Wednesday, August 31, 2011

like trees . . . .

Make your art, no matter the outcome.

"Like trees, authors [artists] can't worry too much about what gets done with their fruit. They can only try to make fruit that inspires. Where their peaches end up is none of their business.
Some end slowly savored by lovers of life, while others are rudely consumed by greedy flocks of wild geese who chomp it all down, forget it, and look for more elsewhere.
The remainder usually rots into humus that feeds the old tree again to make more fruit. But a very few reseed themselves and grow into flowering trees in their own right."
--Martin Prechtel

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

in the flow.

Lately I have had many closed doors; teaching jobs, graphics clients, galleries, even workshops and selling my books -- lots of starts but nothing really taking off and flourishing in a way that makes me feel like I am on the right path.
Five galleries since I moved to Colorado have embraced my work, yet, there were very minimal sales, and not much support once the work is on the wall.
I have tried pushing other outcomes, and they just seem to dry up.
There has been lots of frustration, fear, and doubts as many of my ideas don't lead to anything that "works".
In life, I know we knock at many doors, and when one opens, we decide if we want to go through and take that path. My last few years have been lots and lots of knocking in lots of different places.
I am listening to what works, and for now, just working in my journal, gardening, and taking care of my health is what the water seems to be flowing toward.
I have tried pushing other outcomes, and they just seem to dry up.
So I am, instead, going with the flow of personal journaling, and taking care of myself.
So much of what we hear is to just believe and make things happen, to relentlessly push for an outcome if we want something. The self-help philosophies in books like The Secret seems to say if we believe hard enough, it will come to pass.
But I would like to believe in the right thing.
I want to walk in correct relationship with all life.
I want to walk knowing I am on the RIGHT path, not just the path that feeds my own ego.
The goal is not for worldly success for me right now, as much as I would like my work to be seen and appreciated.
The goal is to do what I am called to do, and do it always in right relationship,
and the teaching/selling/showing path has not been so abundant for me lately.
What is working now are these pages, and working outside with the plants.
So that's where I will be.

"Four Rules For Life: Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. Don't be attached to the results." --Angeles Arrien

Monday, August 29, 2011

before the words. . . .

"If you are under control you lose the danger of glimpsing an unknown realm." --Kazuaki Tanahashi

Saturday, August 27, 2011

when our struggles give us gifts.

Unemployment and illness (my own house.)
WoW. The earth really is shaking things up, and we are called to grow in compassion and dedication to making this a better place. In our relationships - more love.
In our self-discipline - more focus and dedication.
In our stewardship of the planet - more care and concern for all.
If we don't do these things, well, it's gonna hurt.
It already does for lots of us, but I have seen something this last year. I have seen that the hard times are making us all more aware of what we need to do.
It's a growing time for the whole earth, and although there are some battle cries of the ones who can't deal with the change, over all, the human race is rising to the occasion and making it a better, safer, more compassionate place for all beings.
and making your art is part of sharing the love.
It's all in your perspective, and learning to transmute the struggle into joy helps build the gratitude.
and that's a gift we give to ourselves and everyone.

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically.
"Maybe," the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed.
"Maybe," replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "Maybe," answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
"Maybe," said the farmer.

Friday, August 26, 2011


"On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds." --Mark Tobey

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Journaling vs. Scrapbooking

Why I journal -- this article that describes a Scrapbooking Convention explains it very well.
Now I understand a bit more why I don't try to make pretty pages -- it just doesn't find the truth I am looking for in this work.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

mail art

Mail art is a great way to get bits and pieces for your journal.
I now and then send things in a community called Millande, and recently I got a juicy envelope from Australia from Mel Made.
(Mel - stop reading now if you don't want to spoil the surprise of your next mail treat.)
A lovely woman named Mel who lives on the opposite side of the world just happens to share many of my own quirky inclinations - collage, drumming, hikes in nature, free-spirited living, grown kids, love of stone circles, and making do-dads and what-nots and sending them off into the Universe.
That last one has resulted in us making collage art letters to each other, and it is so fun and relaxing just to fiddle with paper and pens and images and sometimes thread, and send it off in an envelope.
I am sharing my latest incantation of mail/Mel art here.
I started with a long banner, and just kept adding - I doubled it up in the scan so the image wouldn't be too out of proportion for your screens.
One side is parts from journal pages sewn to little envelopes with some letters enclosed.
The other side is a photo montage of some photos from recent hikes and visits to Colorado parks.
and a Hershey's wrapper, because every collage needs a chocolate reference.
SO, make some mail art, and use some the inspiration for your journals - super fun.

"Music, imaginative arts are all-mankind languages... The role of art and artist is to create, keep, defend and develop these all-mankind languages – each drop of created art saves the World!" --Yaroslaw Rozputnyak

Saturday, August 20, 2011

. . . .

"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms." --Muriel Rukeyser

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Art journaling = Dreaming?

I am listening on-line to a complete college course from Berkeley called Psychology Of Dreams, and it is amazing.
As I worked on a journal page today, it dawned on me that this work actually is very much like dreaming -- we access our subconscious by creating right brain intuitive collages of pictures and colors and words.
The free-form connections we make by choosing images and colors that don't necessarily "make sense" is a way to mine those gems from the subconscious that are just too hard to get to using the rational brain way of thinking.
I have always found working in an art journal to be very theraputic, perhaps this is one reason why......
Art Journaling as a kind of dreaming, sort of day-dreaming in technicolor!
I am so intrigued by this, I want to work with it more.
and the page today seems so dream-like to me.
I am going to post it here before I add any words, sort of a pre-cognitive page.
After words, I think it will have different energy.
Anyway, let me know what you think about journaling being like dreaming . . . .
Seems like an amazing thing I have not noticed before today.

