Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sketchbook Finished!!!!! Check Out the Video of the Whole Sketchbook!

Well I finally finished the sketchbook for Art House Co-op's 2010 Sketchbook Project. I still need to adorn the cover but the inside is completed. After having spent so many months working on this sketchbook I wanted to have a photographic record of it to keep after I send it out to the Gallery in NY so I made a video slide show and posted it on YouTube. Click on this link to view the video of my sketchbook pages on the YouTube website: Sketchbook Project Video, Linda Marcille

Or watch the small embedded video below: 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Saying Goobye, Surrendering & Using Art as My Guide

 I am counting down the days until I need to send the sketchbook I have been working on back to Art House Co-op where is will go on tour across the country . So much of my life lately seems to be about letting go; closing my silk painting studio, the realization that the new medications I am on will not produce immediate results, loosing my ability to be as mobile as I was, letting go of 2010; the 10th year of this illness in which I was so sure I would be healed and now letting go of this amazing sketchbook that has been my near and dear companion for so long.

In the past I believed so completely that God and my own ability to manifest health would cure this illness. To this day it continues to shock me that I am not well yet. However there is this message, a mantra of sorts that keeps coming to me from all kinds of sources and it is "Surrender". Just surrender, just be, just allow what is, stop fighting and kicking and screaming against this illness and be with it for a while. Just see where it takes you, how deep it goes, how dark it gets. Then perhaps in the midst of that dark pace I will begin to see a flicker of light.

A friend of mine is sitting in vigil with her dying father and has been sharing the most amazing details of this sacred time father and daughter are experiencing together. Today she wrote that he said "I have one foot on that side and one foot on this.... I am smiling on both sides... It is a bright, light filled place." I was so moved by his words and in awe of the crossing that awaits him. I have always anticipated something amazing on the other side of this life and when I worked with hospice patients I was blessed to be able to witness the transition between life and death first hand. It is trying to find the light on this side while struggling with this never ending illness that seems to be eluding me. I need to find that light within me while I am still living.

The decision to close my silk painting studio was made for me not by me. My body and energy have finally given out after living with a revved up immune system all these years. There was just no way I could go on working. I rarely leave the house anymore except for my 4 to 5 medical appointments each week so honestly I am having trouble seeing the light in all this, BUT....I do know it is there! I know that God is with me, I know that my life has purpose and that whether I am cured of this disease or not I can still be healed. This is a tough path, not one I would have chosen for myself (although there are those that believe we do choose our own path in this life). In an effort to find balance, peace and healing during this time of illness I think closing my business was a very neccisary act. As long as I was creating paintings that would please gallery managers and would sell I was not free to create really soulful work. The stress levels were very high and energy demands too intense. As my work with the sketchbook project comes to a close and I prepare to let it go on its journey I am looking forward to a time of artistic freedom with no commercial demands. 
It is my hope that as I leave the "darkness" of 2010 behind, the "light" I will be walking into in 2011 will afford me a year of reflection, restoration, and healing. Even if my disease is not "cured" I want to be at peace with what is. I want to stop fighting. I feel like shouting "I hear you Universe, I am my muse as I paint a path toward my own inner light. Help me cross this seemingly impossible void so that whether I am sick or well  I will be healed."

Below are a the latest page spreads from the sketchbook, I have 4 more page spreads to go before the book is finished.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lymphedema, and Totem Spirits

The journey has been a rough one lately. I am averaging 4 medical appointments every week and am so worn out in between that I don't have much energy to create or do much of anything. My eyesight is getting really bad again and my cognitive issues are so bad that I can't really get any reading done. Now they are saying they think I have Lymphedema and I am going to see a specialist next week.I have been unbearably depressed and seem to have daily weeping spells which just further confirm that I made the right choice in closing my silk studio at least for now.  There are also some other medical issues that have cropped up because of the Lyme but I won't get into them all here.

I really want to get some Christmas decorations up but just have not had the energy. I am hoping that in the next couple of days we can get some decorating done. I think that will help cheer me up a bit and get into the holiday spirit.

The sketchbook I have been working on for the Sketchbook Project is due in early January so I am feeling a bit pressured to get it done. Today I put on some Christmas music and went into the studio and painted the page spread above. I called it Totem Spirits and I am so pleased with it that I may try to do an oil painting based on the gouache sketch. I was so fatigued while I was painting it that I wasn't able to put much thought into it so it really just sort of flowed out on it's own.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Five More Sketchbook Project Page Spreads

Picture of Health

Seeds of Healing

Was it You?

