Saturday, August 29, 2009

Choose Love

I don't usually post other than journal pages here, but this warrants a nod:
This link will take you to a beautiful affirming song that FairyWebMother shares from her website.
It is about choosing love and joy - a wonderful chant to play when ever you need clarity and support in moving forward in this not-always-easy journey of life.
Click, listen, and be blessed:

Friday, August 28, 2009

self portrait collage

What are you up to today?

"What is right for one soul may not be right for another. It may mean having to stand on your own and do something strange in the eyes of others." --Eileen Caddy

Thursday, August 27, 2009


What is on your creative agenda today?

"The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts." --Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why would you not choose a life that you love?

"Searching is half the fun: Life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party." --Jimmy Buffett

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

to dread or not to dread. . . .

My beautiful niece came to visit and her lovely blond hair was in dreadlocks. I mention this, and I journal about it, because it is something I have always wanted to do.
If you have very thin frizzy hair, which runs in our family, dreads are a great way to tame the beast.
But it is the sort of thing you can't turn back from - for that bit of hair, it is a bit permanent -- the only way to not have dreads is to grow it out, and cut it all off, so I have not been quite ready for the commitment.
But I am getting very close.
It is time my physical self reflects more what my internal self is -- and that is a person who laughs at convention, and doesn't mind showing the world.
and my niece gets a special bead from each place she visits and puts that in her hair somewhere, and I totally love that idea, too.
Beads in the hair - why the heck not?

We wandered around NYC a bit, and I took some photos and collaged it in my journal:

"The fisherman knows that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reasons for staying ashore." --Vincent van Gogh

Monday, August 24, 2009

memories, creativity, and moving forward

This is the season of back to school shopping, as my 14 year old, who, unbelievably, is starting high school in two weeks, is acutely aware.
I saw this photo of a lunch tray somewhere on the internet, and I had to get it, print it, and play with it in my journal.
The memories associated with that lunch tray are so intense - years of schooling, years that I was struggling with who I was, who I wanted to be, how to fit in as an intuitive creative person in a school structure that didn't reward those kinds of talents.
Seeing my youngest start high school feels like a milestone; one that helps me see my place on the path where I am in wisdom and experience and reflection, and not so much of being any more the in fray of child rearing.
I've done that for 25 years, and it is now time for the next chapter in my life.
My journal helps me see all this with a simple collage about that high school lunch tray.
How do I know all this?
I find a photo, I print it out, cut and tear and glue it down.
I add some color and words and doodles.
Then, I see some truth.
Trusting the process has taken me a long long time of practice, but it sure feels good to know I am getting somewhere; that this Fall when new beginnings are afoot, I can trust all that intuition, I can trust those wanderings to take me somewhere good.

"I'd like to write the way I do my paintings, that is, as fantasy takes me, as the moon dictates." --Paul Gauguin

Friday, August 21, 2009

dreaming of adventerous wanderings . . .

So I am reading a remarkable book called Born to Run, by Christopher Mcdougall, about an ancient hidden tribe of long-distance runners living in isolation in canyons of Mexico.
This sentence really got my attention:
"In 1983, a Tarahumara woman in her swirling native skirts was discovered wandering the streets of a town in Kansas; she spent the next twelve years in an insane asylum before a social worker finally realized she was speaking a lost language, not gibberish."

There is a story there worth telling.
How did she get to Kansas all alone?
Did she run there? (They have been known to run over 400 miles without stopping. . . )
What did she do after being released?
and how crazy is our world when a sane person spends 12 years locked up because no one can understand the words they are saying?

I think we have lots of things back-asswards.

Separation is the problem, connection is the solution. . . .

"All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." --Rumi

Thursday, August 20, 2009

just be.

"Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible." --Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The New York Times Fall Style magazine. . . .

I don't often get my inspiration from the fashion world.
But when the NY Times Fall fashion magazine shows up in the newspaper, the colors and images along with the very thinness of the paper just makes me need to tear it up and glue it down in my journal in a collagey mess.

and while I certainly don't buy into any of that marketing machine that makes me feel less than Goddessy for being my very imperfect, flawed, large, aging self, I can use some of their pretty images, torn and ripped and messed with, to express my own love of things paper and colorful.
It can all be part of my dialog with the world -- in the world but not of it, is one way to use these images to think about things.

and look - some good came of it in my journal:

"That which is not slightly distorted lacks sensible appeal; from which it follows that irregularity – that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment, are a essential part and characteristic of beauty." --Charles Baudelaire

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


What is it about faces?
I can never get enough faces. I used to draw them all the time and have gotten out of the habit. Last night our journaling group met, and these pages just happened.
When I work in community, things seem to happen that I don't expect, which I love.
It is partially that I am taking the time to work slowly because we have two hours and there are not ten other projects calling to me like when I am here in the studio.
but also, it feels like some energy from the other journal artists seeps into my brain, and influences my own work.
Always for the better.
This is one reason I love to work in our group.
These faces also came because I was thinking of that song that says we are stardust, we are infinite.
The hubble telescope space picture is part of the background, and the faces seemed to just emerge.
My journaling, once again, surprises me.

