Saturday, December 26, 2009

Stepping Inside the Painting

Solstice Prayer, encaustic, 11" x 14"

I encountered these two quotations after creating the piece above and both speak to my artistic process for this encaustic specifically:

"When you start a painting, it is somewhat outside you. At the conclusion, you seem to move inside the painting."
- Fernando Botero

(I created this piece the day before my December 4th art show. I was very much outside of the piece, uncertain of my purpose or direction. Then the roots arrived and I climbed into the painting to explore. And the flower suddenly grew and the moon glowed and the bird landed on a branch. And then boom! (or bloom!) I tasted the title in my mouth.)

"A color vibration is sensed not only through vision, but in many other ways. Every color vibration has an impact on all physical systems and organs in the body, which respond to these frequencies." - Charles Klotsche

(These hues of blue and orange are new to me. I may have used them separately, but not together. And at first I wasn't sure I liked them as partners on the canvas. But I felt a vibration inside me, maybe a fluttering in the bird's wing and in my belly that said, "Yes, we are different, but we absolutely belong together.")

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Roots Roots Everywhere

New Beginning, encaustic, 9" x 12"

I've been fixated on roots lately. My latest encaustics depict flowers or trees with roots. I even created a figure of myself with roots emerging from the base of me.

In my massage practice, I often guide people through a little meditation at the end of my sessions in which my clients imagine their feet as the roots of a tree, placed firmly in the earth. I remind my clients that even when the wind blows us about, we stay safe and secure with our feet in the earth, our roots grounding us. I realized tonight after giving a Reiki session that when I give this meditation, I am telling my story of love, loss, and strength.

Roots have become a symbol of strength for me. My version of strength. I like the fact that roots are malleable -- that they grow and move, yet remain strong. I've been searching for how to go on in life without the boulder strength my dad exuded with every gesture, breath and word. I had been playing with images of rocks and stones in my art, thinking that those hard structures would be my grounding force for strength. Like my dad, I thought I would let the river water smooth me, as he smoothed during his months with cancer, when he became like the river itself, always glistening with water at the edges of his eyes. But still that abiding river rock, his presence strong.

But then I realized that I am not my father (seems an easy thing to realize, but grief creates tear gas for the psyche). I realized that I am not a boulder of strength like my dad. I dig deep like roots. I am wet and messy. I become tangled easily. When I hit an obstacle, I don't crush it, I wrap myself around it, almost as an embrace. I am fibrous and may lose parts of myself and regrow them again.

I like to imagine my father as a stone in the earth that I encounter as I follow my rooted path to water and nutrients. I like to imagine finding him there among the rich detritus and wrapping one of my tendrils around him, holding him firmly as he becomes my anchor for the next big storm.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunning Flower

Winter Sunflower, encaustic, 6" x 8"

I am like the head of a sunflower these days, following the sun whenever it decides to burn a hole in the thick gray comforter in the sky. On those days when it appears I turn to it, pale face to fiery face, and declare my allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the sun and the way it warms my bones, may it penetrate my eyes, those longing, yearning rods and cones.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Stuff on Cafe Press Store!

I spent a few hours today renewing the content on my Cafe Press Online Store! It's gray here in Seattle. And very wet. And today I was missing my dad quite a lot. My eyes have been as leaky as the rain. So to add some levity to my day, I wanted to immerse myself in some color. I went online and created prints and cards and magnets and buttons and coasters and canvas bags and posters of my art on Cafe Press.

Feel free to check out the new items here:

Wishing you all comforting fall days and a reminder to allow yourself to "be" with your feelings on hard days. And find some light and color somehow, somewhere...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Eternal Birthday Celebrations

64th Birthday Celebration with Buddha and Son, mixed media collage, 4" x 8"

The is the second year I have created an art piece to celebrate my father's would-have-been birthday. I honor him today and feel how he lives through me and my family and all those who knew him.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Words and Birds

Worded Birds, mixed media collage, 3.5" x 5.5"

"A thousand birds are in my grove,
Melodious from morn to night;
My fruit trees are their treasure trove,
Their happiness is my delight.
And through the sweet and shining days
They know their lover and their friend;
So I will shield in peace and praise
My innocents unto the end. "

- "Bird Sanctuary" by Robert Service

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Altering Photographs Workshop This Weekend!

