RED

something i forgot

Primaryholdingcloth010221Last 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. 

Orangebutterflycorner

PrimaryredThe 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.

Primarybutterflies

Yellowprimary1Finding 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.

OrangebutterflycornerAm 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".

Orangeencrustration1I 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 ...

joyous amazement.

today I'm bringing back a post entitled bring me the fripperies.  Same general style of excessiveness. 

FlowercornerI don't know why this image is so washed out  The piece's truest colors are visible in the lede image.


examples of shadow eviction

DecemberdevilsDecember is my trigger month.  Simply enumerating the individual 'bad' anniversaries in this concentrated block of time in which 'everyone else' is frenetically doing all the zippy happy things they absolutely always do every single year of their lives can be an exhausting experience for me and whoever [legitimately] asked to hear it.  The piece above is from my Bead Journal Project (BJP) series of 7 inch squares.  It's called, obviously enough, The Devil You Know & The Devil You Don't.  I usually try to photograph it so there's a clear image of my normalcy range/daily life visible within the abnormalcy I've articulated. 

Although it comes from a dark place and I'm sure most if not all the people who usually read here aren't thrilled I posted it yet again as I so often do during this month - this is one of my favorite pieces of work.  Because it DID work both in its resolution and as a very potent form of sacral exorcism.  Resolution-wise there's room to question which devil got vaporized as well as what each devil represents.  Everyone participates as they draw close enough to catch their own face in the two mirrored lenses. Creatively I'm aware I slayed both the devils as I personally named them and a whole bunch of nasty-assed dragons as well.  Most originated at the root level but the blasted oak level of emotional and psychic damage occurred in the second chakra/womb. 

This is true, by the way, for far greater numbers of people than most other people like to contemplate or actively embrace as collective reality.  It's another one of those we're all soaking in it cultural/geo-political experiences.

which is why I continue to post it more Decembers than not.  Because I did - somebody out there is gonna pick up a few creative tools and make something they really need to make in order to understand more about the power they hold and can build upon incrementally and continuously - specifically because of rather than in spite of - the person they've become as a result of the power that was taken from them.

You are out there and you're hell yeah ready to do this.

and that's really all I care about as I write these words and publish the post.

we are not 'the few' but we are certainly the brave.

***

Goodbyeuassholes

Spelling doesn't count in this kind of creative work.  Two people asked if I might illustrate the written prompt about writing things down and then getting the various sentences to the point of breaking down their meanings by breaking down their structure.  My process is underway but what I've done so far should be enough to start your own engine and then keep going.

CrosstalkI wrote the original sentences in a water soluble art crayon and then smeared the orange color around with a wet brush.  Wrote two opposite direction lines of cross talk in a stabilo marker.  Next I'm going in on the diagonal.  First with a metallic orange bronze acrylic paint and once that dries on the opposite direction with some type of pastel orange/salmon craft paint.

not hard at all in terms of execution. 

 And the more honest and forthright you are with yourself the more toxicity you'll release.

see about doing this before the solstice.  Get as far as the eviction.  If you can't manage it before, maybe plan to do the actual tearing into strips on the solstice.

Either option will give you a lot more room to hold a LOT more light ...

Manyfacesmanyphases

Many Faces Many Phases

by Cathy Weaver Taylor

This lunar cycle's artwork for the lunation's 13th cycle of the year.

Namaste


orange meets red

MovingupwardsThe vermillion square of corduroy is something I found on a search for an orange altar cloth I've probably never made.  That will quite likely change at some point over this month.  For now I am contemplating the next energy center by way of the High Priestess (renamed Enchantment) card I made within my own modest and woefully incomplete foray into creating a deck of my own.  For me this card embodies everything sacral that I'm likely to focus on at a personal level.  But who knows.  A co-creative process like this forges its own path as a collective energy grows enough to really hone in on itself.  Literally anything could happen!  For any and all of us!

DiscoveredredWhile I was looking for the non-existent orange cloth I ran across this red based cloth I recalled upon sight but didn't remember when I began to rummage in the box.  Once I had ironed it and sat holding it for a little while I decided to set it out on the corner of my coffee table workspace.  To let it be the place where I kept personal track of my equally personal experiences with this ongoing process.

ResquarealtarvignettePreviously I had the High Priestess and the red square on the edge of my long artist's altar.  Thought it was good to include a glimpse of mine since I'm about to ask if you have one too.  Everybody who's reading here and working/playing in their own ways is an unquestioning creative light of one or many kinds.

