Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tis the Season...

This is my Christmas card this year and below are some of my holiday decor and tree ornaments, mostly hand made. What a busy time of the year for all of us. I rush around, trying to do too much. I have to make myself stop, look around, take a few breaths, and quietly savor the beauty around me.

Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.

Then a stretcher will come from grace
to gather us up.

We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we're lying.

If we say No, we don't see it,

That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.

So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Beside ourselves, and only that, so

Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,

We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.

When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.
--- Zero Circle by RUMI

Happy holidays, prosperous new year and as always... peace please.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Blanket of Peace

Since my last post I have been to Hawaii to visit my family. When I returned, winter had come to my zen gardens. We actually had a white Thanksgiving. Yes, snow and ice is beautiful to look at, and very cold and icy if you have to go out and especially drive on snowy, icy roads. But when it is snowing, there does seem to be a quiet silence all around, like the snow is muffling the sounds and a purity is covering everything.

The following art works are by artists who work mostly in wood cut and print making. You can find more of their works at the Ren Brown Collection here. You can also find more of these artists and their works at The Tolman Collection, Tokyo here.

Rei Morimura, relief print/woodblock

Solitude is a way of waiting for the inaudible and the invisible to make itself felt.
-- Peggy Pond Church

Kawase Hasui, woodblock

Werner Bischof, photograph

I await the birth hour of a new clarity.
--- Rilke

Joshua Rome, woodcut

"And remember that the light is within
if it is anywhere
and you must paint from the inside
Start with purity
and pure white"
--Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Saito Kiyoshi, woodblock

Miyamoto Shufu, wood block

"The pure white of gesso
the pure white of cadmium white
the pure white of flake white
the pure virgin canvas
the pure life we all begin with..."
---Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Joel Stewart, aqua tint

Lucy Arai, mixed media/collage/sumi ink

Come away from the din.
Come away to the quiet fields
Over which the great sky stretches
and where, between us and the stars
there, in the stillness
let us listen to the voice
that is spreading within us.
--- Jerome K. Jerome

Peace for everyone everywhere.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bound by Nature

Autumn has come to my zen gardens.

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
--- Henry Miller

Each of us literally chooses,
by his way of attending to things,
what sort of universe
he shall appear to himself to inhabit.
William James

I found this egret standing in the quiet, still water on the beach below my studio.

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child-- our own two eyes. All is a miracle. --- Thich Nhat Hahn

James Blackwell, from Australia, uses mixed media (natural materials) to create nature-based pods and vessels like the one above. Bushwalking in the Blue Mountains has become part of this artist's lifestyle. "I like to think of the valley floor as my art supply store!" You find more of his pods, vessels and baskets at his website here. He also has a wonderful blog here.

A broken bird's egg inspired these fragile paper bowls. Ann Symes lives by "woodland" which inspires her art works. "It wraps itself around me inviting close observation of textures, patterns, shapes, shadows... the opening and closing sequences of the seasons, decay and renewal."

Ann uses rusted papers to create collages for her Autumn series. You can find more of her wonderful art works at her website here.

full moon at dusk (view from my window)

When you start on a long journey, trees are trees, water is water, and mountains are mountains. After you have gone some distance, trees are no longer trees, water is no longer water, mountains are no longer mountains. But after you have traveled a great distance, trees are once again trees, water is once again water, mountains are once again mountains. ---
Zen Teaching

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gathering Histories

Lynne Perrella has been very generous and sent me this wonderful packet of old papers, forms, documents and music sheets, seen below. It is obvious these papers are filled with past personal histories and journeys.

Lynne Perrella is an author of books, including ART MAKING: Collections and Obsessions. Her collages and assemblages, like the one below, illustrates her ability to gather old histories and re-create them in a new and exciting way. Find more of her collages and assemblages at her website here.

Barry Smith, from Australia, is a sculptural artist and metal worker. He sent me this wonderful bowl below, which he created from 'beaten' metal. Thank you so much.

Barry recycles materials like rusty metal and weathered wood. Below is a teapot he made with a brass cylinder, echidna quills and a copper pipe. You can find more of his metal works at his blog RustnStuff here.

Maureen Brouillette lives in Texas and is a friend of mine. She uses travel photos, post cards, old maps in her collage paintings. You can often see nostalgic imagery of old buildings that depict old histories that we still see around us today.

You can find much more of Maureen's mixed media/collage paintings at her wonderful website here.

Glenn Skien, from Australia, is a printmaker, book binder, collage and assemblage artist. He collects and reuses old objects, old papers and books with the idea that he is discovering old histories. He then creates new meanings with "an awareness of a connection to the transient nature of all things." -- Glenn Skien

You can find more of Glenn's intriguing and intelligent works at his website and blog, Silent Parrot Press, here and here. He layers his imagery with old papers and objects, evoking real life and personal histories past and present.

Pour yourself like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge
that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start,
and with ending, begins.
-- Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In the Moment

To wake up to.....
To wake up to

Who we are
What we are here for.

To make life
More poetical, more sane

more livin, lovin.
To experience the true of all things

In the moment....

In the moment.....

In the moment.....
by William Segal, painter and spiritual teacher

While drinking a cup of tea, will we be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands? If so, we will be tucked away into the future--or the past-- and not living one minute of life.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Altered Imagery

I recently completed an online workshop on altered digital imagery. The workshop class I took was from Susan Tuttle. I learned how to use the tools, layers and filters in Photo Shop Elements.
The above image is one of my early (beginning) images. I know I have a long way to go now, and it will take much more experimenting, playing and trying all these new tools over and over again.
I highly recommend Susan's online workshops because I am a complete computer novice and I learned a great deal in her 4 week course.

Susan Tuttle offers a number of online workshops dealing with altered digital imagery. Her workshops include tutorial videos, print outs with step by step instructions, images to download for projects, and feedback to questions if needed. You can find more information about her upcoming workshops this fall here and she will be adding a brand new class to her list of workshops she offers.

You can find more of Susan's digital imagery at her website here and at her blog here.

Dorothy Simpson Krause is a painter, collage artist, book and print maker. She incorporates digital mixed media into her art. She is the author of many books, including the above book BOOK+ART: Handcrafting Artists' Books. She is also the co-author of DIGITAL ART STUDIO: Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing with Traditional Art Materials. You can find more of her digital imagery (like the 2 below images) as well as links and information on how to purchase her books at her website here.

Smith Eliot had an unorthodox upbringing, raised by hippie parents in an old school bus, living a gypsy life as a young child. She received her MFA and currently teaches art at her local college. I first saw her digital imagery at a large art fair several years ago. Her imagery is haunting, mystical, and very memorable. You can find more of her beautiful imagery at her website here. Be sure to read some of her artist statements. Below is a sampling.

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief
Turning down through its black water
to the place we cannot breath
Will never know the source from
which we drink--
The secret water cold and clear.
----- David Whyte