Friday 29 March 2024

Friday Face OFF -- Napping Cat

For this week's Friday Face OFF link party
of art featuring faces, hosted by Nicole of

Here's a simple print of a cat napping among pillows
which I made 30 years ago at a weekend art workshop
held at a Benedictine Retreat Centre near Winnipeg.

An oldie but a goodie!
I've always liked it.

The print was made by drawing the design on a foam plate,
pressing down hard with a ball-point pen.

Due to the softness of the foam, this resulted
in grooves like a very simple form of etching.

Block printing ink was then spread on the image
and the plate was put face down on a piece of
shiny, high-gloss paper.

A small hand-held, hard rubber brayer was rolled over the plate,
the pressure of which transferred the ink onto the paper.

After the foam plate was removed and the paper dried --

Voilà! An easy-peasy masterpiece, LOL!

[Art © Debra She Who Seeks 1994;
Photo of art © Debra She Who Seeks 2024]

Friday 22 March 2024

March Full Moon Altar: Athena

This month's altar honours Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom. While she is indeed a fierce and heavily armoured warrior maiden, she is not a goddess of military force, but of tactics. Her purview is the use of strategy, cleverness and tricks to defeat an enemy. That's why her chosen soldier in the Trojan War was Ulysses (creator of the Trojan Horse ruse) and not a brutal fighter like Achilles.

I bought this statue about 15 years ago here in Edmonton. I like its dynamism and movement, especially as represented by Athena's Owl of Wisdom in mid-flight, about to land on her shoulder.

The Owl of Wisdom is one of Athena's main symbols and is represented in everything on this altar.

I found the classical art reproduction of Athena's Owl at a Winnipeg garage sale about 45 years ago. It's the first goddess statue I ever bought. The medallion on the Owl's body portrays Athena with her name written in Greek beside it. When I got this statue, it had lost its marble base but I had another one made for it and affixed about 20 years ago.

A woman who attended my Women's Drumming and Goddess Chanting Circle many years ago made and gifted to me the Owl Smudging Feather at the front of the altar. Born and raised in Mexico, she was a practising curandera (medicine woman) and artist. To honour our LGBTQ+ community, she used the Mexican folk art of thread wrapping to create a rainbow on the quill's end.

[Photos © Debra She Who Seeks 2024]

P.S. for Parnassus (Jim) --
It's the head of Medusa on Athena's shield. Here's a closeup for you, as requested!

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Proustian Involuntary Memory Triggers

I'm sure everyone is familiar with Marcel Proust's famous "madeleine moment" in his novel À la recherche du temps perdu (usually translated in English as In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past).

Proust coined the term "involuntary memory" to describe when a particular sensation experienced in the present (taste, smell, touch, sight, or sound) automatically triggers an unintended memory of the past. Proust knew involuntary memory triggers contain the "essence of the past" and are much more powerful and evocative than anything related to a voluntary memory. A triggered involuntary memory can be benign (as in nostalgic recollection) or traumatic (as in PTSD).

My own benign involuntary memory is triggered by the smell of creosote. Absolutely nothing can take me right back to childhood like that distinct and pungent aroma.

Why creosote, of all things?

"We lived right between the CPR railway tracks and the local Manitoba Telephone System pole yard, where MTS stored its telephone poles prior to use."

Back in those days, wooden railway ties and wooden utility poles were all heavily soaked in creosote to prevent rot and damage from insects, fungi, etc. found in the earth. Today, use of this carcinogenic coal-tar-derived wood preservative is restricted or obsolete, and therefore the smell of creosote is not as commonly encountered anymore. But for me, all it takes is one unexpected whiff somewhere or another and BAM, once more I'm a small child crossing the railway tracks to go to school or walking through the pole yard on a hot summer day.

Have you had a "madeleine moment"
and what sensation triggered it?

Tuesday 19 March 2024

It's Spring! HOP TO IT!

Today is the Spring Equinox, known in pagan spirituality as the festival of Ostara or Eostre. Its Christian equivalent, Easter, is coming up soon as well. Because I love rabbits, this has always been a favourite holiday of mine.

Since ancient times, rabbits and hares have been a common symbol of fertility and of the Goddess herself.

This Spring fertility imagery and the central place of rabbits continue in Christian Easter iconography as well.

Shall we take a little meme trip to celebrate All Things Bunny?

How about some fresh, tasty buns?

Here's another kind of tasty --

And finally, let's end with a GROAN! 

I'm also linking this post to

Her prompt this week is "rabbits"
and while there is none of my own art
in this post, I'd like to share all
the rabbit images and memes
with her readers too!

Sunday 17 March 2024

Happy Irish Heritage Day!

And, finally, the most moving rendition
of "Danny Boy" that you will ever hear --