Saturday, November 29, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dancer's Story & Giveaway


Now available in Traveling Chariot Etsy Shop are prints of Dancer's Story, an original mixed media collage. Artists use brush strokes to tell their story, writers use words, musicians use melody. Dancers tell their story with movement, flourishes of hand, feet, and soul. Dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham, once said that, "Dance is the hidden language of the soul." Here, I have used vintage book pages and watercolor to meld the idea of story, dance, and the language of the body in this collage.
Now, I'm not a dancer, but my dear friend is. I created this piece to adorn the old brick walls of her dance studio which coincidentally used to house a printing press. We all must tell our story with whatever skill, craft, or art we've been given. If you'd like to own a print of Dancer's Story or give it as a gift a dancer in your life you can find it here. Remember to order by December 12th to ensure arrival by Christmas.

Also available in Black & White

ENTER TO WIN: To enter, please leave a comment below with your name and email. Also, it would be grand if you could spread the word about my Etsy Shop - Traveling Chariot by promoting the shop on your facebook, twitter, or blog. Thanks!  I will draw a winner on this Saturday, November  22. Thanks.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The First Snow Falls

Winter Magic

While Winter is not officially here, frigid temperatures certainly are. Below, you can see what gifts these cold conditions bestow: frost flowers. I wrote about them and how they form almost exactly one year ago here .  I came across dozens yesterday and today, more than I'd ever seen before (but they look so similar to last year's photos). They remind me of mushrooms in summer, needing very particular conditions to appear, crouched and hidden beneath trees and in hedges, and then before you know it, vanishing back into the magic from whence they came. Winter's secret treat for those who will look for them.

Friday, November 14, 2014

From the Hedges of Devon, England
To see what artist, Rima Staines, is up to and what Hedgespoken is all about go here now.

I often find myself a bit envious of the great festivals and events that happen in the southwest corner of England, ancient traditions and art flourish in that ancient landscape. A few years ago now, roaming aimlessly through the tangled web of the internet, I found the art of Rima Staines. I've written of her before. Her art is absolutely magical. Reading of her artistic life, often on wheels, and visits to the wondrous faires and fests of the area have been a pleasure of mine for some time. Her blog Into the Hermitage can provide many hours of indulgence into a world of myth, magic, and nature. Her art has always been the storytelling type, you can see the tales just under the paint. But she is not only an artist of paint. She dabbles in many art forms: She is a musician (accordion), a puppeteer, a jewelry smith, a book binder, an herbalist, just to name a few.

Now she finds herself at the beginning of a new path. Rima, and her storytelling poet partner have devised a grand journey. They are hoping to create Hedgespoken, a hybrid vehicle: a wheeled theatre of the imagination and a hedge-loving home on wheels. But she tells it better herself. You can read all about it here. Or watch the grand video below. They have launched a fundraiser to help sculpt this dream into a reality and give the gift of magic to all the lucky folk in England (still jealous to be stateside). If you'd like to help, you can toss some change into their hat here and read more of their brilliant plans. Only a couple weeks left before the fundraising wraps up. There are lovely perks for donations, many include some of Rima's great artwork. You can keep up on their progress on their website and at


Still Falling

Some stubborn leaves still cling tight to the trees. Some are still magically vibrant, while others are muted, soft shades of winter. This week the temps have plummeted, an arrogantly executed high dive into winter. The winds followed suit. The cold snap can be seen plucking leaves from their strongholds with little effort. But the sun shines today and we'll try to keep the inklings of snow at bay, at least for today. The days are coming of firelight indoors and out, warm drinks, candle flame, and stories told in shadowed rooms. Winter is coming: the season of myth, of ancient stories, and older traditions.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Oil Springs Trail

We recently hiked Oil Springs Trail at Black Bass Lake in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The rock ledges and formations are large, dramatic, and interesting. The leaves were still gorgeous and colorful and weather cool with full shining sun. We find the Oil Springs Trail more interesting than the hike around the lake but both are nice and on the edge of town. More here .


Someone had stacked a little dolmen beneath this overhang.

Portal to Otherworld -just maybe.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Gentle Madness

Another successful trip to the Springfield Friends of the Library Book Sale at Remington's (huge giant arena full of books - what heaven is this?). What a great collection I found, and like always, I think it says a lot about me - my personality on  bookshelf. I did come across an interesting volume: A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas Basbanes. I chuckled, my arms aching from my heavy stack, and sat this one back down. I had reached my budget and it was a little too incriminating (perhaps another time). Many cups of tea to get me through these on cold winters' nights.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Flat Creek & a Final Float

We took one more canoe trip on a sunshiney day just before we tipped into the dark half of the year and ticked our clocks back. The leaves were gilt, glimmering, fluttering down, and making the journey down river with us. The trees had shed enough of their foliage that we could see up into to the bluffs that are normally quite hidden. Bone white sycamore trunks lurched over us. We even saw young buck splash his way across the creek just in front of us. We shared the river with the wild life but no other humans did we come across. It was quite sublime. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fires, Fog, & Falling Leaves

It is hard to describe fast time and slow time but I know the difference when I am living it. Moments of slowly dripping time are rare and nearly always sandwiched by rip-roaring time, time like light speed. Moments of pause are precious. I hold them tight. I seek them out. Autumn has offered many of these moments to me. By no mistake, most of these moments take place outside (not all, but many). Personally, technology seems to speed up my time and not necessarily make any extra time, which is what it is supposed to do. So I like to unplug or walk away from the plugs. I like to take a woodland walk, watch a campfire, cook outside, pick something ripe (don't eat the hedge apples), and by all means watch those leaves fall. Falling leaves are at the top of my list of magical occurrences of the everyday. When at that perfect time of year, a gust of wind from another world blows in and leaves fall and fly and flutter it utterly stirs my soul. I am giddy, like a child, at the magic of it.
So, while the weather is not yet blustery or blizzardly, I try to catch some slow moments, examine the tiny, miniscule wonders of nature, savor the scents of Autumn, or just laze on some leaves. Here are just handful of slow moments I've recently savored.  

Autumnal Gathering - acorns, dogwood berries, rosehips, sumac berries, prickly pear fruit.

Sunrise in the fog.

Northern Fence lizard - lost his tail in a fire :(

Derby dozing off

Butternut Squash seasoned in olive oil, salt, paper, cinnamon cooked in the coals of fire.

The woodland canopy of colors - mostly hickory here.