Meditation Altar

This week I set up a very simple altar in a corner of my studio/bedroom next to the windows overlooking the ocean where I meditate daily in the early evening before preparing dinner.  This room has a lot of charge since it is my personal space where I create, meditate, dream and love.  Some folks think it’s important to separate out these areas of our lives, but it works very well for me since all aspects are so holistically linked together.

My impulse to create this space as an aid to my  spiritual practice came out of a desire to get to the bottom of  a personal issue I’ve been grappling with-  where does my desire for recognition as an artist come from?

I understand my urge to create stems from a need to connect with my own Divinity, but what about the other piece of being an artist which has to do with achieving success?  I have been plagued by a relentless drive for recognition that never seems to be fulfilled and that I’ve sensed is coming from a place of  deeper need.  A hunger that no amount of outer success can fulfill.

So, I put together this simple but sacred area which includes a painting of the white tara I had done a few years ago for a buddha show,  some art from a young man i met in India named Hanuman, my small painting of a stargazer lily,  my own fabric design of red roses (for love), a red and white candle representing the root and crown chakras, and an  incense holder from Casey’s collection of Asian antiques.

So, drawing on these different energies, I’ve spent the week in mediation, contemplation, and the  dream world listening to the answers to my questions and I have received clear answers. I have learned that the craving for recognition has really been a desire for love coming out of deep unmet childhood needs.  My deities and symbols here have helped me realize the universal love all around and have helped me nourish myself by consciously opening to receive it.

The Tara deity is a tibetan form of the female buddha and she comes in several colors as different manifestations.  The white tara here in my painting is the goddess of compassion- she sends out pure healing in the sweetest sense.  when i took a yoga class in Eugene about 10 years ago we learned a chant that is repeated 21 times and is a play on Tara’s name and is believed to bring about enlightenment.  I’ve always loved it and even considered changing my name to one of the words- Tutare, at a certain point.

the chant goes- Om, Tare Tutare So Ha.  Repeat 21 times

Here is a drawing of a woman that Hanuman did before my eyes in one single stroke of his brush.  so beautiful and full of the Divine- so Indian.  The deeply felt bliss of the universal Love so tangibly felt in that land.  And the elephant, symbol of strength and abundance, a personal totem.  These images too have contributed to filling up my well.

My own stargazer Lily reminding me to feel the peace in my heart that really emanates from the vessel of my feminine source

Lighting the candles and incense brings the essence of the energies into my system through my senses.

And here is the centerpiece of my altar as well as the central figure in helping me get to the other side of my complex-  The Green Tara.  She is green in color because she is an earth/nature/plant goddess- perfect for me.  She also takes a more active role than the white tara.  Notice how her right leg is stepping out of the lotus-  she is preparing to stand up, go out into the world and actively spread her loving, compassionate help.

The message I got from my search is that my painting and spreading my art into the  world is about bringing love, cheer, goodness and an affirmation of the beauty of nature to the people who come into contact with it.  I remember as a 20 year old young woman, beginning my art career with a desire to make the world a better place.  That’s always been present in my quest but the need for recognition came from a deeper need which I believe has been filled by consciously tuning in to a Higher Power and allowing myself to be filled by unconditional Love that is present in the universe.  From this place of overflowing, my purpose has become clear- to help fill others rather than wanting to be filled by them.  This is a very profound turning point for me and has given me a deep sense of peace and relaxation about my career- it’s taken an edge off that’s been eating away at my sense of well being.

Painting and Emotional Equanimity

There is a fine line between transcending emotions through the process of art making into a positive outcome of a beautiful painting and allowing upsetting emotions to strain you to the point that it can hamper the flow of the creative process.  this happened to me this week during my recent painting.  I spent an entire morning on a drawing for the basis of a painting while stewing in my emotional turmoil after my buttons had been pushed by my mother ( I know I’m not alone in this dynamic).  the result was an awkward, stiff, stifled design that just wasn’t worthy of completing though I’d spent a good couple of hours on it.  I gathered courage to speak my truth to her, still a really difficult thing for one who grew up in a time and place where it wasn’t okay to express emotion.  over the years I’ve had to practice this and my greatest teacher has been my own daughter, Hillary, who has never had any qualms about completely expressing anything and everything to me, no matter how painful for me to hear.  I find it healthy and refreshing and a wonderful step up the evolutionary ladder.  So, drawing upon my daughter’s rainbow warrior energy I set my boundaries with my mother in as calm and respectful manner as possible,  confident in the grounding of my authentic being, knowing I would rile things up, but certain that the end result would be sense of inner peace and safety and a hope of opening my mother’s eyes to certain patterns of behavior.

The next day, after some emotional emailing with my Mom but staying firm in my center, with a knowing that it was the right thing to do, I turned the paper over and started again.  This time with my equanimity restored the process flowed effortlessly and joyously from my calm center.

It’s interesting that I happened to be painting these big, round, yellow sunflowers that I so strongly associate with the solar plexus chakra which is our personal power/will power center. On a cellular level I think the flowers themselves helped me through this process just by being present as my witness and friends, imparting their strength to me.

