Saturday, November 29, 2008

today . . . . .

making art.
working in the studio.
playing in my art journal.
and yes, wasting time on the InTeRnEt!
the holidays are ramping up, and I need to decorate the studio a bit for the open house and get all the work ready, start the holiday list of shopping to-dos, write some cards.
and mostly, remember that the HoLidAyS are all good - and not let the stress overwhelm the joy.
Ya know?

(and here is a page before and after words:)

"You will learn to enjoy the process... and to surrender your need to control the result. You will discover the joy of practising your creativity. The process, not the product, will become your focus." --Julia Cameron

On Monday evening, you may be able to see the full globe of the moon, its darkened portion glowing with a bluish-gray hue interposed between the sunlit crescent and not much darker sky. This vision is sometimes called "the old moon in the young moon's arms." Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was the first to recognize it as what we now call "earthshine."

Friday, November 28, 2008


this is a powerful word.
I am learning to set my intention and then I stay much more on track.
The trick is to know what your intention is, and that's not always so easy.
But if you dream it, you can do it, as they say. . . .
So think about Intention today, and see where you go with this in the front of your mind and heart as you make your way along the path.

"If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."
--Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am thankful for . . . .

and the time to work in my journal.
I am very very thankful for a family that loves and supports me.
. . . for the time to be with them.
Time they allow me for my own creative process and exploration.
I am thankful for the many many blessings in my life.
Today, I am thankful, and I hope to remember this thankfulness as I move forward in this journey.

I am thankful for people like YOU who come here to share my journal pages - here is the blank collaged page before and after:

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." --Cicero

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"the glories around me"

See something beautiful.
Contemplate it - draw, photograph, color it.
Add some words.
Art Journaling is that simple.

"Brother sun and sister moon,
I seldom see you, I can't hear your tune;
Preoccupied with selfish misery.
Brother wind and sister air,
Open my eyes to visions pure and fair,
That I might see the glories around me."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DOWN time = UP time

as an artist, I need down time.
well, lots of it.
this can make me feel guilty, but now I am coming into the self-understanding that the "do nothing" time really is very productive.
Time to nurture the creative force is necessary, and it might mean a walk in the woods, reading a novel, or just sitting and letting my mind empty.
It might mean making ten lists, and throwing away nine of them.
It might mean looking at an art book for an hour, and enjoying each image.
These are all useful ways to spend time, because it makes the work time more authentic and helps me get to the core.
It has taken me a long long time to know this.
So I share it with you, so you don't feel guilty about the down time -- it creates much more powerful UP time!

"There is a time for the labour of digging and mixing earths, a time for the heat of fire, and a time for contemplating what is done." --Cecilia Davis Cunningham

Sunday, November 23, 2008

have you ever noticed?

Have you ever noticed that it is all there already?
All we need.
That the world has abundance for us if we just breathe in and accept it.
There is so much struggle, so much striving, so much effort poured into advancing what we think is our own agenda.
So little just being in the flow, and allowing all that is good to come to us.
Even on the train, I see so many people rushing here and there, worrying about the next thing coming, their minds completely somewhere else. . . . not even seeing the landscape parading by them in the window.
Yesterday in NYC - so many shoppers, rushing about, cars and cabs and buses rushing here and there, moments of beauty no one seemed to notice.
I bought some amazingly wonderful paper at my favorite store, Kate's Paperie on 57th.
Paper that makes me cry it is so beautiful.
Collages to come!

"The receptivity of the artist must never be confused with passivity. Receptivity is the artist's holding him or herself alive and open to hear what being may speak." --Rollo May

Saturday, November 22, 2008

water ROCKS shells

Last week at the beach I took tons of photos of the sand covered in rocks and shells. There were amazing patterns and bits of shells and rocks worn smooth by time and water. Shells really are the most amazing bits of engineering. Imagine making a little house is a perfect spiral over time out of bits of your own body -- if a human did that they would become world renown, yet billions of little creatures do this every day and we hardly even notice.
Magic is all around us if we look for it.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Yesterday the puppy and I went for a walk on the tow path. He stopped to look at cormorants floating in the water, mystified by their long necks. "Are they birds?" I could see him wonder.
We went close to investigate a flock of geese, and they honked and he got very scared and ran away.
He stops and investigates everything, and loves to make friends with everyone who stops to admire how totally cute he is.
To see the world through the eyes of a new puppy - it is simply magical.

"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself." --Henry Miller

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What do you look for?

A wise friend of mine once said you usually find what you are looking for - if we look for difficulty and dissatisfaction in life, we will find that.
If we look for joy and acceptance, we will find that.
At the time it really challenged me because I was complaining about something I thought I could do nothing about.
But gradually I am realizing that we will find what we look for.
So look for good things in life - if we look for joy and we will find it.
There are beautiful windows and doors all around us, opening into new possibilities - will we walk through them or just assume those places of beauty are not meant for us?
I often do journal pages helping me remember this, and here is one:

"The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are." --Thomas Dreier

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Yorker

Last night my journaling group met so I have lots of new pages to share, but until I get them photographed and upoloaded, here is this month's cover of the New Yorker Magazine with a very elegant and moving image in reaction to our election . . . . .
It is wonderful to have some hope with all that is falling apart in today's world.

"The more you know the less you need to say." --Jim Rohn

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Here is a great idea: when doing your Holiday cards this year, take one card and send it to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get.

