May 30th, 2007

I'm knee deep in website land, but oh so close to having it up and running. Wee! It's exciting! I'm happy with the way it's all coming together. The last couple days I've been working obessively, feeling the energy to be gung ho about it. I need to take advantage of the energy bursts when they come. I'm not one of those people who are always on fire...everyone knows someone like this, maybe you are someone like this, the person who can't sit still, who is always being productive, getting things done, amazing others with all they do. My last boss was like this and I was always so impressed with all she did. I'm a bit more ocean-like, I come in waves of intense storms with long lulls in between of slower, softer waves. Neither way is bad or good. I'm learning that you just have to accept your strengths and weaknesses and make them both work for you. Learning to do this, comes with age and experience I think and I'm getting to know myself better every year.

Saturday night I was on the low end of the spectrum. I felt tired and sluggish, like my body was full of mud. In the afternoon I tried to take a nap, but it wasn't happening, I was just laying there. In the evening, I realized I was itching to be creative, but I didn't have a lot of energy. I didn't really want to get all my art supplies out and set up. So, I opted to make it as cozy and comfy as I could, as easy and relaxed as possible. No need for anything extravagant. I pulled some magazines, my sketchbook, some pencils and colored pencils into bed with me. I propped up a bunch of pillows so I could lean back into them. I looked through a file of magazine images I'd torn recently for a little fun project I'm working on and then opened my sketchbook and drew for pure pleasure, imaginary spaces. When I tired of that, I started to doodle and along came a figure. She wore a scarf around her head, her hair blew back, she was on a cliff by the ocean holding a lantern. Ahh. I felt so much better. I was still tired and went to bed early that night, but after getting out this figure, I felt a million times more connected, I understood a little better where I was at, and although I can't really put into words why or how she expressed to me what she did, it's enough to just feel it. Before I went to bed that night, I read a bit in  The Book of Awakening and I laughed because it was so appropriate. It read:

Look with your sad eyes on things new to you that will give you something to do with your sadness. Your sadness is the paint. You must find the canvas.

Last night, after a full day and evening of working away at the website, mixed in with a vet appointment for Emma (whose paw is all better. yay!), I was itching to bring my woman with the lantern to life. It was pretty late at this point, probably around 10, but I started gathering supplies, figuring I could just start it. I wasn't sure how I was going to bring her to life, but I wanted to allow my intuition to guide me. So, I started collecting images from my various supplies, old books, photocopies, scraps of paper, an old Christmas card, someone's hand lettering on tracing paper, a bag from a music store, etc...I pulled an unused canvas and began to lay out the images on the canvas in a way that felt right and then started gluing them down. I showed the fiansor how I did a transfer of a photocopy of an old photo onto a piece of sheet music. He liked the transfer , but not the smell of the chartpak marker I used. The fiansor went to bed , but I stayed up. I put on an audio book took out my paint brushes and started to get the figure in. She began to develop slowly. Once I saw her face, I got all excited. I kept going, taking occasional breaks to look at the painting from across the room. The sky turned out much different than I was expecting, but I was really loving it all. I felt like I had to keep going until it was done and I worked into the wee hours of the night. It was fun and I'm pleased with the results. I included the transfer because of some inspiration from Inspire Me Thursday from last week and I'm glad I did. It adds an interesting element to her dress. As I collected images, I noticed I was collecting a lot of woman's faces. I think they are her history, her unseen supporters.


I'm calling her "The Lighthouse" and she's 12"x16" with collage and acrylic on canvas. I still need to paint her sides.

Right before I went to bed last night, I got my horoscope from Rob Brezsny in my email. It also seemed wildly appropriate:

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In her CD *Spiritual Madness: The Necessity of
Meeting God in Darkness,* Caroline Myss tells us that wading through
messy darkness is an essential part of our search for meaning. She
doesn't recommend that we avoid chaos at all costs, or even just accept
it with resignation. Rather, we should welcome it as a gift that can teach
us crucial secrets about how to become ourselves. I agree with Myss.
That's why I advise you not to resent the confusion before you. And don't
just mindlessly clean it up as fast as you can, either. Instead, dive into it.
Celebrate it. Allow it to change you into a riper, wiser, more beautiful soul.

Synchronicity abounds. :-) Have a beautiful day!

27 Responses

I wrote about synchronicity today too. I love your lighthouse lady. I love lighthouses and always want to visit them when I’ve had a chance. The collage and paint together is gorgeous.

I can identify with your metaphor about the ocean and energy…

Your “Lighthouse” is beautiful – I love how the music flows into her clothing.

I agree — the transfer adds so much interest to her dress. Love the colors, and the visual depth in this piece is really beautiful.

Amazingly beautiful. I love all the details.

Leah! Your Lighthouse woman is GORGEOUS. Really, really fantastic. The woman herself is very striking, and it’s wonderful picking out the different details and layers. Sigh. Thanks, I needed to see something like this today!

So, you belong to cats too, I see! Here’s the technique I used for my image transfers:

The only change I made was to wait until the gel dried completely before removing the paper with water.

very beautiful, leah. Love all the layers. I especially like how the some of the collage elements almost seem to glow.

