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visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

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CRAFT: I'm a Crafter!
The Small Is Beautiful Manifesto

Healing the Creative Heart 

self m.diaz

You all know the term,'spooning', allowing and encouraging your body to curve, mold and encase another's so that they become warm nooks & crannies for each of your limbs. Your forehead fitted into the nape, the smell of the pheromones that intoxicate you. The other's heartbeat lulling you and your responding lips to sleep. Becoming familiar extensions of each other. Having lived together side by side, job-free, breathing the same summer air 24 hours a day for 76 days spooning...well the untethering is brutal. It is reminiscent of a phantom limb that you insist is there, when it is not.

With many of our creative, over-active imaginations who knows how long or if it was ever there to begin with.

You know that bubble gum effect of our hearts and noisy minds; webbed, stretched, fibrous, gummy, sticky residue of emotions pulling off. Especially when you were fooled into believing you were both working to understand this phenomenal bond... Every image, every selfie, every memory has you both smiling cheek to cheek. Pulling off the gum of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine is by far one of the hardest habit reversals we ever face. Especially the inside voice and thoughts that person was a receptor for, when you have no other confidante.

When you love big and hard you are like, Atlas holding that love, that world, that dream, high up over your head, so high, so high, so high that when your arms can't bear the weight any longer and you bring them down you are shocked to see - your love never came down with you.

Now in Puerto Rico, and probably quite a few other places in the world, we have a saying that you can remove a nail with another nail. Some of us disconnect from lovers in our lives by giving that love away to someone new. In fact some say you can't give romantic love to the new without taking it away from the old. Just look at the premise of the new film, My Old Lady with Maggie Smith and Kevin Kline. Some of us disconnect by substituting one human vessel with another. And if you are alone in struggling with the habit reversal and your partner is not, the chances are that your partner has moved on by doing just that. Especially if they have verbalized the desire to be with others to you often or have even admitted as much.

These toxic heart things would be difficult for anyone no matter how tempered and resilient. Now fast-forward to the world becoming too big, too alienated, too spiritual-less, too screen-addicted, too lonely. Fear, fear of world crisis, fear of being female, fear of being alone, growing old, fear of living. Anxiety cases growing astronomically globally and more of us experiencing panic attacks than ever before. What do you do?

As creatives this is especially difficult. No need for an art history lesson and the revelations between creativity, love and madness.

You'll hear so many suggestions. 'Love yourself', 'Find yourself' as though feeling like you won't survive this love means you don't love yourself. Of course you love yourself, if you didn't how else could you have come to love truer with as much forgiveness, dedication, loyalty, ferocity, and faith-driven persistence not letting go too easy. Those who love themselves are the one's working to hold it together, forgiving lies- once, twice, being made a fool and holding love up over their heads.

Don't misunderstand me, there are definitely many of us who do not love themselves. In fact, I would venture to say they are often the one's 'at war with love' stringing us along, vacillating, not sure of what they want, using you here, not wanting you there, being inconsiderate of you and what you do, breaking hearts like irresponsible bulls in china shops. They are the ones who need to be told to go find themselves, love themselves, and learn to be whole and present before trying to make a life with someone.

So what do you do? You'll close up, clam up, sleep, cry, cry while you sleep, walk lots of walks, cry while you walk, and lock yourself up. When it feels like weeks have gone by and you are still in a state of raw pain you'll hear the words 'meds' and imagine the hospital gown and the cold flush of a tranquilizer shot soothing you into slumber. And for some this may be the way, especially when anti-depressant prescriptions are so readily dispersed. But for me the question was how to heal without intervention.

That has become my determination.

sketchbook page soul-gutted by m.diaz

And I would like to share this journey with other creatives hurting - so no one has to feel as alone and misunderstood as I have, even while you know the one true thing you loved has left you, staged your reality, and is giving all the beauty you bestowed upon their brow away to another.

First I would like to start with sharing tactics that have been helping me in my next few blog posts, things like how to write, draw, paint when you have no drive. How to use routines and healthy habits to create and maintain habit reversal. That doesn't mean I'm no longer waking up at 3, 4 or 5 am with heart racing realizing in hyper-speed that my life as I knew it and my dreams have been radically altered. I am still in mourning of the living- but the process has picked up momentum, and I have slowly reclaimed my mind and find myself laughing more than crying, or have less and less moments in which I am pestered and plagued by fixated thoughts & replays of betrayals.

And as you look at the sketchbook page above, I'd like to offer a different way of seeing it- as opposed to soul-gutted.

You see being able to truly LOVE couldn't possibly be pain free. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Buddhism, 5th century brain science, has the Buddha enduring suffering and it was that very poison turned to medicine the brought him to enlightenment. Now I KNOW THAT IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE and the how as I learn it is what I want to share.

