Monday, November 28, 2016

Under The Stars

Under the Stars, 10.5 x 8.5 inches
ingredients: vintage book cover; vintage book parts, ephemera, and sheet music; found objects (antique optical lens), stitching

This one is definitely a maximalist piece. The spell check informs me that this not a real word, but it is because I just made it up! To me, it is the opposite of minimalism; in other words, did I go too far? Everything but the kitchen sink, right? For some reason, however, I think it works. Everything, after all is under the stars.

This piece is available for purchase on my website, here, along with several different-sized prints of the piece. Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Artists For Love

Browsing through the blogs I follow, I have noticed a common theme lately. Many of us are searching for a way to deal with and heal from the images and words of soul-draining discord, hatred, and fear that surrounds us. At times it has just been too difficult to watch the news, to see the mess that humans are making of the world, and the unrest that plagues our country. As someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder, it can have a negative affect on my health, and I need to disengage from it from time to time. Some friends have said they are taking a break from facebook and/or other social media, or that they're staying offline altogether.

Strategy: Focus on the good things - like this gorgeous sunset.

Ironically, however, I have found much comfort from my blogger and facebook friends, as they share not only their fears and doubts, but also their encouragement, love, and inspiration. There are many wonderful people in the world, whose words of hope and inspiration are like healing drops of wisdom that have washed over my soul. Words do indeed heal; in art there is much power if we choose to see it.

For instance, I found these wise words on Terri Windling's beautiful blog, Myth and Moor: "... Stories do not give instruction, they do not explain how to love a companion or how to find God. They offer, instead, patterns of sound and association, of event and image. Suspended as listeners and readers in these patterns, we might reimagine our lives. It is through story that we embrace the great breadth of memory, that we can distinguish what is true, and that we may glimpse, at least occasionally, how to live without despair in the midst of the horror that dogs and unhinges us."    ~ Barry Lopez

Terri also shares these thoughts from Toni Morrison:
Troubled times, she says, are "precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
"I know the world is bruised and bleeding," she adds, "and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge -- even wisdom. Like art."

Don't forget that the world is still filled with breath-taking beauty.

I found great inspiration in these and other words by Effy Wild, who is a facebook friend, an artist, a teacher, and a wonderfully articulate writer. In a recent blog post, she writes: "I realized, thanks to a few shining lights in my universe, that all I could do in the face of this was *what I already do* but more fiercely. With more love. More compassion. More emphasis on mutual understanding. And better boundaries....
But before I, personally, could do anything, I had to give myself space to feel what I felt. Rage. Mistrust. Deep, feminine wounding. Fear. All of it had to rise up, and all of it needed expressing.
And once I'd done that, I knew that the right answer for me was to do more of the same, but more fiercely.  I knew that the right answer, for me, was to treat everyone like they are God In Drag (thank you, Ram Dass), and to remember, above all else, that We Are All Just Walking Each Other Home (more Ram Dass)."
I agree. More of the same, but more fiercely. Please read the entire post; in fact, you'd be well served to read everything she writes.

The world is still full of random beauty...

 Then, I found this on Seth Apter's blog, The Altered Page.  Seth has always been an artist and blogger who has focused on bringing people together, generously coming up with exciting projects that promote collaboration among members of the art blogging community.  In this blog post, he says, "We are all individuals with complex experiences, unique ideas, personal histories, and our very own baggage. This guarantees that life will be complicated and challenging. However, this post stands as a reminder of the importance of support, love, acceptance and respect. Always. And the rejection of bigotry and intolerance to difference. Always.

For me, this is not about who voted for who -- although I know for many that cannot be dismissed. For me, this is about something bigger than the election. This is about taking an individual step toward a collective healing. Naive? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely.

In that vein, a group of artists have created the hashtag #artistsforlove. Use it, embrace it, share it. I first read about it here and then here.  Take the time to click the links and see how you can join this movement and create your own poster that celebrates rather than diminishes inclusivity and love."

Thank you, Seth, Effy, Terri and everyone who promotes tolerance and love.


Monday, November 14, 2016

The Heart Wants What it Wants

The Heart Wants What it Wants
ingredients: vintage ephemera, magazine cut-outs, image transfers

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller
Read more at:
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller
Read more at:
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller
Read more at:
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”
―  Blaise Pascal

“What should I do about the wild and the tame? The wild heart that wants to be free, and the tame heart that wants to come home. I want to be held. I don't want you to come too close. I want you to scoop me up and bring me home at nights. I don't want to tell you where I am. I want to keep a place among the rocks where no one can find me. I want to be with you.”
― Jeanette Winterson

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wind and Water

I had forgotten all about this, the piece that was in the "Think Square" exhibition over a year ago. Going through photos of my work a few minutes ago, I realized I had never shared it here on my blog, or anywhere online. So, anyway, here it is.

Wind and Water
monotype with mixed media, 5 x 5 inches

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Taking Refuge

Taking Refuge
ingredients: antique handwritten letter fragments, Italian currency, vintage ephemera, image transfers, ginko leaf, monoprint

To take refuge is to commit oneself to the Buddhist path. According to Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche:

"In the Buddhist tradition, the purpose of taking refuge is to awaken from confusion and associate oneself with wakefulness. Taking refuge is a matter of commitment and acceptance and, at the same time, of openness and freedom. By taking the refuge vow we commit ourselves to freedom.

“I take refuge in the Buddha.
I take refuge in the dharma.
I take refuge in the sangha.”

So becoming a refugee is acknowledging that we are homeless and groundless, and it is acknowledging that there is really no need for home, or ground. Taking refuge is an expression of freedom, because as refugees we are no longer bounded by the need for security. We are suspended in a no-man’s land in which the only thing to do is to relate with the teachings and with ourselves."