Dad's Return, mixed media altered photograph

I'm so looking forward to facilitating my "Transforming Loss: Altering Photographs" art workshop this Sunday, Nov. 8 (1-4pm).

I do have a few spots open in case you'd like to make last minute plans to join the transformative, creative play!

Jaunt on over to The Healing Nest for more details and to register.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to Bloom in the Dark Months

Fruits of my Abundance, encaustic, 6" x 6"

Sometimes it's hard to think of ways in which nature might provide abundance as we fall into autumn and winter. I do miss the "fruits" of spring and summer. The blooming and new growth help me feel that I am growing and blooming, too!

The other day when taking a walk with my friends J and her little D, we walked through crunchy leaves and the sun even graced us with its soothing rays. That walk felt fairly fruitful as it so happens. And while the leaves on the sidewalks were in a sense "dead," they represent renewal as they will decay and help the soil for the spring. Fruitfulness to come! After the walk, I began to think of the ways in which I was going to create a sense of abundance even now, in the midst of fall. How can I bloom without a certain amount of sunlight? I'll create inner light, I thought. how to do that is the next phase of my process.

How do you experience or manifest fruits of abundance during these cooler, soggy days?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Going BIG!

I had an itch today. This itch would not be satisfied without my attempting to create a large art piece. I guess this desire is reflecting a current feeling inside of me. I'm feeling like I want to be a bit larger these days, too. I want to take up more space, feel expansive, reach out in all directions, arms spread wide.

I tend to work small and small-ish. Today, though, I pulled out a large-ish rectangular canvas and painted with arcylic and then coated it in encaustic wax. Here are the results of my BIG efforts (click on each image for a closer view):

Leaves, Booms, and Roots, encaustic painting on canvas, 15" x 30"

Here are some close up shots for more detail:

Be bold, be big, be expansive! See what happens when you take up space in your art and in your life!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Postage and Post Stage

Post Stage Discovery, encaustic, 6" x 6"

The First

It arrives five days early

with a sunflower on the front,

and inside, my name, a comma,

"Happy Birthday" bolded

(with exclamation point),

and just below, in tight cursive letters,

ink thick from pressing hard,

lines slanting up to the right:

I hope you have a wonderful birthday.

I don't know why you had to leave

my grandson

and break his heart,

but I wish you well.



Friday, October 09, 2009

Manifesting Abundance

Above is the lid to my abundance box for motivation. I created this box with the intention of enhancing my motivation for tackling certain challenging obstacles in my practice. In this box I have placed words, phrases, and objects which represent what I wish to accomplish. I've also placed little cheer-leading phrases to help me along, too: little bits of inspiration which remind me why it is that I want to do what I want to do. (BTW, isn't it funny how we often need motivation to do things that we WANT to do? Sometimes what we want is a little scary or challenging or there are difficult steps in the way of the desired end result.)

So I've just introduced you to an abundance box -- a box to represent what it is you wish to manifest in your life. I have created several of them throughout my life, particularly during transitions -- changes in jobs, relationships, etc. I've created a relationship box, a creativity box, a spirituality box, and a wealth box to name a few. All of these boxes have helped me to clarify my ideals, visions, priorities, and goals. I've also noticed that these boxes have helped healed some old wounds because they focus on positive intentions and not old, negative patterns or events.

I believe that one key way to attracting what you want is to identify what you want, set a positive intention for getting it, and creating a symbolic representation of your desires. An abundance box does just that: it becomes a receptacle for your dreams. The process of decorating the box and placing meaningful words and objects inside can also be revealing in and of itself. Perhaps we don't realize what it is we want until we explore our desires through art-making. For the box above, I began by creating a prosperity box for my business and then I took an interesting turn. The word motivation came to me full-force, like a crisp autumn wind, and I felt my body say a resonant "yes, I need motivation in order to get prosperity." Ah-ha. Who knew that's what I needed!

If you are at all interested in exploring the art of abundance box creation, please join me on October 17 for an afternoon of setting intentions, dreaming big dreams, and playing with the laws of attraction. I'd love to see what you wish to manifest!

