Friday, February 28, 2014

HEIGHTENED EXPERIENCER OF LIFE: Day two traversing the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina

CITY SCAPES CAN MAKE ME WEEP. How beautiful are the intersecting lines here? Just yesterday, I waited here for the free bus that ventures around the city of Raleigh in about 20 minutes. I saw this space only with anxious eyes while I worried about where I was going and how I would manage a day on my own in a new city. Today, I am the experienced traveler of Raleigh. Today, the city reveals another layer of being to me. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for practicing the "art of looking and seeing." Hallelujah for thinking inventively and for living one's life as if it were a heightened experience! That is what I do! I am the HEIGHTENED EXPERIENCER OF LIFE.
THE HEIGHTENED EXPERIENCER OF LIFE. This selfie was taken right outside of the Sheraton Hotel. I exited the building from a different door and whoosh--the experience of the city was different! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
THE DIFFERENCE A DAY CAN MAKE. Yesterday, Sir Walter Raleigh was wearing a taffeta skirt. Today, the skirt is at his feet! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
I am blogging twice in the same day in order to share more photos of Raleigh, North Carolina, and the way I spent my time solo, traversing the boundaries of self. 
KINESTHETIC APPRECATION. My body inhales the city of Raleigh. The cold air, the concrete beneath my booted feet, my pocketed hands, and my squinting eyes. Behold magnificence! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
ENCOUNTERING SPRING.  (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
ANOTHER VIEW OF THE GLOBE. How exciting to stay in a city long enough to see its sites from different perspectives. Walking is such a joyful way to view a city's heart and soul! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
ECSTATIC EXCLAMATION. In this one image, look how much of our sophisticated beautiful planet is conveyed! The bones of an enormous veterabrate are pictured behind an artistic rendering of a synaptic vesicle, "a tiny structure deep inside each nerve cell that stores and releases neurotransmitters." (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

RESEARCH IN THE MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCES . My Chiboogamoo takes a break from his Science Online Conference 2014 to answer ichnological questions that colleagues at the museum! For me, where was the joy and amazement found? It was manifold! First of all, I got to go into the collections in the basement of the museum, how awesome is that? Then I transformed myself from single tourist into the wife of a paleontologist who documents his scientific activities. I am the promoter of one of the best ichnologists in the United States and possibly the world! Finally, one of my greatest pleasures is meeting the colleagues of my husband, and today I got to meet Chris Tacker and Trish Weaver, really nice geologists/paleontologists. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
SEEKING THE NEXT ADVENTURE A PIED. After eating lunch with Trish Weaver (my beloved Chiboogamoo had returned to his Science Online Conference), I returned to the streets of Raleigh, reading my map and seeking out galleries. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
See this blog, to engage in part two of my day at the North Carolina Museum of Art!

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! And the way I chose to envision my day in the streets of Raleigh. Inventively speaking. SOUL BLOG with me and tell me about your experience of living life inventively--putting the ummmpphhh in it!

BEAUTY BEYOND EXPECTATION: Discovering the North Carolina Museum of Art

APPROACHING THE NCMA. It is a mysterious experience approaching the North Carolina Museum of Art from its distant parking lot, a novel experience for me. At first, I felt flustered and unsure how to access this complex, sophisticated museum that is FREE to everyone. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for experiences that transcend your expectations! Hallelujah for traveling to spaces where existence is heightened in the form of ART! Dear Pilgrims, today I ventured to the North Carolina Museum of Art and met with beauty beyond my expectations, AND I was amplified.
SEEING WINGS? Do you see wings on this figure, "Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian"? Was it intentional?  . (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
For this blog entry, I am beginning with the piece of art, a sculpture, that some how captured my SOUL--"Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian."

