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Showing posts from February, 2016

Big Red Bow & Boat

The next installment in a boat series, I guess. I just loved drawing this one. It just sort of appeared one day, and I loved the hues. Thanks Sharpie, for mixing up some alluring colors for me.

It didn't start out as night, but thanks to a sharpie mishap... but I am coming to ADORE those mishaps, because my favorite part of this little drawing is that it is night!

I also love drawing these women from behind with big bows. I love the mystery of whether the boat is coming in or going out. Perhaps it is all those Victoria Holt novels I read as a girl. Thanks mom!

It is fun to just enjoy looking at art I've created, not because they are good, but because they evoke something for me in my experience--something that just feels simply a little bit more alive--tiny sparks of wonder that make me feel curious about this human existence, and our desire to create--something wordless. Sometimes I think it is the closest way that I get to brush up to my personal experience as a human. Beca…

Golden Sailboat

This is my golden, as ever, abundant-in-swirls, sailboat. Perhaps at sunset, perhaps at sunrise.

Being on the sea during either time, if I were very present and not worrying about storms, or being eaten by sharks, or hitting the dock when I docked--would be a most treasured experience.

I have always loved light reflected off the water, no matter what time of day, but the special glows cast by sunrise and sunset--these are Grace to me. I know that I am not the only one who feels this, which is also very nice. There is something most of us can agree on. I love how we can all just stare out at a sinking or rising golden orb, and nobody scoffs at us. They join us. I love the reverence that descends without anyone prodding. I love the time taken out of busyness. I love the quiet.

When I look at this painting, it reminds me that I can close my eyes and picture myself on the bow of a ship, and can summon how it feels to bask in golden light from our sun. It has been so fun playing with colo…

Adventure

Another painting I loved making. I had so much fun just layering paint and swirling about.

Adventure has been a big part of my world as of late. In fact, writing this after a long day of skiiing. Where I used to shy away from leaving the house, I've been doing the opposite. Finally really getting to know my beautiful state and bask in its beauty-- hiking to the top of many peaks--sometimes limping the last stretches back to the car. Took my girls camping on the beach without a 'man'  and was so proud when I got the campfire started multiple times. The girls had their doubts I could do it. It was nice to prove them wrong! My most favorite was the day I drove 5 hours to the closest passport office on a wing and a prayer to get a same-day passport (wing and a prayer because they tell you you can drive all that way, but that there is no guarantee they can/will help you) so I could accept an invitation to see the woman's soccer world cup, and within a week was in Vancouver…

Wonder

I find it so amazing that we as un-winged creatures have found ways to achieve a bird's eye-view of the world.

I had so much fun with this painting, It appeared in mind's eye and wouldn't leave me alone until I painted it.

Waterfalls

I love to think of all the bubbly droplets of water making their way in a giant free-fall down the waterfall. How much momentum, how much companionship with all the other little droplets. What a powerful force they all are together as they make their way from flying, to swimming, to carving new paths to the ocean. What a beautiful alive journey--so much beauty of the earth they get to behold along the way.

Unfinished Turtle

This is an unfinished turtle I was working on filling in with colorful patterns. When I first created him, I didn't doubt that his destiny would be to be completed, but one afternoon when I had a piano student who was having a hard time,  and kept shutting down and closing up to any learning, I was inspired to pull out my unfinished turtle and to show it to her. I knew she was highly capable of the piano material, but something in her was pulling away from learning incrementally, crushed by mental thoughts that the road was too long, and she'd surely never make it, so why try.

I showed her the turtle, and told her how he wasn't finished. I told her how he was meant to have the four elements at each hand, and colorful patterns in each of the remaining blank spaces. I told her how each time I was faced with the task of touching marker to paper, with a new blank space to fill, I felt overwhelmed and in pain, doubtful that I could fill it with anything, and that it would take…

Room for All of it

This is another piece of art that will win no awards, but this 29 days of sharing was never about pretending to be the best or to make even 'passable' art, but to speak more to the powerful process of creating, connecting with my art, and sharing it.

