Monday, December 30, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

for the love of my own Red Thread

I have my own eclectic spirituality. I connect with Nature, I confer with Deity and tend to my practices. I've reduced the amount of spiritual and occult jewelry from my early days as a Meandering Pagan. Oh, I've got them still. My silver charm necklace of two pentagrams, a medicine wheel and an Om symbol is worn sometimes. I get Questions. I answer them. There is, however, one item made by my own hand I wear more frequently ~ a beaded cord woven on a lucet about ten years ago. On a sunny day in the yard, I felt a need for Rededication. Here, in this place that is our home. All I had with me at the time was my red beaded cord tied 'round my neck. And so, Bippity-Boppity-Boo, it became my own Sacred Red Thread, my connection to God Hirself and all that it entailed.

The first time I'd read of the power of Red Thread was in The Knitting Goddess by Deborah Bergman (in particular, Chapter 2, Isis, Red Magic and A Warm Stole With Wings). In this chapter, Deborah tells of how she was knitting herself together, knitting the seen and unseen with red thread. Later on down the road in my life, I hear of Madonna and Demi and a host of other famous folk taking up the threads of Kabbalah sporting the red thread on their left wrists. And further yet, I read how Shiloh Sophia was gifted a Ceremony of the Red Thread in her conversation with the Blessed Mother about bonding with a group of women quickly, to facilitate the visionary work at hand.

But these are not my Red Threads. My Red Thread is the one of living and dying, of the chronos and kairos, of divine and sublime. My Red Thread is easily worn either around my neck or my wrist depending on the personal weather. It is not my protection or my connection to others or that which knits me back together. It is my umbilicus to the Mother ~ something a woman needs when her biological mother is absent or emotionally distant, no matter her age. This Red Thread I made is heartbeat and blood and sinew infused with the starstuff of Life. It is the heart worn on my sleeve.

The thread I made ten years ago has become worn. That dedication was made when I was in a different Place and so is also worn. I am now in a new Place and it is simply time to knit a new Red Thread, adding beads both old and new, a random rosary, a prayer for each one all in Rededication to God Hirself and all that it entails.

My frayed old Red Thread . . .

Red Thread in my art journal . . .

What knits it together . . .

seen and unseen.

Red thread strung with beads from the old thread and some new beads waiting to be knit into a sturdy I-cord.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Mythic Thread

Cat Caracelo's VisionQuest 2013 is coming to an end.
It has been an interesting sojourn for me.
Discovering creative dark corners, depths to plumb, the making of new things in new ways.
This is my parting piece for this course I've titled Tides.
It is made of handspun wool (Corriedale, I think), a clay face by Lyn Belsile, driftwood, 
beads and found objects.
Soon enough, I'll be deeply engaged in VisionQuest 2014, an early xmas prezzie to myself.

My Mythic Thread Tides.

It's the little things coming together I enjoy . . .

bright beads, shiny wire, fuzzy art yarn strands . . .

strands of old necklaces, fat glass beads, knitting pattern with a million mistakes . . .

the precious clay face adorned with threads, beads and swan down . . .

it all comes together for something . . . personal and mythic.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

post-turkey trauma recovery

Some of us were weaving in the ends on a really big afghan.

Another one of us worked on a new spread for the upcoming week of ruminations.

Which turned into this.

This painting was signed and declared complete unto itself.

Someone was still working on theirs.
All good ways to recover from a busy holiday.
Includes nap time.

Monday, November 25, 2013

just a little experimentin'

Soft Gel Matte Medium spread on a page covered with gesso.

A photo printed on tracing paper using the inkjet, placed printed side down.

A little burnishing, wait maybe a minute or two (not until dry) and gently lift the tracing paper.

The resulting image.
Lesson learned: Better to use photos that are not so detailed.