Intentional Desires: An Abundance Box Workshop
Saturday, October 17, 1-4pm

For more information about this workshop, please click here.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Saying Yes to Cone Bras

Actualizing Yes, mixed media collage on paper, 6" x 13.5"

Sometimes it's hard to say yes. I mean, sometimes it actually hurts to do it. My body is saying yes please!, but my mind is saying no way! and I'm stuck in the middle of a steaming puddle of doubt. I ask myself, can I really do this? am I really smart/talented/gifted enough to be an artist/healer/writer? don't I need to prove my worth before I take action? I have many more questions, and if you ever feel doubt like I do, I'm sure you can add your own questions here, too. And please do.

Today I've been reflecting on the fact that I have so many chances to say yes to myself in that confident, Madonna sort of way. Just the other day I was recalling with some friends how Madonna used to wear that cone-shaped bra during her performances. She wore those cones in front of millions of people, launching her breasts into the world, her voice belting with such assurance and conviction. To me, that is an example of saying, YES, in all caps, just like that. Yes to my vision, yes to my body, yes to my power, yes to my creativity, yes to my self-confidence, yes to not caring what others think.

So I was thinking about buying one of those cone-shaped bras--really considering it--but then I realized that I can probably say yes to myself with out it. I mean, I bet that thing is uncomfortable, and really, who wants a massage therapist with pointed breasts? Please don't answer that question.

I created the art piece above in my 6" x 13.5" landscape sketch pad while at my family cabin in the mountains this summer. I had just finished the piece (just glued on that Y-E-S, in fact) before the power went out, before my family sat in front of the fire telling stories of my dad, all of us missing him terribly. There were stories I hadn't heard before and many stories that I had heard many times before, yet I wanted to absorb them into my skin like lotion so they would become part of me. Apparently, my dad laughed a lot more than I knew. The kind of laughter that makes your stomach heave and your jaw lock in that open, gasping position. We spent three hours telling stories and laughing ourselves, holding our innards in tact and wiping away tears.

So, I expect that you are wondering what the art piece, memories of my dad's laughter, and a cone-shaped Madonna bra have to do with each other, let alone saying yes to myself more often?

As I see it, saying yes involves letting go, like blowing milk out of your nose because you can't contain your laughter. For many years, I was sure yes meant holding on tightly. In order to say yes I had to be absolutely sure. I had to plan things out in advance, know all the pros and cons. In essence, I had to wait. In that steaming puddle of doubt. Until I was absolutely sure that saying yes wouldn't kill me. Because saying yes means being visible to yourself -- and how many of us really want to see ourselves so vividly all the time? It's scary! It's like wearing that cone bra every day and knowing that people are staring.

But I've been beginning to ask myself, "So what?" I never really said that as a teenager and was rarely rebellious, so perhaps I am just coming into my so-what teenage powers now, but I'm finding it profound. Saying yes to yourself means letting go of constraints and those critical voices and worries about what others will think, and it means stepping into your eighth grade Converse High Tops, staring at the worried adult inside you, and saying, "So what!" Sometimes, when saying yes is concerned, back-talk is needed. And then laugh in surprise at the affection you suddenly feel for your self. Take that affection as a sign that you are saying, yes I am worthy, yes I am capable, and yes, oh yes, I am going to love the hell out of myself for a while.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Unexpected Healing

Cat with the Hand of a Healer,
mixed media encaustic on paper, 6" x 8"

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves." (C.G. Jung)

I was surprised when a cat entered this piece. After all, I am known as the bird woman--the artist who places a bird in virtually every art piece. But the other day when playing art at my friend Karen's, this cat jumped into the wax and wanted to show itself as a healing force.

This is not unlike my own cats -- Selkie and Mountie -- who have given me comfort and healing many times over. Once during a panic attack, when I was shaking in bed, burning on the inside, having a hard time breathing, Selkie came to me, settled right on my stomach and chest, his paws placed over my heart. He stayed there while I trembled and until I calmed myself finally and fell asleep.

What images have appeared in your art in a surprising way, as if you didn't choose them -- as if they chose you? And what life experiences have influenced your inclusion of certain images in your art? Do tell!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Elephants on Parade

The other day my friend Kristen and I went to Ms. Artist B's house for a day of art-making! On this creative adventure, we used Ms. B's shiny new press to print, emboss, and imprint images onto paper. We then added mixed media elements and our own flare to the pieces.

