Wednesday, June 12, 2013
I recently had the opportunity to show my work with an 18-year old who gave me a master class through his art and general presence. For years I'd been stuck making smallish oil-on-canvas stretched paintings on a table top in my studio, thinking it's the best way to work in my space. I also felt I needed to have an encapsulating idea to give my work some "sense." After meeting Hakeem Lewis, a rapper, skater and artist, I realized that I needed to free myself from the cage of my conditioning. His work was born in the moment with each piece having its own uniqueness. I wanted the same freedom for myself.
As soon as the exhibition was over, I cleared some wall space and tacked some pre-primed canvas to the wall. Then, I let myself do whatever I wanted and it turned out to be a combination of marker, acrylic and oil stick that eventually became a painting called "New Leaf." I felt so liberated that work just poured out of me, things that had no particular relationship with the next, but, somehow were all me.
Then, I understood that I need not control the flow of creativity. I can just let it out any which way it comes. I am all the more exhilarated as a result and feel free from any limitations. Hallelujah!
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
I think about those who were truly great - those who like the cave painters of yore to Philip Guston and Cy Twombly have let their soul blast directly onto the canvas without pansyish prettifications. I love it when Monet could barely see with cataracts and painted masterpieces that reach the sublime because he didn't have his usual conditioned constraints.
|Claude Monet (late)|
To "go blind" and let myself charge ahead is what gives me inspiration these days. I bought a 38 tubes of oil from a guy on Ebay and bought some pre-primed canvas (which is a first). I wrapped it around a 48 x 48" bulletin board and will pick a good day to jump right in. Let's see what happens.
Friday, April 15, 2011
The Native American tradition of smudging, or burning sage acts as a powerful cleanser and help-mate in the congested world of New York. On any given day, we come across so many different energies at work, in the subway and running our errands that an occasional "bath" can prove to be beneficial.
With the intention of clearing a space, person or object of negative energy, you light a smudge stick and blow out the flame, leaving a strong smelling smoke that you fan in the direction of whatever you wish to cleanse. Traditional calls for an eagle feather and abalone shell, but any bowl and card will do.
Just imagine your space, your body, and your possessions to be shining with bright light and it will be done. Then, you can thank your lucky stars.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
My brother Tony recently told me about a diet called Paleo that expouses the idea that the diet of our prehistoric ancestors is more fit for us than the agrarian one that we've developed over the past 11,000 years. I was skeptical. They probably ate whatever was available. Besides, who would want to give up potatoes, rice, wheat, dairy and sugar (to name a few on the no-no list)?
After doing a little reading, I was interested in how energetic it made the converts feel and how lean and trim they became. Of course, eating salmon and berries for breakfast may take getting used to, but, I was intrigued and decided to give it whirl.
The first week was admittedly difficult, with light-headedness, shakiness, and irritability being the major sensations. I was going through a sugar withdrawal and readjusting to fat as my new source of energy. Going into my third week, I have to say that I have never felt more vibrant, clear and fresh. Even though I didn't have any breathing issues, I feel I can breathe so much easier now. The food is satisfying and tasty and I am exploring new vegetables like I never have before like mashed parsnips and celery root. Straight from the earth, these foods taste great naturally!
At first, I thought this diet was all about eating meaty brontosaurus ribs cooked on an open flame. However, it is really more about eating foods in their natural and unadultered state. I actually feel more like a vegetarian with this new diet. Though it may not be easy to procure pastured meat, a little is all that is required. Maybe I've always been a primal girl, prizing soul expression, simplicity, nature, and instincts over modern technology and civilization. Now, I feel ready to try more physical workouts that will increase my agility and strength.
How did our ancestors really live? Was life really difficult back then? If art is any indication of a health of a culture, cave paintings show a people who are very in touch with their souls and environment - something we can all learn from in this day and age.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
|Gohonzon - an object of devotion|
When calamities such as the tsunami in Japan strike, one is often at a loss as to what to do to help. In those shocking moments, I would recommend saying a prayer in the form of a chant. Powerful phonetic vibrations have a activating effect on the forces of the universe, bringing change and improvement of conditions.
One such Nichiren Buddhist chant is "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo," which translates "to honor/devote oneself to the wonderful law of the Lotus Flower Sutra." While the original purpose of this chant is to attain enlightenment, I and my friends find ourselves resorting to it when in need of immediate help, like an S.O.S. call. When repeating it with strength and focus, the power of it shoots out like a laser beam.
Another such chant is the Tibetan Buddhist "Om Mani Padme Hum" which invokes the attention and blessings of the compassionate one. It is more subtle, but no less powerful than the one above, instilling peace to wherever one's thoughts are directed.
My third favorite chant is "Om Namah Shivaya," a Hindu mantra shich means "I bow to Shiva, my true inner self." Whenever I say this mantra, I feel a tremendous sense of beauty and grace within myself that fills me up and runneth over. It's as if I become one with God's gorgeousness.
