all too obvious coming from me but no less effective for that:
listen to Here Comes The Sun. Keep listening until you're ready and able to articulate the way your own ice is slowly melting.
all too obvious coming from me but no less effective for that:
listen to Here Comes The Sun. Keep listening until you're ready and able to articulate the way your own ice is slowly melting.
Yesterday I went through a box in which I pre-sorted a lot of yellow treasures years ago. I virtually never look in it because I know what's there except, by now, I really don't since I never look. Had forgotten the above treasure and find it a perfect meditative visual aid as I continue to vacillate between, as Pam Gregory puts it, clarity and silt. Gotta say this fantabulous grey is the most gorgeous silt I've ever contemplated!
huh. as usual I was scattershot and doing a few things at once. I thought surely the words on the other side of the white paper background wouldn't show up in these pictures even though I could clearly see them with my eyes. Also you can see I was digging in pots and plant roots today...
First thing this morning (3 degrees. snowing.) I livened up my consciousness by steam pressing a lot of the treasures I re-connected with from the unexamined box. More Glennis beauties and a lot of stuff I messed around with on my own, plus some Artemis ribbons, a sheet of wool felt, and a piece of linen it looks like I painted with watered down yellow ochre acrylic paint. I perceive a lot of destinies but have got to stop thinking like a 30 year old. A lot of the things I reconnected have the feel of what I had in mind for my braid.
interest was expressed concerning the example braid so here's what that was about:
in the mid aughts I was part of an international collaborative fiber arts journal project. A modest group of us worked on Anthologies in which we each picked our own theme and then everyone in the group made a page to fit. This particular page was for an anthology entitled Blue. I figured somebody else would riff on Joni Mitchell so I thought about how Blue is everywhere in my home environment because J is blue to the bone and it's soothing up to a point from a mental health point of view. But am not myself an all-blue person. Fortunately I happened upon a Van Gogh quote that solved my dilemma:
The unrolled scroll reveals my inspiration. Part of the request was that we hide a quote in a secret pocket.
Here's a concrete prompt. As we had it planned - I was going to begin introducing them on what turned out to crazytrain incited mob day because if I keep learning one thing over and over again it's that timing is everything. The original prompts didn't allow for what I or anyone else was likely to feel like after such an event being what it actually was, and all.
Find three braid-able threads, cloth, or paper - or something else entirely. Make the three elements you select relatively comparable at the organic working level. One of the elements - or all of them - is obviously going to be yellow.
the picture I'm using as illustration of the prompt isn't whatever I'll make in response to it. It's from a series of pictures I was editing hoping something would strike me somehow, beyond editing images for posts in the future tense
So I'll share my own effort when I make/complete it.
If you use all yellow: think about integrating different aspects of the solar center's receptivity and projection that have been most meaningful and of use over the past 3 weeks.
Consider your completed braid of personal experience with the various ways you've related to your third chakra in its personal volition context. How have you felt yourself trading energies with compatible energy centers/yellow energy more abstractly? Think about: moments of joy, self-determination, manifested creativity, humor, volition/leadership in the wake of solar's shadow of rage.
In terms of your own anger as you feel it needs to be interwoven or as you may have joined with others to form a crucible in which that emotion is elevated to action-orientation - Think about the sacred shadow principle and RADIANT rage.
manifest elevation as a visual cue.
If braiding large amounts of yellow feels overwhelming and/or too de-hydrating, try adding a little (or a lot...) of deep purple to balance and restore your energetic sense of Self.
another idea is to braid-up ways the madness has caused you to not recognize your own thoughts or actions. In my case I'm thinking of this in terms of the inability have hold and maintain either component of expressive sentience. So I'm considering a mini-braid within a braid. And some of the yellow - the thing that switched the flick, as on of the dive captains likes to put it - being as close to the yellow of Amanda Gorman's coat as I have on hand.
Here's a long-planned yellow listen only version of Sly and the Family Stone wanna take you higher to move you along through stuff and take it ALL higher as you braid.
[Have been yellow/manifesting energy in clearing-out the studio a little - which so far has primarily meant making up some collage fodder stash supplements for a few folks who asked and otherwise looking through art journals and sketchbooks in both complete and in-progress forms.]
eta: today I brought back a post called from chaos to cosmos just because the title was on point.
I have a particular DIY sketchbook that I sometimes carry around like a studio-to-house/home life transitional object. Four or five times now it's gone MIA for a couple months at a time because it gets stacked in with other books either up here or somewhere in the dining room wall of book shelves. I posted about a spread I filled shortly after the last time I reconnected with it.
