Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Natural Inspirations

Sometimes I think living far away from civilization up in the Furnace Mountain Range isn't so bad when I have sunsets such as these. I took these a few days ago before I left for New England and just uploaded them onto my computer from my camera and can't believe how stunning they are...I think not having trash pick up is a good trade for the wildlife, natural sights, and natural sounds.

Inspirations & Creative Energies

The sound of Cicadas, June Bugs, Crickets, the rapids in the river, the wind whispering through trees, that's the music that inspires me and all my ceative energies. Today I got lost in the summer forest to escape my reality to find some solitude and of my adventure ;)

Monday, June 28, 2010

What is Forever

I am playing around with the Visual Poetry using video, text, and photography. This one is really seriously in "the works" and still being edited because I am not quite happy with all my photos.

This video was inspired by one of my poems:

Time is Forever's Sepulchre

Time is Forever's Sepulchre
Everything is muted and doesn't seem as it was.
Every hour is so very different, than
the one that's long spent and past.
I am so easily misunderstood,
even by those who know me best, even by myself.
I ask too many questions that cannot be answered.
Simply because the ones that can be, bore me.

We begin as a grain of sand in an oyster.
Years go by, each stirring patterns
a layer around the crude partical of sand
More years go by, experience gained,
a measurement of time lived.
Making us what we are.
The envelope of time is merely our oyster shell.
Time plans our hours, days, and even years.

Time has set our limitations to dying:
because we will never have all the minutes,
or live by all the moments,
because we will never have all the time.

I know the world is rushing by me.
Everyone is scurrying like mice in a cat's cage,
trying to beat every minute by seconds.
I can't keep up, I can't breathe,
and I have no more secrets to hide.
The quicksilver web of time
runs brilliantly through my open fingers.
Metallic drops of rolling light
coming together, becoming a glimmering coat upon
transparent ordinary hours.

I continue contemplating time.
I can only guess that time is the measurement
of waves of motion.
Like hands revolving around an infinite galaxy ocean.
Time sets our thoughts a drift.
Time reminds us we are human.
It reminds us we are mortal.
But if time is the oyster shell,
then shouldn't the pearl be the soul?
If souls never die are we truly mortal?

Thoughts are a lot like time,
both roam like the sea.
I understand drifting and dreaming to be the same thing.
But please don't ask me why.
Because I won't ever know.
Contemplate it yourself.
Gifted are those blessed with thought,
and those capable of thinking.

Time often makes me feel
as though I am the elegy the poet left unfinished
Sometimes I wonder where I've been
and where I want to go.
I lie awake and think, think, think,
but I never seem to know.

My autonomic soul
resides within a revolving clock.
Around and around it goes,
where will it stop?
Even I don't know.
A soul is but a transmutation of Primal Fire
molded from an experience developed
by an ever ticking time.

If time is an endless measure,
what then is forever?
It must be faceless and free.
It must be a great nothing and a great everything-altogether.
No edges. Forever is like no other thing

Yet still I contemplate....
meditating and reliving
that very hour, that very eve
When I first recognized that I would never
be able to ever figure it all out.
I think about many things always.
If there be such a thing as soul,
then truly we are not born without an end.
Infinitely we continue.

On and on.
This life to the next.
If this is not the case
I shed tears for those who do waste
such precious years.

We cannot best its relentless force.
For seconds, then hours,
then days, and years
they all seem to blend.
Time just like the sea,
will forever be
a virgin to the frustrations of captivity.

Time is forever's sepulchre.

