Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Art Journal Spread

I finished the 2 page spread that I started yesterday in my art journal today. It started with the page on the left. It was an intuitive flow that surfaced because I was feeling broken hearted. This morning I opened a letter from the Carter Center and read a story about a 6 year old named Sadia Mesuna who had been suffering from the extremely painful removal of Guinea worms from her feet. 6 year old Sadia was quoted as having said, "It feels more painful than stepping on fire coals or being cut." The second page of this spread is dedicated to her and all the healing work that the Carter Center does. 
May all beings be free from suffering.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Experiencing A Deep Connection with a Black Mama Squirrel

This is one of those posts that some people just won't get and that is fine. Some folks might even think it borders mental instability, that is also fine, but when Don and I unintentionally caused harm to this lovely black, mother squirrel yesterday it devastated us on a very deep level. We both were brought to tears as she lay screaming on the ground unable to move at first. Don panicked and wanted to put her down inmeadiatly to end her suffering but I walked up to her and looked in her eyes and I did not see death in them as I have seen in other animals that were nearing the end. Although to the logical mind it looked very grave and her screaming pierced my heart, Spirit told me to wait and instilled a knowledge that she would make it, that this suffering was temporary.
While we scrambled around on the phone trying to find a wildlife rehabber, (gratitude to Kari Doering and Patti Smith for their compassion, understanding and guidance), the Mama squirrel began to recover and even walk. Patti directed us to gather the babies and put them in a have-a-heart trap so that the mom would come to them. She said they are fiercely devoted mothers and will do just about anything to get to their young. Don and I went upstairs to where Don had removed the sheetrock from the wall, and just as he was reaching in to gently lift the nest of babies, the mama climbed back in through the hole in the soffit. She had climbed up 3 stories with what we thought was a broken leg to get back to her babies.
Don built a platform right under the hole in the soffit and we are putting water and the types of food on it that the 2 wildlife rehabbers recommended so that she does not have to climb the 3 stories up and down to get food. We don't know the extent of her injuries so we are keeping an eye on her.
In the worst part of my anxiety yesterday, while it was all happening I kept trying to tell myself "Calm down, it's only a squirrel, it's not life or death". In my heart, however, it seemed clear that thinking of her and her babies as, "Only squirrels", in the sense that her life mattered any less than mine, was just an illusion created by my ego. Who's to say that God's wild creatures are any less important than we are, or that they don't feel pain or have emotions. This Mama didn't care if she was going to die, she wasn't focused on her injuries. All she wanted was to get back to her babies, and she did. Now we are praying for her, asking our mutual Creator to heal her injuries and keep her and her babies safe.
So call it empathy, or an awakening to our connection with all creatures, kindheartedness, or delusion. But something really profound happened yesterday when we actually felt her suffering in our bodies and grieved on such a deep level for the harm we had caused.
Today when we placed more food on the platform she stuck her head out of the hole and chattered at us. She had taken some of the food we had put out yesterday so it looks like she is OK. When the babies have left the nest we will get a one-way access door like the rehabber recommended and safely evict her. Then we will close up the area of the soffit that had remained unfinished.

 She laid on the ground unmoving, twisted even worse than she is in this photo for a long time, then she opened her eyes and began screaming.

 Eventually she flipped her self over but was still limping and crying

  After a while she started to try and head back to the nest but it looked like her front left leg was hurt.

Eventually she did manage to climb up 3 stories high to get back to her babies. She is eating and drinking the food and water we are leaving out for her.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Citra Solve Art (Part 2)

Last week I used Citra Solve to dissolve the ink on tons of National Geographic pages. Since then I have been playing around with the pages and added layers to them. Some of the layers are added with acrylic inks, watercolor pencils, pastels, pens, stencils and stamps. Other's I scanned into the computer and altered in Photoshop. It is very addicting. 


River Birds

Floating Leaves
As you can see by the photos of all the pages lying out in the sun you can do a lot of pages in one afternoon.  The Citra Solv is 100% natural but has a very strong smell so I worked outside with gloves and a mask the day I altered the pages. I left them to air out the whole next day. 

I put pieces of wood over the pages so they would not blow away as they aired out.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Citra Solv Art

I just noticed it has been exactly a month since my last post. I was really struggling with health for a while but things are looking up again. I started the Byron White protocol, time will tell if it works.

Over the last few days I was finally able to get back to creating art. I did some experimenting with Citr Solv on National Geographic pages and then adding to the pages with acrylic inks, pastels, water soluble crayons, markers, stencils, stamps, plastic wrap, and some digital manipulating. Wow, is this fun! I love how serendipitous the process is. I do think I am sensitive to the orange Citra Solv though so I am going to try the lavender one. I hope it is not a strongly scented because I really am enjoying this process.

Here are a few of the images I got from the process.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Redbird in Flight

A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  
It sings because it has a song.  
~Chinese Proverb 

Difficult days have me leaning on my faith. God keeps sending me beautiful gifts wrapped in feathers as I sit and rest on my deck each day. I've been trying to not allow the fear to settle in too deep or to spend too much time pushing away the unwanted, the fatigue and pain. When the fear and pain comes I am training my focus to quickly shift to the current moment and what is happening around me in that moment.  In the moment when I took this photo a stunning, brilliantly red, Cardinal was in flight over the place where I was resting. He landed in a branch and sang me a song before flying deeper into the woods, perhaps in search of some other lost soul in need of God's voice. Thank you Dear Cardinal for being God's messenger for me today. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cedar Waxwings Dinning on Elderberries

Cedar Waxwing
Drunk on sour cherries, the harlequin of birds
Lurches through the branches and lisps in bleared content,
While a Temperance Union Catbird shrieks her words
In a scathing, scolding lecture he’s too happy to resent.
~William H. Matchett