On these cold bleak days of January I find that my dreams intensify and are filled with colorful, surreal imagery. They are rich in detail, along with extended messages, visions and dream friends to help me traverse through this mysterious inner world.
I have recorded these dreams in journals along with sketches and key words so as to help me recapture the essence, feelings and characters who show up in my dreams. Dreams have always been a rich resource for my writing and paintings and the image below is representative of one such dream.
Here is a peek at what I’m currently working on.
Nocturnal Journey ~ Digital Painting ~ 5 x7 inches. Digital Painting ~ using Corel Painter 7 ~ soft charcoal variant of dry media.
Nocturnal Journey in progress #4
The inspiration for this painting came from several recurring dreams that I have been having over the past few weeks. Strange landscapes and a woman’s face which keeps hovering at the edges of my vision. She is always there as if waiting just beyond the bend of my awareness…waiting… waiting there just long enough for me to capture a glimpse or a scent of her essence. I never see her whole face because half of her face is always hidden or lost in shadow. However, there is always an overwhelming sense of peace when she enters the dream.
“Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.” ~ Marsha Norman
Lately, I have been obsessed with all things related to Puzzlewood, in the Forest Dean. Forest Dean is located in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. I watched a video awhile back and was inspired by it’s beauty, magic and mystery.
I would love to spend a few months living there, sketching, painting and mostly drinking in the sheer beauty of this forest, but for now I am satisfied with the inspiration and burst of creativity the video stirred up in me.
From a dream; A young woman walking in the forest with a crescent moon suspended in the sky where trees dream and owls fly overhead. She loved the play of moonlight on the leaves ~ shadow and light. The wind playing with her hair ~ the sweet smell of the damp earth beneath her feet, Mother Earth whispered “Child of the forest reach out and touch your wild nature for therein lies your power.” To be continued….
Forest Spirit ~ Digital Painting ~ 11 x 15 inches
This is as far as I got on the painting today. I’m not sure about the background. The crescent moon will stay but the rest may change. The forest floor in my dream sparkled with shades of purple, muted greens and browns with silver moonbeams thrown in. The forest bejeweled in moonlight.
I was able to capture the forest floor part of the dream in a necklace that I created last week. I have only three of these ceramic goddesses left ~ one of a kind ~ each one different from the other.
I chose this Goddess pendant because it reminds me of an ancient goddess relic with the soft muted moss colored glaze and rich earth colors sprinkled about. The piece is signed and will soon be available at http://www.rosearizmendi.com/shop/
To learn more about Puzzlewood located in the Forest Dean click here
If you love owls ~ You will love this beautiful Video!
I spent the morning creating the collage above from photographs I have taken over the years.
I love this time of the year, the slant of light and the lengthening shadows ~ such beauty ~ so delicious this golden light that spills through the tree branches just outside my window, turning the leaves into shimmering liquid gold.
During the fall, I find myself longing for the haystacks of my youth. The heavenly smell of hay mixed with the dampness of the earth. The early morning mist kissing my face and the exuberance of youth.
Over the years I find that I have come to value the fall of the year more and more ~ the day by day changes. The mellow richness and different textures that hone and shape us as we age. The laughter, the tears and everything else in between that makes each one of us unique and beautiful.
So I breathe in the ripeness of the world around me and embrace this inevitable change. The waxing and waning of the year.
The Opened Heart – Mixed Media
The mixed media piece above is a combination of digital & Traditional painting. The center is a Mixed Medium/Acrylic/Watercolor/Ink 8 x 10 inch painting on canvas that I decided to play around with using Corel Painter 7 and Photoshop. For the background I used scanned papers, fabrics, vintage ledgers and anything else I could think of. Wow, did I have fun!
Later, when I went to the market they had pumpkins and gourds stacked on bales of hay reminding us that change has come and sweet autumn is here. It all made me feel so grateful for being a part of the eternal dance of life from one season to the next.
thought for the day:
In the deep fall don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come…six, a dozen…to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond vanishes, and the white field
over which the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
- Mary Oliver
The signs of Autumn have arrived. Brisk mornings, browning leaves rattling down the street carried by strong breezes and me with a cup of hot coffee in my hand watching the sun slowly rise over the mountain. What an incredibly beautiful day!
Quietly painting in the studio. Images & dreams I will always carry in my heart.
Sonoma Tree Line – Digital Painting – Watercolor & Impasto brushstrokes on layers – 8 x 10 inches
So many signs - Quiet Change
Ephemeral things – soft and fragile
Slower, Deeper – The Wheel of life Turns
To the Light of September
When you are already here
you appear to be only
a name that tells of you
whether you are present or not
and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
and the late yellow petals
of the mullein fluttering
on the stalks that lean
over their broken
shadows across the cracked ground
but they all know
that you have come
the seed heads of the sage
the whispering birds
with nowhere to hide you
to keep you for later
who fly with them
you who are neither
before nor after
you who arrive
with blue plums
that have fallen through the night
perfect in the dew
- w.s. merwiin
A peak at a new digital painting I am working on.
