To Learn by Going Where We Have to Go.

The crows have built a magnificent nest in the long arms high up in my Maple tree. They have instinct, skill and whatever evolutionary magic is on their side.

As I struggle with the sticks of new skills, the structure I am building called “marketing” and “presence” is so much less compact and architectural. At times, I feel as if my head empties out. I learn how to record on Garage Band, change the file to an MP4, load it into IMovie and then… and then…

The next time I attempt it, my voice has so much reverb I am an opera diva soloist. The track sounds like I have a 500 pound barrel body with words careening off of intestines and ribs.

What also fell out of my head or perhaps is just not aligned electronically is the method of paying my PST for my art work. Then there is getting insurance on my art hanging in a local bnb. So far it is two days and multiple phone calls.

I think to myself that it must be some Zen Koan life. When I am dealing with electronics or institutional authority, I must first fall to my knees in humility and work through waves of frustration. Eventually, it will work. Eventually, I will learn it.

Maybe, one day the path will arise to meet my feet instead of being hidden in dense under brush.

What I have been learning is how to market my work. The first task is to allow people to see what I have created. So my store on the Redbubble site found at http://www.redbubble.com/people/covitch is being featured on my facebook page, on twitter, on linked in and every time I go out for a walk, I wear the leggins.

 

My Maple tree in winter wrapped around my legs

My Maple tree in winter wrapped around my legs

At the present time, I have a list of nine things that I am trying to learn. They are in a scrawled and numbered column on my neon orange index card.

I look like the crow when it sits watching me from its perch. I have my head to the side, blinking my eyes black with ignorance. I can feel the sharp beak of curiosity trying to figure out the way in, the way out, the best way to grasp that shining bit of knowledge and fly away. I can take it back to my nest of a mind where I now “own it.”

It is a process. It is all process.

What Season is it?

photograph of yellow tomatoes


The last two days have been the equivalent of darning a small hole. The work is tedious, uninspiring and not moving my larger goals forward. But cleaning the oven where the spaghetti squash exploded, raking up the leaves to cover the roses, bringing in the tender plant with beautiful pink and yellow trumpet shaped flowers, taking care of bills, cleaning the finger prints off of all surfaces leaves me surrounded by more orderliness. The cleaner environment gives my home a greater sense of calm.

French class was today and I really enjoy the group of women who are taking it. The teacher is kind and gentle with us all. Between classes, I have begun to study with the attitude that I now hold about everything these days: whatever it is I have learned is more than what I knew previously. The idea of letting things happen instead of driving them is so much easier on my body and my self esteem.
After reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I formed a group through Meetup.com. At our first meeting, we discussed our inklings. Perhaps, we thought out-loud, taking this action, or completing that project would make our lives different. It is very much a process of self-discovery and setting distinctly individual goals. We planned to create our resolutions, chart them in short, measurable steps by the time of our next meeting.

On my refrigerator now hangs my chart.

It is very empowering to put an X on the action every day and a reminder when I put on the O that I have not followed through on an intention. I have begun doing 150 crunches a day; increasing my 10 pound weight reps from 15 to 25 over the last week; drinking three full glasses of water a day seems to be helping me to sleep more deeply.

The second limb of my growth tree is establishing more of a presence in the world. During the period from January 2010 on, I was recovering from abdominalplasty; a sudden ending of my marriage; heavy debt from buying my ex out. The divorce came through in August 2011 while I was recovering from bunion surgery. My reaction was to cocoon. I was injured, lacking confidence and feeling lost. The six coffee dates that I went on in an attempt to connect were less than scintillating. I was still too damaged to feel safe in the world.

black construction of water

So my plan which the group is helping me to design includes caring for the friendships which I already enjoy; making new friends outside of the realm of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin with a face to face interchange.
http://www.happiness-project.com/

One strategy that Gretchen Rubin pointed to in her book was ,”acting as if.” So when I feel lethargic with the desire to continue hiding in my cave, I now hear Getchen telling me to ,”act as if.” It is working.

