Sunday, December 30, 2007

Abundance Box Workshop: January 2008!

I'm excited to be offering "Intentional Desires: An Abundance Box Workshop" once again! Click on the flyer above for a larger view.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Cultivating Peace

"Practicing mindfulness in each moment of our daily lives, we can cultivate our own peace. With clarity, determination, and patience--the fruits of meditation--we can sustain a life of action and be real instruments of peace. I have seen this peace in people of various religious and cultural backgrounds who spend their time and energy protecting the weak, struggling for social justice, lessening the disparity between rich and poor, stopping the arms race, fighting against discrimination, and watering the trees of love and understanding throughout the world."

--Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Abundance Abounds!

For the latest artistic activity in my world, check out my Healing Nest Blog.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Art Show-ness

Last Thursday I held the fifth Rising Bird Healing Arts Holiday Art Show. I was joined by the lovely and talented Kristin Stubbs, whose jewelry pieces added an extra sparkle to the night.

Guests, with their supportive comments and pocketbooks, looked adoringly at art, tried on (and re-tried on) jewelry, and drank their fill of wine--and then some.

Kristin Stubbs' beautiful branches which displayed her earrings, necklaces and bracelets became quite bare by the end of the evening. There was much oohing and ahhing over her semi-precious stone creations, and I was lucky enough to obtain two of her necklaces for myself!

By the end of the night, I had sold many art cards and prints as well as four original pieces, with a few "reserved" for guests still contemplating the possible new additions to their households. So, in my usual way, I will say goodbye to those pieces that have flown the flock:

"...and the Cheetah Jumped Over the Moon"
"Winter Solstice"
"Make Some Sound"

Thanks to all those who attended or wanted to attend (your good thoughts mean a lot to me!). Your encouragement, support, and good cheer remind me that creating and sharing art is a powerful way to connect to one another. I feel fortunate to be able to share my creations with you.

My next show will likely take place in March of 2008. If you, or anyone you know, creates three-dimensional art (jewelry, pottery, sculpture, clothing, etc.) and would like to participate in my March show, send me an email!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

32 Years

Feb 11, 1975 to Jan 30, 1976

Rabbit people love to play under the moonlight. Quite fanciful, they respond to the power and beauty of nature and are always being pulled one way and the other to examine what they find. They are the luckiest of all twelve signs! But, it's more a result of "the harder I work, the luckier I get" than taking crazy chances. They are cautious, conservative, bright, and have a good head for business. Supremely pleasant to have around, these affectionate, naturally shy peacemakers seldom ever lose their temper. They sometimes appear to be singing the blues because of a natural but short-lived tendency towards despondency. Rabbits always inspire deep admiration and trust.

Ginger Soup and Ginger Noodles are among the keys to good health!!

From the time Wood Rabbits were small children delighting in Story Time, Wood Rabbits have pursued knowledge. Charming conversationalists, they regale others with anecdotal glimpses into literature, history, and current events. They are lifelong members of the Legendary Rendezvous for People in the Arts and are frequenters of bookstores, libraries, and halls of academia. Their innate cunning makes them superb players not only in the game of chess but the game of life. No wrong moves allowed! Wood Rabbits are alert to new experiences, hang-loose philosophically, and very generous to friends and love ones. But, here's some good advice to Wood Rabbits everywhere! Find a good financial advisor. You might think it's hip to be The Big Spender, but, hey, look at it this way, what are you going to do on that rainy day? Hmmmmm? A little frugality will do you a world of good. Love Life for the Wood Rabbit is filled with rapturous sweetness, so incredibly generous in affection, it puts the partner's head in a spin. Fireplace cuddles are the way of life.

Famous RABBIT people: Hu Shih, Hu Yao-Bang, Kim Young Sam, Sally Ride, Leonardo Di Caprio, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Arturo Toscanini, Leontyne Price, Clare Boothe Luce, Tiger Woods.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Art, Jewelry, and Merriment

Holiday Art Show at Rising Bird Healing Arts!
Thursday, December 13, 6-9pm

Courtney Putnam, mixed media artist
Kristin Stubbs, jewelry artist
  • Jewelry and original art for sale!
  • Art cards and prints for sale!
  • Enter to win a free massage!
  • Enjoy some delectable refreshments!
This season, Courtney will be joined by the talented Kristin Stubbs, whose art takes the form of unique and exquisite jewelry pieces. For more information about the show and the artists, click here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


"To know oneself, one should assert oneself." -- Albert Camus
"Jump." -- Joseph Campbell
"Granted that I must die, how shall I live?" -- Michael Novak
"Motion is the significance of life, and the law of motion is rhythm." --Hazrat Inayat Khan

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

...and the cheetah jumped over the moon

My dream life is a wild and crazy beast these days, causing me delayed entry into reality each morning, lightning flashbacks throughout the day, and concern over the issues that may not be resolved in my subconscious mind. Dream journaling has helped, and so has creating art (like the piece above). I also did some feng shui maneuvering in the bedroom, which has seemed to effectively stop a recurring dream that has been causing me some distress.

