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Today I finished what is pretty much a memorial picture for my Mom.  I started this over a year ago and have only worked on it as life allowed.  It is the only picture I have worked on since she passed away in Oct. 2011. 

So this feels like a huge ending of something for me.  This work has helped greatly with my process of grieving.  It is for me, for her and for all the things I can't say.  I love to look at it.  The photo does not do it justice.  I want to live inside it. 

I miss her so much and my heart still aches to have her hug me one more time.  Words are not enough.  I hope that she would have loved it...actually I am sure she would have and said mine mine mine to me.  I can actually see her bouncing and holding it to her the way she used to when I made something she really wanted.  There are so many things from this point forward in my life that I am doing for her.  I made a few promises that I will keep, even if it takes the rest of my life. 


I know that I am a slow poke with things and she was always impatient for me to get going with the things she wanted me to do.  One is sharing my work in a bigger way.  I haven't had much time to do that.  Starting this site was one way that I am trying to keep that promise to her.  I hope that by sharing what I do inspires someone else to keep creating beauty.  Because that is the best way to honor life...by creating beauty and passing it on.

Blessings,
Leila

And for those that are interested I am calling this one, "Following the Sun", which has to do with the migration of Gray Whales.  But in my secret heart it will always be the promis



 
 
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Today I read a splendid blog post over on The Beautiful Necessity by way of Terri Windling's Blog and I decided to write here some things that became clear to me! Jane Yolen posted a reply and it really got me thinking about my own story.

The post is about being a fan, having an idol and being inspired by that person to change your life.  It is more that just that but you will have to go there and read it to really get my meaning.  We all have people and artists who's work we adore and draw inspiration from this I think is a necessity for most artists.  I have many on my own list!  And I strive to bring beauty into the world like they do.  These days I tend to admire and appreciate their work without it really affecting my own, but this wasn't always true.  When I was younger I loved a particular artist's work so much and I would draw scads of pictures like their own work.  I just loved what this person did and wanted so badly to be like them.  I adored this person!

So when I found out that this person would be at a local convention signing works......well I had to go!  I needed to go.....if I didn't go I WOULD PERISH!  Remember I was much younger!  So have mercy in your opinion!  So as an adoring fan I thought to myself I would love to share my own art with this person sort of as a homage.  I didn't really want anything signed I wanted to show my gratitude to this person for simply existing on the earth!  Wow I was so overboard right?  So I drew a picture (not a very good one either, looking back)  and had it rolled up and neatly tied so when I went through that line I could shake this person's hand and simply say thank you.  Thank you for the beauty you create.  I thought this was so romantic and that my idol would really appreciate this gesture!

It was crowded and hot and stuffy at the convention.  The line for the signing was very long.  And as I got close to my inspiration I got nervous.  So nervous I could barely speak.  I thought what am I doing!???  Everyone else had things to sign!  But not me!  Here I was with a silly gift!  Ack!  So I get in front of my idol and of course there is this awkward moment when I have to explain that I had nothing to sign and that I just wanted to say thank you and all my romantic garbage!  And this person just looks at me.....I hand the drawing over and I don't even get a handshake, and nod, a smile.  The picture is dropped to the side of the table and that's it.  My idol's attention is on the person behind me because of course they have stuff to sign!

I was so heartbroken over this.  It stabbed me and kept me awake at night wondering what I had done wrong!  Oh the pain of it!  I thought all sorts of things and came to the conclusion that maybe this person really didn't like fans!  Or maybe because this is an out of the way place, it was hard to get here!  I thought up all sorts of reasons why this encounter didn't go as I had planned!  And just so you know, this did not curb my enthusiasm for this artist's work.....it just changed me and it changed me in a good way.  I stopped my imitation and eventually worked out my own artistic voice.

And since then I have learned a lot about what it takes for an author/artist to sit at one of these types of things and sign stuff and talk to their rabid fans!  And today as Jane Yolen responded about fans having a little of the succubus or vampire in them......I thought wow.  That is so true.  I had expected way more than this person could give me!  And the place was certainly not one for sharing!  That encounter popped into my head as I was reading her reply and I just had to write it out.  Also since then I have met many more of my idols, and they have always been pleasant encounters.  I believe this is because even though I admire them I know they are just people doing what they love!  I have left behind the expectations and most of the adoration.  I say most because we all need others to look up to!  But when we find our own voice.....the whole world changes.  And even though that encounter was painful it made me realize that I needed to strike out on my own and do my own thing, find my own dream.  All this I learned from someone who never said a wor
d!

