Friday, June 26, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 15

Been getting down to business with Alice.  Really filling out the portrait and working on small details, slowly.  I am not posting every day anymore but I am up to about 20 ish hours on these two souls.  I AM posting updated pictures on Instagram when I am not posting here.  You can find me at Heady_Dreadie on Instagram.

This is by far my husbands favorite portrait I've done.  We both love how this portrait outlines the love between animals and humans.  Connections are so strong.  Many of us can attest to the relationships we have with our pets and this drawing strikes a chord with that special love.  Alice is so playful and energetic in my meditations.

Before I start drawing I meditate each time for about 10 or 15 minutes.  First I burn some white sage, then I burn sweet grass or more recently, Palo Santo.  I hold my Shattuckite stone or a Lemurian Quartz in my receiving hand (non dominate hand) and begin by picturing my safe space.  For me it is deep in the forest, surrounded by trees, lots of conifers and deciduous types, blankets of moss and ferns with a small clearing in the center.  In the center of the clearing is a giant oak tree with a break in the tree tops to see the stars in the night sky.  A narrow but joyful stream runs through the small clearing.  The clearing is covered in soft, green moss.  This is my safe place.  I picture myself here then I picture the white light descending from the heavens, entering through my crown and passing through every chakra in my body into the earth beneath my feet grounding me.  I breathe deeply pulling down this heavenly white light into my body and exhale it into the earth.  Then I call in my portrait subject, asking them to come help me complete my drawing.  Then they appear.  All have visited my meditations differently.  Kole used to come running in through the trees, Neil would come splashing down the stream laughing, Violet and Lucia are always walked in cradled in Houds arms.  Neither Leigh nor Houd visited me during my meditations while drawing that I can recall,  I experienced more of them in my actual drawing space.  Power interruptions would occur frequently while drawing Leigh and only while I was actually working on the drawing.  Houd was simply felt all around me.  I would hear footsteps and doors shutting, I knew he was actually in the room with me.  Alice comes racing in, sometimes splashing in the stream, other times through the trees.  She is so energetic and happy, jumping and licking me, other times simply sitting with me.  When I am finished drawing for the day I use Black Tourmaline or Apache Tear in my receiving hand and again I go to my safe space.  I imagine the white light coming up from the earth, through my chakras and out through my crown ascending back into the heavens.  I thank the drawing subject for their help and send back all the emotions and grief with them.  I say a prayer to God, to keep them and thank Him to finish off the meditation.  Other meditations I do are usually at night or after a particularly hard day, I will typically place a crystal on its corresponding chakra while laying down and go back to my safe space.  I will make requests or simply enjoy my safe space.  Meditation is so refreshing.  I hope you try it some time.  You Tube has some nice mediation music and a relaxing salt bath with essential oils is the ticket for healing a long, hard day.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Trees and Tents with Lucia

I met Lucias mother, Angie,  March 8, 2014.  I attended a poetry reading and book signing at Mulberry Art Studios for To Linger on Hot Coals.  I was there for Violet and her mother, Devany who was reading her poetry and one of the authors signing books.  I went by myself, sat alone and immersed myself in the baby loss community while listening to strong women express their emotions.  It took my breath away.  After the readings, four of the poetry contributors gathered to sign books, answer questions and offer support.  I felt really awkward, it was my first time meeting Violets mother and being inside the studio.  While I was busy blending in with my surroundings I kept feeling drawn to Lucias mother, Angie, from the first minute I saw her.  I too was feeling grief and felt very at home with all these grieving families because it was six days after the first anniversary of my dear friend Houds death.  We spoke just a handful of words between us that day as she signed my book.  I could not look away from her and kept wondering about her, how mysterious.  

Later I discovered she was the owner of the Moon + Stone Healing which immediately drew my interest.   I saw on her Facebook healing page that she was offering tarot card pulls to the first 10 responders.  *hand raise*  I posted the card she pulled and her explanation on the blog that day.  After that insightful day we again crossed paths at the MUM expo a few weeks later in passing.  I began finding out all kinds of wonderful things about Angie.  I began attending classes that sparked my intrigue at Alta View Wellness Center and eventually I was added to her friends list on Facebook.   I didn't find out about Lucia until October 15th 2014 when Angie posted a photo of her altar for Dia de Los Muertos.  Which by the way I had not really seen a Day of the Dead altar prior to this.  

