Monday, December 31, 2007
As I have repeatedly mentioned in recent posts, I am getting ready for the next paintings, the 2008 paintings. I made 105 paintings in 2007, created some new ways of doing so, showed many of them, sold a bunch.
What do I want to create in 2008? Here are a few of my art goals.
1. More trees. I love my trees, and have not painted one since moving to LA. I love the trees here, especially the silk floss trees, and the jacarandas in bloom.
2. More flowers, especially the quirky ones. They are magical to me.
3. More abstracts like this one. Love the colors, movement, lines. The freedom I experience while making one of these is why I do it.
4. Drawing For Fun. I enjoy visiting all the bloggers who sketch and draw, and I find myself drawn to this activity, no pun intended!!
5. Lots of hearts. I plan to market them in a big way for Valentine's Day, and find a place to show them regularly. Also I want to open a Cafe Press shop and feature the hearts, as well as in my Etsy store.
6. A new website. Two, actually. One for my clairvoyance, one for the art, linked. It has become increasingly obvious to me that I need a better way of communicating about both. A little bit everyday.
7. To continue to blog everyday. Writing everyday is a great exercise, and I am learning a lot doing this. I am also inspired by the many people I meet this way.
8. Apply for lots more art shows. I showed work in LA, Chicago, and Brooklyn in 2007. I want to do a lot more of this in 2008, get my work out there. I was rejected more than accepted, and am learning to accept this as a part of the game and not take it so personally.
The main goal I have is to have fun while living my life. If I am having fun, things are working and I am attracting to myself what I want. The energy of fun is very attractive!
How would you like to have more fun in 2008?
"My Beautiful Red Planet" 2005 32"x32" acrylic on vinyl
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I love working with red. The color of passion, fire, love, blood, earth, sunsets, flowers. I love to wear red - lipstick, nails, dresses, shoes. Tomato, Chinese, cadmium, wine, scarlet, and burgundy reds. One of my favorite pigments is alizarin red. I also love red wine, tomatoes, apples, cherries, berries.
Such a life affirming color. I once painted a huge room in my house deep red. A brave choice, how wonderful it was to sit in that room. It was a body friendly color to live with. I have always been partial to warmer tones, probably for this reason: my body likes them. I also look better in warm tones than cool. My hair is red, my personality fiery, I move quickly. I am impatient.
Patience is another virtue I have been courting, sometimes unwillingly. As I continue to clear out the old, I am releasing my impatience. Not all of it, some of it works just fine for me. I am simply not a turtle, sometimes to my detriment, often enough to my benefit to make it worthwhile the few times I get myself in a jam.
The impatience I am working on letting go of is with myself, and with my body. I have been learning to be much kinder to my body, since it dawned on me a few years back that I won't get very far without it. I want to be on friendly terms here. I went through years where I tended to ignore what it was trying to tell me. Many times when I am giving a reading, this very issue comes up. People expect huge things from their bodies without giving much in return. What works for me is to be kind to my body, say nice things to it, feed it well, wear validating clothes, get enough sleep.
As an artist, impatience doesn't work either. At least not while I am painting. This is one place where I get to slow down and lose track of time, which is the biggest healing as I am a notorious time freak, meaning I must be on time.
Funny Time Freak Story: My maternal grandfather was a time freak too. We would go to my grandparents' home for many holidays and family parties. Even though my mother tried her best, stressing all the way, it was a big challenge to get 6 children, herself, and my father ready in time. We were often late, though I'm sure by no more than 15-30 minutes. My grandfather would be standing outside of his home, pointing at his watch as we pulled up in the station wagon. And he wasn't amused, in fact he was often angry. We called it "being German" since he was. The Irish side of the family was a lot more relaxed about such things. I laughed at him then, still do now, but I see the same tendencies in myself. I no longer wear a watch as it kept falling off my wrist - my body rejected it! This can only be a good thing.
How about you, what is your relationship with time? Are you comfortable, do you stress, are you always late? What activities help you have more space and not worry about time?
