Entries Tagged as: synchronicity

Stretch Yo-Self!

May 24th, 2008, Comments (7)

I worked on the Penelope's Web painting some more tonight, but it's not done quite yet. While waiting for parts to dry, I felt like doing something else. I was inspired by Jen Worden's "Stretch Yourself" Challenge which I've wanted to play along with, but never got around to doing before now. Jen recently changed the challenge from a weekly challenge to a monthly one. For the month of May (which isn't over yet, so give it a shot!), the challenge is to create a triptych using some kind of tape, some object from your junk drawer, and a word.

I used 3 postcards (each 3.5"x5.5") as the base and then used paper collage, ink, marker, paint on top of that. I chose two items (a fake coin and sailboat charm) and wrote the word "Risk" on the center card. I didn't do too much planning and let it kind of flow out. I didn't choose the word until after the collage came together as it seemed to fit. Plus it was the word I related to my dream lynx, so it seemed especially appropriate.

The hubster is out of town on business, so I had an evening to spread out with my art supplies and watch Harry Potter. hehe. The cats and I had a blast. What can I say, that's my idea of a perfect night. Simple pleasures.

The synchronicities have continued today which has been very cool. At the crack of dawn, I'll be up to welcome a delivery of some new furniture and then I think I'll be going directly back to sleep. Well, since I do need to get up early, I should definitely be hitting the hay about now. Sweet dreams. I hope your weekend is a wonderfully creative one!

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. -Andre Gide

Lynx Dreams

May 23rd, 2008, Comments (15)

Since reading Steering by Starlight, I've been paying a little bit more attention to my dreams. Martha Beck describes an interesting way of interpreting dreams in the book that changed the way I looked at the things that show up in my dreams. Beck suggests looking at every symbol, place, and person in your dream, ask them what they're there to do, what they represent, and then answer as that person, symbol, etc...So, for example, if you dreamt about an alligator, then you'd ask the alligator what it was there for and what it's there to teach you. And then  you might answer something like, "I'm an alligator, I live in the swamps. I'm here to help you come out of hiding, to be in the sun." Or something like that. I don't think I'm all that good at determining what symbols mean, what they represent in my life, but seeing each symbol as something that is trying to help or guide me in some way, has shifted the way I look at all those crazy night visions that I have every night.

Lynxbaby

So anyways, last night, I dreamt about a lynx. It was a very vivid dream. I didn't write it down in the morning like Beck recommends, but I kept thinking about it during the day. I remembered that in the dream the hubster and I had bought a baby lynx, but it was growing big fast and had huge claws and one big sharp tooth. It looked a bit like my orange cat, Tabbers, but much bigger. I was worried that the lynx was going to hurt us or our cats and felt that we had to bring him back to the shelter. I felt so guilty and sad about wanting to return him, but I also felt it was necessary. During the day today, I remembered that I'd called the big cat something that started with an "L". In the evening, I remembered that I called it a lynx, but I wasn't 100% sure that was an actual animal name, never mind whether or not it was a big cat.

Lynx

So, after watching a disappointing Celtics game, I googled "lynx" and saw the cat from my dreams. Very weird. But the thing that totally blew my mind was reading that the goddess Freya (who I've painted and experienced much synchronicity around) was said to have ridden on a lynx. Now, I'd read that Freya was sometimes depicted with cats, but I'd never read about the cat being a lynx. Goose bumps!

Further reading showed that the lynx is supposed to help with psychic abilities and divination and are believed to be the keeper and knower of secrets. The lynx is associated with inspiration, revelation, and mysticism.  Actually, the more I read, the stranger it got. Actually, this was kind of cool, there was a group created in the early 17th century called the l'Accademia dei Lincei (Academy of Lynxes) that was dedicated to scientific investigation and the search for truth through observation. They chose the Lynx as part of their Academy's name because the lynx was known to have penetrating vision. The 6th member of this group was none other than Galileo. I found this particularly interesting considering my post this week about how I consider myself a scientific and spiritual person, which is somewhat similar to the associations the lynx has with skeptical, scientific viewpoint and also mysticism.

So, what does my dream mean? Not sure. After answering the questions as the lynx, I believe the dream has something to do with taking risks. But I may do some more writing and see what else comes up.

(Images from National Geographic and answers.com)

p.s. Like the new look? I may tweak it a little bit, but for now, I'm liking it. I'd like to change up the banner a little more frequently. I used to change my blog banner with each season change, so perhaps I'll go back to that.

