Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Way It Is

The Way It Is

There is a thread you follow.
It goes among things that change.
But it doesn't change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can't get lost.
Tragedies happen;

people get hurt or die;
and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time's unfolding.
You don't ever let go of the thread.

~William Stafford

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fearless Living

I decided I needed a little help with living with intention, facing my fears...not staying in my p.j.s
till 4pm on a Sunday. I feel stuck....paralyzed. Have you ever felt like that? In this book, Rhonda Britten (I've never seen Starting Over) takes you through exercises, asks you to answer questions and take action. Not sure that I'll get through a chapter a day, but any movement forward is a good thing. I found the questions to be challenging...requiring a lot of thought, vulnerability and honesty. We are certainly doing some digging here. I'll keep you posted of my progress.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The newest little Meissners

Misty and Margaux

Margaux is a sable......

Misty is a roan

Together they spell....trouble! A week ago, Paul and I went to a ferret shelter, called the Ferret Den. Sid and Sandy are the sweetest people, they have converted part of their home into a ferret shelter. We went there for "a" ferret. These two little stinkers were surrendered together so they must be adopted together. We are in ferret "boot camp". After being without ferrets for 2 years, we're out of practice "ferret proofing" the house. Misty is a climber, she has no fear of stairs (our last 3 ferrets didn't care for stairs). Paul went to the basement and minutes later heard noises....there was Misty-covered in cobwebs. Misty can also pull herself up onto a kitchen chair...she grabs onto the seat cushion an pulls herself up, then onto the kitchen table. (I can't even do 1 straight leg push-up)
Yikes! What a handful! Margaux is the quieter of the two. She interacts with us much more than Misty. Getting to know their personalities is very fun. It's great to have little fuzzies around again. They are always doing things to make us laugh out loud.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Snow Toward Evening

Suddenly the sky turned gray,
The day,
Which had been bitter and chill,
Grew soft and still.
From some invisible blossoming tree
Millions of petal cool and white
Drifted and blew,
Lifted and flew,
Fell with the falling night.
~Melville Cane

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wishing you.......

Peace on Earth

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

my car is in there somewhere......

A couple of days ago, 12 inches of snow covered our area. Two days later, acoupla more inches, today up to 6 more! No worries here for a white Christmas. The piles of snow are increasing, our driveway is starting to look like a bobsled run. Grateful am I that we insulated our house last year.
A goodly number of years ago, I watched Reading Rainbow. They featured a book called "Winter Poems". A very sweet book with lovely illustrations.


What a night! The wind howls, hisses, and but stops
To howl more loud, while the snow volley keeps
Incessant batter at the window-pane,
Making our comforts feel as sweet again;
And in the morning, when the tempest drops,
At every cottage door mountainous heaps
Of snow lie drifted, then all entrance stops
Until the broom and the shovel gain
The path, and leave a wall on either side

~John Clare

Be warm!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm trying to get my butt in gear. Live my life with intention.
Not just doing things because they've always been done
that way. There are habits and attitudes to change. I'm
feeling stuck. I've noticed I act too much upon my feelings,
I don't feel like exercising, I don't feel like blah, blah, blah.
That discipline....where is it? I'm having a tough time
trying to put into words what it is I'm after....but the feelings
are strong indeed. I know I don't spend enough time in
quiet. There is always some sort of background noise on.
I think my heart is aching to be listened to.....but then
there's a certain amount of fear......

Friday, December 19, 2008

'twas a dark and stormy night

We're in the midst of a snow storm--lightening even! There is supposed to be 8-12 inches of snow. The storm team on tv is tracking the storm, before a flake had fallen--our man was out on the street. He's still out there, this time covered in white. The wind is picking up from the east and blowing snow, scultures are forming on my car. I love watching it snow, I'd rather watch it than be out driving in it. It's so beautiful....this sparkling, glistening snow. Before the plows come, before cars come through. Its pristine whiteness covers everything like a fluffy blanket. Oh, to see a snow angel. Today I stay in with my head and chest cold. Stay in where it's warm and keep watch with cup after cup of tea.

