Wednesday, February 25, 2009

GETTING TO THE GOOEY PARTS



My dear friend Diane Clancy, creator of vibrant and uplifting art and one of the hardest working bloggers I know, was kind enough to gift me with this blog award. I feel all humbled and gooey inside.


In return I am supposed to reveal seven facts about me and pass the love on to other artists out there. So here goes, k?
  1. The sight of a flock of seagulls flying against a dark rain cloud sky takes my breath away.
  2. Two of my favorite flavors together are chocolate and raspberry.
  3. One of my joys in life is squeezing a baby's toes.
  4. I've been off coffee for about 6 weeks. I still feel sleepy most of the time.
  5. I like silly words like Yippee.
  6. My three favorite vegetables begin with the letter A (artichokes, asparagus and avocado)
  7. Im slowly getting over my fear of drawing.
Come and get it (*sound of dinner bell ringing in the background*)

Thalia Took of Amused Grace knits some really cute kitty monsters. I'm not too sure about the minion part, though.

Karen Park is someone I wish I could share a cup of tea with while I drool over her beautiful beaded jewelry. If you want to learn lots about both subjects be sure to visit her blog, Art and Tea.

Kate Jobe. What more can I say? Awesome artist and healer. I feel so honored to be knowing her. Her mandalas have a deep soul connection for me.

Kris Cahill and I share Strength as our defining Tarot Card. We both share a love for the color red. When I read her blog, I feel like if she can do it, so can I! Check out her vibrant abstract art painted on vinyl. Amazing.

I've had the rare pleasure of meeting Andrea when she and hubby traveled through Northern California. Her wide range of artist skills inspires me. Go say hi.

John Mora and I share a love of birds, Neko Case and abstract art. I still have no idea how he does it, and thats ok by me.

RaShell is my doodle guru. She brings style and class to circles and dots and squiggley things and even doodles on stones. Wowwee.

OK, and while I'm at it, I also want to tell you all how much I appreciate everyone who comments on my art (and even those of you who dont) and to thank you for all the ways you have supported me. I don't really take the time enough to acknowledge all the goodness there is out here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

BEING PRESENT

presence mandalaPresence Mandala - (Mandalas for Peace Project) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: ornamental plum tree blossoms

I have been following a neighborhood ornamental plum tree plum blossomssince here and chronicling its progress in photographs and mandalas. After a week of rain followed by some yummy sun, the buds have fully opened. I can't remember when I have followed any growth quite so closely or been so intimately connected with a non- human living thing. I felt joy watching the honey bees already gathering pollen. Trees buzzing in February. Hurray for longer days of light.

I hope you aren't toooo tired of pink by now (but February is the LOVE MONTH after all, and nothing says love like pink)

The mandala speaks to me of being present, open, ready for life. It says, Yippee I'm here.

When we operate from our hearts, then life really feels like a gift. That's why they call it The Present, yanno.

I would love to hear how this mandala speaks to you.

Oh yea, and I am playing Neko Case today because she sings like spring.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

THOUGHTS ON SHARING THE HEART

unknown bloomNew Bloom - © Sue O'Kieffe 2009

So tonight on the way home I stopped at the grocery store for a few dinner items. I noticed some of the trees and shrubs had started to bloom and so grabbed my camera from my bag. Snap snap snap. I put the camera away and started walking towards the store.

An older woman waiting in the car parked next to mine rolled down her window. "You've been doing what I've wanted to be doing the whole time I've been sitting here," she said to me. "I used to have a camera but I sold it. Could I see the pictures you took?"

And so we talked about the photos and the fact that I had no idea what kind of shrub was showing this new growth and about how she regretted selling her Canon. I looked in her eyes. "Well, sometimes we just have to do things because we have to." A look ---understanding? recognition of truth? --- passed over her face. Or was this just projection on my part, knowing the hard financial choices I have had to make in the past, because I had to. Whatever it was, I felt heart warmth shared between us.

It's moments like these that make us human. We hunger for these moments.

So why don't we do it more often?

I figure as the shrub in the grocery store parking lot develops some more, I might be able to determine what it is. But I will never be able to relive that powerful moment with a sad woman in a car, wishing she still had her camera.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

OPENING THE HEART

Love VibratonsLove Vibrations - (Spring Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image - hydrangea bud

My desire was to have this post ready for Valentine's Day email, but we all know how life sometimes get in the way of our best intentions. Instead this arrived in my email this morning:

At dawn on February 14th , the day dedicated to St.Valentine, the patron saint of Love, the moon in Libra enters the seventh house of relationship. And Jupiter and Mars are aligned in Aquarius in the twelfth house of spiritual transformation. Forty years ago the intuitive words of a song called Aquarius brought the dawning of the New Age into our collective awareness:

When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars,
Then peace will guide the planets,
And love will steer the stars.

At dawn on 14th February the Cosmos actually embodies this perfect alignment to support our collective manifestation of love and peace and dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

The Aquarian chart of 14th February reveals an incredible concentration of cosmic influences blending with the energies of Aquarius in the 12th house. Expansive Jupiter and energetic Mars are aligned with the higher purpose of the North Node. The presence of Chiron the wounded healer offers us the opportunity to heal the schisms that have separated us for so long. Neptune emphasizes collective humanitarian movements and the co-creation of social justice. And the presence of the radiant Sun enlightens the entire alignment.
(thanks to my friend Lorlyn for sending this email)


I have been feeling my heart expanding and softening and opening to the world around me. I witness nature getting ready to burst. While capturing this hydrangea bud, I could almost feel it vibrating with new life and begging me to notice it. I especially love taking photographs of nature when the sun first comes out after a long rainy stretch . Sun on raindrops is a fine combination.


Nature shows us how to buzz with new life. Sleep for a while and then stretch yourself into a brand new day. Open your arms wide. Breathe in and out. Put your hand on your heart.Breathe in breath out ahhhhhhh.


Everyday is such a fine time to be alive.

Happy Valentine's Day, whenever you read this!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CALLING ALL ANGELS

calling all angelsCalling All Angels - (Mandalas for Peace Project) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image - plum tree blossom buds

While I was creating this mandala, I saw three angels hovering around the triangular center, which I see as a power symbol. The image in the very center of the triangle looks like some kind of horned animal, perhaps a bull or ox. The bull is central to the Cretan labyrinth myth, and this is the year of the Ox in the Chinese New Year .

I was even more surprised when I looked at this image from a distance. If you back up from the computer four or five feet and look at it again, it takes on a whole different characteristic. Then it speaks to me of firebird. The power in this image is unmistakable.

It wasn't until I added the language around the mandala that I felt like this image was actually finished. Indistinguishable, perhaps, but still embedded in the image are partial lyrics from Calling All Angels, by Issa (formerly known as Jane Siberry.) I am playing her music on my blog for this posting as well:
calling all angels
calling all angels
walk me through this one
don't leave me alone
calling all angels
calling all angels
we're cryin' and we're hurtin'
and we're not sure why...
© Issa 1993

I almost didn't finish this mandala. The angels intervened.