Honoring Ilene and Frida

Ilene Satala July 13, 1951 – May 16, 2014 Ilene Satala was a beloved teacher, artist, mentor and friend. Her life’s work and teaching resonated with me from the first time I attended her art class in 1994. Through the years, her patience, unconditional acceptance, and investment in me allowed me to explore and manifest the healing power of leading a creative life. Ilene’s extensive body of artwork focuses heavily on cross-cultural images of the Sacred Feminine throughout time. She had a passionate interest in mythology, archeology, psychology, and anthropology. From the… Read More

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) 2014 – Ilene Satala and Frida Kahlo

Written November 10, 2014 The Fort Wayne Museum of Art held their annual Dia de los Muertos festival highlighted by an exhibit of several altars honoring the lives of departed loved ones. I enjoyed being a part of that celebration and exhibit with my altar to honor my friend and art mentor, Ilene Satala, and her deep connection to Frida Kahlo. You can see lots of pictures of the altar and read about the process of creating it in the Gallery section – Day of the Dead 2014. 

From Start to Finish: The Creative Process

A few stray pictures offer a glimpse into the creative process involved in bringing to life the altar to honor Ilene and Frida. A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon an essay that Ilene had written and sent to me years ago called “Saint Frida”. I recall reading it, loving it, and then tucking it away in my computer files. When I found it again a few months after her death, I immediately had the vision of an altar to celebrate her creative life and how it had been influenced by… Read More

Close-Up Photos

The papercutting art piece is a bit intricate thus below you will find some close-up photos to help you see things more clearly. The back panel rises four and a half feet from the top of the table and is four feet wide. The central image is of Ilene with her signature features – bright red lipstick and orange hair. On either side of her swim one of her favorite feminine images – mermaids. Frida’s eyes watch over her. And above that floats a large butterfly.

Lady Daisy

When I was a kid, I wanted a dog. Plain and simple. What kid doesn’t, right? Unfortunately for me, my dad believed that dogs only belonged on farms or in the country, outside where they could run and be…well…dogs rather than our pets. This was either a really loving, puppy-conscious sentiment or a workable excuse so he didn’t have to get one for me. Either way, it stunk when I was a kid, so imagine my elation when my sister, Sue, and her husband, Ed, brought over a new puppy they had… Read More

My Guiding Hand

The hand of the Sacred Feminine has guided me through countless decisions and turning points in my life long before I knew what that really meant. The inner maps and patterns that are the essence of ‘me’ are behind this guiding hand. The photos that lie within it represent key times in my life when I felt that sacred guidance, invisible yet not unknown – getting married, the move to Fort Wayne, my first sold art piece (Rudy and Roxy), my mothering hands, dancing now, dancing then, staying married, choosing a different,… Read More

Drew’s Guiding Hand – Own It!

Drew’s guiding hand is simple. Own It! This title could, of course, speak to the idea of believing money will flow from doing something you love, but frankly, Drew doesn’t generally have trouble envisioning that. It could also be quite literal encouragement for him to own his own restaurant and be his own boss. At this point I really don’t presume to know what path of his career will bring him the most joy, so we’ll let those future meanings evolve in their own time. For this moment though, Own It! has… Read More

Calvin’s Guiding Hand

calvins guiding hand - blog size watermarked copy 

Movement. Mobility. Expression. Freedom. Strength. Overcoming.

These were the descriptive words that Calvin offered me as I embarked on his Guiding Hand piece. He had requested this personal work after seeing the one I did for myself a few years ago with the hopes of anchoring his own intentions.

I wasn’t surprised with his very action-oriented words and the essence that he wanted to capture. Calvin is quick on all levels – body, mind, and spirit.

His body is large enough to have the strength to balance on railings, stand on his hands, and hold his body weight. And he’s small, lean, and agile enough to travel lightly as he leaps off ledges and flips over obstacles in his free running pursuits. This quickness of movement is evident in the photos he chose to depict his intentions for the art piece.

Calvin’s mind moves fast in order to keep up with his extensive interest in how things work. If he desires to know more about various computer languages or physics theories or anything else, he picks up a book and learns what he’s seeking lickety split and then moves onto the next burning interest. There’s no time to waste with long, drawn-out classes and explanations because there’s so much more to learn. His mind is even busy as he sleeps. Dreams and reality are separated by a very thin veil in Calvin’s world. He listens to his dreams, creates business plans and math equations in them, solves inner problems, and plays.

Alex’s Guiding Hand

alexs hand blog size - watermark copy

I recently completed a commissioned gift of art for my daughter, Alex. We wanted to create a ‘power piece’, so to speak. Something that would embody the essence of who she is so whenever she saw it, she would be empowered to be herself, to be authentic. Per my request, Alex sent me 12 photos she wanted to include inside her guiding hand as well as any words or quotes that would help us reach our mutual, creative goal. As I composed it, I got to see and hear and feel my daughter. Her photos are all action oriented – mountain climbing, cliff hanging, cliff jumping, dancing, riding, laughing, creating, imagining. Powerful images from the first 25 years of her life that embody her spirit of adventure as well as her love of movement and challenge.

And her words. The words she sent me were not only powerful, but they were the exact words a mother hopes are poured into her daughter’s soul and become her essence. Reading them and writing them on her piece gave me the assurance that she is rooted in her strengths and a seeker of joy. And she understands love – of herself, of others, of life. These words are written all over the piece…

Web of Life (on white background)

This is another mounting of Web of Life piece that I originally created to center around the Lonely Tree painting I had done about 20 years ago in pastels. Please see the description of that piece within this same gallery to learn how it came about. This third ‘original’ cutting is mounted on a plain, white background so the convoluted images are crisp and clear. The original of this mounting measures 30 x 24″ including the border and hangs in my dear friend, Regina’s home. Prints of this original piece are available… Read More

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