Simply Gone

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lonely Hour

She closes her eyes, holds her breath,
Gives her hopes and dreams cheaply away,
Each new sunrise-only promises a sunset death,
Love and happiness feelings cleverly designed to fray,
She, still unsure in life, which direction to take,
Self-pity and isolation-her darkest creations,
Mind maddening thoughts she cannot shake,
Wanting salvation, knowing only tormenting frustrations.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Creative Behavior and the Abstract Thought Process

Creative Behavior and the Abstract Thought Process
a study of art and cognition: understanding and enhancing unconscious and conscious abstract thought processes during the art making process
Part 1

Philosophical terminology defines abstract thought as a thought process wherein ideas are distanced from objects. Abstraction is a cognitive process and is often deemed as a difficult process for young children to comprehend. Yet when studying the artwork of young children, one very well notices how objects drawn from their reality are simplified and abstracted down into the simplest shapes and forms. We know and understand this to be because the child hasn’t mastered the skills required to create exact representational work. We also know a child’s mind is not mature enough to understand this very process of abstraction they are utilizing while drawing from life.

I have studied the works of Dennie Palmer Wolf of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was very interested in her studies of Nancy Smith. Nancy Smith was an artist an educator, and an intensive researcher of the observational drawing processes of children. Nancy Smith argued that “by the age of 4 or 5, young children have already developed a number of different drawing systems, picking and choosing which to use and when. In this way, they are much like mature artists. In fact, a 5-year-old can make articulate choices about which of several developing idioms she or he wants to use-the stylized indications of maps diagrams, the selective shapes of schematic or memory based drawing, or the visually detailed alertness of close observational drawing” (1998; Observation Drawing with Children, Teachers College Press, Columbia University.

Children, in the early years of their development, are using their artwork as the building blocks, of a very pivotal foundation for creating a repertoire of systems or strategies for visual meaning-making. The abstract thought process is very much a big part of their growing mental ability to make connections to and relate with their world around them. My question is how can I, as an art educator, nurture this so that they are able to understand this process and not drift away from this ability while they are learning more realistic approaches to art.

I think it is important for me to explore this form of “simple” thinking in young children because in all actuality it is quite complex. I want to learn how abstract thought works in the mind of a child and how I can strive to retain this ability in children, even while they move on to explore the more “realistic” approaches to art. Abstract thought can be learned or “enhanced” to an effective means utilizing art as a tool, if we nurture it starting when the child is very young.

This is a concept that has always captivated me due to my quest to better understand the way my own AD/HD mind works as well as the minds of the children I work with. When a child starts advancing in his or her art training he or she loses a big part of the abstract thought process. This isn’t to say they lose the ability completely; they just stop advancing in the ability until they are older. This loss is partly due to the fact that even in today’s liberal interpretation of the arts, there still is the notion that only representational art is “good art” by the mainstream. Not many art educators spend time trying to get students to understand abstract art and the thought processes that go into creating and understanding why it is an artist creates abstract art, nor have art educators found the courage needed to help parents to understand and nurture their children’s artistic leanings.

I can’t tell you the amount of times I have had parents complain to me that their child is not a good artists because they haven’t mastered the ability to draw realistically. I wish parents wouldn’t say such things especially to their children because creating art realistically has nothing to do with being an artist and often times more than not, a child’s self-esteem in regards to his or her creative expression is deflated beyond repair. When child begins the process of focusing his creative energy into the often times systematic approach to realism- exacting his or her representational approach he or she loses a bit of themselves in the pursuit if this realistic perfection.

The losing of one’s self to the systematic approach of creating realistic art is perhaps the reason why I have started falling away from the detailed highly organized process of creating representational art myself. I have been on an emotional roller coaster in terms of my personal life, which has allowed me to make many astonishing discoveries about who I am. I have begun using my art as a process of healing for myself. Simply exploring my emotions with colors, lines, shapes, etc has opened new doors for me in my own artistic quest. My thought processes I engage in while I am creating are what I find to be most intriguing to me. Sometimes my choices in the artmaking processes are intentional, especially when creating realistic art, but often times they are unconscious, like when I am creating abstract expressionistic style work. The results I find in this process are a lot like coming out of a trance like state only to be pleasantly surprised by what is right there in front me.

In studying the children I work with I am able to see why the arts are so very important to their creative being and I fear it is something we are losing for our students if we continue on the educational quest of creating lessons of art that merely correspond with state requirements meant to give the arts justification and merit in our “test” driven public educational systems. While interdisciplinary lessons are a key component in creating academically strong school systems in this country, these types of lessons cannot become the only pursuit for the arts.

