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Wild Heart Painting Workshop – Gifts of Change

Monday, December 10th, 2012
Intuitive painting fir cone

Intuitive painting fir cone

“Paint like you are in first grade and in silence.  Look at other’s work but do not talk or evaluate,”  were the last words of instruction spoken by Chris Zydel at our Workshop.   I took her at her word and felt the excitement as I filled my tray with paints and hung a clean sheet of paper onto the easel board.  I had chosen 3 brushes and found a smock.

I placed the widest brush into the paint well and touched the paper to begin.  A large drip of blue paint chose gravity as its guide.  Just like in first grade, I did not know how to control the paint or the brush.  Oh well, we were to be directed by our intuition and I decided to turn my paper 90’ and make that blue line into a swirl of waves on the beach.  I began painting the Pacific Ocean of our drive the 2,000 miles down the coast to this workshop adventure.  It was the story of our trip, just like in first grade.  The wind swept trees along the bluffs looked like a row of green hearts and that looked too contrived to me.  I needed to learn more about mixing the colors and how the brush would connect to the paper; I began hiking into the experience.

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So Do It.” ~Kurt Vonnegut Via Chris Zydel

The brush made a nice dob of paint and if I pulled it down slightly I could get a wonderful shape which made the rain clouds explode across the top of the paper.  The tiny brush connected the millions of Redwood needles that were beside the roadway and stuck to the bottoms of our shoes; still stuck in the floor mats of the car.   I found satisfaction in the dob-pull stroke of the brush and changed to mix a pleasing purple tone that captured the rain to ocean sky.  Chris came by to see how I was doing, and I said I was exploring the brush and color and finding a nice petal shape that was pleasing me, but I was done with this sheet of paper, I wanted to use this knowledge to start something new.

A pink petal shape emerged first but this was not the right color and I tried to make it more mauve.  No, what was touching me was the purple color in the petal shape.  It was lightening my spirit and I was as focused as in meditation, I reapplied the color and began again.   I still wanted for a wee bit of green; thus achieved.  I stood back and a fir tree cone was there before my eyes.   Royal.  Regal. And just what I wanted to say. Cones often are grown when the tree is dying or in distress; a signal of the creation of something new.    Then I thought that brush stroke would make a fuchsia bloom and that appeared next.  I could not figure out how to make the dancer’s skirt of the blossom, so I just kept painting fuchsias and cones.  I needed yellow to add the pollen at the end of the stamen so added that to my tray. The warmth of the yellow flooded over me and into me, and yet, the picture was not complete until I added the dots of Redwood needles.  I was happy and filled with joy.  I knew my painting was about the seeds of change – as graceful and elegant as petals.   Yes!  I was calm, unburdened, happy, and filled with joy.  It was enough.

“Every painting is a self-portrait” ~Chris Zydel

I am making so much change happen in my life; I can testify that doing something completely different to the usual can truly make the change happen.  It was immersion into the self.  A deep gift that I remember in the all of me.

What gift are you giving yourself this year?  Will you hear your soul? Your heart voice?  How will it touch you?

Fushia

Fushia

Chris Zydel’s Creative Juices Arts Studio is located in Oakland, California

Wild Heart Painting or Intuitive Painting Workshops are full of wonder and exploration and Chris shares lots of the work and words on Facebook.

The blog: http://creativejuicesarts.com/blog/  

If you would like to see my partner’s painting experiences you can find them on the Biking Architect.

If you purchase anything from Amazon  or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Donations Welcome.  Thank you

Related Reading:
Do Something for the Fun of It
Ladybugs
Code to Joy
Holy Preparations

Beautiful Discoveries for Which I am Thankful

Monday, November 12th, 2012
Pacific Ocean at Ruby Beach

Pacific Ocean at Ruby Beach

We went to pick up our CSA (community supported agriculture) share at the Farmer’s Market and we noticed that the flower stall was filled with a different kind of beauty.  As the weather was cooling down the flower merchant had packed up and a photographer had move into the spot.  We were drawn to her stunning pictures of our world and of things smaller.

We recognized the beach where we had visited for our honeymoon and returned just this summer to celebrate our 35th anniversary.   My partner purchased one of the prints as he wants to paint it for his Thanksgiving painting days.  We went back to purchase a card of the picture for a family in grief.

Ice & Snow blackberries 2011

Ice & Snow blackberries 2011

I asked Linda if I could show case her beautiful work as a Thanksgiving gift of beauty to my blog readers and she said yes!

In her own words:

Linda Schwerzler was born in 1960, the second child of four children.  She grew up in Iowa and loved spending time in the woods.  She met and married Kirk Schwerzler and moved to Western Washington in 1991.  She and Kirk have three beautiful girls and a home snuggled in the woods of the Great Northwest.

Linda is the author to all her verses, registered with the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress.  She was a professional portrait photographer for over five years.  Her love of nature and photography are combined in this print.

“I received my first camera when I was nine years old.  I’ve loved the art of photography ever since.  I hope you feel the same thrill viewing this print as I did when I first printed it.”

social responsibility and protectiveness

social responsibility and protectiveness

You can see more of Linda’s work at Zazzle.  The t-shirts with her nature photography are just wonder full and she has poetry and cards and many other products to showcase there.

Contact her via email or phone: 360 427 5359.

What beauty does your eye see and allows you to feel grateful or inspired?

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.  Donations also welcome.

Related Reading:
For Such Beauty Is Mine
Post Card Alive!
Whose That Doggie in the Window? 
Jane Dillon Wingfield – Local Artist

Hosanna

Monday, April 2nd, 2012
women in black poster

Women in Black poster

I guess I am a fool, but I am not attending worship services again this important week.  There is no one to celebrate a Seder and our faith community just schedules their gathering with the ever growing group of Temple friends.  I do not attend most Christian services anymore because it is such a huge event of Entertainment – which means tons of fancy clothing and perfume.  Add all the visitors with out-gasing toxic laundry products, shampoos and deodorants it makes the gathering a nightmarish, experience.   This year I decided to watch the news instead.

