HER-story:

With words and images, I am telling my story. Through art, through sculpture, I am remembering HERstory...
CASIMIRA

Monday, January 13

continue


I have been working on several projects, but my priority is cultivating the divine art of motherhood. 

My daughter is three years old and I am completely dedicated to her.

Why do I feel as if I need to explain this to anyone? 

I homeschool my sixth grader (since kindergarten) and he is thriving.

I continue to paint.

I continue to design wearable sculpture. Each piece tells a story and no two are exactly alike (my motto since I began on this journey of creation over two decades ago).

I continue to write. 

I continue to practice yoga.

I continue to surrender to the sacred dance of life...

a favorite snapshot of my daughter a couple of years ago, playing with some of my bangles 










Sunday, January 12

HERstory


"As I go into her, she pierces my heart. 

As I penetrate further, she unveils me. 

When I have reached her center, I am weeping openly.

I have known her all my life, yet she reveals stories to me, and these stories are revelations and I am transformed. Each time I go to her I am born like this. Her renewal washes over me endlessly, her wounds carress me; I become aware of all that has come between us, of the noise between us, the blindness, of something sleeping between us. Now my body reaches out to her. They speak effortlessly, and I learn at no instant does she fail me in her presence. She is as delicate as I am; I know her sentience; I feel her pain and my own pain comes into me, and my own pain grows large and I grasp this pain with my hands, and I open my mouth to this pain, I taste, I know, and I know why she goes on, under great weight, with this great thirst, in drought, in starvation, with intelligence in every act does she survive disaster. This earth is my sister; I love her daily grace, her silent daring, and how loved I am how we admire this strength in each other, all that we have lost, all that we have suffered, all that we know: we are stunned by this beauty, and I do not forget: what she is to me, what I am to her." - Susan Griffin

SNAPSHOT:
detail from one of my pieces: endless freshwater pearls suspended from bronze sculpture and vintage silks...

the earth goddess is my muse...

I remember and celebrate HERstory...

Saturday, January 11

letting there be room

mixed media on canvas

“We think that the point is to pass the test to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved, they come together and they fall apart, then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
- Pema Chodron

Friday, January 10

La Loba Que Sabe


"...now before our sights, into our baskets of water held out to the heavens... 
the wolf moon, named after wolves howling to summon one another...
SUMMONS FROM LA LOBA I CALL HER 'LA QUE SABE, SHE WHO KNOWS...'
For those with ears to hear, eyes to see...
The howl is the call to 
Rest and Create. Both. 
Not one or the other. Both now. 
The howl is the call to Reconvene Gentleness and Fierceness: Both. Not one or the other. Both now. 
The howl is the call to 
Keep no collections of grievances 
petty and large. 
Throw that dung list away. 
No wolf drags a long bag of yesterdays 
behind them today.
The howl is the call to 
instead, build your list of effective solutions 
within your reach, and if not 
practice your trapeese flying. 
Wolves are the masters of the flying leap 
that lands square. We can do this. 
The howl is the call to 
choose one goal. 
The most life-giving, the most life sparing. 
Not one or the other, both. Both. 
Like a true wolf would do.
The howl is the call to 
Focus. One thing to shelter, build in beauty, 
end, begin, one thing at a time. 
The howl is the call to Collect your tendernesses and strengths. Both. Not one or the other. Both. Like a true wolf.
The howl is the call to 
not bathe nor clothe thyself in fears, 
for they weaken the child spirit, 
Who is your Creative Force. 
Wolves stand before and protect their pups, 
not place them in the teeth of predators.
The howl is the call to
Love everything one can, truly so, 
with dedication, not passing over, 
not saying yah, yah, 
but seeing the bee as equal to the butterfly, 
the human as equal to the precious waters 
and the air, the creatures equal to the mountains. And visa versa. 
La Loba, La que sabe,
whom I name She Who Knows, 
says so...
in her long, long howl 
'at the first Full Moon
of this New Year. 
All good come...
All good come now
both and all.
All. Good. Now. Come....
May it be so for thee
May it be so for me
May it be so for us all,
Each in her and his own way,
as each sees fit."
- words of wisdom by beloved Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
La Mama Loba and her wild wolf cub remind you to go out and HOWL at tonight's full wolf moon 


