Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More Faces

It's been a busy, productive time.  Not all are finished, but they just need finishing touches.  I'm so grateful for the time to get these done and also for yesterday's sunshine.  We were lucky enough to spend most of the day outside taking a long walk with cousins in Calistoga. I didn't sketch, but have some photos that may make some promising subjects for future watercolors. It's warm outside right now and the clothes that I hung out on the line this morning are dry. Life is good!

Mixed media on Wood

 As I was working on this one and looked for a poem that would work with the image, I came across this by Teresa of Avila:

bloomed in Spring.

Our bodies
are the leaves of God.

The apparent seasons of life and death
our eyes can suffer.

but our souls, dear, I will just say this forthright:
they are God

we will never perish
unless He 

I have a friend for whom I think the above painting will be a nice gift.

Journal Cover: Colored Pencil and Acrylic on Mat Board
The journal is a "Muse Journal" created in the "Conversations with the Muse" workshops and I've been wondering what I would do with the cover.  It's inspired by last week's Everyday Matters prompt to do whatever you want, but think about how the earthquake and tsunami in Japan might enter the work.  I want to re-work the water section of this when I get time.  Maybe use the seran-wrap technique and see what happens.
Journal Page: Dreaming and Wishing in the Full Moon 
On the "reading list" for the Muse Workshops is "Women Who Run With the Wolves."  I haven't read it yet, but thought of combining the wolf image with one of my desires for 2011, to be able to use my voice to be articulate about the things I am passionate about.

Well, here we have it folks...time to rush off and get the clothes down off the line : )

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We Weren't Expecting This

I FINALLY completed the first mixed-media portrait from an on-line class that I signed up for.  This one may go in my 3-ring journal or I may actually frame it.  Which do you like better, the red just behind the portrait with the white outer mat, or the white behind the portrait with the red outer mat?  As usual, the color is more vibrant in real life than in the photo and the red is actually the same red in both pictures, but you'll get the idea.

I wasn't expecting the "blood" effect when I did the drippy step towards the end.  It completely changed what I originally had in mind and reminded me of the part in "Queen of the South" where they talk about the drug lords prostituting Russian immigrant farm workers in Spain.  Anyway, the whole idea of dressing up pretty and then having violence done to you made my husband think of the title "We Weren't Expecting This."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Time Running Through My Fingers Like Sand

Time is what we want most, but... what we use worst.  ~Willaim Penn

I wish there had been more time for art in the past couple of weeks, but household projects and volunteer responsibilities have taken over.  Even so, I've managed to get a few art things in, so I'm feeling pleased about using small amounts of time to good advantage.  I haven't had too much time to waste, and certainly can do my share of that, but the wastage that has come in the last week has been because the darned window finishing project hasn't been going smoothly.

The first photos below are from a special evening that included friends and art.  On Wednesday night a group of us gathered for our monthly "Wishing and Dreaming in the Full Moon", and Judy led us in some zen doodle activities.  It was very sweet to work side by side in deep meditation and some conversation while a variety of music played in the background.  We had dinner together and then got back to our doodles.  By the end of the evening, between us we had 6 different styles and visions on our papers.  The Creative Every Day prompt for March is Nest, so I guess this fits because we did it at my house and stayed cozy and warm inside while it rained outside. 

Zendoodle 1

Zendoodle 2

Then we have a series of sketches from my journal.  These cover about a month's worth of activity.

From Motorcycle Diaries

Every Day Matters (EDM) 308 "Something Slippery"  California Newt

EDM 309  "Something with More than Two Legs" Jim's Grandmother's Teacup

EDM 203 "Something Shiny"

EDM 137 "Something You Can Turn On And Off"
Saturday evening Denise and I went to a coffee shop to prepare the certificates for the Alternatives to Violence workshop that we were facilitating at the prison.  While she finished signing the certificates I did a quick sketch of a woman at a nearby table. Since it turned out nicely, I went up and gave it to her.  It was the first time I've ever done that, and she received it enthusiastically, so that was very affirming!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Peace Wanted

Here are two new mixed-media journal pages inspired by recent world events.  Accompanying them are the quick-writes that I did at the time of creating the pages...this is my disclaimer in case anyone was hoping for elegant, thoughtful writing : ) These were done in the two art groups that I participate in, one is a group of friends that has begun to gather monthly for some sort of art-related wishing and dreaming exercises around the time of the full moon.  The second group is a Muse Group, organized by artist Susan Cornelis at imaginewithart.com, which offers a really rich and spiritually grounding experience through art journaling.


The world is changing quickly and there may be a real metamorphosis as the power shifts in the Middle East. For the most part the transitions have been peaceful, with the notable exceptions of Libya and Iraq. As Mubarek gave over power and Libya became restless, folks were asking whether the US had an obligation to go into Libya in support of democracy. My reaction is heck no, at least not in the military sense. But could we in some way be standing by to help Libyans (or people anywhere) build an economic infrastructure which supports peace?

My friend AW, who is working with the Mennonites in Iraq, writes to the Alternatives to Violence Project's listserve about needing resources so that she can help Iraqis hold non-violent demonstrations. People everywhere are thirsting for how to bring about change non-violently. Yet, in order to keep the federal government afloat, Congress proposes to cut the department of peace. Where else could the budget be cut, when over 50% of the federal budget goes to military and the pentagon? It's time to turn the swords into plowshares at home and to aid in efforts to do that abroad. If people can live decently, with dignity, and receive education that leads to a just livelihood and receive health care, would that not increase world peace?

What can I do to make more peace in the world? Where am I being led?

Barbara B 3/1/11

Perfect Vision

Clear-eyed girl, clear-sighted through the passing of years, seeing truth through all the layers of spin and denial. Powerful vision arises like the crystalline waters of a deep mountain lake fed by snow melt. With such sight, insight, perfect vision, how can she do anything but engage in random acts of beauty and kindness? Truth and love will conquer all, can heal and bring reconciliation even where there has been wanton destruction. Peace is within us and around us. How do we keep our vision clear and perfect? Prayers of gratitude transform stubborn hearts, music calms the savage breast, art gives the soul expression. Staying connected to the source, inspiration is abundant.

Barbara B 3/6/11