Anderson, T., Millbrandt, M. (2005). Art for life: Authentic Instruction in Art, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Duncum, P. (1999). A case for an art education of everyday aesthetic experience. Studies in Art Education, 40 (4), 101-112.

Efland, A.D. (1990) A history of art education: Intellectual and social currents in teaching the visual arts. New York: Teachers College Press.

Freedman, K. (2000). Social perspectives on art education in the US: Teaching visual culture in a demoncracy. Studies In Art Education.

Freedman, K. (2003). Teaching visual culture: Curriculum, aesthetics, and the social life of art. New York: Teachers College Press.

Jung, C.G. [1921] (1971). Psychological Types, Collected Works, Volume 6, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Merriam, S.B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education: Revised and expanded from case study research in education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Smith, Nancy, and the Drawing Study Group. (1998). Observation Drawing with Children, Teachers College Press, Columbia University, New York.

Smith-Shank, D.L. (2004). What’s your sign? Searching for the semiotic self. In D.L. Smith-Shank (Ed.), Semiotics and visual culture: Sights, signs, and significance (pp. 1-4). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association.

Tavin, K. (2005). Opening re-marks: Critical antecedents of visual culture in art education. Studies in Art Education, 47 (1), 5-22.

Walker, S.R. (2001). Teaching meaning in artmaking: Art education in practice series (M. G. Stewart). Worcester, MA: Davis.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


This is in essence my studio "sketchbook" for the moment. I will post scrap works in progress, poetry and writing roughs, and the likes...maybe even some outspoken moodswing rants. :) Check back here every so often and I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised, just be forwarned, don't take anything I post or say here literally. I also have a studio blog where I will write about the more productive side of my art career. I enjoy the private messages that get sent my way and I seem to have a lot of "followers" who read what I write regularly but are not on the "in" with the blog following stuff. So I thank you all immensely.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

AD/HD and the World Upside Down

My world has been upside down and barely tolerable. These circumstances wreak havoc on a person like me, who suffers terribly with severe AD/HD. I have shut down, I have not been able to muster the stamina I need for the long haul for staying attentive to the world as it spins “out of control” around me. I have not returned phone calls or emails of those I consider dear friends in months, not even a text message to let them know I am okay. I can’t make sense of anything because I am too afraid to try, I am being completely swallowed by the overwhelming energy it takes me just to wake up in the morning and feign a smile only while trying to convince myself that everything will be alright.

I cleverly lie to myself a lot, it is my well designed coping mechanism I use most successfully , and it works well for me but fails when I try to use it on my mother. She knows me better than I know myself.
I have taken myself off the medication my doctor wanted me to take; I took Strattera religiously for three years only to stop cold turkey in May of 09. I am even more ashamed to say I haven’t been to see my doctor in over a year for fear that she will put me on a new medication to help me deal with my “AD/HD”. I was on Strattera at a very high dose and while it did help me greatly I hated having to be on it. I hated the feeling of not being “all there”, like I was in a distant tunnel deep within myself looking out of unfamiliar eyes and disconnected at my emotional core with the world that surrounded me.

This feeling caused me to relate to my students I work with on a new level. As an art teacher I find the most success with my students who are ADD or AD/HD, ask the music teacher and he will tell you the same thing. There is something about music and art that allows these children to engage with their inner core. This connection is intriguing to me and has become an area I read about extensively because of the interest I have in Art Therapy and because of my interest in knowing and understanding myself better.

The worse part of my job is seeing my highly artistic/musically inclined student come to art for the first time “doped” up on a new medication. This is often preceded by the classroom teacher informing me that that my art class will be so much better now that the “hellion” is “on medications” and she gleefully reports that her classroom is manageable and she can actually teach without having to deal with his disruptions. Really? Are you serious, because that hellion never posed a problem in art or music? That hellion loved art and music.

