Monday, June 9, 2014

METAPHORIC OBJECTS: The subconcious encounters the concious through exercise to discover self

METAPHORIC OBJECTS. What objects would you select to represent your character traits, especially if you were directed to pick them randomly without a lot of thought? These are mine. What do they mean? Let's explore and think inventively! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for encountering oneself anew in a fresh way! Hallelujah for being guided to discover what you want to say about yourself today through image and word to others. Hallelujah for communication and for a warm social online community! Hallelujah for Facebook and my group, The Daily Creative Practice (join us here) that allows us to share our images, ideas, and discoveries!

This blog entry is a response to Monday Funday Blog Prompt on the Facebook group, The Daily Creative Practice (see complete prompt below)

To participate in this creative encounter designed by artist, lecturer, author Peter London, I first picked the objects before I determined the character traits (a reverse of the assignment). Deciding it is much better to try than to choke and not perform, I lowered the bar and confined my explorations to my courtyard. Quickly gathering objects without thinking. Now upon writing the blog, I have named a constellation of character traits and then asked the objects to represent them. Please look and read!
  • I am a PILGRIM on a JOURNEY; therefore, I am curious and in perpetual motion (except when I am in complete collapsed exhaustion).
THE SPIRAL. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
  • As a VISUAL and KINESTHETIC learner, images announce themselves meaningfully to me every where I go.
  • Experiencing  MEANING throughout my body is essential to my happiness.
PRIMAL QUEEN. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
  • I TREASURE connections with other PILGRIMS experiencing and expressing meaning.
  • Imagined STRUCTURE provides me with comfort and peace.
VULNERABILITY AT THE CROSSROADS. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
  • INTROSPECTION and reliance on INTUITION is my major modus operandi.
I chose the patio of the courtyard in front of my condo in Decatur, Georgia, USA. The morning light was gentle and overcast making the tiles an expressive mossy green and pink. The arrangement was random yet took a few negotiations to find momentary permanence for this photograph: 
THE ARRANGEMENT OF METAPHORIC OBJECTS. Voila! Here are my metaphoric objects reclining on the pink tiles of my condo patio. The whelk shell from a Georgia barrier island at the center! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Here is an explanation of my "Metaphoric Objects." The center of this SELF composition is the shell spiral--MY PILGRIM'S HOME. 

Tumbling in the GREAT SEA, my journey enlarges me, enlarges my HOME. As I grow, I repeatedly encounter crossroads as expressed by the colorful cross here in this image. There in the center of the compass, I feel invited to adventure in multiple directions. Having choices is important to me. 

The delicate red petals of the New Guinea Impatiens represents how ephemeral we all are. We must live today for tomorrow we die. I've made brave courageous choices in my life to leave what is familiar in order to encounter what is not.

The PRIMAL QUEEN, a frog with a crown, holds me to my most basic concept of self. Out of the primordial ooze we came and to that muddy blessedness we shall return. What might happen inbetween my origin and its finish?

The painted rock with the ocean wave spiral reminds me of the Daniel Dolphin story. I believe either my sister-in-law Liz or her daughter, my niece, Bridget, painted it. Anyways, Daniel Dolphin left his family group of dolphins to go in search of the perfect wave, a goal his society disapproves of. Why waste time surfing? Besides, no dolphin has survived once it has left home. On Daniel Dolphin's quest, he does indeed find the perfect wave, but more importantly than that, he finds that the universe supports his journey. Help and support arrive in surprising ways just when he needs it. Daniel returns to his covy of dolphins alive and shares his story of bravery, fulfillment, and discovery with them, that in turn enlivens his community by encouraging other dolphins to nurture and pursue their dreams. Individuals doing their solo dances in the midst of ensembles enriches our communities. (read my blog about Daniel the Dolphin here)

Finally the broken gargoyle who is hugging his knees, represents me at my common denominator. I am an introspecting mulling introvert who has learned to speak and dance in her community. The warm metallic necklace surrounding this gargoyle protects and celebrates my right to introspect. When I need to huddle in thought and retrieve my energy, I gloriously allow myself to do so.

