Mask and What I Have Learned by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa
Sep10

Mask and What I Have Learned by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

  “Mask” by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa     “What I Have Learned” by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa   I have learned some things. I may want to write everyday but many days my creativity takes another route. During these past Covid months, I have been doing handwork; fiber arts projects pieces done in knitting, crocheting and embroidery, what used to be called women’s crafts. I created something for all the loved ones in my life who I could no longer hug or kiss or to whom I could no longer offer comfort or even a warm smile. This did two things. At a time when my fears, anger, outrage fueled my ever-increasing depression, my fiber arts were a balm. They were a love spooling a long strand through which I stayed connected to a loving and compassionate world of friends and family. And at a time when I couldn’t write, I found other creative outlets, the therapy that kept me sane. They got me through the worst of the dark days, saved me from the dark waters of depression that threatened to drown me. My needle and thread became the delivery method for my self-care. What I didn’t realize was that while I was focused on one more stitch, just one more row, my subconscious mind was writing all along, creating on multiple levels. Months later, not coincidentally, after the inauguration of a new president, I put my needles down and picked up my journal once again. Once again, I woke up with the need to find a home for my words. And I was amazed to find new answers to old questions. I was brimming with innovative and daring ideas that had never crossed my mind. Somehow, someway, my mind had been problem-solving all along, finding unforeseen and unexpected solutions. I felt that I had been in hibernation and was now stepping out into a new creative landscape. I am grateful to have a creative mind that can hold much more than I could in my conscious imagination. I am grateful that my writing spirit knew when to pull back and let me heal in other ways. Now, she steps out, big and bold and more inventive and assured and in command than she has ever been. She leaves deep impressions as she walks and knows without looking back that I will fill them. I don’t pretend to understand the miracle of creativity. But I am thankful that she has many faces. I have learned to recognize them all as part of her costume and give her her due in whatever guise she might present. I pay attention, wait patiently and...

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My Room by Barbara Presnell
Sep10

My Room by Barbara Presnell

  “My Room” by Barbara Presnell     In sum this work is about: The place where I have space that is mine and only mine, where words and pictures come, where thoughts are past and future, right and left, north and south, up and down, clockwise and counterclockwise. My pup and my pencil guide me.   ____________________ Barbara Presnell’s Artist Statement: I call myself an artist with a big A, meaning Art is the umbrella for everything I do, both creatively and practically. I want to live my life so that it matters both to the world and to me. I succeed more in making it matter to me than I do making it matter in the world. But ripple by ripple, perhaps I’m making a small splash. I’m also a Writer–not a poet, not an essayist, not a memoirist. A...

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Procrastination as Part of the Process by Gina Moriarty
Sep10

Procrastination as Part of the Process by Gina Moriarty

  “Procrastination as Part of the Process” by Gina Moriarty   I know I’m acting cowardly when I procrastinate taking a seat at my desk. When I wash dishes that I typically neglect, when I dust my bookshelves and reorder my to-be-read… when I scrub the walls, I know I should be writing. I must face the facts, that my writing process is meant to heal. To process. To forgive. To learn. To make sense of my heart, I must face my words. I’ve scrapped enough first drafts to know, for me to process, I have to read my written words on paper, ingest them as my own curative soul food. Writing is my way of digesting life. When I recognize what I should write, once I identify the story that needs to be told, I tend to hide. I’ll bury myself in dirty laundry baskets sorting loss and heartache alongside mismatched socks. I know I’ll never find balance this way. So, when I find myself in the pantry, sorting my canned goods by alphabetical order or by expiration date, I know there’s an inkblot on my heart, one I’m avoiding stabbing my pen into. I must remind myself, that when I merge my shadow, I won’t turn grey. No matter how much time passes, my ink will appear black on the white page. My heart must recognize that black isn’t void of color but remember the color black is composed of every hue on the spectrum. Every feeling, emotion, every energy absorbed. I must remind myself that my ink is not black, or grey, or charcoal, not devoid of color or life or meaning, but an incorporation of yellows and blues and reds and purples, adding their own essence to collaborate, to bring shade to my darkness. I know the only way to move hearts with my words is if my own heart moves first. Writing is not for the faint of heart. Writing is bravery in syntactic form. As my yin and my yang blend, separated by metaphor and symbol, I’ve found I can take pause and write through the comma. I like to think that I write, not what I want to write, but what I need to write. I’ve found sometimes the most healing drafts, the ones where my tears dampen the page, are words I wrote for only my heart to read.   ____________________ Gina Moriarty’s Artist Statement: I am a writer, an artist, creative to the core. My background and my culture has been merged between Christianity, psychedelics, and my own spiritual journey. I’ve learned to work with what the universe sends my way....

