Sunday, February 28, 2016

Change is here...

DC: 190

With my help, my dining table (that comfortably seats 10 but sadly is not much used for eating) has undergone a metamorphosis this day. Here are the BEFORE shots:

And here is the AFTER shot:

To see more metamorphosis visit ROSE. Ariane has chosen this timely topic for this week's drawing challenge. Thank you my dear! Thanks for coming by today; see you soon I hope, Norma, x

Friday, February 19, 2016


DC: 189

I've felt the pull to do a collage and so for this drawing challenge, that is what I've done. All I had was a black and white photocopy of a whole group of cocoons from a white butterfly [common cabbage type] that were attached to a tree. Not much to go on, and pretty boring really. But the muse piped in and suddenly an old drawing study plan of 'lines' for an image of a single female sitting in a boat came into play, quickly followed by some lines from an old Reader's Digest condensed book so old the yellowed pages are practically falling out of the spine. They struck me, these lines. The word 'squaw' jarred my mind. It's an awful word. But I think used often in past times. And the idea that the teaching of the catechism to 'squaws' was of import really strikes me, almost a physical sensation, as I've recently been thinking of residential schools and about the idea of taking the 'indian' out of indian kids in their charge. The schools I know of were run by priests and nuns.

Bits and pieces fell into my hands as the collage completed itself on the page. After it was done these questions came to mind as I viewed what I'd just made:
1. Did Mrs. Feake have a knowledge of good and evil? Is the snake symbol her friend or foe?
2. As the snake with the forked tongue is facing the catechism sentence, what does that say?
3. As the snake with the smile on its' face is facing the lone woman is snake her friend?
4. Is the lone woman sitting in quiet repose reciting the catechism to herself in serenity?
5. Is the lone woman making plans to leave her situation and fly like a butterfly once her cocoon phase is over?

The poem is by Ellie Daphne van Stralen. The lines are from 'The Winthrop Woman' by Anya Seton, c. 1958.

Patrice is our host this week for the drawing challenge and her blog will direct you to the other players participating in this challenge. Have a look at what they have done. There is always such a variety of interesting, inspiring, fabulous creative offerings here. Thank you for dropping in today, and I hope to see you again soon, Cheers, Norma, x

Saturday, February 6, 2016

All sixes and sevens...

drawing challenge no. 187

Our host this week for the drawing challenge is the lovely Nadine! It's been far too long since I've been able to play here and so I am particularly happy to join in. And, as usual, I wondered what I might possibly come up with. My mind blank, teetering on the edge of the abyss of panic, my heart beginning to race a little, my logic reaching for possibilities, I go to bed discouraged in my own ability to ever make anything interesting, truly creative, original, nice and in particular something that others might like, again. This happens every time. But absolutely every time, the panic is followed by a kernel of an idea. It grows. I relax. I find BELIEF again that maybe I can think of something original and that I love and that others might like. I relax more deeply. The muse enters into things. I begin to trust. I relax quite a lot now. The muse and me are working together on something. That something for this drawing challenge is a little book. SURPRISE!

And so it grew. My ideas always grow. Too big for a challenge and done in one week, actually. I'm always full of "this is going to be...or, when this is finished it will..." And so again with this week's challenge.

But here is my little book. The feeling I get when faced with signing up for a new challenge repeats itself every time. As outlined briefly above, I doubt, worry, panic, relax a little, allow an idea to enter, relax a little more, allow the muse in, relax a lot, and get down to work. That is my personal experience of being all sixes and sevens. It's not comfortable. It is always worth it. And as always, I won't be able to complete my project for the deadline but will show you what I do have done, and describe the rest.

I believe in things unseen. Miracles, magic, ghosts, favors granted from the divine, synchronicities, quantum physics, prayer, an intelligent universe. I believe. But my belief is not always comfortable and at times quite the opposite. My ego who very much wants to control things and is very incompetent and some say, run by the devil himself, just has to have a say in things. The devil might whisper "prove it" and I say back "I don't have to, for I believe." These are general musings I realize, but so is my drawing challenge offering this week.

As I sit and think of things 'universe' I think of stars first, so I made a small book of 65 lb. recycled art paper inside and my beloved Saint Armand paper for the cover, using a Japanese stab binding in the shape of STAR. The first page of the book shows a very small drawing of a field at dusk with the nighttime stars beginning to twinkle. At the bottom, a quote cut from an old recycled bible: for we walk by faith, not by sight. This is from 2 Corinthians 5:7. The meaning for me is that I don't have to see things to believe in them. I believe I have a muse that will never leave me or fail me. I'll leave it at that.

Lincoln said: "To believe in the things you can see and touch is no belief at all; but to believe in the unseen is a triumph and a blessing."

Now we come to the part where I won't be able to complete the whole art idea by the deadline for this week. My little book is meant to be written in, drawn in, or whatever one desires. It will snug into a little pocket which really will be a pendant pouch on a rope, worn as a necklace. The pouch will be woven (I have a table loom I call Saint Agnes) from textured wool and strips of paper rope I make from bible pages (shifu Japanese paper rope.) It's gonna be great I tell ya! Famous last words.

I like the idea of affirmations and one could write these in the little book necklace to refer to, remember, quote to one's self (might come in handy at the dentist's office) and I like the idea of the card no. 17 of the Major Arcana in the Tarot. Card no. 17 is STAR. This might have special meaning for some. As I worked on this small book, the meaning of it grew as it grew into being between my fingers and needles et al. I see this piece as a 'prayer book' of sorts. For it has a bible quote and is illustrated ever so slightly. So it can be that for some, too. Okay so what does this thing look like for heaven's sake! Here is the cover. Shown beside a dime for scale, and threading instructions for drama (HA!):

Here is the front page illustration. Pencil crayon, ink. I haven't done any art for months so I'm critical of this but it does give a nice idea:

Drop by to visit Nadine who will direct you to the visuals for all of the folk playing along this week. You will see all different kinds of wonderful offerings here. Nice to see you again! Cheers, Norma, x

p.s. just ignore the blue colored chunk in the middle of the blog. I can't get rid of it.


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