Wednesday, September 26, 2012

the leaves in my Dreamtime

Shedding snake, red-green leaves.
Sometimes there's little rhyme or reason in one's visionary journeys. Okay. There is no rhyme or reason in one's visionary journeys. They wouldn't be visionary journeys otherwise. This painting was spawned from one of my 8 Gates/Summerquest journeys I did with Cat Caracelo this past summer. This puppy is from Gate 6, so I'm merely a tad behind on my personal deadline ~ especially considering how we're deep into autumn here in the northern hemisphere.

The leaves. The leaves were keeping me in a holding pattern over the progress of this image. I didn't particularly notice what kind of tree my shedding snake was in, so I didn't pay attention to what kind of leaves were on this Dreamtime tree. Mutually Perceived Reality would yield a maple tree growing near the gazebo. However, this is Dreamtime and I didn't want some regular old maple tree. Finally having a moment or two to moodle over the impending paint strokes, some Dreamtime leaves came to mind. And so that is what was painted today. Now I can move on to the egg-like jewel in the tree. I'm thinking something opalescent.
More leaves.

The shedding skin on the snake is working well.

I rather like these Dreamtime leaves.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

seeing Beauty

I'm lucky. I'm an American white woman living in a well-forested suburb. It's fairly easy for me to shake troubles from my shoulders and walk out the door without fear of being mugged or mauled by large carnivorous animals. Thus it is easy for me to see, cultivate, Beauty ~ especially walking. Either with purpose down the dirt road or meandering in the woods, each step is a prayer and all I see is infused with God Herself. I got to thinking on this morning's walk: How does one see Beauty in less than wonderful circumstances? How does one see Beauty living in squalor? Or addicted to prescription narcotics? Or craving crystal meth? Can one find Beauty in dutifully caring for a terminally ill loved one or one merely waiting at Death's door? Is there Beauty in financial ruin and a precarious economy? There must be some way of perceiving it or humanity would be tossing itself off cliffs in droves like lemmings. The thing of it is, neither I nor anyone else can tell you how to get there or how to see it. Like I have an idea (beliefs kill) that every living thing on this planet has its own religion, its own path to God Herself, I also have an idea each living thing has its own mode of perceiving Beauty. I suspect further the only rule is this: Beauty can not be seen through addiction. Beauty can't be found in the next round of beers. Beauty does not come because a house is obsessively cleaned. (I can personally attest to that statement.) Beauty will not endure another pair of shiny shoes. Clinging to an emotional state keeps it at bay. Beauty will not always ride in on the wings of a prayer. Beauty is always present and nearby, like a wallflower, waiting to be noticed. Can you take a moment to notice it today?

Monday, September 24, 2012

a quick journal page

Autumn provides free, one-of-a-kind stencils . . . leaves . . .

. . . and grass.

Ruminations @ 11:00.

Some people can't let go of summer . . .


Sunday, September 23, 2012


The alter properly dressed with pomegranates and
mini pumpkins.
This seeded fruit seems to be grabbing at my attention lately. The time of year has something to do with it. Autumn. Persephone headed back to Her adopted land leaving Demeter top side awhile. Altars and dining tables laden with the fruit in homage to such travels we all might take at this dark half of the year. Serendipity being what it is, I found Traveling With Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor in a local library basement. Memoirs of a mother/daughter journey through Greece. So far I'm enjoying the story of two women at different times in their lives in the same place. I just want to paint everything in a pomegranate red ~ going to Hades in a hand basket . . .

And so this morning I created my journal page for today using some fun new stuff. Bennie and I were all a-glee finding Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist spray (nods to Effy) and interesting stencils. This page saw the use of these new mediums along with a few favorites lying about in the studio: Liquitex Acrylic Ink in Quinacridone Magenta, Sepia Micron pen, Blick Premium Tempera in gold, Inkssentials opaque white pen and, of course, Mod Podge. Ruminations at 11:00.

Of pomegranate musings . . .

Saturday, September 22, 2012

blessings on Mabon

Tim's Buddha, an empty bowl, flowers growing wild from around the house and some extra flame for heading into
the dark half of our year ~ all for simple Equinox blessings.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

it's not morbid if it's not capitalized

I'm just checking out a little Buddhism with Susan Piver, that's all. What better place to do so than in one's journal? The first reminder of enjoying an incarnation as human (that it is a blessing ~ lemmings haven't a clue what dharma is ~ hence the leaping off of cliffs and such) had also been created, but this one had more impact. Explosive colors done in watercolor crayon. (The next trip art supply shopping w/ discretionary funds will see the purchase of some Prismacolor watercolor pencils.) And so a little writing, a little imagery and I'm off to make dinner.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

faery house and a walk in the woods

It was a good day for some Faery house construction. A berry crate painted randomly with berry juices, some flowers, bits of tile and wood ~ all make a fit, cozy spot for visiting Fae. I'll sneak the whiskey out to them later.

Then Bennie and I went out for a Ramble in the woods. Why write when there's pictures to look at?
Roots entwined by Bennie.

Spider web and roots by Bennie. 

Floor of ferns.

Fungus by Bennie.

Exploded root base.

Bennie in a Speckled Alder (Alnus rugosa).

More roots by Bennie.

A little red amongst the green.