Blessings,
Leila


 
 
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Most of the time I don't get the universe.  I just don't understand what in the world it is trying to tell me!  I listen hard, I use my intuition, I reason things out and I move forward with the idea that this is what is meant to be.  But it's not really.  It is a good thing I have learned that my life will never be normal!  Or predictable.  I guess I would be bored then!  So I suppose it is a good thing that the universe is always one step ahead and throwing curve balls at me.

Really though.....it's hard and hard work.  So now I have decided to not struggle so hard with it all.  It WILL all work out one way or another so why must I always let myself become frustrated or upset?  I do believe that it is my own illusion of control that causes this.  I need to let go of my desire to have a certain outcome and just go with the flow!  This is a lesson that seems to be repeating in my life often.  So I am ready to give, to wave the white flag......to surrender to what this is supposed to be about.  It doesn't mean I will stop my planning and listening and learning, it just means that I am going to roll with the punches and do it in such a way as to say....yes....that's what I meant to do all along!

Blessings,
Leila


 

Shiny

06/22/2012

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I made a trip to my sister's this last weekend and as I was getting ready to come home I found a newly hatched Swallowtail butterfly on a rock wall.  It was extremely windy and she was tucked down hanging under a rock so she wouldn't get blown away. 

Her wings were still crumpled and new.  Slowly her wings filled out and dried.  Spreading them in the sun she would open them to catch more air for drying.  They were so brilliantly colored.  I see Swallowtails all the time.  They are pretty and bright.  And I never really thought about this much but the butterflies we see flying about are actually old and dull compared to the color on a newly hatched one.

I mean this one was sooooo bright and shiny and new.  And I never think that the ones flying around are dull!  Not until I saw this brand new one.  The actual multiple layers of meaning on that one could go on forever!  But what I really want is to find out how to have that shiny newness last!  Don't we all?  And I mean this for lots of things.  Projects, life, people, ideas........mostly ideas.  Hatching ideas are great and so full of energy and zing!  But then what?  Once it moves into the making it real phase that shiny freshness wears off!  And I am left with a feeling of now it's just work. 

Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be.  When ideas become real it means we have to put more energy into it, and putting more energy into something means you have to sacrifice a little of your self.  So I think in the end the butterfly loves flying and seeing all the flowers sooooo much that it is ok that it is not as bright and shiny new anymore.  The actual experience of living outweighs the loss of a little brilliance.  And besides, the butterfly with a little ding here or there shows she has a wonderful story to tell!
Blessings
Leila


 
 
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OK people!  I now have two shop pages up on this site.  I hope that if I can get enough people through I will find my audience!  I am still working on that but i am ready for people to buy some things if they wish! 
I am using PayPal and currently I am just shipping to the lower 48 states of the US.  If anyone wishes to discuss shipping anywhere else please drop me a line!  I will need to add on some extra to the price. 
Anyway that's all for now folks!
Blessings,
Leila


 
 
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My two kids!
So I recently joined an online business group thing organized by Leonie Dawson.  I am learning so much I will use in my art and massage business.  One person mention abundantartist.com.....this site and their videos have totally inspired me.  I have some hope now that I can reach my audience of people who like original artworks!  YAY!  So I am going to just start there I think.  
I have yet to set up the shop page and still need to work on my pricing.  I can't wait to do it!  And right now as I write this I am putting off cleaning my house!  Hee Hee!  Anyway right now I feel as if I am finding my path and maybe seeing a little light through the dark forest. 
I feel that it is important to get down this business thing if I really want to move forward in my art life.  It is a key thing that I have been missing.  I love that I finally stumbled upon it in such a roundabout way.  It goes to show that you can never count out the small things.  This one small thing has had a big impact on me and I am sure it is going to have a snowball effect on my life. 
So here is to keeping your eyes and ears as open as you possibly can and entering the world with an open heart.
Blessings,
Leila


 
 