I added a pair of goldfinches with their nest of eggs- a symbol of nature’s infinite cycle of mothering, raising our young, all with an impulse of love and care that always underlies our process.  Sometime  I wish human relations could be so simple as our winged friends, but then we’d miss out on the emotional richness of our connections with our loved ones, no matter how sticky things can sometimes get, the underlying urge for love is worth it.  I feel this painting has a calm but strong clarity to it and took on a life of it’s own as my companion through a moment in my life.  I am definitely co-creating with spirit.  Peace Mom~

New Website/ New Painting

Wow, I’m blogging my first post on my new website created by Carlos at phiwebstudio.com. I told him what I wanted and he handcrafted it- I think he did a great job. it’s wordpress which i’m not used to so bear with me if things aren’t smooth here. like adding photos is really different and the side bar here scrunches the pics sometimes so i hope it comes out okay because i want to show you my new painting which i love- it’s huge: 40 x 60
The birds are Nightingales and inhabit an area of France that is a power center for me in astrocartography. Santa Barbara is also an awesome place on this earth for me to be as i have a major jupiter line going smack right through here, but apparently, this part of France where the nightingales sing is a real heart opening power center.
that’s where i am right now in my self- a place of opening my heart and letting the love shine down and through me. it’s a marvelous place to be.

Love is shining down on me

The only thing to do with this kind of exuberance and energetic joy is to paint my bright flowers-

I admit it – I’ve been in a funk the last couple of months.  the weather, the coming down from the high of India, the healthy move toward independence Casey and I needed in our relationship after that intense bonding during our trip,  the confusion over the change in my yoga practice that felt dry here,  plus health issues for both Casey and me.  It’s been a struggle but we made it through the dark, back in to the light, and Love is Shining down on Me now-

Today i started this painting which is huge- 40 x 60.  It will have peonies, tulips, godetia and a pair of nightingales.  I also enjoyed a long summer walk on the beach with the dogs who frolicked in the ocean-  they feel it too.  The change in to summer,  ahhhhhh.

Yesterday I wore one of my new dresses to the beach show.  You can see some of my patterns and even order some yardage at spoonflowerwhich is an on-line shop and they print all kinds of beautiful fabrics.

I  had 3 dresses made from the same pattern- each a little different.  This one has a double skirt and is made with the Helibore design.

I am so happy to have sundress weather and vibes in the air.  This feeling I have is of falling in love and it’s strong coming out of that flat period I just went through.  I feel like I’m on the edge of something big and exciting and it’s a magical feeling to know I am still peaking at this stage in the game. I don’t know what’s coming but it is something magnificent.  I think it is pure joy of creativity

Fun Stuff

I got 3 dresses made with fabric from my art and wore this one to the beach show yesterday.  more about this later.  Georgie loves me in roses, my lover boy~
This was my set up yesterday.  It’s different every week.
This was a painting I cut up into 4, added words, mounted on a cradled wooden panel and coated in thick, glossy resin.  A whole new look~
Lots of oohs and ahhs over these~
here are some close ups of my others, adding words-
This is what I wrote while sitting in my booth at the beach show yesterday-
I learned my bodily contentment from the nurturing energy surrounding me.  Nature fills me with loving goodness in every moment.  From this pleasurable serenity I radiate joy and emanate golden light which protects me from negative energy and magnetizes more joy to me.
my new mantra~

Apron, Pillows and Empty Walls

I had some pretty dresses and an apron made from ny own fabric designs by a sweet seamstress in Goleta named Eileen Ray and got them this week.  F U N  i took a few pics of the apron and will show The dresses as i wear them and get Casey to take pictures.  I love to cook and I really needed an apron-

It has a V neck, pockets and a cute ruffle on the bottom- very femie

It’s from my Poppies ans Sweet Peas collection- actually a painting I did about 15 years ago in Oregon where I grew those flowers in my garden.  I dreamed about that garden last night>

Georgie loves it of course

You know him.  He likes to be included in my blog as much as possible.  Hi Georgie~

Here are some pillows in the same fabric.  My lovely licensing agent Laurie sent me these this week.  I had sent her some fabric and she made them into pillow coverings for her booth at the Surtex trade show in NY last month and she was kind enough to gift them back to me.  What goes around comes around.- she is a true gem, always advising me when I’m at a loss in the business of art.

These pillows are from my Fertile Rising collection with daffodils and pansies, also done from that same garden in oregon during that fertile period in my life, raising my adored young children and angora rabbits-  BLISS

Love the look of all my designs mixed together- the tv covering is from my Heavenly Divine collection

You will see all my pattern collections on my upcoming new web site with info on ordering fabric, hopefully pretty soon-
In the meantime I was left with some bare walls this week-

Three of my large paintings found a new home at a lovely beachy place in Hope Ranch

They are happy here and bring the family much cheer~

I changed out the glass to non- glare so it’s not so reflective.  they also replaced the plant on the table with blocks that read  L O V E.  It looks so warm and good.

This is the daughters bedroom- notice the 3 figures on the dresser she placed to look at the birds-

So now it’s time to paint more big ones- Yay.  i got these peonies today at Trader Joes to start with and will shop for more flowers at our weekly trip to the farmers market in the morning.  I am hungry to paint again as I’ve spent all week on more mundane chores such as mounting, coating and framing pieces.

Like this one in the garage I poured resin on yesterday and is curing before I frame it. I have pieces of art in all stages of completion in various rooms in my house. I’m a little elf in the workshop doing what I love.  makes me so happy~

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