Phew, wiping sweat from brow, can’t believe I’ve managed to blog pretty much every day. The days I did miss were when I got skittled by my dogs, had a bad fall and needed a couple of days to get back on my feet and stop aching so much.
Today I’ve been playing around with an earlier image I created of spirits dancing in a stone found under a boab tree in the Northern Territory, Australia, and – for the first time – an image that isn’t mine. It’s one I came across of a cobra coiled and ready to strike, and I really liked it. So I added more colour to the cobra image then superimposed over it just one spirit dancing that I cut out of the original artwork of three.
To me it represents the rise of kundalini energy through the body via the spine to connect with Divinity:
Phew – one more day to go and Art Every Day Month November is over. What a marathon, but what a blessing because it’s introduced me to a routine of focus and daily activity.
I never quite know what I’m going to work on each day but today an earlier painting I created in Australia caught my eye with a centre piece of small amethyst tumbled stones. So I worked on this with PicMonkey and here’s the result: Colours of Life and underneath is my original artwork:
It’s amazing the highways and by-ways you end up exploring with digital art. I started off with one image that I’d worked on a while back and left for a while, decided it definitely wasn’t quite what I liked, then started working to add layers and more layers. I finally ended up by adding an overlay of a photo of the Apothecary’s Rose in our garden – a rose which is ancient and historic to the Turkish region, along with butterflies for transformation. For the first time I added in a layer of wall and when I’d finished – and I know I’m finished when I get an “aha!” moment – I felt that this was about tearing down the walls we put up between ourselves, between nations, between religions, between young and old people, between people of different colours, and so on. Underneath we are all the same and the urgent work is to open our hearts and tear down the barriers between us all.
I’m back to “normal” surreal art today as I’m feeling heaps better. I’ve had a grand time working with an earlier piece of surreal art and superimposing over it a photo of a lovely pink rose in full bloom I found in the garden of one of my neighbours in our Crystal Gardens block of apartments. Given my love of crystals, I think the name is very, very appropriate!
I got one shot of the rose, then bent it slightly to get another, better shot, and unfortunately broke it off. So I took it home, left it on the kitchen cabinet to look for a vase and – even more unfortunately – one of young dogs nicked it and the four of them had a great game playing with its tattered remnants in our front garden!
Roses remind me not only of the ones we planted in our various gardens when loved ones died – whether humans or furry friends – but they also remind me of my paternal grandfather who was a really great gardener.
I used to stay with my grandparents as a kid and I remember the lovely flower beds full of roses, antirrhinums (bunny rabbits), pansies, roses, hollyhocks, irises, alyssum, lobelia, foxgloves and other flowers whose names I’ve now forgotten. My grandfather also grew magnificent, lush veggies including potatoes, cauliflowers, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, runner beans, carrots and so on.
The history of both my paternal and maternal families is one of losing touch or cutting off contact. My father got a letter out of the blue from my grandfather disowning him, my mother and me and we had no idea why. Years later, when I was sitting in a small psychic circle drifting off out of sheer boredom, a clock chimed nearby, just the same chime as my grandparents’ clock and my grandfather’s voice suddenly said: “I’m sorry, cocker (his nickname for me), I didn’t mean what I did, I didn’t know what I was doing”. I wonder whether my grandfather had dementia which, in the days when he was alive, wasn’t diagnosed as much as it is now. He had been showing signs of mental confusion which the family had ignored but it explained to me the inexplicable.
Just recently I tracked down my cousin, the son of my mother’s uncle, who I grew up with. I lost touch with my mother’s family in the UK after my mother died in Australia and, when I tried to resume contact and visit them during a visit to the UK in 1994, I was pretty much given the cold shoulder. So after I tracked my cousin down, I suddenly sat down and wondered whether I really wanted to resume contact with someone I hadn’t been in contact with since 1972. We are now both very different (from what my aunt said about him it sounded as if he was moving into the realms of the nouveau riche and I’m pretty much an eccentric, arty-farty nutter) so after careful thought I decided you can’t go back. I’d like to keep good memories of my cousin and his brother, and so I’m not going to follow through and contact him.
This isn’t a pity party, by the way. For me, family is the lovely friends I’ve made throughout my life who are just simply wonderful. And I was very fortunate to be taken into the heart of my husband’s daughter, granddaughters and great-grand-kids (without all the hard yakka, as I put it!) who have given me wonderful love. Family is great if it’s full of love, and dysfunctional if the love is missing. My family of friends and Bryan’s family have given me so much love I consider myself very, very lucky. I have been blessed so much in this life.
I posted a pic of myself on Facebook in the new red jumper I ordered from Debenham’s in the UK and which arrived here in North Cyprus yesterday. I was really surprised at how many people said they thought red suited me. So today’s project is a surrealistic selfie with me wearing read and surrounded by red.
There’s an emotional history of me and the colour red .At one stage in my life I could not bear the colour, either in clothes or in any decorations in our home. I found out over time that I can sense people’s feelings and that hidden anger was one feeling which affected me deeply. I could pick up on my father’s hidden rage and aggression which really used to come to the fore when he was very drunk. I’d attend meetings at work and feel drained afterwards because I could sense that people were really angry but weren’t expressing that anger.
Although I didn’t realise it, red not only means passion, groundedness, ability to act, to make your way in life, when it’s out of sync and over-energised it can also embody aggression, rage and anger. So sub-consciously red for me was a complete no-brainer because I was picking up all the negative energies around this colour.