Steering by Synchronicity

May 20th, 2008, Comments (6)

"By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us,
penetrates us, and molds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible,
whereas in fact we live steeped in its burning layers . . . This palpable
world, which we are used to treating with the boredom and disrespect
with which we habitually regard places with no sacred association, is a
holy place."
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, *The Divine Milieu*

When I start experiencing lots of synchronicity, I have this feeling like I want to share it with everyone, but it's very hard to put into words. Even if I wrote down every little instance of it, it's still hard to get across the feeling that comes along with it. I think of myself as a scientific and spiritual person, with a practical, somewhat skeptical, no-nonsense look at the world, while also having a sense of the mystical undertone to everything. Sounds conflicting, but somehow it isn't. When I try to explain synchronicities, I'm aware of the woo-woo sound of it. But I still see it everywhere. I want to express it somehow, but words escape me. Thank goodness for art, right?

I left a comment on a blog recently about the limitations of language and how that is why art and poetry often seem much more soulful than prose. When we release ourselves of the rules of imagery and language, we can get closer to the heart of what we're trying to express.

Steeringbystarlight

Anyways, I've had so many synchronicities around the book, Steering by Starlight, which I just finished listening to on my ipod (and then went out and bought the hard copy of the book with a gift card.) I felt like I needed the written pages because I wanted to re-read passages (which can be far easier than re-winding and trying to find a particular passage in an audio book.) By the way if you do happen to purchase the audio version of this book, you can find the pdf files Beck talks about on her website here. There are definite limits to audio books, I sometimes have trouble absorbing information by just hearing it (the pdfs for this book helped). But the upside is hearing the nuance and tone in an author's voice as they share their book with you. Beck is a wonderful storyteller with a great sense of humor and having her read these stories is a definite bonus. It feels more personal somehow, as if Martha was talking in my ear as I went about daily chores or exercising, and I liked that.   

Some quickie examples of synchronicities here: some of the final words in the book were about neural science and mysticism coming together and then moments later I got a link about neural buddhists in a newsletter from Rob Brezsny. Towards the end, there was a whole section about re-decorating and de-cluttering your home when that has been a big focus of mine while listening to the book. Beyond the synchronicities, I deeply resonated with this book, more than I have with any book in a long time.

The De-Cluttering Continues

May 16th, 2008, Comments (4)

Seems like most of my creative energy has been domestic this week. That's o.k., sometimes you've gotta follow your bliss and this week I've been feeling like a blissful nest maker! Tonight, the hubster and I collaborated on a perfectly light springtime dinner. He prepared sesame crusted swordfish on the grill and fulfilled my request for tomato, basil, and mozzarella, which he arranged beautifully.  The hubster had requested brussel sprouts, so I found a recipe online and again tweaked it slightly (I didn't add any cheese at the end.) The weather was nice enough to eat out on the porch again and everything was SO good!!

A quirky older gentleman came by to purchase my old stereo. Turns out he needed something to play music at his family's summer cottage. Oh, and I forgot to mention another bit of clutter released. I received a gift last year that I simply didn't care for. There was no receipt to exchange it for something else and I couldn't imagine ever using it. However, it was from a family member and the idea of getting rid of it made me feel guilty. So, it moved around the apartment from one corner to another, eventually ending up in a dark cabinet where I didn't have to look at it. Well, in my clutter release, I decided to let it go. I couldn't imagine anyone else wanting it, so I put it next to the kitchen trash to take out the next time I went out. Well, I had someone over the other day who asked, "Are you throwing that out?" I told her yes and explained that I didn't like it. And then she asked if she could have it. Even better! I was quite happy that someone else wanted it. In a bit of synchronicity and as Caroline mentioned in the comments of my last post, this is just the sort of thing that Carla is recommending in her Weekly Wings Challenge.

I'm on a de-cluttering roll! Out of the way clutter! You're no match for me!

Abundance and Envelope Houses

April 15th, 2008, Comments (11)

Drinking in some abundance today...feeling grateful for warm spring air, cats in ridiculous sleeping positions, clown fish dancing in their anemones, the hubster cleaning off the porch, so we can make use of it again, a lovely art lesson with a family on Saturday, enjoying my creations from Artfest, a clean fridge, freshly washed pillow cases, new markers and the smooth way they move across paper, a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, bills paid, poetry on an envelope, laughter, wrapping my arm around the hubster late at night, finding a cat toy under the covers, quiet understanding, an invitation, a thunder and lightning storm, a couple good Red Sox games, socks with whales on them, silly text messages, Numi tea.

A big congratulations to Marilyn whose poetry is being published in Patti Digh's book, Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally which is available for pre-order from Amazon now!! All the artists who submitted work to Patti's project are also having their work published in the book! So cool! I submitted some work and I'm not sure which piece was chosen. However, you can see some of the art that was created around the essays that Patti wrote, here. I'm so thrilled to be a part of this project. Thank you, Patti!