Finished with some scumbling of acrylics.
All set for the week's writings.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Advent before Solstice

A reminder from Beth Owl Daughter was found in my Inbox yesterday ~ today is the day of Solstice Advent. So I hauled out Ye Ol' Compendium to jog my memory of what the First Light represented then Bennie and I got to work gathering the seasonal altar items. This morning the lighting is for the stones, bones and shells, the Light within those things.

The candle can dance through our day full of football and creativity, a reminder, aside from the obvious weather conditions, that winter is truly underway. Mmm . . . curling up with good books, tea and a cat by the fire. Maybe knit some socks. Spin wool. Or do Nothing ~ one of my favorite things to do.

Our laughing Hotei presides over the Advent Garden lights.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

on the floor

Hmm . . . turned out to be a quiet Saturday after all. Which gave me time to paint. I like to fling paint as much as anyone when given the chance, but when a painting is coming together, I love getting lost in the nitty gritty of Details. Especially with only one color. It's amazing what gets done with the occasional self-imposed limitations.
Sometimes, I like painting while sitting on the floor. It's like Paint Yoga.

The feel of a piece changes as details emerge and come together . . .

new, kissable, favorite sweet spots speak to me . . .

I'm getting lost in this . . .

but this is my Sweet Spot today.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

and so it is Wednesday . . .

At peace with Self today as I play with paper and paint and other mediums.
Creating a page not-so-blank for ruminations throughout the week.
More images, more marks.
Pages begging for more.
Heeding the call.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day painting

Day off in school in remembrance of Those Who Have Served. While those memories are surrounding and reminding us, we paint and create and ruminate. Bennie enjoys getting lost in the fluid acrylic paints, making art and making mistakes. I've let my larger canvases sit awhile to play with the smaller ones. Today, I am enjoying the shading created by a friendly filbert or two. Soon, our Little Family will gather for lunch in honor of their grandfather who served in the Korean War and a great grandmother who, family stories tell, served in the OSS.

For the moment, we paint.

Play at work.

Bennie's larger canvases drying.

Still ruminating on those Ancestors.

Friday, November 08, 2013

an artist's resurrection

First, a journal spread I started last night . . .

Second layer . . .

a third layer . . .

the final stenciling . . .

I am enjoying the double-vision effect here.
Ready for ruminating.

In the meantime, I'm gathering older art to add to my VisionQuest Stringing Stories . . .

It won't be very chronological, but it can be shifted anyway I like.

My Magenta Hippopotamus with other strange beings.
I finished this painting in 2004. I remember some of the things going on then ~ renting and building, packing and moving, trying to maintain my art practice. I felt flattened, primal, humble. Hippopotamus offered herself as my Dream Horse, One Who Would travel underwater with me to dreams and emotions.

Magenta Hippo holding, taking in, the Odd Doll.

Ginger, chili pepper and a large gray woman.

For some time after painting this image, I felt the doll was being swallowed ~ like Jonah by the whale ~ but now that I've brought her back out for these photos, I've more of a sense of holding.

This ginger reminds me of the Radish Spirit in Spirited Away.

She is tired and hungry and over full.

Moth Village was finished in 2000. We were living at my mother's and I'd discovered Painting From the Source. A liberating experience for me as an artist recovering from Academia.

Sarasvati emerged.

This Cosmic Earth Mother birthed Herself.

Here is the village on the leaf.

And the moth that is the village's sky.

Heart Container had been finished in 2008. We were in our home at this time, but with still so much going on. The black heart reminded of that Black Heart of Innocence from the Feri Tradition. This painting made me feel connected to purpose ~ energized and alive.

She is in trance, speaking, singing while Others watch over her shoulder.

Her hands form the heart container.

A haiku by Kanshu.

One morning, around this time, Bennie was having a rough time before school so I let her paint this starfish in any way she liked. Yes, it's Patrick from SpongeBob Squarepants.

I let my star fish make rainbows.

This is a favorite part of this painting to get lost in.

Now I can add these images to my Story.