A daily dose of collage creativity, in images, words and thoughts. Always remember, "Everything will be alright in the end...if it is not alright it must not be the End"

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Why don't you just try to stay in the present?

Friday morning the clouds were rolling in, on the phone app for Weather it shared that it was going to be clear, bright and sunny. The husband reminded me that it's best to live in the present moment....I must of be rambling on about 5 different things and trying to save the world again. So on to a walk in the woods...with the prayer in my head about...God don’t put anybody in my life
until you can come first and I can be me. You see I tend to forget who's in charge and then I start wearing the large and in-charge pants.  Train wreck a coming if I keep that behavior up. 

I brought the whole idea to my walk...of a drumming circle that I just had sent out email for and Facebook invite. To see if anyone wanted to come and have a hand at a drumming circle?  My daughter encourage me to do it, must have been talking about way too much time to put words into action. While walking the whole time I was really soaking in the present moment and slowing myself down. Most of the time I get so excited and really can't control myself, I really need to work at it.  

Long story long....finished walk, went to the market and came home to clean, chop and prepare some food for storage etc.  Started cleaning up the homestead for people to come over and taking the air mattresses out of the tipi and get that ready.  By lunch time I know I was going to be having a drumming circle of women coming. I was calm....questioned it and kept moving with gentleness. 

Something was different, my anxiety of having people over to our unfinished, underconstrution home was not present, instead it wasn't about that it was a focus of knowing these women all from different area's of my life and once they would get here I would be all just fine. This wasn't about me and I knew it..

I had asked them to come over around 8:15...odd time but being we would be drumming to the Full Blue Moon of July didn't want them to come too early. I figure we would drum for about an hour...Oh we carried on till about 10:45 or so...Everyone was worried about the neighbors....too funny...furtherest thing from my mine.

We start off with a small story of how things began for me with the tipi and receiving prayers for the four directions from an Ojibway Indian that wrote the book Tree Spirited Woman. Things are more connected than we ever know. I'm just in awe over it all...so hard to explain and yet so real.

 Maureen, Mary, and Sherry,

 Trisha, Dottie
 Myself standing outside the tipi before the drumming circle began. What is so while is all eight of us fit in there on stools. An illusion from standing outside of it.

 Tania so proudly wearing a gift from a friend of her daughters that was staying with them while in from college. Tania is a friend with many ethnic backgrounds and speaks many languages...so cool.

Dale has been a friend for along time....she has some African Drumming experience that she shared with us. She's taking classes in the city with a big group.

It was an experience that I would so like to do again.  Everyone has different experiences and that's what cool about it...being a newbie...I'm open and looking to establish something.  I'm just so thankful these women said yes to the evening and came over...so hard to have a drumming circle alone.   I know I was doing a little yelling and hooting...even got up and did some dancing to the beat too.  We all walked away with a different experience I'm sure...All I know is I can't wait till next time.

So went to bed late and work up kind of out of it....routine is all out of whack and the husband asks if I want to go out for breakfast. I shocked myself and said yes...darned my jeans and my boots and we road off to Honey Jam's on the Harley, which has some good breakfast...little pricey but we like it now and then.

When we got home I think we both wanted to play hooky with what we should be doing and I suggest going to see the bison at Nachusa in Franklin Grove....He said, "Oh that's like a trip to Oregon IL where we got the tipi from" ...How cool would that be to go back and see the statue too, if it's been repaired yet I commented.

( I noticed I spelled the name wrong and already deleted the short video....Nachusa is the name of the place not Nahusa, sorry) 

Well as you can see we made it there...over 3000 areas of prairie are here and the chance of seeing the bison might not be in your favor.  At first we didn't see them but then I got the goofy idea to climb the metal gate to see a bit further and there they were.   Brown specks moving across the prairie and in the far left of the big tree you can see Bryon IL, Nuke plant a bit of a Oxymoron there.

From the fence....way out there you can see the herd. 

As close as the phone camera would allow...but we seen them. I sure can check it off want/wish list of things to see and do.  Stuff like this that have happened this weekend are kind of mind blowing for me...and as a friend of mine would say...Honey, it's not odd it's God...I would truly like to believe in the bigger then I thinking on this one...it all happened way To Awesome Like to question.   Staying in the moment, present is a test..with gratitude, Aho...

