Cacti Clearly Tell You, They Hurt.

22Nov16

1-pocahontas-jade-dressler-1NOVEMBER 2016

Pocahontas, an American princess Stands for Standing Rock
above + below,
an American Saguaro cacti holding Immortal Beloved perfume.

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WAIT…THE ONLY NEWS IN NOVEMBER WAS THE ELECTION!  WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH

T. H. A. T…?

This week, just after I spent some time in the heart of the American West, specifically the state of Arizona, the US took a prickly turn with the presidential election.  Sad and angry emotions, tense relations, protectionism, were everywhere in the air.  Everyone wondering how did this happen?

Cacti clearly tell you they hurt.

Cacti told me much about an approach to these times.  To approach these sacred succulents, you must center yourself with heightened sensitivity and respect.  Like warriors, or even bullies, they store their sustenance, their watery emotions and life essence in a harsh, desert environment and protect themselves in strong form with both strength and beauty, their starry spines and flowers offered, like a rose.  Or perhaps a bouquet of pineapple-like lady flowers, as below.

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EL ELECTION:  I suppose I am a bit cacti-human.  Like Pocahontas, I am a free spirit who has journeyed far in this lifetime to be centered in my heart and in this I trust.  I trust our country and the good will of its humans, even when they express as bullies and with un-kind speech.  At least it’s out.  The better to hear is the better to heal.   Even while we know there is painful history impacting us all, all is not well in our country.  Last summer was truly painful in terms of terrorism, here at home on our city streets, places of worship and fun…and abroad.

Thorns, like old wounds, like angry swords of old, outdated rhetoric, poke us into where freedom truly lives…that in-between peaceful, powerful place the masters speak of.  Between duality of party, race, gender, circumstance, heaven and earth.  That is Immortal, that which is beloved.  Wake up, life is a party we create together!  Come together people, now, smile on your brother, everybody come together, try to love one another right now.  (I am  Love-Child of the 70’s, yup.)

THUS, MY JOURNEY QUEST TO PLACE OUR IMMORTAL BELOVED GODDESS PERFUME NESTLED IN
THE HEART OF A TALL SAGUARO CACTUS.

Yep, yup, I’m that kind of girl.

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PRO-CHOICE: ALIGN WITH AN ELECTION OF ELATION:  Just as in the legend of Pocahontas, questing towards acts of LOVE, council, community, and healing are the work of what is immortal and of the highest.  No matter who “leads,” leading our own thoughts, words, and actions with LOVE is the only solution.

My recent work drawing 12 goddesses and a crusading traveler’s quest after a precise image reminded me to stay focused on my ideals all the while being aware of thorns, as I traveled to Arizona ( Cacti! Native Americans! UFO’s! ) to root down and launch our project, The World’s First Goddess Perfume + Coloring Book.”  Twelve illustrated goddesses from around the world, a film, and travel plans, all to morph me into the “Anthony Bourdain” of beauty, fashion, and design explores!  Here is the coloring book cover with its aura of little, mysterious, gold filigree light bulbs, UFOs, aka perfume bottles.  Tune in, turn on to learn more! immortal-beloved-perfume

THE PROJECT:  I got the CALL earlier this year by the much admired former CEO and his wife, colleagues from a clothing company I worked for, and together designed retail stores from NYC to Santa Fe, almost 20 years ago, as they asked me to help them build a pop-up shop for The University of Arizona Museum of Art‘s Head to Toe Gala Benefit.  Numerous calls, drawings, and laughs soon evolved into a request to moderate the fashion show and exhibit and before I knew it, my bags were packed and ready to fly to Arizona.

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Who will let the cat in the bag?

This little press bit published before my arrival in Tucson Life magazine:

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Even the clouds flying over the country westward-ho! from NYC were kind of whipped up either like tornado or a fashion model, arising from a goddess-circle dance below, take your pick.  No peyote-induced vision here, just my every day ecstasy.

Clouds-Jade-Dressler

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THIS GODDESS PERFUME + COLORING BOOK

When my friend, Master Perfumer, Maria McElroy (pictured, below r.)and her co-perfumer, filmmaker and Metropolitan Museum of Art lecturer, Alexis Karl, (l.) who create together as Brooklyn’s House of Cherry Bomb, an indie-perfume house, decided to re-launch Immortal Beloved, my favorite perfume of theirs, I (m.) suggested a collaboration.  I already had begun a series of goddess portraits, and when the Museum special guest appearance and pop-up shop exhibition came into being, it seemed the perfect place for the first public preview appearance of “The World’s First Goddess Perfume + Coloring Book” project for early 2017.

