I was very excited to learn that two young, African American
painters had been chosen to paint the official portraits of Barack and Michelle
Obama, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively. I have followed the work of Wiley in particular over the
past 15 years or so, and was very excited that the Obamas had specifically
chosen these two artists for their National Portrait Gallery representations.
You can see and read about the portraits in this New York Times articlehere
I always tell my students that interpreting art is a deeply
personal thing, so perhaps I should not have been surprised to read online that
there were a number of people who did not feel as I did.
Today's ear worm happens to be a hit song from back in the seventies.... it is reminding me that even when everything looks bad, we need to remain positive. The song was written by someone with the unfortunate name of Wet Willie:
Well you say you got the blues,
Got holes in both of your shoes,
Feelin' alone and confused,
You got to keep on smilin', keep on smilin'
....Keep on smilin' through the rain, laughin' at the pain
Rollin with the changes til the sun comes out again
I have been downright awful about blogging in pretty much every area where I have tried to maintain a blog, and so I begin this blog post by saying I promise to put something here every day, even if it is just a random hello or a little sketch or even some dumb thing. I know that writing begets writing, so I intend to make writing happen for me with starting to write.
I spent much of 2017 feeling sad about a number of things, politics perhaps first and foremost among them. The racial divide in our country seems to be wider than ever, however at the same time, we are talking about it more than in the past.
As many of you are aware, the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel holds an annual Festival of Hecate ritual. I have been a bit behind this week with school keeping me much too busy (see previous post), so I have for you something I wrote that was inspired by one year's Hecate ritual. In this writing, Hecate tells the story of the abduction of Persephone from her point of view. I hope you enjoy it!
I was in my cave, contemplating the depth and darkness of it
all when I heard the Maiden’s screams. By the time I emerged from within, the
ground had already swallowed the Kore up, Hades taking Her down into His dark
April 25, 2015
APRIL is the
cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
From “The Wasteland” by T. S. Eliot
We count the cycle of the year in so many ways, and for
myself and my colleagues in higher education, April truly can be the cruelest
month. We find ourselves hurtling towards the end of the school year, with
graduation looming for our seniors and finals and final grades for everyone.
For the past four months I have been studying Shamanism with Caroline Kenner in the Washington, DC area. Each month, we explore a different area, and this last class was all about fire. Sometimes I am lucky enough to receive some kind of artistic or poetic inspiration, and this past class, I was very happy to receive this poem about fire.
The outburst of light,
Outpouring as from an exploding star
Expanding expanding expanding
Becoming the Universe;
the brightest flame of them all.
It consumes the star
I was recently asked, along
with a group of other artists, by Renee Phillips of Manhattan Arts, to describe
what kinds of rituals do I use when sitting down to create, if I used anything
to set the mood, any special music, and so forth. The array of answers was
fascinating as artists shared what rituals they use, if any, ranging from
artists who just plunge in and begin working to others who need meditation and
other tools to begin.
For me, the art making
process itself is ritual. The studio is my sacred space, where I am free to
create and follow where my inspiration leads.
I dream now of waters of life
The waters that gave birth to
me and mine
Manannan Mac Llyr I feel you
striding across the North Atlantic
And in the south, I feel
Olokun and Yemoja swimming through warmer waters
And all somehow reaching this
This foreign land where my
All come together and mingle
in my blood
My blood like water
Water flowing through my heart
Blood flowing through my veins
Taking on endless shapes and
Waving on beneath the seas,
the rivers, the little creeks
March 30, 2015
I wanted to take a moment this week to talk about a long
term-ish project I have been working on since summer of 2014. I came up with an
idea for a fundraiser for the New Alexandrian Library, which was to create a
book about my favorite women in the magickal community, which would feature
portraits I paint of the women and interviews with the women conducted by Nicky
LeBlanc, another Assembly member, and a writer with a published book under her
belt to boot. Due to the time constraints of having a full-time job, it is
taking longer then I would like, but the project is evolving and growing in
The Faerie Tradition
is not a faith, for faery beings exist whether or not we believe in them.(R. J. Stewart, 1995, p. xvi).
In my many years as a visual
artist, I have created many paintings of the Fae and have given a great deal of
thought to what my connection to Faerie may be. I have come to believe that the
Faeries and other beings of the Otherworld are using me as a conduit for
communication between this and their worlds. All of my paintings in recent
years seem to have become gateways of a sort, and I believe that this is
because it is becoming more necessary than ever for the human worlds and the
Fae realms to work together more in a more amicable way.