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Life & Walks #050Friday, September 20, 2013
Living in the Moment

It's Friday afternoon and I just finished up a bunch of small projects for a client. I love it when Fridays end this way, all neat and tied up in a bow.

I took some time today to watch a video on the website "On Being, with Krista Tippett". I love the site so much. It nourishes me in ways like no other. The other night I watched an interview with Eckhart Tolle, today it was an interview with the poet Marie Howe. Too dense to have on in the background, I stopped and watched while I ate breakfast, and then later lunch. Most of Krista Tippett's interviews are like that, you need to just stop and listen. She is eloquent, natural, and open minded.

Their conversation covered topics like being fearful of the silence in things, to the magic of technology vs. it's addictive qualities. She read some of her poems that moved me to tears.

The conversation on technology deeply resonated with me. I realize now that to be who I am authentically means to disengage from it quite a bit. In order to be available to the voice in me I can't be gazing at my screen too much. I need to stop and listen. It is things like poetry that bring me back to myself, not Pinterest. I love Pinterest, for me it is a good way to organize visual information, kind of like the idea notebooks I kept for years with pages ripped from magazines. But if I look at Pinterest for more than say 20 minutes I get overwhelmed and anxious. Too many possibilities, too much visual information jammed in too small a space. I can't digest it all and even with editing out a lot, most of it starts to feel like wallpaper without much meaning.

I just started back meditating again and it feels so good, it makes everything slow down. It makes me mindful and more grounded, so I know when I'm getting off track and away from myself.

It's all a balancing act, but staying in the moment has been the best thing for me. Now I know my rhythms are slower. And ironically giving myself permission to throttle back and live a smaller more contemplative life gives me larger creative space to make things with more meaning and depth. That has been a huge shift for me these last several months, permission to be myself.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Life & Walks #049Monday, September 02, 2013
Little Fred Daylilies, 11" x 14", Oil on Wood, Verdigris Copper Leaf edges
For Fred

I recently got back from Chicago. I delivered a painting commission for a memorial service for an incredible man, my friend's father, Fred.

Fred was an environmental and land rights attorney. He co-wrote many books, taught law at prestigious universities, even argued a case before the Supreme Court. But you'd never know it. He was a quiet and humble man. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, husband, and friend. He cooked great Indian food. He was a gardener loving daylilies especially, an avid reader and opera enthusiast. He and his wife Kay collected art they loved, mostly of nature. They supported local artists and ones far away. They lived their life in the most full and present way of any couple I've ever known.

They inspired me in so many ways. During one of my visits, as Fred learned East Indian cooking he taught me how you could develop a passion for something and delve deeply in to it's specialness, so much so it seemed sacred.

You don't often have the opportunity, or least I haven't, to be around people who truly teach you how to live your life in such a complete and noble way. A way that to me is very spiritual, though I'm sure they wouldn't have said that. That was their gift to everyone who knew them. They were examples of passion and curiosity and generosity. And they passed that on to their children and their children's children.

I'm so glad I got to spend time with them and hear their stories. Stories told from all different vantage points, illustrating all the different facets of Fred and his life. As time passes it is these times that thread us all together connecting us and making us whole. For me, this time especially was filled with invaluable lessons, on living in the most humane and loving way, not just for those around you, but for yourself.


Life & Walks #048Sunday, August 04, 2013
Resurrection Lilies and Oregano

I noticed yesterday that the lilies had suddenly sprouted up and were in full bloom in the back garden. I cut 3 sprigs down knowing they'd be appreciated a lot more in here than out there. Looking for some greens to put in with them I spied the oregano which had flowered and was going to seed. Their little flowers were the perfect color to blend in with the lilies.

Funny how those little things make you so happy. So I've been enjoying the bouquet in every room taking it with me sometimes just to look at out of the corner of my eye. Here they are in the studio in front of some paintings.

Ah fresh flowers, there's nothing better.

Have a great week everyone.

Life & Walks #047Thursday, June 20, 2013

So many changes are afoot. I decided to wait to post anything for several months as the sands shifted. Trouble is they're still shifting, so I've decided to go ahead and write in the flux and flow of it all.

We are in the process of moving. Over the next few months I'll put the house on the market and off we go on a new adventure!

Even though I left quite a bit behind several years ago on the move here to Nashville, I've decided to let go of more. I've paired down my studio, gotten rid of boxes of art books, but still have 25 boxes I can't seem to part with. There are poetry books, metaphysical books, cook books too that have been culled down. I've downsized reference files, gone through flat files and gotten rid of old paper and calendars.

Intuitively it has felt like this editing needed to be done for some time. I've always been a person who liked to live lean. Stuff often overwhelms me. But I still need a studio, and all that that entails. So I've been pairing down the rest of my life to essentials to balance it out.

Today I had to part with some dried hydrangeas my mother had given me from her garden before she died. I could hear her telling me it was okay to give them back to the earth. But as I pitched them this one fell to the ground and I just couldn't let it go.

I have tried to treat this time away from Richard, as he scouts ahead of us, as a sacred time of autonomy and releasing. I know I'm getting ready for the next chapter of my life. One where I want to be lean, clear headed and in the moment. Honestly I've no idea some days of what it will look like. I just know it needs to feel authentic and inspired, and free.

Here's to change and transition. Namaste.

Life & Walks #046Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Cosmonaut Yodi

Happy New Year! And Happy 82nd Birthday to my father today.

Over the holidays both Richard and I worked a lot, lots of loose ends, making room for the new year and lots of new projects and ideas. It felt good. 2013 is filled with wonderful new possibilities!

I cooked lots of food, old recipes of my mother's that made me feel close to her: macaroni and cheese, stuffing, cranberry relish, and cherry crumb pie. Those along with a Publix turkey dinner kept the two of us in warmed ups for over a week. It was lovely.

