Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Abundant Mother
The Abundant Mother - Mixed media collage - Painter IX

When I started up my new blog Caro's Tarot I said I wanted to make my own tarot cards but still wasn't sure how to organise them. Tinker commented and mentioned Soul Collage. I immediately ordered the book. It arrived yesterday and this is my first card inspired by it and also continuing the theme of Abundance. I'll post more about this card and its meaning on Caro's Tarot tomorrow.

Meanwhile Happy New Year to you all!

Update: I have posted twice on the other blog - now called Caro's Cards but with the same web address:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Review of Abundance

A mixed media collage - final assembly and further processing in Painter IX

This week was called Abundance which was a wonderful co-incidence with Christmas time with its custom of feasting and that of the giving and receiving of presents.

Most of my art this week was the art of arranging decorations on mantelpieces and general putting up of decorations and making the main rooms as lovely as possible.

Therefore most of this week's picture reflects Christmas directly.

I added in slices of watermelon as a natural symbol of abundance that happens to have good Christmas colours.

It is the last week in which I've followed the Artist's Way as given in the book. The next three weeks will retain their titles of Connection, Strength and Compassion but the focus for each will change; I'll be doing exercises from other sources. I will continue to do my morning pages and doodles and noting synchronicities. Also I will continue to review the week on Tuesday and open the next theme on Wednesday.

Its been great redoing the first 6 weeks of the Artist's Way and I've a good feel for where I need to go next.

I may not get to do my posting for Connection until the weekend as we've guests and I may not get to blog until after they've all gone; its hard enough finding time to do morning pages!

Friday, December 22, 2006

IF - Peace

IF - Peace
Peace Tree for Illustration Friday.

Painter IX

I was sitting wondering what to do for today's Illustration Friday theme of Peace.

I'd pulled a card from The Shining Tribe Tarot - the Gift of Trees - which somewhat inspired the image. But I didn't think the meaning that went with the card was specific enough though I liked the idea of Peace being depicted as a tree of knowledge and also the natural world's gifts to us.

Then Jim came in and without asking what I was doing picked up our EcoFluxx cards and said - could you do a tarot reading with these?

So we gave them a shuffle.

I picked - Share the Wealth.

That seemed to me like a rather good meaning for the Peace card upright.

If we were all to share the wealth there would be a lot more chance of peace wouldn't there?

Then Jim picked - Extinction. Which is rather a stark warning isn't it?
The opposite of Peace may well be Extinction.

Seemed like an excellent meaning for the card reversed.

If you haven't played Fluxx or EcoFluxx I can recommend them, many of our friends have enjoyed them too maybe a 90% hit rate. They are games that work well for children who are able to read well and follow rules and for adults - one of the best games we've shared with my nephews!

There is also Family Fluxx but we haven't tried that - yet.

We are happy to play these games without the excuse of children or visitors as they work well for two players as well as for more.

Of course playing games doesn't lead to peace unless you can all cope with not being the winner when you aren't!

Wishing you plenty of peace this Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Tarot

Image used with permission. © 2002 Sophie M. White

This is a Hanged Man drawn by a four year old. She drew a whole tarot before starting school. Her name is Sophie and as you can see she's included it in the picture of the Hanged Man. Maybe she too identifies with that card.

I love that her Hanged Man has eyes of different colours - a wonderful way to express seeing things differently.

You can see all of Sophie's Tarot here.

For several days I've been wondering about making a blog dedicated to the tarot. Today I set it up. It's Caro's Tarot.

I probably won't publish there very often but I wanted a focus for the creation of my own tarot. As some of you may recall I did a few cards earlier this year including:
There were other images that I made but did not blog:
4 of Birds 4 of Birds reversed
4 of birds - This card is based on 4 point medicine wheel with an eider duck in the South, a crow in the West, an eagle in the North and a phoenix in the East.

Guru Guru Reversed
Guru - This card was to represent the danger of looking to other people for your spiritual truth. Be wary of looking to the unenlightened for enlightenment.

4 Metal 4 Metal Reversed
4 of Metal - this card is made up of a ball, bucket, hammer and needle. It represents different actions.

