Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Visioning with paper, glue and paint.

I'm taking two online mixed media classes at the moment, in addition to a twice monthly icon painting workshop, and trying to find some time to read.

For the first project in the class offered by Kathryn Antyr of True North Arts we were supposed to make a "vision card" that depicts a place that to us represents relaxation and serenity. For some reason what came to me was an image of myself in nature, at one with it, not separate from it. Sort of an ambitious vision, but it is what it is. I reduced the image, printed it as a 4x6 card, and propped it up on its little stand. There should probably be a colon after the word creation, but I wanted a comma. Call it poetic license. Guess it could be called a lot of things.

Anyway, the photo was taken of me in 1974, approximately, in a tropical forest in Hawai'i, probably on the island of Molokai, and I'm wearing a very large leaf. Ah, the good old days.

The other online class is with Suzi Blu and it is called "The Goddess and the Poet". Here is a sample of my latest drawing for that class.

I think I'm in love with her and I think there is a touch of Hawai'i in her too. Something is in the air between me and Hawai'i at the moment. The islands where I lived from 1969 to 1974 are leaving me little messages all over the place, but I am resisting. I HATE to fly. Even with drugs and alcohol.

The icon writing (that's what it's called) workshop is taught by Betsy Porter at St. Gregory of Nyssa's Episcopal Church in San Francisco. There we try our hand at painting Byzantine-style icons under the gaze of the colorful "dancing saints" who grace the walls of the church.

Here is the icon I have been working on for over a year and a half. That's not as crazy as it sounds because, yes, there are a gazillion steps, but class is only 2 to 3 times a month, and I skipped several months! I have about 3 or 4 more steps to go.

The Archangel Gabriel

Is it any wonder I can't find time to start reading "The Gift of the Jews" by Thomas Cahill?

Monday, July 27, 2009

White Man

I just found this song through a friend's Facebook page (I finally capitulated and joined), and I love the song and the message. So I'm posting it here. I think it's a great way to start the week and I hope it sticks in my head for a while. Hope you feel the love this week.
Go watch it on YouTube, because I can't get these videos, nor the text, to fit right. There are different videos that go with the song as well.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


On a whim this evening, as I was on my way home from work, I decided to jump into a movie theater where Seraphine was showing, after checking the description on the door to make sure it wasn't tragic, or frightening, or violent. I'm a wimp. If it isn't funny or uplifting, I won't go.

Well, it was not really uplifting and it was tragic, but I'm glad I went anyway. If I had realized that it was actually quite sad, I would have missed out on a movie I truly enjoyed. All artists should see it.

For one thing, you'll never look at your art supplies in the same way again.

P.S. I guess you'll have to go to YouTube to view it properly because this time the video is cut off. Last time the video was fine, but the text was cut off.. oh well.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Second leg of the journey

Before the matter becomes too stale in my mind, and because I said I would, not that I think anyone is holding his or her breath waiting for me to do so, here are some photos and a video of my return trip from Seattle.

The photo above is of the Seattle train station, which has been in the midst of a restoration for what seems like forever. All of that beautiful architectural detail was covered up by acoustical panels and florescent lights. They removed half of it, but I think the work has stalled for some reason.

The photo below is of the seating in the Seattle train station. Wouldn't you love to have one of these? I would.

The Portland train station

I'm sorry to say I don't know where this is except that it is a body of water somewhere below Portland and before the California border. Pretty vague, huh?

A wee video of a lake that went on forever. Maybe Diamond Lake, but more likely upper Klamath Lake, which is 8 miles wide and 40 miles long. I think you can hear a voice saying the name of the lake, but I can't quite make it out.

Going through the Cascades

Back in California
Done. No more talk of the train for a while.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole

I found a link to this video on Jane DesRosier's blog and clicked on it just to see what it was. Well, I was surprised to hear my favorite rendition of this song being played and happy to finally know who the artist was whose voice had intrigued me every time I heard it. I did not know anything about him, not even that he had died back in 1997. The end of the video brought tears to my eyes.
Go here to read more about him and how Hawai'i honored him at his death.
Sorry the print is so messed up here, but don't know why it is...

Sweet Inspiration

That is the name of the rose pictured above, which I photographed this morning in the Rose Garden of Golden Gate Park, during my weekly walk there with my dog, Eden.

I'm posting it as a wish for all of us this coming week, that we may receive some "sweet inspiration" in one form or another.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Stranger in a Strange Land

I have often used the expression "a stranger in a strange land" thinking that it was simply the title of Robert A. Heinlein's 1961 best-selling novel. Now I discover it is a quote from Exodus 2:22.

I read Alisa Burke's most recent posts today and they reminded me of how more and more I have had the uneasy sensation of not belonging where I am. That I am "supposed" to be somewhere else. But where?

I have lived in San Francisco for 30 years, an amazing fact given that in the 30 years prior to moving here I lived in 22 different homes in 17 different cities. The odd thing is that although this is an undeniably beautiful place on Earth, and although I have now been here for half my life, I have never felt a sentimental attachment either to the city or to the Bay Area. I don't think it comes from moving so many times in the first part of my life, because that would not explain the fact that I have longings for other perhaps less beautiful places where I have lived for much shorter periods.

So I often have these moments where I feel out of place, like I should be somewhere else, but the problem is I'm not sure where that is.

Do you ever feel like that, or are you "home"?

It is now a little over an hour since I published this post and in visiting my regular blog "reads" I have found two posts about places where people love or don't love living, here and here. Weird. As in "mysteriously strange or fantastic".