Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spirea and Suspended Thoughts

It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.  


J. Douglas 

Saturday, April 21, 2012


We live Life at many levels.  When we are at the lowest levels, we  can't see past the buildings and trees and gates and obstacles obstructing the view. It is easy to get turned around and even lost at ground level. Life appears to be ONLY what we see directly in front of us.  But when we change our position and climb a little higher, we see over the fence and beyond the obstacles.  We may even get a peek of what is around the corner. 

 If we could climb even higher heights, we see our surroundings  very differently.  We see for miles and get all of our bearing in perspective.  Instead of wandering narrow (minded) passage ways, we can see our goals and destinations very clearly. We  discover new destinations from that higher perspective. 

I have heard it often preached that when Isaiah said  ".... they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." he was speaking of renewed spiritual strength.  But I think he was speaking of perception and seeing Life clearly... from the highest heights...from an eagle's perspective. 

How much more quickly does an eagle reach a destination than an animal restricted to crawling or walking?  Not only does an eagle have the speed and winds to effortlessly carry him, he has the perspective and the destination in clear sight.

I often find myself on the ground, lost in the narrow streets, trying to find my direction when instead I only needed to climb to a higher place.... and find my place on eagle's wings.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterward return again. 

    Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 - 1882

Saturday, March 24, 2012


This week's challenge word is "swamped"    When I saw this week's word, I had to chuckle.  It pretty much sums up  my existence lately.  Swamped!

Swamped with four boys, and their baseball season and school musicals,  a house sale and relocation, art exhibits, batiks, birthday parties and receptions.. The list is overwhelming.  No wonder   I feel "swamped" and bogged down with the cares of life.

Because I feel that way, is that who I am?  Am I my  feelings?  Are we our thoughts?  It may seem that way but we  are not our thoughts and we are not our feelings.  We are not our successes or our failures.  We are not our bank account, our level of education or our skin color.....

Then who are we?

C.S. Lewis said.  "You don't have a Soul, you are Soul and you live in a body"

We are Soul - Spirit.

The problem is, thoughts take over and affect our emotions - soon our  emotions seem to be saying exactly what our mind wants it to tell us.  Face it, emotions are  deceiving .. and loud.  So loud that we can't hear any other voice except the voice of emotion...and soon we believe that is who we are.  "I am swamped.  I am a victim. I am ashamed. I am not loved.....".   None of that is who we are..but we are not  mind, We are not emotions.  We are Spirit..  We are Soul.

Soul is that part of us that God breathed into Adam.  Soul is God's very breath. I have heard it said that Soul is a Spark of God.  Soul is energy and inspiration.  Soul is what God loves.

I was finishing this batik on Friday when I checked the Illustration Friday word. If I wasn't working on this batik, I would have immediately associated swamped with my life right now.   Instead, I realized swamped has many meanings.  Swamp doesn't have to be a state of being. Swamp is simply a place we find ourselves  sometimes.  It isn't who we are....  Even in the middle of the swamp is beautiful fauna.  I  have to smile at the synchronicity and the life lesson I found.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Yielding Fruit

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth:  and it was so.  And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind:  And God saw that it was good.
   - Moses

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reaching Up (capable)

This lonely, capable vine is reaching up, finding it's way to a place above the expected norm.  Perhaps it is looking for the warmth of the sun.  Perhaps it is finding it's own independence. 

Notice the small white heart in the sky. That imperfection was a mistake.  For some reason, the fabric did not take the dye in that area.  There are no accidents and I love the additional message this batik seems to want to express.  Maybe that is what the vine is looking for - the heart.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Welcome Mats at Windows

I am involved with a weekly artists illustration challenge at  Each week a different word is presented and a challenge to illustrate that word. The work is then presented on the forum.  The biggest obstacle  for me is my medium.  Since each dye bath takes 24 hours to fix and most batiks take 7-8 dye baths, they can't be completed in a week. 

I try to accept the challenge anyway.  Each of these words causes me to think outside my box and stretch my own creative ideas.  For that purpose it is very good.

This weeks challenge word was popularity.  What an interesting word and how on earth would you illustrate it?   It can denote positive or negative connotations, depending on your experiences.   What makes one popular?  What makes anything popular?  The media and pop culture dictates what is popular on a very shallow and superficial level.

I looked over my gallery of batik work and nothing seemed to fit the theme.  Maybe it is my perception of the word that needs adjusting.  After all, isn't art a powerful tool in changing perceptions? 

The piece I chose is "Welcome Mats at Windows"  The title is as much the message as the actual art.  It is a state of being.  Not only should we open the door to experiences, understanding, love, awareness, friendship, connections, etc, we should throw open every window and invite every experience God and Life have to teach us.  Instead of focusing on "what is popular?  Who is popular?  Am I popular?" and trying to fit our thoughts, ideas, ideology into that criteria,  welcome Life and all the experiences, joy and learning it has to offer. Wouldn't that be nice if that were the popular thing to do?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Juried Exhibit!

When people learn I work in batiks, they expect to see a peace sign relief on a  tie-dye t-shirt. They are often surprised when they see the fine art batiks.  Batiks are more often perceived as an arts and crafs rather than a fine art or technique for illustration.
I am hoping to change that perception and bring a new appreciation to this medium.
 I received this in the mail today.  "Thank you for entering the 2012 NAC Juried Visual Arts Exhibit. The judge of this year's exhibition is John A Day, Professor Emeritus of the University of South Dakota reviewed all the submitted artwork and after careful consideration has selected 24 pieces for this exhibit. Congratulations! Your pieces, 'Prairie Wheat' and 'Welcome Mats at Windows' has been selected to be included in the exhibition." 
 Welcome Mats at Windows and Prairie Wheat

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ho'oponopono - Moving Forward

Ho'oponopono - Moving Forward

Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Essentially, it means to make it right with the ancestors, or to make right with the people with whom you have relationships, or to make right within one's self.  This practice is affective in removing  the blocks... the fog... the memories and conditioning that prevents one from moving forward. Moving forward in awareness,  love, peace, acceptance, trust, creativity, inspiration, freedom... the list is endless.

The four aspects of Ho'oponopono are; I Love You, Thank You, Forgive Me, I Am Sorry. Each of these  batiks represents one of these aspect.  It doesn't matter which order.  As one moves through these realizations and removes the hindrances, the veil is lifted resulting in  gratitude,  vibrancy and clarity.

These Batiks were inspired by the book "Zero Limits"  by  Dr. Joe Vitale and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Water, soil, seed condensed to living wheat, rooted and grounded in the earth.