tantra song


This collection of rare, abstract Tantric painting from the 17th century originates in French poet Franck André Jamme’s journey to India twenty-five years ago when he first searched in vain for the source of these intensely beautiful and concise works. 

While they invoke the highly symbolic cosmology of Hindu Tantra, these contemporary, anonymous drawings have evolved into a distinct visual lexicon used to awaken heightened states of consciousness. Like musicians playing ragas of classical Indian music, tantrikas draw in a concentrated state of mental rapture, repeating and subtly reinterpreting melodic structures of line and color. When complete, the drawings—made in tempera, gouache, and watercolor on salvaged paper—are pinned to the wall to use in private meditation.

Possessing an uncanny affinity with a range of 20th century abstract art, the paintings also have a magnetic, vibratory beauty that inspires acute attention even in the uninitiated. Jamme has written brief, luminous texts that further open readers to their subtle magic and enrich the space for boundless contemplation. Drawing on a unique body of knowledge accumulated over two decades, Jamme has assembled a singular and revelatory collection, in which East and West, the spiritual and the aesthetic, the ancient and the modern converge.

 I have noticed in the Tantric works how the simplicity of their conventional, geometric forms is complemented by the infinite complexity of their particular execution: water stains, flaws in the handmade paper, fragments of unrelated text combine to make each work not only unique but somehow perfect. . . . It’s not just a desire for the antique or a nostalgic patina that makes the incidental marks so important, it’s precisely that ideal forms—forms plumbed from the depths of the mind, of the soul—need to co-exist with randomness and the emptiness of chance. How is it that a symbol of god alone is so dull, but when juxtaposed with a smudge or a smear it comes alive?

What makes this art so amazing?
Well, I think its main particularity is that it is first of all a practice. First for the “artist” himself when he paints a piece, and then for the people who are later going to work on seeing this image, to meditate on it and its meaning—and what is more, through this meditation, finally to make the divinity herself appear. I don’t know if there are many other arts that have those qualities. And, on the other hand, this has not killed the aesthetics, the grace of these things. Tantrism is too free, too open for one not to see, to accept, to appreciate, even to revere the beauty of these paintings.

new book on my wish list



You know that one closet you have where you put everything you don't know what to do with? 
That is where I have spent my weekend, cleaning out clutter I have been accumulating and dragging around for years. It is also the place where old Apple products go to die. I have an archive of every reading from undergrad through graduate school: Barthes - keep, Freud - for the love of god! Recycle! I also found a calender from 2005, "Nun's Having Fun". Yep, I can safely say I won't be needing that (and yes, Kate, your husband did give me that calender)
I used to be the kind of person that looked at something and thought, "I might need this one day." And then I would put it in this closet, "just in case", ultimately to be forgotten. 
But lately, I think because I am cleaning out my family home that holds generations of stuff, I feel like I can let go of things with ease. I have a whole new perspective on, well... stuff! Figuratively and literally. This overwhelming task has actually become a gift in some ways. It is forcing me to trust my intuition, and to quickly let things go.
My Aunt recently told me when I was home last that when my grandmother died, and my mum was faced with my current situation, she sat there looking at all of her mothers things (which are now all in my mum's house... so you can imagine what I am up against) and said, "I will never do this to my children." Ha! Thanks Mum.  
So, now here I am in my own home, reevaluating what is important in my life, in more ways than one. I'm really thinking about what I "need" and why I need it. I also feel like I am making space for something or someone amazing to come into my life. I am ready for that. I am really ready for that. Do you hear me universe?! 
Like I have said before, loss is one of my biggest teachers in this life. And right now it is showing up in all forms. I am learning that my willingness to let go is proportionate to my ability to trust the universe and allow it to support and provide me with exactly what I need, when I need it. 



with awareness comes responsibility

with responsibility comes freedom

- me

?, ?, Jana Jantzen


the red balloon

The Red Balloon
Albert Lamorisse

For some reason I woke up this morning wanting to watch this. 
I watched this all the time growing up. 
It remains one of my favorite films.


the party of the summer

don't forget...

a rad summer soiree will be happening at Shelter Half tonight!
7 - 10
161 S. La Brea Ave.

read more about it here
songs for summer, here, herehere*, here, here*, and of course here

hope to see you there!

Daniel Everett


my love...

