Friday, April 27, 2012


HOME AT LAST! Maria the Hutia returns home after a tumultuous journey at sea and being LOST. During the period of being separated from her home and all that is familiar, she makes new friends and engages their help to find her home--a pristine island where animals can live without intervention from humans. (art by Hallelujah Truth)

Hallelujah for the JOURNEY OF THE SOUL! The SOUL of Hallelujah Truth has pilgrimaged along with her Chiboogamoo's in the past 11 years and in doing so has grown volumes--up and down and sideways! As an artist befriending a scientist, I wanted to learn how to be with Chiboogamoo in his ichnological endeavors and still be HALLELUJAH. Becoming an illustrator for a children's story about an endangered animal in a threatened environment was one of the GREAT CHALLENGES I confronted along my way! Let me explain!

IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE FINGER PAINTER! When Sandy Voegeli asked me to illustrate Ron Shaklee's story about the young lost hutia, I was a finger painting, acrylic wielding visionary artist painting from my gut. This was the first image/painting I produced about Maria the Hutia's journey. It was done so that the children of San Salvador, Bahamas, who were participating in the first science field camp on the Gerace Research Centre could have t-shirts celebrating the story!

SCIENCE CAMP FOR THE CHILDREN OF SAN SALVADOR, BAHAMAS.  Ron Shaklee's Maria the Hutia was featured on the first science camp t-shirt in the form of RuthTruth's artwork. See me (now Hallelujah Truth) on the right, third row from the front, first person (I'm clapping my hands.) Sandy Voegeli, mastermind in the creation and realization of science camp is directly behind me. Sandy, having lived on the island for a total of eight years, knew that the children of San Salvador needed an opportunity to learn about the ocean and coral reefs that surround their island. The science camp on the Gerace Research Centre allowed the San Sal children to ride on the large field station vehicles  that they had grown up seeing going around their island. In addition, they used field station equipment to snorkel, studied about their precious environment in the classroom facilities, ate in the field station cafeteria, and when I was there, they painted a scene or animal from their surroundings on a canvas! In this photo, we are all proudly wearing the t-shirt with the colorful Maria the Hutia painting that is posted above. My images of Maria the Hutia evolved from there.


In the beginning was RUTHTRUTH, self-acclaimed Georgia visionary artist. She became the companion of a scientist who travelled the world in the company of other scientists. Initially, while much fun was to be had out in NATURE and during meals after FIELD WORK, I felt separate from the scientists. I did not possess their knowledge. Nor did I have a GOAL for being in the specified location. Therefore, I felt like an EXTRA on a movie set, drifting on the periphery, performing only when summoned, and of not much value.


BUT, then it occurred to me to BE THE ARTIST amongst the scientists even when not engaged in my artmaking--to WEAR the SOUL of RUTHTRUTH proudly and loudly. I would engage anyone I spoke with in a discussion of their CREATIVE SOUL...and I would SPEAK of mine. 

MAGIC HAPPENED. As it turned out, most scientists have large expansive minds; in fact, many are artists or intensive admirers of art. Geologists, paleontologists, biologists, botanists, geographers, etc. truly understand that ART informs their science and their SPIRITS (whatever spirit may be to a scientist). I STRUCK GOLD in BEING ME--my AUTHENTIC SELF!

TIME PROGRESSED and I went farther and further in my JOURNEY as an ARTIST. I determined that I needed to draw and set about drawing three images every day in micron pens. No mistakes were allowed. No erasing. I accepted every line my archival pen made. I made each drawing a success. I meditated during these drawings. I concentrated on the outer perimeter of my consciousness. I DREW and GREW. The JOURNEY of Maria the Hutia demanded it!
GREETINGS! When Maria arrives home, her parents run down to the shore to great her. Nothing like returning home. But remember Pilgrims, everything has been changed after the journey!

I LIVED on ISLAND TIME. In fact, I discovered a jacket that proclaimed this sentiment in a St. Simons Island gift shop along the Georgia coast, and every morning, I donned that jacket to create my three drawings. I was developing MY PRACTICE. It was my WAY to the DEEPER SENSE of SELF that I think is the purpose or meaning of LIFE.

LIVING ON ISLAND TIME. photo taken by Chiboogamoo on Jekyll Island 2011

The JOURNEY of drawing 27 images in micron pens and india ink has not been easy. I have suffered from doubt, quit several times, and felt inadequate. However, now "I've got peace like an ocean in my soul" (Elizabeth Mitchell, folk singer), because I allowed myself to fail and flounder but not indefinitely!

Instead, I gave birth to a new ME--HALLELUJAH TRUTH. The old ME, RuthTruth, still inhabits this new SELF. She is inside the TRUTH, just compartmentalized. The old me, like my name, RUTH TRUTH, is a little didactic and resisted the JOURNEY into not knowing. Yet, I desired a new way of BEING...something that only a multisyllabic name could honor. I tried on Arabella, Isabella, Hosanna, Hannah, and other "ah" sounding names until discovering HALLELUJAH!

My RENAMING solidified this JOURNEY of drawing, going deeper into the self, and recognizing the ME of now without restricting the ME of the FUTURE.

Listen to Elizabeth Mitchell sing, "I've Got Peace Like a River." The second stanza is "I've got peace like an ocean in my soul." We are all unique and meant to live this one life that is uniquely ours. My JOURNEY to self has been deeply informed by taking on the task of illustrating this children's story about Maria the Hutia. Thank you Ron and Sandy! How will you ALL travel along your PATH to GREATER KNOWING? Soul Blog with me at Coffee with Hallelujah!


  1. Finding time with scientists where we are free to venture past science always makes the experience richer.

    When will Maria the hutea become available?

  2. Dear K! RICHNESS is the perfect word for this entwining of art and science on an adventure. Ron Shaklee, the author is self-publishing and plans to get Maria the Hutia out by mid-summer! That is so exciting!

  3. I'm filled with bubbly happiness and peace like a river. Congrats, kick-ass artist you!