Friday, June 25

bulls eye

With the Targets on hand, as I felt myself slipping from sorrow and depletion, to anger and madness, I needed a place to channel the energy and I found my bulls eye.  I am not one too become passive, to sit patiently and wait while this too shall pass.  Yes, there are times when that may be appropriate, but not when riding the waves of something lived with for 20 years, knowing it inside and out, realizing it ain't gonna pass - so deal.

Anger is energy, properly channeled anger is positive energy - it motivates change.  (I completely disagree with President Obama when he asked that we not become angry about the oil spill - I think it's the one thing that may save us!)  So I've been channeling my energy and hitting a Target every day, once a day, for no more than an hour.

It's loose, quick, exhausting (in a very good way), and revealing.
I push myself
 I keep moving, I don't stop to think
or really even to feel...

In their intended purpose, Targets hang there, inert victims awaiting their demise, meant to be shot at and destroyed.  Created simply for the practice of destruction - the destruction of fellow human beings.  

I have recorded the process for you on video - my painting doesn't actually take 10 minutes, it's between 45 and 60, not including the gesso drying time.  To fit into the YouTube restrictions of 10 minutes, I've sped myself up which is fun, but I'm actually not this crazed in my process!!  What you can see is that it is a flowing and continuous process - I don't stop to think, take breaks, or worry about technique.  This is about intuition, feeling, letting color, movement and process move through the body and out onto the paper.  I start to sense what needs to come out in the gessoing process - you see me start to scrape lines in and layout some design with it.  I'm using white gesso in the back ground, and clear on the body of the targeted one.  The gesso helps to give the newsprint paper strength and body to work on - though I do still seem to tear it at some point each time!  I masking tape those small tears from the back, and continue on, or take care of them at the end.  Nothing precious here - it's process...  

There's a point in the video where I start to let physical awareness and thought enter - you'll see me bend over to stretch my back.  (No, there's nothing wrong with stretching - I know when I'm using it for avoidance though, and I was starting to stray.)  I began to allow pain play with my thoughts "take a break", "finish later"; and nausea crept in "just stop", "lie down", "who cares"; opportunities for the shots to be taken, the saboteur to strike out. I pushed through, acknowledging the voice by adding green to the abdomen of the figure (below) allowing the nausea to spread into the painting, eventually easing in my own stomach long enough to finish and feel stronger having done so.

While working on them, they beg me to ask - How have I been a Target? Have I allowed myself to be a Target?  As I responded to Mansuetude in the last post's comments, these targets  invite destruction.  So I ask myself, how do I invite my own destruction?  How do you?

Living with chronic illness can summon self destructive/self defeating energy, if we allow it to.  If I let pain flatten me, make me inert, much like the targets here, I will lose all my power and life energy.  So I attack that aspect of the target, with my ammunition of paint and pastels.  Perhaps what emerges are the warriors within, my healing army, my Guardians - the willing ones sacrificing to take the shots for me.  Perhaps I'll purge that which attracts being shot at, the poisonous, the toxic demons within.  Perhaps they are one and the same, Transformers of need.

I've used up all my targets for now, but I may get more.
I found them online - about $40 for a pack of 100.
This may be my next practice.
100 days, 100 shots?


  1. "If I let pain flatten me, make me inert, much like the targets here, I will lose all my power and life energy."

    Oh yes. Perhaps from a different perspective, I can relate to what you're saying here.

    Absolutely. Last year when I was made redundant and didn't work for four months, I very much let my life and the pain flatten me. I lay down and let it all wash over me because I didn't know what else to do.

    But now I do. I know now that how we approach such things makes a huge difference. We can get lost in the panic and pain if we let ourselves, or we can meet it and take charge.

    Taking charge is not easy but it is possible, as long as we stay true to who we are. As long as we don't give up and don't stop believing in ourselves.

    I would love to see a target practice series from you!

  2. I love this post a lot. The paintings (ofcourse) the words, the video. For living with a chronic disease i found myself out of energy lately. Painting or drawing always gives back some energy. But the last few days i seem to cannot get out of the impasse. This post is very inspiring so thank you so much.
    The videos are so great to watch. I like it to see how you start and how the image develops. These targets are cool!
    I love the soft light from the bulls eye, The ribbons that tied the second image, but there's light above the head,and the red wings in the third one.
    Maybe i should focus my anger (about the tiredness) more.

    Have a great weekend Karin!

  3. Holy crud! This is fascinating. Oh Karin, you are so thoughtful. I on the other hand, I am shallow. The first thing that came to mind if someone ever videotaped me is not the process and the emotions and feelings which are a lot BUT about my wardrobe! I will need to lay out clothes in advance because it will take me at least two weeks to lay out the foundation of my painting and I do a lot of staring and just sitting there. Then when I am finally exhausted, I start drifting and sleeping next to my dog in the love seat and then stare at the painting some more. And then when everyone is asleep I paint. No one has ever seen me in my most personal moments when painting. I may worry some people and then get commited. HAHAHAHA!

    Wow! Even though yu fast-forward this, it is still amzing how you have the whole concept laid out in a day. That is BRILLIANT - Pure Mental Ninja stuff!

  4. By the way, I know I don't show up here a lot but I am praying. Heck, yes, I have become a praying woman. Teenagers make you do that. Take care dearest Karin, I hate the pain. I like anger, positive anger. propels me to write the most efficient rule programs sometimes. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Tsup! Tsup!!!

  5. You are so brilliant, my Artist Friend. Your process is magnificent and a true gift, for you and for all of us that are inspired by you.
    These targets are unbelievable. When you said 100 shots in 100 days, I had a vision of a gallery with all of them hung - talk about a show !
    Use those incredible tools, my Beautiful One, use them...
    Big huge love to you.