These probably won't make it into my new tarot, I don't even know what suits I'll be using yet, but they were an important step towards it. I've also no idea how long making it will take. In some ways its been in gestation since I got my first pack of tarot cards and being prepared to change it as I go along seems an important aspect of this deck's design.
Nut Case
In February, at the time I was making the above cards, I found a strange bag made of both halves of a coconut zippered together. Today I bought a metal tin with a zip connecting the lid to it.

Christmas Tin

This bird looks a bit crosser than yesterday's doesn't it!

Merry Christmas again!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Week 6 - Abundance

A doodle done in Painter IX

This week in the artist's way is all about allowing in a feeling of luxury, being pampered and abundant. This does not mean spending huge amounts of money and in fact one of the activities for the week is keeping track of what you've spent (something I totally forgot when I went to the shops earlier...). The idea is that we often splurge on things that have little value to us and deny ourselves inexpensive luxuries that would mean more to us.

What came up for me when I considered this was that I really wanted an artist's wooden poseable doll - I used to have one but it got irreparably broken - and that one was just a cheap one. So today I looked for them on the web and wondered whether there were any ordinary dolls that were really poseable. I went out and looked in our local toy shop and charity shops. The most poseable girl doll appears to a Barbie which wasn't anything like poseable enough and the most poseable boy doll some form of action man which was much more poseable but came with very odd things attached to it. So I eventually went to the art shop and asked if he had any of the wooden artist's dolls and there was just one, reduced from over £21 to £10. And it is even more luxurious to be giving myself this just because rather than holding it back until Christmas.

I also found a bag in a charity shop that was just the right sort of size and design to carry art materials and sketchbooks around in. It happens to be orange. Some time ago Reluctant Nomad mentioned that Orange was coming up synchronously for him and its culminated in his getting a job in Holland that starts in the new year.

When I got home I noticed there was label in the bag. I've tried to take a photo of it. Maybe you can see that it used to belong to a Dutch person who gives their country as Nederland:

And finally here is a little bird that I found on the pavement (=side-walk) a couple of days ago:

Merry Christmas to you!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Review of Possibilities

A mixed media collage reviewing my fifth week of revisiting the artist way.
Painter IX

This week has been dominated for me by The Hanged Woman about whom I blogged at length on Sunday.

In the book this week is about removing the limits we place on what its possible to ask for and to receive.

Its also about listening. Listening to the whispers of intuition, to the universe especially via synchronicities, to one's innermost deepest wishes, needs, fears.

And its about taking time out - the need an artist has for downtime - something that was emphasized to me by having a plumber around making it difficult to rest - on the Wednesday I snoozed on the settee in the afternoon and he only woke me up three times to tell or ask about things!

On Sunday night, in bed, I had one of those thoughts that has to be noted on paper before sleep wipes the memory away. I dutifully put the light on and wrote it down.

It was about an exercise that helps me to ground anger, connect to spirit despite grief and ground fear. I also got the need to retest the second half of the Artist's Way now, next week - Abundance - would go ahead as planned but with Christmas in it I'd be unlikely to have time to retest it then.

Next morning I did my daily tarot reading.

My standard short reading consists of three cards - the first is the main focus and the other two expand on it.

The main focus was 9 of Stones reversed. I looked in the book and discovered that I'd penciled in "Test (or retest) Artist Way type programme". The second card was about anger and the third about suppressed / denied emotions.

This was so specific and so in agreement with what I'd received drifting before sleep the night before that I went round yesterday in a sort of glow. It does feel good to know that such messages are getting through!

