Friday, March 31, 2006

Interpretation of last IF's Monster Blot

IF - Monster reversed

This is the same blot as I used for last week's IF: Monster posting but inverted. I think it is much scarier this way up!

Here is my, totally personal, interpretation of all your interpretations:

I think that the most obvious interpretation is that you should go and make blog friends with anyone who saw:

a) the same or nearly the same as you - its always nice to have someone with a similar point of view

b) someone who saw something that you think of as the opposite of what you saw - its always interesting to have someone around who views things differently too!




Love monsters etc.

Those of you who saw the cute, friendly or loving monster ought to have tried looking at it upside down. I choose the cute side up so as not to scare you at the time. Those who admitted to seeing it in this light: bubblegum, freckley face, modroom, Steve, catnapping

Butterflies

Similarly all of you who saw butterflies. Except seeing it as a single butterfly to me shows a wish to synthesise and see something as a singular unit. Does it still look like a butterfly to you this way up? Those who opted for butterfiles in the previous version were: merlinprincesse, liz jones, Nan, Aynaku, Marc

Further non-monster observers spotted:

Angels, birds, cats, dogs, bat, food and dancers.

Rebekah, Andrea E, Reluctant Nomad, Joy Eliz, Melba, Andrea P, Kyknoord, Megg

Body parts

Brain and pelvis: Katili (from Finland), Viking054

The not so cuties

Those who admitted to seeing monsters ranged from those who saw nameable ones (e.g. dragons, dinosaur, witches) johnnynorms, carla, roz foster, isay, lori witzel, valgalart, GG

To simply monstrous, unspecified, possibly multi-headed ones: txartgal, gise, paula, kg, Jaimie, and me!

Humans

Of course most of these were meant as jokes so you are a well-suited bunch.

Clowns or relatives: Janet, Cream, the unknown, tony sarrecchia, GG

Uncommitted

And for completeness those who left a comment but did not let on what sort of monsters they saw or who saw none: sinclair, alison ashwell, rramone (who may be missing out on the prize because of his reticence...), marie, alexa brett, cosmos, janey, wandering coyote, toni kelly, holly




So there you have it - it was a monster find-a-friend competition.

If you call on someone following this suggestion tell them Caro's Monster sent you!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Monochrome



Inspire me Thursday Challenge




This is last week's Inspire me Thursday challenge - this week's wasn't available this morning when I had a time to play. I played around with red, black and white ink without any particular image in mind.

Mandala - Onions?


Mandala - Onions?
Originally uploaded by Caro's Lines.
A Mandala Wednesday one day late...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Friday, March 17, 2006

Illustration Friday - Feet

Illustration Friday - Feet

Feet that rise out of the bath water like islands...




The first exhibition that I ever did had a theme of feet. But it was ages ago and I don't currently have any of those images on the computer so I made this instead.




When I was playing with maps for this I was drawn to the lake district because that is where I've done my longest and highest walks. However I redrew the map so much that there isn't much to recognise of it now. If you are planning to go walking there I recommend you buy a proper map and leave this picture at home ;-)

Where were the longest / highest walks you've ever done?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mandala Wednesday

Mandala
I'm not promising one every week but this is one that I drew today using felt-tip pens on cartridge paper. I have done quite a few mandalas off-line but rarely post them so I thought maybe I'd start.

Update: And since Andrea asked: Mandala Wednesday

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

MMM: When I get really quiet I wonder...

MMM: When I get really quiet I wonder

Thank you Melba for selecting one of my suggestions for a theme for this week's MMM. I wouldn't have suggested it if I'd known how hard I'd find it to do!




I wonder why we all make so much noise?

Why do I?

Is it to stop myself from hearing the small voice inside that wants me to be happy?

To make a change now from busy to happy?

To alter how I see reality now?

To stop me from hearing that little voice encouraging me to be myself?

When I get really quiet I wonder why I don't do it more often.

Why I don't let myself hear my own song singing. Why do I blot it out? What am I so scared of? Is it fear that stops me? Is there some mass hallucination to avoid hearing ourselves? Is it an old program that we are all running? Something that we forget to switch off?

