Inseparable Inspiration

While waiting for the spouse to finish sanding, I am posting a card I drew from The Healing Deck by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber.



Still struggling with selecting the background from the card in Affinity Photo. It was so easy in Photoshop but it’s a bit odd in Affinity. Next time I shall try a colour selection and see if that works better.

The back of this card says that prayer and meditation bring a feeling of connection to higher forces, which will make you feel inspired and inspiring.

I’ve got the entire first coat on after adding two finer snippets of branches last night. This is the final tree, I must beat down the inspiration to add more as I go in for a second coat.


I have to go to the dentist tomorrow. What is worse, painting tree branches at the top of your mural as the sweat pours down your face, or getting your teeth cleaned?




The Purple Flow of Inspiration

Daily Draw September 17th, 2009

I am back to planning work and am going to make up some beads, a 20-hour process that I usually love but I’m still getting a “what’s the point” feeling. It’s amazing how little people want to pay for handmade things. Someone asked me to do the local Christmas show this year and I am hesitating because two years ago I participated and found that people are really looking for things under $10. I can’t make anything for under $10 due to material costs and the time required to fashion something.

I sold some bookmarks for $7 the last time and they required 14 hours to make with 4 coats of varnish, printing on photo paper, gluing, pressing, and cost about $3 in materials. Oh wow, after paying for my supplies, I made $0.29 cents an hour, lucky me. There is no sense to that. So people tell me, “Just make cheap stuff.” What would be the point? Who wants to make cheap gimcracks for $3 apiece anyway? What would be the point of making something by hand then?

Once I start focusing on selling things, the joy goes out of it because I know I will not be paid. Anyone can string glass beads on wire, but I do bead embroidery and I make my own beads. It takes hours and hours to make something original up. I make a little story with each necklace, they are individuals after all.

I started a really neat necklace last year with impasto beads based on a paper doll dress that Zelda Fitzgerald painted for her daughter. It has a bead-embroidered pendant with silk ribbon embroidery, an image transfer cabochon from a gardening catalogue that says “Scott’s Flowers” which echoes that Zelda and her daughter were Scott Fitzgerald’s flowers, and sewn beads and these wild handmade beads on the strung part, like Zelda herself and Zelda’s fabulous paintings. It was a real concept and is taking hours, but the secret delight I hold in the inspiration never goes away. It is delicious.

Until I get to putting it up for sale. Then I stop working, because someone will say “Isn’t that cute” and want to pay $25 for it. I had a customer at an art show dicker around like that with one of my embroidered necklaces. This wasn’t cheaply done, it had a very fine finish, tiny stitches and expensive beads, all backstitched and solidly sewn, plus my own handmade beads, and silk, but you would have thought he was bargaining for a battery-operated penlight at the dollar store the way he was sneering at me about the price. It was humiliating.

I need a goal in life and creativity. So I’m doing a botanical theme with things today. After that I’ll get to the discouragement and humiliation part, but for today I will try to suspend that and enjoy the colours and creating. There is simply nothing on earth like making something beautiful.

My message from Cilla Conway and the Intuitive Tarot today is:


Love, companionship, friendship. It is like reaching the “flow” part of the brain in creating: everything fits and the world disappears in the union of idea and process, a partnership of the work I enjoy and my mind. I will accomplish more with this kind of harmony than thinking that there is no point to doing anything. Creativity, like grapes, will ripen on the vine, and bring its scent to life.

Mmmmm, smell the purple, feel the tender kiss of inspiration.


Rein Responsibility

I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t purchase something I have no money to pay for. The reins of the mind are fairly strong, so no bicycle for me.

However, I did come up with a concept for a second necklace based on the Rumi Tarot, for which I already have materials at hand, so I’m sifting that around instead of spending money.

Very often I find that if I get busy on an art project or some writing, the impulse to buy things goes away. It’s not simple boredom that makes me want to buy things, it’s inspiration for my creativity, so once I get that I have no need to buy things. Lately I get a lot of books on inter-library loan so that helps tremendously, but it’s hard to work alone, so an extra jolt of inspiration is always welcome, and I immediately got that from the Rumi Tarot. Those gorgeous, saturated colours: I can’t believe any artist would have the patience to make their own egg tempera. Nigel Jackson and Lorena Moore are the only two artists I know who do this, and I love their artwork.

So, today let’s pick a card from the Rumi Tarot:


“Untie the knots from my hands and feet”

Hahaha. Yeah, no kidding. I could take this as a clarification of what I wrote above about inspiration and freeing the mind from a dependency on spending. I could also take this literally, as I do have knots in my hands and feet as well as muscle spasms and sciatica.  Chronic pain simply robs me of all the joy in life, the ecstasy of movement and action.

This card. . . . has clouds whispering.


The Abstract Level of the High Idea

Daily Draw May 9th, 2009

From the Javanne Tarot. . .


He’s shaking his rattle and bellowing, what have we done now? This is not one of my favourite cards, I always see the bad side of this archetype. Not the kingly shepherd, but the control freak holding his masculinity like a bomb in his hand. That’s an interesting detail in this card, the masculine symbol on the left does look like a grenade.

Good aspects of The Emperor are rational thought and the abstract level of the high idea, giving us insight. Again the spectre of injustice. I was feeling that last night with regard to some tarot people I used to know, as I browsed some blogs on the Internet, and in this deck at least the Emperor can help in transforming old anger and feelings of injustice.

I got the scales of justice yesterday too and shield. This is about the same thing and perhaps having holes in my shield. Mostly, I concentrate on working with my cards, as I have found the cliques of tarot people I have experienced to be very dogmatic and bullying. They swerve from rigid autocracy and Credo with a capital, to helpless emotional jellyness in the guise of “spirituality” that I find brings me down. For me, these are not high ideas or inspiring, and I now simply enjoy my cards and inner inspiration and creativity by myself.

The aspects of work and society in this card tie into a commission that I’m working on. Hold onto the good ideas, and think of my hands as transferring insight and energy into my work; shepherd ideas into a workable form; govern the outcome. That’s a nice way of thinking about it. I am so close to getting the job done but bogged down for one item, so I will think of the lightning ideas and take-charge masculinity of The Emperor to inspire me to completion.


Small Rooms

Daily Draw – July 18th, 2008

This is a card from my Art Postcards. I explained about these in previous posts that I have since taken down, but they are postcards with art, that I collected and decided to use as an oracle.

Today’s card is from a graduating class in fashion, whose postcards were donated to me. I love these things. This one is done by designer Eve Walker and shows some woven ribbon samples with a stylized sketch of a belt and perhaps a coordinating fabric.

All I can think of is cinching my belt, or not spending money. I got a bit carried away as usual with buying books. I refuse to feel guilty because some of them I’ve been years waiting for publication. I also bought a fashion doll and several patterns for clothes for her. Out of the blue, like Eve fashions.

And to complete the picture, let’s have a little round-up of glory:

– 500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form
– 500 Handmade Books: Inspiring Interpretations of a Timeless Form
– Berlin: City of Smoke, Book Two
(graphic novel series by Jason Lutes)
– Fashion Doll Clothing
– Japanese Dolls: The Fascinating World of Ningyo

As Kenneth Clark said in his Civilisation series:

“I wonder if a single thought that has helped forward the human spirit, has ever been conceived or written in an enormous room?”

Inspiration is like a rocket inside a small room.