Madonna’s Day

The Christmas of 2015 I was inspired by the traditional images of the Virgin and Child to create my own series of Madonna pictures. I saw this most sacred image of the Divine Feminine as present in all women of all ages and all places and all times and all circumstances of life. In total, I created 50 pictures.

This year I have decided to display most of them as a digital gallery in movie format. As you will see my pictorial representation is not sophisticated, but leans towards the childish in artistic terms. But each of these girl/woman images speaks to me in her own unique voice.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am presenting the Madonna Mandalas to honor the Mother present in every woman.  (I am also posting this on my Marie Taylor, Art blog.)  Here is the link to You Tube:

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=RqjwRDACeE0

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Star Gazing

My understanding of things scientific is limited to broad sweeping generalities and just enough factual data to jump to unsupported conclusions. This in no way deters me from devising theories such as the one I have been pondering of late – the nature of the sun.

From what I understand the sun is like a gigantic atomic furnace that throbs and shudders and explodes with a seemingly unceasing and unlimited energy. Granted, sometime in the far, distant future our sun will one day run dry and burn out. Until then, it is the heart of our universe whose rays support life-creating conditions, particularly here on earth.

I have also read that our sun is a star. If we were somehow magically whisked to another galaxy we may see our own sol twinkling in the firmament.

The other day a confluence of these ideas came together in my mind – that our sun is a star, that our sun is the heart of our solar system and that our sun is active and life-giving. I made a leap – of intuition, of understanding, or perhaps misdirection, in keeping with the ancient adage, “As above, so below.”

If the sun is the heart of our solar system, then the heart of our bodies is our own personal sun, and as such is a baby star. In the center of our being, we carry a star that throbs and beats and gives life.

I ask myself is this stretching things too much but I think there is some important truth here.

We are slowly coming to the understanding the earth itself is a living organism and as such has some level of consciousness. Does that not also mean that our sun is also conscious? Is it not acting as the heart of the body of our solar system? And by analogy, does not every cell of our body also contain life and consciousness; is there somewhere buried in the nucleus of a cell an infinitesimal sun that is the furnace of its life?

Does this then mean we are comprised of billions and billions of starlets? Tiny pinpoints of light that shine and blink and throb with life?

Then I considered the theory that when a star dies it can become a black hole that sucks all light back into itself. Some scientists believe that these black holes collapse into white holes creating a torsion field which then give birth to new stars and new solar systems in an infinite series of Big Bangs.

Is this perhaps what happens when we die? Collapse into our selves, and then emerge newborn and vital on the other side?

As I said, my grasp of modern science is slippery at best but I am intrigued by the picture and the possibility that within my heart a star is in residence that conducts a symphony of life throughout my body, lighting each new cell as it is born, thereby passing my own Olympic torch down red corridors.

Cleaning House

To fight off the winter gloom I recently indulged in a flurry of house cleaning. I went through closets and drawers, shelves and cupboards, files and bins, recklessly throwing out anything that wasn’t useful, beautiful or meaningful.

Outdated clothes, ugly knick-knacks, strange kitchen utensils, unread books, rusty nails, sell-by packages in the pantry – they all met the same fate without a backward glance on my part. In fact, there was a noticeable feeling of freedom and lightness. I found that emptiness agreed with me.

But then I was faced with the evaluation and winnowing of my creative work – old sketches, youthful poetry, paintings that were not bad but not the best, artwork that had been good learning exercises but ….

It was much harder to let go of these creative projects for they were like a diary of my soul. My measurement with the artwork was “Was this piece good enough to frame?” I also asked myself what was my family going to do with all of this when I died?

I ended up giving away or throwing away 50% or more of the artwork, keeping only what I believed was very good or very meaningful and throughout this process I pondered the meaning of attachment and identity.

Was I defined by what I had made or what I possessed? By releasing this evidence of the past, was I less as a person? In releasing these artifacts and memories had I thrown away part of myself? Were they really gone forever? Would I regret my actions?

it is now several weeks since this house cleaning process began and my attention has turned to more subtle possessions. What old memories are tying me down or holding me back? What emotions have I been secretly harboring in the dark corners of my heart? What thoughts continue to run like worn out tapes in the attic of my mind? These, too, must be evaluated. Are they useful or beautiful or meaningful?

 

Where has the year gone!

It’s already half over. It’s true what they say about time going faster as you get older. It’s seems every day is Friday anymore. I’ve been promising myself that it would write a few blogs and update my website (for sure) in a few weeks. That was last February.

In my defense, I have been rather busy. To start the year my second knee surgery was postponed to late January after my surgeon was in a bicycle accident. Then I had a tooth turn on me which postponed it again until early May.

I finally had the surgery and the day I was due to come home, I got a phone call in the morning saying a water pipe had broken and my entire apartment was flooded. I’ll make a long story short and say that I spent most of my time recuperating at a local La Quinta hotel watching Home & Garden reruns while the apartment was rehabbed.