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Life is Precious by Tonya Russell
Jul16

Life is Precious by Tonya Russell

  “Life is Precious” by Tonya Russell As a creative woman, my deepest need is: to create     Tonya Russell Artist Statement: I consider myself an artist, a self-taught photographer with a borrowed camera. Photography is a way for me to connect with a part of myself I have yet to fully find. The world is changing, so am I. Little by little, I am understanding myself. Fragments are coming together and separating, creating a self-awareness I thought I had lost.   Tonya Russell, is a photographer/poet of color. Mexican/ Native American themes often seep into her...

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Magnolia 3 by Cynthia Yatchman
Jul16

Magnolia 3 by Cynthia Yatchman

  “Magnolia 3” by Cynthia Yatchman As a creative woman, my deepest need is: to do the work.     Cynthia Yatchman’s Artist Statement: I identify as an artist and art instructor. As a former ceramicist, I bring some 3D focus to my 2D work. I primarily make paintings, prints, and collages, often using common latex house paint coupled with ink. These days I work primarily on my own art and do some teaching in ceramics and fine art at the local senior citizen...

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En El Jardin by Karina Puente
Jul16

En El Jardin by Karina Puente

    “En El Jardin” by Karina Puente, symbol of AROHO’s Global Summer Camp “En El Jardin translates to In The Garden. The Guardian of Imagination is our Guide.   Welcome Sisters, Thank you for being here. Today, we appreciate how far we’ve come by enjoying a refreshing drink and refreshing the page. By taking a cool deep breath, in and out, we clear our minds long enough to enter through the image. Here in the garden, our senses are heightened and we notice that color is a medicinal frequency. We become aware of our heartbeat and feel it steady us. Our senses are awakened and we remember we have answers within. Focus and feel the ever-loving presence of our imagination. Imagine a nation where women’s most powerful tools are art and writing. Imagine a nation where our currency is the charged current between us fully activated when we hold seeds of Joy. Let us now put down our assignment of struggle and lift up the light of satisfaction to warm our faces as we watch our gardens grow for years to come. May we know we are never alone when the Guardian of Imagination is our Guide. May we know we are never alone En El Jardin. With care, Karina Puente Founder, Karina Puente Arts Studio, Visual Artist, Sight...

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Writing by Nina Pick
Jun18

Writing by Nina Pick

  “Writing” by Nina Pick   I was jealous of her writing, the only writing I have ever been jealous of. — Virginia Woolf, on Katherine Mansfield I was jealous of her writing, the only writing I have ever been jealous of. I was jealous she was writing, doing the writing I was jealous of. I was jealous that a part of me was writing while the other part was silent. I was jealous of the part that was not writing, enjoying her morning errands and barely regretting it. I was jealous that others didn’t even dream of writing, that they were free from the pain, the abscessed wound, of wanting to write and not writing, that they could turn so easily from what was unsaid, that they could not say it and survive.   ____________________   Nina Pick’s Artist Statement: As a creative woman, my deepest need is: Time, space, and presence As a creative woman, I define my creative identity in the following way: Poet, spiritual counselor, and relationship...

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Out of Chaos by Margarita Cortes
Jun18

Out of Chaos by Margarita Cortes

  “Out of Chaos” by Margarita Cortes In sum, this work is about: That which is created out of chaos.     Margarita Cortes Artist Statement: At nine I rendered photographic sketches, wrote plays in elementary school, and performed with my fellow pianists at the Carnegie hall chamber. I copied Rembrandt paintings and The Blue Boy, with appropriate confidence. Later I choreographed dance performances and taught dance without formal training. I studio art history and had studio classes with Allan Kaprow when he was at Stony Brook University. But I didn’t have a proper studio until I was fifty-two, as part of a colony of artists that revitalized Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Florida. Painting was my obsession for ten years in that studio in Florida. I reached the ultimate place of standing aside and letting the creative force enter me. My work was well-received and I could earn a living from the thing that I loved to do as a child and then finally as a mature woman. I just need to paint again. I have been forced at 85 to live in a small...