Okay so I stop. And listen. What do I hear?




I feel the joy of love rushing in to fill the empty space - was I really making noise to keep the love out?

I notice where my legs are being hurt by this chair - why don't I get more comfortable? Am I punishing myself for something? Or simply choosing to keep going and make a virtue out of it?

I feel my lips smiling, I feel and accept myself as I am.

Ah so that's what is so frightening!

I'm no longer making an effort and I am being content. I am happy to just be here. To be me as I am.

I hear all those voices from childhood telling me to stop doing whatever it is - now! And of course that means stop being happy.... or so part of me thought... Teachers in particular seem to have had difficulty coping with a happy me... I was a fidget and I had to learn to keep still... I was a chatterer and I had to learn to shut up and listen... I was an explorer and I had to learn to stick to the teacher's agenda... I was a toucher and I had to learn not to...

I learnt more than my lessons at school. I learnt a way of doing that didn't include being me.

(I am not blaming my teachers - they work in a system where this is inevitable for at least some of their pupils.)

Is being happy a sin? The search for happiness is one thing but being happy is another...

And in this space I wonder whether the search for happiness is the problem. Searching is doing. Happiness is being.

Is it possible to be doing and being at the same time?

And I realise that the search for happiness provides so many ways for others to manipulate me; I may find myself buying books, cars, houses, whole lifestyles in the pursuit of happiness... yet being happy is none of those things. It is being quiet within myself in this moment...

Happiness is wordless; the search for happiness is full of them.




To bring the words back from the space of happiness is tricky. The song is wordless.




Rather than create a picture of happiness I did one of the noise that I was in before.

Yesterday we found that one of our pound coins had 3 legs on it. It was a Manx coin from the Isle of Man.

wikipedia manx pound coins


Looking at the image I've created those three legs have crept in.

Its not that I think money is the root of all evil but I think its pursuit drives us to forget ourselves. I wish I had stopped working in a place that eventually I only escaped through illness... and I did suspect that I needed to leave but I kept on keeping on...

One of the keys from my other MMMs is here too. And a form of maze or labyrinth. I wonder whether the labyrinth is some sort of reference to the maze of cubicles I used to work within... though they were much greyer!

I'm not, as yet, aware of any other influences.

What do you see here?




For other people's see Mixed Media Memoirs

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Unpeeling emotions

Unpeeling

One technique that is simple to express and very powerful was taught to me by Jay Bosisto who was at that time an HK teacher. (Now to be be found here in Dartmoor)

Acknowledge and let go

The general form is to say out loud something that fits this pattern:
“I acknowledge feeling . . . . . . about ....... (doing) ....... and I choose to let go of this feeling RIGHT NOW!”
For instance, maybe you are fed-up with being ignored by your partner, lets call them Chris, when you speak. You would say out loud:
"I acknowledge feeling fed-up about Chris ignoring every word I say and I choose to let go of this feeling right now."
Did you mean it when you said it? If not first check the words. Maybe what you really mean is:

"I acknowledge feeling extremely angry about Chris ignoring me when I speak and I choose to let go of this feeling right now."

Do you still feel the same. If so, say it again and really mean that you are willing to both acknowledge the feeling and let it go.

Has the feeling changed? Often there are underlying feelings for instance in this case we might next encounter fear, so the next stage may be to say:

"I acknowledge feeling frightened that I am never heard by anyone and I choose to let go of this feeling right now."

Has the feeling shifted? If not find another way to express it, maybe:

"I acknowledge feeling scared that Chris will leave me if I nag and I choose to let go of this feeling right now."

or

"I acknowledge feeling undermined by Chris' apparent lack of attention to me when I speak and I choose to let go of this feeling right now."
or

"I acknowledge feeling belittled by the way Chris avoids eye contact with me when I am speaking and I choose to let go of this feeling right now."
or

"I acknowledge feeling a fear of being unable to say what I mean and be understood whenever I speak to Chris and I choose to let go of this feeling right now."

