Sunday, January 28, 2007

New Improved website!!

I'm so pleased to announce that my new website is now complete and up and running. My old one is gone and the new one at has taken its place in a bigger, better and much more professional way. The very talented David Walker put it together for me and,as usual, did an incredible job. Besides being a website designer, David is also a quilter and understands the needs and issues of such websites. Not to mention that he's incredibly creative and a wonderful person to work with.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Some history

As it turns out, I have only ever had one ovary. No-one ever knew this: not my mother, none of my doctors, neither of my two husbands and certainly not I. My remaining ovary stepped in and filled the void of its missing partner without a hitch—my monthly periods being generous and rich; that is to say, over-flowing to the point of excess, to the point of illness, to the point of too, too much. It was too much to deal with; I could not embrace my body’s vagaries (much less understand their spiritual metaphor) and so I suppressed that which I could not endure, first with hormones and then with years of child-bearing and breast-feeding.

At the same time, had I but the eyes to see it, I was struggling with similar issues in my artistic life. The art was there, burning within me, and issued forth endlessly in large and small ways—no blank piece of paper was safe from me. As a young child I created all day, every day—drawings, paintings, poetry, small sculptures, dance. Even drips of water on the kitchen counter were an opportunity to trail out an ephemeral pattern that made me smile inside. But eventually, as I understand it now, that also became too much and I had to channel and control that effortless out-flowing as well. Art was all very well as an avocation, but it was certainly not a suitable vocation—why, everyone has heard of starving artists. I soon developed countless rationalizations why art was not suitable as a center of my life. But always, always waiting in the wings, in the small quiet corners of my soul, art lingered and waited and bided its time…

As my years flowed, I continued to create; in small ways, usually. Like breathing, it is not something in my control to stop permanently. I may well hold my breath for a time but I must then inhale deeply to compensate. So too, with my art—for a few years when my children were young and demanded constant attention, I held my artistic breath. This was as it should be, of course. As they grew older, art beckoned to me, gently at first and then insistently, to renew our sacred relationship.

Older, and perhaps a little wiser about the ways of the world and ways of my soul, I began the dance with art once more. I had learned, and continue to learn, that a suppression of my words, emotions and desires inevitably leads to a mortal wounding of my body, my sense of self-worth, my very soul and of course, my art.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Musings on the nature of creativity

The creative process is unique to each artist—as unique as the artist herself and each and every work that she brings into being. In its purest sense, creating a work of art is truly akin to giving birth to a child--it is no coincidence that both are termed “acts of creation”. Despite a penchant for introspection, my own creativity remained relatively unexplored until I reconfirmed creativity and art as central to my life and well-being.

I have wondered long about the creative process. At times it flows so freely and easily and you are on fire to record what is passing through your mind and spirit though the flesh may be tired, hungry or otherwise weak. At other times, a beautiful, fully formed but dimly recognized idea is present, but it seems to be a breech presentation and so refuses to be birthed on its own. Such an idea may very well die for want of skilled intervention, either on the part of the artist or her mentor. The artist and her mentor must work to gently turn the unseen idea this way and that until it is unstuck and ready to be seen in this world. For me, these unborn ideas often need to gestate longer than others—perhaps waiting for a key image or concept that is yet to come and be united with the embryonic art as yet to be . At times, the unborn ideas--my spiritual children, after all--will be reabsorbed into my consciousness, my spirit, my soul , to be reborn as other ideas, other works of art, other children of my spirit , whether recognized or not.

But what about this process, this conduit that the idea flows through on its multi-dimensional path to earthly manifestation? This has long appeared both mysterious and mystical to me. A miracle every time it happens, not to be discounted. Almost, I thought, the very act of examining it too closely could kill it; leading to the destruction of the precious conduit forever. And what a loss that would be—how could I be other than what I am now and always have been: creative, eager to make, to touch, to feel this or that be built from lesser materials, from nothing from this magical idea within me. But I now think that examining and understanding this process can do no harm, indeed, can only make the process less tenuous, less haphazard and more secure, vibrant and full-bodied. Truly, some artists have achieved this strengthening of the creative conduit with the result that their work often seems effortless to the uninitiated.

When I was younger, I read the writings of Carlos Castaneda as he attempted to record and learn the ways of the brujo from his mentor, Don Juan. So much of the way was lost to Carlos who did not initially have the ears to hear or the eyes to see. Gradually he developed those ears and eyes under the ever-patient tutelage of Don Juan.