Mexican Cloud Swing Dream (dream inside a dream)

The dream I had last night was wondrous. I was on a Mexican Cloud Swing in the night sky, up high somewhere. It felt relaxing and magical. Then I was down on earth again, talking to a friend. She was planning a spring party. I said to her, “Hey, I dreamed about this!” It was a dream inside a dream. I described to her how I dreamed (in the dream) that she set up her party in this way and that, and used the color red, which she was not sure was the best color for spring. (Analyze this if you want). I have to call her and ask if she’s planning a party, and putting all of her heart into it. And for me, it must have been a dream about celebrating (on the cloud swing) but staying grounded (red being the color of the sacral chakra)

Past Life Dream: Pilgrim Days

Some dreams just seem like past life experiences. About 2 weeks ago I had the clearest dream of my sister, but she looked not at all like she does in “real life”, now. In the dream, she was very solidly built and sturdy, with a perfect hair style which was some sort of braid in the back of her head. Her clothes were linen, cotton and Colonial in style. Her being was calm and quiet. She seemed reliable and not at all foolish. She is similar in this life, in that she is very strong and knowing, and is reliable and yet, in this life she gets to have fun and be foolish if she feels like it!

Westport Sketchbook: Longshore View

The weather this week was so glorious, the air so perfect and the sun so warm, that I wanted less to draw it all and more to sink into it. I was at Longshore one day with my family and in-laws from the UK, near the boats and pool. I made this quick and unfinished pencil sketch, sitting on the granite steps leading down to a sandy little beach. After drinking in the sun, the cheerful colors of sky, grass, sea, I stopped sketching. I needed to draw a new one in full April-nearly-May color, because, without color the gift of the view was lost. To see a color version of this, go to

Earth Day 2010: BE the Tree

This is a tree from a Tree Oracle deck I’m creating. She’s perfect for Earth Day.  When I had a hard time in life, I prayed and meditated constantly because I was stuck and didn’t know how to get unstuck. I was connecting to nature and asked The Great Spirit to please bring ancestors and guides to help me. This is exactly what happened. During one prayer/meditation, I was hovering over a river. It was clear, as if I had astral projected over it. I could see the water, the leaves, rocks. Feel the air. I was there. I then heard a voice, a male voice say to me, “Do not be like the water. BE the water.” At that moment, I felt myself rushing along, I became water, instead of hovering over it. I was moving through and over, around and flowing, not only without effort but with speed, and it felt terrific. This single experience changed everything for me. Soon, because of “being” water, I flowed right out of that horrible situation. So, today, in the same spirit, I am longing to feel rooted and calm, strong and budding. I tell myself , “Do not be like the tree, BE the tree.” Happy Earth Day!

Cowboy Archetype

In graduate school, my thesis was on archetypes. I created several for the purpose of painting human emotional activity. I made some up, each representing an aspect of human focus and traits. I made some out of Sculpy and painted them in all kinds of interactions together. I was playing with the symbols about ourselves which we hold so dear, that if someone attacks us on a symbol of ours, we react severely, without realizing we’re operating on one of our inner-archetypes. They’re serious business. The best source for learning about them, I think, is Jung of course, and Caroline Myss. I had as my cast of archetypal characters, a cowboy (rough, ready, heroic, dangerous, unrefined in some ways), an opera singer (theatrical, dramatic, self-centered for artistic expression), grand master (aligned, composed, unemotional, meditative), spy (secretive, observant, discriminating, non-attached), and a baroness (femme fatal, predatory, selfish, cunning, stellar, stunning). I chose archetypes I thought would be fun to throw together. I do not know, but certainly some characteristics in each of them are universal, and we’d all relate. In this painting, the cowboy is angry and unhinged, the grandmaster meditates to protect his interests and values, entering into dreamscapes. Far away, the baroness and the opera singer cope with having fallen in love with the grand master (the baroness’ crush) and the cowboy (the opera singer had it bad for him). The baroness longed to incorporate poise into her being, thereby wanting to “own” what the grand master knew. The opera singer was overly cultivated and wished for some wild times with the cowboy. Can you see how lively things get? The real work, though, is to discover our very own archetypal landscape. Posting this makes me want to get more Caroline Myss books.

