Thursday, December 13, 2012

Spiral of Light

On December 2nd I attended a gathering at my daughter's school called the Spiral of Light, a celebration in preparation for the winter ahead of us. We all sat in a darkened room and an older student, dressed as an angel, entered with a candle. She walked into the center of a spiral that was created on the floor with evergreen garlands, and lit a candle in the center.  Then, she escorted each child, one by one, who carried a candle and walked into the spiral, lit their candle from the center candle and then walked out of the spiral, putting down the candle on the outer rim..until the entire outer rim of the spiral was lit, creating a room full of light, beauty and wonder.

As I watched my daughter slowly enter the spiral I reflected on how she has her own path to walk, in the dark, without me.  As I saw her face lit with the candlight I realized she also has her own light to guide her way.  I remember being told by a good friend of mine that when our children are born, it is like they are attached to us with a rubber band. At first they are close to us, dependant on us for survival.  Then sometimes they will want to stretch apart from us and we will feel more distance from them. However, even as they stretch away and back again, we will always remain connected.

When I make belly bowls for pregnant women, I use the spiral because it reminds me of the center, the umbilical cord, that attachment we have to our children and the symolism of our lives as a journey from the center out into the world.  Not only will our children want and need to stretch away from us at times in their lives, we also need to give them the opportunity to grasp onto the nourishment and offerings that the world outside of our connection has to offer them.  This honors our children, allowing them to use their inner light, to strenghten their center and their core.   Even though I was a tad bit weepy at seeing my "little girl" walking her own path, I also felt solace in that there were other lights in the room, lights that could supply warmth and illuminations and life experiences that I alone could not provide for her.  When she came back to me, smiling and whispered "Mommy that was fun! I want to do it again" I knew that collectively, all of our lights together would get us through this winter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Row, Row, Row Your Heart

...from Drawing as a Sacred Activity by Heather C. Williams

"When emotions are oceanic, we desperately try to figure things out with intellect.  Yet its limited, linear approach just can't always do the job.  You feel like you are sinking in this sea of overwhelm.  You need to focus your attention with the right brain.  Your heart, like your emotions, is oceanic, and it can help you swim to shore.  Drawing your heart out onto a piece of paper can help you gain the edge you need to pull yourself out of emotional overwhelm."

I read this excerpt from this book and immediately came up with an image of a heart inside a boat, rowing to shore..then, as often happens with me, I heard the tune of a familiar song...but I wanted to change the lyrics to...

Row Row Row your heart,
Gently down the stream
Safely, safely to the shore
Even when you must scream..

Monday, November 5, 2012

Guiding Light

This evening my daughter picked "My Garden of Flower Fairies" for her bedtime book.  I have never heard of a Michaelmas Daisy before, but there it was, a beautifully drawn page that I happened to open and look at again before doing the drawing above.

To help the night fairies tend their plants and play in the dark, Michaelmas Daisy sprinkles fairy dust into the yellow middles of his flowers.  The gleaming blossoms become lanterns lighting up the tiny fariy paths around the garden and allowing the fairies to see what they are doing. 

 As winter approaches, the nights are coming sooner, the air is brisk,  and it is a time to keep warm with our inner light, guiding us through the season.  I feel the need, I feel the renewed spark, to come back to more art every day... I feel great change is before me. I see the magic wand, a star, pointing to somewhere, pointing to something..that perhaps the fairies will light up for me this month....

Friday, April 13, 2012

Leaving the Room

When I first began this blog by doing the everyday challenge I benefitted greatly. I have found that one of the most important things to do regarding having an art practice is simply to show up.

Years ago I had the chance to do a residency at The Vermont Studio Center. Visiting artists came, and one of them talked about a meditation he did before working in the studio. I am paraphrasing here, and perhaps not remembering everything accurately, but the gist of it was as follows: You come to the studio with your mind and you begin to work. During the process of calming your
mind,and noticing what is going on in there, you ask for the distractions to leave the room. Eventually you leave the room.

I think the visiting artist was quoting Rothko or some other artist's practice. I have done meditation for a long time, but what stayed with me was the image of the artist leaving the room and the doing of art remaining. I think perhaps too, this could also be a testament to letting go of the ego, and how an artist's ego can get in the way of doing art. I myself have been a perfectionist and have felt like if I can't get the quality time I need in then it was not worth doing it. This would paralyze me and in the end was very self-defeating. It is more beneficial to come into a practice, let go of expectations and see what comes up. It is important to remember that you are not going to make amazing works of art every time you come to the studio. But just by showing up, you are giving yourself a gift.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kitchen Bouquet

