tree of life


Life often moves in a spiral motion: I’ve been here before, haven’t you?

The view is a little bit different through today’s lens but what I see looks distinctly familiar.

It feels like no time passed, in so many senses, but the numbers tell me it’s approaching 10 years since I drew this.

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I remember so vividly, when this drawing came through me. (Not to me, most definitely through me)

Have you had this happen too?

I had the strongest sense of just being a vehicle through which this drawing wanted to be made real. It could have been anyone.

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Of everything I’ve ever drawn, I’ve felt the least able to claim this as ‘mine’. If anything, I am its.

I remember the day it happened, I remember the big pad of watercolor paper, the watercolor pencils and paints, the frenzy of leaves and curves and wispy bits.

I remember watching it happen in front of me: Connected, and separate. Both at once.

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The drawing had its own spirit, and was not willing to stay on paper.

It wanted to grow, to have more color, more depth, more vibrancy. What It had me draw was only a skeleton.

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it demanded scanning and tinkering, new layers of color, new detail.

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Even all these years later, through it’s many incarnations and variations, it’s the most loved of all my drawings.

It’s me, and it isn’t me.

It’s an enigma.

It is, Tree of Life.

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To celebrate 10 years of Tree of Life I’ve adapted it for printables, so it can manifest itself around the world.

Would you like to give this drawing a space in your world? It’s available from Society6 in many shapes and forms.

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Art prints in many sizes, framed or unframed

Notebooks for musings & doodles, lists & lyrics, poems & plans. Cases, covers & skins for phones/ ipods. Totes & zippy pouches for carrying important things around in! And more! 

 

 All these & more can be found at: society6.com/mixy

 


If you like this, and things like this, you can get sporadic updates on my thoughts and drawings delivered right to your inbox. Hop onto my email list right here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

Your email is utterly safe to me. I will ensure it is guarded at all times by dragons. Hungry dragons.

gecko-versary


This week marks 5 whole years since I first posted here, since Ephemeral Gecko was born.

For reals? Yup.

This blog is the ongoing project of documenting those in between stages of my art – the ephemeral places – that places buried beneath layers of paint or existing just briefly before being deconstructed and reconstructed. Why gecko? idk…Just because. 

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Marlene Glickman

So here’s a thing:

When I looked back I found my very first post here was about a textile artist – who I recently connected up with on social mediaMarlene Glickman. 

I love when life circles back on itself like this.

I first saw Marlene’s work when I was researching artists at college. I fell in love with her colors. There was a quote from her that really struck me:

“Making color and design decisions is sometimes difficult so I challenge myself to use only one color from the color wheel each month during my daily design exercises.”

I was so taken by this idea, I set upon a year long project of playing in just one color each month.

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12 colors in 2012

At the time I began this blog I was just 1/2 way through my third month, and that’s what my first post was about.

And now, here I am 5 years later — a whole lot of adventures and changes and challenges and life later — here I am: 1/2 way through the third month of the same project again.

This time it’s bigger, I’ve called it TWELVTY and I’ve got others journeying along on this adventure with me, but I’m in a parallel place again. Life moves in spirals.

 


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thinkings and doings delivered right to your inbox? Hop onto my email list right here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up snug and nestled with a hot water bottle & a kitten until the spring arrives. I will bring it tea if it wakes up.

who is that?


The time is here: I really want to consolidate some of the mishmash of identities I’ve got here on the internets. It’s confusing for me now, so I forget how disconbobulating it must be for others…

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Some variations of ‘Me’

Y’see, I set this blog up all those years ago as a bit of a whim. I wanted to have a record of what I was doing and making and thinking at the time and it seemed like the internets was a safe place to put it so it didn’t all get eaten alive by yet another computer. That’s all.

“Ephemeral Gecko” was just a couple of words I liked.  I liked the way they sounded together.

I didn’t figure on anyone else noticing. I googled the phrase and when nothing untoward came up in the results, I made the choice and claimed the name. It didn’t occur to me anyone else would be interested in these musings. So, live n learn, huh?

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Some variations of ‘Me’

Recently I heard Seth Godin talking about blogs – when you start to write online, he advised, use a pseudonym, gauge the response, if it isn’t favourable then who cares – it wasn’t ‘you’. Yes! clever me and my forethought! I knew that already! that’s what I did!!

Then he went on to recommend you switch to your real name after a few weeks.

