Friday, April 25, 2008

Desired: Your Art!

"Inner Critic," mixed media collage, 6" x 7"

In my role as Ms. Healer-type (as opposed to Ms. Artist-type -- although I certainly see the two as being interconnected) over in Rising Bird and Healing Nest lands, I offered some writing and art prompts and suggested that people submit their creations for my next issue of my "Healing Nest" e-newsletter this May. I have a lovely writing submission I am excited to share in the newsletter, but I have yet to receive any art submissions (so sad). Might this exercise strike your fancy and spur you to want to share your creation? Please consider sharing your art on this blog and/or submit it for my next newsletter issue.

Art Prompt: “Inner Critic”
Create a visual depiction of your inner critic. Using the art method of your choice (painting, collaging, drawing, sculpting, etc.), give your inner critic a form. Does your critic look like a human being? An animal? A pattern of some kind? When I did this exercise in my college days, my inner critic looked like a stern baseball coach. In my crayon drawing, he was blowing a whistle and pointing at me. It was freeing to see this voice of criticism in visual form; in many ways my critic lost much of its power because I “unveiled” him. What about you? Who has your inner critic been lately? Who or what is it today?

Submission guidelines: Submit your art in .jpg format via attachment or as a link to your blog or Flickr account. Email submissions to cputnam@rising-bird.com and write "Spring Newsletter Submission" in the subject line. Thanks!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

To Steep, Perchance to Dream

mixed media collage on wood panel, 6" x6"

Art Prompt: Juxtaposition

Choose an image you often use in your art (for me, obviously, it's a bird) and juxtapose it with a random image you encounter or dream up. For example, in the above piece, I knew I wanted to use a crow, but I didn't know what to pair with it. So, I quickly scanned an old book for images and stopped at this silver pot without any conscious understanding of how it might connect to my crow. I placed them together and asked myself (and my cat Mountie), "What is the relationship between you two?" As I keep asking myself that question, I get to deeper and deeper layers of understanding. The key is to resist trying to understand right away. Allow your imagination some breathing room and take in your creation fully before creating meaning.

Feel free to link to your creation in the comments box!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sun on the Brain

"Sun Totem," 8" x 8" painting

All I can think about is sunshine these days. It's an overused rant this season, I know: "Where is the damn sun?! It's spring! Spring!" But, it really must be done. As a Northwest S.A.D.-ite, I've have had enough. And the thing of it is, the "blahs" creep in so slyly. The heavy, gray energy outside leaks through the windows and enters my brain. I tell you, I've seen it! It's called brain fog or lethargy gas. Do you have this, too?

So, truly, sunshine is on my mind all day. I want it see it blazing full force; I want to feel its radiance on my skin. I want the world to become unreal and charged with electric color again. In fact, I want to BE the sun. Yes, I want to feel hot at my core--strong, self-assured, powerful. And I want my rays to spread influence. I want to make things grow. I want to crawl out of this space of sadness and worry and become radiant.

With sun on my brain, I did a little search for
sun goddesses tonight and came upon the story of Amaterasu, the Sun goddess of Japanese Shinto.

Image credit: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865), Amaterasu Emerges from the Light

Here's her story:

"When her brother Susanowo treated her badly, she hid in the cave of heaven and closed the entrance with an enormous stone. This made the world dark, and evil spirits came out of their hiding places. In despair, a conference of the gods decided to trick Amaterasu into coming out by having a party near the cave. They put a big mirror in front of the cave and beautiful jewels on a tree. Uzume, the goddess of laughter, began a dance accompanied by loud music. Hearing the music and laughter, Amaterasu was so curious that she took a look outside to find out what was going on. She was so fascinated by her own brilliant reflection in the mirror that she came out of the cave. Finally, the light covered and colored the world. " (Windows to the Universe)


Amaterasu, please emerge from your cave! If you try, so will I.



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Little Intention


I created this box in February, just after my second Abundance Box Workshop. This abundance box is dedicated to my dad and I consider it his "Health Box." Inside, I have placed my words of hope and intention for his healing. During my dad's 35-day stay in the hospital, I placed this abundance box prominently on the mantle with a green candle next to it. I never let the fire die, even when I switched from one candle to another.

Now, I'm thinking it's about time to open the box up and re-examine the intentions inside. Perhaps new words and visions need to be added and existing ones removed or replaced. And here's the bigger question: should I also place statements of intention for my own healing in this box or should I make my own "healing box"? Hmmmm....


Friday, April 11, 2008

Wax and Henna and New Friends

Last night was my Spring Art Show, and I was delighted to be joined by the dynamic duo of Kara and Hawk Jones! I met Kara in the blogosphere after visiting her blog 1,000 Faces of Mother Henna, and now, having met her in person, I know why I am so drawn to her work, her words, and her lovely self.

I was lucky to be Kara's first human henna canvas of the evening and here's the beauty she created for me:


I am told that this design could last up to a week on my skin. It's a good thing because I can't stop looking at it!

About 20 people participated in the art festivities last night, spreading all kinds of good energy and making some interesting connections (I love it when that happens). And I sold two mixed media pieces, as well as some prints and cards of my work.


I say a special goodbye to...

Spring Feeling and Spring on a String

Thank you to Kara and Hawk, my new friends who made the night such a delight!

Hawk, Courtney, & Kara
Note sepia tone to photograph (I tried to make it henna colored).


Monday, April 07, 2008

Spring on a String

Mixed media collage with wax, 6" x 6"

Spring is a tease this year. She flits her warm edges through the clouds on windy days, but soon enough pulls back into the sky. What I wouldn't give to be about 1000 feet up, sitting in short sleeves (and perhaps some sandals) just beyond the clouds. What I wouldn't give to tug on that dangling string of spring and pull her close--pull her in for a big, whopping kiss.



Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Art Show: April 10!

I'm very excited about my art show next Thursday. I'll be joined by the multi-talented Kara Jones, who will offer henna body art for your hands or feet! Click on the flyers below for larger viewing. Hope to see you here on the 10th!