Saturday, November 22, 2014

What's in a name?

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;

And for that name, which is no part of thee,

Take all myself.

  Rom.        I take thee at thy word.

Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d;
Henceforth I never will be...



These words penned by Master Shakespeare are resonant with me today.  I have been thinking very hard about what I want my art to be and where I want it to take me.

Do I want my art to be a hobby or do I actually want to make it my career?  Should I sell my art or just keep everything?  Do I want to free myself from the grind of a "day job" and instead throw myself into the grind of a job that is not a job, but a passion?

Pretty heavy thoughts.  All necessary, but the kind that require deep meditation and soul searching.

Part of identifying myself as an artist is the name by which I brand myself.  I dropped my maiden name a long time ago because hardly anyone can spell it and fewer can pronounce it.  While that makes it absolutely unique (and I am the only person in the entire world with that name), it doesn't travel particularly well.  My married name is a different story.  It is not unique at all but not one I identify with as my life-long identity.  I was me a long time before I was married (not to mention, that my mother-in-law shares both my first and last names.  Only our middle names are different.  And I can't begin to tell you what sort of nightmare that has been!)

So what name?  I've always loved the combination of my first and middle names.  It's not unique (everyone's heard "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree"), but it is me.  Due to the non-uniqueness of "Brenda Lee" I've knew that I would have to "create" under a studio name.


The only problem is coming up with that name itself.

I've tried a few different incarnations over the years and they just haven't fit well.  I've tried and kept a few for various lengths of time and have either been stifled or lost by them.  But I had a dream the other night; this was the only dream I can remember having and it was very detailed and very long. 

In this dream, I stood at an easel with a very large canvas.  I was not in my body, but rather watching myself paint.  I watched each brushstroke, each loving mark as it found its rightful place.  Not a mistake or stray line was produced by this dream me.  I watched as the color built up and began to take shape.  Layer after layer, I could see the soul and heart within this painting.  It was an owl.  Not just any owl, but a gypsy.  As I leaned in to view the remarkable eyes of this painted owl, she winked at me and gestured to her crystal ball.  Within the crystal I saw myself, very much like an M.C. Escher painting... repeated as I had first seen myself at the easel.  Each "me" was reflected again and again.  I stepped back and asked the me who had been painting who the owl was.  And I (the me that had been painting) replied "she's the you you will be."

There the dream ended.

I am not the kind of person who dismisses a long, detailed, and colorful dream.  All dreams have meaning, but the ones you can recall in each minute detail days later have more meaning than most.

I must follow where that dream leads me and today, it has led me to "re-invent" myself into the Me I Will Become.  This change comes first with a name change.  I will still paint and sign all of my work under my own legal name (Brenda Lee), but my business will from now own be called The Gypsy Owl Art Co.  I hope you will all follow me to my new blog address and updated/renamed social media.

Thank you all for supporting me, my art, and journey through this wonderful life.

I hope to see you all soon!

With love,


brenda lee





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