Sunday, August 31, 2014

DREAMTIME HALLELUJAH: Honoring infinite easeful joyful creation and connection through mystical trinity!

DREAMTIME HALLELUJAH 1. Introducing Hallelujah's mystical trinity! Hallelujah is all three: The Youthful Journeying Maiden (center), the Comforting Mother of Mystery (left), and the Primal Androgynous Alligator. (art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for YOU, the OTHER. For YOU are the reason I blog! Hallelujah for MY PRACTICE of drawing, for making images deepens me on my journey! Hallelujah for DISCOVERY of the NEW and hallelujah for ALL that stays the same.

I practice continuity through FAMILIARITY and passage into the UNKNOWN through established routes! What a thrilling way to travel in one's life! My LIFE is filled with the PURPOSE of BEING the same and something different--simultaneously!
DREAMTIME HALLELUJAH 2. How excited I was to see Wandjina emerge combined with Mother Mystery! Drawing is meaningfully fun. (art by Hallelujah Truth)
Always thankful for my humanities major from Pepperdine University, I believe my early college studies grounded my soul in metaphor. Thank goodness for poring through art history, museums, and Europe, expanding ideas by reading philosophy and immersing myself in religious studies, minoring in theatre, and always appreciating power of the written word! Over the years since then, I have grounded myself in easeful joyful creation.

Today I am celebrating the heightened MAGIC of BEING--words and image combined! Cooperating to create an altogether new entity! I have done so with images expressing my psyche.
DREAMTIME HALLELUJAH 3. We Hallelujahs began to celebrate by drawing #3. (art by Hallelujah Truth)

Ta da! Introducing the Hallelujah Trinity! Three Hallelujahs comprise one Hallelujah--DREAMTIME HALLELUJAH, past, present, and future. I am the same but different depending on deep time. Thank you for being the OTHER to hold the open space for me, for witnessing me--Dreamtime Hallelujah.

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me. Tell me what you think of Dreamtime Hallelujah and how you might imagine your mystical trinity!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

WCAGA DRAW 4 DAYS (Day #7): Drawing marathon finale with artist talks and the synthesis begins!

TIME AND STORY TELLING. This image of mine drawn in ballpoint pen on xerox paper of a photo of a Cretaceous outcrop in Montana's badlands in the Two Medicine Formation and manipulated in Photoshop represents different kinds of stories over TIME. (Story 1) The rock face itself is 75-million years old with preserved horizontal and vertical burrows made by an invertebrate in a fluvial soil in close proximity to dinosaurs. (Story 2) The "alien" figure is derived from Australian Aboriginal rock art in northwest Australia. Named Wandjina, he is a creation god. The Aboriginal culture goes back more than 20,000 years ago. (Story 3) Starting in 1988, I began documenting my dreams through paintings. Some of the first dream images were of snakes. The snake's rich symbolic value extend across multiple cultures, including the Australian Aboriginal culture. (Story 4) This summer (2014) was dubbed "Cretaceous Summer" by my paleontologist husband, Tony Martin, who took this photo of with the centimeter scale in it to measure the invertebrate burrows in Montana, where he was doing research and I assisted him. (Story 5) I was curious about what new story might emerge if I started layering stories over one another. How do we measure TIME? Earth Time? Psychological Time? Research Time? Draw 4 Days Time? (photo by Tony Martin (aka Chiboogamoo) and art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for fulfillment....conclusion to events like "Draw 4 Days" that are meaningfully rich! Hallelujah for climax and denouement of WCAGA's drawing marathon! 
TA DA! ARTIST TALK TIME. Barbara Rehg began the "Draw 4 Days" artist talk at the Further Polycontemporary on Saturday, August 23, 2014, with an explanation of how WCAGA began hosting drawing marathons that grew into this larger week long event. Jes Gordon (to Barbara's right) is Spreecasting the event. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Oh the artist talks were interesting, deep, and personal, each exploring what drawing means or meant to them during this week of intensive art making. The audience, who arrived at the Further Polycontemporary at 2:00, engaged the artists with challenging and rewarding questions pushing us past our 4:00 end time. How wonderful to connect, exchange ideas, and travel along the continuum of defining what art is and more specifically what drawing is...!
SERENDIPITY AND FREEDOM. Maggie Bethel invoked the words freedom and serendipity in the explanation of her work. DRAWING, I found from these discussions, has a wide berth to be almost any mark an artist makes! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Since authenticity is such a basic concept for me as an artist who makes art to be whole and healthy, I dug deep into myself to see what I wanted to convey to my fellow WCAGA members and our guests about my work resulting from the drawing marathon. What would my "artist talk" be comprised of?

