Thursday, December 5, 2013

Inspired in the Weirdest Ways

So it's been ages since I've been here. I haven't been sure whether to keep this blog space going or not. Haven't felt drawn here. To sharing. To expressing.

But then something tonight just turned me on in such an inspiring way that here I am again all excited and wanting to write about it and share it.

Going with it.

In the past couple years (along with my art) I've been nurturing my inner wine geek. I've been passively interested in wine for a long time, but the past two years have seen me amp up the OCD on the subject quite a bit.

Aside from drinking lots more of the stuff, visiting copious amounts of tasting rooms, swishing swirling sniffing and very little spitting - ok fine, no spitting, I drink all of it, following more wine blogs than I can actually digest (whatever, see above OCD) and quite a few books on the subject I have also sought out movies about wine. 

Tonight I watched Blood Into Wine. It's a documentary. Basic synopsis - Maynard James Keener, lead singer of Tool - moves to Arizona to make wine.  I'm not going to go into the whole background of it, you can learn more about that here.

Holy Crap.

It woke me up folks. The combination of all the elements (the deleted/featured scenes perhaps even more than the movie itself). It's got wine, ecology, irreverence, spirit, sacred geometry, a wee bit of locavore-ness, humor, music, sensualism... words like consciousness and nagual get discussed...

It's like a coalescence of all that interests me at this point of my life. 

The last time I felt this way was when I discovered permaculture. 

Back then my interests at the time that were community, gardens, food, ecology, natural living, straw bale homes... I took a two-week certification course that completely rocked my world. That was in 1998. That seems like ages ago. 

Well, it was in a way, I guess.

But tonight? This film? Seriously. It's like a light has been lit.

Coup de foudre.


That same feeling. 

Don't have any idea what to do with it right at this moment. Well, except to perhaps keep sipping my wine here I have beside me, a Mourvèdre. (Can't get enough of those Rhone varietals.)


More of that, please. 
(If I were put it into prayer form.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Autumn is here.*

I love this time of year! Hands down. My favorite season. 

I feel like I can breathe again. It's not so hot. I can cook up yummy, comforting foods. And I can wear scarves and boots. You know, because it's more fun to layer!!

My energy seems to return with the cooler weather too, and I've been busy in the studio.

So last time I shared quite a few paintings that were going on. But I wanted to share a little bit more about the process of how those came to be. 

I've been painting steadily now for about 3 years. To be honest, it feels like much longer. Then, at the same time, I feel like I just started yesterday! Funny how time is so bendable like that.

So I have some paintings that I did two or three years ago that, though I loved them at the time, they don't speak to me as much any more. I've seen where I've grown, how my style has changed, and noticed that my confidence has deepened. Since three years is plenty of time to accumulate quite a few paintings, and I have many sitting about my studio, it's easy to pick up the old ones and start wondering, what if.... 

I don't know if this is true for other painters, but it's been relatively easy for me to practice non-attachment with them. I grab either some gesso or a color that speaks to me, and in one large swoosh of the brush, out with the old, in with the new. Some paintings get complete do-overs. Others get fine tuned here and there, the original image only slightly modified. It just depends on my mood and what the painting itself wants. 

I guess it's similar to how we grow as humans, shedding old layers or worn out objects and trying out new paths or acquiring lovely new trinkets. I've surprised myself again and again with each new interest in my life, not afraid to follow the shiny-sparkly light leading me off in new directions. And that risk-taking has been a natural extension into my painting process too. Lot's of surprises along the way for sure. It's nice to look back and see where I've been, but I'm equally keen on seeing what new adventures await!

So here are some before's and after's for your viewing pleasure. Can you find traces of the old in the new?


Ta da!

I have a brand new one to show you too, my biggest canvas yet- 5 feet tall! 
But that will have to wait for the next post.

And, I'm still struggling with taking quality photos of my paintings, so the new ones aren't on my website or available as art prints yet. I used to be pretty good at it, I don't know what's going on.  I'll work out the kinks and let you know as soon as I figure it out!