......a little later, a little's still snowing. Paul didn't get the snow blower to work, so he's out shoveling. Heavy and deep.

This little green gazing ball hangs right outside the front door. The wind is dancing with the ribbon. It's a quiet day, listening to this CD.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


A few of months ago, Stephanie Lee posted about writing out your intentions. Here is an excerpt from her post of Sept. 10 2008 (in fact go read it....)
"With a paper or journal or notebook in hand, set a timer for 10 minutes and set it aside where you can't see it. (too many rules already? Well, I'm not there to enforce them. I'm just laying out the ideal conditions. We want a fair contest don't we?) :) check. pen. check. timer. check. (what's that you say? the cat wants out? Put her out before you start the timer so she doesn't pester you the whole time. the dog can wait ten minutes.)Imagine that you got up just a little bit earlier and carved a little room in your pre-active morning for a little intention setting.'s not that directive. At this point we are just going to imagine what we want - for our day, for ourselves only. Not for others."
I'm a list maker, I have to write things down, without rules (they're more like guidelines-- arrrgh) I can't and don't focus. I am amazed at how much time gets frittered away at say, playing "crack attack". Why is it that I can spend 20 minutes on 1 game of crack and turn around and say, I don't have time for (fill in the blank). Then you hear the old adages like
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions". Well, what are you supposed to do with that?
Do you get overwhelmed like I do, with all those "good intentions"? I'm going to start today, with intention. baby steps. My knees hurt, (did I mention I need a partial knee replacement?) Today I will take 30 mins. out of my day and do something just for me, knee therapy. Next week, add thing more. Here's the deal, I need some accountability.
I'm putting this out there, PLEASE check on me and help me keep on track.
I need to lose 50 lbs. Right now I'm in that stinking downward spiral.......I need to lose weight, must exercise but my knees hurt, so I don't exercise, lalala.
The photo above was taken before I left work one day (night?) last week.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

to be nobody but yourself

to be nobody
but yourself
in a world
which is doing its best,
night and day,
to make you everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight,
and never stop fighting.

e.e. cummings

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's more tiring to avoid than to do

Filled with emotion that I am just not sure what to do with. My modus operandi is to eat, but it's not working for me anymore, well, it works but.....I need to do something more constructive, than destructive. I can't live in denial and avoidance anymore. Paul and I drove my mom to Adams (it's about a 2 and a quarter hour drive) to visit my dad (they've been divorced since the late 70's---and are friendly toward one another) and his sister and her husband. I was apprehensive about the trip. I love my mother, but for whatever reason, she loves to control with guilt trips. The trip went well...thankfully, the visits were cut short due to snow moving through the area. I am glad my mom and dad got to see each other, probably for the last time. My mother's remaining lung is starting to shut down. My dad has prostate cancer, and I saw a huge lump on the side of his neck. He's an ornery ol' cuss. As much as they drive me crazy, I will miss them terribly when they are gone. Waves of emotion sweep over me and I just don't know how to express them. I am excited and just a little scared to move forward. It's much easier and much more comforatble to stay with the statue quo than to change. Stepping out of your comfort zone is pretty unnerving. It's time. I feel something urging me to move ahead.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Marci and alcohol inks

Marci is addicted to alcohol inks. The colors are great, she used felt, her fingers and the blending solutions. They look just beautiful.
She was able to get some interesting effects by twisting and turning the ornament and letting the ink run.

She used alcohol inks to paint pictures with to. She painted on acetate. You can't tell from the picture, but with the sunlight hits it the colors reflect off the wall. Cool effect.