During the 4 days, I had told "the story" behind the images I was making repeatedly to interested and sympathetic listeners. On Saturday, I felt the urge to tell my story in a different way, a way that would be fun for me yet still engaging for the audience. 

So...I decided to use an InterPlay form called "DT3"--which translates into Dance-Talk three times. The idea is that the words emerge from the body through the dance. DT3 is improvisational, and it is what it is, and I did what I did, my finale to "Draw 4 Days." I did get kudos from one audience member who said my talk got points for being the most dramatic!
POST DT3. Thanks to WCAGA member Anita Stewart for videoing my DT3 and taking this photo. I felt too uncomfortable with the video to post it. I will need more time for reflection and synthesis before knowing if my DT3 performance should be on the internet! (photo by Anita Stewart)
DRAW 4 DAYS MARATHONERS (Linda Hudgins, Helen DeRamus, and Jes Gordon not pictured). Yes! I requested a group photo before we began taking down our work, leaving, and going our separate ways for the present. What a group of warm and amazing CREATIVES! (photo by WCAGA member Helen DeRamus' husband)
THE FEMININE. This cloaked woman has been present in my image making for about 5 years now. She emerged as I began teaching women from Middle Eastern countries who wore a variety of head coverings and clothed their entire bodies but faces and hands. I took the liberty to have my feminine figure go barefoot! She represents mystery, the unknown, maternal nurturing, and the willingness to proceed, to move forward without answers, being curious. Putting her on top of a Cretaceous outcrop...well just seeing what story might emerge! (art by Hallelujah Truth)
SYNTHESIS OVER TIME. Process. Art. The Art Maker. Time. Stories. Fellow artists. Viewers. Words. How to bring them together? What product to generate? Great questions! One thing I am sure of is that BEING part of a COMMUNITY of ARTISTS is a joyful productive way to proceed exploring these questions. I am not alone. And neither are you! (photo by Tony Martin and art by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me about finales, synthesis, and time! What dance might you do to speak your art?
FINALE. The images come down! (photo and art by Hallelujah Truth)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

WCAGA DRAW 4 DAYS (Day #6): Preparations for the reception and deepening community connections

HALLELUJAH FOR WCAGA! This week of "Draw 4 Days" has introduced Hallelujah Truth (The figure in this image is Hallelujah) to a wider public. In addition, my portrayal of her increased in size. Hallelujah has primarily been drawn on 8" X 11" paper. In addition, she made it to canvas for the first time (thank you Callahan). You might say, Hallelujah had her debutante party last night. Thank you WCAGA for getting to a place in my work to make it more public. (art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for celebrations! Celebrating art, celebrating women, celebrating community! Hallelujah for WCAGA's "Draw 4 Days" and the scope of its ambitions: bringing women artists together in a public space to marathon draw with invitations to the community to join us!
CANVAS DETAIL!  (art by Hallelujah Truth)

How glorious the week has been speeding by with the rapidity of pencil and paintbrush strokes and wide open conversations and sharing! On Friday morning, a few of us finished our pieces, many hung their work for display, and all of us gathered for the reception. And what a festive reception it was! All of Tula Art Gallery was abuzz! It turned out that MOCA was having an opening reception too!