Here are two of my creations (more to come in later posts!):

Blue Kanji Elephant, mixed media on paper, 4" x 6"

Eternal Summer Elephant, mixed media on paper, 4" x 6"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Writerly Opportunities Coming Your Way

Tweet Typing, collage, 3" x 3"

Here's another little update on writerly endeavors for which you may wish to partake!

My friend Ann
Teplick is offering writing workshops for kids at The Richard Hugo House:

Hugo Classes for Kids
Writing Honor and Admiration for El Dia de los Muertos
Come and write beautiful poetry on the theme of El Dia de los Muertos--The Day of the Dead, honoring and celebrating those whom we have lost and admire, as well as those who have fought for social change. Through poems, short prose, dramatic monologues and dialogues, we will tell our stories of remembrance and gratitude. An alter of our work will be assembled and put on display at the annual El Centro de la Raza's Day of the Dead exhibit.

Instructor: Ann Teplick
Writers: grades 3-6
Date/time: Tuesdays, October 6 - December 8, 4-5:30 p.m.
Location: Richard Hugo House (1634 11th Ave. on Capitol Hill)
Tuition: $50 per session, pay-what-you-can

About the Instructor:
Ann Teplick is a poet, playwright and prose writer. She works with young writers in schools, through Coyote Central and with The Pongo Publishing Teen Writing Project.

To register, or for more info, please contact Richard Hugo House: or call 206-322 7030

There are a couple of spots still left in my friend Corbin Lewars' "Getting Published" class!

Tuesdays, 6-8:00 pm • September 29th- October 27th • $120 • Ballard

s workshop is designed for those of us who want to be published, yet seem to find 101 other things to do instead of submitting our work. The class will begin with identifying suitable publications for each participant to query. We will craft enticing query letters, strengthen a current piece or create a new piece of writing, and explore DIY options for publishing. Class size will be limited to eight people in order to provide everyone with individual attention. By the end of the five week workshop, all participants will have a solid proposal and several options of editors to submit to. The only thing left to do will be to push the "send" key!

For more information contact Corbin at

My mom's memoir Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter's Last Goodbye is coming out this October. To learn more about the book, including release dates and future readings, feel free to become a "Fan" on Facebook here.

And I have a secret to tell: my mom is going to be my guest artist for my Fall art show in my home studio this November or December! I'll be showing my art and she'll be selling and signing her books! I am so delighted about this!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Manifest Nest

Manifest Nest, 8" x 8" encaustic on 1" board

I keep searching for my nest--
the one that will appear
between the storm-parted branches
or Fall's gravitational pull.

Until then, I keep my head up,
skyward, where my father's eyes live,
between the cirrus clouds, deep into the blue.

Home is somewhere between sky and branch,
in that place where I manifest my life without
him. So I wait for a nest to emerge
as the leaves release their grip on summer
and accept their flight to earth.

- Courtney Putnam

Monday, August 31, 2009

Flying Coffee Grounds!

Enlightened Feline, encaustic on wood w/embedded coffee grounds

I always make a mess when I add coffee grounds to my encaustics, but I love the effect. The most accurate and tidiest way to incorporate coffee grounds into wax paintings is to glue them to the substrate first and then add the wax.

However, what I do is paint a layer of wax, gather a handful of coffee grounds (I love the feel of those earthy crumbs in my hands) and rub them into the warm wax, making my hands smell like beeswax-coffee heaven. Then I drip more wax on top or sacrifice a clean paintbrush and get it full of grounds by painting wax directly on the coffee. Then I fuse the layers of wax and grounds with a heat gun and the non-adhered grounds go flying everywhere, making a huge mess.

I mention all of this to come out as an imperfect, messy, inaccurate artist. I tend not to follow directions and instead follow my intuition. I'm also very impatient. Wait for the coffee grounds to dry on the glue first?! That will take forever!

I will admit to wanting to be more patient and to try following directions more often. I don't think my house (or my partner) can take much more artistic chaos. And I do want more balance in my creative life. So, perhaps next time I will use the glue technique. Perhaps.

