Phoenix Dactyliferaa.k.a. the date palm, is an ancient, magical, mythical plant and food that I love so much.
You know the story of the phoenix who incinerates and rises from its own ashes? Well, this transformation takes place in a date palm. Some cultures and religions consider the date palm to be the Tree of Knowledge.
Dates are one of the world's most perfect foods which have sustained nomadic peoples of the desert, as well as many other groups, for thousands of years and they sustain me now. Dates taste like sweet golden sunshine! Date pits have been known to sprout and grow after thousands of years of laying dormant. Palms for Peace is an organization which is replanting date palms in Iraq and other war-torn Middle Eastern countries and they claim to have seeds from date palms which are considered ancient. They plan to plant these seeds when the time is right. It seems that their mission is to replant the garden of Eden or something like that.
Geographically speaking, the Garden of Eden, if it was a real place and perhaps it was, would have been located around this area of the world. I love to imagine how Mesopotamia and Eden would have looked and felt...it would have been covered with exotic varieties of dates as well as other fruit trees. I enjoy fantasizing about a magical place like Eden, not in the Biblical sense necessarily, or perhaps about an oasis like the one in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. Such an oasis would be swarming with date palms too.
My idea of paradise, and a home I intend to build, certainly consists of orchards of fruit, trees, flowers, animals and more. It would be, IT WILL BE rather, a cooperative environment where humans and other creatures can heal and live in peace together.
This is my newest painting from an emerging body of work concentrating mainly on fruit (...other trees/plants/flowers/Earth Mother/Angels/Mysteries of Life too...) and how it/they heal my mind, body, and Spirit as well as my thoughts, words and deeds. In gratitude shall I rise!
I hope to participate in and international movement of planting fruit orchards in public spaces, especially in areas of the world where there is food scarcity, but just everywhere! To me, fruit is a blatant manifestation of the unconditional love of the Creator and the more seeds we plant the more nutritious food can be available for free to humans and to other animals. This love bears fruit consistently year after year once the plant is mature. One of my missions is to paint and eat fruit and light to heal myself, but to help others heal too. Fruit is love and abundance! This is one of my greatest passions!
Phoenix Dactylifera #2...is my initiation into impressionism and I am far from successfully rendering this technique. I feel called to immerse myself in Light, color, relationship, healing and restoration. I believe impressionistic painting can help me locate my deepest longings, therefore my new body of work explores the concepts of place and connection; within myself, with others and on Earth. It concentrates on fruit, plant beings and landscapes which I experience emotionally and energetically as internal maps, or what I also refer to as desire maps, and these maps are guiding me home and to a more authentic experience with Self. My newly emerging body of work is composed of visions, feelings, memories and recollections which remind me of a home I have not found yet intend to find. They are regions on Earth I intend to visit because they feel kindred and sacred to me.
This home which I am connecting to through my paintings feels like a dream and an unfolding story and calling to me yet from with me as well. Certain fruit, trees and landscapes, for example, date palms from an oasis somewhere around the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East, as well as the Iberian Peninsula and Ireland, intuitively direct me to where I am meant to go...because I long to go to these places and perhaps learn about my ancestors. Desire maps are gifts from the Creator because they are intentionally placed within us so that we can better find our Truth. These maps are whimsical, musical, mythical, poetic and alchemical...they are ecstatic prayers carried by the omnipotent Winds. My mission with this body of work is to continue using art-making processes to heal myself as well as to help me identify very specific places I must go to. And I have to get there as soon as possible!
Collection from M.A. in Art Therapy at Southwestern College
Collection from Studio Art Minor
California State University Dominguez Hills
Power of Personal Practice: 151 Days of Self-portraits and Haikus...
...is an autoethnographic research project and aesthetic culmination of my undergraduate work, which has been a pathway for self-identification as an artist and peacemaker. My study is inspired by themes such as healing, identity, global citizenship, creative expression, and breaking the cycles of violence. PPP is a 151 day study beginning 11/5/2014 and ending on my 35th birthday, 4/3/2015. The process will include daily renderings of self-portraits and haikus which will map my current healing and study of the culture of Survivors of domestic abuse and violence via my own subjective experience of being a Survivor myself. It is also an effort to continue breaking the silence around violence towards women and girls, a subject which has been considered a taboo subject which women often kept secret. Thankfully it is not so much these days.
PPP is also an experiential model of international restorative justice which includes advocacy, consciousness building, and collaboration with Help A Life Foundation in Ethiopia. HAL organizes an academy for 60+ underserved girls, and they seek to take on more, who have suffered impoverished living conditions, gender based education inequities, domestic violence and other tremendous hardships. HAL organized one location where the girls reside and attend school and HAL also provides for each girl’s living needs. It costs $2 a day for one girl to live, to have all of her basic needs met, and to receive an education.
While PPP is an artistic way of furthering my healing from the trauma I experienced, it is also an international bridge building project which I hope, will raise awareness and funds to support these young women at Help A Life. My prayer is that the power of my own practices and healing will empower others along their healing journeys. If you feel inclined to support Help A Life Foundation, and any amount can make a difference, please go to their website and click on donate. Thank you! Blessings to you!
...shimmering for me, calling to me to awaken
bless the freshness of each new day with presence, gratitude, and a gentle heart
may I dance in the spaciousness of light and life, death and shadow
may I surrender into the still silence beneath the narrative