I know I’ve been away from art for months now. I can’t seem to get my mind back to a sitting still place. Even though, I have been doing a lot of sitting still—just a restless, unproductive kind. I have been experiencing a lot of emotional stress, and some weird physical symptoms. A lot of heaviness has been on my mind, and physically, I am feeling the toll of that in a new and unique variety of ways. My dissociative tendencies have gotten healthier and more manageable but I have a lot of internal work to do.
I am hoping that with deep breathing, mindfulness, and getting back to art via art therapy might just be the thing I need right now. Once again, I am back to building up my confidence by doing a small thing, which will hopefully lead to momentum. I smiled when I doodled these images on my phone—a positive sign that I’m in need of this expression.
My poem, “Momentarily” is in the Summer issue of Sweet Tree Review. I was drawn to their theme of ineffable connectivity.
As you likely know, connectivity is something I say and struggle with a lot. I also use poetry to get me to or into a connected state, so it was a pleasure to pursue that idea with this publication. The presentation is beautiful, and the other works included are lovely.
My poem “Three Little Sisters” is published at The Bookends Review today. It’s nice to see another poem there. I’ve also discovered other wonderful poets from this review. I feel so fortunate to have found it, and have included it in my weekly reading. This is the last poem of mine they will be publishing for some time. It’s been a pleasure. ♥
My poem, “Present Eventually” is at The Bookends Review today! Super pleased to see another poem in that venue.
It’s interesting looking back on this poem, as I wrote it several years ago, but so much of it is applicable to the internal work I’m doing recently. I know what I was writing about meant different things at the time, but it’s amazing to see those words come back to me as help in the present.
I love the illustration by Germán Salazar, shown with my poem—it really matches the subject matter well, but also adds additional symbolism.
I’m still reading and re-reading through the book, and it’s hard to pick favorites, as the theme blends so well with voices chosen.
I have enjoyed Carly Quisenberry’s “Love Poem for Me,” and Beth Copeland’s “Cleave,” and Madison Tompkin’s “The Fingertips of Ferns,” especially. ♥
A few weekends ago I finished the MSF Course, and thus began my journey in searching for a motorcycle.
What I didn’t anticipate, and what is now obvious is: I’m short, I’m 5’2″. So, I needed a bike that would accommodate that! This became very obvious after making a trip to see a bike, and loving the look of it, but realizing that I had to stretch to reach everything. Not a good plan. I really shouldn’t have to point my toe out like a ballerina to reach the rear brake! I realized I needed to try on some bikes.
I spent some hours with some lovely people, who were kind and helpful. Their S40 had gone through several women riders in their family, and she was well taken care of. I felt all the more comfortable, as the woman I was buying the bike from was built just like me—short and stocky. My research and my knowledge of it all came together, and it felt right.
I brought “Pinkie” home! She is a single cylinder 650. She has one carburetor. She is simple, not a lot of parts (which is good for repair and upkeep).
I am also happy with her styling. I don’t know a lot about her performance through my experience yet, but people really seem to be loyal to the bike. I found an online forum which is excellent with support and technical knowledge. I am so excited for all that I’m going to learn, the confidence it’s going to build, and the adventure!
I was playing around with Photoshop, learning some skills, and came up with this.
It seems like a very fitting theme for today, as I’m going to look at a motorcycle, and I’m doing some intense therapy / healing.
This print, various other items, and a throw pillow, are all available at my Redbubble Shop.
And a throw pillow that looks like it belongs in a therapist’s office.
I know I’ve been distant the past month. This is due to many factors—visiting friends out-of-town, which was refreshing, working through abuse memories and healing (always), but the last few weekends it’s been about learning how to RIDE A MOTORCYCLE.
This is something I never thought I would be capable of, having been told since childhood that was so too dumb, too uncoordinated, or just plan incapable of anything! These thoughts have been plaguing me, creeping in—I realized I was experiencing a lot of self-doubt and hurt because of this self-image I still carried.
Recently, I was talking with a friend about working on being more present and connected to my body, and he said, “you should try doing something in your life that demands presence and connection.” After some thinking, I thought: I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Thus, the idea was born. I signed up for a local safety class, and over the weekend I took their written and riding exam and passed!
This may sound straightforward and simple, but for me it wasn’t.
On Day One, I dropped the bike, and snapped a piece off it of. I fought a lot of emotions, crying briefly, as other people whizzed around me. I took a deep breath and determined not to quit. Whether I passed or not, or had more difficulties, I thought, “no one could say that I was a quitter.” On Day Two, I had trouble with an exercise and had to reign in my emotions again. Sweaty, sunburned, and bodily fatigued, I carried on. I failed my riding test. I was discouraged and sad, “maybe what my family said is right—I am dumb and uncoordinated.”
But, I communicated with the riding school, and they were very willing to allow me to take the riding classes again and the test free of charge. I reasoned that likely I wasn’t dumb, but was tired, nervous, and it was a new concept to me. I had never even really used a manual transmission before, so what was I expecting? I gave myself some love in my heart, and became resolute, thinking, “if average people can ride a motorcycle, so can I. I have two arms and two feet, and two eyes, I can learn.”
This past weekend I took the classes again and the riding exam. Everything was smoother. The fear factor I had before was gone. I was more comfortable being with a group of people (something that was panic attack-inducing to me not too long ago), I was connecting to my body (I suffer from dissociation, so this is a big deal), and working on active listening (asking others for clarification—which also used to cause panic in me, because I used to feel so small and inhuman).
I’m going to be writing some more about what I learned and experienced, and I’m going to be writing about my adventures in motorcycling.
By telling you about my experience, my message is, if you want something, keep persisting. And remember, if average people can “get it,” you can, too.
I have decided to do an Artist Spotlight series, with the aim of introducing you to new artists and their works. I also intend to analyze and break down my reasons for liking the artist. What is it I’m drawn to? What part of me identifies with the artist? It is beyond, “I like this piece,” or “that is an incredible amount of work and talent.”
I’m not going to be highbrow and try to even begin to assume that I really know what I’m seeing when I’m looking at an artist’s work, or their intention—that is entirely their domain, and reason, and head space. But, I will say that I will break down in terms of how I feel, what pulls me toward the work, the artist, and what I feel I’m learning from the pull of experience.
I may even cycle through artists several times, and different artworks. I don’t want to this academic. I want to this to be self-discovery through others’ discovery. Just like a good poem leaves you learning about yourself, and then asking more questions, so does great art! ♥
Without further ado, here are in-studio images of Hope Gangloff to entice you. I highly recommend you view her completed works with time, space, and attention, here.
I love Hope Gangloff’s work. I’ve been entranced with her for several years now. There are many reasons for this: of course, her portraits, which are always what I’m drawn to, but there is more.
The intimacy of her subjects, all being friends she knows well, and has spent time with
Her color choices are pop-art bright and alive
Her lines, loose, and young, with structure as needed
Her inclusion of household objects: sometimes as setting, mood, commentary, or just for their shape
Large format, which is eye-entrancing and pulls
Subject matter: common life, friends, free time, and rest—small wonders of every day life, and enduring friendships
The works’ overall tone: like a friend you could tell you life story to over a bottle of wine—kindness and tolerance exemplified