"Red Mountain" 2005 32"x36"
Saturday, December 29, 2007
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Fun Fabulous and also Weird Facts About Me:
~Beginning when I was 5 years old, I was obsessed with making paper dolls. I discovered that if I held the paper doll I'd made up to the window, it was easier to draw the clothes to fit perfectly. I used to sell the paper dolls I made to the other kids in my neighborhood for a nickel.
~In my next life, I want to be the female lead singer of a wildly successful band.
~I often laugh out loud at "inappropriate" moments because I am amused by the energy. One of the times I do this is at movies, which sometimes embarrasses my husband.
~I love dark chocolate, the darker the better.
~Besides being an artist, I am a professional psychic, a clairvoyant. I have given readings to literally hundreds and hundreds of people over the last 8 years.
I am tagging:
I am continuing with my end of the year wrap up, and my theme for this week is Letting Go and Getting Rid of Stuff.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I moved into a loft from a big home. What I didn't say is that so did my art studio, office, and my husband's office, musical equipment and film equipment. We have regular shoots in this loft, I paint, we both office here, and also live, eat, sleep, bathe...here. It's wild, and I never imagined it could work as well as it does. It helps that we have a fireplace, skylight, and nice neighbors, as well as a hot tub and pool outside.
I love living in a loft, and in fact had wanted to do so for years. Part of uprooting and moving 2000 miles west was so that we could create a Brand New way of living, one more true to each of us. I like living downtown, like the bustle and activity, and love living in Los Angeles.
One of the first things I noticed upon moving here was that nobody knew me and therefore I could be anything I wanted. There were no expectations from others. How freeing! Another thing I liberated myself from: people's expectations. It has gotten easier the longer I've been here, because as I create the new me, I have more space now in which to do so. Sometimes the hardest thing to encounter while trying to change one's life is everyone's demands that you Do Not Change.
My business is change. Most of the readings I give are to people going through changes, or stuck and trying to, or wondering why things aren't changing. I have noticed that the more someone holds onto the past, the harder change will be. As a person who used to try to hold onto things around me, I see now how much easier it is to simply let go. Change will happen, guaranteed, with or without my blessing or yours.
What would you like to let go of? Please comment and let me know!
"So the Moon Told Another Story" 2007 26"x20" at kriscahill.com
Friday, December 28, 2007
A liberation I have been experiencing is the freedom from stuff. Noel and I once owned a 2 story, 3 bedroom house with a full basement and 2 car garage in Chicago. It was full of stuff. We sold that house in September 2006 and moved to Los Angeles into a 1500 square foot loft. 1500 square feet Period. Where did all our stuff go?
We sold some, gave lots away. People came and took our plants, fish, big furniture we didn't want to move. On moving day, our 16' Penske was jammed tightly by the two very talented movers we hired to pack it. They tried as hard as they could, but we still had a lawn full of Stuff. Hilarious. In a panic, and having to be out of the house before the new owners showed up, we called my sister whose husband came over in a huge van, filling it with furniture and more Stuff we couldn't squeeze into our Penske.
At the other end, here in the loft in LA, it was a good thing we didn't have a bigger truck. No way would all that stuff have fit into this place and still leave room for us.
I have since learned to live with less stuff. Anything brought into my home will need to be put someplace, and there is no basement or extra closet in which to throw it. It's hard to hide anything here. Liberating! Kind of like a reformed smoker, I wax poetically about not having so much stuff lying around. I go through what I do have regularly, and since it's hard to hide much of it away, I get rid of more. This is easier than it used to be, and is working for me on all kinds of levels.
I have a good friend who lived in San Francisco at the time of the last big earthquake there in 1989. She used to have all her good crystal and china in a cabinet, never using it much. Until the quake, when she realized she could have lost it all, and began using what survived that quake everyday. She learned to enjoy what she had, and that what was lost was really, after all, just Stuff.
"The Listeners" 2005 32"x40"
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Beginning with six days in Chicago, where I learned I can still handle 15 degree weather with 60 mile per hour winds. Walking in such weather, I mean. Into the wind. No, my face didn't freeze off. I was a little scared I might have gone a bit soft here in SoCal, but it isn't so!