Taking a break on the patio. It’s been a rather stressful week and I just needed to relax for awhile, so as I sat down, I noticed the antique bottle I had left out on the table yesterday.
I love these old bottles, the way the light reflects off of them, the soft muted colors and the way they make me feel nostalgic. Like dear old friends!
This bottle belonged to Aunt Margie and I know she would love the fact that I found such an unusual use for it.
Cleaned up my messy studio. Whew! Organized my acrylics, brushes and art journals.
Organic lettuce, homemade balsamic honey dressing, add some wine and good company and you have the makings for a perfect meal.
At the end of the day …
Nothing left to say …
Watching the sun go down over the hill … xo
Cityscape – Digital Painting – Soft Charcoal, Soft Pastel, Dirty Marker Pen & Gritty Charcoal Variant of Charcoal -5 x 5 inches
This morning I grabbed a cup of tea and sat down at my computer and began painting. I used Painter 7 along with my walcom tablet and pen.
The inspiration for this painting was a cityscape. I started with the dirty pen variant of felt pens, then I applied rich layers of color using the soft charcoal variant of charcoal and the gritty charcoal variant, lastly I added more texture with the dirty pen variant.
My daily morning warm ups gives me the opportunity to play, explore and try new techniques, mediums and ideas with wild abandon. No worries about wasted paint or canvasses. If I decide I don’t like what I’ve done, I just hit the delete button. No fuss, no mess!
The abstract painting above is my interpretation of what a city looks and feels like.
“All that a city will ever allow you is an angle on it — an oblique, indirect sample of what it contains, or what passes through it; a point of view.”
- Peter Conrad
The Heart of Gaia – Digital Painting – Soft pastel variant of pastels & Soft charcoal variant of charcoal – 8 x 8.5 inches
I started this painting a couple of weeks ago and finally finished it yesterday.
The painting is about touching the earth, listening to her heartbeat and being filled by the mysteriousness of all life. Gaia whispers, Heaven is right here. Can’t you see it?”
During my walks down by the creek near our home I am always filled with wonder and love for all the beautiful flowers and creatures which inhabit the area. There are oak trees, willow trees, alder trees, blackberry bushes and wild flowers along the dirt trail near the creek. Everywhere you look Mother Nature has touched the Earth with her paint brush.
Last week I watched a Snowy Egret bathing in the creek. It was so beautiful with it’s fine delicate feathers glowing and shimmering in the reflected sunlight. It was such a magical moment I added an Egret to the painting as a symbol of resurrection, regeneration and renewal.
Within the heart area of the painting, the Goddess Gaia watches over a Snowy Egret. She is the primal Mother Goddess of the Earth, complete in herself.
The Snowy Egret which is a small white Heron is said to be a Spirit Guide. The Heron was considered to be sacred by the Greeks and was believed to be one of Athena’s divine messengers. In China, the Heron stands for strength, purity, patience and longevity. In Egypt the Heron is a symbol of creation.
The full moon in May is known as Milk Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Flower Moon and Hare’s Moon. Best of all the full moon is in my sun sign Sagittarius!
All day I had to keep reminding myself to slow down and breathe. When the moon is in Sagittarius I usually have so much energy I can hardly stand still. lol
I think I was driving my husband a little crazy!
The image above was painted with Painter 7. I usually begin with a sketch but today I decided to just start adding paint to the canvas. My goal was to create a painting in an hour without over thinking the whole process. It actually helped me to loosen up and get back into the flow. No expectations except to have a good time.
I used the Soft Charcoal variant of Dry Media to paint the face, hair and background and then added the Artist Pastel Charcoal variant to the background.
Dream Heart – Digital Painting – Soft pastel variant of pastels & Soft charcoal variant of charcoal – 6 x 7 inches
I had no other desire or plan for this painting except for creating a heart with a spiral inside it. All the rest came from somewhere within my subconscious mind, where half glimpsed worlds of strange beings flitted past the corner of my eye and brilliant bold colors begged to be splashed onto the canvas.
I worked for two straight days on this piece and all I want to do right now is sleep.
For the past couple of nights I’ve had strange dreams, the one dream image which stands out from the others, is where I find myself standing on a hillside overlooking a valley where hundreds of women and children are gathered together, carrying buckets and rags.
Everywhere I looked, I saw oil seeping up out of the earth.
I used Painter 7 and Painter IX to paint Dream Heart.