Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


December Views Project 12/02/10

December Views Project

For more information on the December Views Project, click here.

Self-Portraits as Therapy

12/1/10: Visited the doctor to get some answers to questions about this health issue. Here is how I felt before my appointment.

I thought to myself that I should stop using a mirror to view my image. Found a wrinkle I didn’t know existed.

12/2/10: So yesterday the doctor took a biopsy and I had blood drawn. Today I was back for one more test. And now I wait.

I left the doctor’s office feeling like I’m in a bit of a black hole with a glimmer of good news hanging around the edge. I’m not really up to saying what is going on at this time. Suffice to say I’m getting older and my body is being treacherous. I’ll know more next week Thursday at my appointment.


Creative Every Day Week 2: Theme-Body

My goal with CED is to dedicate part of one day each week to an art activity inspired by the monthly theme. If I’m able to fit in other non-art related activities inspired by the monthly theme, even better!

Monday: Started the week off nicely with a treat for the body-a hot stone massage.

Tuesday: Keeping the body healthy with the annual mammogram

Wednesday: Exercised the body with a half day of skiing.

Thursday: A mind-mapping teleseminar with Julie Stuart; good for the brain and the business

Friday: Friday is the day I try to dedicate to an art specific project using the CED theme for inspiration. During the week I finished sculpting a head following the Creager’s head sculpting DVD. Heads always look a little scary before going in the oven and before the eyes are added.

Front of Head

This head also shows my first attempt at sculpting ears.

Left Side (My What Big Ears You Have)

Right Side (Do these ears make me look fat?)

And I completed this little guy, “Man in Turban.” This piece will be sent to the sons of a gallery owner. The boys helped in the construction of the head.

On this particular Friday I pulled out Cate Coulacos Prato’s book Mixed Media Self-Portraits and worked on a warm-up exercise called “Color Your World.” Through this exercise you create a self-portrait using one color.  The portrait can be literal or abstract or expressive.

Prior to creating my self-portrait, I meditated for a few minutes to get clear on which color was “me” this morning. I repeated the names of several colors over and over and the one that came to me most prominently was orange.

Orange? (Prior to the exercise I was focused on the color blue; my inner voice obviously thought otherwise.)

Okay; I spent 15-20 minutes gathering materials including colored pencils, markers, oil pastels, paints, construction paper, and tore orange colored images from several magazines. Then I got to work. I started by scribbling in a background and then glued the large image with the words “Find Your Center” on the middle of the paper. The woman meditating was glued on top of this background.

From here I worked intuitively, not really stopping to think about my choices. I just cut, scribbled, tore, and glued paper. Sometimes I would flip the image upside-down to see blank spaces that needed filling. During all the activity I remembered my paper punches and used them on the magazine images as well to make leaves and starbursts.

Here is how the piece turned out:

Color Your World-Single Color Self-Portrait

Find Your Center-Top Half

Find Your Center-Middle Section

Find Your Center-Bottom Half


The piece seems to have no rhyme or reason. I started with the woman mediating because I like to meditate though I don’t do it as often as I used to. Ironically she was wearing an orange top! I also liked the words on the background image (Find Your Center) because I’m always working on learning more about my intuitive, spiritual side.

One thing I learned while working on this piece is that some personal symbols are emerging for me. Between this piece and last week’s creation, I find myself incorporating circles, dots, rough edges (torn paper), curly-q’s, and swirls, lines ending in points, stars or starbursts, little falling images (here falling leaves & starbursts; last week was falling stick figures.)

As I finished this piece I applied a wash of orange watercolor and thinned orange acrylic paint. As the piece dried, I spontaneously added a small strip of orange construction paper over the woman’s eyes. For some reason I didn’t want to focus on her eyes. I added a couple more strips of construction paper on the upper left corner and the right side of the piece. And then I glued the words “Guide Us” over the woman’s paper covered eyes. This represents my intuitive side, the part of me I’m trying to open up and learn about. Finally I addded the words “Success” and “In every possible situation” to complete the piece.

So I guess what this piece tells me is that I’m trying to find my center to guide me to success in every possible situation.

Meanings for Orange

Orange is a blend of red and yellow. It symbolizes stimulation, success and attraction. Orange is associated with orange fruit which symbolizes fruitfulness and fecundity (capable of producing offspring or vegetation; fruitful; marked by intellectual productivity.) Orange is the color of the sacral chakra which is associated with nurturing, receptivity, and emotions.

Orange is often used to depict the sun. It symbolizes happiness, socializing, abundance in career, projects, and matters needing an added push.


Chakra Energy Angels-Heart Chakra

Along with challenging myself to create some larger art dolls, I’ve also wanted to create art dolls that I could potentially introduce to the wholesale market.  For me this typically means something that you can reproduce, possibly in production format, that is also relatively affordable.

I’ve also found myself inspired by the lovely work of both Laurie Mika and Tejae Floyde while thinking about the creation of smaller art dolls when the idea hit me.

In the past I tried to make an art doll using a removeable interior solid mold much like you use to create rock purses or vessels.  I like the surface work one can put onto these pieces but wrangling with the mold can be frustrating.  My desire was to keep this relatively simple.

Here is what I came up with:


Chakra Energy Angels.  This first one is for the heart chakra.  She is my personal chakra energy angel. 

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The Journey

Have you ever had aspects about yourself revealed that you knew were true but didn’t want to believe or accept?  I’ve recently experienced this through a very interesting avenue.  Last week, I had an Aura and Chakra reading at the Center at Westwoods.

Now what is an “aura and chakra reading” you might ask.  First, lets define aura and chakras.  An aura is a subtle-energy field surrounding humans.  In Sanskrit this energy field is called kosas meaning body sheaths.  The word aura comes from the Greek avra meaning breeze. Other terms to describe the human energy field are universal life force, prana, or chi.

Chakras are also energy centers associated with specific organs and endocrine glands in the body.  The word chakra comes from the Sanskrit meaning wheel or disk.  The traditional Hindu system names seven major chakras: root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown.  Each chakra is associated with a particular color.

So, essentially, I had my energy fields read.  For this reading I placed my left hand, palm-side down, on a small black box with silver disks on the top surface which appeared to correspond to the segments on my fingers.  The thumb rests on the side of the box also on top of silver disks.  The box is attached to a computer.  Your energy fields appear on the computer screen.  You breathe and relax and let the machine take a reading. 

What I learned is that I have a chameleon aura.  I have energy bouncing all over the place.  I pick up energy from sources around me; the computer, the lights, cars passing by, someone’s voice.  That probably explains why, somedays, I feel tired at night even though I didn’t necessarily have an overly active day.

My strongest chakra color is green (the heart chakra) which is indicative of communication, creativity, logic, balance, and being social.  That explains my love of art, creative activities and nature.

So how does placing your hand on a black box with silver disks translate into a journey?  Because I learned that while I love to share advice I don’t always follow it myself.  I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “practice what you preach.”  Well, when you don’t always follow your own advice (practice what you preach) certain energy centers are thrown out of balance.   All those steps I shared to help you achieve balance I don’t always follow myself.  Now I will try to be better about this.

And what does any of this have to do with art and creativity?  Quite a bit actually.  When I’m out of balance, my creativity drops.  I can’t focus or concentrate.  If my studio gets too messy, I can’t think creatively because of all the clutter.  The energy is blocked.  Creativity stagnates.  And if I don’t engage in something I love, I feel sad and a little depressed.

So now I begin a journey to take care of myself, to balance my energy fields, and strengthen those areas that need more development.  Perhaps it will point me in another creative direction or open me to greater creativity.  Only time will tell.