Saturday, February 9, 2013

One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge Day 9

When I was about 6 years old, I remember my Grandma Carole taking us to see the Nutcracker Ballet.  I was completely enchanted!  My two favorite parts were the dance of the Sugarplum Fairy, and the dance of the peacock.

When I was 9, I got to take ballet and as our final performance, we did the Nutcracker.  I was so excited to be a snowflake!  It's almost 30 years later and I -still- remember the routine (:  I also remember the after party where we all got to go to the instructor's home and she let me hold her pointe shoes.  I couldn't believe how hard they were!

And when I started college, I saw the annual Natchitoches Christmas Gala, and part of it comes from The Nutcracker.  That first year, I was in another section where I was a Christmas elf gone bad-- but don't worry, but the end, we'd gotten the spirit of Christmas back.  The next year, I got to perform my favorite piece from seeing it the year before-- as the maid that crosses the darkened stage with a candle before we get to see the beautiful Christmas tree.  I was SO excited!!  I even got to be one of the mice!

Now that my boys are older, I'm looking forward to taking them to see their first performance of the Nutcracker.  I hope to share with them the magic, the excitement, the enchantment, and the joy.

If you haven't already guessed, today's One Billion Rising piece was inspired by ballet. (;

'Ballet'. 9" x 12" Acrylic and Sepia Pen and Ink on Watercolor Paper.
Prints and other merchadise available for purchase at

And here's a fantastic performance of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy:

If you're just now finding this challenge, you're always welcome to join!  We still have five days as we're counting down to One Billion Rising's V-Day rising!

Uzume's Shibu, One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge, Day 8

So I woke up early yesterday morning and thought I was ready for day 8's One Billion Rising artwork.  I knew that I wanted to celebrate Uzume, Japan's Goddess of laughter, music and dance.  I knew I wanted to celebrate the beauty that is fan dancing.  But as I began researching color symbolism, I came across kimono symbolism and WOW!!  I was NOT ready to begin!

I'm sure it doesn't look like it, but each day's painting begins with over three hours of research.  I want to make sure that I'm choosing colors and dances and images that attempt to embrace the feeling of the dance and culture they represent.

And this particular piece needed many more hours of studying sleeve length, and collar placement and a lot of other things that mean I didn't actually create Day 8's art until Day 9.  Fortunately for me, this challenge is loose and the freedom of the rules get to apply to me as well! (:

'Uzume's Shibu'.  9" x 12" Acrylic and Sepia Pen and Ink on Watercolor Paper.
Prints and other merchandise available for purchase at

I was also given a beautiful gift by my friend Renee, yesterday!  She posted to my facebook page:

Janin, I have to share this with you. My granddaughter was spending some time with me today and when I came back to the computer just to check a few things, she told be she wanted to look at pictures. So, I started showing her the pics of the art on the "One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge" page you started, that led to me showing her your recent series of dancers (she really likes them). I asked her if she would like to see the actually dances represented, she said yes, so we hit Youtube. We watched videos of the "Indian" dances (she liked the barefoot aspect of those), then the flamenco dancers (not her favorite, too loud), moved on to Irish step dancers (thought they were okay). But her favorites were the sleeve dancers. She really liked those. We did not get through the whole set, as my daughter and other granddaughter joined us and we reran some of the favorites we had come across in our video searches.  All in all, a good cultural learning experience and quality time together inspired by your art :)

I was grinning so big!!  I even did a happy Janin dance (:  And I had to respond (confess) that on my blog, for each day, I add a video to the dance or music represented, and part of why I do is the hope that it will inspire someone to do -exactly- what they were doing!

And so here is today's Youtube share:

I'm also going to share this one because it is an absolutely -beautiful- dance, BUT!!!  Be warned!! If you are watching this with children, stop at 3:20!!  Kalani Kokonuts is a burlesque dancer and will not remain in her kimono very long after that point... which, now that I think about it, is actually very appropriate for the Goddess Uzume....

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Guanyin's Shuixiu, One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge, Day 7

For today's One Billion Rising inspiration, I turned to China.

