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Revisiting Paintings

What is time but a social construct?

We assign values and labor to time but we cannot measure the time it takes to truly experience growth.

Last year if you asked me how long a painting takes me I would have said four hours with pride

of my efficiency and passersby

would assign a value to those hours, monetary minutes and seconds.

But time isn’t real. And creativity is timeless and endless.

I can pick up paint and prove that there is never quite a finished product,

but a moment in the elapse of the journey where I rest until I pick up paint again

because I am growing and revisiting old wounds, old ideas and allowing them to grow with no time frame.

See, I probably never really paid attention to the clicking clocks until I got praise for getting things done quickly.

The little one inside of me yearned to explore, but society demands time.

I disconnect from the construct and the sun still rises. The rain still falls. Time is still measured

but I value my time differently, and I do not create with a need to make the world make sense to me

anymore because societal norms have been constructed and given a value based on time which has also been implemented as a way to assign values and a way to control the chaos.

There is chaos in creation and beauty in that chaos.

Only now am I taking the time to embrace the explosions that happen in my brain

that for the world may last an hour or four or more.

I am taking the time to bask in creation and nature.

An old wise man once asked me what would happen if you took your time?

Imagine how good you would be if you took your time and my youth smiled,

but the ancient being inside of me held onto that treasure.

Discover what happens when you TAKE your time.

Take it back and I don’t mean rewind,

but stop assigning it to things that don’t serve you and giving it to people who do not understand the value of each stroke of your creation.

I always wonder how space travelers will be able to come to a consensus about time and journeys across galaxies.

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The Pigcowtopus Project Presents #HeadSpace

My thoughts behind the series…

As many of you know from my story, mental health matters and is very important and personal to me and my story. I find healing in exploring the matters of the mind and the heart. I wanted to explore different emotions because emotions are flowy creatures. They ebb and flow. People who experience anxiety and depression often speak of a fogginess that comes with manic episodes and break throughs. I myself have experienced them. I used this time to explore my triggers and the things that bring me peace.

There is a lot to be said about each painting in this series. I painted Emergence: My Bedroom is my Hair one week when I experienced a depressive episode and I painted my way out of it. Once done I realized that the painting depicted what it feels like to emerge out of a depressive state and how altered perception can be. Over the next few months, I sketched and painted a still growing series based on different t emotions, mood shifts and dispositions. I started thinking about my own emotions and what type of emotions I want to experience and how to get there. During this time I experimented with mixed media and chalk and a new series was born, but one of the most direct and important because I care so much about mental health awareness. I experimented with Mount Vision Pastels that a friend let me try. I used water and acrylic paint, made a mess, and then made a masterpiece. I started imagining dark states that accumulate or bright ideas that can break through and illuminate the mind. I started research into natural and plant-based medicine and explored what it means to float. I imagined the pressure that we place in our minds and how that effects the state of our inner skies.

I open my heart and mind to the world and am very transparent about anxiety, cptsd and OCD. I honor my biological family and their mental health struggles. I can hold them accountable as adults, and also honor them with compassion. And I wish I knew more. I wish there were doctors and counseling available to communities. All I can do is share my experience, begin a conversation and build my community.
In life we all can experience so much that effects our mental and emotional states. Growth comes from conversation about these topics. I think about how people speak about certain taboo mental health disorders, and I wish for more compassion in the world

Float into Softness by Christine Samad

My word for this year is going to be soft.

There is a sweetness inside that is me,

but I am like cotton candy

And melt when bitten, quite literally.

Some people can simply be mean.

And it’s like whenever I want to be without my guard I can’t be

Because people are not looking to my best interest.

I often feel alone in preserving my… softness.

Soft and sensitive get negative connotations, like “oh, he’s so soft, I was just playing.”

Or, “Ooooh girl you are too sensitive– don’t take it personal.”

Jokes are permission for critical quips, don’t you know.

And everything we are is personal, especially for those walking in truth,

and those dropping the masks

So they can enjoy the sweetness of the sun and the calm of the night.

I just want to be soft.

I want to rediscover the sweet, kind woman goddess of creation I am before the storm came.

I have found moments throughout my life when someone was critical of me being supported or served.

Catered to.

Or should I say considered, because cater is a tricky word too.

What is catering but considering options amiable to those parties involved?

Something that requires thinking of others that are not you and your own.

But what is it about my independence strength and tenacity that makes me not yours, not protected, not allowed to be soft?

The melanin in my skin yearns to be soft in the grassy field engulfed by the sunshine.

I’m imperfect this is true. I learn, think and then do.

I am big and soft like the giving tree.

I try to protect and nourish others.

But don’t we all deserve acts of kindness? Is it me?

Do I not do the same? I feel like my brain

is not of this world and I slip between my mind and this world and all of the words,

the words flying in out and around.

If I could fly on the wings of nature as wisps of wind,

I would revel in its wonder.

I imagine cool grass tickling the perimeter of my skin.

Can you treat me delicately, at least for a time?

