Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I don't have the camera . . .

So I can't show you the Herringbone Rib socks I've just finished with the shorter shank. (Second pair, in fact.) I can't show you the Fun Fur and Homespun I got from my youths this xmas or the wild pink Border Leicester locks from Bethe. You'll not see xmas photos or those of the recent snow storm all fluffy in my woods. The Medusa/self-portrait will go unrecorded another day ~ as well as untouched. Millie won't be able to show how much Shetland she's gotten done. Nor will you see the spindle lying dormant with the acid green and gray roving. And I certainly can't show you the hat I'm starting because Dirk lost the other one somewhere on this planet last winter.

Words will have to do.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

lux humana

Yes, it's bad Latin, but it sounds so good.

Anyway, we lit the last candle in the Advent Garden last night with the inclusion of human-created items ~ little houses, dollhouse table and chairs, a pen my brother made and a paint brush. I think these things smack of the Light of Man.

And for those who have asked: I made the table top from left over tiles, broken pottery, shells and those nifty vase beads found at $1 stores. It is a heavy table.

So. Tomorrow at sundown, we light the Solstice candle along with the others. Provided we're home, I'll let those puppies burn down in silence and safety. Well, I'm not certain of the "silence" part of that equation as there's generally some noise going on in the home at night. TV, Turrets-like cursing at the video game of the moment, barking at air ~ the usual family pandemonium outside of work/school hours in a house. But, hey, it's all good fun.

Monday, December 13, 2010

3rd week of Advent

The third light of Advent
Is the light of beasts.
The light of hope we see
In the greatest and in the least.

Representations of beasts have been added to our Advent Garden. Bennie asked what we'd add for humans. I don't want to drag out photos again so I figure we could add human constructs ~ a little house, a paint brush, haiku, small pottery . . . stuff human-made and human-used.

Tonight, we get our tree! It will be a wet tree, thanks to the rain, but it's all good. I'm eager for a little Yuletide decor 'round here. Air-blown Santas, Rudolphs and Frostys aren't enough.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Man Who Came to Dinner

Be warned: It's all about Tom.

Here he is before the show, checking on his Assistant Light Tech while looking quite snappy.

The High School was putting on a showing of The Man Who Came to Dinner by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.

More checking . . .

Finally on stage for the third act.

Tom taking the bow and a red carnation.

Tom waiting for the cast to leave the set.

Tom really working that wire . . .

deftly . . .


Tom deconstructing the set.

It was a fun night. Tom is noted in the playbill three times: once for his part, then two more times as Lighting Tech and set construction. More accolade than some ~ which makes us proud as punch. We might get to house the Egyptian sarcophagus used in the play ~ it had to actually contain one actress for an unceremonious exit. It's shiny.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Tom and I were having a conversation about certain expectations when I said, in somewhat Eddie Izzard fashion, "Look, you're British! Scale it down a bit."

Whereupon he replied, "No. I'm Irish. I scale it way down and then get drunk."

Friday, December 10, 2010

creating a new tradition

Life can change drastically sometimes. When it does, people may try to find ways to cope with the change involving the creation of New Traditions. I love to create Sacred Space and Altars ~ it's like playing House on an esoteric level. This Solstice, I have one less person in my life to celebrate with and feeling like I need something of comfort, I made an Advent Garden altar.

This nifty idea came to me by way of this Living In Season article. Erin Fossett borrowed verses of the Waldorf Advent as follows:

All the kingdoms of Nature
Are preparing for the coming of the Christ Child,
Of that, which is born anew
Within each of us at this time of year.

The first light of Advent
Is the light of stones.
The light that shines in seashells,
Crystal and in bones.

The second light of Advent
Is the light of plants.
Plants that reach up to the sun
And in the breezes dance.

The third light of Advent
Is the light of beasts.
The light of hope that we see
In the greatest and in the least.

The fourth light of Advent
Is the light of man.
The light of Love, the light of thought,
To give and understand.

Certainly, "Christ Child" could be exchanged for a more spiritually comfortable reference of Light and "human" might be swapped for "man," but they're good words nonetheless. It's my understanding, the First Light of Advent began November 28 on this year's calendar; then the remaining Lights are recognized on the subsequent three Sundays. Solstice is when the center candle is lit. I started a little late, but caught up quickly as of last night. This coming Sunday evening should see a candle lighting in honor of beasts.