Then I hiked in my beloved Griffith Park yesterday for an hour, straight up to Dante's Peak, the highest point. The trails I used to hike were closed for a while after the big fire in the park last May. I was in Chicago for my grandmother's funeral, already in mourning, and then I see my beautiful park burning up on TV. Thankfully it's fine, most trails are open, and it is still beautiful even though there are lots of blackened trees and ground.
Today Noel and I went ice skating in Pershing Square, in downtown LA. We were finally allowed onto the ice in badly fitting rental skates with about 200 other people, most of them children. I spent my 20 or so minutes on the ice just trying to remain vertical, mostly successfully.
The thing I noticed the most today was the huge smiles on the faces of the children skating. Most of them fell a lot, but they were having so much fun! Faces filled with sheer joy. Part of it was just being there and doing this thing NOW. I overheard one little girl as she tried to skate past me while keeping a death grip on the railing, "I'm not good at this!". She looked like a very serious 7 year old, and she was having fun. It was all that mattered to her.
Ever since I was a child, I noticed the disparity between children and adults. It looked to me like many adults in my world were not having much fun. I couldn't identify with them. I often wished they would decide to lighten up already. I learned to have fun without them. And I never once believed any of them when they would tell me how hard it was to grow up and become an adult.
I couldn't wait to do that. It looked like freedom to me: I could travel by myself, go places I wanted, create what I liked, and go out all night. I could have my own apartment and decorate it any way I liked. I could sleep late, read books all day, and leave a big mess to clean up later when I felt like it. Didn't grown-ups know how good they had it? I cherished and loved being around the ones who still understood the secret to having fun.
How about you, do you have fun? What is fun for you, and how would you like to enjoy yourself in 2008?
"Magical Fire Sea" 2006 40"x32" at kriscahill.com
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
One of my fondest memories of ice skating was when I was 9 and living in Chicago, which has lots of ice skating and no palm trees. My brothers and I went to the ice skating rink at Ridge Park, which was a good mile or so from our house. It was a very cold day. So cold that my ice skate laces froze up and nobody, not even the few adults present, could untie them when I wanted to put my boots on to walk home. I walked home in my ice skates, mostly on people's lawns because it had snowed a lot recently. I felt very silly, and attracted some attention from people noticing the weird kid walking along on their lawns in her ice skates. C'est la vie.
But back to purging. Many things must go: clothes, books, cd's, and stuff. I like letting go of my stuff. On all kinds of levels. I am at a place in my life where I would rather have less of what I really like than a lot of what I don't. Plus I am an iPod user, and never play cd's anymore. When my car window was smashed a few months ago and a lot of cd's were stolen, I realized I didn't need to buy them anymore. ITunes!
I look forward to freeing up my energy, and creating some space in my home and studio simply by getting rid of stuff. I am less squeamish than I used to be. Questions I ask myself while going through my wardrobe are: how do I feel when I wear this? Is it validating? Do I make excuses when I put it on? This all takes about 3 seconds, but it works. And the same goes for other energies I may be wearing: does this invalidation make me look bad?
"Bronze Heart" 1998 30"x25"
Monday, December 24, 2007
For Christmas this year, I want to have a light and happy heart, filled with peace, love, and joy. I wish you the same, along with whatever else it is you desire.
Here's a special heart for the season: 'Flaming Green Heart'.
"Flaming Green Heart" 2004 30"x26"
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Noel and I have had a whirlwind visit, filled with people we've known for so long. I also like to see who I will just run into, the unplanned visits. I expect to see a few familiar faces today, nobody in particular, since that seems to be the energy.
This city I lived in for so long is familiar, and also distinctly new to me. I love to come back and see with my new eyes, unaccustomed as they are to the everyday here. So even though I miss my flip flops, I am embracing bundling up again. We came in very late last night, about 2AM, after going to see a friend's band play at a club. It was warm, upper 40's, and raining like hell. Loved it!