Mental break downs can be recovered from if I honor myself

And allow myself to feel the warmth of cozy clouds and comfort so that it reaches my soul. 

I need moments when I don’t have to look in my periphery, but enjoy the whole

Of what’s in front of me, in safe company.

Let me just be.

Harsh reality crashes and shuts me down.

I open the windows so I don’t drown.

Count to ten, squeeze tight and embrace my crown.

If I don’t speak up if I don’t make a sound

I will be turning my back on myself and I won’t do that. Not while I’m around. 

Sink into your own warmth
And weave threads of silk around
Allow yourself to lift off the ground
And enjoy the moments…

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#Fishiesin Space

The Pigcowtopus Project Presents #Fishies in Space

My thoughts behind the series…

Ever since I saw a Jellyfish in Space on T.V., I have often contemplated the knowledge that we truly have of space, especially in comparison with the knowledge that we have of the ocean. There is still so much to learn about our own earth, never mind the universe. While mysteries still abound, I wanted to give sea life a new perspective in space, and it started off as just a silly, fun idea on a round canvas. The first fish was good old Bubble Eyes. Imagine if fish really could live in a tank, in a suit, and communicate with humanoids….what would they have to say? As I began to paint different fish, I researched interesting facts about them. For example, did you know that the archer fish shoots water out of its mouth so that it can hit and consume insects? Trigger clown fish also interestingly have dorsal fins that help it wedge itself in small openings when it evades predators. I tried to find fish that I enjoyed learning about.

The ocean is a calm, noisy, happy place, and I love when we vacation by the beach. I fall asleep listening to the ways and practice being present. Being present is not always easy to do in a world of distraction and classic misdirection. Imagine our mind could be contained in a bubble. I have learned that with the beauty of the ocean, also comes its peculiar creatures, and we will never truly be able to account for all of the life and ecosystems in the deepest parts of the ocean. I like to research creatures and paint them in my silly way. Bold colors, bold lines and silly faces. Growing up, I loved coloring books and looked forward to the newspaper comics every weekend. I love when I can showcase humor with a hint of realism and a dash of imagination. I painted the fish using posca paint markers, and used acrylic paint on the water to create a bubble effect. The black star lined edges, really make the bubbles pop!

When painting this series, tea pots and tea cups positioned themselves on the clouds, so I started thinking about what message these painting have for me. My husband, Russ, loves trying different kinds of tea and coffee. I am recently exploring tea. My favorite tea has chamomile, butterfly pea flowers, lemon grass and lemon balm. I also love a good tried and true peppermint or rose tea. What is fascinating about tea culture, is the ceremony and ritual that can exist. My husband told me about how some people use a tea ceremony to reflect and stay grounded. They steep the tea in a particular sequence so that they savor the flavor of the tea and can pay attention to how the flavor changes. It is a beautiful thing. While I do not hold tea ceremonies for myself, I have started learning to brew my own teas, and finding peace in the moments of each step of creation. With this series, I cannot help but think of the lines from a poem that I wrote last year: “Think on the present. The sea foam will dissipate, Bubble your dreams up to space…” I imagine these silly fish bubbling up into space to explore. I imagine the tea pots are the pressure that I sometimes feel when I become frustrated or have emotions that overwhelm me. And yet, there is something still about pouring into your own cup. Most of the cups are tipped and overflowing. The silly fish float on.

Learning to Meditate with by writing a Tanka An Excerpt from The Nature of Healing, Evolving and Transforming by Christine Samad

White noise surrounds me.

Relaxing gets easier.

Embrace the pressure.

Fill your head with honeybees,

And usher the hive outward.

Close your wearied eyes.

Just ride the waves to the coast.

Think of nothingness.

Something pushes you forward.

Roll along the moving sea.

Imagine the waves.

Fall into the ebb and flow.

Connect with nature,

The force of the sun and moon.

Become one with the cycle.

The water crashes

Like cymbals against your past.

Think on the present.

The sea foam will dissipate,

Bubble your dreams up to space.

Envision the black,

Let it envelop your soul.

Think of twinkling stars

And of the moon beaming down.

Their light will guide your vision.

Prepare for the dawn

With stillness in your hearts mind,

And breathe in slowly.

Fill your lungs with the sweet air.

Breathe in as deep as you can.

Finally breathe out.

Exhale the pain and worry.

Take fresh breath anew.

Let the sharpness in your lungs

Remind you that you’re alive.

When, pitter patter,

The raindrops begin to fall,

Let them engulf you.

Become one with the monsoon.

Let it clear what’s in its path.

Stretch your arms upward.

Receive what nature bestowed.

Believe your power.

The wind rustles up the veil,

Revealing the wells within.

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The Pigcowtopus Project Presents #BrokenHeartsClub

My thoughts behind the series…

To say that the greatest blessing in my life has been the love of my husband and our furry family. They have supported me through very difficult times and as I heal and grow, I wanted to start taking more control of the narrative and message behind my artwork. 

