Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sometimes the work is very personal

There are times when my art is really a vehicle to support myself emotionally, a way to understand an inner dynamic and in that, to create an icon of that understanding that can stand outside of myself, reminding me of what I have come to know. I call this working in ‘aspect art’.

My husband and I seemed to again and again get into a dynamic of communication where it was as if weren’t really hearing each other. We would end up feeling defensive and soon we wouldn’t know what we were actually arguing about but we both felt hurt.

My sister is an astrologer and showed me on our over-laid charts two squares. She said we each had a square in our place of communication and in astrology, this is a ‘fixed-boxed’ quality. Knowing about it leads you to understand that in certain situations you will always experience this sense of being blocked. She then show me how our individual squares met up, as it were, in the house of early childhood. So, she said at those times when you feel these loops of tense communication you are really reacting to old patterns from childhood. It’s as if one’s internalized ‘mother’ is meeting the other’s internalized mother and old conflicts are in play. Her advice was to be aware and to break the pattern by simply stopping the conversation. She said when you find yourselves repeating or confronting each other and only feeling hurt, not in touch with the originating point, just stop. Say to yourself, “We’re in these boxes of communication.” Stop. Go away. Wait until the emotional circuitry stops looping and start again. This information really resonated with me and I found I was able to ‘stop’, even sometimes when my husband did not.

This piece came to me fully in a dream. The gold figure is the male. Silver the female. In astrology Sun [gold] is male and Moon [silver] is female. The front square has individual vintage pictures of our mothers. The other 3 sides have pictures of us with our mother. The ‘boxes’ were originally votive holders. The figures were not only glued into the boxes, but I poured resin into the boxes to represent the feeling being bound and stuck by the patterns of the past. This pieces serves me very effectively as a reminder to pause, to stop, to wait for the past to stop reverberating, to stay present. The boxes are 3” square and the figures are painted 5” porcelain dolls.

Image name: Boxed Communication

Check out my sister’s website at www.jacquimenkes.com

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thankfulness & Art Girrls

November has been a time of new visions, new possibilities, opening to paradigm shifts and more. It’s always interesting, exciting and bit scary when we find the joy of change dancing with its eternal partner of chaos and destruction. Assemblage artists know that destruction is really only de-construction and it can lead to RE-construction in new and wonderful ways.

As part of this Thankful time, my ‘Art Girrls’ – Kathryn, Nora & Xenia - who join me in the studio once a month, came together to make collages to donate to ZNE’s wonderful Live Pink program. The program donates inspiring art to hospitals and centers helping individuals dealing with cancer and their families. We found it moving to work on pieces with support and caring in mind, wanting to bring a touch of beauty and a moment of joy to someone struggling with such a challenge.

My good friend Deb Booth donated supplies and many images to our project. You can explore her beautiful images from flowers to fractals at www.differentlightstudio.com.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hope, Renewal & Ethiopia

I've been enjoying the sense of hope and possibilities of renewal that have been present. Into this energy, comes the news that my daughter's adoption has finally been approved.

Her search for her soul's child took her across the world to Ethiopia and soon, she will be 'winging' her precious daughter home. I sent her this card to celebrate the event.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween - costume, celebration and all rooted in the mysteries of the 'other side' and the unknown has always held inspiration for me. These two pieces were particularly inspired by Halloween decor I came upon.

The doll is Dark Guardian. Her altered black rose head includes a reaching arm holding a golden ball of possible futures. She stands guard over Dear One and is aided by her trusty gargoyle companion.

The Raven Dancer shoe holds a wise Raven, also a guardian of the dark passage. Mirror shards and jeweled chain add tension to the mystery of dancing between realms.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

ZNE Network - Mixed Media & Indie Artists Connected

I recently joined a wonderful online artist group - the ZNE Network. ZNE comes from the Italian word for variation - variaZioNE. This has been my first experience at online networking and it has been just fantastic. How exciting it was to post my images and begin to receive thoughtful, caring, fun comments from other artists. In the Land of ZNE I feel like I entered a magic-filled consciousness of support and people who can see in a similar bent. There’s a lot to explore on ZNE and I hope you do.

Follow-this link to my ZNE home page and be sure to check out all the ‘friends’ shown on My Page. Each of them is a unique artist and several are on Etsy.com – Your Place to Buy and Sell All things Handmade - where you can purchase some special art to have with you.

The image here is Esme. This lovely dancer, with her shoe filled with crytalline beads, is about 9" tall.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lawrence Welk & James Brown Adventure

Friday evening I had a delightful evening in Richmond, VA at the Broad St 1st Friday art gallery openings. The weather was most pleasant and people were out and about, traveling from gallery to gallery, as these things go. Finally we came upon an installation that caught my eye. Through an open door I saw a large screen with dancers cavorting. It drew me in and up close, I realized the film was of vintage Lawrence Welk - Bobby & Cissy cavorting and other dancers and singers. The film was silent but music was playing in the room through a boom box. Fabulous classic James Brown. Then in a serendipitous way, the dancing and the music came into synch and the Lawrence Welk performers were doing all their routines – perfectly –to James Brown. It was a laugh-out-loud delight. I was captured by it and hung around the space for quite awhile, watching other people discover that moment of synchronization and also laughing out loud in delight. I searched the space for a clue to the artist, to no avail. My brother-in-law Barry observed that the building housed a recording outfit and we speculated that the bit had been put together by them.

I visited another gallery, but returned to the dance and music. I began a chat with a woman outside the space, shared my delight and the recording company idea and my desire to find the artist. She laughed and said it wasn’t the recording company but actually, her and her husband, who also did the other found-object installations in the space.

She shared that the whole thing had started when they were actually watching old Lawrence Welk shows on the Richmond PBS station. They turned off the television sound and turned on a James Brown CD and yes, voila – in time it all came into synch!

So thanks to Tara and husband for sharing their serendipitous experience and making it become an art moment. They don’t have a website, so I can only share this tale of their work with you.

Images: Tara the artist & the installation

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Website Launched

My website alterede.com has been launched. Creating the site was a pretty intense focus recently and quite a learning curve, but again, I just followed the energy, that sense of 'do this now'. Websites, blogs are all a bit in the tradition of casting a bottle into the ocean, but I like the optimism that flows with that.

The image here is Crystalline, one of the goddess torsos. She is crowned with quartz crystals, crystal beads and crystalized broken windshield glass. she is about 10" tall.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I've been in such an energy flow to create this blog and my still-under-construction website. I've been creating in the Studio for years, was part of a co-op gallery for awhile, but mostly worked for myself, collaborating here and there. But now the need has emerged to share and so I'm saying hello and dancing on the web.

There is another work in my life which has been more prominent with my art always as the balancing point. It's still present, still prominent but for now, the art flow is what is speaking, singing, dancing and has captured my focus and energy.

I live in a beautiful small city near the Blue Ridge mountains, which feeds and supports many aspects of my life. But not my art. So I am casting my DEconstructed/REconstructed beings, with their secret inner stories out into the world.

These Alpha Girls gather together in their colorful boxed world, carrying secrets of the letters of life. The box is about 6"wide by 8" tall.