“Whingeing Poms!”

One way to tap into your creative, intuitive knowing, is to be playful. One way I do this is to open my sketchbook and draw something. I may have a certain issue or situation in mind, or I may be not thinking or feeling anything I am particularly aware of. After drawing (I usually draw people, as you seen in this entry from several years ago, but you can draw whatever you feel like, whatever you want), I close my eyes and pick a handful of words one at a time from the dictionary. This is fun and can make you giddy, especially if it relieves tension in situations you might have in your mind or heart. Playing like this gives you a chance to look at things differently, and to introduce new ideas and put words together that might not normally be used. Otherwise, it’s just fun. In this entry, one of the words I found my finger on was “pommy”. I learned that it can be used affectionately or in a more insulting way, toward the English people. They have rosy cheeks, like apples (or pommes) and so I colored this girl’s cheeks in pink. I am married to a British man, so I asked him and his parents how this term is used. They said it can be used affectionately, which I vow to do especially since the family I married into do all seem to have wonderfully rosy cheeks. But they said it can also be heard used like this: “Whingeing poms!” And you can look up “whinge” if you want to!

Spider Lady, Weaving in Chaotic Times

Since drawing David Bowie (extreme genius of artful expression) the other day, I can’t shake the appreciation of his impact through art and music, and I had this artfulness in a dream. In this dream, he was creating a performance piece. The woman working on it with him doing acrobatic moves with him, turned into a spider lady. Her legs and arms stretched across the warehouse wall, she moved spectacularly across the web, designing it as a real spider does (quickly, and slowly at once). Just then, the weather turned ominous. Wind blew, and howled. A woman said, “They told us to get out of the Marchand!” This warehouse area had been where merchants goods were stored, and now it was gentrified by wealthy young married couples and children. Change was coming, an ominous feeling was in the air. As I woke up, I remembered that in Native American animal medicine, spider stands for weaving life’s complicated and inter-connected patterns and details. Even during times of chaos, we are making choices and weaving our world. I had the sense that even as ominous weather (earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.) effects us, we still weave quietly and quickly, as we live, as we choose. Spiritually, we may have creative solutions and influences to help us work together. Our human web is worldwide these days. (And when I looked up what “marchand” meant, when I woke up, it meant “merchant” which fits with the fact that this dream took place in former “merchant’s warehouses” down at the wharf–I often have dreams with French phrases and words)

Painting Commission: Bride as Queen of the Butterflies

I was very honored to be asked by my friend, Steve Smith, and his wife Robin, to create a painting as a gift for Maggie Hatcher’s wedding. We watched Maggie and her twin sister, Tillie grow up, Steve taught them and we were all friends with their mother, Mary Chapman and very fond of their older sister, Eleanor. (Maggie and Tillie are in an independent film called BEESWAX which has been getting a lot of recognition). I wanted to highlight the fact that Maggie baby-sat Steve and Robin’s daughters. I also wanted to highlight the strength, beauty and bountiful love and energy in Maggie. She and her sisters are very special people. I know Steve and Robin’s daughters are magical creatures, each in their own way, and so I decided they would be flower spirits honoring the bride. Maggie would be Queen of the Parantica Sita Butterflies. Here she is in her metamorphosis, about to become a bride.  I meditated to create the Smith girls, to capture their essence. (And the green frog–when Steve’s daughters were very young, one of them lost her favorite plastic frog, and when Steve took Maggie back from sitting one evening, to her dorm room at Harvard, he saw that she had an identical frog there on the dorm room shelf. Maggie gave it to Steve to take home. The frog just had to be in the painting!)

Capturing Moods and Seeing Walls

In my sketchbook from the 1990’s, this girl came to me. Whatever is on her mind seems very important. It is true that one line drawn can create a powerful mood, and this is loose and out of my head completely, but her eyes say something.

And then this tree-notch sketch, done on the same day way back then, intrigues me. This was in California wine country, and my friend and I saw a tree notch patched with cement, as though underneath the bark of this tree, there is a cement wall. The tree was stunning, expressive.