Thursday, January 9

incomplete


"Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet." - Plato

mixed media on canvas, circa 2001, in a private collection 

Wednesday, January 8

wild, sacred and free

- detail from 2013 mixed media on canvas in a private collection -

"She was never crazy. She just didn't let her heart settle in a cage. She was born wild, and sometimes we need people like her. For it's the horrors in her heart which cause the flames in ours. And she was always willing to burn for everything she has ever loved." - Robert M. Drake

my wild, sacred freedom is expressed through my artwork, my soul's work...

I am wild, sacred and free
- when I create
- when I dance
- when I kiss
- when I make love
- when I write
- when I laugh
...and I am always willing to burn for love...

detail from 2013 mixed media on canvas from an ongoing series where I explore painting as poetry and meditation




Tuesday, January 7

y te decides


"Quiero que sepas
una cosa.

Tú sabes cómo es esto:
si miro
la luna de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otoño en mi ventana,
si toco
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña,
todo me lleva a ti,
como si todo lo que existe,
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran pequeños barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.

Ahora bien,
si poco a poco dejas de quererme
dejaré de quererte poco a poco.

Si de pronto
me olvidas
no me busques,
que ya te habré olvidado.

Si consideras largo y loco
el viento de banderas
que pasa por mi vida
y te decides
a dejarme a la orilla
del corazón en que tengo raíces,
piensa
que en ese día,
a esa hora
levantaré los brazos
y saldrán mis raíces
a buscar otra tierra.

Pero
si cada día,
cada hora
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable.
Si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida,
mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada,
y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos
sin salir de los míos."

- Pablo Neruda

"I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is: 
if I look 
at the crystal moon, at the red branch 
of the slow autumn at my window, 
if I touch 
near the fire 
the impalpable ash 
or the wrinkled body of the log, 
everything carries me to you, 
as if everything that exists, 
aromas, light, metals, 
were little boats 
that sail 
toward those isles of yours that wait for me. 

Well, now, 
if little by little you stop loving me 
I shall stop loving you little by little. 

If suddenly 
you forget me 
do not look for me, 
for I shall already have forgotten you. 

If you think it long and mad, 
the wind of banners 
that passes through my life, 
and you decide 
to leave me at the shore 
of the heart where I have roots, 
remember 
that on that day, 
at that hour, 
I shall lift my arms 
and my roots will set off 
to seek another land. 

But 
if each day, 
each hour, 
you feel that you are destined for me 
with implacable sweetness, 
if each day a flower 
climbs up to your lips to seek me, 
ah my love, ah my own, 
in me all that fire is repeated, 
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, 
my love feeds on your love, beloved, 
and as long as you live it will be in your arms 
without leaving mine."

- Pablo Neruda
detail from mixed media on canvas, 2017

Monday, January 6

squeezing drops






- 2013 mixed media on canvas from a series exploring painting as poetry and meditation -

"Keep squeezing drops of the Sun

from your prayers and work and music

and from your companion's beautiful laughter.



Keep squeezing drops of the Sun -

from the sacred hands and glance of your Beloved

and, my dear,

from the most insignificant movements

of your own holy body."

- HAFIZ




Sunday, January 5

juntos


"¡Amor, cuántos caminos hasta llegar a un beso,
qué soledad errante hasta tu compañía!
Siguen los trenes solos rodando con la lluvia.
No amanece aún la primavera.

Pero tú y yo, amor mío, estamos juntos,
juntos desde la ropa a las raíces,
juntos de otoño, de agua, de caderas,
hasta ser sólo tú, sólo yo juntos.

