Wednesday, July 23, 2014


This Immovable Object reluctantly engaging an Irresistible Force showed up in my mind on April 3rd. Yet another horse. When I saw the oval object at level with the horse's heart, I didn't know what I was looking at.  A ruby? No - a chrysalis.  
As I looked for images appropriate to the unfolding of this new assignment, I came upon a photograph of a chrysalis (yep, the right shape) with the forming butterfly wing already visible through the thinning cocoon. The red pattern of the wing struck a personal cord - it is very close to the 4 branched Shin, the letter  I use as a signature somewhere within each copperwork as a symbol of an emerging reality with feminine implications.

I completed the actual copper etching June 28th. It was then that I heard the name I was to associate with this work. INVOLUTION.  Interesting.  I thought it might mean something like "inner evolution" but I found it actual has a very specific meaning within the context of mathematics:
a function, transformation or operator that is equal to its inverse, i.e., which give the identity when applied to itself.

I can't imagine a more perfect definition to what I think I'm seeing here.

What thoughts do you have about this imagery?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Violets are Blueing in the Green

I woke up this morning with this little tune buzzing in my head from A.A. Milne.  I took it as a sign that the time had come to finally upload the photos I had taken of Art Song Garden as during its exquisite Spring blooming.

I was so excited by the return of the bees that I went crazy trying to capture the little critters at work. They don't exactly hold still while you're trying to catch them in the act.  It seem the bigger, slower ones were the most cooperative.

Bumble bee on crabapple blossoms:

Here's one working on the Black Currant bushes:

Here is my precocious squirt of a Centennial Apple tree that is all of 3 feet tall blooming with everything it's got:

Yes, Dorothy, Nectarines do grow in Crestone, CO - ask the black bear who broke through the fence in the middle of the night last year to get at the yet unripe fruit :

Here is one of the ever beautiful,  hardy and forgiving Caraganas (Siberian Pea Shrubs):

And glory of glories, beyond all hope,  one of the Etrog trees started from seed 4 years ago blossomed for the first time :

She and her mate have spent their lives indoors.  For the first time both are (courageously) living out of doors (for the season). 

Life is luscious!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Earthly Images and a Ghost Horse

With Earth Day approaching, here are two profound internal processes that have emerged from intracellular space.

Acid-etched and fretworked copper with colored pencil and Vitrail enamel. Fretwork backed in mulberry paper.
Placed on plywood backing and surrounded by fertile earth.
20” x 20”
Here is the description I wrote up and sent to friends:

Shimmering emerged from a Directive regarding sounds I perceived encircling the Earth. Not music, exactly, more like a high pitched chorus of voices that I can best describe as shimmering.  I couldn't tell at the time if the shimmering sound was coming from the Earth and radiating out or if the sounds were entering the Earth's atmosphere from an external source.  The "seed syllables" I was given to include seem to suggest the former.  The Alef and Bet are the first 2 letters of the Hebrew alphabet -- the Alef (on the left), is open to all four directions and emits no sound but contains all sounds; the Bet (at the bottom) being an incubator of possibilities and directional (opening in one direction only), suggesting a timeline of sorts - evolution perhaps. The other 2 symbols are Tibetan.  The one at the top is Bam, written in uchen script, is associated with the element of Water and with protection of nature and the environment (I didn't make this up, I'm just following instructions regarding what symbols to include). On the right side is Hrīḥ is, the seed syllable of great compassion - Govinda describes hrih as the "inner voice, the moral law within us, the voice of conscience, of inner knowledge". He links this with what he calls the emotional principle of goodness, compassion and sympathy, as well as with the illuminating aspects of the sun: light, making things visible, the faculty of perception, of direct vision.  I am unfamiliar with Tibetan seed syllables per se but this is what I could find about the symbols I was to incorporate into a "sound vision."  As you can see, blue became an important element, both in the etching process and in the mulberry paper that backs the fretwork planet. That particular hue of blue is also around the copper's perimeter border, in the letters and the interwoven half-circle of antennae,  in the form of an iridescent medium which took on that appearance.  The whole is embedded in Earth itself.

