Saturday, November 10, 2012


Creativity can come in all sorts of forms and inspirations.  I hope to share this with my kids throughout their life, with music and art, being a form of expression, and a means to reaching inner-peace.


Clefony (my made up word for - a symphony of clefs) ~ charcoal pencils

My drawings in charcoal pencils are my latest Creations. I love to fuse together my life-passion of music with art.  I also love to fuse together elements in a piece that stand still, in contrast to moving elements. 

The Rose ~ charcoal pencils

Geisha Playing a Shamisen ~ charcoal pencils

The inspiration for this drawing came from my trip with Alex to Japan in the winter of 2011, where we saw several geisha in a busy street in Kyoto.  A tourist crowd formed around them as if they were celebrities, and cameras went clicking away.  Being affected by the book: Memoirs of a Geisha, I had so many images of Gion (the most exclusive and well known geisha district in Japan) already in my mind.  I couldn't wait to see the old city streets, buildings, and shrines.  Having just been to the Tokyo museum, and learning so much about Japan's history and the relationship of the old capital of Kyoto to the new capital of Tokyo, I was eagerly awaiting the train trip to Kyoto.  I was taken back by the history and culture of Japan's old capital, and wished we could have stayed there longer then a weekend.  I bought a souvenir doll and drew it, taking something even more personal away from that unforgettable adventure.


My acrylic paintings are some of my earlier pieces here from around the year 2000. 

 Beginnings ~ acrylic



Seaweed ~ acrylic

"Seaweed" was my first painting with acrylics.  I started painting it during the time that I was stressing about my doctoral comprehensive exams, back in 2002, in Music Composition and Theory.  I needed to have a creative outlet that was not the same as the one I was dealing with all day long, like my music studies.  It was done with a cheep set of brushes.  The painting emotes the state of mind that I was in.  The interlocking weeds capture all of the details that I was memorizing, and all of the information that was compressed into my then very busy head.  From the beginning, I naturally liked the idea of a still image with an illusion of being in motion.

I love to collect masks on trips to other countries, some include: Mexico, South Africa, and Japan.  This one here, is one of my Creations .  I hope to get more into making masks.  The treble clef on the cheek is my little whimsical stamp of music on my art.

 Solitude ~ pastels
Art is something that has always been an inspiration to me.  At different points in my life, it has been a tremendous means of creative expression.  I have created with art at times when composing at the piano has either needed to put to rest for a bit, or when it is the most easily accessible to me, like when my kids are occupied with a TV show.  I can sneak into the living room and quietly do something creative for a few minutes at a pop. 

Music ~ acrylic

I also use art as a form of decompressing from autism and it's daily challenges - it's a wonderful escape when I need one.  The quiet activity coupled with being in motion and creating without any kind of structural rules, is incredibly relaxing and uplifting all together.  I really enjoy creating abstracts, and that is probably the thing that comes the most naturally to me. 

 Anemone ~ pastel

I like to create with color, similarly to the way that I compose.  I do this, through the process of improvisation, unless I am trying to draw something specific, like a person or an image.  I have not had much instruction and am mostly self taught.  I hope to get the chance to take some art classes in the future, as I think that it would be something I'd really enjoy.  

I currently enjoy drawing with charcoal pencils the most, as it is the most quickly accessible to me, and least amount of clean up involved.  This is something I have to take into consideration, when time is an issue (especially if the kids are at home), but I do go through phases.  I like to work with aspects of shading that enable me to have a softer smudged look in contrast to a more pointed and focused line: the soft clouds, versus the Moonleaper's dress with its detailed outline, in "Moonleaps," and the soft highlighted smoke, versus the harder edged umbrella, in "Waiting."

Waiting ~ charcoal pencils

Moonleaps ~ charcoal pencils

In "Waiting," I fuse together the element of the still image with the moving smoke that spirals upwards and fills the room with the character's anticipation.

The type of art that is most meaningful to me 
is art that has an element of fantasy, dream, 
the ethereal, and an element of being in motion 
or being suspended: "Moonleaps" and also 
bellow in "Angel's Kiss." 

