Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Suzanna Leigh, Dancing the Shaddish at 103!

Butterfly Dancer print available on etsy
Written about 1984

 Happy Birthday to Suzanna Leigh
Still Dancing the Shaddish at 103!

This amazing woman seems to grow younger every year, drawing on some infinite spring of vitality and full of more love than one would think her tiny frame could hold. 

... her fountains grace homes, offices, and public buildings all over the world. Her paintings, which so clearly express both the joy of living and a victory over and healing of pain, have been collected by many major museums and hang in healing centers and other public places.

Sailing out of old limitations into new possibilities
print available on etsy

I wrote this many years ago, as a vision for myself, about the time I finally got my BA from The Evergreen State College. I was a 30-ish single mom. 

I don't think I knew the word "installation" when I wrote this. When I revisited this vision recently, I thought, well, I guess I have to let go of some of these things, like creating healing spaces and having my art in public places.

This past week, I participated in the Edge , (an Artist Trust. program) an intense 8 days of learning the business side of art . Along with more information than I could hold (luckily there is a notebook) and many insights (I took copious notes!), I made two major break throughs:

  • Not only is there still time to do the healing installations I want to do--I now have an understanding and some tools to do it! And lots of encouragement from classmates familiar with my work.
  • It is OK--good even!-- to tell people I want my work to be a doorway into the divine.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Prayer for Reverence by Chris Grahm

New Life in the Old forest
Every once in a while, one meets a friend who "gets" my deepest spiritual feelings. Chris Grahm is such a friend. Below is his version of the Lord's Prayer, so much richer than the one and only version one hears in every church.

Being Itself Prayer
Oh! Definite Indefinite Source of All,
deep and full beyond possibility of naming,
It is by Your Presence in all things
that we experience holiness.
Refresh us and our world with Your healing,
as You continuously unfold the universes from within Yourself.
Open us in each moment to the abundance You provide
of all that we need for essential well being,
And free us from clinging to past limitations,
as we help those around us to also be renewed.
Spare us from enticements that would distract from our closeness to You,
but uplift us out of absorbed ignorance and holding onto pain,
For Your Bliss powers the stars and all of life,
Your timeless Presence illuminates all that is in time.
Doubtless it is so, and immanently manifest
in this wondrous creative instant.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Painting Black Bamboo with Virginia Lloyd-Davies

I fell in love with Virginia Lloyd-Davies paintings, like this one, "Secrets Under the Lotus", although her lotus leaves are different from the ones I saw in China. Perhaps they are a different variety.
 I love her Po Mo paintings, as well; they are so spontaneous and free!
Virginia's video, Painting Black Bamboo is a wonderful lesson on Chinese brush painting. I still haven't figured out how to embed it here, but it is well worth checking out.

Oh hey!! I got it to work!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Art on the Edge

I'm on Edge about the Edge program! Spending my time packing, preparing my advance homework, and--YES!!--painting!

I've been doing some "plein aire" painting, something I've been doing since I started drawing at my mother's knee, and now it has become so popular! This one is the beach grass down by Tramp Harbor, where I do Qi Gung 3 mornings a week.

I HIGHLY recommend painting outside in the summer! It does wonders for the mood, as well as being a great mental discipline. As one carefully notes colors and forms, and notes the effect of distance and lighting, one learns to see and think in terms of what really is, not just in stereotypes. One learns to pick out what is important in the landscape--not just in the literal landscape before one, but also in the landscape of our lives. Also, I think my eyesight improves when I focus on the far landscape then the near paper.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Human Becoming

I am grown up. It just hit me. I am grown up. No more "what shall I be when I grow up".

All my life I've been trying to figure  that out. I always feel as though I'm on the verge of something. About to become famous, do a great work, or finally get it all together.

At age 64--almost 65--I have still been waiting for that...that moment of knowing I am grown up, doing what I dream of doing, having it all together. Being at the top of the hill.

Is it my imagination, or is the hill getting steeper?

 Today I stopped to catch my breath and looked back. WOW! I'm a lot further up than I thought! In fact, some of my friends think I am successful!

I guess being grown up, being successful, is not a place you actually get to and stop. I'm not ready to stop, anyway!  I'm still on my way up, and plan to keep climbing until I die. I am always becoming more, doing new things, growing deeper, wiser, and more capable. I guess I am a human becoming.