It was last November, and I was inspired to draw a crown with flames coming out of it, placed over a big heart. I can't quite remember why, but it felt to be a powerful symbol of the moment that was beckoning to be on the page.

The interesting process around this drawing was how much I actually struggled with it. I couldn't get the crown straight, but kept going trying to salvage it. I wanted to do some reflections on the crown--couldn't make that work. The rainbow lines around the heart gave me big trouble.

It felt as if every aspect of this was just fighting me to remain imperfect, no matter how I tried to fix it.The heart was growing too big to look like a heart anymore and I was running out of page.  But I kept at…

Painting a Dream

I have to admit that I have been putting off posting this painting, because I find it quote horrid to look at, but including this in my 29 days, keeps my ego from running the show, and  pays homage to an important moment: the first moment of painting where I ever experienced a deeper connection between art and its ability to bring new perception, insights and healing.

I was part of a group of women taking a class by my dear friend, writer, and artist, Julia Fehrenbacher. We were encouraged to paint a dream. Immediately I chose a nightmare from my childhood where in pitch-black, on the grounds of a large dark house, there were glimpses of large iron gates, and a heart-racing whole lot of violence and blood-shed pooling everywhere.

I began to paint some iron gates, blood, and darkness, but soon there was this tangible desire taking over my hand and brush, inspiring me to add swirls everywhere to the painting, actually beginning to hide the gate and to light up the night sky. I felt as …

Goodbye

Horizon

Day 18 is offered a painting of a horizon, as more and more I simply see how it is ALL about contrast. My favorite contrast is the contour of mountains carving out a glowing sky.

I find the this peaceful,

and low-maintenance...

I like it.


Permission to Feel

Courage to Face the World Angel

Remebering Softness Angel

On bringing 'Showentelle' back...

This morning I was reflecting on the past 13 days of sharing a creative gift a day, and it has been so much fun, that I was reminded of one of my most favorite activities at school growing up. The great, ‘Show'n'Tell.’ When I was a kid I thought it was a big event, with a very special name, perhaps Irish in origin, like Sean or Shannon. To me it was Showentelle. I associated it with something very magical, which made the Irish association all the more apt, as by then the little mischievous green men who searched for pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, and played tricks on unsuspecting humans were part of my school experience too.
I remember how everyone gathered in a circle, and raised their hands high for a turn. How everyone relaxed and became intent and curious about what was being shared. I remember how we wanted it to go on forever, and how it felt incomplete when it ended, as inevitably there just wasn’t enough time for everyone to share as much as they wished. I reme…

Swirly Flower

Just a happy swirly flower I had a lot of fun with for day 13.

The Woman and The Daughter

Day 11 and 12. Story and art.:) I once wrote a post called 'Borrowed Mythology'. Perhaps the following is a story I wrote to tend to a need in myself that I expressed in that writing-- to have stories to journey with to help me understand just a little bit more forces that I can't quite reconcile or make peace with, with love so big and contradictions running so deep...perhaps this piece helps me to understand an essential truth in mothering (and perhaps in relationships in general), that we are always a bit bereft of one another. I hope you enjoy.
The Woman and The Daughter
Once upon a time there was a woman and her daughter. There were only certain times of day when they could meet because of a curse. The mother had been changed from her human form to live in the depths of the sea as a whale, while the daughter became a bird, creature destined to roam the sky.

At first, the mother kept her enormous rubbery body as many inches above the water as she could, to serve as a perc…

Hidden Treasures in Chaos

I remember as a kid that at school when we were going to do art, I got very excited. Almost as if finally the warmth, color and vibrance of life would suddenly ignite. I do not think I was alone in feeling this, but like most, I grew up thinking art was pretty frivolous, and that art was left for those who were determined to sweat it through their pores, or die trying. For the rest of us, business as usual. So I must say that finding art again came late, during a sloppy and hardened process of perfectionist parenting, trying to keep my kids perpetually stimulated. Funny thing was how much I was also trying to keep this exploration ordered. How they resisted my prodding them to keep tablecloths clean and supplies sorted and well-cared for. How silly I think I was now that I understand children better, and how much compassion I have for me as a new mother with the best of intentions, and honestly, how happy I am my girls were unbridled little terrors with unsquashable spirits.