Friday, July 31, 2015


Paper, Paper, Paper..."I love paper"

It must be that time of year...gearing up for the fall into the winter months.  Everyone needs something, well not everyone but the point is all information needs to get turned in.  And I could keep track of thing in file on the computer which I do and then I go one step further and do real thing. Print out information so I physical have it.  I also document when I contacted people and when I sent thing out etc.

The call for art, the call for submission to book publication, the call for description for classes into the new year. I found myself behind the computer most of the last two days.  One day working on my video's and  lesson handouts for the third on-line class.  it is what it is...I kept telling myself, thankful I was working.  Yes all this work and not knowing when a pay check will come in or if it will...Again thankful I'm married and living with a spouse that is working a job and gathering a paycheck at the end of the week.

Though in between all this I've been playing around with some image for the next three Creative Art Blocks...(plan is to have 5) working small is cool but image wise, I might have to cut things down.

I dropped off 5 piece to be photographed.  Between hows so it's a good time to drop them off. Painted Mare was one of the pieces, my third totem...When I dropped it off I looked at the horse and went...Oh Yes I did want to make a few of these too... by themselves and let it become a series, Painted War Ponies...and put the symbols on them and have some fun with the playful primitive shape of the horse. 

I listened to Nicholas Wilton   and one thing that I grasps totally understood was that he doesn't wander around look at other people artworks. Mainly because he wants to have and keep his work authentic to him.    I was thinking Yes...yes..I get it...there are so many things that make themselves present that are crying out to be created from the loads of paper I have in my studio...but I can't bunker down and isolate in the studio...not good either. Balance is always something that is great to go back to. 

I just hear about balance...and what it means- not disturbed got to remember that...I don't want a disturbed life.  

So make the adjustment in my mind about the paper and the amount of computer time and remind myself isn't all you will have, There will be other kinds of days, ones where you will play on the paper and with it instead of stapling it and filing it in folder.  Though come to think about staples did look pretty cool as texture and pattern covered over with some gesso or acrylics...Rambling and keep it moving forward and as I'm finding out more and more going with the flow is the way to go...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Three Crow's came to my back yard

In the folk story about the crows what the number of crows means...a gathering to three mean's Pure Love.  So some pure love came to the back yard yesterday morning just a I was starting a little yoga session in the tipi.  I find this very Odd...mind you I've learned when it's odd...it's just God peeking in on me or That Good Orderly Direction.  The thing is my back yard has a very large grouping of Maple trees which is great for the little seed feeding winged one and a few Sharp Shined Hawks but for all the years of lived here Crows seem to avoid the back yard...could it be the dogs?  or the quick escape one might need and the trees all stopping the height one might gain quickly?

So I continue on and look up throw the top of the tipi and there in the branch is a crow looking down at me...I'm in awe and wonder this family I would believe did it come in for a closer look and did the door of the tipi have anything to do with it.

After my session and sitting in meditation...I ponder the what I just witnessed...My childlike humanness whats to play on a story and allow imaginative illusion to continue.  The adult side share's it with you here...

I'm finding without planning things...there taking bloom....not that I've had experience at teaching workshops in other states that I have to fly in a plane to get there but one is already set in motion with full attendance for November and one I'm in the works for next year in Feb 2016 in Florida...Pretend as if you know and trust that it will all work out.  

And then yesterday in the afternoon, I receive a phone call to see if I might be available to work with about 20 women that are survivors of cancer next month. Unexpected opportunity opens one's heart even bigger.  So of course I said yes. 

Back to the studio and slowly moving forward on my editing both with my word stuff and video to get past this nagging and weighted feeling I'm carrying around.  All to familiar when I set out on an assignment of sorts...Example oh I'll make 15 of these and then at 7 I'm wondering why I said I was going to do it and then I get past that point and so grateful I hung in there and plugged along. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

does it matter?

I'm really thinking about going through every room lately and purging again...My gosh I think I have squirrel and chipmunk blood in me...well I do have bohemian we have a tendency to use found and old things. Get as much use out things as we can.

I listened to a gentle woman in her late 80's, an elder in my book and she was talking about a financial situation and how at the moment it was terrible but then she took a second look at things and thought...there isn't any more wants so what was she all in a thither about.  Well I always want a dog and I have two of them. So this and the task work below has me thinking...about area's I would do some cleaning and neating up...first I have to purge a bit then the neaten up comes.