*Enjoy this lovely autumn - or spring if you're on the other side of this lovely planet!

Friday, August 23, 2013


Funny how the school schedule gets to dictate the rhythm of the year. It's still summer. 90+ degree days and all that. Yet the energy shifts. Earlier mornings. Busier days. Homework angst.


It also means I get my studio time back. So there's that.

It feels like I didn't paint much over the summer break. I had decided that after the excitement and busy-ness of the gallery, and the subsequent ending of my participation there, I was going to have a quiet summer as far as my art went. No pressure to produce. Let go of what came next. Just enjoy it without any expectations. And when I think, gosh, I hardly painted at all this summer, I take a look at my studio and see that, well, actually, a few paintings got completed, or started. Somehow I snuck in some painting here and there.

There was this one. HUGE shift and declaration for me (more about it here).

I had started this one a while back. It was almost done, but not quite. So it sat on my easel for most of the summer, watching me, me watching it, watching them... today, just a few more touches. Et voila. Done.

And then a couple little ones, to help me get through the icky times. When I was tired and drained. Or feeling a bit hopeless about things ever changing. 

Those stretches? Geez. Need they come so fast and furious? 

But then there is the magic of painting for me. 

Get out the paint and brushes. Turn on the music. Light some incense. Go. 

It's a miraculous process. It truly is. 

Every single time. 

The gremlins get the boot. And I can breathe again.

There is no way I can imagine my life without this creative and healing outlet ever again. 

(this one a work in progress, she showed up to watch over me and remind me every little thing is gonna be all right, so grateful)

Hope your summer has given you lots of goodness. Or if you are still in full summer mode, take a swing in a hammock for me...

Happy creating folks.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What if...?

This is a continuation of this post here. If you want to get the back story. 

Today, the next part.


What if things were not as they appear?

What if we weren't from here, but from some other place, all of us?

What if we knew what we were getting ourselves into when we signed up for this crazy ride?

What if we were not alone?

What if all the myths and mysteries and miracles you've heard throughout time are real, and true?

What if we all came here with a great purpose?

What if the reason we came here was to simply remember all of that?

And to share it with others?

No matter what they would say when you finally did?

What do you "know" to be true? But keep to yourself ~ for whatever reason.

I'm all ears.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Tell Our Story," they said.

I started a painting last December, for a beautiful project called Winter Harmony. An inspiring series for lifting up your spirits during the darker, colder months of winter (at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere).

I didn't finish the painting at the time. Which really wasn't the point anyway. It was about process, and painting for me is a deeply revealing process that surprises me at every turn.

As I continued the dance with this painting, through winter, taking a long break in spring, and now back at it this summer, a clear message has woven itself into every inch of this painting. "Tell our story," they said. 

Um. Okay.

What does that mean? I'm not quite sure. But it seems there were some other-worldly beings that want their story out in the world.

Sure. Why not.

Seems a little crazy making, but, since we are all ancient and timeless ourselves, it also makes perfect sense.

Yet the strangest part of it all? A new twist just revealed itself over this past weekend.

I was laying on the floor. Staring at the painting. Wondering, what next? Where will it go? What does it need? Or want? What do they need? Or want?

And boom.

Crystal clear.

The "our" in this painting is not "they" "their" or "them."


It is "our" "we" or "us." 

I am part of them. 

They are not other. They are me. I am them.



Does this mean tell the story of all the parts of me? The many facets of Indigo/Tracy?

Yes. Perhaps. 

But really? What it felt like?

It meant, to be honest, to tell the story of my people. 

From another time and place.

Um. What?



Can't wait to hear how this one's gonna go.

I'll keep you in the loop. How can I not?

Pretty wild ride I tell you...

(By the way? No drugs or alcohol were consumed in the making of this little adventure. 
In case you were cynically wondering. Grin.)


