Sunday, January 14, 2018

Strike a Pose



Greg has been featuring a few of his models and associated imagery via social media and his blog. Here are a few pieces where he used me as the model.


1. CU opera poster detail) for “Susannah,” an adaptation of the biblical story of Susannah and the Elders set in the 1950s in rural Tennessee.


2. As a Faerie. Sketch for the “Lotus Faeries” poster


3. “Lotus Faeries” poster



4. Blue Mage special edition, signed print inside The Art of Greg Spalenka book

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Year, New Moon, New Opportunities


Santa Fe often feels like a place that exists out of time with a very vibrant conscious community. As mentioned previously, I pay attention to patterns, one of the names that keeps being shared with me is Sandra Ingerman. This evening I took a moment to explore her world and came across the Transmutation News of January 2018. In it she shares insights from Katharine stating "We start the
18th year of the 21st century with a Super Full Moon on the 1st day of January, the 2nd in a set of 3 Super Moons.  And we end the month with a Super Blue Moon and lunar eclipse on January 31.”

She also shares that this lunar cycle presents us with a test supervised by the "guardians of deeper mysteries”, hence the opening painting The Valkyrie's Vigil by Edward Robert Hughes.

For all of you interested in greater clarity and aligning with higher frequencies I highly recommend reading her newsletter, other writings, following her wisdom and meditations.

I'll share about the the inner journey I've been on here in Santa Fe with some of the insights into some of the archetypes that have been presenting themselves. It's been quite an adventure that just keeps getting more and more interesting! Have any of you read any of Carlos Castaneda's books or Medicine Woman by Lynn V. Andrews, well then get yourself Sandra's book Soul Retrieval.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Emerging Light


Welcome Yule! Warm blessings to each of you in whatever hemisphere you may dwell. Whether we call today Yuletide, Winter Solstice, Saturnalia or Sol Invictus it is a reminder that our inner flame burns brightly despite what may appear as dark times.

Here is a verse by Susan Cooper from her series the Dark is Rising in both words and a little video to celebrate turn of the great wheel once again as we shift into the light half of the year and honor the return of the sun.

"And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year."
- Susan Cooper


The opening image is the illustration I use to illuminate Aurora, it is a detail of Snow Faerie, created by Greg and featured in the 2009 Calendar titled Divine Nature. The image is available on his site in a set of postcards.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

On the move, again!


Tomorrow, Sunday, we are moving from Tesuque to the old ranch area here in Santa Fe that is turning into the new arts district. No one in the area has told me what the district is called, so I'm referring to it as "the new arts district" until someone corrects me. Tesuque is just north of historic, downtown Santa Fe, where as the arts district is south. Both areas have a very different vibe, Tesuque is more like Santa Barbara where as the arts district has a bit of an edge, like the surrounding areas of downtown LA. Although I will miss Tesuque very much, the new homestead is better in many ways. I'll post more about that once we are settled.

There will be a delay in sending out orders as I unpack and set up once more. Our new space is on our friends property, it's a bit of an art compound with musicians and visual artists, and now an "aromatic" artist being added to the mix of creatives.


The landscape is quite different from the Pinon wood lands we have been inhabiting the last three months. While packing to move last night I found a jar filled with dried plant bits from my California garden. The cowboy pure fume of oak, artemisia and different sages all preserved and ready for inhaling deeply. It’s a very different scent imprint than we have here in the high desert of New Mexico.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Figure 1 Noir Solid Perfume is back!


While searching through moving boxes filled with essential oils I discovered a big bottle of the synergy for Figure 1: Noir solid pure fume. I just listed the mini compacts in the brass, diamond pattern. I will list the other two designs shortly. If you would like Figure 1: Noir in another container and are cool with limited packaging embellishments contact me.

