Wednesday, July 31, 2013

the change-up and other stuff

Having a fair collection of Tarot and Oracle decks available for the Daily Draw, I change them up after awhile. The need for new imagery generally prompts me to choose another deck for a time. Though I've found some to present themselves seasonally. Brian Froud's Faerie Oracle seems to be a spring time favorite, while the Witch's Runes like to hit the altar in autumn. Today, wanting to put the Wildwood deck up for a rest, I was surprised to find myself choosing the Motherpeace deck without hesitation.

Today's draw.
Motherpeace was the deck a friend introduced me to years ago after a long hiatus of readings. In High School, I'd had a deck ~ some Eden Gray set, I think ~ and I was discouraged using them, not understanding Tarot at the time. Fast forward to gainful employment seven years later when a freelance writer brought her deck of Motherpeace in and would do readings during our lunches together. It was comforting laying out cards with this Mother Goddess bent at the time. Motherpeace had, after awhile, brought me full circle back to Waite/Smith deck with less intimidation and greater understanding. Toss in a few Mary K. Greer tomes and I was in love with the Tarot all over again. All of which led to having several decks of Tarot and Oracle.

Today's draw was the 4 of Wands. I kept the card upright. It's just one day and if there's Shadow that comes with the energy of the image that day then it will make itself known. Such a pleasure revisiting a deck that has been Old Friend though.

Yesterday, Ruth (bless her boots) sent me a signed copy of Neil Gaiman's latest The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I'm trying to finish The Camino by Shirley Maclaine (of all things ~ but it's been good reading though) so I can get started on Neil's book. I wait hungrily for certain authors to put out new writing ~ Neil Gaiman, Sir Terry Pratchett, Margaret Atwood (although it's been a dog's age since I've read her) and Stephen King are usually my go-to favorites. I also got a sampling of Amanda Palmer's produced music Evelyn Evelyn ~ it too comes with a story. And, as usual, I got an extra bit of some cool skulls and roses fabric for whatever my heart desires.

In the continuing BOD journey, I created a page including a picture of Ruth getting her book(s) signed by Mr. Gaiman, images from the book (one looks like it might be from pre-production) and the swatch of cool fabric.
Neil Gaiman signing our books!

My BOD journal page commemorating good reads from good friends.
And some nifty fabric.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

yesterday's journey today

In the back yard, Bennie and I have created something we like to call the Oasis. It's comprised of a bench, a couple of chairs, two red beach umbrellas and a makeshift tile table. It's set up facing West and the garden, the world (okay, one dirt road) behind us. It's the perfect spot to cure the NDD (Nature Deficiency Disorder ~ it's real, people), get the toes in the grass and a little sun on the face. We bring our stuff out side ~ sketchbooks, novels, notebooks, house phone, cell phone (for those Instagram moments) and sometimes the camera. Yesterday was perfect weather for being out at the Oasis, thanks to the heat wave having passed.

First, we spent time sketching the flowers. I played with the coreopsis. I played with the word "coreopsis" in my mind while sketching Her flowers in Micron pen and watercolor pencil. The Maiden's time long since spent, Mother changing to Queen to Crone. All strange manner of Goddess-y stuff rambling around as I sketched. That turned to thoughts about the impending Lughnassadh/Lammas altar . . . antlers, harvest such as we can find . . . tend to that soon. For the moment, it was flowers.

We created the daily/near-daily medicine wheel for Instagram sharing. I practiced a session of asanas in the yard, under the trees, arms stretching to the sun in joy and gratitude. And then we spent time reading each of our respective books in relative peace and quiet. Ah, the Oasis!

So. Here we are, another day spent in the studio. The collage painting as prompted by Effy for this week's BOM was created. It was a liberating process letting it all happen on the page. Sometimes, I over think ~ which is why I bump up against struggle with the Brave Intuitive Painting thing. (And that probably occurs outside the studio as well, but that would be another story.) I seem to have a thing for Big Orange Halos ~ as in images of the actual fruit ~ not the color. But now I feel my feet desiring the kiss of the Earth and my hair wants to be combed by the breeze. Time to grab the Oasis bag and head out on another adventure, so to speak.

First, the gratuitous Cat Found In Strange Places photo.
World, Obiwan Kenobi. Obiwan, the World.
Now, get out of my purse!

My Kore-opsis flowers.

The medicine wheel du jour.

My journal page in Before mode . . .

and now in After.
Time to get out side.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

rainy woodsy ramble

Seeing my cousin's Instagram posts from Across the Pond, got me out on a walk this morning. This was a walk with a purpose and destination. See, yesterday, while Dirk, Bennie and I were bobbing in the lake (I'm a bobber, not a swimmer), we saw a Great Blue Heron perched across the lake. It had been perched there a good long time, preening and roosting, mostly preening. So I knew there would be feathers to be found the next day. Over my Artist's altar, is my Feather Medicine Shield, which is, in essence, a collection of feathers found over the years. There are a great many that have meaning to me as well as those found in totem reference books like Ted Andrews' favorite AnimalSpeak. Tucked into the entire crocheted surface of the shield are hawk, owl, condor, blue jay, goose, turkey, rooster (of course) and others that don't come to mind readily at the moment. I figured Great Blue Heron feather would be a fine addition to the shield.

