Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year's End



















As I look back on 2009, it was filled with love and abundance. But if I am truly honest, I spent most of 2009 in tears.

Great love.
Great loss.

Life is so amazing and beautiful, but sometimes is just rips your heart out!

I love.
I am loved.
I love you.

Happy New Year's Eve Day!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Morning Prayer
















I was going to try to recap my year, but I kind of rolled my eyes at myself and thought, "Aw'gwad...who really wants to hear all of the snivelly, little details."

Damn you, Inner Critic.

Lately, the idea if people ever really change has been on my mind.
Actually, it brings me to tears sometimes.
For as much as I think I have grown, or evolved, or "changed," I still feel like a scared, dorky girl.

So, my morning prayer went like this:

...God...I still feel like a scared, dorky girl...just keep giving me the eyes to See this amazing world...


Photo - Taken Christmas Day as I lay on the grass under the warm sun in front of my sister's house. 'Twas a heavenly moment.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Love Never Tires



O Love, aren't you tired yet?

-Leonard Cohen, The Faith from
the album Dear Heather


Give all your soul to God

Arrive naked
every morning
every breath

Give all to others - always.
Love.
Love.
Love.



Drawing (left handed) - 2.5 x 3.5 inches - the next in my No.2 Pencil series from this past weekend.
The image I found in my sketch book; from this past summer when my friend, Gary, was dying. In the presence of such Grace, love never tires!
The words are from a journal I kept at the same time. It was written from my left hand as well.

Monday, December 28, 2009

No.2 Pencils and Love



















I am
sitting here in the middle of your chest.


I will
Love again no matter what you may think.


I wish
you could See.


I won't
burst or break.


I want
to Love fully...completely...you...me...All.


I fear
nothing, for I am Love.



Drawing - 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Illustration board was painted, then coated with white gesso. The drawing it done left handed, including the coloring of the hair. Right handed, I wrote the words "come let me love you..." (John Denver lyrics).
This technique came out of realizing how much I love classic No.2 pencils. I used one for the line work. Short. Long. Dull. Sharp. Brand new. Slightly gnawed. Oh, I forgot how much I love yellow No.2 pencils!
The words were inspired by writing exercise taken from The Art of Personal Imagery by Corey Moortgat.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter Walk

I discovered there is a lot of orange to be found in a southern California winter. I took these this morning while out walking.
Orange - it just happens to be my favorite color.





Friday, December 25, 2009

Be Tender As Mary


And wail like a baby

And sail through the storm

Be tender as Mary

With her newborn son

Words by Carly Simon
The Land of Christmas (Mary)


Drawing - pen, 2.5 x 3.5 inches.
A mother's tenderness at the birth of new Life - it's the only thing that makes sense to me this holiday. Although...I did love watching my nephew play with PlayDoh, laughing with my family, walking in the cold night to midnight mass with my mom, and holding my step-grandpa's shaky hand during prayer. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Three Wise Men


And like a silly, foolish woman
she thought
her love
could heal them.

No.


This Sky

Where we live


Is no place to lose your wings


So love, love,


Love.


-Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky



Drawing - pen, 5 x 3.5 inches. Three wise men who continue to appear in my dreams.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Love is What is True Today

































Here is what I know to be true today:

Through the face that tries to hold back tears...

Through the voice on the phone that tries to sound strong...

I love you.



To my Little Jenny
This is for all of your Christmases...

All my love,
Mom
10/29/76

My contributions in 5 year old writing:

MOM
DAD
(ice cream cone)
I LOVE YOU (flipped and backwards)

This inscription is inside one of my favorite childhood books: Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus. The pictures are by Ken Munowitz (top photos). I use to look though this book and stare at the drawings. I think they influenced the art I now create.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rainy Day Drawing & Hafiz

Heavenly.
Rainy day!
So rare.

Love.


Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth,

"You owe Me."


Look
what happens
with a love like that,

it lights the

Whole


Sky.


-Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinksy



Drawing - pen, 2.5 x 3.5 inches.
I closed my eyes while drawing the lines for this...just to see what would happen.
(And eyes were open for contouring the lines.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kindness & Sorrow






















These words have made all the difference.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Yesterday I finally did what I set out to do.
It is my way of being part of the cloth.

I began my volunteering at the Loma Linda's Children Hospital.
My heart is full.
I am so grateful the universe still supports me even when I procrastinate.

Kindness.


Artwork - A marker drawing I made at about age four. I remember sitting at my dad's work desk when I drew this.
Poem - CLICK HERE to see the complete poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. Originally I was given a copy of this poem, but lost it. When I searched for it, I ended up finding, not only the poem, but new blog friends, too!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Alright to Cry

I grew up in the 70's with Free To Be...You and Me by Marlo Thomas.
I love this song. Enjoy!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Drawing in Bed



When I let go of what I am,

I become what I might be.