From reading Marilyn and Patti's blogs, I know that it is National Poetry month, so I was thinking about poetry today and a line came to my head about envelopes being shaped like houses. I was looking for something to write it down on, when I realized, "Duh, I should write it on an envelope!" I had a stash of my neighbor's unused wedding invitation envelopes that I'd been saving for use in art and I pulled one out and wrote out a poem in white ink. Inspire Me Thursday's theme this week just happens to be "envelopes." I've used little envelopes before in art and I love them, but it was fun to use an envelope in this way. I've got some more envelope ideas floating around in my head, so perhaps I'll do something with those too. And here's the poem I wrote on the envelope above:

envelopes
shaped like houses
holding letters
and tucked away secrets.
hidden corners
and longing
make the floor boards creek.

to seal this letter,
this chapter,
this page
of your life
you must bring
the whole roof down.
destroy the illusion.
lick.
stamp.
send.

you let go here.

somehow,
magically,
your message arrives.
your messy wishes,
whispered words.

and just when
you've forgotten
or made yourself forget,
you receive a reply
in the license plate in front of you,
in the billboard on your commute home,
in the page you open to,
in the envelope
shaped like a house
with the roof torn down.

Imaginary Monsters

April 13th, 2008, Comments (14)

My last class at Artfest was with Theo Ellsworth and it was so much fun! Ellsworth had such a wonderfully weird way about him. He told us about some of the things he does to pass the time using his imagination, such as having a third arm which can reach out to the horizon and pet the sun or the mountains, or could reach around the world and put its hand on your own back. My favorite imagination tip that he shared was one he used in places like a boring party or a long line. In these situations he would imagine the room filling with water (the humans become amphibians) and schools of fish would be swimming between people. He said that this would somehow make him feel more connected to every one there. I totally loved his ideas and I wished I'd had them at the beginning of Artfest just to try out in such an unusual environment.

The class was about communicating with your inner critic and involved one of my favorite activities...doodling. We were given sheets of paper shaped like a head to work on. On the first page we drew with our eyes closed to a long song thinking about our inner critic. And then we opened our eyes, looked at our doodles, and pulled out the images we saw there. The hubster particularly loved this page. He said it showed the crazy inner-workings of the mind and he could understand it. The big blue areas were made with a Chartpak marker. I had thought they were Copic markers (I had a couple of those too), but later I looked back and saw that they were Chartpak. I loved the way the ink flowed out with these markers. It was paint-like and luscious.

This next page was about taking your inner child out to play and we were to draw with our non-dominant hand only to help us get in touch with that part of ourselves. It was definitely interesting to draw with my left hand. All attempts at control were pointless, but I enjoyed it. I ended up creating all sorts of creatures in the tree and the girl reminds me a bit of a Red Riding Hood or Alice type of figure.

On the third page we drew in a way I never had before....we drew with both hands at the same time! I thought it would be a lot harder than it was. We were making a mirror image with each hand. Sometimes my left hand would lag a little behind, but it all worked out. One of the shapes on both sides looked like a bird. Again, we'd find images to work with in this drawing with the focus being on your inner voice.

On this page we were given free reign to draw intuitively with the focus being on the inner monster within and how it turns our "garbage" into beautiful things. I was thinking a bit about my experiences with depression and anxiety and how I've used those experiences to help me create my art. Through making art out of my sadness, I often feel better. Through making art, I can create a sense of hope.

In the last page we were told to integrate all these pages/parts of ourselves into a self-portrait that combines our inner and outer worlds. I did this one intuitively as well, letting the pen move. The swirly lines around the eyes turned into birds without my even realizing it! There were all sorts of little ties between these pieces, the birds (which I was later visited by after class and led to the beach), and red yarn which first made an appearance in a visualization which inspired "Bring Love." The red yarn in these drawings wound around tree branches, in and out of bird nests and carried in bird beaks. Mermaids and whales were also in many of the drawings. All in all, it was a very interesting, relaxing, and illuminating class for me. I especially liked learning some new ways to play with my imagination and hearing from another quirky artist who wasn't afraid to share the way his mind worked. I loved this quote that he shared at the beginning of class:

"For every imaginary problem, there is an imaginary solution." -Theo Ellsworth

Pre-Process

April 8th, 2008, Comments (19)

Oh, I'm tired! But I wanted to quickly check in to say I'm still alive and just haven't been at the computer that much with all the traveling and exploring I've been doing. I'm heading back home early in the morning and I'm ready. I miss the hubster and my snuggly meowzers.

