The awesome colors of fall in New England can still be seen here and there but the cold weather of late is letting us know the party will soon be over. I’m already thinking back to relatively recent summer days at the beach with family like an idyllic memory. Lately I’ve been spending more time in my small basement studio here at the 411 Middle St. house. It’s warm down there, somehow just the right temperature now that the main source of heat for the whole house is turned on. I’ve been working on craft items for the holiday fair I was in last Saturday.
This fair was a benefit for a woman’s organization in York, Maine, about a 25 minute drive from my house. Getting into Maine from here is easy and quick, but always involves a trip over one bridge or another. There are three to choose from. I followed the route that takes me into Maine on the same highway that leads to my granddaughter’s school. Her school bus makes the journey from her house in Rye to or from the school in about 45 minutes.
The fair was my first occasion to show off a new tree ornament image, a mermaid. Before I moved to New Hampshire I had a dream where I was painting mermaids in an ocean environment. All very watery and flowing and feminine. In the dream I felt very “at one” physically with the painting, just as we imagine painting could be, an intuitive flow. Sorry to report that when push came to shove mine was more of a mental process. How do I create a mermaid that is modest and thus age appropriate for everyone? How do I suggest the bright colors of Christmas while presenting a cool, watery creature? In the end, by studying a lot of mermaid art online I came to a resolution that feels both lively and modest, beautiful and somehow seasonal. I can dream on about painting mermaids in a more spontaneous way. There could be more to come, however they find their way into form.
The fair was also a debut event for my Soul Speak Oracle Cards, a deck of 44 cards and a booklet that has been in the works for some time. Silly me, I only took one deck for sale and one that I’ve been using myself and sharing with friends. I sold the one in the first hour. Many of you who read this blog know the history of the recent publication of the deck so I won’t go on. I do want to say that I’m committed to reprinting it as needed and keeping it available to interested people going forward. Due to high per-deck printing costs it can only be purchased from me but I am happy to work with that limitation and invite inquiries. At $35 plus shipping they make an affordable gift for someone special.
Here is my favorite photo in this blog. I’d say it’s the beginning of a love affair that’s starting between me and the trees of New England. They are happy trees, living for the most part in locations where they have all that trees need, rain and sun in adequate amounts. Thanks to the climate there are LOTS of trees here and that, at first, felt oppressive to me. Where were the open vistas and inspiring skies of New Mexico? But I notice I’m adjusting to my new location on many levels (not bothered so much by the urban sounds and hectic energy of Portsmouth) and thankfully the trees are starting to come into focus here.
This photo shows the “outside looking in” side of the story of the amazing view we’ve had lately at 411 Middle St. from inside the carriage house living room looking out to a month of jaw dropping autumn leaf beauty. There are very few houses in the neighborhood that are painted brown, but I do have to say it’s very kind on the eyes and looks great as a photo background.
This is a closeup of the same area. The summer’s back patio area is still sporting an umbrella. That will probably disappear when the first snowflakes start to fall. I’ve heard it could be any day now.
It’s an interesting story how I came to be at the holiday crafts fair in York, Maine. The first business contact I made here was with a store on the main street of Portsmouth that sells imports from India. The owners, a couple, are from India, a country that I have come to love even though I’ve never visited it. My spiritual teacher, Gangaji, met her guru, Papaji, there, and opened me to the beauty of a Hindu branch of spirituality called Advaita Vedanta. Meanwhile I had already become enchanted by Hindu Goddesses and was integrating them into my art in many ways. And don’t forget Ganesha. He is the most popular selling card now in the store along with Lakshmi, Kuan Yin, Kali and a White Tara
A woman who works part time there saw the cards and suggested to me I participate in the crafts fair. She, it turns out, was one of the organizers of the event. And that’s how a newcomer from Taos makes it to a holiday fair in Maine. The experience was a very positive one, convincing me there will be many opportunities here to meet like-minded people and experience the satisfaction of seeing people interested in my art.