Now the child who wears the label of being the “disruptive or inattentive hellion” is sitting at his art table with a glazed over lifeless expression in his eyes. His artwork which he was once connected with on an emotional and highly personal level has become as dull and as lifeless as his expression- he now creates his art in an almost systematic way. The music teacher will usually come to me and say how this child is now singing and fingering his instruments in the same way I describe him to be producing his artwork. A piece of his soul is being heavily masked by the effects of some mind altering drug...and it breaks my heart.

But it shouldn’t be a trouble to me because he is now paying attention in class and receiving passing scores on those infamous and rigorous standardized tests that schools systems and their classroom teachers are held accountable for by the government. Art and music are inconsequential in the grand scheme of the educational system. Just fluff and fun not anything substantial and it is far more important for our school systems to teach to the tests. Didn’t you know this?

I am not only an art educator but a working freelance and fine artist, who produces a totally different body of work when medicated than I do when not medicated. My work is structured and boring, to the point of being tired when I am on my Strattera, and when I am off my medications my art becomes an intrinsic tool for communicating my emotional core…communicating the soul of my being. My art becomes alive with the essence of me.

I have a musician friend who is very much in the same boat as me in terms of his ADD. When he is on his medication his approach to his music is systematic and exact almost to the point of being redundant and monotonous, he barely cracks a smile when he is on the stage performing and can become so entirely serious that it makes his performance seem awkward, but when he is off of his medication he essentially becomes his music and together with his instrument he almost transforms into the music he is playing, he becomes alive and jovial, he becomes his music and his music becomes him.

When I am not on my meds other areas of my life outside of my artistic pursuits fall apart, especially my “significant” relationships. I struggle to find the balance and coherence I need to formulate healthy intimate relationships. I can focus on the things I really love (like my art) but everything else slides way off onto the backburner. Boyfriends I have had usually find themselves there. People loved being my roommate in college and graduate school because they said it “felt like I was never there.” I spent most my time working on my art behind a closed door and I’d forget about everything else…including eating.

This trait of my AD/HD destroyed many of my relationships. Boyfriends would comment always, that they felt like I didn’t care about them or that they felt I favored my art over them (actually there are probably a few in there where I did favor my art over them), but needless to say I have had boyfriends tell me they have never felt so “lonely” in a relationship as they did with me. I am struggling to this day with this aspect of me and still find myself hoping and wishing that I can find someone who can truly and totally understand me and love me for me and not take my actions or lack there-of personally.

It is this trait of AD/HD that makes other see us who suffer from it as being “self-centered”. Really I am not self-centered, it is just that when I am in hyper-focus nothing else is relevant to me, and I mean nothing. The world around me could be completely falling apart and I wouldn’t notice right away. I need time to process it all. I don’t notice my relationships are failing until it is too late. I am at a loss when it comes to seeing outside my focus.

When my mother had been diagnosed with Cancer she had called me at college to tell me. It was easier for me to hang up the phone than it was to deal with that issue in “real-time”. It took me awhile to process the weight of that and when I finally did, I became aware of the fact I had hung up on my mother during a moment where she needed the condolence of her only daughter more than anything in the world. I have never felt more horrible than at that moment when I processed all of that. I fell apart so totally that I have never forgiven myself for what I did to my mother or the horrible things I did to myself to deal with all of my guilt and shame.

Working with children on a daily basis has allowed me to connect with them on their level and I can instantly pick out the children who are “like me”. The old adage that it “takes one to know one” rings loud and clear. My parents chose not to medicate me as a child and instead spent a lot of time working with me and helping me learn coping strategies for “focusing”. I was lucky to have a “stay at home mom” who was a teacher. She spent hours with me after school going over the things I should have been learning about while I was in school. The one-on- one tutoring my mother gave me, helped immensely. She made it fun for me, which helped me focus on what I should be learning and always she managed to connect it back to art or writing, two things I loved very much and could focus on.