Here are some of the thoughts I received in response:

from Larain Matheson
I thought and felt the throat chakra in this piece  of Shimmering. It represents the vocalization, self-expression and its color is blue with the element of ether. It looks like an aerial view throughout the windows into the ethers of space… 

from Anne Barber-Shams 
George Gamov said we live in an ocean of whispers left over from our eruptive creation. These whispers come from the hydrogen atoms in space, emitting radio radiation. There is a very slight instability in the hydrogen atom that causes it to disgorge a quantum of energy ONCE in about every 11 MILLION years. There are so many hydrogen atoms because of the vastness of space that these single PEEPS of energy every 11 million years amount to a continuous radio roar.

from Leigh Ann Philips
In the ancient Celtic culture, actually the Tuatha de Danaan, the Shimmering was how the Druids traveled inter dimensionally. There were certain sounds that created certain primordial doors, so the story goes.  and also

A sound vision is a visual mantra. That is how and why I am etching ancient mandalas on the bowls these days. It amplifies the intention of the sound, can also help manifest, as well as there is inherent beauty in this artwork.
from Robin Ross
Blue: with medicine Buddha mantra, all beings and the earth are simultaneously infused and radiate Buddha's azure blue healing light. The whole world is filled with this blue healing light...

and my own subsequent reflections
The evening after getting the mud on I felt agitated and disoriented.  I needed Flower Essences. After a long session that brought me back into balance, the final Essence which was called for in 7 times the strength of everything else I tested for was Bowl from the Perelandra set of Nature Program Essences.
Here is an excerpt from the accompanying description:

...Visualize,... the planet as a container of these impulses. Energy held beneath the Earth's surface. This energy is seated within the very soul of the planet, seated within its heart.  It is there to be released and integrated into all levels of life on the planet.  Now picture one small co-creative garden on the planet's surface.  See it as a window into the interior of the planet, into its soul.  As the gardener works to align this garden to the new dynamics, watch the window open and the energy contained within the core ... gently gravitate to be released through the window.  Feel the sense of relief and freedom within the Earth's core as the energy moves outward and up.  And watch the actions and the form living on the Earth's surface .. shift to reflect the impact of the heart energy that has now surfaced.  That which exists on the surface has begun to connect to and integrate with the heart and soul of the planet, which, in turn, is fully aligned with the heart and soul force of the universe...

In 1992, an energy bowl one hundred feet in diameter formed in the Perelandra research garden.  The bowl contained a thick liquid, golden in color to some and blue to others... 

Acid-etched and fretworked copper with colored pencil, wax oxides and Vitrail enamel. Fretwork backed by amber mica. Framed in mahogany.
19” x 19.5”
Shortly after finishing Shimmering I was given another vision, which, after searching every mythology I could find to try and decipher what it might mean, this description knocked on my door (in the guise of Karin Di Giacomo) and answered my bewilderment:

The original vision was of a celestial horse bearing a cloak in the process of turning around. This, somehow, in relationship to the Earth that was in rapid fire communication mode.

What you see is a ghost horse, or maybe a horse-like cloud shape thundering Earthwards towards the exchange of intense emotions symbolized by the cantillation marks etched into the woven grid lines.

What I (now) imagine to be happening here is the return of the essence of the messenger as reported by Malachi 3:23-24

Here do I send you Eliahu Ha'Navi before the great and terrible day of Havaya.
That the hearts of parents be reconciled to return and rest upon their children,
and the hearts of children be reconciled to return and rest upon their parents -
lest I come and annihilate the Earth completely.

Considering the present state of increasing climate chaos, corrupted communications and a poor world indeed that we are leaving to the generation directly behind us, for me this vision has engendered a sense of hopeful anticipation.

As always, any input or reports of horse visions in your life will be received with great delight.

