I’ve been doing my best to cram in finishing the mule. Partly because it’s well over due, and partly because I wanted one less thing on my plate in the “have to do” category for my birthday celebration(s). I love art, but I need less responsibility for a while, and this was one I could finish in ease.
I was aiming to improve on the original photo by referencing well known artworks from American and British history, especially since the mule was striking a common pose in horse portraits of the past. I moved the barn, which in the original image was so obscured you couldn’t make out details. I added the windmill in reference to paintings of Grant Wood era, and then did the vignetting found in old illustrations.
My work is Prismacolor artist pencils and graphite on 11×14 hotpress watercolor paper. I finished it early on Valentine’s day, and all I have left is to scan and frame it for delivery.
So original image, followed by progress pics, and then finished image last.
May you have good art days. May you finish what you started. May you enjoy your accomplishments. May you be at ease in your flow. May you find ways to reduce responsibility and increase enjoyment. May you make progress always and have fun things to look forward to. May you always understand your knowledge of history to make improvements moving forward, even if it’s just for yourself. May you know that the divine loves and supports you just as you are.
On this Christmas day I think of my family. I chose not to call any of them because I disappoint them by not being simply a “regular Christian” like them. They don’t understand how I call myself pagan, celebrate yule, and still celebrate Christmas.
Mainly it’s because I educated myself enough to know that Christianity stole a lot from earlier peoples in an effort to convert people. I also understand that Jesus came to save us by teaching us what we were already looking at and ignoring (see the withheld Gnostic Gospels). Several religions already had books and teachers, teaching how to get to our divine selves, and there have been several ascended masters sent before Christ, all to show it could be done. Yet, the masses were doing anything but. Christians, Jews and Islamics, constantly fighting wars over the same damn book and a central patch of land. Other peoples fighting other wars over similar stupid reasons. 2000 years after Christ we’re still missing the point, and so now we’re in the midst of a colossal learning lesson for all of humanity. I wish I had more hope that everyone will get it for once. It seems every couple thousand years God really hits a point where he needs us to get the message or die and start over. I don’t blame the divine for hitting that wall, we very much created this mess and expect the divine to fix it for us.
I had a conversation with a client about details of that, and I must have put a massive chink in the layers of his ingrained box, because between him and his wife I received roughly $200 in tips. I’m grateful for the cash as it was very needed, but my goal was not tips, my goal was healing for both of us, and helping him see healthier more accepting ways to view things. I must have had the desired effect, and I’m grateful that the divine supported me in conveying what he needed to hear and understand. I wish I had that ability with my own flesh and blood more often.
Regardless, I do still believe in Christ and still refuse to call myself Christian. I refuse to participate in the politics of religion. I do intend to be as authentic as possible, work on myself as much as possible, and heal myself and my universe as much as possible. I can be the change this world needs to see- with enough practice. Christ taught that God could be found “in a grain of sand or a blade of grass, in the sun in your eyes or the wind on your face”, that the divine was everywhere and that we were responsible for being divine children spreading light and love, compassion, understanding, and healing.
Yet, I still find that moment manifest in Eastern philosophical practices, far more often than practiced by any one of the desert seat religions. None are perfect, all religions have flaws, and there are exceptions to every rule, but percentages seem to imply that the eastern peoples have a bit better understanding of that responsibility and how to accomplish it.
Anyway, after a play doh based conversation over color with Katherine, my client exchange before the holiday, and feelings regarding birth family, it is stirring my creativity. Perhaps I can convey, with a little divine assistance, another message of acceptance on this Christmas evening.
In the beginning There was an Abundant Array Beautiful Uniqueness Everywhere Something to Appreciate Regardless of Where Gaze Feelings Or Descriptions Landed
Mistakes were made Punishments levied People hurt A vicious cycle Begun Intent on Even Level Sameness If all are same No one can make Mistakes Based on others' Rules Or ignorance therein If all are same Doing the same Then no punishments Need be levied
Yet once colors Become so blended The result Is quite Boring Bland Undesirable Somewhere between Mud Or 50 shades Of murky All uniqueness Lost to An icky Mixed up Mess
The bright Colors Of individual Spirit Is what we Really Long for Everyone Tapped Into their Band of Rainbow Into their Vibration Of goodness
The mistakes Which prevent Connection To one Unique Source Of gifted Inspired action Are punishment Enough
Difficulty Lies in Reaching Maintaining Your piece Of vibrant Beautiful Rainbow
Perhaps Helping Each other Reach their Beautiful Self Potential Is far more Appropriate Than fighting Over rightness Or waging war Over Perceived wrongs
Rainbows Of light Bring joy Always Not just When bulbs Are strung
See Appreciate The beautiful Array Of colors Uniqueness Everywhere In everything And everyone And you'll Find your Rainbow Of God Here Now This day Always
* The picture is my children under “The Magic Tree” in Lee’s Summit. It’s 5 min from our house, and I’m grateful to be so close to a beautiful celebration of living color and holiday magic. It’s a perfect blending of all things holiday and joyful unique colorful expression.
May we all have a magic tree in our life. May you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanza, Joyful Dwali (belated), Happy Yule, Savory Solstice, Happy Ramadan and Happy New Year. May you welcome everyone and support their holidays as their way to celebrate this world, all goodness, and the divine. May you see and feel how to connect yourself with your Self. May the rainbow of uniqueness fill your world with awe and wonder always. May you be present and find the healing you seek in the now. May you enjoy holidays of all kinds knowing they help people feel a sense of belonging, love and light. May you see your way past the politics of religion and sameness. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.
One of my massage clients has commissioned two art pieces from me. It was much needed significant financial support, and the resulting projects will help with my mental state to some degree as well. I am very appreciative and grateful to be getting paid for my fine art for the first time in my life, and paid well at that.
She has only supplied one of the original photographs so far, so that is the one I have started with.
It is a buffalo for her friend as a gift. The friend had taken the photograph during a close-up encounter on vacation. She requested my rendition of the animal.
I asked if there was any preferences and all she stipulated was size, much smaller than the check she supplied, so I chose a slightly larger paper. I decided to work in color favoring artist colored pencils with plans to add oil pastel for overlay portions.
This is the original and my work so far, only having about 3 hours in at this point. It is helping me to pull up emotionally, but I have more massage clients to get to today. More will have to wait for another day.
May you have good creative moments and much needed mental relief. May you have ample time for self-care. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.
This is the coloring image I referenced as having completed a couple posts ago. I started it in June I think, just before things really picked up speed for me. So having had a few moments to finish it has been nice. Just finally had a chance to snap a good picture of it to share. Hope you like it.