Saturday, December 27, 2008

Felineness

Transcendent Feline, encaustic, 6" x 6" (SOLD)

"You could be killing Ghandi," I tell him, but my cat pays no mind to my reincarnation musings as he stalks the fly, his flanks up in the air, his tail twitching. He waits for Ghandi to take a rest on the windowsill. Even from my distance, I can see Ghandi's tiny insect body pulsing with exasperated breath. It has been a 15 minute hunt already. I have tried to release Ghandi from the house, to corral him, guide him like an air traffic controller, but he doesn’t understand my human sign language. My cat continues to stalk him, determined and hot, and then pounces, his eyes wide like green pilot lights. With one swat of his paw, he knocks Ghandi down and then I hear a brief buzz and several crunches. My cat is pleased, satiated. He licks his teeth. The hunt is over and it's nap time. He circles the chair cushion and forms a little ball, resting his head on his tail. I watch him begin to sleep, watch his breaths become slow and full and peaceful, all evidence of the kill now gone. I close my eyes and imagine poor Ghandi traveling through this sleeping beast, leaving this world in the belly of my cat.



Friday, December 26, 2008

Monkey Business

"Ichi the Monkey," encaustic, 6" x 6"

I was going to include this art piece in my Dec. 11 show, but I just couldn't. I pulled it off the wall before the show, knowing that "Ichi the Monkey" was to be a gift for my nephew Nicholas. He is three months shy of two years old and he is quite fond of monkeys. This art piece was clearly meant for him.

What is so lovely about having this little one in my life is that Nicholas constantly reminds me of the value of playfulness and wonder. He reminds me to look at things anew and to imagine how something could be different. With him I try on strange voices and contort my body into perplexing positions to fit into tents and onto tiny chairs. I also dance a lot more when I am with him, for Nicholas knows how to boggie oogie oogie.

My hope is that he always remembers to play -- no matter what age. May he embrace whimsy and wonder even when he encounters the seriousness of life.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Belonging

"Family Meeting," encaustic, 9" x 12"

HIDE-AND-SEEK

I stormed off with “You don’t even love me, do you!”
and hid in the garage crouched behind the lawnmower,
pressed against boxes of Christmas lights,

my bare feet flat against the cold concrete floor.
I sat so still I heard my parents searching for me—
the opening and closing of doors, the ruffling

of boxes in closets—like burglars searching
for hidden jewels. They looked under my bed,
in the storage closet under the stairs, in my tree house.

They called my name over and over as though
crying “Marco!” waiting for my “Polo!”
but by the time dusk arrived and the backyard

woods darkened, their voices felt more urgent.
They must really miss me, I thought. My father’s
tools cast frightening shadows—creatures

with many heads and sharp-tipped teeth. I closed
my eyes to make them disappear, then heard
my mother’s footsteps crunching on the gravel

driveway so close I trembled with excitement.
Pretending to cough, rattling the lawnmower,
I let her rescue me. “We really thought we lost you.

Don’t run away ever again,” she said, and then I saw
her wet face glistening in the moon’s light. Her tears
were proof of it: they truly wanted me. I comforted

my mother then, vowed I’d never really run away,
returned to them anew, knowing I belonged.

(June 2003, Final Manuscript for MFA in Creative Writing)


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Healing Hand, A Healing Art

"A Healing Hand, "encaustic, 8" x 10" [SOLD]


"When we make art to heal, the creative spirit within us is awakened and takes us to who we are when we go inward, which brings out her her song as ours. When we dream and make art of the dreams, we are taken home, taken to the place of healing and healed. Art brings out our inner healer, which changes our whole physiology, and our spirit, mind, and body heal."

- Michael Samuels and Mary Rockwood Lane Creative Healing: How to Heal Yourself by Tapping Your Hidden Creativity


"At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity." - Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen


"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for." - Georgia O'Keeffe


One often calms one's grief by recounting it. - Pierre Corneille


Monday, December 15, 2008

Seasonal Card Sets for Sale!

I have three remaining seasonal greeting card sets still for sale! Each set comes with eight cards (two cards of each of the four designs).

The sets include these four pieces:



Peace on Earth


Bird Angel


Let it Snow!


Peace Bird


These sets of eight cards (w/envelopes) are $24 each. And I will pay to ship them to you!


If you are interested in purchasing single greeting cards or postcards of Let it Snow or Peace on Earth, individual greeting cards are $4 each and postcards are $3 each.

Send me an email if you are interested!

Email: cputnam@rising-bird.com

Art that Flew the Coop

Apparently I miscounted. I sold more than 17 pieces for my art show. It looks like the number of pieces sold is 21!

I think I was so shocked by the high number in general, I was a sloppy counter.

I now say a formal farewell to the following art pieces who departed in the generous clutches of new owners last Thursday:



Crow's Dream

Buddha and the Fish

Lone Crow is Not Lonely

Translation

Meeting at the Comb

All Possible Directions

Plant Me. I Dare You.

My Body is My Home

Balance

See Things as They Are

My Island

Summer Bird in the Autumn Tree

A Delicate Balance

Hawaiian Star Dancer

Buddha Tree

R is for Robin


[+ five new pieces I have yet to post here yet:

Three Children Dream of their Father by the Lake

Transcendent Feline

A Healing Hand

Together

Trusting Myself]


May you all find the perfect walls to hang upon in your new homes.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An Art Show for a Good Cause

One of the altars I created in my massage room for the evening.

This last Thursday (December 11) marked my very first charity art show. An Art Show for a Good Cause was well attended with approximately 50 people passing through between 6:00 and 9:00pm. I sold 17 original art pieces, as well as several prints and cards of my work. At one point in the night, I was shocked to discover so many walls with lonely nail hooks and square and rectangular bare spots.

Best of all, I will be able to donate close to $600 to the Kidney Cancer Association in honor of my dad. That number is astounding to me (I would never be able to donate that amount of money to a charity on my own. Nothing even close!), and I feel so grateful that the result of my creative (and healing) hours with wax and found images and paint was able to generate money to this cause so close to my heart.

A display of the many altered photographs of my dad and writing I've done over the past several months.


Thank you to those who attended to support my art (and my cause) and for those who weren't able to make it, yet sent their good wishes. I appreciate you all!

Kristin Stubbs, the talented jewelry artist who joined me for the event, poses with me at the end of our long evening.

In my next post, I'll indicate which pieces "flew the coop" for this show. (BTW, several very new pieces were sold -- pieces I haven't even had a chance to post on this blog yet.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Creativity in Me, Creativity in the Buddha

"Buddha's Creativity," encaustic, "10" x 13"


"My painting is always ahead of my understanding. It is a sort of teaching process for myself, a way of spiritual knowledge." - Peter Rogers

"Art provides a healing force which aids both the maker and the viewer..." -Richard Newman

"Creative breakthroughs are experiential. They don't come from intellectual analysis." -Lucia Capacchione

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." - Thomas Merton


Monday, December 01, 2008

Two Little Pieces

I meet with my friend Kristen every Monday morning for our writing group. We write, sip tea, eat, support each other, and solve the world's problems (well, more likely, we help solve each other's creative blocks). Today, instead of writing, I created art (our little group of two is creatively malleable). Here are the two little pieces that emerged this morning:

"Explore Within," mixed media collage, 3" x 5"



"Taste," mixed media collage, 4" x 5"