Embrace your inner fierce and feisty!
It’s been a whirlwind year; I got married, my brother moved in, my parents moved back in-state, my nephew and cousin were born, I finished my certificate program for graphic design … Life’s been full of fun and exciting times. All these great things make finding the time to make art difficult. If I’m tired from work, I’m not motivated. If I have other activities that day, it’s hard to keep my energy up for art. If I don’t have my favorite headphones at the house … well, you get the idea. But despite all that, I’ve managed to complete a few new projects that I’m really proud of. And my motivation to practice my art, writing and design skills is higher than ever 🙂
Tree Nymphs is a canvas based on an idea that just wouldn’t leave my head. I love being in the woods. Picturing myself sitting at the base of a tree is my favorite meditation spot. I imagine sitting in the nook of a large, smooth tree root and, if there’s something I want worked out, I just have to open the door to find out how to get. This piece turned into a group project as my family helped me scour magazines to find just the right collage pieces, which makes the end result very special.
Making art on canvas still presents some challenges for my process, resulting in longer work time and keeps my studio (aka my dining room table) messy. In contrast to that medium, I went back to working in a journal for a quick piece. That’s where Underwater Adventure came forth. I spent just a few hours on this piece and, while the two mediums are similar, it was refreshing, satisfying and somehow less scary to get something down quickly. I painted and collaged in one day, embellished and wrote in another. Within the week, my “studio” was clean. Keeping my space clean makes me happy and opens up my mind for more projects. I’ve been hesitant to do art in journals because they aren’t easy to show, but if I look critically at what makes me happy, maybe it’s time to accept that it’s not all about what will show well. Maybe I’ll be able to find time and space for both … Sometime.
“Freak” is a thorny word for me. It has many definitions, some of which I don’t mind (the green-hued sunset was a freak occurrence) and others which make me cringe (just look at that freak). It can describe a plethora of things or events – that movie freaked me out! Those penguins were gettin’ freaky at the zoo.
There’s an argument to be made that people have a certain amount of power over how words affect them. Can you take back the power of a word by claiming it as your own? Gloria Steinem brought this question to the forefront when she tried to take back the C-word.
While my battle with my F-word may not be as socially raucous, it brought up some interesting emotions for me with this piece. Social media and the news are brimming with angst, anger and fear. My response to distance myself may seem passive to some, but using this small F-word as my metaphor, I’ll say this: We all have the power to define words any way we want. I choose to focus on the pleasant attributes of the world by using the positive power of words. While some may use freak in a hurtful way, I will choose to use it in its most zany, surprising and enduring senses. And that starts with not being afraid of this piece of thorny lexicon. So cheers, friends, to not fearing the freaks!
Next week, I’ll be moving my art from the Snoqualmie City Hall over to Sigillo Cellars! I’ve been working on a few new pieces that will be on display. Here is a sneak-peak at my latest. It’s a work-in-progress, and I’m very excited about where it’s headed. I’ll be showing the month of October at Sigillo, so be sure to stop by. I plan on having a reception too, so keep an eye out for more details 🙂 Happy Fall!!
For the past three weeks I’ve been preping like crazy, getting ready for my first public exhibition! My work will be on display at the Snoqualmie City Hall for the summer. I’m excited, nervous and a little frazzled, but so thankful to have this experience. Here are a few of the pieces I’ll be showing. I finished up the last of these
over the weekend, sent them in for printing today and just bought a whole set of frames. Next steps between now and Friday: install mounting hardware, put art in frames, hang frames at venue, have a glass of wine and relax 🙂
My journal is now complete. Totally finished. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but I have to say, I’m glad it ended on this note. One of my favorite pages in my journal is the one here, on the left side of the image. It’s titled, “Good Friends Feed Your Soul.” It was a lot of fun to create and makes me smile when I look at it. The flap on the right, which covers the words of the other piece gives it a whole new meaning. “To Horn In Or Not” takes Good Friends from an intimate, first person like setting, to a third person observation.
I think we’ve all felt like we were out of the loop at some point. We see people talking, laughing, sharing a moment in life and can’t help but be a little envious. For me, it often depends on where I’m at, how I will react to a situation like that. Sometimes I’m jealous or even annoyed to see other people having a good time when I may not be. Mostly though, I’m happy to see people making the most of life. Being among friends is a privilege. When I experience that first-hand, as in the Good Friends piece, I try to remember that there are people around me who may want to join my circle, and that I should practice open and welcoming eyes. When I’m on the other side of the page, I remind myself to feel glad that sometimes, it’s ok to be your own best friend for a minute. Either way, enjoy the moment.
I was driving home the other day, letting my mind relax and wander over my week, when this question struck me: How important is it to be right? It’s funny what your mind will tell you when you give it a chance to talk. I pondered the idea… Being right can be satisfying – I want people to think I’m smart, quick and in-the-know. I get pleasure out of feeling like I have something relevant to say or teach. Digging deeper though, I realized that often, when I make it a point to be right, it inherently means that someone else in the conversation is wrong. When I’m wrong, my first emotion is usually embarrassment. I feel I’ve failed at portraying all the things I like about myself so much when I’m right. I feel silly, shy and sometimes even stupid. My face turns red and all I want to do is prove that I wasn’t entirely wrong – Something I said must have been right!
Going back to the question, I think sometimes it can be important to be right, but not as often as I may be inclined. Being a writer, I have a tendency to correct people’s grammar. ‘I wish I were’ instead of ‘I wish I was’… Ultimately though, I’m happiest when the people around me are happy. So, in a selfish way, it’s to my betterment to not make others feel inferior even under the guise of helping. When it’s important, sure, find a nice way to point out that someone may be mistaken. But first really ask: How will my being right affect the situation? Probably, it wont make anything better. So relax, chuckle on the inside, and remember that the important things in life are lifting others up and having fun. Don’t be a fun-sucking smartypants.