I woke up this morning eager to light the two candles on my Advent Garden altar before doing anything else. It is a gift the lighting of a candle can mean so much.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Look, Ma! It's Frida Kahlo!

Using the well-honed art of procrastination, I cleared out all dated periodicals from various nooks and crannies in our home. Magazines and newspapers were inserted into places one would not normally look. Dirk likes to hang on to certain things ~ real estate mags, anything featuring U2, Led Zeppelin, Star Wars or the NY Giants, local news features about the area's latest tax hikes (and there are many). I gleaned through the crap for everyone and then hauled out the remainder to the bin. I am taking full advantage of garbage day. The house is 30 pounds lighter.

I then made chicken soup with some leftover carcass I know no one here would ever eat again unless found in a different state ~ soup or salad. I finished gluing other computer-generated SoulCollage images to illustration board. Those finished cards will need a coat of acrylic for protection, but not today. Instead, I wanted to get a few more CG images done before we're out of colored ink again. (Dirk rarely needs color for any of his documents so colored ink cartridges are considered frivolous. This from a man who insisted on electric heat mats under the bathroom flooring for warm tootsies.) I would have like to have gotten a few more done, but I really got caught with Frida. Her images are famous and ubiquitous, yet they have so much raw power when one actually does a Zen stop and really sees the genius. I got lost simply looking at her paintings wondering/remembering (from Salma Hayak's movie) what she was going through when she painted each of them.

Go ahead, do an Image Search. Someone will send a posse to find you.

So . . . this is all I got done today. It was worth it.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

studio time

From this vantage point of my studio I can survey all.

While Millie and I spin Ava the Shetland fleece, I take a few moments to mull over this painting ~ see if I get any direction from it whatsoever. It's fine if I don't. I didn't intend to paint today. Spinning has the stronger pull on my attention.

We bought a color ink cartridge for the HP which allowed me to finally print off SoulCollage images I'd made a couple of months ago. While I'm waiting for both surfaces of rubber cemented materials to dry, I spin up a rolag or two.

This table has a few things going on ~ a sock (of which I can only knit one because, like a dope, I didn't buy two balls of the yarn needed), Triple Goddess Tarot book reading, Birth Angels book reading (I have philosophical issues with this book), and just Other Stuff.

The important thing is having worked up the gumption to spend time here today. It required a mid-morning nap (waking up at 5:30am daily catches up with one after awhile) and a hefty cup of Chai, but I made it to the studio refreshed and able to multi-task. What abducted my time and attention for so long was the managing of holiday gatherings, the comings and goings of folks, cooking ad nauseum, followed by the requisite cleaning. The dust has finally settled.

But now I'm listening to a variety of xmas songs . . .

Friday, November 19, 2010

snakes on a brain

Though I was in the throes of perpetual corn bread baking (yes, another GS bake sale ~ where's the fork?), I took time out for a mini-vision. It's similar to a minivan yet seats more than 7. Somewhere in this guided meditation, I had to ask what archetype I needed right now. So Medusa appeared. And the moment She appeared it was apparent the self-portrait image was going to change. Soon after hauling more baked corn bread around, I made my way to the studio. Sitting with the palette on my lap I looked myself in the eye and declared I trusted myself implicitly. I had a vision and I thought it would apply here and if I'm wrong we'll go in another direction. I just need to let me know. Be honest.

So . . . here we are waiting for these writhing wrigglies to dry so that I can either add more or add details to the ones present and accounted for. I also have an idea I'm adding paper to either side of this image ~ nothing with straight edges.

Now, the real query at this juncture is: Why Medusa? She's not very popular. Aside from the lively corn rows, She tends to turn things to stone. She isn't very nice. Yet there is an ancient, primal wisdom residing in Medusa's pate and it can't be ignored. Not many of my Goddess-related books make any concrete mention of Her except in relation to the guy who slayed Her with the mirror (I dare not mention his name) or Athena.

