Tuesday, November 29, 2011

suspended birdies

sweet little bird
where does your heart cry?
to the east or the west?
two heads
each side
shall you remain suspended?
still for the many passer-bys?
leaving them to
way you will
can you take to the air?
and still be one?
can you soar seamlessly?
without becoming undone?

Tonight I had little time, but wanted to get my hands in some clay. I grabbed a little bit and played with it in my hand..first it was an angel, then a pregnant woman, then a bird..
I didn't like how the bird's tail was coming along, so I ripped it off..and I found that what I had was a two-headed bird in my hands. It was a curiosity to me, and got me to thinking. I finished it off, deciding to turn it into an ornament, so I put the ball on the top with a hole to pull a string through it. I wasn't too sure if I scored the little ball well enough. I wondered if it would come apart later. When I went to go take a picture of my odd little bird, I saw on my itouch that I had taken these pictures of birds up above my head a few days before while walking to the holiday parade in downtown Beverly.
Then this little poem came to me as I thought about my hanging ornament and those suspended birds up so high..

Sunday, November 27, 2011

hello darkness

I did this quick sketch of my daughter's hello kitty on the couch in the almost dark..the only light in the room was from some christmas lights around a window. I wondered what it would be like to draw with less light, how I might be surprised by the marks I made since I wasn't able to really see them, how what I would see would change due to less detail, etc. etc. A fun little experiment..gave me an idea to use for a class, whenever I go back to teaching meditative drawing..

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Accept and Transform

I woke up this morning to the most beautiful sunrise. So I grabbed my camera a took a few shots. Then, while nursing my son, I was flipping through AEDM blogs on my itouch and happened upon wishstudio, run by Mindy Tsonas. Under her events listings I noticed she was having an open house today with an open art activity so I told my family, "we are taking a trip to Newburyport!" It was such a beautiful day here in New England, and Newburyport is a lovely place. We spent the day collaging and chatting..it was great fun. While getting to know Mindy and the broader world of online creative offerings (the ones she hosts all sound so cool..please, check out her events) I made the postcard above. Thank you Mindy, for your amazing offerings and inspiration!

Friday, November 25, 2011

What you See is What you (Do or Do Not) Get

I sat down to do a sketch of my daughter's dolls in her small rocking chair, but instead I started doing these energy drawings. This is what happens to me quite often. Automatically. I allow myself to continue, watching the marks form their way across the page. Then when the energy is released and I know I am done, I try to "see" what I have drawn. Tonight this phrase came to my mind; "What you see is what you get". Quite literal, huh? But the thing is, I don't get it so many times; I know I have to trust. When I thought about the not getting it, and wrote it in the title, (Do or Do Not) I was reminded of Yoda. Yoda said, "Do or do not; there is no try". So I will continue to "do", at the same time I "do not" and forget about the frustration that comes about when I think of trying to figure it all out. After all, this blog is called Drawing it Out, not Trying to Draw it Out. My husband works for an organization who's motto is: No mistakes. Just art. So there you have it; the art that came through me. I know, I trust it was no mistake.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quickie Collage

Did this super quickie collage after a not-so-quickie clay class. I worked on my idea for making spiral plates, and it took a lot of do-overs before I got a small sample of something I was interested in. But I suppose that's how it goes sometimes...you work over and over on an idea, and sometimes you get something. Other times you rush rush rush, don't "think" at all, and something just comes spontaneously and seemingly effortlessly. Yup. Gotta love the process...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Come As You Are

On Friday's plane trip to Philadelphia, I sat next to a young Harvard bio/chem student who was on her way to a graduate fellowship interview for a summer position in England. She was one of 13 finalists and 2 people were to be selected. She was very nervous and was reading up on current events to help prepare. She said she started reading up on current events three weeks ago and not focusing on her regular studies because in the interview process she may be questioned about her views on cultural and political issues, and that she really didn't know what was going on in the world. I heard the phrase from the song "Come as you are" by Nirvana in my head and acknowledged the message. But I asked myself, "should I say something to this young woman? Should I discreetly give her the message that I felt like I was receiving for her? How do I say, "I think you should just be yourself and let that person shine through"
Thing is, I could totally relate to her and understand how she might be feeling from my own experiences in life. But I didn't say it.

