Monday, June 15, 2015

Earth Medicine

If I told all the stories of the months between the last time I came here -
the story of an exceptionally challenging winter: deep, deep snow, arctic cold, 
storm after storm, roof raking, food poisoning, sledding a new cord of wood over 
the enormous snowplow mound to the woodshed, a major flood in the house 
when the washing machine overflowed (luckily missing the new bamboo floor) 
burn out and exhaustion -  it might explain my absence here, and how, 
when spring arrived and school ended, the only thing I wanted to do was to 
be outside reveling in the sensual medicine of the earth. 

I appreciate the emails from people wondering if all was OK. I am very much 
better than I've been in a few years, but, coming out of a very long, dark, 
underworld journey has meant a shifting so profound that, in my emerging, 
I am blinded and taking time to refocus. As anyone who has gone to 
the underworld knows, there are great gifts to be mined if one stays in the 
dark mystery, trusting that it will be done only when it is done. 

Being quiet, with my hands in the earth planting, moving stones and gathering 
them from the river, listening to frogs and birds and the gentle ringing of Japanese 
Temple bells in the Medicine Garden is replenishing the places that felt hollowed 
and emptied. 

I haven't been painting, all my creative energy is going into nurturing myself 
and the plants and finishing projects in the Medicine Garden. I have forced 
myself to do some of the business end of art, with a goal of finding a few 
new galleries to represent me as I am shifting away from the ones I've worked 
with before. Like most artists, this is my least favorite part of it all, but to balance
it with so much outside time is good. So if I am not in the studio, I am creating
beauty in the garden, and, for me, it is all about beauty, in the many ways 
that it can be defined. 

Rhu Bear is a big kitty now, just over a year, and over ten pounds. He is really
quite a character, mostly well behaved, but sometimes very, very naughty. He 
has obviously come here to fill my heart with joy and to throw in an occasional 
monkey wrench in case I'm getting too comfortable. 

Though these paintings were made while the snow was still waist deep (which 
actually wasn't that long ago!) I just got them back from my photographer and 
wanted to share them with you as I don't believe they were posted here yet. 
We'll see what happens when I get back into the studio, which will be soon, 
but I was finding lots of pathways to explore with these last ones.  

"Blue Shadows" watercolor on paper, 15" x 22", V. Claff, 2015

"Winter Forest" watercolor on paper, 15" x 22", V. Claff, 2015