Tag Archive: creative process

the goddess maia

“Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro’ the mellow shade,

Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid.”

~Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1837-8

goddess maia

It is May! Well, not quite but very nearly. It is called, deeply living in wishful thinking. But May will come like a storm of sunshine even though April is still on its way. I need for May to arrive. My winter was long, cold, and complex. Winter always is. I was alive but I was not living. April does not mean as much to me as May does so I am going to skip and jump, splash and move into the month of new hopes and beginnings.  So here I will start singing to the Goddess of May though it is still March. I will walk Her path.

♬♪For Rejoice. The time to sing the Song of Songs has come. It is deep spring, the season of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, and growth. Colours all ready to burst open and expand into greater and grander forms and colours. Faces look for the sun and find it. Living becomes a joyful celebration, a dance, a song, a fiesta. May gives birth to the desire to give rather than the desire to receive. ‘I would scrub floors for you, oh Goddess of May, if you would promise me to last, to last a million days.’

The Goddess of May, her name is Maia. She is an ancient earth-goddess, and in ancient Roman religion and myth she is the Goddess of springtime, warmth, and growth. The month of May (Latin Maius) was named supposedly for Maia. In Greek mythology she is the daughter of Atlas and Pleoine the Oceanid and the eldest of the seven Pleiades sisters who are stars. And so she has become the first, and the eldest, of the seven sisters I was inspired to create with ink, glue, and paper in my art journal. Everyone can find her in the night sky with a prominent place in ancient mythology and the Pleiades star cluster. Her song of songs is worth singing straight into our spirit hearts for her name has its roots in Latin magnus ‘great or powerful.’ See here Goddess Maia still waiting for her birth month to arrive so she can radiate, dance, blossom, and rise into her powerful sense of life. I will walk Her path.

three sisters

The world is a dream.
We don’t exist, we only think we do.
So what difference does it make?
(from Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, Act 4)

unbearable lightness of longing

Honoré de Balzac wrote “an unfulfilled vocation drains the color from man’s entire existence.”  I think an unfulfilled dream has the tendency to do quite the same. So it was difficult to add color to my three sisters. My Olga, Irina, and Masha. They are comparable to Chekhov’s Three Sisters and a bit like the three Brontë sisters. However, these three sisters in search of fulfillment and fecundity in ultra modern times (or is it post-modern or post-post modern times) are all mine. In what way are my three sisters related to those of Chekhov and Brontë? Their dreams, hopes, longings, and passions are the forces that also govern their lives. Can you see? See. They are all tangled up in their potent passions and emotions. Dance, dance, dance through the unbearable lightness of longings. Dance, dance, dance through the unfulfilled portions of life. “If we only knew… If we only knew.” (Olga)

I know what love is

A letter found me and entered into the pores of my being. This happens, sometimes. In these moments of word illumination, I start to wonder about the nature of words and how words are like living particle beings with unique energies all of their own. How can they not be when they have powers to illuminate. In such moments, I have no words to respond to words but respond I must.

This was the process I experienced when I created this image I know what love is. It was made in response to the words written in a letter by legendary American landscape photographer Ansel Adams to his friend Cedric Wright. I do love rising letters so this one came to me by way of Letters of Notes. Upon reading these beautiful words, I closed my eyes and drifted into the arms of another language. Words now within me. In infinities of space, I know what love is…

June 19, 1937

Dear Cedric,

A strange thing happened to me today. I saw a big thundercloud move down over Half Dome, and it was so big and clear and brilliant that it made me see many things that were drifting around inside of me; things that related to those who are loved and those who are real friends.

For the first time I know what love is; what friends are; and what art should be.

Love is a seeking for a way of life; the way that cannot be followed alone; the resonance of all spiritual and physical things. Children are not only of flesh and blood — children may be ideas, thoughts, emotions. The person of the one who is loved is a form composed of a myriad mirrors reflecting and illuminating the powers and thoughts and the emotions that are within you, and flashing another kind of light from within. No words or deeds may encompass it.

Friendship is another form of love — more passive perhaps, but full of the transmitting and acceptance of things like thunderclouds and grass and the clean granite of reality.

Art is both love and friendship, and understanding; the desire to give. It is not charity, which is the giving of Things, it is more than kindness which is the giving of self. It is both the taking and giving of beauty, the turning out to the light the inner folds of the awareness of the spirit. It is the recreation on another plane of the realities of the world; the tragic and wonderful realities of earth and men, and of all the inter-relations of these.