This collage contains, besides the hanged woman:
  • The angel from week 2 - as Christmas is coming there have been plenty around - one even got a revamp on the Camel Exchange from a new contributor. And I found one I'd been sent when my Christmas swap last year had gone astray.
  • Another butterfly mask (seen this morning in a shop window) - as I was putting it in Carol Singers came to our door so I added musical notes to it. Joy Eliz has done a version of the Hanged Woman for me which she posted yesterday and she included music in it! Thank you Joy! See how relevant it was!
  • In the background is a a church door in Stow-on-the-Wold that has Yew Trees growing on either side of it embedded into the building. My sister sent me the photo I've used. You can see other people's photos of it here and here (both on Flickr). I cloned out bits of it and added a key to hang by the door.
  • I've also included a Rune that is a symbol for the Yew too. As Yew trees were grown specifically for making bows its also the symbol for an archer's bow. Joy Eliz included a fiddler's bow. But I made the connection to Yew via a different route.
  • There is a "wreath" of water and a rainbow. I definitely associate rainbows with the hanged woman and have done for some years but am not sure why.
  • At the bottom is a strip of the Christmas paper I made a couple of weeks ago. The photograph of the Yews had included leaf litter and I wanted something brighter!
There have been plenty of synchronicities this week. One of the neatest was yesterday when the Plumbing company rang to say that they'd be sending an engineer out today. I was just in the middle of a 15 minute break and reading a little from "M is for Malice". This is what came just after the phone call:
" Oh. Guy. Good, it's you. I was just wondering if you were here yet. The furnace over at the church has been acting up again. First it clicks on, then it clicks off. On then off."
Our new boiler (that's British for furnace) was fitted last week but only reliably worked on partial power, it was acting up - it wouldn't work on max... Max, of course, was the name of last week's plumber...

It wasn't doing the clicking on and off - that's what the old boiler had been up to just before we replaced it.

And - yippee - today's plumber seems to have fixed it! Our old boiler was indeed very old and much lower powered; this one is astounding - it is actually capable of making the house warm not to mention heating water on demand!

Have you noticed any neat synchronicities recently?

Update: For anyone who suffers from M.E. its turns out that dark chocolate can help - good news for Christmas. Of course this will only be true if you don't have a bad reaction to chocolate as I did (migraines) until I had the appropriate HK allergy corrections...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Week 5 - Possibilities

Hanged Woman 1
This is the Hanged Woman from the Shining Tribe Tarot by Rachel Pollack.

Or, to be more precise, its my first version of the card as drawn originally in my week of Identity. And included in the picture for the review of that week.

I'd included it as one of two images that represented me - the other, the 6 of Trees, was the first card to be repeated in my daily drawn cards as I've continued to "randomly" select one card a day and draw it every morning after my morning pages (they have become morning pages not doodles recently).

The reason I'd considered The Hanged Woman an image of myself was because I'd done a self-portrait collage a couple of years ago with a woman in wellies, painting a rainbow - and I included her in a MMM earlier this year - I'd very specifically positioned the body in a positional variation on the Hanged Person. And I've only just noticed that in my version of the Shining Tribe card above I put a rainbow into The Hanged Woman - that doesn't occur on the card in the deck though the boat is described as Noah's ark.

I had later made a simplified version of it to use on ebay when, for a month I sold some tarot readings. (Incidentally I found this fun, and had amazing feedback on my accuracy but it was taking me all day everyday and I was spending more on new cards than I made on the readings - I had to stop! Not the new career I was hoping it might be.)

This week The Hanged Woman has come up twice:
Hanged Woman  2

This was the image that I drew on Wednesday - the day I began this week of "Possibility" (but due to Christmas things, brothers and plumbers have failed before now to blog).

The stars didn't make it in but otherwise its a reasonably faithful copy. Rather than concentrate on it after drawing it I drew another card and made an image of that too, so distracting me from considering The Hanged Woman properly. I'd felt that I wanted to make a new image... The card I picked was the 9 of Stones which is the card of the remade self. So another version of self.

Then the doorbell went. At the door was a woman asking about a Miss So-and-So, whom she asserted lived next door, and wasn't answering her door or her phone; the woman at the door said she had an alarm to fit.

I was confused as the people next door are not called So-and-So, but the name, So-and-So, was in fact the name of an ex of mine (who will remain anonymously a So-and-So unless he turns up and comments that its fine to name him), someone who'd considered The Hanged Man to be his card and for whom I'd painted a rather gaudy silk shirt featuring The Hanged Man as a central motif surrounded by other pictures from the Major Arcana.

He'd put rather a damper on the idea of ever wearing it (it was bright!) and I chucked it out (now I wish I'd thought of over-dyeing it). I do remember my sister saying as she looked at it during construction that I could draw in that tone of voice that says she'd always doubted it before! Anyway this was the first time that I'd actually copied tarot images and it was for Mr So-and-So, the Hanged Man.