It takes courage to grow up & become who you really are. 

e.e cummings



Here are some of the drawings that will be at the Midsummer Night Fete on Thursday at Shelter Half.
(see more info below)
They are inspired by Tigers to Lilies beautiful flowers.
The 7 original drawings are framed in walnut, and are quite small. 
I will also have two different limited edition prints available as well.  Only 25 of each, so scoop one up while they last!

Hope to see you all there!


midsummer night fête

Summer is here and it is time to celebrate! 

Midsummer Night Fête
Thursday, July 26th
7:00 - 10:00pm

This Thursday Tigers to Lilies and Shelter Half are throwing a fabulous and fun party to celebrate summer! 
There are so many exciting things happening! I can hardly wait.

Clarie Cottrell's short film for Audrey Grace, with two screenings at 8:00 and 9:30pm
Drawings and prints by Spencer Studio (me)
Flowers by Tigers to Lilies
Photos by Lili Cuzor
Bread by Smohk
Pies from the Pie Stand
Delicious summer drinks
Music... maybe even some dancing! (fingers crossed)

It is going to be SO much fun!
I really hope to see you there!
All of you!

make sure to rsvp to: info@shelterhalf.com

Thank you to Lili for asking me to do the poster for the event! I am so honored to be a part of something so fun and lovely. 


new moon // july


Grain Moon
Wednesday/Thursday, July 17/18th, Cancer, 9:24pm PST

I have been counting the days till the New Moon. I've noticed more and more how hard Full Moons are for me. In the last two weeks I have been getting hit from all sides with lessons about letting go. Letting go of dear friends who are moving across the country, trying to let go of someone I love and long to be with, letting go of my mother's things and our family home... I am surrounded. I know loss is one of my biggest teachers in this life. The universe continuously hands me opportunities to grow from loss, and yet every time it shows up it never seems to get any easier. So, I am especially craving the kinder, gentler, more feminine New Moon. 

As I talk to more and more people it seems everyone is feeling some pretty intense stuff these days. Change is in the air, it has been since the beginning of the year, and with all of the eclipses, and then it only got stronger thanks to the last Full Moon. This time may feel dark and unforgiving, but we must ask for support, and trust that the rewards of our hard work are just around the corner. 

With the Moon in her own sign, Cancer, you might notice you have the ability to connect more to, and go deeper into your feelings. Time to get out of your head and into your heart. Cancer is the Mother aspect of the Feminine and rules nourishment and support. As a water sign she has fluid adaptability, and is gifted in empathizing and feeling with depth and sensitivity by becoming "one with" all that she comes in contact with. With Cancer's wateriness you might notice a heightened level of emotional sensitivity, moodiness, vulnerability, evasiveness or a desire to be more nostalgic than usual. 
Like the Crab, we might look pulled together on the outside, but are most likely going through some very vulnerable healing and adjustments on the inside. Be gentle with yourself during this time, as you might feel extra tender. You may also notice that you want to spend  more time with your family and those closest to you for protection and support. 

Cancer rules the 4th House, our home and our foundations in the zodiac. This is a time when your roots and your ancestral lines can be activated and easily called upon. You can acknowledge and give thanks to your linage, get in touch with the energy that connects you all together. That wisdom and power is ancient, and can help you through this next month.  

Also take the opportunity to make some new moon wishes (my favorite)! With the moon in the sign of Cancer, it is a great time to make wishes involving anything to do with your home, or improving relationships with those we are closest to: our family/tribe/kin.

Your wishes must be hand written on a piece of paper, and ten wishes maximum are allowed. The most potent time is 8 hours after the beginning of the full moon, but within the first 48 is ok. Just be sure not to wish when the moon is void of course. Note that these times are PST
The best times for wishing in July are:

Thursday, July 19th - 3:13 am - 9:00 pm
Friday, July 20th - all day and all night
Saturday, July 21st - all day and all night

I encourage you to share some of your wishes in the comments, or with someone you love. Having a witness to your intentions make them more powerful. I will share some too. 

Also, because Cancer is the ruler of the nourishing organs, such as the stomach, a healthy relationship to food is emphasized. This would be a great time to go to the farmers market and get some local ingredients to make yourself a meal. Give thanks to the earth and all the elements that provide us with such delicious food. You also might be having stomach troubles, or anxiety caught in that area. If so this is a clue that you are too caught up in the mental struggle. It's time to tap into the emotion and intuition of the belly. During this time it serves you better to feel your way through life, rather than thinking your way through everything. 

