Krill in the Morning

Posted April 23, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Art Postcards

Tags: , , ,

I was browsing books yesterday and posts on art blogs and forums and looked up a couple of books on drawing and painting animals. Well, it’s not the drawing so much as the application of colour and texture. There is really no way better than working it out yourself, but there seemed to be some helpful lessons in three books I saw so I put in for inter-library loans for them.

My library is pretty good about obtaining things for me so I remain hopeful, it’s something to look forward to. It’s also a good way of having a look at a book before buying it or not. Of course, I am not allowed to buy a book as we all know, so until my birthday comes up in a few months I shall browse via the library.

© Estate of Charley Harper


This chap looks a bit toothsome. Actually, while scooping for fish, he realizes that The Spouse has forbidden him from going to the fish store, so he got Charley to draw pretend krill in his mouth. Is that “krill” or “kill” you are thinking Mr. Puffin?

Down Mr. Puffin, don’t take it personally.

You have to be a good fellow and…um….swallow your resentment. Enjoy those delicious pretend krill and sit on a rock in the sun.

Do puffins growl? I heard a funny noise like a growl.


One Message That Echoes

Posted April 22, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

Tags: , , , ,

Nir Felder, American jazz guitarist, has crossed my mind several times on the radio with a new song called Lights from his album Golden Age.

There you go. It’s a sad little song, full of historical clips of political speeches from the 1980s and early 1990s. Was it really a golden age? Nope.

“One message that echoes….”

[Hillary Rodham Clinton 1995]

8 – EFFORT (8 of Pentacles)
II – INTUITION (High Priestess)


As much as I love the illustrations by Eric Hotz for The Bright Idea Deck, I was disappointed that Mark McElroy hooked himself into the original ideas of Roger von Oech; it’s too close for comfort to me. Also, heaven forbid one should actually state that the Effort card is really the 8 of Pentacles. That’s not good for big business selling, the marketing boys won’t like it.

I consider the 8 one of my personal cards since creativity and art is a big thing for me. However, you have to put the effort in and I’ve been quite joyous the last week organizing the last of my art materials and cementing some ideas for the two opening pages of my Chilean journal. I have to watch myself and edit down what could end up a jumbled mess.

Mark says “identifying what’s needed to get something done” and “isolating yourself to focus on the work that needs to be done.” During the winter I was quite focused on a forum for sewing and knitting, but I find myself drifting back to art and natural history now that Spring is here. That’s okay to do, it’s a cycle like a season.

The High Priestess is here to tell me that such reflection is natural. Mark refers to “the excitement of the unknown” which I find is a definite Spring feeling. Hunches and urges, the sense of what could be ties in perfectly to my art journal.

One message, that echoes in the awakening Spring, the pull of intuition as the robins pull on worms in the lawn, the urge to examine and draw and put things together in your own way, sensing.

Echoes, like ripples in the water of Intuition.



Thwarted by Obesessive Single-Mindedness

Posted April 21, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Oracles - General

Tags: ,

If you read my other blog, you will know that I spent some money on art supplies. The spouse was almost okay with it, but when I mentioned buying a couple of field guides about Chile (one on birds and one on flora and fauna), he completely froze me out and made me feel like a naughty kid. He wouldn’t even come and look at the samples of the books I found online, he completely stopped talking to me or acknowledging my existence.

Okay, I know money is a worry, but when I have a purpose and plan I get quite single-minded. We are not speaking at the minute. I am more comfortable off in my own world. I could of course just order them but it wouldn’t be right. I have found scant information online regarding natural history in Chile, but these books are very comprehensive and contain hundreds of species and illustrations. The one book has shells and plants, mammals, sea creatures, birds, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and moths. It costs $15 at

Blah. I hate being thwarted when I’m trying to get information. My own obsessions tend to take me over, but I honestly prefer disappearing in books to anything else in life, including being married.

Let’s have some clarification with a card.

“Forgiveness is the healer of the soul.”


He has a headache and is distant, she is offering him a rose and putting her nurse cap on to heal him with her touch. In a pig’s eye.

He is saying “She just bought a bunch of stuff, isn’t that enough? Harumph.”
She is saying “But honey I need to know, I need to see, I need to touch the world out there.”

I guess it’s a weakness if you need to buy a book to enlighten yourself. I spent decades not buying myself anything, not having any money or wearing anything but hand-me-down clothes. What rankles me is being treated like a “bad” nuisance of a child, someone who deserves nothing without an argument, someone who is worthless, someone whose ideas are dismissed as annoying nonsense, an endless, irritating burden.

Two intractable positions. I know I should forget about it, let it go. The publication date is old enough that I can try ordering them in from the library, but with hundreds of entries I wouldn’t get too far in a three-week loan period. I’m a browser, a fiddler, someone who consults and ruminates and consults again, thinking it all over, making notes, looking up further references, exploring.

I can’t stand it when people don’t get it, don’t understand the creative imperative, and the need to know. I like to disappear into my head at times like this, it’s more restful and peaceful there. I don’t have to argue or see the gloomy Sad Sack sighing and carrying on about how awful I am.

All for $15. That kind of hurts.

Later in the day….I decided not to be silly and ordered ONE book. With shipping and tax it cost $20. I told the spouse and he said “It was never about the money.”

(Much rolling of eyes ensues.)

Oooh, and she’s got English, Spanish and Latin names for all the wildlife in the book–it gives me more chance to track down things.


Cats Take Over Mykonos

Posted April 20, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Art Postcards

Tags: , , , ,

This is a postcard a family member sent me from Mykonos, Greece back in 2010. There seem to be lots of feral dogs and cats in Greece, whether you are on an island like Mykonos or in a large city like Athens. They look so beautiful in this picture and the fisherman often feed them.