FINISHING TOUCHES!  (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO HANG A SHOW!  (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
HANGING HALLELUJAHS! WCAGA members were so helpful in everything we did this week, including hanging work for the reception. Thanks Linda and Barb (pictured here) and Maggie for helping me with displaying my work! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
FRIDAY AFTERNOON FREE FROM THE STUDIO! Friday afternoon was the first day in the week that WCAGA members engaged in "Draw 4 Days" had free to be out in our beautiful city of Atlanta!  (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
LET THE RECEPTION BEGIN!  (photo by Tony Martin)
Celebrating our creativity is important. For every one of us actively engaged in the expression of our SOULS through art, there are just as many waiting and wanting to express what is unique and special to them. When we acknowledge our creative work in community by having a reception, we enliven the entire population. What is possible for each and every one of you to create? What idea or experience have you had that you wish to elevate by making marks? What if?

YES TO CELEBRATING! The public turned out to celebrate our drawing marathon.  (photo by Tony Martin)
Tula Art Galleries hummed on the Friday night of our "Draw 4 Days" opening at Further Polycontemporary. MOCA had an opening and other gallery doors were flung wide open, wine was poured freely, and people flowed from door to door. Art matters. 

Big intake of breath! Hallelujah went larger this week. For years, I have been drawing on paper of modest size. Often I have left images unfinished--more than a hundred. Hallelujah is drawn almost every day but she has not appeared in public except on this Coffee With Hallelujah blog and Facebook. 
DEBUTANTE!  (art by Hallelujah Truth)

However, like a giddy debutante, Hallelujah was introduced to society this week. One WCAGA artist even invited Hallelujah to go bigger--wall size! Hallelujah was and is delighted with the thought of being enlarged, going out doors on walls and under bridges! Let's see what happens in the future. 

As we each one of us moves forward in our creativity, let's remember to be open new possibilities, to be gentle to ourselves and to others. We live in such a wonderful world that kindness invites BEINGS to be present to important SOUL matters. Expressing BEINGNESS makes us all more connected. That's why I love art. Let's embrace the question, "What if?"!

That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me! Tell me what you think of WCAGA's drawing marathon! Will you participate next time!?

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: I have learned this week that it takes a village to support artists. We are all connected, and this connection when acknowledged, can be deeply expansive and richly rewarding. Thanks go to my Chiboogamoo (aka Tony Martin), who ongoingly supports my art making, discusses my ideas, photographs me in action, accompanies me to my events, and takes me out into the world of paleontology. I am so loved by this man, and he helps make all things possible.

Immense gratitude to WCAGA and Barbara A. Rehg, who walks gently in this world but manages to engage everyone in her love of drawing. What a kind mastermind you are Barbara. You took your ideas for these drawing marathons over the years and engaged all of us heart, mind, and body in this extended one, "Draw 4 Days." You succeeded in magnifying drawing for the community. Powerful work!
DRAW 4 DAYS MASTERMIND!  Barbara A. Rehg, who developed the "Draw 4 Days" event from beginning to end, selflessly served the bar at the reception along with help from artist Marie Weaver. Thank you! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
How awesome is this world that we are given the opportunity to friend one another! I am so grateful for the WCAGA members I have gotten to know better this week while we made our marks in such close proximity. Thank you for being connected to your creative cores, making art, and sharing your ideas about the process from minus zero to plus, plus, plus! I love you all. 

THANKS CALLAHAN!  (photo by Barbara A. Rehg)
Special thanks to my buddy, girlfriend, fellow Facebooker, artmaker, and photographer Callahan Pope McDonough! Oh you took me to new heights this week. Thank you for getting me to sign up for this WCAGA drawing marathon, for sharing your knowledge and paints, and just for being honest, fun, powerful, and sweet! Love you much!
DANCING WITH THE FLOOR ART! Be careful when you get two InterPlayers together! You don't know what we might do like stretching out on the floor during an art reception! (photo by Tony Martin)
And Missy Christine! Thank you for coming to this event and bringing your guy Joe! It was so much fun hanging with you guys! Is WCAGA in your future?