Often times I have realized that when we are receiving messages from Spirit there is a residual benefit that may be hidden or not so clear to us in the moment, but help us in our own healing. The significance of my meeting with the Harvard student did not come to me until this evening after I did this drawing.

I started by drawing what was in front of me, a view from my couch. The "D" is from a red bin for "Daddy's art supplies" and the "O" was for my daughter's bin. The "M" bin for "Mommy's art supplies" was obscured from my view. However, I soon got into an energy drawing and decided to just go with it. At the same time, I must admit, I had the tv on and was watching the very end of "The Good Wife". Case in point..a judge was telling Alicia, a lawyer, "sometimes you have to have the person you may view as a scapegoat take responsibility for their actions" While the judge was speaking of a case, the not-so-subtle message was also being given to the lawyer who was also having a moment of reflection on how it pertained to her personal life..(I can't believe I am talking about tv in this way..) So thank you, tv, for reminding me that sometimes we do not realize that when we speak about one person we may be inadvertantly helping someone else, and that person may also be ourselves..

To drive it all home, when I told my husband my frustration at doing these energy drawings sometimes and not completely understanding them, he told me to keep doing it. That by doing it I will learn more and get more out of it. No being mouse-y, mouse-y. And that's when it hit me. He was also telling me to continue doing what I was doing, to be myself, and let it come through. Yup. He was telling me the same thing I was feeling for the Harvard student. I was the Harvard student.

Yes, Spirit can give us messages, actually multiple messages until we "get it". I have been given multiple opportunities since coming to Massachusetts to "speak up" so to speak, and I have to say that being truly authentic in who you are can be scary as all get out. But scapegoating, or talking myself out of what feels true for me doesn't seem to be a feel-good option for me anymore. At least now I can recognize when this happens and receive the benefit from the interaction and the opportunity for growth that it gave me.

I have a clearer idea now on the significance of this energy drawing. And I was nervous and tentative about posting it, being afraid that somehow this would be exposing me in some way that was uncomfortable. But after writing this and reflecting on my experiences, I think the message here is a good one. Come as you are. Even when you are scared. Speak your truth. DO.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

True Colors

I see your true colors shining through
I see your true colors and that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors
Are beautiful
Like a rainbow...

-Cyndi Lauper

Sometimes when I draw I have spontaneous audiation..This is a picture of my husband on the eve of our weekend trip to Philadelphia to celebrate his 40th birthday. We lived there for 9 years before we moved to Portland. I could say that I've been "creative everyday" in planning a surprise party for him..and I still can't say what it is yet, otherwise I'd let the cat out of the bag..but perhaps I will be able to post about it on Saturday, now that I know how to put pics on the blog from my itouch. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Tonight in ceramics class I learned how to put a base on the bowl I threw last week. I also threw my second pot. Hurrah! It truly is meditative having the clay be centered in your hands, watching it spin around and around. I can get used to this! It really helped me to unwind after my day. I hope to go in and throw some more. We have studio access outside of class time. But I still have my eyes on the prize of doing more belly bowls. I even have another idea brewing..oh, the possibilities! I knew the idea of centering would come up again..I remembered a book I wanted to read written by M.C. Richards, called Centering in Pottery, Poetry, and the Person. I put it on hold at the library and it is now ready for me to pick up. Yahoo!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When Spirit Moves...

Wow, see what ONE good night of sleep gets me? TWO blog posts in one day! (to make up for missing one yesterday? ;)
This is an example of an energy drawing. I finally did something bigger..this is 18x 24. I open myself up to spirit and this is what came out this evening.