Marci's big flower, again on acetate. We found this wooden frame. I think she will paint it and glue the acetate to it. When it stands against the wall, the light shines the image onto the wall.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Day of Sharing Song

"Let Me Fall"

Let me fall
Let me climb
There's a moment when fear
And dreams must collide
Someone I am
Is waiting for courage
The one I want
The one I will become
Will catch me
So let me fall
If I must fall
I won't heed your warnings
I won't hear them
Let me fall
If I fall
Though the phoenix may
Or may not rise
I will dance so freely
Holding on to no one
You can hold me only
If you too will fall
Away from all these
Useless fears and chains
Someone I am
Is waiting for my courage
The one I want
The one I will become
Will catch me
So let me fall
If I must fall
I won't heed your warnings
I won't hear
Let me fall
If I fall
There's no reason
To miss this one chance
This perfect moment
Just let me fall

Click here to visit the hosts site! Thanks LK!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Little More Sharing

Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought. E.Y. Harburg
A Day of Sharing Song
The idea: Songs can move us to places we haven't been in a long time, places we long for every day, or places we some day hope to be. The combination of music and poetry can transport us across distances, and through the years. While we listen, perhaps we grin wildly, or are moved to tears. We all have songs that are "ours" in our very hearts. We have songs that touch us, move into our hearts and resonate, creating a feeling, taking us some place- past, present, future- perhaps some place we have never been and may never go, but for whatever reasons, the song sings for us.
Meeting new music, musicians, composers, poets, new ways for my soul to sing, is an intruiging concept. Want to go on this adventure with me? It will be easy to travel along.
Many of us already do this sharing; this idea is just to help us find each other and hear the words we have to share.
The Date: Wednesday, December 3.
The Plan: on your blog, post a song that moves inside you, touches you, reaches you. You can do any or all of the folowing:
link to a youtube video (done as you would normally post a link)
link to itunes or amazon for a sample of the song
embed the youtube clip (instructions here)
post just song lyrics
post multiple songs, if you can't choose just one.
Include the composer and/or musician and source (book, album). Perhaps also include the amazon or itunes link if there is one. no explanation required, no other revelation necessary. One last thing- Perhaps add an image. a photo. a video. a painting. a collage., if you would.
Come here to this post.
Add a comment with your link.
I'll create a typepad page with the links, so others can hear the song, see the image and share in the experience.
The Request:
If you are intrigued enough, post on your blog about this Day of Sharing Song. Link to this post.
Send an email to encourage your friends to post.
Pass along this info to any groups in which you participate.
Who couldn't use a few new songs in their hearts?

Now if only I could narrow it down to one or two!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

This n' that

Finally getting around to painting the fish. I painted it yellow, then glazed it with Nickel Azo Gold mixed with glaze and wiped the paint off in spots.

Next I mixed Pthalo Turq with glaze and wiped it off again. Not sure if I like it, but will keep going.
The other project that was keeping me busy was faux finishing the bedroom. I painted it mint green, it looked okay...but at certain times of looked pretty garrish. So I took some of the bathroom color, mixed it with glaze-rolled it on-wiped it around with cheesecloth. I really like the way it turned out.
Here is a closeup of a wall. Cheesecloth is nice to work with.

Marci came over last weekend. Here she is playing around with alcohol inks on Stampbord.
She started using the inks to paint pictures on acetate. I've only seen people create backgrounds with alcohol inks. Who knew? Marci got the idea of making Christmas presents using alcohol inks on glass ornament bulbs. She's getting some really cool effects. She's coming over again on Saturday. I'll post pictures of her ornaments.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sharing words

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
and therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

-Mary Oliver

Thursday, November 13, 2008


My house is a disaster, lately I can't seem to catch up with what needs to be done, much less extra curricular chores. I sit here at work wishing I were at home doing things, by the time I get home....I'm worn out. This poem is so fitting for how I am trying to shift my feelings.


I am falling in love
with my imperfections
The way I never get the sink really clean,
forget to check my oil,
lose my car in parking lots,
miss appointments I have written down,
am just a little late.

I am learning to love
the small bumps on my face
the big bump of my nose,
my hairless scalp,
chipped nail polish,
toes that overlap.
Learning to love
the open-ended mystery
of not knowing why

I am learning to fail
to make lists,
use my time wisely,
read the books I should.

Instead I practice inconsistency,
irrationality, forgetfulness.

