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Here we go.... I decided to use this 30 in 30 challenge to dig deeper into what is happening for me right now in art, fiber collage. So,... I am building a larger work. Because I use a humble little sewing machine (a workhorse that contains not a single micro-chip) it is very difficult to sew a larger collage, therefore, I am trying my hand at building the larger work sectionally. Today I began with the face. Mind you, I "paint" a lot with threads on the machine, so this will look very rough but piecing it is pretty significant, especially when it's a human face. Details will of course emerge with the sewing. I will decide tomorrow if I will go ahead and stitch (I need to buy needles) or if my 2 of 30 will be to build another section... we'll see...BTW, this showing you my pieces early in their development, this is scary. Not terrifying, but also not easy. I'm pretty private in my art-making. It's a quiet process between me and the universe. Sometimes a piece can look nearly finished and it has to be taken apart and started all over again because it doesn't quite feel right. These collages are adventures packed with perils and challenges and joys and mysteries and revelations all along the way. So tonight I invite you in... to see a bit, just a glimpse of beginning the journey.

"Face" section pieced for larger work "Copper Dancing Woman"
14 x14 inches

fabric, wool, yarn and toule

So,... Starting a 30 in 30 challenge on Monday.... I'm also taking a class in glazing techniques with acrylics. Painting via glazing is, IMO, a very slow process for painting. And it's new for me. Interpret that as, it hurts, it's painful AND it's   very     good     for     me     to learn. It will be an interesting 30 days. 


I am however pretty seriously considering "painting" with threads for the 30 in 30 challenge. My fiber collages have incorporated increasing details created using different colored threads in the sewing process. I have some ideas I want to play with, so, these will likely be something I play with in the next month.

Just accepted another 30 in 30 painting challenge....should be a wild ride! According to the "rules" I can do fiber collage too, so that may show up as well, though I can't imagine finishing one in a day... but one never knows what a challenge like this will bring. That's the scary fun part! Stay tuned!

On the Left is an acrylic painting I did a few years back titled "The Three Graces." To the Right are prayer flags: the set hanging together is "The Serenity Prayer: Serenity, Courage, Wisdom"; under it is "Death & Life (which sold!), "The Broke-open Heart;" and "Contentment" These were what people saw when they stepped inside at the Oceanside Art Show this weekend! I got some good feedback and many folks took business cards too! Met some wonderful artists and patrons of the arts!

Some other acrylics of mine in the show. These were taken with before I put up the black and white labels. 

Much to feel grateful about tonight :)

Tomorrow and Sunday I am showing some of my prayer flags and paintings at the Oceanside Art Show in Oceanside Oregon! This is SO lovely a place to start my adventure showing the prayer flags. A humble little town nestled between hillside and ocean, with nary an arcade in sight, only three small restaurants to qualify as commerce and the sweetest little cabins to rent just up from the beach for a sweet price as well, Oceanside has since I arrived in Oregon 28 years ago been my favorite happy place.


So, patience...


For the past three weeks I've been dredging the deep waters of PTS (post traumatic stress) and have suffered to the point of fearing for my ultimate stability at times. Yet throughout I have continued to work on creating prayer flags. I finished Faith. Am now ready to stitch Hope. And I am eager to get at Charity (which also might be Love). The creating has not all gone smoothly of course. It never does. But it always goes well. That is to say, I always grow well by creating the flags. 


I don't listen to books on tape and extremely rarely even listen to music of any kind. Piecing the Flags is an act of prayer and an act of meditation. An act of listening. I listen to the piece, to the materials, to my instincts, to the universe, the day, the moment, my stomach, my heart. So anything else is distration. 


And sometimes a flag seems nearly finished when some little corner of it whispers or screams that something different needs to happen. And, I listen. And I take everything apart and play with what seems to need attention. Sometimes I build layer upon layer of fiber and fabric, over and over again. Maybe I let it rest a bit and come back. But always, always, that whisper or scream was right. And dozens, sometimes hundreds of fibers and pieces of fabric are moved time and time again as if placed like footfalls in a dance, until it flows, until the dance is harmonious... until the image down to the last piece fits the music of the intention.


Sometimes I use tweezers... that is the patience this process requires. Yet it isn't a battle. I think this is why, more than any other reason, I believe these prayer flags are my current destiny. Patience has always been a bit of a battle for me. I am learning to let go. To listen. To dance to the music of the universe.


Very much a neophite, I humbly dance!

I’m taking a painting class. That’s hard to admit. I’ve been painting for decades. But I’ve hit a wall. It’s not a new wall. It’s a wall that’s been around a long time. Usually I skirt it. Or ignore it and hope it goes away. Or I try to paint my way around it. But, lately I’ve been doing a lot of meditating and have come upon some life-changing realizations about who I am NOW , which of course shed clarifying light upon past misconceptions about the “who I am”s of past “NOW”s. So it is that I found myself at the wall. First, I hit it….I figuratively pounded on it for a while and then had a good cry over it’s impenetrability. Over it’s existence, and it’s insistence. Then I decided to just be with it for a while. And that’s when I signed up for the painting class.


It’s a fabulous class, taught by a wonderful woman who knows painting, knows color, knows process. And her methods are completely different than those I’ve used for years. The wall got bigger on the first day of class. But I stayed with it. And today was the second class. And I stayed at the wall. And I painted.


So, the wall isn’t so scary anymore, learning to paint using a new process, feeling like a kindergartener, THAT is scary. But it’s EGO scary. That’s all. I can handle that. The wall, it turns out was Fear that I don’t know what I’m doing. Taking the class, I admit that on some level, I don’t. Admitting what the Fear is generally makes it shrink. Also, really, are any of us ever done? Do I really want to say, “I’m an artist and I’ve learned all I need to learn, now I’m just going to paint (or collage) along on my merry way.” How dull I would become. How dull I became there at that wall. Pretending it didn’t exist. Pretending knowing everything was everything.


I have MUCH to learn… and how like LIFE it feels, climbing over that wall; and leaving it in the past. 


Next post:  a little something about starting over that I learned from making fiber collages...

I really did finish this latest prayer flag by May 1st. What I DIDN't do was post the photos. I am still a bit slow to post sometimes. Doing a lot of work around that.... that visibility thing. I'm getting there. But for now I am here. In process. Also, I am working on creating a better process for getting photos of my works as I make them, since it's not practical to go to a professional with each individual piece.


So, here is the "Faith" flag from the series "The Three Graces."


Faith: first in series "The Three Graces"

20 x 20 inches

Fiber collage with freestyle machine stitching


Detail of "Faith"


Presently I am working on "Hope" for the same series. I realize I need to blog more about my process in making these. It really has been a powerful experience and continues to teach me, heal me and enrich my life. Tomorrow, I will explain more...


Last night I attended a gathering of about 25 woment in a home for some time with Rashani Rea. I suggest you "Google" her. She's lived an amazing life. She is the most present person I've ever encountered. It was an amazing evening.


We took over 3 hours to introduce ourselves. Here's why: each person had selected a card with one of Rashani's collage images and a quote on it. As each introduced herself, then would read the card aloud and tell how the quote related to her life. We each in our own ways were guided deep within to touch the essence of what the quote touched. It was remarkable and powerful and beautiful.


My card was one of the simpler ones. "It is in loving that we become gentle." Love has been a theme for the past year and a half just as surely as has Fear. At this time in my life, I feel as if looking at Fear closely has and continues to peel away at illusions about myself (last week I experienced a breakthrough that answered life trauma dating back to my toddler days) and about life. If I am really present, truly here, now, me,... I'd say love is all I am have feel know. 


I am exploring Trust these days...