Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Inner Light

It's collage season when I get to play with colors and textures to my heart's content.  It's also my favorite time of year.  November and December, the darkest months, bring the season of inner light.  No matter what your spiritual beliefs, you can feel this.  The Christmas season is a celebration of the triumph of light over darkness.  When the outer world is dark and cold, when the ground is frozen and bare, we have no choice but to turn inward to find life.  And what we have cultivated in our inner gardens is the sustenance we have to carry us through the winter.  At this time, peace on earth, good will towards men seems much more possible.  People's hearts grow softer, lighter, more open.  I wish for everyone to find their bright inner light this season, and spread it around so there are many bright spots in the dark days.  All too soon spring will come and we'll be drawn out into the sprouting, blossoming, awakening earth, putting aside our inner gardens for the outer ones.  I hope everyone finds light and life and joy within while the earth sleeps.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Inspiration for the day

This is Edmund Dulac at his finest.  I'd give anything to sit beside him for even a day and watch how he does what he does.  Or did, rather.  He's been gone many long years, but his artwork lives on.  Sometimes I think, oh, what is the use of me painting and drawing when there are so many so much better.  But what if Edmund had thought that?  Even if I could inspire one person to pick up a pencil or brush, it would in some way keep the vision alive that flows from one artist to the next, each one adding his or her own essence.  I like to think of art this way, as a living river that flows between the generations of artists, picking up treasures as it makes its way to some far off ocean.  There is an archetypal fairy tale that calls to all of us.  Why else would these tales and visions be so deeply rooted in our lives.  So I keep drawing and painting away, trying to find the source.  I don't think I'll find it in this lifetime, but it's the journey that's important!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Sea of Imagination

Sometimes when I sit down to blog I have no idea what's going to come out of my head.  Other times I have something specific to share.  Today is one of those no idea days, so I'll start by posting a couple of pictures I've done recently.  I'm collaborating with another Etsy shop owner on making a set of oracle cards.  I do the artwork, she comes up with the words.  So far I have done "Puzzled":
And "Vanity":

Next up is "Mixed Signals".  It's fun doing small works that go fairly quickly, and having a theme gives me a solid base to work from.  This is good, because for me, everything I see and do brings ideas to mind for artwork or stories, and it's easy to get lost in the Sea of Imagination.  This morning I was hanging clothes on the line, and suddenly I became a character in a story.  Where was I hanging clothes?  What was I feeling at the moment?  Images grew in my head.  I am a young woman with long blond hair wearing a white blouse.  I am in a back yard, a courtyard, maybe, lingering over my task, hanging up towels, socks, t shirts, enjoying the breeze on my face, the clean smell of damp laundry, the blue sky, the white clouds.  There is a man living next door in a tall brown house with many windows, and I hope he will see me.  Aha!  The plot thickens.  Who is the man?  I can't see his face, but there is some kind of conflict going on.  A lovers' quarrel, no doubt.  But before I can decide, my task is done, so I leave the scene and the man and continue with my day.  Ah, there is a cloud that looks like a dragon floating by.  Maybe the man is a dragon rider.... 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Gatherings for the Treasure Chest

This is the season when our senses expand and take in all the outward impressions Nature gives us.  Colors, sounds, smells, textures all lure us away from our inner life and into the wide expanse of the natural world.  Birds call, spring peepers pipe, the smell of freshly mowed grass mingles with dew, flower perfumes and the loamy odor of damp earth.  Thunderstorms flare, leaving in their wake scrubbed-clean air and plenty of worms for the chickens to find.  This is the season for gathering ideas, impressions, feelings and inspirations for later in the year when, for the artist, they can be turned into works of art.  There are wonderful mysteries and beautiful scenes evolving in every inch of the yard, the woods, the fields and the sky.

Persian tapestries?

Tiny jewels the fairies love.

And oh, those wonderful emerald carpets inviting one to dance on them.  What treasures will be happened upon tomorrow?  What paintings and collages will they inspire?  To be continued.....!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Art Drawer

Today, a soggy, wet, cool, cloudy day, I cleaned out my Art Drawer.  This was a huge undertaking, for many reasons.  The Art Drawer is a very large box on wheels beneath the bed, and holds an astounding amount of stuff.    Not only papers, sketches, pencils and markers, sponges and the like, but memories of the different stages in my life.  (Yes, this drawer has not been properly gone through for years).  There was the shadow puppet era, when I performed elaborate puppet shows with handmade puppets, music, a screen with a black curtain and lights.  The stories were written by me, and each puppet had moveable joints, making them come to life behind the screen.

And every puppet was alive to me, holding so much of myself within it.  I loved doing the shows, and probably could have made a career out of it.  But it was an incredible amount of work, and I was moved in other directions by other forces, so the puppets got put into the Art Drawer, where they have been lying asleep for many years while more and more things got stacked on top of them.  Today I dug clear to the bottom of the drawer and got out the puppets,  I knew this day was coming. They are now in a bag on the back porch, where they'll sit for awhile, until I get around to recycling them.  How can I say goodbye to all that?  And yet I already have.  There were more layers to go through, hundreds of sketches, each with a story to tell.  Why is it so heart-wrenching to look back on the past?  Would I want to go back?  No!  But there is a sadness about things that captivated you for a time and then faded, like an unfinished song.

So I'd best look forward to the future and wait to see what it brings.  There is always a herald out there if we take the time to listen, and always something new to broaden our horizons.

Hoping for sun!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Road to Fairyland

Do you seek the road to Fairyland?
I'll tell; it's easy quite.
Wait till a yellow moon gets up o'er purple seas by night,
And gilds a shining pathway that is sparkling diamond bright.
Then, if no evil power be nigh to thwart you out of spite,
And if you know the very words to cast a spell of might,
You get upon a thistledown and if the breeze is right,
You sail away to Fairyland
Along this track of light.
    -- Ernest Thompson Seton

No time to draw these busy spring days, only time to dream now and then between chores, of hidden worlds just between the gusts of spring wind.  I can almost feel myself sailing there sometimes.  But with my hands in the earth the fairies draw quite near to my world, helping rouse all the green growing things from their winter slumber.  It's succulent potting time, and if ever there were a leprechaunish plant, succulents are it!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fairy Doodles

Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
You moonshine revellers, and shades of night,
You orphan heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office and your quality.
William Shakespeare
The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Spring still has not fully arrived at On The Wind.  Outside chores must wait, as today it's sleeting with a biting wind. I scrounged around and found some fairy watercolor studies to post.  The wondrous thing about fairyland is it can be anything we imagine it to be.  Each person's imagination is a rich and boundless sea of ideas waiting to be made manifest, and I know no greater joy than bringing a character or a scene to life on paper.  Once the pencil begins to make marks on the paper, magic happens.  The results may not be what I anticipated; sometimes great surprises happen, which only adds to the excitement.  But always the lure of fairyland beckons me.  Maybe it's a sickness!  But I don't care, it brings me, and I hope others, comfort, joy and a sense that life is always surprising, always changing, always mysterious.

Here is a quote by author James Hollis that I love:

- “I have no vested interest in our becoming saner, or mentally balanced, or even useful to society. If you, the reader find a neurosis that works for you, and gifts others as a bonus, then ride it for all its worth. We are not here to fit in, be well balanced, or provide exempla for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky, chunky selves, to the great mosaic of being.”

Till soon,