It's been such a busy time, that I really need some time to process everything before I reflect on it too much. It was a wonderful trip, a creative adventure, and it was great fun while also being difficult at times.

Ok, so I want to share more pics from Artfest before too much time passes. Here's the stamp that I mentioned that I carved in a class with Anne Bagby. The class was supposed to be more about printing with paper, but she had a relaxed attitude towards how we approached it, so I spent the entire day on this stamp that I'd fallen in love with. Above is a pic of the stamp itself (it's about 6"x8", I believe). And below, I did my first proof back in my hotel room. I've since cleaned the stamp up some more, but I haven't re-printed it yet. I'll try again when I get home. I'm digging the design which was inspired by an Art Nouveau print. I'd love to have a pillow printed in fabric with this design or a bag maybe or a chair or a skirt. Heh.

My last class on Saturday was so much fun! It was a class with Theo Ellsworth that was all about imaginative and intuitive doodling and drawing. I'll share pics and some more info about what I did in that class soon. Needless to say, this class was right up my alley and was such a relaxing way to end my experience at Artfest. This class was held in a small building by the water. Here's the lovely view where I parked my car in the morning.

So purty! All those clouds sort of mirrored my head state this last week. A lot on my mind. My dreams were full of scary nightmares. Eek! But the lovely thing about the clouds is that they'd always part and the sun would come out.

After drawing all day, I came out of class and by my car there was a crow cawing at me from the tip top of a tree. I laughed because I'd just been drawing black birds in class (I've had loads of synchronicity going on this week!!) I pulled out my camera to take a picture, but just as I got the camera out, he flew down to the beach. So, I followed his lead.

My crow friend was soon joined by his partner and they had a fine time picking at seaweed. I stuck around and snapped some pics of them. They didn't seem to mind. They looked so stunning on the sandy beach with the waves crashing behind them. I think this has inspired a future painting.

Now I've got to finish packing up all my stuff! See you on the opposite coast!

More Art, Synchronicity, and Block Busting Fun

March 30th, 2008, Comments (16)

As promised...some more art! First, some atc's on the backs of playing cards that I worked on yesterday. I just want to say "ooshie booshie!" when I look at them. They're so little and cute! It seems that I like everything miniature. Yesterday morning the hubster and I were in Dunkin' Donuts and there was a display of bags of coffee beans. I picked up the mini bag of ground beans and said, "I like this one!" To which the hubster replied, "You like everything that's small!" Busted! :-)

Yesterday was super fun and busy with loads of errands and then creative time for the hubster and I. He was working on some music in his office while I painted in mine. I popped out this miniature canvas (4"x4") of a cat in a box which I'm calling "This End Up." It's dedicated to my orange cat, Tabbers who has never met a box he didn't like.

A fun synchronicity occurred yesterday when Cris emailed to say hello and made a comment about the little postcards I had made for my 200th post giveaway. Cris was the first commenter on that post and I sent an art card to the first five commenters on that post. It just so happens that later that day that her card arrived and I'd sent her the card that she had wanted (without mentioning which one she liked.) I felt like I made a cool connection with each person I sent a card to and sent the right card for them. It's so cool when I can tune in with another person like that.

K commented on the last post, "do you know what i could do to unblock myself? i feel that my school work has killed my creativity. sad and frustrating..." I figured I'd address this question here since I think this happens to many of us at some time or another, where we've had some job or class or other obligation that seems to suck the energy and creativity right out of us. There are a variety of ways to deal with a block, but here's one of my favorites: doodle. I'm an out of control doodler. I will doodle on anything and everything including school notes. If you're in class and taking notes, you might try doodling in the margins for fun. I often get ideas for art pieces from my doodling. You could try drawing designs on the cover of your notebook. Try bringing a pocketbook sized sketchbook with you and whenever you get a moment, pull out your sketchbook and draw whatever is in front of you, make notes of inspiration you've noticed during the day and things you'd like to explore further. So that's one way to get started. Hope that helps! If you've got other suggestions for K, leave a comment!

Fun on a Gray Day

March 28th, 2008, Comments (11)

I had the funniest bit of synchronicity yesterday. I was doodling on a scrap of paper and started drawing a series of owls. As I drew, I got an email saying that a piece had sold off my website. I went to go see what it was and hehe, it was the Purple Owl painting! I packed it up this morning and sent it off. I had grown a little attached to that piece, so I was a little sad to see it go, but since I was already drawing more owls, I suppose, I'll be painting some more. I'm feeling the urge to paint BIG and teeny tiny. Go figure. There was a fun bit of synchronicity for the person who bought the owl painting too, a neat way in which she found my art. And oh my, I love when that happens.