All from Week 7's Walking in the World book II- Julia Cameron.
Task Work Take pen in hand and list 5 areas that you could neaten up. Choose one area and execute a little cleanliness is next to godliness energy. What we are after with this task is the experience of using stuck energy in a productive way, however small.

1. clean my window in the house inside and out.
2. clean the refrigerator...needs a good wiping down of the shelves.
3. clutter around the house...surface clutter time to pitch it.
4. same goes for the studio...some purging there.
5. my cabinet behind me where I sit at the kitchen table  that needs a clutter cleaning.

The fear of throwing something out that you might need later...or by having on a piece of paper printed out I can be reminded of it ...because my brain doesn't seem to retain information...only segment and fragments enough to get me by.

Task Work Answer these questions
1. What culture other than your own speaks to you?
  this is not hard to answer, Native American cultures 
2. What age other than the one we’re in resonate with your sensibilities?
  I'm thinking the age of winter, white hair...I'm starting.
3. What foreign cuisine feels like home to your palate?
hmmmm...I love food so this one is hard to pin down to one cuisine. 
4. What exotic smells give you a sense of expansion and well-being?
wood burning, cinnamon, cucumber, vanilla
5. What spiritual tradition intrigues you beyond you own?
Drumming and singing and smudging
6. What music from another culture plucks your heart strings?
the flute...the piano and guitar... but the music I listen to depends on what mood I'm in...I listen to variety. 
7. In another age, what physical age do you see yourself being?
The age that I am...
8. In another culture and time, what is your sex?
9. Do you enjoy period movies/ or movies, period?
Yes on both...
10. If you were to write a film, what age and time, what place and predicament would you choose to explore?  A woman my age...mid 50's in a time like now, in a place of empty nesting and post-menopausal and what's next with life? 

Task Work Take pen in hand and list 10 things you have learned to do despite you doubt they could be mastered.
1.drive to Chicago, after saying yes to an exhibit opportunity, when all the while I doubted. 
2. teaching collage class when all I knew was teaching with children in my children's grade school. 
3. be married for 34 years when my parents divorced, still no sure if I mastered it yet...
4. learning computer skills
5. making paper from plants and using them in my art and books
6. Creating classes and teaching them for some 17 years. 
7. Exhibiting my work in art fairs
8. driving alone long distances to many of the place I teach.
9. painting my tipi 
10. skills to experience all the different aspect of this little job that grow and help support my a small portion of our family....many doubts and still doubt...but I think it comes despite out doubt...and that's area's of growth..

Many years ago I started blogging and every day there for a while I rambled and babble about things going about me...and what I do...I ask...does it matter...what did I do before? Yes before the internet and all the area's we can post our chatter.  I don't have people over at my house any more...to visit information is there to see cause like myself I've come use to posting a habit a learned behavior...

well again a bit if this and that...not lost though just pondering. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Walking in the World Week 7 and gathering of other stuff.

So carrying on as I usually do....I plug away at week 7 in Walking in this World. Stumble on another book and snatched it up right way when it came in the house door..."Carry on Warrior, thoughts life unarmed, Glennon Doyle Melton.

Now I want you to see what's behind me at the kitchen table...

Yes,  that's right a stack of books...things I dabble into during the morning. Only a few are completely read and a few others are being reread because...well you know their so darn good I want to soak in the words and have them ruminate around and around.  And then the guilty set in and I feel bad that I've got all these things "books" and don't finish them...Like I've got the book police on my shoulder ready to write a ticket...Crazy ?

Then I pick this out of my stone bowl this morning...

I'm just passionately curious to learn all my dyslexic brain and handle at how every it comes in...at the age of 54...why change what's been working. So forgive the demons of the distorted thinking world in my head and keep moving on with Gusto! 

so then....

I am looking face to face a large rabbit out my kitchen window this morning which was unusual, with the dogs and all nothing seems to come and visit unless it can climb a tree or has wings to fly away. So my curiosity is peeked to see what the mean of the rabbit brings.  I grab the book behind me by Jamie Sames and David Carson...Medicine Cards, ways of the animals  and do a bit of reading..


Scared little rabbit...please drop your flight! Running doesn't stop the pain, or turn the dark of light. 

So some medicine for me to read ...Stop talking about horrible things happening and get rid of the "What if" in you vocabulary. A signal may be the time to worry about the future or of trying to exercise your control over that which is not yet in form-the future. Stop Now!  Write your fears down and be willing to feel them. Breathe into them, and feel them running through your body into Mother Earth as a give-away.  

