Tag Archives: life and death

Yin Yang, Beauty and Hedgehogs

17 Dec
JanetBalboa c.2014 Marker on marker paper 12 x 12

JanetBalboa c.2014
Marker on marker paper 12 x 12

Further along. Finished a fabulous book yesterday – The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. ‘Wow’ is all I can really say about that. And, I will be sending Muriel a copy of this print as soon as I finish it and can find an address for her. Why? I sense the same quest for beauty – the same need/desire to see that beneath all the fear, all the scary stuff is a beautiful, untarnished world that reaches out to us. When we are very quiet and choose to listen, we can hear the muse. Mmmmm…yes.

I’ve also been working on a site – Go for the soul.com – where one can buy my work, if one were so inclined. I have to figure out the shipping bit, but for the most part, it is done. It drives me crazy really, because I always choose drawing over working on the site. So of course, the web site kind of plods along. meanwhile:

JanetBalboa c.2014 Marker on marker paper 12 x 12

JanetBalboa c.2014
Marker on marker paper 12 x 12

I plan to finish and scan this today. Which means I’ll post a far better picture of it, without all the weird light reflection noises. The empty spot will be filled with a shell of the type common to Ireland, (New Grange). The Discus Rotundatus, some theorize, could be a model for the famous spirals. I like the idea of a spiral shape in the ‘Yin” spot – feminine, dark , moist; perfect.

I love that frog. That was late last night. Happy.

New Work -fall leaves. Mainly.

1 Dec

work in progress


New work! Don’t even have a working title for it yet. Something about life-in-death and death-in-life. And how as things are ‘dying’ – returning in various stages to the earth from where they came – they are breathtakingly beautiful. The unbelievable colors of fall, the rich greens of spring and summer, and the golden brown of winter -all part of the same eternal process of life. to which, it seems, most obviously, death is an integral part. So why do we treat it otherwise? The Muslims have a beautiful saying that death in its approach is terrifying, but when it comes, that moment is actually sweet. wanting to see my life -all life- as a totality, not a sum of little disconnected parts. one great big song. With the going out as beautiful and natural and mysterious as the coming in. this picture is helping me cultivate that wider, more inclusive view. I try to come into rhythm. I am trying to honor the ebbs as well as the flows.  Each day includes at least a small letting go as well as the ushering ins of the new.  Trying to allow both the space they require, without judgment.

work in progress Nov 2014




death…and life.

17 Dec

The Tree of LifeI just completed this picture for Agnes, an Irish woman who recently passed. I never knew her, but the words of her son and his wife were enough to inspire this drawing. We decided loosely to include a Tree of Life and Celtic knot work. Those were my only directions. . .

I thought of Agnes a lot while I drew. What was she like? What would she think about this picture if she could see it?

The Tree of Life, with its mystery and its commonality to all peoples throughout human history represents in this picture, the connection between heaven and earth and also the life force that sustains and surrounds all forms of creation. Knot work can also symbolize this inclusiveness and interconnectedness of all things.

A couple of days before I finished, the words came to me -I like to think they were helped along by Agnes-and all I can say is ‘thank you’. Agnes’ spirit is here, she is alive in the stories her children tell and in the fond memories she inspires.

This was a very special commission and I am honored to be a part of this beautiful woman’s legacy.

The original image is 12 x 36. I have to thank Jen Emery for inspiring the green knot work which I rendered into pencil.

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