Sunday, 26 June 2011

mixed media portrait

On Monday I will finally put some new things for sale in my etsy shop, one of which I promised over a month ago.  I have since learned that I would be wise to never promise anything online as each day seems to have a life of its own, and suddenly I could be on a plane to Mozambique or meeting the Dalai Lama for lunch or, more likely, taking it into my head to catch up on the laundry and wash the floors.

So I thank you once again, for bearing with me as I attempt to act responsibly while, at the same time, fulfilling my commitment to myself to play more often in order to achieve the level of creative expression I've set myself.  Each day is a like a new juggling act.  Why it should seem new when it's the same old challenge, I'll never know.

This little 4 inch x 6 inch portrait  is done in deep brown watercolour
and charcoal pencil on a lovely ivory-coloured watercolour paper.
There will be closer detail shots of it in the shop.

And this is a detail of that beaded watercolour I did back in May that was
supposed to go into the shop the next day. Well, tomorrow is the day.
This time I'll make it happen! "Grrr," says this bunny determinedly.

Thus I wish you all a world where you are supplied with many lifelines,
and fewer deadlines, where time is our friend and we live in happy symbiosis.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

midsummer's draw winner

Well here we are at the turning point- the earth's turning point and,  perhaps, ours- as the solstice officially arrives at 1:16 p.m.EST for us here in Ontario. To find the time of the solstice in your part of the world, here is a handy site.
A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year when the Sun's apparent position in the sky, as viewed from Earth, reaches its northernmost or southernmost extremes. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination, that is, the apparent movement of the Sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction.

Because so many of our traditions are still linked to England and its early pagan and Christian celebrations, this date is also known as Midsummer.  The story behind Shakespeare's play of A Midsummer Night's Dream is based on the belief that  Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear.  To thwart them, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers.  One of the most powerful of them was a plant called 'chase-devil', which is known today as St. John's Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.  Pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice and celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump.

Midsummer's Eve by E.R. Hughes 1909

And here is a more moderate form of magic. What are the chances that Elise Muller would once again win the draw?  Well, in this case, 50/50.  Congratulations Elise!

Wishing one and all the peaceful celebrations of this magical time
when any wonderful thing can happen if we invest our intentions with love.

Monday, 20 June 2011

on the edge of the solstice

The last few nights have been so bright, without a cloud in the sky.  The moon is waning gibbous meaning it is growing smaller, but because of the tilt of the earth it still appears quite large.

One really feels this longest day/shortest night of the year.  The Solstice literally means the sun stands still. This is the turning point when  the days begin to shorten again and the nights to lengthen, in the northern hemisphere that is.  In the southern hemisphere, of course, it is the opposite.

Traditionally, the waning moon can be used for banishing and rejecting those things that influence us in a negative way.  Negative emotions, diseases, ailments, and bad habits can all be let go. Today the moon is in Aquarius which means we tend to take refuge in thoughts or a philosophy of an ideal world...

detail of  Queen of Hearts mixed media

Now please don't be shy.  Today until midnight your time is the last chance to leave your comment and automaticly be entered to win this mixed media piece that you can see in its entirety on my May 3lst post  (2 posts down)  as a celebratory gift in honour of my first anniversary blogging.   I love to hear from my viewers anyway, but please make the most of this opportunity and give us both a thrill!

I continue to work on my latest piece allowing it to evolve intuitively.

I have no title for it yet as the story is still unfolding but I think it is taking on an Oriental feeling in the old sense of the word which is anything east of Constantinople ie. India, Turkey, even Russia.

Working these little stitches is such a joy for me.

With thoughts of an ideal world, I wish you peace.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

a time for play

Never has there been a more balmy, silken-aired summer morning.

I find myself often thinking about the blip in time that we humans occupy.  A geologist on TV a few weeks back compared a narrow striation on a giant rock to what he said might be called the human era.  It is all so fleeting.  I forget which movie Woody Allen portrayed a boy stricken with the fear that the world would some day end. His mother wailed at him, "What is that your beezness??"

But on a morning like this, with Mozart on the radio and the birds twittering in the trees, the bees buzzing in the comfrey, a breeze rustling through the leaves, on a morning like this with a pretty little project in front of me taking form, I can forget about the world and live in these precious moments in time.

You may have noticed (ha,ha) that I find it hard to make regular entries to my blog.  I want so much to have something worth your time to look at.  How much the airways are filled with noise, the jabber of selling and filler so that we don't have to think, just react.  But it is a response I would elicit from you, something of personal pertinence that awakens in you.

On the weekend I was fortunate enough to attend an expressive arts class with delightful Elise Muller .   In it I struggled with the symbols I would use on the Mandala; always somewhat disconnected from myself in a group.  Elise advised me to use the Labyrinth she had just taught us how to make as a way to make the voyage inward.  Even in a group of chatting students, I was able to hear myself, which astounded me.

Still, I came home and fell immediately back into the old pattern I call bouncing into walls, really feeling no sense of direction, at a loss as to how to unfold myself.  This has been ongoing in my life.  Both my partner Wally and my new friend Joanna have been encouraging me to play, but as time goes on and I contribute less to this household financially, I revert to my old attitudes of production and find myself further and further from achieving my artistic vision.

Finally, I sat myself down and drew a labyrinth in the solitude of my studio tracing the path with a pen.  With my questions in mind, I wrote a stream of words that allowed me to find the touchstones I needed.

And doesn't the Labyrinth look like the drawing of a brain?

I'm so delighted with this technique, that now I must use it again when I find myself in a quandary.  It amazes me (oh a Pun!) that so many tools are available, if only we would pick them up.

So, from this exercise I allowed myself to play.  Play means you don't know where you're going and perhaps that is the lack of control that has impeded me from taking the leap.  Ironically, I used to be good at this, as we all were once.   I am constantly reminded of Picasso's famous quote:

"It takes one a long time to become young."

So I "drew" this, outlined in machine embroidery, then filled in with hand stitching.

Let's see where this will take me as I continue to explore/play.  Wish me luck as I allow myself the grace of play.In the meantime, an overdue welcome to Medieval Muse and Suzi Smith, my new "followers".  I am always honoured that any of you care to "follow".  I will try not to take it all so seriously.

Please don't forget that any comment you leave from now until the 20th of this month will enter you in the celebratory draw for the Queen of Hearts that you can see in my previous post. Good Luck!