a prayer for Raine . . .

My beautiful daughter Raine is now at boarding school 800 miles away. It’s a bittersweet experience for me; I know she is going to have the time of her life and make life-long friendships, but I miss her presence in our home. She is so funny with a mature sense of humor that always makes me laugh; and she is the one that understands me more than anyone on the planet.

Recently I read of a time when girls living hundreds of years ago went through an initiation into womanhood at about the age of 12 to learn the sacred ways of healing, living and guiding others.  This led me to dream up what feminine wisdom I could pass onto Raine before she left our home.

I imagined a secret school for girls like an etiquette class but oh-so-different. It would be a school to initiate girls into learning how to show up in the world in their power, using their most powerful skills, assets, knowledge in the best ways possible.

These are some of the things I would invite them to practice:

  • Alignment with the highest part of ourselves
  • Breathing deeply
  • Drinking water often
  • Learning to listen
  • Learning how to calm and address those emotions within through caring for the child within
  • Learning responsibility
  • Learning to take focus off of self
  • Awakening to and honoring the memory of our ancestors – women folk.
  • Learning to be direct and transparent while staying in their own power center.
  • Experiencing the power of field of energy that exists between us and learn how to increase it.

Well she left too soon for that to happen, but I also know there is still plenty of time to initiate her into all of this; a lot on this list she already knows because I have shared it with her and we practice a lot. With this in mind, I wanted to send her to school with a reminder of her powerful connected self. So I made this poster to go on her wall in her dorm next to her bed. I hope she reads it often and doesn’t forget. I’m already thinking of the next poster to create and send to her – perhaps a photo of herself with a phrase over it. I will be sure to share as I create them.

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new paintings

half of me

Just wanted to share my latest paintings foraged from the depths of my soul using the process learned by the magnificent Flora Bowley.

Instead of planning what I want to paint before picking up the brush, Flora suggests an entirely different approach. She likes to keep adding paint in different manners, using different colors, turning the canvas around until she sees something between the lines, splotches and dots. Then she told us to commit to that insight for a little while and keep adding more paint and on and on. I know that isn’t the best explanation but you’ll have to take one of her workshops to really get it.

The important thing that I learned was that the painting emerges most of the times as a surprise and in order to do this you have to let go of your thinking side and allow your right brain to lead the way.

Some ways to get into your right-brain more are to dance like a fool, move, talk nonsensical or make up silly songs quickly without any thought. Really anything that moves you into your body and out of your head will work.

 

These are just some of the first paintings to emerge from this style. I love this way of painting and I’m excited to see more emerge in this manner.

Ubuntu

watching over me

easy to love

my birthday weekend!

Agnes & Ginger

I flew to Berkeley, California last weekend to spend my birthday with my BFF Ginger. We signed up for Flora Bowley’s Bloom True Workshop, so that we could spend the weekend playing with paint like little girls. We had so much fun, finger painting, eating amazing food, laughing, chanting & re-connecting.

Flora!

Flora has this fabulous ability to inspire everyone to find their own style within while showing all her tricks & techniques to paint intuitively. This is a very different approach to painting than I have been taught in all my instructing. It is how I began painting, but then found my way back this weekend. I loved how although it felt as if we may have been going down an endless path she gave a way to pull it all together in the end. I wished I could have spent a week with her, it was that easy, flowing & fun.

Now the trick is to jump back in & keep exploring what moves me.

this was the beginning

The way Flora starts us out by just making marks & having others make marks on our canvases. Then you take a look to see what is happening.

This is what started to emerge.

The Teahouse Studio

then we added lines

THis one is done

not quite done, but almost there

Ginger & I had a fabulous time eating incredible food that included brussel sprouts, mussels, smelt & rhubarb pie!!

rhubarb pie

this is what flora created

Well to wrap it up, I fully recommend a workshop with Flora, even if you have never painted nor do you want to paint. Her process is really a metaphor for life, letting go, waiting to see what emerges, having patience, doing the work, trusting, being okay to make a choice, commit to something, & oh my goodness! more & so much more. I don’t want to give it all away, but sign up, rush to sign up, she fills up quickly. You won’t be sorry.

