Owl totem & Sun totem 2012

Sun + Owl totems for Deb and Clause 2012

4′x10′

This is a custom floorcloth I recently finished for Deb and Claus, it has their personal totems of  the Sun for Deb and an  Owl for Claus at each end.  When they came to visit my studio to talk about ordering their floorcloth I had the treat of hearing about the  mountain home where their  floorcloth would be placed.  Deb and Claus had bought some land  in the country, which formerly, in the  ca. 1950′s had a boy’s camp on it, the main house and several of the small cabins where they boys stayed were still there.  Lucky them,  these cabins had totems the boys had painted on the doors , beautifully weathered and still intact !    The center image of a snake is inspired by one of those doors, also the cloud with rain and lighting.   I really loved doing this floor cloth and passed it on to Deb and Claus with heartfelt blessings for their home.  I love hearing peoples stories, what is important to them, the images that evokes for me and then creating a personalized artwork for them. Thank you Deb and Claus.

Stonewall

This painting is one I did in 1983 to honor the Gay Pride movement, the title is : Stonewall 5’x10’ mixed media canvas.       (copyright:callahanmcdonough.2011)

source: wikipedia

The Stonewall Riots 1969

The Stonewall Inn, taken September 1969. The sign in the window reads: “We homosexuals plead with our people to please help maintain peaceful and quiet conduct on the streets of the Village—Mattachine”.

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the homosexual community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

American gays and lesbians in the 1950s and 1960s faced a legal system more anti-homosexual than those of some Warsaw Pact countries. Early homophile groups in the U.S. sought to prove that gay people could be assimilated into society, and they favored non-confrontational education for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. The last years of the 1960s, however, were very contentious, as many social movements were active, including the African American Civil Rights Movement, the Counterculture of the 1960s, and antiwar demonstrations. These influences, along with the liberal environment of Greenwich Village, served as catalysts for the Stonewall riots.

Jane Fonda, dinner with Bonnie Raitt & Joni Mitchell on: Life, Faith, Peace

Jane Fonda, has for many years been one of  my ‘she-roes’.  As a single Mom I exercised with her videos daily,  & I was in sync with her  activism for Peace, during the Viet Nam war years.  Jane and Oprah together often kept me in stock of hope and going for my life vision, as an artist and Peace activist myself, a single Mom.  They feel like my very own friends, ahem, mine and a few million other women. Today’s post with Jane, Joni & Bonnie at dinner touching for me, as I read it, I  felt exactly  the conversation I would be having  as well, if I were there with them.  We are lucky to live in a time of some pretty cool peers, of course, include us.  Jane continues to rally our involvement, a call to action, find the cause that inspires you and “get involved”.

Thank you Jane.
Oct 11.11    Jane Fonda blog:

Had dinner with Joni Mitchell Saturday night. Never met her before but she’s known Richard for ever. I can’t remember when I’ve had a more intense, far-reaching, multifaceted conversation (right from the moment we sat down…no small talk with Joni)—from Christianity, Buddhism, the Gnostics, different forms of meditation, Ego as the original sin, to living in the wilderness north of Vancouver, the beauty of blue herons, our Black bear encounters (mine more dramatic than hers), medical challenges (hers more dramatic than mine), Georgia O’Keefe (she stayed with her in New Mexico when O’Keefe was 90), painting (Joni paints), innovators versus copy cats and music. It thrills me to listen to musical people (Joni and Richard…or Keith Richards in his autobiography) dig into the minutia of creating musical art. Much is Greek to me but they got into what it meant to have started on the banjo (Joni) and how that influences chords and tuning. She talked fascinatingly about how she always liked to do what hadn’t been done musically–unresolved chords, etc, that often made the music honchos nervous. I should have taken notes.

Sunday morning I found myself on a plane (major delay!) to go to San Francisco to speak at the San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo. I was there to speak about my latest book PRIME TIME, and what I’ve learned from writing. I’ve spoken on this quite a bit over the last few months or more and I’m still enjoying seeing all the heads nodding (especially the gray heads…and nodding, not nodding off!). My PRIME TIME brand has created quite a community, which is why I’m excited to be able to continue the conversations from my book here on my blog, on my Facebook page, and on twitter now that my book tour has wound down.

Tonight, I’m having a small gathering for Bonnie Raitt. Joni will be there and Robbie RobertsonEddie OlmosSteve Bing and Paul Allen. I look forward to another fascinating and intense evening…if I make it back in time!

Make art. Live life. Make a difference Oct. 2011

Make Art, Live Life, make a difference.

my post this a.m. on Citizen Kerry

As a visual artist of over 30 years, I/we (my fellow/sister artists) spent oodles of years discussing ‘what is art’. It’s an important inquiry on one level, on another level you can get lost in a thought loop about it. I currently view art as what I do on a daily basis, in every way, including putting paint on a canvas. The doing is my job, stepping back, reflecting, doing. I don’t think I’ve read enough blogs to judge if they will make history, I think they are an important venue (some of them) to tell our stories, make a difference now.
I hope we can save the F. planet to have history to make.
I know your ( Citizen Kerry) writing wakes me up, touches me, and I identify. Keep it up gal.