Art Challenge:

Depict one of your dreams through art. What important images emerge? What feelings from your dreams can you transfer to paint and paper and wax? Do you gain any insight about yourself through visual representation?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Little Girl, Little Girl, How Do You Learn to Eat?

I am fourteen years old and I learn the art of fat-free eating. In my sack lunch, I pack:
  • 1 red delicious apple
  • 1 can diet coke
  • fat-free bagel w/fat free cream cheese
  • fat free pretzels
I learn that butter is the enemy, so my bread is always dry. My mother uses fat-free salad dressing, so I use it, too. Sometimes she even brings it to the restaurant in her purse. There is something intoxicating about deprivation. What control and strength it takes to withhold, to endure that hollow feeling. I feel powerful turning away fat. I decide that hunger pangs are a sign that I am truly alive. What depression takes away, hunger replaces.

- from my work-in-progress, "Stomach"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Apparently, my guitar-playing, riot-grrl singing, soul-searching rock star fantasy lives on. The film Once helped to re-ignite this secret dream.

Art Challenge: Visually represent a dream you have about becoming something or someone you have yet to become (or know you'll likely never become). Or maybe this dream is already seeing the light of day and you're making it happen. In any case, put colors and images to this dream and, at the very least, let it live as art.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hiding from Death

I told my parents I was afraid of dying, afraid they’d die,
made mom say I won’t and you won’t and everything will be fine
every night before bed as she kissed me goodnight
and closed the door partway so the light shined in.

- excerpted from my poem, "Nighttime Pantoum"

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007

There's a Birdie on My Shoulder

What's on
your shoulder?

Take a portrait of yourself with whatever it is that is currently on your shoulder (metaphors are welcome). Include a link to your photo in the comments box if you like!

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Fruitful Darkness

On Tuesday I went to a "Muse Studio" hosted by Alia Calender, a Soul Collage facilitator and life coach. This three-hour workshop was titled, "The Fruitful Darkness," a fitting theme for me during this difficult summer-to-fall transition time.

During the workshop we were asked to contemplate what the darkness means to us. Are there fears we have of the dark in general or of the fall or winter in particular? How might the darkness be "fruitful"? What gifts does darkness bring?

Alia also asked a profound question: "On a societal level, do you agree that we live in a very 'solar,' extroverted culture that has a hard time with the dark, the mystery, unknowing, non-doing, nighttime/winter, etc.?" I find that this is often true. What do you think?

After some contemplation, discussion, and lighting of candles, we explored our relationship to darkness through collage. For this particular workshop, we created in silence, allowing the energy of the others around us to keep us going. We clipped, cut, tore, arranged, and glued until it was time to share our creations with one another.

Here are my three creations (and their voices/messages):

I hold the key to my well-being. I am safe. Aloneness is not loneliness.

I see things as they are. Each moment is new and I am new.

I am night -- a mystery only the stars can solve.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"See to Peace" Part of Online Peace Exhibit

I've had a mixed media collage accepted as part of the "A Peace Of..." online art exhibit. Kara and Hawk Jones of Kota Press curated this show and I'm so glad to have participated.

Here is the statement of purpose for the "A Peace Of..." Art Exhibit from the "A Peace Of..." Blog:

"To showcase visual artistic representations of the effect/affect of peace on each of us individually, on our communities, and on the global level. Because this show will explore peace, it may also be looking at why there is a need for peace - how war and violence affect us all as human beings, how our community is then constantly addressing recovery & healing. And what might it mean for all of us if we instead lived in a non-violent world, how much more productive might we be as a species?"

A larger version of my piece, including my artistic statement can be found here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Giving Heart

The challenge is to give love to yourself, too.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Story Art

There's a story in this piece, but I am not sure what it is. Tonight I created this piece and then showed it to my partner. "What's happening here?" I asked, pointing to the collage. "It looks like the creature is going to eat the rooster," he said. "Interesting," I said, "the creature doesn't look mean...or hungry to me. I think maybe he's going to pet the rooster." We both shrugged our shoulders and kept staring at the story in front of us.

Often I create an art piece and don't know what story I am telling. It's as if my intellectual mind hasn't caught up with my creative impulses. So, just as I asked my partner tonight, I ask you what do you think is happening in this piece? Observations, stories, and poems welcome.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


"Nurture," collage painting with wax on canvas (size: 18" x 24")

close-up of birdie

close-up of woman

Monday, August 13, 2007

Canine Companion

When I was 16 you died and everything changed.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Memory Flies

Text in collage reads: "I held the sound in my memory."