  6. I hope the process was therapy...that's the great thing about art! I saw your videos on youtube as well..thanks for sharing!

  7. I watched the second video earlier with coffee--had to go away, quite literally to integrate what happened to me by the end.

    I felt spent, like after watching an intensely "channeled" dance performance; or slipping into the motion, as if i had given birth just watching you in action like that, fast like a hummingbird's heart flashing about.

    The music too, a pulse; giving tantric ritualistic calling of power and energy into the life of your motions; your layer upon layer of coloring shaping thought into flight.

    I am enthralled. Amazed at the content embedded in the process. Yes, 100 days 100 chances to give a life to the flat-lined hope of a life; we do give birth don't we (everyday) to the day given us; to ourselves day by day via our choices.

    If doing a long series of these emergings, each will hold a personality too; an essence of time, a transformational dance you calcify into objects of witness, of alchemy into life!

    Its a powerful portal opening up!

    BlessingS over your energy and health.

    ps. yes, we do need to get angry, or channel our anger (i said almost the same this morning). There is good in divine discontent; we can't go about denying we have it, or stuff it until we are disposessed of our own lives and voices!


  8. I am in awe of you and your strength. The way you are dealing with pain is unbelievably mind boggling. Karin I felt like I was being pulled into the target and the music went very well with what you were doing. I applaud you and your bravery, you are quite a woman. Take care, beautiful work.

  9. cool beans dancing shaman woman!!

    ...say a huge resounding NO to all that would attempt to steal away the beauty of life's force...

    we're here to shine.

  10. I would so love to be target man under your brush- tickling, soothing and making more meaningful and beautiful- I want to be target man...

  11. Thought you might find this interesting--was looking up etymology of another word and then tried "target"

    here is link

    if i read it correctly (my OEDictionary is in a box so i can't search more) Target origionaly meant shield, or light shield and later became in archery a thing to shoot at...


  12. Your art is brilliant!

  13. Karin, these guardians are wonderful; you've taken anger and turned it around to form a protective shield. There is huge magic in this ritual, and much power in anger, as you said, if you use it properly. I have to say that every single time in my life that I have wanted to give up, it was anger that made me get up off my ass and do something about the situation.

    Keep doing this as long as you need to; I can see that the healing power of these guardians is great. Much love to you, art warrior!

  14. karin, i have been kidnapped this weekend by two little guys who don't stop for a moment but i want you to know your anger is your courage. it sustains you when you most need it and you WILL come out of this in one piece. i love you too, really, karin. thank you for everything. please know i will be back here to watch you in action.


  15. hi Karin, thanks for visiting my blog. your work is so powerful, and you too. Thanks for sharing your art, feelings and process. sending healing thoughts your way.

  16. I couldn't see the video ( connection problem) but i have made my own in my mind. Merci stolen my words ( lol) because I SEE you dancing. i see you in a space without gravity, holding your colors and dancing. and while dancing, angels emerge from your body and dancing with you.

    I wish i could be a good painter to paint that image i have in mind and send it to you.

  17. Hello ! Hello ! Everything happens in it's time....I just found a comment you left to me nearly two years ago.I'm new with Blogging.But I know I wasn't to find you until this day.I wish you could see me paint my pelicans well some of them...depending on how much pain or emotion I am feeling at the moment ...and right now it is pretty extreme.See I live on The Gulf Coast.
    You inspire me ! Thank you !

    Peace and please I need everyone to send the GULF all our blessings of healing .We need a miracle here now.

  18. reading with tears in my eyes, how do you keep on going?

  19. Thanks for showing these amazing videos. The Targets, and you, are awesome (not a word I usually use, but what the heck, it applies here).
    I like your colors most of all.

  20. Beautiful works!! Glad I found you. I too am a cancer survivor. 8 years now! It has definitely defined new areas of my life that are so much better. Like the peace of mind you mention in your work. Keep moving forward and healing your mind as well as your body!

  21. Thinking of you today Karin. I hope you are able to make some art if muse calls out to you...what a blessing it is that you are able to express yourself so clearly, despite the pain that is ever present in your body...not everyone is gifted in this way. (gift being expressiveness here, not pain!)

  22. I'm transfixed! Watching you work is the greatest privilege Karin. These target guardians are SO powerful. Like Kim I can see an exhibition of these magnificent figures pulsating with such strength, authority, inspiration, charisma and force. (I could go on :-)
    I'm feeling really inspired!
    Karin you are a force to be reckoned with.

  23. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  24. Watching you paint in your video, and reading your words is so powerful and energetic, Karin.
    Creating seems like a great way for you to deal with your pain and anger. Your passion is so evident. I am sending you blessings too, of energy from the sun, more targets to shoot at and a shield when you need it. roxanne

  25. Hi Karin. Just stopped in to say hello and I hope you are doing okay. Hadn't seen you post and you popped into my mind and just wanted to stop by and send you good thoughts. Take care. gloria

  26. One of the testimonials in my new Transform Your Life book is by a young woman in her late 20s who describes herself as "Chronically-ill & Determined." She expresses anger about what she has experienced during the last ten years, including medical negligence, mistreatement and what she feels she has lost out on in life as the result of low energy and repeated health challenges. And yet, she also begins to notice how assertiveness and other character building tht has florished/developed within her as the result of her experiences. She begins to sense that everything invites her to return to the inner message of love and self-acceptance.

    Many people are conditioned to get wrapped up in emotion, distracted from who they are beneath all the illusion. One can grow to sense that every emotion and experience is a timeless teacher. We are gently guided back to remember who we are and why we exist at this moment. Allowing oneself to feel is a means of being open to deeper understanding. Self-expression is a means of learning to release what is not us and choosing to rise above what we outgrow. Everyone empowers everyone else to awaken.


Thanks for visiting and leaving your thoughts!