I really love everything about this book from the large size to the feel of the recycled cloth-bound covers of an old Time-Life book (Elves & Fairies). And the paper I selected - Stillman & Birn in various weights and finishes also intermingling bright white and ivory colored folios. And I'm also enjoying the face About a quarter of the pages have flaps or partial gatefolds.
Prior to insurrection I'd begun clearing-out more pragmatically here in the studio. This is a standard January activity that never happened last year because I preferred to lead the collage challenge while also challenging myself with the daily prompts. Then the pandemic insured I didn't have to concern myself with what visitors 'might think' if the sink looked like it was part of a creative omnivore's laboratory
So far this hasn't meant much of note beyond unclogging the sink drain and finishing up with anti-bac everything afterwards. Otherwise I'm 'clearing-up' more in the memory and psychic sense of infusing more/fresh yellow vitality into dark crevices. Also taking a wander through sketchbooks in both complete and in-progress forms. Plus Moleskine based art journals. I mention them right at this particular juncture because at least four people who now read here regularly as part of the Dive have a Moly hoard they don't think they are talented - or otherwise know - enough - to actually use. but you should! Then they'd look like the stack below rather than an unused testament to hesitancy!!
The level of ongoing reliable focus I need to pick up exactly where I left off before the siege has not yet returned. This isn't about shifted or disconnecting motivation but more about examining what's whole and stable enough to be built-upon in a more mindfully sustainable way. I've also found I need more time outside - bundled up and dreaming of the next growing season, providence willing.
My sense of mental-mind is still somewhat jumbled and amorphous so I'm going to go with the inspiration of emergent solar/yellow energy currents. Today there's no actual sunlight. The pics were taken yesterday. Below is a show of the 7:35 a.m. light in the room. It falls on my work desk. By close of studio business day the desk will be clear and ready for various creative impulses I feel brewing. Since I work in many books at once it's ideal to have the desk clear enough to leave a variety of projects to dry overnight. This makes a great next-morning review space especially with the natural light falling over the pages.
The other day as I was watching the live feed of the mob swarming inside the only response I seemed able to have relates to making many multiple copies of the woman walking past an open arch way. I don't know why. But I'll be ready once I do.
Have found my choice of a commercial backing for Primary Nest. I learned the hard way that this series of Holding Cloths are best served to have very plain tightly woven backings. I've been stitching each day - sometimes more than others. It's an intentional piece of work so if I feel my heart shutting down or aching in response to my thoughts I set it aside and do something that more directly addresses my emotions of the moment.
Even though I've woken up two mornings in a row thinking of troubleshoots and inroads related to fictionland - once I'm actually up here in the studio I'm inclined to put most of my creative energy to focus on more tactile and visual aspects of creative capability. I need a visually immediate sense of personal accomplishment rather than two well-pruned paragraphs to show for a whole lot of time thinking and staring into space. But as the dust in my soul begins to settle from last week's [not unexpected. and somehow all the more horrifying to bear remote witness to how it was as it happened] melee - I find my need for joy-inducing creativity to be heat/solar seeking at an instinct level. So I'm picking up where I left off within a study of largely paint based color relationship/pattern deconstruction exploration.
I altered the original faux marble inner covers with collaged image-grid page out of Amy Butler's fabulous Bloom compendium. If you've ever purchased or been gifted a collage packet from me you've had at least a few page sections included. For this endeavor - and knowing in advance how I planned to work in the book - I focused on colors and images that held very strong appeal for me. Personalized with paint swatches and the impulse to trace a magnolia bloom to keep the lotus bud company.
To get going I riffed on some of the colors and imagery that made my eye the happiest while also sticking to the theme. Everything is pretty paint driven with colored pencil and pitt pen additions - with the exception of the smeared oil pastels making up the petal colors in the riffed flower vase. Ink brush pen over the smears. Now I know that works ...
Once I 'broke the silence' I moved to an inner section of the book to work on pattern deconstruction on a page spread that included a flap. The limited color palette was an enjoyable/soothing mix for me visually. Also of note is that the batik fragment serving as inspiration was originally from a long panel jude sent - wow. Right after T came home from college for the first summer 'away' from home or his Italian parents' homes. Putting another part of the globe at 17 into comparative balance, it's pretty hard to consider the Valley to be legit away-away but, yeah.
Once he was back for the summer I immediately turned the panel into a pair of curtains for his western facing bedroom windows. They were exactly long enough with the addition of an unobtrusive commercial batik used to form the curtain rod casings. When the sun began to lower his entire bedroom was illuminated by the batik's colors as well as the setting sun's light. He kept a sphere-shaped prism given to him at his birth by my mother positioned just off center to catch the maximum amount of sun-time. The curtains were kept just open enough to maximize the prismatic addition to the visual display.