Last week I went to the streaming cafe to hear a great band. Since my art work is on show there until the 24th, it was fun to be sitting in a place with my work on show.http://streamingcafe.net/

embrace at the Streaming Cafe


The Summerland Art Gallery has a competition of Christmas images. My intention is to get back into submitting to opportunities to show my art or read my poetry. I will be reading at the Inspired Word Coffee House event next week. The Bean Scene on Burtch and Dickson Road in Kelowna is hosting a “jam” for poets at 7 pm on November 25th and it is the first time I have read since last June. A friend took a video of my reading and uploaded it to you tube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm_rMzClTO8
So I am working on my body to get myself stronger; saving my money and paying down my debt to make myself financially stronger; going out and maintaining my friendships to increase my social equity; being creative while publicizing what I am writing or painting.

Since my wall paper for designyourwall.com sold, I am feeling very optimistic. I have one more class for Continuing Studies on Blogging this coming Saturday and after that my quest for employment will be a higher priority.

I am reading copiously. The main focus is on Jungian psychology, mythosynchronicity, spirituality and conscious living. The dark grief and loss that has been my companion for the last two years is a process of ego dying. The falling away of what I was, the way I lived in the world was painful.
http://dancingintheflames.com/Marion_Woodman/HOME.html

But I feel now like I am starting to move out into the world wiser, calmer and more centered. I have Buddhism, my Shamanic experiences in Peru and the retreat with the amazing Gabor Mate to thank for my patience through the process.

embrace


So I step out of the house more, out of my comfort zone more and “act as if.” May we all live in love.

Does Kelowna care? By election and arts community

Recently the CBC held a forum on support for the arts in Kelowna on the Day Break Show. It amazed me how optimistic the program sang in tone. We were told that 200,00 people were in the Rotary Centre in the past year. The issue of how the community supports the arts was totally by passed because there was no discussion of what “supports” means.

from photo up knox mountain

from photo up knox mountain

If by support, you mean they attended a musical event or play that had an ’80s rocker or a play that was popular in other cities in the 90’s, then yes. I guess that is support. But what of the local artists, musicians and performers. The real question is what is happening to make sure that we keep these people alive (as in fed), give them an audience (as in inspired) and build a fan base (as in future security). Is that happening? Most artists and musicians that I know are working on their art at a cost. It is financial with the need to find other sources of income to feed the fire. It is emotional in the attempts to garner a respectfully paying gig, or customers who will buy enough to keep them in paint.

the bridge is the answer to all problems

the bridge is the answer to all problems

Why were there 50 fewer artists in booths at Propera this year? The economy is down. But it has always been “down.” We rely so heavily on outsiders to support and appreciate our local talent that most artists end by feeling like creative buskers in a tourist town.

Further to the issue of passivity and apathy, is the up coming by-election. I am really curious as to what percent of individuals here will bother to go out and vote. The last major election it was under 20%. What are you guesses as the interest of Kelowna residents in their future?

The all candidates forum is on Wednesday, November 25th. How many care? How many will come to the forum? Which individuals will have the energy and commitment to the future of the city to go to a polling booth? We will have to watch and see.

where are the dolphins

where are the dolphins

Meanwhile, I am tired and happily in bed after the Potters and Artisans Show at the Rotary Centre which has just one more day. Hope to see you there Sunday and at local voting station November 28th. We deserve the kind of government we get.

Senior moment in Kelowna

Red swirl done this summer

Red swirl done this summer

As I am turning 65 tomorrow, I have spent the week uncharacteristically. I got a manicure with candy apple red nail polish which turned out to be a very bad job. It is the fourth in my life and I was loathe to go in and get another one until the proper 15 years had elapsed. I had my teeth bleached today to a lovely lighter shade of yellow-gray. Instead of going to work, I went shopping and bought six tee shirts for $80. I am having tea with not one friend on one occasion but with two friends on two occasions. This week I have had three naps because turning older can be exhausting… and perhaps starting work at 9 am and working until 9 pm might be a contributing factor. I walked past a spider web. My to do list has remained in the dark crevices of my purse and my mind. We have gone to bed early and watched the comedy network on computer

art work layered as backdrop

art work layered as backdrop

and laughed.

One of our town councilors who has had recurrent cancer died Monday. I think about the close calls and am so thankful that I am still here to see my grand daughters, to be a friend, to enjoy the partnership with my husband, to become a better person. To have died at 38, 52, 55, 57 (from hemorrhaging almost 1/2 of the blood from my body, from cancer, an horrendous car accident, or from a live electrical line hitting our car would have meant that I would have come back as a chicken or a turtle or something perhaps.