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Art. Arting. Paint. Painting.

Have finally had some time to dip back into painting. 

It's amazing the selection of excuses, reasons, justifications, and fears that get in the way of putting paint to canvas. 


I finished the third one of the series. At last. 

Here are all three. 

They are smaller ones, 9"x12" and felt intimate for that. 

But I really miss big canvases! 

Time to invest in some. 

By the way, they are for sale. Just give me a jingle. Or visit my website, They will not be at the gallery anymore. Well, as of this month, none of them will be. However! You can still buy my art. Same as above. 

Support your local artist! 

Local artists everywhere thank you. 

We really do. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Is Here

We started off summer with two days of rain. RAIN! In California, in summer! This qualifies as a miracle in my book. Now, two days later, we will be having a week of 100+ degrees weather. Le Sigh.... I do know about myself that I am NOT a hot weather person. But it's where I live...

So this morning I enjoyed the last traces of coolness sitting on my front porch, appreciating the moment. 

Here is one view of my porch.

Here is a view from my porch.

I live in town but it often feels like I'm a million miles from everything thanks to where I live. Not that it doesn't have its challenges. There are three houses on the property where I live. So it's cozy. And well.... you know, I want to like everyone.... Let's just say it's great for practicing boundaries. Ahem.


I believe last post I left you with my declaration to the world to shine my most beautiful self. To stop hiding. I was kinda on fire.

Then, I don't know, Solstice and a full moon, and Mercury retrograding all over the place...? Maybe it's just me. But it's convenient when the big galactic haps synch with my poopiness.

There has been much focus on what I don't have. Where I am not. What I am not doing. Very very very tiring after a while. 

After deciding to slow down and take my paintings out of the gallery, I know, truly, that I just need to be. To paint. To stop trying to figure it all out - goals, plans, what's next with my art, etc, etc. But that doesn't then stop me from comparing my life to those out there in cyber world that I admire. Wondering, why am I not living my dream? Why am I still working the day job? Why am I still wallowing in past hurts and moping about? Why in the world am I not appreciating all the goodness that I do have in my life? 

Good grief.

Hence. The porch sitting this morning.

Getting present. Just being. Me, my cats, my tea, a brief respite of a cool breeze to start the day.

What do you do when it feels like you are not where you'd like to be? What's in your tool box to be okay with where you are at in life? Please share, I could use some new ideas.

Here's to being in the present moment. May they add up deliciously.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Stop hiding.

Over and over this past week. 

Again and again.

This message. 

In many different places and from many different sources and in many different words.

I'm finally listening.

In my clean and organized studio, this lovely little art journal spread took form.

Now I'm sharing it everywhere I can.

If you know anyone that could use the reminder? Or you yourself...? Pass it along. 

I know I'm ready. 

I truly am.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Expect the Unexpected

Just when I think I know what I'm letting go of ~ in order to make room for the new ~ I surprise myself.

Basil Seedlings. An old, old packet of seeds that I was sure would not grow. Surprise! Here they come!

I haven't gardened in ages. I gave up trying to grow anything food-like when I lived in snow-country. So many trees. Not enough sun. Short growing season. Sloped land. Hungry deer. On and on. It felt like too much work and not enough fun.

Last summer I moved "to town" and except for watering the "grass" (weeds, really, but they are green anyway) that surround my little cottage of a house, that's about all the energy I had for gardening.

Cosmos youngsters, grown from seed. From a tiny little seed, this lovely little plant. Love how magical that is.
It started a few weeks ago. I don't know what got into me. But I bought some seed packets at the grocery store. Flowers. All of them. I've been watering diligently since then. Some took, some haven't. But they are growing! No flowers yet...but greenery.

Then, during our last hot spell of 100+ degree days I found myself at the garden center, blowing my budget so I could buy plants, seeds, and soil amendment. WHAT has gotten into me? I thought I was done with this outdoorsy/green/gardens stuff. Apparently not.
Yarrow plant. Transplanted. This will spread like wild fire once it gets going. Squeee!