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Pandemic Journal #4 by Candace Richerson
Jun18

Pandemic Journal #4 by Candace Richerson

  “Pandemic Journal #4” by Candace Richerson As a creative woman, my deepest need is: To be remembered.     Candace Richerson’s Artist’s Statement: I am a writer I am a poet. I am a journalist. I am an advocate. I am an historian. I capture those moments in collage, narrative, verse and photo. Living quarantined alone, with a project to keep me busy in my isolation. I have four completed journals and am working on the...

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Women Writers by Guliz Mutlu
Jun18

Women Writers by Guliz Mutlu

  “Women Writers” by Guliz Mutlu My hand-drawn illustration is dedicated to women writers. I used only pen as if they are writing.     Guliz Mutlu’s Artist Statement: Poetess, artist, living in Turkey. As a francophone, she is the author of Les Paroles Saphiques (Les Éditions Apopsix, France, 2011) and four other published books. Her haiku in English are published by The Mainichi, Modern Haiku, Frogpond Journal, The Heron’s Nest, and...

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Stream of Reason by Hilary Druley
May13

Stream of Reason by Hilary Druley

  “Stream of Reason” by Hilary Druley     Hilary Druley’s Artist Statement: Currently, I paint as a way to focus my artistic energy and cope with my grief over the loss of my mother. Rather than using my typical monochromatic style, I’ve been using a wide array of bold colors in each piece and stepping out of my comfort zone artistically. My mom always inspired me – by her incredible art and by encouraging me to keep creating. Sometimes I feel I am channeling her energy when I paint which keeps me...

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Should That Be Enough? by Cristina DeSouza
May13

Should That Be Enough? by Cristina DeSouza

  “Should That Be Enough?” by Cristina DeSouza   I I was born from an anonymous womb. Have I told you as soon as it happened, I was injected into other people’s lives? That I never knew my mother’s lap and I can still hear my birth mother’s deep voice? Have I told you my adopted mother’s voice was more soprano?   Have I told you I cried day and night to that unfamiliar voice who sang to me and rocked me in vain, amid sunny days and rainy nights? Should I tell you I was never able to find my birth mother, even though I tried? She vanished in time & space … Should I tell you I am not Black nor White and as such can’t claim either?   Should I tell you how I ran away from my country at age 23 to do a medical residency in the US, to move away from everything, everything I don’t know? I don’t feel belonging here or there, to anything or anybody but myself. Should that be enough?   II   Nowadays I look for the story of how I came about. From my past, only DNA results and yet, I still don’t belong to any land, any country, any person, any color, any race, any culture. People who knew something   have long died. The hospital where I was born has burned down to the ground after an arson fire. My birth certificate states my adopted parents are my natural parents. My birthdate was altered for family reasons, thus, I don’t even know my sign and can’t find it out.   I anguished over so much unknown, but fear of knowing makes it hard for me to grasp it. Amid worlds, colors, races, and places, I feel lost and free to a fault.   Before, there are only the things I don’t know. After, I leave no trace of my DNA for posterity. I am a ghost among other living things and I fear my existence is useless. But I must accept it and move on.   Moving on…   ____________________   Cristina DeSouza is a physician who writes poetry. “Should That Be Enough?” is from her memoir in poems. From her artist’s statement: “My writing is how I emote, how I think, how I...

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Still Life with Flowers by Beth Brown Preston
May13

Still Life with Flowers by Beth Brown Preston

  “Still Life with Flowers” by Beth Brown Preston For Momma “A good woman is not an artist by profession,” Momma warned me. “She does not waste her time writing immature poetry while surviving on the money she earns by dancing topless in a bar near Malcolm X Park. She educates herself, finds a good job – a teacher or librarian – and supports her husband and her children with the fruit of her career. When she retires then she can write novels and paint.” Momma cautioned me about the dangers of an artist’s life when in sixth grade I revealed that I wanted to write poetry. I painted my first canvas as a high school senior: “The Breast” – an enormous picture of my bronze right teat. I never painted with Momma’s skill: the silent spaces between her flowers set them apart as unique and lovely objects. She would seize her pencil or brush, instinct surrounding us with her rites of righteous imagination: still life with fruit in a bowl still life with flowers in vases. Momma, I fell moaning from the mouth of your womb calling me a poet. Now your canvasses remain so mysteriously alive with memories of tulips, daffodils, and fleur-de-lis.   ____________________   Beth Brown Preston’s Artist Statement: My writing is an integral part of my lifestyle. I write every day–whether it is my poetry, fiction, or keeping a journal. I write to express something deep within me that I want to share with my readers, and I write in order to better know...

