Wednesday, August 5, 2009

transformation: goddess of grace

Acceptance of my personal journey, unconditional love and the balance of life are themes that provide the foundation for my artwork - my life's work. It is my pure intention to inspire self-love and healing through my art. The marks I make come directly from Spirit and generate energy through the use of vivid color. Each image radiates with strength and the joy of existence. As you gaze at the colors and movement, multiple stories are communicated that affect the viewer at a cellular level. It is my intention to shift your current way of seeing and thinking about your life, and all life. I am aware of the power of my work to create glorious manifestations of harmony and joy with conscious intention. I address every creative idea I am blessed to bring forth with clear vision, positive feeling and enthusiastic motivation. Deeply grateful, I work in serene confidence as the flow of my creativity moves out into the world. I uplift and dissolve anything seen or unseen that stands in opposition to this truth now, and forever. Intending only goodness, harmony, peace and love, the perfect law brings each work into full manifestation. And so it is.

- Catherine Courtlandt McElvane, Artist Statement 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

in her hands

spirit said draw and so i drew and people liked it and wanted to buy it and then i started trying to think of ways to market it. so busy brain clicked on . . . prints, t-shirts, mugs, earrings, portraits, website. got dizzy, got a big headache, got real cranky, had to stay in bed and didn't draw at all. then i tried to draw, no actually i tried to direct the energy and choose the paper and the colors. stuff came out on the paper but it wasn't beautiful. it wasn't recognizable as related to what had come before so i stopped and tried some more on the same page. a jumbled mess of lines with some figures and a profile. and spirit said stop, go lay down again cause all i said was "draw" when u asked "what will i do?". let go and let me do the rest.

that's what i get for thinking too hard, too much. when i got up i just listened and purple paper appeared and told me not to worry because it is in her hands.
c - me

Sunday, May 3, 2009

what's up now? - the goddesses

my girls and I have been dancing with the luminaires collective at my church - no actually my spiritual center, 'cause we are more than a little different from church as i have known it previously. spring performances were scheduled for mother's and father's days to celebrate the sacred feminine and masculine in all of us. so we started meeting before we danced to really address who we are as people, women, girls, all god-expressed. in the course of all this shacquel our directress brought in her vision board and spoke about one of the pictures she'd selected because she was looking for herself as a goddess. so i asked her for a sheet of paper and she went home with one. herself as a goddess. bic pen on copy paper, dots and swirls. she made copies, gave them out. posted one in the house and then it was on. hers started talking to her like mine had been for a minute. the first two are attached to one of my earliest posts and they used to talk to me all the time when they were hanging in my house - mostly about getting out and seeing the world until i entered them in a show. one sold immediately and the other is out and about talking to other folks for now. four more goddesses came fast and furious - air, earth, water and fire. up on the walls at Center Vibe. now goddesses had been appearing for years on the borders of my meeting agendas, notes, backs of receipts, and on paper plates but never before like this. the first full blown one came through in Chad's sketchbook this summer. luckily i snagged a few xerox copies before the original got done in by sharpie blots from another page. a color copy of the colored copy one "heart & mind" hangs in the window above my drafting table presiding over the new ladies and gentelmen emerging everyday. the ladies above came thru as representatives of some of my fellow luminaires shortly after brief conversations with each one. a while back my friend ratasha had described the butterflies that appeared on a painted tabletop i created for her as "a dialogue with the divine". my work process feels like that all the time now and it is wonderful! if you are interested in a portrait of yourself as God/Goddess expressed contact me at $70. will get you a color reading and a 9"x12" hand drawn portrait, suitable for framing within 2 weeks.
with gratitude, peace and love,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

it has been a minute . . . and here's why

happy birthday to me. 42 years old yesterday 3/11! truth be told i haven't been online in weeks. after doing all that i am doing at the end of the day i have just been turning myself off so i can recharge somewhat to process all that has been happening and then rev up enough by morning to keep mothering, keep moving, keep searching, keep living.

my mom had what we all thought was a stroke. on sat. 2/7 my brother-in-law who usually is a work came downstairs to find her standing in the kitchen with her pants on backwards pouring milk into a bowl that wasn't there. he immediately called 911. at the hospital she knew who she was but not where she was. she was slurring her words and could not follow the doctor's commands. every test known to man later we still don't know what happened to her. 2 days later her speech returned to normal and all was well except she wasn't walking and is still having wild swings in her blood sugar levels. since there was no sign of stroke it was time to leave the stroke unit on tuesday. however, you gotta walk to get to the house so we were advised to find a rehab/care facility. shame on us for calling it a nursing home out loud. she told us she didn't want to go to a nursing home - repeatedly, loudly and at midnight she stopped breathing. which set off alarms all over the place and secured her a breathing tube and a space in the ICU. because she kept trying to pull the breathing tube out they sedated her heavily for several days. but here I am thinking at 2am though . . . if you got enough juice to pull something that large out of your neck how bad off can you be? and she looked really pissed off to me.

