Friday, August 19, 2011

Inklings Gone Wild

Pillow Case Skirt with Cat
Hey! I'm still here having creative inklings like crazy.  It's just I've been doing the documenting at Project Minima.  You know, since it's about that stuff.  

And I've been so single-focused, working on it everyday as much as I can - which is a lot!  Matter of fact, I'm just taking a break right now... 

So take a look when you have a chance!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 66: Peach

Day 66: Peach, gouache, 6x8 in., Otto

In appearance and in taste, the peach suggests a juicy abundance that is both natural and sacred.  Blossoming in early spring, the peach tree is a sure sign of nature's regeneration...It is reputed that when a soul eats of the sacred peach tree, it will enjoy three millennia of good health.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 65: Apple

Day 65: Apple, gouache, 6x8 in., Otto

A botanical relative of the rose, the apple goes back to the earliest phases of human settlement; its present size and sweetness results from long domestication of its small, sour served as a common love gift in ancient Greece, where the apple was imagined as an attribute of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Tree of My Life, Currently

Palm Tree Construction, found objects, 9x6x5 in., Otto 

Yes, silly me as a tree from the Archetypal Stages of the Great Round of Mandala workshop I'm facilitating.  We're on Stage 7 Squaring the Circle or Owning the Light and one of the focus points was a tree as self image.

It seemed to tie together all the projects I'm involved with:  the mandala group, the symbol a day, and all the fabric and sewing of clothes.  Of course, I didn't realize that at the time of creating it - I was just going with my inklings.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 64: Thistle

Day 64: Thistle, gouache, 6x8 in., Otto

Evoking one who is barbed but has a soft heart, the thistle's prickliness is associated with self-protection, impenetrability, austerity and resilience...Nevertheless, the thistle also conveys love that endures suffering and labor that endures hardship.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Project Minima

Photo by Otto
I have to mention here that my creative inklings are also being realized in another project that I began last month. That's why The Book of Symbols images are slowing down and not appearing every single day.  They are sharing creative time with my Project Minima endeavors.
It's all good.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 63: Lotus

Day 63: Lotus, 6x8 in., Otto
As a poetic image and visual icon, the lotus symbol evokes the realization that all life, rooted in mire, nourished by decomposed matter, growing upward through a fluid and changing medium, opens radiantly into space and light.  The mire and fluidity symbolize the grosser, heavier qualities of nature, including mind's nature.  The flower, beautifully multipetalled, symbolizes the array of subtler, more lucid qualities, with the golden hue, the radiance of spirit, as its center.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 62: Rose

Day 62: Rose, gouache, 6x8 in., Otto

Above all, roses signify love, in all its earthly and heavenly hues:  what or who we love in the present, the one we loved and have lost, and the longing for something nameless--embodied in the form and color of roses, and in the perfume that "suddenly...lies on the air like fame" (Rilke, 149)--that both beckons and mysteriously eludes us.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 61: Lily - revisted

Day 61: Lily, gouache, 8x6 in., Otto

Equally reflective of the vital source, the deep calyx of the lily shaped into trumpet, bell and chalice shoots up in every hue from the dark earth at springtime, heralding resurrection and renewal.  Highly regenerative, the lily surfaces even after fire or drought.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 60: Iris

Day 60: Iris, gouache, 8x6 in., Otto

It is the multicolor display of the iris that is responsible for its appellation.  Iris, meaning "rainbow" in classical Greek, was the messenger of the Olympian gods.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 59: Flower

Day 59: Flower, gouache, 8x6 in., Otto

Flowers are incorporated into ritual and sacrament the world over, as emblems of eros, beauty, perfection, purity, fertility, joy and resurrection. The simplest form of the flower with a radial shape is a natural mandala linking the flower symbolically with the wheel and eternal, cosmic movement around a mystic and orienting center.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 58: Garden

Day 58: Garden, gouache, 6x8 in., Otto

In almost all cultures and religions, the garden represents a sacred space, a uniting of the conscious self with its unconscious source.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 57: Yakshi - revised

Day 57: Yakshi, gouache, 8x6 in., Otto

The female Yakshi, in particular, is identified with the life of the tree...the tree draws its sustenance directly from subterranean waters absorbed through its roots and transformed into vital sap.  The sap rises, channeled and propelled up the central trunk of the tree toward the light.  As it reaches its apex, like a fountain it spills out and over into the many branches of the tree, bringing the tree to maturity in a canopy of foilage, blooming flowers and abundant fruit.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 56: Kabbalistic Tree

Day 56: Kabbalistic Tree, mixed media, 8x6 in., Otto

Perhaps the central teaching of this profound symbol is that there is a single structure that underpins all things...It is ultimately about the many levels, visible and invisible, that connect the primordial unity with the reality we experience every day.  