As I talked to the woman at the door her mobile went asking where she was and I suspect she discovered she was in the wrong street - something that happens a lot around here as there are too many with similar names.

As I shut the door on her and her alarm, one of our smoke detector's alarms went off - the plumber had forgotten to disable it before he started soldering. I'd removed the one that was in a light socket earlier - a fire angel - not because I remembered but because the light bulb had gone...

Wednesday was also the day after the night before for us - we'd been to the IMDb's Christmas do on Tuesday. The plumber had commented that I was "hanging" which I assume was his expression for hungover! (I doubt he knew I'd interpret it as a reference to the Hanged Woman!)

So this week of Possibility started by me considering my past with respect to the image of the Hanged Woman.

Yesterday before pulling a card to draw I thought I'd like to draw one differently. Still basing it on whichever card from the Shining Tribe that I pulled but closer to my own style. Then I pulled 12 The Hanged Woman again:

Hanged Woman  3

Looking at it I feel that it needs even more adjustments to make it mine.

I had a dream a few nights ago which concluded with me saying "I'm Tree Woman"!

I see now that Tree Woman is what my Hanged Woman image should be. I wonder what superpowers Tree Woman would have - somehow I doubt she gets to fly... I'd always thought of my old avatar as a sort of tree woman but I'd never really considered what powers a tree woman would have.

And of course the other image that I used on my Identity picture was the 6 of Trees.
6 of Trees

Last week was reading deprivation week and I abandoned L is for Lawless which I'd been reading the week before. I'd gone off it before the reading deprivation started which was very handy as there was less incentive to pick it up. So this week I've moved on to M is for Malice. And I've already noticed synchronicities as I read it - that was what I most missed last week - I almost always get synchronicities with the books I'm reading.

Today I've been playing more with the mixed real media images that I said I'd do as my five to give away. So far only Tinker has asked for one. I've felt really hurt by this. No-one else wanting my pictures. But really I'm having such fun making them (and no they are not ready to be photographed and blogged yet - I keep on seeing more I want to do to them!) that it doesn't matter if I get to keep them too!

I am actually working on six. I've owed Kyknoord a picture ever since the beginning of the year when I offered him one to brighten up his place. I'm planning to give him the pick of the one's I'm making and if there is one he likes he'll get that - if he doesn't that's okay - the arrangement was I'd only post him a picture if he liked it.

As soon as I offered it I went into a sort of blocked state and found it really hard to make anything that wasn't digital. Andrea has suggested I print out my digital pictures but the size I'm making them would produce pictures about 3 or 4 inches maximum on a side - it takes more computer power than I've got to create larger 300 dpi collages in Painter IX.

Wow this has been a long post - thank you for reading, if you have! It has been a chance for me to explore what this Hanged Woman means to me outside the Tarot meaning of the card.

Friday, December 15, 2006

IF - Help & 5 to give away

Illustration Friday - Help
A sketch in Painter IX of someone dressed to help raise money for the RNLI. She'd heard boat collars were in.

She may need fashion help. They need financial help to keep them afloat so they can help those in distress around these shores.

Update: RNLI stands for Royal National Lifeboat Institution - they go out to help people in distress in the seas around Britain.

Somehow I squeaked in and am one of Andrea's 5
I therefore have been busy making collages today in order to be sure I can provide 5 works before I formally make my offer:

"The first five people to respond to this post (via the comments section or directly by email) will get some form of art made by me. The only catch, of course, as with most memes, if you sign up then you have to put this in your own blog as well."

In other words, if you are willing to give away 5 of your works and would like one of my non-digital collages - please say so in the comments and email me your address.

caroslines (at) energy (dot) f9 (dot) co (dot) uk

I'm not sure anyone will want any of my work... I'll post pictures of the actual pieces tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Reveiw of Integrity


A mixed media collage reviewing my fourth week of revisiting the artist way.
Painter IX

Integrity, integrity there's nothing like integrity

(Substituting integrity for Macavaty in a line from T S Elliot's Macavity's A Mystery Cat - Cats has been on in Bristol but we didn't see it and it finished on Saturday)

The week has been an odd mixture - which must account for the strange assemblage of images above.

