Sunday, May 30, 2010

some pages

"Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling." --Vincent van Gogh

Friday, May 28, 2010

and hanging art, Day Two!

Weird the way the Universe works. When it rains, it pours.
So yesterday I hung my second show here in Colorado. At Jefferson UU Church in Golden, the arts director there asked me to put my work in the Sanctuary for the summer.
22 pieces later, my studio is totally empty of paintings. . . . which feels pretty darn good, and allows me to find more visions to make into art.
Now I feel like I can really head off into the world to fill the coffers with new inspiration and come back refreshed and ready to go!
I will only bring very small travel journals with me on the trip - we are backpacking, and going very very light.
But I will have a camera, and can update with photos and notes.
Already, connections that make me feel so supported by the Universe have happened -- a free 5 day couchsurf in Aix, where I went to art school many moons ago, a flat in London in exchange for some shamanism instruction, and my brother's house in the Lake District, with my Mom along for some comfortable sightseeing - I can't wait to see some castles! and one dear blog reader in London has said we can meet -- anyone else out there?
I'd love to check in with you . . . . .
and here is one of the walls of art we hung yesterday - the mushroom wall:

"Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going." --Paul Theroux

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the Colorado Mountain Art Gallery in Georgetown

So here is the adorable town of Georgetown, Colorado, a mining town from the gold rush of the 1860's. At one time, millions of dollars worth of gold and silver were taken from these mountains, we actually got to walk into an old vault in one of the stores yesterday.

The town itself is full of cute shops, galleries, and historic buildings, the main street even has an ice cream parlor, and my favorite name for a restaurant: The Happy Cooker.

There is a narrow gauge train which takes you to a mine deep in the mountains - I was lucky to catch it just as it crossed the bridge.

Across the street from the gallery is this lovely old hotel building, now a museum.

Here is our gallery. Right next door (we share the courtyard) is a cute little restaurant, with free wifi, so I know where I will be hanging out!

and the temporary sign:

My hanging team:

and my portion of wall, for now I have 8 pieces here, and one on the group wall in the front, but as they sell I will replace with new work. There are 50 artists sharing the space, so many many things to look at, including wearables like jewelry and bags. I am so excited to be along for the ride!

and one of the pieces up close, this is my mixed media technique of starting with photographs, photoshopping them into many layers, then printing on rice paper. I add them to the canvas, and add more papers and paint:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

is it really already Wednesday?

I have been busy getting a pile of work done for today, a big day for me, and tomorrow, another big day.
A big day in the life of my art - a new co-operative gallery space to hang my collage paintings on in Georgetown, Colorado, today, and for tomorrow -- the main sanctuary of our Unitarian Church in Golden, Colorado, which will be showing my work for the summer.
All in all, I have 12 pieces for the gallery and 22 for the sanctuary.
and I still have a few drying downstairs in my studio, hopefully all will be ready by Thursday to actually go on the wall.
I wonder if anyone actually hangs things wet!
I still am varnishing and wiring, getting price lists together, wondering what to do with all the postcards I printed . . . .
and last night at my clay class, Marie Gibbons, amazing and accomplished artist, said some things that I know are so true - that to be an artist means a shitload of work, 18 hour days, busting your butt in the hopes you must might be able to pay the bills. If you want an 8 hour day and time to watch tv, you better just get a job at Target. She is so inspiring. (so is her work - check it out!)
I need to expand my work ethic a bit, and Marie is really a great inspiration to me.
Doing this as my job means wearing all the hats - artist, teacher, graphic designer, promoter, gallery schmoooozer, etc. etc. etc.
I am sort of a shy person, and the being out in the world with my art is very hard for me.
I also am teaching more, and that takes proposals, lesson plans, pushing to get the gigs which are never full time in the workshop teaching world.
But I am at the point where I know that if I don't do it, no one will.
So I will take some photos of the gallery and share tomorrow, and here is a journal page, no words yet, just the fullness of possibility, the hope of new beginnings:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