I wish the thundercloud had moved up over Tahoe and let loose on you; I could wish you nothing finer.


Each time I create a collage, whether it is on canvas, wood, paper, or with my digits, I am in awe of the process. To create is a mystery and to be in the presence of this mystery is an enigma. And to explore this enigma is a gift ~ I feel this deeply.

I love the creative process. I look at it with a sense of wonder and realize fully that I will never achieve to understand its path. This space is beyond space. Sounds can no longer be translated into words and words no longer carry meanings. A new language arises out of wordless stillness or even at times out of wordless restlessness.

It is almost impossible to communicate but when I am entrenched in the process, I become keenly aware of the emptiness and conscious of the nothingness within the fullness of it all. Whatever word, poem, thought stirred me on to create, translates now into a force of energy, a living energy. It was Henri Bergson, the French Philosopher (1859-1941), who referred to this energy in his book Creative Evolution, as the vital impulse or élan vital.

Into the Mystery


As I create, I feel deeply in touch with my intuition or is it my spirit. Perhaps, it is just both. Pieces, colours, forms, flow in and out of me and the impulse moves through me. What did not make sense one moment makes perfect sense in the next moment.  As long as I keep moving the fragments around, I see the story unfold. And at that moment when all the pieces of the collage come together to form a whole, I understand the mystery of unity. I can feel that what passes through you lives within me.

Space, breath, wind, air, trees. We are that.

All of us different and yet ~ all connected to the same.

I feel the certainty of our oneness and the certainty of that which binds us all together.


At moments, I have illuminations that the process is so much greater than the results. I feel the path leads me into an unlimited ocean of self-knowledge. My intuitive choices show me who I am, they reveal what I am about and what I wish to be expressing.

Let me take a moment here to drift out of my words into those of Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974) who wrote about the creative process and touched upon this very point:

If we appreciate the thing, it is because we relive the heady freedom of making it. Beauty is the by-product of interest and pleasure in the choice of action.


I am in dialogue with the process of art often. It is my teacher, a teller of new tales and a creative energy, which consumes and intrigues me.


~ Art liberates ~


I must stop to inhale these words three more times. I love these words. I am these words.

They are the experience.


There is inherent creativity in all of us, it is our vitality, our ~ essence ~ this is where our voice begins and where it will end. It is the door into our shadows, which then come to meet us.

Does my process sound more beautiful on paper? I wonder about this question as I explore what it feels like to reveal parts of my creative process on a page. It is difficult to express what to me is a mystery. And it feels almost impossible to explain the enigma. Nonetheless, I have an irresistible urge to search for the right words  ~‘le mot juste’ ~ in my attempt to explain it.

But perhaps it just is beautiful ~ painfully beautiful ~ this creative process that gives birth to mysterious images of energy.

In praise of poets

When a poet comes along whose words burn through my mind and ruptures my spirit, I cannot help but slip into an eclipse of silence. As far as I can remember, I’ve experienced these brilliant silences as something mysteriously powerful and creative. These moments are my passages into the heart of my forest – the space in which a greater soul whispers answers to the questions of my other inner somewhat smaller soul. Rilke, Rumi, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Cocteau, Anna Akhmatova, Dickinson, Frost, Gibran – and especially Antonin Artaud are some whose words have inspired and transformed me.


à cause d’Artaud


My hidden quiet love for these great poets is undying– their words have raised me out of my graves, lifted my spirit into symphonies of softness and beauty, and have served to comfort me in times of solitude and doubt. Their words have been the eyes of insight and wisdom into what I might not have been able to see or certainly the eyes of that which I could not have put into words myself. I really do not know what my soul-spirit or creative life would have looked like without their great thoughts, words, and masterpieces.


I give birth to visual poems because of my love for poetry. The great deep silent spaces within caused by the sound of a word – a sentence – a thought – spin, swirl, and splash into colours, shapes, visual sounds, movements, and image. Collaging my silences in silence is to me a journey – a dance – from one poem into the next.


Most recently, I have been inspired by several poets I have been fortunate to meet during my journey so far on twitter. I have finished works inspired by poets such as acclaimed Canadian poet and novelist David Weedmark, French Canadian poet Ulrich Else, and dear dark LadyDarkrage. Nonetheless, I praise you – all you poets of the earth – and thank you for being my brush, my colours, my sound, my silence, and my image. Without you my creative heart would be colorless, motionless, and would simply fail to create or do its work.