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WHO IS…?
We created Immortal Beloved, the World’s First Goddess Perfume + Coloring Book as wearable and experiential art to inspire, “to resonate through time via the twelve illustrated goddesses from around the globe, as well as reflect the light and dark of this mortal coil, the marvelous complexity of our sensual beings,” says Alexis.  Speaking of mortal coils, this sultry snake image, below, is from the short film she made for the project.

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See some more of the groovy gals we call immortal!

It’s so apt to launch Immortal Beloved in the American West.  While the perfume is meant to evoke all 12 goddesses, the first goddess is Pocahontas, representing all Native Americans of this land, via her story as the daughter of a chief and a peace-making intermediary between tribes and people.

Flying out over the heart of America and then being out West, is always re-orienting. The slow expanse of mountains and sky vistas, and the quiet time on the plane between coasts, this always transforms me.  The jewel-like museum, the cool-so-American campus, and most of all, the creative and passionate people I met were the best gifts.

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MORE ON THE MUSEUM

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An art-filled campus where creative kids college in the warmth and sun.  How much did I long to be in my 20’s again!  I saw fencing classes outside, critical thinking classes inside the art museum…and yes, actual stylish, hip guys in the coffee shop distracting me from my hummus-pita thing and my docent lunch companions.

The art museum was founded in the 1920’s and is noted for 25 Renaissance masterworks from Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain, this man below is from that series.

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MORE   The museum also reveals grand art finds like Rothko, Lichtenstein, Hopper, O’Keeffe, and so many other masters, all somehow more precious in the intimate spaces of a small, exquisitely curated museum.

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A detail below of more desert flora and fauna I became a bit obsessed with.

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Salamanders and chameleons. Harbingers of change and transformation. My quest to connect with the other mysterious desert-dweller, the Sagauro cacti deepened, especially when I learned that it takes 75-100 years for them to grow an arm. Like erect, silent witnesses, (ok, yup, phallic symbols) they stand erect as homes for birds, food for bats and scratching posts for the Javelinas, those crazy, cute,smelly, wild pigs of Arizona sniffing around in giggling packs.

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MY HOSTS: EX-NEW YORKERS IN TUCSON

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How adorable are these two? Forty-plus years together, still enthusiastically enjoying art together as docents for the museum, and still enjoying a creative, intellectual banter.  I could not have been more taken care of by Fleurette Wallach, who astounds with her knowledge of names and places in the art world, and Marc Wallach‘s financial, business smarts combined with his warm heart is a precious combo.  Their home was just beautiful, a haven to the libertine life, filled with art and antiques, in a palette of 1950’s colors I am partial to.  Take a look, as I try to sum it up in 3 images:

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Besides Fleurette placing the the two geisha dolls above, which match the ones I had in my childhood bedroom on a shelf just as high, Marc is from Vienna, Austria as is my father’s side of the family.  Therefore they are my adopted parents, yes? Of course.

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We pulled together the pop-up shop in three days, rehearsed the fashion show and lunched with mountains and lovely souls.

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Other animals roamed wild, such as these flamingos I caught on film.  I love how their little boat echoes the clouds above.

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THE GALA EVENING

“Art awakens a spirit of creativity in everyone; it enriches our lives and provides a bridge between part, present, and future.”

W. James Burns, Director of UAMA

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We three moderators of the show decided to rep past, present, and future ~ and had a blast! On the left, Debi Chess Mabie, the Executive Director of the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, whose commentary spoke of the present, given her knowledge of the many presenting artists; in the middle, repping the past as famed Hollywood costumer, Edith Head, was impersonator, Susan Claassen; and me, on the right, repping NYC, etc. as the futurist. This picture makes me laugh, if you know me, you’ll get it.

This show wasn’t trying to be the runways of New York, Paris or Milan, this was community celebrating its artists at the intersection of wearable art. This image from rehearsal with dance students as the perfect models of natural beauty, speaks to me of the Timeless Reverence for Beauty, as much the all-out runway show splendor of a couture house does. Go on and Vogue, kids.

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On a serious joyful note, I spoke of what I saw on the runway and the symbolism of clothing, the return to goddess beauty, and the future of slow luxury as a grounding, non-digital force.  Numerous people from the audience came to tell me that they really appreciated my “honesty, beauty of mystery, wisdom, notes of sophistication and humor.”  I share this to say that I was humbled by the gratitude and expression of these shared sentiments.  Art does heal.

There were 9 acts, the runway models were dance students choreographed by Michael Williams of the UA School of Dance.  A dancer below sports futuristic head sculptures from Merve Oztemel, an artist from Istanbul I have discovered and premiered here at the show.