Well, I'll keep on painting and see what develops.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the reluctant self portrait

The night before last, I took the hairy skeleton off the easel. I figure I'm done, but I'll let it percolate a bit before sealing it over with acrylic spray. So I started something with blobs and circles as soon as the easel was clear. The image formed itself yesterday afternoon. Now. Where does it go from here? It's the journey that counts.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

now it gets black and hairy

But first, the Ancestor Altar which will be residing in my grandmother's old high chair until after Archaeoastronomy's Samhain date. The ancestors a-top on the lace are those of our choosing ~ Pablo Picasso, Georgia O'Keeffe, Paul Gray, John Entwhistle, John Lennon, Ted Andrews and Frida Kahlo. Those on the tray are our blood ancestors ~ Uncle Tom, Eleni (2x) and Mom & Dad.

Bennie and I are spending time in the studio today. One of those Superintendent's Day "holidays" have given the youths the day off from school. The male youths are elsewhere playing video games.

The skeleton painting has, once again, undergone some strange transformations. Black splotches and tendrils are making themselves known. So far, I like them. It reminds me of looking through trees in sunrise or sunset when the trees are all black in the foreground and the jeweled colors of the sky peak through the branches. It lets my painstakingly painted tiny spirals continue to exist even if caught under a layer of black.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

me, procrastinate?

Yes, well, what better way to further procrastinate painting than to blog about the painting. Few words mostly images today. I'm not sure where the blue fellow came from, but I suspect He might be Papa Legba. Maybe I'll know more as I go further with this painting. In the meantime, I seem to be continuing in this spiraling rut. Could it be a downward spiral?

Monday, October 25, 2010

the heart

No sooner than I finished last night's blog post I was painting again. The tiny spirals attack continued. Before I left the computer, I visited Aviva Gold's You Tube where I watched her and others "embody" their paintings. Something I vaguely remember reading from her book, but never did. I was intrigued. Certainly, it makes sense I would never have embodied any element of my paintings because there were people around. In some cases and to some people, the paintings were wild enough. Catching me going schizo in front of one would have been a one-way ticket to the Funny Farm. In short, the environment doesn't support that sort of behavior. But if no one is home . . . Well, maybe.

So, I gave it a whirl. I stood like the pink skeleton, arms raised, fingers in a loose mudra and I asked: What are you to me? The small flood of responses varied: The Spinning Fates, your creation, the bones of your painting, your bones, the bones of your mother, the bones of your ancestors. Okay. I can work with that, but it still didn't seem to mean much. I guess embodying takes a little more practice. That means the house would need to be empty more often.

Somewhat confused, I went back to the safety of the tiny spirals, but it felt vitally important I find some other way to connect with this painting. Without thinking, I placed my hand where a heart ought to be and continued the spirals. Suddenly I realized the painting needed a heart. The sea foam green was put away; out came the red with a gold powder mix.

Once the red gold heart was painted into the rib cage, I pressed my left palm into the wet paint.

Then the palm print was pressed into the pelvic bone.

The red gold paint stayed on my palm like Hindu wedding henna until this morning's shower.

There are many more tiny spirals to do.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

the spirals

Last night, after visiting Aviva Gold's site, I shamed myself into painting. I've had all week, up until nearly10:00pm some nights, to paint. Time all to myself frittered away on the internet or journal writing/sketching or spinning or SoulCollage. Not once, until last night, did I pick up the brush to paint. For an hour and a half, in an utterly empty and silent house, I painted. I finished the spiraling, swirling and dashing of all the negative space with a mid-sized sable watercolor brush and sea foam silvery paint. (Silver courtesy of Pearl Ex powder. Kirsten turned me on to it.)

Then tonight, in the same empty house conditions, something consumed me. I took the tiniest sable brush and began painting tiny spirals EVERYWHERE. Any negative space between the spirals and swirls I'd done last night were filled in with more tiny spirals. It was like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup comfort food with a side of tuna on cheap white bread and Lay's chips inserted for that extra fun crunch. The spirals became the visual equivalent of a meditator's mantra. Om namah shivaya . . . over and over until the words, or in this case, shapes, lost meaning. The spirals became blissful action. The spirals were everything but meant nothing.

The process felt scary. I mean, is this what I'm reduced to as an artist? What would a "real" artist be doing right now? A college art professor would see little merit in any of what I'm doing. The grade would be poor. That standard didn't count here so I'd just go back to doing spirals as if life depended on it, as if the sea foam green was the life's blood to these spirals. Maybe the spirals are a form of Artsitic Depression. Maybe I just needed to do spirals. I suspect there are many more in store for this particular painting. I have no answers. That has to be okay.