Sisters 2001

 

This morning is one of those perfect, I mean really perfect, Fall mornings.  I was up at 5 a.m., drove to ‘yoga boot camp’ listening to Eckhardt Tolle’s the Power of NOW, then 7:30 a.m. walk with my friend Judi (aka my chosen Sister).  Our walks and talks, like most gals’, are filled with a dozen topics, weaving in and out all over the place; a guy would have his brain in a  total spin. So many years of talks, walks, reflecting on the essence, what to do next and how, etc. etc. Concurrent to figuring out all this is to figure in life; how we enjoy ‘the hood’ , nature, each other.  I did this painting for Judi in 2001, and remember our  walk exactly. I bent down to pick up the tin plate in this piece and Judi said ‘what do you want that  for?! ,’  My answer: ‘don’t know – it will probably end up as art’!

Have a fabulous Fall day everyone.

 

Prayers for world Peace Sept.11.2011

When I think of Sept.11 ,2001 I remember exactly where I was, the sequence of events that day, and the days after with the clarity I remember the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  Both were a shock beyond description, a rupture of  my faith in humanity.  The morning of Sept.11 I was getting ready for work; I usually listened to the Today program in the background, but that morning I chose not to, my thoughts seemed scrambled, and I had a hard time focusing on getting out the door.  Then, when I rode to work, I usually listened to NPR, but  not this day. I needed to be still and quiet so my mind would be ready for the day of clients ahead.  When I arrived at my office, my colleagues/therapists and our clients were all huddled around a radio listening to the report of the twin towers having been attacked.  I went up to my office with my client to support her in her reactions: rage, anger, loss, and went through the same thing with each client that day.  When I left my office, I still had not heard all the details, nor seen  any images whatever.  As I was driving home I listened to NPR, among the many incomprehensible stories,  they were reporting that people had jumped out of buildings, holding hands. That their last act in life was to reach for another human being, connect, and share their inevitable death, moved and touched me then, and will remain with me always. I wept.  Even now, it seems like a science fiction movie, my mind still makes up its own “realities” to get away from the truth of it, the horror of it.  And, there remains a very crisp memory of the weeks after when people looked each other in the eye, said ” hi, how are you”, and really meant it, where drivers slowed down and let you over in traffic, small gestures of consideration, kindness and connection everywhere.   I thought, ‘if we could live in a world like this, there would Peace and we would all truly care’.    In 2008 I made  this painting in memory of  Sept.11,2001, it represents for me a tree of  life, transcendence, moving forward with life. It contains loss, but also a Unity with Source, a Oneness. I was reminded of this human resilience last night as I watched a CNN program where children, husbands, wives, parents of those who died spoke of their loss, and the way they each in their own way moved forward to make a difference, to connect to reach out. This day and every day, I pray  that there be Peace, kindness and plenty for all, and  an end to unnecessary suffering.

4.50′x6′ mixed media- canvas

Feminism + Art

Feminism and Art, my current fav website:

the Brooklyn Museum/ center for Feminism+Art

Yesterday stimulating conversation with  my friend Beth Lord, owner of the indie-pendent, about feminism, feminism and art, life. We both felt that it seems so few of us are keeping the conversation alive, and are engaged in the evolution of what feminism has been, is, and will be. Yes, we responded to the limitations of women. We needed, and continue to need, to address those inequities for women, and for all human kind. Without advancing this struggle, we can neither survive nor thrive. Feminism in my view is about the aligned relationship with each other, the planet and our Source.

 

 

Plywood People Presents: Social Innovation

 

 Plywood People Presents – Social Innovation  - Atlanta, Ga., High Museum of Art

I have finally gotten time to dive into the book : WE FIRST, how brands & consumers use social media to build a better world , authored by the keynote speaker: Simon Mainwaring. I  have been impressed by the use of Social Media to create a greater good for ourselves and our world. No, I’m not saying all social media has that as a goal, there are many  great uses and some not so great uses for social media.  My interest in attending this conference is: how can I use social media to have a great life and  a better world.  Simon Waring is a thought leader who is blazing the way for better, ” With each passing day, it became more obvious to me – and to many thought leaders around the world- that the entire system of free market capitalism, as it is practiced in the United States and in many Western nations, is leading us further and further down the wrong path, toward a world dominated by narrow self-interest, greed, corporatism, and insensitivity to the greater good of humanity and to the planet itself.”  The shift that needs to occur is from “me first” to “we first”. “consumers and corporations need to become partners in re-engineering the foundation principles of capitalism to honor not only profits, but also purpose, mutual self-interest, sustainability, human values, collaboration and collective prosperity.”   He talked about our greatest leverage is what we purchase, that we might become ‘curators’ of  expenditures, how we engage in social media, not only by what we purchase but what we endorse. “Social Media is the technological differentiator that makes change possible as never before”.   To read more about We First  & the entire conference, here is Plywood People’: social innovation.  