Oh, not that bit. I didn’t do that bit.

And it’s been a few years now …

… and a few names too.

Ephemeral Gecko became the me that instagrammed and twitted (not twitting often enough to matter… until I remembered the auto-twitting of my blog posts I set up and promptly forgot about. So in that sense, a version of me I’d forgotten about was busy over there.

A long time before all this happened I used the name pentangled for my jewellery making and early dabbles into digital art. I disliked that name more and more over the subsequent years and having established myself in that guise in deviantArt & redbubble, I finally ditched it.

I know, I know.

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Some variations of ‘Me’

I adopted the name Mixy on facebook, to begin from pure silliness, then stuck with it as a point of principle. That was a time when it was being claimed fb was closing down the accounts of folk not using their real name. Which was really screwing up the lives of ppl who needed anonymity for their personal safety. That wasn’t my story, but I wanted to stand in solidarity with those for whom it was. No matter how futile and ineffective. I knew why, and that’s what mattered to me at the time.

There’s all sorts of reasons why this all seems scrappy and indecisive and bad practice, not quirky and adorable and fun. But there we are. I’m all those things, and I’m using the defence of “I’m an artist” in the same way as Marvin Gaye (formerly Spartacus) Chetwynd does. Because really, who cares? I make stuff. I share it online and sometimes real life exhibitions.That’s all that really matters. If things like this get you all tangled up, don’t let it, pour that angst into something important and leave me here.

This is all of me. Here I am – just the one of me – typing this too you in all the places I type to you from. And perhaps someplace automated I don’t remember too.


If you’d like more insights into my ridiculous & made up world, my colorful antics & frippery, you can do so by hopping onto my newsletter list for sporadic updates. And I’ll send you my  lovingly hand crafted ebook all about color 

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Be well, my friends, Much love to you all X

**********************************

(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

Dawn


This morning I launched my newest project – a year full of color – “TWELVTY” All as scheduled, 9am my time, so the early wee hours for the cross-pond recipients.

Each month this year has it’s own color: January is yellow, and it’s flooding my thoughts.

It’s the sunrise of a new project. 

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each month I’ll be making art in just one color for TWELVTY: yellows gathered in readiness!

The idea came to me just a couple of months ago when I was on holiday. Bumbling about taking photos… as one does.

I notice color everywhere.

I had a moment of profound realisation when I found myself taking photos of a group of tourists emerging from their (red & blue) coach, just because almost all of them seemed to be dressed to match in some shades of red & blue….

I had one of those momentsDo other people see this too? 

Like the fish who doesn’t know it’s swimming in water, my ideas have only swum in my mind, I’ve got no comparison unless I step away and try to look in from outside.

I mentioned the tourists & matching coach to someone a few days later – with gushing enthusiasm – but was met with blank nothingness. Not even the edge of a WTF? response I sometimes get when I share arty revelations like this, just a totally empty, disinterested blankness.

That was the moment I knew: I need to connect up with others who see & appreciate what I see & appreciate. My tribe. We need each other.

We need each other in a world of unknown areas of empty, disinterested blankness, a world with WTF? reactions to gushing arty revelations.

We need to reflect back to each other the magic of seeing some crazy spontaneous colour synchronicity, of seeing some beautifully matched chance happening, some little something somewhere that gets overlooked by most but makes our hearts sing just because of its orangeness, or blueness, or purpleypink, or whateverness.

I love how the idea is resonating among the folks who’ve joined already, the excitement bubbling up, and most of all the anticipation of what will emerge from this group as the year unfolds.

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It’s going to be bright and glorious and I love it!


Want to make your 2017 brighter and more colorful?

Sign up below for more news on my doings & makings through the year, and get a lovingly hand crafted ebook all about color 

…oh, and you can join TWELVTY too !

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Be well, my friends, Much love to you all X

**********************************

(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

TWELVTY Q&A


Still wondering if TWELVTY is for you? 

Not sure what TWELVTY is all about?

Read on…!

Q.  How long is the program & how much time will I need?

A.  TWELVTY runs from January through December 2017. Each month is dedicated to a single color.

How much time is your call, some months & colors will feel more inspiring and some months you’ll be more occupied in life. That’s how it goes 😉 It’s yours to fit in as it suits you – one month can blend into another like one color blends into another! 

The content for each month will take maybe an hour or two to read through, watch and absorb.

