a heart and a brain

Today in Yoga we talk about the organ of the heart. I happen to have completed (yet another) small drawing of one. We tend to think of it in connection to love. Meg, the instructor, says in this case it’s connected to happiness. She explained the energy is more about accepting what is – as opposed to wanting to control. I also drew (yet another) brain.

They work together. Or do they?

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For some reason I make a connection to Ahimsa. I’ve decided non-violence is a discipline. I’m not sure why I piece this together. But I do.

no woman is an island

Interested in a small animal study he’s seen on the internet, Judson arranges to visit my studio this a.m.  He’s come to pick up a particular one. As he moves through the space he quickly changes his mind and consequently will leave with 2 others. I am always surprised by people who can do this – make quick decisions of this sort. I admire the skill.

We spend time talking and I learn he’s passionate about art. He’s visited many artist spaces. I first connect with Judson back in March at the Feminism Today exhibit in the monOrchid. I enjoy finally meeting and chatting with him.

Here are the artworks he takes with him today –

creativeiamblog Above is the mixed media (casein and egg tempera) on paper titled Creative I am.  It is the  anatomy study that eventually leads to my current series Nothing In Stasis. And below is another mixed media (casein) painting on canvas titled Taking a Stand from an earlier series called Mental Concoctions. Both are now at his framer!

Thank you again, Judson.

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The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do. Here is a video made a few years back by Brian McHugh and MojoVideoProduction. Not only does it show some of the series of the latter painting in this post, and the ideas behind the work – it also shows my studio a few years back. It’s a completely different environment now!

Phoenix Artist Monica Aissa Martinez from Brian McHugh on Vimeo.

five15 to the 5th

Five15 Arts presents: The Fourth Annual 515 to the Fifth Small Works Show. postcard-4inx4in-front The artist run gallery, set in the heart of downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row Gallery District, is doing it again! Members exhibit alongside five artists each has personally invited to participate. Come join us for a diverse salon-style exhibition of 12″ x 12″ artwork representing over sixty Phoenix artists.

Member Mary Shindell put out a call – and here are her 5 invited guests (and only a small sampling of all the many showing):

Christopher Jagmin Carolyn Lavender Susan Canasi Mitch Fry Monica Aissa Martinez

ocotillo 12x12

Mary Shindell
OCOTILLO 1
Digital drawing, Ink jet print
$30

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Christopher Jagmin
378
From series entitled, Dirty Color
Encaustic and oil on wood
$700.00

Jaguar-Jaguar 2 2015

Carolyn Lavender
Jaguar-Jaguar 2
graphite, acrylic on canvas panel

Canasi

Susan Canasi
The Looking Glass
Sculpted copper and mirror
$175

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Mitch Fry
Delaware Cootie Catcher
Original drawing: Poire Tranquille
steel & goo
*Special thanks to: Pere Brooks- Bilson’s grade school origami memory
Price: $ 79.99

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Monica Aissa Martinez
Caballitos De Mar
Mixed media on panel
400.00

ocotillo 12x12

Mary Shindell
OCOTILLO 2
Digital drawing Ink jet print
$30

Fourth Annual 515 to the 5th Openings: First Friday, July 3 and August 7th (6-10PM) Artist Receptions: Third Friday, July 17th and August 21st (6-10PM) *Hours: First and Third Fridays during July and August from 6-10PM Saturdays from 1-5PM Five15 Arts →  Website and  ↓Directions

Address: 515 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Transit: Roosevelt St & 7th St *All work is available for sale!

birdbrain

IMG_7543 The last two summers I’ve painted critters the cat brought into the house. I wasn’t planning to do this again. Though a few weeks ago she brought a small bird into the studio and left it for me – to see. Let’s just say curiosity piqued, in particular I wondered about the head and its anatomy. IMG_7578 Birds have brains wired very similar to humans. They have a large brain to body ratio which supports advanced and complex intelligence. The many arteries, veins and nerves in the head cluster together, like ours. Intricate eye anatomy allows for acute eyesight. And while they have no teeth, their notable beak is lightweight.
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Birdbrain
Casein collage on BKK Rag
11 x 18″

subtle

What is the Subtle Body? I keep asking the question.

According to Mosby’s Dictionary of Complementary and Alternative Medicine I understand it is a network of energy channels that transport energy derived from oxygen, sensory, and food-derived nutrients. The network lies parallel to blood vessels and nerves in the body; it facilitates and coordinates the movement of the flow of blood and neural impulses. It is not an anatomical system such as the cardiovascular or nervous system. It cannot be viewed conventionally. Instead, it is accessed through practice of imagination and visualization that can be accomplished through meditation.*

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It cannot be seen conventionally? And only accessed through practice of imagination and visualization?

About this painting:
I already mentioned my shoulders and hands ache and so awareness of the body heightens. I paint a hand a few weeks ago. Now I work on the back body.  How does the body maintain balance, how is equilibrium regained.

IMG_7574Once again I carefully lay out a spinal column, counting out each vertebrae from the base of the skull to the bottom of the pelvis. I ground the form in recognizable anatomy but the goal is to focus on the nervous system. Woven through the center of the study are arteries, veins and the lymphatic system. Extending out from everything are the nerves.

A friend reminds me of the great Cauda Equina, the bundle of nerves that run through the lower part of the lumbar vertebra. I enhance the area. I lay structure down for a few days before I put all reference material away and work without it. 

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Cause and effect. Cause. Effect. Balance. Imbalance. Physical. Subtle. Physical. Subtle. The body. Energy.  Flow. Tangle. Flow.

The body, in the short time a human inhabits it – can supply one with the greatest prod for growth. The questions change out a bit with this work –

Who am I? What am I? What is this body and what is my relationship to it?

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one egg a day

“My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind.”
– William James, American psychologist


Lara tells me her hens lay one egg a day. But not everyday, she adds. We walk into the hen-house and I meet all the chickens. She walks over to the laying boxes and picks up an egg and hands it to me. This is Dottie’s egg.

Dottie’s egg is small and heavy. And while I have painted with fresh egg yolk before, I’ve not actually met the chicken that laid it. Lara and I are bartering eggs for peaches. She has 6 to give me on that particular afternoon. I feel the preciousness of each one. Especially when I take Dottie’s egg into the studio and prepare to work.

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I’ve been asked to paint an arm and hand. Between meeting the chicken who laid the yolk I use and because of recent issues with my hand – the task comes with new meaning. I pay careful attention to each layer, each structure.

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The painting begins as a casein ↑ until I receive fresh eggs ↓. While I have worked with egg tempera for years, it always feels like something new to me. Each time I use it, it feels like I struggle with it  – until I don’t.

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Lara is a fellow artist and Yogi, as well as a masseuse. Before I leave her home she works on both my hands a bit.
Thank you Laura. And thank you Dottie.

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Note:
The basic ingredients for egg tempera painting are egg yolk, water, and dry pigment.