How do you create? Are you a messy-pants like me or do you have a clear, clean organized way of creating? Somewhere in between? Do tell!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Guardians of Peace, encaustic, 10" x 12"


Before my shower this morning,
I slip off my t-shirt, leaving
it to uninhabit me on the bathroom floor,
then slough off my bright orange underwear
and blue-striped pajama bottoms,
watch them as they slide down
my hips, past the yellowing bruise
on my left thigh, the mosquito bite
aglow on my left knee, and the black bird
tattoo perched on my right ankle, leaving
them at my feet like an extra layer of shed skin.

Through the shower’s foggy glass,
I spot my night self heaped in a pile,
and think of last night’s nightmare,
of my father dying all over again,
the adrenaline sweat’s sickly sweet
stain left on my clothes--
and then I spy my cat approaching,
sniffing the pajama puddle.
He circles twice before settling
in the center, then begins to knead
the little heap with his claws, rubs
his nose into my shirt’s armpit,
and sleeps right there, in the remnants
of my terror, content to be in it,
for I am comfort and he can smell it--
beneath the taste of panic’s tang,
despite the nighttime tremors
that sometimes shake him right off the bed,
I am still the one who he adores,
I am still the one who smells of love.

--Courtney Putnam, c. 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Finding Illumination

Illuminated, encaustic, 10" x 14"

Where do you feel most illuminated, when the world--and your life on it/in it--becomes clear as moonlight shining on a cloudless night? Is there a place you like to be to find this clarity? Or do you turn inward to find it?

When I was a teenager, I used to to go to "ferny land" to find peace and clarifying thoughts. This ferny land was a little mound of earth in my front yard where many sword ferns grew. I had created a trail through ferny land and also a clearing so I could visit often. This was also the place where we buried my childhood dog, Kippy, my best friend. When I needed illumination, I ventured to this ferny spot to sit next to my dog's burial spot and I allowed the arms of the ferns to give me strength. Often, I ventured outside when there was a full moon, so even in the dark, I could see my own body illuminated as I sat in the dirt with soft fern fingers reaching out to me, seemingly holding me up.

Now where do I go when I need illumination? I go to my journal and I write, allowing my heart to fire up my thoughts. I heat up my wax and I paint, feeling the energy of beeswax buzzing around me. I even take walks through Ravenna Park and enjoy the ferns who, like those of ferny land, line the trails like generous companions.

Where do you go? What do you do?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Makeda Art Show

Last Friday, August 14, I entered the world of the Greenwood-Phinney Art Walk by participating in the opening of my encaustic art show at Makeda Coffee.

Makeda is vibrant and colorful, cheerful and comfortable, and it is a perfect place to showcase my art for the next month. (So if you weren't able to make the opening and would like to keep my waxy pieces company for a bit, you have more time!)

Makeda's chocolate-colored walls make my encaustics "pop" off the walls.

Many beautiful souls attended to look at art, to re-connect (a spontaneous high school reunion took place!), to partake in Makeda's refreshing refreshments, and to purchase art, art prints, and greeting cards.

Prashanthi Reddy, owner of Makeda, poses with our dear friends and their cutie-pie.

Friends who haven't seen each other in years reconnect & enjoy art.

What made this show extra special was that I was joined by the talented Corbin Lewars, also known as Reality Mom, who sold her fantastic zines and added warmth and creative energy to the evening. Corbin joined me for the evening because my art is featured in her zine -- and will be included in Reality Mom for a whole year. Thank you, Corbin! (If you'd like to subscribe to Corbin's zine, it's only $12/year for four issues and you can subscribe using PayPal if you visit her blog or website! Corbin is also looking for moms to contribute their writing to her issues, so email her at if you have a story to tell.)

Walter, master of art ceremonies, helps Corbin set up her zine booth.

Corbin and I pose for a late night picture.
We're both a bit tired and hot, but happy nonetheless.

For this show I said goodbye to Coming to an Understanding, Touched by 34 Suns, and Nature's Fireworks. I wish you well in your new homes!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Your 34 Suns

Touched by 34 Suns, 10" x 12" encaustic

A writing prompt:

Pretend you have 34 suns inside you, burning bright. Can you name them? I know somewhere inside of me lives "solar panic," "pelvic glow," "sunflower center," and "passionista." What suns live inside of you?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One Year to the Day

My Father Rows Away to Peace, encaustic, 8" x 10"

First Lesson

Lie back daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man's float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.

Philip Booth

(Thank you, Angela, for giving this poem to me after my father died last year. Yes, the sea is holding me, even with the currents thrashing so.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Art Show at Makeda Coffee!