Named "Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian" by Michael Richards (1963-2001), this sculpture was cast from his own body in resin and fiberglas, with the airplanes being attached by steel bolts. Michael Richards had crafted this sculpture to pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airman, African American pilots from WWII, whose contributions were not recognized at the time. The reference to St. Sebastian refers to the arrows shot at the Christian martyr while "Tar Baby" refers to an African American folktale. 

The eerie part of this sculpture's "spirit" is that it now evokes a sense of the artist who made it. Michael Richards' studio was on the 92nd floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center, and he died in the terrorist attacks made on 9/11.

Stumbling upon BEAUTY is something I expect in a museum of the magnitude of the North Carolina Museum of Art. However, experiencing such poignance about the artist's life in conjunction with the object the artist created surprises me beyond my expectations.

And this museum in Raleigh, North Carolina, had more work than I could even nibble on in the two hours I was there. Therefore, I will post only the images I came upon surrounding the West Wing.

SILVER TREE! I stumbled across the ornamental bundles of grass in my excitement to view this tree. I had never seen anything like it! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
SQUEAL! Awesomeness! To be in the presence of such a large sculpture that mimics a part of nature resonates with my sense of order in the universe! I wish I had something for scale in this image so you could appreciate its magnificence. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

A RODIN SCULPTURE GARDEN! Surprise and awe propelled me forward in my journey around the museum! This wintry February day chilled my fingers and the cool air whipped around my face, but I gleefully strolled from sculpture to sculpture. Who designed this garden so artfully that pulls the viewer from work to work, moving around plants, water, and stone? (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
AT THE BACK OF THE MUSEUM! Alone, I stepped around the back of the West Wing of the North Carolina Museum of Art. I had not yet entered the building, nor had I seen anyone else. The DISCOVERY of it all in silence was a huge experience for me. Aren't these sculptures intriguing? How is it ordinary objects are transformed by size, material, arrangement, location, and light? As I was moving around the building a young woman bedecked in a long flowing white wedding dress moved to this site with an entourage for wedding photos! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

ART AMPLIFIES! Forgive me for not learning names of the sculptors. How I wish we could live with sculptures like these in our parks. Would we take them for granted? Or would we be forever changed, living in their shadows? I believe they make us more, amplifying our experience. Thank you ARTISTS! Thank you North Carolina Museum of Art! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me about your experience with beauty! What is beauty to you and how do you experience it?
AMPLIFIED SELFIE AT NCMA! See this blog to see my "heightened experience" of being in Raleigh, North Caronlina. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

TRAVERSING BOUNDARIES: Hallelujah goes to Raleigh, North Carolina

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA. On one of the last days in February 2014, what could be better than to stroll through the streets of this beautiful southern town. Raleigh is walkable and filled with museums and friendly people. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for Atlanta, Georgia, my city! Hallelujah for loving one's home! And then, Hallelujah for moving beyond the boundaries of one's home and venturing forth! Perhaps to Raleigh, North Carolina!
THE UNEXPECTED. How surprising to find this statue of Sir Walter Raleigh adorned in red taffeta! But then travel is filled with surprises! Yes, where we go and what we see is part of a brief moment in time. What will you capture in your day that you will treasure before it passes away? (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
CAM STANDS FOR CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM. Today was an important moment in time for me. I was in a new city, and I was alone. My challenge? To have fun seeking what I alone wanted. "What do I want?," I asked myself. "Art, please," I responded, not realizing how much I support and nurture my Chiboogamoo's interests when we are together. Explorations into science would have to wait until the afternoon. That decision was delightful!(photo by Hallelujah Truth)
RALEIGH SELFIE. As a participant in the Facebook Group 365 Feminist Selfies for 2014, I have grown accustomed to taking photos of myself every day, wherever I am. What a fantastic exploration of self, place and time. I suggest you try it. If you are a woman, I suggest you join the FB group. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
CHOCOLATE AFTER CAM. Wow...who would have thought that Raleigh, North Carolina, would have its very own chocolate factory? After several hours of viewing art, I decadently engaged in sipping chocolate at the Videri Chocolate Factory! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
ART SPACE. Post chocolate, I continued on foot and sought out more ART! I was so delighted to spend my time in ART SPACE, a fantastic gallery and studio space filled with vast varieties of art! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
STREET ART. Traversing boundaries often reveals similarities in the surprises. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
THE BEAUTY IN THE OLD AND NEW. Time collides as cities age and the old folds into new development. We become more than the sum total of our parts. We are that third thing which is difficult to name. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
WHAT DO THESE ARTIFACTS MEAN? Although a canon is a familiar artifact to me, I no longer know why we have these ancient weapons around our cities. Why do we want reminders of war in our public spaces? Am I the only one who thinks this way? (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