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

please pass it on - and some guidelines:

Please follow these guidelines when mailing a card to ensure that your card will quickly reach service members, veterans and their families. Every card received will first be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working in one of 16 sorting stations around the country.

a.. All cards must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Cards sent after this date will be returned to sender.
b.. Participants are encouraged to limit the number of cards they submit to 25 from any one person or 50 from any one class or group. If you are mailing a larger quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope or postage.
c.. Please ensure that all cards are signed.
d.. Please use generic salutations such as "Dear Service Member." Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
e.. Please send cards as opposed to long letters which delay a quick review process.
f.. Please do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
g.. Please do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
h.. All cards received may be used in program publicity efforts, including appearing in broadcast, print or online mediums.

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." --Scott Adams

Monday, November 17, 2008

today . . . . .

In Barrack Obama's book, Dreams of My Father" there is a point where someone says to him, "It's not about you." That sounds so simple, but it has helped me thinking about that the last few days.
It's not about me.
Sometimes, we just do our work, make our art, have our voice, and remember it is not about us.
There is something in you coming out, let it be what connects you to all life.
Don't made it personal.
Funny, when working in a journal to not make it personal. . . .
but try it.
It puts a new light on things.

"Don't observe yourself too closely. Don't be too quick to draw conclusions from what happens to you; simply let it happen." --Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, November 15, 2008

get outside and enjoy some Fall

"How Heavy is a glass of Water? - 8 oz to 20 oz? It really doesn't matter, it depends on how long you hold it. If I hold it for a minute, no problem. If I hold it for an hour, I will have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you will have to call me an ambulance. In each case it is the same weight, but the longer I hold it the heavier it becomes. That's the way it is with stress. Life is short, enjoy it." --Pamila Ross

Friday, November 14, 2008


I have been watching some interviews of both Barrack and Michelle Obama on Youtube and I am beginning to think this new President is actually a spiritual leader. If you read his autobiography, "Dreams of my Father" he actually describes a path of enlightenment - being disillusioned and angry, wondering who he is, going on a search, and finding compassion and forgiveness.
and this man is now our President -- how awesome; this makes me so hopeful for our country, for the world. . . . a new era is beginning.
I have lots of work to do in the studio to prepare for our open house, so I am going to have to resort to posting some older journal pages -- after the open house, I will have lots of new work to share, in the meantime:

"It is precisely because our present life is so inseparably linked with desire that we must make use of desire's tremendous energy if we wish to transform our life into something transcendental."
 --Introduction to Tantra

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hello again!

How has it been a whole week since I posted?
I have some reasons -- I went to D.C. to celebrate my Mom's birthday, then to the beach with two friends, and some of our kids, (well - Shelle had all one of her kids, Trace had half of her two kids, and I had one third of my three kids. . . . . )
then I got sick. and when I get sick I don't mess around -- I go the full nine yards; so now I am on antibiotics, something which really messes me up (Celiac disease and all. . . . don't ask but it involves lots of bathroom time.)
HENCE - no journal pages done for a whole week.
I am so sorry.
I will be back soon in full force, but in the meantime, if you need some inspiration -- look up Mitch Hedberg on Youtube -- what a gifted comedian. He suffered extreme stage fright and had to wear dark glasses and look at the ground when he performed. But he did his thing and we are a better world for it.
A lovely one liner from him:

“Is a hippopotamus a hippopotamus or just a really cool apoatmus?”
-Mitch Hedberg, (1968- 2005.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some words that bear repeating:

'This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one thats on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing ­ Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

'She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldnt vote for two reasons ­ because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

'And tonight, I think about all that shes seen throughout her century in America ­ the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we cant, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

'At a time when womens voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

'When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

'When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

'She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that 'We Shall Overcome.' Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.'

--Barrack Obama, 44th President of the USA

Monday, November 3, 2008

MoNdAy in the NEW studio!

a new studio, new work, a new space for this new life.
I feel so blessed to have this wonderful space.
I feel like it will be a laboratory - a place for invention and exploration, a place where I can wander in creativity and go where ever the art takes me.
I want to have workshops here and maybe even an art club, where we can encourage each others' creative journeys. I want to give back to this process, I dream of journaling workshops, women's circles of creativity, meditation and drumming and making art in blissful unison -- creating together builds community and that's what it's all about, ya know?
I am so thrilled to be honored with the chance to make all this real.
I am learning that I really am an explorer of the creative process, that this studio is supporting me in that path, and that I can share it on-line in this blog, in person here at the open houses, in workshops and teaching, maybe even in ANOTHER book one day.
This is such a blessing, I am filled with gratitude . . . .

"How fortunate we are to make our life's work centered on experiencing life with depth and creating a soulful response to it." --Linda Saccoccio

Sunday, November 2, 2008


passages into imagination where we create the lives we want to live.

"Room service? Send up a larger room." --Groucho Marx

and the Universe complied!
I love my new space -- journaling photos to come.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I recently ordered a booklet printed by the Nature Printing Society -- they show techniques for taking things like leaves, insects, shells, and fish, inking them up and printing them.
The trick is in the paper - having it be thin and wet.
It makes for wonderful ephemeral kind of images.
I am going to try the fish idea, in Japanese it is a highly regarded art form called Gyotaku. (You can google that and find out all about it.)
As an artist, I have made it my life work to look for the wonder and beauty in things, including in myself.
This world with all its troubles is not my concern -- I am glad others are around to help (and by the way, Tuesday I will do my part to try to get someone elected to be president who thinks more like I do than this last guy.) I am not advocating ignorance, but I am advocating focusing on the part YOU can do to improve things - in your own house, in your family, in your neighborhood, in your village, in your small corner of the world.
Today I move my studio to a new larger space, and I am going to be away most of the week following, so I won't be here for a bit, but when I get back, I will have a new slew of journal pages to share with you, and hopefully some new refreshing insight. . . . I am going to the beach for a few days, and I hope to try some Gyotaku there. In the meantime - here are some pages I was inspired to do when I learned about this:

"Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories." --Ray Bradbury


"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." -–Rumi