(Image 1 Ace of Cups) 1993
Art as Power
This (and the one below ) are the earliest (1993) surviving pieces I have. They, and all the others I had, were left inside a leaky garage and suffered water damage in 2002. These two are colored pencil on paper.
Until I did this piece, I had no idea I could DO art. My husband had these 'art trading cards and I tried to duplicate them. I cannot remember who the original artist was- sadly.
Once I started drawing and coloring, I did not stop until it was done. I was 'lost' or rather I was *in* the place. I could feel the water, smell the rose. i was unaware of this until I came *Back*.
When it was done, I felt powerful. I felt transformed. I felt like i had been on a journey! All of which were things I had never really felt before.
and I could not give it up.
(Image 2 Tiger Woman 1993)
Debt to Russell Lawrence
Much of my beginning skills are owed to me Father-in-law Russell Lawrence. He was an artist of the Bob Ross technique- sorta. At any rate, I used to watch him paint. One day he asked if I wanted to try it. He showed me how to use a palette knife and 'scratch' a water line on a bank he had already painted. I then used my finger to smear it. He sucked in his breath as I went to touch the canvas but did not tell me to stop.
He said "Well *THATS* interesting. finger painting. I'm very touchy feely. Oh! I loved it!
Paint was SO much better than pencils. I was hooked.
Russ was also the one who taught me about painting super tiny. This blown up image of one of his paintings has a house and a canoe you can't really see unless you use a magnifying glass.
Healing with Debbie
During this time I was also deepening my spiritual practice. I had discovered Paganism in 1990 (floored that the divine could be Female- even better that there BOTH Female and Male- equally) and at this stage I was 6 years in and seeing a difference in my life, my self worth, and beginning to fins out why I was SO ANGRY.
In May 1996 I went to my first Pagan Festival: Heartland Pagan Festival.
I met a woman named Debra Usher. I instantly fell in love/wonderstruck.
Here was a woman, a Pagan High Priestess, a creator, a runester, an avatar who exuded light and laughter from every pore. She was everything a teacher is supposed to be and More. I adored her
I don't know why she decided that angry, temper filled, mouthy, sad, young woman was worth her time: but she did. She loved me right back.
(Image Debbie Usher 2000)
(Image 'Thors Storm' Russ Lawrence 2000)a
Practice Practice Practice
(Image "I'm Melting!" 2001)
Through my studies with Deb I started FEELING into what was going on with the earth. She cried out in pain at the destruction of her children: the plants, trees, animals and oceans all were being ruined by humans and their incessant need for oil and money.
in 2001 during a Shamanic journey she told me to create a painting that visually showed what was happening Her: to the planets' climate.
"I'm Melting!" is that painting. Here it is 2020, pandemic washes over the world like a tidal wave- will we learn? Will we SEE these cleaner waters, this fresher air, - will we ACT to save her and ourselves??
(Image Beltane 2002)
I had discovered Goddess Dance and Henna body art in 1997. I would continue the body for 30 years until tremors made it impossible. Goddess Dance I still do to this day. By 99' I was 'art-ing' all the time.
For the next 3 years I sat at her feet and learned the Art of Magick and all about Paganism: Divine Feminine, Divine Masculine, Archetypes, Seasons, Moons, rebirth, death, stars, runes, totems.. and so much much more. I was a sponge. I could not get enough.
We had another woman S.M. join us and we were officially Wyrd Sistrs.
The following 3 years was more study and creating. I was not quite the n00bie, but no expert either and got myself in a bit of trouble. She laughed at my plight and helped me. I devoured Druidism, Shamanism, weather patterns, more runes, more moons, shadow work, create create create.. silk dying OH! The SILK!
Through daily meditations and working with my skills like *Seeing*, entering alter states while singing, dancing, drumming and using oracle cards to I was able to help me figure my Self out.
She helped me learn how to heal me. S.M. helped me learn how to manage money and I helped her to ...
Deb had helped me discover my mermaid roots. She took Polaroids every year at Gaea Goddess Gathering: GGG
We were handfasted at GGG on Sept 11 1999. It was a Wyrd bonding. She had her husband and I had mine, yet we knew we would reincarnate together- ALWAYS.
The final 3 years had us working side by side on big Magicks, creating as a part of our journey together and discussing a place for women where we could teach and help other women to heal themselves.
She and I forged the idea of
Serenity Massage & Energywork.
(Image Mermaid at GGG 1999)
Passing the Mantel
A Journey of Loss
I quit living at this point. Too much loss at one time. I sporadically created- one piece in 2005, a few in 2006, 2007... I stopped dancing completely. I just ...stopped... for 3 years. I not only lost her, but a large part of me as well.
(Image soulsucker 2004)
In 2004 Deb become ill. Turned out to be lung cancer that had metastasized to her 8th left rib and her brain.
I knew she was going to die and I raged at Thor for taking her from me. I was on a bus down to OKC to help take care of her and HE answered with a thunderstorm like I'd never seen before. I raged right back at HIM.
It was a long, painful year until her death in 2005. She called the pain "a dark place".
When she passed, I came back to OKC and the High Priest of our Coven, Russ the runester, passed the of high Priestess to me.
Death visited me though the loss of my loved ones 6 times in 6 months. My grandmother Pauline, My aunt Sandy, My aunt Pat, My Debbie, My Mother and Debs dog Mercedes (which I had taken in but had to put her to sleep soon after)
9 years. I had had 9 years of intense training. But I was lost anyhow.
360 Degress of Progression
For 6 more years I swam through murky waters. The first 3 were in darkness. It did get clearer with each year, with each painting, and eventually each new person I helped with bodywork.
The depths of my sorrow was hard to crawl out of. My spirituality, work and art (are they different?) was what finally brought me out of the compost of what had been my life before Death.
It took a long, long time to even speak her name without crying but I got there.
in 2008 I started painting a 360 Degree mural in my temple. In 2010 I became a massage therapist, and started developing a new bodywork modality : BodyArt Therapy which was published in 2014.
Through my spiritual practice I got really close to Death and understand the creative/destructive balance.
(Image Mural detail "Air" 2010)
(Image "The Wild Hunting The Wicked" 2014 Detail. figures are 1.5 inches to less than 1/4 inch tall)
I started painting "The Wild Hunting The Wicked" in 2009. It took 5 years to finish. I went into trance each time I laid brush to paint.
The energetic embodiment of cosplay, wild sex, arguments, loss school, food addiction, panic attacks, kids, family- extended family, friends and not friends- it all is there.
Deep listening to what the Earth said She needed the ones who make the decisions to rape, plunder, despoil and trash Her all in the name of money - to stop. They are Wicked and the wild will hunt them.
Art that makes you look twice
(Image "Spirit's Within" 2009 detail)
in 2015 I went back to school to get my associates degree in Massage Therapy.
I started a new painting. I knew it was going to be about an oracle (my spiritual journey had taken me down the road of Pathwalking and being an Oracle) But all I got painted was the cave, with 13 stairs and an opening leading outside at the top when Death came back and started talking to me.
They were unhappy with how Art usually portrays them. They wanted me to do something about it and the cave painting would be at the END of that. But before that- there were 13 visages to paint. 13 cultures and beliefs to explore- for Death wanted this to span the wolrd, 13 personifications to portray... to put a new FACE on Death.