Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Squirrel and Coyote


     One day Coyote was stalking through the woods. She placed her paws carefully, silently and never rustled a leaf as she hunted. The day was full of new life. The arrival of spring had awakened the dogwood trees in the understory. Coyote breathed in the sweet scent of prey. Her stomach rumbled in anticipation when suddenly something tumbled down onto her back and fell onto the forest floor beside her.
     Coyote looked down and was delighted to see a snack or rather a small orphaned squirrel with only a light dusting of brownish fur across his delicate back . His eyes had only just opened but he looked desperate and frightened. Coyote was about to reach down and gobble him up when suddenly she had an idea. She could bring this small orphan back to the den and boast about how she had become such a skilled huntress that the prey simply threw themselves at her rather than try to escape. She huffed at her cleverness and picked the little squirrel up in her mouth, tossing him onto her back.
     Coyote had ranged to the edge of her territory and had quite a ways to get back to the den but she didn't want to waste time hunting anymore, so delighted was she by the trick she had in mind. She settled into a distance eating trot that took no more effort than strolling along a path. As her shoulders blades danced back and forth, Squirrel was bounced rather roughly. She slowed a bit and the orphan tucked further into her ruff.    
     Coyote could feel Squirrel's little arms wrapping around her, little hands tucking into her fur. Coyote could feel the sigh of comfort and relief from the little body. Something stretched in Coyote's heart and it hurt. There was a strangling pressure on her chest she had never felt before. She stopped, all thoughts of the trick gone from her mind. She didn't like this one bit. Coyote turned, wrapping her teeth gently around the little body, she pulled Squirrel out of her ruff.
"This will not do," she thought and decided to eat Squirrel right away rather than take him back to the den. The pressure on her chest had grown stronger and the pain in her heart was throbbing. She placed Squirrel down on the ground before her and sniffed his little body. She opened her mouth to gobble him up when suddenly he reached out with his hands and grabbed her nose. With one delicate hand on each side of her muzzle, Squirrel made a piteous sound. At once it made her stomach rumble with hunger and her heart squeeze with compassion.
Surprising herself, she reached her tongue out to clean his little face. He turned up to the warmth. He was desperately hungry and pulled at her muzzle harder. Her heart felt like it would burst but the pain began to feel like heat...like the warmth of the sun spreading across her body. The light of it lit up her fur as golden beams traveled from tip to tip. The pressure on her chest turned into a caress and she felt as though she were glowing with it. She snorted in surprise and stepped back from the little Squirrel then laughed aloud. "What a good trick!" she chuckled as she gently picked Squirrel up in her mouth and placed him back into her warm ruff, "You have tricked the trickster!".
Coyote began her steady trot again, heading home towards the den, now eager to share her new love rather than boast of her cleverness.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Mighty Beard auction starts today!

The Mighty Beard...man of old time, wonder of nature, spectacle of manly compassion...

All proceeds of this sale will go to the family of little Riley Johnson, Kenneth and Elena Johnson's son, who is battling Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). For more info and adorable photos of this little fella check out their GoFundMe  page at http://www.gofundme.com/37fhis.

The Mighty Beard is an original mixed media piece that combines acrylic painting, machine stitching and other textural elements. It is affixed to stretched canvas and altogether measures 12"x16". It is signed by me, the artist.

You can check it out on eBay here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

That connection between art and music

I have danced until my chest heaved and my thighs shook while drummers tranced out in a circle around me. I have sat listening to the harmony of fiddle, banjo and guitar like I was a battery, charged by the energy they emitted. I have laid on  the floor near my husband as he practices a new song...enjoying every perfect and imperfect note.  I have sat pencil to paper, a nameless desire waiting to manifest until the music starts. All these things have filled me with a light that shines through the pinpoints of my soul, like the canvas of a night sky whose stars are pathways to other worlds.
Music is the heavy rain that gets the creek flowing smoothly again, it is the spark that starts the fire. I have relied on musicians to help me find a way out of the maze, to push through a block in energy, to release emotion that I have no words for, to spark a holy connection between heart and hand. Music fuels my Art. For this I am grateful. Grateful for all the times they said with their music what I could not with words and grateful for the times when they got my pencil and paintbrush moving once more in the right direction.
Do the drummers feed off the energy of the dancers in the circle? Can the musicians feel the starlit glow around me as I sit quietly and soak in their harmonies? I have heard other artist friends speak of a similar reliance on music but where do the musicians turn when they are caught in a creative maze?  Maybe we all simply drink from same the communal chalice of inspiration...finding our Muse wherever she decides to turn up next.

Sweetwater Creek in flood

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sanctuary

"Sanctuary", my latest mixed media piece 12"x 18" combining stitchery, painting and pen & ink. There are about three or four layers of textiles here that have been gessoed, painted and stitched like there is no tomorrow!