Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cracking Open

Cracked Open

She fell out of the sky, wings aflame, plummeting to the earth in a deadly spiral.
Fear rushing up into her body as she tried her useless wings.

Her eyes locked onto the rocks below
              already imagining the explosive pain 
                    as her body smashed onto the granite.

Somewhere a whisper - a reminder from another place - "the rocks are your salvation". 
A part of her craved the rocks, even longed for them like a lover to her beloved.
In the very moment she hit the rocks
          she surrendered.  
                    Surrendered to the imagined pain. 
                    Surrendered to the illusion.
   in that very next moment
                    she soared.  
                    Her glorious wings, outstretched, tickled the earth as she soared heavenward
                    and the broken shards of the old fell away.
Tears of thanks flowed from her eyes.
         As light and love filled her soul.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Loco Tita

Meet Loco Tita.  Born Tita Mannella Marie
Now, this bird has a story.  Loco Tita used to be your average chicken.  She got up every morning, laid an egg, then headed out of the coop to scratch in the dirt with the rest of the girls.  In fact, she was so average that she was rarely noticed at all.  And that is how, one evening when the other girls were ushered into the coop for the night, Tita was left behind.

By the time she had realized she had been left out for the night, the full moon had already climbed up over the Santiago Mountains and was illuminating the Land Beyond the barnyard.  Now, a chicken out after dark in coyote country might sound like a bad thing, but Tita wasn't particularly worried.  In fact, a strange calmness or peacefulness had fallin' over her and she delighted in following the intoxicating scents into the Land Beyond.

I wish I could tell you what happened to Tita that night, but I cannot, for she hasn't shared her story with others.  All that is known, is that the moon was particularly big and bright that night.  The local coyotes had set up such a ruckus and howl that the chickens secure in the coop feared for their little chicken lives.
The next morning when the chicken door was once again opened, Tito the rooster, found Tita in the barnyard, passed out on her back - little chicken legs straight up in the air, a halo of wild flowers woven upon her head, and the unmistakable scent of coyote clinging suggestively to her chicken-ness.

When she awoke, her eyes were forever crooked - she seemed to see that which the other chickens could not see.  Where Tita was barely noticed before, she was now sought out for her strange ability to "read" chicken feet.  Many a hen has come to Tita to have her chicken fortunes told.

Sometimes, when the moon is particularly full and bright, and the coyotes howl in the distance, Tita looks out to the Land Beyond with longing and desire...

Tito Miguel Salvino

Meet Tito, born Tito Miguel Salvino.

Tito loves the chickens.  How can he not?  Those round fluffy feathered rear-ends call to him.  He has serenaded many a chicken under the light of the full moon.  He really is quite the romantic bird.

He is a masculine chicken, although he is very much in touch with his soft sensitive side.  It is this side of him that sometimes cries when he looks at particularly colorful sunset or sees a pair of fine feathered pantaloons waddle by.

Tito has a certain panache - chicken's and rooster's alike are drawn to him.  He has a flair for the dramatic.  When he plays his guitar and sings, he like to think he is Elvis.  He has even considered heading off to Vegas to try his luck as an Elvis impersonator.  But alas, he could never leave his chickens and his sweet little place on this earth.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Reminder

Sometimes, we think we know why we are somewhere.  And sometimes, the Universe has plans we don't know about.  That clearly happened at the Farmer's Market today.  I went there to sell my wares and advertise my art and business.  I did those things, but I also assisted in someones healing AND that assisted in my healing.

A woman walked into my booth this morning.  I would guess she was about 65 or so.  She was outwardly gregarious, but appeared to me to carry some past wounds.  She was here for the UC Davis graduation.  We chatted and she left.

Then, she came back again.  We chatted, she bought a card and left.

She returned for a third time.  This time, it was amazing watching her body language.  She was picking at her clothing, clutching her arms, letting them go and fussing with her clothes again.  Then, she started choking herself.  She would put both of her hands up on her throat like she was choking herself.  She kept doing it over and over, in-between fussing with the rest of her body.