Pensar que costó tantas piedras que lleva el río,
la desembocadura del agua de Boroa,
pensar que separados por trenes y naciones

tú y yo teníamos que simplemente amarnos,
con todos confundidos, con hombres y mujeres,
con la tierra que implanta y educa los claveles." - Pablo Neruda

detail from 2013 mixed media on canvas in a private collection 

Saturday, January 4

make you notice



"...Intention I feel inventive,

Gonna make you, make you, make you notice -


Got motion restrained emotion...


No reason just seems so pleasing,


Gonna make you, make you, make you notice -



Gonna use my arms,



Gonna use my legs,



Gonna use my style,



Gonna use my sidestep,



Gonna use my fingers,



Gonna use my, my, my imagination -


'Cause I gonna make you see,


There's nobody else here,


No one like me,


I'm special so special,

I gotta have some of your attention give it to me -

Got rhythm I can't miss a beat...

Got something I'm winking at you,



Gonna make you, make you, make you notice...Give it to me..."



- The Pretenders



in an 80s mood

mixed media on canvas, 2019




Friday, January 3

soldered


"When she closed her eyes she felt he had many hands, which touched her everywhere, and many mouths, which passed so swiftly over her, and with a wolf-like sharpness, his teeth sank into her fleshiest parts. Naked now, he lay his full length over her. She enjoyed his weight on her, enjoyed being crushed under his body. She wanted him soldered to her, from mouth to feet. Shivers passed through her body."
- Anais Nin (1903-1977)

detail from 2015 mixed media on canvas 


Thursday, January 2

within


"What large, dark hands are those at the window
Lifted, grasping the golden light
Which weaves its way through the creeper leaves
       To my heart's delight?

Ah, only the leaves! But in the west,
In the west I see a redness come
Over the evening's burning breast —
       — 'Tis the wound of love goes home!

The woodbine creeps abroad
Calling low to her lover:
The sun-lit flirt who all the day
Has poised above her lips in play
And stolen kisses, shallow and gay
Of pollen, now has gone away
— She woos the moth with her sweet, low word,
And when above her his broad wings hover
Then her bright breast she will uncover
And yield her honey-drop to her lover.

Into the yellow, evening glow
Saunters a man from the farm below,
Leans, and looks in at the low-built shed
Where hangs the swallow's marriage bed.
The bird lies warm against the wall.
She glances quick her startled eyes
Towards him, then she turns away
Her small head, making warm display
Of red upon the throat. His terrors sway
Her out of the nest's warm, busy ball,
Whose plaintive cry is heard as she flies
In one blue stoop from out the sties
Into the evening's empty hall.

Oh, water-hen, beside the rushes
Hide your quaint, unfading blushes,
Still your quick tail, and lie as dead,
Till the distance folds over his ominous tread.

The rabbit presses back her ears,
Turns back her liquid, anguished eyes
And crouches low: then with wild spring
Spurts from the terror of his oncoming
To be choked back, the wire ring
Her frantic effort throttling:
Piteous brown ball of quivering fears!

Ah soon in his large, hard hands she dies,
And swings all loose to the swing of his walk.
Yet calm and kindly are his eyes
And ready to open in brown surprise
Should I not answer to his talk
Or should he my tears surmise.

I hear his hand on the latch, and rise from my chair
Watching the door open: he flashes bare
His strong teeth in a smile, and flashes his eyes
In a smile like triumph upon me; then careless-wise
He flings the rabbit soft on the table board
And comes towards me: ah, the uplifted sword
Of his hand against my bosom, and oh, the broad
Blade of his hand that raises my face to applaud
His coming: he raises up my face to him
And caresses my mouth with his fingers, which still smell grim
Of the rabbit's fur! God, I am caught in a snare!
I know not what fine wire is round my throat,
I only know I let him finger there
My pulse of life, letting him nose like a stoat
Who sniffs with joy before he drinks the blood:
And down his mouth comes to my mouth, and down
His dark bright eyes descend like a fiery hood
Upon my mind: his mouth meets mine, and a flood
Of sweet fire sweeps across me, so I drown
Within him, die, and find death good."