Feels like I'm definitely planting some new seeds in my life. Transitions, the theme of the month, and I know something is a-brewing. New growth in my life. Can't wait to see where it will take me. To see what blooms.

Painting-wise? It seems AGES since I've painted. These next three paintings are all wee little things, 9" x 12". The last one is still in progress. (And the glare in the photos is atrocious, although in one respect it kinda makes them glow...).

New One

New Two

New Three (in progress still)

Actually, these have all been done in the past month. But I feel like painting has definitely taken a back seat. Life got crazy all of the sudden. Where did all of my time go?

Well, to be honest. It got drawn into one place in particular. The art gallery. It's a cooperative art gallery and it requires the artists to help run the place. Any fleeting bits of free time got sucked away. Willingly, of course, but after a few months? It just wasn't sustainable. I was feeling drained, uninspired, and cranky because there was no time to paint.

So, as of the end of June I will not have my art at the Sutter Creek Gallery any longer. It has been a most fabulous ride! I have learned so much, met so many wonderful people, and felt like it gave me a big boost of confidence. I know being part of it was a due to a huge gust of divine intervention. However what I expected to get out of it was not at all what I ended up discovering. What I was gifted was some HUGE insight into how I still see myself as small. How I keep the best part of me hidden and private. 

That right there? Best gift EVER.

Now that I've got that big realization about myself, it's time for me to bust out of my shell! Let the real me shine. No more hiding. I've got some work to do!

But first, I need to slow down. Regroup. Reclaim my summer. And see where I am led to next.

It feels like I'm prepping myself for the next phase of my life. If you choose to look at life in segments like that. A big shift is coming. New adventures. And I'm planting those seeds, watering them tenderly, and thrilled to be nourishing my soul into a truer version of me.  

I have a feeling the colors are going to be gorgeous!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Who Am I Anyway?

This will be rambly.... you are forewarned.

I seem to be in this strange never-never-land. The in-between. A transition? The pause perhaps. Like something major is coming. But not yet.

That's what it feels like.

If you're into numerology I'm in a 4 year. (If you're not and think it's a bunch of hoohaa, skip this part. Or actually if you're curious about it, I have some links at the end of this post.) A year of "hard work" and "breakthroughs." Gee, doesn't that sound like fun. But I happened to look back to the last two times in my life when I was in 4 years and it's actually kind of encouraging. THOSE years were huge transition years. Not much happened. But SO much happened. They were years of major shifts, but internally, not externally. So they are serving as a much needed reminder that this year too is bringing that gift - things they are a'changin'. Just not overtly. Can we say patience? Yah right. I'm trying...

What it boils down to? A lot of unknowns. Lack of clarity. Every direction sounds interesting. Then none of them do. Where do I take my art? What about my work career (if you could call it that)? What do I do with this interest in French? And wine? Anything? Nothing?

So as I wonder about all these things, I also ponder who the heck I am these days. For so long my identity was wrapped up in sustainability, ecology, organic, healthy, green, permaculture, back-to-the-land movement, natural living, planning my straw bale house, etc, etc. And though those values are deeply ingrained in who I am, they aren't at the forefront any longer. And I'm not sure what is taking their place. So I guess I'm having an identity crisis? Maybe I should just call it a mid-life crisis and leave it at that. It'll pass, right?

First world problem - the privilege and angst of navel gazing. Ha.

photo credit here
But really? Here's what it is. There's part of me that is bursting at the seams to be expressed. I am a deeply spiritual person. Yet in my day to day life I keep it pretty secular. One, I'm a pretty private person. Next, there is this great fear of being judged and not liked. I KNOW I need to let that go. But let's face it, there are those that are not comfortable with "different." And my beliefs are definitely "out there." My views challenge many well-entrenched belief systems. Second, I am in no way interested in defending, "proving" or justifying my beliefs to anyone. Your beliefs are yours, and mine are mine. That's the great thing about this planet, there are a zillion different ways to "be," please don't ask me to "convince" you that mine are right and therefore valid. And lastly, because nothing bugs me more than being preached to, I don't want my enthusiasm for my spiritual path to come across in any way as pedantic or proselytizing. I am NOT interested in converting you to my beliefs. Trust me. So I hold back. Unclear on exactly how I find that balance. Stuffing what is probably the best part of me into a silent hole.