When I lived in Boonah, Queensland, and had been working with colours and becoming more aware of their meanings, I firstly introduced one red candle into our house, in the dining room not in our living room. I actually felt quick sick at even looking at the colour, but gradually became acclimatised although never hugely enthusiastic. Then I introduced a second candle and you have no idea how difficult this was for me! I finally got a round red rug which I placed near the entry to our home and managed to survive with that much red in the house although it felt very daring to me.
In 2002 I returned to the UK with my husband as my father descended into full-scale alcoholism and an absolutely chaotic, destructive lifestyle. After we returned in 2004 and were living in Western Australia, I had to fly to Brisbane to try to sort out my father’s finances which were in a right pickle and which he couldn’t sort out himself as he’d had multiple strokes, couldn’t communicate clearly and was hardly mobile.
It was the first time my father allowed me to handle his financial affairs and we reached a sort of truce, I guess, as he was in a terrible state and had to accept help which he’d always been too stubborn to accept before. On the way home with a friend, we stopped off at a shopping centre for a meal and I saw a red top which really attracted me. My friend goggled when I said I was going to try the top on and said: “But, Mo, you NEVER wear red!” which, of course, was quite right. But when I popped the top on in the change room, it was as if some deep shift had happened in between. I glowed in a colour I’d hated before and I felt fantastic. I decided to keep the top on and when I walked out, my friend was amazed. She kept saying how different I looked and she was right.
I had lost my fear of red, I’ve done a lot of work on myself and feel I’m now in my full power in my mid-‘sixties and I’m happy to have that colour in my life. These two pics are of myself and my husband and I’m wearing a long, bright red dress, and the other of a collage I created which is beside my work desk.
I thought I’d do something a bit different today for AEDM: some digital art and accompanying music.
I’ve called this piece of digital art: Spiritual Healing, because it reminds me of swimming down into the depths of emotions, releasing that which holds us back from our essence, and opening to unconditional love which fuels our heart and soul. It is created from a seascape, a spirit figure which emerged from a photo of a firework, and a piece of rainbow obsidian with a double heart.
I was actually opened up to the concept of unconditional love when my gorgeous little dog was run over by a bus and killed back in 1993. The night after her death, I saw her walking away from me in golden light. She turned to look, as if saying a final goodbye, and a voice said: “She came to teach you unconditional love, and now her work is done. She needs to move on.” And then the golden light and image of Chloe faded away.
That dream changed my life and this digital art is a tribute to Chloe and her role in opening my heart up.
Then I decided to add in one of my favourite reggae songs: Spiritual Healing by Toots Hibbert.
I’m still feeling a bit seedy so decided to stick to the photograph theme as I came across a photograph I really love – of a baby kookaburra sitting on the front verandah fence of our home in Bowraville, mid-coast New South Wales. The kooka looks so curious as if it can’t make up its mind about the human next to it. Mum, on the other hand, was not impressed with her offspring’s adventure and was calling sharply to it the whole time to get away to somewhere safer.
My first introduction to a kookaburra’s call was just after I moved to Australia and was walking to the railway station very early one morning. The streets were deserted when, all of a sudden, there was a demonic cackling sound and I thought I was going to be attacked by some complete nutter. I looked around and there wasn’t a soul in sight, it felt really eerie. Then, all of a sudden, the cackling laugh broke out again and I looked up to see a kookaburra laughing like a maniac on the top of a power pole!
When my husband was working on a high-rise construction project, the crane driver – who was Irish and had only just arrived in Australia – climbed up his crane to start work when a kookaburra perched on the top of the crane suddenly started yelling and bawling. The crane driver skimmed down the ladder to the ground, looking white and shaken, and claiming that he’d heard a banshee and it heralded death. All the blokes were laughing so hard, with tears running down their face, that it took them a while to reassure the guy that he’d heard a bird, not an omen of death.
Kookas are a member of the kingfisher family and have amazingly acute eyesight. They sit on fences or roofs or posts, see something move and they zoom down to catch they prey – lizards, insects, fish, and so on – so fast you can hardly see them move. When we lived in Fremantle, south of Perth in Western Australia, we had a pond with goldfish in, and they kept disappearing. Then one day I saw a kookaburra suddenly swoop down, hit the surface of the pond, and fly off with one of our fattest goldfish. We ended up putting a net over the pool to save the remaining goldfish.
We were lucky enough, when we lived in Boonah, south-east Queensland, to see a blue-winged kookaburra on a regular basis as ith ad a nest in the trees opposite our home. All you see is blur of azure-coloured bird as it was small and moved so fast. Here’s a link to a short video of the bird:
Kookaburras became a sort of totem for us when we lived in New South Wales. In Woodenbong, northern New South Wales, we’d get woken in the early morning by the kookas welcoming the day – you couldn’t sleep through it as it was incredibly loud and raucous. We ended up with a couple of baby kookas being reared in our backyard, which sounds lovely, but their calling to mum and dad for food all the time with mum and dad yelling back, drove us crazy!
Here’s a link to a kookaburra laughing:
We moved to Victoria but didn’t see any kookas. But as we drove from Traralgon to New South Wales to look for a home, we would see kookas sitting on the fence like little watch birds, beady eyes following us as we drove past. And when we settled in Bowraville, a small rural village, the kookas were there in full force, once again waking us just before dawn with their raucous laughter which was actually establishing their territorial boundaries. They are quite bold birds which is why it was relatively easy to get photos of them.