- D. H. Lawrence 

detail from mixed media on canvas, 2017

Wednesday, January 1

your taste


"still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
still a little bit of you laced with my doubt... 
still a little bit of your ghost - your witness  
still a little bit of your face I haven't kissed...  
still a little bit of your song in my ear, 
still a little bit of your words I long to hear..."
- Damien Rice


excerpt from my journals, mixed media on canvas 

Tuesday, December 31

lovers and tribes


"We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. 

I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography - to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience."

- Michael Ondaatje 

detail from mixed media on canvas


Monday, December 30

te extraño


"Te extraño -

como se extrañan las noches sin estrellas, 

como se extrañan las mañanas bellas, 

no estar contigo, por Dios que me hace daño.



Te extraño - 



cuando camino, cuando lloro, cuando río, 
cuando el sol brilla, cuando hace mucho frío, 
porque te siento como algo muy mío.

Te extraño - 

como los árboles extrañan el otoño, 
en esas noches que no concilio el sueño, 
no te imaginas Amor, cómo te extraño.

Te extraño - 

en cada paso que siento solitario, 
cada momento que estoy viviendo a diario, 
estoy muriendo Amor porque te extraño.

Te extraño - 

cuando la aurora comienza a dar colores, 
con tus virtudes, con todos tus errores, 
por lo que quieras no sé, pero te extraño..."

- Armando Manzanero 

detail from mixed media on canvas


Sunday, December 29

te invento a veces con mi vanidad


"Tengo la convicción de que no existes
y sin embargo te oigo cada noche

te invento a veces con mi vanidad
o mi desolación o mi modorra

del infinito mar viene tu asombro
lo escucho como un salmo y pese a todo

tan convencido estoy de que no existes
que te aguardo en mi sueño para luego."

- Mario Benedetti

detail from mixed media on canvas, 2013

Saturday, December 28

gratitude


The end of a decade is near. I sit here, after yoga, sipping my tea and contemplating all that has happened in the last ten years. 

I am blessed. My two beautiful children are healthy and joyful. I am painting, sculpting and writing more each day. I am in love with my artwork...my soul's work.




Sunday, October 20

que no te amo y que te amo


"Sabras que no te amo y que te amo
puesto que de dos modos es la vida,
la palabra es un ala del silencio,
el fuego tiene una mitad de frío.

Yo te amo para comenzar a amarte,
para recomenzar el infinito
y para no dejar de amarte nunca:
por eso no te amo todavía.

Te amo y no te amo como si tuviera
en mis manos las llaves de la dicha
y un incierto destino desdichado.

Mi amor tiene dos vidas para amarte.
Por eso te amo cuando no te amo
y por eso te amo cuando te amo."

- Pablo Neruda


...and in English...


"You must know that I do not love and that I love you,
because everything alive has its two sides;
a word is one wing of the silence,
fire has its cold half.

I love you in order to begin to love you,
to start infinity again
and never stop loving you:
that's why I do not love you yet.

I love you, and I do not love you, as if I held
keys in my hand:  to a future of joy --
a wretched, muddled fate --

My love has two lives, in order to love you:
that's why I love you when I do not love you,
and also why I love you when I do."

- Pablo Neruda translated by Stephen Tapscott

Saturday, October 19

he moved her chemically more than anyone


"Her heart sank into her shoes as she realized at last how much she wanted him. No matter what his past was, no matter what he had done. Which was not to say that she would ever let him know, but only that he moved her chemically more than anyone she had ever met, that all other men seemed pale beside him." 

- F. Scott Fitzgerald 

snapshot: Roman Imperial Rosso AnticoTorso, circa 1st century A.D.



