I’m making some changes in my arts practice. I’ve decided to put down my acrylic paint and singular devotion to sacred bones with sweet hearts and see what else needs to flow through my paint brush.
This January I made a series of mind maps as part of my morning routine. I would get up, chant, meditate, write and then make what I call a mind map of whatever notions were still floating around and then share it on social media. It’s a great practice to check in on what themes and desires are currently bubbling up for me. I found myself drawing meditations on prayerfulness, loving and celebrating life.
|mmmmm….homemade king cake|
We danced into carnival season fast and fierce this year as Mardi Gras arrived early on February 9th in 2016. Some years I feel like hiding away from the din until the big day itself but this year I was ready to spin, spiral and sparkle in the streets.
This is my 9th year of the New Orleans Mardi Gras and this was my first time making it to the Joan of Arc parade. This parade happens on Midsummer Eve which is the official start of the carnival season and celebrates the life, trials and sainthood of Joan of Arc and a few other medieval women saints. It was like a marching Renaissance faire and was so charming. It totally got all my parade gears turned on.
|At the Joan of Arc parade|
Then David Bowie died. Amidst the collective sadness the Preservation Hall Band and Arcade Fire teamed up to lead a second line through the French Quarter to dance his spirit off. I totally needed that moment of release, communion and celebration of the beauty of manifesting the creative spirit in life. It doubled my readiness to play and prance with a willing crowd.
|The beginning of the David Bowie second line|
And I did. I had a lot of fun this Mardi Gras 🙂 It is a great time for contemplating change. The festival season pulls me out of my routines and fills me with so much revelry that it challenges me to realize where that celebratory energy is lacking in my mundane life.
I hit a point at the end of January where I realized I needed a break from the Internet and I decided to stop posting for the month of February.
|At the Krewe de Vieux parade|
It was a blessing. Since I started working as a street painter I’ve posted everything I’ve finished right to the Internet (when I remembered). I took those few weeks of Internet silence to check in with my practice and I realized I was yearning for a change.
The Sunday before Mardi Gras I attended a parade that met at the Mississippi River at dawn. We began the day with music and prayer to the spirit of the river which led into a sunrise march across town.
|The Eris Witches parading at dawn|
|We walked all the way to the end of the world|
What crystallized for me at that prayerful parade was a decision to renew my Portraits of Rivers series and begin by painting some small portraits of the Nola bend of the river.
I also accepted that I didn’t want to work in acrylics as much and am moving over to gouache paints. It’s kinda like an opaque watercolor paint that allows for layers of colors. It’s fun and bright and let’s me work a lot faster and more freely than I could with acrylics.
Don’t worry…my Beautiful Bodies aren’t going away forever…already I can see then dancing over dreamy gouache painted backgrounds…but they won’t be as central to my work flow as they have been this far.
And that’s where I’m at.
|My Mardi Gras day Oracle costume|
I’m still working on my Goddesses. I’m gonna finish up the acrylic ones I have going and then also switch this project to gouache.
And I’ll see where I end up after a few months of rivers, goddesses and the occasional dancing skeleton.
I’ve also made changes in the way I use the Internet.
Along with my written content I’m going to start posting my finished art to my blog instead of directly to social media. I feel like I have more control over my content and this frees me up to actually enjoy being on social media and sharing more about my work/life process (along with links to those blog posts).
Finally, I’m committed to maintaining a monthly newsletter. I like offering a centralized spot to share my love of making and sharing the work I do.
So please, join my mailing list. If you have read this far I know you will enjoy it.