art journal

the blessing of space & sanctuary

SunnystudioplantsToday this space is sunlit and elevated for the shift that's coming with the Aquarian new moon.  Am thinking about what metaphorical seeds I want to plant then.  Also note the background glimpse of an area in the room that I think of as collage fodder purgatory.  Haven't looked at anything there for four years or so.  Thinking this may change sooner than later but we'll see.

OrangeyellowquestionThroughout the past ten days or so, I've been looking at this page from an orange-yellow-gold color collection journal all the time.  I have it open for ongoing viewing on my desk.   Although I wasn't thinking on any kind of subtextual level, or considering layering meaning as well as color application, in this moment of time it seems inspired to remind myself that all sacral questions seek the resolution of volitionary action.

Leomagicsome days ago I called an official time out on my main blog.  It doesn't work to post there when I'm immersed in something as deep as it is personal.  My internalized/frail ego/vulnerability level in such times can't sustain the entire premise and purpose of that particular sharing space. But this blog doesn't aim (or need) to set either the same standard or tone.   After the time out set root of a productive nature, somebody I mentor came around to that blog's comments section and invoked all kindsa yellow/solar/leo energy he knows to be the crux of my earthly soul's resilience factor.

i thought it was - at best - aspirational on his part.

but it worked.  That's the main thing.

Griefpage1the deeper purpose of recent soul growth-work is making more than adequate space for itself.  Within that space I've begun to articulate the overwhelming season of loss I experienced - beginning around this point in the years calendar - that was due in large part to Covid.

Griefricksomething simple, imperfectly elegant, inadvertently messed-up/air bubbles and contextually Everything for the unCovid mic drop of my incomparable friend, rick.

DowhatsrightnotNear the beginning of solar month I discovered the resin smudged note while tidying up.  It's from years ago.  In the process of awaiting something 'worthy' I turned some kind of intentional corner so that I simply wanted to find it a comfortable home.

Grieftwostoriesa story of deep grief transcending itself.

SunstampYesterday evening I found a piece of fabric stamped many times with a representation of sun magic & medicine.

InthosedaysOne of the stampings was placed to headline a snippet of narrative.  I held this cloth in my hand and read the words in my handwriting seven or eight times.  I have no idea wtf this refers to.  Not just what but whom.  My twenty first year was quixotic and relatively untethered.  It spanned (this sounds way more glamorous and noteworthy in its episodic qualities than it actually was, by far ...) 3 continents  and 7 countries within the first five calendar months.  I knew - in the walking around sense - any number of men who routinely betrayed themselves.  After squeezing my mind on the subject, I can think of three who semi-routinely fell on their sword for me.  The four of us were yoked to a highly disorganized, recreationally unpleasant, and insufferably narcissistic boss.  Nuff sed.

Samplerwhole am both baffled and intriqued by the personal mystery factory.  have resolved to steam refresh, then press smooth.  Hand sew stay stitching at the edges.  Hoop it up and backstitch my words into place.  Keep going from there. 

i like the idea of this showing up somewhere that won't matter to me with somebody i won't know saying 'i wonder what THIS was all about.' 

and.

i would not be able to tell them even if I could magically be there to speak in human language once more.

 cartersfacingthedoorspeaking of words - this is what two-pass working draft quality now looks like as I wend my way through the previously procrastinated,  emotionally and mechanically difficult corridors of my novel-writing project.  Think it's obvious I keep doing this Thing on a primarily daily basis.  In the past while there have been a few days in a row when I didn't write.  The self-mother in me would not allow it.  In that time the sun didn't shine in the literal sense.  I sat on the couch and let myself be held in the love of friends as well as my personal faith in the larger universe of healing and happenstance.  This one's going to take awhile to situate and explore with the necessary level of fearlessness.  Otherwise there's no point.  I'm not a healing-lite kind of person.

note:  the two children in this snippet are 4 and half years old.  Cici is unwanted by her family (although deeply treasured and loved by Carter's people) and is thus passed around from relative to relative.  Dominic's her oldest cousin, who was similarly treated in his youth, and has thus risen to the considerable personal challenge (he and Jessie have a past that I cried for three days straight back in Sacral month to draft-out...shhhhh...) of coming back into town in order to be the steady guardian influence she needs. 

