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Exciting Times

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Exciting times . . . it is for me and I hope for you, too.  After wading through what has felt like knee-deep mud for months on end, I made the decision last weekend to revive Soul Glyphs™, that sacred, symbolic art that spontaneously appeared in my life in 1986.

After Googling metaphysical shops in the area here in Florida, I found several that I thought might be places for me to begin to “get the word out” about the art.  So off I went on Saturday and again yesterday, visiting shops to get a sense of where the art best fit.  The Mystical Moon and The Curious Cauldron are my choices – now it is just wait and see what works!

The first shop, The Mystical Moon, is nearby and has a shop both in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs, about 30 minutes south.  I have visited both shops and had great experiences each time.  They are small but packed with lots of stones/crystals, books, etc., are well organized, and have a peaceful feel; and, the two women I met who were working in the shops were very friendly and helpful.

Yesterday I stopped at a shop in Fort Myers called The Curious Cauldron, where the owner, Maria, is changing the shop so that its main focus is directed toward healing – a perfect fit for Soul Glyphs™ because that is what the art has always been, a tool for healing.  She was very receptive to my art, and like The Mystical Moon, the shop is well organized and peaceful.

As with many things, the change is in process at this shop, so it may be a bit yet before I can be found there . . . but I am excited about this possibility.

In the meantime, I’m exploring additional avenues, such as “coffees” where a small group would gather in someone’s home to learn about Soul Glyphs™ art and experience it through a group drawing that I would create with a message that pertains to the group overall, as well as has meaning to each individual.

Yes, I have actually done this before when I lived in Montana a few years ago.  For some reason, I am comfortable doing things I have never done before, right on the spot during a presentation – such as creating a group drawing with no prior proof that it will work . . . or not!  And my one experimentation is that it does work.

I think the reason for this is that individuals tend to gather because they have some common bonds, so it would make sense that a group message would have meaning to each one individually at some level.

If you have ideas/suggestions for other avenues to explore, please send me a note: carolynh@carolynheizer.com.  (I removed Comments from this site because of spamming.)

More Changes/Decisions

Friday, April 5, 2019

What an interesting time of life!  As so much of the country went through a “winter to remember,” I was fortunate to be in a warm place.

Nine months ago I left behind most of my “belongings” (what a fascinating word) and yesterday realized there are really very few of those belongings that I need as I change my perspective on what is important/necessary to live a joyful, peaceful life.  So in a couple of months, I will head out to retrieve only a few things, and the remainder will go to resale or be donated.

Having all of this “stuff” sitting around has been a mental/energetic burden, and I’m ready to let it go.

I have a great appreciation for beautiful things, particularly those things designed and created by another’s hand; but that does not mean that I need to “possess” (another fascinating word) them.

Settling In

Monday, March 11, 2019

Oh what a difference 9 months can make!  Yet more life changes as I moved a couple of times and am now happily renting a private room & bath in a townhouse in a gated community that has a great gym where I work out 6 mornings a week.  Yes, I decided to stay put in SW Florida; and yes, you can get your body in shape at any time, even in your mid-70’s!  Patience and commitment are the keys – whipping yourself into shape at 70 doesn’t happen as quickly as at 30, but it absolutely can be done.

And what a joy it is to see my body change – to become stronger and more muscular – yes, I want muscles!!  I’m not trying to be a bodybuilder, although a trainer told me it was possible for me to do that; but I do want to see some definition.

For now, I am outside in nature as much as possible, walking, enjoying the sun and warm weather and nature’s creatures, and taking long naps!

Sommers/Heizer in Florida

Sunday, May 27, 2018

1,690 driving miles later, I am at a condo in Fort Myers, Florida, for the next 3 months at the benevolence of a special, and long-time friend who is not residing at her condo for the summer.

First, I will rest and regroup from a stressful few final days as I moved out of my apartment in Sioux Falls, drove to Minnesota, became physically sick, and then drove for 3 days from Minnesota to Fort Myers!

Carolyn Sommers

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Carolyn Sommers was my name for 27 years, a name I “chose” out of the ethers, so to speak, and it always felt soft and gentle, free-flowing, engendering a vision of dancing through wild flowers in a sunny, open meadow.

Those years were expansive and creative for me – energy healing work, Soul Glyphs™ art, poetry and videos, traveling and living in new geographic areas, deep inner personal work, recording guided meditations, facilitating self-love workshops and classes, recording drumming/chanting CDs, etc.