I also had been wanting to knit again for some time and our cat Yodi needed a coat for winter rides in his buggy that Richard fashioned for him out of those child push carts with bicycle wheels. So during work breaks I knit this for him while watching old movies like Woody Allen's Manhattan.

This was the first fitting, I eventually made larger arm holes for him and added a belly panel so he was less sausage-like, but he knows now when we put this on him that he gets to go outside, something he adores : )

One of my resolutions this year is to have more fun, not just with crafts and play, but in the moment. I have always been a worrier, too much of a planner. Now it's time to really go with the flow and live in the moment, more than I ever have before. So far it feels really good, a lot more peaceful. I'll let you know as the year progresses how it works out, but in the meantime Yodi got a sweater out of the deal and Richard and I got a lot of smiles : ) And oh, Yodi has to wear the cone every once and awhile due to skin allergies, when he does we call him "Cosmonaut Yodi" as he looks like a little Russian space dweller : )

My best of wishes to you in this brand new year filled with grand possibilities and exciting new things.


Studio #051 Friday, December 07, 2012
New Curiosities

I've not made a postcard in a few weeks. I think it's because the collages are not interesting to me right now and I don't have another media that's calling out to me. I think there will be more, but I am taking a hiatus until next year to review and decide.

In the meantime along with my normal workload, I'm painting more stones, making silk bags for them. They are selling nicely in a gallery here in Nashville, and they're also on my etsy site. I've also starting painting some imagery I've wanted to paint for awhile.

The eye and lip paintings were a way in to these new pictures. Now these new tiny portraits are becoming more evolved. I've wanted to paint faces for some time now. They are so evocative to me, so psychological, you can take them in any direction. With just slight variances of color and shape you can change their moods dramatically. It's completely absorbing me.

Nothing here is completely done, all in different states of doneness as I learn to paint faces in a way that satisfies what it is I'm trying to say. These look quite real, I'm not sure that is the final route I'll take. But it's a way of learning structure, the way light hits a face and tells a story.

So in the absence of postcards there might be more drawings and preparatory sketches instead. We'll see, sometimes its better to keep secrets. They have more power. But one way or another I'll keep posting things here regularly. I like the discipline of it, the structure, the routine.

Thanks for checking in.

Have a great weekend.

Postcard #082Friday, November 02, 2012
Juicy Playground

This was a fun one to make. It feels East Indian to me, packed with color and pattern. I ended up carving back in to the oil pastel to reveal a contrasting color underneath, a happy accident. Love it when that happens : ) This was another one where the original wasn't working at all so I obliterated it with red and orange oil pastel. You can really work out some frustrations with this stuff.

But it's all good, good experiments for the fodder.

It's a holiday tomorrow, so Happy Veteran's Day everyone, and if you are a veteran or currently serving in the armed forces, thank you so much for your service.

Have a great week.

Postcard #081Friday, November 02, 2012
Isle of Quiet

It has been a quiet week. Richard has been in Dallas the last few weeks on business while I've just been finishing up odds and ends getting ready for several web site designs to start up soon. I like doing them, especially for small business owners. It is so much fun to help them realize their dreams in this visual way, helping make them special.

Part of the odds and ends of the week was voting early. I went to my local library to cast my ballot and while I was there I picked up a few great graphic novels by a Korean man, Kim Dong Hwa, and The Best American Comic Collection for 2010 edited by Neil Gaiman. A few weeks ago, at a book festival I bought several small collections of comics from Latvia that also include things from artists around the world. I love these small intimate views into other cultures. You feel like you're talking to someone close in another country. It feels like traveling to me.

I've walked a lot this week, there are several political yard signs out. At one point there is an Obama sign on the right and a Romney sign on the left, facing each other. (I should walk from the other direction to get the left and right correct) What's so metaphoric is the Romney yard is neat as pin, all the shrubs have been pruned within an inch of their lives standing like sentinels, three little packed mum bushes decorate like lolli pops. Across the street the Obama house has so much plant diversity everywhere it's hard to know where to look. Big blowsy plants spill over into each other swirling this way and that. I love it, I laughed, and have everyday that I walk by. That's what life is, choices to be who you are and vote for whomever expresses that belief for you best.

I hope you have a great week. And don't forget to vote : )

Postcard #080Saturday, October 27, 2012
Feeling Good

This has been a good week, getting lots of odds and ends out of the way, getting ready to work on several web sites over the next few weeks. Then on to some brand new projects after that.

On Wednesday I didn't feel like doing anything work related so I took the day off and took apart the last 120 or so silk ties from my mothers stash she'd collected. One of the bits ended up on this week's card. Now the ties are all done, it feels like I have a brand new paint box full of possibilities. Next I have to organize them by color making them easier to work with. So fun.

Fall is finally here, the leaves are almost all off the trees, and it's time to hunker down and work, eat good soup, and knit a few fun things when time allows.

I love fall so much. I love the internal cozy feeling of wanted to read good books, to nest, to watch a good movie with an old quilt or afghan around me. I'm glad I live in a place that has seasons, each one has it's gifts, each season I'm ready for the next one when it arrives, grateful for the one that just ended, and looking forward to experiencing the new one waiting in the wings.

Have a great week everyone, hope all in the Northeast fare well the next few days, you will be in my thoughts and wishes for safety and calm.

Studio #050Thursday, October 25, 2012
They're finally in the store!

The mandala stones in their new silk bags and decorative tins are now up at etsy and also at Art and Invention here in Nashville.

Here is the top of the can:

Several cans waiting to be filled:

Inside the lid, a special message:

There are also a whole bunch of artist samples for sale at both as well! Check 'em out.