Mojo Monday ~ VoluptuArt

“Every object, every being, is a jar full of delight. 
Be a connoisseur.” 
~ Rumi
Do you have any favorite web stores?  Have you found some that are more than just stores, rather they are places where you can browse for inspiration, perhaps for a few giggles and for that ever important visual stimulation that actually delights your soul?
I have a few favorite web sites that represent what I would create if I was going to open up my own virtual gift shop.  One that tops the list is called VoluptuArt.  If you have never experienced this treasure trove, than you are in for a super duper treat (picture a large ice cream sundae with all the trimmings.)
VoluptuArt’s Mission speaks volumes:
“VoluptuArt has been created to bring you art that will inspire you to celebrate the fullness of your life! 
Our art and gift items portray bodies of all sizes, shapes, ethnicities, ages and genders. We strive to find images that ’embody’ a sense of aliveness, self-love and body esteem. We’ve also chosen items that we hope will encourage you to stop, take a breath and remember what is important in your life and to be grateful for your amazing body!VoluptuArt is packed with: sculptures, jewelry, functional art, wall art, journals, cards, magnets, candles, t-shirts, Yay! Scales and more!”
They also invite visitors to let them know about artwork or artists they believe would be a good match for VoluptuArt. 
Some of my favorite artists have art work available on the web site: Shiloh Sophia McCloud, Mara Friedman, Anahata Katkin (PaPaYa), Krista Lynn Brown, Kristine Paton, K Robins Designs and SARK. It is a wonderful place to discover new artists too. 
Here are some of my favorite creations by Kristine Paton.  Many of her images are available on bookmarks too and she pairs each one with an empowering quote.  They make wonderful bonus gifts if you happen to be giving someone a book.
Red Boa
This image is called Red Boa.  The book mark has the following quote:
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde
This image is called Flamenco.  The book mark has the following quote:
“Be Yourself  The world worships the original.” ~ Ingrid Bergman
VoluptuArt has quirky and unusual one-of-a-kind items.  Take for example the YAY! 
Scale.  How would you feel if you stepped on the scale in the morning and it always gave you a compliment? “you’re perfect”, “you’re gorgeous”, “you’re hot!” You’ll never have another bad scale day with a Yay! Scale. Thanks to the principles of quantum physics – a Yay! Scale never lies! Conceived, designed, handmade, and signed by Marilyn Wann of Fat!So? fame.  Note this is the silver version, another version comes in purple sparkle and one even comes in a plush hot pink carpet.
There are also amazing sculptures to feast ones eyes on.  Here are some of my favorites. These two are by Shelley and Michael Buonaiuto called Gladys and Wind.

Looking through the various themes can lead one to fun new discoveries as well.  Some of the themes include: Goddesses, Divas, Funseekers, Frida Kahlo, Woman of Valor, Relationships, Rumi, Bellies, Breast Health and Ahhs and Giggles.
Another treasure that I enjoyed discovering is this petite earring Goddess holder shown to the left.
If you visit the VoluptuArt you may also want to visit their Resource page. They list articles, poetry, films and link to other inspirational web sites.
If you visit and find something that strikes your fancy come back and share.
If you have some favorite web sites please share links here too.

Mojo Monday ~ Art

All art requires courage. ~Anne Tucker

Art is defined as:
1. Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
a. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
b. The study of these activities.
c. The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.
3. High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.
4. A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.
5. A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.

Art can be viewed very subjectively.  Al Capp, an American cartoonist and humorist, had this to say about one type of art “Abstract art is a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.”  That is really just his opinion though, as there are many who would say they love abstract art.

This past year an amazing traveling art show called the Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya came to town. 

Nathan creates all of his art using little plastic legos.  The same lego toys that children have been playing with for years.  Some of his creations are three-dimensional and life-size.  Others are more flat, such is the case for the portraits he creates.

I can appreciate many forms of art and I thoroughly enjoyed and was amazed at Nathan Saway’s creations. Yet there is some other element that makes art touch one on a deeper level and leads the admirer to really connect with a painting or sculpture or perhaps even piece of music.
I experienced the “WOW” factor when I walked into Shiloh McCloud’s gallery The Wisdom House in Mendocino. It is the only word that could come out of my mouth for several minutes. There was an immediate draw to her paintings.
Do you connect with a certain artist, type of art or medium?

Is there something in particular that has touched upon the “WOW” factor for you?Besides Shiloh’s art there are a couple other women artists who work touches me on a deeper level. I would like to share a couple of samples of their art.

Queen of Hearts by Melissa Harris
Love who you want.

Dress how you choose.
Eat what you like.
Give your mind a rest and
Let your heart be your guide.