MONDAY FUNDAY BLOG PROMPT #11:  METAPHORIC OBJECTS (modified from PeterLondon’s book “No More Secondhand Art”):
 1) Think of a constellation of character traits that make you who you are whether it is a quality like patience or impatience or a proclivity for eating oysters and admiring cephalopods. Write them down. Explore. Surprise yourself.

2) Being present to these thoughts of yourself, wander about your home environment, inside, outside, and around your neighborhood. Be on the lookout for objects that represent these character traits in some way. Meander without determination. Be open to what object speaks to you. Wait for the appropriate object to appear. Again, allow yourself to be surprised. Perhaps the object will pick you! Choose 6 to 12 objects. 
 3) Find a site to place your objects. Think about the quality of light, space, and background. What resonates with your body as you move from place to place. Find the place that is just right for whatever reasons. 

EMBODIED HALLELUJAH TRUTH  (photo by Chiboogamoo)
4) Arrange your objects within the space you have just found. Ask yourself how you want to arrange these objects. Have the goal be whatever makes you breathe easier and relaxes your muscles. Find a way to place your metaphoric objects in whatever way that expresses yourself naturally. 

5) The culmination of this creative exercise is this next step: Acknowledging that your subconscious has been at work selecting the metaphoric objects, choosing the space, and making the arrangement, you are now asked to summon your rational dimension. Using your intellect, write about the meanings of your objects, their arrangements, and why they exist in this space that you have chosen. 

You are welcome to complete as many steps of this exercise as you like. (post on Facebook group, The Daily Creative Practice)

Monday, June 2, 2014

HELP US GET TO MONTANA IN JULY: Buy quality prints of our Cretaceous-themed artwork

HELP US GET TO MONTANA. Tony Martin and I need travel funds to get to Montana for his research in July. Exciting things will be taking place on the Egg Mountain dinosaur-nest site near Choteau. His colleague from Montana State University, David Varricchio, will be there with a barrage of other scientists, students, and volunteers. I would like to join Tony after I finish my Life Practice Program with InterPlay mid-July. Tony often pays for his own research travel, and because I am in a career transition right now, we want to support this trip by selling giclée prints of our artwork. Up until now, we have been too shy to market these prints. Will you purchase our Cretaceous-themed art?
You can help support fossil research and science-communication outreach by buying one or both of these prints: “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur,” by Ruth Schowalter and Parasitoid: In Rocks, No One Can Hear You Scream,” by Anthony Martin. Both of these artworks relate to Tony’s fossil discoveries from Cretaceous Period rocks in Montana. The sales of these prints will be used to support travel expenses for Tony and Ruth to go to Montana and work at the Egg Mountain dinosaur-nest site near Choteau, Montana, this July (2014). Tony will be working as an ichnologist with David Varricchio (Montana State University) and a group of other scientists and university volunteers. Ruth will document some of the science happenings at the site through photographs and blogging, and will be looking for inspirations for future art projects.

Each signed giclée print is $200 individually, but both purchased together are $350 plus $10 for shipping and handling. The word, “giclée,” is a fine art term which describes a printing process to reproduce an original piece of art work. Printed on high-quality watercolor paper, these giclée reproductions are made with fade-resistant archival inks, which will last 200 years (but not as long as the dinosaur bones and insect cocoons). Contact us via Facebook (Tony or Ruth) in a private message if you are interested in purchasing these colorful interpretations about the Cretaceous.
MOTHER EARTH, MOTHER DINOSAUR, by RuthTruth, aka Hallelujah Truth, Ruth Schowalter

About “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur”: This image has appeared in international paleontological presentations, having been printed on commemorative t-shirts for the 2008 “Dinosaur Dreaming” dig-season in Victoria, Australia, and published in the 2010 book, Dinosaur Dreaming: Exploring the Bass Coast of Victoria. “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur” also graced the front cover of a book published in Spain, A Burrowing Dinosaur, a bilingual text published by Fundacion Conjunto Paleotologico de Teruel- Dinopolis. In 2011, it was exhibited in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, at Fernbank Museum of Natural History and was selected for and shown at the Science Online 2012 conference at Duke University, North Carolina.

“Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur” reflects Ruth Schowalter’s interpretation of a new species of dinosaur reported in the March 2007 Proceedingsof the Royal Society of London B. An adult dinosaur was found with two juveniles in their burrow, where they had remained for 95 million years. Scientists had thought that some dinosaurs should have burrowed in the Cretaceous; however, until Oryctodromeus cubicularis (which means "digging runner of the lair")the scientific name assigned to this burrowing “mother” dinosaur—no evidence had been found to support that hypothesis.

As a painter, she was given special insights into this animal and its burrow with young because her husband, Anthony Martin of Emory University, was a co-discoverer of the new species with David Varricchio of Montana State University and Yoshihiro Katsura of the Gifu Prefecture Museum of Japan. Interpreting behavior from the fossil record is challenging, yet these findings indicate that mothers stayed with their young and maintained some kind of family structure. The findings also show evidence that mammals and insects co-existed with the dinosaurs. Small structures suggesting insect burrows and a small mammal burrow were found off the main burrow of the digging runner’s.

In painting this image of “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur,” Ruth wanted to convey both a “womb,” where the dinosaurs were more than likely born, and a “tomb,” where they died when it appears the burrow was flooded. She also wanted to give the feeling of the “mother earth” holding these creatures for all this time to be given a new birth during our life times.

This giclée reproduction of “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur” is smaller (15” x 17.5”) than the original painting (18” x 22”)The original “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur” was done in acrylic on wood. These
reproductions, which are printed on high-quality watercolor paper, are signed and dated by artist RuthTruth (aka Ruth Schowalter) and her husband, paleontologist Anthony Martin (one of the three co-discoverers of Oryctodromeus cubicularis).

Parasitoid: In Rocks, No One Can Hear You Scream,  by Anthony Martin, author of Dinosaurs Without Bones.

About “Parasitoid: In Rocks, No One Can Hear You Scream,” by Anthony Martin. Darwin once said, “I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars.” With that quotation in mind, this artwork is inspired by fossil insect cocoons from 75-million-year-old rocks in Montana (USA) associated with dinosaur nests that hold evidence of parasitoid behavior. This behavior is typically expressed by a smaller insect – such as a wasp – preying on the egg, larvae, pupae, or adults of another species of insect. The figures depicted in this artwork show the stages of parasitoid behavior represented by the fossils (from left to right): pupa --> exit hole --> exit burrow in a larger host pupa. These fossils thus give us insights into how long ago this behavior had evolved in insects.

The artwork and title are meant to evoke memories of the Alien movies, which featured an antagonist creature that used a parasitoid-like strategy to prey on its human victims. The artwork and the science behind it are also meant to echo Darwin’s struggle to reconcile his spiritual beliefs with the factual basis of natural selection.

The giclée print of “Parasitoid: In Rocks, No One Can Hear You Scream,” is 14.5” x 19,” based on the original size of 18” x 24”, which was drawn on black construction paper using watercolor crayon and colored pencil.

MISTAKEN POINT, NEWFOUNDLAND 2012. Looking at Ediacaran fossils on a foggy day made it difficult to see these amazing life forms from so many millions of years ago. Here Tony Martin (with Paleontologist Barbie in his pocket) and Ruth Schowalter (aka RuthTruth, Hallelujah Truth) stop for a photo while international ichnologists clamor overhead to discuss their findings. Ruth writes about her experiences on an ichnology field trip in these blogs: here, here, and here. These blog entries serve as an example of what sort of blogs might come out of the Montana trip.