Where Art Meets Meditation

April 29, 2013

I needed to write a new artist statement for an application so I have been sitting with how my art expresses me, how what I make is intrinsically related to my experience as a human and how a succinct statement can strengthen people’s connection to my work. This can be a difficult thing to put words to. While I did come up with some words, I also had an experience that illuminated how a story or experience can come after an image is created. I loved this clear reversal.

I have been meditating each morning and I have found this awareness practice creates internal spaciousness. An image I created many years ago called Hold Me (done as a cathartic experience about the emotional terrain of adoption) expresses this spacious feeling perfectly.  At the center of this mindfulness practice is not only a recognition of  what you are experiencing but a gentle holding of that experience. What a gift to have this visual anchor of a felt sense; the body remembers.

Guided Meditation on the Breath is a 14:42 minute journey through your body, feelings, and mind with the breath as an anchor throughout. Gil Frondsal leads it and many others on a site called Audio Dharma.

If you feel called, I highly recommend it and their other meditations.

Hands and Dahlia


Healing Spaces

February 9, 2013

I have finished placing the last piece of art in the Women’s Breast Center operated by Sutter Health in Santa Rosa. They purchased 23 pieces, 8 of them custom designed for their particular space.

Pride of Madeira & Trumpet Vine diptychs, 30x 30 and 30 x 50 inches

Pride of Madeira & Trumpet Vine diptychs, 30x 30 and 30 x 50 inches

Pride of Madeira, Prints on Aluminum

Pride of Madeira, Prints on Aluminum. 30 x 30 and 30 x 50 inches. Main waiting area.

Golden Wattle Triptych

Golden Wattle, Custom Design, 20 x 50, 20 x 36, 20 x 50 inches

Mammography Room

Monkey Hand Tree, 16 x 20, Mammography Room

The fact that this wing of the new North Bay Facility is the Breast Center is significant. My friend Nancy Bellen is a breast cancer survivor, and curator of the space. Nancy has been through the life altering process and knows intimately how having art in a room can support, ground, and visually anchor a woman’s journey. When the last piece was hung in the dexa room she took me on a tour of the facility from the perspective of a woman being diagnosed with breast cancer. Each room’s significance in the process was explained, what they did there, how long a woman was waiting in this room for news. I was shocked. It became real. I was amazed as she was by how art can hold a space. She knew. She approached this project with this in mind and that is why it is so successful.

I knew in designing the pieces for this space that the sweet potato heart leaves would be a centerpiece, my homage to the women coming here. One of the innovations of this project was mounting images on a curved wall. No one seemed to know if it could be done, and we did it.


Sweet Potato Hearts

Sweet Potato Heart Leaves

40 x 60 inch, print on aluminum,installed on a curved wall

The new Center houses art by breast cancer survivors, including 2 quilts, art by Jennifer Bec Hirschfield and a 2 pieces by Nancy Bellen.

By Nancy Bellen

Everything takes longer than you think it should or thought it would except for life.
By Nancy Bellen

Support, collage

Support, collage, by Nancy Bellen

Consult Room Art

Painting by Jennifer Bec Hirschfield.

I feel honored to have had the opportunity to make a contribution to this facility.

Acorns in Art

January 31, 2013

I had no idea the humble acorn has such a decorative history!

From Wikipedia: A motif in Roman architecture and popular in Celtic and Scandinavian art, the symbol is used as an ornament on cutlery, jewelry, furniture, and appears on finials at Westminster Abbey. The Gothic name akran had the sense of “fruit of the unenclosed land”. The word was applied to the most important forest produce, that of the oak. Chaucer spoke of “achornes of okes” in the 14th century. By degrees, popular etymology connected the word both with “corn” and “oak-horn”, and the spelling changed accordingly.

Acorn Design

Use by Native Americans

Acorns were a traditional food of many indigenous peoples of North America, but served an especially important role for Californian Native Americans, where the ranges of several species of oaks overlap, increasing the reliability of the resource.

Mortar holes for pounding acorns into flour, Lost Lake, California

Fall Design, Acorn

October 30, 2012

One of the finest pleasures of fall besides the coolness in the air is collecting little treasures with my son. I was so taken with the bi-colored acorns. When I removed the cap, the yellow was left in its place. This design uses one acorn to make the ‘flower’ and the ‘hat’ for the center.

acorns with hat

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