tulips #mixedmedia #collage

tulips close up

This teeny-tiny art fits beautifully in small spaces like between cabinets and counter tops, for example.  Spice up space that’s usually ignored.  Poor space.  It hates to be so naked and neglected!  Makes an affordable, one-of-a-kind gift of fine art for the art-lover in your life.

unframed 6X6″ mixed media India Ink painting on paper with collage.  Ships bubble wrapped in appropriate box to protect integrity of the piece.

$45

A percentage of profits from #formidableWoman are donated to charities that help women in need.  My current charity-of-choice is The Healing Touch Worldwide Foundation, toward educating Healing Touch Practitioners.

Fill in the form below to initiate a purchase or inquiry.

 

 

blue woods #painting #mixedmedia

blue_woods_on_wall_12_31_15_7X7_in_mm_on_paper_grande

I’m having big fun making teeny-tiny art for teeny-tiny spaces!  6X6″ mm on paper painting (acrylic, India Ink and oil pastel) is mounted on acid free backing-board.

Ships in a bubble wrap in an appropriately sized box to prevent damage.

$45

A percentage of profits from #formidableWoman are donated to charities that help women in need.  My current charity-of-choice is The Healing Touch Worldwide Foundation, toward educating Healing Touch Practitioners.

Fill in the form below to initiate a purchase or inquiry.

the #art of repetition

for everything there is a season…

Ecclesiastes 3:1

twelve studies in sacred geometry:

IMG_3136

3×3, 6×6, & 12×12″ mixed media collage with repurposed beads, threads, wire & pins.

details:

 

IMG_3147

 

IMG_3146

IMG_3144

IMG_3143

IMG_3142

IMG_3141

IMG_3140

IMG_3139

IMG_3138

IMG_3137
all original, mixed media now showing at Intermezzo Gallery, Comfort, Texas.  Contact the gallery here.

d ellis phelps is the author of Making Room for George, a love story

loose woman:  #art & #life

image: sketch from a couple of days ago in my journal

This loose woman and many others like her have peppered the pages of my journals for years like sirens, luring me into the dangerous waters of artistic transformation.

Some have become manifest in more rigid forms, morphed into spirit guides bringing messages, heralds of truth.

But these images are more abstract, less full of words, more pure imagining, fanciful, and fun!

I wonder:  what would this life, this art look like?  How would it change me..

Can I let go of what I have known, ask the “Little Baptist Girl” shadow to rest, release her Puritainistic, patriarchal  hold on my psyche and let this wild, loose woman have her way with me?

Can I trust that SHE too is holy?  Can I allow Her sensuous vulnerability to pull me into the dark waters of the unknown?

beer fixes everything

Don’t we all wish this were true?  Some Texans believe it, especially those of German heritage, descendants of pioneers who originally settled in the Texas Hill Country in the late 1800’s.

German tradition permeates our culture right alongside a rich Mexican influence. Within a hundred mile radius during a one day road trip from San Antonio’s downtown El Mercado to Fredericksburg,  travelers can experience both.

  Image: Mi Tierra’s ceiling all year long!

At Mi Tierra Mexican Cafe and Bakery in El Mercado, you can have some of the best Tex-Mex that can be found: enchiladas, sopapias, margaritas & all to the festive or romantic ( per your request) sound of Mariachis 24/7.

And just a few miles northwest, you can feast on sausages, steamed red cabbage, sauerkraut, German potato salad and BEER!!

image:  Rick, Brewmaster

At Fredricksburg Brewing Company, Rick, who’s been the Brewmaster for sixteen years, will make sure you get the perfect blend of brew for you.  They serve a sampler so you can taste first then take a growler of your favorite to go.

I love coming to Fredricksburg and we always eat at the Brewery, mainly because Hubby agrees with the sign on these walls that says “Beer fixes everthing,” but also because the food is great!

image: mixed media glass kinetic sculpture, Dan Pfeiffer. 

But my favorite thing to do in Fredricksburg is to SHOP, especially in the galleries!

image: glass sculpture, artist unknown

No matter whether you come to the Hill Country to explore its heritage or for its food, scenery, or BEER, you are sure to have fun!

We welcome you. And if you don’t learn anything else while you’re here, we’re pretty certain you’ll learn how to do this:

Image: Settler’s Crossing B&B near Fredricksburg

Ya’ll come on down! Maybe we’ll see you on the road.

#RRBC Book Review: Corvus Rising Book One The Patua’ Heresy by #Indie Author Mary C. Simmons

Corvus Rising Book Cover

This is a book of dreams: tree-houses; talking birds, the lost feminine, found.
Wilder Island, a mysterious, mythical island that symbolizes (in my mind) the earth herself, is inhabited by the Corvus (crows or ravens), keepers of an ancient, almost lost language. Almost lost, that is, to humans.
Fortunately, there are humans known as Patua’ who can communicate with the Corvus in this language. Alfredo Manzi, the lone Jesuit priest and professor of ornithology who comes to Wilder Island with the intention of turning it into a bird sanctuary, is one of them.
As the story begins, we witness Jade’s nightmare: crows, shattering glass, a precious medallion given to her by her unknown mother (we think) who disappeared when Jade was very young. Jade’s husband Russ, an academic peer of Manzi, comforts her, tries to convince her that her dream is merely an echo of the previous day’s events and conversation.