Angel's Kiss ~ charcoal pencils

Angle's Kiss was probably the most challenging for me to draw, because I used a little angel figurine as a model.  This is much more difficult for me to do then abstracts, or an idea that comes from my mind's eye.  The figurine was a sitting angel, and I changed it in my drawing to be suspended in the clouds, with caressing human arms reaching into the heavens to touch him, as if trying to catch his kiss.

The Eye of Zion ~ charcoal pencils

The Eye of Zion drawing is probably the most meaningful personal creation to me.  It is made up of a Jewish theme with overlapping motives.  Some motives are more obvious then others, so I thought I would share my vision of this drawing.  At the center we see an eye.  The idea is taken from the Hatikva, meaning the hope (the Israeli national anthem) from the text’s translation: “ an eye looks towards Zion” (Zion is another name for Israel) with longing.  I play off of this theme with the idea of the eye now being the guardian eye that looks out over the land and its people.  It is the collective eye of all the hopeful eyes that have looked toward Zion while in exile, and longed to one day be in a safe country of their own - free from persecution.

The symbol surrounding the eye is a treble clef that continues the musical and visual theme of the eye looking towards Zion, taken from the anthem.  This restrictive structure pinches the two hands, representing exile and anti-Israel sentiments.  From it, the two hands reach out trying to break free.  They reach for the white dove’s olive branch (the white dove flying with the olive branch is taken form the biblical story of Noah).  This represents a longing for freedom and peace.  I left it deliberately ambiguous, whether the dove is giving the hands the olive branch, or the hands giving the dove the branch.  The hands represent a reaching out to live in peace with others. 

The treble clef spirals down into a ballet point shoe that spins in place.  It eflects the idea of the peace process spinning in round and round in circles; not moving forward.  The treble clef and the dance shoe also represent a rich Jewish culture embedded in music and dance, as well as my personal passion for the arts.

On the top left, behind the hands and the dove, is the tree of life.  It’s trunk holds the foundation for the flag of Israel, who’s roots seep down into the land, symbolizing thousands of years of roots in Israel.  The Mogen David (star of David, and most prominent Jewish symbol) is drawn with the darkest pencil at the center of the page.  As the roots spread downwards, they blend with the tears of the eye.  These tears reminisce of previous tears, starting with those of slavery and continuing on through ages of struggle.  They also resemble wrinkles on what looks like a partial face, again, depicting existential struggle and a will to survive.

Behind the tree is the kotel (the western wall of the temple in Jerusalem).  The overlapping image of the top of the wall and the tree, causes the tree to also look like the burning bush (another biblical symbol).  The wall and the idea of concrete also stand for years of roots in the land, and recalls the final line of text of the anthem, it’s translation meaning: “To be free in our country, the land of Zion and Jerusalem”.

At the top right, grandparents marvel at their bundled grandchild.  The child rests in a nest close to the tree’s roots.  This depicts our collective hope to nest in our homeland and to provide a safe and secure home for our next generation.

Sea Horses ~ pastels

Sea Horses is a creation that works in both normal view as well as upside down, because some of the sea horses are suspended upside down.  Try looking at it in both directions.  The sea horses are in bright colorful shades while a backdrop of coral is captured in tones of soft pastels, supporting the highlighted pop of color of its cozy cohabitant.

Afloat ~ pastels

In Afloat, I play with the idea of being suspended again.  A fantasy element couples flowers with seaweed that are vividly intertwined and in motion. 
Who knows what’s next.... 

Visit my Lifeblog:  
Lily and the Roses ~ 
Creativity with Autism, Twins and Military Adventures 
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  1. They are all wonderful. I really like the Eye of Zion, anemone, beginning and clefony. I saw the hands as reaching towards the Dove of Peace. I too like Masks and have several. There are photos in my Art and my Home albums. You will note most are of the faces of my loved ones and myself. Those are clay, painted with acrylic. I can tell you how to do those if you are interested.

  2. First it is a nice surprise to discover this aspect of your artistic self which I wasn't aware of but I would say that it makes complete sense since you have always been such a creative person. I certainly look forwrad to see more of your art creations in the future...

  3. Catherine, Thanks for visiting and sharing with me which pieces you liked the most. I look forward to seeing your masks. I'd love for you to share your process of making your masks. xx

  4. Walt, Thanks for stopping by and looking at my Creations and thanks for checking back in the future as well. Hope you have a lovely weekend!