I feel happy and grateful to be where I am today, more secure and with much more perspective about where I am going. I had to leave this place to find my new place in this world, and I don't mean Los Angeles!
"Landscape in Green" 2005 32"x40"
Friday, December 21, 2007
Yesterday, Noel and I walked down Michigan Avenue, and up it again. Though cold, it being December in Chicago, it was warmer than it's been, mid 30's. I am used to warmer, and it felt good to be out walking in the cold crisp CLEAN air.
We went to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the Jasper Johns show, 'Gray', which runs through January 6. It is a great show! See it if you are able. Very inspiring, it had me sketching some new ideas afterward over a mocha. New paintings in 2008! I am done painting for 2007.
Lots of people still to see, and communication to have. I am not blogging my usual way while here, as I am running off to the next party/dinner/meeting. More tomorrow, and I hope all your holiday plans are going great!
"Beautiful Valley" 2004 32"x30"
Thursday, December 20, 2007
It's nice to get away from LA for a few days. It looks to me like I am so done with 2007, and my main task is to simply be with what I've had this year, and visit with family and friends.
Here's another from the archives: 'Crayon Heart'.
"Crayon Heart" 2001 32"x28"
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I am on my way to Chicago today, to celebrate the holidays and see family and friends. Excitement and fun! Probably a few surprises. And yes, I have my drawing materials packed already. I'll write more from the Midwest.
"End of Days" 2005 36"x32"
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Because of my reverse technique, I often don't plan pieces that are wider than my own "wing span", which is about 60". I need to be able to hold the piece up to my mirror to see what's happening as I work, and wider is harder. Even 60" is kind of difficult, but I work it out by getting someone to help me. It's important to be able to see what's happening immediately, before the first layer of paint dries. Once acrylic dries on vinyl, fuggedaboudit! It can't be removed without scratching the vinyl, which then ruins the piece. I have learned to accept the pieces that happen on the way to the one I end up finishing, as my sketches. Create and Destroy!
I would like to give myself the freedom to do a lot more of this: sketching, experimenting, creating new forms without judgment or fear. To let go of the need to create a perfect finished thing, a "success", because my studio time is so precious. I am certain other artists experience this dilemma from time to time. I know it is coming up for me now because I'm planning to create something new, and also to break some old patterns and habits.
I talked about success last night with some friends. What does it take, what must one be willing to give, and what does success mean anyway? What is it worth? Someone else's definition of success may have defined yours, and so you madly pursue a goal, only to find it doesn't make you happy. Is that still success when you get there?
At this time in history, people all over this amazing planet we live on are redefining success for themselves. To me it looks like many people searching for what is true for them. That is a place of healing. Beautiful!
"A Place Of Healing" 2007 30"x60" Commission
Monday, December 17, 2007
In continuing this revisiting of my older works, I realize I am collecting up quite a lot of my energy from the past. I have been obsessively organizing everything: all of my records and files, even my closet... because I can see that next year is going to be quite something. And I want to be ready for it. I don't remember ever being so certain I needed to prepare for the next thing.
I feel as if I have come to a turning point in my life, a positive one filled with possibilities and the ability to learn from what I have experienced until now. Add to that the desire for many more new and delightful experiences, and being able to validate myself and my work, and wow! I am having some of what I have wanted for a long time. I have had a lot of help along the way, for which I am grateful.
As I learned early in my psychic education, all healing is self healing. In order to heal, you have to want to. Otherwise all the greatest healers on the planet won't be able to do a thing to help you. It starts with you.
What would you like to heal in yourself?
"The Man Abstract" 2006 30"x28"
Sunday, December 16, 2007
How about that thought? The idea that simply by being present, you might be giving someone else a gift. I didn't used to get this, but I do now. No activity will ever replace having space.
