Monday, September 28, 2009


I am celebrating today and every day because I am awake on my LIFE'S JOURNEY. Are you? 

I turned 50 years old last year. How many years left of my life do I have to JOURNEY?

I insist upon making my life MEAN something. I want to FIND connections and to honestly FEEL that people and events in this world are related to ME in some vibrant way. That if I vote in an election, it results in public health care. That if I help an international student learn English (my day time profession) he or she can gain access to a job or university. That if I grow my own tomatoes, it reduces my footprint on this earth.

In my twenties, I chose to live EXISTENTIALLY. If I could not entertain one God or one religion to meet my spiritual needs, I would impose significance on the events and people around me. I chose to CREATE ART, and I granted this activity relevance. I chose to people my world with friends and family members that HONORED me, and I HONORED them in return.

I am on a pathway of learning. I seek a FEELING of congruency that my mother calls "PEACE." I want my mother to know that I find PEACE in KNOWING I am on the JOURNEY. I do want to feel the EFFICACY of my life, that my actions matter and that yours do too. I want us ALL to matter in this space, this time--right now. I am NOT suffering. NO! Instead, I have an intense craving for MORE of the good stuff of life and the ability to express that stuff in image and word.

Here in this image, "I AM A PILGRIM,"  I am travelling with Wandjina, a God from Northwest Australia. I invited him into my psyche as a STRONG MALE ANIMUS--energy, direction, and action. Hallelujah was feeling slightly lonely, and in her universe all one has to do is NAME WHAT SHE WANTS.

Wandjina is the aboriginal creation God. He created the Great Mother Snake who gave birth to the earth and all its seasons. He and I are now travelling together so that I can learn more about CREATING. 

I painted this part of my journey on Saturday, September 12, while hosting my friend Kyla, who had come to paint with me. We decided to do mandalas, wonderful circular drawings that create safe spaces to nurture our hearts. I was particularly pleased with the vibrancy of the water color pencils. It took me three layers of marking and wetting to achieve that. I also like how Wandjina rises above me to protect my way.

I am also traveling with my ferocious and mighty feline companion, Misha, who is approaching his 15th year. In these 15 years, this quadruped has taught me the joy of catnapping. His furry body stretching across the bed, the floor, the pillow, and my lap in complete and utter sustained joy has persistently ANNOUNCED to me the infinity in the moment of BEING HERE NOW. 

Perhaps MEANING is DOING and BEING IN OUR BODIES,  and then HOLDING these two actions simultaneously in our consciousness--without JUDGEMENT!

I AM A PILGRIM--ARE YOU? Thank you for being here for Coffee With Hallelujah. I would like to know about your meaning making. That's it for tonight--HALLELUJAH!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Please meet Hallelujah in her "first form" as she appeared to me this past August as I was working on my quarterly goal of "Joyful Catnapping."''

I found Hallelujah peering from another dimension. She is looking into the PILGRIMAGE from my former life. During the summer, I was working on uprooting myself from being stuck. I was adoringly stuck on old ways of thinking, familiar but unproductive ways of getting things done, and sporting a sour attitude. I was afraid of changing. Stuck.

Artistically, several things are going on for me here. First, I am experimenting with a fairly new media for me. After almost 20 years of painting with acrylic and latex paints on wood boards, I have recently been working on paper with archival pens, gouache, water color pencils, water color crayons, markers, and paint pens.  It was also new for me to cut out paper, paint it, and sew it on to the primary image. Then I relied on acrylics and glitter to "finish" whatever felt left undone. 

Second, along with experimenting with how I could use this new media, I have also been patiently asking new iconography to appear for me. I wanted shapes and forms to help me SEE who I am. PEERING into myself, I have been asking once again that lifelong question: "WHO AM I?"

I expected my images to answer me. 

In two paintings that preceded this "Hallelujah Sees," I wrote the words: "I SEE." I experimented with drawing the vine with leaves to show "growth." It was in this Halleluhah image that I succeeded in expressing: THE FEELING OF GROWING THROUGH SEEING. (Sorry because of the limitations of my scanner, this is a portion of the original painting.)

The BIG question I ask of myself is: "What do I see?" I see that the time has come for me to MOVE emotionally and intellectually. We all have these fantastic moments in our lives when it benefits us greatly to alter our ways of being. 

THIS SEEING QUEST IS MY JOURNEY. I will look about and truly try to take in what is appearing to me. I will listen and strive to hear what is being said. 

That's it for tonight. Thanks for having coffee with Hallelujah!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


My vision is that we are not alone on our journeys. This image originated from talking with Jen Hilburn, the ornithologist on St Catherines, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. 

In my desire to connect my art with my love of the environment, I urged her to tell me about her conservation work on the island. She told me about the plight of the American Oyster Catcher (AMOY), a beautiful black and white, orange billed migratory bird. 

It is no longer reproducing at a rate to sustain itself. Over time, unless we humans can help the AMOY, it will die out. Jen, like other ornithologists, are taking action to help this bird reproduce such as building artificial sand bars so it can build its ground nests and incubating eggs until they hatch.

When Jen saw my images of the AMOY with the guardian angels, she talked to me about being a scientist. Scientists do what they can. They are not angels, she said. When the scientists' actions fail, the birds will die. We can remain hopeful, and we can remain vigilant. Action must be taken. She was very serious.

I understood Jen. She wants all of us to take action to do what we can for the Earth that we live on. We shouldn't anticipate miracles. If all of us were more like Jen, the Earth would be a better place. We are not alone on our journey. I know that there are more people like Jen. And all the time, more of us are learning.

Let me know what you think about my painting. Even more important, tell me what you are doing to take care of the Earth? Can all of us be scientific guardian angels? That's Coffee With Hallelujah! Good night!


Welcome to my blog, "Coffee With Hallelujah." Will you join me in a discussion of my pilgrimage and yours? Are we artists only when we engage in our art making? Or can we create lives that are filled with surprise and imagination? Can we keep discovering ourselves and those around us as we grow old?

The idea for this blog originated last week. As an artist who sets quarterly goals, I was wrapping up my goal of "Joyful Catnapping." Instead of striving to achieve a numerical goal, such as 10 paintings, 1 website, or completed illustrations for a children's book, I had decided to experience joy each morning as I sat down to create "art." I had decided to "see" what would happen. 

It was with great delight that I expanded my vision of the world, and from it emerged another self: I introduce you to HALLELUJAH! This is my more fluid self, one who truly is ready to go into the unknown. 

I enjoyed 12 weeks of drawing with Hallelujah, and I felt disheartened when our time ran out last week. At that moment, I found myself at the center of a "Little Five Points." Here in Atlanta, where I live and work, there are junctures where five roads come together in one place, and they are called "five points." 

Well, this image came to my mind of ME, serious dogmatic visionary RuthTruth, standing in the center of "five points," a beautifully configured star. Each arm of the star represented an artistic job or duty I was feeling I needed to do. I envisioned a locomotive expressing me away from my center place with Hallelujah. I felt my joyful catnapping fade and anxiety simmer. There is just too much to do! Where do I start?

Then I had an epiphany! A shooting star, Hallelujah! I would arise from my bed, and I would know that FIRST--before anything else--I would have Coffee With Hallelujah. I would honor myself and the joy I experience when I ask: What can I discover today? Only then, would I EXPRESS myself to the task at hand, and I would bring Hallelujah with me. 

We would do our work together joyfully and integrated. I would find a new way to accomplish my work, like a cat napping!

Join me. Join Hallelujah. Where are you in your life? What is your journey? Call forth your art.