LightstruckbasketofstonesYesterday (when the sun was shining) I created an intentional chakra-ish altar on the cloth I placed on the coffee table.  This little basket of stones and ceremonial talismans seems important.  Am I the only one here that spent years wishing to make the plural talisMEN?

SunnycoffeetableHow my coffee table appeared in yesterday's light.

OpeningtospiritThis is my favorite chakra oriented idea book/reference guide.  I like it because it combines a great number of modalities that are appealing to me both spiritually and aesthetically. 

Sacralchakrapage
The symbol for the second/sacral chakra is a crescent moon oriented like a sheltering bowl or Hathor's sacred horns.  Either reference works well for this chakra.  So does the simple inner memory of a beautiful crescent moon that rose and/or set with this orientation - luminous and electrified within a perfect summer-indigo sky. 

I like the relationship of:  the sacred home of 'I'

OrangeadditionsAlmost every reference I consulted lists carnelian as the stone of choice for this chakra.  I've always hewed towards citrine and this was no exception.  The small sliver of baby citrine crystals on the right holds deep personal significance from my (younger) roaring twenties.  The color to re-balance an over saturated sacral center is BLUE.  The raw aquamarine beryl above is a stone I personally collected as a newly 9 year old child.  Back in June I set it outside for awhile - moving it from place to place to collect information 'on the ground' as well as light.  Have held it some every day since, you know, we elected a president and then the aftermath of that was pretty much like I and everybody else who's been primarily focused on the psycho-neuro angle of things thought it would be. So there's been a lot of just holding on to the stone and concentrating on the ongoing intention to allow my emotions to exist without being overwhelmed by them.

'thinking how things will be' and actually living through them is a whole other beast.   Sometimes my ongoing sense of life as we live our human experience(s) as individuals and a collective pretty much boils down to that particular truth. 

Visualize an orange bowl.  What does it look like?  Is it an actual bowl in your life?  Can you get it out/re-purpose it as a bowl of sacral contemplation?

I have an enormous orange tupperware bowl.  It's existed since my son first learned to walk. In fact the first time he walked all the way across a room unaided he did so specifically in order to sit in the bowl and laugh at great length.   Since then the orange bowl has become a fixture on the kitchen table of every place we've lived.  It's always there.  I always think "that's the perfect sacral orange."  I have never before today thought to imagine re-purposing that bowl for part of an afternoon and using it to do something meditational and healing with the sacral chakra in mind.   

Would like to do something that elevates the fact that it's plastic somehow.  Like fill it full of freshly plucked gardenia flowers that are only partially opened.  So maybe I'll do that over the summer when we're up at the crown and Our Lady is in flower.  For now I'm just going to remove and relocate all the plastic bags and partial garlic heads, cough drops, just the ring portions of canning lids and so forth.   Wash it by hand and elevate it.  Let it be a metaphor for everything that's been overlooked, over-filled, and over-extended.

I'll have to sleep on figuring out what I'm going to "do" once I actually get as far as what I've described.  Am kinda getting the rough idea as I sit here staring at the keyboard and letting the notion take a bit more form.   Day one of the emo-center was one of cascading rain.  Our stream is running quite briskly and by the time the rain slowed down enough to consider going for a visit I was all emo'd out.  I want to do orange things that are basic and rudimentary and possibly only knowable in true significance by me.  I want the equivalent of Jung retreating to make a replication of his childhood village from mud, straw, and stones.  I know I over-rely on that analogy but it's always been a very powerful totem of a story for me.

I want to collect orange as the color appears in this studio specifically.  I just want to see what orange IS to me as a color existing in my ongoing landscape...

today I'm bringing back the post in which I shared the major arcana tarot card mock-ups I've created with fabric collages.

Gardenia71320


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.


a state of relative peace & beauty

[eta:  every Thanksgiving season I seem to linger over deep appreciation for my grandmother Pearl's lasting and largely positive influence.  Today I'm bringing back a post about one of her small crib quilts.]

MoonunretouchedA lucky blur of a totally inadvertent sky capture through my dining room window at 12:30 a.m. this morning. The swelling moon is beyond the scrim of clouds on the left.  Also love the uplit burst of illumination caused by massive floodlights at the barn across the road.  Foxes are afoot.  In some kind of migration to locate "better" birthing dens where there's less human proximity.  This is the best guess of a friend who knows foxes the way I know their larger cousins the yotes.  During this time of year the latter recede into deeper woods and other reclusive stalking grounds.  The foxes quite promptly expand their summer territories accordingly. 

