Passions of an Odd Chick

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Symbols, Signs, and Soap-boxes

I saw the cross everywhere I looked yesterday. It was on the ground - a piece of shiny metal, criss-crossed with wood, embedded in the dirt road when I took the trash out. It was in the crossbar of my wood interior door to my bedroom that I face when I'm on my treadmill. It was in my salad croutons.... It was unavoidable. Everywhere. Of course, it made me wonder - I don't take repeated symbols lightly.

I've been through a self-questioning about my faith. I've been thoroughly discouraged about what Christians (people who believe Jesus' reality about the world), including myself, have done under that name.

I'm not sure who said this but I agree: "We're angry at the world because they're not Christian and totally tolerant of the fact that Christians aren't becoming Christ-like. "

It is my belief that we cannot make the American government (or anyone else for that matter)be under Christ's rule or a Christian government. It was never meant to be a physical kingdom. Had it been, God would have set it up that way from the beginning. Instead, it is a spiritual kingdom, where each person is taught the story that was left us and then teaches another seeking person, and each individual decides whether Jesus was telling the truth about the world and its reality. And then those individuals live and love in such a way that others are attracted to the spiritual kingdom and seek it. It would be so much easier to live my convictions if the whole physical world lived under laws that were mandated by my kingdom people. Maybe that's why Christians force their way upon others - because it's about making OUR own way easier. We need to be right so badly yet we get this so wrong.... and in the process, hurt the progress of building the actual spiritual kingdom.

Anyway, that's why the art in my journal today had to remind me about a complex truth . I would be curious about any hurts, hopes or hype you feel about this subject.
(a cross I made several years ago)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rekindling the Flame

I want to take my portraits to a different level. I draw and paint a likeness but they don't please my artist's eye- if I have one -some days I wonder. I want to have an art degree and 20 years worth of experience NOW, today, doing this portrait. It is frustrating. I know you've heard me say this many times.. but the things I paint are not the things I see. I take many of my sketches and manipulate them digitally to try to achieve some measure of what I'm looking for - and then study why I like that look. I study other artist and why their art appeals to me .... but still the chase is on.....Somehow I know not to give up - that the prize is up ahead if I will just persevere and work hard. Each of us has a vision of our best self in our head- whatever it is- we must inspire each other onward to find that self no matter how far the journey seems. You do that for me everyday. Thank you.

Recently, I read this quote by Albert Schweitzer: " Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those have rekindled this light."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Spacious Place

My sweet little grandson who can tenderly hold a kitten

and choke his little brother in the next second....

Can also sit patiently to learn while their Papa teaches them their first guitar lessons-

While their mom, my beautiful daughter, determinedly learns how to crochet.....

We pack so much into a weekend........ God has truly set my boundary lines in a spacious place.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This is a little watercolor and ink of a yucca we saw at Alamorgordo, New Mexico. I'm drawing cacti because it's so dry around here - absolutely no moisture in our region of this New Mexico desert right now. But my soul is fertile green as we've had visits from/to family and friends since Christmas and recently I have finished some big task like the W2's, W3, and the tax preparation and rid the office of most of 2008's paperwork. Yesterday was Sweet Farmer's birthday and today is my son's birthday (he's here from Colorado) and tomorrow my daughter and grandsons will visit for several days. The election is over and the whole world feels the euphoria of a new beginning and I feel a certain growth spurt coming on myself that I can't wait to give time and attention to. February is always a nice month for me - before spring farming begins but after the busy-work of January. I hope to do some serious life organizing , my pledge to some community service and, of course, some painting. Yep, these dry bones have been showered with blessings and it's only just begun to rain.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Something real I can hold in my hand

We got in from our trip and had company several hours after we got home. It's all been very busy around here. But my Sweet Farmer went to the mailbox and brought these home to me. You can't imagine my delight!!! Kimmie from Art in Red Wagons had beautifully wrapped and mailed me these little bites of her creative endeavors. My poor photography doesn't allow for you to see the exquisite detail she puts in to each of her creations. (see her posts - she did these for therapy she says) We passed them around among ourselves (my brother, sister-in-law, son, husband) as we had never seen an inchie (i've only seen them on blogs). They were flabbergasted and intrigued as I was as we examined the miniature art pieces as they tumbled out of the decorative tin box. Of course, "what do you do with them?" was the first question as Kimmie has often mentioned that she has been a recipient of this question many times. But I knew in my heart why she makes them - they are pieces of her life, her day, her imagination, her therapy that she offers like small tokens to the artist's altar -like offerings . They made perfect and beautiful sense to me. She has stated that she tries to turn trash into treasure, one inch at at time. Thank you Kimmie for your generosity. I feel really special that you would think to share these offerings with me.

See also the zentangle she sent me and the artist's trading card (ATC), my first trade. Amazing and fun stuff!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sitting Pretty

I had good sales in Ruidoso at my booth and even had time to draw this little duchess on the front cover of a novel by the same name. Wickedly, her arm looks like it has been twisted and replaced - woops- but otherwise I think she sat a striking pose for me.

It was good for me to draw in public and to relax into the enjoyable effort after such a busy two weeks of pre-preparation and then the busy-ness of setting up a booth. It's amazing that even when you're tired physically - drawing can take you to a highly focused and intense zone and provide you a sense of well-being. While fully conscious and aware, self-consciousness and physical weariness seems to disappear for awhile. The most amazing prescription... I just can't say enough about the secret pill I've found.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tepilit, the Maasai warrior angel

Well, this is kind of the tail end of the angels running around in my head for right now, although someone mentioned a Red Baron type that I may have draw soon.