Friday, August 22, 2014

WCAGA DRAW 4 DAYS (Day #5): Clean up, reception, and gratitude for art community and transformation

TRANSFORMATION THROUGH DRAW 4 DAYS.  "What if" was a common question I heard asked over the past few days at the WCAGA drawing marathon. One of my neighbors in the Furhter Polycontemporary Gallery, Marie Weaver, asked me, "What if Wandjina (the character on the right here), began to change?" In response to her gentle questioning, I thought that I would like to invite some transformation into my image making once again. I must proceed with caution as my images are symbols of my psyche. Was my psyche interested in the "play" with transformation? I had done it before at other times but Wandjina always melds back into Wandjina with little variation. Hallelujah for the invitation! So this morning I nudged myself to see what might appear. (art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for marathons with fellow artists! Hallelujah for working in close proximity with other creatives, seeing them work and hearing them talk! Hallelujah for transformations!

"Draw 4 Days" is winding down. Yesterday, most artists packed up their tools and media, crated tables and supplies out to cars, and bid farewell until the reception tonight at the Further Polycontemporary from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. How absolutely wonderful these shared days of drawing and painting have been! 

For some of us involved in the WCAGA drawing marathon, finishing up our images is on the agenda until 1:00. Then all drawing must stop in order to prepare for the reception! Please come and celebrate with us and see our the results of our marathoning!

As I continue to reflect on what has occurred for me in the past few days during "Draw 4 Days," I am so deeply thankful for an organization like WCAGA and the democracy of its members. We are all equals even though we have different levels of training and experience in our artmaking repertoires. There are several themes I would like to celebrate today: telling stories about our images, talking and listening to other artists, artmaking as prayer and meditation, and transformation.

To watch an engaged artist contemplating their work is transfixing. What are they thinking? What will they do next? Is there love present? Or the opposite...dissatisfaction? What courage it takes to progress through the unknown of creating a work! Oh to see an artist in action!
MEDITATION.  (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

PRAYERFUL WORK.  (photos by Hallelujah Truth)
During "Draw 4 Days," I heard the crafting of several stories concerning artists' work. In my special corner of the Further Polycontemporary Gallery, I heard my neighbors repeat explanations of their work each time another artist came by to inquire or guests asked questions. As the days progressed, the stories were told with more efficiency and skill--they became even more powerful than the first time I heard them. I noticed that my own "creation story" became clearer and more confident each time I told it. Experimenting with content, I provided different explanations, edited some things out altogether, and felt happier with my oral account of my images. 

LISTENERS.  (photos by Hallelujah Truth)
There is something so essentially human about telling stories to witnesses, to being heard! Hallelujah!

In conclusion? Transformation has occurred in my SOUL, in my CORE, and in my community! I have connected, created, and communicated. Listening and being listened to are transformative acts! I thank all the dear sweet artists I worked and played with this past week. You have given me the gift of an extended community. Many of you have validated my experience as an artist and urged me along my path. Thank you a million times over!
TRANSFORMATION TAKING BABY STEPS. What does it mean for me to integrate my animus figure with my Hallelujah self? I don't know. But it is fun asking, "What if?"! (art by Hallelujah Truth)
TRANSFORMATION CAN BE EXHAUSTING. By day 4 of "Draw 4 Days," many of us were feeling energy challenged. Callahan Pope McDonough takes a moment to stretch out on the floor while fellow artist Jes Gordon documents the event in black paint! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me about your art community! What have you learned or shared with one another. Have you been transformed?
GREAT EXPERIENCE. How fun to spend days making art with my buddy Callahan next to me! (photo by Loretta Paraguassu)
NEW FRIENDSHIPS FORGED. What a fun discovery it was to meet Loretta Paraguassu! I know that we have a future collaborating on something. I just know it! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

WCAGA DRAW 4 DAYS (Day #4): Reflecting on social connections while creating in community

