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She stands at the edge of the forest where she can see through the trees and the rocks, between the blades of grass, even behind the wind...she sees all. Some will say it is a complete life because of her all inclusive sight. But she knows it is lonely because not only does she see joy and laughter, but she sees sadness too.
Those who live in the forest look the other way. By not making eye contact, they hope she doesn't notice them. She smiles their way, it is an inviting smile, but the elders know she is enticing companionship.
One day, a young girl sat at the edge of the forest. She was the ridiculed of the forest tribe. It was a sunny cool morning and her friends the birds were singing. But the singing stopped. She turned her head to the quiet and there behind the vail of forest and knowledge stood Be Love.
Be Love smiled...opened her arms...and waited. The lonely girl smiled back and ran to her new friend.
I remember finding a field full of dandelions and living in the city as a child, these wish makers were hard to find among the sidewalks and lawns that had been sprayed with chemicals.
But this field was the mother of all treasures. I ran with giddy joy into the center of the field as adults watched me plucking dandelions with reckless abandonment.
Eyes pinched tight, I concentrated on the most strongest wish, titled my head to the sky, and with one breath of confidence sent my dreams flying into the universe.
Over the years of being an adult and passing a beckoning dandelion, I smiled but never allow myself to partake. Now, entering my 60s, I never pass the opportunity to delicately pick a found dandelion. I realize the wish maker was never gone, but it patiently waited for the child to dream again.
(Acrylic on canvas.)
One Emotion One Page Project: This mixed media journal page was created with acrylic, charcoal, collage, stencil work and ink.
It was difficult to create art related to the word disgust. It is such a strong emotion like hate. I struggled for weeks thinking of things like vomit, poo, decaying objects. I just could picture painting art that was disgusting.
So, I decided to look internally. What personal situations bring on disgust. And I realized how disgusted I was with addition; the addiction of drugs that affect my family and friends. It is a battle of the physical as well as addictive conditions.
It is not the person that disgusts me. It is addiction!
A cruel temporary relief for emotional and physical pain that can tear apart entire relationships. Changing the character of a kind person to one of anger, hate, and indifference. A trap in a box that has an exit but, an exit that is terrifying to take.
Today in artist, Donna Fay Allen's studio, we set the wax aside, and explored making background papers to use in our encaustic art.
Using Geli Plates we applied acrylic and Akua ink with a brayer and created designs using tools, stamps, stencils, paper, found objects like spools from thread and shells to create mono-prints.
Making your own design paper is an inexpensive way to create beautiful sheets that can be used in your art, journal work, or letter writing. We used a thinner Japanese made paper since we are going to be using it with our encaustic work.
Because you apply the paint to the Geli plate using a brayer, you want to make sure to clean off the brayer in between applications. Guess what? We created even more design paper by cleaning the brayer on watercolor paper.
Back in the studio with artist, Donna Faye Allen, we struggled a bit with inspiration and decided to do an encaustic collaboration. Two wood panels were prepped with wax, and a bag containing written technique/supply options as well as actual objects would offer each artist a turn to pick some inspiration.
These items of instructional inspiration included adding color, paper, words, fiber, feathers, more wax, ironing, scrapping, and a free option to do what we wanted. Each artist reaches into the Inspiration Bag, and based on the prompt picked, adds that layer to their board.
Then the board is transferred to the other artist who in turn pulls out of the bag another inspiration option and adds their layer to the board. This process continued...AMAZING!
Our collaboration created Freeing Creativity!
One Emotion One Page Project: This mixed media journal page was created with ephemera, acrylic, stenciling, Distressed Stains-Ranger, gesso, Washi tape, ink, red pencil and Stabilo-All pencil.
Jubilant, can't say I use that word much. I remember being close once, it was during Mardi Gras. Of course, I will have to confess, it was most likely the belly jello shots.
In 2018, I am collaborating with fellow artist, Donna Fay Allen at her Studio, to explore the art of Encaustic. (Melted wax with pigments.) During our first Wax Friday, I share a video tour of our experimentation with heated wax, color pigments and objects like paper, fibers, feather, metal, leaves... And more!
This art Journal page includes collage, acrylic, stenciling, red pencil, and gesso.
What isn't funnier than a long legged giraffe in her little red wagon? Meet Harriet. She really got tired of crossing the planes in the dry heat, and she could already see the varicose veins starting; to think she was only 10. She kept to herself most days while all the other ladies fancied the strutting mates on their daily walk to the watering hole.
One day, she saw a red flash in the bush about a mile from the human lodge that her family lived near. Later that evening she checked it out, it was a child's wagon with really big wheels in the back. It was cumbersome for Harriet, but she was able to get her spindly legs tucked in and off she rolled.
With neck stretched high, Harriet breezed by the herd and made it first to the watering hole. From that day on Harriet and her red wagon were inseparable. She was gloriously happy and lived to be 30.
This art Journal page was created with collage, acrylic, modeling paste and stenciling. The female portrait was drawn with vine charcoal, acrylic, and Golden fluid acrylic-Sepia.
