I was going to share pictures from the opening last night in Walnut Creek, but that will have to wait. (Just till tomorrow, I promise- so, so much fantastic work!) First, I have to share this video, from TED, of writer Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) talking about creativity, and the possibility of re-inventing our perception of it. It’s funny, and bone-true, just like her book. And it’s worth watching if only for the description of the poem and the poet… you’ll see. It took my breath away. *Thanks to Beth for sending me this!!
Oh my. I finally made it over to Big Huge Labs and their Mosaic Maker. What a fun, fun toy. I’ve been meaning to do this forever, and just hadn’t gotten around to it. They also have a tool that generates a WordPress header image. Whoo Hoo! I am so NOT a techie, that I love it when other (brilliant) people come up with tools like this that take the headache out of trying to do something infuriatingly mind boggling fun on the computer.
Anyway. I’ve been gathering dreamy, natural-form photos on Flicker, and I love seeing them together like this. Inspiring, indeed.
1. 20090110_0109_4, 2. La belle Astrance…avril 2006, 3. …, 4. …, 5. …, 6. …, 7. Dried Seeds, 8. Untitled, 9. the shot of the day., 10. Untitled, 11. dry, 12. Bokeh Flowers, 13. Untitled, 14. Untitled, 15. secret garden of Princess thorn, 16. pass over the hedge of thorns, 17. come feel the sun, 18. We Apologize For This Interuption, 19. frost, 20. …, 21. Untitled, 22. i was thinking about hundertwasser, 23. –, 24. Untitled, 25. Nostalgia
This stop action video made my morning. So creative.
I just finished this itsy-bitsy piece the other day. It is for a project directed by Saije Bashaw, at The Creative Gym 5. The idea is to create an art work inspired by a word or words, and taking between 1-8 hours to complete the project. Very simple, very fun. The words this time around were “hidden” and “change”. This little piece took me a few hours, and got me to do some visual problem solving, and felt refreshingly different from other recent work I’ve made. The deadline isn’t for a while, so I haven’t seen other’s work yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
I’ve also been working on more “White Series” paintings…
One….. Dot….. At….. A….. Time.
Because, really– who couldn’t use a little more inspriation right now?
When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at a college — that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?”
Howard Ikemoto was my first drawing teacher when I was 19. Stroke of luck, that. He was such an amazing teacher, that I didn’t need the passage of time to know just what a lucky student I was; I knew it at the time. I recently came across some old sketchbooks from then, and realized just how much I carry my teachers voices with me as I go on with my life and my work. I remember Howard telling the above story one day in class.
One of the things I love best about making art is the way it keeps me integrated: the four year old me, the 15 year old me, the 19 year old me, the 40 year old me. When I draw or paint, it’s easier to know that part inside that remembers- and I can tap into the same joy of “making” that I felt when I was four, and will feel when I’m 90.
I do love the idea of the new year, and though I’m not much for “New Year’s resolutions”, I do find it an excellent time to take stock, looking both back and forward. This past year has brought me so much to be grateful for, it’s difficult to quantify. Some of it is material: A new studio steps from my back door, amazing local food grown by our hardworking farmers, a new kitty, a trip to Thailand, artwork sales. Other things, less concrete, but perhaps more valuable: my priceless relationships with family and friends, many moments of creative inspiration and productivity, laughter and health, experiences had and lessons learned. Looking forward, I can carry all of this into the new year. Instead of the new year feeling like a time to “start over”, I feel like it is a time to build on the previous year. Even the so-called mistakes have their hidden value, if I reflect on them in a positive way. The past few months have been tumultuous for many of us- politically, or economically, or personally. The new year is a great time to glean the goodness of 2008, and carry it forward!
May your paths be lit by the light of inspiration in 2009!
Could anything be more beautiful?
My mom and dad came for a visit recently, and when my dad walked in, he was carrying this. Found under the tarp for their wood pile.(Thank you, dad!!) I felt a little badly that these poor eggs were abandoned, but I will look forward to painting this nest. This nest is in fantastic shape- and the avian architectural brilliance is always startling. Every piece of grass and animal hair is woven- just so.
As for me, I feel like I am starting to weave myself together as I come off from a busy busy couple of months. Thanks to those of you who emailed me and made sure that I knew that this blog matters!
Sometimes I forget that my most artistically productive times are fed and nurtured by things that I don’t always give credit to. Like walking, gardening, knitting, exploring, reading, relaxing and playing with my family …. and doing nothing. Sometimes I want to be efficient and productive, and I replace that quiet nothingness or repetitive, rhythmic (but seemingly mindless) activity with something that delivers a more quantifiable something. And I feel my creative juices eventually start to dry up….. I suspect that the physics of our souls are very very different from the physics of matter. Or perhaps I just need to get smarter about what kind of productivity I want (or need) to invest in. So, though I know there are times when I just have to “get things done” that aren’t particularly nurturing to my creativity, it feels really really nice to get my feet back on the ground and create some margin for myself. One of these days I’ll get it through my head that creativity needs *space* to happen. That sometimes it takes a whole lotta nothin for the best things to happen.
I can’t sign off without introducing you to my new blogging partner.
Our new kitty, and the terror of the neighborhood. He totally owns everything around here (including us), eats at at least 3 houses, and chases our neighbor’s cats. And he’s only 5 months old. This is not necessarily a good thing. But this cat redeems himself with a personality the size of Texas. He is a study in fearlessness. And goofiness.
And this cat knows all about margin.
Here are two newly finished nest paintings that I’ve previously shown in earlier stages of development….
Both 24 x 24 inches, mixed media and acrylic on canvas. I just finished the embroidery on these this morning, while drinking my coffee. The top image was painted from a nest that my husband’s parents found in their wood pile. The second, from the nest found outside my studio. I’ve been working so much in encaustic lately that these two poor things have been sitting, forlorn, in a corner, waiting to be finished for a few weeks now. Sometimes I think I enjoy paintings more after not looking at them for a while. It was nice to come back to these after a break, and see that they held up. A little space can be a good thing.
However, sometimes a little space can turn into too much space…. that has been the case lately with my husband traveling for work….. (sigh). Can you tell that I miss him? It’s been several weeks, this trip, but I am very happy to say that his company is flying me to spend some time with him in……Thailand. Yes, that’s where he’s been working, and that’s where I’m going, for two weeks. I’ve never been to Thailand, but it looks like a lovely, wonderful country, and I’m taking my sketchbook, two blank art journals, and my camera and anticipating lots and lots of inspiration. Not to mention my sweetie, and our 15th anniversary. I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep up with my blog while I’m away, and share some of this with you all, so stay tuned!
As I was cleaning up in the yard the other day, getting ready to mow the lawn, I saw this….
I didn’t even know right away what it was, and I think I stepped on it. It is a hummingbird nest, about the size of a golf ball. You can’t see in this photo, but it still has tiny egg shards in it. The lining is some really soft fiber, like a cotton ball. I am starting to think my studio is a nest magnet.
I love the way each bird chooses completely different materials, carefully constructing and arranging. This one used redwood from our mulch, and some of the moss that grows on the dead pine trees in my neighbors yard.