My grandmother was a renowned artist. She created whimsical scenes with symbols and simplistic yet impactful images. Her name was Carol Jablonsky. She passed away when I was too young to have many memories. I remember her long gray hair and warmth. My sister, who is a few years older told me a few of her memories about her creating art when we visited and how loving our grandmother was. I have always felt she checks on us now and again. 

 Growing up I was told she was an artist, but I never knew what she painted. It had been my life dream to find out. A few years ago I did my own research into my own records as well as hers. My search and a small clue found along the way led me to Pinterest of all places where I found her work and the profile of my aunt. Because of this I was able to reach out to her and connect she shares stories and photos and it has been amazing. My husband bought me her artwork and my aunt sent me a handwritten card that my grandmother had made for one of her patrons. The paper she used was so soft and I reveled in the fact that she had an affinity for mythology, legends and stories. My favorite pieces of hers is called, “Quintas,” which depicts the minotaur holding a string connected to a floating bird. After all of this I thought, how can I tell my own story with my own symbols?

When I picked up painting and writing as a hobby in 2018, my husband and I bought a circular piece of wood that we brought home. I painted a sketch of him and I as the sun and moon. I wanted to explore their love, and I love that I am bringing back the symbolism and imagery. I have a whole new set of sketches waiting to be painted so I can tell their story, but that will take some time. 

In the meantime, I created six hearts. Inky, Grumpy and Monster are the cutest because even the grumpiest of hearts needs love. Hopefully, this will be a annual recurring series because they were so fun to create.

For the Love of the Sun and the Moon

By Christine Samad

For the love of the sun and the moon, the stars shine.

Say you will be mine until the end of time

Because I am already yours,

And I will meet you as you are.

Reflect my warmth and find solace in the darkness

Because light is drawing near, though it may seem far.

As time disappears

Cherish my love and hold me dear

For the love of the sun and the moon erases my fears,

For the constants of the universe

And the contents of the universe are ever changing, but it is clear,


Never are they destroyed,

For what is the love of the sun and the moon if not pain and love and joy?

Of moments missed and moments made sweet with the warmth adorned by a kiss.

 Moments that run deep and tall and too short moments of bliss?

The love of the sun and the moon exists

In these moments between.

Seen by all but by all unseen.

Their love is but a dream between a dream,

But it is their dream,

And it fuels and it beams

For the love of the sun and the moon. 

If a star twinkles in a galaxy far, far away… does is shine?

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The Pigcowtopus Project Presents


My thoughts behind the series…

Generally, the thought and belief in aliens gives a vast array of reactions, from hope and discovery to pure terror, but I think as humans we are fascinated with the idea of other beings, as if the existence of other beings in the universe will determine our worth or take pressure off of our responsibilities. 

This may seem silly, but when I was younger, I never knew what happened with my parents, and the stories I was told were just plain terrible.  Being a kid living with a toxic foster family was hard.  My imagination saved my life.  One of the things I imagined while sitting alone with my early thoughts, was that I am an alien.  I knew it wasn’t true.  But one night, it really helped me have hope when I could not make sense of my surroundings. I made up a very loose alien story and dreamed of a better day.

I don’t want to be around to meet the aliens anymore because I watch a lot of terrible things that happen in space.  Star Trek is my comfort show, The Next Generation is (obviously) my go to, but there is something to be said for each phase of the journey through the Universe. There are a million of ways to die in space, and any time I watch a space movie, I will always assign a moment of disaster a number.  For example, reason number 527 not to go to space, is that the heel of your foot can just break off in space, so.  There is that.  Thanks, Away (Netflix Series). 

Still, I imagine that the aliens that I draw have only ever viewed human media, and have a lot of preconceived notions about what brings humans joy.  They try on human clothes and relish in human experiences, just to catch a glimmer of the eternal hope and beauty of being human. 

I also began to explore the extension of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and what it would like in my art, as seen in “Flying Saucers.”  I even queued up a few movies while painting.  One of the things I notice about AI is that technology and algorithms are only as smart and as compassionate as the people who program them.  That being said, Algorithms can learn and change, but we are just at the beginning of that technology.  I think. 

Oh, the musings of a space explorer who will never leave earth!  I suppose we may never know the truth of what is out there, but I suppose, it is fascinating to imagine the possibilities.

“Enter the Simulation”

A poem by Christine Samad, The Creator of the Pigcowtopus Project

I entered the simulation,

I came to peace with death. 

Death was the thing that the ones I feared, feared the most,

So, when met

With the challenge of living,

I stopped.

Living is what I was taught leads to death…

Show it fear, fear means respect,

But what is living but numbers, conversations,

Equations, calculations

and energy

Given and returned?

And when I realized how ends lead to new beginnings

The nature of change and the sequence of chaos, I became more sure.

I could breathe a little bit easier and release the pressure and failure in perfection.

I am not looking forward to dying, but I understand that things come to an end, and in reflection,

 I can honor my life, and honor my death with choices and connections,

Illuminating the darkness with compassion.

Simulation Ended.