DominicrealizesasmuchIn the same eight days of keeping my own counsel, there was a three or four day window in which I didn't have a working power cord for my laptop.  J was kind (and kind of INSISTENT) enough to let me have his personal machine during his working hours.  The first day I managed to record (as opposed to write) three and a half paragraphs.  That's how much I struggled to get back in synch with a mouse and also the fact that the keyboard doesn't work very well and J thus has a second keyboard he uses precariously balanced against the first.  The second day I did better.  The third day I pretty much typed at will/ability level given the over-arching life circumstances.  My sense of accomplishment was calibrated against the fact I was aware, even as I was writing, that I wasn't actually working so much as taking myself along a compulsive jug handle of irrelevant happenstance and dialogue serving neither expository nor inter-layering purpose.  I guess it was a comfort to me.  To know most of these characters so well that I could spend a day doing that and thus coming closer to mooring myself in ways that support coming both farther and closer, perceptually, in a further "way" of some sort that's pragmatically as well as creatively driven.  And in direct relation to knowing what is true for and about me.

Whatportrait

A 2 hours old selfie.  In the present tense I'm squinting with a bowed head  because the strong sunlight's shining right in my eyes.  It feels great.

Also:  huge upgrade in the pragmatic sense.  During yesterday's snowstorm J. installed a second hand railing in the studio stairwell.  I can now walk up and down holding on with both hands.  This is a HUGE blessing given ongoing neuro-unreliability that's largely weather driven in terms of severity and duration.

Kneescaband my knee is almost healed ...


shibori girl yellow, etc.

YellowglennisunopenedYesterday 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!
Yellowshiborigirlopenhuh.  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...

YellowtreasuresFirst 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:

Rolledscrollin 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:

Thereisnoblue

The unrolled scroll reveals my inspiration.   Part of the request was that we hide a quote in a secret pocket.

ScrollpocketI created a lined pocket partway across the page so it was a little less obvious of a hide.

Blueandorangefrontwoven and embroidered front of page with light beading.  Each person chose the page dimensions.  I added a cloth 'gutter' (orange strip to right) to facilitate a variety of attachment/binding options. 

Backofscrollback of scroll designed as a nod towards Van Gogh's Night Sky Over The Rhone
Secretpocketused water soluble crayons to color the indigo batik.
Orangeandyellowback


Yellow as glimpsed in or from the studio

Wewillsurvivesisterhood[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.]
Sisterhood7n9discs

YellowspotscaterpillarEnjoyed 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...

Whatdowedountonfound in a homemade knockabout/everyday sketchbook

Pornographysilencedefinitely one of my writing/philosophy mothers ...

Yellowcalendulabloomspickedthat time there were so many calendula flowers I was giving friends pint jars of tincture-in-progress as Harvest gifts ...
Yellowdandelionquiltcenter of a small art quilt celebrating the dandelion medicine spirit made on request by J.

YellowsilkhankieSilk throwers waste

Yelloworangebuddhalucky capture in my home during a different winter season

Sacredyangsourcethe archetype i use to access my inner yang/sacred male nature.  I spose for times when St. Francis is not enough ...

SehkmetSekhmet - Egyptian Goddess of the sun.

Yellowinsightart journal from 2015 or early 2016

Yellowbeesandsunflowerfrom SL2 on Lammas '05

Solarflares o l a r    f l a r e

TinlittlefindhornYellow daisy-like flowers traded as pot-luck bare rootstock.  And friend ...

YellowartjournalsafeYellow is my personal safety color.  there is a story there ...


orangeness in art journals plus thoughts

This is actually a fairly yellow post in terms of how the words are put together as well as what they express.  [and then heart - uh - muscled into the middle of everything, too.] The journal pages hold orange-ness and distinctly orange qualities of expression.

***Please note.  i spent part of yesterday afternoon bringing back all the collage challenge posts including the numerous prep-posts I published during last December. ***

OrangejustshowupThe centerfold of my first attempt to cut and layer page edges in this kind of way.  I was working with a book that offered a full year's self-guided relatively deep dive into art journaling.  I won't mention the book title because I know this particular process - specifically it's lack of addressing mental health/emotional backup support context - is legit upsetting to a few of my friends who are art therapists. I also know how I felt myself when somebody approached the exercises here in a way that caused disruption to the mainframe for about a minute and a half's worth of teachable-ness that one hopes will be effective - or at least of some marginal use for two people just starting out on the life path of reaching out from a soulful place laced with vision clarity and then seeing what happens. 

subtext:  I'm the seasoned one, here.  so I guess my first line of business each and every month is to figure out what that means as the days unfold.