"A Place of Being" 2005 31"x31"
Saturday, December 15, 2007
In my zeal to get myself into present time, I'm revisiting a lot from my past. This painting, 'Sunflower', is from about 7 years ago. I am feeling nostalgic for my flower paintings, which I used to make a lot of. At the time I was making a lot of flower paintings, I was also growing a lot of flowers. I lived in Chicago, which as you may already know, has a Very Short growing season. Not Long Enough, as I recall. And full of Surprises, which can wipe out one's entire garden in one May frost overnight.
Still, I am nostalgic for it, because it was so sweet, after the long Midwestern winter, to welcome spring. And what a lovely segue into my point: I feel as if I am about to begin my Spring. I am finally leaving a kind of Winter I have been in for a long time. It is hard to describe or explain. I just know I am about to start on the next part of this wonderful adventure that is my life.
So I may be a bit nostalgic for the past. As I collect myself back from it, and have a lot of gratitude for what I have gone through, the people who helped me, and who I have become, I can see more clearly a new beginning.
I am visualizing new flower paintings. And new trees. Blooming with the first buds of Spring.
"Sunflower" 2001 32"x26"
Friday, December 14, 2007
I grew up hearing about and being fascinated by World War II, how could such things exist? I had very strong feelings about it, and recoiled when I first learned about the Nazis. It was painful, even more than 30 years later. So much hate and viciousness!
One thing I have become increasingly aware of over the past 10 years is a war closer to home: the war inside each of us. I see people at war within themselves, and it is no wonder to me that war ends up reflected in the outside world.
When someone decides to heal that rift within, through forgiveness, or self love, or making art they love! - everything changes around them and in their world. Peace can exist, and I do believe it is up to each one of us to start.
Goodwill toward yourself might be a great way to begin. The worst that can happen is you might feel really good about yourself. And that good energy has a way of spreading, it's catching. Way more fun than its opposite!
In the spirit of the season, I wish you Peace within.
"Clown Flower" 2000 32"x25"
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Actually, I finally figured out what I wanted to wear by summer. From the time we moved here over a year ago until sometime this past May? June? I still had no idea. Nothing seemed to fit, not literally, but stylishly. I didn't know what I wanted to look like.
I was reminded of that this evening while giving a reading to a young woman who just moved here 3 months ago. I saw the same picture for her, and she said, "Yes! I thought I lost my style." It's kind of a big deal, especially out here. Not that one has to go around looking like a fashion perfect picture, it's more about image.
'Summer of New Dreams' refers to that time when I finally began coming up with my answers of what could be next. To dream some more new dreams. Once that time came for me, it seemed to get easier. I began to feel more at home here, no longer an outsider. It took as long as it took to get to this point, and looking back I can see it was all necessary.
"Summer of New Dreams" 2007 14"x14" kriscahill.com
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
When I became a Psychic Meditation teacher, I'd often have students ask what books they could read to help them with their studies. "Harry Potter", I'd answer. Some of them liked that, others wanted me to prescribe serious spiritual tomes, which I did not read. Harry Potter! And InStyle Magazine! Don't forget the Onion! These are some of my most important textbooks. Some people expect their spiritual teachers to read more "relevant" works. OK, how about ummmmmm....Dr. Seuss? "Harold and the Purple Crayon"?
Harold, like Harry, performed magic. Harry had a wand, Harold a purple crayon. He would draw and his world would appear. Very clairvoyant of him.
Harry had to study hard to learn how to use his abilities. I liked that, it rang true. Nothing came easy to him, and yet he was Magic. He still had to decide to grow, had to become stronger, suffered great losses. Even though he was a powerful wizard, he was also still so human.
To me the Energy of Magic is all this, and more. Just living can be a magical act. If one decides to have the energy of magic, how different a day can be. I notice that I have this energy more when I am present and aware of what's happening around me. Then I attract magical things to myself. It's fun. (I count smiles from strangers among the magical things.)
"Energy of Magic" 2007 14"x14" at kriscahill.com
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
So I am planning to give a great gift to myself this season. The greatest gift I can think of. It won't cost me a dime, and will help me reclaim much of my energy, healing myself in the process. It'll also clear out a lot of the cobwebs that have been collecting in my space.