Here in this house the retrofitted curtains hung in an eastern window - with rod casements running in the other/short direction of the two panels - in the upstairs bathroom. They caught each sunny morning's light for the better part of seven years until the gifted fabric shredded free of the tight commercial weave. The paper thin remnants are relics used for very special purposes most usually involving because used as auspicious gift-wrapping in the ultimate spirit of jude-ness.
just all different mark making tools and spontaneous life-tracking memorabilia inclusion by way of sparkly pink mesh flowers cut from a stashed-up bouquet finishing wrap. This final inclusion worked out quite well with a layer of pre-applied soft gel medium. I collaged the flower separately and put them under a book with a layer of wax paper to blot-up some of the extra gel. Any additional gel ooze I buffed-off with a soft threadbare pillow-case remnant.
Right now I'm yellow-pushing myself to complete a spread in this same book I stopped working on when I made an unfortunate smear that "ruined' the perfect color and element spacing. Something always ruins the perfect whatever but sometimes I practice longer avoidance in getting to the fix than is warranted. It's more than a little ridiculous but since I juggle so many idea-catching volumes at once I usually solve other problems while something else is incubating.
In this case I deconstructed the color palette and design elements of a chocolate bar wrapper. When the unfinished page spread has been 'healed' of that condition I'll share where I was - an unflinching close up of the offending unmindful smear - and where-ever I wind up.
I forgot to do this for the past two posts. I picked three things that speak to my favorite solar super power(s): creative and perceptual/motivational resiliency.
My response to a friend's emailed collage prompt that brought me back from some pretty intense brooding and other yellow-eyed thoughts: What does the sentient being who has been messing with your life the past 6 months look like...
A magical spring morning in which I found a carton containing some wonderful things by the side of the road. People did this all summer but at the time I was thrilled with the single 'normal' experience.
In retrospect I feel like I was kind of trying to get myself into a viable head/heart balance for the days we now inhabit.
[above and below: pages in an altered book project - the first I began and will probably be my last to finish or leave behind in progress. I took my hardback copy of Dreaming the Dark and turned it into a personal rumination on The Sisterhood as I've experienced it throughout my adult life.]
Enjoyed finding a whole series of this busily defoliating caterpillar while tracking down yellow flower images yesterday. Am planning a painting spread in my sketchbook based on the images. jude had a great post years ago based on this 'un's patterns and coloration...
that time there were so many calendula flowers I was giving friends pint jars of tincture-in-progress as Harvest gifts ...
center of a small art quilt celebrating the dandelion medicine spirit made on request by J.
Although my intentions and gathering of ideas was right on schedule, I found that once January began everything slowed down internally. My solar center wanted to solarize and simply sit in sunlight when it existed. A lot of the time it didn't. So I made the most of the times when it did.
Yesterday, while all 3-d hell was breaking lose but I didn't yet realize that, I was in a fairly deep trancelike time-out four of sword space pondering light as it mixed with a variety of color rays. Lacelady mentioned her fondness for yellow calcite and that set me on the search for this beautiful example I inherited from my mother. Her rock-hounding moniker was Calcite Lil. This is one of the few calcite pieces I've kept. Most I gave as keepsakes to those who knew her by that name and would treasure the memory.
Two things that came to light yesterday about yellow: I realized that this first week has felt slow and/or subterranean because I've been conscious I wanted to review the seat of solar energy as I experience it by venturing back around in my physical body/emotional memories connected to the late 30's period of time when I wasn't aware of who I was to myself. I wanted to see what's different now - at that deep internal level. I came away with something I always come away with:
Menopause brought me into balance with myself - so that I understand with sharp clarity who I am and am okay enough about whatever that means on any given day to feel confident in that okay-ness.
Periodically I realize this and then kind of shrug it aside. I feel like that's what I'm supposed to do now that it's not a new thing any more. Who knows. Before this month officially began one of my friends told me she was reading Wheels of Light to get ready. I grabbed my copy to see what I might find for my own edification. I found this - I guess it's an affirmation? or just an insight I had - marking the page for the third chakra chapter of the book.
bad handwriting translation: Facing the truths I already know makes my body lighter. I am no longer holding in something I think will break me apart if I don't. I wanted to keep this front and center in my mind especially once I tuned into the external world and felt my body instinctively want to EMbody my emotions. Working with too much yellow energy can be soothed with deep purple.
This special piece of flourite - one of the first things I collected as a personal choice rather than inheritance and gift stones & crystals - is very deep, quite dark purple unless it's in front of sunlight. I'd gotten it out primarily so it would be charged and awake for the vision center. But then I wanted to hold it. Flourite is a mind/spiritual clarity stone and a great companion for the time-out energy of the four of swords vibe...