Here’s a descriptive paragraph I wrote about the fragrance a couple years ago:

Figure 1: Noir contains notes of the wet mossy earth found in an ancient cemetery in Prague where the bones of alchemists lay restless and waiting. Leaves, roots and woods thickly braided with enchantments invoked amongst creatures roaming wild. Lush, mouth watering fruits picked just before ripening when a hint of the sour is a perfect contrast to the impending, yet hidden sweetness of human skin.

Shop for the mini compact of Figure 1: Noir at my site or on Etsy. Read and see more about Figure 1: Noir at the Lookbook Greg and I created. Find the illuminated image Figure 1: Noir or Noir Woods at spalenka.com.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Movie Monday: Epic


The 2013 animated film Epic, by Blue Sky Studios, is loosely based on the children's book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce. Why the marketing department at Fox choose to go with Epic as the title instead of The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs or just plain Leaf Men is difficult to understand. But alas, most marketing decisions are archiac to those of us who dwell in the land of imagination.


Writer/illustrator William Joyce has authored over fifty children's books, received an Academy Award for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and three Emmys for Rolie Polie Olie.


Although the Epic film received mixed reviews from the critics, I thought it was absolutely wonderful, crafted with a rare beauty seen in American animation. This little gem, in my opinion does not contain the over stylization of humans and over the top songs, seen in so many animated features these days. The creators did add an annoying pop songsat the end—but at least one can turn the volume down when watching from the luxury of your home or device.

The critics main challenge with this viscerally rich film was that they'd already seen this story, citing Fern Gully and Avatar as examples. I read a few reviews which felt the characters appeared very "plastic-y and doll-like", where as for me they looked so much better than the plasticine-like characters that Disney churns out of their profit driven animation factories.


I was captivated with the depiction of the wee fairy folk in the forest, particularly the leaf men and their arch nemesis, a Boggan named Mandrake. The lighting of the scenes, character textures and costumes, and the fantastical depiction of nature in all her glory, including decay. Perhaps the critics are correct, this is a story that we've heard told over and over again, but humans are dense, slow moving creatures who need to hear things over and over again, particularly when the subtleties of nature are competing various forms of technology and an onslaught of loud, gore driven media.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Illuminated


I choose to use the term "illuminated" for my botanical perfume brand for a variety of reasons. Some of you may have already heard, this story in some form or other. This post is for those who may not have heard the tale as of it.

It all started way back in August 2003 while I was juggling working as an illustrator, practicing and teaching aromatherapy and learning how to create pure fumes with essential oils. At the time I was reading quite a lot about the history of fragrance, specifically in Egypt , inspired by attending a class in Malibu with John Steele.


The three week long workshop took place in a small Austrian village, high up in the Alps, called Reichenau. The workshop, taught by artist Phillip Rubinov Jacobson, was titled Old Masters, New Visions. It centered on learning the secret, ancient painting technique called Mishe that had been resurrected by the visionary painter Ernst Fuchs. You can read more in depth on the subject here at the journal.


During the first week of the intensive we learned the history of the technique stemming from 14th and 15th century when artisans within the guilds of painting and alchemy shared their wisdom with each other.  I became aware of the sacred triad that existed between art, perfumery and alchemy. The unifying component within this triad being the prima materia, plants! Thus, the term "illuminated" as in illuminated manuscripts and the aspect of bringing to light the beauty of plant matter in pure fume popped into my head like a lighting bolt. It also was made clear that Greg's imagery would be perfect for the brand since he has a very old world, romantic quality to his work...besides the convenience of him being my partner.

Here are a few of the "illuminations" that Greg created to accompany my pure fumes, 
some of these are details of the larger pieces. We collaborated on many of them while others were
existing pieces which he refined or adjusted. Find prints for sale here on his site.
All images are copyrighted, please respect the artist.

Q for the oak


Lyra


Sierra


Aurora


Mellifera


Figure 1; Noir


Figure 5: Bois


La Dame Blanche


Fleurish


and my favorite...Chiaroscuro


There are a few more which I'll include shortly.