The Kabbalah teaches that this divine system has an order and a beauty of its own, and that by coming to know and align ourselves with it, we may promote greater harmony both within ourselves and in what is around us. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 55: Roots

Day: 55 Roots, gouache, 6x8 in., Otto

...The roots of an individual extend into layers of personal and archetypal ground.  The quality of such rooting, fostered by experience, mirroring and imagination, affects the capacity to thrive, generate new growth and creatively blossom.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 54: Palm Tree

Day 54: Palm Tree, gouache, 8x6 in., Otto

Considered a grass rather than a tree despite its tall sturdy trunks, a palm ripens its kernels enclosed in fleshy rinds (dates) or in hard protective shells (coconuts).

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 53: Pine Tree

Day 53: Pine Tree, 8x6 in., Otto

Of all the trees, pines are the most ancient.  Bristlecone pines of Western United States are known to be the oldest living plants on Earth.  One in Nevada (since cut down by chain saw) possessed over 4,800 growth rings; it was "the oldest single living organism ever know."
- James Balog

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 52: Olive Tree

Day 52: Olive Tree, gouache, 6x8 in., Otto

Olive trees perpetually renew themselves from their roots.  They resurrect after fire by sprouting new shouts and are able to grow back even if their tops and trunks decay...That is the olive - symbol of the quintessence that survives the dissolution of the old forms and renews itself from the roots up.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 51: Oak Tree

Day 51: Oak Tree, gouache, 6x8 in., Otto

Gathering strength throughout its span of life from acorn to spreading giant, the oak represents invincible, august strength.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 50: Tree

Day 50: Tree, gouache, 8x6 in., Otto

How we long to achieve the growth the tree fosters in itself, the reach and rootage, the sturdiness and balance between high and low, the way it meets each season, holding its ground, spare or blooming.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 49: Island

Day 49: Island, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

Islands have ever harbored our conscious fantasies and unconscious projections.  They evoke escape, solitude, refuge or captivation.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 48: Beach

Day 48: Beach, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

Psychological the beach evokes for us the daily experience of the slim shore between conscious and unconscious lapped and buffeted, shifted and changed, temporarily submerged and once again delineated in the tidal rhythms of waking and sleeping.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 47: Marsh

Day 47: Marsh, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

The marsh continues to be an apt metaphor for those developmental transitions or temporary passages within a larger process where consciousness experiences itself in the muck between the permanently dissolved and the yet to be, a space of extreme potential and extreme vulnerability, vital, slippery, unpredictable and emergent.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 46: Forest

Day 46: Forest, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

Many spiritual and psychological journeys begin, as Dante's did in the Divine Comedy, by entering the "Dark Wood" of psychic wilderness.  And because the forest has a "mysterious impenetrability...things suddenly appear and disappear, and there are no paths, anything is possible."
- C.G. Jung

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 45: Desert

Day 45: Desert, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

As a psychic landscape, the desert often exemplifies protracted periods of alienation, spiritual thirst and creative tedium, disorientation and depletion, and also mortification, purification, redemption and initiation.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 44: Salt

Day 44: Salt, prismacolor pencil, 7x7 in., Otto

The alchemists were aware of the paradoxical properties of salt:  it is necessary to life and poisonous; it enhances food and can make it bitter, it stings and it heals, it kills microbes and can destroy tissue.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 43: Cave

Day 43: Cave, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

By providing a passage between this world and the underground, or between life and the land of the dead, caves evoke the primordial functions of the earth mother as both womb and tomb.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 42: Valley

Day 42: Valley, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

The valley is associated with the earthy, the humble and also the womb as source, linking us with the Way and oneness; "Those on the way of the Tao, like water / need to accept where they find themselves; / and that may often be where water goes / to the lowest places, and that is right."
- Laozi

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 41: Mountain

Day 41: Mountain, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

Mountains suggest arduous, painstaking ascent and sublimation, the widened perspective, the peak experience, the thin air of headiness and sublimity.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 40: Stone

Day 40: Stone, collage, mixed media, 7x7 in., Otto

Compared to our brief human life span, stone becomes a symbol of endurance; indeed it suggests the concept of eternity.  Yet the common stone surrounds us everywhere, and we give it little value.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 39: Darkness