Tepilit means "endless plains" and this warrior will cover the globe protecting you - he has no fear of anything as his whole eternal life has been about losing fear and chasing down the things that cause fear.

Actually Tepilit is the name of a famous Maasai Warrior who wrote a book about the life of a Maasai warrior. I had the privilege of meeting a Maasai warrior named Joseph when I went to Africa and they are amazing, cool-headed, wise men who live in the bush of Africa and protect their cattle against lions with only a knife and spear. I drew this guy for Cathy, the woman who took me to Africa to meet Joseph. It was a life-altering experience.

Sweet farmer picked up the camera and took a picture of me drawing. He's getting discouraged with me drawing all these little sketches. He wants me to take days and draw big watercolors, and take my time. Silly man. Doesn't he know I need a quick art fix right now because I have some big tasks ahead of me (taxes, a booth at a show, cleaning closets, filling orders, etc.)? No, he doesn't know - because who sits down in the middle of all that and draws angels? It's one of my favorite avoidance behaviors!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Varano, The Monitor

Now this is some weird-wild stuff! (does anybody remember Johnny Carson saying that?).

Well, he kind of cracks me up, really, because he's so odd. But as I tell my son, "We make weird work for us".

His name is Varano, which is Italian for lizard or monitor. He's chameleon-ish and he slips in and out protecting those in his care, with calmness, wisdom and shrewdness. He's another in my series of Guardian Angels for the Hard to Guard. (you can view more of them in previous posts)

He was this strange image in my head after thinking about Steve's comment that "when he sees his guardian he's much more aloof". Also, I've been enjoying my book of art by Gustav Klimt and his fantastic, magical, symbolic images. It's teaching me to trust my instincts and enjoy my imagination and quirkiness. Some will like my art, some won't- but nobody else can draw or paint what's in my head. Anyway, I got up early, early this morning while the house was still dark and cool and lit a jillion candles for warmth and inspiration, and just sketched from the wild, playful place in my head, and just cracked myself up all morning after I finished him.

Your comments are really inspiring me - keep them coming - no telling what strange apparition will show himself (herself) next.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This guardian angel for the hard-to-guard is for Kimmie at Art in Red Wagons, one of my favorite blogs that I go to for inspiration. She commented that she thought her guardian angel looked like a big Bull Mastiff so, of course, that left me with a vision that had to come to life in my journal. He's not extremely ferocious, but he does look very watchful and protective.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Oh MY! I just had a major head rush.

I could feel it coming on several weeks ago.

It all started around Christmas when my niece, Hollie, mentioned an artist of whom she had been inspired while in art school named Gustav Klimt. I didn't recognize his name right off although I would have recognized his art, especially "The Kiss" which is one of his most famous paintings.

(click the image to see the cool manipulated techniques)
Anyway, I go home and look him up - my heart starts beating a little faster when I recognized the artist and that he has always had a way into my head that I can't explain - and apparently my niece had felt the same. What is it about certain art and artist that connects a person cerebrally?

I ordered a used book so I can wallow in this particular art. (Okay, my non-artist friends - there are people out there that are totally getting this? Surely it relates to any other total crush you've had on something!) SO THEN, I devour the book, mostly the art first, like a starving man, knowing that later there will be hours of exploration.
AND THEN, THEN... I take my own art to Flickr and start manipulating it to look like a Klimt of sorts. Now this is not Klimt -ish - he would have left the facial features in tact but used symbolism to get the rest of the painting. But I can see it and a new paradigm shift occurs for me, and that's all that matters.

I know it's a small thing in the game of life - but to have a real delicious morsel that you give yourself that awakens that sleeping giant heart within you, a mysterious new pathway that leaves you holding your breath as you rush forward, a breakthrough while on the edge of your chair, that lets you play like a child in your own little playhouse, that sets you free from every other care ..... just for minutes.... isn't a great life, in part, measured by those creative moments??? I hope you found one of those moments for yourself today!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sumo to the rescue

I'm drawing guardian angels again. Like I've said before, others have drawn sweet, white guardian angels and that is not my view of how these awesome body guards work. I believe that they are powerful, intimidating, ferociously protective creatures. Maybe your guardian angel looks more like a sumo wrestler than a fairy. I call them angels for the hard-to-guard.
We have had 3 friends die outside the circle of our immediate family. So I'm feeling the need to conjure up protection and this guy has been in my head for awhile. It was time he made it to my journal. I feel safer already.
If your feeling the need for ground troops and you are the hard-to-guard type - tell the good Lord to send you one of his tough guys - not those wimpy, white, floaty things for sweet people.

Friday, January 2, 2009

No Scum Allowed Saloon

Yep, that's where we spent New Year's thanks to the recommendation of some good friends.

No Scum Allowed Saloon is located in White Oaks, New Mexico and it has quite a history. The little town was built around the prospect of gold and there were several producing gold mines in the area. Now it is just a ghost town of sorts with some colorful characters that have remained to pass on the old stories.

Of course, they have the resident "Billy The Kid" art at the saloon with stories of how he sat right at that same old wooden bar and had drinks and caused trouble.

We camped out behind the saloon with our friends in a make-shift RV park and ate too much and drank Bloody Mary's ( or at least some imbibed) and I took pictures until people got mad and then I kept taking pictures.

If you want to have an adventure and meet the nicest people who ever ran a bar, with super-friendly patrons, and colorful characters (like an 80 year-old has-been stripper whose got a story to tell ya especially if you're a good-lookin male), and hear a lot of New Mexico history, then head for White Oaks. If you stay in Carrizozo (9 miles away), they will shuttle you out to the bar and back.

Sometimes out in the middle of no where can be the hottest location!