Under the Geisha's Mask
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Born in England, philosopher, poet, prose-writer and visual artist Carolyn Mary Kleefeld grew up in Southern California and studied art and psychology at UCLA. Her innovative writing and artwork have been used for over twenty-five years in the fields of human consciousness and creativity. A visionary pioneer, Ms. Kleefeld has the rare ability to convey through lyrical language, metaphor and symbolic image, the spiritual potential of human beings.
Fueled by a need for creative expression and a lifelong fascination with psychological and spiritual transformation, Ms. Kleefeld is the author of four poetry books that explore these archetypal themes. These books have been used as inspirational texts in universities and healing centers, and, commencing in the Fall of 2010, will be featured, along with the writings of seven other acclaimed women writers, in a permanent course, “The Other Half of the Sky: Eight Women Writers,” to be taught at Swansea University in Wales. Carolyn’s poetry has been translated into Romanian, Korean, and Arabic. Her first book, Climates of the Mind, has been translated into Braille by the Library of Congress.
Ms. Kleefeld’s book, The Alchemy of Possibility: Reinventing Your Personal Mythology (Merrill-West Publishing 1998), with an introduction by Laura Archera Huxley, combines her visual art, philosophical prose and poetry, and includes corresponding quotes from the I Ching and the Tarot. Healers as well as professors of art and psychology have also used “Alchemy” as an inspirational text and oracular guidebook.
An interview with Ms. Kleefeld is included in the anthology Mavericks of the Mind: Conversations for the New Millennium (Crossing Press 1993), as are interviews with Alan Ginsberg, Terence McKenna, Dr. Timothy Leary and other cutting-edge thinkers of our time. Kissing Darkness: Love Poems and Art, a lovers’ dialogue in poetry written in collaboration with David Wayne Dunn, was published in 2003 by Riverwood Books, an imprint of White Cloud Press (publishers of Kahlil Gibran). Soul Seeds: Revelations and Drawings, a collection of Ms. Kleefeld’s philosophical aphorisms, published by Cross-Cultural Communications in 2008, was nominated for the 2008 Pushcart Prize. Ms. Kleefeld’s latest poetry book, Vagabond Dawns was published by Cross Cultural Communications in 2009, and one of the poems, “I Found My Soul” was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize
Over the past two decades, Ms. Kleefeld has created an extensive and diverse body of paintings and drawings, ranging in style from romantic figurative to abstract. In her language of poetic imagery, Ms. Kleefeld expresses the passions of the human heart and a pantheistic reverence for the Big Sur wilderness she inhabits. The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University exhibited a retrospective of Ms. Kleefeld’s paintings and drawings in 2008 and published an exhibition catalog, Carolyn Mary Kleefeld: Visions from Big Sur, with art from the exhibit and a commentary by museum curator and director, Michael Zakian, PhD. In addition to being featured in art magazines and textbooks, Ms. Kleefeld’s award-winning art can be found in the personal collections of Ted Turner, the estate of Laura Archera Huxley, and many others, as well as at the United Nations, and in hospitals, galleries and museums nationwide.
2008, Michael Zakian/Pepperdine University Visions From Big Sur, Weisman Museum/ Pepperdine University, 118 pages (color), Exhibition Catalog
Frederick Weisman Museum of Art Pepperdine, Malibu, California
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University:
Visions from Big Sur
In the first retrospective of Carolyn’s art work, over ninety four of her paintings and works on paper were showcased.
Sept 13, 2008 - Dec 14, 2008.
Featured in the MAPS Bulletin
Featured artist on cover of MAPS Bulletin and paintings in article about Laura http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v18n1/index.html
Nuclear Policy Research Institute
Painting: ‘Invisible Landscape’ featured on cover of Nuclear Policy Research Institute’s Holiday Card. 2005
Bodhi Tree Semi-Annual Newsletter
Art featured on front cover, The Bodhi Tree Semi-Annual Newsletter, 30th Anniversary Issue 2000
Art auctioned at Christie’s, as part of Dr. Timothy Leary Estate Sale 1998
Second Annual Arts Festival
Guest Speaker, Second Annual Arts Festival, Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California 1995
Gallerie Illuminati, Los Angeles, California
One-woman exhibit and poetry reading at Gallerie Illuminati, Los Angeles, California 1990
Dr. Timothy Leary
Art used on back cover of Dr. Leary’s book, Design for Dying
Numerous gallery and museum awards and exhibitions between 1990 and the present in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Carmel, Seaside, Pacific Grove, Monterey, Big Sur and other locations nationwide (list of exhibitions available upon request), as well as a line of fine art cards.