The piece above (titled "Holding the Sound") left the artistic flock Thursday night at Rising Bird Healing Arts during my fourth art show. I know it has found a loving new nest where it can live out its days.

The art show went quite well, with several real, live Roosevelt Art Walkers this time! I showed about 25 mixed media pieces and Katherine showed about 15 beautiful raku pots.

A special thanks to Mr. Soap Y. Steve for his help during the event.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Art Show Next Week!

Summer Art Show!
at Rising Bird Healing Arts

Courtney E. Putnam, Mixed
Media Collage

Katherine Hanson, Raku Potter

Thursday, August 9, 6:00-9:00pm

Back by popular demand, Courtney will be joined again by the talented Katherine Hanson for a night of collage and pottery.

We will be showing several new pieces as well as many from the last show.

• Art cards for sale!
• Enter to win a free massage!
• Enjoy some delectable refreshments!

Click here for the complete .pdf flyer.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Respite and Rejection

This art piece above represents my latest bout of creative productivity. I love how well the colors blend together to reflect the vibrancy of my creative life at the moment.


"While we love your poetry submission, we regret to say that we will not be including your poems in our publication at this time."

This quote above represents the fourth time a certain literary journal has held my poems for further consideration and ultimately did not select them for publication.

But, I hear rejection builds character (or at least my mother tells me so). Sending our work out into the world and having it return is a sign of movement and positive intention. It means we are creating. So, let us all keep creating, risking rejections and all.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Kaleidoscope of Collage

I'm in the lovely city of Portland, OR today and found myself in a store called New Renaissance Bookshop: The Conscious Living Store. This shop is very similar in feel (and content) to Seattle's EastWest Bookstore, so I felt right at home among the incense, creativity candles, and rose quartz hearts. New Renaissance has a large "creativity section," with shelves stocked with books on writing, art, and general creative expression. I seemed to return to this section over and over and found myself drawn to a particular art book called Kaleidescope: Ideas and Projects to Spark Your Creativity by Suzanne Simanaitis. After returning to this book about five times, I figured I was called to it or it was called to me. So, I bought it.

It's a colorful, image-plentiful book, packed with collages, writing, and ideas for collage projects. The author is the creator of the award-winning ARTitude Zine, a wonderful magazine I picked up years ago when I was just beginning to immerse myself in the collage world.

Let the creativity begin!

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I created this piece (in its original form) in 2003. During my recent encaustic frenzy, I pulled this piece out of my closet and doused it with color and wax, adding a bit more life and vibrancy to it. I often revisit my art. Sometimes I end up ripping pieces apart and reassembling, and other times I add more color, layers, or texture. I feel like this revisiting is similar to how I experience my life. At times I've needed to scrape away at my life to find the hidden gems. Yet other times I've torn everything down and started again. More commonly, I add some texture or color to enhance what is already there. I wonder if sculptors view their lives in terms of building and molding. Do graphic artists see life as a series of quick clicks of the mind which have the power to create great change? I know that my mother, a novelist, sees her life in terms of narrative arcs and metaphors. Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? Or are our creations simply extensions of ourselves?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day Tribute

For my father.

For my brother, now a father.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Art Show Deliciousness

Yesterday I celebrated the one-year anniversary of my home-based massage business, Rising Bird Healing Arts by hosting my third art show as part of the Roosevelt Neighborhood Art Walk. It was a lovely event, with many in attendance. What made the evening even more dynamic was the fact that Raku potter Katherine Hanson displayed her amazing pots. Her pots and my mixed media and encaustic creations complemented each other quite well, and I enjoyed sharing the spotlight with another budding artist. For those of you who know me well, large social gatherings such as these art walks tend to wipe me out, introvert as I am. But I do love the way people come together to enjoy and support the arts. And I love preparing for the show by creating new pieces and decorating the house with my creations.

It does feel like these neighborhood art walks are catching on. I do wonder, though, how many people are actually participating in the art walks. I think we had four art walkers last night (the majority of those in attendance where people Katherine and I had personally invited). Unlike the other businesses participating in the art walk (cafes, stores, restaurants, etc.), my business is not open to the public on a daily basis, so my art is only available for public viewing one night every three months (I only participate once a season). So I'm finding myself musing a bit about finding venues out of my home to display my work. Coffee shops seem like great places to display work. I am beginning to start a list of venues to explore. If you have any ideas for places that you think would be good to display/sell my art, feel free to post your ideas here or shoot me an email.

Thank you for all who attended the event last night and for those who could not attend, but sent their good wishes. Your support is invaluable. And a special thanks to my partner, who spent his first day of summer break helping me prepare for the event. Your enthusiasm about and support of my art and my massage business keeps me engaged, inspired, and grounded.

Art (clockwise from top): close-up of "Guarding the Nest," mixed media painting with wax; Raku pots; "Creative Offspring," mixed media collage with wax.