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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Something different...

I had an idea, for something different...something more a display of who and what I am, as a person. In many ways, I want to express not just my love for color and pattern and what my eyes and hand create, but also my love of words, symbols, and the accompanying pictures they hold.
So, I began this particular project. I started with big, bold strokes, blended and brushed to mix them one amongst the other. Bright, sharp colors of the spectrum. Then, I added a center -- something to draw and hold all of it together.
And, finally, I added the symbols. And, it turned out to be something entirely different than what I'd initially intended. In the end, it became not about me, at all, but a gift.
The symbols on the painting are all Runes:
1. In the center, Yr offers defense against any and all negative forces (gold)
2. To the left, Peorth offers insight and divination (pink)
3. Slightly above and to the left, an invocation for the Goddess and her energy and protection (silver)
4. Directly below the Goddess, Cweorp offers the ability to overcome (green)
5. Left again and up, is Stan, representing protection as the sheild of Odin (yellow)
6. Directly above, Wynn is the symbol of joy (clear)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Total Alignment: 4 Total Self Expression

As you know, I've been working my way through the FREE Online class, Total Alignment, from Dirty Footprints Studio. Today, I worked on Invitation 4: Total Self Expression. I've often wondered if the concept is even possible. We spend so much time censoring ourselves for so many reasons:
-to protect ourselves from rejection by others
-to present the face that we believe others want/need to see
-to hide our sense of unworthiness
-for fear of repercussions
-to be "PC" in our own circles
-fear of our own power
-diminishing our self to allow someone else to take the spotlight
Why do we do these things? In the case of women, I think we were socialized into the belief that we SHOULD do them; that its not okay to be powerful or strong or outspoken; that we should always put others first.

I ask you this: if we are always putting other people's needs in front of our own, won't we lose touch with what our own needs are? Won't we diminish until nothing is left? Isn't OUR voice important?
My answer to all those questions: a resounding YES!

Is this a one-time process for me? Nope. I will need to continue to seek my authentic self, forever; to determine what and why I'm hiding; and to free my voice-- quite literally.

What do you hide? Who are you, really?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Art is...

I had the wonderful opportunity to respond to this concept when an old friend posted on FB about being untalented in the arena of art. From my belief, that's just not possible.
I'm a huge art buff, everyone who knows me or has read me knows that. I am easily and quickly immersed in a wide variety of potential artistic endeavors, both mine and other people's. I adore art of all types. While I enjoy classic, or fine, arts, I'm even more amazed at some of the artisans who are typically referred to as 'craftsmen.' My belief: its no less amazing to create something with brush and stain than it is to work a piece of fallen wood into whatever is in its character that calls to you. And, I've got to tell you, I'm just enamored by work with the elements of the earth -- wood, metal, glass, water, soil. There is no less artistry in a beautiful garden than in a Renoir. In my eyes, the brush strokes are just as obvious and startling and lovely.
My point is this: we are ALL artists...creators of our own aesthetics. Yes, being a Libra, I'm easily distracted by beauty; and, lets just say it: I find beauty EVERYWHERE. I find that to be a gift in my life.
Its nice when someone can recreate, or copy, life into art, but that's not normally what I'm looking for when I shop for art. When I'm looking, what I truly love is the artist's expression of THEIR perspective of the world, or reality, or life. I love reproductions of the human form, specifically the female form. But, few of them look as you may think. They aren't photographs. If I'd wanted beautiful photographs, I would've purchased them. What I wanted was the artist's soul on paper or canvas. That's what I bought.
Some of the pieces of my humble collection include big, bold strokes and textures with no real form; some are closer to traditional art; some are fanciful and ethereal; some are stark and gruesome. I love them all for one reason -- the artist's expression, their soul, touched something corresponding inside of me, my soul. I explain if often as feeling a punch in the gut -- a deep feeling of connection to another through a work of art.
You all also know that I make my own art, in a way. I do so without explanation or excuse. I create in wood, on canvas, on paper, in fabric, in dirt and petals, in clay. I don't judge it as 'worthy' or not, only as whether (and what) it represents for me.
Do not wait! Make your own art! Find your own medium. Are you a talented seamstress, needle worker, wood chipper or burner, gardener, painter, etc? Share you art. The world needs your voice, even when its dark. But, especially when its true.
Please feel very free to share it here, if you like. But, share it.
Here are some links to some of my favorite artists sites to get you started:
WoodnGlass Deb Becker
Art of Fire Blown Glass
RE Piland Jeweler 
These are just a very few. I have so many more favorites. But, wanted to just give you some ideas for inspiration!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fear and Possibility

Prior to the invitation in a FB group, Art of Prayer, to which I belong, to sit with these two concepts, I don't think I'd ever discerned how powerfully connected they are...all possibility contains fear and vice versa. Any well person has some trepidation before embarking on a new journey. Perhaps, this was so very insightful for me, because I strive to live fearlessly. In my mind, I had built up the concept of fear as the root of all evil....the cause of bias and prejudice, the core of missed opportunities, the crippling of possibility. But, in doing this exercise, I realized two very hard truths:
1. NONE of those things are true.
2. Fear is a positive and motivating force in maintaining safety in my life.

