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Research for Mary Magdalene

30 Aug

mary magdalene 828This August, I have read through piles of books, weird and not so weird, factual and conjectural, both fantastically and poorly researched.  Here’s my research for this picture so far:

 Jean-Yves Leloup’s Gospell of Mary Magdalene. (I was so wrong when I felt I hadn’t encountered Mary Magdalene before. She is all over my bookshelves already). I love Leloup. The French have a very different attitude and conception of The Magdalene than we do (here in the American Midwest) and it is refreshing and lovely to hear his passion for this woman shine thru his writing.

I had also forgot I read The Woman with the Alabaster Jar by Margaret Starbird at the same time I read Leloup. A great read, but she can be incredibly lax about footnotes and references.

Starbird’s Magdalene’s Lost Legacy and The Goddess in the Gospels. This gets deep into the gematria supposedly occurring in the greek bible. If you are willing to play along, this is a fascinating read. By playing along, I mean being able to be open minded when beliefs and opinions are challenged. I found it fascinating.

I learned Sacred Geometry from Lars Howlet and Richard Feather Anderson this summer at Veriditas. I added Sacred Geometry by Miranda Lundy. This is a really simple introduction that gets you up and drawing in seconds. Get a good compass! Robert Ferre’s Classical Labyrinths explains more of the feminine in sacred geometry as it applies to labyrinths.

Lauren Artress Walking a Sacred Path. I read this in ’96 gave that copy to my dad this summer, and received the fancy updated version from Lauren herself this summer. Lauren is a Episcopalian Priest, psychotherapist, and writer, and founder of Veriditas. If you need to start from a religious standpoint, this is an ideal place to begin your adventure.

Mary Magdalene

30 Aug

Unexpectedly working on a beautiful new picture. I returned from a Labyrinth Training Workshop at Veriditas, to find that my mom had cancer again. This is her 4th time; each prior time she has been successfully treated and her cancer resolved. She has a truly fantastic team of doctors and feels very safe in their care. So I’m glad for that and thankful that she’s fine. Again. Or as she says, ‘for now’.marymagbalene822

And soon after, somewhere in all the time and space that was this summer, Mary showed up. I wasn’t sure which Mary, so I just started sketching what I could see the day I felt inspired by her. My guess it was all the mom energy, the feminine energy of the Labyrinth, the deep stirring of the feminine in our society, and my need to connect even more profoundly to Mother Earth and my body/temple that prompted her visit. I didn’t find it weird because my work always shows up with a vague concept that needs drawing out. Literally . I was surprised that it was Mary, because I’m not Catholic, so she never really played a large role in my consciousness. Certainly I know of them, actually all three of them, and am aware of the confusion over which Mary is which. Will the Real Mary Magdalene please stand up? Well she did, for me anyway, and what a surprise to see, looking back, that the day I first drew her was July 22nd. Even a little research shows that this is traditionally the feast day of The Magdalene. She continues to evolve. My mom continues to be well.marym826

Work for this month

25 Apr

image

Dawning of Aquarius. Marker and colored pencil on marker paper. 11 x 14
So much color. Love it. Getting ready for a show in July.

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drawing the neolithic way

9 Jun janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014
janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

 

These things always start off poorly. At this point I’m a bit panicky, because it looks more like a dessert rather than rock.  I stay with it, knowing that if I throw enough color at it, it will be fine. If in doubt, add more. (color, coffee, nutella…)

 

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

Getting the lines of ochre and sepia in, and the grey speckles. So far, everything in marker. The inner lines are outlined in black, so the point of this  is softening  up the black indentations and flattening them out visually. Nevermind the resemblance to  intestines. Or worse.

 

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

 

Now. Cover over the whole thing with a white pencil. rub most of the pencil off with a piece of kleenex. (beware the kleenex with the lotion!) then go back over the lightest bits with cream pencil. burnish again: if the kleenex isn’t ratty by now, push harder.