OrangeLustTulipmania
[another page in my informal botanical art journal.  first I used watercolor ground without reading about it or watching any videoes.  I just put a ton on all around the pasted down tulips.  A strand of hair got caught in it and I just cut off the part beyond the page, etc. Only in retrospect do I realize I could/should have sanded the rippling over-abundance of grounding material and at some point pressed flat[ter] under books.  At the time I wrecked a pitt pen and moved on.  We'd seen the movie Tulip Mania the night before and had a long discussion about the general historical event afterwards.  J was surprised I knew some stuff and delivered info with such enthusiastic verve.  I said to him, 'it's about flowers, isn't it ???']

One thing I learned very beautifully from last year's spontaneously decided-upon collage challenge is that amazing things can happen when someone is willing and ready to trust someone else enough to come into a place of much deeper trust with themselves.  I learned that from the group, from the amount of challenges and lessons I juggled behind the scenes, and here on the verge of the House of Self/solar center, I will also say I learned a tremendous amount from my previously established inner resources.  The most important thing I learned was that what I'd already established at an internal level was far less disparate and meager than I imagined in my conscious mind's skew of who I was. 

suicide prevention/risk assessment work needs to have a strong heart connection but the heart center itself must be protected simply to keep it beating and beaming strongly in the rest of life.  That means what I knew of myself as a leader comes from the sacral belly and Ajna territory.  I did not have the luxury (and this is exactly the most organic way to put it) of leading from my heart within my larger work.  It would have been trampled to shreds within - knowing myself as I do - less than a month.

So I found out about the specific creative/healing magic that comes from a purely heart-centered place when I started prepping for the collage challenge in December.  Part of that was various energetic/intentional magic kind of work here in the studio.  I opened a channel.  And because I came from a heart centered place - and purely a heart place - everything that came back to me was from the heart as well. 

the biggest learning:  when you aren't focused on the most broken and abandoned parts of the population, and you offer something that is purely enjoyable and fun within a built-in but intimately sized community - 95% of the heart you will be shown flowing back to you is likely to be WOW so heart-full and loving. 

this is what we all have within us at all times - the Power of Heart.  That's one of the two secondary things the collage challenge taught me.  The subtext, of course, is that combined heart energy is immeasurably powerful.  It can connect disembodied space into a bona fide community.  This is an invaluable thing to start thinking about more tangibly as another season of lockdown living gets underway.

Orangehorsesass[This is from a dedicated art journal I kept during my second Saturn return.  I was really irritated with my husband that day - who was returning right along with me.]

I think it all boils down to what's patently obvious from the onset.  People need to be able trust themselves as well as the leader.  If they can't do both they must at least have one of the trust factors firmly grounded.  After grounding comes focus.  Being willing to give that to yourself and how you're feeling/reacting before it becomes a part of the mainframe's focus.

I've always felt able to trust myself in relation to personal growth/creative exploration work.  I learned to trust my leadership abilities when a person who, by any measure, was a world class leader-oriented teacher told me I had excellent instincts and unique skills worth developing. 

Orangeravens Right now I feel that way very very strongly about the two young gentlemen doing all the heavy lifting so absolutely all I have to do is show up and maintain faith the magic will make itself for and with whoever shows up with me.

I want both R and M to move forward in learning what that means to them.  So in the coming YELLOW House of Self month I'll combine art journal pages with stuff I've learned about leadership, healing energy, and what I've learned that applies to me not quite as specifically as I've chosen to imagine in the past.  My intention is inspire an inner look at your own solar expression because we all need our inner sun's light to shine on and on and on right now.

because we are ALL leaders - if only of ourselves and what directional course we set at any given point of our day/night.

 


Mid-Point Flow

CitrinsaluteRealized I needed a Dive check-in post so my personal life/work/review will have to wait.   Earlier today I reconnected with the hand-worked citrine point above.  It used to be double-pointed but at some correlating life-point it shattered and I don't remember how.   Have spent the past two days immersed in rediscovering how my creative flow patterns might be reconfigured following so much emotional release.   This has involved not just my studio time but developing greater flow in the house as well.  Smudging and rearranging things.  Clearing space and raising the octave levels with the coming solstice in mind.