I LOVE THE WORLD! Yes please! How fun to see this huge sculpture here on a street in Raleigh! Was it associated with a bank? (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
THE MUSEUM NATURAL SCIENCE. A  Blue Whale! How awesome is it to see such a huge skeleton suspended from the ceiling?  (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
RALEIGH SEEN FROM THE 17TH FLOOR OF THE SHERATON. Traversing the streets of Raleigh on day one of my visit was supremely pleasurable--even though I was alone. At dusk my Chiboogamoo returned from his Science Online Conference 2014, as I was hotfooting it from the Museum of Natural Science so that we could have appetizers on the 17th floor of our hotel as the sun set over Raleigh. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
That Coffee with Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me and tell me about your traversing boundaries. When  you leave your beloved home, where do you go? Have you been to Raleigh, North Carolina?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MAKING THE ARTIST'S BLOG SUSTAINABLE: Let's engage and discuss this idea

Hallelujah for ART! Hallelujah for the Internet and BLOGGING! Hallelujah for the ARTIST’s BLOG!

Yesterday, Tuesday, February 25th, 2014, I gave a presentation at a place I have grown to love and cherish: C4 Atlanta—an organization that envisions Atlanta artists earning a living making ART! C4 Atlanta “connects arts entrepreneurs to the people, skills, and tools they need to build a successful artistic career in metro Atlanta.”  And, yesterday, I was one of those people!!!

CELEBRATING THE ARTIST'S BLOG AT C4 ATLANTA. It was my pleasure to share my perspective on the Daily Artist's Blog at C4 Atlanta in the Fuse Center. Such a nice warm and interested group of artists, writers, and entrepreneurs were present to engage in a discussion about sustaining a blog. (Photo by Callahan Pope McDonough)
Yes me! I am a person who can help others (including myself) build successful artistic careers! You know how? There are many WAYS oh beloved artist! And yesterday, I addressed the ARTIST’s BLOG as one of the avenues!

I began with two words that are really important to me FUN and SUSTAINABILITY! Follow the FUN because it is filled with energy, excitement, and discovery! Make that fun SUSTAINABLE.

What is SUSTAINABILITY in this context of living the life of a fun-loving artist?

To answer this question, I’d like to first think about how essential it is to know what our bodies or “bodyspirits” need to be SUSTAINABLE. We need to sleep and be rested. Yes, we need to work to earn a living, but we also need play and relaxation. Good-bye to the competition with others over who is more exhausted or worked more hours! Hello to a SUSTAINABLE life-style of rest, work, and recreation.

Once the ARTIST knows how to rest, work, and recreate, then SUSTAINING an ARTIST’s BLOG follows this pattern of resting, working, and recreating. A blog entry can arise from any one of those three segments of the pattern. KNOW THYSELF, your rhythms and what you need. Let your blog flow from there.

For me, the ARTIST BLOG is personal and expands from that intimate place to meet the public (blog readers) who want to see the environment an artist inhabits. So for the artist part of creating a SUSTAINABLE blog is establishing an inviting environment for the SELF.