I also recommend stealing away with your best girlfriend for a weekend of pure indulgence on your birthday!.

I love you Ginger, thank you for letting me be me & loving me in spite off it. :o)

Big Luscious Love,

Katariina

sculpting with polymer clay

Lately I visions of a large sculpted women dancing through the air have been settling into my psyche, so I decided to make a mini-replica (a rough cut) of my idea out of polymer clay so I could show my art teacher, Armando. I want her to pivot on her foot and turn on a lazy Susan style device. I call her Bella Donna. (her butt was flattened in the baking process, yikes!)

This is what emerged from deep within me; a woman without arms, instead wings, a large booty, slightly arabesque, no ears and a crown on a bald head. Now that she is out and in clay formation. There are so many more at the door waiting to be formed.

There is something about art in this tangible, structured form that feels so easy, fluid, & capable of saying everything within me.

Now, the only question is how do I get her to be life-sized so she can float in our front yard!!!

bella donna by Katariina FAgering

little vignettes of beauty around my house . . .

sage, shell, peeled paint

I have been creating these little vignettes of color & texture around my house lately, all inspired design books like Hand Made Home & Sibella Court’s books, Nomad & Etc. I am just beginning to play with this sort of thing but it is fun. It takes interior design to the level of  art to me, more of an installation art, but one that is temporary, non-permanent, easy changed up – not so precious! It feels good to be surrounded by art.

This wood above & the ones on the mantle were gifts that Larry brought back from Nicaragua that he found on the beach. Those are the best presents ever.

I saved the best vignette for the last. I’m sure you will agree!

steel blue, porcelain, sage

mythical grey, acorn, number 2

prince albert red, drift wood, pale blue

Porcelain, sage, crystal

cigar box gold, blurry red, stacks (a mistake I love)

potty lime, pajama red, barcelona tour book

there is no need to be precious . . .

mini pizza box from Collinas!!!

Two mantras I’ve been creating by these days are, “There is nothing serious going on here!” & “Don’t be too precious!”

These both keep me light, child-like & in the realm of fun & open to so many possibilities that could flow in from just about anywhere. Nothing is off-limits in this realm. An old washer found on the street can be a pendant on a necklace, an old greasy pizza box can be a canvas, we can paint with our hands & tear bits of paper to make art.

This is the approach I took to my recent collages that I created on mini pizza boxes from Collinas. The first box actually does have pizza grease & a little sauce inside, but the second one I asked them for after I finished the first one and realized I wanted to make a pair. I chose a color palate out of one of my Sibella Court books, Nomad  for inspiration for the second one. The first one I was just using shades of blue & green to create a pseudo color wheel (which then after it was done made me realize it was the shape of a pizza – go figure!)

Pizza Box "not so precious" collage

The words read, “There is no need to be precious. Perfection is not required, nor ever sought after. Create to celebrate.” I borrowed the sentiment & re-worded it for this box from another design book called, The Homemade Home; living with art & craft by Mark & Sally Bailey.

This color wheel turned into a flower & an ode to Chipotle, with its burrito wrapper & chips bag. This one is my favorite. I had added words to it but didn’t like the look so covered up with more crepe paper (that was easy!).

So I used crepe paper, tissue paper from stores, silver paint pen, paper bags, burrito wrapper & masking tape! Then I went over the edges of all the tears & cuts with Tim Holtz walnut distressing ink & charcoal pencil. The first one also has blue chalk. I took the collage around the sides to create depth.

Color palette from Nomad; A global approach to interior style

I carried it over to the edges

Make one, if you feel so inspired & share the result with me! It’s fun, easy (if you use the tiny boxes), & great therapy!!! Come on & play with me & repeat after me, “no precious, no serious!”

Big Luscious Love,

Katariina

PS. Here are the cool books that inspire me again & again!

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