SacralpagelitTook all these pics in the room's last fifteen minutes of direct sunlight.  One thing I noticed during the turbulent shadow phase of this experience is how much grounding value I gained from mixing up my creative approach to any given project on my work desk. 

have been greatly and great/fully influenced by grace's fabric collages.  today I made the first tentative step to go the other way - to do something I've forbidden myself time and again.  I will easily put fabric to paper but NEVER paper to fabric.  I don't know why I simply know it's forbidden. 

so today:

Paperonclothit is glued down and the fabric square is further glued down and since then there has been more paper glued around and so forth.  I will show more in the pretty soon range.  Am giving myself time every day just to stand there at the work deck and fiddle with different arrangements in this particular art journal.  The fact that I'd previously stenciled-in page spreads for the chakras seemed perfectly dovetailed towards getting myself re-involved with this particular project.  It's largely collaged based but not exclusively.

In this dwindling 'short' eclipse portal window I've been flowing in many ways beyond the studio but I notice this is where I made my basic daily choices and set my intentions in alignment with how things might well move forward.

LetitgopageMuch of an emotional/sacral backlog nature was released during the first 7-9 days of this month's process.  Several people noticed it and reached out for confirmation and affirmation in the loveliest ways.  I've felt both those things from myself - somehow managing to reconfigure a few pieces of personal mystery here and there. 

Asungoddessthe more uncomfortable the cosmic birth canal became the more I felt myself willing energy to and from the third/solar chakra.  Sometime I had to time-out myself just to get a handle of the ingrained instinct and impulse combined.   Otherwise I just wanted to ground from the lunacy about & beyond, hit my various week-end goals and then move into this new week focused on the principles of flow and intuition.  The latter feels pretty worn out from various ways it wove itself through the first two weeks.   So I've been picking up where I left off very many years ago in the practice  of daily stone work of a sacred nature.

OrangestoneshellAnd to that end I went around earlier today and looked for orange-ish stones.  Looking in mixed micro-collections in tea-cups and many different glass or ceramic bowls and larger shells, mostly abalone.  Here in the studio and through the house.  Some are quite old friends.  I thought I'd lost the Thompsonite with its mesmerizing orange eyes.  Also have been yearning for the shell and rough chip of carnelian as well as the polished oval.  Two red jasper chips - a shamanic mentor felt this to be essential for creating sheltered landing strips when actively journeying or meditating on a collective scale.

this stuff comes back to me - so much of it set aside as an excess of accumulating far more intellectualized experience and sense of self when I felt best served to pursue the opposite.  So my stones are scattered everywhere around and part of the ongoing connection to maintaining and rebuilding my red tap root/life force is to retrieve them for contemplating and beyond one energy center at a time.

WorkingtableI broke down my fictionland querent/tarot reading into different groupings of how I felt the cards' energies had been showing themselves in the rest of my life.  At the solstice I usually switch over to reading with The Greenwood Tarot.   It's a very different vibe but one that matches well with my need to connect more at a ground/roots/ancient level than something that's cosmic and future-tense driven.  That's what I need from my solar return forward.  The deck itself will undoubtedly enjoy the rest.

also I don't need any more readings for fictionland.  maybe ever at least for this book.  I've broken the full arc of the storyline down in several formats now - thanks in part to what I gained from doing the readings as intently as I have up to this point.  What this means energetically is that I'll relocate where I do the readings and can thus expand my renewed interest in stone/crystal based energy work up here in the studio.

***

Orangepensfind something orange to write with.

banish as much sacral toxicity as you can one sentence at a time.

it's amazing how the scope and context of stuff that floats loose on its own or we seek to round up because it's time to do no less shifts once the details emerge in such an inherently mood-elevating cheerful color.  Shred the results so there's nothing left but random symbols in the uplifting color.   Glue the strips down in a grid shape.   Now even your discarded emotional detritus finds a useful purpose within forming a containment system.  Fill the resulting sections with images you'd like to hold in this energy center as well as that which you know it already contains of a positive and illuminated nature.  Or just cut shapes from orange-based scraps on hand and glue them into an organized focal re-vision. Give yourself a chance to admire how different this personal check-in looks than however it would have appeared if we'd done this exercise on day two or three.

What creative/primal cave-like wisdom exists for you that didn't exist in the opening bars of this exploration?  How can you expand upon what you're learning about yourself and your own unique conduit of flow with creative inspiration?

Think about the most beautiful orange flower that you know - the one that holds the most light and vibrant orange-ray energy in your experiences and also within your heart and soul.  Make something that speaks of their magic & meaning to you.

Today I'm bringing back a post called Sympathetic Evolution.

Californiapoppieshillside


fulfilling my RED intentions .1

RedscrapingI chose to do my informal sketching in an equally informal botanical sketchbook. Decided I'd scrape pure red acrylic gouache as a simple background and work with a graphic arts pen I keep on my coffee table work space at all times. Simple and back to basics.  Used the scraping opportunity to start out skimpy with the red areas/paint load and then let the vast array of empty space gradually build into something more solid.  I created an ongoing spontaneous meditation on the red square/root chakra work I've been doing all month as I sketched. 

