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Perseverance Meets Sustenance

Perseverance Meets Sustenance, digital drawing, CKS

When Perseverance
met Sustenance
embers ignited

into soul fire.

caressed her shadows;
and peace settled itself
within her heart-walls.


from series Reflections of Sentient

a growing family tree
drawings of warmth and growth
digital drawing

Winter is here, and for many holidays have arrived. I hope you remember how beautiful you all are.

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday. A day devoted to supporting your favorite charities. There are also non-official places and people to support as well. Individual people doing awesome things. One such person to consider is:

A Cornered Gurl – Founded/Owned by Tre L. Loadholt, an absolute champion of young writers and a talented writer in her own right. Donations through her PayPal on A Cornered Gurl go to pay an honorarium to writers. Check it out, read, share, subscribe, and consider donating here

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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Skin of her Skin

Skin of my Skin, ink on paper, 17" x 17" on 20 " x 20" paper, CKS

Reaches into the desires
of her heart and inhales;
builds into action.

She, becoming;
watching her own suffering
being in the gift of an animated life.

So what’s up?! Fall arrived here in the Blue Ridge, and I am happy to be out. One day, I spent almost my entire time out and in my chair on walkabout up and down Rebel’s Creek, happy to see almost every neighbor I know; too beautiful to stay inside my studio.

As you know, it has been a difficult first part of the year. Rituxan treatment was delayed, and I ended up in an attack, and luckily not like 2018, and, grrrrr; and life continued and treatment worked its way back into my life. My body stabilized once again, and the task of allowing my body to rest, renew, make the gains possible, and adapt where needed. Emotionally and mentally trust myself and care for my person-hood. My very own ‘stay-retreat’; my soul indulging in the skin of her skin; tailoring to its own needs; inhaling into an exhale of ‘okay’.

Then, catch up began. I am still catching up on certain responsibilities, and I am being gentle with myself, and simultaneously know this can and does disappoint, frustrate, and does not meet the needs of others.

I speak to this because sometimes, we as people can beat on ourselves, feel overly guilty to the point of giving up on ourselves; reinforcing some belief we are awful humans.

Truth is can we accept our own fallibility that we will make mistakes. Can we accept ourselves knowing we will disappoint and not meet the expectations we help set up? Take responsibility without denigrating ourselves? What does that look like?

A couple of cool things happened along this way. A team from Microsoft visited my studio, and made a video, and this video ended up being apart of their live event at the beginning of October (video coming soon).

What!!!! Insanely fun. Sweetest, coolest team of people; making it easy for someone not accustomed to be the one in front of the camera in this way. My heart sang sharing how these Surface tools I use today helping make my work possible.

Second, I was given the opportunity to attend a Narrative Medicine Symposium in Asheville. Insanely beautiful and profound. I speak often about my college experience coming into the art department, and feeling that deep sense of being home. This symposium was once again, this gentle yes-sense of coming home.

I belonged. My heart, art, poetry belonged and I knew it within my marrow and pulse of my heart. excitement; comfort. I was exactly where I wanted to be, and I look forward to what continues, what is next.

With that, enjoy Reflections of Sentient, a series I am currently within and growing with. I finished a drawing for a dear friend; based on a poem I wrote for her for Christmas a few years ago. This drawing, she was pregnant, and wanted my help.

Thus, here we are, each drawing born of each other, and growing as a family grows within our human experience.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

*feature image – work in progress, detail of triptych based on quote by Hafiz

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Reflections of Sentient

Reflections of Sentient Connie Karleta Sales

skins peeling in equity;
silken curves that crash down
the edge of my ears,
like waves
feel into you,
into each.

words drip.
you are peace.

writing into my spring;
fall cooing winter’s despair,
bended-tree whispers,
I listen, as
soundness reasons
with her own insanity.

blood-bitters soak.
you are quiet.

music calling as a dove
rippling within sincerity
encircling my smile;
seen into water’s edge
satire satisfactions
appease rejoices,
the you within each we.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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Dear Rainmaker,
there are discerning days.
there are days of unknown melancholy.
and then, there are days;
days in which that clutching darkness
dances around my wandering mind, and
I question tomorrow’s dawn.

then I catch a brief smirk upon my lips
when I remember the lilies of the field.

am I sitting with flowers?
am I sitting with flowers, yet?

Fall into the coolness of
the meadow my child.
there is no grief and no madness,
however great, that darkness can consume.

My strength and My peace
shall surround you.
My light shall fill you.

Dear Heart, I love you.
lean on me, through the strength
of those that surround you.
you are loved, my beloved

We can feel helpless. We can feel hopeless. We grieve in anger, frustration, and disappointment. We pause, we breathe, we hang on until hope and love reside next to us.

I share today a poem I wrote awhile ago, and it is within a greater story and resides in Rainmaker and Flower; pray on dirty knees, my first poetry book published this last May.

I share it because I return to this poem when I am in that well of darkness, and feel quite sad and overwhelmed. When my world is spinning and nothing gets accomplished.

I have had deadlines I have not met. Responsibilities I have not lived up too, and I hope for forgiveness and more patience. When my emotions and mental capacity has weighted me down until I only hear the echo of “I am a loser. good for nothing.” and even less gets accomplished, and I hear less and less, and see less and less; and I want nothing more than to hide.

I become paralyzed in fear. everything, even my art becomes suspect, and I am paralyzed; deciding maybe I should start over; abandoned all together.

Does your world ever appear in bleak darkness? This poem is for you and for me. Let us read it together, and know you are not alone. I am not alone. And there is no darkness that light cannot overcome, that fear cannot be comforted; that grief cannot feel kindness, that love cannot find.