In November 2013, after a disappointment connected with Soul Glyphs™ that stunned me to such a degree that I stopped my life in many ways, I legally changed my name back to my birth name of Heizer.  It was a knee-jerk reaction but there was no stopping me.

Now, today, I yearn for Sommers back in my life and have decided to take the name back as my creative persona, not as my legal name but rather “also known as” (a/k/a).  My art, poetry and any writing or other creative endeavors will be under the name Carolyn Sommers.  Hollywood does it all of the time!

Sommers was previously a name to which everyone adapted quite easily and readily … see how you like it.  Fits me, don’t you think?

As I Prepare to Travel …

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Today I took the 2′ x 4′ artwork known as “Where Have All The Children Gone?” to an artist friend for her, and others’, collaboration to make it into something new, something that engenders more hope for the future, more light.

As I delivered it and stood back to view it weeks after having it stored face-to-the-wall in my closet, it had lost all of its energy – a good thing, I think.  Now it felt lifeless and without meaning.  A perfect time for something new to emerge.

Previously, the “darkness” of its energy had not set well with me, which is why it was face-to-the-wall in my closet.  Darkness is not my nature, not how I want to live my life, not what I want to put into the world.

Hannah Wendt is in charge of the work now and will send me photos as it progresses, which I will share here and on FB.  She is planning to invite others to collaborate with mixed media – encaustic takes well to the addition of other media.

And about the travel – in about 10 days, I start a 3-month journey, most of which will be in Ft. Myers, FL, as I regroup, hone in on where I want to set up my art studio long-term, and experiment with new ways of creating encaustic and perhaps combining with Soul Glyphs™.

Where to Now?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

So much happening, so much changing … and I have turned my health recovery into a retreat for myself.

For at least 37 years, I have dreamed of a simple life, I call it, and I had that for a while when I lived in a casita in Sedona.  I loved that casita, even though it could have used some maintenance on the double French doors that led to a deck that could have also used some maintenance; but it was the simplicity of it.

The view from the deck was of a large area of red rocks, so beautiful, and often I could leave the doors open to the deck and bask in the feeling of being outside; and although I had a portable washing machine, I used drying racks set in the sun on the deck – about an hour and everything was dry and fresh.

I did build a kitchen island and the owner supplied a beautiful granite top for it, which had been just setting outside and was the exact size I needed.

In the cooler winter evenings, there was a stucco kiva in the corner of the living room, another of my favorites for simple living.

For 7 months, I had no car – by choice, and it was the best 7 months of my life.  I walked and walked – the casita was close to the town and shopping and I often visited shops just to chat with shop owners; and I saw/observed/felt things I had never observed while driving in a car.  And, I was outside most of the time, which nourished me like nothing else.

It was a very difficult decision to buy a car, and it changed my life back to one of living the “American way.”  It separated me from nature, from the earth and I even moved from the casita to a newer, modern 2 bedroom home with double garage and all the amenities.  The motivation here was that although I loved the casita, the beautiful grounds on which the casita was located were scared and littered with stuff – all sorts of building materials, things out of renovated buildings, old furniture, etc.  At first I tried to ignore it, but it eventually became a chaotic environment for me.

Yet, this new place was where I wrote tons of poetry and created videos with a good friend who hiked with me and recorded my spoken word poetry.  I would memorize 4 or 5 poems and then we would go out and find a spot in some of the red rocks where I could speak the poems and he would record everything for youtube.  Another beautiful time of my life.

We even went to a friend’s house and used her chicken coop as a backdrop for “Wisdom from the Chicken Coop,” a political poem inspired by People magazine’s “who looks best” comparisons of different women wearing the same outfit.  Here it is:

Well, glory be, my days are now taken up with tryin’ to decide
the difficult question of who looks best on this life ride …
Taylor Swift or Blake Lively as they step out
quietly and without a shout
wearin’ matchin’ floral print summer frocks,
well now, won’t that just knock off your socks!
I heard that frock thing on the web the other day
and they were talkin’ about it in just that way.
Some writer was askin’ the question of us
— who looks best? — and I wondered if she forgot to get off the bus!
So I said to … someone, do you believe what they’re sayin’?
And she said, well, People magazine was displayin’
a whole bunch a sets of women dressed the same
and they were askin’ us to vote on which dame
looked the best, and you know, I didn’t even agree
with who the best was they chose to be.
Oh, some days I think I maybe should’a stayed
down here on the farm and just sat around in the shade!
But, you know, this votin’ thing seems to be real popular and all
and I was thinkin’ that maybe we could give a call
to a Democrat and a Republican and we could dress ’em in the same clothes
and put ‘em in People magazine, don’t you suppose,
and then we could all vote on which one looks the best
and the winner would lead the country at their own behest.
It would save a lot a time and money
and be real convenient, don’t you think so honey?
2012 © Carolyn Sommers (n/k/a Carolyn Heizer)

