My eye caught a glimpse of something white in the park’s expanse of green. I went to investigate and my heart was touched.I remembered tearfully burying a bunny in a shoebox once, in my grandma’s garden. This pet had no such sanctuary...
The 11th Century Cathedral in Sienna, Italy was built at a time when beliefs in ancient myths of sybils and prophetesses were mingling with Christian beliefs. The marble floor of the church is carved with these feminine figures, each inscribed with prophetic words proclaiming not myth, but the coming of Christ.In a time when many were illiterate, these arresting figures presented a lesson to those with eyes to see and open hearts. Today as the pilgrim moves through the entrance of the great church, these images guide our feet, until approaching the nave and altar, the images hovering all around become clearly Christian saints and angels. And thus, the Feminine Wisdom archetype provides this artist inspiration!
An ancient Black Madonna statue in the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat, Spain is said to have perhaps been brought back from Egypt by the Crusaders many centuries ago. As one soldier named Ignatius lay gravely ill in this monastery, Mary visited him. His followers since have become known as the Jesuits, the Society of Jesus.
Some wise person said that consistency is the hobgoblin of a little mind. But we often feel judged for following that inner urge to change direction. And so we may miss the invitations to a wider, deeper life. Open to freedom. Trust what your heart knows even if those around you haven’t heard the soft whisper, ‘Turn, dance, leap!’
Recognized as the first apostle, the first to greet the risen Christ, to announce him to those gathered, waiting, is Mary Magdalene.A woman of wisdom, she had long sat at his feet and deeply understood his divine message. Her open heart simply received the Spirit-filled Christ and rejoiced in what others accepted more slowly through mists of confusion.
This queen is a summer--into--fall archetype carrying the energy of hot, sunny days, full golden harvests, fruit-laden vineyards ---ripeness... and... the wild, fieriness of summer is tempered by the first wind whose cold kiss paints the leaves red, gold, brown. New awareness of the turning of the season arises. What has been nurtured is now cut down. The heart knows death and cold approach.
This painting is dedicated to my dear friend, Barb Gittus, who gave me the lovely golden angel pin you see here. She was greeted, I’m sure, at Heaven’s Gate by the Queen of Angels.She was a woman of faith, humor, optimism generosity and great spirit. One of the most memorable Thanksgivings of my life, I spent with her in the City of the Angels. May she be safe in the arms of the Holy Mother.
The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated in December to commemorate her appearance at a place in Mexico where the Aztecs honored their ‘Revered Mother,’ a goddess of compassion, Tonantzin. When the White Christians’ Goddess appeared, they recognized her caring mother archetype and so, we have the multi-valented Lady of Guadalupe, still honored today.
The words you see below are from the Madonna’s heart. She embodies wisdom and love and invites each of us to a deep spiritual reality such as found in the center of the great labyrinth of Chartres Cathedral. That center holds the sun’s rays as they fall from the rose window by design of sacred geometry. Through that design, the sun falls there...a place of holy meeting for each of us, on the solstice.
After working with several archetypes: the Artist, Skeptic, and Seeker, a writing exercise using the dominant and non-dominant hands brought up dragon energy, fire, anger! What could this be but the Warrior/Gatekeeper archetype? My writing assured me that this power is not terrible, but a disguise of love waiting to be transformed. I decided to paint.
Some of us have been conscious seekers as far back as we can remember. (I even wrote a book: Chasing God, which told the story---as far as it and inspiration went.) Today’s collage carries the words, “Carpe Diem.” When I was 35, I wrote the poem you see below. I knew then, as I know now, that what we seek is ‘Beyond’ and that paradoxically, we must seize the day, too. The card also carries an image of a young woman. Whatever that is that seeks always seems young, vibrant and entranced. Perhaps her gaze is drawn to the retablo draped with a rosary and honored with a candle. The retablo carries something of simplicity about what is sought. We can’t ‘think’ our way to the Source, we can only approach in simplicity, devotion and gratitude.
The bottom of the card portrays a rigorous climb up the mountain. We each have our ‘Seven Story Mountain’ (Thomas Merton). The journey demands trust---a necessity, not an indulgence! Hang on to the guide rope, whatever you do.
Doubt is unnerving. What seemed so solid can come unmoored. Little do we realize that this is part of growth, part of the process of new belief emerging. It is humbling to not know. We know what we know and we know what we don’t know...but we don’t know what we don’t know. Ah, yes, to live gently with the questions!
Do you think you have an inner artist? When you consider images from all the cultures of the world and all time periods, you may conclude that the inner artist is simply part of our inborn human spirit. Carl Jung thought so and called these energies within ‘archetypes.’ One can consider one’s life a work of art...take time to listen inside today and see what may want to be created in your life!
Every once in awhile, life gives one a gift. My friend, Marie Howell has done that. She is in her own transition from a long-time career to the call to create art. She has documented this on her blog www.ariteofpassageinpaint.com. Recently, she wrote about my journey as well. The interview follows here...and the paintings she refers to are elsewhere in my blog...you’ll find them easily. The one you see here may well represent The Sovereign - a woman of wisdom, power and healing.
Rilke said, ‘In the old woman, there is a great remembering...’Mother’s day seems made for remembering. My son Kelly, as a small boy, loved his pets, dogs and cats. After parenting all those animals, he now does a great job with three children of his own. Billie, the last cat from Kelly’s childhood, was a real lover, like a warm protective ‘mamma.’ Read on to see how he came to be immortalized in Cat Dancer.
I’d found a dirty, non-descript hunk of wood, cleaned it up, pasted some tissue paper on it and then wondered what to do next. I found myself staring at the calendar over my desk, a collection of shamanic paintings by Susan Seddon Boulet. I had no idea how she got the effects she did, had even asked my art teacher.