Thawing Out..1..2..3 steps towards Home

Yesterday was the first day I did not draw or do something for AEDM. I went to bed at 8pm because I was so completely wiped out. I decided NOT to beat myself up over it..instead, congratulate myself for making it half way and think about all of the benefits from doing this challenge. And feed off of that energy to keep me going! Baby steps...it takes baby steps...

In my effort to meet other moms and friends for my 4 year old, we went to a Meetup at a park in a neigbhoring town today. It was so beautiful..there were horses and other farm animals there..All of the fall leaves were whirling in the sky...yellows and reds in their peak. There was a small pond. I watched the leaves floating on the water and travelling across, guided by the wind. I was reminded of the first day I started this blog..with the frozen coins locked under the ice. Today I identified with the leaves..moving slowly, quietly, peacefully..

Things are moving along here in my new environment and I am starting to meet some wonderful people. But I miss our community in Portland terribly..and today was one of those days where I took a step back for an overall reflection of where I was.

In the afternoon I took my daughter to the school playground near our apartment. She saw hopscotch there and was excited to jump it. As I watched her jumping, I thought more about "steps" and taking steps..instead of a "10" for the last step, the word "Home" was written on the pavement. I wondered how many steps it would take for me to reach a place that felt like home..how long it would take to feel completely at home with myself. And that is an even bigger challenge, one that I could not do without art being part of it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sometimes a Cigar is just a...

Milkweed Pod.
Or in this case, a super-duper clear cut message to me on what I am doing and where I am going with some work...
I was just "rushing" to get a post in tonight..chatting with a friend, telling her I had 15 minutes to get my creativity in before turning into a pumpkin...and what happens here? My milkweed pod turns into a vagina..with seeds...lots of seeds...coming out.
A few weeks ago my family and I were out on a walk in a nature trail. We saw this whole area full of pods and had fun blowing them all away..spreading the seeds..
I took one home with me because I thought it would be an interesting thing to draw...and of course never got around to it. Until 5 minutes ago tonight.
Yes, the belly bowls..the uterus..the place of birth, the place of women's creative forces..the seeds..the seeds of my ideas, of the work I am interested in doing, combining art with spirit...connecting to the spirits that are growing inside of women...both literally and figuratively.
Today I lamented a bit as I wished I was able to attend a weekend retreat at Kripalu to listen to Tami Kent speak on the Wild Feminine. Of course, this was also in my mind while "mindlessly" drawing my sketch this evening.
Boy, talk about Drawing it Out!!! ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Belly Bowl

Today I made a Belly Bowl for my friend's sister. It was great fun. I started making these bowls for friends in Portland, OR before I left. This was the first bowl I have done since having my son 11 weeks ago. I am excited to continue this work here in the Boston area. I combine energy work with the bowls througout the process.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pulling Mussels..again

In tonight's sketch, though still inspired by our beach booty of shells, mussels and rope, I remembered that there were formal concepts of art I was playing with. I grabbed a container of my husband's sharpies and decided I wanted to work with the hard, permanent lines of the sharpie against the soft, more fluid watercolors..oh my gosh, I'm sounding like an artist..who went to art school and would've probably had an art assignment all about "contrasts in shape, line, color, etc." I just have to chuckle to myself. I went to a very formal school which was absolutely wonderful in receiving the foundation I wanted and needed..but then it took me a while from being outside of school to find my voice..and I remembered what one of my teachers said.."you learn everything and then you unlearn it, keeping what you want and forgetting the rest" When I went to school I totally did not "get" abstract art..if I tried it, I felt like a fake. And now my life and my experience has gotten it, and it was only by slowly letting go and allowing myself to just be. Be with whatever material was in my had. Be with whatever I was feeling. Be with whatever inspired me.. I would often think, "how could this all come from me; it looks like 100 different artists did this work" I have had the full range of output now -from realistic to abstract to automatic. And it is all me. It all comes through me. So this is what came out of me this evening; the excitement of being an inquisitor all over again...even if it has been done, and learned and unlearned by a bazillion different artists out there. What is so wonderful about being creative is being open to what comes forth each and every time you sit; being open to wherever it goes..because even though I was "pulling mussels from a shell" again..this drawing was different from the one before it, and the one before that...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Tonight during clay class we worked on the wheel. I have never been good at the wheel, never seemed to catch on. Tonight my mind focused on this idea of centering. The wheel spins and one has to put pressure with both hands, in two different directions to center the clay. It is the first step. Centering. So much to write about that..but once again, came home so tired (but with one piece done) and then did this quick sketch. Even if I don't get to write or post much, the experience was there, and I know this idea of centering will come back up again...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blue Heart