Guanyin is a Buddhist Bodhisattva, an enlightened mind, full of compassion, who was on her way to nirvana when she heard the anguished cries of the world and vowed that she would not rest until all souls found their way to enlightenment.  She is considered the goddess of mercy, compassion, and unconditional love, and considered a guardian of women and children, all of which makes her a fitting inspiration for One Billion Rising.

Some coastal areas consider her a goddess off the sea, and so I chose the shuixiu dance (water sleeves) as tribute to her.  I chose the color orange because it is the color of life, vitality, the eternal soul, change and adaptability.

'Guanyin's Shuixiu'. 9" x 12" Acrylic and Sepia Pen and Ink on Watercolor Paper.
Available for purchase as prints and other merchandise at

Here is my beautiful friend Yolanda dancing a lovely sleeve dance:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mago's Janggu Chum, One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge, Day 6

For today's One Billion Rising inspiration, I chose the Korean Mago, the Great Goddess, because she is the protector of women and mother of the world, who balances the powers of the universe.

I love the origin of her story: That in the beginning, when the music of the stars and universe came into ultimate harmony, wise Mago birthed herself and created all.

I haven't talked much about the colors I've been using, but each one is symbolic.  In Korea, white is purity, innocence and peace, pink is a color of trust, and green is symbolic of prosperity, a fresh start and auspicious beginnings.  All of which are perfect both for Mago, and for the true intention of One Billion Rising's V-Day on February 14th.

'Mago's Janggu Chum'  9" x 12" Acrylic and Sepia Pen and Ink on Watercolor Paper.
Available for purchase as prints and other merchandise at

Have you found your local V-Day rising?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Idle No More, One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge, Day 5

For today's One Billion Rising artist inspiration,  I turned to Canada and Cree Chief Theresa Spencer of Attawapiskat.

'Idle No More'. 9" x 12". Acrylic and Sepia Pen and Ink on Watercolor Paper.
Prints and other merchandise available for purchase at

Monday, February 4, 2013

Yemaja, One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge Day 4

If you would like to join me in the One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge, you are always welcome to join (:

Check out the introduction here.

I've decided to find my muses through the world's dance and feminine spirituality.  For me, today's inspiration comes from the Yoruba of Nigeria.

'Yemaja'.  9" x 12" Acrylic and Sepia Pen and Ink on Watercolor Paper.
Available for purchase as prints and other merchadise at
Yemaja is the protective energy of the feminine force, considered the Mother and protector of Waters, and the symbol of motherhood.  She's also celebrated in many other parts of the world, including South America and Cuba.

Have you found your local One Billion Rising event yet?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Shakti, One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge Day 3

It was almost noon before I got yesterday's blog up, so I'm going to be doing my pieces a day before to make sure they're ready to be scheduled for midnight the day of so that it'll be here for the early risers to post to (:

Here's Day 3:
'Shakti'  9" x 12". Acrylic and Sepia Pen and Ink on Watercolor paper.
Prints and other merchandise available at
Shakti is the divine feminine creative power and the Great Divine Mother in Hinduism.  This is not the first time that I've looked to India for inspiration when dealing with the need for equality for women, as evidenced by two of my previous pieces, Durga and Moksha Patamu.

I love the idea of shakti, as the divine feminine creative, inspiring each of my pieces for the One Billion Rising artist challenge.  To be honest, now that I think about it, I believe I'm looking for that concept as expressed throughout the world.

I hope that you are finding your own sources of daily inspiration as we get closer to V-Day!  Thank you so much for joining me on this journey.

If you're just now finding this blog, and you like the idea-- You can always start now!  The premise is this:

Thoughts and love have the power to bring about change.

For 14 days, beginning February 1, 2013, I invite every artist who comes across this challenge to make one piece of art per day leading up to V day. It can be drawing, painting, sculpture-- or any medium you wish-- to create a daily piece of beauty that celebrates femininity, women and dancing, as a way to increase awareness, empower women and girls to break the cycle of violence, demonstrate our global solidarity, and positively shift the world energy and bring awareness to One Billion Rising.

And on February 14th, together, we will Strike! Dance! Rise!