I felt like I was reading something I had wrote when I read your paragraph about your energy and how your body works. I am much like the ocean too, and lived with a best friend for 8 years who had crazy amounts of energy all the time. I thought for the longest time that was a fault of mine, something to be fixed. After years of fighting it, I am learning, that I must stop resisting my energy tides, and embrace the waves. Resisting it never has a positive ending.
You art continues to awe and amaze me and speak to my soul.


This is such a beautiful piece, I feel it should be displayed in a gallery or museum somewhere. It reminds me of The Hermit card in the Tarot. I can empathize with your creative process as my energy waxes and wanes in no apparent cycle. I will be dry for the longest periods of time and then, poof!, I am on a creative roll. It is frustrating because I would like to create all the time, but it is not my process. Your transfer technique is awesome and works so well with the composition of the piece.

Ahhh… this is probably my favorite piece I’ve seen from you. It has so much soul in it. I simply adore it. Beautiful. You are beautiful… I admire you so very much.

Oh, and I”m like you with the long lulls between my energy spurts. I’m definitely NOT a go-go-go person all the time. I’m just not wired that way.


Karen Beth :)

This is a gorgeous piece, she looks so strong and patient! I love all the detailing hidden in the background and in her skirt!

I LOVE the top piece!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m just stopping by to say that I can’t wait to meet you this weekend!!! I did not realize you were going to be there, until I just read it!!

YIPPEEEEEEE!! (watch out, I’m a bit high energy!) hehe.

~Jes xoxoxoxox

Love the horoscope reading…tho I’m an Aries (on the cusp of Pisces), I am Cancer rising, which supposedly plays out more in your later years. And I’m in my later years. so.

As always, you art is mystically beautiful – full of the energy of the divine feminine which always, IMO, comes from having gone into dark places and brought back what you found. Love the movement and the music in her skirt.

Synchronicity ABOUNDS, indeed.

really like this piece
especially the scarf and the sky
and appreciate hearing about your
dive into the chaos
I like that from your horoscope

Simply beautiful. I really like the layering. After reading the post I went back to look at all the women’s faces hiding within the art. This is a meaningful, soulful piece of work. I’m so impressed. I am still figuring out the layering and transfering stuff, it’s a bit tricky for me still. I like to look at your art and try to figure out how you did it. That’s the practical left side, my right brain just melts into your art.

When we meet on Friday would you pleeeeaaasssse try hard to rub off on me just a little so that I can steal a little of your mojo. he he he.

I, like Jes, am a tad high energy. I can’t apologize for it, it’s the Virgo in me. *sigh*

Leah – this is a truly stunning painting. I love it visually (the treatment of ight is wonderful) and I love it metaphorically.

Leah, this is fabulous. I love all the layers and the meaning you have shared in this writeup. Thank you for sharing your art! xoxo, fran

what a gorgeous and striking piece, leah. and a wonderful post about your process with it–thank you. i don’t know anything about art, but i want to clumsily attempt that the collage aspects of the piece really seem to support and enhance its poignancy, with no busy-ness. the music in her dress, with the people behind or through, brings a such a sweet sadness for me–my eyes actually welled up. i love how she seems to be sad, and searching for resolution, or waiting for someone or something to return from sea, yet with her lantern and your title, she is also a beacon of the shore for any ship that happens by.

Leah! It’s me!!! This painting really speaks to me. Is she for sale? Please email me when you get a moment.

wow,love it

I agree with all of the above – this is really special and beautiful – and I also share your “introverted” situation – have really learned to s p a c e social stuff – Leah – TRUST YOURSELF –

xox – eb.

I love visiting here…you always inspire me and stretch me and make me smile. I loved the Lighthouse lady; I really am curious and moved by the book; and your wish studio “party” was a pleasure to see. Thanks for sharing yourself everyday! You are truly beautiful…Thanks for visiting me during my tough emotional time. It meant a lot to me to hear the perfect words at the perfect time.

I shall have to get a copy of that book now! I’ve been at a loss since Finding Water ended (or slowed should I say, because a good thing never ends.) Take care my friend.


She’s beautiful! So much being said in your art without a single word being written. Your ability to just ‘let it flow’ is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

Enchanting and wonderful piece!

Just an amazingly moving, enchanting and beautiful picture. Mystical, and hopeful. I like her helpers in the background. Your work gets better and better.

It makes me what to ’set my art free’! If you have 5 minutes one day, in your hectic schedule, would you tell me
a) what a ‘transfer’ is ?
b) how you do a transfer?
c) do you use the acrylic paints thinly to keep the images underneath visable?

The astrology was good too – very pertinant.
Lovely to check in and say hi.

[...] April 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm · Filed under 1 normally, marlon would do postings like this since its got everything to do with art. yesterday we bought a Calyx, a journal of art and lit by women, at Book Sale of course. it featured art, poetry, and prose. one of the art works that captured my senses was LIGHTHOUSE,a mixedmedia work by Leah Piken Kolidas. [...]

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