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Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Beginnings

Welcome to my blog again.  After the exhausting healing art journey I took a week ago, i decided I wanted to try some new things.  In this first photo you can see the start of a new full body clay sculpt.  I am playing with proportions here as I wanted this figure to have an elongated torso, arms and legs.  He will eventually be a house hobgoblin.  I am hoping to post more progress pictures as I move through the process of bringing him to life.

In the second picture is a new technique for me at least.  I am using one of those wooden artist manikins as an armature.  I have sculpted the head of a new version of the pumpkin queen I did a number of years ago.  I want this new series of dolls using this technique to be pose-able   So, I thought this would allow that.  It isn't perfect for posing but, at this stage good enough.  Again, I will post pictures of her as she progresses.

Thanks for stopping by to see what I am up to.  Hope you have a wonderful Halloween week ahead.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Completion Day 7 through 9 of the Novena

 Novena figure with the body covering day 8

Wow!  I can't believe I made it through this process.  It was a tough one for me this go around.  When you tackle something so dark in your past that has such a profound affect on every aspect of your life, there can be some trepidation.  Yet, the desire and need for a since of closure and completion was so needed at this point in my life.  It seemed that the past two years had been heralding such a profound change in my life.  From the diagnosis of prostate cancer to losing two good friends this year I knew the Universe was preparing me.

Who knew loss and abandonment could cause such total chaos and negative processes in one's life.  Yet, I slowly acquired the tools over the course of my life to find a way to receive the healing I so desperately needed.  There have been many great spiritual teachers in my life that have passed on the tools to find my own enlightenment.  That is the key here.  My own enlightenment.  Not someone else's idea of it. Not the enlightenment for the masses, but discovering the I am-ness of oneself.  I am, that I am.  A part of this vast universe.  A part of infinite love and that is the greatest lesson here.  A dear friend put it so succinctly.  Love is the greatest power in the universe.  It can heal anything.  Yes, that is true.  But, you have to get yourself to a point at which you can truly accept that concept.  Not just as an intellectual understanding, but feel it deep within your soul.

Art is that vehicle that helped me finally feel this deep profound love for myself.  One which allowed me to forgive not only those that abandoned me but, myself for abandoning me.  We abandon ourselves by cutting ourselves off from our inner light of love and all the love that surrounds us.  When we are cut off from love we only see the darkness, the rage, the loneliness and abandoned self.  Ultimately we are our own undoing.  I am truly grateful that my creative process gave me the best tool to access up close and personal this abandoned self.  That is where doll making comes in for me.  It has been such a tool throughout so many cultures for healing, ritual and magic.  I touted these things in my artist statement but, you know sometimes we just say things because they sound cool.  But, I am here to say that I finally understand these words like no other time in my life.  When you look at what you have created in the eye and it looks back at you with all the energy and emotion you have placed inside it, you get it. That guttural connection of that dark part of oneself.

Let me introduce Sam.  Sam means abandoned or loneliness in Danish and it seemed to fit because my spirit guides name throughout my life was Sam.  I think it is kind of ironic that he was my spirit guide, but hey what a teacher.  He is the most amazing teacher though for he has lead me to this path of profound wholeness.  I am not afraid to look into his eyes and see the painful sadness that lays there.  He has had many years of sitting in the void and contemplating.  Now that he has been touched by light what wisdom he has to offer me.  I realize that I love him with all of my being.  Because he is me and I him.  We create each other and I am now complete.  I have found the love I thought I was no longer worthy of in this life.   Nothing can take that away ever. There are other things in my life I wish to examine.  Sam has given me the courage to take each of them by the hand and walk my great winding road through the universe.

Thank you everyone who has been so supportive through this process.  You are all such treasures you can't even imagine.  But, I am humbled by your kindness in following my journey.  As I have said many times before, may your journey bring you peace love and light.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Novena Day Five and Six

I am moving along in this healing art journey.  On day five I did journaling about what my experience has been so far.  I have made many discoveries which I know that I knew on a deeper level but, didn't want to face in my conscious state.  Abandonment is something that I liken to a computer virus.  It starts off under the surface.  But, what it does is cut you off from the outside world in so many tricky ways.  It causes you to see the world through the filter it creates.  From it's tap root of separation it spawns the seeds of unworthiness, miserliness  and rage.  Increasingly it cuts us off from everything that would bring light into our lives.  Slowly but surely your trust is dissolved until you trust nothing or no one.  I mean NO ONE.  This includes the Unicvrse or God or whatever higher divine nature you might think you believe in.

That is some  powerful shit as has bee said by some friends.  I love that quote as that is what it feels like.   But, awareness is the beginning of the healing.  It is the bringing of this energy of abandonment into physical form that allows me to really look at it.  In a new way that I have as yet been unable to access.  I find myself feeling so much love and compassion for this part of me.  The seeds of forgiveness are sewn here.