As a young Buddhist recently articulated, it weren't for cellular muscles ripping/tearing when you work out we wouldn't grow stronger- the 'tear' of a muscle the two major ways are that contractile proteins (actin & myosin) are damaged which is ESSENTIAL part of synthesis for making the muscle mass grow. And for those of us creatives especially the sculptors, you know the often powerful result of putting a material through stress like hammering heated metal into form to forge a beautiful sword. Perhaps my sketch is recognizing the essential pain of being CAPABLE of loving empathically and truly.

So for too long I have been seeing myself as the rumi quote -

'The friend comes into my body Looking for the center, unable to find it, Draws a blade and strikes anywhere'
This is me perceiving myself as wounded and scarred by someone I trusted. Though that may actually be - it has also given way to scarification that has made me tougher, clearer, stronger, and in awe of what I am capable of resurrecting from. Many who misunderstand Buddhism believe that it encourages no earthly attachments. It's not the case we will have desire and we will have attachments - it is the ability to affect the mind so as not to be GUTTED by the suffering of those attachments that leads to enlightenment and the suffering is essential to obtaining the transcendence.

Instead I want to share this quote:

Quote from The Heart of the Lotus Sutra by Daisaku Ikeda

Starting Over. Again. Dog fight

So it has been a year since I turned to the companionship of my blog. I have now joined the ranks of all of us who have learned about mourning a living person and the pain of traveling somewhere alongside someone that you shared so much with, just to have to walk back alone... the infamous break up...It has been a brutally painful road back, learning that intimacy and your authenticity does not guarantee someone else's or that your best friend is actually a stranger who is a phenomenal actor, able to substitute you, forget and abandon you instantaneously. It has been fascinating to see the time, energy and money some people are able to invest in inculcating themselves into your daily life and home just to cut you off and disappear.

How is it we can fall so in love, so completely give everything, so deeply, with someone who tells you, 'never let go - hold on tight with all your might' and then mocks you for not letting go when they change their mind? How is it everyday so many of us fall madly in love with fiction? That is art - ART...lies.

I have needed to accept my responsibility in giving so much loyalty and attachment to one person. Trusting, believing- in and falling for the same pain twice...leaving myself with absolutely no one in my daily circle. No one. Learning to be alone, replaying moments of betrayal until there is no more to extricate. Not to mention dealing with the social isolation of even this 21st century tech addicted group of which I and so many friends are a part of.

The most essential thing that I can do is to return to myself- no matter how old I'm getting, find my way back to 'my' own dreams that I had replaced with the ever present 'us' and 'ours' and continue to pursue happiness. Force that illusive sleep, stop the invisible missing from dominating and see the visible present, eat fruit, nuts and smile. That last one - put on a smile- post the pics, get the FB likes and try desperately to trick my brain into feeling not so alone, not so sad. Brain science says we can make new neurons and change our brain patterns so maybe there's something to faking a smile!

My most recent work in progress, Dog Fight. Enjoy.

Dog Fight Work in Progress by M.Diaz

Newest Work- Wood Cut-out Illustrations

'The friend comes into my body Looking for the center, unable to find it, Draws a blade and strikes anywhere'- Rumi Wood Cut-Out Illustration by M. Diaz art in the trunk getting ready for a five hour drive and an art install... hanging, 'The friend comes into my body Looking for the center, unable to find it, Draws a blade and strikes anywhere'- Rumi

So the newest direction I have been growing into with my work is illustrating both on and with wood. This piece is a self-portrait and has pencil drawing on it along with image transfers of pomegranate slices. For many years, in fact from my first glassblowing experience around 16 years ago, I have been deeply affected by the work of the Sufi poet Rumi. Therefore this is the only piece in which the title is an inherent part for me of experiencing the art.

The title,

"The friend comes into my body Looking for the center, unable to find it, Draws a blade and strikes anywhere"- Rumi

Was the guide on how I developed this work, which is often NOT how I work, a title is usually secondary in my thought process, not first. The choice of pomegranates for me was at once about a forbidden fruit, as much as, a visceral, color and textural internal effect. The choice to image transfer allowed me to present them as slices or metaphorical 'cuts' on the analogy of wood as flesh.


