no woman is an island

A few years back, curious about mula bandha, I asked Tara, a neighbor, to tell me about the area I understood as an important root lock. In my many years of Yoga practice, I’d studied the 3 bandhas: jalandhara bandha (chin lock), uddiyana bandha (stomach lock) and mula bandha, in which muscles are contracted at the center of the perineum. Tara was not a Yogi but was (and still is) a pelvic floor specialist.

We had an informative conversation about the general pelvic floor as well as the center of the pelvic floor, the perineum. I had no plan to paint these compositions until the next day when she brought a medical model for me to better understand. ↑  (Ps. Since then she’s brought even more interesting models to my studio that have influenced various works.)


Fast forward to this year, late October, when Tara asks if she can drop over and see pelvic art.
Sure, I say, but I’ll have to look for the them, give me a bit.

I find the artwork and invite her over the next day.
I show her each 2-sided study. There are 2 different works, one is female and one is male.
One side of each study shows muscles and nerves while the other side includes bones of the pelvis. Hanging in space, I want the viewer to be able to walk around each piece and note the layers.

Pelvic Floor Female : Inferior View
Pelvic Floor Male : Inferior View

Tara looks at them and without hesitation says she wants them.
I’m getting a new office and I want these in it!

And because they are 2-sided, she wants to know how she might hang them.
You have choices, Tara! And quality of light matters too.

Side by side as a horizontal statement.
One above the other as vertical presentation.

When everything is said and done with the artwork, naturally Tara and I talk anatomy. I want to understand more about how male and female pelvic floor’s differ. While there are differences in the male and female pelvis, Tara notes, there are not as many as one might think. She gets excited with explaining details (I think she should always carry a dry eraser board), Females, as compared to males, have 2 extra pelvic floor muscles, the compressor urethrae and sphincter urethrovaginalis! She goes on to explain. (And I should always carry a pen and notebook) #knowyourbody

To learn more about Tara and her work (she has lots of Q and A sections on her site)
go to → pelvicfloorspecialist.com

Again, thank you Tara! This work found a perfect home!


The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.

©2021 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

the prompt is ‘fly”

Like so many events during the pandemic, Bar Flies moved into a virtual space. For now, their usual live productions remain on hold. They ask participants to illustrate a true story, based on a prompt.

I’m invited, along with others, and the theme is…FLY! We can work classic comic style, in photography, embroidery or any other form of mixed media. It can run with all text or even be a collaboration with another. #SoOpenICanDoThis


It’s July, I’m in Texas visiting mom, when I receive the invite. Oddly (or maybe naturally), I go to the family encyclopedia set of my childhood (…time flies or does it fly?). I pull the F, locate fly and make a copy of it. And I carry it ↑ with me as I fly back home, a few days later.

Back in Phoenix, I go into my studio, not having been in it for a few weeks. Looking out the door, to the side yard, I see a beautiful oriole. How long has he been there? He’s so still. #FlyNot

I gather a variety of material (cuz it’s all an experiment) and begin this illustrated study.
Truly, #OnTheFly.

Oh…and here are design outtakes!
Thanks again, Amy!

There are 8 participants Go look!
For more info Bar Flies.


©2021 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