Friday, February 24, 2012

Atom's Monster

Who are your monsters?
Four year old Atom's monsters came at him in a dream that woke up the whole household--and inspired a story that eventually became a picture book for children and an inspiration for me when facing my own monsters. Atom's Monster features a brave little boy who shoots the invading monster--only to find that the monster is now blocking his door and he can't get out . An unlikely friend (a troll) helps him face his fear (a dragon) and solve the problem.
This story I wrote, illustrated and published when my boys were little, came to mind again when I read Mira Reisberg's article on monsters and facing them on in her post on the blog The Abundant Artist.

I still use the technique of "loving the dragon" to face those people who want to derail my life, and to keep from being blown away when the car was totaled and the computer crashed--again.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Torn Heart Lets in the Universe

It was on Valentines day that my beloved was diagnosed with lung cancer and told he would have to have part of his lung removed. I finished hemming this, my first ever painting on silk, while he was in surgery, and put it over him when he was in ICU. He told me later that whenever he was in pain, he would put this piece of silk over his chest and it would make him feel better.

I hung this piece at the Vashon Fiber Arts Collective--which we have renamed Vashon Common Threads--for the month of February, and I was telling someone it's story today. She said, "You are lucky to have each other." I did not tell her the surgery did not save Bob's life and he has been gone these 6 1/2 years. Instead I said simply, "Yes....we are."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Whole New Mind!

Spiral Zentangle
I so love doing spirals lately!

Good news! The right Brain is no longer the ugly step child of the mind! We are now in "the Age of Art and Heart", according to Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, where things like intuition, anecdote, art, and other right brain skills are no longer shunned or scorned, but very much needed.

Daniel catagorizes (uh oh--left brain activity) right brain skills into six "senses":
*Play (which included humor, games, and just plain joy)
*Design (the marriage of utility and beauty)
*Symphony (the ability to put different pieces together into a new creation)
*Story (gathering meaningless facts into a meaningful context)
*Empathy (I call it Divine Love)
*Meaning (includes spirituality)

I'm not sure I would divide things out quite this way, but I sure do find it encouraging to find that some of the ways of thinking I have struggled to find recognition for, and which I am quite good at, are on his list. He even has stories about why and how they increase a business's profitability!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Silk Scarves--Meaningful or Just a Luxury?

I've been struggling with how to make my art meaningful and of real service to people. Somehow scarves, even hand painted silk scarves such as I make, don't seem ....well, they seem like just a luxury. How can they REALLY make a person's life better or help her through life challenges? 

Amy Wilson Cavaness gave me these encouraging words:

Take it from me---sometimes a beautiful piece of fabric wrapped 
around my body means a great deal to me----the colors touch me 
in some emotional way, I feel beautiful, I feel special, I'm able to express 
something about myself by the way I wear it----a beautiful scarf
 isn't necessarily "just a luxury". Even plaques with words on them 
really have no meaning unless those words mean something special 
to an individual at that moment.

Thank you, Amy.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Jump!

The other day I took a flying leap onto a wet driftwood log--and now I have a big purple bruise on my thigh! My feet slipped out from under me, and I did go flying, with a rather abrupt landing!

I thought the lesson was "don't be in such a rush!", as I was hurrying to join friends on the beach for our morning Qi Gung. Emiliana Torrini got me thinking about this jump --or jumping in general--in a new way, with this song and video.

Friday, February 3, 2012

On Fear

 First I thought, I’m not afraid of anything. Then I realized my stomach has been out of order ever since this class started, which triggered fears of cancer. Then I realized my stomach is out of order due to excitement and–yes–fear!
I have wanted to be an illustrator since I was 14, but have never quite been able to get it together. I freeze up! And here I am again, with an illustration project for a friend (after putting illustration aside for 2 years) at the same time I’m taking this ecourse that I’m pinning my hopes on–and I’m freezing up!
So what am I really afraid of here? I am afraid of not being able to express what I came to this earth to do–and at the same time, I’m afraid of expressing it. I’m afraid I won’t get to do it and afraid that I will do it! Weird, huh?
I’m not so much afraid my work will not be accepted by others; I’m afraid it won’t be good enough for me! It won’t come out the way I see it in my head/heart.