It is okay not to be okay. My dear friends, I ask more patience with me. I share my heart because this is what I do. I am with you. I am here in your disappointment, in your anger, frustration, grief.

I will rise again. I have no idea this path I, not alone, am on. The path you, not alone, are on.

We are together, praying as we are; our dirty knees resting in the fields of the lilies

paint much love, always.
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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We went for a walk today.  
together.  He pushed me.
and we enjoyed
silver-haired squirrels
and turtles at water’s edge.
is this redemption; the acceptance? 

in borrowed chair,
he asked me to give it a try.
life made easier
I do not know where this goes.  
The walk was beauty and free.  
My hesitant pause.

My heart in sun;
hidden by shadow
tangible silence

and then,

Sometimes life feels as an endless cycle of starting over, without really understanding or knowing what that means. I know I do it a lot. I have trouble making decisions, and when I do, I wander through endless possibilities and doubt whether the decision was right. and in time, I lovingly make a mess.

You might notice my blog looks a bit different; in fact a little sparse, and you would be correct. It is bare, because I made a decision. I changed the plan I subscribe to. I don’t regret that decision, however, I apologize to you, because I did not fully understand what it meant.

When I changed, I lost my art, poetry, and life I have been sharing with you, and all the lovely comments you have shared with me. Please forgive me. That part was not intended,

In gratitude, though, I have wanted a way to feel good about this new season in my life. What does that look like? What does it mean? How do I share it with you? How do I feel good about going forward, without negating the past, and yet not feeling the need to have it so near?

My work is changing; not the heart of it, but changing none the less. So, perhaps, Mary, she has spoken, and helped me in ways I could not do for myself.

A very physical clean slate. Visceral starting again. So, I chose the above poem, because I wrote it while visiting my home away from home. And so tenderly was brought to us, a wheelchair. It was close to March of 2017, and struggling I was. I refused to give up my canes and walker for a chair.

I thought that meant giving up. I thought it proved what a failure I was.

and then, my hubby and I went for a walk along this greenbelt and really enjoyed ourselves. Rather than me worrying about him worrying about me; we enjoyed the walk, the trees, the animals, and each other.

why? because I allowed myself to accept what was, and accept the help of a simple chair, and the love of family and friends.

Today is a long ways from then; life has continued to change. My disease continues its progression, and the daily life choices and experiences do not stop. Life continues in all its beauty and difficulties.

So, I hope you stay, and continue allowing me to share with you. May my art, poetry, and life, provide you with the sustenance you need on your own journey. Where it goes, nobody really knows. . .

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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Heal Me Open

Rise through darkness;
Sun glittering amid her trees.
Awake. Alive.
Revisiting the feeling of being.


been looking for a means to draw using my eye tracker; just couldn’t figure it out until yesterday. I realized I could set the “mouse” settings. I set one to “hold down” and lines became possible.

Now, I am practicing making lines. It is not as easy as one might think. Concentration and realizing how much your eyes move and you don’t realize it.

Keep exploring! and paint much love always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

lines of possibility

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April/May What’s Up!

Dear Friends, Its Here! Ready for Pre-Order
We are together in the otherness of each other

So excited to be able to share such talented and awesome creatives! Thursday, May 9th, pre-orders will ship out, PDF downloads will email!

Also, I will be giving away one print edition and 10 PDF versions. I will combine all the names of followers from Instagram, Facebook, Medium, and WordPress, and draw at random. That’s 11 total, for each year I have remained cancer-free!

It is time to Celebrate Life!

Its that time – TRAC Studio Tour
Friday, May 31 – Sunday, June 2
10am – 5pm each day
w/ artist reception at the TRAC Gallery,
Spruce Pine on Oak St. Friday, May 31, 5:30-7:30pm

Please join us, Crooked Little Flower and Burnt Mountain Pottery, we are #98 on the Tour Map, located at 39 Castanea, Bakersville NC.

from HWY 19, take 80 N (approx. 3 miles) turn right on Rebels Creek (at the Rebels Creek Baptist Church) approx. 1.2 miles you will see our studios on the left; a long, single story, rectangular building with dark charred siding. You will also see the studio signage on the end of the building as you drive up. We look forward to meeting you!

Come, enjoy, tag us on social, keep the conversation going

Refreshments will be served; art and poetry to enjoy and purchase.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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afternoon in the Telling Place of her studio

To grok in Your being
I unleash in slenders
and leap in-subversive;
substance of my body.

you follow my
displacement and supplant the
nearness of my come after.

unsubstantial frailties
of my countenance,

hear our prayer.


paint much love always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a,k,a. This Crooked Little Flower

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she loves her

art met soul.
swan-gazed they embraced,

each their stillness of
frenzy; blushed with their curiosity.

Twins, Art met Soul, #shelovesher, work in progress, digital drawing, part of Standing Human

my art met my soul when I was just a little girl. I didn’t know it. Its probably a good thing. She was a quiet constant in my life; art and soul. When I met the both them, I was in college and home where I had always been; submerged in the Creative.

it was 1994, within my installation of Bearing the Burdens of the Father; personal reflections with the Stations of the Cross, where I came to know her and accept that she was me, and this me loved the connections with we.

she did not really belong to me; I always knew that. I was her hands and her feet. She taught me and told me what she needed; entrusted me to care for her needs, to meet her voice with mine.

not just my art and my soul, but your art and your soul too

here we are today, standing human, together. she loves her which means she loves you. Have you met her? If so, how are you; how is she? If not, what stops you from holding her hand? May you know her, may you be satiated.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little flower