I opened my heart to her and sent her ease.  I sensed she was choking her words off.  I wanted to be open for her - to receive what she had to say.

And then it poured out, she told me all about her best friend  - who is dying.  She described how for the past several years she has slowly watched her dear friend begin to loose her faculties.  Last year she could use her hands, now she can't.  This year, her friend is loosing her words.  This seemed to really scare her.  How would her friend communicate to her?  How would she know what to do for her friend?

At this point we both started to cry.  I stood up and held her.  I assured her she would know what to do with her friend - and if she didn't - just love her.  I told her to connect with her eyes and heart.  I told her her friend would hear her and her words.  We cried some more.

She told me her friend like her feet rubbed.  She told me she used to take her friend to the beach and how they both loved that.  Now, her friend is immobile and she herself is feeling her age and can't carry her.

I told her when you have a friend like this - you will find each other again.  "But how will I know her?" she sobbed.  "You will - you will recognize one another", I said.  We cried some more.

She shared more and I held her story with honor.  I truly felt blessed that she choose me to share this story with.

She then, began to apologize and say she way OK now.  I assured her her vulnerability was beautiful and encouraged her not to shut it off.  She left my booth lighter.

She returned a forth time.  This time she bought a blessing flag for herself.

My heart was lifted.  Another reminder of why I am here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

From Dance to Flowers

Here is the progression of my latest Flowers and Vase Series.  I am really enjoying these flower pieces.  They are so soft and feminine - all curvy.  This particular piece was inspired from dance.

I love adding words and stories to my art.  This piece is filled with the story of a dance.


I love this piece of paper.  It is from a book on tarot cards and goddesses.  The piece here is describing The Fool.  The Fool being the void, the place of potential - where all is born.  Also, innocence of it's foolishness.  So much so that it can be in the moment and let magic happen.  The sentence that speaks most loudly to me on this piece of paper is, "Fools pick up feathers or special rocks on the beach believing they contain magic".  I am so that Fool!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Flowers for a Friend

This was a commissioned piece that a customer decided they didn't want.  Incidentally, they never even saw the piece.  And that was OK.  When I agreed to make the piece I truly didn't need for them to purchase it.  I was happy to make it.  The interesting thing that I share in making this particular piece, was that I purposely tried to keep myself out of the piece.  I wanted it to be about them and not me.  
I liked the piece, but never loved it.  It just felt a wee flat to me.  That is probably why I didn't mind them not purchasing it.

I recently bought a frame and decided to frame it.  As I revisited this piece, I decided to add myself back into the image.  I LOVED doing this.  I poured all of me into it!  I put in all my sensuality, I put in all the complex emotions that I have felt since making this piece and the feelings I was feeling when I originally made the piece.

It was an amazing process.  There were times when I thought I really ruined the piece - almost ripped it up, almost white washed over it.  There were times I fought with it, times when I danced with it.

And in the end I absolutely fell in love with this piece.  It has so much more depth and feeling to it now.  It feels alive.  It is now framed and hanging in my front room.  It is the largest of the Flower Vase series.

It was a great lesson.  Keep me in the art.  All my parts - shadow and light.

Loved, Held and Safe

I remember a time in my life when I felt absolutely safe and held.  Nothing could hurt me.  I knew without a doubt that I was loved and safe in my mother's arms.  It was the most amazing feeling.

Sometimes I wish I could crawl back into her lap and be held.  To have her stroke my hair and tell me all is well and know without a doubt that it is.

I remember so clearly the first time I understood this in an adult way.  I was about 12 or 13.  It was late summer/early fall.  I had just started seventh grade in a new town and a new home.  It was one of those perfect Autumn evenings.  The air stirring through the windows was still warm with the hint of cooler times to come.  The early evening sounds - that I still cherish - bird songs, frogs beginning to chirp, sounds of kids laughter outside and best of all, the sound of my Mom downstairs cooking dinner.

