are you flying? Is is light or dark or both?

Take this hammer, carry it to the captain.
Tell him I'm gone.

If he asks you was I running, tell him I was flying...
Tell him I'm gone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New loves!

Up there is Mary! Our recent addition to our tribe of pups. She was abandoned near a creek where we had taken other dogs to walk. Her companion--a large male dog that looked a lot like her was deceased. She was freezing, half starved and fearful. We took her to the vet and discovered she was 3 months old. Well now, she is becoming the hot shot around here... Playing with our largest dog--a bull dog mix and generally causing a ruckus.

Down below is a new painting I recently completed called "Don't worry you'll get there!" --SOLD

I had no idea where I was going when I began. I just wanted to play and create a background for a later painting but I liked it so much I just kept painting and decided that a little sketch in one of my books would go perfect with this background and voila! This painting. I really like it. Something different but fun. It's mixed media with scrapbook paper background, tissue paper, a page from a german book and cheese cloth with paint dried in it.

I started another one yesterday and will have it to show soon.

Other things I love...

My new laptop valentine's day present from my husband (who I also love)! I made him a guitar rack for his cigar box guitars, diddly-bo's and regular guitars. Maybe I'll have pics soon.

Warm cuddly puppies on snowy days! (It has snowed an unheard number for Alabama of 4 times this winter!)

New books to read!

And the possibilities of things to come!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Affinity for Tin

This weekend I finally got around to doing something I've always wanted to...making tin ornaments and charms. I love Mexican folk art...milagros, nichos, tin ornaments. I've also wanted a way to add to my original folk paintings and I thought this could be a neat way to combine different things I like. So, still playing around and seeing what I can do!

And another good thing....the tin ornaments are recycled cans! Double whammy goodness!

Also, I recently created a facebook page for my art and where I've got different links to my online stores!

So, go "like" my page and get updates on store updates, blogs, etc.

Also, don't forget 100 followers...Giveaway! I'll probably have different items to choose from so suggest away!

What do you think of my new tin ornaments? Any thoughts, suggestions, as to other ways to use them? Have any tips on how to make them? Let me know!

Thanks for looking~Stay warm!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Illustration Friday--Reverse

This was going to be my submission for Illustration Friday but I can't get it to upload at the moment and I'm getting frustrated so I'm backing up for awhile. I'll try again later. If you look over at my Etsy shop link on the side you might notice some newer paintings. I'm painting mini folk art pieces. I'm exploring different folk styles and icons in these new paintings. I call them niche paintings because of their small size they are perfect for sticking in small little spots that might be bare otherwise. I've always loved small things and I really like small niches and the icons that find their homes there. So hop over and have a look.

Also don't forget, as soon as this blog reaches 100 followers... FREE GIVEAWAY!

Now, who doesn't like that!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

St. Brigid's Day

Today is St. Brigid's Day or Imbolc.

I had bit of a rough day yesterday removing carpet...spring cleaning, of sorts, and today I found out that it's St. Brigid's day...a day of spring returning, cleaning, and generally turning of it's a neat coincidence....and I made a St. Brigid's cross and put it in my kitchen...

Learn how here.

Wikipedia says:

"Imbolc is the day the Cailleach — the hag of Gaelic tradition — gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend has it that if she intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people are generally relieved if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over."

Sounds like Groundhog Day...which is tomorrow...

Today is rainy and cold so I guess the old cailleach is still asleep and spring is nearly here!

Note: I'm not pagan or anything, nor do I necessarily find anything wrong with it either....I just like honoring and learning about different ways...