Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Off To Art & Soul

Prepare yourself for a stew of unrelated images. I'm whirling through my days from one subject to another; packing for my next teaching assignment at Art & Soul in Portland and decluttering the office.

Of course I'm writing in my journal too. Some of these pages were demos at Squam like the face above.

All kinds of energy go into my pages. Sometimes slow and quiet, sometimes crackling with energy, as at Squam.

This is Jasvinder, a most interesting yogi who lives and teaches in Vancouver, BC. Our mutual friend Tom had an old camera with a pop up lens so we took a few shots through the lens that evening.

Here is John through the lens. As I've shared before, I'm becoming more interested in improving my eye for photography. In that vein I thought I'd share some shots I found in an old box. Some of these are 40 years old; I thought they looked either funny or strange or both.

I had a polaroid camera in those days but much of what I shot was lost. This gem remained though. Taken in St. Johns.

This was our 2nd story bathroom window in Orenco. That honeysuckle grew all the way up the wall and into the window in the summertime. Just inside the window is a huge claw foot bathtub. It was an amazing old house that nearly killed us as we did a historic remodel. John and I fell in love in this house. Bittersweet memories. We were so young and passionate.

Here are my daughters one Christmas when I was a single mother. Those were very hard times.

Here I am at about the same time. Young, depressed, overwhelmed, insecure, no money, many heavy responsibilities. My one asset was my youth. Like a hearty weed, I survived.

Today is our grandson Nathan's 23rd Birthday. Happy Birthday, heart of my heart. This photo of him and John is about 20 years ago then. That was the day our neighbor offered to let him ride their Shetland Pony and he informed me in his most serious voice that he wasn't a boy who rode horses. Very well then.

My little Stephanie sitting at mom's house on Coleman Street in Mesa, Arizona. *sigh* Head in clouds, I move forward. I'll see some of you at Art and Soul; I gotta go hurl my boxes in the van now and head on down the road. (((((hugs)))))

Friday, September 25, 2009

Squam Part 2

Here is my encaustic collage class in front of the Sap House where our class was held. Sap refers to the maple syrup that was made in this building at one time. Like the real maple syrup we ate on our french toast each morning. The food!! OMG, but I digress. I am in the very back like the mother hen. These are my happy onions who have each made a beautiful painting.

This is my angel assistant who took most of these photos. I seldom get a class photo which is so precious to me after the class is held. To look into your faces one by one when I return home. So thank you, Ali. You deepened my pleasure of this year's Squam. Now I can remember and sigh.

Inside the Sap House, surrounded by nature. Imagine the wood fire going all day long (again, kudos to Ali who can lay a real fire and keep it going and to Stephanie Brazil who stepped up more than once to throw on another log).

Hey guys, you get the Blue Blocks at Dharma Trading. The 10 block set is what I'd try. Cheaper here than what I pay for them in my town but I think the same thing. If you google Penscore Magic Stamp Moldable Foam that should get you more than one supplier.

Jamie Ewald with her dreamy painting.

Cheryl Connell.

Cheryl Connell.

Here I am washing off my favorite blue block stamp of a doll baby. It's really creepy. hee hee.

Jenica Mackenzie.

Jenica Mackenzie.

My cabin mates. The faces I will never, ever forget. Phenomenal sistahs. We shared. And bonded. You are each in my heart right this minute.

The journal class that I taught on the second day. Thank you all for allowing yourselves to be herded out like cattle for a class photo. It means so much to me to have it in my journal now. And again, Ali, thank you for taking the photos.

I'm high on Squam. I haven't even mentioned the ice lanterns: big blocks of ice harvested last winter from the lake that held flickering candles and lit a couple of the pathways at night. You could see the bubbles of air held in the ice like fairy wings - pure magic. I keep seeing glimpses of the magic flickering through my memory as I go about my work of preparing to teach at Art and Soul and I feel my heart opened fully to my mission. Which is to share. To strengthen the younger women and men who are this season's people. To live a life of compassion and to stay open.

