Old Bubble Gum Wrapper Dress

Seeing intuitively, the way I experience it, is to be visually open and to expect that things will show you more than just whatever their literal meanings or uses might be. There is always an opportunity to create and play with whatever is in your environment, and to transform it so the message comes through.  I could have been agitated that I found gum wrappers on the floor (and usually am), but this one was so well worn by being in a boy’s pocket through probably multiple wash and dry cycles, that it faded in the most delicious way. I snapped it up on my way to get the boys out of bed for school, and almost skipped to the studio, laying it on the drawing table to see what it wanted to become. It is so nice out today, so much birdsong and sunshine that I thought this bubble gum wrapper wanted to be a sundress. So here it is!

Hurricane Sandy

My water color and pencil sketch of Canal Beach in Saugatuck Shores in peaceful weather/2010. This is an area that would have suffered some damage from Sandy.

I am sorry I have not posted or sent out newsletters from Illuminara.com in a while. We live along the coast just outside of NYC and have had a real adventure with the superstorm and the aftermath. However, I have felt completely protected in this interlude, even if we were uncomfortable (no heat, no power, etc).  We are closing on a house and had to secure a temporary rental while waiting, and I almost signed a lease on a beach house in the area, but didn’t feel quite right about it.  Standing in it with the realtor, I simply felt ill-at-ease, yet I was pressed for time so decided to go with the flow and agree to take the house for the month.  Then another family rented this beach house out from under us (they planned to rent for longer and were better candidates for the owners). I did not get angry, but inwardly felt it “wasn’t meant to be”, and scurried around to find another house to rent, this one in a more bucolic suburban setting, with small fields and meadows.

As news of the hurricane came in, I began to prepare the family. What I realized after the storm is that I am sure that the beach house we nearly rented was flooded (or at least had to be evacuated) while the house we ended up renting had not one single tree that would fall on it during a wind storm. It has beautiful trees of all sizes and types surrounding it,  yet not one was positioned close enough to worry me or endanger us. I feel blessed by this.

For a while, I have been focused on how imagination, creativity and intuition are all in the same category of presence and am writing about this in my new book (due out in 2014). What I realized in this situation of feeling protected, is that the same feeling of enchantment that I feel while creating or while intuiting or feeling empathy for another, is the same feeling I had upon feeling protected during the storm. As though magically surrounded by something out of the ordinary, something divine and good.

I look around, though at all those who suffered so much through this storm (and still are suffering terribly) and know that if my family was fortunate enough to dodge the severe misery and devastation wrought by this storm, then I have to concentrate on those who have not been as fortunate. This time, we were only inconvenienced as a family, and that hurt enough–I cannot imagine what those feel who have lost everything and are freezing and alone, or with babies to feed and keep warm.

These are the days of the”earth changes” that we’ve been talking about for quite a while, and extremes are what we must expect. All we can do is (to the best of our ability) be prepared to live without power, and/or to evacuate.  More than ever, I use my  intuitive sensing and listen to that inner voice, that for me, is our connection to the Source of Life. I pray every day for protection and strength for what comes.

I am typing this from the Westport Public Library PC (and I’m a Mac user) because there is no internet at home, so I will not post as regularly as I would under normal circumstances until I get cable restored. But I miss my daily Illuminara posts because creating art, expressing through color, light and form is my purpose. Now I am reminded that it is a beautiful luxury.  I create these posts because I want to engage and interact with others using art to explore dreams,  intuition, spirituality and healing.  These explorations can carry us through hard times but hard times can mean we have to focus on the basics of survival.  After shivering for a week and benefitting from the kindness of good friends who took us in and fed us, I am grateful for every last good thing in this world.

Ghost of the Tree at Compo Beach

Sketch of my favorite tree at Compo (that is no longer there)

Rounding the corner on Compo Road South as it turns left just where the jetty is, I always hold my breath a little as I notice how my favorite tree in the beach area is no longer there. The ghost of that tree lingers, there is a blankness where it once stood.  Have you ever felt the absence of a tree? It is a stark empty feeling. A bald kind of deprivation (of shade, of shadow, of greenery). I suppose I’ll get over it, but I’m glad I drew it. Trees mean more to us than we are conscious of in our daily routines, I think. They sustain us as they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. And breath is life, life is breath. Looking at this sketch, I remember to breathe deeply.

Compo Beach Days

A quick gestural study in paint at Compo Beach (approx. 21/2′ x 3′)

I haven’t taken my easel to the beach yet this summer (too hot so far) but will before summer’s end, I hope.  I love to visually grab the people and their movements, it is a challenge worth attempting because people are so beautiful in their slightest gestures. Usually sand gets mixed into the paint.

Swimming at Longshore

This is a repost of one of my Westport Sketchbook sketches w/ water color of the pool at Longshore

Summer is here, the smell of chlorine and sunscreen and the warmth of the sun on wet skin is back.  Summer in Westport is the gentle play of light flashing on the water and the sound of kids shrieking, hot concrete under my feet, the sea view, expansive and open just beyond the pool. I love the ride home when the car fills up with hot air (we roll the windows down) and wet towels and ears, wrinkled toes and fingers begin to dry.

My Favorite Tree at Sherwood Island

My water color and pencil drawing of my favorite tree at Sherwood Island

We took a long stroll at Sherwood Island the other day, and this tree near the World Trade Center Memorial at Sherwood island struck my heart again as it has before.

Illuminara Intuitive Journal Card Pick of the Day

This morning I closed my eyes, said a prayer and asked for guidance in order to better understand myself and the world around me at this moment. Eyes still closed, I chose these two cards and began to journal whatever came to mind and heart about each image, and then I contemplated what the two might mean together.

“I hope that using them (Illuminara cards and journal), and keeping your own journal and recording your own intuitive process, will open the gates to the unlimited potential within you to know, to create, to enlighten, and to activate everything you want and need in life.” From Illuminara Intuitive Journal pg. 32

Minute Man Snow Angel

Minute Man Snow Angel/Westport Sketchbook 2009

A few years ago I did sketches around town and they were printed weekly in www.westportnow.com.  This one is one I created after a big snowfall (imagining the beloved Minute Man statue in Compo Beach area coming to life).  Wishing for snow this December because snow transforms everything and it’s easier to get through winter with snow. I’d rather have pristine snow fall, or fluttering snow globe flakes and even dirty slush than just steel cold gray winter days.