Belly Dancers in the Wild

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I absolutely love this photo from ronscubadiver.wordpress.com and just wanted to add it to my blog feed. The colors are beyond vibrant… there must be a word for that, but I don’t know what it is. It makes me remember the feeling of dancing with my belly dance troupe and how good it felt for fabric and coins to move around all of us in wild unison, hair swishing on my back.

In this photo you can see the energy shooting from the earth, through the dancers bodies and right out their fingertips. Just look at their gorgeous delicate fingers. I can almost hear their zills and coins… i must dance today.

xo skyblue

Thank you Ron Scuba Diver for sharing this lovely photo! Check out more lovely creatures and adventures on his WordPress blog.

Yoga Gypsy – Art and Inner Peace

When I drew Yoga Gypsy, I was coming off of a year of some serious health challenges… I knew I needed to be creating art again, but i just couldn’t find the energy to do much at all.  I pressed on the best I could, doing daily(ish) yoga and gentle exercise in my studio… I was not ready to let my body fall apart. It was absolutely amazing how much better I was feeling, just using the most delicate movements from yoga and belly dance.

YogaGypsyPalePinkPencilGlow

Soon I became stronger, and sketches started to emerge from my journals as I started to find energy in the art.  I used that energy to get more energy and I remember feeling some of that energy in my yoga.  It was at that time that i realized that both of these parts of my life were not separate… they existed within each other… because of each other. I knew movement and art would heal me.

Yoga Gypsy was one of the first drawings I knew I wanted to share… in hopes she could help someone else find strength and inner peace.  And she is now available at my RedBubble store, in several colors and designs!  Kind of a big deal!!  🙂

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Greeting Cards, Prints, Framed Art, Canvases… Enjoy! and Thank you!

http://www.redbubble.com/people/skyblue32

xo skyblue

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

My heart in full color

I often wonder what it must be like to not love art… to not love creating.  I can’t even imagine it.  People seem to think i am part yoga hippie,part crazy cat lady, and part health nut.  I have no idea why people think I’m a health nut. I had a raspberry danish, two cups of coffee, a glass of root beer, and a large handful of m&ms today.  The other descriptions are pretty accurate i would say.  A day of fun for me would be a few hours at the flea market, another few hours painting in my studio, and another hour or two doing yoga and belly dance.

I was thrilled to spend a few hours in my studio this weekend.  As I worked on a couple of paintings, I found myself asking,  “Why do I love art so much?  Why do i long to spend all the hours of daylight in my studio, sketching, gluing, painting…

I haven’t figured out exactly how to answer that question.  But i decided (for once) I would not judge every stroke, and second guess every color choice, and worry if my paintings would be good enough, or if they would have anything worthwhile to say… I would instead simply enjoy each stroke, and notice the juxtaposition of colors and shapes.  I would just get lost in my paint and let my brushes speak what is in my heart.

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These are some close-ups of the series i’m working on for my living room.  I love the way paint and canvas unite to make the most interesting patterns and textures from the close-up perspective.  More to come i hope.  Happy Monday!

e.j.l. xo

Angel

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” 

Michelangelo

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I had this piece of wood.  I knew i wanted to paint a picture on it. it took me about two years to figure out just what i wanted to paint on it…

It was the best part of the morning, when the sun starts beaming warmth into my studio.  It was a Saturday, my favorite day.  I grabbed the piece of wood, sanded it for a while, and made a decision.  There i was, with all my best shades of purple, red, orange, and blue, ready to paint some random abstract sketch i found in one of my art journals…

And then i saw her out of the corner of my eye, right in the swirls of wood.  she was twirling around and around, her hair flowing, wearing the prettiest skirt.  i honestly couldn’t believe what i was seeing.  i looked away for a minute, but when i looked again she was still there.  i left the room to get some water, came back, and there she still was, kind of sad, twirling and twirling.  at that moment, i knew the abstract “whatever” could wait.  I quickly traced her silhouette with my graphite, before she could vanish.  then i just started painting.   When she emerged, I was her.  She was me… the dancer inside me.  She was so lovely and happy to be dancing, and a much better dancer than i ever was.  But there was some sadness in her eyes.   i named her Daisy.