"The dream is often occupied with apparently very silly details, thus producing an impression of absurdity, or else it is on the surface so unintelligible as to leave us thoroughly bewildered. Hence we always have to overcome a certain resistance before we can seriously set about disentangling the intricate web through patient work. But when at last we penetrate to its real meaning, we find ourselves deep in the dreamer's secrets and discover with astonishment that an apparently quite senseless dream is in the highest degree significant, and that in reality it speaks only of important and serious matters. This discovery compels rather more respect for the so-called superstition that dreams have a meaning, to which the rationalistic temper of our age has hitherto given short shrift." --Carl Jung

Friday, August 12, 2011

why do we journal?

I like using "journaling" as a verb. . . the "act of journaling."
Journaling is really just allowing ourselves to experiment in a personal book. It is making art for the sake of making art, not for the finished product or the task of completing a painting to hang on the wall.
I think that is why art journaling has taken off so much as an art form. I went to the craft section of the bookstore (and interesting that it is the craft section and not the fine art section) the other day, and there were maybe TEN new books on visual journaling. I think it is a movement, and a good one.
To just play in a journal, play with images and color and composition, and also to just add ideas and words that please us -- what a wonderful and fulfilling thing to do.
and to make the book ourselves, even better.
I am loving Teesha Moore's YouTube videos where she shows how to tear a 30" x 22" piece of watercolor paper into three sections, fold them and sew them into a simple pamphlet binding. I like to use two pieces of paper to start, so there ends up 11 inside pages to work on. All these latest journal images are from a new journal I did using her method.
The pages are making me happy, and I am enjoying sharing them.
and even with all my talk of freedom to be messy and self-expressive and making mistakes, having finished pages I like is a bonus.
So thanks to Teesha, and all the new journaling books on the bookstore shelf, and all of YOU who believe that working in an art journal is a worthy way to spend a day.

"One of life's most fulfilling moments occurs in that split second when the familiar is suddenly transformed into the dazzling aura of the profoundly new." --Edward B. Lindaman

Thursday, August 11, 2011

just working.

"Art will never come except from some small disregarded corner where an isolated and inspired man is studying the mysteries of nature." --Jean-Francois Millet

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

selling vs giving away

The Marketplace has never really been my thing.
I tend to just give things away -- mail art, artist trading cards, images and words about journaling here on this blog, the internet is a place where we can all share our work - for free. I have loved watching various on-line videos about art journaling, and I know there are many places where one can sign up, pay money, and see lots of great teaching videos about art journaling.
(This one Really Really tempted me, but don't have the budget right now to pay:

But you see, right now I am not making any money with my art. I have some books (sold a few), have had a few paintings hanging in galleries this year (sold one), have sold a handful of cards on Etsy, yet, here I am -- making art every day because it is what I feel called to do, giving it away for free here; the checks are simply not pouring in.
This does make me wonder.
In our materialistic world, we need shelter, food, clothes, gas for the car, change for the meter.
I can only imagine ten thousand years ago, when suddenly someone had a bunch of extra meat from a successful hunt, and instead of giving it away to all their friends, they had the idea of trading it for something else they didn't have that they needed. The marketplace was born.
Somewhere in my mind, I prefer the Gift Economy.
The idea that we all share freely and trust the Universe to give us just what we need.
Our Unitarian Church is totally free.
In some ways it is the center of our lives here, I found my friends there, my art contacts there, show my art work there, meet in circle there, enjoy potluck dinners there.
and it is FREE.
yes, we donate.
but to me, many of the most important and blessed things in my life do not have a pricetag attached.
I am very very lucky to have a supportive spouse, who understands that what my life work is does not earn us a living.
(and by the way, he has a job interview next week in are welcome to send good thoughts our way for that.)
So, just some thoughts today about why I am here.
I love to share my work with the world, I love when the world sends me encouragement back, either with comments or purchases of books, cards, etc. from the Etsy shop.
but for some reason, that does not happen often.
Money is not the measure of our value.
so I will still be here.
participating in a Gift Economy.
Think about doing the same.

"When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money." --Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Ever get the feeling that depression in artists has given the world some of its greatest art?
Riots in London, stock free-fall, joblessness, illness; it all is really getting to me. So I have been doing some journal therapy.
When the world cannot satisfy our longings, what do we do?
I turn to the papers and inks and paints, throw in some markers.....and just play.
Here is one of the results:

"Sometimes one has simply to endure a period of depression for what it may hold of illumination if one can live through it, attentive to what it exposes or demands." --May Sarton

Monday, August 8, 2011

always looking.

"One does not stand still looking for a path. One walks; and as one walks, a path comes into being." Mas Kodani

Sunday, August 7, 2011

step out and try

"Adventures don't begin until you get into the forest. That first step is an act of faith." --Mickey Hart

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

it's all how you look at things

“For the average man, the world is weird because if he’s not bored with it, he’s at odds with it. For a warrior, the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable. A warrior must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous time.” -- Don Juan as reported Carlos Casteneda