Visual Storytelling: She Pitched Her Tie and Put on Pearls

Mixed Media Art, She Pitched Her Tie and Put on Pearls by Bernadette Rose Smith

A string of pearls with the affirming message,
“Today is the day to find courage within,”
lightly dance around the tail of a man’s tie

like the wave of the Chinese symbol for yin and yang.

The oyster with its soft, sensitive body, not unlike a woman’s,
creates a pearl when challenged by the irritation

and discomfort of a grain of sand or grit.
Wisdom that comes from life experience is hard won
in the same way pearls are created.

“Pearls of wisdom” dance around a woman’s throat from where
she gives voice to hard won opalescent experiences
of sacred passion, desire, being, creativity and so much more.

 

What happens when a woman wears a tie or puts on pearls? As women – single, married, divorced – how do we maintain balance with bringing home the bacon and frying it? My desire with Ties and Pearls was to create a piece that spoke to the invisible partnering of the male and female in each of us, and how that manifests in our relationships in a visually appealing way. Read more

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Down and Dirty: Recovering a Sense of Possibility While Under the Influence of Gravity.

Visual journal, mixed-media page inspired by the poem Feet of Clay posted on the blog, Bernadette's Musings from the Messy Room.

Feet of Clay
While her dance on earth bid her stay,
she came to love her feet of clay.
Though they crumbled and caved
in life’s tidal wave
of unknowing,
she learned to reshape them
and fire them
with the glowing
golden embers within her heart,
the place that remembered where she got her start
on wings of angels delivered to birth,
royalty not subject
to the mirth
of fault-finders with cast iron feet bound to the earth,
impenetrable and too deep
to leap for the stars
and catch fireflies in jars
on hot summer nights
when naked feet
find delight
in the dance that bid her stay
while she came to love her feet of clay.

Bernadette Rose Smith

 

Feet of clay is an expression we use that points to character flaws found in our humanness. You know. Those times when we are so good we must be found bad. Or so bad we are good enough to raise the eyebrows of those mirthful faultfinders around us. (Inner critics included.)

Lets face it. Whether a Hollywood starlet caught in a nose-picking event by paparazzi or the King of Babylon exposed in a dream by prophet Daniel or somewhere in between like the rest of us, having feet of clay ranks low on the bucket list of “I wants” or things to be celebrated.

We try to rise above them with store bought miracle grow wings that promise to elevate our consciousness. Or we hop on brooms with “swoop and sweep” features that offer to deflect Read more

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The Crayon: Our First Magic Wand

A crayon was our first magic wand

“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.” – Hugh MacLeod

Admit it. Don’t you sometimes wish you could have your first box of crayons back? And all the innocent creativity that came with them?

I don’t know about you, but it was love at first sniff for me.

Then, it was the magic of choice with a world of color at my fingertips. For the first time in my young life I could choose a color. Blend a color. Shade. Highlight. Even outline a color with another color. My own little kingdom of color invited in newsprint paper, coloring books, tracing paper, connect the dots and my first mural that spanned the length of Aunt Rosemary’s hallway. I am told her attempt to correct the self-appointed 4 year old muralist failed when she finished with,  “Now, are ever going to do that again young lady?” and I replied,  “I will if you want me to.” (Am thinking I must have sniffed a whole box of crayons that day as I don’t remember the “color like no one is watching” incident.)

My adults must have recognized that I had a creative spirit that could no longer be contained in a box of 24 as I was entrusted with Read more

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Angels Wings and Wrestling Mats

Two Wings to Fly. • Visual journal page by Bernadette Rose Smith

Whenever I find myself in a tug-of-war with a challenge, this bible story about Jacob on his way to Canaan comes to mind.

“And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.”

I am not a biblical scholar and am not going to venture into all the rich layers of metaphor I can relate to in this simple story, but I do know a lot about challenges and turning to Divine Guidance for help.

One of the places I wrestle with angels is in my journal. A lot of dialoging goes on in those pages. Blessing and blasting interchangeably linked. I was putting away some older journals recently, when Read more

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Broken Compasses

Creativity Challenge Heart Map from Broken Compasses Blog

If I were a magician, I’d hand out broken compasses. It’s all about misdirection. – Jarod Kintz

Taos creativity retreat. Years ago. Stashes of colored craft paper, newsprint, crayons, markers, glitter, scissors and glue spread out over a large table before 40-plus participants. Our challenge? Make a map that depicts your life. Your journey. Where you came from. Where you are going. And plan to share it with the group after lunch. The room burst into a flurry as we gathered our map charting materials.

Back at my table, I waited for the green and pink colored craft paper I selected as my home base to speak to me. Army brat. Gypsy wife. Detroit. New York. Los Angeles. Atlanta. Hopes. Dreams. Betrayals. Celebrations.

My left-brain was the first to speak. “Well, you’re screwed. How you gonna map out your mess?” My right-brain rebelled against flashes of intersecting points created by lines and pictures that stated, “You are here. You were there.”

I started tearing the green paper, trying not to look as lost as I felt. Maybe a Read more

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