Friday, October 18

fuchsia eyes

2004 hand-dyed silk and concert ticket

a birthday sorpresa he said
i was a bit tired, but went ahead

meeting at the bookstore
in the middle of rain

our waiter was
french
spanish
colombian
quite a cocktail - that mojito
a mountain of gorgonzola cheese, please

annie lennox rocked the house
she's fifty-two not sixty-two
moving like a graceful dancer
with fuchsia eyes...

excerpt from my 2007 journal

Thursday, October 17

honor dreams my dear


"She shows up just when you need her. She always gives you the support and counsel you need, and never judges you.

She is an amazing psychic advisor: she knows what the future holds for you, and she can tell you what to do and what not to do to avoid something bad or find the right job, or the right home, or the right partner.

She is a...healer who can help you to fix your body before you get sick, and who has the right medicine and nurturing to speed you into healing and recovery...She makes house calls at any time, and she never charges you a cent.

She's fabulous fun and a great traveling companion. She makes you want to get up and dance, and sing, and play. She loves to fly off to exotic places...

She has wonderful energy. An hour in her company gives you a boost for a whole week.

She'll mother you when you, and your beautiful inner child self, need mothering, hold you when you need holding, and give you a shove when you need to jump through a hole in the world.

She knows you better than you know yourself, in your everyday mind. When she holds up a mirror in front of you, you don't notice the blemishes. You see a being of radiant power and possibility, your ancient and shining self. And in that moment of recognition, you begin to remember and live from your soul's purpose, the sacred contract you signed before you came into your present body.

...and you never say thank you, or remember her birthday. You ignore her advice more often than not...You forget the songs you sang together, and those nights of love and beauty...If you find the moon through the smog and city lights, you do not recollect that she flew you there...

If she were a regular friend, she might dump you as a miserable ingrate. This friend is beyond the ordinary, and she has the patience of an angel - but even the patience of angels is not endless. So if you won't take her advice, she might make less of an effort to warn you...Then the magic begins to flicker in your world, and you are more alone than you ever need or want to be.

...dreams require action. We must take action to honor the friend who visits and advises and travels with us in our dreams, but the most important is the one we find in the mirror - when our sight is clear: the ancient and shining self. 

Taking the right action to honor dreams is practical magic of a high order. Real magic is the art of reaching into a deeper reality and bringing gifts from it into the physical world. This is what we do when we honor dreams, and the powers that speak through dreams."
- Robert Moss


Wednesday, October 16

gratitude


"When a woman is twenty, a child deforms her; when she is thirty, (s)he preserves her; and when forty, (s)he makes her young again."
- Leon Blum

breastfeeding in my mid-forties...we weaned about six months ago

motherhood is making me young again...

motherhood is my fountain of youth...

gratitude for another year of life...

a recent filtered feline selfie with my fiercely feminine little goddess



Tuesday, October 15

treasures


"Your life is short and rare and amazing and miraculous and you should do really interesting things and make interesting things while you’re still here. You have treasures hidden within you and so do I and so does everyone and bringing those treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion and the clock is ticking and the world is spinning and we simply do not have time to think so small.”
- Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, October 14

shifting into true being


"You are expanding wildly within and your powerful ripple is causing havoc around you.

Your change has been noticed and causing distress for some.

Chaos is inevitable now you are shifting into your true being.
It’s up to you: Will you choose the chaos or will the chaos choose you?
Both have the same outcome.
To drop you into BEing.
In alignment of you.
Will it be a fight for things to stay the same and draining you of your life force?
Or will it be uncomfortably surrendering into the liberating change the Universe is conspiring to create for you?
Slowly but surely the drums that are playing in your soul will tremble loose everything that no longer honours your highest truth.
You choose this path.
Walk it speaking your own voice
Radiantly dance into the night
Woman you are too awake.
Face your boundlessness and roam free."

Sharona Lautoe

mixed media on canvas, 2019