ArchangelicarootI knew I wanted to sketch an Archangelica angelica root but instead of sketching it three times I worked from three separate reference images.  Lysdexia was making longer term concentration quite challenging.  You can see a vestige of it in the fact that I got the botanical name of my favorite plant inverted. 

Dongguiroot While sketching dried Dang Gui I recalled an amazing Chinese herb shop that used to be on Harvard Street in Allston.  And finally I drew a close up of tiny hairlike A. archangelica rootlets because they are so much fun to create with marks of many kinds.

Angelicarootspread

Tinyrootlets

Then I celebrated roots in a different way.  It was something I'd been meaning to make time for throughout this month and then once my body began foretelling today's torrential rain I just let myself curtail plans & ambition and instead reconnect with an old friend:

Wildroots  I adore this book equally for the information it contains and the marvelously sensitive pencil drawing of innumerable root systems.  Sat here on the dreaming couch and dropped all the down into my own sense of rootedness.  Memories of sharing this book and actively building community through book sharing more generally.  With each flip of the page I felt infused with the energy of so many herbal root systems holding so many personal and dreaming memories.  Time very well spent.

AngelicarootFor the A. angelica root example I decided to include some of the text to show a snippet of the author's voice and level of information provided.  It can be tricky to find a copy but well worth putting on a someday/quest list as well as searching down through inter-library loan. The pencil drawings are exquisite throughout.

DaylilyrootsDaylily. He really gives the root systems room to breathe on the page and I love that about the layout.

SpikenardrootSpikenard.  I love the tracery skeleton like shape suggestive of a human heart...

Every single page is a journey in drawing sensitivity as well as technical skill and a killer plant geek's eye.

SunnycoyotesquareThere's a part two for this topic involving glimpses of what I discovered when I went on a dedicated & specific search for ORANGE and discovered some additional significant RED instead.


collage & paint in visual journals

Visitingandsketchbook11920

Whatisaliciacomplete Awhile back I expressed my sense of disconnect to collaging.  It seemed too much like what my brain was trying to do the rest of the time  in the endless task of making some type of personal sense out of the world around me.  Both activities create narrative from disparate form(s) and that part of my brain got exhausted for a relatively long bit of time. 

I know I posted about this page after it took me forever to glue down What Is Alicia and the red flower on grey scraps.  Can't locate it right now though.  But it's taken me since whenever that was to gather an answer to the right scraps to answer that question.

CovidsptradIt took a long time to complete this narrative as well.  now it speaks well of the ragged beauty to be found despite the menace to ongoing equilibrium.  Bright emerald green is the color of healing physically and returning to a more organic form or other rendering of our individual life force. I'll add orange paint pen strokes to the blank spaces in the paint scraped background.

ReleasethehealingAdded the collage elements above the day of that weird Four Seasons press conference. In the flower essence realm - daisies offer us help in synthesizing overwhelming amounts of information from disparate sources.  I feel like that ability broke in me some time over the past week and I'll use the rest of whatever collage emerges to piece together something more sustainable and simply wired.

Dowhatsright

ThingscelestesspirtCeleste was a very special cat who was part of our family for 23 years.  Over the past weekend J, T, and I buried her ashes in a special memorial plot we created back in the spring.  We took our time finding the right moment and garden space.  I feel a lot more confident and less overprotective now that the space is fenced.  I still miss her intensely from time to time but the ongoing sorrowful yearning part of the missing has dissipated. 

Shemightseethis

Thingsshemightsee2

Whatimightshowher

Shemightseepage*

Today I'm bringing back this post about a favorite sketchbook from '19.  I thought it was '18.  That's how long this year feels.  It's kind of freaking me out that the collage challenge was only 10 and a half months ago.  How can that be true?  Time's the thing that's changed the most it often seems to me ...


Red/Square

SquarebeginningYesterday I began my sympathetic chakra journal.  Will be working in an 11 x 14 art journal with watercolor paper.  The book will be dedicated solely for this purpose.  I'm looking on it as an ongoing mindfulness practice rather than something to get done and then on to the next thing. That said part of my personal mindfulness leveling-up for this project relates to keeping my ideas from mushrooming beyond reasonable proportions given its long term nature.