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Here below are two of her major, futuristic, animalistic, laser-fluid headdresses.

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I love the bone quality of these, reminding me of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting.  This one was live and direct upstairs from the show:

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The show was held in a large gallery in which an exhibition of Michael Haykin, called Fifteen Indelible Lives, was hung.  Called a “breathtaking body of atmospheric realist paintings,” the works are based on moments, it was the kind of  O’Keeffe-eye Mother Nature truly needs right now.

michael-haykin-uama

AND THE SHOP?
Just a couple of images to encapsulate. Note: Photographers in Arizona just work a wee bit slower than the next-day Patrick McMullan/Getty Images delivery we so love here in NYC!  That means I took these pics dashing between set-up and being on stage.  So, until I have my personal paparazzi, please just ignore the cords, price tags, and un-styled images, etc. Thanks!  Hey, Patrick maybe you need a Tucson agency!

The shop was anchored by a red wall of paintings and scarves made from them to underscore the art-to-wear aspect. We hung them high and salon style for impact.

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Feature walls showcased the range of work and the theme of head to toe.

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For our feature Immortal Beloved wall I replicated my studio wall with four framed goddess illustrations, along with my sketches-in-process and inspirations for the exhibit.  Materials for people to add notes in journals and to add to the wall were part of the interactive, site-specific invite to get one’s creative fun on.

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El Sirena of Spain

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Abundantia of Italy

AND WHAT ABOUT THAT PERFUME, YOU ASK.

“Immortal Beloved is a reincarnation itself. Where did it begin and where will it end?  The point is irrelevant,” says Alexis. “The scent of Immortal Beloved is always NOW.

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Maria adds, “Immortal Beloved is an all-natural fragrance that entwines the mystery of dark, vintage ouds and million year old amber resins, with that of stunning Moroccan henna flower, drops of precious beeswax absolute, and tobacco flower.  A shadow of ambergris, labdanum, and chypre are touched with traces of delicate lily of the valley and Madagascar vanilla.”

“Immortal Beloved is sensual and complex, an olfactory story of Gods and Goddesses, beauty, power, and love eternal,” says Alexis. “We have envisioned the fragrance of immortality by using rare and precious elements from nature.”

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MORE ON THE GODDESSES PLEASE!  AND WHY A COLORING BOOK?  

“The future of Virtual Reality holds more than 1 million ways to play beyond Pokemon and gadgets,” says futurist Jade Dressler. “When art or an object is made, it is a meditation taking one beyond the galaxies plural.”

As you know, adult coloring books are a hot-of-the-moment meditative practice, a currently in vogue in response to over-digital stimulation.  The Slow Luxury of coloring echoes the timeless tracing of ancient mandalas, yantras, and sand paintings for balance and connection.  The Immortal Beloved coloring book features 12 goddesses representing 9 sacred geographic areas of the world, each evoking the myth, fairy tales, and legends of sacred traditions.

They, and you, giggle through these belongings, desires, and female expressions.  Twelve in all, they represent the chakras/energy centers of our own bodies, our own earth, and layers of artful connections to the great Bee-yond.
(And that’s something Bee-yond even Bee-yonce.)

Goddesses of the Earth

1   POCAHONTAS OF NATIVE AMERICA

2   PINGA OF THE INUIT NORTH

3   ABUNDANTIA OF ITALY and LA SIRENA OF SPAIN

Girls of the DreamTime

4    SARASWATI OF INDIA + THE AUSTRALIAN DREAMTIME

5    KWAN YIN OF THE ORIENT

6   QUEZALCOATL IXCHEL OF THE MAYA

Galaxy Gals

7    SHEELA OF THE CELTS and FREYA OF THE NORTH

8    MAMA AFRICA and CLEOPATRA QUEEN OF EGYPT

9    BLACK ATHENA TARA OF RUSSIA

The full coloring book will go on sale in early 2017 and as a “Goddess Tease,” the first four prints are now on sale here.

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WHERE TO NEXT, GIRLS?  WE TRAVEL THE EPIC ROAD.
The Immortal Beloved project is part of our Slow Luxury ventures and will extend to journeys, inviting travelers to make and explore the worlds of perfume, clothing and design sourced in these 9 global destinations by working with local resources and traders.  Many destinations will follow The Silk Road, through our Slow Luxury platform in partnership with Epic Road, the transformative travel company, which has been awarded Travel + Leisures A-List designation since 2015 as a Top Travel Specialist.  The first trip will be Marrakech in 2017, read more here.

AND MORE UNCANNY ABOUT ARIZONA.