There are also solar flares occurring which has an effect on our electromagnetic field. Be gentle with yourself, take a fresh rosemary bath. Ground, connect with the earth, visualize your energetic roots. Get creative, expressing yourself is the best way to move that energy.

One last note, Mercury is in retrograde from July 14th to August 7th, encouraging us to become introspective and re-think our lives. It is time to go with in and reflect. 

Happy wishing!


a mid century mind

Asawa, Noguchi, Eames


smooth as silk

Mary Jane Russell 1954, and ?



The amazing Lee Miller. 
The power of this photo has stayed with me ever since I saw it years ago.
I have been thinking about it recently. 

Lee Miller was a model turned photographer. She was an assistant and lover of Man Ray while living in Paris.  She later became a photo journalist, and the official war time correspondent for Vogue during Wold War II. 
The photo above is of Miller in Hitler's bathtub. She snuck into his Munich apartment after the fall of Berlin in 1945.
She later explained, "I had his address in my pocket for years."

Miller's dirty boots are up against the outside of the tub. You feel her coming into this space of phobia, psychosis, and banality; having no choice but to violate it, destroy it with life, merge with evil, wash it and herself away, letting a part of herself go down the drain with history. - Jerry Saltz


on & on

I am running out the door to catch a flight.


The above photo is a little sneak peek at what I have been working on. Seven new flower drawings for a little fête on the 26th - so mark your calenders. It is going to be fun and summery, more info to come.

Last night's first Midsummer Nights Crafts was so fun! Lili was magical and created such a lovely and lively evening. I can't wait for next weeks, Indigo with Britt Brown. Thank you Lili and to all the wonderful new friends I made, and to Shelter Half! (and thank you Elijah for baking the best olive oil cake i have ever had!)

Kate Miss introduced me to to Erika Spring's, formally of Au Revoir Simone, new solo album, loving it. 

Also still obsessed with Beach House's new album, Bloom. Lazuli has been playing over and over and over... and over. Of course my favorite song on the album is about a mineral! 

If I was in town this weekend I would be at Katie Grinnan's Astrology Orchestra at the VBB, in a heart beat. Right up my alley. I'm so bummed to be missing it. 

More MOCA news, John Baldessari resigns from the board. Their future is not looking good. 
* update * - Catherine Opie, Barbara Kruger and Ed Ruschas have all left, leaving no artists left on the board. 

And, I know this is not up to date, but I finally had a chance to read Jerry Saltz's take on Documenta. Brilliant. F-ing brilliant. 

Happy Bastille Day on Saturday! (takes me back to my time living there)

Last but not least, happy Friday the 13th! I am not superstitious, and my lucky number is 13, so I just look at today like any other day. But if you are superstitious... good luck.

That's all I have time for right now. I have to pack... eee!
Hope all of you have a lovely weekend!




i will wade out

till my thighs are steeped in

burning flowers

i will take the sun in my mouth

and leap into the ripe air


with closed eyes

e.e cummings



midsummer fun

Midsummer Nights Crafts

Lili, my super inspiring and magical friend (and neighbor, i know... how lucky am i?! also have you seen her flowers? out of control! so good), has put together a series of Craft Nights during the months of July and August. The line up is fantastic! The workshops will be held at the lovely Shelter Half. I will be at every one of these! I am so looking forward to listening to records, nibbling on some delicious seasonal treats, and hanging out with other creative souls. 

You can read more about it all on the Midsummer Nights Crafts blog
The first one is this coming Thursday - so sign up soon!

I also want to thank Lili for asking me to do the poster for this, I am so honored.

I am also collaborating with Lili on a lil' something for a summertime fete at Shelter Half. All I can say for now is that I am working on some drawings for the event AND it is going to be lovely! Save the date - July 26th. More info to come. 

 - other things here and there -

Listening to this song non-stop. It is so heartbreaking and beautiful. One of my favortie songs ever, and at the moment holds very special meaning, singing it with all my heart. 

This weekend I have been dancing around the house to this song

I am on Instagram... I know, I know... I finally broke down. I am always the last one to get on board with these types of things. But, if you would like to follow me, find me: sphinxandmilkyway

Have you been following what's going on with MOCA? It's so upsetting and disappointing. 

