"The way to love someone is to lightly run your finger
over that person’s soul until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack."
- Keith Miller
Goodwill or contempt.
This is something I practice a lot. Very, very consciously.
Mostly with strangers.
I believe that a vital part of spiritual practice is to cultivate peace and goodwill towards others no matter how we may be feeling personally. And it takes constant awareness and practice.
It's not easy at first but it does get easier with practice.
It is done by observing how you react to strangers you encounter in normal ordinary situations. Your thoughts. How you regard them, especially knowing absolutely nothing about them. If you offer more contempt than goodwill, remind yourself gently to offer goodwill instead.
It does work, and it does change your approach and attitude towards others.
In turn you will find yourself less stressed or annoyed.
We all know the phrase "peace on earth and goodwill to men."
It is a daily spiritual practice in the small mundane moments.
******* Yeah, This is true and I have felt like this for a very long time.
I honestly feel like my current life circumstance isn't teaching me anything and it hasn't for a while. I have mentioned this before. Actually, I think at this point it is a hindrance.
But it doesn't change no matter what I do or do not do, and I cannot figure out why and it is extremely frustrating.
Mostly, it is just exhausting and I feel incredibly worn down.
I was speaking with a friend the other day about something she is dealing with concerning her son. Hard stuff. Really hard stuff.
She has tried everything and then some.
It didn't work.
She just has to let the situation be what it is, and that's hard.
I can relate to that.
There comes a point when, after everything has been done that could be done, people don't need advice. They don't need or want other people giving them "answers" or suggestions. They don't need people judging them. Evaluating. Analyzing. Trying to fix. Others thinking they know your life better than you do. That they know something you don't already know. That they have the answers you don't have. That if you would do what they say, think what they think, it would get better.
What is needed in these circumstances is just listening and acknowledging. Empathy. Acknowledging that it's hard, too hard- and there's just nothing else to be done and that really sucks and it hurts.
If you break your arm, no one is going to tell you that you can choose whether or not it hurts.
It is the same with our spirits, feelings, and hearts.
As with physical injuries, emotional injuries are greater and lesser degrees.
It is true that some people want to wallow and be victime but most don't- they are really trying to move forward. They might not know how to, and if that is the case they will look for help. But sometimes nothing works, despite trying everything. And you just have to endure whether or not you want to.
We can certainly choose how we deal with it in the sense of whether we become bitter and take it out on others (or ourselves), or if we maintain a kind heart and an open, gentle spirit.
But either way, the situation is still crappy and it's absolutely ok to just call it what it is.
Without being judged.
There are many people with a lot more living space who have larger libraries than mine, but I still have a lot of books. Easily in the thousands.
I do have a very excellent art book collection.
These days my fiction-reading is all on kindle (I had to go electronic to save space, no regrets) but I get all my art books in physical copy. (Cookbooks too.)
Here are five cool art books.
********** Herbs for the Medieval Household
I got this book back when I worked at the Met in college. it came with a companion book about medieval households, which is also on my shelf, right next to this one.
I am SO into gel mediums for oils these days.
Simply put, it doesn't change the consistency of the paint.
That means I can add dryer/ extend the paint without a change in consistency, which I prefer to control with solvent. This is really important when you are laying wet paint over wet paint.
Essentially, it is clear oil paint. And it is extremely useful.
It started with Oleogel (Rublev).
I was smitten.
Then it progressed to galkyd gel. (Gamblin)
And THEN I needed Gamblin Tack Reducer (for printmaking but fine for oils too), which is just like oleogel but in a bigger tube. In the stores, it used to be hidden in the printmaking section but now it is also with the oil paint.
And they also have solvent-free gel which is also alkyd so I had to get that, too.
And THEN Carey said she likes Liquin impasto.
Let's pause here for a moment and discuss Liquin.
It is an alkyd dryer. A standard. Winsor Newton. It comes in a bottle.
It stinks but will dry your paint really fast, like 24 hours, making it an illustrator's bff.
So I had to get Liquin Impasto.
And THEN i noticed WN has another gel too... Liquin Oleopasto.