I had picked today to drive up to Nahcotta to pick up the art pieces that didn't sell in the last show. I'll be putting those Subway Stories pieces up on my website for sale shortly. Of course, I paid no attention to the weather reports this week (I never do. I like to be surprised I guess. heh) and so I ended up making the drive north in a little snow storm. Doh! It ended up being fine. And by the time I got up to Portsmouth, the snow had stopped and I puddle-jumped my way to the gallery. I got to see Deb, which is always a treat, I stopped in a shoe store briefly and then hopped right back in my car. The streets were too slushy for walking around, but that was fine since I wanted to get home before the early rush hour of Friday afternoon. The ride home was a breeze and I enjoyed singing loudly with the radio and some car dancing. :-)

Last night, I was thinking about Artfest and the trades people do there. I've never made a traditional artist trading card in the proper size and such, but I'd read that people use playing cards as the base sometimes and so I pulled out a deck and started painting and collaging on some for fun. I may do some to bring to Artfest, but some of them, I just want to stick on my wall. I love the little snow owl and the chair with snails. Along the top are some random papers, a couple old prints and a gelatin print that I glued onto the cards and cut to size. They'll make a great background for further collage or paint or drawing. I can see why these get addictive. They're so satisfying to hold, such a great size, they truly do feel like trading cards or some kind of art game, and they're quick and easy to make...and if you screw one up, who cares! I did a quick search on ACEO's (artist cards editions and originals), which I think are the same as ATC's (Artist trading cards), and found this neat site of etsy artists that sell ACEO's. So many fun ways to approach these.

I've also done another drawing of Red Riding Hood and now I'm feeling more ready to do it up bigger. I hope your weekend is a wonderfully creative one!

Intuition in Art

March 26th, 2008, Comments (11)

Birdbox

I've had a busy couple days with not much time for posting. Yesterday was the hubster's birthday. He's the man who doesn't really need anything (if he wants a new toy, he'll get it for himself), so I did some things at home for him (like 20 pounds of laundry) and re-organizing his bureau which took an entire day to accomplish! He was super happy with the gift though, so I'm very glad I did it. We went out to dinner last night at a little fancy place nearby which was nice too. On Monday I delivered the wedding gift to my best friend (and she loved it, phew!) and I got to hang out with her and her lil baby girl who can now pull herself up to standing all by herself. She's adorable. While the baby napped, best friend and I embellished some small metal boxes (mine was an old chocolate box and hers was an altoids tin.) I snapped a pic of the outside (above) and inside (below).

Birdboxinside

I'm feeling soo sleepy this week. Not sure what that's about! I'm loving the sunny weather we've been having. Not quite warm enough to be outside without a coat, but warm enough for just a sweater or spring jacket and the moon roof open in my car! :-)

Redsketch

Creativity in the past few days has been mainly in my art journal. I had the coolest synchronicity experience when I drew a little sketch (started a swirly doodle and then intuitively created from it) which became a woman in a forest with a cape (like Red Riding Hood) and a cabin below. Out of the chimney the smoke is curling and there's a shape resembling a wolf which I thought of as her intuition giving her a signal. (The original sketch is above.) A little later that night, I clicked over to Elena's blog and she had written about the book, Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, with quotes that talked about women, wolves and intuition. It gave me shivers reading it! I own a copy that I haven't looked at in awhile, so I picked it up that night and opened to a page where I'd underlined, "Intuition is the treasure of a woman's psyche."

Redaj

Yesterday I saw that Melba was looking for some reading about intuition and while this isn't only about intuition it covers the topic quite a bit! Anyways, I've been drawing the image in my art journal (above and below) and I'm not quite satisfied with it. I want to express it in some other way and I just haven't figured that part out yet. I think I want to make it bigger.

And now some links to share!

- I thought this TED video was fascinating. It's about a woman scientist sharing her stroke experience. Her telling of the right-brain and left-brain phenomena, ties in so well with the things I've been reading about meditation and connecting with the body in books like A New Earth. The right brain experience she talks about is something I come close to when making art. It's that space that has no language that thinks in pictures that goes by the gut instead of the head, intuitive art-making. 

- Bridget of The Matchbook blog has filmed a couple segments for a local new show doing art demos. I loved this one about making jewelry out of bicycle inner tubing!

- There is a wonderful rising of support around a blogger named Jenni who is dying of colon cancer. A fund-raising auction is being done in her name to help with medical costs and such and the organizers are looking for items to be donated for the auction and also money donations. Go here for more info.