So instead of worrying and or getting depressed, which does nothing positive, use your own focused power to change the world through chanting. It can be done anywhere and at any time. 108 times is the magic number to open up the portals of the universe. Then, have faith and see how things change.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Likewise, observing my inner landscape, no matter what may be happening and whatever sensations may arise, is always a curious pursuit. I watch it all as a spectator and a bemused one at that. Sometimes the pain is dull and throbbing and in the next moment, I am as light and euphoric as laughing gas. One thing is certain, nothing lasts in this human experience, which is why it behooves us to really enjoy what is happening in the moment - the good, the bad and the ugly. Our experiences are gifts to enrichen and deepen us so that we become more evolved, conscious and aware. Whatever comes to us is all good. So no need to run from anything my friends. Take it all like the good medicine it is.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
While it is human to want, thankfully, it is a universal law that every desire finds its fulfilment. Yet, the how, where and when is up to the universe and its mysterious workings. When we throw out a wish, instead of fixating on how it will happen, which creates an imbalance of energy, why not stay in a state of peace, which opens the doors to divine abundance? This basically means letting go of all ideas of control and being in the moment - not necessary easy, but a good skill to cultivate. The truth is, if something is meant to be, it will happen and there is nothing one can do about it. So the only answer is to let go, enjoy, know that we already have the cake, and, of course, TRUST.
Friday, April 9, 2010
In the relentlessly frenetic film,“” a moment stands out for its stark simplicity. A monk sits alone in silence in an empty courtyard and seems to be at one with the whole universe – so full and at peace from just being. As I watched this, I thought, “I’ll have what she’s having”- so palpable and powerful was her connection to Source. My quest for that quality of existence began with that wish, and so many teachers and lessons have come to me, taking me on an otherworldly ride.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
p.s. Another equally effective technique is to just "POOF" away all that is false and limiting as they appear in consciousness.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
New Yorkers anticipate spring with bated breath, for its arrival is fraught with so many fits and starts it seems it will never come. When it finally does, it is as though the kiss of life has awakened a barren and frozen tundra into a magical garden. New forms and colors emerge so that every angle is a painting of divine creation.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Oh, and don’t mind the monkey mind, which will try its best to keep you enslaved in its tired habits.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
My biggest challenge, in art and in life, has been to trust that force that is larger than myself and to let go of the inquiring mind that constantly wants to be in control. Lately in my studio, I have found a way to circumvent this impostor and to just feel my way through paintings. This has meant embracing the unknown, the non-sensical, and ultimately, the most playful aspects of myself. So far, two works on paper really grab my attention, only because they can’t be pinpointed in any one way and yet they are integrated in an organic sense. I couldn't have planned this outcome and this is what happens time and time again when I embrace the unknown. I wonder how applicable is this to life in toto. What if feeling/instinct/intuition is really all we need to go through life? Such is the experiment that I have chosen to take on.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
1. Breathing deeply calms us within minutes.
"Breathe and create miracles" says a bumper sticker. Our planet depends on it.
Friday, September 12, 2008
This past summer, I had an urge to broaden my fitness horizons and take some new classes at my gym. The first one on my list was belly dancing, just because I thought it would be unusual and “outside the box.” Granted, my idea of a belly dancer was a jiggly woman wearing a shiny costume with heavy eye make-up and though I didn’t really see myself as that type, I felt compelled to try it out. After all, I did like to “shimmy like my sister Kate.”
Coco, our teacher and choreographer, is not what I envisioned, and I say this with thanks. Bright and cheery, with a sing-song voice, she’s a raven-haired girl-next-door, with abs of steel. Then, when she starts dancing, something else overtakes her. Articulating each body part with such grace and finesse, she becomes a force of nature. I was in awe and a little perplexed. How could she move one part of her torso while the others remained completely still? Such was the mystery that needed to be unraveled in time.
So far, it’s been two months. Though initially, I found some of the movements just a little embarrassing and a challenge to my usual sense of self, everything normalizes in time. Yes, even pelvic thrusts. My body sometimes wonders what hit it with all the shaking and undulating, but it's natural that earthquakes would wreak a little havoc. Tectonic plate shifts release the old and make way for the new, in our earth's crust and ourselves. Change can be tumultuous.
The sisterhood is filled with beautiful energy that is all-inclusive and warm. Each dancer brings her own special ingredient to the mix, adding to a potent recipe of girl power. We laugh a lot, hoot and holler, which is always freeing. I almost feel like we are dancing wildly in nature somewhere, in some primordial space.
