Saturday, November 21, 2009


I'm not afraid to go to places in myself that frighten me. I am a traveller; it is my make up to MOVE. 

MOVING spiritually is the best journey there can be. Will I fail? What if my enormous efforts come to absolutely nothing?

My international students who are learning English often use the word "effort" as a verb. "I efforted," they tell me. "I do too, "I tell them.

I EFFORT. I fail. I EFFORT again. EFFORTING allows me to fly and crash, run and fall...I am not afraid to go there. However, I must admit, I get tired of the FAILURES. I DO!

BUT THEN--Coffee With Hallelujah saves me. This creative time that I spend with MYSELF has no boundaries. Time is fluid and I find joy in most everything...ART SAVES ME, ELEVATES ME, and MOVES ME. Artmaking makes me gloriously happy.

The painting published here called, "This Way to the Bahamas," resulted from my readiness to JUMP into the unknown. I have committed to illustrating a children's story about an endangered animal in the Bahamas. Two years ago, I said, "YES" to the project. Little did I know that there would be no funding for this worthy conservation project, and that RuthTruth, Georgia Visionary Artist, would not be able to rely on her finger painting and whimsical color choices. Instead, I challenged myself to learn to draw! 

I started painting in 1988. As I was turning 30, this wonderful painting window opened. I saw in blocks of color and found no use for line. As I was turning 50, in 2008, after seeing one year pass without making progress on the illustrations of "The Misadventures of Maria the Hutia," I found myself with one completed painting that had been used on a t-shirt for a children's science camp and five pencil drawings. These drawings showed promise but were without pizzazz. They were not "free and spontaneous" like my paintings.

So, I was not afraid to go there to that place of ferocious line, perspective, delineation, and commitment to form. I decided to draw three random images a day in archival ink. The rules of the game were: 1) do not erase 2) work with the mistakes 3) do not throw anything away 4) keep going and making 3 images every day.

One year later, I have found my groove. I have EFFORTED and I EFFORT still. Yet, I am a HAPPY PILGRIM. I joyfully and soulfully travel to the Bahamas, to the realm of my artistic desire, to learn, to create,  and to inspire others to do the same. In this painting here, Hallelujah is following her white tropical bird and holding hands with Wandjina for comfort and strength. Perhaps, we are afraid to go there, but WE ARE GOING, just the same. It is our journey, our path, our way of growing.

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey! I am curious about you, your fears, failures, and journeying on. Please write and tell me about yourself. I would love for you to have Coffee with Hallelujah! 


  1. "I'm not afraid to go to places in myself that frighten me."
    I so agree with this RuthTruth. It is only the known that frightens me.

  2. Ty, I love you for your bravery! And your honesty! I've learned a lot from your creative process! Thank you so much for sharing. Hallelujah!

  3. so my motto when i was a kid was "I'm a scaredy cat." that's no longer true. i'd like to start using effort as a strong verb too. in german, it's sich bestreben, a reflexive verb--endeavor, strive. thanks for your efforts to stir us with your images and words:)

  4. Edna Lorri! I agree, YOU are no Scaredy Cat! You are a member of the Tribe of Howlers! We HOWL our VERITAS! We SEE and BE--OURSELVES manifesting in our art! Sich bestreben FELLOW HOWLER! Hallelujah receives your thanks completely and thoroughly, savoring every drop of gratitude! We inspire each other! Hallelujah!

  5. When you talk about fearing failure, think of that poem Robey put in her book about the dream of a hive inside the writer's heart and the bees busy making comb and honey out of all the failures.

  6. Dear SEE SEE, thank you so much for reminding me! I asked Robey for the poem that moved us all I have copied it here for other PILGRIM'S EYES:

    Last night, as I was sleeping,
    I dreamt--marvelous error!--
    that I had a beehive
    here inside my heart.
    And the golden bees
    were making white combs
    and sweet honey
    from my old failures.
    Antonio Machado
    from Times Alone