New Paintings, Tonalli Exhibit - Fire 

Sam Andaran (Fire Within in Persian) Axolotl by M. Diaz 22x30 Ink Painting and Mixed Media Sam Andaran/Fire Within Detail by M. Diaz Detail shot of an Axolotl by M.Diaz me with Tonalli @ Anne Arundel Community College

New Art, Tonalli Exhibit, Water Painting 

El Pez Por Su Propia Boca Muere/ The Fish by its own Mouth Dies 22x30 by M. Diaz El Pez detail 22x30 Mixed Media Ink painting by M.Diaz el Pez detail by M.Diaz Me with 'El Pez Por Su Propia Boca Muere'

This was one of the first pieces I developed for the Tonalli Exhibit in Arnold Maryland his month, though it's the third piece I'm revealing here. It is entitled, El Pez Por Su Propia Boca Muere which translates to the fish by its very own mouth dies. It has three-dimensional pieces on it and is encased in a coating of resin, hard to photograph due to the gloss.

It's funny how I found the pieces which are 22x30 so large when working on them, but it appears so much smaller on the gallery wall- all the white wall space just eats it up.

Obviously this is the water piece in the Earth, Air,Water and Fire series. I know some of my students are seriously freaked out about the hook in the mouth, though I'm sorry for that, I still feel it's one of my strongest pieces when it comes to wordlessly communicating my emotions and my inability to be understood.


New Art, Ink Paintings in Tonalli Exhibit in Arnold, Maryland

If you're following the new art and saw the blog post before this one, you'll see that the last painting I posted (My Lepidoptera Heart) is my 'Air' piece in my new Earth, Air, Water and Fire series. Since many of you can't get to the Maryland exhibit I'm showing all the pieces here in a reveal.

The next piece I'm revealing is the Earth piece, entitled, Esurio the Latin word meaning 'to hunger'.

Esurio by m.diaz 22x30 Ink Painting and Mixed Media Esurio Detail 22x30 Mixed Media Esurio Wolf Detail 22x30 ink painting & mixed media hope you're enjoying the reveal,

New 'Latina' Art, New Solo Show- Tonalli, Anne Arundel Community College Gallery Art

It's been a whirl-wind of a summer driving cross-country and producing new art work in a traveling studio with two pups and my beau, as I drove to and from NY to Mexico this summer. Let's just say I'm looking forward to some hotel-free normalcy, but have a new found itch for a tear-drop silver bullet trailer home...Anyway here is a new solo exhibit to show for it - If you're around Arnold, Maryland Anne Arundel Community College hope you stop by to check it out! Other wise stay tuned to my blog as I will be slowly revealing the pieces in the show here. My Lepidoptera Heart 22x30 Ink and Mixed Media August 2013 Detail shot of My Lepidoptera Heart

Gilded Cages- On Fitzgerald- Quotes from the Great Gatsby 

I have revisited my high school curriculum and reread Fitzgerald's third book, seen the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby with Mia Farrow and today's (in theaters now) Great Gatsby version. With the relevancy to today's economic world, and my own struggles pursuing the 'Daisy'-lined streets of the American Dream... I'm enraptured with Nick Caraway's observant inside/outside character, I can honestly say I am enthralled in Fitzgerald's vision. So I thought I would share a trip down my literary lane with just some of my favorite quotes from each chapter of the book.

This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name "creative temperament" - It was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which is not likely I shall ever find again. No- Gatsby turned out alright at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 1

photo by m.diaz Bergdof Goodman's Holiday Window

Her eyebrows had been plucked and then drawn on again at a more rakish angle but the efforts of nature toward the restoration of the old alignment gave a blurred air to her face.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 2

The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breadth; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp joyous moment the center of a group, and then excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 3

"Anyhow, he gives large parties," said Jordan, changing the subject with an urban distaste for the concrete. "And I like large parties. They're so intimate . At small parties there isn't any privacy."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 3

Bison head detail by M.Diaz
The tears coursed down her cheeks- not freely, however,for when they came into contact with her heavily beaded eyelashes they assumed an inky color, and pursued the rest of their way in slow black rivulets.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 3

A dead man passed us in a hearse heaped with blooms, followed by two carriages with drawn blinds, and by more cheerful carriages for friends. The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and short upper lips of southeastern Europe and I was glad that the sight of Gatsby's splendid car was included in their somber holiday.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

Daisy was popular in Chicago, as you know. They moved with a fast crowd, all of them young, rich and wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation. Perhaps because she doesn't drink. It's a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue, and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is blind that they don't see or care.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeful splendor.

He wants to know, continued Jordan, "If you'll invite Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over."

The modesty of the demand shook me. He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths- so that he could 'come-over' some afternoon to a strangers garden.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

Scrapyard Trumpet photo by M.Diaz
A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

We passed a barrier of dark trees, and then the facade of Fifty-ninth street, a block of delicate pale light, beamed down into the park.,

Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, I had no girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs...