Rhane, Dominique, Teagan, Cherie, Alexandra

Rhane, Dominique, Teagan, Cherie, Alexandra

I am only now starting to get “it”. I am only now starting to see that I am only starting to see. I am grateful for all of my teachers and all of my lessons. And like a piece of leather in the jaws of an Inuit woman from history, I have become softer with age and stretchier. I have been chewed on by time.
Planning to see a plastic surgeon soon about another eye lift…. So I can see without the flap of skin in the way.

Blessings.

How do you balance a life of art and politics?

reflecting on an observation

reflecting on an observation

Actually, art is integral to politics. It is not that one must pursue a “message” in the traditional, Marxist diligence of past decades. Politics is a word which means of the people.

Art is the soul’s work. When a person is deeply in tune with their own song, vision, cosmology there are two divergent sources. One is interior. The soul that speaks is unique and in my belief system (which could be wrong) it carries over from life time to life time. It is unbending, unerring and distinctive.

At the same time, one’s soul is like an infant floating in the social milieu that one is born into. There is nothing more awakening in life than traveling to other cultures. I liken our view of reality to that of fish swimming in an aquarium. We do NOT see the water. We think it is invisible. However, it is that through which we view everything. Simply put, it is incorrect to drive in the left lane. It is incorrect to live at home until one is married. It is incorrect to squat on the ground for social events

Culture shock is when one runs up against another picture of reality and withdraws in protective shock.

The artist lives in the antiderivative area.. between two curves. We use the culture to explore self. We use self to explore culture.

The zone where self disappears is where the self emerges. When I am fully focused, I am aware of no self. There is the surface, my brush, the contact between. There is no “market”, no “target”, no “finish point.”

So how does the political life influence art? It is when we begin to see ourselves as caretakers of the “water” or the social atmosphere in our political aquarium that we start to understand and protect our art. To take action politically is important if one wishes to live in a supportive, inspiring environment.

The task is to maintain balance. The task is to walk the area where action is taken to help to create a better world without being strident. Defensiveness and militant mind-sets only create walls.

As an artist and as a citizen, I see a world of bridges crossing the spaces between and over obstacles. Grace, skill and compassion will bridge obstacles. Balance allows one to live in a world of creativity both as an artist and as a citizen.

I have learned to ask the question, “What are the consequences… the LONG term consequences of my actions this day?”

What is art? Los Angeles Centre for Digital Art Show

Today I worked a few images that  are processed in the manner that is my practice. I selected photographs, worked the images in the Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 and then layered, highlighted and dropped worked images into worked images. Layering, distortion, filtering leads me to the jpg image. If a customer wishes to order an image from my bank… I print it out on canvas and the fun begins.

another sample at higher resolution

another sample at higher resolution

It is at this point in the process where I apply acrylic paint, metallic paint, India ink, metallic foil, various mediums including glass bead and tar.

The original pic of winter trees

The original pic of winter trees

Layer upon layer of processes lead me to the spot where I have a piece which has shifting planes and an energy that challenges the eye. It is all a dance of discovering and I joyfully lose myself in it.

So above are today’s images.

the image was sent in as jpg then printed

the image was sent in as jpg then printed

The Los Angeles public turned out

The Los Angeles public turned out

The show in Los Angeles sent through pictures of the opening at the Los Angeles centre for digital art. I am happy to share them with you. My image is tourquoise and was of a “reconstructed” aluminum paint tray.

Tourquoise aluminim paint tray second from top

Tourquoise aluminim paint tray second from top

All works were printed on paper

All works were printed on paper

My image is high up on the wall

My image is high up on the wall

Trevisan, Energy Gallery, Unitarian Show: three new art exhibitions

The castle where the "Traces of Memory" show sill be held

The castle

One Woman Show by artist Cherie Hanson

Unitarian Fellowship 1310 Bertram Street

November and December

Viewing available to all who rent the space

Open to the public 11:45 to 12:30 Sundays.

#2 New Works are up at Energy Gallery and the lay out is great http://www.energygallery.com

#3 four pieces are off to Italy for the Trevisan “Traces of Memory” exhibition in Ferrar, Italy.http://www.trevisanarte.com/eventi-eng.htm