Dedicated to Saraswati – the personification of the arts, knowledge, wisdom.
Hamsasya mudra is used to depict a swan’s beak or picking a flower or many other things, but it is the swan relation that made me want to include this mudra. The swan is Saraswati’s vehicle as they call it, and it symbolizes Brahman or totality. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, my guru, used to say that Shiva found Saraswati, by diving deep into pure silence. He found her on a white island. Before I start, I always invite Saraswati into partnership with me. Whatever energy or name we call upon, it’s to lovely to begin by remembering and opening to the full force of creativity at our innocent command. We can ask and then watch what happens.
You cannot see the images painted on the board around the edge very clearly but in person, you can see them but they are still vague the way I wanted them. There is a veena, a swan, lotus flowers and a peacock. It took a long time to get the glued pieces of white material just right. I discovered layering them allowed me to hide the glue and gave me the effect of a curtain. I look forward to the next “window” of time where I can start the Shiva board!
This weekend was brought to us by Betty Boop. in two shades.
with skinnyjeans from Walmart and a leopard skirt from Herbergers. Discount Dance black leo.
Started with a simple sundress, from Goodwill I think.
Below: White lace and a natural crochet skirt from Body Central. I cut out the beige liner so white would show thru. I look better in white than beige. But you can’t dye natural cotton apparently, so I’m still working on this one. I actually painted the whole thing with white fabric paint (don’t tell Body Central) and it didn’t take stick at all. .
I finished this Sunday night 5/19-the first in a series of mudra-centered boards with collage and fabric and whatever is necessary. This one is kapittha mudra, on a gold-painted board with beads, ribbons, jewelry, paper and lots of glue. It is a hand gesture I’ve especially loved in Kathak dance. It can be Laxmi holding a flower, it can be pulling or draping. there are variations and many meanings but here it is by itself with no context and no movement.
I wanted the mudra slightly hidden, veiled, as though it was in an Indian temple behind a curtain. I felt that gave it reverence. In dance they happen so fast. Now it is still and can mean what it means without movement.
A lot took place doing this piece. It is probably the most complex artwork I’ve ever done and it represents years of seeking the right form to fill with my aesthetic. Years of becoming more conscious of what I require and what I desire in the visual world I want to see and experience and make. I want layers, gradations, integration and a sense of manifestation. I want above all beauty, and ornate beauty and yet simplicity and geometry. I want geometry and flow.
And this piece is very fulfilling for me! I’m not used to being so happy with a creation! I learned so much during the process. The most significant thing I learned happened before I even started it – the planning. Sitting with my friend Kartika, we sorted through my box of beads and a big bag of fabric and we talked about possibilities. I left without my usual obsession. Because I’ve had to make art on top of other priorities (as so many artists) I came at it a bit compulsively. This piece required much measuring (a very maturing endeavor) and lots of experimenting – how do you make a frame out of ribbon, where do you cut? how do you flip an image so you can use it in all four corners, and on and on. I have learned to savor this process because it is devotional. It is surrender. It means you are willing to do whatever it takes to create it the way you want. Yet, I also saw at every step that planning and letting go are inseparable.
The ONE thing I knew would happen in this piece is the one thing that got scrapped in the end: (at 4:30 Saturday afternoon to be exact) the little gold sculpey squares I spent hours making and baking and painting on my beautiful yellow cutting board, so carefully, in between so many other little jobs in the middle of life and work and vegetables and lentils and shopping and loving and dancing and shopping and working. On they went, off they went; will the rose get cut off by a square? Where will the snake go? Not sure where collage pieces even fit in, so to speak, I was struggling with the yummy gold babies, until a very PHYSICAL impulse to move freely with the paper images became the “more will be revealed” moment. It felt so good and as I worked the images in, they became integrated the way I wanted and I planned to put the squares on later. Later came and they were extraneous. They are sitting on the next board as we speak.
What do you see?.
I love this series of photographs from the Karen Walker sunglasses campaign. Read Mason Bentley’s post and see if you agree that it’s a little more hones than the Dove approach.
For our annual artwalk dedicated to dance, they asked me to show my range of dance flavors from Kathak to bollywood, both classic and contemporary, but in ONE costume. Okay!
I am still perfecting Maar Daala. I will post the whole thing when I perform it in June at the Fairfest, if it gets videotaped! I decided to dance to the audience clapping so I wouldn’t have to chop up a classical piece of music. I did Gangsta cuz it’s my fave right now. I actually learned the first few seconds of a Calvinography choreo but my video editor chose the part where i improvised ! Believe it or not, what i love about Hip Hop is what I love about classical Indian dance: isolations and fluidity. I think there is a marriage of the two forms brewing in my soul. That’s my goal for this year, to blend a bit of hip hop into Kathak. you’ll see! it will be refined and fresh, i hope!