Artist's Altar with Feather
Medicine Shield
After a hearty breakfast of BEC (bacon, egg and cheese) on bagels, we three (Dirk, Bennie and I ~ Tom is visiting, Ian wouldn't dream of leaving his Man Cave at the ungodly hour of 11:00am) suited up and headed out with the dogs. I don't like to walk the dam these days. It was fine when I was younger, but vertigo seems to have hit me at 49, so I take the low way behind the dam. Dogs loose and running, Dirk and Bennie on the dam, I walked through the dry overflow minding each step. A perfect gray day for walking. Not too sunny, not too hot, we made our way to the heron's perch, rambling and admiring the views and trees and moss.

At the perch, we found what I came for ~ three feathers, two down and one wing in steely blue-gray. Great additions to the shield.

Here's what Ted Andrews has to say about Heron ~

" . . . When it feeds, it stands in the water, reflecting a connection to the earth ~ while implying the exploration of other dimensions on the earth (water element). It is important for anyone with a heron totem to explore various activities and dimensions of earth life. On the surface, this may seem a form of dabbling, but those with heron totems are wonderfully successful at being the traditional "jack of all trades."

This ability enables them to follow their own path. Most people will never be able to live the way heron people do. It is not a structured way, and does not seem to have a stability and security to it. It is, though, just a matter of perspective. There is security in heron medicine, for it gives the ability to do a variety of tasks. If one way doesn't work, then another will. This, heron people seem to inherently know."

I've been courting Great Blue Heron all summer. Looking for hir at the pond when we drive by, scanning the western and northern shore as we bob or catching sight of hir flying overhead on the way to any one of the watery places around here. It was great to have my attentiveness and small adventuresome spirit rewarded by three simple feathers.

Crystal and Bodhi enjoying the shore.

The heron's perch.

Today's treasures!

In other small news: Fidget is recovering from a visit to the vet's. Not my favorite option, but something had to be done as he was looking pretty poorly and I'm not keen on killing a being we've named. Thanks to surgical procedures I won't go into and antibiotics, he seems in fine fettle enough to crow. Always a good, if not annoying, sign that things are on the mend.

And I've signed on for the blogalong with Effy to be found here. Getting the button has proven more of a hassle than bargained for, but I'll find a way to do it soon enough.

Link to here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

the Moss Maiden and gratitude

It was Napkin (as texture) week at BOD 2013 and I had nary a napkin as demonstrated by Effy and others. So, letting Ingenuity slip in the side door, I used a thread bare linen napkin in place of separated paper napkins. Trance music has a way of excavating emotion as I paint and this session was no exception. I got to thinking how sometimes I might be too overbearing for some people, that I might scare them with my exuberance or be off-putting. That lead to the gratitude I feel for the communities I've signed on for and how they let me be, well, me. I may feel a little bugged that I'm ignored sometimes, but then I remember that it isn't all about me and I move on with my silly self, returning to Gratitude.

Return to Gratitude . . . I am grateful for the space(s) I have for creativity, my health, my family, my home, and so on the list goes. As the Gratitude settled in, Moss Maiden emerged. She even has left me spaces for writing in later. I'm thankful for that too.

Linen napkin and Mod Podge.

The Moss Maiden sketch.

Moss Maiden, ancient youth, waits for ruminations.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

what does it want to be when it grows up?

I do a lot of different things. I paint. I draw. I like doing Nothing. Walking in Nature is nice. Getting my hands on some fine wool has me spinning and then knitting in no time. I've been told a countless number of times my art could fetch some cash, but I haven't found that comfort zone yet. I don't know what my art is worth. My attitude about art I see for sale in the big world is, Well. I could do that. Why buy it? And so I figure it's what folks might think about any audacity I have about selling my art. Besides, I think they can do it too, so why shouldn't they? A price tag, that attitude does not make.

It's what today's paintings are bumping up against. That rawness of ~ What am I worth? What is this stuff I do worth? Who could possibly tell me?
Another CAPI Full Circle piece in progress.
The plan for the evening, whilst watching MasterChef, is to ink portions of this in with a Pitt Pen.
Finished piece at 11:00.

Day 3 of some brave intuitive . . .
It's feeling very adolescent and all over the place.

And this is today's sweet spot.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


First, some exciting news: Ariel and I have created a book study group for Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. The description for the group is as follows:

In the book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes explores the powerful force within each woman that fills us with intention, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. We invite you to join us on this journey to explore through reading, journaling, and art, the Wild Woman within that is our birthright.

For though the gifts of wildish nature belong to us at birth, society's attempt to "civilize" us into rigid roles has muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Estes unfolds rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, and stories, many from her own family, in order to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature.

Through the stories and commentaries in this remarkable book, we retrieve, examine, love, and understand the Wild Woman, and hold her against our deep psyches as one who is both magic and medicine.

And we can be found here.