Speaking of SUSTAINABILITY invariably brings me back to MOTHER EARTH, GAIA, and what SHE needs to be SUSTAINED. What we learn about ourselves and our own needs for easeful living, let’s apply to our understanding of what the EARTH needs…let’s give HER equal amounts of rest, work, and recreation.
LISTENING TO CONCERNS OF AN ARTIST. I love, love, love to hear what other artists' concerns are about blogging. It is so very interesting to learn about their work and ideas and what they desire to communicate! Hallelujah for communicating about one's art passionately! (Photo by Tony Martin)
That’s Coffee with Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me and tell me what you like about what you think of the environment of my blog? Do you lead a sustainable life? Tell me what your methods are! And, meanwhile, bless you and may you rest, work, and recreate equally!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

ART IS MY MEDICINE: Drawing the imaginary companions that give me strength

MANDALA OF SELF. Invoking the good for me. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for ART AS MEDICINE! Hallelujah for finding like-minded Souls through blogging about my journey as an artist.

Right now, I am summoning the ARTS to collect my spirit and surround me with all that I love. Yes, I love the natural world with such a force it makes me cry when I think about it.

So my hair is falling out and I have been diagnosed with a health problem I don't want to own or mention here! So! So...I am summoning my drawing of Hallelujah and I am bedecking her with hair. Flowing serene hair dancing from my loving temple!

I draw to summon love, logic, and serenity with ease. 

In this image you witness today, I have invited my repertoire of images to join me. Yes to the presence of wise old turtle, who is foundational and represents the four directions of possibilities (north, south, east, and west). Yes to alligator, ancient survivor, navigator of earth and water, mother ! Yes to wallaby who is present to my insecurities and provides warmth and assurance! Yes to Wandjina, Australian creation god, masculine energy and companion! Yes to mother snake, creator of mountains, valleys, rivers, and seasons!

Dear Art Pilgrim! Art matters! Art Heals! Wish me well in my journey towards healing. Wish me deeper knowledge acquired from this mysterious journey into the life I love!
ART HEALS.  Hallelujah for the journey and the powerfulness of imagination and creativity. The journey greets us at the door of UNKNOWING. I'm going in! (Art byHallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and share your journey with me. Are you using ART AS MEDICINE?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

REPETITION IN THE DAILY CREATIVE PRACTICE: Seeking a shift in the way of being

GROUNDED IN SELF.  (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for The Daily Creative Practice! Hallelujah for finding a way to walk the path of one's own imagination to creating health for the bodyspirit with ease!

For me The Daily Creative Practice is a form of meditation that supports many other creative endeavors in my life. Drawing along with my cup of coffee brings me joy and focus in all that I do. I continue to be thankful for this blog, Coffee With Hallelujah, as way to nurture myself and my creative life.

This morning, I was focusing on the themes of "love, serenity, clarity, and joy" and "honor thy strength and love thy temple." Because of some health issues I have encountered, I am exploring new ways to envision my mental and physical well being--merging them together into the BODYSPIRIT with ease!

When I begin to meditate on and draw a new theme, I allow myself to start with the familiar, always returning to what I know to be true. My drawing hand holds memory of the images that nurture me and name who I am. 

Drawing regularly expresses the way I learn and manage information--through physicality. Through daily repetition of the physical expression, I begin to move in the direction of my thoughts. Some times something "new" visits me! A new shape, symbol, color emerges on the surface before me. Some times, the image remains familiar, an old friend greeting me.

Here, in the images that you see on this blog entry an "old friend" has returned, and I have used the most basic tools: mixed media paper and watercolor pencils. Then I have altered this one image in Photoshop to experiment with three different ways of seeing myself.  
I am surprised how there is a central image in my repertoire of art making. This portrait doesn't look very far removed from one of my very first paintings when I was working on a series of Medusas, for me symbols of transformation. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)

For now, I am seeking a shift in the way of being...increasing ease and joy, and am open to experiencing grace. I am asking to be healthy, healed, and whole!
My hair energy sings of love, serenity, clarity, and joy. I honor my strength and love my temple (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and let me know about your Daily Creative Practice. Why do you make art? How do you move yourself forward when you are inviting a positive change into your bodyspirit?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CREATING WITH EASE: Separating myself from the irrational negative through art making

Hallelujah for CREATIVITY! Hallelujah for MAKING ART! Hallelujah for envisioning one's health and drawing images to support that! ART IS MEDICINE!

