collage & paint in visual journals
simple magic: red square realignment

Red Square .2

Above is an altar cloth I made many years ago for the first series of chakra intensive workshops I lead at a local herbal apothecary.  Nineteen years seems both a long and short while ago.  As you can see the cloth's constructed very simply to yield squares within squares.  This suggests that even something as straight forward and pragmatic as a square can be amplified to further suggest layers of stability.

Redsquareoncoffeetable Today I put the cloth on the coffee table workspace here in my studio.   It seemed like a good day to clear the table entirely and re-build something new to keep me grounded in the face of ongoing mental duress and emotional/psychic wear and tear.  Once I put the cloth down and appreciated it for a few moments I started where I always start - with a simple True Thing.

WhiteappophylliteI wandered around looking at the what I've gathered in other little sacred spaces throughout the room.  From them I selected this stone containing gorgeously luminous rosettes of white apophyllite.  It was a very overcast day so it's hard to appreciate how much this lovely stone sparkles in the hand.  Apophyllite awakens spiritual joy and strengthens our sense of loving universal connection & illumination. 


I placed it in the middle of the central red square.  Note the stylistic reindeer.  They remind me of cave and rock paintings so I chose them to represent the first chakra wheelhouse of Ancestral roots and connections.  Taking joy in those connections.  Daring to imagine at some point in time taking joy in being an American citizen again.  AGAIN.

FoodandsightOnce I've isolated a single true thing I like to find two other objects that create a sacred triune.  I decided to give that level of re-considered attention to nourishment and clear sight.

Gradually throughout the day I re-positioned various tools and small baskets of meaningful stones & shells.  Every time I made a choice I took the extra time to re-appreciate the items and occasionally use a few.


These are tender delicate times.

find something vibrantly red and create a modest self-regulated stronghold for representations of things you value and know to be true.

give yourself time to hold yourself steady in contemplation.

tune out the noise until you're able to start remembering what that feels like:

authentic inner silence. 

our world may have started with a bang but the universe is a place of immeasurable silence.


Today I'm bringing back a light and shadow kitty guardian.


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Liz A

hmmmm ... I've thus far managed to avoid triangles in my piece-making ... I will ponder this

grace Maestas

i FOUND my red! i'll post it when typepad lets me. i am finding things that
i have had and kept for so many years, knowing i had them but not knowing
or, in the case of this red, passing by it, only slightly seeing it and passing by
but this morning i decided to find it and
there it was...right there, right there at the top of that enormous
Evac ZipLock of scraps, the bag as big as me, the one i'd left out in the
truck bed in case.

grace Maestas

how everything


Liz - not sure if this helps demystify but all the triangles are cut in half. That means you piece the straight edges of the inner square to a bias edge but if you do it jude style by hand you can keep things fairly even with a bit of easing and patience. If I'd done a better job of the patience quadrant the finished size would be more square than square-ish.


Grace - I was so thrilled to see your comment and to envision your discovery after you decided to find. Everything does wait. Think it's part of old lady magic. understanding that piece of thing. Find the moments of beauty and really a kind of mercy from such truth.

Mo Crow



Beautiful exercise. Will try tomorrow. I spent a lot of today rearranging books across three rooms. We garbage picked a beautiful dresser with bookshelves. It’s allowed me to “unstuff” four other bookcases. But it was exhausting. Photo albums. Kids’ trinkets. Books read and not read. It will be good to claim the cleared off desk in my writing space (suddenly the books had somewhere to go!) with a red cloth and objects. Tomorrow. Thank you.


Dee - hope you share an image! I also trash picked to strong advantage. on Friday morning I collectec a funky wooden chair painted mustard yellow. Slated to become a plant stand in the studio and I can liberate my stepping stool without moving a small tree first and then immediately replacing it. Also the fully sanded/primed top of an old wooden 'ink well' school desk. Not a hinged lid unfortunately but a nice capacious storage space for holding collage fodder and supplies. It fits perfectly over the scavenged coffee table I use on a daily basis. The height of the table is great for lower spine but messes unpleasantly with lumbar range. Now that won't happen! I am ecstatic at the significant experiential upgrade it will make.

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