The material is full of prompts & inspiration more than tasks & homework – this is a resource you get to keep forever and can return to as often as you like, feeding it into your existing creative practice.

The online forum will run all year and be there to dip in and out of as you choose.

I will pop by the Facebook group at least 3 or 4 times a week, and you can email or message any time with questions. I aim to get back to you within 48  hours (usually much quicker!)

Q.   I only like *a specific color* – can I join for just that month?

A.  TWELVTY is about diving deep into the whole color wheel. I’ll be focusing in on a single color each month, but the real value is seeing each segment in the context of the whole.  If there are some colors you don’t much care for, then it’s only a month until we move on! And you might be surprised how much you find you like other colors when you explore them!

Q.   Can I join any time in the year?

A.   Because of the volume of content the doors to TWELVTY will close to new members at the end of February. If you join after January you will have immediate access to all the material up to the date you join.

Q.   What kind of content will there be & how often?

A.   At the start of every month I’ll send you a 15-20 page fully illustrated ebook  with loads of information about the month’s color. Something different each month to keep it inspiring from design, art through the ages, fashion,  color in nature, associations and meanings connected with the color, historical and cultural links around the world …loads of resources to follow up further if something really grabs your attention.

PLUS I’ll send you a weekly newsletter where I share videos & posts about my process as I work with the month’s color.

Q.   I’m a *specific kind of artist* is TWELVTY suitable for me?

A.   The program is adaptable to any medium, as the common link is color. Already we have a range of creatives including a writer and a weaver – so there are no limits on how color can be used to inspire!

I work mostly in mixed media and textile art, but every member of the tribe will bring something unique to the group, so the more diverse the group, the more inspiration we’ll be able to share together – I’m really excited to see what the group brings! 

Q.  How does the TWELVTY forum work?

A.   The forum is a private Facebook group for just the members of TWELVTY 2017 to share images of art they make and information they wish to share with the group. If you’d like to collaborate with someone in the group this is a great place to begin! When you sign up I’ll send you the link so we can add you to the group. 

Each month/color has its own Pinterest board where links to color related articles & such-like shared on the Facebook forum can be mirrored to build an online collection of resources color by color.

Q.   What materials and art supplies will I need?

A.   Part of the challenge of working in one color & restricting your palette so your imagination gets stretched. Less really is more in this case! So unless you’re asking for a reason to go shopping, you can probably use what you already have! 😉

That said, how you choose to take TWELVTY into your practice is a personal choice. 

Ideas for series you might want to play with:

Photography: each month’s color in nature, urban landscape, people and animals, fashion, architecture…

Painting (watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastels, digital art…):  each month’s color in portraits, landscapes, abstracts… One big painting or a series of small ones each month… One BIG canvas divided in 12 that you work on through the year…

Art Journalling: each month’s color for page backgrounds – painted, printed, collaged, mixed media techniques. Journal about how the color makes you feel, connections it has in your life, memories it conjures up. Find quotes and poems and inspiring words to add.

Textile Art (Sewing, knitting, quilting, weaving, embroidery, patchwork…): A piece each month in each color that can be combined at the end of the year… A fabulously colorful garment or large work you add to through the year…

Poetry, Prose, Word Art: Take the information on each color to inspire your writing, develop a character, set a scene, describe an atmosphere… Maybe set a weekly/monthly word count target for each color. Decorate your writing with the color to fully embody it.

Video, Film, Vlogging: Find ways to bring the month’s color into your scene, discuss what the color means to you, where you find it, take us on a journey to seek it out! 

Incorporate the color in your life: Not a creative practice, per se, but keep the color in your awareness by keeping something with you: maybe an item of clothing or piece of jewellery, or something small like a badge or pin you can wear through the month.

Maybe set the wallpaper on your phone or laptop to the month’s color, or an image you love in that color. A little reminder your subconscious will notice long after you forget it’s there!

Or how about a note to yourself, an affirmation, a quote, written in/on that color to keep in your pocket or wallet, or somewhere you’ll see it everyday like a bedside table or on the fridge or mirror…

What else? Let me know! Let’s jump into 2017 and bring the color alive!

Want more color inspiration? get my Year full of Color ebook:

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Be well, my friends, Much love to you all X

**********************************

(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

The world is bigger…


So here’s the thing I keep coming back to: how many people do I know? how many do you know?

