Saturday, August 30, 2008

A New Egg

mixed media collage, "A New Egg," 4" x 5"

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Mixed media collage: "Lady and Bug," 5" x 6"

Mixed media collage: "Buddha and Fish," 4" x 6"

So much needs to be done, and yet all I want to do is create art (and watch Hitchcock movies and cry a little and stare at flowing water and pet my cats and nap). I'm behind on so many details, and must get cracking on these soon. My closet seems to be a physical representation of my mind right now, too: cluttered, full, and on the verge of causing injury. For now I am just keeping the door shut so I don't have to look at it (well, I'm trying to keep it closed, but the piles of clothes are creating quite the obstruction). I feel like I am channeling my inner thirteen-year-old these days. Why does it take so much energy to actually hang clean clothes up?

Since this is Saturday and all -- and a beautiful day at that -- I figure I can have a two-art-piece-Saturday and save most of the logistics for tomorrow...or the next day. So if you're feeling a little lack-luster today in the Getting Things Done Department, I give you permission to press snooze on your "to do" list. Sound good? I feel a bit better now about my own suspended tasks. I hope you feel better, too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Art Journal Entry #3

Here's a poem I wrote in 2002 (per my friend Steve's request for me to post more of my own writing):


On the moon of my menarche
my father compared the red of my period
to the spaghetti sauce I swirled
into my pasta, circling the white hair-
like strands into streams of moist crimson.
It was our secret: below, my uterus
released several streams
of red birds who landed as inked
half-moons on the miniature
pad my father picked out so carefully
as if he found the best canvas
for his daughter’s art.

[My dad was a health and P.E. teacher for much of his career, and bodily functions were easy subjects to discuss with him. After he gave his 9th grade health class anatomy quizzes, I would help my dad grade them, and we would laugh hysterically together at the mistakes and colloquialisms. I could ask my dad questions about anything related to reproductive health or health in general, and he made many drug store runs for me and my mom to purchase tampons and maxi pads. He was never embarrassed. And he always got our specific orders right.

I just found out last night that my dad was featured on the home page of the Lakeside School website. My dad worked at Lakeside up until two weeks before he died. He loved his work and was adored by the students there. To view the article, visit]

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Art Journal Entry #2

I acknowledge there is no sweetness
that doesn't leave a stain,
no sweetness that is sufficiently sweet...

Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan, stays just long enough

to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark

Excerpt from "Sweetness," Stephen Dunn, Between Angels

Monday, August 18, 2008

Art Journal Entry #1

Tonight I had the urge to do some art journaling, so I scurried up to Bartell's and bought some glitter paint pens and a sketch book. It's not that I don't have plenty of art supplies to work with already, but when I found that photo of my dad kissing me as a baby, I knew I needed to work with glitter and stars and crayons and other kid-friendly materials.

It's funny how set on glitter pens I was when I left the house. You would have thought I was hungry or injured or in need of using the bathroom by the way I hurried to the store. No anti-bacterial ointment or trail mix for me. No toothpaste, dishwashing detergent, Tylenol, or maxi pads. This was more important -- I needed glitter pens and I needed to create. After finding the pens, I rushed to the cashier, out running a lady buying diapers and baby wipes. I said "sorry" in my head as I blew past her, but I somehow couldn't say it aloud. Once I got the pens home, I felt better. I ripped open the package and began creating. I felt my heart relax, my breath slow.

It is still amazing to me how urgent the impulse to create can feel. I feel a deep hunger that's resolved with color and gesture. The act of creating is like digesting food, allowing my heartache to churn and churn and turn into something beautiful.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Art Show

This last Thursday (August 14) I hosted my eighth art show at my home business Rising Bird Healing Arts. While I don't have an official count, my guess is that about 40 people attended this art show. It is, perhaps, a record! My home was filled to the brim with lovely friends and clients, interested art aficionados, and many new faces.

My guest artist, JC Clapp, provided the textural 3-D portion of the event with her amazing original felted handbags. If you would like to see more of JC's work (or perhaps even buy one of her fabulous pieces!), please visit her Etsy site Bagoo Bags. Her work is a combination of sweet, funky, and elegant, and each bag is made with JC's creative mind, not a pattern. I am delighted that I have a "JC original" now in my possession!

I hung 44 pieces of art this show (perhaps the most I've ever shown at once), parted with four pieces, and sold many cards and prints. Per my tradition, I will now say goodbye to the pieces that took flight on Thursday.


Nighttime Sun
Moon Wish
Winter Birds Turn Tow
ard Spring

I also want to thank the many people who came to give me hugs on Thursday. Check soon over at The Healing Nest for a more detailed post about this, but my father passed away on Tuesday and I wasn't sure I would be able to attend my own show. I wasn't sure I'd be able to stand up straight or speak or even smile. But it turned out to be a blessing to have so many lively, lovely faces around me. And my family (including some cousins up from California) stopped by as well. My mother bought Nighttime Sun, she said, because "I'm drawn to that light that exists in the darkness." [Insert deep breath here.]

I suspect my next show will be in December with another fabulous guest artist to showcase. In the meantime, I may have a show in a venue outside of my home this coming September. I'll keep you posted on that venture.

peace, love, and soft felted hugs,


Friday, August 08, 2008

Winter Bird

Acrylic painting on canvas, "Winter Bird," 16" x 24"

I decided to do a little painting outside today when the sun finally came out. As I was creating this piece above, I was thinking about how cheery it seemed in contrast to the quiet sadness I was feeling inside. After I completed this piece, I asked my partner for his first impressions. He said, "It's cold. This crow is sad. He's looking at a bare tree. It's winter." I had to step back. Yes, I saw it, too. But in the act of creating, the blue felt all-too vibrant, too happy. I was even criticizing myself for not truly expressing what I felt inside. When I finished, stood back, and really looked, I saw that this painting does indeed reflect how I am feeling today. It's as though it was hiding itself from me -- or I was hiding from it.