That's all for now.


sharon lockhart | noa eshkol

Today I finally went to see Sharon Lockhart's new work at LACMA. And I fell in love with it. The dancers are extraordinary, graceful, and hypnotizing. It is now one of my favorite works of art and one of the best things I have seen in LA, ever.
Instead of me fumbling to describe the work and the collaboration it is best if you watch this great video of Sharon talking about it all. Words are not my strong suit, but I know what I felt being in this show, I was so moved and mesmerized. If you are in LA you must make it over there before it comes down in September. I will be going back a few times to see it again and again. 


Loneliness does not come from being alone, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important.

Carl Jung  

rudolf bonvie, dialog, 1977



Happy Independence Day!

a little song for today

andy warhol, via ermie


full moon // july


Thunder Moon
Tuesday, July 3rd, Capricorn, 10:52 am PST

Phew! Who can feel the power of the full moon? Energies and emotions are stirring. And it's time for reevaluation. The energy of this full moon is like a wind, rushing through us. It's bringing up lots of emotions, pushing us to make changes or perhaps even a move, calling us to let go of the old and embrace the new. It is asking us to make changes in ourselves, in our interactions, in our relationships... in everything. What needs clearing or adjusting? It's time to look around and evaluate how things are working for you. Look with honest eyes, no judgment. If you need healing, there is no better time than the present. What needs changing, perhaps you need to let go of it all together. It's always a bit scary and difficult to let go, but we must trust and remember we are always making room for something better. Always.

We can learn to use the energy of the moon to help support us. The sun is directly opposite the moon today, allowing the moon to be its brightest, it illuminates the night sky, the darkness. Allow it to be a mirror, and help reflect to you what changes need to be made in your life. Ask for it's guidance. This is an extra powerful time to change our ideas about ourselves. What do you want to instill in your life? A little ritual you can do tonight is take a piece of paper and write down a change, intention or commitment, fold it up and put it under a rock outside, in the earth in your garden, or even under a potted plant. Think of it like a letter to the universe; send it off, imagine that by doing so what you wrote will be worked on by the universe. Trust that it is being taken care of. You can stop worrying about it. I think there is a lot of power in an intention when it is placed in nature. Nature is the most powerful witness. The full moon is stirring up a lot in us all, it's what you do with those emotions, that energy, use it, ask the moon for support and assistance.  

You can also check in with your New Moon wishes if you made them. If some haven't manifested yet, just keep focusing on what is working, what is growing, what is showing up, what is bringing you joy. 

We can also learn from the Capricorn, the sure-footed goat who ascends higher and higher to greater heights up the mountain. Now is the time to start showing up for yourself. Take a moment and think about where you wish to be in 5 years, in 10... and don't be afraid to dream big! Everything is possible. Now is the time to start taking responsibility for creating what we want, for what we want in our lives and for what we want to become. The energy of Capricorn helps us gain integrity, channel our ambition, find inner strength, get organized and ground. 

This is an exciting time, we are readying ourselves, and our lives for what we want to call in. This is the opening between two moments, this time has more power than normal, power that can change the course of events. We can let go of who we were, and become who we want to be. 

If you have any rocks or crystals that need clearing or cleaning, place them in the light of the full moon tonight. I like to leave mine out in the sun the next day, especially now with midsummer last week, the suns rays are the longest and most powerful. 


do you ever just have a lighting bolt of love hit you out of nowhere?
one that opens your heart and just fills your every cell with gratitude?

i just did
my spirit is so happy to be here on this earth, at this moment, in this body
even though these days i am getting some big lessons, i am loving my way through it
i embrace it all, the light and the dark, creation and loss, heartache and love.
i am in awe of living 

photo Martha Graham

put a gem on it

Over the winter I took a metal smithing class at Barnsdall. It was so fun! My mum was a silversmith, and made seriously amazing and incredible work. And now that I have all of her stones, tools, machines, I thought it would be good to learn how to use them. It was really special, and I felt it gave me insight and yet another connection to her and the way in which she created all the beauty she left in this world. 
We only had three weeks at the end to do an independent project, and I had been wanting to make some hair adornments. The hair comb on the top is brass with onyx and turquoise. The hair pick in the bottom two photos is brass with pyrite. 
Hoping to make more of these very soon, you might even find some in the etsy store around the holidays! Ya ya!