Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Messengers


I went outside just as I do every morning and for the second day in a row I was greeted by a hummingbird. The first day it hummed as it circled my head and looked me in the eye and then flew off.

Today it came up behind me making a high pitched chirpping sound as if to get my attention. Once I turned around I found that we were once again eye to eye. Then it moved to a nearby tree and landed. It sat for some time and at first I thought to run inside for my camera but I realized that this moment was for me to be still, to stop my humming around and get quiet. We sat looking at one another for some time before the beautiful green and red bird few away. I am always open to the messages and in the midst of my chaos lately I guess I needed a reminder to sit still, that the answers will come and its ok to just be quiet. Thank you sweet bird for the reminders of this and so much more.
There is a legend from Mexico about a Taroscan Indian woman who was taught how to weave beautiful baskets by a grateful hummingbird to whom she had given sugar water during a drought. These baskets are now used in Day of the Dead Festivals.

An Aztec myth tells of a valiant warrior named Huitzil, who led them to a new homeland, then helped them defend it. This famous hero's full name was Huitzilopochtli, which means "hummingbird from the left." The "left" is the deep south, the location of the spirit world. The woman who gave birth to Huitzil was Coatlicul. She conceived him from a ball of feathers that fell from the sky. Huitzil wore a helmet shaped like a giant hummingbird. It is believed that hummingbirds are the warrior angels who travel between worlds with messages for us.

If you have Hummingbird medicine, you adapt easily to whatever situation you may find yourself in, and make the most of your new circumstances. You don't waste time looking back and wishing for "what was" for you are concerned with making the most of "what is". You take great pleasure in spreading joy and love and beauty to all around you, and have the gift of taking that inner joy into new and different surroundings.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Colors of the Earth


I am currently finishing a summer project working with preschoolers who are "lacking in their language scores". Some of them are learning English as a Second Language and struggling with culture shock coming from various Latin American families. I am a consultant to the teachers providing training and I get to do some art with the children. Yesterday we made friendship bracelets and disucssed our various skin colors, colors of the bracelets, and how being different is ok. Its refreshing to work with the children sometimes, reminds of why I do this work.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Preparing the Caldo


I have been busy shedding and cleansing my home and studio. I often do this before I begin making what I call the caldo(soup) for a new project. It helps since once I begin its usually organized chaos and no room in the house is spared. I gather items, pictures, colors that feel like what the work calls for and I place them in a wooden or basket bowl. These items marinate and serve to further the inspiration. Then comes the auditioning of fabrics, paint, and all the embellishments. Sometimes none of them end up on the work, other times everything does. I am not in control, the process leads the choices. Back to letting things simmer as I clean out more stuff...I came across this picture, one of my favorites, reminds me of those that came before me and where I am going.
Here's a bit about the artist: Yolanda M L√≥pez,“The Portrait of the Artist as the Virgin of Guadalupe"Her mother supported their family by working at an industrial sewing machine for 30 years. She worked as a community artist in the Mission District, CA with a group called Los Siete de la Raza. She views her work as an artist as a tool for political and social change.