Both images are now uploaded to my website at:
winged horse art

pegasus art


Monday, March 10, 2014

The Dream Tree

When Anne was thirteen she had a dream that seated itself into her cellular memory so that, as a grown woman, she recognized the familiar setting when she moved into a new home some fifty years later.

She was on horseback, accompanied by a woman dressed in a long flowing garment.  It was coming upon daybreak as they approached the mountains.  There stood a tree ornamented with golden spheres. Within each sphere was a single letter in an unknown language.  She was in awe.

Fast forward several decades and there are the same mountains and the tree, only this majestic cedar, rare for up here where most of the junipers are small and shrubby,  has been had a dozen and more limbs amputated by the builder who favored a better view of the mountains from inside the house.  To Anne, these amputations feel like gaping wounds in need of suturing.  She remembers the dream.

So, with some tracing paper she had handy and some old stamping ink, not knowing what to expect when I arrived and unequipped with a crayon, I took rubbings patterns of the severed branches that were lowest and largest.  For the ones too high to reach except by extension ladder, I held up a tape measure and she wrote down the approximate diameter, to which a added a little leeway.  

She chose 12 locations visible from the house to place the "spheres." Combining her Jungian, astrological frames of reference as well as her familiarity with the Hebraic mystical tradition, we agreed upon creating constellation pieces, with a Hebrew letter (something she would not have recognized at 13) within each sphere representing each the 12 tribes, which in turn are associated with constellations.

The Yalkut Shemoni identifies them this way:
In the East - Yehuda (Aries), Issachar (Taurus), Zevulun (Gemini)
To the South - Reuven (Cancer), Shimon (Leo), Gad (Virgo)
In the West - Ephraim (Libra), Menashe (Scorpio), Binyamin (Sagittarius)
To the North - Dan (Capricorn), Asher (Aquarius), Naphtali (Pisces)

Within each sphere I placed a 12 pointed star.  Within each star went the initial of the tribe/constellation.  

I should add that, after they were all mounted in place, she felt a 13th location that called out to be covered.  For that one I will be making an empty star which will hold the intention of the whole.

For those scars facing the mountain (and some newly built house that I couldn't see), Anne wanted mirrors.  This has something to do with Feng Shui.  I happened to have just enough copper acrylic copper mirror to do the deed:

Pretty cool, huh? 


My Studio Moresca Copperwork Illuminations website can now be found at:

Please come for a visit!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fine Art Prints on Metal & Clear Arylic

In my explorations of images on the internet, one led me back to an interesting artist site that deals strictly in prints. What really drew me in was that, among their offerings, they print on metal, which, as a copper worker, reeled me in for a closer look.

The site is Fine Art America, a professional network for visual artists, photographers, art collectors, and gallery owners that fulfills each order on behalf of the artists - taking care of the printing, framing, matting, packaging, shipping, collecting payments from the buyers, and sending profits to the artists. They serve a global population. There is a 30-day money back guarantee that gives everyone a wide comfort zone and insures the initial quality to be high in order to maintain their standing in the marketplace, which they have since 2007.

So I pulled up the info on their metal printing service and here's what I found:

Looks pretty good to me, but this has to be pricey, right? Actually, it blew my socks off to realize how astoundingly affordable they are. Each artist, of course, sets the price about cost to FAA that they require, but since all the cost of materials, processing, handling and shipping are handled, not to mention advertising, who needs a high mark-up?

So I'm looking at one of my smaller pieces, Yggdrasil Rune Greenman:

It just wouldn't have the same intensity on paper or canvas, but on metal? The possibility is intriguing.
Based on the size of my original image, the largest print possibility is 15.63" x 16".  The cost: $92.49. Now that doesn't include shipping. I called their information number about shipping costs and was told that it's entirely dependent on the size, weight and ship to location. They ship UPS. FedEx and USPS.