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain. I had to follow the sound of it for a moment, up and down, with my ear alone, before any words came through. A damp streak of hair lay like a dash of blue paint across her cheek, and her hand was wet with glistening drops as I took it to help her from the car.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 5

He hadn't once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 5

...not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 5

self-portrait detail by m.diaz
But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the washstand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor. Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace. For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 6

It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 6

But what had amused me then turned septic on the air now.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 6

-appalled by its raw vigor that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short-cut from nothing to nothing. She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 6

...some authentically radiant young girl who with one fresh glance at Gatsby, one moment of magical encounter, would blot out those five years of unwavering devotion.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 6

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Window photo by m.diaz
So the whole caravansary had fallen in like a card house at the disapproval in her eyes.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 7

...and it occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 7

...but he had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself- that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities- he had no comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere about the world.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 7

There was a quality of nervous despair in Daisy's letters. She didn't see why he couldn't come. She was feeling the pressure of the world outside, and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be reassured that she was doing the right thing after all.

For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of the year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in new tunes....At the gray tea hour there were always rooms that throbbed incessantly with this low, sweet fever, while fresh faces drifted here and there like rose petals blown by the sad horns around the floor.

...And all the time something within her was crying for a decision. She wanted her life shaped now, immediately- and the decision must be made by some force - of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality-

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 8

He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 8

On the last night, with my trunk packed and my car sold to the grocer, I went over and looked at that huge incoherent failure of a house once more.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 9

"Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead," he suggested. "After that my only rule is to let everything alone."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 9

...the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter- to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther....and one fine morning-

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 9


Spring, A Time of RENEWAL...especially for me... future

I Am Strong - Original Digital Art by M. Diaz

Anyone who knows me, knows that in the last two and a half years I got lost.

All the 21st century sages say that getting lost at least once in your life is a good thing. You know the old cliche- "get lost in order to get found..."

Therefore most people will say if getting lost is not on your bucket-list that it should be. Yet, for all the idealist advice so many of us live terrified of doing so. Like all the people with children in comforting marriages telling you, 'Live alone for a while - Spend time with yourself- enjoy yourself'...Really? How often are these same people faced with eating on a table with only a book to exchange with? Breakfast, lunch, dinner, day after day? I'd like to know if option and choice are ever considered. You see, when it came to getting lost - it was another one of those things...It crept up on me unwittingly. Even if I was faced with a life-altering action, moment, decision and choice, when I was PRESENT in that moment, I was far from fathoming the depths of cause and effect. Getting lost seems like the kind of thing we like to see other people do so we can live vicariously through them, gossip about it and stay perfectly cocooned in domestic comfort without ever getting our hands or souls dirty.

Well, I got lost. Am currently still a bit lost...

Unfortunately, I didn't get lost in space and time (something I think with all the GPS location technologies that exist would have been so much easier).

Nope, I got lost the messy way - the kind there's no road map in existence for. I got lost in another human being. And in turn, I lost myself. And on the way to losing myself, I lost the proverbial picket fence; the big house, the in-ground pool, the fireplaces, the chickens, the acreage, the husband. However, I found stuff too...just like when we were kids and our trip to the beach came equipped with special tools - that special sand colander you take along with your little plastic bucket and shovel. Watching all that mucky wet sand draining through the holes leaving you beautiful nuggets of polished beach glass. Nuggets unlike anything I have ever seen before - extraordinary novel experiences, blinding golden light.

So after much meandering in a purgatorial space of not recognizing anyone, thing or even myself - I am now on a mission to rise. Trust me, when you wake up in silence in a space you have no point of reference for, or history in, and people you thought were your most dear friends absent in a poof...crashing is easier than rising.

Now with time, I am understanding just a bit more of the abstraction that is my reflection than I ever have. I understand now there is no better anti-depressant than people, we are after all social animals no matter how much we rationalize ourselves away from our nature. And for me, one of the most dangerous acts I can commit is sequestering my soul from sharing with others. So without burdening you with anymore information than necessary, I'm going to start with my blog. For the record, it isn't about being found, or arriving, is it? It's more about helplessly and apologetically deconstructing, yet rising without apology, until the next time I fall. It is about the struggle and being strong enough to simply withstand and wake from it. It's about learning to be selfless for a while. It's a about learning to be happy in a place of vulnerable LOVE.


Saying Goodbye to the -Old Banner- New year - New look 

R.I.P. from 2010-2013 The Black ship inspired by Nina Simone's song Pirate Jenny:

Back in 2009 ~learning to make vector graphics with Adobe Illustrator I made a little avatar of myself:

And Looking Back to the start of it all the very first blog banner I ever used back when I started in Feb. 2008!! A glass frit fused illustration...

Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane and use my contact button and let me know if you need help with your next website banner design -cuz I'm for hire.:)