Monday, December 31, 2012

Bittersweet Year

This past year has been very bittersweet....and this past month has really brought up feeling of loss and sadness for me. 

 Last February, my dear friend and partner in the Creative Arts Studio, Patricia Waters, passed, into another form.   The first 6 months  or more of 2012, were an ongoing process of dealing with her life.

It is amazing how much it takes to unravel a life deeply lived through her possessions, and her wonderful amazing art.  This is one of her powerful pastel drawings.   Patricia's death was an amazingly deep  loss  for me and only recently has it gotten less difficult.

However, right after Thanksgiving, my sweet dear little spirit dog, Chelsea had to be put down.
Here she is outside a Mandala workshop that Patricia and I facilitated at Mountain Home Ranch in Calistoga.
Chelsea often went along to all of our workshops, sitting in circle with all the participants holding sacred dog compassion for everyone.
So Chelsea's death has made me revisit all the losses of the year and it has been a very difficult time for me.  One loss, truely reminds us of all of them.
So on this New Years Eve day, I am honoring both of these dear friends through my writing and photos on this blog.

I find that my healing  way of coping with loss, sadness and challenges is through expressing myself through art. I teach this to others, because art has been my life long salve, and coping strategy.

Here is the SoulCollage® card I made for Chelsea right after she died.  I cried all the way through the process but it helped tremendously, and I have had this card on my altar for her, for the whole month now.
This is an acrylic painting I did of Chelsea about 5 years ago, that is now more precious than ever before.
So, I end the year honoring  these two sweet beings, who made such a difference in my life.  I don't know who reads these writings, but it is important to express my truth today.
May you all have a blessed and creatively fulfilling new year!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sonoma County Beauty

The other day I went out to Sonoma to bring some of my Mandala Pendant to the charming store "Sisters ", where they will be for sale.  
It was an absolutely stunningly beautiful autumn day and I was dazzled by the beauty all around me.

The sky was so dramatic, with dark storm clouds moving in and out of the sky, punctuated by intense white and  cerelean blue skies.  

 Luckily I had my camera with me and as I drove out there, frantically trying to be in time for an apt.
 I noticed different places along the road that I vowed to take photos of on my way home, when time wasn't and issue.

Now, for those of you who don't know Sonoma County, it is often called Wine Country, and Luther Burbank called it the Chosen spot in the far as natural beauty is concerned.  Whenever, I go away from here, I come home like a tourist, re-enchanted with the place where I live.
 I become jaded to the beauty all around me, yet on this particular day, actually this past Friday, I was driving around in a state of wonder at the dramatic beauty all round me.
As I drove, I noticed cars parked along the side of Hiway 12, with people outside their cars, doing plein air painting, and some taking photographs.
Suddenly I realized that like Julia Cameron writes of in her book the "Artist's Way", I was on an Artists Date with myself, and I slowed down and began to take photographs of what drew my attention, all around me.  
 Pulling out of the traffic here and there, and thinking about the dark and light, the contrast of colors, and whether or not any of these images would work well as photo transfers for my encaustic paintings.
 This mountain is called Sugar Loaf and it is a very special state park right in my back yard almost, isn't it sweet?  What a perfect name for a mountain.
 Along the way I stopped at some fabulous thrift stores, and spent a little money on some delights as I made my way home to Santa Rosa.
 The photos turned out quite wonderfully and so in the spirit of show and tell, and like a proud mother to my wonderful home county, I am sharing them here with the world, or at least a tiny little slice of it.So I hope that you all enjoy these photos, they call out for taking  a deep breath.
  So, Ciao..... and
  happy autumn.... Until Next time, from the Valley of the Moon in Sonoma County.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Festa Italiana Collages

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you might know not only do I love collage, but am constantly making things, playing with images and doodling as well.  I recently made a series of collages for this Italian festa that I will be selling at, this coming Sunday Sept. 30th, in Santa Rosa.

 I just love how they turned out so I am posting them here as my show and tell for the month. ( Yes it seems like I am a monthly blogger) enough is enough, I do so many things on line that this is a monthly  commitment that is doable.
 After dribbling and playing with watercolors on really good paper, I rubber stamped, doodled and collaged all over the pages...
 Then I began to look for Italian phrases and words that called to me, and were recognizable to even non Italians.
 Pulling out my rubber stamps I stamped here and there on the large page of watercolor paper, first with the words and them with some of my favorite charming stamps.
 I then pulled out my large stash of various small collage images and began to glue papers and images here and there on the large paper that seemed to reflect either the meaning of the words or the Italian theme.
 One thing led to another, with this process being done in small stages of one step each time over a series of days. About 45 min each sitting.  Perfect art making time for my computer affected attention span these days.
 I then had a large sheet of paper with little vignettes all over it.  Each one small and flowing into the other.
                                                Just the perfect size for 5"x7" art cards.
 So I proceeded to cut them up into various sizes, finding the essence of each little picture story.
 And low and behold they were charming but  small, so I pulled out a lot of my beautiful art papers and began to glue them onto the papers, highlighting all the wonderful burnt sienna colors I love and that reflect the softly worn colors of the beauty of Italian towns.
              I next glued these onto the fronts of art card panels that I have in my stash of art supplies.
But too my delight, I found them soooo charming that I decided to put them in 8"x10 matts instead of just leave them as art cards.  And this is what I came up with. They look so perfect matted.  Although rather primitive, with the stampings smudged here  and there, they delight me and they are absolutely charming to my eye at least.

So this Sunday at the Festa Italiana at the Vets Building in Santa Rosa, I will have these little darlings for sale.  Come on by if you are in Santa Rosa and say Hello..and see not only these but my Italian themed art pendants, mandala pendants and some charming little encaustic paintings that I am selling, all with an Italian slant.  If you don't know by now, I am Italian American, my mom's family being from Bari and my dad having grown up in a little town in Sicilia called Strassati di Petrosina, which is near Marsala.
So selling at this fair, allows me to be close to all those old Italians again, warming my heart and filling my soul with italian music, food and sounds.   I wonder if anyone who reads this will stop by and say hello.  Who knows.  Ciao. Caterina

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Still Enamored with SoulCollage®

Since it has been a while since I last posted, I decided to share  some photos that I recently took at two  of the different  SoulCollage® groups that I offer at my studio.

                       At my Soul Writing Group, which meets on the Fourth Friday of the Month....

 We each put all of our cards out on the tables, then walk around looking at all of them, "A Gallery Crawl"....  I am always amazed at their diversity and uniqueness.  We  then choose from our cards, the ones we want to use as writing prompts for that day.  Although at other times we do it differently. Each group is unique.  These photos are from that group.  Aren't they amazing?

 The following photos are some shots I took as I set up my studio for group last Friday.
As well as  taken in process during group, in order to give a visual picture of the process.

 After making cards, we spend time dialoguing with a partner.  
Doing the "I am the One Who" process with at least one of our cards.  

 It is a wonderful process of witnessing and being the intuitive wisdom of our
 soul's are revealed. 

The following images are of some of my most recent cards. 
 It  always seems like the last card I make is my most favorite, but as I go through them, they are like old dear friends come to visit once again.

These pictures speak a thousand words, so I will let them gently reveal their stories to you 
without words this time.  
I just love this process, and now I am planning a SoulCollage® Cruise for sometime next year.
More about that next time.  Until then.
Ciao. Caterina