Follow Your Bliss Update

Daniella, Ralph and I with the new photosOccasionally, people “out grow” their paintings. From changes in experiences to evolving beliefs or even Life Event changes. In Ralph’s case, we “both” evolved from the original painting I did for him back in 2005.

When I was in Toronto back in December 2009 I noticed that Ralph had transcended his original painting, and knew I wanted to break it down into individual pieces to now incorporate Daniella into his life in images.

There will also be a fourth painting to this trio, representing Daniella – which will be forthcoming in the next few months. [Read more…]

Follow Your Bliss (Truth Courage Passion)

The wonderful thing about painting for other people is that (both artistically and otherwise) they take you places you wouldn’t normally go if you were only working at a level within your own self. You gain a different perspective by jumping inside their head and crawling around in their skin for a while. Not just to see the world how they see it… but to learn what they have learned by looking at the world this way. It is amazing what you can gain when you are willing to give up your strength, for a time, to learn the strength of another.

This painting was done for my good friend, divine doppelganger, and fellow Peter Gabriel disciple, Ralph Joseph. The title for this hanging comes from his recording company name, Sukha Records. Sukha is Sanskrit for “Finding Your Bliss,” (which I have done a slight variation on, though I’m not the first, I believe Joseph Campbell beat me to it). Not so coincidentally, it is also the motto by which Ralph lives his life. Quite simply, Ralph is a Radiant Manifestation of the Universe, and that is what I have tried to capture in this hanging.

This is the meaning behind Ralph’s painting:

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The Eye

You know… I had a really good reason for coming up with this name while I was painting this one. But, akin to the fellow who first discovered insulin… I forgot to write down why it is that name struck me. I can tell you, I’m sure it was something brilliant. This is in my living room.

Although I find my “inner animal” is essentially an otter, I still use the bird and whale as my symbols. I use the bird as I was born in the year of the bird (Tibetan). Okay, and yes I admit, I’m a Richard Bach fan and there is probably something in there which is a throw back to paying homage to Jonathon Livingston Seagull. I also love the resiliance of the whale (I have a Maori tattoo of a whale tale on my ankle), symbolizing strength, bravery, cosmic truth, and unity.

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Hanging 11 – untitled

This design has been a bit of an evolving work in progress, but definitely one of my favourites which is why I have done so many of them.

It has the sun and moon I use quite often, followed by a different take on the cycle of life (why I found it appropriate to give to the hospice). The bird (yin and yang) for flight, and the whale for perseverance.

This is one of the pieces I donated to the Sarcee Hospice, where I work (when I have time… sorry Sandy, I’ve been really busy… honest!!!) as a Palliative Care Crisis Volunteer.

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2 Tigers

Two Tigers went again to my biggest fans and cheering section, Andy and Fiona. I blame the fact that they bought a bright red couch as the reason I had to paint them a new hanging (nice couch, but the colour was as aesthetically at war with the original hanging I painted them as possible – quite certain they did that on purpose). I had this idea in mind anyway, so whether they wanted it or not, it was going to them. As a side note, that bright red couch is now sitting in my basement… a year and a half later they decided a black leather couch suited them better…grrrrrr…

Tastes in couches and the inability to MAKE UP THEIR MIND aside (hee hee hee), this hanging is really all about Andy and Fiona. Two Tigers represents their Chinese year of birth (1974…sheesh…puppies, the lot of em’…) and is indicated in one of the squares (bottom row, 2nd from left). Another square is a pair of swans with their necks intertwined (top row, 3rd from left). Swans mate for life… so, well, all I can say is they’d better stay together other than call me a liar!

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Self

This was the 4th hanging I did (originally for Andy and Fiona until that whole couch fiasco – see 2 Tigers for details). Fiona challenged me to show more of my own essence through this one.

Top Row, Left to right:

The bear claw print is used by native cultures as an omen of good luck.

The second square has to do with an otherworldly encounter I had feeding sparrows with a stranger in Paris in November 2000. I was traveling with one of the best companions that ever accompanied me on a trip, Timothy Findley’s book Pilgrim. Art completely imitated life as happenings in the story began to be the happenings around me. Sentences like, “We are not free to choose what attracts our attention. It chooses us. This way, I have been chosen by you” and “Divide the human population in two, Pilgrim would write of another encounter, and there you have them, the millions who never connect” jumped right out of the page and shadowed me wherever I went. Amazingly enough, I got to meet Timothy Findley a few months before he died. I brought my raggedy country swept copy of Pilgrim hoping he would sign it for me. I told him of my encounter and how it mimicked what happened in the book. He was thrilled and told me the story of how that particular passage came to be (as he wrote most of Pilgrim at his estate in France), and signed my book, “For Marjorie, with mutual memories of the Sparrows of Paris! Be well.” Indeed, “For the sake of having a memento of our encounter.” Touché Mr. Findley, how I miss your voice! The picture is really an embodiment of the stranger (Annie Dillard writes, “As a stranger is the friend of another stranger on account of their strangeness on earth.”) Touché again!

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Hanging 3 – untitled

This was the first commissioned hanging and the third one I painted. My friends Tracy and Murray saw the ones I’d created to cover up spaces in my house and wanted me to paint them one. I decided to do one for their wedding present (since I became a marriage commissioner for a day and presided over the ceremonies and actually married them 8 months before – and… yes, sheepishly I admit I hadn’t actually gotten around to getting them a present yet). Quite an honour for me!

There are Runes all along the border of this one representing fire, earth, mountain, wind, heaven, earth, lake and wind. Ace and Muzz are very outdoorsy people, and I wanted to represent that throughout the hanging.

The three people dancing under the sun (in view of the mountains) are Tracy, Murray, and Murray’s son Jeff.

Tossed in a hummingbird (for native symbol of love, beauty, intelligence, spirit messenger: and the symbol of a deep and abiding love) coming out from a pair of healing hands (represents the presence of man (or woman.. let’s be politically correct here), his or her work, achievements and legacy. It also represents the direction of the creative spirit). Tracy is also a huge kokopelli fan, so that is just for her.

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Hanging 2 – untitled

This was the second hanging I ever painted, and threw it together over the span of about a week and honestly did not put a whole lot of thought into it (that has never happened since, let me tell you!).

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