The level of inspiration coupled with solid information was really awesome. I was impressed that the room was filled with folks mid 40′s and under; movers and shakers for a world with vision that works for all.The drawing in this post was sketched while I was listening to another presenter:  Rashid Nuri, community organizer of  Truly Living Well, right here in my neighborhood, the Old Fourth Ward. “Rashid provides overall executive and operational leadership to the Company. Rashid possess over forty years of experience in both industrial and organic agriculture, where he has managed public, private and community-based food and agriculture businesses in over 30 countries. Through his travels, Rashid has observed and learned about local food economies around the world. His experience has included managing farms in excess of 13,000 acres as well as more than 12 years with agricultural giant Cargill.” Quite a character, storyteller and passionate about eating healthy and neighbors growing our own organic food.

 Among many excellent presentations throughout the entire day,  my favorite was a company founded by 3 young entrepreneurs,  Better World Books.“Better World Books collects and sells books online to fund literacy initiatives worldwide. With more than 8 million new and used titles in stock, we’re a self-sustaining, triple-bottom-line company that creates social, economic and environmental value for all our stakeholders.”  The vision of Better World Books is to end illiteracy, by contributing up to 10% of every used book, training teachers/mentors to teach, giving away books and more.  As of last week, they have raised and given away TEN MILLION DOLLARS to nonprofits engaged in ending illiteracy, promoting reading, empowering communities.I was really blown away by this group, and now I order nearly all my books from them; they are competitive, (actually a bit less) than other outlets, and FREE SHIPPING every day (in USA)

‘She is’ from the series: Me + U

 

This drawing has my most favorite lamp as its focus.  I am well known for my talents as a yard sailing magnet, and also, Queen of  curbside finds.   This wonderful lamp was waiting in perfect condition for me to reclaim her from the side of the road, aka, the trash, now many years ago.  I’m always looking for metaphors and so in some ways she represents my reclaiming things about myself and talents that have gotten kicked to the curb, to see anew, and use them.   She has been in every office I have had as a therapist as well and is a totem for healing and creativity for me, She is Goddess.

digital prints available:      8.5″ x 11″     laminated / ready for hanging  50.00

Friends Indeed

Painting of Judi Knight by Callahan McDonough

This is a picture of Judi I did in about 1999.

 

Photo of callahan taken by Judi Knight

Photo of me taken by Judi Knight in about 2000

 

 

Here is a picture of the two of us a bunch of years ago!

 

 

“Fun is the goal, Love is the way, Truth is the path.”

“Fun is the goal, Love is the way, Truth is the path.” Vic Baranco, phd

These heart pins are for the upcoming : Indie Craft Experience, Wedding day hooray

Today, the magical wedding of Kate & Will, royalty we can actually identify with, they are a couple that is authentic and real in their  Love, & intention to make a difference in the world they touch. Which will be a very big one. I’m sure Princess Diana is smiling, any Mom would be.

pins are priced at: $52.00 each one is unique

High Notes of Clarity

painting

I’ve been up since early morning, in the stillness, time in the studio produces focus and clarity.  I’ve been re-reading Love is letting go of fear, by Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., I intuitively turn toward his words, thinking of the contrast: simplicity of stillness and solitude versus connection and complexity.  I am reminded then, as Dr. Jampolsky, states :

” Peace of mind as our single goal is the most potent motivating force we can have. Instead of having a single goal, we are all tempted to try to juggle multiple goals. Juggling can only serve to deflect our focus and increase our conflict.”

Again and again, first within, Peace of mind, my single goal,  then all else.  My moment to moment choice. Then:  High notes of Clarity.

“Know now that we have always been in danger in our separateness”

My friend and colleague Sharman Colosetti, was visiting yesterday, we are doing a peer study series on EFT,  I love learning with Sharman, she has an innate curiosity about life, a wise woman. Sharman was asking me about the story behind this painting, and said she loved hearing the stories behind my work. This painting is 5′ x 7 1/2′ and was done in 1986.  This was a time of change and growth for me, my son was 8 years old, I was a single Mom and struggling to keep afloat.  After leaving my marriage, I started a house cleaning business, which I called my single Mom’s and artist’s survival kit.  I did well with my business and also was able to continue painting, as well as support myself and Zach. This was also a time for self-reflection and maturing spiritually, emotionally, for me.  This painting represents my experience at that time, the feeling of aloneness, reaching out for connection, feeling the response in community that sustains.  The two small figures at the bottom are copied from my son’s drawings of his ‘Ninja’ figures, they represent for me,   and are totems of protection as seen through the eyes of my child. What Carl Jung, named, ‘ the luminous child’.

   The title is  a quote from :  Adrienne Rich’s, Dream of a common language (the title itself an affirmation) : ” Know now that we have always been in danger in our separateness”.

Art & Friends

Sherry & her Dad 'Tony' at: 90yrs. Passover 2008

Sherry & her Dad 'Tony' at: 90yrs. Passover 2008

Sherry is my longtime friend of 18 yrs. She has what we artists call a ‘good eye’. Often she is the helpful art critic I need to call on to decide if a piece is complete or not. She has a heart of gold and loves family, community, food, and Jewish Holidays which include lots of her yummy cooking.  Hugs n’Kisses runner was done for Sherry. “hugs n’kisses” is one of her favorite good byes.

 

 

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