As I give this gift to myself, I will also be giving it to others. Killing two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. Some of them may never know I am giving them a gift, because shhh, it's really for me! Selfish?
What is this valuable gift, this amazing substance? Forgiveness. Forgiving myself first, for everything, for not being perfect, for being a sometimes ornery stubborn impatient cranky insecure thoughtless HUMAN. Jeez Louise, am I ever wrong sometimes! (Who's Louise, and why does her name often begin with 'Jeez'?)
Then forgiving others: my mean 3rd grade teacher, ex's, (none of mine live in Texas), people who have decided I am so nasty wrong and evil, George Bush, (yes, even him), anyone who ever lied to me... the list could be endless. but I am deciding to end it, because I want to move on from holding onto all this crap.
I saw an amazing documentary a year ago, 'Forgiving Dr. Mengele'. It is the story of a Jewish woman who was sent, as a child, with her twin sister, to Auschwitz. Dr. Josef Mengele was the Nazi doctor who performed cruel experiments on twins in that camp. This documentary is the story of how she decided many years later to forgive the Nazis, including Dr. Mengele. And she clearly states that she did it for herself. She goes on to say that the pain in her body went away, and she healed her life in a big way. The most interesting thing she experienced from doing this is the wrath of some other survivors. Some of them were just angry, how dare she forgive the Nazis?? She has gone on speaking tours, and held forgiveness rallies at Auschwitz and other camps. She is inspiring, and I highly recommend seeing this film. If one woman who experienced unbelievable cruelty at the hands of vicious humans can forgive, why not each of us?
I'll leave you with a song:
When all the fighting is done
When all the blood has run
The opening fist
A wounded hand to kiss
It's the wonderdrug
It's the miracle cure
It could change our world
Make our lives secure
I take my chance at each abyss
And reach for my forgiveness
The moment the words cut in
The moment anger begins
In the light of a new day
I hope you'll have your say
Together we grow
Together we know
No losers, no winners
Together we're free
Together we see
No right or no wrong
It's the wonderdrug
It's the miracle cure
It could change our world
Make our lives secure
I take my chance at each abyss
And reach for my forgiveness
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sometimes I write down snatches of conversations I overhear. My favorite is one I overheard at Home Depot. Noel and I were shopping for houseplants for our new LA home. In the garden section, I saw an elderly couple. The wife was saying to her husband, "They have your snapdragons! Would you like some snapdragons?" She was so excited about the snapdragons and her husband wasn't. It left me wondering what the story was about Snapdragon Man.
I digress. I want to draw more. Just last week I bought myself a new sketchbook for Serious Drawing Only. And I resolved that when I go to Chicago for the Holidays next week I will bring it, and some drawing tools. I have this perfect picture of sitting in a cafe with a lovely cup of tea, drawing away.
Then tonight I was tooling around on some new blogs I found from links here and there, and I found this:
“But I don’t have time to draw...”
Draw lunch as you eat it : 1 drawing
Draw the news as you watch it: 4 drawings
Skip 1 sitcom: 3 drawings
Skip 1 basketball game: 11 drawings
Overtime: 2 drawings
Draw in the locker room at the gym: 2 drawings
Draw the coffeemaker while you wait for the coffee to perk: 1 drawing
Draw in line at the supermarket: 1 drawing
Stay up an extra 10 minutes: 1 drawing
Get up 10 minutes early: 1 drawing
Draw during commercials: 6 drawings per hour
Draw every time you smoke a cigarette: 1 drawing
Draw till the waiter brings dessert: 1 drawing
Draw in the tub: 1-2 (waterproof) drawings
Draw on the phone: 2 drawings
Draw during a pedicure: 2 drawings
Draw in the doctor’s/ dentist’s/ therapist’s waiting room: 1 drawing
Draw at the red light: 1 drawing
Get to work early, stay in the car: 1 drawing
Take the bus: 2 drawings
Draw while waiting for spouse to get ready: 2 drawings
Draw what you’re cooking while it cooks: 1 drawing
Draw on the john: 1 drawing
From a free downloadable PDF found on Danny Gregory's blog.