Probably I should
hang my clothes neatly in the close
tall the shirts together,
then the pants,
send Christmas cards,
or better yet
a letter telling of
my perfect family

But I’d rather waste time
listening to the rain,
or lying underneath my cat
learning to purr.

-by Elizabeth Carlson

Isn't this a great poem? Wouldn't we all be happier and mentally healthier if we just let go of the shoulds and oughts not to mention the I'm not measuring up to my/others expectations? I'm looking around at all the clutter--ack the room is closing in.....can't eat dinner at the kitchen table because of the piles of papers and (?), piles of books and papers and (?) all over the living floor, clothes to be folded. It's a bit overwhelming. My brain feels as chaotic as my surroundings. Note to self, must start working on this steps.....perhaps with a glass of wine.......
Next weekend, Paul is going hunting-which means I have the weekend all to myself *smiling*.
Dear friend Marci and I are going to have an art retreat. I have started cleaning off one of the tables in my studio so she'll have a place to work. Oh yeah, that room is a mess too as I've been working on copper pieces for the galleries next year and a couples of plaster sculptures for gifts and one for the bathroom. At least I have a week to work on that room ;p

Friday, November 7, 2008

Plaster fish

Here is the plaster fish in progress. So far I made the wire armature and covered it in plaster. The scale texture was made by lightly pressing my fingers in the plaster and pulling up. A layer of gesso was painted on top of the plaster, now it's time for layers of acylic paint. It's pretty big -about 2 feet long. It's going to hang above the shower in the new bathroom. Scuplting is a blast having such a great time! More experiments are in the works. I'll keep you posted.....

Monday, November 3, 2008


On my way home from work on Friday, I did my usual flipping through the channels to find something I wanted to listen to. Can you believe on Halloween day, not one but TWO radio stations where playing Christmas music?! What the?....and it will continue till the day after Christmas. Oy vay!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Potluck with the neighbors

On Sunday afternoon, after "Trick or Treat" ended, Paul and I went over to Jim and Cathy's to celebrate 2 other neighbors birthdays. Marci baked a fabulous cake....from scratch. Yellow cake with raspberry cream filling and French buttercream frosting. Yum!

This is Gust, one of the birthdays we celebrated. He and his wife are very fun, they have 4 kids that are so adorable.

Here's Joey (I mean James Bond) he is 4, what a great kid. Isn't he the cutest?

Our hosts Jim and Cathy. There was quite a houseful of family and neighbors. We live in a great little neighborhood. It's been such a kick to meet new neighbors and spend time getting to know them.
Marci (on the left) and Liz (Gust's wife). Every Saturday, Marci and I go out for breakfast and go grocery shopping and do our errands. She is the sister I never had. We have soooo much fun together. We like the same music, same colors, same just about everything. Many times we even say the same thing at the same time....funny!

Quite the spread! Cathy made a vat of beef stew, we all brought something for the potluck.
Cheesy mashed potatoes, fruit salad, coleslaw, fruit fluff, biscuits, pumpkin bars. We were all stuffed!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting your hands in it

Not long ago, I worked for Arnold Grummer's Papermaking. It was the best job I ever had. I did mostly administrative work there, but every now and again I was able to do creative work. I remember doing a demo at a store and a gal stopped by my table to watch. She was a graphic arts student, and everything she did was on the computer. She said she missed the tactile experience of creating art. She bought a papermaking kit so she could get her hands into making art again. That's why I love working with plaster. The process of sculpting texture with my hands on a surface is so enjoyable. I like having the push/pull of making something very smooth or having rich, nubbly texture, watching a piece evolve with layers of paint and glaze. Being up to my elbows in paint, stain, plaster....whatever. Getting totally and completely lost in making art.
For me, there's nothing else like it, nothing else comes close. Your asignment for today, go get your hands into something to have that tactile experience. Go on, I'll wait right here.......