I found the word catharsis with a Greek meaning to clean or purge. Over the last year, I have found myself caught up in the hate of this world. Kindness was lost on me. Not that I was better than others but that I just didn't want to be bothered.
I'm not against change, but I was confused why things were happening in this world and in the country I live in. Changes that I completely disagreed with. I had to consciously tell myself...try to practice the golden rule.
That golden rule use to be easy for me. Something soured me to its power, and I stood behind my brick wall of indifference. Partly afraid to comment for fear of retaliation and partly because I couldn't see what difference my opinion would make.
I have been slowly purging the hate from my heart. If I practice kindness and do not let hate get a foot hold, kindness will become infectious. A good cleansing that needs to start with me.
She creeps in, on those lonely days, when I’m not paying attention. I try to forget and keep control, but she is sometimes overpowering. I stand with one foot in that world and one in the present. The days are not all sad darkness. I have laughter and light, but I’m not a fool; she is not attainable through any worldly products.I am who I am because of how she has shaped me.
I have friends living with her. Can they still be friends if you leave them behind? Once in a while, I hear from those friends and I’m cordial but guarded. If I allow the weakness of desire to open the door, there sits the baggage patiently waiting to be carried into the home.
A year ago, I was sure I could live in both worlds. Who I think I am faded when the visitor was welcomed. The visitor was beautiful, full of energy and confidence. I slept in late that year I just couldn’t keep up. I even exchanged my small bottle of ibuprofen for a large one and reduced my daily full glass of wine for a half. Veggies and fruit were the norm. That magic combination was not so magical just many trips to the bathroom.
Now, I avoid mirrors to become powerful.Convincing myself that the new pain in my knees or hips is from too much make-believe exercise. But when the veil of age ripples against my face, the slap from the visitor wakes me. I sigh with resolve and whisper, “Yes, I am no longer you.”
I cried today, when I heard about his death on the news. It was many years ago that we kissed. At the time, I don't think he knew he was gay. We spent our afternoons playing house, laughing, and riding bikes to the pond for our ritual Sunday swim. We were too young to think that our love wasn't possible.
My childhood world was shattered, when his parents moved him across the country. But that was the beginning of his love letters, which I have kept to this day. Reading back over them, our love was innocent and sweet, pure and unconditional, even when we chose to stay friends with his last love letter explaining that he had found a new lover; a boy who lived around the corner.
Although our adult lives moved on in separate cultures, I would never forget his friendship. I had married, remarried, and now I'm single with no kids. My dear friend was there to listen to me scream, cry, and always he ended our phone calls making me laugh.
His mother called me this morning. He had gone to a club with his lover and never came home. We cried together, and I thanked her for always treating me like her daughter-in-law. I promised I would come visit her soon. But this afternoon, I lay on my bed covered in sheets of aged loved letters. The ink smearing across tear-stained pages that had been crumpled by fingers of angry confusion.
It was not who he loved that defined him. It was how he loved.
The doctor said I would probably beat this; the percentages were good. I knew others…family, friends, family of friends that didn’t win this battle. Sure they fought and in their exhaustive loss, they stepped through the small opening in the brick wall of the Big “C” but still they wore the chain that could be retracted and for some it was.
I decided not to call it a fight. I decided to partnership with my cancer. I let it have its name. Calling it the Big “C” made it too powerful. We walked together in the afternoon with the setting sun and lapping waves. And when I felt too tired to make my normal length of beach exploring, I sat down and took the time to notice the tiny sand particles between my toes.
I’ve never liked throwing up, does anyone? When I was able to eat, I made sure to truly taste every small bite; the sweetness of zucchini, the bitterness a carrot can have, the earthy juice from beef. Although broth became my daily friend and was easier on the throat coming and going. I’m still trying to figure out the oxymoron of diarrhea and constipation.
When my hair fell out, I cried, but I wore some beautiful scarves that loved ones had gifted; a style I had always liked but was too vain to try. For so many years I was 20-30 pounds overweight, and cancer offered an unwanted but envied weight loss. I’m cold today, a normal for most days as I catch myself drifting from the joys of past to the dreams of my future.
Cancer sat by me last week, when the doctor said I was doing well. I had become comfortable in this reality. I think I’m afraid to walk beyond the wall where “What ifs?” are yelling. But the light of hope, from that small hole in the brick wall, catches my eyes as the chain jingled in my ears.
We had been afloat for years. Boats of people with indifference floated by. Some acknowledged us with a nod. Some hid their eyes for fear of seeing themselves drifting in a sea of criticism. Acceptance is challenging.
I clung tight to my identity until my arms became heavy from resolve. Finally, I gently pushed her out into the unknown sea that lay before us. She drifted towards the nearing boat but turned back once for reassurance. I smiled, "It will be okay."
And then she called to them. The boat turned towards her, and they compassionately reached for her and pulled her into their boat. My smile was joined by tears as I watched them wrap her in warmth. I could see her smiling, and I allowed myself to dip below the waves.