Sunday, July 18, 2021

My lovely sister, Jacqui

This is in essence an art blog,  but today I want to share about my lovely sister, Jacqui - Jacqueline Rose - who passed away last Sunday, 7/11/21.  Jacqui was a tremendously brave person. In 2016 she had a fall which led to a dramatic change in her life. The fall led to a 3 day coma, but after  two weeks in hospital, it was revealed that the underlying cause was viral encephalitis of an unknown origin. The virus literally damaged Jacqui's brain, impacting her cognition and skills and she woke up in another life, as it were.  I became her 'guardian', helping her negotiate and manage the complexities of life.  We did this journey together for 5 years.

But as I share in my Face Book post, 2021 simply over came her.



I began this Jacqui collage last Sunday afternoon when a nurse called me to say Jacqui was not doing well, would not take liquids or yogurt and they would try further and check back with me later.  Jacqui had been fading, but things did not seem imminent.  I sat at my computer and began going through photos and gathering ones that spoke to me.  I worked with them and began placing them into a collage. The nursing home called me at 5pm to say they felt she was leaving and I told them to call her husband right away.  I don't live where she was, so I could not get there.  At 5:27, the call came that she had, indeed, 'slipped away'.  

Yesterday, I was emotionally able to return to the collage because I wanted it to mark the first week of her passing.  It is not her whole life, just elements of her and I and with our parents.  It is Sisters. 

Sisters - Jacqui Rose collage

Monday, May 17, 2021

Anonymous Content Collage

 An image gets your attention and off you go.  That key image becomes the anchor of my Anonymous Content collages and the others come into alignment.  These alignments are connected in ways I can't clarify, but they all do like to be together and cohabit their collage space.


Anonymous Content7 Collage



Anonymous Content6 Collage

Anonymous Content8 Collage

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Fellini Rose and February Adieux

My mother Rose left us on the last day of February in a leap year.  There was something apropos to her way in the world that she would leave on a day that is out of sequence with the typical. She was incredibly brave at the end; on her own and knowing her body was leaving and that any last minute interventions would be without success. She made a final phone call to my sister Jacqui, saying goodbye and 'don't call 911'. My sister said, 'Mom, you know I can't do that' and she said, 'It's okay, I won't be here when they arrive'. And she was not. She left on her own terms. Recently my dear friend Perry sent me the black and white photo of Rose and I, circa 1976 that inspired this collage.  It was Mom in what I called 'high Fellini' style ~ a turban, big hoop earrings and her ever present dark glasses. A perfect way to remember her. 
Fellini Rose

Others close to me left in a February as well.  Perhaps the nadir point of the year loosens our bonds.  My three friends were all young and left too soon.  Pat and Oscar had illness take them and we got to journey with them a bit to their farewell. Peter went shockingly suddenly from an aneurysm and there was no shared journey, just a fait accompli.  Their passing was hard but their vitality stays with me.
February Adieux ~ Peter, Pat & Oscar

 I'm glad I can capture a memory.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentine and a Bernie

 Not withstanding the odd correlation of Love and a martyred saint, it's still fun to have a Hallmark Card day to celebrate love. Love is a good thing indeed.


Rami Heart Frida


Had to take a moment and join the crowd

Bernie at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center

Friday, January 15, 2021

Two Crows and an Octopus walk into a bar

Ok. I couldn't resist the title - and why should I?? But we do have crows and octopi. These are my last collages [except for cards] of 2020.  Not particularly end-of-year significant, but just a bit.

Crows are my totem, an energy that brings me to closer connection with the 'other' in the world, to more than you can see, to sensing awareness, the interconnection of things.

I find that Crows often emerge in my work when I am feeling overwhelmed, in over my head, too much to bear and they bring with them a integrating effect.  Some collages carry a specific story, others do not.

Two Crows stands as a symbol of Crow energy.  She carries symbols, some personal to me, others not. She stands tall and strong.

Two Crows

Crows Don't Fly At Night emerged from a dream message.  I was lying awake in the middle of the night, thinking about things I needed to do, manage, handle.  I heard the message 'Crows don't fly at night', which I took as a reminder that I couldn't actually take any action in the middle of the night about the things I was ruminating over; to let it go, no flying at night.

Crows Don't Fly At Night

Some time ago my son had an affection for Octopi and I began using them in cards and collages for him, but along the way, I adopted Octopi as my own totem.  They are smart, clever, strong animals who adapt to their environment in amazing ways.  And I like to see them in settings where they are incongruous.   

Retro Octo Girls is just a fun, optimistic collage.  It began as 'anonymous content' collage - no specific theme -  when I found the Retro woman on the left. Other elements caught my eye and then Ocotpi became the cohesive element.

Retro Octo Girls

Friday, October 30, 2020

Halloween, Hallows, Day of the Dead

 Hidden Realms,  the Veil Between Worlds, Magick and Mystery, Celebrating Loved Ones Gone. Embrace the Moon. Listen to the Earth. Invite the Others.  This is that time of the year.


Michael @ Hallows collage      


Day of the Dead - Mi Dio de los Muretos collage

For Anthony & Rose, Elizabeth, Julia C, Peter, Helen, Martha, 

Oscar, Christian, Dave, Pat, Jerry, Julia H and Jim


Hallows Past...

