Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rambling around the Northern Woods

Steve and I took a trip with Bob! Bob is Steve's Dad and he's so cool. We went to New Hampshire to visit Aunt Karlene (Bob's sister). On the way we stopped in Maine.

We met Colin Malakei in Portland, Maine, playing the khaen downtown. I filmed him as he played a short song:
Colin described the khaen as a cross between the bagpipe and the concertina. He said that the khaen took ages to develop, to come to perfection as instrument- it can carry any chord or something special like that. He tells us that to him, playing the music is a kind of acupuncture, because as we do new things outside, we also develop neural pathways on the inside. Not only that, but in old aryuvedic texts (did he say it was in the Vedas?), there are prescriptions for certain ragas, or melodies. Doctors long ago prescribed the listening to of certain melodies to balance the body.

When we got to New Hampshire we visited with Sandy at her farm. Sandy says she doesn't keep pets- all her animals are for food or herding. Here she is with her goats. They like to be pet.
She also raises chicken, sheep, and pigs. Steve and I asked if she could taste if an animal had been stressed before it died and she said, "Oh absolutely. When most animals go to slaughter they're taken somewhere strange and put in a holding pen for maybe a few days, and go down a long shoot while the whole place smells of death. They tense up and you can taste that. We just sprinkle some food in the corner of the barn where they always go and knock 'em out with a .22 and that's it."

I fell in love with her two guard dogs, Gabriel and Reme. They're both Great Pyrenees dogs, and live outdoors with the herd. Here's Steve with Gabriel, and me with Reme. They've chased bears away from their charge, and the chickens sometimes snuggle up with them on cold nights.
I couldn't believe it when Sandy told me that Gabriel was found in a dumpster as a puppy, bagged with his dead litter mates. Someone found Gabriel in the trash and now he's treasured. Yup- love can bring somebody a long way. Remi was a rescue too. Here's how he looked when he was first dropped off at the farm. Sandy says Remi and Gabriel are the bestest of buds.

Here we are with Jack the Puppy!

Leaving Colebrook, NH today we made a stop at Mostly Muffins! I have to show you this piece of stained glass hanging in the window that clearly speaks for itself:Here's Steve with dear Aunt Karlene:Bob and Steve!And more good friends at Aunt Karlene's farm, Ben and Molson:
And here's a poem I wrote!

The life aside
might be a dream
(slippery cool clear stream)

Embroidered poets or prophets
Bejeweled and petaled wings
(I hesitate to mention)
such honestly beautiful things

They say, "Come on in."
The door is oak.
"Come on in.
We're your folk."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Left Page Illustrations for the 2010 Calendar

More new illustrations to share with you!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

English Lady

Lady Godiva, by John Collier. 1898.

Lady Godiva, an eleventh century Anglo-Saxon woman, rode through the streets naked to protest the heavy tax burden placed upon the townspeople by the lord of Coventry, who was also her husband.

It seems a good visual accompaniment to "The English Ladye and Knight" playing by Loreena McKennitt. If you're given to it, please listen to her song.

Here's Loreena's commentary:
In the song "An English Ladye", this is a segment of a very long narrative poem by Sir Walter Scott called The Lay of the Last Minstrel and what fascinated me by this corner of this long narrative, it's situated at Carlisle Castle. Now, Carlisle Castle is built on an ancient Celtic settlement site so there was that kind of Celtic archaeological moment. But also in the story it reflects upon a sort of Romeo and Juliet story where a Scottish knight falls in love with an English woman, and follows a theme that love often transcends cultural barriers. And in this story, the brother of this English lady finds it intolerable that his sister should be in love with a Scottish knight and he murders his sister. The Scottish knight comes and then murders the brother and then in this depth of passionate grief, he decides to go on and fight a war for the love of this woman that died. And then in the last verse you hear that he goes off to fight this war in Palestine. And what's quite fascinating is that of course Palestine is a place that is very much in our contemporary minds and lives, and the troubles there. And I just thought it was an interesting note, you might say, where yes, this is a historical piece of literature but in actual fact, as with history, history is never really truly dead, that history is really the underpinnings of our contemporary times. And the poem also caused me to reflect on certainly one of the reasons why some people go off to war or have gone off to war.

Lines to Paint

"You better bring your own sun, sweet girl."

