Search party

search party 012416
Full image

search party2 012416
Right side detail

search party3
Top left detail.

Created 1/24/16. Our scanner broke so there is a backlog and I’m posting a batch of them. The images were taken with my cell phone. The colors are an approximation – they are a little lighter and less intense in the original.

Thoughts that arose while making it:
Framed. Blood trail. Tracking through the woods in misty rain. Hair clues. Musical notes. Organized search party. Tracks crossing water, trail washed out. Switchbacks, doubling back, retracing steps.

8.5 x 12 inch Strathmore visual journal
Card stock (Pacon watercolor)
Tissue paper
Deli paper
Matte medium
Loose hairs from watercolor brush
Map pieces
Glue stick.

Nativity set at Mercy Convent

Mercy nativity 1-9-16

I learned that the Catholic Church observes the season of Christmas until they celebrate the Baptism of Jesus, which this year is 1/10/16. This meant that the really nice Nativity set was still up in the chapel when I went on retreat from 1/8 – 1/9. There are real evergreens behind the creche. They are about 8 feet tall and smell amazing. The creche is on a table that is about three feet off the ground, and it is about five feet wide. The tallest figurine is about a foot high. Everybody is here – it is a packed scene! They have seven pots of poinsettias decorating the front.

I enjoyed sketching it in the chapel and then watercoloring it in my room. Ideally I’d watercolor it on site but the nuns were setting up for Mass so I felt I’d be more comfortable doing the messy bit without an audience.

Plus, I still can’t take Communion because of their (The Church’s) rules.
Again, not that Jesus made those rules…

I’m not sad/angry/upset about it because I feel I’m missing out – it is because they are. To exclude anyone is to be the exact opposite of what Jesus wanted. I pray that the Holy Spirit opens their eyes to the un-welcoming nature of a policy that says only Catholics can take communion.

Mercy nativity1

Mercy nativity 2

(edit 2-28-16, I decided to add more pictures that I’d taken)

November 1 2015 memory map

11-1-15 map watercolor

This was inspired by the artwork of Walter Inglis Anderson as well as that famous Moody Blues album, along with –

Topographic maps. Botswana agates. The glorious colors of fall leaves. The aimless trails left by burrowing insects in wood. Cloisonné. Geodes. Fractals. Intestines and the villi inside them. The meandering shiny trails left by snails on spiderwebs and across fallen damp leaves. “Ghosts of leaves” – Tannin stains on sidewalks left from falling leaves and rain in November. Rorschach tests. Misty mornings. The smell of decay and over-ripeness of wild muscadines rotting on the vine. Unknown secrets, so dark and forgotten that no one even knows they are secrets anymore.

Shrouds, palls, and veils.
Inlets, coves, and fjords.
Maps, puzzles, and labyrinths.

Lightning amongst the clouds on a humid late summer’s night. Tendrils on grapevines, blindly reaching, binding. How the letters don’t touch each other on Torah scrolls.

I mostly let my mind go free and “filled in the blanks” on a blank piece of paper. I selected color moment by moment. There was no pre-sketching or planning. This took a little over an hour to do. I kept another piece of paper nearby to write the words for what I was seeing/remembering/being inspired by. I think of it as a sort of memory map that works both ways. It shows me where I have been and shows me where I’m going, and something more.

Watercolor on 8” x 6” medium-heavy paper.

A picture of something that inspires me. Found on a walk at lunch at the Hermitage library. There is a small creek that runs beside it. This is a wonderful log with insect-wandering-doodles.


Lines on a humid window.

Meditative watercolors/words

I created the watercolor art in this piece as a morning test. I’m learning how to use watercolors and I need to see how they work.

The spaces lend themselves to words. I’m going on another silent retreat, and since it is just a day retreat I wanted to prepare for it to get the most out of it. I don’t want to spend half the time feeling like I’ve just landed – I want to walk right in and make the shift.

I’ve been reading some of the handouts from the last retreats and really felt that this quote resonated with me right now, so I included it in the art. I like how the words are scattered – it adds to the quote.

how thin

This is another watercolor test, and when I looked closer I could see a lot that was suggested in it. I accented certain areas with gel pens – white and blue. This is my favorite so far.

geode map lightning