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wonderfully Wise

Last Friday night I had the opportunity to take a class with Judy Wise. The class was "Making Art a Business". It was a small group, in fact we were able to sit fireside at the Washington House Inn. So much great information in that 2 1/2 hours. I think we all felt very encouraged from what we learned. Judy put together handbooks, full of great information.
I have been one of Judy's blog stalkers for a long time, it was so nice to meet her and have a chance to talk with her. If only there were more time! She is the coolest! I wish I would've have been able to take her classes all weekend. Perhaps we can convince her to come back......!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Plaster is a blast to work with. I've tried some different things, like mixing up a batch and pouring it onto a wood substrate. After the plaster is dry, scratching calligraphy and designs onto the surface, then painting with acyrlics. I'll have to find that photo and post it.
Back in April, I took "Plaster Architecture" with Stephanie Lee at Valley Ridge Art Studio. She has done her homework and really knows her stuff. What a fantastic teacher! In class I made a geometric form and a sculpture to hang. I just finished this leaf, it's 18-20" long. Layers of plaster over a wire armature and many layers acrylic paint, the quote was written with a gel pen--the entire piece was sprayed with polyurethane. If you click on the photo, you'll see the rich texture of the plaster, it looks like an encaustic surface. Next I will experiment with wax on top of the plaster. Oh, the possibilities, I could keep myself pretty busy working out ideas, dang day job!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Last Saturday we took a drive up to beautiful Door County. It was the perfect day for a 3 hour drive (a 3 hour drive). The leaves are beginning to change~~splashes of red and orange and yellow~~just gorgeous. We went to Charlene's Gallery Ten in Gill's Rock, I wanted to meet her, see the gallery and show her the tiles she'll be exhibiting for me next year. I also took along some of the funky copper and snake skin pendants I've been making. The gallery is very cool. There's a spiral staircase that leads to 2 smaller rooms where there are solo exhibits.
We also stopped at Dovetail Gallery. Paul did some electrical work for a woman whose bestest friend owns the gallery. Kathy carves eggs and makes them into sculptures. We wanted to meet Kathy and see her gallery in the heart of Egg Harbor. Beautiful gallery! She will exhibit my calligraphic work next year. Have I mentioned how excited I am?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Aging parents

My mother (82) is getting out of the hospital today. She went in on Sunday night with shortness of breath. Way back when, she had TB, had a lung removed and lived in a sanitarium for almost 5 years. She lived through it when others thought she wouldn't. My grandmother even bought a plot for her, because she thought my mother wouldn't survive. My mother was the care giver to her husband (not my father) of 20 years. He had vascular dimentia. Symptoms just like Alzheimer's. When she could no longer take care of him, he went into a nursing home. She went to see him twice a day to feed him. When her brother was in a nursing home, she made sure he got what he needed. She is a very caring person. She was told last night that her lung is beginning to shut down. I can't even imagine what it feels like to not be able to breathe.
I envy people that have good relationships with their parents. My mother was never able to give me what I needed. I learned I couldn't trust her as she would pass on what I told her in confidence. I am quite sure I never gave her what she needed as a daughter. Our relationship is very surfacey. I would like it to be deeper and broader, but that's not the way it is. Time is running out. How do I spend the time with her that is remaining? I need to chip away at the wall I have put between us. I need to be there for her. I need to be with her for me too. I know this will not be easy, but it will be good and rich for both of us.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From an interview with Tom Waits

"For me it's also a craft.
It's not something that drops out of the sky.
It's not something where you sit at your picture window
and watch the sun glistening off the trees
and a deer walks by and whispers in your ear.
It's really a craft, and it's hard work.
It's just a lot of discipline,
and hopefully,
you get better with each project."

"I started writing down people's conversations
as they sat around the bar.
When I put them together I found some music hiding in there."

Tom Waits

I love that art is everywhere. It's all in how you look at it.
It's right between your two feet.
Look and pay attention.