a junk travel journal

So this June and July I am planning a getaway - a visit to my brother in the UK, and visiting some friends (old and new) in Aix and London.
We don't really have the money for this right now, for the free plane tickets, I used up all our miles, and am couchsurfing and staying with friends, but I just need this getaway, and foolhardy or not, so off we go.
So I am being the foolish grasshopper and not the wise ant and taking this trip.
I made a journal to anticipate and envision what I wanted to do - I sewed a bunch of old calender pages, music sheets, scrap papers etc. together, and started filling it up with dreams and visions.
The funny thing is, the travel journal is full before I start the travel!
But that's okay.
Here is a badly made video showing you some of the pages.
It is not well lit or well shot, and you can't really see the pages very clearly, but the essense is there, that we can make messy expressive books, fill them up with images, colors, words that we need to get out.
This process is just something I seem to need to do, and sharing it here gives me the sense that it is worth my time . . .
Helen Keller said: "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

and after my well is filled with these daring adventures, I will be back with lots of pages to share here.
May Spirit guide you through your journaling adventures - thanks for sharing mine:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"bright and shining one"

"Stroppy" (as in the New Zealand expression "stroppy sheila") is an adjective I love, deriving from the word obstreperous, or boisterous and untamable.
To be stroppy is to follow your bliss and your heart (and art) without looking back, loudly and with no explanations or apologies.
and why not?
Let's just claim our fullness as women, artists, creators, divas, goddesses, makers of the world. (and yes, men can be divas, too!)
Let's be the bright and shining ones.
Let's be stroppy.
and in my own stroppiness, I have to hang two art shows this week, then I am off on some summer adventures to refill my own coffers and recharge my batteries; please know I will be back soon, with lots of new pages and ideas to share.
Be Well!

"diva, from Italian diva, goddess, lady-love, 'fine-lady,' Latin: Diva, goddess, female divinity, fem. of divus, divine, god, diety.
deva, from Sanskrit deva, a god, a bright or shining one."
-Oxford English Dictionary

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Q: Where do you find beauty in your day?

A: It comes from within. Then everything has beauty.

"You are quaffing drink from a hundred fountains: whenever any of these hundred yields less, your pleasure is diminished. But when the sublime fountain gushes from within you, no longer need you steal from the other fountains." --Rumi

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

a journal page

"The object of art is to give life a shape." --Jean Anouilh

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why limit yourself?

Imagine what you want your life to be.
Journal about it.
No boxes allowed - jump way way out of the little square of what you think is possible, create a whole new vision for yourself.
Anything is possible!
See where this takes you.
Miracles, synchronicities, "good luck", and just beautiful connections happen when we are open to the blessings of the Universe.
Trust me - jump and you will be caught.

"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. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls." --Robert R. McGammon

"When other little girls wanted to be ballet dancers I kind of wanted to be a vampire." --Angelina Jolie

Monday, May 17, 2010

finding beauty

I love paper.
Rice paper, art paper, origami paper, magazine photo paper, and I love ephemera like old photographs and stamps.
I love mixing up these colors and textures in collage.
I guess since I have been doing this for about ten years, you can say I am pretty passionate about it.
Sometimes it makes no sense, what I do.
But I seem to keep at it.
It certainly is not a "normal" job.
Last night we saw an amazing movie, "Exit Through the Gift Shop."
See it if you can.
It is a documentary that started to be about street art and artists, but ended up being about the French filmmaker filming the movie. Not only is the story gripping, but the images and the artists are inspiring and their work imprinted on my visual memory in a powerful way.
But the real story is about passion.
and perhaps a bit about insanity.
It is astounding to see what pure undivided passion does for art -- what having this kind of passion both makes an artist do, and what happens with art made out of passion.
The movie also shows how perfectly ludicrous the art market is.
and in a weird way, it made me understand more why I do what I do -- I love making these collages in my journal, I love the writing that the images pulls out of me. I love sharing this with the world.
So there you have it, passion.
What is yours?

"Her secret? It is every artist's secret... passion. That is all. It is an open secret, and perfectly safe. Like heroism, it is inimitable in cheap materials." --Willa Cather

Friday, May 14, 2010

life isn't easy.