Each time feel and name the emotion that you are carrying. Each time say where it comes from, sometimes this will be very specific. And each time let the feeling go.

Sometimes you will follow this down to a very deep-rooted stress or fear that you really do need more help with. Use the techniques in my previous post to destress this.

Emotional Stress Release

Melba wrote about some of her fears and apparently I popped into her mind as someone without fears; she also realised that was unlikely - and its true I have had plenty of fears and still do. But I do also have some useful techniques for helping me deal with fears and other uncomfortable emotions. So I thought now would be a good time to share some of them.




The first technique comes from Touch For Health. It is called Emotional Stress Release or ESR. When you have a lot on your mind and are feeling stressed this can help.

ESR ESR - one handed

You may have noticed that some people, maybe you yourself, put a hand to their forehead in times of stress. This is beneficial and can help to reduce the stress. It is a first line of action and can be done at the time you are feeling upset.

Notice I have shown two different versions. The version which uses two hands can be done either simultaneously or one side at a time - you might find this more discreet to use without going for the full hand across the brow which can signal too strongly to others that you are feeling stressed.

You may feel pulses on your forehead. You have done as much with this technique as you can when both are pulsing together at the same rate. If you do not feel pulses (and not everyone can) keep on holding the points until your breathing changes. If your emotion changes to boredom then you are no longer focusing on the stress and may as well stop!




The second is to tap around the thymus. Your aim is to tap in a circle about four inches (10 cm) across, starting on the left side of your chest, tapping up and across to the right side of your chest, then down and across. Make the tap strong enough to feel but not painful. Tapping around in this way can often bring your body into balance (as measured by the energy flow in the meridians). It was taught to some soldiers by a friend of mine and they discovered that it helped them feel braver when out in the field.

For an excellent moving diagram look on Franky Kossy's site under DIY HK. You will also see the HK version of ESR there.

This form of "thymus tap" is taught in Health Kinesiology (or HK) and comes from Jimmy Scott the founder of HK.




A third method is to use flower essences. Many people are aware of Rescue Remedy which is a general mixture that often helps people who have just experienced shock or who are under great stress. There are many more flower essences. Most of the essences made by Dr Bach are still available from various different makers but there are also many other plant essences available and I've found many of the newer ones far more effective for me personally.

If you have never used a flower essence it can be very difficult to decide what to try. Here are some suggestions:

If you are often anxious, nervous and worry a lot try: Crowea from Australian Bush essences or Copper Beech from Green Man Tree Essences.

If you have a specific fear or phobia then you might try San Pedro Cactus which is a power plant essence

My advice when using any flower essence, (or herb, aromatherapy oil, or homeopathic made from a plant) is to always actively ask the plant to help you with X - specifying whatever it is that you are hoping to sort out. You may or may not be able to sense the spirit of a plant but it does not hurt to be polite and ask clearly ;-)

Monday, March 06, 2006

MMM: I want to burn this page...

MMM: I want to burn this page...

The text says:
"Somedays paintings just don't work...

Somedays I do want to just tear them up and burn them

Somedays..."

I've not found any journal pages that I want to burn but plenty of pictures ;-)

But one of the problems with doing so much of my art work digitally is that I rarely have the pleasure of burning my pages... today's MMM challenge however gave me the immense pleasure of virtually "burning" my work!

Here is a detail from it before the burn:

Skeleton

It was inspired by some photographs of a dig in Bristol that unearthed Medieval skeleltons below the bus station.

For other people's see Mixed Media Memoirs

Friday, March 03, 2006

Illustration Friday - Insect

Illustration Friday - insect

Photo manipulated in Painter IX. With added mandala - did I make it too subtle?

What first came to your mind with the word insect?

Jim immediately said: "Tortoise is an insect!"

Refering to:

"Cats is 'dogs', and rabbits is 'dogs', and so's Parrats, but this 'ere 'Tortis' is a insect..." Punch 1869 (click on link to see the original cartoon)



Update: A collaborative insect has appeared over at The Camel Exhange