the necessity of creativity . . .

This morning I had an easy stroll through a part of the Heights yet explored by me. It’s hard to keep a good pace when I see so much that needs to be captured. My creativity has reached a point of flowing so loudly, I cannot silence it, even if I wanted to.

 

like liquid fire

Creative expression is not a luxury for any of us, it is a necessity much like air, water, food, sleep, etc. It’s just that when we are out of practice of unleashing that need to express, it gets quiet & slowly dries up, yet it is still there, always there waiting for us to start noticing & then coaxing it back into a full flow again. That is where I am today.

But I know what it is like to have life, work & family take over where it feels as if there is no time or energy to express my creativity. I may have been busy, but part of me was dead, lifeless & I ultimately didn’t feel fulfilled or complete.

why just fence between these two trees?

I love my new iPhone for this purpose. I have a lot of cameras, from simple to complicated ones, but today my favorite is still the instagram app on my iPhone. It makes creating interesting, soul-full images easy, less time-consuming, with an instant result.

teal & grass green

I believe the best first step in recovering your creativity, is to start paying attention to what catches your eye. If it is a color, or a building, a contrast of two colors, a person, a crack in the sidewalk, the roots of trees, it hardly matters, but notice it, ponder on it, notice everything that draws your attention. Take photos of them.

Slowly that aspect of your inner being will start trickling a long with your interest in it, then it will give you more, open up further, wider until you won’t be able to stop it. You will need to write a story, a poem, take more photos, rip up paper, get out your pencil & doodle, sketch, paint, sculpt & dance. You will be filled with so much energy you can’t stop or slow down & there will never be a lack of ideas of what to create or express next.

three faces of red

love this polaroid app ~ shake it!

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my book of scraps . . .

book made from scraps

I made this book for collage class. I love the layered edges where all the different papers & cardboard show. The cover was a failed collage that I cut up, see so it really is made from scraps. I love this idea. It sort of feels like all my art is made from scraps of my memories. I can’t say it was my life, not the reality of my life, who knows really what that was, all I have are my memories & the meanings I gave to these events.

So within the pages I wrote snippets of thoughts like scraps of memories, songs, words, inspirations, they may make no sense but it would be incredible if anyone who read them just pieced the scraps of words together between the flipping of textured paper & scribbles & allowed these words to make a personal meaning of their own.

last page

For years, I have dreamed of piecing together a book of images, words, etc from my experience in Iraq in this sort of way, that wasn’t linear or even very clear, more like sifting through scraps of images, poems, memories, bits of stories perhaps unfinished. The reader/viewer would be a bit of a voyeur who found a box of scraps & pieced them together to give them meaning, personal meaning.

Let me know if you think this would be interesting. I think it is organically coming together as I progress in my creativity.

The image above is one of my photos from Iraq transferred onto a brown paper bag using matte medium, letting it dry and then rubbing off the paper with water & my fingers. The bottom one is on cardboard that I gessoed first. I love the gritty feel it creates. It’s as if a photo has been found from a century ago, hidden in a dusty, damp attic. I love imperfection.

peony transfer with added tissue

Allow Freedom!

Allow Freedom

And the day came when I needed them.

When the battle was too big for me,

And the lawyer by my side.

I summoned them from the far reaches of time;

Legions of Mothers, Grandmothers, and all the Greats!

We shared this thing in common.

We knew the struggle to keep a child safe.

I called them forth for my little girl;

The baby I birthed,

The Little girl within me,

And every little girl throughout all time,

Who ever needed to be loved, protected and heard;

Every girl who ever needed the freedom to choose.

I gathered them into that courtroom,

To stand with me,

Arms linked,

Hearts connected,

Known, felt, embraced.

They came gracefully, elegantly,

Holding me with calm certainty.

I scrawled our intention in large letters and underlined, “Allow Freedom!

We didn’t come to destroy, conquer or ravage.

We came to defend and allow with love,

With Sofia Wisdom, empathy and grace.

We washed everything over with fierce

“Mama Bear” love of protection.

For one purpose, with one intention, “Allow Freedom.”

In our united front,

Madame Justice held up her scales,

The child was heard,

Her desire granted.

The judge proclaimed,

“I have never done this before,

I’m not sure why I am doing this now,

But I am going to allow the child to decide

Who she will live with and if and when

She wants to visit her father.”

{Silence}

Tears washed over the Legions.

They rejoiced in gratitude.

She was their child and this was

A victory for grace,

A victory for all they stood for.

A victory for all they ever desired;

For every girl to be heard,

Trusted and allowed the freedom to choose!

Freedom was granted on this day

For my little girl and therefore

For all little girls.

I wrote poem very quickly after sitting with such radiantly beautiful, soul-full women at the Sophia Conference in November of last year. The conference is hard to put into words but it touched, moved, shifted & changed me in so many subtle & not-so-subtle ways.