That really hurt to admit. For many years, I've been attempting to live fearlessly. In fact, "Fearless" is tattooed on my left forearm on the inside, facing me, where I can be reminded. But, I foolishly forgot an important construct:
Courage isn't the absence of fear. It is the strength to move forward, with careful planning to minimize danger, despite our fear.
FEAR is NOT the enemy.
Fear is that small voice that speaks to us, to warn us of potential hazard. Now, I'm not talking about phobia or irrational fear. I'm talking about the very real, physiological experience that we have when our bodies recognize the possibility of harm....that 'fight or flight' reaction is a miracle of evolutionary process. The hairs going up on the nape of your neck when you feel someone else's presence unexpectedly. The tingling that you get in the pit of your stomach when you're scheduled to do something and you just 'don't feel right.'
It is my new awareness that fear is a part of intuition. I will not be ignoring it. In truth, on those occasions when I was frightened, it was to my benefit, in retrospect. It gave me pause to consider. I may have chosen to continue with a pursuit. Those results have been mixed. But, in either circumstance, I gave it thought. I am human. I will sometimes make mistakes. I believe that I'm supposed to. However, when connected to my higher power, to the energy of life, I tend to intuit answers to all qualms. I know that you may be starting to shake your head and give me THAT look --- the 'you are a total flake' look. Let me word it differently.....have you ever felt something in your belly? A GUT INSTINCT telling you to take one course or the other? It is the exact same thing. We just express it with our own lingo.
I believe in possibility. More so than any other concept. There is ALWAYS possibility. From this day forward, I will allow fear its rightful place in my life. And, I will strive to be courageous.
Blessed Be!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Total Alignment 3: Energize

There is something so very decadent about painting on canvas -- the spring and flex is joyful, sensual. I've been working my way through the free Total Alignment class from Dirty Footprints Studio.
This week's invitation was about energizing. I've got to say, I do frequently paint to music. I love the sound and feel of swaying around, listening to whatever strikes my fancy, while I create. That's not just true of painting, but perhaps especially true of it. There something about the movement that's just opening.
And, I guess my brain is running rampant, today. Today is my birthday. What is it about birthdays that always give us pause to consider, to reflect, to weigh our lives? Despite my best attempts, I caught myself judging where I am in my life, where I believe I should be, who and what I should be as opposed to my actual self. Whenever my head went there, I would gently return it to whatever task I was focused on.
But, now that I have a minute, maybe it deserves some consideration. Who am I? I don't know. What am I? How is that definable? I find my immediate response to respond to questions with questions. Hmmm. I must drive other people nuts with that particular character attribute.
On this day of my birth, I am exactly where I'm supposed to be, doing exactly what I'm supposed to be, surrounded by exactly who and what I'm supposed to be.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Total Alignment 2: Balance

In working through the free online painting class, Total Alignment, I have come to Invitation 2: Balance. And, UGH! The miserable feelings I have around this one! I ache for balance in my life, I pursue it with the single-minded determination of a freight train, moving on its tracks at high speed, with one destination allowed. WOAH! STOP! I can already see a few problems, here.

1. Who said I have to go to some destination that was pre-determined for me?
2. Fast sometimes is TOO fast.
3. Where's the BIG picture?

What was the giant thing I learned while working through today's invitation? Simple. (Why is it that all the important things seem so simple in retrospect?) I will never have balance in the external world. I will never be able to manage my work and home and goals and hobbies and loves and keep them in perfect balance. I am powerless over everything external.

For me, balance is about finding peace within, and not panicking when I'm topsy-turvy inside. Emotions are sometimes strong and rough and are no less necessary than the more pleasant ones. Excuse the clicheed metaphor, but some feelings are similar to a stormy sea -- powerful, dark, and turulent. Some are closer to a glass-smooth pond -- serene, devoid. And, my most favorite are like gentle waves lapping the sand -- sweet, languid, and loving. But, all are important. I do not learn while I'm at peace. I learn from turmoil. My most potent lessons come from difficulty. They are linked to my scars -- a remembrance of learning. In those cases, I will try to open my heart to the pain, and recognize the beauty, there.