*

I cut a 8.75 square of lightly textured scrapbook paper.  I find it's easier to paint on because the texture provides tooth that's not so much similar to a priming layer as it's texture, period.  Paper without protection/sealant is going to be a roll of the dice. Scrapbook paper can take a lot of abuse and it's a substrate well worth considering if you're new to art supplies.

The shiny heart has been trimmed smooth and somewhat buffed. I like that it's a bit dinged though.  It's here to represent a very core first chakra relationship to a human quality that's been dragged through the mud for the past four and a half years:  LOYALTY

Have been thinking a lot since this opportunity came my way about how damaged I perceive our collective and singular root chakra to be because of a deranged person driving us over one cliff after another. The more I thought  about that the more I thought about how important it is to reclaim a collective energy center from the very dark shadow side of itself. 

Loyalty expressed as love.  Love expressed with loyal understanding that there's a commitment implicit in that word.  The more I thought about it the more I wanted to commit to the premise of loving loyalty to the Whole.  But first I wanted to express another core self-world relationship emblematic of this energy center:  BOUNDARIES

SquarewstencilI wanted to connote boundaries in a way that felt luminous rather than reactive or representations of stuff I'm inclined to exclude entirely from my own energy center.  It's a big ask but I feel the least I can do is create a sympathetic marker of my intention.

color junkies - note how the red changes to a deeper apple-red kind of color when it's right next to the pink/madder colors on the metal stencil's taped edges.

StenciledsquareThe addition of flourescdent red paint skews the original red  towards wine/brick territory.  Because I started with a very clean bright red the deepening remains clear rather than muddy.  Really liked the way I was able to introduce a sense of imbalanced making-do with the stencil plate overlap to suggest seismic shifts within established order.  Thought to turn the stencil over so the excess paint could be smeared to suggest further ruptures in balance and energetic integrity.  Love the surprise result: some of the excess paint turned parts of the geometric grid into flowers. 

RedsquareungluedI'll add an additional collage component that I've managed to misplace in a room full of paper.  I might add some secondary collage elements if I can find or draw some appropriately scaled Crocosmia and/or Red Echinacea flowers.  Sometime before the lunar cycle ends I'll have a posting about red flowers and their healing/illumination correspondences on my main blog.  For now I'm keeping this initial venture into the very first project simple and graphic enough to use as a meditative aid.  If it works well I might consider making something specifically for that purpose on a wood panel.

***

another first chakra sphere of influence encompasses family, tribal affiliations & traditions, and ancestral wisdom.  To that end I present a few of the original Old Nanas.  As I've said many times they called themselves The Ladies.  I collaged grace's name within her own tribe over my memories because I realized The Ladies had been Old Nanas in deed and intent where I was concerned. 

the occasion for so many smiles and cake was either my 10th or 11th birthday. Pearl's holding the cake with me. 

Oldnanasgiven the above it's a no brainer to bring back the pre-collage challenge post in which I broke down an Old Nana kit I prepared for grace.


unretouched

Yesterday I knew I was making progress when I hit the base layer of paper scraps related to last January's collage challenge.  That's how far I get every time I attempt to clear my work desk.  Once I hit the point of surveying a tantalizing wealth of collage fodder I pull out various journals and sketchbooks and start working in them all at once. 

Sketchbookpage103020The same thing happened late yesterday afternoon. One thing led to another once I was reunited with this particular sketchbook/journal.  Now I'm back inside of that book and a few others.  Most people I know who become interested in working in books as an ongoing thing often wind up focused on more than one book at time so there's something to do while waiting for other pages to dry, etc.

In the page spread above I'd pasted a few things on the left hand side - planning to explore the color palette in the fabric and painted paper scraps.  But then I wanted something less refined.  I just wanted to jump into the book and stay there for a little while.  I began with paint smears and super basic mixing based on this triad:

Autumnprimary I wish I had remembered that Turquoise and red oxide just do not make a pleasant purple/violet.  I like the grey tones of washing out the color distribution.  For a mixing triad I would generally go with Venetian Red for the other two.  Red oxide was the closest in this line which I'm trialing throughout this year with an eye towards using them exclusively as the first couple paint layers. The paintings need to be camera/scan ready  and I wish I'd opted for the other red I have to hand; no-cad red light.  I also want to mix the turquoise with raw sienna and see what the value and contrast range might look like.  Works great with watercolors.  Today when I play in this book I'll be working with that mixing on a different page.  Also want to see what kind of orange comes from the no-cad red light.