Frida at Hallows collage

Bad Dolly Trick or Treat collage


I Still Repeat the Things You Said collage

All Halloweend collage


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Darkling Series continues

These Tarot-like images have been coming to me for awhile now.  I like how they 'pop' into my head and how they morph as I work on them.   Their names and titles arrive whole or evolve.  And I know there are fuller 'stories' behind them, but they've not really emerged.  But people do share with me the stories they see in the images. I like the sense of communication that seems enmeshed with them.

In that vein, this collage was inspired by Alice.  After I shared the Darklings Series post on Facebook, Alice asked 'Will one of your Darklings be a Keeper of the Crossroads? Crossroads are places of great magic.' Her comment really spoke to me. 

Our strong Guardian is accompanied by Feline, Canine and Crow energy at the Crossroad.  Georgia O'Keeffe holds open a portal to Otherwhere.


Guardian of the Crossroads - Darkling Series



This first came to me as Compassion and Strength, but then I had a dream of Redwood trees and the particular strength of Endurance arose.


Compassion & Endurance collage - Darkling Series



Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Darkling Series


The first images came to me while I was watching the Victorian gothic mysterious Penny Dreadful series. I dreamt of dark gowns and then as I began some image searches, the sense that these gowned ladies were holders of energy, held in their symbols and totems came to me. 

After I collected some 'dark gowns', the first totem arose - the Bat.  The Bat, so often symbol of the night and mysterious.  But more so a being of extraordinary perception of direction.  So the 'dark' totems became more expansive. As you will see many totem animals arose -Crow, Spider, Snake, Octopi, Lion and in the 'Clan Guardians' - we see Wolf, Panther, Eagle and Bear.

I have been working on these Darklings for several months now.  Some came in quick succession. Others had a waiting time.  A friend likened them to the images on Tarot cards and they do seem to echo those symbolic archetypal images.  Tarot has accompanying interpretations and here the collage titles serves that role;  so if you were to draw 'Minon, Knower of Direction', she could lead you to contemplate, query and associate to direction - needing it, finding it, knowing it is there and so on.

Some of the images offered the main character's name first, the quality being expressed secondly. Others came without a 'name' and only the quality and I have named the images accordingly. Each name came with it's own spelling - some of which are not 'actual' names or spellings; and in one a friend told me the meaning of the name.  So as you can see, this series has been an interesting intuitive and 'allowing' process for me.  I am not sure the Darklings are complete, but decided to share these seven today.

In that, I decided to google the meaning of today's date, August 11, and found this:  August 11th is the day of validation. Individuals born on August 11th express a strong desire to reveal the truth. They also have a predisposition to the dark side of life and places that others are not used to.

Don't you just  love it when the Multiverse seems to be communicating with you?  I do.

Minon - Knower of Directions ~ Darkling Series

Arane' - Mistress of Webs of Interconnection ~ Darkling Series

Keepers of the Unconscious ~ Darkling Series

Corvidae - She Who Remembers ~ Darkling Series

Oralia - Embracer of Change & Adaptability ~ Darkling Series

Clan Guardians ~ Darkling Series

Leiondra - Strength Though Clan ~ Darkling Series

Monday, July 20, 2020

Ups and Downs and All Around

Some collages emerge because an image catches your eye.  Some are fun.  Others are a place to sort out your feelings.  Still others are a nod to a friend.

Tres Street Ladies - from Julia Chou Mural
This mural is on an nearly abandoned building in Waynesboro, VA.  It was painted by Julia Chon as part of the 2019 Virginia Street Arts Festival



Pink Bette        

Many Clans for Steve Two Hawk  

Orange Crush Caddy

Auto Dogs for Jess


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

When Nothing is Certain, Everything is Possible

Art gives us another window to look through. Creating captures your focus and you enter another stream for awhile.  For myself, 'pushing images' around in digital collage or adding bits and pieces together in mixed-media, lets me move away from the often overwhelming-ness of the world and find a 'breather' in an 'other' world.

Before Covid19, I was working on making embellished versions of some of my collages. I extracted key images and mounted them on foam-core to add dimension and then added a high-glaze finish to each piece.  But when everything changed in March, I just put all creating aside for awhile.  Recently, I re-elooked at the collage and realized it's a perfect message for now.

This is the original collage.

When Nothing is Certain - Everything is possible

and the dimensional version with  embellished frame

Friends of mine are creating these days as well.  I love this reminder from SVAC - Shenandoah Valley Art Center, of which I am a member.

Check out our current Members Exhibit.

I contributed my Covid 19 pieces and this, Frida Kali Kwan Yin

Frida Kali Kwan Yin

My dear friend Deb Booth at Different Light Studio found roosters calling to be quilled. Check out the detailed shots of the quilling.

Cock of the Walk by Deb Booth - Quilling

Black Rooster by Deb Booth - Quilling

Quilling detail

Quilling Detail   

My HeartDaughter Mimi is an amazing craftsperson.  Knitting, quilts, lace, crochet and whatever else catches her fancy.

These magical birds were my birthday gift. The pattern echoes Mexican designs.

And a too cute Snow Bird for her friend Margaret.

Quilt in progress

So create! Make Art. Wash your hands. 

Take care. Stay safe. Be safe for others.