As life …

Joy Swirls

Day 9! Today I am going to share a painting that for some reason I just love to look at. It isn't anything fancy, but it surprised me how much I loved watching it come into being, and how every time I look at it I feel a sweetness. Calling it very simply, Joy Swirls.

The Painting

Yay for day 8. Feels like a marathon to get to 29 days, but I am so enjoying your comments and reflections, and this feels like a healthy workout. Thank you. It is an honor to have have these little posts being received by beautiful souls. And I am loving that some of you are sending me art and writing, participating along with me, or signing up the whole family for local painting and wine evenings! So inspiring.
This is a poem that I wrote in my teens, expressing my love for experiencing paintings as windows into worlds. Recently I am convinced that any art draws down the heavens (or hell) right into it, and that all of it somehow lives.
The Painting

When I look at a painting, I want to go inside. To see and hear what they do,  And walk with graceful stride.
I want to talk and dress like them And live their every day, To find out why the face I see, Is looking in that way.
But 'cause I am too small to fit, I must be content to stare, To imagine and to wish, That I really could b…

Enfolded Nature Girl

Today I thought I would shake it up with a little clay girl I made a while back. Her eyes are resting closed and she has her knees folded into her core with her arms hugging her legs. She is all covered with leaves, and berries, and you can't see it very well, but there is a rose bloomed at her knees. The rose broke off and into pieces, and I've never replaced it, almost as if the rose weren't meant to bloom yet. Her legs also merge into the shape of a snake.

I remember making this, and what a surrender it took to work with clay. I also remember how I felt I was creating a part of my being outside of myself--one that needed much rest, enfolded in the arms of nature, guided by the promise of blooming. I remember how the moment of creation spoke of a process of enduring the harshness of being in a body, sensitive to the elements both natural and man-made: the incessant changes, the beckoning of learning, growth, coming to life, letting life come to you, and the courageous a…

Sacred Pool

There is a pool that is very sacred to me. I have spent a lot of time near this pool writing, communing, and just absorbing its most beautiful aquamarine color; watching for hours mesmerizing bubbles churning away, and eventually making their way downstream for their big cascade finish down a waterfall.
A while back, I realized that I had no pictures of the pool, and so I decided to paint it.
Recently I went back and almost didn't find the pool, because a year's worth of the elements had changed the trail and the surroundings of the little pool. I couldn't help but feel this direct reflection in nature of the impermanence of life, and of how relatively quickly everything can change.

The trail was more opened up and the sacred pool much more apparent to hikers and accessible to all. I take this as a good omen. Its very own expansion...Its very own welcoming more to appreciate the beauty and commune with its spirit.

I desired to capture a little of this pool's effervesce…

Weekend Painting and Story

The Girl and the Monkey
Once upon a time on the streets of the Mont Saint Michel, there lived a little girl. She had a pet monkey and spent most of her time stealing apples for it and herself from the many vendors that lined the streets. The vendors kept a blind eye to her stealing, because her features were so angelic, and they all knew that her uncle, with whom she lived, was a drunk, and did little to care for her.
Stealing became her way of feeding herself and her small pet, and she laughed when the monkey often took her share as well. Her favorite time of day was when she would run to the ocean and play in the surf with her monkey. She would laugh as they dodged the current, and well before she needed to, she would gather up her monkey and head for higher ground, watching at a safe level, the tide swallow up the land like galloping horses.
After the tide came in, and the beach was no longer accessible, the girl would climb her way to the top of the Abbey, and listen to monks singing…