Frontwindow1stsnowfall103020This is what it looks like as I type this post.  The snow may or may not be stopping.  Our baker emailed to offer flexible pickup times in deference to the roads everyone must drive to reach her kiosk deep in the woods.  We opted for tomorrow's pick up and are grateful.

StudioguessNight before last J brought our field guardian inside.  She is not to have any contact with ice or sleet and we knew wintry mix was on its way.

SecretsmysteryAm getting ready for the first/root chakra and thus the color red.  Recalled I had started a spread for each of the energy centers.  Decided to share this particular journal's title page in this post as well as one side of the root chakra's spread.

RootchakrasecretsnmysButterfly and paint chips aren't glued down because they will not remain.  They're helping me visually meditate - the difference between clear running energy and that which is sluggish or in some way toxified.  How that might be portrayed visually.

DonteventhinkAlso set up a personal Above/Below/Within related to the coming month of root chakra work.  I chose themes and imagery related to first chakra qualities that feel especially important to me at this time.  Top to Bottom relating to first chakra's qualities of boundaries, embodiment and core energy.   Bottom to top as aligned with my pre-selected triune: truth, myth, circumstance.  Will next consider how to mix and match those six building blocks.

If you aren't part of the Deep Dive group and are more established blog readers simply following along because why not  --

Search for imagery, pieces of fabric, and so forth that might be used in constructing a red square.  In the second to the last photograph in this post look at the stenciled image.  Notice the blank/cream square behind the chrysanthemum.  Imagine you could remove it and work the center of a sacred symbol as a piece of personal sympathetic magic.  

in other words

NONE of us feel truly stable right now although I imagine most are doing our level best to stay as balanced as possible.

What if there was a physical "red square" where you went to set energetic roots?  Imagine consciously drawing-up nourishment and illumination from ageless wisdom or even just a stray thought you had when you first woke up that offered comfort, nourishment or resilience.  

Think of what's been grounding, stabilizing, and connected you to a deeper part of yourself over the course of time spent in a larger arena of chaos, neglect, autocracy, and soul erosion. 

Let whatever you know to be true for yourself at that specific level be the starting point of building a red square.  This could wind up being a red-on-red nine patch, a freeforall collage you wind up cutting to size or something more deliberate of graphic arts nature.

 *

Today's snow squalls are making hash of my usual atypical neuro-functioning.   I'm at 1/3 speed right now due to nerve-zaps as well as marginal walking and talking level disability. Overlayed with a bit of fuzziness due to pain management option of choice.   Am intent to continue puttering within cleaning up and a spontaneous collage party with myself as I clear more space and also put things back in their places. 

*

Yesterday I started re-posting old entries and brought back a scrap quilt tribute to my Aunt Grace.  Today I'm bringing back a love letter to my favorite city.  Always assumed I'd be visiting a handful more times but now I've become deeply grateful for the memories from the post and a trip over the winter break of '03 when J and I met T for his winter break and had a massive two week road trip through northern Italy together.


Day 22 results

Florencevalentine

[Woke up with a strong intention to collage a valentine to a tiny lake inside the Adirondack Park blue line.  Beloved to my husband and I since the summer we were both 23 and discovered it together.  Then something in my deeper creative mind jacknifed the plan.  I guess you never forget your first love/sense of idyllic human completion.]

Innamorata -

Although you've had millions of devoted admirers over the centuries I can only hope that all their sweetest memories of your charms remain as vivid and alluring as my own.  I shall never forget the first evening I spent in your embrace made fragrant by night blooming flowers.  I first caught sight of your beauty from a rooftop dining space alight with the day's Golden Hour as I'd never experienced it.  Seeing a sea of similarly incandescent terra cotta rooftops awash in the same glow my soul felt itself reach for your hand.  You seduced me simply and completely.

Unable to sleep from the sheer excitement of being newly 18 and thousands of miles removed from anything  that would stop me from making decisions purely my own - I went with my two mid-70's EuroTour roomates to discover you as a threesome of young americans determined not to be ugly in our tourism and unafraid to venture forth in search of a city's true soul.  We wished to know you, Florence, as our jammed-packed tour itinerary would never reveal. 

We literally stapled our passports to the inside of our underwear and then moved empty-handed into the night of a place we'd never been and were unafraid to explore.  We simply followed the sound of voices and lights.  We'd been in Italy for about a week after traveling on an Italian ship for eight days to reach Naples.  The experience had taught us where we'd see, learn and laugh the most - voices & lights were our password to Truth for that magical 6 week window's worth of time.  It never once steered us to a bad or frightening place.  Not even when we followed an increasingly massive roaring sound to the piazza surrounding your jewel of architectural renown.