I did this small watercolor by looking again at the shells and things my husband collected at the beach. But this time I departed further and ended up turning the paper 90 degrees..stopped looking at the subject and just painted. What I saw in here was a blue heart of sorts..can't say I totally love this piece but it is what came from me today...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pulling Mussels from a Shell

Had one of those "hope to make it-through days" filled with exhaustion and a headache. My child didn't seem to want to do anything but cry and nurse all day. Went to bed at 7:30pm as soon as my husband came home from work and then just woke up for a few minutes before midnight...so here's my one minute sketch of some shells, a mussel and driftwood from the beach...because now I am going to go back to bed and hope that tomorrow will be filled with more energy and more creativity. This mamma is so done! Stick a fork in me, please..

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Small Steps, Big Steps

So yesterday I was so incredibly tired I did not get to putting up pictures I took or creating a piece of artwork for the challenge...however, I came back tonight from my weekend away feeling revived. I had enough energy to start painting(I brought my watercolors with me but didn't get a chance to use them) but then started to totally bonk out again and became frustrated. Since my time is limited having a 2 month old I often start doing something late at night..and I felt like I was rushing just to get something done when I really wanted to have more time..My husband came up to me and said "Sometimes when I am feeling like you I tell myself that this is just a small step to a bigger idea" So there you go. I was able to take the stinky feelings I had and "put them on the shelf" so to speak..and go write my post about the pictures I took the day before regarding the footprints...
So here are my two very small rushed steps from today. They don't need to make or break my challenge..it's all about perspective...and the moment my husband spoke of "steps" regarding tonight's artowrk it all made perfect sense in my head from the footprints we made in the sand the day before. Thank you husband!

Big Steps, Small Steps

Yesterday my husband and I spent a long time at the beach, walking and talking. We were away for the weekend celebrating our 10 year anniversary. Many things came up in our discussion...and then I paused and looked down for a moment. I realized something so very simple, but profound; our steps were different. Look, I said to him..we made different impressions. I could easily tell which footprints were his and which ones were mine. It was simple; we walk differently. It made me be more open to the discussion we were having and to appreciate our uniqueness. I also noticed that our footprints were both very deep on that section of the beach. When we were walking earlier, where the sand was dryer, our steps were not as clear. I also could tell where people had walked before, but the wind or time had gone by, so the footprints became less distinct...on the way to being forgotten. Near the dunes I saw some very tiny footprints that must have been from a mouse. I also saw some bird footprints near them. I wondered what had transpired between the bird and the mouse ..and I identified with how sometimes I feel like a mouse; treading lightly or scurrying along..
Yes, footprints..everywhere in the sand...all kinds of steps, all kinds of impressions...all kinds of relationships between those making the prints and the earth below their feet..how deep of a mark, how unique of a step...how the prints change over time. Even the tiny step of the mouse below could be perceived as deep as the human prints above. These are the types of things I notice when I am left in nature. I believe the entire world around us has messages like this to give, if only we took the time to pay close enough attention. I took several pictures of footprints and of paths in the sand. It impacted the discussion my husband and I had and provided a source of connection and reflection to our histories.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Life is a Beach and a Bowl of Cherries

Today I had the rare opportunity of being alone with my 2 month old son; my daughter was at my mother's house and will hopefully spend the weekend with her while my husband and I go away for the weekend for our 10 year anniversary. After dropping her off I decided to go to the beach here in Beverly, MA. I sat on the sand with my baby and watched the tide come in and out, in and out. Right in front of me was a rock. I watched the waves as it came up and over the rock, then receeding back to re-expose the rock.