If you feel like running with some women who are running (and perhaps occasionally sitting) with the Wolves, please come join us.

And now, the other stuff . . .

Got berries? They're chillin' in the freezer now.

My brave intuitive painting getting just a little bolder.

Right now, this is the sweet spot I want to kiss.
That may change tomorrow.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

on a roll

Still moving through the paces today . . . as follows:

Gray alpaca almost dry. This batch came from an alpaca named Tootie from Painted Spring Farm Alpacas.

In Moonshine, us Ladies are investigating our own unique Divinity.
So I'm working an ink drawing self portrait.

Feeling the momentum, another fleece is getting cleaned.
This is a moorit (brown) crossbred from Elihu Farm.

Large fleece waiting. Got lovely crimp!

In the meantime, Fidget is crowing more often and in my presence.
Things are looking good!

The moorit crossbred enjoying breeze and sun.

The Fae House decorated and set in the Faery Tree (Rose of Sharon).
That's Piwaqit sitting guard.

Fresh-water mussel shell beds with Rose of Sharon pillows. Fresh berries served up!

The roof decorated with flowers.

The Sunny Side and a shot of whiskey.

I think I want to spend the night here.

And finally, a filter I created using a canvas, acrylic paint and ink.
A fun and interesting process.

Friday, July 19, 2013

on the hop

In no particular order, what I seem to be involved with today after having tended and fed dogscatschickens and the garden . . .

The emerging, processing mess on the table . . .

Another one of those Not So Brave Intuitive paintings . . .

Gray alpaca washing . . .

Fine 8-year-old gray (very dirty) alpaca awaiting said washing . . .

Fantastic news! Fidget crowed this morning which is always a good sign a rooster is on the mend.
And that means he can go back outside soon.
My exciting news may seem insignificant to some, but to a harried woman tending injured roosters, it is monumental and earth moving. Besides, I don't bungee jump ~ this is my fun.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

collecting collections

Laura, a neighbor and sister artist, moved a little while ago. So now she's a neighbor who lives just a little further away. During her packing and purging I'd been offered art materials ~ a nearly-full gallon of gesso and a fair stack of matte board. I was offered books of all kinds. These items were gladly received, though I'm still trying to find a home for the big art books. The surprise offering, however, was a collection of . . . things.

Laura's collection in its new home.

In lovely clear glass vases, each organized according to item, were twisted sticks, seeds, pods, sea urchins, shells, sand dollars, dried leaves and acorn caps. They are the very kinds of things I'd collect on any sojourns in Nature. Trips to the ocean's shores require a bucket if not two. My hiking hats are festooned with feathers and dried flowers. More often than not, my pockets are lined with rocks and tiny, twisted roots. Laura may as well have asked if I wanted a treasure chest in offering up her collection to me. I accepted them with great delight. And once home (alone), I went through every vase inspecting each item, setting shells and urchins on the table, blowing off seed pods and gently brushing dust from the dried leaves. Then they were all put back again, fresh and new to me, waiting for inspiration to strike.

What does it say about a person who collects collections?

Hearing a Talking Heads tune this afternoon became my journal prompt for another spread ~ clock faces and altered photos, stamps and spray inks . . . there will be more here, I'm sure.What amuses me, though, is how wrong I've had the lyrics for all these years. I could have sworn David Byrne was saying, Time isn't holding us, Time is an act of us. Which I always thought was pretty damned pithy and cool. So. I've been wrong. For 25 years (ouch!). The second half of that pithy statement ain't so pithy ~ Time isn't after us. Really, DB? Time isn't after us? What the hell does that mean? I made it pithy and cool in my journal and, therefore, can continue to be in awe of something heard incorrectly.

Time isn't holding us . . .

Time is an act of us.

Monday, July 15, 2013

spun wool and a house for the Fae

Singles awaiting . . . I don't know yet.

Obiwan helping with the construction of the Fae House.
Bennie did all the work otherwise.

Finished! The Sunny Side.

A turn to the left.

On the Dragonfly Side.

Another turn to the left.

Top side.
All ready to hang in the Faery Tree (Rose of Sharon) for offering and libation leaving.
We also like to put furniture from Nature inside for comfort despite the Fae wilde nature.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

building the mental temple

In Effy Wild's Moonshine summer course, we are invited to go on a journey to create or find our Inner Divinity or Temple. I am, at best, an antsy trancer ~ especially if it's recorded. So I have a happy medium between deep, attentive trance journeying and engaged activity. I will doodle and write the story of the journey as it unfolds. I don't pay attention to what the words or pictures mean in that moment. It's like I'm taking dictation. Then when I'm Top Side again, I read through what was written to find a thread for the next creative step. It all sort of looks like this . . .

The spread with a coat of gesso in the big book . . .

The vision for my Inner Divinity Temple sketched and inked . . .
(Yes. It's a Southpaw Sketch, but bear with me.)
Color added with acrylic paints . . .

Not wanting to waste paint, I brought in the CAPI Full Circle assignment . . .

More acrylics spread on with a brayer . . .

Detail of My Inner Divinity Temple.
It was a joy to get this process all done during my Vigil.