As soon as I saw the image above on my phone i started picking paint colors for both acrylics and watercolors.  Am making a point to have fun in my current sketchbook at least three times a week so this will be a good working inspiration on many fronts.

ThreepartoutcomeA few days back I had the brain storm to limit the scope of my card readings to something simple and standard:  where do I need to go next creatively?  Previously I meant that but asked the wrong and far more expansive question:  how do I synthesize everything cogently? The cards I pulled routinely included a sizeable number of major arcana that were clearly related to everything-everything.  It was overwhelming to try to translate that back into a response to the answer I meant to be asking.

duh.

Above:  I follow the practice of pulling three cards for the outcome position if the first two are minor cards.  Below:  The reading had just one major after months of anywhere from 4 to 7.

PriestessbotswanaMy streak of 'always' having this card brought to my attention continues.  In this context it's confirmation of something I felt it was important to expand despite the tweaking of contraction it will mean in other places. 

***

Next Thursday heralds the official beginning of second chakra deep dive contemplation.  That means our color based explorations will relate to the color ORANGE.

The second/sacral chakra corresponds to the element of water.   Common human relational associations include:  

Change     Movement     Flow

Sensation     Pleasure     Emotion

Need     Desire   Sexuality

The Shadow

Guilt     Duality

The sacral center's chief operating force is the attraction of opposites

***

WELL.  Since we've all been forced to live in Opposite World for far too long to keep our sense of foundational support vibrant and fully functioning-----what oh what are we to make of the utter mishmash going on collectively as well as more privately in the arenas suggested by the categories listed above? 

We are going to make Orange-ness of course!!  In a couple days I'll begin posting with prompts you customize by choosing a small selection of the most personally relevant categories.  What you make will be amplified by however you choose to answer the question I asked.  There's a broad scope of DEEP water involved with the organically fluid nature of our sacral center.  Much of what we may encounter there - especially in today's world of degrading the sacred and elemental natures of our individual and collective humanity - may prove far from pretty.  But one of the rudimentary powers of ORANGE is that it's a very powerful mood elevator. 

***  

I am not personally done with RED in that I wanted to complete and share my Red Root endeavor.  I just haven't felt very rooted at all.  So I may wind up sharing a sketch - possibly done in oil pastel - rather than the paint and collage rendering I have in my mind's eye.  Because I do want to get at least as far as manifesting a sense of my personal survival root in a relatively glowing and love-infused form. 

we'll see.

Note: This particular 'blank space' sensation may be easier to re-imagine as time goes on for ever so many reasons.  If you wanted to do that exercise but haven't been able to get it going try a very basic simple lined sketch or three. 

Further Note:  If you're new to sketching or simply don't do it very often mainly because you think you "aren't good enough" at it -- try to successfully encourage yourself to make three sketches of the same idea or reference material in one go. 

Readingover[selfie and writing snippets created during this morning's wee hours]

I look so much like my mother in this picture it's ridiculous.  Additionaly I'm pretty sure this is what I look like most of the time up here in the studio.  Maybe also plenty of other places even/especially when somebody's trying to talk to me about something else.  

  All of which suggests  writing's going well.  Am currently working on a lot of interstitial connective tissue sort of segments.  It's more technical on some levels as well as a lot more challenging in others.  I suck on the inside of my bottom lip a lot when I'm thinking.  Did somebody mention thinking?

[note.  end of second line should read that SHE'LL go off about. Pride IN rather than from in the third graph etc.]

ThatsfairCarter's parents were raised together.  Their mothers were best friends boomers who thought if you put kids where you could visually keep track of them you could otherwise 'safely' overlook them in favor of your own socialization needs.  Hence Vic taught her to read when she was four then encouraged her to keep it a secret until she was meant to begin learning in first grade.  And so forth.  When Jessie was 7 her parents died in a car crash and she was adopted by Vic's parents.  They were both told they were now brother and sister.  This became a problematic household edict once they were in their mid and later teens respectively. 

Hence Carter.  And now a few decades later, beginning to learn what it might mean to become a couple together during a very different season of their life.

The heart to heart above takes place on a road trip just prior to the official start of Northeast's hunkering season in very early March.  In part the trip is designed to meet Carter's new guy who's both quite similar and very different from him. 

