Tag Archives: darlene

Making A Positive Difference

As a spiritual being, I have always wanted to make a positive difference in the world, as an artist. For my art to speak meaningfully to those that behold it would be a pretty good legacy.

I started out my career doing fantasy art, design, and calligraphy for RPG (Role-Playing Games) in the 1980s. Thirty-five years later, when I started attending RPG conventions, I was shocked to learn how many people have been deeply touched by my work. At first, I thought it was nostalgia, my art symbolic of a time remembered fondly. But I’ve come to accept and embrace the fact that my art also speaks to some people in a deeper, heartfelt way.

Encouraged by the positive reactions I’ve received at gaming conventions, I decided to “give back” to fans within the RPG community by creating something for their progeny—coloring books! My first coloring book provides positive, empowered images of fantasy maidens for my fans’ daughters and sons.

Then, in 2017, at a Feminine Wisdom Intensive, I discovered that women on the empowerment path were equally attracted to my fantasy art coloring books. My next coloring book became broader in scope to appeal to “girls of all ages.”  I included a Mindfulness Coloring Meditation where it’s possible to awaken the archetypes within you by focusing on the chosen image and claiming its power through the act of coloring it. Each successive year, I’ve done more and more to make the coloring experience a transformative one.

The next advancement of the coloring book concept is its appearance in “Dancing The Enneagram” PlayBook by Kate Finlayson and myself, recently published in June. Kate’s innovative idea was to apply different movement modalities to each of the nine enneagram types.

In addition to applying the power of dance to the template of the Enneagram, I was inspired to make the illustrations into coloring book pages. I also included written information about colors and their meanings and created a meditation for “Conscious Coloring.”

“Dancing The Enneagram” is a useful tool for people already familiar with The Enneagram to use for focusing. It’s a visual meditation. To be the best you, as long as you know the direction you need to move, you can color in the appropriate aspects of the images.

Now, I’m still receiving inspirational thoughts about more specific ways the physical act of coloring can heal. And I’m in the process of exploring those possibilities.

I’m hoping that what I’m inspired to create will make a real difference in the lives of people.

I’m thinking of calling it: Color Me Healed!

Dancing The Enneagram

I’m very excited to announce our PlayBook,* Dancing the Enneagram, by Kate Finlayson and yours truly is now being printed for a June 1st launch.

Last August (2018), I was at my friend, Kate Finlayson’s “Dancing The Enneagram’s” PlayShop in Charlotte. The experience with Kate’s effervescent energy was inspiring. I was so stunned and impressed with its power, on my drive back home, a vision to have her material developed in written form appeared to me.

That night, I furiously wrote. Within a short time, I created an outline for her book. I telephoned Kate and relayed to her my excitement. She asked me to present her with a sample chapter, which I did in short order. It seemed to me the book REALLY wanted to be birthed. And here it is: nine months later our baby is born.

The premise for “Dancing the Enneagram” is unique and ground-breaking. Kate, who is Nia-trained and certified, moves through each of the nine personality types. Her idea is to add a somatic component to an intellectual process, grounding one’s knowing into embodiment. Kate’s work is powerful and integrative.

Originally, I intended to present only Kate’s material, but an idea popped into my head to include the component of “coloring” into the mix because each of the nine personality types is also associated with a color. I’ve been working for a couple of years creating coloring books with positive images of maidens in their power to inspire “girls of all ages.” It seemed only natural to include what I know about coloring as a further means of integration, especially for those who have not experienced Kate’s energy in person.

I’m at my first “Dancing The Enneagram” PlayShop, August 2018.

Thus, in “Dancing The Enneagram,” I present the symbology of color, explain the difference between Light (RGB) and Pigment-based (CYMK) color models, and also offer a “Conscious Coloring” technique.

So the nine full-page illustrations I created for our PlayBook can be colored in or enjoyed as is. I’m also really happy to use one of my own font designs in the PlayBook. The design of the book exemplifies Beauty as is one of my best efforts.  It’s epic!

Dancing The Enneagram

*PlayBook and Playshop are Kate’s preferred terms over Workbook and Workshop. Learning shouldn’t be work.

