Monthly Archives: August 2010

Youth and Age, Choices and History

This is a detail from the same painting as yesterday’s post, this one focusing on youth and fashion, and “looking to the past” before making choices. In a society such as ours where youth is revered and elderly people are largely shunted away or ignored, you realize we lose so much information that would help us and enrich our lives. My own family is separated from the extended family of grandparents and uncles, cousins, so they don’t benefit from the day-to-day family history, conveyed in oral recollections.

Summers Gone By: Grandmother’s Pocket Book

Remembering summers when Grandma’s wore high heals and gloves, carried pocket books and had permed hair. There were distinct roles people played, and they had clothes that went along with those roles. Grandmas wore floral dresses or something signaling “Matriarch”, and uncles wore suits and smoked pipes. I know these are generalizations, but they are snippets of scenes from my childhood. Today there are no such uniforms for roles. A grandmother may well be in jeans and t-shirts, or even in a bikini or whatever. I wonder if the roles no longer define us, or we just play them out in more unique ways now, individuals doing more as they please. Or perhaps we are still following norms which have changed. I do think our obsession with youth means that most people try and look like a teenager for more decades than they might have in the past. I made this painting (this is a detail from a larger work) when I was feeling nostalgic.

Moose Hunt to Lac Laverty

We were in Fundy National Park in Canada, camping, and all wanted to see a moose. There were several places you could possibly see one in the wild. One was a deep and delicate forest which had a meandering trail close to water, leading to Lac Laverty. We set out mid-afternoon. I was enchanted by the evidence of fairies and elves in this forest!  Little People must must live there, it was hush-hush in under the canopy of trees, and completely pleasant and surprising all at once. There were so many varieties of moss and lichen, of mushroom and arms of twisted roots reaching out over and around rocks. Finger like roots grasped other roots in embraces. It was breathtaking. There were entrances into trees and small worlds abounding. I wanted to stay at each location and soak up every detail. I jotted some notes in my sketchbook about this place, and even more imprinted than my sketches on paper, I have such vibrant mental images of the magical quality and silence of each small dwelling we stepped over and around on our way to see a moose. We didn’t see one this time…maybe next time?

Jane Eyre (again!): Part 3: Mystery at Marsh-End

I’m smitten with Jane Eyre film-making, and after making the first half of the novel into a kitschy film using dolls, I could not resist making Part 2 and now Part 3 (and yes, there will be many more until the novel-in-film is fully told). If you’re a Brontë fan, you’ll be glad that I FINALLY figured out how to put the two dots over the “e” in Brontë!  I’m getting technology skills!  Enjoy this latest one, and may we all have some of Jane Eyre in us (plain but practical, brave and honest….well, in this part of the novel she does tell a small white lie, though)…

Longshore’s Birthday

I was delighted to receive a call at the studio a few days ago asking if I’d like to put Westport Sketchbook drawings I’ve made in Longshore Club Park available on the Longshore 50th Birthday website. I feel honored to be a part of the celebrations. Just go to this link to see their site, it also links back to mine here at illuminara.com, where I’ve set up a special Longshore page.

JANE EYRE: Misery on the Moors

Now that I’ve made the first half of the film adaptation of my favorite novel, JANE EYRE by Charolotte Brontë (wow, that is the FIRST time it worked for me trying to put the dots above the “e”!) I have begun to make shorter ones to finish the story.  These Jane Eyre films using old Barbie and Ken dolls (and some Happy Meal Dolls and others) are so much fun, I cannot stop making them. Here is the new one, and may it inspire you to do something goofy as well, or just to play. It is still summer, after all.

Spirit Painting: Fountain of Love

I had the most spiritual experience working on this Spirit Painting. What happened is I had flashes of images of ancestral, native and tribal women showing me fountains (the Spanish kind) and found out later that the person who commissioned this painting does have what is known as “Mediterranean Tribe” Native American heritage (plus a Blackfoot grandmother). This was the first of many direct communications I received while painting this. The other notable thing that happened is that I’d paint as I felt moved to paint, only to find then that after I spent a long time perfecting something, it was not necessary to keep it in the painting. It was as though the prayer intention and energetic placement of something was needed, but the actual image was not needed to be seen. Sounds strange, huh? There are usually layers and layers of paintings under one single painting, and this painting absolutely has many layers. For example, I painted the tribal women I saw in my mind. I spent hours on them.  They stood with black hair, some holding children. Then it was as if I realized, “Oh, the women are not supposed to be seen so much as THE CHILDREN.” I got that message loud and clear, and so painted over the women and painted the children to come, those already born and the future babies to come. Why? Because they are the ones who will inherit the earth, and they will take up the responsibility to change and fix it and heal it. The fountain got painted over–in a funny moment I received a message that a willow tree IS a fountain, and that this was what should be in this painting. That was a fascinating experience!  Tree, water, children, life. Ancestors guided me. I am grateful.

Home Movies: JANE EYRE: SCENES FROM MY LIFE

I used to read Jane Eyre every summer. Something about the summer thunderstorms, the drama of thunder and rain made me want to get back into Jane Eyre’s world.  She’s a good heroine for anyone, and for me, I loved that she drew sketches (not many characters in novels do) and overcame  all kinds of distressing life circumstances, and never lost her sense of reason in the process. Since we’re making movies for fun this summer, I made one last week, it’s JANE EYRE: SCENES FROM MY LIFE. Here is the link:

Have a good time watching it!

When Woman is a Tree and Tree is Water

I was meditating for a Spirit Painting for someone recently, and was surprised at what came through. In this meditation, I saw fountains and knew I would need to paint water fountains, red terra cotta fountains.  But when I began, the image shifted and it was as if I heard a voice say, “The tree is water,” gently directing me away from drawing a literal fountain. Of course! The willow tree with it’s cascading branches resembles a water fountain. I was delighted. The tree became a woman, as the symbolic “keeper of water” on earth. We’re vessels, we’re born of water and give life through water. Without woman, without water, there is no life on earth.

Westport Sketchbook: Main Street Scene

The weather was so pleasant when I went out to draw. I sat down and watched people move in and out of shops around the historic buildings on Main Street. I felt like getting to know each brick and every stone. That isn’t normally how I feel. I usually want to draw people and am interested in the surroundings only as support systems for the people who move around in the environment. Today, I guess the air was divine, it made everything come to life for me.  To see another sketch of people on Main Street, go to www.westportnow.com