My mother used interdisciplinary lessons that utilized art, writing, and music, the very things I loved and could endlessly keep me engaged- often times I would be in the infamous “hyper-focus” mode those of us with ADD or AD/HD are so known for. My mother used my weakness and turned it into a positive strength. I think about this and how wonderful it was and how the modern classroom should employ these techniques but aren’t. I also think how nice it would be if every AD/HD child had a mother like mine. I know teachers, who do try, and I try, but it is exhausting simply because the classroom size in the public education setting is “overloaded”. A child like me is simply just lost in the crowd, in fact in today’s classroom any child is simply “lost”- just another face in the crowd. Class sizes are only going to get larger which has me considering making the switch to private school or just jumping ship now and getting my Doctorate so I can research this topic more.

This also is the time of year that causes me a lot of grief, as the teachers are getting their class lists for next year and when they find out they have a “certain” child known for their inattentiveness or hyper activity they start complaining about how that child is going to make their upcoming school year a “living hell.” Before the principals make the lists final, some teachers even start “bartering” their children with one another. “I’ll take three of yours if you take this one.” Believe me, it happens all the time. Some principals allow it, some do not, but on the whole it happens. Then when the list are made public and the parents find out who is in what class, they start their bribing efforts to get their child or “said” child removed from “that” class. This is the time of year I would not want to be a principal and this is the time of year that has me happy I am no longer the “said labeled child” nobody wants in the classroom.

I was not a badly behaved child, I was actually really shy. I was a tomboy and still am today, boys are far easier to get along with than girls. I had (still do have) the hardest time with eye contact when speaking to people. I remember a softball coach of mine in college got so upset with me always looking down that he grabbed my face and forced me to look at him when he spoke to me. I will never forget that to this day and still think that incident contributed to my preference in emailing and texting people over actually having to speak with them face to face or over the phone. Having to respond to someone in “real” time often makes me feel as though I am drowning in the ocean.

The biggest problem I deal with as an adult is my impatience. It is my impatience that contributes wholly to my impulsive behavior and my blurting. It is the root to all my evil. Really it is. I get easily agitated when I am impatient and I say things I shouldn’t and I know I shouldn’t but they still come out of my mouth anyways. I become highly emotional and in this state I really have no control over any action that happens, try as I might.

Acting on impulse and blurting out are still troublesome. Sometimes things come out of my mouth before I even have had the chance to think about them. This actually wasn’t too much of a problem for me growing up, on the account of my shyness, only now as an adult, where I am forced out my “shy shell” it does become a problem. When I am overwhelmed and feeling like I am drowning in the situations of my life, I sometimes say things I shouldn’t say out loud.

I compensate for this by sending emails because it is easier to do it that way than saying it in “real time” and face to face. When I have something to say to a colleague or my boss, I simply email them, it is safer this way. I really have to force myself to think before I speak when I am dealing with “higher powers” or colleagues I have at work. I am less apt to do so when in the company of friends and “familiars” who have for the most part figured me out and know not to take the things I say personally.

I seem to have gone off on a tangent again so I will conclude this here and now as more often than not I can write without ending! I'm long winded you know, having to make up for all the things I don't say in "real time" ;)

~adios for now

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


2010 Digital Collage
But then sometimes you are not always destined to be with your twin flame in any one lifetime. I am hoping I find him or someone near close enough ;)

Monday, June 7, 2010

My First Promotional Video!

Well folks, this is it, my first attempt at a promotional video. First time around isn't a bad deal. I am teaching myself how to do this because I have been playing around with the concept of making a video collage with my poetry and photography. It doesn't hurt to learn it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Star Wish

Star Wish
More soul mate concept work. I have been reading Edgar Cayce's book on soul mates and was inspired to make this digital poetic image collage :)
©2010 L.Warren

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Auscultation of Truth

The sounds of auscultation are nonexistent within my chest. My heart doesn’t beat these days-it suffocated itself long ago when reality collided with my perfect world. I was the girl with everything with parents like parachutes-always here to pick up my pieces and throw money at my troubles. How lucky I must be, only truthfully the silver-spoon taste really isn’t that great. It has only complicated things in my life.

My thought for today