Changing Relationship to Money

What I learned recently is that, in order to succeed, I needed to totally change the way I relate to money as an artist.
I bought into the “poor artist” concept, where money is tainted and to accumulate money and wealth is to become tainted yourself. Poor artists indulging this paradigm judge people who are wealthy harshly — as being morally corrupt, greedy, egoistic, self-indulgent ass-holes. Many of them are, it’s true, but not all of them. There are also poor people with those traits.
Psychologically, we would “tell ourselves” we want success, but at the same time, would always sabotage our chances of success if deep down, we thought it would corrupt us, or automatically lead us down a perilous moral path.
I came upon this idea a while back when I realized, I looked down on wealthy people. I have since reframed things. There is nothing wrong with accumulating green survival tickets, especially if having these would enhance my art (as time would no longer be divided between art and finding a means to pay the bills).
I don’t think I had a devils chance of succeeding when I harbored virtuous (untainted) prejudice. It’s like I had to give myself permission to succeed. And I did. To prove it, I can believe the following statements:
There is nothing wrong with having wealth. As one of the wealthy, I will have the means to address wrongs. Time will open up because the tasks I was not good at and so did myself because I didn’t have the means–like accounting and taxes–would be delegated to those with expertise in those areas.
Then, I could better focus on things that I love and are important to me. It is thus, I give myself permission to not only succeed, but to lavishly exceed all expectations.

Jasmine Snippet #104

The Story of Jasmine snippets continue:

“Yes, it is I,” the reeds rustled a wispy reply, “my spirit waited an age for you to be born. Find my staff in the Ruins and use it with the knowledge I will teach you. This land has so little time—you must learn quickly…”

The wind died and with it, the voice of Enel Rad. The magic had gone.

Jasmine only heard the crackling of dried leaves. Making her way to the Ruins, she no0ticed a stone which had been recently moved. Beyond that stone, in a small alcove lay the powerful staff of the Wizard Enel Rad. As she grasped the magical wand, she felt the strength of an age rush through her. In that moment, she was baptized Jasmine, The White Flower of Deliverance.

And then too, she knew what she must do.

© 2018 DARLENE

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Ten Dragons

Hello Fans!

I’m very happy my Ten Dragons t-shirt design is very popular, at least with the parents. A hardy THANK YOU to all my Texas fans who bought a t-shirt!

I’m really happy it has turned out so well. I remember working out the details as being very tedious and laborius, but the result is well worth it.

This year, at my NTRPGConX Convention booth, I’m planning to sell some color reproductions of this design, just in case anyone attending wants a signed copy.

See you there in a couple of weeks.

D

Design to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of North Texas RPG Con X

Jasmine Snippet #26

The typed “Story of Jasmine” notes continue:

Ermengarde felt a powerful sensation in her belly. The energy shift warned her they were nearing their destination: the dark prince and his magic. Ermengarde started her maneuver by slouching on her horse and wailing loudly. She called to the princess who had rode ahead, “Oh m’ lady, please have pity on an old woman whose bones is aching. Please slow down, miss. I cannot keep up with you…”

Her pleas managed to slow Arlet a pace. As they proceeded, Ermengarde noticed some men watching them from the shadows and branches of the surrounding trees. “Please m’ lady,” she cried, knowing their destination was almost upon them, “can’t we stop now?”

Just then, several men appeared from the shadows and some dropped from the treetops. They were quick in subduing the startled horses. “Oh, oh,” Ermengarde called pitifully, “what’s this?” he men laughed as they lead the horses off the main road onto a small path. They had only travelled a short ways before Ermengarde saw the telltale signs of a military encampment.

When they stopped, Arlet was helped from her horse. Ermengarde was still on her mount when the dark prince approached. He was dressed handsomely in black. When she saw his features, Ermengarde gasped. She knew this man instantly. The years had not changed the glisten in Bardulf’s black eyes and time only enhanced his cruel smile. It was a mistake to have completely dismissed him from her mind.

She slowly dismounted, hoping to be inconspicuous. But all eyes were on Arlet, who walked slowly, but purposefully, towards the prince. Bardulf’s lips curled in a horrid, arrogant smile. When he opened his arms, Ermengarde shuddered. His black cloak reminded her of a bat extending its wings.

Still in a daze, Arlet walked into his outstretched arms and was swallowed by the blackness of his cloak closing tightly around her. Ermengarde counted the moments. She could act if the spell was broken by the embrace. But she knew her hope was foolish when Bardulf drew Arlet into a deep, sustained kiss.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Story – Snippet 2

Thirty-year old photo of my driveway in the fog at night when I lived on Curtis Street in Lake Geneva.

A silhouette of trees were visible against the night sky. I watched their actively swaying branches from my bedroom window. The house would sigh and creak and the windows rattled unceasingly.