Skyline Magazine | New York
Carolyn’s artwork has prominent placement in the Summer issue of the Skyline Magazine. “La Dance” is displayed on the front cover and “The Tree Face of Metamorphosis” is on the back cover. “The Alchemy of Possibility” is reviewed by Stephanie Pope. “The Secret Forest of the Nabis” is exhibited with the book review. Victoria Valentine the editor of this magazine chose the following drawings and paintings as a brilliant addition to her summer issue, ‘Abstract Faces,’ ‘Bohemian Palace Sculpture,’ ‘Monsieur Hello, ‘Shakti’ and ‘Reconciliation’ To purchase this June/August issue go to:
Weisman Museum / Pepperdine University, Malibu CA
The Weisman Museum located at Pepperdine University in Malibu CA. May 2010 is exhibiting Carolyn Mary Kleefeld's Zen Face, a watercolor and Ancestry Re-visioned, a drawing which were gifted to the museum by collector Ken Czachor for the permanent collection. These pieces are on exhibit in a retrospective with a variety of other California artists.
Del Campo Gallery / Big Sur, CA
Carolyn is a new member at the Del Campo Gallery in Big Sur. Four landscape paintings are on exhibit. Open daily from noon to 5 p.m. Call 831 667-2618 for more information
Light, Space & Time Art Competition / Online Gallery
Carolyn won first place with her painting Shakti, in the Light Space & Time Art Competition - Septembers Category Abstraction.
Ventana Gallery / Ventana Gallery | Big Sur, CA
Carolyn Kleefeld’s art is on exhibit at the new Gallery at Ventana. Open to the public five days a week, from 12 - 8 p.m. For more information, call (831) 667-4298 or (831) 667-2226.
Barbara Simonich Gallery / Barbara Simonich CPA- #10 C3 Harris Court Ryan Ranch Monterey, CA
Respected businesswoman and CPA, Barbara Simonich, is generously hosting an exhibit of Ms. Kleefeld's art at her office suites, located in Ryan Ranch. This exhibit features 17 of Kleefeld's paintings, encompassing an eclectic range of styles, which include Abstractions, Portraits and Landscapes. Open five days a week, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information, call (831) 375-7779.
September 03, 2010 | Immagine & Poesia (Image & Poetry) / International Artistic Literary Movement
Carolyn was invited to participate in the International Artistic Literary Movement, founded in Torino, Italy 2007. See the link below to view the official poetry blog where Carolyns paintings and poetry as well as Peter Thabit Jones poem is paired with one of Carolyns paintings all which are on exhibit for the month of September.
nner Vision | Malibu Times / Malibu, CA (November 8, 2008).
Visions from Big Sur | Valley Scene Online Magazine / West Hills, CA (2008).
Carolyn Mary Kleefeld: Big Sur Artist Makes A Triumphant Return To Southern CA | California Homes Magazine / San Francisco, CA (August 2008).
Pepperdine Museum Hosts Former Malibu Resident’s Colorful Work | MalibuSurfside News / Malibu, CA (September 2008).
Visions from Big Sur | Art & Architecture (Summer /Fall 2008).
Blog: Museums, Los Angeles, “Art World: Carolyn Mary Kleefeld at Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art” | Art & Living (September 2008).
Industry Perspectives: Planning an Exhibition, In Retrospect | Art Business News /
Visions from Big Sur, Post Exhibit | Valley Scene Magazine (September 2008).
Ocean Visions | Whole Life (September 2008).
Kleefeld’s Paintings at Pepperdine’s Museum | Palisadian Post (September 2008).
Carolyn Mary Kleefeld | Fine Art Magazine Millennium Issue (1999).
Art, like music, offers a language beyond words. To be innovative, it must be created from an inner wilderness, free of stale and redundant concepts.
If art arises from an inner necessity to express rather than from a preconceived idea of beauty or style, then art can reflect, in symbolic imagery, our primal nature and oneness with all things.
Through the instrument of my being, I let intuitive experiment choose color and form, an invention comparable to musical improvisation.
For me art is a spontaneous journey on the crest of the Tao’s wave, an exploration born of passion, spawned by the Mystery. Initially, I am the maiden falling in love – then later, the ruthless editor-analyst.
Ultimately art is an innocent interactive mirror of my innermost process, whisking me out of time into the Timeless. My life’s passion is to live and create art from this unconditioned well of being and to inspire such a journey in others.
|Review of Artist's Work: |
Thank you for each of your poems
October 15, 2010 by cmkblog
With mild tardiness and many thank yous for each of your poems. They were thoughtfully moving and earned caring attention – most seriously wrapped around them, they remain surprises and wonderfully arrived at positives gathered with passionate devotion.
With a large thank you again,
PS Cover was a fine painting!
“You have no idea of your creative genius, reverential pleaching of worlds, yet always the human caress in voice and vision.”