Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bittersweet Fall: Red, Yellow and Orange

I enjoyed spending some time in western New York state last week, but it did rain a bit. I was eldersitting my mother at my brother's home and while she napped, I got into a bit of foolishness with wet leaves. The result was the pumpkin face adhered to a car parked in my brother's yard. It gave my sister-in-law a laugh when she pulled into the driveway later that day. I much enjoyed seeing the colorful leaves everywhere, especially the deep red ones, since we hardly ever see those here in Houston. When I lived in upstate NY more than three decades ago, I remember how the red leaves on the sumac trees clung to their branches even past the first snowfall.

I am rarely in the mood for Halloween anymore. Maybe I felt more in the mood when I lived on the East coast. But as a Texan, I have gotten into Day of the Dead. I've made retablos and sugar skulls and attended various festivities and art shows. This year I look forward to celebrating Day of the Dead by attending a cooking lesson/dinner party offered by Lucia Bettler of Lucia's Garden. Lucia sells my collage and assemblage creations on consignment at her shop, such an honor and pleasure.

For some serious contemplation on the meaning of Halloween/All Hallows Eve, I recommend reading a post entitled "Into the Wild" written by my friend Bonnie Casey. Her My Write Mind blog is always well written, often self-deprecating and inevitably rich in wisdom. In it she asks us to use this time of year to ponder the dark monsters which inhabit the wilderness of our psyches. Call it soul work or reflection, it doesn't much matter. When I travel and get away from my daily routines, I find myself growing self reflective. I feel more able to see the "big picture" and then find it easier to identify what's most important when I return home. Seeing Fall in the northeast was bittersweet and my soul was stirred. I am in awe of how Bonnie can so easily turn her soul inside out when she writes. Here are her closing words: "May we all have the courage to go into the wild, unexplored recesses of our deeper selves, and there find treasure and healing."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Unitarian Universalist Chalice Collages

I've had it in mind to try doing some UU Chalice collages for some time (in fact, that Post-it note just about lost its stickiness on my bulletin board...). An upcoming auction at First UU Church of Houston gave me the impetus to start this new series. They are presented above, in descending order of creation.  "Holy UU Blazes" is my favorite. The flaming chalice is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith. All involved some use of paint and/or colored pencil, so that makes them mixed media collages. I have done spiritual collages in the past, ranging in subjects from Buddhism to labyrinths and the Virgin Mary, but I am glad to have finally addressed my own faith. All the collages are small, most about 5" square. Three of them will be for sale at the annual Auction on Saturday, November 3, 2012, at First Church, 5200 Fannin Street, Houston.

Images: UU Chalice 4 (Holy UU Blazes), UU Chalice 3, UU Chalice 2, UU Chalice 1: Collage series by Keddy Ann Outlaw