Previously I wrote that I struggle with art making.
What Tom Waits said about it being a craft, hard work
and requires discipline, I feel very validated, it is hard
work. Discipline~~yikes. That's difficult in and of itself.
Do you ever find yourself getting distracted whilst trying
to practice discipline? The dishes need to be washed,
my glasses need cleaning, the stray eyebrows on my chin
need plucking and my favorite.....suddenly a wave of
exhaustion come over me--I am tired and need a nap.
It seems so impossible at times to sit still and work.
We show up to work at our craft, and then are confronted
with all this trivial crap. It takes such effort to push
through all the distractions. Maybe it's all part of the

Friday, September 26, 2008

I don't know it's because I'm nearing that 50 mark, but I've been thinking about life. Its brevity, its richness, its bittersweetness. What am I doing with this weaving that is my life? What you do with your life really does matter. You can be a blessing or a curse. What do you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered?

Nothing Gold Can Stay~~Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. ~~

Sieze the day. Have gratitude. Look at everything. Take nothing for granted.

The Road Not Taken~~Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference ~~

So how do you know you're on the road less traveled?
What does the road you're on look like?
Are you making a difference?
Throw your heart over the bars and your body will follow.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Writing to make sense of it all

I read in Stephanie Lee's blog this morning.....

"As we write, we are both describing and deciding the direction that our life is taking. As we become honest on the page about our likes and dislikes, our hopes and dreams, as we become willing to be clear, the murk of our life begins to settle and we see more deeply into our truth. Writing is a practice field. It teaches us how to do happy. It teaches us how to do brave. It teaches us how to do open, caring, loyal, resourceful, and, yes, vulnerable. If we can do it on the page, if we can let our imagination connect the dots, we begin to get a picture of ourselves as larger and more fully human than we may yet have managed." (Julia Cameron)

This quote gives me a lot of hope. Hope that the practice of writing is a teacher, that it brings clarity. Writing helps us excavate the buried parts of ourselves, to work through the hard things. Hope that the more we practice writing, the risk it takes to be vulnerable will become less.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where art comes from

(Oy, what a bad photo....did I mention I'm not good at photography?!)

I saw a wonderful video on youtube featuring Judy Wise. She says, "Get to know yourself, what about you is differenct than anyone else? Use your history, your pain, your happy times". She keeps a journal. That is a fantastic place to spill yourself into.
I do struggle with my own creativity. Really I do. I understand learning techniques, but there comes a time where you must make it truly your own.
So where does art come from? The journal really is a great place to open up. Years ago I went through Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way with a beautiful group of people. Ms. Cameron strongly encourages "morning pages"--stream of thought writing for 3 pages. After those pages are finished, I zero in on a thought and follow that thread to see where it leads.
As I learn about myself, I'm finding so much that has been buried for many years. My dad is an angry alcoholic and my mother is rather needy emotionally. They divorced when I was 19 back in the late 70's. Even today....30 years later....I find my reaction to my dad's anger the same. I feel like I am 6 years old. I cower and become silent and withdrawn. It's a horrible feeling to this day. This is my pain, this is where, I believe-art will help us deal with our blocked emotions, all that muck we find ourselves stuck in. I want my art to have meaning. I want it to come from the deep place, with all it's uncertainties and scariness. I want other people to be able to relate to it, to have it touch them and mean something to them the way it has to me.
So many jumbled thoughts this evening......

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh, the questions

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer
Rainer Maria Rilke

I picked up a book, oh probably 2 years ago now, by Anna Deavere Smith "letters to a young artist." For me it's a kind of devotional for the artist. During a fit of insomnia last night, I read- "You are an explorer, You understand that every time you go into the studio, you are after something that does not yet exist. Maybe it's the same for a runner, I don't know. But with running, or swimming, or gymnastics, or tennis, the achievement is measurable. Forget about competition. Rather, commit yourself to find out the true nature of your art. How does it really work; what's the essence of it? Go for that thing that no one can teach you. Go for that communion, that real communion with your soul, and the discipline of expressing that communion to others. That doesn't come from competition. That comes from being one with what you are doing. It comes from concentration, and from your own ability to be fascinated endlessly with the story, the sone, the jump, the color you are working with."