Below Jessie gets to know her soon-to-be son in law (none of them realize this yet) by learning a bit more about what it means when he says he's not a morning person.  [there's a context for the Fallujah remark.  He's the one that 'mentioned' the topic - to himself.]

Ididntmentionfallujah

***

One of my most vehemently entitled to 'call it like I see it' email trolls gets really bent out of shape whenever I post these snippets.   Don't I realize my idea of "writing" is strictly draft quality work?  And such dross that I mistake for "work" often contains typos and grammatical errors?

Um.

Yeah.

I could?  But why bother.

***

hope all the other uber-weary stateside peeps who read here are having themselves a bit of a kickback holiday weekend despite the low-key disembodied nature of many families'  time this year.  I feel plenty of gratitude for plenty of things.  And have more than enough of everything I love as well as what I need. 

Plus the best possible good fortune:  to have my adult son right here for this particular holiday and those in the foreseeable future.  We are so much MOST grateful for his return to good health.  Although a lot rests on his ability to stay healthy and the six month check-up to see if that's happening. 

even within that caveat.  living with him well enough to make jokes, climb the stairs to the studio so that we might spend more time just the two of us (and the cat of course) talking together.  Having him well enough that I feel at liberty to mother-harass him into picking out a new winter jacket and some decent winter socks, asking him more complicated questions about his various political takes and concerns and of course the all important maternal let's-get-some-of-these-empty-juice-bottles-off-the-floor kind of thing.

that's A LOT at a time like this ...


simple magic: red square realignment

BookofgridsJust for context I worked in the book above to create today's exercise.   The page on the right contains four antique aluminum christmas ornaments and five I painted so I'd still have a few reserve relics from my childhood.  PaintedandmetalAm trying to make each page the right combination of soothing low-pressure layering and challenging myself in some way.   Am working quite slowly page by page.  It's my favorite way to accomplish something memorable and fun to review.

NeongridblgIn the process of thinking about RED there have also been a lot of thoughts and some talk concerning squares.  I had the idea I wanted to work with red squares that were smaller - like Liz - and spoke to my particular favored reds - like grace.   In the 'me' quadrant I visualized working with different size squares.

***

Yesterday afternoon - when I knew what I wanted to create - i was not in the right headspace to focus-into.  But I was definitely prepared to consider the root chakra's primary RED imperative: Survival.  While also feeling precious little of one of the bright red color ray's greatest blessings: Stamina.  Yesterday I took a break from writing and quickly gathered a few magazine tear-outs and book pages with tints and tones of red that most caught my eye in a stabilizing and emotionally strengthening way.

RedroughlayoutFirst I visualized all my personal red square disarray and then further visualized it slowly liquefying into pure color.  I imagined setting the color in a kettle above a sacred fire to cook down into itself.  At the same time I imagined releasing attachment to individual fear-driven moments and emotional debris (recall FEAR is the destabilizing emotional challenge of our sacred ROOT) that no longer had a home.  The color in the kettle had become a sacred space unto itself.  I free-cut squares (so I guess I ought to call them 'squares' ...) and thought about this month's internal evolution so far.

In the very beginning of the month I asked myself to visualize the damage I perceived to this energetic center at a personal level.  I saw it as a rusting stop sign shot full of bullet holes.  Then I perceived a lack of fear in approaching what remained.  I visualized putting everything in a scarlet colored velvet sack and hanging it in a closet.  Today when I first got out of bed I mentally approached that other-dimension closet and took out the sack.  A few hours later I created my vision of personal realignment as it feels possible and most cogent at this time.

RedsquarerealignmentThe largest and most resilient squares attract the smaller pieces.  Everything is falling into place even if the eventual form can't be interpreted clearly at this time.

I live in a state where the rate of doubling is making itself known. At a nationwide level some very frightening Covid-based things are happening.  The root chakra corresponds, in part, to the human immune system.  Think about what sort of root vegetable you might have on hand.  Nourish yourself as you consider what kind of root/red square-based survival enhancing realignment you can begin to put into energetic place as you work to create this simple but highly effective collage project.  Plan to make time to give yourself the treat of a fresh brothy noodle soup with plenty of garlic and ginger.

Today I'm bringing back a post from early last March.  Back at the beginning of collective root chakra High Alert energy.

Namaste.


Red Square .2

Redsquare
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. 

Middleofclothwithstone

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.


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.

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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. 

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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.