(click image above to see the poster in larger size!)

Please join us this Friday, August 14 (6-9pm) for an artful evening!

Makeda Coffee: 153 N. 78th St, Seattle (Greenwood neighborhood)

Corbin Lewar's Reality Mom Zine Blog:

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Letting Everything Go...

As it Goes, encaustic, 6" x 6" on panel board

This is a week for letting things go as they go. It takes some strength and clear intention to let go of control. I'm noticing how much I want to control how I feel this week, as this week is the one-year anniversary of my dad's death (or my dad "moving to another state" as my friend Karen likes to call it).

I am trying to embrace the idea that what I feel is what I feel. How it goes is how it goes. Wednesday will come and it will go and I will mark the day with my family. We will be however we will be. Creating too many scripts feels exhausting (and truth to tell, my dad would be embarrassed by too much fanfare, too much planning and troubling ourselves). But there will be ritual and there will be intentional moments. I am just learning to let go of how it all turns out. I am learning to let go of perfection. I am learning to let the universe hold me in its arms. I am learning to breathe in what is.

Is there something in your life that you'd like to just let go as it goes? A feeling your having? A relationship you're in? A creative project? What can use a little less of your control? What could use a bit more letting go?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Rhetoric of Green

So I have a magnificent friend named Sarah Slaone, author of the amazing and insightful The I Ching for Writers, who made it possible for me to have my first paid (!) art piece for the cover of a publication.

Above is what the publication is going to look like. My encaustic piece, Family Gathering, became the main scene for this Colorado University system college reader, which has a circulation of about 1,800.

Pretty groovy! And a big thank-you goes out to Sarah for championing my work!

Monday, July 27, 2009

What's Underneath

Undercurrent, encaustic w/coffee grounds, 10" x 12"

In college I had a writing professor, who, knowing my self-consciousness about my quietude, said to me, "Courtney, still water runs deep. That's how you are." It was such a gift for her to re-frame something that I used to agonize over. (I even created a performance art piece about my being quiet, which ended up becoming a "coming out" of sorts for my quietude. In a way, during the performance, I was the loudest I had ever been, and it was quite the breakthrough).

So this piece honors the depths of me, the undercurrent of my life, the things that I hold deep inside and show the world when I feel safe and sure.

What do you hold in your own personal undercurrent? What depths do you hold within you? And when do you feel you are able to show these depths--these gifts to the world? What symbols represent what runs deep with in you? When do you feel free to reveal what's underneath?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Art Show Loveliness

Last Saturday (July18) my friend Patricia Catherine and I had an art show together in her home studio. It was a lovely affair with colorful art, refreshing refreshments (it was a hot day!), and may lovely discussions and connections were had.

In addition to the general merriment of the event, I said goodbye to two pieces: Just Barely Emerging and Manifestation in addition to several cards and prints. Ah, there they go out into the world....

Patricia's studio is beautifully lit (skylights above and windows surrounding) and each time I see her space I drool just a bit more, hoping that someday I will have a studio space that I can keep arty (and messy).

Thank you, Patricia, for collaborating with me and for sharing your creative space with all who attended! (And once again, thank you Walaka, for your expert help with set-up, clean-up, and overall art show management guy duties.)

Here are some colorful pictures from the event (click pics for larger views):

My wall of encaustic paintings.

Patricia's home with her oils and pastels in the background.

Patricia talks with art viewers (her incredible studio is in the background).

My friend Nedra and I discuss my piece On a Wire.

* * * *
My next show: Friday, August 14, 2009 at Makeda Coffee for the Phinney/Greenwood Art Walk. Stay tuned for more details...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Some Writerly Goodies

Writing Goddess, mixed media collage, 8" x 10"

Some writerly opportunities have blown my way recently and I want to share them with those of you creative types who also dabble in writing as well as visual art.

As I began compiling this list, I realized how lucky I am to know these women. Boy do I have some talented friends!

My friend Corbin Lewars is facilitating a workshop this fall called "Get Your Stories off Your Computer and Into Print" (Tuesdays, 6-8:00 pm October 6th-November 3rd in Ballard/Seattle). For more information about her workshop, visit Corbin's website here. And for some witty, authentic stories about motherhood, visit her Reality Mom blog here.

