Monday, April 20, 2015

in progress

My creative progress is matching the local weather today. It is windy, rainy and, in general, soggy. I'm trying to give some attention to JourneyCircles, but the work desk is taken over by the mega-journal. A painting is languishing on the easel (and the only reason it's there is because Bennie allowed me some space so I could clean the floors in the studio ~ she has two paintings in progress). It isn't that I'm not motivated, I am. In a windy, whirling sort of fashion. Paperwork has been whipped through, Recordings have been listened to. A journal spread which should work for me over the next few days has been slap-dashed together. For the moment, the painting will have to wait a little longer. It seems to require a somewhat settled and focused mind ~ I'm not there yet. So that is where I will stop and until my internal weather forecast shifts.

And I need a nap.

P.I.P. ~ painting in progress 

Splotch and paste in the art journal.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

excrement

Sometimes in life it is easier to clean up animal shit than to deal with human shit.
How blessed am I to have four dirty coops to clean?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

expansion

Feet on the ground.

Sometimes, in order to bring a woman closer to the Life/Death/Life nature, I ask her to keep a garden. ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves

We talked, earlier this year, about making the garden larger. The raised beds created a few years ago don't seem to work. Not sure why. My methods are trial and error ~ I try one way and get plenty of tomatoes, the same way next year yields green tomatoes by winter. So, in talking about making the garden larger, I had an idea the new soil needed to be better met with the native soil (which is mostly rocks ~ we grow great rocks) and decided to create a couple of plots instead. Hopefully, the expansion will get us more daylight hours on those plots for tomatoes. I live for the summer tomato even though we plant other things. Lettuce, annual herbs, squash, beans and flowers, they all have their place, but a bright zinnia pales in comparison to a beauteous summer tomato.
Two more plots waiting to be planted.

There is no work like gardening work, which isn't really work. At least not to me. Having been stuck in a mental loop for a few days, bare feet on the ground and working the soil felt good and right. The muscles ache, but in a good way. I'm tired, but it's a good tired. I breathed in lusty breezes and turned grass over with a hoe, mixing in garden soil to build up plots. Spending time turning dirt reminded me of times in my mother's garden. Turning the ground with a hoe, busting dirt clods with a garden fork. I was glad the roto-tiller didn't work. I would have missed the grounding I needed expanding a garden.

Friday, April 17, 2015

inner workings

There has finally been a shift. A syncing in with the season of my place ~ finally my spring time. We have a habit here, my Little Family. We nap in the afternoon, after school, and now after a walk in the woods. Winter naps are different from these late spring naps. Winter naps call for a sort of coziness, blankets and socks, hot tea ~ you can skip the walk in the ice and snow. Spring time naps are lighter, still calling for a cuppa and the coziness has a different flavor. My children aren't young anymore. We discussed college planning for the youngest at school today, in fact. Another shift.

But this shift into spring, mentally, emotionally, spiritually has come with a few changes. Some challenging who I am. Some that had me standing my ground and making my own decisions, many of which were not popular. Yet they were mine called out in my own space, my own boundaries. And now I stand with surer footing than even a week ago. Once the dust settled, I felt lighter, wildish, connected, in possession . . . making the walk in the woods holier, more sacred. Trees and rocks in a delightful springtime hum.

I walk with Wolf's feet tenderly over moss and stone. No one can take that from me. For now it is Spring.

A simple journal spread in progress (because there's more than one day in a week) with gesso, spray inks, stencils by Orly Avineri, dripped acrylic inks and some writing on vellum, flipped over.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

pushing envelopes

I've just turned fifty-one, heading into the fifty-second year of living in this plane of existence. In the past few months, new opportunities have been presenting themselves like bricks in pavement, one at a time, before my feet.

I'd gotten it into my mind to host an art journal workshop locally through our town's Rec Center. For the first time ever, I hammered out a six to eight week class plan ~ starting with building one's own hand-bound journal and ending with enough art journaling fodder to continue a practice after the course ended. Though I sent in the proposal, I never heard back from the director (neither a Yea nor a Nay ~ go figure) and went on about my daily business. Perhaps it's not the place to share such a workshop.

Recently, an old friend contacted me about a possible exhibition in a Southport library that would also host a workshop. An Artist bio was requested along with samples of any work I've done. For the first time ever, I wrote an Artist bio as honestly and with as few words as possible to make a succinct paragraph, a distilled essence, of me. (So no inclusions about being the home triage veterinarian or that I make a mean pot of chicken soup or that my second love is fiber.) In the e-mail I also included that I'd never taught a workshop before and the library's offering would be my first. The submission is presently under consideration which is an exciting enough prospect.

Yesterday, I sat before this very computer editing, editing, one of my own videos made from a borrowed Flip. Cutting it from an hour-long process down to at least the ten minutes required for consideration and the opportunity to be in a line-up of teachers in one of Effy Wild's upcoming Radiant courses. I learned so much on my own fiddling with one editing program or another ~ how to rotate the camera view, fading music in and out, speeding up sections of video. It was sent on with a note of thanks. I wasn't included in the line-up of upcoming teachers. In all honesty, I wasn't disappointed.

Why wasn't I disappointed? Because in all three instances, I was put to task doing things never done before, not even in college. What was important was keeping each of the promises I made to myself completing each of those tasks even if I didn't get the part, so to speak. In each task I learned something ~ how to organize myself or why it's good practice to describe the art I do or the time it takes to edit a video (and I got some really great videography feedback from a sister artist). Pushing envelopes.