I've put most of my creative energy into Christmas cards yet I've not used any here; I have included the long pin that keeps the glue squirtable!

Illustration Friday's topic was MASK and I've included one but not the one I used as my submission. This one is made from a butterfly I cut out in the first week but didn't show. I've included it because yesterday one of the characters local to the Gloucester Road took it upon himself to wear a beautiful blue butterfly mask and do a little song and dance to entertain the rest of us standing in the queue at the post office. He complained that in a Mediterranean country he'd have had people shouting, clapping and joining in rather than the embarrassed silence that greeted this display. The woman in the queue in front of me turned to me and said "No they wouldn't!".

Someone somewhere said something about not being able to balance an elephant with a feather... and balance seems to be hard to find...

In the lower left background I've used an image a friend asked for this week. Its one Jim took of a field of fluorescent light tubes in 2004. An artist had installed these by putting lines of these with one end into the ground under power lines. We all saw the glow of the tubes becoming more and more obvious as the sunlight faded.

I've also added in the Y of crackling lines in honour of that field.

Over it is a picture of a bed we like in a shop called Dusk 'Til Dawn.

I've included a simple Squart within the collage. Ian has been playing with them and I enjoyed making the one I blogged. I also enjoyed playing with Joy Eliz's style and the smaller square was meant to contain one of her swirls but it didn't come out quite the way I intended...

At the very top of the image is a plan view of an ideal entrance hall. One of the tasks in the AW this week is to begin to picture one's ideal living environment. I only got as far as the hall. And though you can't see it here I dedicated a large piece of wall space to a picture from Andrea - not one I own - this is an ideal environment without financial constraints...

But what about this peculiar strong-person I hear you asking! Okay that is the result of me struggling with the concept of strong and feminine.

And I haven't included anything to represent the plumbing that is currently going on around me... I'm not finding it easy to cope with the house being invaded by a plumber, despite the fact that he is very pleasant, polite etc and appears competent... its just having someone here banging about, pulling things apart, squawking, turning off the water and putting in a new boiler, shower and 3 radiators... he said it will take four and a half days and we are only half way through the second day...

Update: If you are on a beta-blogger blog I may have tried to comment today and failed... sorry but it won't even accept my comments as from anonymous when that's one of the options!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

IF - Mask

Collage - including wiggly eyes. "Masked Belle"

Jim and I've been making Christmas cards using the sheets I prepared on Friday - the picture above is a variation I did of one of the designs. Using cards with windows precut we're getting around 20 backgrounds out of each of the sheets. So we've got more background than we'll need for Christmas - we're hoping to make some other greetings cards too.

Here's one of the cards and some inside greetings snapped whilst drying:

Its making cards that gets me into the Christmas spirit - what does it for you?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Starting to make my Christmas cards

Background 2
Watercolour paper, acrylic inks, tissue paper, PVA glue, glitter glue, glitter

As I am currently relishing being inspired by other artists I've started making Christmas cards following this tutorial in a blog called Art Tutorial .

The photos haven't come out quite right - even after I adjusted the colours - but you can see the general idea. Just imagine them brighter and glittery!

Whilst I was dropping drops of colourful inks onto damp paper - I told Jim it was the best fun possible - without seeing what I was doing he asked me if I was making a mess. It seems that I really enjoy making what other people consider a mess... and no, he's not the first person to make this observation. So I am glorying in being what my father would call a mucky puppy...

The two sheets here are my reds, I've also done a couple of greens, and a couple of blues. I intended to do something very subtle in shades of white but somehow that didn't happen. Mucky puppies like bright colours!

Background 1

This one also has flower petals from some unused natural confetti and the black dots are red sequins.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Squart

Christmas squart

A Christmas squart inspired by Ian. Painter IX

Today I went to some more camera shops. This time looking specifically at Canon IXUSes as recommended by Davem and Ian (same person as above but this link is to a photoblog). I like the idea of this one:

If anyone has specific experience of the Canon IXUS 850IS Digital Camera (7.1MP, 3.8x optical zoom) I'd love to hear about it - its meant to be relatively wide-angle with an equivalent of 28mm at its wide end and going up to 105mm at its telephoto end.