I finally made it back home in early June and by the time I got everything straightened out it was the 4th of July. So was it worth it? My knees feel better and I am walking more with a walker and cane. I can finally go back to my neighborhood park again and last week I went to the library for the first time in over a year. But I know that this old body will need more patches and repairs as time goes on. I’m just grateful it’s still working at all.

In the spring I explored some new types of mandala designs that have a Moorish flavor. I posted some examples in April on my art website. (https://marietaylorart.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/new-mandala-designs/) Another new twist is that I am drawing the designs on illustration board rather than Bristol which is a heavier, thicker, more durable medium.

I’m still teaching mandala art at the city senior center.  I also am continuing a monthly poetry appreciation class and enjoying getting back in touch with my verbal side.

Recently, I was approached by a representative of a hospice organization and I am planning a special workshop using mandala art as part of dealing with end-of-life issues. I am very excited about this as it is a topic that I need to be more proactive about. I’m hoping for a fall event and will post something at that time.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll try to be a little more active on the blog through the remainder of the year – and I’ll update the site.

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Madonna Gallery II

I have continued my Madonna series with great gratitude for the inspiration. My view has expanded since the early ones that showed the traditional subjects and postures. I am attaching two of these more unusual ones to show you what I mean: The Madonna of the Street and the Courageous Madonna. What I trying to show is that divinity is found in all people no matter what the exterior form shows. As I have worked with these ladies they tell me little stories about their lives.
Madonna of the Street
Madonna of the Street
The Courageous Madonna
The Courageous Madonna
To see Madonna Gallery II click on this link:
Best wishes to you and your family for 2016.

Madonna & Child

Byzantine Madonna
Byzantine Madonna

When my knee replacement surgery was postponed a couple of weeks ago because my surgeon was in an accident, I had the time and inclination to start an art project. I decided to make my own Christmas card. A simple undertaking I assumed. I first thought of making a mandala but soon was inspired to draw a traditional Madonna and Child within the mandala format. After a few clumsy starts I came up with the design I called “The Heavenly Madonna.”

But that was just the tip of the Madonna iceberg. All kinds of image of madonnas crowded into my imagination, all clamoring for their portraits to be done. To date I have 21 in total and think there are a few more rattling around in there.

I don’t claim that these are fine art. Some of them look rather primitive or childish but there is something charming about them, an innocence of some sort. The process has been a very beneficial one for me as it has given me time for reflection while I am drawing to consider the mother and child archetypes- perhaps the most basic and important of all symbolic relationships. The one who nurtures and the one who is nurtured, a symbiotic dance of love.

It has also given me the opportunity to reflect on my own personal mother/child interactions – to consider what I have done and what I would now do differently. Also, as I age I feel myself growing into the crone role, the old grandmother. What is there to give and receive now? Who is there to nurture and be nurtured by? Who is now the child and who the mother?

Christmas is the celebration of new beginnings and more and more I am realizing that time is itself the gift we give and receive. To fully acknowledge the transiency of this life and to release my belief in any control over its duration, requires all my courage. In return, every day is a dearer and little tearful and more beautiful.

All the blessings of the season to you and yours.

To see all of the Madonnas click on this link which will take to you to my art site. https://marietaylorart.wordpress.com/new-mandalas/madonna-child/

Checking In

It’s been almost two months since I last wrote a post and even then I had become rather slack in my once-a-week intention. My recent knee replacement surgery helped me to rationalize a summer hiatus and this morning after I checked email and FB, my curiosity took me to the MT Ink site.

I considered whether to just leave the site as it was – after all how much of what I have written is really that important – or should I dip my toe back into the inkwell, so to speak. It was less my desire to inform or contact others and more my need to write in itself that propelled me to this post. Writing fires up areas of my mind that art does not.

Part of my abstinence from writing has been due to my absence from the inspiration of the neighborhood park. Since last January my knees have been so bad that I have been physically unable to drive to the park, pull out the lawn chair and just sit. But this week I will not only sally forth to the park but to the local grocery store.

In any event, September is inviting thoughts of new beginnings. In December I will have the second knee replaced and I have several mandala art classes scheduled at a local senior center. Hopefully, by next fall I will be able to take a last trip back to Pennsylvania to see the beautiful Autumn-colored hills. The ‘older’ generation of my family is now gone and I am now one of the crones. It will be a time of leave-taking on many levels.

One of the beauties of aging – and perhaps the most poignant – is you must always be ready to leave. Thus each day, each activity can be filled with unexpected beauty and meaning. I am caring for my little cat as she enters her last year. She is very slow and walks with great deliberation. She is content now to watch birds from the window and does not object when a neighborhood cat comes on the patio. She purrs frequently and easily. She is at peace with herself and brings that contentment to all who are near her. What more can any of us wish for ourselves?