Thank you, Danny Gregory, for the inspiration and permission!
I realized when reading this non effort list that I have been putting so much energy on making my drawings perfect. What crap! I have one resolution for 2008 lined up so far, and it's this: Draw! No matter what. I have some new forms to create, and I know drawing is the key.
How about you, do you like to draw? What are your favorite drawing tools?
"Cosmic Flower" 2005 32"x28" acrylic on vinyl painting
Sunday, December 9, 2007
This tree is surrounded by energy, and is aware of that energy. There is no problem here, nothing to solve. The ground even looks like it is swirling. The earth turns, continues to move, and the sky has its own movement.
Sometimes it can feel like things are stuck and just NOT moving. That is a good indicator that it may be time to let go of something. What to let go of is up to you. I've noticed for myself that I always know what has to go, even if I don't wanna know it. Resistance is futile. Surrender, Dorothy.
If you could change one thing about yourself overnight tonight, what would it be?
"Night Tree" 2003 32"x28"
Saturday, December 8, 2007
It's so much fun to read people who have gone through this, and are now Through it. Into something else, to be sure. Last night I gave readings to a group of women at a party. I love to read at parties. One woman I read wanted me to look at her growth, and where she is now. I saw she had come though several decades of clearing everyone's problems out of her space. Thirty years ago she took on every problem that came her way, along with all the pain that came with it. Nowadays, her amusement is so great no problem can get through it. "You want me to solve WHAT?" while laughing herself silly, was the picture. Both she and I laughed out loud at this one.
This week something interesting happened for me. I was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, in an article about the Writer's Guild strike. I am listed on the WGA website as one of the businesses giving discounts to writers during the strike, (I'm offering a discount on my readings.)
The reporter, Lynn Smith, emailed to ask if any writers had responded to my offer. One had, and I wrote back to Lynn letting her know this. She asked if the writer was concerned about her future career as a writer. I wrote back that I don't predict the future since I don't see it is written in stone. And that it is interesting when something big like a Writer's strike comes along because everyone has a chance to make choices.
What I notice during emotionally charged events like this strike, is that everyone has an opportunity to take a step. It is possible to create something new, no matter what the outcome. And each person is making choices along the way. Sometimes things have to look hopeless in order for actual change to happen.
Life is very messy. So is making Art.
"Valley of the Sun" 2006 34"x32"
Thursday, December 6, 2007
My work changed dramatically after that fateful day. I thanked my teacher for that, but I don't know if I thanked her enough for helping me free myself from the confines of my brushes. Thank you, Ellen Campbell, for helping me to find permission to play with my paint!
Though I love my brushes, my favorite painting implements tend to be plastic forks, ripped up newspaper, fake plastic credit cards that come in the mail, and rags. This painting is from 1997, only a few years after I began painting with forks. It is typical of my work at that time. The entire piece was 'forked'. I had it animated on my first website, very cool.
I have a friend who's also an abstract painter who came back from a trip to Rio during Carnivale and began to literally stomp on his paintings. He did a whole series of these stomped works, and they are so energetic and beautiful. They look like how he felt and what he was going through at the time.
I, like many other artists, look at other artists' work to see what they are doing, what they've come up with. I may be inspired by something another artist does, but then I change it, do it my way. I am inspired by Hockney, Richter, Bonnard, and so many others. I've had many people copy my reverse painting on vinyl, as I have looked at how others work with imagery, or color, texture. We all learn from each other. How fun is that?
But if my work isn't true to me, it won't speak to anyone, and I will be bored. Then I won't want to make it and it won't get made...so I work at doing what is mine. I love to see what other artists are doing, love going to their shows, love learning about new forms. But if I begin to compare myself to all of them, it will not be good for me and my work. So my biggest task here is to be me, and not try to be them. Seems simple, ay?