The court hearing was one of those magical, divine moments that today still seems difficult to believe. My daughter had been tormented and abused by her father for years and when I took her for the summer and stood up to him, he took me to court and this is what the court had to say about that.

Articulating this even in poetry is just one of the gifts that emerged from the Sophia experience.

If you are interested in attending next year’s conference in San Diego please get in touch with Laura Plumb at Deep Yoga!

new collages . . .

I’m taking a collage class at the Art League of Houston. Our instructor is Armando Rodriguez whose diverse background & wealth of knowledge of art & art preservation is expanding my world & understanding. I’ve learned so much in the first three weeks, it really is so much fun to be presented new & interesting possibilities with glue & paper. These collages below were inspired by Kurt Schwitter’s work, of course they are nowhere near the depth that he has created, but I’m soaking it in & finding my own expression by slowing down, planning colors & outlining a composition before just cutting & pasting like mad.

I’m really interested in telling stories with my work, writing, life, everything really. I think collage is a great medium for this.

This collage above was created from the lines of the canyons in New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment. The scribbles are from Finn who poetically added his input to a weekly meal plan. Larry asked what was for dinner on Wednesday night & I told him I wasn’t sure that I put the list in my collage. But now that I peak closer, it looks like something with veggies. :o).

ancestor worship

This piece above was inspired by Chinese New Year & the Taiwanese Taoist practice of Bai Bai. Which is essentially burning paper money for the ancestors to use in their after life so they won’t come back and haunt them (as it was explained to me by local Taiwanese – I am not a scholar of the Tao). In this collage there are pieces of the paper money, receipts, tissue paper from Anthropologie, the store which not only is pricey but is named after honoring cultures. It all ties together somehow, I’m sure you can see it! :o)

In the Name of Righteousness

Well this one is packed full of meaning, but it would be great to hear if any of you guys or gals reading this have any thoughts. Write them below if you do! I’d love to know. Oh & there are no wrong answers everyone will view it differently because we all have different perspectives, right? Right!

Much Love,

Katariina

 

street art in houston heights

2:12

I’m captivated by the street art I discover on the walls throughout Houston. Some are there and then they are painted over by some beige blob of paint to keep the color and messages hidden. This one above seems commissioned because there is a suitcase that sits in front of it daily. It’s gorgeous and makes me smile every time I drive by.

Here are some of the newer ones I’ve spotted. Some are sprayed, some stamped, some stenciled and then filled in with pen and the most intricate are pasted on. I think being one of these sneaky creators of anonymous art sharing is going on my bucket list.

on shephard near w 14th

Quasar

LiAR

this one seems like a stamp

red zebra sprayed

feed that which gives you life in every moment

Santa Fe is a pretty magical place in itself but amongst all those little adobe houses all molded together with mud there are a few enchanted spaces that exist for sacred gatherings, soft cultivation, and simple being. In these spaces time seems to stand still, perhaps they only exist in an alternative time space continuum that exists parallel to ours because when you enter with aligned energy it is as if you are stepping into another country and time period.

One such place has been cultivated by my dear friend Gregorio. The house on the corner of Alto street doesn’t seem to be anything too special until you sit for a while, soak in the energy, sip some tea and take in the array of collections from around the world. It’s not just the house or its caretaker, Gregory, but all the beings who orbit in this world.

After ten years of tending and caring for this tiny space with expansive heart Gregory is moving on and into a new space to cultivate, curate and unravel into new adventures.

” . . . from the old worn chair of my grandfather with a tear in my eye, and a smile upon my heart.”  Gregory reminds us, “to feed that which gives you life in every moment, mostly by remembering that something is constantly dying to keep you alive, every day.”

Here are some photos of his enchanted space.

The Apricot Tree

Gregorio

Django

chop wood

remembering Megan

Major Megan McClung

Today I am remembering my fallen friends, Maj Megan McClung, SSGT Mike Dickenson, Maj Mike Martino, and Cpl Salem Bachar. . This is part of my daily struggle – I don’t believe in war yet I mourn all those who we have lost in these conflicts. So today I take a moment or two to remember everyone who has lost their life, limbs, brain usage, and soul.

My prayer is that we will wake up and come home. Please bring us home.

let us not forget

I took the photo below for a book cover I was thinking about writing. The beautiful woman is Capt Julienne Shin. Perhaps I will write it someday. The photo to me

depicts the fullness or whole-ness of many who serve.

More meditation is always a good idea.

In war I saw the devastation and cruelity of humanity at it’s worst and I also witnessed exhileration and tears of gratitude for the expansive love and generosity of the human spirit. In this space of great divided possibilities I captured many insights  in the journals I kept. I thought about calling the book, “Slaying the Dragon.”

We’ll see . . . for now it feels too painful and stressful to dive into.

Slaying the Dragon

Slaying Dragons