I was pricing out a metal print for another image that I uploaded to their site (yes, I have 25 images there now) that was twice the size in pixels: 24.38" x 30" (darn close to the original size). It priced out at $142.92.
If you have ever wanted a piece of my copperwork on your walls and don't have thousands to spend,  what a way to go!!!

Fine Art America also can produce acrylic prints, which turns out to mean that the images are printed on clear acrylic. When I was on the line with them this morning I asked if you could shine a light behind these and have the image illuminate (BIG QUESTION!).  I was put on hold so that someone who works with the acrylic prints could give an accurate response.  The answer is YES (rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham!). Illumination prints - NO KIDDING.

So here's their blurb on acrylic prints::
So: Reflection & Passage- Through the Thinning Door
19.38" wide  x 30" high = $177.38

14.63" wide x 16" high = $109.20

To access my images on Fine Art America go to  profiles/shahna-lax.html

I should point out that I chose to have a watermark appear on the online images.  For the record, they don't appear on the actual prints.  I just thought it was a good idea.

I'm going to be changing over my website to their site at the beginning of March.  The cost per year is $30.
To simply create an account and upload up to 25 images is a completely free service.
All of my artist friends, do check it out and see if this would be another treasure to slip into your survival kit.


(below are links to various pertinent searches on Fine Art America that make my work visible on the first page just by placing the link somewhere on the internet that is accessible without login or password).

moorish art

breath art

black madonna art

tree of life art

sacred space art

illumination art

divine feminine art

copper art

calligraphy art

bee art

jungian art

sufi art

dance art

andalucia art

sacred geometry art

moon art

celtic art

labyrinth art

earth art

gaia art

sacred art

greenman art

fire art

goddess iphone cases

copper iphone cases

pagan iphone cases

pagan galaxy s4 cases

Monday, January 6, 2014

Garden Brownies

It all started out with the resurrection of a charming idea I had back when I created and ran the Stewardship Tools Catalog (many long years ago now).  Ever the counter culture iconoclast, the thought of an ephemeral, light emitting, and, let's face it CAUCASIAN Guardian Angel rather rasped against my personal, earthy grain.  A Garden Angel now, would have qualities of a different persuasion! ... Hence :
They do look a little dubious, poor dears.

My dear friend Peggy Godfrey has a sheep ranch out in Moffat, CO.  Peggy has sheep poop coming out the wazoo (more correctly the poop is coming out of her sheep's wazoo).  I looooooooooooooove this stuff!  I shoveled shit loads into every vessel that could fit into my car 5 times this last summer to top off my newly formed garden Hugel mound, which I will describe in a future post.  I still had a pile from the previous year composting nicely in another part of the garden which I have been using to produce the true Garden Angel:
Beautiful, don't you think? They don't even smell!
By the way, I have bedded each one down in sheep belly wool, a bio-degradable protein garden mulch.

That's the large one (~4,75" in each direction), and here is a smaller one that prefers to travel in pairs:

For me they are a new art form, each taking on its own character!  So now I'm hooked.

 Here comes BABY Poop Cake:

BOOTY Poop Cake:

LAMBIE Poop Cake:

LEAFY Poop Cake:

the BROWNIES, Biggy and Benny:

and Big and Little HEARTS:

with more to come!

I have to admit that "pure and simple" doesn't exactly describe the final product.  To my appall and my sisters resigned good humor, the first "pure and simple" batch dissolved into a crumb pile by the time it reached California in a 2-day trip through the US Postal Service in time for Hanukkah.

After that mortifying event I worked feverishly in my laboratory until I had created the profoundly improved formula enhanced by a powerful, albeit completely natural binding agent that now gives the little critters a half-life similar to Twinkies!  I have been submerging one angelic guinea pig for the last 2 months in water. It's still completely intact, though it did produce some nice manure tea.  I have faith that, exposed for long enough periods to a challenging garden environment,  each brownie will eventually be restored to its original constitution.

Until then, may all of us, and the brownies too,  have our day in the sun (please).