That reminds me of a lovely Nana Mouskouri song called The Star of Mykonos which I love. I also know they filmed part of the movie Shirley Valentine in Mykonos. The spouse and I love that movie and have seen it about five times.

So today I contemplate gorgeous cats, sun and the peculiar white and blue you only see in Greek towns.

The Star of Mykonos

Day by day he caught the west wind
To ride the tide that moves when day is dawning
The boat he sails was white as foam
Beneath the sky of morning
There goes The Star of Mykonos
His ship, his true companion
But in the canyons of the deep
They have a rendezvous to keep

By the shore the girl is waiting
She sweeps the sea with eyes like beacons burning
Then one by one the ships come home
For one there’s no returning
That is The Star of Mykonos
His love, his sole companion
And through the canyons of the sea
They go to meet their destiny

There goes The Star of Mykonos
His ship, his true companion
And in those canyons of the blue
They go to keep their rendezvous





The Moog Improves My Mood

Posted April 15, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

Tags: , , , ,

After a great day yesterday drawing and re-organizing my Prismacolor pencils, today was an absolute drag.

In the evening around 8 p.m. I put this song on by Snarky Puppy called Thing of Gold. I heard this amazing thing last week on the radio and couldn’t get the “hook” out of my mind.

Here is a YouTube audio-only version (which they have mistakenly titled Things [plural] of Gold:

If you want to be blown away watch their video of performing it:

The guy on the Moog synthesizer is amazing, as is the sax guy and the two horn players, the other keyboards, the strings and guitars. Such an incredible arrangement, but it works. It burbles along, letting your mind soar, thinking of possibilities and the mystery of life and the whole shebang.

That hook man. Does anybody remember when the Moog synthesizer was practically the size of a house?

So, now I’m drawing a card for tomorrow in an effort to thwart the Blue Meanies before they come back.



That’s right, the Fool plays with the ball, throwing it in the air, listening to the sounds of a Moog in the distance and violins, and he trips along, a magical song burbling out from his mind, revolving in the wind and dancing, dancing.

Oh let’s listen to it again.


I Wish for Pizza

Posted April 8, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

Tags: , ,

Yikes, three and a half weeks without cheese. We decided to have a small plain cheese pizza for lunch with a big homemade green salad in order to nip the craving in the bud. This is what I find about proper eating: you go along for weeks and then a craving hits. The best thing is to satisfy it a BIT and then carry on eating properly for another month and then you might have another one, but only a small portion. I find that the thing you wish for never tastes as good as you think, which makes it easier.



This is from the Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz which I bought when my favourite Uncle died five years ago.

The fairy is naked but secure in herself. This is often called “the wish card” and today it fits in with me wishing for cheese. Cheese when you think about it, is really a deadly product, filled with fat and salt, sort of waxy because in mass production they don’t actually age it, it’s like fatty tasteless wax. But melted and bubbling it holds a strong appeal. Pizza, macaroni and cheese, these are great comfort foods, opiates stronger than any alcohol.

My husband hates macaroni and cheese. Go figure. At some point the lure of cheese lessens, but it’s a tough one. I could go months and years without meat, but cheese is something entirely hard to give up.

Because of this card I shall have to think of abundance and wish fulfillment in other areas of life. After we have out treat I am going to be sewing on my second summer nightie that I cut out yesterday. This one is lightly longer and will have a ruffle at the bottom. You can’t have everything the same. You can’t eat the same old food and you can’t do the same old things, you have to switch things up.


My doll Saila is approving the fabric as she stands wearing her new black and white dress that I made. She is also wearing her summer sandals, ever hopeful the snow will disappear.

Oh gee, WordPress has just reminded me that I’ve been here for six years. See what happens when you persevere?


As I Age I Find Myself Thinking of Georgia O’Keeffe

Posted April 6, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Oracles - General

Tags: , , , , ,

During a sleepless night I got up to read in my special chair, surrounded by art and the aches and pains of age, and thought about Georgia O’Keeffe. So I pulled down her favourite book, The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura, from my shelf at Poetry Corner and peacefully browsed until drowsy.

“Enshu said the idea of a garden path was to be found in the following verses:

A cluster of summer trees,
A bit of the sea,
A pale evening moon.

It is not difficult to gather his meaning. He wished to create the attitude of a newly awakened soul still lingering amid shadowy dreams of the past, yet bathing in the sweet unconsciousness of a mellow spiritual light, and yearning for the freedom that lay in the expanse beyond.”

Kobori Enshu lived in 16th century Japan and was known for his garden design and poetry. I can see the words I have quoted from The Book of Tea inspiring Georgia’s art and sensibility.


From The Georgia O’Keeffe Oracle, handmade for me by Laura Secor:

Oil on canvas
H: 16 x W: 30 in / H: 40.6 x W: 76.2 cm


1959 was the year Georgia took an around-the-world trip with friends. In Asia she was again inspired by Japanese prints and the poetry of Japan and China, as she had been when young. She found the landscapes of New Mexico reminding her of Oriental vistas; the light and mountains like Japanese prints. She made trips around the United States to look at Asian art collections in museums. She returned again to Asia in 1960, visiting Cambodia and other places she had missed the previous year, as well as Japan.

In 1960, before she went on her second trip to Asia, she had her first exhibition on 14 years. This painting was one exhibited along with other new, “organic” landscapes and abstracts.

Two mountains intersecting or a bird in flight, the juxtaposition is beautiful, dreamy yet full of energy. Tension, yet peace. All those things.

And maybe it was inspired by Kakuzo Okakura’s small book and the passage about Enshu’s garden path and the soul awakening, still amid the shadowy dreams of the past, bathing in spiritual light, and yearning and reaching for freedom?




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 88 other followers