So I had to get that as well.
I'm not compulsive or anything.
1. Rublev Oleogel. Linseed oil, fumed silica and wax. I LOVE OLEOGEL. Does not contain dryers. Soooo silky and smooth! No smell.
2. Gamblin Tack Reducer- also linseed oil and fumed silica. No dryers. Pretty much the same thing as Oleogel but in a bigger tube. No smell. I like it. There are many times I don't want any dryers in the paint.
3. Gamblin Solvent-free gel- has a dryer. Dries the paint moderately fast. Silky and wonderful. No smell. Great stuff.
4. Gamblin Galkyd Gel. Gel with dryer. I LOVE GALKYD GEL. Handles the same as Oleogel and the other Gamblins. No smell/not much smell.
5. Liquin Impasto. Dries the paint the fastest. Smells kinda bad. Dries faster than Galkyd gel. It's silky. I'll use it but after this tube I won't buy more. Partially because I prefer to support Gamblin with my purchase decisions. It's thick Liquin. Better than the stuff in the jar.
6. Liquin Oleopasto- funny thing about this, I couldn't find it in the stores. It was always out of stock. And I went around looking until I finally just got it on Amazon. It is THICK. Really, really THICK. This is not something I would normally use. I'm glad I have it around because one day in the future I'll likely need it...it's always good to have options. Oleopasto REALLY STINKS. Did i mention it is super-thick?
Once a long, long time ago there was a large salty sea.
Over the ages, the sea dried up, leaving barrenness behind,
and a few salty puddles.
All this land used to be under the sea, but now it's not.
The salt and residual minerals cause a foggy iridescence.
5x7 mixed media.
oil pastel then an acrylic iridescent coat, then finished off with oil pastels. Matte and iridescent.
This is something I started earlier this year and I'm really trying to finish stuff before starting new stuff.
Matcha is a kind of Japanese green tea powder, traditionally used in tea ceremony. It is also used to flavor sweet things and it is WONDERFUL. I wish I could find matcha kit-kats here. Even the Japanese groceries don't have them.
Matcha has become trendy here, but I have been seriously into it for over 10 years. It is very healthy for you, too. Fine grade matcha is very expensive. It is prized for its gorgeous emerald color, its health benefits, and its taste.
When I get it in the local Japanese grocery, I pay about $7 an ounce which is pretty good. As a tea, there are certain ways to prepare it- it is not like regular tea steeped in boiling water. Anyhow.
They go together.
Melissa from Kiss & Make-Up and I were talking about matcha, and our love of things green, and her trip to Japan (I am insanely jealous). So we decided to do a matcha beauty inspired blog post together.
So here are my matcha-inspired favorites and a matcha-inspired makeup look.
********** Elizabeth Arden Green Tea and Green Tea Lavender fragrances
Green Tea has been my favorite Spring/Summer fragrance for several years. It is lovely. I think it is also discontinued...but the lavender green tea (I just got this last week) is pretty close.
Most people who know me are aware that I have a really stupid amount of Urban Decay.
It is ridiculous.
I LOVE Urban Decay.
My UD matcha colors:
I would be terribly remiss if I did not put OIL PAINT in my products list. Gamblin's pthalo emerald (PG 36) is a great warm-leaning green, for those times when you are not mixing your own. PG 36 is non-toxic and is likely in your green eyeshadow formula.
I chose Kush for my matcha makeup look. Kush is part of their permanent collection and it is a great color.
I used Kush with these colors from UD Naked Smoky.
2. top highlight
3. outer corner
4. inner corner
UD 24/7 pencil in Lucky (lower lash line) - discontinued unfortunately
Kat von D tattoo liner (the black one) upper lash line
UD Perversion mascara
Lippie is UD 1993
I don't know how Melissa does this selfie thing all the time. It's hard.
My pet rat Q-Tip wanted to be in the matcha blog post because he can rock green like nobody's business.
My cat Isis came over, kissed the rat, and gave me the stink-eye until I told her she could be in the blog post too. Because she is a cat and that's what they do.