And a birthday haiku 4 a loved one we knew . . .

walks and rambles
by the River, in the woods
all memories now

For Eleni who would have turned 64 today.

Friday, September 14, 2012


As you can see (if you but tilt your head slightly to the
right), I wrapped only the areas needed for the
textural effects desired. (You may return head to its
natural alignment. Oh no. Wait. There's more . . .)
It's the second time I've had to deal with this glitch: photos uploading in different orientations. They were rotated in Photoshop, but opted to appear in whatever damned fashion they wanted once loaded here.

No matter. The point is: I've had time to paint and play in the studio. It's a phone-free Friday, which makes it a Feral Friday and so I can go wild. Which I did and may continue to do until I go down the hill for a walk.

Today's painting goal was to make the purple black snake look as if it is trying to shed. I used a mixture of a metallic silver tempera paint and matte medium to paint over the dark background of the snake's body. Then I put it all under wraps to sit for about half an hour. In working the paint under the wrap, I was able to blur the edges of the snake's body to make its skin look ill-fitting and uncomfortable, with bits starting to come off. So far, the effect is successful. I may do one more layer in white mixed with the matte medium to get some more texture on the sloughing skin.
Here are the semi-finished results.

And no day could go by without a journal page.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

away from the rattle and hum

Stepping away from the daily grind . . .
There comes a time in my day when I need to get outside. I'm up early most days getting folks out the door and managing the furry four-footed as well as the feathered two-legged before I can finish a decent cup of tea. The chirp of the phone and the dull hum of the computer grate on my nerves ~ I need the feel of Nature surrounding me for awhile. Mid-morning is when I try to stop and smell the roses or whatever is of olfactory delight in the immediate environment. Bare foot walking days are numbered and while there was a chill in the air, mid-morning was good for such walking. I wore a sweatshirt and one of my nifty knitted hats though.

Considering the influx of activities, my time outside needed to be brief. The bare foot walk down to the lake is just enough time. Feeling everything under the sun under my feet requires attention. Attention to where I step. Attention to how I breathe. Attention to what I think. For if attention wavers, a sharp stone will bring one back to Center rather rapidly.

So I walked past the flowers looking sleepy, the trees just beginning to turn, and down to a lake bereft of any Summer Folk. The lake spread out lazily, a mirror for the trees and sky. Peaceful solitude and sweet beauty. Barefooting. It's not just for breakfast anymore. You can take it well past brunch, in fact.

A quiet lake.

An empty dock.

Lake like a mirror.

Happy feet on the moss.

Sun dancing in water.

A journal page that included my sunny side up eggs.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

mycology and the golden skull

I'm no mycologist so I can't tell you what it is, but the
color against the deep black umber was striking.

And the Golden Skull
photo by Bennie

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

skull painting & the first day of school

Gathering the stuff . . .
Well. Here we are. The first day of school was perfectly dreary. A clear indication summer vacation is over. Time to look forward to autumn and the gifts it has to offer. Apples, cider . . . donuts. The Sheep & Wool. Maybe the end of summer won't be so bad.

I wish I could say a quiet day was spent at home, but no such boon was I granted. It was computer-mania and then running errands under the gun. Between the computer and leaving the building, I was able to create a journal page (ruminations at 11:00) and setting up a young buck's skull for some metallic gold spray painting. I think the antler configuration here is what hunters might call a Fork and Knife ~ one antler forked, the other not. At least The Game is on tonight and we can relax to touchdowns and off-sides with some striped fellow calling the penalties after tossing his yellow hankie on the field. A gesture I'm not sure I can take seriously anymore. Gets me some spinning done though. Mohair, I think. Mental? Perhaps not tonight. The mind is a bit mushy. Like Becky's potatoes.

Monday, September 03, 2012

a journal page and Grimm spinning

Early morning 'arting.'
*sigh* Labor Day. The end of summer in America. Have I mentioned how unprepared we are for school? We haven't even gone shopping for supplies. Although, I've taken on a different way of acting in the world when it comes to kowtowing to the school's schedule. I'll shop for notebooks, pencils and pens when I actually see what's getting used and what's really needed. Too many years I've purchased several composition notebooks only to see them at school's end barely used. They end up getting tossed since tearing out pages isn't a neat affair. Or something nasty escaped the confines of its container and thoroughly soaked everything in the backpack. So. We'll get a few of the basics. Other items will be purchased as necessary. Saves on the running around Rat Race media and society impose on the sane person this time of year.

In the meantime, we will loll about the abode doing what we enjoy. I got out of bed early to enjoy some quiet time in the studio creating today's journal page. A tired green oak leaf with autumn colors surrounding it. The leaf is like a sponge ready to soak in those warm fiery colors. Ruminations at 11:00.

Grimm spinning, indeed!
And I've recently gotten hooked on Grimm. (Thanks to the local cable company becoming bastards and requiring the special box to watch ANYTHING. However, if you've got an HD TV lying about the house, some channels still come in. NBC is one of them here.) It is a weird little world inhabited by Mauvais Dentes and Coyotls and other things I'm not acquainted with just yet. Never saw Season 1, but that's okay for now. Getting into this season is good for me. What get's done, as always, is some form of fiber art. For the past couple of episodes, I've been spinning up some Jacob gotten at the Sheep & Wool last year. Tonight, we ply!