and this-

Undressing the Muse
When Sonny Rollins walked onto that bridge to play his saxophone to the wind he was stepping off the stage and into the woodshed. It wasn’t a failure of nerve, of course, nor was it only a deepening of his craft. He was breaking a voice apart and refashioning it. He was undressing his muse.
That’s what I want now: less stage, more bridge (the wind steady and relentless) and room to go about the private business of becoming—nothing more, not a single iota less—who I am meant to be.
And if that’s asking too much, then allow me to rest a moment, and when I wake let me be refreshed.
Sebastian Matthews

I've been spending--or trying to--time in my studio (woodshed, if you will) and work. I'm in a transition period as the art I was making was for art fairs...trying to figure out what people would buy. BIG mistake. I became so unhappy, there was NO JOY in creating. I need this woodshed experience, this digging deep, "the breaking a voice apart and refashioning it". It's been a real struggle, I've been practicing procrastination, resistance and avoidance. I probably spend more time journaling than art making. It's hard work.
More later.......

Friday, September 12, 2008

In this world......

"In this world, love has no color, yet how deeply my body is stained by yours." Shikubu
Sometimes I have a difficult time putting my feelings into words. Sometimes it's best done with shapes, colors and textures. The feelings are there nonetheless and feel as deep and raw as the sea. James Earl Jones said, "One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter." Do you ever feel that way?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Painting in progress

I have been struggling with this painting. I know what I don't want it to look like, but not really sure of what I do want. So far I've been going by "what feels right". I think I'm on the right track. The woman is holding a candle in a very dark room. I've coated watercolor paper with gesso, then gold paint. I'd like to let some of that gold underpainting to show through. Layers of acrylic on top of that. It's far from finished (like she needs a face) but wanted to show it at this point. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here.

Journal Cover

I made a journal using Teesha Moore's instructions. Very easy to make. The cover is pre-gessoed canvas. This is my first painted self portrait, I am happy with the way it turned out. I asked Paul what he thought, "Well, it doesn't really look like you." Hmmmm. I'm thinking close enough for government work. I have a whole box of paint that I'm trying to use up in my journals. Colors I bought for workshops or just because. I'm trying to narrow my palette down to get some cohesiveness in my work. Journals are the prefect place to use paint with wild abandon. I am an admirer of Juliana Coles. I hope to take a workshop with her sometime. She has workshop booklets available on her etsy shop. I started working on an exercise, it ain't about pretty, it's about going deep, it's about getting out of your comfort zone, it's about push and pull. This journal was made for these exercises.

Monday, September 1, 2008

September? Seriously?

It's been ages since I've posted. This has been a busy summer, now it's time to settle back into the comfort of routines. Today I met a goal. I posted several pieces of art in my etsy shop! Finally!

There are many things that are tugging to get my attention. A yard full of weeds that have grown far too tall.
Post construction cleaning. Time for art. A sink full of dishes. I still, so many years later, hear my mother's voice nagging at me to get the chores done before I could do anything fun. I am trying to silence that voice. I much prefer "moderation in all things".

Friday, June 20, 2008

To be or not to be.......

I read this poem several times this morning.

Late Fragment
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

--Raymond Carver

What do I want? That's a hard question to answer.
Recently, I've been trying my hand at goal setting....again. Not sure that I've been any good at it (or maybe the follow-thru part). I just don't know what I want --exactly. What do I want to do, to be, to have? With as many failures to meet set goals as I've had, I guess I'm a little afraid to dream...much less write them down with a target date. Maybe it doesn't have to do with the haves and dos as much as be. Being. Being content with what you have. Being real--being authentic. Being there for other people. We all come from such diverse places. A little kindness, caring, touch, a listening ear, doesn't that matter more than what I have or where I go? If I concentrate more on being, will I eventually cross paths with what I'm meant to do? I'd like to think that that's true. I'm not the same person I was yesterday, and not yet who I will be tomorrow. We are shaped by our dailyness and how we react to it. I think there's a much bigger picture. "Feel myself beloved on the earth".

Thursday, June 19, 2008

follow the arrows

Look what I saw on my way out the door to work!

My wonderful neighbor Marci made my day.