FINDING OUT WHAT DRAWING CAN BE. During "Draw 4 Days," I have been influenced, impacted, smacked with BIG LOVE from other artists! Hallelujah! What is drawing? Well, well, well.... (art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for OTHERS! Hallelujah for WCAGA developing a communal place for artists to create and to have sincere interactions with one another and visitors outside the studio.
WE WANT VISITORS. Our event, "Draw 4 Days," is open to everyone. Please come see us. Draw on our chalkboard, floor, or your own notebook. Chat, look, and discover for yourself what drawing can be. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Today, August 21, 2014, begins the last day of drawing for WCAGA's "Draw 4 Days." Be sure to attend our opening at the Further Polycontemporary tomorrow night between 6:00pm and 8:00pm. I promise you will have a good time and a visual treat!

So far the communal drawing experience has been delightful, intense, and life altering--in just 4 days (including Sunday, the prep day). What will today bring? Ha, ha, ho, ho, ho! Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I would like to reflect on yesterday's IMMENSITY!

MY CORNER OF THE GALLERY. At the far right are my images and my precious work table. This event is the first time ever that I have drawn with other artists. The experience has been thrilling! Good fortune located me right next to my friend Callahan Pope McDonough and two women, Marie Weaver and Kate Landishaw, whom I have become better acquainted with. In fact, we feel so special we have dubbed our corner of the gallery, "Glitter Corner." (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Look at the far back of this photo where Barbara Rehg and Kate Colpitts are discussing Barb's piece. As the wife of a geologist (my wonderful Chiboogamoo, aka Tony Martin), I have looked at so many rock outcrops and listened to geologists interpret the Earth's machinations while staring at the rock surface for long periods. How wonderful to see this behavior of curiosity and exploration replicated in my life in the Further Polycontemporary Gallery with WCAGA members and their work in progress. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
WORKING IN CLOSE PROXIMITY. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
ALLOWS FOR GENTLE LOOKS AND WORDS. Spending lengths of time creating art next to one another over days, gives everyone a chance to slowly interact in supportive ways. (art by Hallelujah Truth)
THINKING DIFFERENTLY. During "Draw 4 Days," artists have asked me about my cast of characters. Would I like them to move? To tell a story? And my characters (a reflection of parts of myself) have started jumping up and down with excitement. They want to know how to "play" with lines. They want to know what drawing is and if it is possible to BE MORE or BE SOMETHING ELSE through exploration of line.  (art by Hallelujah Truth)
Over the course of three days, I have intermingled with the OTHERS--something new for me in relation to my art making, which has been a private process for me. I broadcast my images on this blog, Coffee With Hallelujah, but I haven't been open to talking about my work at its CORE. That is, if the discussion meant someone telling me to change what I am doing.

These women DO NOT TELL YOU WHAT TO DO; instead, they ask gentle questions like these:

Where do you want your work to go?
Can you see your work going big?
What would that mean for you?
How about randomly selecting 10 of your images, organizing them, and writing a story?
What about a book of images?
What about animation?
What do you know about the project Living Walls?
WISE WOMAN MAGGIE DAVIS. I know that Maggie would not really want to be called a "wise woman," but I just have to call her that! This fascinating artist has cultivated wisdom and knows how to gently share it--subtle like her painting. We don't have to limit ourselves with definitions anymore she said to me. Art? Artist? Genre of painting? (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

Then there is the amazing Callahan Pope McDonough. She brings me canvas, archival paper, and asks what else I need. She opens her entire supply of media to me. And when I ask for feedback about a piece of mine, she looks me squarely in the eyes and replies, "So you want me to tell you what I would do?" clarifying my question. RESPECT!
CALLAHAN AND BILL (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

These kinds of interactions feel important to me, life altering in ways so profound I can't express the HOW of the CHANGE right now. I feel energized and validated. How WOW-ZA is that!?
INTENSITY OF WORKING IN PUBLIC. In InterPlay, an artform I'm training to be a leader in, we have lots of useful ideas. For instance, "Change your life, change your practice." Well drawing in public and having these kind of deep talks with other artists is a VERY BIG CHANGE for me. And it feels life-changing. Another InterPlay expression is "Easy focus." Although I have some concerns about being criticized or judged while I am in the process of drawing my figures, I decide to shift my focus, releasing my worries to the larger universe.  (photo by WCAGA Member)
WORK IN PROGRESS.  (art by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me! How might you connect with community in support of your creativity? I hope that you have gained something from being part of my creative community by reading this blog entry today.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WCAGA DRAW 4 DAYS (Day #3): My subconscious goes bigger through support of fellow artists