Tonight the spirits were active. I felt energized and ion-charged. I was swept in my imagination to a grassy knoll, feeling the wind untie my hair. Anticipation, mixed with a strange sense of foreboding, excited me and sharpened my senses.

______________

I don’t know precisely if this belongs in the The Story of Jasmine narrative, but it was among the notes I found. I include it because it sets a tone of where I was in my head space at the time …  imaginative, moody and poetic. As a 20-something wisp of a thing, I was open to the unseen, the strange, and the mystical. In this regard, not much has changed.  😉

Photo available here.

Jasmine Story – Snippet 1

As Promised,

I share the first of many notes scribbled over 30 years ago for the Story of Jasmine.

The Guardian of Wisdom first appeared in 1980. I just made this fellow into a Greeting Card!

What kind of tale would a curmudgeon who sits upon a mushroom1 tell? My story will only be deeply significant to those educated, 20th-century minds sophisticated enough to interpret symbols. But for those who cannot, I have employed the scholarly device of using footnotes.2

1 As a story-teller, I can take any form. Most will see me as an Ancient Chronicler who somehow knows everything. Perhaps I’d have a string of impressive scholarly abbreviations trailing behind my name — if I had a name…

2 Wonderful invention

——————–

NOTE: I made The Guardian of Wisdom into a Greeting Card. He plans to grant three wishes to the receiver of the card. Hey, it’s only $4!  The card is now available at my Zazzle Store.

© 2018 DARLENE

The Story Of JASMINE

A Study in Creative Mythological Dreamscapes

by DARLENE ©1995/2018

Original Story of Jasmine title from 1981

I was within a creative whirlwind in the early years of TSR, Inc. (the company of Gary Gygax, one of the creators of the fantasy role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons). At the time, I was a young freelance artist living in Lake Geneva, occasionally working on assignments for TSR’s divisions. I was considered a “lesser” artist. But what I possessed the others didn’t was my unique feminine viewpoint.

I well remember the year 1980, because that was the year “The Story of Jasmine” Illustrated Fantasy Adventure was first published in The Dragon magazine. The “Story of Jasmine” would only run for a year. Even though my contract had not been renewed, Jasmine had been born and she refused to leave my mind.

The creative focus on the “Story of Jasmine” as it unfolded took years to unwind itself, resulting in scraps of dialog on hundreds of sheets of paper, numerous paintings and drawings, and a fantasy-role-playing card game. Jasmine was a constant companion who told her story to me for over a four-year period. When I moved out of Lake Geneva and refocused my attention as a MFA candidate in Graphics Design at Indiana University, that connection had gone deep underground.

*    *    *    *   *

I wrote the above in a notebook I just found, dated 1995. At that time, I must have started the process of collecting the isolated bits of Jasmine writing I could never bear to throw out. Now, 23 years later, again I think about the story Jasmine told me — the story that manifested in my mind every night for around 1500 days, somewhere in the vicinity of 38 years ago. For whatever reason there may be, Jasmine came to me. For whatever purpose it may have, I now choose to share her story and that of her companions.

All those years ago, the story unfolded in my mind like a dream. The story was not linear. The narrative began somewhere in the middle. Characters I had no clue about would speak dialog. I did not know who they were or how they connected with each other. After about a year, I began to write things down and put them in order. This resulted in “The Story of Jasmine” mentioned above, published between 1980 and 1981. The copyright is still mine.

Likewise, the writings offered here are not in any particular order. Yet I start with the snippets collected in that 1995 notebook, which was somewhat organized. It is my intent to offer different snippets daily so you can experience the story like I did. Enjoy!

Note: All illustrations and images accompanying this narrative belong to me. Most were created many years ago and have been repurposed for this share.

Of course all writing and art is ©2018 DARLENE.

Blue Dragon

I thought I would share the results of a commission I finished in July,2017 for Fireside Creations. I met them at last year’s Gary Con. Here is Eddie Jonas / Stephen Lee’s description for the Blue Dragon Cover artwork:

“The background is a pale blue sky with white clouds.  There is a turning young male blue dragon that is using his lightning breath weapon upon a typical D&D party who are looking out from a floating oval portal that is suspended in the sky.

How we got there:

The room the party is in is a bedroom.  They had just walked in, surprising the mage, who leapt through his stand-up oval mirror portal, changing to his true form, who has quickly turned and is attacking.”

I put a tremendous amount of loving detail into the scales and am proud of the result. I hope the art worked out for them well. Thanks, boys, for the opportunity to serve…