"When you feel that you have reached the end and that you cannot go one step further, when life seems to be drained of all purpose - what a wonderful opportunity to start all over again, to turn over a new page." --Eileen Caddy

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm just sayin'

I have been working with Gods and Goddesses in my journal.
There is a sense that when you honor Them with your respect, blessings will come to you.
Yesterday I was told I should hang my collage paintings in the Sanctuary of Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colorado for the summer.
An art show, for the whole summer, in the main space of a very large congregation.
This also comes at a time when for the first time in a about a year, my time in the studio has been producing successful new pieces, something that was not happening for a long long time.
Cause = effect?
I don't know, I am just happy to be having something working right.
Thank You Goddess!

"The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs." --James Allen

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shiva dancing the Tandava

In the Hindu religion, when Shiva achieves Maya, enlightmentment, he dances the Tandava.
People in India do a dance called the tandava, described as brisk movements and a pictorial allegory to the five manifestations of energy.
Energy is what I have been needing lately, and these red pages, along with inspiration to get up and move are just the ticket.
Once again, my very wise journal has helped me understand what it is that I need now, what it is I should be focusing on.
So often, my stuck brain just mulls over and over things getting no where. When I let my intuition/rightbrain/subconscious play around and explore in the journal, answers just seem to emerge.
The information I need comes to me.
Cool, huh?

"It whirls, it whirls." --Alexander Calder

Monday, May 10, 2010


"Figure out what you're passionate about. If you're not passionate about something, go find it. Because we do not need more unengaged boring people to inhabit this planet." --Ben Heppner

"Art is the most frenzied orgy man is capable of." --Jean Dubuffet

Sunday, May 9, 2010


H.M.D. = Happy Mother's Day.
To all the mothers, to all the spouses and partners of mothers, to all the ones who will be mothers one day, to all the ones who have a mother, to all the ones who mother things other than children:
Take a leap
Do a belly dance
Plan an adventure
Imagine your most authentic life
Breathe in deeply all the blessings in your life
and count your challenges as your blessed teachers
Look inward and know how wonderful and amazing this one life is that you now have
and make sure you have a wonderful day.

"Answer that you are here – that life exists and identity, that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." --Walt Whitman

Friday, May 7, 2010

Where is Spirit taking you today?

"When the heart grieves over what it has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has left." --Sufi proverb

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Seis de Mayo

Yesterday for the Cinqo de Mayo we did nothing special. I thought about tacos for dinner, but things got busy and we ended up with sushi from Tokyo Joe instead.
For me, every day is sort of a celebration - I am here, I am able to make my art, I am following what I think is my truest path sharing this with the world, and I am so grateful for this.
It does amaze me how much we humans create escapes for ourselves. I always need a good adventure/travel/personal exploration book by my bed to read at night.
Right now it is The Lost City of Z - a fun read about Percy Harrison Fawcett, a British surveyor, who disappears looking for a lost city in the Amazon.
In my daily practice of shamanism, I get to go other places, some label this imagination, but those of us who practice this see so many miraculous connections to unknowable truth associated with the information we get, we know it is more than simple imagination.
In a way, this last year, with loss of job and house, and with my own loss of health, I had no choice but to jump in deep with both feet; to jump into whatever Spirit created for me.
Co-created, I should say, there is always personal choice necessary for Spirit to move us.
What challenges do you face?
Are you using those challenges to move you to the truest place in your life?
If not,
Journaling about it all has tremendously helped me understand this path, and that's why I share it here. I would love to hear of your challenges and how they move you toward wisdom.

"When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained." --Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Yesterday a friend sent me a link to a video of visitors to the United States Congress mocking an honorable Hindu cleric who was trying to open the day's session with a prayer. They yelled out words like "Jesus is the only true God" and did not let him offer his words.
My friend and I agreed the only valid response to such atrocious rudeness and intolerant ignorance is to just laugh at them. (and the good news is I hear that the disruptors were arrested.)
Last night I had a series of very anger-inducing dreams, where people I know in my life, religious Christians, were not tolerant of me, and I finally woke up in a mass of anger and a nasty headache.
So I am here at the computer, ruminating on the state of things.
Ignorance, anger, intolerance, the world seems to have so much of this, and if I focus on it, I also become angry and intolerant of the intolerance.
So I am trying, using my journal, using my art, using my laughter and open heart, to just transmute this anger into acceptance and love.
Love for even the intolerant believers. Not love for their actions or attitudes, but love for them as people.
Open mindedness to new cultures and interest in others cultural realities helps me with this.
In the last 24 hours I have had visits here from Ukraine, Canada, Australia, Germany, Greece, the U.K., Spain, the Netherlands and the U.S. We all are in this together, are we not?
and here, each looking at our own little computer screens, we can agree to create a world of tolerance and love for all. We can learn to enjoy and celebrate what makes us individuals, while embracing that we truly all are ONE.
Namaste, the Holy in me greets the Holy in you -- to all my readers, let your journal help you process these difficulties, the intolerant and angry people in the world won't win, I am sure.