This perfect evening was seemingly interrupted (in reality it was perfect in it's imperfection).  I recall the crash of noise as several people ran between my house and the neighbors, knocking over garbage cans in their desperation to get away.  Then, the sounds of barking dogs and police searching around my house.  The Police knocked on the door looking for "bad guys" and advised my mom to lock up.

I remember feeling so scared and vulnerable, afraid that the "bad guys" would come into our house and hurt me.  I remember watching as my mom went around and locked all the doors and windows.

I tell her that I am afraid, and what she said to me I will never forget and I thank her for it everyday.

I don't recall her exact words, but what she basically said was, she would give up her life for mine.  She would protect me and my siblings at all costs.  Even if the "bad guys" came into the house they would have to face the Grizzly Bear of my Mother.

I don't think I understood the depth of her love until that moment.  And even though that conversation took place in the blink of an eye - as she was locking up the house, it stopped time for me.  In that moment, my heart was blown wide open, and because of it, I walk differently on this earth.

Even after all the pain that came later, as my mother feel deep into mental illness, I had that gift.  She gave me a precious gift - the gift of a mother's love and the knowing that comes with that - that you are loved, held and safe.

I wish I could tell her again how profound that moment was for me.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Love Affair!

Have a love affair with yourself!  Fall in love with who you are.

I spent the most glorious four days in Mendocino.  It was perfect.  I sat on the bluffs in town overlooking the sea for an hour or more everyday.  The sea was hypnotic and full of wisdom.  And I fell in love with myself - again.
As children, I bet we all were in love with ourselves, and as we moved through life we forgot... we forgot that we were once the most amazing person we'd ever met.

Closing my eyes, I can see my 8 year old self riding her bike down the hill near my house.  Her hair blowing back, a smile warming her sun-freckled face and the sure unwavering belief that she is great and no one (and I mean no one!) can coast down a hill with as much grace and speed as she can.
 I say, let's all fall in love with ourselves again!

"Hi Terre, I'd like to introduce you to the most amazing woman you will ever meet.  She is smart, beautiful, funny, sensual, generous, kind, creative, and she really knows how to love!  Don't get me wrong, she's not perfect by any means - she is only human after all. "

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

First of Three

This is what I have been doing for the last few hours, days, weeks.  Probably should have started sooner, but I couldn't stop painting the vases and flowers.  So, I'm a little behind and pulling some late nights trying to catch up.

The first of the three show is this Thanksgiving weekend.   The Crocker Holiday Art and Craft Festival  at the Scottish Rites Temple in Sacramento.  November 23rd - Noon to 6pm, November 24th - 10am to 5pm, November 25th - 10am to 4pm.  (Just noticed the link to the Festival has the wrong dates and hours).

These are some of the pieces for this show.  They are mostly made with recycled materials.  The imagines are made with cotton scraps that I save.  The backing is made from felted wool coats and sweaters.  The buttons come from the sweaters and coats.

I love working with all these great words too.  I find I choose words that I want to bring to me.  So, I get to play and make beautiful art, AND have therapy all at the same time.

The Crocker puts on a great Festival.  It is a great way to start off the Holiday season and support local artists.  

Powerful Wonderful Creatures

Standing in line at Peets this morning, absent minded-ly listening to the conversations around me.  The older women in front of me talking about their relationships with their husbands.  Some of it funny, some of it grumbly towards their men.

After my tea, I am on campus in search of art supplies at the UCD bookstore.  As I pass different groups of young women, bits of conversation twirl up around me like autumn leaves, " ...he just doesn't understand...", "...I don't know how many friends I have who say that about breaking-up...", ..."he is amazing...", "... he said...".

I walked with a smile on my face.  Young and old, we women sure like to talk of our relationships.  Not to say men don't.  I just don't think they like it like we do.  Felt a solidarity to all women today.  It felt sweet and powerful.  We are such interesting and complex creatures.  I love being a creature!