Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Year-end thoughts

I love Christmas. It brings so much of that sense of wonder that I treasure, crave, and stockpile as healing for the inevitable rough patches. But this Christmas has been a rough one, mainly because of that dreaded social nicety called entertaining. Being a good hostess is fairly impossible for me, as entertaining requires much of that grace and ease of conversation that I so openly lack. I am awkward, confusing, temperamental, stubborn, and a great lover of solitude... all the things that I am told I shouldn't be. 

Twenty five continues to be a bittersweet and odd year... I seem to be teetering between states, pulling hard against the pressure to clothe myself in grownupness. With each year that passes, I begin to suspect with increasing conviction that holding on to childlikeness is the best thing one can do for one's soul.

Friends and relatives, God bless them, are far too close. There is little room for individuality and honesty where such relationships are concerned. That odd patina of familiarity prevents us from seeing each other's underlying selves. And it's incredibly sad. Being able to see my mother as a remarkable, resilient girl-woman underneath the layers of motherness and wifeness has been one of the greatest revelations of my life thus far. It has inspired many of my poems, and quite honestly, I am still getting over the shock of the nearness of it all. In many ways, we're all just grown-up children, fumbling about in our private worlds, convincing ourselves that we know some things to be true. 

How strange and startling it is that we aren't able to see each other beyond the titles we've been given. I want to reshape these titles in my mind. I've started to do it through my poetry and art, I think. These two lovely ladies came into being the past week, and I think a lot of my thoughtshapes ended up in there somehow. 

I am realizing that my girls, with their gazes, defiant, thoughtful, absorbed and intense, are all me. They are me, and all the women I've ever known. Each one utterly herself, each one beautiful. 

Happy end of 2011 to all of you. Wishing you only beautiful, true things in the New Year. 


Monday, December 26, 2011

Jolie Art:)

My siblings are some of the most creative people I've ever met. These pieces are by my fourteen year old sister Jolie. She does things that I've really  never seen anyone else do. These are made up of text, clippings, and all sorts of her interesting, Jolie-eque patterning. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

...and other endangered species

Here is the most recent addition to the Bird Lady images. It's the largest and most detailed, I think, to date. The bird is a Hyacinth macaw, and is the world's largest flying parrot. It's also endangered, due to habitat loss and capture for the pet trade. I am thinking here, through this image, of the ways such things come to bear upon the person. There are many things at play in here, but as always, it only matters to me how it echoes in someone else.  I am trying to say things without saying them, really.

People keep asking me what's up with all these bird thingies, but I suppose I'm getting it out of my system in the most productive way possible! I love this small collection, it's deeply personal, and very special. I'm fairly sure there will be more Bird Ladies in the new year, among mountains of other things. Give thanks for the good as the year draws to a close:)

Season's Greetings,

Monday, December 19, 2011

to be a small fish in a big pond...

As the year draws to a close, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the tremendous changes that have taken place, and just a bit proud of myself, that I found the courage somehow to make that huge leap back into doing what I love. 

It's scary, not knowing what's next. But I remind myself that we never do, even when we are in the most stable of positions. No one really does know what's next. And I've been surprised, so many times,by the unexpected and lovely opportunities that have come my way this year. 

I'm a stubborn believer in fate. 

This mermaid in the fishbowl is actually an unplanned drawing I did at my desk in work last year. I can't remember where the idea came from, or what made me decide to run out at lunch break to find a sketch pad and cheap colour pencils. 

But it's funny, because looking at this drawing, I realize that it's a pretty good representation of how I felt, last year. Like a very strange fish in a very small bowl. No room to breathe or move, no sense of who or what I was. 

How different it all is now. 
I am a tiny fish, and the pond is so wide, but God is good to me. 

Give thanks,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blackbird Sorrow, Blackbird Joy

Hey there,

These are two new pieces I've done... Blackbird Sorrow and Blackbird Joy. I love them both equally :) Blackbirds are incredibly interesting. A couple of weeks ago, one kept coming into the house and puzzling over the mirror, oscillating between singing and dancing for his/ her reflection and then violently lunging at it. I suppose that's where the idea first came from to do these two pieces. In my mind,  blackbird sorrow and joy are distinct, almost tangible emotions. The words conjure up something made out of memories, childhood rhymes, and then something far more glimmering and immaterial. I know I've felt both. Here they are:)

Blackbird Sorrow, Watercolour and Pen&Ink

Blackbird Joy, Watercolour and Pen& Ink


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bird Lady:)


I am so totally a bird lady at heart. And it has nothing to do with keeping birds, really. The older I get, the more I feel as though my heart is winged and birdlike, if that makes any sense to you. I've started my Bird Lady collection of small paintings, and oh how I love it. This is perhaps one of the most engaging and lovely experiences I've had while making something. This is a little bit of one of the first images. I've also included "Blu" in this post, after a bit of indecisive fidgeting. *Eep!* I'm both terribly eager and terribly afraid to post what I've completed so far! Anyway, I hope you love. There will be more, I promise!

Bananaquit Love, Watercolour, Pen and Ink

Blu, Watercolour, pen and ink

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

shine hard

A quick drawing I did over the weekend. I love the girl's expression, though it's utterly unplanned <3 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Girl with the flowers

Sharing a new piece I did earlier this week. I haven't had the time draw in awhile. Commissions and projects are lovely, but every now and then you need to time to feel out the shapes and textures in your own heart. This one I enjoyed doing so much... and I am excited to share. Hope you like <3


Thursday, December 1, 2011

When the Fire Comes

excerpt from When the Fire Comes

Now my smile will not be washed pretty.
There is ash in my throat
from the last lie I lit.

Who shall I be now?
I’ve run out of clean faces to wear,
this skin hurts when I dream.
All my wings won’t fit in this room,
bones must be broken,
cries must be bundled in sheets,
a match will be struck in my sleep.

When the fire comes, who knows what will burn?