We'd unwittingly followed the sound of rage and resounding large-scale mobilization straight into some type of political rally that packed humans tight.  The air shimmered with the sound of their collective voice raised as one united by uncompromising dissent. We turned as a single whirl of legs and arms.  Your night air caressing us.  Knowing not to run outright and draw attention to ourselves.  We walked brisking without a clue of what we were doing.  Only one of us, after some panic-stricken hissing, was able to recall the name of our hotel.  But she didn't know where it was located. 

Directly in front of us were three stylishly dressed dark and handsome men three or four years older then we.  They at first were speaking ugently, all at once, in obvious group encouragement to arrive at the rally we were fleeing.  Then one of them saw us doing that and grabbed the arm of an another.  Without even a twitch of eye-contact consultation they pivoted towards us. 

We must not be frightened.  It was only a communist rally.  They themselves were communists but clearly reasonable and nothing to fear.  Said in three languages before I picked up enough friench, and another girl leaned into some rusty german translating abilities to get from one end of the thought to the other.  They were the handsomest, suavest, most self-assured young men I'd ever met let alone spent time with.  Only these many years later do I realize how rare it is to want to spend time with men that fit such description.

Florence - you gave me the most romantic safely madcap night of my life then and one of its sweetest fleeting memories now.  All held within your embrace.  Under a sky I'd paint with a base of cobalt blue and then find union with a host of specially mixed indanthrone blue and purple-grey tones.  I don't know if there were stars and a moon.   I do know there was a long luxurious stroll across an ancient bridge that held the imprint of your centuries' human foot traffic.

For a while we six stood in a silent line and gazed at the far more famous bridge that crosses your Arno river.  It was a lovely moment in a timeless place.  At some point the spell broke and I remember us talking in two somewhat urgent groups of belated consultation. Where were we going?  It appeared neither group knew. 

The gentlemen (for that's what they were...) weren't from this city but another they kept assuring us was of no importance.  Not in a forget you saw us way but simply reassuring us they lived nowhere we were obliged to visit as diligent tourists.  We laughed with a tentative willingness to proceed as a group intent on sharing the evening.   

(because of this long ago gift you bestowed, my most magical Florence, I never ever question unlikely paradise instead of disaster within movies showing us make-believe lives practically nobody actually lives.)

We ate watermelon.  And they taught us a regional dialect word from their grandparent's generation for this sweet delicious fruit that I still remember.  We climbed a seeming eternity of stairs and years into the future I'd return here and literally facepalm to see how close we'd been to the Uffizi Gardens. Climbing and climbing it seemed like time out of space until something very real and big crashed directly in front of us.  It was a stag; close enough to rear back at the rank odor of his scent.  Coming from where to reach what destination?  It was impossible to know.  All of us were amazed in a way that left us gasping with laughter.  Kissing occurred.  And then the night sky erupted with dazzling white light.  Music familiar to our shared generation - no matter where we lived - followed only seconds later.

We climbed the final distance to the edge of Piazzale Michelangelo.   It was ablaze with a glare of strung lights.  Internationally popular music pulsed from the back of open cars ringing the outer curve of the wide Piazzale.  We ladies jumped and clapped and spun to grab whoever we'd been kissing.  The young men laughed as a single voice of triumphant youth about to have a good time.  The evening - although retrospectively chaste - had spun us all in a web of delighted willingness to say Yes to you and ourselves and each other  We danced for several hours.  Stopping to drink water and eat more watermelon.  Strolling the very edge of the curve - shouting out greetings to people in our age-tribe dressed all manner of ways with all manner of accents and languages.   To kiss while wordlessly conveying in an entirely mutual way that was all that would happen. 

The walk back down the innumerable stairs didn't occur until daybreak.  Shoes in hands sticky with watermelon juice we marveled at all the terraced natural beauty we'd walked through with no awareness of how lovely and magical the night had actually been as it pulsed all around us.  Excitement erupted when the Stag's crashing after-trail was discovered.  We all stood still to stare at the proof of what we'd witnessed.  Just us and the stag.  Each of us turned slowly to search the landscape.  It was still impossible to guess where the stag had come from and where it was going.

And Florence.  I've never before told anyone ever about this night.  It was just too perfect to contain with mere words.

It still is.  That's why I added tiny hints of what it felt like using beautiful papers inspired by your own forever-beauty. ..