I think they are called Canon PowerShot SD800 IS in the US.

I'd particularly like to know how well it stands damp conditions - Jim might want to use it when he's walking in Scotland.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Week 4 - Integrity

A photograph of some holly growing well locally, altered a little in Painter IX. In a style inspired by Joy Eliz.

This week in the Artist's Way is called Integrity and has a big challenge in it - Reading Deprivation. This is the week when one is told not to read - at all! Avoid TV and radio too. Keep other people's words out of your head. Let your own words come through in the silence.

I was wondering how to do this especially as I do not want to stop blogging again, even for a week. Then, when I was answering the comments to yesterday's post, the word verification came up with something that suggested to me to look in one of Julia Cameron's other books - The Vein of Gold. It opened on what she calls a basic tool, I'd call it a basic concept, that of Clusters.

A Cluster is a group of people who support you in your artistic endeavours, and whom in turn you support in theirs whether they are the same sort of artist as you or not. And of course my cluster, the one to which I currently belong, is here with all of you! Which means I will dip into your blogs and comment - but I will restrict myself - I won't go surfing off looking at new blogs and I won't follow many links either.

Joy Eliz tagged me to name 5 favourite Christmas songs. Strangely mine are all carols.

Caroline's Carols, in no particular order:

  • Good King Wenceslas
  • Ding Dong Merrily on High
  • The Holly and the Ivy
  • We Three Kings of Orient Are
  • Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

To decorate this posting I decided to play with the idea of being influenced by others and took two photos, one of holly and one of an evergreen tree, and played with them in Painter in a style inspired by Joy Eliz. (I used the Van Gough brush).

It was so much fun (I was singing to myself and that's always a sign that I'm enjoying myself) that rather than tag you for 5 favourite Christmas songs I suggest you pick a blog artist and do something Christmassy in their style!

Some artists with distinctive painting or drawing styles you could get inspiration from:

Andrea, Johnny Norms, Joy Eliz, Janey, Shelia.

Amongst many others of course. I look forward to seeing your results.

Christmas Tree

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Review of Power


A mixed media collage reviewing my third week of revisiting the artist way.
Painter IX

This image is rather murky - except for the yin-yang in the centre. This reflects a rather murky week.

In the book this week is about using anger and defusing shame.

It forgot to mention the weather... on Thursday I happily put up a picture boldly called "Singing up a Storm" I was thinking of it as musical... but the storm hit Bristol fiercely at the weekend... then there was Blogger's strange claim with the "I Power Blogger" icon turning up unexpectedly in today's weather for Santa... and my blog completely disappearing throughout most of today until I republished it. As Tinker commented it wasn't visible through those Blogger clouds. Now I'm wondering about moving to typepad as a result of this.

Other things that have happened include:

  • We moved my computer from one room to another - when put back together again the keyboard tended to eat up my words. Not especially strange maybe - but two other bloggers had keyboard problems too - Reluctant Nomad who commented that his wouldn't delete until he cleaned it, and Melba who blogged that hers got damp and she had to replace it.

  • Today I went to the hairdressers. My appointment was for 11 a.m. I was at the car park at 20 minutes to 11, allowing plenty of time, I thought, for full car parks and Christmas queues. There were two barriers and after about 5 minutes I got to the barrier in front of my lane. And there I sat. The other queue carried on getting let in whenever a car left.

    I pressed the button for a ticket - nothing happened.

    I pressed the button again. Nothing.

    I pressed the Help button. Expecting a voice to come through the speaker but NOTHING HAPPENED.

    Eventually a car park attendant appeared and told me I had to wait for the "FULL" light to go out and I said it was.... he came down out of the multi-story car park and eventually worked out that the barrier wasn't working.

    So he coned me in!

    This was to keep other cars from getting behind me - these other cars had been keeping me trapped at the barrier and now were getting through the other one.... he said he'd let me though with his pass card... it didn't work... eventually he let me out of the trap and into the other side... I was only 7 minutes late for my hair appointment... sigh...

