where I feel most myself . . .

I figured it out. After a week of pondering the question of where do I feel most myself, while taking walks in the city, amongst the trees, hanging out in cafe’s, & so on. I finally realized where it is I feel most myself. It is somewhere close to me.

The archetypical urge to nest came to me later in life. I was 44 before I truly felt the desire to occupy a house, to make it my own, to make it a reflection of my creative expression. Even after having children I still didn’t feel the need. I heard about women who suddenly have the urge to create a home, redecorate, paint the walls while pregnant all in preparation for the baby’s arrival. That never happened to me.

But then after having my second child & moving to a new city into the first house that I bought with no furniture, just long dark wood floors I felt for the first time I had this need to live in this house & make it my home. I was no longer interested in travelling around the world or looking for the next adventure. My adventure became discovering a new way to cover my windows that was unique to me & my style. As I slowly created little altars throughout my house & picked out the perfect eclectic pieces of furniture I was able to witness my creative expression unfolding on a new, larger canvas, my house. What emerged over time were numerous installation pieces throughout my house. The installations keep changing, shifting with the seasons, but having a home as a canvas is a bit like living inside of myself.

we designed this - all of it!

THIS IS WHERE I FEEL MOST LIKE MYSELF because it is me.

I was told by a psychic a few years ago while living in Santa Fe, NM, that in my early 40s I would be overcome by an unexplainable desire to make roots in a home. At the time I was living in my RV (with wheels under it) and my daughter and I moved around to different campgrounds for a few weeks at a time, or sometimes we would house sit for others in some body else’s real house. We moved frequently. It seems whenever that clever North Wind picked up I would feel in my bones it was time to look for another adventure.

Antidote Coffee Shop

There are those places and things that inspire me; like trees, coffee houses, pubs, the ocean, but they don’t always make me feel myself, often I’m in their presence as an anthropologist, a visitor & stranger. It is not where I feel myself. I love being in their presence, I love watching the people, hearing the espresso machines do their thing, smelling pine needles, listening to crashing waves, smelling coffee, watching & soaking it all in but not to be myself. I can find peace & inspiration but I don’t always feel my true self in these places.

It is only in my home with my family that I can be mostly myself with unconditional acceptance.

my boys swirling in love

Well in my home & in boots. I realized this today when I awoke to a sudden, unexpected cold front & had the first opportunity of the season to wear my boots. It was heaven, like coming home, that must be why I loved being in the Marine Corps all those years. I got to wear boots everyday.

big love,
Katariina

i love my bed

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the new girl . . .

the new girl

Yesterday I had a very productively creative day. In the morning I had my Monotype class at the Art League of Houston where I made three new prints & started working on another.

Then I drove home went straight to my studio & started painting. I haven’t done that in a while & before I knew it I was lost in the creativity & the love of my new palette of three colors (thanks Misty Mawn & mary beth). Quinacridone gold is currently the most magical color in the entire world – YES in the entire world, possibly the universe.

When I was all painted & done I realized I was sitting with a new girl. Where did she come from? It was a few serendipitous glances, connections with other’s art, stories of a monkey named cookie, softening, becoming less precious with my strokes, allowing, opening a little & there she was, “the new girl.” I’m not sure what her name is just yet. She looks a bit surprised to be here possibly just as much as I am surprised she showed up. I’m thinking she needs a crow or a fish or at least a few flowers to keep her company or perhaps another friend to sit next to her.

I also added some cool embellishments to my photo of three stuck leaves in Nosara, Costa Rica at the Nosara Retreat Center (that’s a nod to the fabulous Abbie who owns the property).

don't rescue the beautifully stuck

monoprint - waterfall

new monotypes

All in all, I would say it was a lusciously, creatively, productive day. But what is really cool is that I know I’m doing what I’m meant to do for now at least because I can so easily lose time when I’m painting or creating. It’s either that I lose time or I step into an alternative time sequence that measures time in a totally new way either way I love it.

art asylum Houston . . .

bits & pieces

The coolest, cheapest place to find amazing doo dads & doo hickeys to use in collages pieces, assemblage or whatever you like is at The Art Asylum on Houston Ave. If you are not careful you will miss it because from the outside it is just a plane white
building but inside is a whole other story. Inside there are shelves & shelves of about anything you can dream of have been donated by others for artists to use.

front door - its easy to miss

not sure but they look fun

discarded dolls

old albums

i think she is scared of the skull next to her either that or she wants her body back

bowls of beads, bobbles & buttons

On this visit I found a little, string-less, cracked guitar that I’m going to decoupage for fun, a doll that I’m going to papier-mâché into a statue, and an amazing old photo
album – for a story to tell. And doilies of course, you can never have too many doilies.

the photo book treasure

so many possibilities for filling these pages

 

sporting new luggage . . .

my new luggage

So this is what I played with in the studio today. I bought a piece of vintage luggage last weekend at TExas Junk Store with the intent of painting it. I worked on one side today. I actually got this idea from a magazine that I can no longer find, but thank you for the inspiration who ever you are that was published in whatever magazine that was.

another look at this.

