Sunday, November 2, 2014

Wild Local Medicinal Plant Mandalas

I sat down here to write about why I am falling in love with plants.  But I think Mary Oliver says it really well with this poem, and I'll let the drawings speak for me.


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird--
    equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old?  Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?  Let me 
    keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be 
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
    and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
    to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam
telling them all, over and over, how it is
    that we live forever.

-Mary Oliver Thirst

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wherever Here May Be

Wherever Here May Be  black walnut ink, archival pen, graphite, collage  18" x 24"

In the night sky travel the reflection of whales in the sea. In the rivers flow the reflection of stars in the night sky. Neither seek the other, because in one another they are contained. Our souls are cast anywhere they shift their gaze.

We determine the characters we see in a place, in a time. We have only to feel them there; we have only to look where we know they will be. We choose our reaction deep within our soul, when we do find what we seek. We may be comforted, or jarred, or inspired, feel old or infantile, understand everything or see the world anew.

When was the last time you sought? Had the object of your seeking been missing or lost? Had you never seen it before? And how did you come to know to look for it? Did you find it where you thought it would be? Did you find it where you knew it would be? Was it what you expected? Had you had it all along?

The world we learn that everyone else sees charms us at times with its self-importance. But it withers in those moments when our hearts flutter to find the enormous in the very small, or the simple in the very complex. Our hearts can burst at a single giggle from a newborn, and we try to make them laugh, wanting that feeling again and again. And the constellations that hide in a single tiny snowflake! Have you ever felt the wild course of your thoughts and emotions focus and steady in response to a wilder sunset, or all the sounds of a symphony swelling in the climax of their piece?

Everything you could want is right here, already. Wherever Here may be.  

Saint Francis and the Trickster  black walnut ink, archival pen, graphite, collage  18" x 24"

We humans do not always see the wondrous dream we are living in its expansive, intricate, connected entirety.  We play the part of a child acting out the "what-if"; for even the most well-informed decision is impulsive within the scale of the big universe.  And so, the Trickster holds one of our hands walking with us through our lives and showing us to ourselves.  

Saint Francis and the Trickster is currently in Portland, Maine, showing in the University of New England's Art Gallery.  Anne Zill and Geri Vistein co-curated the exhibit, Coyote Connections.  more info here:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

What Has Always Been Beneath the Storyteller

The Etsy shop now carries more affordable digital prints on 120lb smooth paper (as opposed to the giclees on cotton rag)!

And more on the way.

 Beneath 2013 

The Storyteller 2013

What Has Always Been 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014

heat and change

The warmth this month has brought with it a crescendo of big change, and all the energy I need to adapt and keep growing to the new, often unfamiliar beat.  The peas I put in the ground a few days ago were, on their fledgling night outside, pummeled by eight hours of thunderstorm, and I found many the next morning lying on top of the soil, unraveling a brave root in the morning sun.  I buried them again and the sun went into hiding for two days, though it stayed warm beneath the glorious cloudscape.  And this morning, when the sun rose and shone bright, those peas shot their first leaves up above the soil, ready for anything.  I am learning from them how to make the most of my own days, to be stubbornly adaptive and stay true to my goals.  Spring is quite a lot to take in after such a long time in our houses and heads.

These paintings, three still in progress, come from this dance I must create in response to the changing weather.  Often I am finding new liveliness in the dance, when my feet stumble into some hidden grace or joy.  And sometimes I must find buried courage to bend my heart or mind in ways that I fear will hurt.

Rapture April 2014- (in progress)

Winter's Bidding February 2014 

Heart, Hearth and Home February 2014

Equifox March 2014

Convalesce September 2013- (in progress)

Everything, Everywhere, Always December 2013- (in progress)    five thumbnails, followed by the big picture

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Album release: Young Cries by Tutlie

These sweet folks asked me three years ago to design their album art.  It was finally released this month for the public's listening pleasure!  Congrats, Jessie and Christina.  Text by the very talented Laura Weiser.

Monday, February 24, 2014

work, frozen to thawing


This winter brought with it dark and poignant dreams, gradual and vibrant discoveries, and a new acceptance for the times mystery and the unfamiliar come forth without the comfort of clarity or understanding.  There have been times I have reached out seeking answers and only retrieved mud, but I am learning that a handful of mud has a distinct texture, smell, temperature and weight.  It takes patience to learn the words for what we are experiencing or noticing for the first time.  The new does not want to be gripped too tightly; it will squirm away from you first.

I think because so often I was without words for my experiences, I allowed simple and automatic symbols to flow from my fingers instead.  I have found comfort in the practice of drawing quickly and often, though meaning is so slow to catch up.  Sometimes, meditation brings inklings of stories or themes behind this work, though I do not pretend yet to see the whole.  The titles of the pieces reflect how young is my relationship to this particular body of work.  I do see reflected in my drawing a desire to accept all the shifts and surprises each day brings, as I search for home in my connection to place, person, dream, and self.

before broken

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