A Rose for a Troubadour

apothecarys-rose-last-of-2016In 1972 I spent three months working on a kibbutz in northern Israel as a volunteer, something which was popular at the time. You got a cheap flight and accommodation in return for various work on the kibbutz.

We lived in volunteers’ accommodation, very basic, and also not much soundproofing. The guy next to us was profoundly depressed and played Leonard Cohen all the time – known in those days as “music to cut your throat by”.

I developed a prolonged dislike of Leonard Cohen after that time until I came across an album a couple of decades ago by Jennifer Warnes called: “Famous Blue Raincoat” which was a tribute to Leonard Cohen and his wonderful poetic songs.

And then recently I came across the wonderful song of his called “Dance Me to the End of Love” which I included in a recent blog.

Cohen may have passed over to share his poetry in the Summerlands, but I’m more than happy that I was able, before he left this world, to learn to appreciate his work and to admire the life he led which definitely followed the road less travelled.

In all the upheaval, pain and anger of the past week and the US Presidential elections, Leonard Cohen’s music and poetry is a reminder of the beauty, power and healing energies of his wonderful music and the gifts of poetry and music which so enrich our daily lives.

And the photo is of the Apothecary’s Rose in our garden – a wonderful rose native to the Turkish region which has an ancient history. So it seemed fitting to post a photo of the last rose of 2016 to commemorate the passing of that wonderful troubadour, Leonard Cohen.

Creativity

Creativity 2 I was playing around today with a photo of painted rocks taken by Tammy Vitale in the US, then added an eagle flying. I decided to all it “Creativity” to reflect the joy  we feel when creativity carries us along on the great winds of inspiration.

Then I started playing with overlays in piZap, liked all the images and, since the theme was “Creativity”, decided to include them all to have fun and show how images an easily be changed in digital art software.

I was thinking about creativity because I saw an article by someone bemoaning the use of Photoshop and other digital editing suites in downgrading “real” art. I did used to think that, if you didn’t sweat over a canvas, you weren’t creating real art, but now I’ve discovered the joys of digital art, I have – of course – changed my mind.

For myself, digital art and the array of programmes now available – like Pixlr, PicMonkey, BeFunky, Fotor and piZap – allow me to get the images in my head out into concrete form in a way I’m not able to do on canvas. I can’t sit at a canvas for a long time, due to physical challenges and, being on a basic age pension, I can’t afford the materials needed for artwork. Also there are only very basic art supplies available in North Cyprus, I often drool over the materials I see so easily available in the US, Australia and the UK.

I also think there’s a bit of snobbery in the belief that the only good art is one created on canvas with years of training and the sweat of your brow. And if the ordinary folk like it and popularise it, then it can’t be good art. Oh, bollocks to that!

Don’t get me wrong – I think training is good if that’s your fancy, but so often I see work by self-taught artists which is absolutely brilliant and didn’t emerge from art degrees and art colleges and leave you bowed down with debt.

So I am now happy to puddle along with creating images from nature and the world of the fae with the digital art programmes I’ve found on the internet. I seldom use Photoshop or Corel, because I find the swag of modern digital art programmes now available much easier to use and far more flexible.  Horses for courses – whatever you feel comfortable with, but I am so over the art snobbery which permeates some of the upper echelons of the art world.

Whatever floats your boat – enjoy!

 

Creativity 11 Creativity 10 Creativity 9 Creativity 8 Creativity 7 Creativity 6 Creativity 5 Creativity 4 Creativity 3 Flight of Power

 

Spider & Rose

No, this is not some movie or song or whatever: I was taking photos of the Apothecary’s Rose in the front garden, which is the rose of the title of this post. The rose fascinates me as it’s such an ancient heritage rose from the Turkish region with a huge centre.

So I poked open the petals to have a look at the centre and out shot a pure white spider, absolutely pure white. Don’t know who was most surprised – me or the white spider. Anyway, while said spider was motionless I took a quick snap of him or her. I reckon this little web-spinner is going to be quite lucky for me!

Apothecary's Rose & white spider

Changes!

Changes

(This piece of digital art was originally created in acrylics to reflect the entry of Uranus into Aries in 2002 – change, upheaval, new ideas, passion – which I have revisited to reflect the rise of passion for  honest politics with the bubbles on the left the hopes of people for social justice and peace)

It has come to my attention that changes are afoot in the political world in the UK and US (with some odd bits thrown in by Podema in Spain and Syriza in Greece) which are raising questions about the political status quo. I therefore feel it’s my solemn duty to warn those reading my post of the following:

Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US are what is known as – shock, horror – LEFT-WINGERS and SOCIAL DEMOCRATS.  I hope you are all aware that when these two dangerous characters get out of bed each day, they wind in their horns, tuck in their tails and stop breathing out fire and brimstone so the look like human beings instead of the Devil Incarnate as they head out to talk of quite terrible things which should make our hair stand on end.

They both appear to be honest fellows but they will insist on talking about a commitment to equality, peace and justice which is a bit weird to say the least. They also talk about reining in the banking and bombing establishments, supporting living wages for the working poor, ensuring the billionaire class pays its way and – imagine – not bombing people with oil into oblivion! Just imagine spouting drivel like stopping tax evasion by multinationals and billionaires – Corbyn and Sanders should wash their mouths out!