So that brings us to today, March 13, 2018, and that simple casita with my clothes drying in the sun; and oh, how I do yearn to live in that simple way again!  This time I would add a little raised bed for a garden of vegetables.  To walk, walk, walk and be close to the earth – an excerpt from my most favorite of all the poems I have ever written says it best:

…a poignant feeling came over me with the thought
that one day I actually would not
be here on this earth to breathe in this scene
nor to cast my eyes over the scented wild flowers so serene.
I would no longer hike trails of red dust and stone
or gaze in the distance at the mountains standing alone
or travel the hills and valleys between
or have my heart quicken at an incredibly beautiful nature scene.
I would no longer have conversations with animals, plants or trees
or listen to the song of a passing breeze.
And that feel of the warm sun on my skin —
would I ever feel it again?
Who would give me the messages that now come on the wind blowing
or are written in the sky and are all knowing?…
2011 © Carolyn Sommers (n/k/a Carolyn Heizer)

Not everyone understands this connection to the earth and nature that I feel, not everyone has ever even thought about it or taken the time to drink in the wonder of it all.  But for me, this is deeply seeded in my very Soul.

Last night I pulled a card from the Sacred Path Cards by Jamie Sams, and it was “Talking Stick.”  As I read the meaning, it was like coming home after years of journeying afar, and it reawakened all the spiritual gifts I have set aside these last few years and my yearning for a life lived closer to the earth and nature.

What a blessing this “not yet totally healthy” experience/retreat has become as a new chapter begins to unfold.

Health

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Not surprising, I don’t feel totally healthy today.  It started Thursday night and I left the exhibit last night after only about an hour because I was exhausted.  The events of this week didn’t go totally unnoticed by me with regard to stress in my body, but my mind kept running, which is probably worse than just “doing, doing, doing.”  So now I rest and regroup.  This post may be the only thing I do today.

Part of what I know, and have known for quite a while, is that encaustic is both art that can be viewed at a distance, but more importantly, an “up close and personal” experience by anyone viewing it.  Sometimes I “forget” that I know things!  Part of the beauty and uniqueness of encaustic is that it is translucent, and often has texture and images that are sometimes rather hidden.  In the current exhibit, my art hangs rather high on the wall.  It’s all a learning experience ….

Argus Leader New Article – Activist

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 and Thursday, March 1, 2018

Argus Leader, 3/1/18

Below is the interview from Tuesday by Alexa Giebink, Argus Leader:

Carolyn Heizer has never carried a protest sign or marched for a political cause. 

But in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting in Florida, the 76-year-old Sioux Falls grandmother has found her voice and refused to stay silent.

“When this latest thing happened with all of those children in Florida, I just couldn’t do it anymore,” said the local artist. “I couldn’t keep quiet anymore. I couldn’t be invisible.” 

Heizer’s newest encaustic painting is meant to make people think. The work is titled “Where Have All the Children Gone?” and currently hangs in her living room.

“How many children have been massacred in schools? How many children have been lost to predators, to being taken and put into prostitution, and the number of children that are murdered by family?” said Heizer, showing emotion during an interview this week.

“We are not in good shape here,” continued the artist. “With that title, it was meant for people to stop and think, ‘What are we doing?’”

Heizer began expressing herself creatively several decades ago through drawing, and in the last few years taught herself how to paint. Her medium, encaustic painting, uses hot wax on wood or canvas.

This month, some of her work will be on display at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo. Typically, Heizer paints mild themes, such as landscapes.  

At the top of “Where Have All the Children Gone?” is a dark swirl of gray, meant to represent gun smoke. Beneath is a vivid span of red. 

“The red to me is actually violence and blood. It is the bloodshed of the children who have been killed,” said Heizer, who has her own history of abuse. 

Although her work is provocative, Heizer hopes it can offer healing. To her, art has the potential to change the world for the better. 

