Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Boy Inside the Old Man Inside the Boy

Transcendent Age, encaustic, 10" x 12"

(click image for a larger view)

How old do you feel you are? I like to think of the digits that tick away the years as "literal age." But there is something I like to call "transcendent age" that is malleable and amorphous. It changes based on how you feel and what you are doing in your life.

Sometimes I feel like I am twelve and other times like I'm seventy. The funny thing is that I rarely feel like I'm thirty-three, my literal age. Lately I've been toggling between fifty and seven. Curious.

How old are you today?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

An Art Show to Bloom About!

Blooming Day, 6" x 6" encaustic

I'm gearing up for my next art show at Rising Bird Healing Arts, my home business here in Seattle. My encaustic day on Friday sure spurred some spring-themed pieces (like the one above) and I look forward to sharing my other new pieces at my show on Friday! If you are in the Seattle area, please stop on by. I'd love to see you!

Here's the scoop on the event:

Date/Time: Friday, May 1, 2009; 6-9pm

Location: Rising Bird Healing Arts (6316 9th Avenue NE, Seattle)

This spring, I will be joined by gifted aroma artist Carol Walter of Solace Essentials. Carol will be selling her Solace Essentials products: chakra-specific lotions, creams, and shower salts. She will also be offering aromatherapy readings using Aromatherapy Insight Cards ($15/reading)!

Highlights of the event:

* Courtney's spring-inspired mixed media & encaustic art (originals & prints) for sale!

* Carol's Solace Essentials products for sale!

* Aromatherapy readings!

* Enter to win a free massage!

* Enjoy some delectable refreshments!

Please join us!

About Courtney Putnam
Courtney is a massage therapist, Reiki practitioner, writer, and visual artist. She runs her home-based business, Rising Bird Healing Arts, offering holistic healing and bodywork sessions, as well as mind-body and creativity workshops. It is here in her home where she creates her mixed media collages and encaustic art. In her work, she often explores the human-animal connection, blurring the lines between human and non-human animal forms. Birds are frequently central to her creations because they are gentle yet powerful creatures; they are also so light and fragile, yet profoundly symbolize freedom, release, creativity, and transformation. As an artist, writer, and healer, she sees her work as embodying these characteristics. Visit her website at

About Carol Walter
Solace Essentials was founded in 2005 by Certified Aromatherapist Carol Walter, after a 25-year health misdiagnosis, exacerbated by career burn-out and sudden loss of a relationship. Carol turned to natural remedies, including essential oils, to heal her body and soul. After experiencing unexpected physical healing of the mysterious medical condition accompanied by personal growth, she decided to further her knowledge and help others. Her certification in Aromatherapy—an ancient art and science that unlocks the natural healing energy of essential oils—is from the East West School for Herbal and Aromatic Studies ( Through her practice, Solace Essentials, she offers her healing expertise to you with custom Essential Oil Healing sessions, 100% organic essential oils, and unique, natural bodycare products that nurture both your skin and soul. To make an appointment please call 206.851.3233 or visit

Friday, April 24, 2009

Back to the Earth

Today I worked on encaustics for eight hours! My friend Eric joined me for a day of waxy play, which was just the ticket to keep me going and keep me focused (as opposed to my getting distracted by bills and dishes and naps). Thanks, Eric!

Here are two of my earthy delights from today:

Unearth, encaustic, 6" x 6" (there are coffee grounds in this piece!)

Grounding Force, encaustic, 6" x6"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Nest Becomes Art

My neighbor and good friend Juliet gave me this abandoned nest she found. It has been sitting in my yard for a couple weeks as I wasn't sure what to do with it. (I also wondered if another bird might scoop it up and re-use it. Do birds do that?)

Then I realized that my black bird statue, the one that guards the entrance to my massage space, was a little lonely with nothing to look after. So I gave my rusting bird the nest.

And I decorated the nest with some ribbon. I also set in some white stones I had collected at my friend Nedra's house and added a little hope for good measure.

My black bird seems to like this new situation, don't you think?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Sweetness of Spring

Sweet, mixed media collage, 5" x 6"

The spring energy flowing all around me motivated me to update my Cafe Press online store. I've uploaded new spring-inspired art. Feel free to check it out!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Three Selves

On Sunday, April 12 I hosted "You, Yourself, and You: A Self-Portrait Workshop" and (lucky me!) I created art along with my wonderful participants.

For four hours, we explored our past, present, and future selves (or aspects of these selves) by creating mixed media art. We used found images and objects, fabric, encaustic wax, glitter, and paint to visually represent ourselves in three parts.

What a powerful, artful day!

Jenna poses with her beautiful self-portrait triptych.

Carol Jo and her three pieces make the room shine.

I decided to focus on my empathy and the way this gift/challenge has impacted (and continues to impact) my life. Here are my three pieces:

Past: Nature Child, Protector of Birds and Critters

Present: To Touch and to be Touched

Future: Radiating Empathy in a Field of Strength

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Mess to Behold!

I have been itching to create. But I have had many other things to attend to, including my doing my taxes and cleaning my closet. I already have too many messes. So I was hesitant tonight to create yet another mess. But images of cherry blossoms, deep green leaves, and henna-dyed paper lanterns were calling! I cut out images, leaving piles of paper debris all over the floor (too bad my cats don't eat paper!).

And when my art piece just wasn't coming together, I decided to make the arting messy (see picture to the right: purple fingers!). I smeared paint and layered images and bleeding tissue paper (sounds rather nasty, doesn't it?) and added traces of metallic pen. I decided not to stop when I thought I was done. This time, I told myself to take the piece further. Even if I didn't like it, I wanted to take it past the end point (or the "safe" point I tend to rely on).

Do you ever find yourself "playing it safe" with your art, not wanting to risk making a piece ugly? I have discovered a great technique for ceasing to worrying about making a piece ugly: try to make it ugly! Push it to the edge. When I let go of the feeling that my art must "look right" or "be pretty," I actually produce some interesting work. And something shifts inside me; it's like I've created a little opening for creative growth. So if you're feeling stuck, make it ugly! Go ahead, ruin it! I bet you'll create some fascinating work.

Behold, mixed media collage, 8.5" x 11"