My friend, Niklas, is visiting from Germany and he made a really cool design (with graphic assistance from Roger) that he asked me to paint. Here's the painting so far.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vanilla as an Aphrodisiac

I've been doing to some studying.

Vanilla originated in Mexico, Central America and the Carribean and is now grown in tropical climates all over the world. It's an orchid pollinated by hand and dried before use, making it the most labor intensive agricultural product on earth. So it's expensive (unless you skip the grocery store shelves and get it wholesale or direct from an importer- zing! Try $2 a pod if ye be savvy!)

Vanilla and Cacao (which is turned into chocolate) both require the same growing conditions and hence grow in the same Mexican regions. I've heard it said that the air-loving vanilla orchid will sometimes vine itself into a cacao tree.

The Aztec drink Chocolatl was mainly composed of cacao and also included vanilla along with corn, allspice, and chilies. The drink was served to cap off a big feast. Purportedly, Montezuma ate very little at the feasts yet imbibed impressively upon the Chocolatl. There were a lot of ladies in his harem. The Spanish noticed this and brought plenty of vanilla back home (in addition to gold, natural resources, and anything else they wanted- keep it classy, Colonialism!) But Diderot (who wrote the first encyclopedia), advised against excessive intake of vanilla because of its heating properties. It makes you hot, in other words. That's the same reason it's an effective aphrodisiac for men. By the Law of Similars, the vanilla bean is clearly useful for male virility. It's long and loaded with an infinitesimal number of seeds.

Totonaca women of Central America rub the drying beans all over their bodies and men sometimes wear the beans in their hats. In the 1800's Dr. John King recommended vanilla to "stimulate the sexual propensities." Neurologist Alan Hirsch recently found that the one scent that most aroused men, measured by penile blood flow, was... vanilla! When vanilla extract first became available in the early 1900's, American women would dab it behind their ears.

Here's an easy way to enjoy vanilla:

Vanilla Whipped Cream
1 Vanilla Bean (halve it lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with a knife- use the seeds)
1 cup Heavy Cream (organic)
1-2 tsp agave nectar folded in
dash of cinnamon

Whip everything together until lofty, except the agave- fold that in at the end. Serve over something warm and gooey. Or depending on how the night goes, eat it straight.
Also, I just learned this week that youngest races come from the Americas. As young as 15,000 years old in these parts. Some European racial families are as young as 20,000 years. The oldest family is of the Khoisan people in Southern Africa- 200,000 years back. That's in the most recent National Geographic issue, which is so so good this month.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cake Jumping

Once as a kid I watched a cake decorator demonstrating her craft. She swirled and iced a white towering cake, producing little pink roses out of her pastry bag. Watching her was like a dream... not only was there a fluffy multi-layered cake spinning in the air, but it was covered in sweet buttery roses! Who is the genius that made this thing up?!
One of my fantasies is being in a large beautiful room full of waist high be-flowered cakes carpeting the floor. Towers of pretty fluffy cakes. What I'd do is jump belly first into the cakes. Sprinkles in our hair and stuff! Slipping and sliding in the icing! And then, to clean up, we could use water but also lick our arms clean!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Last Snip

I saw Artemis of the Moon looking across the expanse into the eyes of her fiery sister. Her sister is like a burning Kali, a second sun. Like the Sun but not the sun. She was hoisting quivered bows onto her shoulder, smiling. Artemis's bright pearly eyes flashed with the fire she saw across the cosmos. Which seemed like an event, like a thing that happened rarely. And they both were terrifying in their calmness- like they were about to pick off humanity and have a glass of wine about it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


A good Rule of Thumb:
When wondering if...
We are more beautiful than we know?
More loved than we can imagine?
The answer is yes.
The answer is always Yes.

Also! FYI... when a laser (concentrated light and information) is emitted continuously from a single position, time and space become unstable... malleable. You might be a laser. Possibly of the semiconductor full spectrum type?

Saturday, August 8, 2009


This weekend we're in Southern California, and perhaps in being so close to Mexico, Frida Kahlo is in the air. Here she is in one of the left pages of the 2010 Weekly Calender.