HALLELUJAH MAKES IT ON A CANVAS SURFACE. Painting in close proximity with Callahan Pope McDonough means thinking in new ways. Her flury of artmaking is contagious and her generosity for sharing knowledge boundless. She has provided me with new surfaces on which to make my art. Here is the first piece I have ever painted on canvas, a substrate I have avoided because of my own proclivities. (art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for continuity of creative practice. Hallelujah for journeying with like minded pilgrims supporting one another in their art making!

WCAGA's "Draw 4 Days" is proving to be a miracle in creative practice for me. How delightful it is to be in the company of kind, energetic, and idiosyncratic artists. Women making art in the communal space at Further Polycontemporary Gallery on Bennett Street in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, is nothing short of a brilliant meteor shower with the accompanying "ooooohs" and "ahhhhhs"!

My second day was filled with the joyful ease of a cat napping in close proximity of other cats! As I must depart soon for the third marathon day of drawing, I will post photos here and write some descriptive captions so you might share in my catnapping joy! 
MORNING OF DRAW 4 DAYS, August 19, 2014. Day #2 of Draw 4 Days begins with posting the event more widely to ensure the public knows they are welcome to journey inside the Further Polycontemporary Gallery, where we are conducting our marathon. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
MORNING WORK ON DAY#2.  (photos by Hallelujah Truth)

An important moment for me was when Paul Light Jr. took time to talk with me about the images I had made during Day #1 of "Draw 4 Days." He was drawn to my art, asked questions, and went deep into discussion with me. Since I am an artist who works at home and primarily shares my work here on my blog, "Coffee with Hallelujah," it was very meaningful to have another artist connect with me, asking me wonderful questions about the "where" and "what" of my work. Then, the best part? Paul wanted to show me his work in the studio across from the Further Polycontemporary Gallery. Wow!
PAUL LIGHT JR AND HIS WORK. Paul felt there were similarities between my work and his. It was a new way of seeing my images in relation to another artist. The connection is more through ideas and emotions. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
What a thrill! Artists, visitors, and children kept asking me the "what" of my art. Barbara Rehg, the organizer for "Draw 4 Days," asked me to write down the influences behind my images. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I have elaborated on this topic for years and developed a "Cosomology of Hallelujah Truth," guide. I decided to make a new one today. Here it is for your viewing pleasure!

GUIDE TO THE COSMOS OF HALLELUJAH.  (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Another layer added to my day during "Draw 4 Days" was how Callahan showed me to use a varnish on the surface of my watercolor on canvas. She shared her media and time with me.  Being mentored unexpectedly during this drawing marathon has been such a huge surprise. Thank you Callahan, you are supporting profound change in me as an artist!
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIEND. Callahan graciously assisted me in my creative journey. Lots of love here. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
GOD BLESS THE CHILDREN. One of the most things about "Draw 4 Days"? The visitors in the form of these art drawing children! I had the most delightful exchange with the boy. He has a notebook of his dragon drawings, which he showed me proudly. He asked me about my drawings with Wandjina, whom he referred to as an alien.  I said he was a part of me. He talked about his dragon and knight being a part of him so I asked him what that image would look like combined. He answered with a drawing of a dragon in shining armor! How fun is that! Humans interacting in meaningful ways. Art and social interaction equals change. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
MY WALL OF ART END OF DAY #2. (photo  and art by Hallelujah Truth)
ART MAKING NEIGHBORS DURING "DRAW 4 DAYS."  (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me. Tell me what you are doing to support your creative practice. What is your creative community like? Who are you compatriots when making your art?