In my early life there was only one occasion when I got to stay up late in my jammies and watch two painters....when my Mom decided to sit down alongside my Grandma Conner and try to learn from watching her how to paint. I thought it was very exciting, their paintings thrilled me, and I will always remember it as a time that was an important influence upon my early life as a painter.
I got sick on my 'vacation at home' and it slowed me down enough so that just when I needed some connecting information on the topic of artist grant applications, this excellent article caught my eye. Thanks Mira of Mira's List!
Returning to blogging soon, but I'm in the midst of a two-week break for re-organizing, hosting several special guests who I'm really looking forward to seeing---some old friends and my Florida cousin are coming to town, and this week to enjoy the three days of festivities when Amma, my Indian guru is here in NYC, including darshan (she offers hugs to thousands throughout the three day period), pujas (religious ceremony), live music, chanting monks, clothing & jewelry bazaar, vegetarian Indian food, and Devi Bhava.
Attending Amma darshan is a fascinating, internationally flavored experience. No cameras are permitted, so I can't share it in photos, but to give you a few highlights, so far I sat next to a woman who flew in from Paris (where Amma also tours), watched darshan taking place while Hindus intermingled with people from many religions and cultures, and while Voices of Unity, a large choir from Unity Church in Manhattan simultaneously stood behind Amma singing some rousing gospel songs after the swamis did a round of bhajans (devotional music). I even saw Iggy Pop milling around.
If it sounds like something you'd like to try out, it costs nothing to attend, and Amma is probably coming to a town near you. Here's a link to the North American part of her annual world tour.
My progress is somewhat gradual because I photograph this egg tempera painting after every 3-4 hours work, but over several sessions you can see what is happening. For this session I was working in the same (and a few additional) areas. I have further blending to do on the skin, particularly on the right side of the face, once the paint has set more.
Hoping to also post the start of my new pastel of Terry later tonight.
What this Blog is About: The Divine in Each Person
We are not equal to God’s Divine power, yet we carry it’s seed within each of us. Over time I am developing a series of spiritually-toned portraits of one person, then another, attempting to pin down that seed of the Divine within the individual as it expresses itself uniquely through each of us. If it is true that we are made in God’s image, is there is a way in which we don’t really perceive this in ourselves, or what it fully means about the measure of each person’s life? Yet if all of creation is a reflecting image of the Divine, it must be true that we are more special than we know. It is this missed part---the divine-yet-human part in each of us--- that I attempt to highlight with my series of each person, beginning with my first subject, The Divine in Kimberly.
If we could really see ourselves as God sees us, how would it change us? Would it help us grow closer in our relation to the Divine? Would it heal us? Would it expand and shift our understanding about who we really are? Religion and spirituality are in a sense flip sides of one coin which are only reflected in each of us by how our actual actions pan out in our lives. Kimberly wears a veil in salute to her reverence for the Divine Feminine in several guises--Mary, and living Indian avatar, Amritanandamayi Ma. She is not Mary or Amma, or a portrayal of them in costume, yet she carries them so dear in her heart that the beauty of this expresses out to all with whom she comes into contact.
Once my mother had a dream. In her dream she was trying to walk home, but she felt lost at first because all the houses were beautiful mansions that looked alike. Which one was hers? Each mansion had lit candles in every window. Then seeing these candles, a safe feeling came over her that although she thought she had been lost, every one of these mansions was actually her home.
It's many lives I believe that we live and it's many mansions, both in heaven and on earth, that we are given to explore, and as in my mother's dream, candles are lit in every window of every mansion, calling us home there too. On earth these mansions lie within each of us, each one a realm of its own within a person, an aspect of who we are. It is these mansions we need to explore in order to fully realize our true human potential.
In addition to my website: monadianeconner.com, I am pleased to present four painting blogs to the public --- my portrait blog, "Mona Conner Portraits," my spiritual paintings blog, "Grander Joy of Spirit," my miniature painting blog, "The Ruby Slippers," and "Windows of the Soul - Eye Portraits in Miniature."
Please note that "Windows of the Soul" will remain active in order to introduce the tradition of miniature eye portraits in modern terms; however, future eye portraits (along with other kinds of portraits) will also post on "Mona Conner Portraits."