The day of the dead intrigues me and I love the concept.  I've always loved the skulls and beautiful decorations but after Lucias mama posted the photo I immediately started researching the history.  I love this particular sites explanation.  I then contacted Angie directly in December as Lucias birthday December 22nd approached.  She led me to her blog Still Life with Circles where I read about Lucia.  Immediately immersed with Lucia and her story.  I grieved right along with Angie.  And then I knew Lucia was to be after Kole.   I chose to draw this photo of Lucia and the clay meditation mama that Angie made because this mama was not only leaving behind her baby but the clay statue she made with all her good intentions and hopes for her daughters precious life.  She is complete and beautiful.  

Since then Angie has enriched my life far beyond what I could imagine.   I've learned so much about crystals and seen so many beautiful crystal grids that have inspired me to learn to batik.  I now make beautiful crystal grids and they are always being put to good use by Angie and Alta View!

Angie held a New Moon Circle for setting intentions and releasing things that no longer serve.  It was such a healing three months for me.  I know I still have lots of learning and healing to do with myself, but now I have some tools to help me.  She walked alongside of me through the whole journey and the other women in the circle.  She continues to amaze me.  I've picked up little tidbits of useful knowledge from her nearly everyday.  Discovering new recipes like Golden Milk, learning to de-feather a bird, how to make gem water, finding out about Ayurveda, seeing my spirit guide for the first time, showing me Visual Quest which I am promptly signing up for this year, to name just a few.  I've learned about myself, about Lucia, what its like grieving a stillborn baby.  Angie has given me a crystal healing, which connected us and was simply amazing.  She has gifted me my own set of crystals to use for my grief work and taught me how to release all those emotions, grief and loss that I pull in to channel my portrait subjects.  I am so blessed to know her and be allowed to draw Lucia for her and her family.  Thank you Angie, for inviting me in and letting me be a part of your world.  Lucia is one of the most challenging portraits I've done to date.  A real pleasure to be able to provide her family with a beautiful drawing of her divine beauty.

I've asked Angie if there is anything she has to say.....anything she wants to share....
In Angies words:

"Over six years ago, my daughter Lucia Paz, named after Light and Peace, died inside of me. Thirty-eight weeks pregnant, labor started, then stopped, and started again. Her movements slowed, and I prepared for her. I rubbed oil into my belly, and sang her songs about the Earth. I frantically cleaned, and hung a hammock from the beams in our home, to ease labor. I wrapped it around my body, and eased the pressure in my back. I don't think I ever felt more beautiful than when I was pregnant with my second daughter.

I have pictures of those days before she died. My husband making a huge big pot of French Onion soup, smiling at the camera, readying for his second daughter. My twenty-month old daughter Beatrice with my husband's stethoscope trying to find a heartbeat that already stopped, us oblivious. Me, belly out, tired and ready to be a mama again. After two days of stilted labor, she felt limp in my belly. I would lift her in my tummy, rearrange her, and she wouldn't respond. When I noticed that, we went into the hospital. They told us she died and made me stare that at the hauntingly motionless ultrasound picture. "We are sorry. She passed away." The doctor said. No heartbeat. No kicks. No daughter at Christmas.

It was Winter Solstice, and I never left the hospital. They wheeled me into the labor and delivery area where I stayed for 24 hours of heartbreakingly torturous labor, talking to a ministerial nurse who played through this new reality over and over. I told her Buddhist folktales, and we cried together often. She just abided in my grief, and stayed still, and told me that I would make meaning from this. She told me to take pictures, but I didn't realize I'd want good pictures. No one mentioned professional photographers, or the service I now recommend to everyone--Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. My husband and I snapped some strange pictures of each other crying and holding her, and others with her in a bassinet, blood still staining the blankets. She had died sometime in the days before we found out. I was too busy and contracting too much to notice her movements slowed. And anyway, I had read baby slows down before birth. (That is not true, by the way.)

When we came home, I used to look at the pictures over and over again. But my husband could not look. She was so bruised, covered with thick vernix. Her lips were bright red from the blood pooling in the head after death. And the skin on her eyelids were peeling off. To Sam, she looked too dead. To me, she looked like my family, my nose, dark skin, and wild gypsy black hair. I asked to put a photograph of her in the house, and my husband refused. It was too much, he said. And so, she became my daily secret ritual. I snuck into the office and just stared at her on the screen. I had one photograph of her in our home, a photograph of me pregnant with Lucia at 28 weeks, my husband's hands wrapped around my waist.

