Tag Archives: unknown

The Big Empty


Antti, readying the camera.

Today I have spent all day, filming a video about the making of core art. It has been the perfect thing to do in the midst of an incubation period.

The art show is closed now, unsold paintings are back at the studio and the future lies ahead, unknown. I think this was the show I loved most, of all of those I’ve had.

I used to think an art show is about exhibiting what I’ve painted and that has never felt natural, comfortable or even worthwhile for me. So this time, I wanted to do something differently. I wanted to connect, I wanted to share.

“out that expending emotional labor, working without a map, and driving in the dark involve confronting fear and living with the pain of vulnerability. The artist comes to a détente with these emotions and, instead of fighting with them, dances with them. The linchpin connects as a result of the indispensable nature of her contribution. The artist, on the other hand, connects because that’s what art is. The artist touches part of what it means to be truly human and does that work again and again.”
Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

I started by asking my crowd what they wanted to see at the show, how they would like to participate in an art exhibit and I also asked the culture center what they would like to see. This made all the difference.


Forty people left their dreams on little colored paper notes in the dream incubator I had in the show. I felt honored, when I glued them onto my canvas in my studio. The power of those dreams, of people creating their everyday lives was palpable.

The first batch of dream notes, set out on the canvas.

Countless people left messages, sent pictures of themselves, sent notes about how what they had created after the show. Clients who bought paintings shared their important memories or reasons for buying a particular painting.

A little further along, all the dream notes are attached.
A little further along, all the dream notes are attached now.

Suddenly the time spent connecting felt real and the art I had created became part of the bigger context of people dreaming their reality everywhere. This is what I want to do next time as well, more connecting, more sharing, more of all of us being humans together.

“It’s what we wrestle with every single day. The intersection of comfort, danger, and safety. The balancing act between vulnerability and shame. The opportunity (or the risk) to do art. The willingness to take responsibility for caring enough to make a difference and to have a point of view.”
Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

So now I’m here, in the Big Empty that comes after a big project ends. I’m ghessoing huge canvases, cleaning my tools, tidying my studio, going to Scotland for a workshop, making a film about core art, writing more again, watching movies and generally floating around in empty space, letting the New come in.

The finished DreamMaker painting, the painting of which we filmed today with Kirsi-Teresa (in the picture on the left), Antti and myself.

“Your job isn’t to do your job. Your job is to decide what to do next.”
Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

The longer I do this, run my company, make my art, dive deeper into core art both myself and with my art students, the more I’m convinced that we can’t jump from here [my everyday life, my freedoms and restrictions], all the way there [to my ideals, fabulous success, great technical prowess]. We need to follow the impulse, take the next tiny step, create the minuscule potential that is available to us now. That is when the adventure opens up. All [wry grin] we need to do, is to learn to live with the Unknown.


Sending you courage, the strength of wry humor and general wackyness where ever you are in your every day dreamer’s life today. <3

Red Thread, Superlon and Making It, Piece by Piece


… but you can definitely become more and more immersed in the now moment.

Starting with a big vision, then working toward it in small steps, impulse by impulse

For some reason, filling in the contours of this giraffe today, I was reminded by my final presentation in art school. My “thesis” [hah!] was a big sculpture of a tiger. It was made of pieces of superlon, torn from mattresses we got to play with as children, or use for pyjama parties when we were a bit older. The pieces were sown together with red thread and I worked on the sculpture all year.


Although I had a vision, the artwork itself grew, piece by piece.

Having your work seen by collegues and mentors

At the presentation, one of the teachers looked me straight in the eye, one artist to another and said:

“Ah well, I can’t imagine anyone but an artist getting up in the morning and saying – Today I think I’m going to make a giant tiger out of superlon. Welcome to the art world, colleague.”

Which part of your vision can you work on today, piece by piece?


Meet My Friend, Rational Mind

Rational mind goes Aruba, in the thought book 2014, by Marie D. Tiger.
Rational mind goes Aruba, in the thought book 2014, by Marie D. Tiger.


There is someone I’ve been wanting to introduce to you, for some time already. This is my friend, Rational Mind. He’s conscientious, hard working, polite, well-rounded, a worry-wart and highly perfectionistic. He works closely with my imagination and through the years, they’ve learned to respect each other. There’s one thing, though. He does. not. like. transitions, insecurity and change.

He tries his best, bless him. But at times, when surrounding structures crumble and the Unknown rushes into all the empty space that is left, Rational Mind goes “POP”. When he doesn’t understand a new direction I’m taking, he tries to translate what is happening through things that have happened in the past. So, sometimes, my imagination and I send him to Aruba, just to rest for a while. This is one of those weeks.

This week is all about art. No meetings, no budgets, no worries. The world of art and imagination have room for any human expression, experience and feeling. There is a surrender and trust that exists in lines drawn on paper, an arm expressing a turn of rhythm, words giving form to a moment of grace, clay expressing a mystery, or whatever it may be. No words are needed. No analysis needs to be conducted. There is just experience, sensing, living.

Rational Mind needs not be the only one responsible for things like money, housing, food, paying bills. But the processes are different. When Imagination gets to lead, we start in the wilderness, knowing nothing, feeling everything. The practical solutions are born out of this.

Rest well, Rational Mind. See you next week.

What does your Rational Mind need today, to feel safe?


Dealing with Adversity when You Feel A LOT


I love naps, in the thought book, by Marie D. Tiger 2013.
I love naps, in the thought book, by Marie D. Tiger 2013.


It’s been a bit quiet for a while here on the blog. I have been dealing with some suprising and sudden changes. So I thought this blog post could be about dealing creatively with adversity.

What helps?