  • On Friday Jim and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary a day early. He took the day off and we went to Bath. We went into a camera shop to look for a small digital compact that I can carry with me when my SLR is too big / heavy. The salesman talked to us and suggested a Panasonic of some sort (I do not remember unmeaningful strings of numbers and letters well... it might have been the Lumix DMC-FX01). To show us what it was like he tried putting in an SD card. The first one appeared to be full. And the next. He was getting frustrated so he eventually got a new card out and then the camera said that it too was full... the salesman said

    "He couldn't lie to us because we'd seen it go wrong"

    which struck me as an implicit confession that he'd have happily lied otherwise...

    We didn't buy that camera.

  • Today Jim met me for a late lunch and a look around the camera shops in Bristol. There was one he rather fancied but no-one seemed to have it in stock. One shop said they could get it in but only if we were definitely going to buy it - what I wonder do they think separates them from websites? If we were prepared to buy it without seeing it we'd have bought it on line already!

  • On Friday when coming back from Bath we got the train from Bath to Temple Meads - it arrived in Bristol too late for our connection to our local station. But that hardly mattered as that train had been canceled anyway. We went to the information desk and they gave groups of us taxi passes. It takes 8 minutes to go by train from Temple Meads to Montpelier. It took over an hour to queue and travel by taxi on a wet Friday evening...
I could go on (even more) but you get the picture. And just in case the world is always like this for you, it really isn't normal for me.

Here are a couple of details from the murk:

mt king pudding

This is the Mountain King Pudding. He turned up in a morning doodle. His crown is made of mountains.

And this one is of a Doorway between the worlds, I rotated it 90 degrees here:


This week I have again been working with tarot images, one per day. This morning I got my first duplicate since I started - the 6 of trees - the card I'd pulled last Tuesday in answer to the question: "Who am I?" But I'd decided then that what it had really told me was who I was going to be. Now its come up again and I'm happy to own it this time.

I've arranged the cards in a medicine wheel. This is a form that I've used before for doing major readings. To read it you start in the bottom right hand corner, the South East.

SE - the direction of the ancestors - Card: 21 The World - Shining Woman

This card signifies success.

S - the direction of the inner child - Card: Place of Trees

This card signifies good health. (Yippee!)

SW - the direction of self-image - Card: Knower of Birds

This is the card of the diviner - one who can divine the meaning of what happens, with or without a system like the tarot to provide the meanings.

W - the direction of rock and groundedness, also the direction of introspection - Card: 4 of Stones

This is the card on the front of the book that goes with these cards.

The image is of a doorway between other worlds. It indicates stability.

NW - the direction of karma - Card: Ace of Stones

Connecting many levels of life and being well-anchored in ordinary things.

N - the direction of the adult - Card: 6 of Trees

The card that I thought I wasn't ready for last week.

This is the card of the person who uses the Tarot confidently. (It does mean more than that but given the other cards that's how I'm interpreting it here - tarot readings are always context dependent.)

NE - the direction of the design of energy - no card I was only doing one a day so one direction out of the 8 had to be missed - instead two images

The Pudding and a Power woman. The message is to get in shape and relax more!

E - the direction of Fire and Spirit - Card: Gift of Birds

Art and inspiration!

If you are still with me after all that - thank you!

And I forgot to mention this is my Illustration Friday - seeing as Might might mean Power!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Strange weather

Yesterday Jim was checking the weather at the BBC and saw a link which said

Is it snowing on Santa?

And this is what he saw:

(click image for a larger view)

So if you are in Finland on Tuesday watch out for blogger clouds!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Computer problems

"Warped" in Painter IX

Am having problems with my computer - hope to be sorted soon!

Update - a new keyboard seems to have fixed it. Back tomorrow (Monday).

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Singing up a Storm

Singing up a storm
This is Dada music... you know: da, da, da

Painter IX

On Radio 4 today (Ha Ha: Art) there was a programme that was looking at humour in art and about art. Most of the laughs in this programme are at the expense of artists. They seemed to think it was hard to have humour in "serious" art.

And its true a joke is normally a throw away - not something to be gazed at over and over again - so is there scope for humour in art?

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Week 3 - Power

Artist's Floor
A doodle inspired by one the floors I saw in an artist's studio. Painter IX.