Day 39: Darkness, collage, mixed media, 7x7 in., Otto

But if one consciously enters into the Darkness and endures its enshroudment, if catlike, one learns to see and hear acutely in its recesses, the darkness will gradually reveal the treasures concealed there.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 38: Night

Day 38: Night, collage, mixed media, 7x7 in., Otto

Like a finely woven shawl, night enfolds in the interval between dusk and dawn.  Bringing silence, healing and a cool hiatus from the sun's burning heat and light, night evokes the restorative darkness and repose, the veiling of sunlike consciousness that follows upon the tumultuous splendor and striving of day.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 37: Sunset

Day 37: Sunset, collage, mixed media, 7x7 in., Otto

Every evening the sun sinks toward the horizon, meeting earth with heaven, and slipping under the boundary of our perspective, carries with it something of ourselves into the netherworld of imagination.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 36: Dusk

Day 36: Dusk, collage, mixed media, 7x7 in., Otto

Dusk signifies the evening of the day and the evening of life, or the evening of time as the "twilight of the gods" when earth's light is swallowed.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 35: Solstice

Day 35: Solstice, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

Rather, solstice reflects a numinous simultaneity of the sun's standing at an extreme and turning into the opposite, a divine rotation of ascent and descent that makes of light and darkness one.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 34: Sunrise

Day 34: Sunrise, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

Alchemy, as well as numerous myths, distinguishes sunrise from dawn.  As daybreak, the latter is suggestive of the "first light" of spiritual, symbolic or psychic illumination, while sunrise evokes its infusion with the fire, blood and energetic heat of lived experience.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 33: Dawn

Day 33: Dawn, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

Whether alluding to the incipient universe, or to the momentary flicker of an idea or feeling in its earliest apprehension; whether naming the interlude of communion engendered by the pristine clarity and shared focus of the whole of creation poised at the brink of sunrise, dawn evokes annunciation, beginning, approach, coming into being.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 32: Spark

Day 32: Spark, interference acrylic, 7x7 in., Otto

The origins of the word spark attest to its fertile, spermlike quality, as well as its animating, vital essence.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 31: Fire

Day 31: Fire, gouache, 7x7 in., Otto

Visible fire gradually intimated an invisible fire animating our substance and manifesting in the multiple flickers and excitations of psychic life.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 30: Ice

Day 30: Ice, collage, 6x6 in., Otto

In psychology, [ice would be] the dividing line between the conscious and the unconscious.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 29: Snow

Day 29: Snow, collage, mixed media, 6x6 in., Otto

Snow creates simple beauty and activates fantasies of transformation.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 28: Fog

Day 28: Fog, collage, mixed media, 6x6 in., Otto

Symbolically, the world of clear rational thought gives way to dreaminess, ambiguity, a kind of knowing that is more nuanced, less absolute...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 27: Dew

Day 27: Dew, collage, mixed media, 6x6 in., Otto

Not merely an intellectual form of understanding, but incorporating feeling values, the "dew" alluded to psyche's capacity to freshen and reanimate the personality desiccated by unconsciousness of its soul-stuff.  The illumination of these contents, like glistening drops of dew, represents the "moisture that heralds the return of the soul."
- C.G. Jung

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 26: Rainbow

Day 26: Rainbow, collage, mixed media, 6x6 in., Otto

Myth has portrayed the rainbow as the highway over which pysche's supernal emissaries bring their messages to consciousness.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 25: Lightning

Day 25: Lightning, collage, 6x6 in., Otto

Sometimes signaling the advance of high winds and violent storms and followed by deafening peals of thunder, lightning evokes unexpected, over-powering shifts in the physical or psychic landscape.
- C.G. Jung

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 24: Thunder

Day 24: Thunder, collage, mixed media, 6x6 in., Otto

Always ambivalent, the gods of thunder and lightning could bring either death and destruction or fertility and new life to humankind and its surroundings.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 23: Storm

Day 23: Storm, collage,6x6 in., Otto 

Symbolically storm evokes psychic tension gradually building to the bursting point, or more sudden in-breaking of highly charged transpersonal energies.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 22: Rain

Day 22: Rain, collage, mixed media, 6x6 in., Otto

The water upon which all life depends descends to earth as raindrops both gentle and torrential.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 21: Wind

Day 21: Wind, collage, mixed media, 6x6 in., Otto

On wind we have projected the unpredictable factor that moves us and carries us, sometimes directing our course or forcing us to change course.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Book of Symbols, Day 20: Cloud

Day 20: Cloud, collage, mixed media, 6x6 in., Otto

Because of clouds hovering between heaven and earth, it has been an image that conveyed the hiddenness as well as the manifestation of the divine.