But Jade, an artist and believer in beauty, knows her dream means much more.

H. Koppdelaney raven image

image:  “Reflections of Winter”  used by permission of the artist, h. koppdelaney via Creative Commons license.

As a student of dreams, a lover of earth and believer in beauty, I am often one who speaks a language almost lost. I often find myself at odds with what is: too much noise, too many things, too much doing, so I deeply identified with one character in particular, Charlotte, she having been institutionalized her entire adult life and unable to communicate with most humans in language they could understand.
What happens in this eco-fantasy happens in reality: women stand up for their sanity and autonomy (with help or without it); money changers pollute and plunder the earth; people, acting alone or banding together, go to war over pieces of this planet (who owns it or how to treat it), all the while trying to understand or completely ignoring the language of the other.

Enter: the hero.

ravens at the tower 2000 Stephen B Whatley

image:  “Ravens at the Tower” 2000  used with permission of the artist, Stephen B. WhatleyView more of his work  here.  Read his profile on Wikipedia here.

The author of this layered allegory, Mary C. Simmons, has successfully given the role of hero to her crow characters. They are funny and wise, silly and sly and believable. These savvy creature-beings indeed point the way.

I don’t know about you, but I have to believe that together we can make the kind of relationship between animals (human and creature-beings) and between animals and earth happen that this author postulates can happen.

I loved this book.  -&-having never dreamed of crows before, and after reading the first few chapters of it, I did dream of them and then wrote the following verse:

for Mary C. Simmons

crows

carry
fallen oak

trunk of peace
these
do not
fly

they rise

~

such
a thing

i have
not seen

but dream

~

of trees
& crows

constructing

—architects
scrubbing

sky

~

how
(i wonder)

what if

dreams
are crystal

what if

feathers

ruled:

soft
curious
gesture

clever
ubiquitous

aim

~

// men //
are stone

ether

gathered
stacked

& after?

Look for an interview with Mary C. Simmons coming soon on this blog!

D. Ellis Phelps is the author of Making Room for George, Balboa Press, 2013.

“the surprising” continues to SURPRISE! Poetry & Song: an hour with the artist, recorded live

love seeks it my image (detail)image:  “love seeks its own” 36X12″ acrylic on canvas (detail), D. Ellis Phelps, 2014.  All rights reserved.

Follow the youtube link below to hear me reading  (about 43 minutes long) from my first full-length manuscript of ecstatic poetry entitled, “what holds her” with commentary about my recent solo show of visual art, “the surprising.”

It was recorded at Intermezzo Gallery in Boerne, Texas on Nov. 1, 2014.  I also make comments about my artistic process.

And TADA! make my debut (HA!) as a singer/songwriter, singing two new songs written during the making of the art for this show.

Fast forward to about minute 26 if you just want to hear the songs & a little of their back-story.  The first song, “love seeks it own,” was received just after completion of the fourth painting in the series also entitled “love seeks its own,” after the song.

D. Ellis Phelps is the author of Making Room for George, Balboa Press, 2013.

mourning: lost & found

mourning mother flickr image attributionimage:  “mourning mother” by Jinterwas.  Used with permission of Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

Yesterday, I met a young woman whose only child died last year.

Through tears, she told me that those close to her want her to “just get over it already.”

If you are one who feels uncomfortable when in the presence of pain being experienced by another and so you tell them to buck up and move on, please know that in an emotionally healthy individual, the grieving process takes time.  Lots and lots of time.  What is lost, is lost forever.  And mourning is never “over.”

The pain comes in waves, unexpectedly, profoundly.  And sometimes, for years.

As for me and my own experience of grieving, most recently the loss of both of my parents, and within that context, the perceived permanent loss of any possible reconciliation with them, the process has been ongoing since I first realized they were both in the process of leaving their bodies, until this very day.  It has been more than five years.

The pain has subsided.  It is distant now and thoughts of my loss do not always cause me to dissolve into tears, but I do still mourn for them, for myself, and for this planet full of others mourning.

I continue to allow myself whatever form of process-release I need:  wailing, talking out loud to the deceased (believing they “hear”  and respond to me),  furious dancing, receiving bodywork and energetic intervention, talking with a trusted friend, writing and making art.

Hard-Times-Require-Furious-Dancing-Alice-Walkerimage:  Walker, Alice.  Hard Times Call for Furious Dancing, (New World Library, 2010), book cover.  Illustrations by Shiloh McCloud with Michelle Noe

I am clear on this point:  relationships do not end when one “dies,”  but they do become more difficult to navigate because the other now lives on another plane of existence, communicating in non-linear dream-time, thought waves and forms, scents, signs, nudges, and yes, even visions.

For me, writing and making art are the most significant way I move forward–toward the Light.  The point is movement, not resistance to apparent darkness.  Seeking new insight and understanding regarding what is lost and moving gently toward integration of the new understanding into my life-view and way of being in the world, in relationship, transmutes all negative energy into positive, allowing all experiences to be used for the Highest Good.