 

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

 

More colored pencil: Add in all those little veins with french grey 90%. Sienna, Light Umber. I speckled the entire thing with warm grey 90%. popped up the white with chinese white. I also added Rust(colored pencil) haphazardly across the top – partly because it gives a look of granite but mostly because I’m never really sure when something is done.

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

And there it is. A spiral cut into rock. Just like they did it in 10,000 BCE. ;)

Here it is in the overall picture:

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

janet balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, c. 20014

 

a rainy day with prismacolors

2 Jun Janet Balboa,Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2013
Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014

 

A rainy day put to good use. I’m headed out for coffee…and some friendly faces. Bought a new burnisher, colorless. Don’t know if I like it as much as burnishing with a pencil itself, seems to leave   a lot of wax.

celebrating woman

13 Mar
aspects of woman

Marker paper with lovely rapidograph pens, (which I didn’t have to clean because I remembered to when I finished the last drawing) colored with prismacolour pencils and markers

Here is the progress on the three aspects of woman; maiden, mother and crone. ‘Wise woman’? Yeah, it nices it up , but there are days(and moods) let’s face it, when ‘crone’ is much more descriptive!  This is one of those projects which is drawing itself- Isis showed up suddenly in the fire fifth- didn’t see her coming. I intended a phoenix. I took the picture with my phone, and cut off a significant amount of the picture. This is why I draw instead of take pictures.

the face of a mermaid

16 May

And it worked…. again. Thank God. So now I can heave a sigh of relief, and lay off the coffee a little, because if I mess up the fish, only their momma’s gonna know. You mess up a human face-well, that’s a little more problematic. I ended up using a different photo reference, rather than my daughter, because the picture I wanted to use was hard to see enough detail. This picture is for an Odyssey of the Mind fund-raiser. One of my students, Olivia, suggested it. Once it’s finished, I’ll  scan it into Photoshop and ultimately it will go into a poster via InDesign. I’ll add words to it…etc.

My mom, Sharon to you, stopped by this morning, observed  my progress and just said “she looks so sad…”

Yeah…

Sad or introspective? I would imagine modern mermaids theoretically get pretty introspective/angry as we systematically overfish and otherwise destroy their habitat. I just read COD, a biography of the fish that changed the world, by Mark Kurlansky, so I’m a bit touchy about this subject. It’s worth reading. I hear his other books are just as good.

COD is a delightful read, quirky, interesting and unbelievable in the portrayal of how shortsighted yet optimistic we humans can be. Not knocking anyone- it’s just overwhelming to consider what we are doing to our planet.

Self love. The only solution. So easy to say, so hard to do.

More on that another day. Costco calls. And daughter #2’s final term paper…

zinnia-almost done

9 May

 

This is today’s work-almost done. I had always intended for her dress to be pink….but after all my tangerine tango, well, orange it is. I like it. This is a photo from my phone – not the best, but what I have with me. Made some tea and am about ready to call it a day. I have a show coming up at the beginning of June- which is great motivation. Not that I need any these days. The Muse is present, she and I have struck an agreement I think. I try to remain calm, meditate and open myself to quiet-and she shows up regularly. Much easier said than done.

I even ran this morning, which I do not do, but got the coolest app for my phone (it has to do something well, because photos aren’t its thing apparently) which promises to get me from couch to 5k. Well. We shall see about that.

today’s portrait in the works

3 May

I love zinnias. And portraits. I have three or four pieces that I’m working on right now. I used to stick to one piece from start to finish, in fear of the dreaded

‘Why don’t you ever finish what you start?”

My husband, who is the reason everything in our lives runs so smoothly, has never actually said this to me, but I know he worries a little about my non-linear process, where nothing has a clear beginning or end. I used to worry about this too. Not so much anymore.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more comfortable with myself and my work style- plus, I get too many new ideas and too easily BORED to stick to one thing. This picture though is my favorite today. I love to do portraits with a unexpected backgrounds. More fun to create.

Wow – I just realized a blog perk! Accountability. I feel as though I have to get moving on this now that you have seen it. Hmmm…could also be seen as pressure…I love it!

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