...In order to bring what the mind yields within that space back into the more pragmatic mind of integrating the blissed out re-charge experience with something more worldly and action driven. I wanted to exercise volition and forward movement. All week I've put off getting into Yellow in the studio because I wanted a certain cloth for the coffee table. An auspicious gift that's gained a lot of layers of personal meaning since I've had it. And then yesterday I just wanted to GET ON WITH IT.
Looking back at the collective timeline of yesterday - it feels kind of marvelous that the whole time I really needed to be holding a strong personal healing ally with strong grounding, protection and heart-centered affinities - I was walking around with this chunk of raw peridot. It's a gem & mineral show specimen I purchased with birthday money as a child.
I gave the Emperor card of my slow-moving tarot deck mock-ups to Volition and the symbol for the third chakra. I put the card on my artist's altar and propped it up against my first writing award - a grammar school slogan-winning contest for the fire department's safety awareness program. I have no idea what it was anymore but the little statue's been important to me. When I took the picture I liked the way the fireman was well-positioned should any solar fire eruptions shoot too high.
Today was different. More muted although I was still determined not to drown in noise. My sense of what that meant was more lenient today because I wanted more information to go with my jumbled sense of things. Also it freaked me out I had emails from people urging me to share my thoughts. This was before I had any thoughts - I had feelings and apprehensions expressed in words. Not quite the same thing.
(i still don't have any thoughts. Did notice I'm pushing most of my own emotions up to the heart level and that's an achey breaky place to be. better than numbness. Maybe that will become something of a ongoing reminder/prayer.
better than numbness.
I took these two pics this morning because I thought it was cool that both the pieces had clusters of small crystals.
Much sitting in the sun staring into space today. A little painting. Mostly the staring and while it was not at all what I imagined when I set the intention to do more of it - the quietness and steady solar absorption was very good healing energy. I was and remain grateful I had the grace and luxury of such a day. Periodically I'd rendezvous with J who has been having trouble unplugging. Like me, he couldn't really settle in the creative sense to either express or re-channel.
we are both awestruck by how young those women are - the ones who got the ballots secured.
the two of them so much braver than the seditious mob...
Last week I focused in part on the sacral grace of synchronicity. Right on the first day I suddenly came across this not quite finished piece of heavily encrusted contemporary embroidery. I remembered it once I saw it and with something of a shock to have forgotten it.
The piece in progress is called Primary Nest. It's a meditation on the three primary chakras and an intended part of a small series. In the aughts I made some different elaborately embroidered and embellished Holding Cloths intended for healing and meditation purposes. Not sure how it's possible but I totally forgot about this one. Have stitched two afternoons in a row. Hoping to get it finished - meaning all the way backed and the layers made secure together etc - by my birthday. Super generous time frame. In the personal best part of my brain I'm hoping to have things there by the end of Heart Chakra month.
The cloth substrate is pieced dupioni silk: the red shot with black, the orange shot with magenta, and the yellow shot with white. I don't even know how to guess how many different threads and beads I included. I do know I bought an expensive silk hydrangea bloom so I could defoliate parts of it for inclusion in the orange and yellow regions of the piece.
Finding this work - just as I was heading downstairs and back to the house for the evening - and then lingering to smooth it down in a pivotal focal point I couldn't miss the next morning - all of that seemed like a personally auspicious way to begin welcoming new energy and fresh perspectives. There are all sorts of personal secrets buried in the layers of stitching and silk. For instance the inner red square was fortified early on by a scrim of red fishnet stocking. I had no idea what I was doing one improvisation to the next - I simply knew I was following a color-centric muse.
Am hopeful I can get the yellow frame stitched and then cogitate about a cloth to cover the back. I know if Liz catches this post she'll be glad to know I also plan to show "what the back looks like".
I love working this way although my fingers aren't as nimble as they once were. So much time at the keyboard has loosened them up enough to enjoy the stitching time. I am not as precise but I think I can get this finished in a way where the shift in my stitch size, etc. isn't going to be/appear as glaring as it feels to me.
Much yellow/ego work involved on being authentically willing to show up just as I am rather than as I was 30 years ago. Or even 16 years ago when I first began building this piece. As I've been stitching in the later afternoon I've been amazed to encounter something I made - something that's over the top in its sole impractical loveliness even for me - that I'd utterly forgotten. Two thirds of the way through the Primary Three - it rises to the top of all manner of cloths and raw material.
I am amazed.
amazement is a good yellow attribute ...
today I'm bringing back a post entitled bring me the fripperies. Same general style of excessiveness.