When I can truly assimilate and put into practice what I have learned from a relationship and from purposeful, deep reflection on its relational qualities and nuances, studying and accepting which is my part and which is the part of the other and how we became who we are (were) together, then the essence of the relationship is not lost but found because the essential life of it lives in me and, indeed, in all whose lives I touch.

touching water by Augustine Ruiz flicker creative commons attributionimage:  “espejo” (mirror) by Augustin Ruiz.  Used with permission of Creative Commons.  Some rights reserved.

This process work is a profoundly spiritual experience.  My most recent series of art,” the surprising” and my full length book of poetry, what holds her (under submission) are both examples of living this process

Further, when this kind of profound interaction between the worlds takes place, each of us heals and can then, and only then, organically move forward with living our lives as they are now, resurrected in this new form, moving more freely within and between the realms and planes of existence toward Harmony and Love–the Highest Vibrational Frequency.

Om symbol creative commons attributionimage:  “OM” symbol by Karen.  Used with permission of Creative Commons.  Some rights reserved.

on the verge: dead trees, cream cheese, and children

Tragic Dead Christmas Tree 1 Toby BradburyImage:  “Tragic Dead Christmas Tree,” Toby Bradbury. Used with permission of Creative Commons.  Some rights reserved.

Today is the twelfth day of Christmas.

I have lost my bearings in the whoop-la of the “holidays”, in people pleasing, in following the way of the world:  shopping, baking, entertaining.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love presents.  I love giving presents.  I love being with my family, but enough is enough.  And no matter how I simplify, no matter how much I avoid tear-jerking, desire-provoking commercial advertising, no matter how I focus on “the reason for the season,” year after year, I overextend and find myself here.

My stomach spasms from overindulging in dairy:  cream cheese, chile con queso, fudge.  My head throbs from pollution, pollen, mental congestion.  My body aches, begging me to stop.  STOP!

a time of change and transition, when the night is on the verge of turning into the day

At three A.M., when vata is in charge, I lie awake, aching, nauseated, exhausted, overcome with anxiety.  Am I dying?  When I do, will I suffer then more than I do now?  Who will comfort me?  My chest squeezes in upon itself with worry.  I toss, turn, try to think of some action, some accomplishment, an achievement to which I can set my mind to abate the fear of the future.

All this thinking, thinking, thinking with zazen breath my sole companion.  Will I recover?  Will I have to go on living in this pain, dysfunctional, compressed, trapped in this tiny world, betrayed by the mind? 

8179518917_1ff414721a_bimage:  “Buddha Quote 100, Hartwig HKD.  Used with permission of Creative Commons.  Some rights reserved.

My body, too, betrays me.  I consider seeing a medical doctor again:  for sleep medication, for some pill to stop these jumping legs, muscles firing at will, demanding to go, to do, as though, like Forest Gump, I need to start running and never stop (until, like Forest, I have “put my past behind me.”)

I doubt myself.  I doubt my work.  I cannot seem to gather enough strength or patience to continue working with children to earn my bread and butter as I have done for many years.  Though I do love them still, they wear me out.

Writing student

And simply painting, usually a blissful activity that feels like the exact balm I need to soothe the “rude noise of the world” suddenly seems too solitary an endeavor, the canvas–a selfish lover from whom there are no guarantees, neither of community nor sustenance.

And yet, if I am to follow The Artist’s Way, this is a loneliness I must endure.

It is I alone who must know I have something to say (with paint or pen) that is worthy of my energy.

The making of art requires time:  time to conceive; time to create; time to problem solve; time to consider; time to complete; time to process; time to nurture the work; time to discern its message; & time to tell the story of how this work has manifested through me into being and what it means (if I know).

All the while I must eat, buy more canvas, hold a place to sleep and keep interesting tidbits: paper, thread (scraps of reality), bowls of stones, incense, icons, images of ancestors, tubes, jars, sticks of color and words–thoughts stacked in corners.

Collage Studio Portrait

I mine for courage like coal because no guarantee ever comes that any human (including myself) will understand what I do.

I think of songwriter, Stephen Foster (1826-1854), now known as “the father of American music,” who wrote over two hundred songs that are still popular to this day.  He died in New York City with thirty-eight cents and lyrics in his pocket.  He wrote about and was himself a Beautiful Dreamer, calling in the unseen world.

And so I follow his dreaming.

Again (the director says)!  Again I put this pen to page.  Again I witness this curve of ink, ask what matters.

In western schools, I learned a linear process, that following certain steps in a certain order would create a desired, predictable outcome.  This masculine way of processing left me with a false belief, a certainty that I could by exertion of my will control my world and secure my place in it.  It also left me completely unprepared to navigate the unknown.

That, I have had to learn on  my own by walking this path:  the feminine ever spiraling inward, this receptive unfolding.

This way is messy, mysterious and completely out of control.

detailimage: from the studies in sacred geometry series, @d. ellis phelps, 2015, all rights reserved.

D. Ellis Phelps is the author of Making Room for George, Balboa Press, 2013 and of the book length manuscript of poetry, what holds her, (under submission).