“I’m wanting the piece to motivate others to be active in whatever way, whether it’s writing to congressmen or some other peaceful thing they can do,” said Heizer.

Heizer considered naming the piece “Thoughts and Prayers Don’t Cut It,” based on shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez’s fiery speech to lawmakers following the tragedy.

“I feel that we have let these children down,” said Heizer. “The kids are taking it into their own hands. They’re saying, ‘Enough. I can’t take it anymore.'”

Recent events have marked a painful, yet hopeful, turning point for Heizer. She is no longer letting fear keep her from acting in pursuit of a better world. Her tool in the fight? A paint brush. 

“When we talk, the words just dissipate and half the time people don’t listen anyways,” said Heizer. “It’s easy to shut out words. It’s not as easy to shut out an image.”

Addition to the Artwork

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Awake since 3 a.m. today, I felt urged to install the title of the artwork above it.  I had felt something was missing and now it is complete; but I wasn’t prepared for the impact of the words combined with the art.

Where Have All The Children Gone? w/title

I was interviewed this morning regarding the art by the Argus Leader for possibly Thursday publication.  I have started on a path I never expected to take and with no idea where it will lead.

Where Have All The Children Gone?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

I have worked and reworked my large art piece, the one that measures 2′ x 4′ … never being totally satisfied with it … applying layers, scraping off layers, applying more layers, trying a new direction … and then yet another school massacre and the art, which had been heading in the direction of one big wildfire, began to take on a social context for me.  I have never been an activist, never marched in protests, never carried signs, but to see how little value children’s lives have for many in government has stirred something in me.  What I can do is make art — it seems to me that it is more difficult to ignore a large piece of art making a statement in its powerful and verbally silent way than it is to ignore words, spoken and then gone.  You decide.

Where Have All The Children Gone?

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Images are for viewing purposes only and are not public domain. They are protected under the artist’s publishing and licensing copyright and may not be copied, saved, altered, presented or exchanged in any public or private fashion without written permission from the artist.

An Artist’s Change of Mind/Direction

Saturday. February 10, 2018

Ah, yes, that is the privilege of being an artist – I get to change my mind, change my direction, do whatever I want to do in any given moment.  Did you ever think of art in that way?

I can brush on pigmented wax, pour it directly on the board, pour it on parchment paper (because I can peel it off when it has dried/cooled) and then attach it to the board – this is a slightly more flexibility method, as pouring it directly on the board is, “I get whatever I get” from that pour!  Swipe it on with my iron … and on and on.

Oh, yes, about my change of mind/direction – that “knotty” area that I was trying to incorporate – when I didn’t really want to incorporate it! – is now gone, covered over.  More layers have been applied and now there is just an overall design.

I so want to pour, just randomly, and see what comes … need to decide on a color/s.  For now, I am taking a break and pausing…

Rework of Artwork

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sometimes work doesn’t turn out the way I want it – for example, the now scraped board you see above; and the little flower is how the scrapings come off the tool I use for the scraping.

These little flowers gave me an idea, especially since I have dozens of them after scraping many layers of wax off this board!  I am going to incorporate the scrapings into the artwork.  Exactly how … wait and see!

Changes After Hawk Visit

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The visit by the hawk peaked my awareness and I started to see some things from a different perspective.  I changed out some artwork in a couple of places where: 1) the feng shui of my apartment has a good-sized enhancement in the wealth/prosperity area but my experience this past 1-1/2 years has been anything but that.  So I opened up an area above my sofa by removing the artwork; 2) I had been awakening each morning with really dark feelings that would leave upon invoking Divine Love, but I decided to remove everything on the wall directly above the head of my bed and open up that area.

It may take a bit for things to change, but just by physically moving some things in the apartment, the energy will change – and I’m planning on a dramatic shift.

I am paying even more attention to how I feel about anything and everything and am honoring whatever feeling I have, whether it was “rational” or not.  It isn’t that I haven’t been doing that, but I was allowing some things to slip by and now I am not doing that.

Hawk Visit

Sunday, January 14, 2018

I was met with the sight of this great Hawk sitting on the railing of my deck when I opened the shades this morning.  I thanked it for visiting me – I have a special affinity for all nature’s creatures and love talking to them.  Although English may not be their language, I think they understand the tone, the vibration, and my intent.  I am processing what message it was bringing me.

Hawk