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After some thought about my own work and joining my goddess circle I have decided to take plenty of time in making my decision about what to do with my art.  I need to be asking the right questions here to get the answer that resonates with me.
I asked of my friends and family on Facebook a very general question about what would they do with my art to put it out in the world?  Bless the ones that actually took the time to answer......most of the answers were not big enough for what I am thinking of.  Though I love them, hanging my work on their wall or a small co-op just doesn't resonate with me anymore.  I found my question was not what I really meant.
I think on that and come to the conclusion what I really meant was think BIG and tell me what you would do.....after so many years doing small things around a town that really doesn't want my kind of work I feel a need to move away from coffee shops and the like.  And not that I don't like galleries, I just have come to the conclusion that you really have mesh with the owner or person who is there selling your work, not to mention live in a place where people actually purchase art on a regular basis.  I want more.  I want to dream a big idea of getting it out there and selling it the way I would like to.  So I am here taking time, brainstorming and just in general letting things float through my head.  I haven't focused on what to do with my art in some time.  So I am going to make sure not to rush into anything yet and think about what really feels right, what makes my soul sing and what makes me go THAT'S IT!!!!! 
Of course I welcome all comments and support on the subject.  It helps me clarify what is swimming around in my brain!  I can't stay in this stage too long though, I do realize that.  The point is to get it out there for people to see.  New people, more people and hopefully find homes for the children of my spirit.
Blessings,
Leila


 
 
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I admit I have too many projects going on at a time and that I really don't have time to do this or rather should be spending time working on other things.....But I can't resist the urge to write about what goes through my head lately. 
I guess every artist struggles to lead a balanced life.  Nothing's ever perfect and if it were I probably wouldn't create what I do.  My art is my balm, my freedom, my medicine.  It always has been.  Today I gather myself together to give myself as a gift to my art, to myself even.  I need to have this time for some inexplicable reason.  Something I have never felt myself drawn to is calling me.  So all I can do is surrender and write.
I have a current piece that I am working on that sings to me and promises me things that I didn't think I would find again.  It is very large and oceany and is very special.  I always approach it from a side angle so to speak, so it doesn't shy away from me.  More than anything I want this one to be just right.  It has to do with my Mom, really it is for her.  I lost her in October of 2011 and I haven't been the same since.  I never will......but that's ok.  I don't think I am supposed to be the same. 
Today I watched the video below, which was posted on Terri Windling's Blog, and I really cried over it.  And it pointed right back at me and what I am trying to do with my picture.  Art is my form of storytelling and telling my emotional truths.  What he is saying resonated so much it was like someone put a finger on my soul.   Like the temple bell that brings overwhelming stillness and sound at the same time.  I know all at once this life I am trying to create, even with as muddled as it sometimes seems, is my path, my way, my story.
Blessings,
Leila
P.S.  I have posted a few works on a new Artworks page.  I hope this page will morph into a Shop page at some point, I have so many things planned for this site!  So keep coming back to check!


 
 
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Ok, so here is my blog.....never done this before but I feel like I needed to infuse more life into my art life!  So I am not sure what this journal will be about totally but I want is to be a fusion of all my passions.  Which include, but are not limited to my art, massage, books, the journey of being an owner builder of a straw bale home, and making dreams come. 

So I have started this because I love Leonie Dawson's creativity and she makes it look all so easy and I just feel I need to be doing something to share what I do!  I love creating my own art and for a long time I did small art fairs, local coffee shops, Saturday Market and so on.....but none of this really worked.  I struggled and still am struggling to share my art the way I want to with people.  And I really really do want to get what I do out "there".

What do I do?  I create original colored pencil art.  And I mean original.  I don't do copies or prints or things like that.  I toyed with the idea for a long time but couldn't make myself come to accept that the copy was as good as the real thing.  And I still can't!  I am not sure where this principle crept into my life but it is there and I have learned to live with it.  This means I have had many rejections on the sole basis that I do not have prints available.....I always think really?!  So now I am trying to brainstorm up some new things to get what I do out there without compromising my principle.  I know many people love what I do and would love to hand original art in there home.......not necessarily matching their couch! 

So here I am at the very beginning.  I hope to blog regularly on this site about creating and what it all means, hopefully adding a portfolio page so more can see what I do and if they like what they see purchase it.   Or contact me about commissions.  I also want to just have things I find that are truly inspirational for just getting out there and making a dream come true!  So for now this is my one small step on a new journey.

Blessings!
Leila