-Lao Tzu



I mentioned I was "sick." It really turned out to be a silent migraine - moderate pain but severe symptoms. My brain feels foggy for a couple of days after as it mends and and finds clarity again. At night, I have been drawing in bed. It is feels good. I only take my tiny paper and a pen.
The top drawing is done with my right hand, my dominate hand.
The bottom drawing was done with my left hand.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rainy Day Photos

I've been a wee bit sick. I don't want to disappear for too many days, so as I mend a bit more, I will share these amazing rainy day photos taken by my niece, Carmen Stevning, age 14. It is rare we have a classic gloomy, rainy day. I love them when they do come around! Carmen captured it beautifully right from her own backyard.










Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lover


If God were my lover he would say, "You are not my hurried maid. Come sit with me and breathe."

If God were my lover what would we do?
We would laugh hysterically at tiny bubbles and cry for all of those that missed the Great Show in the sky.

If God were my lover...

If God were my lover there would be reason to pause by the window and sit in the sun streaming across the carpet; there would be reason to stare into a rain puddle and gaze at the trees.

If God were my lover, he would not mind if my afternoon was quiet and still.
He would not say, "You have wasted my time."

If God were my lover...



Photo - This weekend I found a fabric painting I had started about three months ago while in much emotion turmoil. I ripped it up...let it go. (The thought of keeping it made my stomach hurt.) The strips were colorful, so I photographed them from my computer camera and then intensified the colors in iPhoto.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Billy Collins

The Wise One said, "She died...she is not here, but she didn't go away."
The Kind One silently said, "I know."


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Clarence Schnitzel: A Love Letter



















My dear Charlotte,

May I be so bold as to bespeak you with such a glorious name as you have.
I am only a humble painter but I have heard so much about you that I am pining to look into your ravishing and magnificent eyes.

Again and again I have tried to sketch you. But I have failed utterly and I am seized with a heart-rendering madness. I feel so unworthy to send you a line, but I must empty my heavy heart and you my darling are the only one in the world!

I cannot eat nor sleep, but my pictures have acquired a fine spiritual quality which betokens the mad passions which are rapidly consuming my soul.

My spirit shrinks from asking, but on bended knee I implore you to send me one tiny word to give me hope so that you may not wholly perish. Until I hear from you I shall be in mortal agony.

Your ever devoted,
Clarence Schnitzel


Artwork and Letter: This letter was written for my paternal grandma, Charlotte Hall Brown Stevning, 1904 - 1979. Recently I came across it. I do believe it is very sweet. I am a hopeless romanitc! But I cannot figure out if it was a real love, or if it was a joke Charlotte's sister was playing on her.

The collage background contains layers of black and white photocopies of the original letter.

Oh, and I don't know who Clarence Schnitzel is. My paternal grandpa's name is Donald Archibald Stevning.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Quick Post

I am home today caring for my daughter.
She had her wisdom teeth removed this morning.

This makes me blush.
It almost felt blasphemous to hear this poem regarding the mysterious and revered, Emily Dickinson. Nevertheless...




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monepic Love














I.
LOVE.
You.



Artwork - 2.5 x 3.5 inches, pen.
Monepic: composed of a single word or single-word sentences.
I learned that word just this morning.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Most Beautiful Woman

Recipe for Beauty:

1 Styrofoam ball
2 cotton balls
3 sequins
2 tassels off an old curtain
4 straight pins
white glue

When I was four, I made this Christmas ornament. She is beautiful! Oh, how I love her!
I know....it's okay to laugh. So maybe her sequin eyes are a bit wonky, the tassel earrings are a bit gaudy and there are a couple of bug carcasses in her cotton ball hair, but it is the spirit of creativity that I love about her.
I remember making her. I had the power to choose the materials, how I designed her, and I didn't care what anyone else thought. She was beautiful! I loved my creation and I was so happy!
It was a rare moment - one I have never been able to recreate. But that is okay. I will continue to create no matter what.
It reminds me though, that even one, uninhibited, creative opportunity in a child can last a lifetime.
Powerful!
Simple. Joy. Beauty. Love.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Start Laughing

if I hold on to what I love
my house is full
but eventually
I won't be able to move
or breathe

if I let go of what I love
my house is empty
I can move and breathe
but I will be alone...

but not lonely


I have a thousand brilliant lies

For the question:

How are you?

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

What is God?

If you think that the Truth can be known
From words,

If you think that the Sun and the Ocean

Can pass through that tiny opening Called the mouth,

O someone should start laughing!
Someone should start wildly Laughing –Now!