Was it you I saw like a brilliant flash in the sunrise?
Was that rainbow formed by your radiant smile?
Have you been here throughout this long dark night?
Was I really never alone?
~ L. Marcille

The  page above was painted with the some dye that had dried into the dyes cups from the last silk painting I did a few months ago. I was cleaning up the studio and couldn't resist using these last bits of dye in my sketchbook so I added a little water and this is what appeared. 


Fly Away

This page spread for the Sketchbook Project is symbolic because the brown paper is the paper that I steam silk scarves in and the dye has bled off during steaming coloring the paper. I created this page the day I announced I was being forced to close my silk painting studio due to health issues.

Healing Quest

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Closing My Silk Studio with Great Regret, Due to Illness (at least for now)

 "You Are What You Eat"
Photo above shows just a small portion of the medications 
I've been prescribed while being treated for Advanced Neurological Lyme.

This is such a difficult letter for me to write and it is with great regret that I am making this announcement. Many of you know that I have spent over a decade now battling Advanced Neurological Lyme disease and that it has activated a Lyme-induced autoimmune disease and a condition called Ankylosing spondylitis.  My symptoms have grown much worse over the last year, escalating dramatically in the last few months, and the neurological/cognitive aspects have caused me to make many mistakes in my business dealings, some that have cost me valuable time and money. I am currently having trouble focusing my concentration enough to even do the simplest tasks like paying bills and shipping orders to customers. The pain and fatigue are paralyzing at times and keep me from doing tasks like cooking, laundry, housekeeping, so much of the burden of these tasks has fallen onto Don. He had already taken over much of the grunt work for my silk studio and he now has his own health issues to deal with so I don't feel I can continue to make demands on him for framing, mat cutting, shrink wrapping and so on.

 I have been painting on silk since the late 1990's and it is a passion that I hope I will be able to return to in the near future, but it is a very physically and mentally challenging medium when used to create the style of painting I do. There are also fumes and chemicals that I am exposed to with my dyes and resists that may be taxing my system. As many of you know running a business is incredibly stressful and running an art studio in the midst of a recession is even more stressful. Don and I have viewed this from every angle possible and have come to the conclusion that at least for now I need to concentrate all of my energies on getting well again. So barring any medical miracles I am regretfully announcing the close of my silk painting studio. I have no idea what the future will bring but there is a very good chance that if I am able to reach the coveted state of remission then I would certainly consider reopening the studio.

Another very sad announcement that breaks my heart is that I am also closing down the Lyme Awareness Art Project (LAAP). The LAAP online gallery will officially be closed in early 2011. You can still visit the site at this link until January: My deepest apologies to all the Lyme sufferers that were so gracious in lending their amazing poetry and artwork to this project. Each and every one of you is a blessing and inspiration to me. Keep creating and using artistic expression as a means of healing in your lives.

I am not going to stop creating art altogether until I am dead ;~) so I will absolutely continue to create art for my own pleasure and will continue to post it on my blog to share with you when I am able. I hope that by using less demanding mediums like gauche or water soluble oils I will be able to paint by taking lots of rest breaks in between periods of painting, a luxury that the demands of working with dyes on silk does not allow me. Having a break from running the business part of the studio will also allow me more time to create in a more relaxed atmosphere. After I finish working on the Sketchbook Project and submitting it to Art House Co op in January it is my hope that I will be blessed with the enough energy to explore a series of sketches and paintings based on illness, recovery and ecstatic relationships with the Divine. I am hoping that this exploration will be part of my healing process.

 All of the galleries that carry my artwork and prints are fully stocked and will most likely have my work on display through 2011. At this time I am no longer taking custom orders and all deposits are being returned. I will continue to sell out of my online Etsy shop until it is empty.
In closing I want to deeply thank all of my customers and supporters. You are what have kept me creating despite my illness all these years. Your kind words and praise of my work have sustained me and encouraged me to go on to creating during even the worst times of my illness. I wish you wellness and joy, always.

Be Well and Create Joy,
Linda Marcille

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Counting Down the Days till the Sketchbook Project Deadline!

Well I feel the deadline drawing ever-closer for the Sketchbook Project so I have been spending sometime on it over the last few days. Finally took some photos to post for you..
On another note I am sad to say that I have had another relapse with Advanced Neurological Lyme and I will be making a difficult announcement in the next couple of days, so stay tuned.