"We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand." --Robert R. McGammon

Monday, August 17, 2009


Well for me, it does come down to the exploration.
The way my journal helps me find out totally new things.
It is certainly not about making a pretty thing, although when it is pretty, I admit that it pleases me.
I am starting to understand that the expectation of "pretty" actually interferes with the finding out of the new.
Creativity takes courage.
It takes being able to mess up and make mistakes.
That is something you don't seem to be taught in school much these days - it all is about performance and achievement.
well, please know that your journal is a place where achievement = experiment.
Make a mess.
Be creative.
Find something new.

"Creativity is the residue of time wasted." --Albert Einstein

Sunday, August 16, 2009

the "asana" of working in a journal daily

Last night lying in bed unable to fall asleep, I got this idea.
That the practice of doing those asana poses in yoga -- making your body pop into that certain position over and over again, is what makes it easier.
The word "asana" means pose, and most people who do yoga think of those poses as the work of yoga.
But yoga is more - it is a way of thinking, a way of breathing. It is more an attitude than an exercise.

and working in an art journal is like that.
It is really more a way of thinking - a way of unleashing the creative intuitive part of the brain that is connected to the unconscious dream state.
By making these pages with color and image, we access this other side of the brain, the non-verbal side.
This is why my pages often give me insight.
and this is a practice.
The more your body does the asana, the easier it is to snap into that position.
The more your mind lets the creative voice speak in making art journal pages, the more the subconscious has a voice.
That's why doing art journal pages feels like a sacred practice to me.
I do enjoy when the pages are pretty, and I do enjoy getting praise here for how they look.
But even more rewarding, is when doing a page in my journal gives me some sort of insight and knowledge about my own inner truth.
Try making this your practice, and see how the "asana" of making journal pages helps unlock your inner dream voice.

"I am not what I am, I am what I do with my hands." --Louise Bourgeois

Saturday, August 15, 2009

standing stones, Ganesh, painted skin

Just some images in the journal from Spiralheart camp.
To make art more in community -- I would like to figure out how to manifest that a bit more in my life.
I guess showing you these pages here counts a bit for that.
So, thanks for looking!
**Air High Five**
(Did you do that - air high five to me out here in cyberland? Then did you wildly look around your cubicle to make sure no one saw you? or the library? or your desk by the kitchen window?
No, the dog does not think you are crazy for doing an **Air High Five** alone in front of your computer, or even for laughing out loud after, I promise!)
Now go make some art and have a great day!

"In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest, where no one sees you,
But sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art." --Rumi

Friday, August 14, 2009

today . . .

What are you doing to add creativity to your life?
Do you have a practice?
Do you stick to it?

"It's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential." --Barack Obama

Thursday, August 13, 2009

travel and more

I had the most wonderful amount of travel the last few months, thanks to unemployment, job options elsewhere, kind relatives, and just luck.
I seem to need to move.
Stagnation comes quickly and for me, a new place, a new adventure, a new dream, and even just new books and magazines and films are necessary to keep my mind moving forward and not feeling dulled and lifeless.
I have a new idea for a project done while on a train. Yesterday we went into the city for some back to school shopping and the train plan just showed up in my mind.
I am learning in life to make what I love to do meld with what I need to do for my work.
Following the bliss, is one way to look at it.
My journal helps me with all this.
How does your journal help you?

"A creative train of thought is set off by: the unexpected, the unknown, the accidental, the disorderly, the absurd, the impossible." --Asger Jorn

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


"The stronger and more intense my desire becomes to capture and record that which is unsayable, the more tightly my mouth stays shut..." --Max Beckmann

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

the MaGaZiNe!!!!

Well it is done.
The first issue of Creativity Cafe is published and ready to be sent into the world. It has been a labor of love; also I have been feeling very honored to include such awesome women and artists in the first issue - I love learning the different paths we all take to get to our ultimate truths - journaling, poetry writing, blogging, painting; it all really points us toward authentically sharing our inner and connected selves, which turn out to be the same thing. Creativity helps show me how we are all in the Oneness . . . hard as it is to remember this in our chaotic separateness of daily life.