Finding the color in everyday things

I’m not big on movies & tv & such, I don’t remember actor’s names or follow their public lifestyles. Despite this I’m aware there are way more folks in my orbit than there would have been for someone like me just a few generations back. Maybe you’ve got more?

I ‘know’ some of people who will read this, we haven’t met and probably never will, but we share thoughts an opinions from across the world and life feels richer as a result.

I’ve got a sense of knowing some people through youtube & blogs & social media – they don’t know me at all but they bring a brightness into my days with the parts of their lives they show.

In the big scheme, this is very new.

Noticing the color in everyday things

Because of social media and modern life I’m in touch with friends from waybackwhen and family I previously didn’t know at all.

Suddenly it became so easy to type little messages to each other, to find common ground through memes and whatnot, to ‘know’ more people, sort of spend time with them.

Looking at the color in everyday things

So together we’re all trundling along this finite lifeline, we don’t know when it will stop and our job (IMO) is to make the best of what we have in this blip of time.

Seeing others we know (in any sense) fall off that time-line is a reminder of our mortality. There’s a sense of don’t leave me here – I don’t know where I am.

The wonder of the color in everyday things

So what to do?

Find the joy where we can, hold each other up, share the moments of love and fun and lightness, let it ripple outwards and who knows how many lives it might reach.

That’s all we really got.

Because color is everywhere in everyday things

We’re all here to find our own way; find what works for us and when we find the ones who share what lights us up there’s a sense of being on track. Whatever it is we’re meant to be here for, we’ve got each other. We are walking each other home, as Ram Dass said.

Enjoying the color in everyday things

My passion is color. If yours is too, or if you’d like to find out more about my fascination, I made this for you. Just add your email below and I’ll send it over to you.

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Be well, my friends, Much love to you all X

**********************************

(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

The more I look…


…the more I see.

I was in London all day Saturday. A rainy grey day, the view from our second floor window crossed over a patch of garden to the grey stonework and concrete of the buildings opposite. These short December days barely get light and the wet and wind dulled out any colours.

The only life on view from up here was a solitary grey squirrel scampering along the spindly limbs of the near naked tree-tops.

But amid the gloom was the last remaining brightness of the season: with every gust of wind a few remaining golden yellow leaves danced about, tumbling, sprinkling, shining.

I was transfixed.

My mind is full of color, it is my ‘thing’.

And as I’m focussed on yellow in the prepration of the first chapter of TWELVTY I suppose it’s no wonder I was so captivated. But it made me ask myself if that’s why: would I have noticed so keenly? Would I have seen it in such glory? Would it have held that measure of magic? 

I have no control group of me, no comparison, so these questions are unanswerable

But I have come to observe that the more I actively look, the more I absorb, and the richer my life becomes. When there’s so much enjoyment available from the everyday and mundane, life is lusher and days are fuller.


 

I’m so full of ideas for TWELVTY, I’m almost bursting! so much so I’m waking up in the night and having to write stuff down. I’m literally dreaming about it! It’s filling all the corners of my mind.

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The program begins in the new year with shiny bright yellow so I’ve been warming up my drawing-and-painting-in-just-yellow vibes in readiness.

I love to use just one color (I love using ALL THE COLORS!) but one-at-a-time has a really special quality. This is one of the big things that I want to share and explore further with you.

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I’m putting together a Q&A

If you want to know more about what TWELVTY’s all about comment below to let me know 🙂

  • What would you like to know?
  • What would you like to learn?
  • What really lights you up about some colours, and not others?

Read all about TWELVTY & sign up here

Let’s Light up 2017


Things have been weighing heavily around here lately, you noticed that too?  Even when you do your best not to get dragged down there’s still an underlying sense of being, at best, completely unsettled. 

As I’ve shared here before, if it weren’t for my art practice I think I would have sunk many times.

A few days ago I found myself re-watching this TED-X talk by artist Callie Curry, aka Swoon. She’s a real inspiration to me. I love her style, but I most especially love her – her persona – her magic.

She talks about how she created the Heliotrope Foundation. After the 2010 earthquake she was compelled to find a way to help the people of Haiti. But how? in her words, ‘I’m just an artist’. If you watch the talk you’ll see how she brings hope and light and practical support in a way that only the ingenuity of an artist could have thought up. And she continues to spread this magic around the world.

 

“I’m just an artist”

 

Me too. I’m just an artist too… and one who really wants to bring the light into other folks lives in the way that creativity has done for me. But how?

 

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How can I shine light in these turbulent times?