My friend Kristen Bergsman will be teaching a FREE class at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore on August 19th. "Sticks, Stones & Animal Bones: Creative Nature Journaling" is open to adults and kids (ages 8+). The class size is limited to 16 people, and registration just opened. Class and registration info are available here. For more information about Kristen, visit her Laughing Crow Curriculum website here.

My friend Tatyana Mishel is a writer and life coach, who has a website and blog that will knock your socks off and make you want to take positive action in your life. Visit Write Now for a taste of Tatyana's no-nonsense, compassionate, and motivating approach.

My friend and grad school classmate Antionette Brim is publishing her first book of poetry, Psalm of the Sunflower. I am so delighted for her! Check out her website here, and learn more about her new book!

My friend Kara Jones over at 1,000 Face of Mother Henna Blog has a cool video up now on how to make a 16-page mini-book. Check out Kara's blog and websites for all of her creative prompts, inspirations, and healing activities.

My friend Clea Danaan has a new book out called Voices of the Earth: The Pathway to Green Spirituality. Check it out here on her website. You can also check out her thoughtful, earthy Intuitive Gardening blog.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Art Show and Open Studio THIS Saturday!

This very Saturday, July 18, my friend Patricia and I will be having an art show in her home studio in the Wedgwood neighborhood of Seattle. She will be opening her home from 1-4pm and we'll be showing our latest original art -- as well as selling prints and cards of our work.

To see more information about the event, including Patricia's address, click the image above!

(BTW, This show coincides with the popular Wedgwood Art Festival, and Pat's home studio is just a few blocks away from the hub-bub of activity on 35th Street -- music, vendors, art, and more!)

If you're able to make it, consider dropping by. I'd love to see you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Alone Yet Connected

Together But Separate, mixed media collage, 4" x 5"

Tonight I was working on some logo ideas for my friend's new website. As I was collaging away upstairs, I had this strong feeling of connection to my partner who was one (or two) floors down involved in his own creative activities.

And then I began to realize how often he and I make room for creative energy in our home--and how, together, we go about our writing and arting and reading separately. Together but separate. We may meet on the middle floor to share or ask questions (mine is always, what does my art piece actually mean?) or check in, but we feel connected in our separate activities.

[For those of you who might appreciate some technological geekiness, we sometimes even use iChat to check with one another, so we talk to each other on the computer screen and set a time to "meet up" live.]

I feel content but inspired. Alone yet connected. Free and yet always somehow tethered to my partner's heart, knowing he is accepting of my artistic messes and creative bursts at 10:00 at night and my seeming inability to end one project before starting the next. And he knows that I forgive him for being able to fall asleep in two seconds after a night of creating when I am wide awake with swirls of ideas.

My artistic process requires a great deal of aloneness, yet I love to feel that I can connect or collaborate if I wish. Having a three-floor townhouse helps cultivate separateness for sure, but I also think that we've created permeable boundaries--boundaries that we constantly shift as we change the way we wish to create.

Tonight I am appreciative. And I thank you, W, for your understanding--no, championing--my creative process every day.

Try this:

Think about how you create. Alone? With others around? With distraction? What do you like about your creative environment and about those who may share space with you? What might you like to change about your creative circumstances, if anything? What do you appreciate about the way you create and how do you acknowledge this appreciation to yourself and to those who share space with you?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Nature's Fireworks

Nature's Fireworks, mixed media, 5" x 5"

This weekend some friends and I headed to the mountains for Independence Day. In lieu of Seattle fireworks displays, we opted for nature's wonders and sparks. I brought a few art supplies with me and sat in the sun by the American River, soaking in the sound of rushing water, and created a few little pieces.

Butterfly Birth, mixed media, 5" x 5"

Nature provides quite the display of color and sound and surprises. And with the hordes of ants, the starry sky, the wildflowers, the river's frigid splashes, campfire sparks, chipmunk squeaks, and the fleeting elk we spotted, I'd say I had quite the exciting Fourth of July.

Girl-Bird Mimicry, mixed media, 5" x 5"

And in the process, I let my body and mind relax, as I embraced time away from technology and the usual creature comforts of home. There's nothing like a morning splash-bath or head-dunk in 40-degree river water to wake the senses and make me feel ALIVE!