On November 7th I will see my daughter for the first time in two months. I will fly back to California. Raising her alone, she was absolutely the desire of heart and my miracle, since I had her right after completely treatment for breast cancer when I was 31 years old.
Through the years I would take photos of her on the first day of school...like most of you I am sure. Kindergarden.... first grade... then second grade....standing by the front door, standing along the curb, new clothes, new backpack, and everyone so excited about EVERYTHING!
Well, on her first day of college I wasn't there. SO my daughter who is more academic than creative took this photo of herself....wrote a little note and emailed it to me. I wasn't sure she would want me to share this BUT it was the most creative and heart warming expression she could have given me.
Miracle of Love. I made this altar piece because it reminded me of the miracles of love I have experienced in my life through the years. The heart is from a recycled oil drum from Haiti. I loved the idea that these craftsmen from Haiti, such an impoverished place, take what is no longer useful and make art of it. Pounding the metal and forming something so rustic yet so expressive. Adding the crystals and glass I find that the two (metal and glass) compliment each other. The bottle is a vintage decanter I found in my town. I really wrestled with this piece. Nothing seemed to fit, or work.....so I put it aside. Then today..... I decided to add the small red crystal on the top of the heart along with the extra red spears, and I thought of several friends...Gina, Margaret, David, and Wendy who were my inspiration. On the back of this piece I added a pocket guardian angel.
My sister from Ojai. California gave me this bottle. It's not old, but I instantly loved the shape and color and what it represented to me....."a heart of gold". Like most of my bottles and decantors that I collect they sit around for awhile until an idea or vision comes to me. Usually it is in the early morning when I am either half awake or asleep when I get my ideas. This bottle sat there for a few months, until one day I stumbled on to these amber chandelier crystals. I wanted something to represent the heart, and love so the red spear crystals shoot out from it's center which is a clear bright crystal. Four glass amber flowers surround that clear crystal. Little clear lighted crystals accent the mandala adding light and symbolizing clarity.
I have been working in a studio area that my boyfriend Scott set up for me. I am so happy and grateful to have this little creative area. My dog lays at my feet, ever so faithful. On the refrigerator door there is a photo of Scott's mother Dot. Dot lost her battle with breast cancer 6 years ago. I never had the priviledge of meeting her, but she too was an inspiration for me today. Scott ran in the "Race for the Cure" two times. I just find that amazing! I had the idea for this cross in my mind for a long time, but it wasn't until I found the pink crystals and the Avon decantor bottle that it came together for me.
It has been 20 years this month since I had my last treatment of chemotherapy for breast cancer. I was 30 years old.....it was 1987. Finding some beautiful pink crystals I decided to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My friend JoAnnA at Moss Hill Studios was my inspiration for the next several "Think Pink" altered bottles. Believe it or not.....JoAnnA and I knew each other when I was diagnosed all those years ago. I am proud of her and her contribution to the education and support of women who are battling this disease.
As the autumn chill begins to come to my little place on the earth, at the end of my day, I usually unwind in the hot tub outside. Gazing into the night sky.... it is so incredible....filled and twinkling in constellations. Taking it all in, again I am in "awe" of our world. "STARS"....there are scriptures, poetry, paintings, songs, and fables about them. They are inspiration. We are told that God created the stars and calls them all by name...each and every one of them.
They fade, they sparkle, they fall. They provide light in the night.
What I love about the creative process is how it evolves for me. This piece started with the center star that was given to me by my mother. It was aching to be used, but nothing was coming together for me except that I knew it would be the center of "something". Then one day I found this star decantor and I knew I could use the two together.
The next day was a Sunday, and I decided to go to the Art Museum when I saw a print of Vincent Van Gogh's painting "Starry Nights". Inspired, I found other pieces of chandelier crystals, specifically the eight spear ones, which added to my vision and I created the Mandala I call "Starry Nights".
I am finally finding the time to write. I have had all these creative ideas bouncing around in my head....not having the time to do it all! At the same time I love this new adventure. There have been hurdles both technical and creative.
I am living in a place where for the first time in my life I am experiencing a true "fall". It is the closest to the New England my mom would tell me about as a child. The leaves on the tree tunneled streets are simply magnificant and overwhelmingly incredible. Carrying my camera I am in awe, and at times stop my car in the middle of the road just to "catch" the moment. The light, the colors, the textures..... all of these things have inspired me to start a mandala series of altered art bottles.
You've probably heard of using mandalas for meditation, focus, and prayer.
By creating mandalas, we allow ourselves to play. By playing, we open up a broad range of creative and intuitive processes that we don't normally experience in our day-to-day lives. It is play that will always open up our spirit, and facilitate a connection to our higher understanding and purpose. Creating my altered bottles is at times play for me.
By adding coloring to these powerful symbols, we also become a part of the circle, which involves us in the cyclical nature of our bodies, our lives, our thoughts, our emotions, just about everything. The act of mandala coloring draws us into the very circle of life.
Standing in the middle of the street.... fall leaves flickering and dancing through the light, being tossed by the wind I was in the midst of "raining gold". This mandala was the expression for that day.
Finding this bottle with "Oriental Cream, New York" embossed on it....I was intrigued. What was Oriental Cream? A liquor? A culinary sauce? So I googled searched it....It was a skin care product used and produced in the 1920's. So this bottle comes from that era and time. I embleshed this cross with a sterling silver rose and leaves in the center. On the back of the cross I have attached a metal pocket angel just as a little surprize.