Too much US vs. THEM I turned it off and went walking and to smell the flowers.  When I returned home an old 1990 day planner called the Everywoman’s Almanac  caught my eye.  I could not remember why I did not throw it out; I did remember the lovely bookstore where I purchased it and how important it was to me. I truly savored the brief stories and art that surrounded the days of the week.   When I opened it, I knew why I could not throw it away and what an amazing record of my hours spent working for PEACE.

I would like to share two of the excerpts from the book.  The first piece is about Felicia Langer   an Israeli human rights lawyer and activist.  All of her work has been defending Palestinians and Israeli dissidents.  In 1988, she was the vice president of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights.

When I came to Israel in 1950 I saw that there was an Arab population under military rule.  I couldn’t understand how it was possible that we, the Jews, who were discriminated against so much, could put another people in a prison.  I felt suffocated.

The second stage of suffocation occurred in 1967 when the oppression in the Occupied Territories began.  I had been a lawyer for two years and I said to myself, “I have a skill, I can do something.  I have to do something, otherwise I cannot survive.”  I decided to open an office in Jerusalem.

I was told, “You’re a Jew, an Israeli, and a woman, why should Arabs believe you, and you don’t even speak Arabic?”  Everybody was skeptical.  The mother of my first client came and spoke about her son’s shirt which was stained with blood from his torture in Hebron prison.  I thought about my son, Michael.  I didn’t speak, but if felt as though there was no barrier between us.  We became friends then, without a language, without common culture or origin.  You can lie with words, but it’s very hard to lie if you feel something very strongly.

For years we had to fight in order to have a line in the papers about the Occupied Territories.  Now it is better.  We have peace forces and a strong opposition.  But I am not satisfied with the amount of people who are protesting the Occupation.  Every day, the death toll is terrible.  A society that is tolerating murders is cultivating murder.  This tolerance is a tragedy, not only for the Palestinians but also for us.  Therefor we have to expose the ugliness of what is happening.  If they want to beautify it, we have to expose it relentlessly.

I have so much love for everything which is human, that it is hard to speak about being self-hating.  What I really hate is discrimination, I hate inflicting pain and sorrow and I hate murderers.  But I very much love those who are fighting against them.

I got a prize at Dachau in memory of a German lawyer who fought against fascism.  I asked my friends, “Munich is so close to Dachau.  Didn’t you know what was going on?”  They answered, “Those who didn’t want to know, didn’t know.”  It’s the same in Israel.  Nobody can live with the excuse that they don’t know.  I think that silence in such a time is complicity.”

The second piece is about the “Women in Black” group which was organized in 1988. Our group still meets at the busiest intersection of the city on Friday nights during rush hour.    Mothers are still silently praying for peace all over the world.

Women in Black organized a weekly gathering in Jerusalem.  Every Friday form 1pm to 2pm, about eighty women dressed in black gather and stand in a circle holding black signs that read “End the Occupation.”  They have been gathering since January 1988, a month after the Intifada, the current Palestinian uprising in the Occupied Territories, began.

More than 3,000 women, Jewish and Arab, have contributed to a quilt by adding a square containing her name and a political slogan, saying or poem.

So here we have arrived with a week of eating unleavened bread and waving branches of palm to mark our sorrow and all around me is the ravages of Us vs. Them – Jesus was all about giving to Caesar what was Caesars; healing and peace.    I guess we are just celebrating bling these days with plenty of chocolate on the side.

How are you working on peace?   Do you want to know?  Do you want to see?

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s   from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket!

Related Reading:
Mug Vs. Heart
Women Wars
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
Temple Grandin:  a movie review

Who’s That Doggie in the Window?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
Zip in the Window

Zip in the Window ~McEown

At this very moment as my fingers tap the keys, ZIP is looking out the window in the door.  It is raining rather vigorously and the squirrels and cats are not out and about right now, but he is hopeful.  I have to admit when he starts to bark sometimes it is just startling and loud causing me to jump and bound nearly out of my chair.  Now he is racing to the other end of the house to check out the possibility of deer on the orchard side of the house, and the neighbor has company so he will soon race upstairs to survey her driveway for activity.   He is vigilant.

He naps often.

I often spend my time on the computer looking at artist’s work, it is my favorite part of Friday afternoons.  I like finding blogs and making the connections.   I have highlighted my friend Jane’s  local sketches and also asked Terrill at Creative Potager to share her work on my site.

Zip by Keith Palmer  February 2011

Zip by Keith Palmer February 2011

Then into my inbox came a wonderful drawing of ZIP done by Keith Palmer of North Pennine Gallery’s Blog.

Keith’s work often captures my imagination and makes me wish I could head back to UK and see the countryside that he shares; the sheep in pasture, the stiles, and the pubs by the sea.  His drawing of Edinburgh just drew me in and I could remember walking that mile and the crush of people.

So thank you Keith Palmer for my lovely rendering of ZIP.   I am adding a copy to the gallery wall going up the stairs to my bedroom…the whole family hangs out there.

Say hello to DORIS  (Keith’s Westie) for me!

Do You have a favorite spot you wander to enjoy the visuals of their art?   Please share.

You might enjoy exploring IT Girls photography BLOG  and liking her page!

As always we could use a share!  All the good spots are under the share button below.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. (This now includes eBooks and Kindle downloads)

Related Reading:
For Such Beauty is Mine 
Ladybug Recreation or Re-creation
The Swan Thieves
Trust What You Get