Now I know this is completely heretical and I’m sorry to spoil your breakfast with words like “social justice”, “poor people”, “nationalisation of the railways” (UK – imagine lower fares, decent network and trains on time, what a concept!), free education to ensure open entrance to tertiary education for all levels of society, but there’s something else I have to inform you about. Neither of these gentlemen gets togged up in flash clothing, they often eschew ties (okay, I know you gotta sit down for that one), their hair is often dishevelled and not slicked back, and Corbyn (and this is really dreadful – brace yourselves!) has been seen in socks and sandals.  Can you imagine this sartorial sin on full display and no apology! Plus Corbyn committed the ultimate sin of standing by his convictions as a Republican and not singing that dreadful dirge known as the British anthem. What a monster!

I guess it’s also my mission to say that these two – Corbyn and Sanders – have stuffed up the horse-trading between the major political parties, which make a big show of being different but boil down to the same: conservative and conservative lite, both administering a cosy little relationship between the political systems, the Establishment and the mainstream media.

Corbyn and Sanders have tossed a bomb in the status quo – a bomb of peace not war, justice not injustice, care for the disadvantaged, equal opportunity. My god, bombers for truth and wisdom!  What a concept, what courage, what hope!

Water Element: Worship Water

Water Element

I used as a foundation for the water element a photo of a rather lovely turquoise pendant in my jewellery collection.  It’s Iranian turquoise and has a surround of marcasite.  I trimmed the photo to a close-up, then used a “liquify” function on Photoshop to get rid of the marcasite.  Then I fiddled and faddled as usual with PicMonkey and Pixlr, eventually including a photo of the moon as it has such an effect on Earth’s water and on our emotions and emotional mark-up.

The dark corners are to signify the black threads which can affect us emotionally, causing mental challenges which can affect all of us from time to time. The corner glyphs represent the need to set compassionate, appropriate boundaries for ourselves, to protect our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energies.

Water governs emotions, feelings, moods, sensitivity, compassion, tears, psychic abilities, flowing energies, healing, loving and purifying. In this day and age, it is an element which is under-valued. Too often in fast-paced Western societies where there is so much fast living, macho attitude, competition and value on extrovert behaviour, the sensitivity of the water element is often disregarded, swept under the carpet or viewed with contempt and disrespect. Yet emotional sensitivity is something desperately needed in an era when love and compassion are such important elements in opening our hearts to so many in need on this planet.

We might also bear in mind that, with climate change proceeding apiece, water is an element which in some areas is becoming increasingly scarce and prospects loom of struggle and competition for an element which is vital for our survival, with 50-75%  of our bodies being composed of water.

Turquoise pendant with marcasite surround.
Turquoise pendant with marcasite surround.

 

 

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind.jpg

This is a portrayal of something that happened to me when I was living in Boonah, south-east Queensland.  The town lies in the Scenic Rim and is an energy vortex, something I never believed in until I lived there. People got drawn there quite mysteriously and many ended up being turned inside out and changing their lives completely.

That’s what happened to me. I moved from a stressful, political lifestyle to one where I worked with crystals, Reiki healing, art, teaching and adopted a more spiritual outlook towards life.

We had a psychic development group in town which I used to enjoy but a word of warning. Some difficult things happened in that group as the leader wasn’t properly trained, and you can mix with some very negative energies if you’re not careful. All is not light and love in the unseen realms, there are some quite malignant forces willing to attach to someone who isn’t properly protected or who is lured by the glamour level of psychic work.

One day we were doing a group meditation when I suddenly found myself pulled out of my body and hovering in front of the enormous Mt Barney. This is a mountain in the Border Ranges with extremely strong energies.  To say this startled me is an understatement as not only had nothing like this happened to me, I didn’t believe in out-of-body stuff!

As I hovered in the air facing the mountain peak, Mt Barney split open and an alien suddenly appeared (I can’t say much about the shape or form because it all happened so quickly). We hurtled towards each other as if pulled by some unknown energy and, just as we were both screaming “Oh, no!”, collided.

I don’t remember much after that, I know it took a long time to return to my body and, quite frankly, I didn’t talk much about this as close encounters of the third kind aren’t something you can bring up in daily conversation without sounding like a complete nutter.

I did continue to be very tired and lethargic and eventually went to see a cranio-sacral therapist in the nearby town of Ipswich. She put her hands on me and said: “I hope you don’t mind my saying this and that I don’t appear too odd, but it’s as if you’ve had an electrical charge through you and it’s burned you out completely. I might sound a bit strange, but have you been in contact with any extraterrestrial energies?”

I thought this was quite synchronistic and explained to the practitioner what had happened in the meditation. She too looked relieved that I didn’t run screaming out of her healing studio!  She worked on me over a number of sessions and I felt heaps better. But it was a lesson to me – it might sound glamorous and exciting to be dancing the light fantastic with extra-terrestrials, but it can have quite negative and dangerous outcomes.

Today for some reason I felt like revisiting that experience and re-creating it in art. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea, but perhaps it’s a reminder to me of the unseen forces at work on Planet Earth which we need to heed and respect.

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Mt Barney

 

No More Veterans

Dulce et Decorum Est

This image was created from a photograph taken by Ann of The Republic of Ann blog (http://therepublicofann.wordpress.com). The photo reminded me of a peaceful pathway towards the Rainbow Bridge for all those who’ve lost to their lives in wars wherever they have taken place.

So this digital art is dedicated to those who have lost their lives in wars through the ages and in all countries which have suffered the tragedy of conflict.

I thought the best comment I’ve read over the past few weeks of remembrance of wars and lives lost was this:

“The best way to honour veterans, is to not create any more veterans.”

Near Franklin, NC
Original Photo from The Republic of Ann http://therepublicofann.wordpress.com