i have danced on and off my whole life.  Ballet, tap, jazz, modern… In my late twenties i thought i was done for good.  I stopped altogether, and it went on that way for a few years, but i always felt the void.  In my 30’s i discovered belly dance, and thought i would be doing it until i was 80.  For many reasons in 2009, i stopped belly dancing and life went on with all its usual ups and downs…  just no dancing.  I was surely never going to dance again.  i was tired, my bones were creaky, i couldn’t even do a grand plie without groaning.

It seems Daisy came into my life just in time.  She reminded me how good it feels to dance…and that i was not yet finished dancing.  I realized that i don’t need to go to classes, or perform with a troupe, in order to continue to be a dancer.  i could dance right there at home, in my little orange studio, and i could do it my way.  Each plie, at my own pace.  Every hip shimmy, as gentle or as intense as i chose.   I could do ballet, belly dance, even yoga and aerobics, whatever the music made me feel like doing.  it would heal my body.  it would heal my spirit.  and i might even wear a bikini again!

Well, I didn’t wear any bikinis this summer, almost two years later, but to this day I dance and do yoga with Daisy.  My body is finally starting to feel stronger and the movement finally feels good again.  I intend to be dancing with her until i am 80, or more.   Daisy has been hanging on the wall there now since the first day i found her, another unfinished painting, another project procrastinated.  Someday I will take her down off the wall, and give her the attention she needs and deserves.  But it doesn’t really matter when, or if, i finish her.  What matters is that she was there, just when i needed her.  And now she is free.  Still a little sad sometimes, but free.

e.j.l. xo

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p.s. before the comment is posted… i am of course aware that my Daisy is not even in the same universe as Michelangelo’s angels.  I just liked the quote. (-:

Have you ever seen an “angel in the marble”?  Did it effect your life in some way?

i heart food – The Faux Food Diet

I am always trying to make some change in my eating habits, or attempt a new exercise kick, to get in better shape.  Nothing ever seems to work out long term… probably because I am very lazy, and there is not much I won’t do for an apple pie sundae.  I am a below average cook, I couldn’t tell you what separates a t-bone from a London broil.  I actually have no idea how to hard boil an egg.

All said, I heart food.

I’m aware that i am a freak of nature, when I am completely one with a choco-taco,  or chocolate chip cookies, warm bread and butter, super cheesy pizza, lemon coconut cupcakes, vanilla bean milkshakes, Rease’s Pieces, butter pecan ice cream, wheat toast with honey, blueberry oatmeal pancakes, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cups, fried fish with tarter sauce, candy corn…(deep inhale)…fresh strawberries, chilled peppermint patties, McDonald’s french fries with tons of salt, chocolate chip cookies, apple crumb pie, maple frosted donuts, oatmeal raisin cookies, cheese burgers, twizzlers, cupcakes, yellow hostess cupcakes, peanut butter and jelly on toast, cucumber sandwiches, vanilla cupcakes… Have i made my point? I don’t have a favorite food… they are all my favorite foods.  Back in the day, I barely worked out, I for the most part ate what I wanted, and I managed to maintain a fairly delicate frame.  These days, I could use a gym membership and a Slimfast.

To make life a little less painful as I embark on my next diet adventure, I’ve decided I can cling to my [probably strange] addiction to fake food.  Fake food, is any food themed art, architecture, clothing, photography, books, album covers, jewelry, and so on.  I have always been drawn to artists renditions of food – whether it’s a giant donut, or a birthday cake sand sculpture, or a miniature dollhouse sandwich.  Maybe i can refocus my urges to eat an entire box of brown sugar pop tarts, and revisit some of my fun findings… Please don’t view on an empty stomach.