Originally intended as a dance by women for women to enhance fertility, I see this “raqs sharqi” as a celebration of the goddess within. When we shake our hips, we reclaim our power. Happily, I do feel rejuvenated. My left hip problem has disappeared, I lost more than a few pounds and I feel inspired to express myself in ways that I hadn’t before. Last week, I had a dream that I bought a pair of bright red Charles Jourdan patent leather high-heeled pumps with a wedge heel of tortoise shell (not my usual taste). Has my inner diva awakened? Only time will tell.
p.s. A special note of thanks to Mimi, a patient and persevering ally who has helped me through the rough patches and continues to be a role model for me and many others.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
all questions can be directed within and answered by some sort of feeling, thought, or visceral response. As Oprah says, a “yes” resonates with every cell of your entire being. "No" feels constricting and uncomfortable. Uncertainty is a sign that you either need to wait or hightail it the other way. Paying attention to what uplifts you and gives you a feeling of joy has the power to revitalize your life and body/mind/spirit. The answers are all there within us.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
My best paintings have come from pure idiocy in motion. When I have nary a thought in my noggin, I become a channel for something I couldn't have even imagined. I embrace my stupidity as a gift and look to be empty-headed especially in tasks that require freedom of movement. I highly recommend it for all those who think too much. All is temporary on this worldly stage. Life is absurd and short. Why not spend the rest of it celebrating one’s own silly and effervescent energy?
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
My friend Victoria and I went to a talk on "Practical Intuition" given by Laura Day recently and I was really amazed to find how much we rely on our 6th sense, without even knowing that we do. Our antenna picks up information all the time, most often in fragments and pieces here and there. We were asked to "read" someone we didn't know and just go with whatever thoughts and visions came to us. I couldn't help but laugh when my reader picked up on practically everything that I was thinking about at the time.
So what does this mean? So much of our knowledge is gained in ways that can't be seen/heard/tasted/touched/smelled. And yet, it is there just as powerful and telling. It's the part that tells us to wear a certain color or to walk in a certain direction. It can help us avoid pitfalls and take us out of trouble as well as lead us to happy surprises. It is most often accessed through ease rather than effort. The really great thing is that it is always there, for everyone all the time. All we have to do is trust it.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I try to put into words what it is about him: virtuoso technique, effortless grace, brilliance, flair, dynamism, precision, and tensile strength all woven into a sinewy body. When I watch him, I feel buoyed by his energy. He excites and uplifts, much like the force of Pavarotti or Mozart at his best.
Out of the loop, I didn’t know he was retiring until just before his farewell performance June 18, which was sold out weeks in advance. Luckily, I managed to see him the Saturday night before, in a charming Jerome Robbins piece called “A Suite of Dances” which soothed my sadness. Farewell Damian, thank you for your many years of dedication and amazing grace!
Friday, July 11, 2008
When we look within, can we see all that is there? The qualities, talents, and skills that make us unique and special help us find the self love that takes us through thick and thin. As I have voyaged inward, I have been guided to really notice and appreciate my inner landscape. I've literally made lists of all of my strengths, achievements and everything anyone has ever told me about myself so to create a portrait in words. Ruminating on such things has not only helped me on the path to healthy self-esteem, but also helped me find my life's purpose. Knowledge is power.
The qualities that you possess will stay with you lifetime upon lifetime. While the body may disappear, those things that make you "you" are part of your essence, your soul and your eternal nature. Be proud and happy with what you have, for everyone is a genius in his/her own right. When appreciation and gratitude figure prominently in your energy field, that's when things happen. You've all heard of the law of attraction, right?
While I do believe in sowing seeds and visualizing goals, the rest is divinely orchestrated. God's hand is in everything and how exciting it is to see it at work. No struggle on our part. Things just happen. Our only job is to be present in the moment and at peace.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I always figured that if I painted because I loved to do it, I would find my place in the world. With time, I have realized that practically any place is good, if I am positively affecting the viewer. Because I do feel there is enough harshness, violence and strife all around us, my aim is to provide a kind of joy, serenity and playfulness that would offset the rest. Like Matisse and Monet before me, I align myself with the celestial poets of the world. Though color and personal mark are the backbone of my painting and the road has included geometry and Hello Kitty alongside them, the bottom line has always been about light, exuberance and celebration.
I must say that one way I can happily live in New York is by pretending I'm Parisian. France is, after all, only an ocean away and its cafes, language, fashion, film, food and savoir faire has pervaded our little island like the fragrance of lavender en provence. My heart was stamped with the hexagon of France even before I was born, and I am partial to a kind of living that prizes the sensual delights of the everyday and reveres the beautiful. What can I say? Whatever their faults, I do believe that the French know what's important.
Relish the buying, preparation and eating of food. What a great joy it is to look at fresh fruits and vegetables, breads and cheeses that we have in abundance. Tasting it all takes the ecstacy to another level. Farmers' markets are feasts for the senses and how wonderful it is that we have so many of them. Recipes abound on the internet. Trying new dishes in the kitchen is such an adventure. Invite some friends over, dine over boeuf a la bourguignonne and pick a nice wine to go with it all.