If you have tried to resolve a situation in your life and are unable to you may be feeling frozen in motion.  This could indicate a time to wait for the forces of the universe to start moving again...(ants share with me to be patience and persistent.) It could also indicate the need to stop and take a rest...Light bulb there?  how does a Gemini take a rest? IT will always indicate a time when you need to re-evaluate the process you are undergoing, and to rid yourself of any negative feelings, barriers, or duress. Simple put, you cannot have your influence felt until you rearrange you way of seeing the present set of circumstances. 

There is always a way tout of any situation because the universal force does move on. it is the way in which you handle problems that allow you to succeed. 
Take a hint from Rabbit. Burrow into a safe space to nurture yourself and release your fears until it't em again to move into the pasture, clear of prowlers who want a piece of your juicy energy...

Well I'm aware and that is always a good sign...and see what appears as I burrow in. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Creative Art Block II

Here is my second in the series, " Nuthatch"  Stands about 7.5 inches tall and about 5 inches wide with the wire, paper and black thread hanging out. This whole assemblage stuff is calling out louder then doing my behind the scene stuff for my on line class...I might never get going on that if I keep this up...

A phone call yesterday.....

The smell of wax and the texture of the paper had me hooked from an early age. The shape and the repetitive line of different colors with a triangle crown and the paper wrapped around the outside.   Yes I'm describing crayons and a color book.  I can still remember the way the paper gently in a big heap folded over like a wave and the aroma, I was in heaven at a very early age.

This quote popped up on Facebook yesterday and then I looked up Georgia O'Keeffe quotes and this was reproduced many times with different back grounds.  


Phone Call?  

Where is the Collage movement going?  

Is it something like the pet rock movement?  God I hope not...how does one keep what they enjoy to do alive and out there when some many streams of income center around it?  

Questions, Awareness and what next?  
(If you haven't noticed it's one of those days when the question, Who am I, Why am I and Where am I has come up)

Describing life through....Georgia says,"Colors and Shapes, that I couldn't say any other way-things I had no words for....

With learning how to draw the basics from my grandfather I've always gravitated to shapes...and repetitive shapes.  It's not about having more, it's about seeing the effect and how I feel when there is more presented.  Kind of like the What if Question,,,what if I had 9 red circles not one? 

Yes here I go again trying to understand and make connections with all this stuff from my pass that has been a good friend and partner and still is in to adulthood..

Well I don't have an answer but if one depends on the income that the art movement of collage has in teaching and workshops realm then that is a concern. 

One might have to re invent a different approach using papers and glues, mixing up the mediums on the surface before or after their glued down.  

Back to paper...the medium of paper one of my first loves. Coming from a plant, like cotton, cooked and beating down to a wondrous fiber vat, pull out  and then pressed flat or hung to dry with texture.  Like fabric, additive were included to form different kinds of papers and for different uses.  Water was used to form these papers re-connection the fibers in an inner-locking way.  I learned about this some years back and went through the process of making my own.  Cattail leaves, Yucca leaves, Iris and day lily leaves are a few of the sources of material besides cotton that paper can be made from around me. 
I went through a moment where paper was the thing and I made lots of it day in day out...from early in the morning to late at night in a tent outside.  It is a beautiful process of pulling a sheet of paper and listening to the water drip out and then watching it couch on to the felt sheet. 

Goofy owl I found on one of my walks in the wood by a stream after a big rain...he's just watching over things...any ways....

The question was posed to me is   Collage a movement or phase like the pet rock where has it's seen it's days and now it's out?

I watched it come alive in the last 20 years...oh my... never would I have believed I would be saying that but witnessing a movement in the arts...kind of cool.  I started with my own papers, handmade and using bee wax as a natural sealant...not a glue...I used mat medium back then. Encaustic wasn't big as it is now. It just started to come back into the scene. I think Jasper John's work was on exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute a few year after I started using the handmade papers and bees wax.

I thinking...that I've been fortunate for over 20 years to be able to do what I love to do. I've learned so much and I have know Idea what I'm doing and where I'm going... What I do, is creativity think of ways to keep doing the art making and that has come to teaching it and if it dye's out so be it...I will have to find a 9 to 5'er...but I've always been an artist and I will always be.  To the creative process of always thinking in new ways.