I noticed how much time I spend in the kitchen during some spring cleaning over the weekend. When I had a moment last night, I decided to plop myself down on a stool and draw whatever caught my eye. As soon as I saw my jar of spoons, ladels, spatulas, etc. I thought it was like a bouquet..and it kept me interested while drawing..unfortunately I had to stop before I was done, but another thought I had yesterday morning was how I would like to get back to a daily practice, similar to meditation, with my drawings..and how even just a 5 minute sketch, if done daily, could help my mind relax and help me connect. Maybe I'll draw my kitchen bouquet again definitely speaks to me!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Magic Cars

Grabbed my daughter's crayon pencils last night and drew this. Often I hear songs in my head. Last night I kept hearing "Uh Oh, it's Magic.." by the Cars. Sometimes the material I draw with gives me a message too. When done, there I was, staring at the text on the crayon.."True to Life". So there you go everyone. My interpretation of this drawing is...(drumroll please...) Magic is part of life. Yes.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Free to Draw-Draw to Free

Today I went to an art exhibit by Rhoda Rosenberg called "Matrilineal Threads" at the Danforth Art Museum in Framingham, MA. I went to this artist's lecture at Montserrat College of Art here in Beverly last week and wanted to see this show before it ended in a few days. I thought for sure I would write about her work; I found it very inspiring and very resonant with the work that I am doing involving spirals and belly bowls. But when it was time tonight to think about adding something to my blog, I quickly decided I would draw a picture of myself..since I was contemplating what motherly ties I would leave to my daughter and what my current relationship is with my own mother.

While thinking about threads, I noticed a line of stray hair that started at my forehead and moved down across my eye with shadows that went all the way down to my jaw. I have not drawn a self portrait in a very long time and it felt good to draw good, in fact..that I started drawing automatically on top of it. At first I was thinking "shucks, I wanted to just have a drawing of my face" but I decided not to be attached to what I was doing and go with the flow.

Once again I spoke with my husband afterwards and told him I did this drawing but wasn't exactly sure what to make of it..I asked him if he ever draws automatically and if he ever felt the same way..What he said stuck in my mind. He said something along the lines of "I don't have enough free time to draw and when I draw I don't feel free".

After he said that, I felt gratitude. I felt positive. Because I remembered when it was hard for me to just sit and draw too. (Actually, it still is, but in a different way) It took me a while to loosen up enough to just start something and see where it goes. When I went to my studio before my daughter was born, I made it a practice to spend the first 20 minutes scribbling whatever came to me, just to get my arm moving and into a flow. Now (and maybe this is because I have less time on my hands, which is what my husband was referring to since we have both become parents) the practice of "just doing it" has become easier and easier. For the most part, I do feel free to draw and I look at the drawings as a way to free myself without always knowing what I am freeing myself of or with.

I trust that eventually the threads of my work will come together while I experience my own matrilineal journey. Thank you Rhoda Rosenberg for the inspiration from your family threads.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Laundry Luvin'

This morning, while getting ready to go out for the day, I found a ginormous load of laundry on our husband must have dumped it before heading off to work. My first thought; what a beautiful mountain of color..boy would I love to draw this. So then "ding" a bell goes off in my head and I call my 4 1/2 year old into the bedroom. We turn up the radio, grab our sketchbooks, and draw the laundry for 15 minutes..and viola'! Fun, dancing, and laundry..that still hasn't been put away since the last time I checked...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Moon Blogging

I woke up this morning tired and irritable. My son was up three times during the night before 6 am. When I finished nursing him between 3 and 4 am, I went into the kitchen to get a drink. Something made me go to the window briefly and look for the moon..but all I saw were stars (they were beautiful, though.) Thought nothing of it until I finally was able to join the world this morning groggy and find out from my friend's facebook post that it was a New Moon. I have been wanting to learn more about the moon lately, so the last time I was with my daughter at the library we got out a book about the moon. We looked at it, but still didn't get the info I was looking for..I wanted to know what the difference was between a full moon and a new moon.

What I learned after some internet searching today is that during a new moon, the side of the moon that is lit by the sun faces away from the Earth. What we see is the dark the moon is still there, we just don't see it from our position on Earth. That helped me to understand why I wasn't able to see it. When I looked up even more, I found that it is a good time to set out some new trust in the dark and give form to your dreams. So there you go. A bit of info I could draw upon, as I did this piece of art. I kept in mind what my new moon intentions might be, and while I was drawing, many notions popped up.

For a long time now I have been wanting to return to this blog after I did the art every day challenge in November. Realistically I know I may not be able to post every day from here on in, BUT I am making a commitment to stick to drawing things out as a way to stay connected to
the stars, the sun, the moon, the earth and to all life has to offer... By paying close attention to what I am drawn to I have been blessed with many messages from which to learn and grow.

So thank you New Moon for giving me the opportunity to start a new phase of this blog. May I continue to learn about nature and my own nature through art and connect with others, sharing my offerings of belly bowls, energy portraits, meditative drawing classes and all of the dreams that have yet to come to fruition.