I began painting her and I together. Me holding her in a hospital gown. Me as the Virgin Mary holding her. Me carrying her. But it wasn't the same. I stopped looking at the pictures of her. It was part of her death that I regretted--good photographs. Last year, I met Amanda at a reading for the book To Linger on Hot Coals. Then our paths kept crossing. Finally, she asked to see a picture of Lucia. Most of my family had not seen pictures of Lucia Paz, and I couldn't decide if I should or should not share them. It felt like exposing the most tender part of myself, leaving my most vulnerable places in me open to the sky. And yet, I trusted her. She asked if she could draw Lucia. I was both terrified and honored and sad and excited. This path unfurling in front of me was one I simply had to take. I agreed.

Watching my daughter come to life has been one of the most profoundly amazing experiences of my life. Six years ago, she was taken away from me, and in a small way, I feel like Amanda gave me part of her back. Finally, I have a picture of her that looks like the baby I saw on Winter Solstice 2008. That looks like the baby I held, and the baby I see in my mind's eye. With my son's nose, and my daughter's forehead, and all the bits from both of us--Lucia Paz--this amazingly beautiful drawing is who she is. As the picture developed, it is like she was talking through Amanda, showing herself to me, popping out, "Peek-a-boo." I cried nearly every time I saw the blog pop up on my feed. It often caught me off guard, and I admit felt strange, sometimes violating, and then quickly moved to comforting.

"Here I am, Mama," my little lady bug whispered. "Always here with you."

Day one of Lucias portrait starts here

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 14

Finally back at it again!  Lucia is complete and will be revealed soon!  I've been working on Alices fur and Vaydas hair the last few days.  There is an immense amount of detail in the bright sun on them both.  I look forward to getting back into a routine with drawing again.  As of late I've decided to only post my progress every two or three days rather than every day.  My intention (or resolution as you might call it) for 2015 was balance.  I am striving to balance my time equally with my husband, children, friends, tie dye, drawing, homesteading and housework.  (Note: Housework is last on the list)  I realized that an every day post while initially was great for getting me back on track with drawing, it is now time to thin out the work load by not making a daily post.  I will still draw daily or as routinely as possible, just not post on the blog every day.

Other things I've been up to includes healing my inner child.  Three months ago I attended a New Moon Circle at Alta View Wellness Center led by Angie (Lucias mother).  We crafted Native American medicine bundles to hold and help manifest our goals and dreams using herbs, crystals and totems under the new moon.  This sacred work tested me in ways I had not dreamed. Since I was 18 years old and realized there were some things I needed to change about myself, things I did not like and did not make me feel good about myself, I set out to make changes.  I went out and made discoveries about life and relationships.  Experienced new people and places.  Soaked in wisdom from all types of people, observed behaviors and mannerisms.  Then later in life, nine years ago, I spent two years in marriage counseling with my husband and started learning about my inner child or shadow warrior.  The voice that was getting increasingly louder since the day my husband and I married.  Four years ago my first child was born and my inner child was continually getting louder and becoming increasingly protective as time passed.  At the beginning of 2015 I attended a class and meditation about healing the inner child.  It was an amazing experience where I was able to find out at what age my inner child formed and began protecting itself.  For me it was at age five.  During the meditation I was able to disconnect from past hurts, connect with my loved ones who provided me comfort and even hug myself at five years old.  I felt the warmth and love radiate from the Virgin Mary and the journey to healing myself was well underway.  Then the New Moon Circle in March kicked off intense inner work.  I was faced with all this emotion I had pushed aside and deep down inside myself was now brimming and overflowing.  I traced all this back to old fears I had developed as a child.  I released at every new moon and full moon cycle for the next three months.  And even opened my medicine bag and added to my original intention.  During these past three months I have turned very much inward to look deep into my emotions to find the source, acknowledge, thank my inner child for protecting me and tell myself I got this.  While I will be faced with these situations again in the future, I can now react with more wisdom, clarity and patience.  Last night we released our medicine bundles in the New Moon Circle.  It felt sad and happy at the same time.  This little bundle full of my intentions, herbs and crystals I had carried with me every day, slept with under my pillow every night was now finished.  I couldn't have done this serious intense inner work without help from Angie (Lucias mother), my husband and my friend Gabi.