– Allow yourself to feel everything, uncensored, no matter how conflicting, crummy, hateful, wallowy, self-pitying or bitter the thoughts may seem to your rational mind. Let the feelings move. You do this by simply observing and feeling. When you feel tempted to judge yourself, go back to sensing what your ear feels, what you see around you in the room, how the soles of your feet move on the floor or in your shoes.

– When your thoughts are racing over hurful comments or rehashing what has happened over and over in a hamsterwheely fashion, choose a word that’s neutral to you and doesn’t awaken any strong feelings (oatfield, cucumber, rice or truck work for me) and repeat it to yourself, fast, over and over again. This reboots the thinking process for a while. You may need to do this a few times to change tracks.

– Allow many versions of reality to be true at the same time. The adversity you are facing may be a closing door and an opening window to a new opportunity, at the same time as it pisses you off.

– Take lots of naps, use all of your relaxation techniques and tools, read uplifting books that you can connect with, listen to angry music, break a few dishes in the sink, watch movies where people go through big challenges and come out on the other side.

– Move your body. It doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, running, dancing, walks or horseriding. Your body wants to help you get through this.

– If the adversity you’re facing pushes your money buttons, try two things: Write a to do list about everything you need to do financially, the bills you need to pay, the people you need to contact, everything. Then take a time out. When panic hits, look at the to do list and reassure yourself that you are taking the situation seriously and responsibly. Then, with a conscious choice, move your awareness to your now moment and your basic needs. Are you bodily safe? Is your belly full? Do you need to sleep? Take care of your immediate needs and reassure yourself that this moment, you are in a safe space.

– Ask for support. Dare be vulnerable. Say no to obligations first and then share as much as you want about what has happened and how you feel about your situation in this moment. People will support you more than you can ever believe.

– To the people closest to you, describe what you are doing to cope. Sometimes we look perfectly competent on the outside, although every moment is a struggle. When you tell your loved one what you are doing to remain active solving problems and not crashing, it is easier for them to support you in loving yourself, because the inner work you’re doing becomes visible to them.

– Remember that your point of power is in the present. No matter what has happened, right now you can choose to be your own friend. You can appreciate yourself, take care of yourself and let yourself feel whatever it is that is happening in you.

– Last but not least, remember that you can always draw, paint, write, mold, sing, dance, vocalize or in other ways express what is happening inside of you. The mere act of getting it outside of yourself can give you clarity.


The Terrifying Unknown. thought book 2013, by MDT.
The Terrifying Unknown. thought book 2013, by MDT.


Do any of these tips resonate? Is there anyone you know, who is facing difficulties who could find this blog post useful?


The Horrific Unknown

The Terrifying Unknown. thought book 2013, by MDT.
The Terrifying Unknown. thought book 2013, by MDT.

The best antidote against the paralyzing fear of the unknown is creative action in the present. Whatever the emotion, it cannot resist the movement of painting, baking, motorcycle maintenance or dancing yourself to exhaustion.

Forget Security, Seek Clarity

Forget Security, Seek Clarity (private collection)

Water Color, 2010, size 80x54cm. All security outside of myself is at best flighty, at worst an illusion. But inside of me, I can reach clarity over and over again with my favorite spiritual tools. And when I feel clear, I can always see the next step.


Yippikayay, I don’t know anything today….

So Welcome The Unknown
Welcome the Present
Welcome the Leap
Welcome Falling Free
Yiiiippppeeeeeeeeee not knowing anything again
on the menu, today. Or any other day.

Today I trust myself
Today I have faith
Today I rub the soles of my feet on the floor
Feel the fire in my belly
Listen to the moment

Tomorrow takes care of itself
Time moves as it wants to
Something will happen
Things will work out
Whether I want them to or not

All is well
I am who I am
All is well.
Right now.

A Moment in Life


Here again
Welcome shadowlands, non-verbal, diffuse, intangible
Yeah, I know the rewards are great
But man oh man is this the longest
incubation phase Ev-er?!
So niiiice to be in transition. Again.

And oh yeah. I do know I chose this path
insisted, in fact.
But can I just groan a little?
At not knowing, just waiting, musing, for the miracle
of birth.
Like all births, messy, bloody and gory.
But inside. Always inside.

A memory; at thirteen, telling my Dad about
being a mystic, not using that word,
just trying to describe this sense of urgency
As everything else, it was met by incomprehension
because I wasn’t talking about going to Hanken.
This time I was probably lucky, though.
Some other Dad, might have freaked out
just a bit,
hearing his thirteen year old princess
saying she had chosen this family as a soul &
decided to be born
to understand the Fabric of Reality.

So God Bless that absent minded loving
Father of mine
and his benevolent refusal to pay
For my longing to move to New Mexico
to live in a spiritual community,
or join Up With People & travel the world dancing and singing,
or for the motorcycle I wanted.
His determined resistance to my Dreams,
has helped me create precise discernment
for What Matters Most.

Thus, this Mystic has a brilliant, loving
free free free man at home,
two crystal passionate children with him,
Lots of laundry, dirty dishes, dust
and other signs of life
To keep me grounded grounded grounded
in yet another Shift
in the Fabric of Reality.

And I am strong enough.
to stand in this intensity
open up wide to the unknown
let it rush through me, breathe
Heavy metal in my ears, matching the intensity
of this internal rush.

Liminal branches

tree2Black branches
create an intricate pattern
against a periwinkle sky
mother tree.
she isn’t afraid
when I get lost
she believes as much in getting lost
as she believes in being found again
her small trunk carries all of these branches
soon budding leaves
will be all around
just the fact that she isn’t afraid for me
helps me trail about
among my impulses
but not unhappily
while I am waiting to find my marbles

yet again.