In the Artist's Way to reclaim one's power one has to accept one's anger and shame. This is the dark side of self that gets exposure during the week. Anger's energy is used to make a map of what we really want to do. I've found this very useful whenever I've remembered to apply it. This is what I do.

I get all STEAMED up about something or someone.

Then I remember that if I'm annoyed or irritated or any of those anger type words this is a useful signal.

And I say thank you to myself for it.

And then I work out what its about.

Some are easier than others. For instance if I'm looking at a picture and thinking "I could do better than that!" then that's exactly what I want to do.

Others are harder. For instance being angry with someone because of something they have done which I really don't do and don't want to do, say smoking... in that case the message for me isn't so direct but there are always habits that aren't beneficial that have crept in and guess what this is also the week in the artist's way when some of them get highlighted!

On the lighter side its the week where we really get going with synchronicities, not just as an interesting phenomenon, but actually getting what you need in answer to specific requests sent out to the universe. At first I used to rationalise this as a way that at least I'd got my head sorted so that when an opportunity came along I'd recognise it - and that is a very good way to start. But it gets harder to rationalise away... and the thing to do is to say thank you and accept what comes your way. These days I do a lot of asking.

Got this free association exercise from Kat

One word. No explanation.

1. Yourself: creative.
2. Your partner: loving
3. Your hair: fluffy
4. Your mother: messy
5. Your father: working
6. Your favorite item: lots
7. Your dream last night: childish
8. Your favourite drink: water
9. Your dream car: working
10. The room you are in: basement
11. Your ex: arrogant
12. Your fear: rejection
13. What you want to be in 10 years: enlightened!
14. Who you hung out with last night: alone
15. What you're not: skinny
16. Muffins: blueberry
17: One of your wish list items: countryside
18: Time: passes
19. The last thing you did: lunch
20. What you are wearing: home
21. Your favourite weather: crisp
22. Your favourite book: synchronous
23. The last thing you ate: peanut-butter
24. Your life: changing
25. Your mood: happy
26. Your best friend: away
27. What you're thinking about right now: silly
28. Your car: borrowed
29. What you are doing at the moment: typing
30. Your summer: boiling
31. Your relationship status: happy
32. What is on your TV: clock
33. What is the weather like: changeable
34. When was the last time you laughed: often

Try it too if you like!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Contrasts - review of Identity


A mixed media collage reviewing my second week of revisiting the artist way.

This week was a hard one for me. I found myself with loads of ideas about identity but whenever I attempted to express them they changed! It was like trying to pin down a lump of jelly (jello) and pretend it was a piece of granite - just not realistic and rather messy.

So I alternated between really paying attention to what was going on around me and working away in my journal.

There is a devil hidden in the detail:

Devil in the Detail

Exploring one's dark side is never easy - the reason we leave it unilluminated is because we are pretending to ourselves that it isn't there. And some of it seems to be pre-language which means attempting to psychoanalyse it is a waste of time - much better to get in contact with the feelings and unblock them.

And then there were a whole load more angel synchronicities:

Angel detail

I drew this angel as a morning doodle in my journal. Can you see the connection from its halo to its head? When this angel is resting the halo goes off like a neon sign saying closed for business.

Another reason for choosing these two as details is that this week I sold a book and then 3 hours later got a message saying that it had been bought in error. It was called "Heaven and Earth". By a great stroke of luck I hadn't posted it yet (normally, as the order came in before noon, it would have already been on its way).

I also added in the rainbow chest of drawers as it was one of my favourite doodles from this week.

There were plenty of butterfly synchronicities too but the message seemed to be that of reconstruction - not yet ready to emerge in its full glory. Top left there is a butterfly almost ready to emerge from its chrysalis; and bottom right there is one that is sleeping.

I worked a lot with the Shining Tribe Tarot this week (see my earlier post about the Empress). I drew a card and made a drawing of it each morning after that. That is where the other tarot cards in this image come from.

This morning's was the 6 of Trees in reply to "Who am I?" but I felt that it was really an answer to who will I be soon, so I put it upside down on the 2 of coins ready to be flipped upright when activated.

Oh and before I forget, if you want to see a very funny image of me see what Ian did to me on the Camel Exchange.