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it - always." --Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cultivating Soul

In the mail the other day we got two (yes, two) Anthropologie catalogs. The scenes in the catalog were all shot in some exotic Indian location, with lovely stone architectural details, colorful arches and columns, and beautiful Eastern tile work. These kinds of mystical, historical, exotic locations just draw me in; make me long to go on some extended adventurous travel. The part of my mind that imagines escape, a journey of the soul, is somehow fed by these images.
Trekking by elephant across a desert to an oasis of dates and coconuts, maybe to a palace of marble and cool tiled fountains, yes, count me in.
I tore up the catalog (it really helped to have two) and collaged some journal pages. It was so satisfying.
After all these years, I understand that the actual travel is not what I long for, the expensive, tiring, logistically complex work of really taking such a trip (although now and then, I do love to really travel somewhere) is not what I really want.
The longing is for the imaginary vision quest - the challenge of being in the new exotic place, which helps define the measure of our totally known and comfortable home.
I wish all people had to go live in another country and learn another language once in their lives, you really don't know all the assumptions you make in one language if it is the only one you know. We are at a huge disadvantage when we only think and speak in one tongue.
I also have been reading about Hindi and the way it grew out of ancient Sanskrit for many of it's words. Some concepts are just missing from Hindi; they don't even have a word for female orgasm, for example. The verb tenses are all in the now, there is not the focus on past and future we in the West assume we need.
Subtle ways the words are used just make those people who speak Hindi have brains that work a slightly different way than us English speakers, and it is wonderful to notice and enjoy the differences.
Knowing about the other helps us know the self.

"Everyone should know you cannot live any other way than cultivating soul." --Apuleius

Monday, May 3, 2010

color color color

Why not make life bright?

"Some of us come on earth seeing – some of us come on earth seeing color." --Louise Nevelson

Saturday, May 1, 2010

find any miracles today?

This is a great idea:
Get stuff free, give stuff free, on an interactive map. Don't you love the internet?

I feel like more and more synchronicities are popping into my life, thanks to things like the internet and just being open.
If you look for beauty and connection, it seems to fall right in your lap.
An amazing example from this week:
I was feeling frustrated with my work, sitting alone in a studio in the basement can get you feeling quite isolated. I imagined what it would be like to run a co-operative gallery - buying a building and renovating it, setting up a paper/book art studio, a ceramics room, a dance studio with huge mirrors and hard wood floor, a gallery/coffee shop. I fantasized the whole thing in very complete detail, wondering about business plans, financing, etc. I dedicated a few hours to thinking how this could work, doodling plans, etc. I told the Universe I needed something like this . . .
But when I ran this idea by the mud club ladies (4 very experienced art makers) the overwhelming response was that co-operative galleries are a huge job, which makes you an administrator rather than an art maker, and this was from women who knew, women who had done work like this.
They are right, so I sort of sadly let go of this dream.
THEN -- within 24 hours, I got two e-mails in my in-box asking me to come look at local co-operative galleries that are looking for new artists.
and those aren't the kind of e-mails I get every day.
So this weekend I will go check out these galleries.
I am not sure either will be the right choice for me right now, but just to have gotten both invitations within a day of my putting out the clear intention that I wanted to be involved in a gallery was quite amazing.
Our intentions really do affect the matrix of the world. Spirit hears us.
I have so many incidents that prove this beyond any doubt.
Another funny miracle of coincidence happened this week, but I will save that for another post.
and my journal page - a homage to a teacup whose patterns I just want to jump into a live in. I want to paint a whole room in this pattern -- maybe I will:

"We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible." --Ray Bradbury