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e.j.l. xo

Dancing Rapunzel has a new dress…

and new boobs.  You see, DR never dreamed she would be getting a new size 34C pair for her 40th birthday (should she have gone bigger? hmmm, maybe something to contemplate at a later date), but that’s exactly what she got, like it or not.  One would have to read another blog, about that dancing rapunzel girl, to get the entire background, but long story short for now, she did get new boobs, saline actually, very real feeling… so she’s been told.  But first she underwent a bilateral mastectomy. She was pretty bummed when she got a stage 2b breast cancer diagnosis as a sort of belated 39th birthday gift… October 30th, 2009.  Well maybe she was not bummed so much as freaking out and hysterical.  You know, crying for days, planning how to spend her last days, thinking about how embarrassing it will be when people read her journals, looked in her sketchbooks… you would think a fairly common reaction to “you’ve got cancer, we might be able to save your life, and we’ll be chopping your breasts off in order to do so”.  This is somewhat dramatic, maybe way too graphic, and the doctor was much kinder about it. but it was kind of like that, in her own head. And her family came right along for the ride, making sure she never felt alone.

This is where i admit, it would be terribly exhausting (for you and me) if I were to continue writing my own story in the 3rd person, so yes, hiii, that’s me, rapunzel.  Not my real name of course, but again, the other blog explains a bit about that if i recall. as i write going forward, my intent will be to document my creative journey, share what inspires me, and hopefully grow as a person.  I have probably gathered much of my recent inspiration from having breast cancer, and i guess it has been a huge wake up call for me to get serious about taking care of some things, i’ve been putting off, or entirely put aside for the last 5, 10, 35 years.  Specifically, things, goals, and people, that are really important to me.  i haven’t always been the best daughter, or grand daughter, friend, cousin, wife, kitty mama, coworker…and so on, so i hope i can really get my act together in that area of my life. And my rockin belly dancer bod (maybe just to my husband), well it’s not so rockin anymore.  more like blockin [out the sun] no, i’m totally kidding, i just start rhyming sometimes.  what was i saying?… oh yes, so i would like to make a few changes in my life basically.  Kind of like new boob resolutions, or something.  Is it Brian Tracy? or was it that 7 Habits guy?…well one or both of them said something about making To Do lists to make positive changes in your life, or was it to become successful?  Well whatever it was, i’m sure it can’t hurt my life or my success.  So I guess here’s my list:

To Do.

1. be a better daughter, wife, auntie, etc…

2. get in shape, eat healthier . maybe do a little more belly dancing  (-:

3. paint more, create more, take lots and lots of pictures.

There’s definitely more to this list, i just probably won’t blog about it.   By the way, in case you were wondering why Dancing Rapunzel ends her blog abruptly on May 19th 2010, and why there’s a stupid square thing embedded in the middle of all the text… it’s because my password got hijacked, or something, and after about 35 hours of trying to get back in or get some type of account support, i gave up and was never able to get back in it.  I don’t exactly know why that square is there, but IF I COULD GET IN, I COULD FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET RID OF IT.  well, i don’t think anyone at the other blog hosting site cares or is listening, but i’ve decided i’m very happy this happened because it is a brand new beginning for me.  I can still go back and read some of my old posts, as a guest.  But for now it’s new boobs, new job, new life, new blog.  whoa… my blogging is like mirroring my real life.  trippy.

anyway, about that new dress.  it’s sky blue, with daisies all over it. It’s the one i wear in my most beautiful dream… the dream where i make art and take photos all day, every day… where David Bromstad, Antonio Ballitore & Chewy have all collaborated to design my home, where I like myself and i love my body (rockin or not), and where i’m surrounded by the people i love.  oh and there’s cupcakes, lots of perfectly delicious cupcakes.

here is a sketch in my journal.  i started making these portraits a few months ago. some are self-portraits, some are portraits of other women i’ve known, and most are a combination of both.  Sometimes i do get bummed because i’ve gained some weight, or because the chemo claimed my long pretty hair.   i draw the portraits when i just want to feel pretty again, and lipstick isn’t helping.

e.j.l. xo

picking daisies in the rain

picking daisies in the rain

p.s. please self exam and get a mammogram! … and don’t forget to ask the doc if you’re dense!