Yes, I create art to SAVE MYSELF! I ALTAR my ART and meditate, pray, and envision the affirmative, kindness, and abundant health--acquired WITH EASE.
You might ask what I need to be saved from....

Excellent question! I need to be saved from myself! I struggle with issues of worthiness and not being good enough. I will assume guilt at the drop of a hat. And I have been known to be a suffering martyr! Internalized thoughts impact the body. My body!

I have a doctor's appointment on Friday in order to address the hair that I am losing. Yes, I have lost hair which has manifested itself in a large bald spot on the top of my head. And I'm losing more. Let's see the medical reason why!
I'M WHOLE, HEALED AND HEALTHY. I love playing with my images in Photoshop. Here I used the "cutout" function and it abstracted my idea just in the way I needed it to be expressed. The "irrational negative" is to my left here. I'm in the center, saying: "STOP!" The figure on my right was intended to represent calm and a "moving away" from that irrational unwarranted harm that is not mine to own. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)

Meanwhile I will address the spiritual reasons. I am dancing and drawing out from my bodyspirit the irrational negativity that I have allowed to "inform" all of me--my mind, my heart, my soul, my body. It is easiest to refer to all of these parts of self as the BODYSPIRIT.

THE BEGINNING OF A NEW JOURNEY. How does one change how one thinks, behaves, moves, and just generally "BEs"? By making art! Visualizing, drawing, painting, blogging, and proclaiming. Dancing is useful too! I am super  charged and aligning my life with the universe of loving kindness and truth. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and share your thoughts about art as medicine and how you address the negativity in your life!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

THE SUN IN MY HEAD: Transforming my experience

THE SUN IN MY HEAD. (art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for the SUN! Hallelujah for BEING TRANSFORMED by this SUN.  Dear fellow pilgrim, I am in the process of accepting the magic of the phenomenal world! Its powerfulness, its connection to me--my bodyspirit!

This year, I am engaged in two endeavors that are transforming me powerfully and irrevocably:

1) A YEAR TO LIVE. This is a curriculum of reading, writing, meditating and meeting to discuss my life in the context as if it were the last one to live. How challenging, frightening, and engaging. 

2) INTERPLAY. A practice that "takes the best from art, church, and therapy. It playfully reintegrates body and spirit through new ideas and practices and is dedicated to community building, artfulness, fun, and transformation for anyone. (from Phil Porter, Having It All)"

This past Monday (February 17th, 2014), I met with my discussion partner, Cecelia Kane, to discuss "A Year to Live," and we talked about chapter four in Chogyam Trungpa's book, Smile at Fear. In a synchronous way, the chapter is called "The Sun in Your Head." The idea is to plant the SUN, which is a feminine principle, in your brain. By putting this sun in our head, we become wakeful, fearless, gentle, and gracious...thereby becoming a spiritual warrior ready for growth and fertility! 

This reading of the chapter, "The Sun in Your Head," was synchronous for me because I have been envisioning this powerful cleansing light from our Cosmos coming into my bodyspirit through the crown of my head! I have been doing this meditation with the goal of renewing myself, grounding me in my body and connecting me to the Earth through something larger and more powerful than myself.

With InterPlay the focus for me is integrating all components that make up SELF into ONE. Instead of being separated into mind, heart, body, spirit....I am beginning to see mySELF as a BODYSPIRIT. And this way of BEING is transformational....

There is more to share, but for now, that is Coffee With Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me and tell me if you have experienced the SUN IN YOUR HEAD!