Anything Is Possible by Melissa Harris
Stream of Compassion by Mara Friedman

Open Heart by Mara Friedman
I will be gentle with myself
I will love myself
I am a child of the universe
Being born each moment
To visit Nathan Saway’s web site click here.
To visit Melissa Harris’ web site click here.
To visit Mara Friedman’s web site click here.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~Scott Adams

Cosmic Cowgirls

During the summer of 2008 I was spending the weekend on the coast with my sister Wendy. Upon entering the Wisdom House Gallery in Mendocino here in California, which is owned by and features the art of Shiloh Sophia McCloud, all I could say was “WOW! WOW! WOW!”

Here are a couple of images from that visit.

I was incredibly moved by the art and journals that Shiloh had created. I spoke with Mary who was working at the gallery that day and during our conversation she happened to mention SARK, an author I had been reading and admiring for years. My visit to that gallery that day left an impression and I found myself visiting Shiloh’s web site. This is where I began to learn about the Cosmic Cowgirls. I also learned about the Bountiful Conference the Cosmic Cowgirls were presenting in October of 2008. It was a three day event for women that would feature art and writing and even SARK would be present and would lead one day of the conference.

My immediate response was that I must attend. I would end up vacillating on my decision for weeks. I would question affording it. My soul was being drawn to it though like a moth to a flame. Finally I committed and signed up to attend by myself. The conference proved to be an incredible experience for me. It was inspiring and motivational and I met some amazing women. The vision statement of the Cosmic Cowgirls is:

We envision a world where the voices of women and girls are heard and valued. Our mission is to inspire a creativity movement and provide a platform for voices for transformation to be expressed and shared. Our member-owned tribe teaches and produces educational multi-media events, books and tools that are designed to promote a vision of wellness, compassion and empowerment.

This vision spoke to me and I knew I would like to be a part of what they were planning to achieve. Before I left the conference I officially applied to become a Cosmic Cowgirl. My membership would later be approved after a telephone interview. After a couple of days filled with creating, visioning, writing, sharing, witnessing and celebrating, the long drive home was anything but tiring. I felt jazzed and fired up because my spirit had felt at home in the Cosmic Cowgirl world.

In the months following I would find myself procuring a business license for myself and I would call my new endeavor Red Boa Productions. I created business cards, got a resale license and began to plan my first Red Boa playshop for February 2009. Everything fell into place so smoothly and I continually had a sense that I was on a path meant for me.

In January 2009 I attended a class being presented by Shiloh called Painting Your Prayers with a friend and I again so enjoyed the experience of being in a women’s circle where we shared, created and meditated on our life visions together.

The day of my playshop was cold and rainy, and even snowy in nearby areas. In spite of the weather a total of 14 women, composed of family and friends, attended that gathering. Our ambitious agenda for the day included 1) Mandala Meditation 2) Circle Sharing 3) Personal Manifesto 4) Paper Altar 6) Closing Circle. It was an empowering and fulfilling day for me to facilitate such an event. I also felt very present and content. My closing reading was a powerful piece Shiloh wrote called We Are Wild Wonderful Women:

We Are Wild Wonderful Women

We are women of complex deep juicy mystery
We are women learning to love and forgive ourselves
We are builders of dreams and seekers of justice
We are creators of new life and bringers of light
We are lovers and warriors, healers and truth tellers
We are marvelously tender and fiercely compassionate
We are whole even when the past has been too much
We are abundant beings, full of celebration and vitality
We are wild… We are wonderful… We are women!!!

Last Fall the Cosmic Cowgirls started a new on-line project called Sparking for members only. We were invited to commit to working on a particular Focus Desire for one month. Each day we would check in and share our “Sparks” (basically goals or intentions) for that day. There were prompts to get us to think and share. My first session Focus Desire was to have “Balance in Mind, Body and Spirit.” I also participated in the next session that was offered and took on the Focus Desire of “Making Daily Progress on my book and deck of inspirational cards.” Then in March they began a session that was opened up to the public and anyone could sign up for only $30.00. It proved to get a wonderful response and I again joined the Sparking group and this time focused on “Delighting in Fun and Play every day.”
It seemed like forever until I attended another in person Cosmic Cowgirl event which was the Comic Cowgirl member conference in March of this year. The member conference was a small and much more intimate gathering. Here we all are in a group photo.

It made my heart happy to be present for a meeting of the “Inner Corral” and learn more about the exciting new projects that are being unveiled. The Cosmic Cowgirls are launching the Cosmic Cowgirl University and the Cosmic Cowgirl Magazine. There are also numerous in-person and on-line classes and workshops one can attend. I am currently participating in an on-line 30 day course called A Year of Great Promise. My dream is to one day take the Leading A Legendary Life class.

If you are interested in learning more about the Cosmic Cowgirl University and upcoming session of Spark and other classes click here