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Rooted Boundlessness by Lara Von Waldenburg
May11

Rooted Boundlessness by Lara Von Waldenburg

  “Rooted Boundlessness” by Lara Von Waldenburg     Lara von Waldenburg’s Artist Statement: Rooted Boundlessness is about the roots that support expansion. This speaks to my experience of grief, losing my mother 14 years ago. My foundation lost all grounding during the time of grief but has since evolved and transitioned into who I am today through healing the wounds of loss and finding truth. This experience built me and brought my mother closer than ever...

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The Fireside Secrets by Ailsa Cawley
Apr05

The Fireside Secrets by Ailsa Cawley

  “The fireside secrets,” by Ailsa Cawley   You sat with me as a child saying that there were secrets Held in the fire’s flames Look for the answers there you’d urge The secret will reveal itself if you watch I watched and was watchful as I grew almost forgot The urgency of your message And something drew me back to the flames One night long after you passed I smelled perfume I smelled your scent as I huddled Shivering in front of the fire When hope had almost deserted me And I remembered your words to watch the fire Listen for its answering me I heard and I acted I heard and I wrote I wrote and didn’t stop ©️AilsaCawley2020 ____________________   Ailsa Cawley Artist’s Statement: I live on the Isle of Skye, an island off the West coast of Scotland. I’ve written for a long time and have a blog http://ailsacawley.com which mostly houses my poetry. I am currently writing a psychological thriller and I write often because I need to. I follow Celtic observations on the land and seasons being our best guides. I have friends of all beliefs and...

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Drenched in Emotions by Suchismita Das
Apr05

Drenched in Emotions by Suchismita Das

  “Drenched in Emotions,” by Suchismita Das     Suchismita Das’ Creative Identity Statement: I’m a strong, independent, creative woman. I work so hard for everything in my life. My society doesn’t accept or support a full-time artist. Even my family thinks painting is better as a hobby. As a result, I am a Mechanical Engineer. But by the night I become the artist, the painter I always wanted to be. Every day I cover extra miles to make my dreams a reality, to become a self-identified artist, a woman of self-worth. It will take some time, but I will reach my...

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Sisters Dancing by Marie Jamieson
Apr05

Sisters Dancing by Marie Jamieson

  “Sisters Dancing,” by Marie Jamieson     Marie Jamieson’s Artist’s Statement: Once, I called myself a writer, with gaze averted so as not to see doubt mirrored in the eyes of the receiver and with ears shut to hearing a derisive snicker. Once, I dreamed of being a sculptor, creating a statue for a piazza in Italy, and of being a great painter with artwork hung on a great wall, featured! These are remembered visions as if they might have already been. Now, in this life, at this moment, I dabble at calling myself a crafter, an accidental artist who cannot go a day without attempting to create something that matters....

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Just As I Am by Amanda Patrick
Mar11

Just As I Am by Amanda Patrick

  “Just As I Am,” by Amanda Patrick     Artist, Amanda Patrick, in response to the Q: Who am I as a creative woman? “My creative sweet spot is colored pencil art—a medium that satisfies my love of color, precision, & detail. My work is expressive, colorful, & strongly symbolic, with calligraphic & typographic elements. “Just As I Am” captures the importance of accepting & loving...

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Late by Luna Palazzolo
Mar11

Late by Luna Palazzolo

  “Late,” by Luna Palazzolo     Artist, Luna Palazzolo, in response to the Q: What is your creative origin story? ”I was born and raised in Argentina, but now home is abstract since I moved to the US. My relation to art is exclusive to the intrigue that I feel towards what I can’t see: time and...

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redemption by Valerie Forde-Galvin
Feb12

redemption by Valerie Forde-Galvin

  “redemption,” by Valerie Forde-Galvin   goddess mother left us long ago her waters broke and we were thrust into a different world parched and dry and so we sought another god conceived entirely by the mind of man to rule the sky   we see now this god that we created ravaging the earth bringing her to destruction this time not by water but by fire and though we send up prayers offering our sincere petitions he is unmoved by our acts of contrition   yet we are redeemed in every flower blooming in the desert where water flows from underground as we recall an age before the flood casting off religion once and for all our senses celebrate creation ancient rhythms stir the blood inviting us to dance and this may be our one last chance   ____________________   Valerie Forde-Galvin shares her artist statement,“Through my poetry, I am in touch with the mystery – this devastatingly beautiful and incomprehensible mystery. It doesn’t matter whether you call this universal consciousness or the god within. When I am in this space, all is well and we are...

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