And the art. Always in the center is the celebration of expression. Making and sharing. Mmmm.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Squam Squam Squam

It's almost unbelievable I suppose that Squam could be as wonderful as you've heard. Well, believe it. I am full enough and inspired enough to last for a year. Chipmunks, crisp mornings, birdsong, the smell of wood smoke in the air. Leaves beginning to turn. I love New England and this place in particular.

This is my cabin; Birdsall. In the coming days I'll add new blog links for many new artists for you to visit. I barely made it out the door of the Dining Room on the last morning before I started blubbering. My heart was full to bursting. Karen Cole had the best idea. A home for all of us where it is Squam forever. I vote for that.

This is a photo of my cabin from the dock. My bed was just inside those windows to the right. All night I slept to the rhythm of the creaking dock and the call of the loons. I didn't hear them last year but this year I heard them every night; haunting and other-worldly.

Elizabeth thought of the little touches that gladden the heart. Simple end of summer flowers in a canning jar.

This is my bedroom that I had to myself after the goddess Leonie Wise moved to the next room. One of our mates couldn't make it so each of us had our own bedroom. (yes, two Wise women in the same house. Elizabeth has a sense of humor.)

Here is Leonie the Lionhearted out for her 6 am swim in the lake. It's about 40 degrees out there. I had 4 layers on in the bedroom and my alarm had just gone off when I looked out and saw her. I grabbed my iPhone and caught this for you. Brrrrr, what an athlete.

Here she is, a wonderful woman from New Zealand who lives and works in London now with Nick who is as splendid as she is. I got to meet him when he delivered wine to our cabin. Yay, Nick!!

Leonie took a class called "Sticks and Stones" where the participants made earth art. She chose to erect this barrier out of tree's limbs across one of the paths and then she masked the sides with foliage. My photo doesn't do it justice at all; I'm hoping Andrew Borloz will have better ones on his site as he was out that morning shooting photos too. I think Leonie's project was brilliant - wish I could film the puzzled hikers who will come to the barrier and wonder "what the f#@k" ... this wasn't here yesterday. Yay, Leonie.

So here are a sampling of the encaustic projects that came out of a full class of creative women. Aleece Langford above.

Barbara Hoke.

Corrine Gilman

Gail Stoughton

Karen Cole.

Kim Mailhot.

Mary Lawrence.

Sharon Andrews.

Tracey Duncan. There are more photos being e-mailed to me that will follow later and if you students have shots of your own work that you could send to me I'll post them. Unfortuneately, I didn't get photos of everyone's work and some I did take were even worse than these. eek.

On the second day, with another full class, I was so caught up in the fun that I didn't get a single photo. My excellent class assistant Ali Dejohn took photos of both classes for me though so I'll have some to share soon.

View out my window.

My screened in porch that extended off my bedroom.

I love this photo of Liz Elayne Lamoreux. She made Leonie's apron and a number of scarves I saw at the retreat. She is hosting art retreats herself now and is interested in seeing that others have the opportunity to reach their full potential in life. She is warm and generous and really gives a soft hug. :-)

I can't believe this is the only photograph I came home with of the fabulous Elizabeth Bunsen. On Saturday I got to take a class and after much thought (so many good teachers!) I chose EB. She is a wonderful, original voice and I loved her teaching style. I think this was her first time teaching at a retreat although she has taught children and adults for many years. Karen Cole is laughing about becoming her business manager and I hope to see her teaching at retreats all across the country. She is good, people. Ask your local retreats to request her. You'll be thrilled, as I was.

Check out Karen Cole and Jonatha Brooke in this great photo. Karen laughs that she seldom takes a good photo but in this one she looks as pretty as she does in real life. And Jonatha Brooke. She is lovely. Voice like an angel. Funny too. What great muses and role models.

Full heart. Quiet heart. Healed and at rest. It is good.

Home again with splendid, radiant memories. New Hampshire. I'm falling in love with you. xo