Saturday, September 29

Red Hill and some more art stuff.

(View of Lake Winnipesaukee, from the top of Red Hill.)

When I was a kid, we hiked Red Hill every chance we got. I think I hiked it with my mom when I was about Johnny's age. It's a 2,000 'footer', so it's a short, fun hike. Thursday I took J, with some bagels and bunny crackers as incentive, all the way up and back. It was such a beautiful day, and he did so well! I think it must just be in his veins :) 
I was taking photos for an art project I was working on and getting all emotional by the time we got back to the trailhead. I always imagined hiking this little mountain with my kids, and here we were, running and laughing and jumping in the fall breeze all the way down the trail. It was a moment like none I've had before: watching one of my dreams unfold right in front of me and feeling every second of it.  

The project I was working on is taken from a book I'm immersed in, Inner Excavation. I found it through looking at the website of one of the lovely women/teachers I met at Squam, and I was delighted to see her involved with the book! 
I was to take some photos throughout my day, write a poem (which I've never really done), and combine these as inspiration for a self portrait type mixed-media painting.
Here are my favorite photos: 

And the poem, untitled as of yet:

I stand, waiting in anticipation for
things to come.
The beauty slowly unveiling 
before my eyes.
Every second is
and desire.

I stand, wanting the world to
embrace me.
Nothing can deter me from becoming
a part of this moment.
From becoming
and contagious. 


And here is the painting to finish it all off:

I can't wait to delve into the book some more. And I can't believe I wrote a poem, haha..

Wednesday, September 26


here's my second drawing for illustration friday. i'm sure i broke some rules by using an internet photo for inspiration, but it was a cool one... and really, i just wanted an excuse to draw freddie mercury! 

i'm experimenting with scanning and/or taking photographs of artwork. this is a photo that i then altered in iphoto slightly (just the color a bit, it was very yellow in my dark bedroom. this pink is closer to the original purple and white.) go freddie!! 

Tuesday, September 25


(i had a pretty picture of a chrysalis to add to this, but i can't get it to load, boo!)

i'm in such a state of confusion. and clarity. everything all at once.

many years ago i made the choice to become a tattoo artist. i loved every second of it. i left behind painting, and sewing, the handwork that my grandmother had just taught me; forgot everything that wasn't geared towards sharp lines and bold colors, perfect points and plastic-covered equipment.

something lately has been creating a larger and larger space between me and my tattooing. i have left it before, not sure where it was taking me, trying out my other skills such as sewing and baby making :) i have always gone back, but never with the thought that i would do this forever. the more years that pass the more it becomes a 'just for now' job. i don't think that's a good attitude for a tattoo artist. many things are transitional but tattooing takes dedication. lots of it. enough that, the only way i can see it being worth it is if i do plan on making it a life-long endeavor. i don't think it should be picked up and dropped off like an unfinished quilt that has been in the closet too long, only brought out on cold winter evenings to be worked on by a fire.
i make too many excuses.
i waiver too much.
ultimately, i don't feel like this is my path.

on the other hand, i do want to experiment. i want to learn hand-poking tattoos and spend time exploring the designs and possibilities behind that. i have friends who have unfinished work and i won't let them down.

so i don't know. i wish it were easier. i do know that the most valuable thing i've learned in the past few weeks is that just because we are drawn to something doesn't mean it's best for us. so what's best?

these are the things i want to change:
i want to swap out little fluorescent-lit rooms for big, bright, open windows. 
i want to take off the gloves and get as much color on me as possible.
i want freedom from others' expectations. 
i want my canvas to be unlimited in size, and my materials unlimited in variation.
i want to work and rework; i want the process to show.
i want to color outside of the lines.
i want to be rid of competition and drama. i refuse to invite it in. i want to only work together with my contemporaries, not against.

and, just as a reminder to myself, these are the things i want in the future:
i want my own shop, one shared with friends- crafting and sewing and painting and doing whatever else we can think of.
i want time with my husband and boy, and with my future children. lots of time. 
i want to learn and teach the arts of my family, the hand crafting that has been so important to them over the years.

tattooing was what i  needed, most of all, at the time it found me. it taught me about people, it gave me opportunities i hadn't dreamt of, it gave me confidence as an artist, it gave me friends.

but i think it's time to say, finally, that i need something different. it's time i give myself permission to explore that wholeheartedly.

as my perception of myself has shifted the past two weeks, so have my goals. i am becoming who i always wished to be. i didn't realize that i have always been that person. now it's just a matter of becoming comfortable in that skin and moving forward with ideas that i didn't think were possible.

it's easy to be who you want to be. you just have to be. the person in my mind who spends lots of time with her family outdoors, spends days in a bright studio or shop with her children doing homework or projects on a table nearby, stops at the market to pick up veggies to make a good dinner and tucks her kids in at night- that person has to start somewhere. she is starting as me, right now, in this moment.

i refuse to delay any longer.

Friday, September 21


At the Squam art workshops last week I was able to get into nature and do some art I've not been familiar with until now. 
My second class was Earth Art with a sweet illustrator named Penny as our teacher. She had us meditate to come up with a word that means something to us and then we were to strike out to create a symbol of that word within the constraints of nature. Amazing. We all cried just a little by the time the class came to a close, our explanations reverberating through each classmate. 
Mine was Regenerate. Strange word, I thought at first. I based my 'design' on the ripples of a water droplet that I had been so intent on during class the previous day.
Regeneration. The tiny drop creates change and life beyond it's scope, bringing life back to itself in turn. It's hard to explain in my own words what I was feeling or meaning. The art said it best, really.

Just now I was reading 'A field guide to NOW' by Christina Rosalie, and something she wrote encompassed exactly how I felt about my Earth art project:

"...There is something fragile and breathtaking in me, like a field of irises; something unstoppable like the innate instinct that sends salmon upstream through rapids and turbines, following the scent of sweet water. Something tremulous, like the song of the thrush, that tells me this life is meant to be lived ardently, not merely spent. Life is abundant and impermanent. It burst forth, ripens, and then becomes just as quickly another thing. Leaf to soil. Breath to song. Bone to spirit. Natures claims us, holds us, remakes us again and again."


How nice that she was at Squam as well (I think we were both meditating and relaxing in solitude at the lake for hours one afternoon, just a few rocks over from one another?). It's simply magical there.

Thursday, September 20