I think about what has helped me in the past, where I’ve turned when I felt like I might just crumple, and that’s what I can share.

My sanctuary has always been in my art. Not just the act of creating – I don’t always have the time, the motivation, the space or the will. But I can always see it. I can see the patterns and the colors and the wonder. It’s a skill I’ve honed over the years and as each year passes I get more from it – it works better – it’s more reliably everywhere I look.

This is what I want to share, and this is my intention with the program I’m starting in the new year. I want to show the way I see, to share the sanctuary I carved out n my imagination and is with me everywhere I go.

I’m gathering a tribe who will all be contributing, in art, in ideas, in insights, and between us we’re going to make magic happen.

Want to join us?

It doesn’t matter if you think yourself ‘arty’ or not – in fact the more diverse the tribe is, the more we all benefit, everyone brings their own magic to add to the mix.

Don’t feel like you have magic to bring? Let me prove you wrong!

If you want to find out more, read more here. Any questions – comment below or send a message on my site. I’d love to have you join us.

Let’s light up the world together in 2017.

Color in connection


 

A while ago I found a scrap of paper in my studio, on it was scribbled the name Neil Harbisson. Neil who? I don’t think I know any Neils these days… my mind wanders back in time to past acquaintances, the connections, the links, the friends of friends…

No. No Neils there.

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Some times passes, some weeks, I go on my usual drifty way blundering through my days, cherishing my studio time. 

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Another day, while rooting round for just the right scraps to collage into my art journal, the color that pings, the shape that blends, that one piece that harmonizes and unifies and completes.

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And I see him again, this Neil I don’t know, scribbled on a scrap, and my memory rolls back in: the thought process that produced this scribble.

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I was listening to the radio in the studio, and this guy – Neil – he’d either been in an interview, or the presenter had spoken about him, enough to make me want to find out more.

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But more what? The memories weren’t stretching that far and they didn’t hold any content.

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All I had was this two word note that me-in-the-past had dropped in time for me-in-the-future to happen upon and to investigate further.

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(More time passed.) 

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Then on one of those days when I must’ve had a deadline so close, a task so pressing, so so much, that I was on the brink of shutdown.

Those times when the overwhelming emergency  of it all is so loud all I can think to do is nap or run away.

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And the easiest run away of the moment was to dive down one of the rabbit holes on  the internets and hide out there until bedtime. Or a little later.

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And I remembered this name. I visualised the scrap. I recalled the recall.

I urgently wanted to know what was so fascinating I couldn’t let it float by in the past. I’d anchored that moment for a reason, and I was going to find out why. 

And here is what I found:

I smiled at the notion of becoming fascinated with something so very visual I’d heard about on the radio. The magical crossover of hearing and seeing was repeated, overlapped in a pleasingly elegant irony.

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So why am I remembering this to you? Why here and now?

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And where exactly are we here and now anyway?

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We’re back in my art journal, the one of the moment. This is the place my mental fallout lands.

I began it on the last Equinox a couple of months ago and I figure it will be my art-ing abode until solstice. (I’m alligning my makings this year, it seems out be working out well)

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And when are we?

We’re (well, I am – and you seem to be here with me too) riding the rapids of thoughts and ideas that unless I take these diversions I’ll be utterly swept away.

I’m putting together a program all about color, so previously explored rabbit holes like these are the mileposts along my journey.

And I figured you might find this interesting too.

And if you like this, you’ll almost certainly want to play with me next year in my TWELVTY program. If you haven’t already – sign up here and you’ll be the first to hear all about it.

(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

Turbulence


It seems to be speeding up, but is it though? is it really? seeing it telescope up and out as time passes and individual perspectives shift. And the volume’s winding up all the while.

(this image is from my new-moon-vision-board-book .  not as a statement of fear or doom, but shift and transformation) 

 

But FFS, it’s relentless.

Right? I mean, isn’t it?

It doesn’t let up.

I can’t process it in any particular order, so I spend little bits of day here in my world, releasing confusion into my art journal.

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This is a world populated by mismatch and clash.  In that sense, perhaps it isn’t so different from the one outside.

Looking out, looking in. Trying to digest. Thinking forward, plans to make a positive contribution and fighting the voice inside that laughs in the face of that notion.


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If you’re disconbobulated in scrambled emotions, if you’re feeling helpless, if you’re full of fear, my thoughts are with you. Much love, my friends.