Also this painting has been hanging over our bed for quite sometime, but I haven’t really liked the color (it’s my mission to REALLY understand color) so I changed the color up a bit today. So a new take on an old piece.

the remix

Lastly this crow print/painting was created last week on a spur of the moment decision to create something that day & everyday for that matter. But this is what I came up with. Interesting stuff showed up in the scribbles. Like a black & white TV with the word “ouch” next to it. It’s an image from childhood. Crow is the protector of the castle. I am the castle.  Hmmmmmmmm?

the year i was born . . .

on my easel . . .

back to basics

This is a painting that sat & sat & sat on my easel while I tried different sketches but nothing seemed right. Then I painted over it with a slate oops paint & suddenly the possibilities blossomed into a monochromatic, chalk-boardy sort of image. It was different to highlight rather than shade on the nude – a completely different perspective.

Well anyways, here it is for your viewing.I called it Back to Basics (not sure why). I’m sure I’ll keep working on it because I always do, but wow, how different this is than my other paintings. I like that about it. If I keep creating everyday like this, I can’t imagine what my paintings will look like in five years – on my 50th birthday!!!! Woooo Hoooo!!!!

a closer shot

crow . . .

crow stamped on wood

I signed up for a Mono-type class for this semester. It’s starts in a few weeks. I’m so excited. In fact so giddy about it that I had to make my own crow stamp now, before the class starts. I just got this stamping rubber stuff at the Texas Art Supply & drew a picture & started cutting away. It’s so fun that I can’t stop stamping everything!!!

testing, testing,

above studio sink!

on beginning of painting

I’ve had this idea for making an american flag to hang outside on our patio fence. I wanted it to look old & add my style to it. As I started working on it further I decided that it would be a painting about the Marine Corps & war, but a light one. Really maybe it is more about how I joined the wrong Corps. I should have been in the Peace Corps instead. but I don’t know, I was probably right where I needed to be and odd duck. No regrets, some sorrow, sadness, anger, but no regrets.

Everyday as I gain more insight into who I am, really am, without influence from others, I move further away from those things that hurt me more than bring me joy. I seek out those things, people, experiences that are in alignment with who I am. This lessons the dissonance & increases the resonance. I don’t resonate with dissonance.

I visited a gastro doctor last week who told me that my colon was like a jazz band all the parts doing their own thing, not playing the same tune together. I guess Jazz has its place just not in my gut & not in my relationships or work environments.

make art not war

My stars are flowers. USMC is going off the canvas. 83 was the year I joined the Marine Corps. I wrote, “make art not war,” “all we need is love.” “love is all we need,” oh &
“war is never the answer.” Then of course, there is my crow.

Crow is the protector of the castle, the castle being your psyche. He also is a trickster & a shape shifter. Two aspects I love expressing. Tricksters make us think about things that are so firmly embedded in our beliefs that we don’t even think to question. I was a trickster in the Marine Corps.

This painting is about the healing & coming home to me, the me that was me before the Marine Corps.

 

Sunday Creating . . .

The beginning

Today, finally, after weeks of not painting I finally went up to my studio & worked on a this painting that had been sitting on my easel forever. It felt so good to be painting & creating again, without any expectation of what I would end up with. I just flowed in & out of colors, designs, scribbles & so on! I am not done with it just yet, but the most of it is done.

The words say, “Girl you’re amazing, just the way you are!”

The first step is to cover a your canvas (in this case it is a piece of cut up tempered hard board from Home Depot) with paper & paint in any pattern really, just to create some dimension to the piece. This was done weeks ago so the glue was dry.

Next is to wash over the papers on the canvas to create a backdrop for the image that will be painted. This can be so hard for me to do, but I’m learning that it is important.

wash it all away

Next I pick out the main image I want to focus on & either transfer, paint or collage it on. For this painting, I had planned to transfer this image on but I used too heavy of paper & then it didn’t work properly (these sort of flubs happen frequently) so I rolled with the punches & collaged the failed transfer image onto the canvas & then painted over it. Then I just added embellishments, a bird, some words, & other designs as they flowed out. I wish I had a better plan, but I usually don’t plan much, so the color & layout just evolve as I progress with the painting.

Anyways, it’s fun & highly therapeutic. The teacher from last week’s workshop saw some of my photographs & was so impressed by them that she asked me why I bothered with painting. It sort of hurt or rather cut at me because here I was working on improving my painting skills but it was a compliment as well. It just felt like an insult to my desire to paint better – or more betterererer.  But I thought about it & realized that I paint because it’s therapeutic. It just feels good to be in a creative flow with paint splashing everywhere & layering & layering. I love the process, it really doesn’t matter to me if I ever go anywhere with it. I’m enjoying creating now & watching my deeper creative emerge ever so slowly the more I am able to quiet the outside voices. I think if you have the inner urge to create, then we are obligated to create, even if it just to find some inner peace.

almost finished