The Book of Elders

I posted this image from my favorite book on my last post.  Who would guess that a host of the event, is a friend of the photographer, Dan Budnik, and also painted a portrait of one of the women?

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“Here is a painting I did of the moods of Virginia Deal, Master Weaver and elder a month before she died, ” shared Moira Geoffrion, an artist, arts professor, and a principle of the Head to Toe event, who saw this image on my blog!

Brunch at Moria and her husband Charles Geoffrion‘s house the next morning after the event, looks like this.

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In Moria’s studio, her animal paintings.

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I love this being above.

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Upon entering their expansive home filled to the brim with art from all over the world, I focused in on simple yellow roses in a bowl and mentioned how yellow flowers are always a sign for me that my Dad is around.  “Funny,” said Moira’s daughter, “this specific way of arranging flowers comes from my grandmother and is a tradition around here.”  Ancestors are always around out West.

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Charles on coffee duty.  Cinnamon on dog duty.

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The gardens outside.

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I could putter, pool, and leap around here all day.

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The Good Life.

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Behold, I finally met my Saguaro.

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And goal!  I was able to pop the precious perfume bottle of Immortal Beloved in the heart of a Saguaro. I know I look like I trekked through the desert, trials, tribulations, and too many pita pockets to get here.

Moira’s husband took this picture insisting he was a stringer for the Associated Press.  Thankfully he told me that, it convinced me to actually love that he allowed the shadow of the cacti on my face as the personality of the tree limbs shadow the whole garden, intrinsic to its beauty!  I actually like the halfway-house look on my face, it’s very West/South Frida Kahlo-esque.

HEAVY METAL IN ARIZONA

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On the way to the airport homeward-bound the day before the ELECTION, I became absorbed in capturing metal on the highway.  Was it the upcoming election, a cutting sharp end of my stay?  A contrast to so much visual stimulation, fine art, and people?  Perhaps.  It was a kind of meditation and I do love the spare, clean, strong quality here in each of these.  Plus, there are some odd cloud happenings of note!  OK, perhaps they are scratches on the window getting blurred, let’s agree that REALITY is a construct of choice, eh? (ELECTION)

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Above, an “A” for Arizona, perfectly matched to the mountain, a classic triangle, a symbol of the goddess with feet rooted, head pointing upwards.  And wow, look at these 3 triangle clouds in the photo below with 3 birds.

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OK! What is up with the cloud? Is it a UFO bird? I love being out West.

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Look at these sky happenings:

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Look at this metal bird.

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And thank you cacti.

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And heart land of America.

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In hopes that my work has given some beauty back to the world and we fight harder than ever to honor this land.

Flying over NYC at sunset, such a fitting culmination of my latest venture out West.

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And…a green orb friend.

Back in NYC, where immortal beloveds like these 3 wise women were holding court after voting at my polling place the next day.

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This coming together in diversity is our City.

I LOVE that LOVE notes on a wall at Union Square echo our own LOVE Notes Happening above ground there in 2009,
read more about that here.

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So grateful for goddesses, cacti, and perfume. Get some here:

TO PURCHASE THE GODDESS PERFUME + COLORING BOOK
Immortal Beloved has incarnated in several versions, from an atomizer to a gift set, with the Perfume and Coloring Book Gift Set available now for pre-sale orders, shipping early 2017.

Hello! The Atomizer and Perfume are AVAILABLE + SHIPPING NOW!

  •  Perfume   $150.

1/3 oz (10 ml) oil based perfume in a hand blown, gold filigree, Czechoslovakian glass bottle.

  • Atomizer    $50.

1/3 oz (10 ml) EDP in a red metal purse atomizer.

1/3 oz (10 ml) oil based perfume in a hand blown, gold filigree, Czechoslovakian glass bottle and 1/3 oz (10 ml) EDP in a red metal purse atomizer, plus the Immortal Beloved Coloring Book.

PRINTS OF THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE GET-ABLE NOW! 
Illustrations of the first four EARTH Goddesses are available as giclee prints, available now online by clicking here in the Immortal Beloved Collection in the Jade Dress Shop. 
The prints come in two sizes: 8” X 10” at $75. and 11” X 14″ at $150.

Drumroll, here is the roll call for the first gals:

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The Beautiful Cover in Full-Color

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Pocahontas of Native America

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Pinga of the Inuit North

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Abundantia of Italy

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El Sirena of Spain

In honor of Arizona, the West, UFO’s, and the libertine life, I’ll leave you with some psychodelica music.

Til next we meet my friends, just be GOOD. It’s just that EASY. xoxo Jade

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