Sometimes the waves covered the rock more than other times. Sometimes the rock created more of a ripple effect on the waves. Sometimes you could hardly notice there was a rock under the water at all. It allowed me to contemplate and meditate on this for a while; while in labor I used visualizations of the ocean and waves and so sitting in front of the water with my son reminded me of what I was doing 10 weeks ago; it also made me think of how we experience life in waves; how sometimes life is rough, sometimes smooth; and it all depending how firm our foundation is, how grounded we are, we can either feel swept away or be able to weather the storm...we are like the rocks..steady..never changing..enduring..there are certain aspects of our characters that never change; as in Jungian philosophy (which I know just a little about)..

I had fun taking the photos, figuring out what hipstamatic can do(I have an itouch and am not completely media saavy) But I was trying to capture the different moments of the waves in relation to this rock while thinking about how it pertained to my life and my life views.

The sun was starting to set, and the sky was a beautiful pink and peach. I turned around to go up to a park bench to nurse my son when I saw that someone had left these little berries (obviously not cherries..) They were a beautiful surprise, and made me smile. The color of red was so incredible. I thought to myself, here was another gift from nature, presenting itself to me, to reflect for a moment. So as I nursed, I took some more pictures of these tiny bright red berries that were randomly placed on the bench.

I left the beach with a renewed sense of calm..wasn't the least bit bothered earlier when a dog came running up to my son(while he was in the carseat on the sand), splashing him with sand, giving him a kiss(or a lick, whichever you wish to interpret). I figured, this is our new home now..the north shore of Massachusetts..my son will be coming to the beach often..time to get used to a little sand!!!

I'm not sure if I will be able to post for the next two days because we will be away in a nearby town..but I have packed my watercolors and sketchbook. I am so looking forward to this weekend away, and am excited by the ocean's beauty that awaits me. I will post on Sunday or Monday what I managed to create over the weekend.
Ta, Ta!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Part Portrait

I started this sketch of my husband when my 2 month old son woke up...so there you go, a part portrait. Both of them are now on the couch...and it looks like they both may be going to sleep! Doubt if I can get another sketch in before midnight(I've got 15 minutes....) but I'll try...then I'll turn into a pumpkin and the day 2 challenge will be over...

I will say, though, that today turned out to be a very creative day for me. I started a class at the North Shore Clay Studio tonight, which will allow me to continue with some project ideas I started when in Portland. I'm so glad my son slept in the moby for the majority of the class. I didn't bring my camera so I couldn't take a picture of what I made. It will show up later this month..and so will my other clay pieces I am totally excited about. More on that later..

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Day one..I did it! a quick sketch of apples and a tomato, just going with the flow..no deep thoughts here, but I have to say, it felt so nice to draw something! After I drew this one, I started an automatic drawing with the pencils I had in my hand, which is the drawing below.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Frozen Wishes

I recently moved to Beverly MA from Portland OR. I am originally from the Boston area, but it has been 18 years since I left. While out with my daughter today, exploring our new hood, I saw a community fountain that was frozen over. The tossed coins were locked beneath the ice and it made me reflect for a moment. I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition..wishing for something and then being frozen or stuck or locked in time...

It's been very surreal returning to my home state after fleeing so many years ago. I'm back in a place that is oddly familiar but I have changed a great deal. I have dreams now, propelling me forward but I am also bearing witness to how much my life view of the past has changed. I am doing my best to not be paralyzed, but proactive, in carving out a new life for me and my family. I see this as a process, a melting away and an emergence of a differentiated self, revealing my gifts, my values, my desires to shine in this world..no longer frozen or immobilized from a past view or past experiences.

No frozen wishes for me...this November challenge is to get my creative juices ball rolling......ready, set...let go!