- Hafiz, Someone Should Start Laughing


Artwork - Marker and Colored Pencil, 2006.

Monday, December 7, 2009

...tiny huge Love


with

without

within

scared

sacred

tiny

huge

Love

A favorite:

To one who waits, all things reveal themselves,
so long as you have the courage not to deny,
in the darkness, what you have seen in the light. -Coventry Patmore

Drawing - 2.5 x 3.5 inches, pen

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

To The End of Love


Dance me to the wedding now
dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and
dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love
we're both of us above
Dance me to the end of love

-Leonard Cohen

Video: Dance Me To The End of Love


No one can tell me if my love lands on the Earth or in the Heavens.

Collage - November, 2009.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Drawing, Old Words

I will not

cling to the rocks

and watch it all go by.

Step off!

Dive. Jump. Leap.

Hold your breath

and Breathe!


I am breathing.




Artwork - 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Words - Found in a journal of mine. Entry: May, 2008.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sweet Smell of Christmas


Anosmia - the loss of the sense of smell, either total or partial.


That is what I have. I don't know why.
It happened around age 8.
It began as partial but is now almost total.
For the most part I don't even think about it.
Around Christmas, I am more aware of it.

One of my favorite books when I was little was
The Sweet Smell of Christmas
by Patricia Scarry.
Every other page has a scratch-n-sniff sticker
associated with some wonderful Christmas smell:
gingerbread
pine
orange
hot chocolate
apple pie
candy cane.

I remember sticking my nose on each page taking it all in.
Last Winter they reissued the book.
I bought one!
But alas...
I can't smell the stickers, nor can I remember the smells.
My brain has forgotten.
It is the only time it makes me a wee bit sad.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Odd

...and I wrangle with my bra as it gets stuck on my wet skin
I start to cry
just one of those moments
so much I love
so much I miss

...and I sit on the edge of my bed, kicking off my shoes
I start to laugh
I know nothing of:
this Life

the One

Love

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Leaves





My love affair with leaves began long ago.

One lone red leaf.
Found.
Mine...for a while.


Photos - Me in a huge pile of leaves, Fall 1977.
My lone red leaf...photographed and altered three different ways.

Monday, November 30, 2009

This & That



A little of this.

A little of that.

New.

More layers to shed.
More things to discover.
But I am in no rush...for once.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Honey Girl

Honey Girl.
My mom's dog.
Rescued from the pound.
Ten years in her second life.

I miss her.
I love her so.
She would lay so still while
I pet her and whispered my woes into her ear.

Wednesday.
Dying so quiet and nobly.
She laid next to me and I pet her,
whispering in her ear how much I love her.

Friday.
Honey Girl died.
One last joyous run to meet
my mom at the back door.
She died mid stride
landing on the soft grass
right by the morning glories.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving













Thankful.
Thankful.
Thankful.

Drop below the story line with me.
Beyond the clean and polished Thanksgiving story you read in history books and beyond the true story...drop below to a day to pause and give Thanks! Ideally, we know this is every day, and in fact, every moment, but here we are on a day where there is a collective thanks.
I like that.

I am thankful for my family and friends that love me when I am beautiful, and when I am ugly.
I am thankful for what I have learned in the past year, even if it was heart-wrenching and painful.
I am thankful for those moments of Connection that are so immense you feel you could just burst.
I am thankful for the Sacred!

But, I am also thankful for the profane.
I am thankful for toilet paper and the fact I can use it all by myself!
I am thankful for Post-Its, new Sharpies and glue sticks.
I am thankful for glitter and odd treasures.
I am thankful that when I bake my family cookies, I get to eat the dough.

Love.
Laughter.
Thanks.

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reading with Chloe


I remember
when all we needed
was a book or two
to make
any moment
just right.

You fit perfectly in my lap.
You would lean against my heart.

We would read and read and read and read...
and all felt safe in the world.



Photo - Chloe and me, 1996.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dying Fires and Waking Up


The logs are running out.
The fire of grief is dying.


I love Jesus, who said to us:

heaven and earth will pass away.
When heaven and earth have passed away,
my word will remain.

What was your word, Jesus?
Love?
Forgiveness?
Affection?
All your words were one word:
WAKEUP!

-Antonio Machado, Proverbs and Tiny Songs


Collage - 2000ish
The little girl is my sister, Allison Grae.
The words are : The difficulty of awakening is immense.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Possibilites


















I paused.

There are so many possibilities!

Gentle excitement.

Not the usual fear.

Tiny fleeting moment.

Huge success.


Drawing - 2.5 x 3.5 inches
Drawn with right hand only.

Thursday, November 19, 2009