It is so amazing to be helped and healed by the same people I am healing with my drawings.  I can honestly say every single person I've drawn a portrait for has taught me important lessons, inspired me deeply in so many ways.  I am grateful for you.

365 days of drawing Addyson Aegirine Aldies Review Alice all purpose cleaner Alta View Wellness Center Angel Numbers Angie Yingst Animal Symbolism Apartment life Are You Experienced art Art reading Aura Photo Aura Photography Backcombing Bacon recipe Bacon wrapped chicken Balloonport Beach Life Beach Life Series Because I hate Abbreviations Best Bone-in Chicken recipes Beverly Stephan Bissell Proheat Carpet Cleaner Blessingway Bone-in Chicken Borax recipes Brussel Sprouts Camp Innabah Candy Drawer Carnies Carnival Series Carpet shampooer Catering Chakra Photo Chakra Photography chicken recipe christmas cookie recipe Christmas craze Christmas Shoe box clairvoyant Cleaning Recipes Collective Consciousness colored pencil Conner Cookie recipe Coupons crafts with toilet paper roll Cremation Ashes cremation glass memorial bead Crew Crystal grids Crystal Healing Crystal Therapy Crystal uses Crystals and Minerals Darn it. Dear Departed Drawings Departed Dinner Recipe DIY Down to Earth Wear drawing drawing of a bulb syringe drawing of a snot sucker Drawing of a zombie drawing of an astronaut Drawing of feet drawing of genesee beer drawing of ghastly beer Drawing of Jimi Hendrix Dread bead Dreadie decorations Dreadies Dreadlock Methods Dreadlocks Dreads Dream Catcher Dustin Middaugh Eggleston Hall Engroff Epicurean Delight Evolution of a Drawing Video Family Family Vacation Feeding your family on a budget Feel the wind on your face Fels naptha recipes floor cleaner Food Coma Friend Frugal Shopping Gardening Glass Blowing glass dread bead grandma's cookie recipe Grandpa graphite drawings Hair Handmade Hape twist and turnables Hardiness zones map Harpers Ferry Healer Healing Herman Heroin Robbed Me HK Pinwheel Packs Holiday shopping holiday shuffle home home for the holidays home school Homemade Carpet Cleaner Solution Homemade frenzy Homemade powdered laundry detergent Homeschool Preschool hot air balloon chase crew Hot Air Ballooning Houd House Faery Thefts Humanitarianism Hyperrealism Insecurities Jack Daniels Distillery Tour Joel kids crafts Kings Fresh Meats Review Kole Kombucha Lancaster balloonport last minute Christmas shopping LeDrew crew Leigh Leigh D Baxter Life Life Purpose lithium quartz Little light Living with Strangers Lost shiny trinkets Love Lucia Married life Maryland Meditation Mineral Uses Monster Paintball MOPS Mothers of Preschoolers Moving Moving to a new house Mr. Kromer MUM Expo My Crystals and Minerals Mystic Native American Rituals Natural Healer Neil New house New Moon Circle new year resolution new years resolution Nines Numerology Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Ocean Beach Spirit Cleansing Ceremony Ocean City Ocean City Maryland On the Road Again One Love Operation Christmas Child Pacific Northwest Glassblowing Packing Packing up your house for a move paint Parenthood Pencil Drawings Pennsylvania Dutch Pot Pie Pennsylvania Dutch Sand tarts photo realism Planting zones map Poppa. portrait drawing Portrait of Cosmo Portrait of Dustin Middaugh Portrait of Houd Portrait of Leigh D Baxter Prettying up Dreadies Reithoffer Show Renting Rides Roasted Parmesan Brussel Sprout Recipe Samaritans Purse Sevens Sideshows Smaller Dreads spiritual awakening spiritual experience Stick a screw driver in my eye Still Life with Circles Still Playing School Still. Summer fun Super washing soda recipes Survivor Mama Susquehanna Valley Balloon Company Sweet Pea Project Sweet Pea Sisters and Brothers Picnic Tarot Card Reading Tea tree essential oil Tennessee The Beach The Moon + Stone Healing The Pier The Walking Dead Things to do in Nashville Thinner Dreadlocks tissue paper hearts To Linger on Hot Coals Traveling Twist and Rip Twizzlers U-Haul uses for vinegar Valentines day craft Violet Wax Hands wax museums Wedding West Virginia WV year in review Your Inner Light