ok, i am definitely not the doctor in the group - that's my sister, her husband and all their friends. luckily they were willing to translate dr. speak for me when asked. the funniest part is that with all these highly trained professionals in the room speaking advanced prescription label not one of them made the connection between her loudly stated unwillingness to go to a "care facility" and then stopping her own breathing hours later. it's officially listed as an "unexplained breathing event" but I know better. after they tested everything again only to find nothing they woke her up and pulled out the tube. she immediately requested but was refused some fried chicken wings and we kept on rolling - back to the stroke ward. three days there, more tests and it was on to the rehab center and now she is home with an attendant, visiting nurse and physical therapy. whew!

in the meantime the was-band mentioned in the previous post was allowed to stay on by the grace of god literally. under duress i did some major praying and spirit said to let him stay. didn't ask why just did as i was told and was grateful because i would not have been able to move around freely and do what needed to be done without the help on hand. i have to give props because some long dormant gene kicked in and he played the role of hands-on dad complete with folded laundry and clean kitchen. it was a joy to witness. spirit came through again when a friend sent him some buddy passes to get him to california. we took him to raleigh to catch his flight out. made a day of it by hitting some museums and having dinner with a friend. the kids are sad which sometimes makes me sad but i know that this is an essential chapter in our collective story. not everyone can do the whole family deal effectively especially if you haven't perfected the self thing.

so that leaves me working on my self thing out of which is forming: running 2 miles at least 4 days per week along with weight training, daily yoga and meditation, life visioning, one huge goddess painting, "wings and dreams" illustrations for a new children's book, and a gang of insights and great ideas. taking it easy on myself one day at a time and doing only what feels okay because my goal is staying clear and staying true.

with gratitude, peace and love

Monday, February 2, 2009

rebirth of the cool

many, many times in the past few weeks I have nearly lost my cool in a big way. this past week especially, but knowing GOD, gratitude and the Reiki Promise (thank you sister Tracy) have kept me in the light. i realize now that people don't respect the cool until you lose it or perhaps the cool is so unexpected in challenging times that they feel that they have to raise up the uncool within you to know that they are still in the right place. but if you commit to being the cool you may go off the rails for a moment but when you return if you stop and look at shit for what it really is you come out the other side so clear that it is truly amazing.

for example: i am "hosting" my was-band for the time being as he reconfigures his life to move on to another space to find himself and "show" me. to which i say "go on with your bad self because i know, i have always known that you have it in you to be as successful as you want to be no matter where you are in the world."
so what started as monday and tuesday the week of the inauguration and the "big" snowstorm has continued now only to end with the receipt of tax return $ sometime in the next week and a half so he can get to the job waiting for him in Cali, and while it wasn't an invitation that i wanted to extend it has been okay only because i have committed to the cool. truth be told up until thursday he was being a model citizen. helping to clean-up, around for meals and homework time, driving kids to school. i think he may have adopted a bit of the cool, "when in rome", or so i thought.

the cool has resulted from my decision that in the aftermath of everything - 12 years of tit-for-tat crap and a general need to wreck shit that my life moving forward no matter what happens will be about maintaining a sense of serenity by knowing peace, love and harmony. but you can't have that with a person who is addicted to drama and confusion. so this cat waited until i got home from work Thursday to do some idiotic shit that i would be sure to see up in my home and in the "conversations" that followed admitted that he knew i would both see it and get mad. i swear to you all that for a moment i just knew that somebody was going to have to come get me outta county. but instead i took a break. i got in my car and drove around - stopping at intervals to really feel what I was feeling. some meditation, a cup of chai at starbucks, some yelling, some crying, some cussing. i got it all out and felt so much better. but the real point is that i got it all out. i didn't realize until i thought through everything that i was holding on to more than a few notions in other parts of my psyche that were illuminated and cleansed by this one event. deep down i had been waiting for an apology, a turn around, an aha moment and this showed me so clearly that i will never, ever get it. what's more it has nothing to do with me nor anything that i have or haven't done or can or cannot do - and i am so damn grateful for the insight. i knew that i was doing the work to get there slowly and surely but life has a way of creating events that act as fast-forward.
but in the midst of this he calls to say that i need to "come back right now . . ." - in a tone that seemed to indicate that he'd re-injured himself on whatever he'd bumped his big-ass head on earlier in the afternoon. as you might imagine my response is largely unprintable but in a nutshell he was instructed to sit tight, suck it up & deal and that i would get there when i got there. i got off the phone and then laughed myself silly because only a true ass would have wanted to deal with me where i was in that moment and had i "listened" i would be rockin' an orange jumpsuit with silver bracelets right now and i can guarantee that he would have been rockin' a neck brace, a head wound, bracelets and an orange jumpsuit as well. but i digress . . .