In these two photos you can see the continuation of the growth of abandonment.  His skeleton evolves and in the second picture his body takes shape.  Next he will have his skin covering and I will begin the final pieces that will bring him to completion.  He is not in his actual pose I see him.  But, it was just to give this being that almost is, a bit of animate life.

Until next time my friends, stay safe and may peace and love be your constant companions.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Novena Day Three and Four

Day three of my healing art novena I have finished the final layers of the skin tones and have begun painting in the eyes.  This is the part I hate most for someone like me who has difficulty seeing anything.  But, since I did not have any glass eyes to use, I am painting them.

Here is a shot of the head, hands and feet and I have applied the second paint layer on the eyes.

On day four I have finished the painting for the most part and have given these parts a chance to cure.

This is a shot of how the head looks so far.  I am still debating on putting some age spots on the head, hands and feet.  But, I have applied the eye glaze to give them more life.  That is it so far.  I am going to build the body armature on day five which is technically today.  But, I have to work a six hour day at the art store.  So, we shall see what I manage to get done.  Thanks for following along.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day Two Further Along

So, here we are on day two of my novena art ritual.  I have sculpted the hands and feet.  This is pre-paint job. I have given them their acetone rub and am now mixing the paint.  These are the first sets of hands and feet that I felt pretty good about.  My whole thing is not to get too anal about creating an uber realistic look.  But, I want them to have the character of the whole piece and to relate to the head as best as I can.

Here is a front view of the head and face after the initial few paint layers.  Sorry, I forget to take step by steps.  But, the first layer is a wash of medium magenta acrylic.  I learned this trick from my dear friend Lorell who uses this process in her work.  It gives the piece a strong blush foundation that for the skin color I am trying to achieve works really well.

One thing that often happens in this process of healing is a bit of tear production.  Yes, I did do that several times.  But, I am aware that this is a good sign.  It is hard to look him in the eyes at this point as there is no life there yet.  Once the magenta layer is applied and is dry, I then use a deep portrait pink or flesh tone as the second layer.  I then mix a custom flesh tint and apply a wash of that.  Once these layers are dry and set, I apply a little wash of an off white to the raised places on the face to create a bit of highlight and also to dramatize the sunken areas of the face.

Here is a three quarter view to give you a since of the profile.  I really love this head and on day three I plan to paint the whites of the eyes, paint the hands and feet in the same process.  This has been a difficult process in some ways emotionally.  Especially knowing the symbolic nature of this piece.  There were a few times of hesitation in going to the studio to work.  But, I sucked it up and went back to it.  I am beginning to get his name.  No, it is not the same as mine.  Our deeper selves usually don't have the same name.  Cody is my ego or conscious name.  My soul self and and other parts of my persona have other names.

Thanks for the comments so far.  I hope that this process may help someone out there tackle the process of their own healing.  I never thought that I would have to be as brave as I have had to for this.  But, I am so ready to let this out and move on down the road.  Once he is out and in the world, he can travel with me and not feel abandoned anymore.  Until next time, my love and a hope of peace to you all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Closer Look

OK, my friends I am going to attempt something a bit different than my usual art and postings here for a little bit.  So, hopefully you will appreciate my journey I have just begun.  First let me start out by saying that I am a big supporter of art as a healing tool.  Throughout my doll making career I have made a number of healing dolls for friends and family and that  is what actually started me off in doll making.  Many times I have used this art form to help me cope with a variety of issues that I have experienced over the course of my life.  Even as a child I made rag dolls to play with and they became my personal family.

Where am I going with all this you may ask?  Well, I have finally reached a stage in my life and as an artist where I can finally tackle a very deep personal issue through my art.  I am not sure what doors this will open, but one thing is for sure.  It will be a healing experience as it has already begun that process for me.  I have started a new project.  I borrowed the term from a dear friend and spiritual mentor, and am calling this my healing Novena   It is a nine day ritual of using art to help me finally face and heal a very dark chapter in my early life the loss of my parents.  It is funny how we tend to bury those things that bring us such pain and confusion.  I marvel at how the Universe conspires to place at just the right place and just the right moment for such a truly beautiful moment of grace, forgiveness and love.  My greatest hope in this process is to finally bring this part of me out into the light to be healed.

Above is the head of the new project.  He is an older aged person at least that is how he appears to me. I started this journey yesterday.  Significant numerically as ten is  also a one in numerology terms which signifies a new beginning or new journey.  This seems fitting to me.  The nine days of my art Novena are symbolic too as nine is a powerful spiritual number.

Today is day two and I am planning to create the hands and feet for this inner me. Thank you all for your loving encouragement over the years I have shared my art with you.  You all make this process an easier one.  Until nest time.  May peace and love be your constant companions.