Thoughts have a range- a field. The dead of night, high altitudes, and wild places in nature hold an energetic cleanliness. This cleanliness is untainted by the static pulsing cloud of frantic human thought. When outside the cloud, one can access more than just the mundane fears and status quo of this species.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hips and the Body Electric

I'm marrying myself! I've been proposing for a while but am actually doing it now. I've linked this blog,, to my Facebook account so that each time I post here it posts there. I've friends and colleagues on Facebook that I'd like to impress. Because I want to impress people, I divide my different ways of being depending on who it is I'm talking to. And while that's quite crafty, it's creepy too. So I'm not doing it anymore.

So. I'm curious about taking good care of my body. Resources available for that curiosity (that you likely share) are widely available from organizations that manipulate information so that it leads to profits, which means that the information widely distributed is somewhat skewed. I'm feeling the urge, as an non-corporate conglomerate, to share what I know to be beneficial within my own physical experience. I started this blog with the intent that it would be all about art, and now I am adding in some physical body info too. It's a relevant topic for an artist. Some people have asked me about how to boost their creativity. From what I know so far, creativity is an energetic river that is always flowing. It's one of the source rivers for this earth experience- the energy of creation. And so if one wants to access it, one really just has to be available to it. We don't have to make a river happen- rivers already exist. To get wet, we just need to step in or sit by the edge and feel the spray. One way of removing dams to the creative river is by being physically clean. Chemicalized food, food that has suffered, or a lot of food in the digestive tract always makes me more dense and less able to receive. Conversely, food that has been freshly harvested from my garden or locally, or found in the wild gives me a greater receptive capacity. Since my body depends on water to live, I must also drink plenty of good water to function properly.
I want to talk about the position of the pelvis. I started consciously tilting the top of my pelvis forward when I walked or stood about 15 years ago, because I noticed that the girls that the boys liked did that. I wanted to be liked. This Spring I noticed in the mirror that my butt looked flat. I thought- What in the world? I used to have such a tight ass. And I got to wondering how to re-acquire that nice little peach shape. A Chi-Gong practitioner named Janette came to our Raw Foods event last weekend and mentioned how important it is to relax the belly and yet also tuck in the pelvis slightly (to do what she says would require tightening the butt while standing. The spine should feel lengthened & taller.) She said that you can literally see people losing energy- see it spilling out of their bellies- when their pelvic floor is tilted behind them. When you tuck the pelvis you keep a tight butt, and it makes the figure more lovely, I think. Good posture is important, of course. There's a reason good posture is attractive all over the world- it indicates good health and stamina.

Years ago, I went to a sweat with Steve, Sarah, Roger, and Nik. It was hosted by a Sioux family. This was new for Sarah and me so we went to the mother and daughter beforehand and asked what we should wear? We were both wearing pants at the time, and the mother gently disapproved of the pants-wearing. She said, "No, pants are not good for women. Having that fabric between your legs will interrupt your connection to the Earth. We want to receive what's being given to us, so a skirt. Especially at the sweat." Now recently Steve was listening to a youtube video of David Wolfe saying that he has just learned one of the most important health practices for the proper functioning of our bodies. Ready? It's so simple it's kind of funny. Ready? It's walking on the ground barefoot. Just taking off our shoes and walking barefoot. We're electric, of course. The same way the earth is electric. If you think the earth is not electric, talk with someone who has been struck by lightening, or someone who has had a pacemaker inserted into their chest cavity. Years ago, my friend Andrew relayed that people are relieved when they take off their shoes at the end of the day because removing the rubber from the bottom of the feet allows the body to re-balance the positive charge it has accumulated throughout the day. Excess positive charge is exhausting. The rubber in our shoes prevents the electrical charge in our body from aligning with the earth's. So take off yer shoes during the day. Additionally, walking barefoot on the earth is a free reflexology session. Whatever pebbles or sticks press underfoot are massaging whatever requires treatment.

Okay! Well that's good for now. If you'd like to share some of your tips for feeling good I welcome you to, please.

The illustrations here are part of the upcoming 2010 Weekly Calendar.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No Hurry

I keep trying not to fall in love with The Killers. It's a worthless attempt.

"I don't have a simple answer but I know that I could answer something better."

We can be in the same place,
but that does not mean we live in the same world.
I went to my 10 year high school reunion this weekend.

"And about how you got lost, but you made your way back home
You went and sold your soul, an allegiance dead and gone
I'm losing touch"