in short the cool will save your life. cultivate the cool this week ya'll.
with gratitude, peace and love

Friday, January 2, 2009

my earliest artistic memory . . .

but now that I read it again i realize that this was the first time i would fight for my right to pursue my craft without comment nor interruption. i first sent this out via email back in 2004 to a group of friends. the reply from one dear sister/friend who i thought i knew everything about was stunning because i always knew she was an artist. all her closest friends are and her convoluted reasons for going to law school never made any sense to me. what i didn't know was that her mom had quite effectively shut that part of her down due to her own fears about her ability to make a living - despite her winning an Ebony Jr. art contest when she was eight. i think about how often i am talked to "sensibly" by people i love who are convinced that i should do something else, anything else for whatever their reasons are. every now and then in the past 41 years i have been convinced - momentarily. this year every day i will recommit myself to knowing that my work is my god given gift to share with the world and it will always be worth the fight.

back in preschool there were only two easels, so everyone didn't get to paint every day. maybe everyone didn't want or need to paint everyday - but i did. so today is my day, it is my turn, and I am painting. a house, with flowers outside and a BIG yellow sun in the right hand corner. having just swept a brilliant blue sky across the page . . . here comes this round headed kid. bugging me. tapping me, pissing me off. i tell him to stop, to leave me alone. yes, thank you. i really like my house too. can you please move? go. I AM PAINTING!!!!

i call ms. haines over. she redirects him. i paint. he's back. i am carefully drawing a black outline around my house and adding double paned windows. it is looking good. there will be a swing set out back. i am in the zone, ignoring him but he is jacking up my concentration. bouncing around, talking. what is he saying? why are you talking to me? can't you see i am painting! i ask nicely, "please, leave me alone". i look up, i look around and then he is even closer to me talking again. his head is really big and very close to mine. i have no choice. i dip my brush and paint a large black X on his forehead.

then, i turn back to my painting, keeping an eye on him from the corner of my right eye while adding a few more yellow flowers to the front walk. he is stunned - and looks up cross eyed to see what is on his head. he's not certain what has happened to him but he knows it is bad. me too, but I don't stop painting. flecks of yellow and green add definition to the front lawn, a few red flowers - tulips, my favorite. then . . . he starts wailing. a long wide wail like a siren. i keep painting, faster now, adding a swing set with red seats in the back yard, looking out for ms. haines with the other eye as he runs screaming now to the other side of the room. and then, in an instant, painting is over. i am lifted away from the easel, apron confiscated, hands washed and escorted to the time out corner. i try to plead my case. i asked him to stop repeatedly and notified the proper authorities yet I am now in custody. an outrage. i use my time in time out to plan next week's painting . . .

what's your earliest memory as an artist?

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year in Pictures

at the start of 2008 i promised myself that i would get off the tip that helping other artists get their groove on in schools and making art with kids was "my art". not that those activities were bad or wrong it just wasn't being authentically me. sure, i got illustration and graphics work from folks who saw me doodling on the margins of my agendas in meetings and that gave me a measure of satisfaction but anyone who knows me well knows that while i am an awesome supervisor (smile) and a capably interesting employee my heart really ain't in the 9-to-5 on any level.

i'd had a bunch of work sitting around the house for years so I put it on the walls and then - no lie, they started talking to me . . . about being seen, being bought. the goddesses wanted to see the world. so "goddess coat" lives at ms. marilyn's house now after being in the international house show. my munny sold at a silent auction at Niche Mkt. The others have been an ongoing sketchbook project. Just vibing on how the colors jump off the black paper. all because i committed to making, doing and showing.

can't close without giving props to jaisiatic whose talent helped me see myself in a whole new way. i am looking forward to collaborating in 2009.

happy NEW year!