Here is where you can preview and order the first issue in the U.S. and Canada:

and here is where you can order it from the blog for international orders -- the publisher does not ship anywhere other than U.S. and Canada, but I will send you a copy if you want to use paypal to purchase it here:

and on a creative journaling note, I finally got some new pages done in my journal. Here in my lovely cocoon of a studio where my waxing and waning creative voice sometimes sings and sometimes screams, I always feel so at home.
I took so long in life to know I needed to get the right space, to honor my need for a dedicated place for making my art. I never again will be without some space for this work, even if a closet well outfitted with inspiring supplies, good lighting and some hidden chocolate. To be on a journey of self discovery through creation, either with words or images or film or poetry or drama, or whatever the creative outlet asks of you, take it seriously and listen closely.
Give it some space.
Give yourself some space.
I think you end up finding yourself in the space you make, even if you don't know what will happen there. The muse sometimes needs to be enticed.
Make an inspiring space, and inspiration will then come, I have learned.

"All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness." --Eckhart Tolle

Monday, August 10, 2009

a digital journal page for today:

"Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory." --Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, August 8, 2009

messy pages = happy journal

So while at Spiralheart camp, I had a soggy journal with me. (It rained a lot there.) I didn't have my "real" supplies (we were camping) and the goal was not to make art in my journal, the goal was just to get the words down as I needed to remember and express what I was learning.
So the pages from the week are nothing like my journaling practice at home.
And that's fine.
Your journal can do way more than just one thing.
It can allow you to, yes, make nice collagy pictures that you are proud of.
But it can also be there for you to whine, make a mess, cathartic-ally dump, and take whatever you can dish out to it.
It can be there for you to write and write and write words that you want to then rip out and throw away.
It can be there for you to find your truth through a long-winded, meandering path of what you don't mean, then what you might mean, and then what you really do mean.
I like to let my journal be there for me, whatever un-artistic and uninspired mood I happen to be in.
At camp, making nice art was not the goal, self expression was the goal.
So I am sharing what some of the pages look like here, so you too, can make some messes in your journal.
I did bring along a different book to use for camp, and I think I will bring that same book year after year, and let it fill with the one week's words and ideas and learning that happens at this special event for me.
Letting loose really is the goal, letting go of the worry and tightness and concern that the pages look a certain way.
Letting go of lots of extra baggage in life is a good thing.
Control does not equal happiness.
at least, in my book.
and these pages show that, I think:

"I start a picture and I finish it. I don't think about art while I work. I try to think about life." --Jean Michel Basquiat

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Standing stones at Spiralheart

Until I get time to commune with my journal, here is a photo of some of the massively large stones set in a circle at 4quarters retreat center where we had camp:

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." --Lewis Carroll

Monday, August 3, 2009

the mountains and the valleys

I am coming to realize in a deep way that without the darkness, there can be no light, and without the valleys, there can be no mountains.
It is hard to be in the dark valley place, and when I am, I cry out in blindness and fear. But I am very very slowly and incrementally learning that if I can just have faith and get through the dark times, the light is so much more bright and nourishing.
If we always sit at the banquet table, it ceases to be a banquet!

I have been working on the first issue of Creativity Cafe magazine, and the road isn't so easy for me, but I am chugging along and will let you know when it is ready.

It is August, and the time for ripe fruit - juicy peaches and plump corn and to enjoy the bountiful harvest the Earth rewards us with. Yesterday we celebrated Lammas at our UU congregation with a guided journey under a fruitful tree to the earth where all life starts -- I was yet again reminded of the blessings of soil, and worms, and roots, and minerals which feed the plants which feed the animals who feed us.

Today I am grateful not only for the abundant harvest, but for the hard labor that got us where we are, and I am reassured that my hard work will bear fruit, in the fullness of time.

"Whoever gives reverence receives reverence." --Rumi

Sunday, August 2, 2009

back from Spiralheart

I spent last week at Spiralheart reclaiming camp in Southern, PA.
There was some time to work in my journal, but with camping and rain (lots of rain) things were damp and I did not try to make pretty pages.
In fact, some of my work while at camp was to let go of how the pages looked and make really messy, ugly pages.
It helps to wreck the journal (sound familiar?) now and then to get out of that careful editor mode that inhibits loud and authentic freedom in the creative voice.
Eventually I will do pages I can share, as I process all I learned during the amazing week of Path, Affinity group and Ritual.
But in the meantime, a bit of a photo collage from camp:

"What we need is more sense of the wonder of life, and less of the business of making a picture." --Robert Henri

Saturday, August 1, 2009

a few more pages

are you spending time with your journal?
are you spending time being creative?
are you saying what you need to say?
go in Truth.

and here is another little bit of Iceland:

and me wondering a bit why it is I do this work:

"I count life just stuff to try the soul's strength on." --Robert Browning