"Gold Leaves of Autumn" 1997 32"x28"
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
"Fire on the Mountain" 2007 26"x20" at kriscahill.com
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I remember the first time a show by an abstract artist created an intense desire to make paintings that had that kind of power. It was Gerhard Richter at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, in 1988. I stood in front of these giant canvases filled with the most incredible colors. The forms, the rhythms, the light in those pieces! I was truly blown away. Something inside of me stirred, and I remember the tears in my eyes, but it would be another 15 years before I had permission to call myself an abstract artist.
When I began making these wild colorful paintings, I was shy about showing them to anyone. I gave my husband the one he loved, and it hung in our home, still does. People would come over to see my work, and when they saw that piece would always remark how they liked it, it was so different from my other work. I finally began to play with abstract forms, looser brush work, the use of different tools. It was like revisiting my fabric painting days, though less safe. When I painted fabric, I had more permission. Now I had to find that again, on a scary canvas.
My new abstracts were fun to make, and began to find a following. I realized I was painting and expressing energy in a new way, and I could communicate this way and be understood. Part of this was me deciding I didn't need to make sense.
Everyone sees different forms in abstract imagery. Months and years later I see things in my paintings that are 'new' to me. But I understand what I am healing in myself is also on an emotional level. Somehow painting abstractly does this in a different way than anything else.
Becoming a clairvoyant was the biggest step I took toward healing myself in every way, including creatively. I don't think I would be making these kinds of paintings if I hadn't.
"Flower" 2007 13"x13" at Etsy
Monday, December 3, 2007
When I was making this smaller piece, I kept thinking of the phrase 'the forecast calls for birds', which is kind of a twist on the line from the blues song, 'the forecast calls for pain'. Given a choice, I'd take birds over pain any day, hence the title.
"Bird Forecast" 2007 12"x12" at Etsy
Sunday, December 2, 2007
To me this has always looked like a Fish On Fire. That may be a different painting for another day.
What I like this piece for is its carefree energy, which I remember having while painting it. How fabulous to be carefree - when I am actually there it is a wonderful feeling and I can't imagine why I'd want to be anything else. Ha!
There is a dark underbelly to this piece too, kind of like a Dead Fish. Perhaps a bit colorful still on the surface, but not the whole story. No need to camouflage the truth here. Adults think they need to do this: lie to be polite. Children learn this behavior from adults, sometimes forcibly. "Don't say that, it's not polite!" might often be the response from an adult when a child says what he or she is experiencing or seeing. Children learn to judge this way, themselves and others. The adults don't necessarily mean any harm; they are trying to help the children acclimate to the social mores.
Unfortunately for us all, the social mores involve lots of lying. We are all guilty. This doesn't make us wrong. It just may be time to stop lying! The pressure to keep lying is great. And we may become unpopular if we stop doing so. But we may also start to see more clearly.
We may not even know we are lying. If something is repeated often enough, it becomes "truth", or we make it so by believing it without question.
As is my custom at the end of a year, I begin writing my goals for the new year. They change often enough, while still retaining an integrity and consistency. I know all the facts aren't in today, and I expect they'll be coming along when I'm ready, so I give myself permission to change, A LOT.
One of my goals, for every year, remains consistent. Truth. My own. I work on this every day.
"Eye of the Fish" 2007 40"x36" at kriscahill.com
Saturday, December 1, 2007
"Playing With Fire" is the first large piece I created in the Energy Series. I love this larger size, 36" x 36", because the pattern I am working with can be played out more. I am pleased with how the energy looks like it is undulating, and I picture a fire being fed from deep within. The turquoise is the fire sparking up and out. The painting has so much depth and emotion, and I feel that I surpassed what I intended to create here. It is always nice to have this attitude about my own work, a feeling I would like to experience much more.
Fire is dangerous, attractive, warming, passionate, hot tempered, action oriented, fast moving, unpredictable, colorful, destructive. Not an energy to take lightly, certainly one to be friendly with.
You can see "Playing With Fire" in person at the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, hanging above the front reception desk, where it will be through December.
"Playing With Fire" 2007 36"x36" at kriscahill.com