I'm thinking that this is making me a little nutso. The one area of my life that means the most to me and I keep in locked up inside? Not exactly healthy now, is it?

Perhaps THAT's the mid-life/identity crisis? Duh.

So, that's where I'm at. Really.

Wanting to put myself out there more. To stop hiding, to let go of worrying about what others will think of me. 

Not sure what that's gonna look like. But I have to start somewhere.

Will be giving it my best shot. Stay tuned...

By the way, here are those numerology links: go here for a very basic intro, or here for a more in depth look and to get started.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What Does Your Art Mean?

I had an epiphany the other morning.

In the shower.


Doesn't MOST wisdom come to us when we're in the shower? Seriously. Showers are like portals to the invisible realms of the universe that hold all the answers we've ever been seeking.

So anyway.

What came to me was this nice neat compact little phrase to answer this question:

"Tell me about your art, what does it mean?"

(work in progress, Self Portrait)

You'll notice on many artists' websites or resumes a nice compact Artist's Statement which summarizes said artist's philosophy on art. Why they do it. What they are trying to say with their work. The context in which it fits into the larger art world.


I've been making it up as I go along. I really have had no idea.

I paint fearlessly.

I take risks.

I have no idea what the outcome will be.


(work in progress, untitled)

Sure, those are okay, but they didn't feel complete to me. A beginning, but not the whole picture.

More like I've been muttering under my breathe, barely a whisper, blah blah blah... let's just look at the painting, shall we, and stop talking about it. I'm an ARTIST right? Not a writer. Okay? Sheesh.


Yet all of the sudden, in the shower, comes this statement, which is EXACTLY what my art is all about:

*I am making the unconscious conscious.*

And I'm SURE that you get it, right?

Well, you may not. But me? OMG. YES!!

THIS is what I'm doing! THIS is what my art is ALL about!

(work in progress, Self Portrait II)

If I've confused you, here, Carl Jung explains it this way:

First a popular quote:

"Until you make the unconscious conscious, 
it will direct your life and you will call it fate."

And a more classic definition:

In his work, he described both the collective unconscious and the personal unconscious. " addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche, there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents."

Have I lost you?

Basically this is what I'm trying to say:

You've got your personal unknown depths that are waiting to be discovered by you, or even if you've started digging around already, there's always plenty more. And there is also a vast unseen region that ALL of us can plug into and explore, and it's the same box we're all searching in. Though of course, we may experience and interpret what we find in that box in very different ways.

So what the heck does that have to do with my art again?

When I paint, I tap into both my personal and the collective unconscious. What shows up on the canvas is coming from there. I do not sit down before I paint with certain ideas or images that I want to recreate. I let the painting emerge, little by little, in a spiraling motion, abstract to concrete, back to abstract to concrete again, round and round until the "final" image is brought to light.

I am bringing into the world something that has never existed before. I am creating something brand new. I am sharing with you my experience of traveling through the lands of both my personal and the collective unconscious. You will have your own personal experience when you see my paintings. It could be a small sliver of recognition, a huge AHA kind of moment, or complete indifference. No one will experience it in exactly the same way.

It's quite similar to a shaman's journey. But I'll save THAT for another post.

And why am I telling you this?

Because I finally CAN! 

I finally have words to explain exactly what it is I do when I paint.

(work in progress, Tell Our Story)

THIS is what my art means.

It's a HUGE moment for me.

Thanks for sharing it with me!