Sunday, July 29, 2012

Learning to Love You More

Lavender and Sedum

How does one both live and have time to  blog about it? I'm already at least a week behind. Part of it is remembering to take pictures...when I saw these vibrating complimentary colors out my kitchen window, I had to run out and take a picture, then saw more and more.

I'm on a roll of looking at my surroundings close up. Maybe it's part of Learning to Accept Aging and Accept that Possibilities are no longer limitless. They never were limitless, of course, but when we're young, denial seems a lot easier, and we dream of all that we will do Some Day...AND Change the World!

Thyme and sedum

 I don't mean to sound old and depressingly resigned...although sometimes I do feel that way...more Wisely Accepting. There does 
need to be some kind of happy medium between
longing to return to my "home" in VT and 
embracing all that is beautiful about the Northwest, where I am now. A woman in Penny's this afternoon was explaining to the clerk how she and her husband had stayed married (looks like successfully) for 30 being accepting of each other, and by taking a breather before being critical. I can't quite remember how that conversation arose from her being happy about buying a blouse for $1.72, but her husband stood there smiling through it all.

Phallic Hens and Chicks

Instead of getting restless and pining for what I don't have, why not celebrate what I do have...these pictures from my own back yard, for instance. 

instead of the 26 acres that two of us struggled to keep up in NY, I have 100' x 100'...and with the house in the middle, I can know every bit of what I have and each individual rock I chose from the local beaches.

Lavender, Greymarsh Farm
 Be thankful for what I have, the bounties all around me, instead of yearning for some unknown. Last weekend was the annual Lavender Festival, and although it rained much of the time, there were crowds of people enjoying the surroundings that I have access to daily...why spend the $$$ to travel to France, when I have this.

Lynne Armstrong with some of her paintings
The Sequim Art Studio Tour, my friend, Lynne Armstrong, Mary Franchini (one of the first Artists I met here) in Susan Gansert Shaw's barn on Silberhorn Road...Artists find each other, and huddle together for warmth, support, and understanding.

I've been looking closely at the details of my surroundings, learning to Love where I am.

Repeating pattern of grains

The base of a lamp post in Seattle   

I see sculptural similarities

Being close to family is a BIG reason 
to be happy where I am.  Last weekend
it was the Abboriginal Art show at Seattle
Art Museum, and lunch at TASTE with 
a good selection of the family.

Me and Doug

Hugh, Serene, Amal
ART and FOOD bring us together...SO Nice to be from a family where we all enjoy being together!

Connie, Hugh, Serene
Connie, Hugh, and I are going to 
Ashland, OR, this fall for the Shakespeare Festival...I've always wanted to go, and Connie got us cheap tickets for 5 plays, plus they know all the good bakeries... and maybe I'll get to see Justine Blank, buddingly famous author and former book group member, who now lives in Ashland.  I've been here long enough to have good friends move away.

The scale on the West Coast is so Large, I've hardly been anywhere in the seven years I've been here. I was Always traveling around the Northeast, but different modes for different times. When I talked with Barbara and Cindy at the Lavender Festival I was SO happy I'm not doing craft shows any more...different kinds of focus for different times of life?

Seattle Ferry Terminal Wall

Cryptic timeless message on the ferry terminal wall, as I headed home. The Art part of me continues Aware and Evolving. Maybe that's a lesson of become more focused and go deeper, to Appreciate what is closer, instead of yearning for something far away and maybe out of reach.

Donkey Tail Euphorbia

These weird ground covers would never grow in VT...and through benign neglect and judicious introduction, they are taking over my yard. Plants and stones, hardy enough to survive rainy winters and dry cool summers, infinite sculptural shapes and inspiration for endless painting and sculpture. While the rest of the country is sweltering, I enjoy my own perfect climate for Creativity.

Harbor View after a hard day's work

AND my soul has always sought solace in the salt water.

Life is Good. I am Happy Here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

On the Cusp of a Creative Breakthrough

Barbara Houshmand
Two of my best places for pondering new ideas are In the shower and In the car--there's something about the meditative state involved. I'm thinking that artists/creative people of all kinds: visual, audible, science, politics...are all pretty self-absorbed, with immutable egos we're constantly mining for the Next Big Idea. 

A Curious Mind is, above all, Very Entertaining company. That's not very Buddhist, maybe, but unraveling the Puzzles of what to do next, how to make it, is what keeps me getting up in the morning...even when what I produce is hardly marketable. That's the purest form of exploration, to be constantly unsatisfied with the last solution and restless to discover the next.

Donkeytail Euphorbia propigating
I get into trouble when I apply that attitude
to my day job, but will endeavor to keep my art part and my money-generating part separated...pretty successfully, so far, unfortunately, even when I want things to be different. Healthcare does not currently seem to be open to the Exploration of New Ideas, although it would certainly benefit, at least in the US.

I'm hoping that the constantly evolving world wide economic disaster doesn't prevent me from experiencing and participating in what's available to me here. I'm trying to walk with a small foot print, recycling George Zien's  cut out mat board pieces from framing his water colors to do my experiments in collage drawing.

Silver Collage, stage 1

I'm acting like the Outsider Artists I love in focusing all my available energy and resources in Making, rather than selling...never have been very effective at selling my work, anyway. 

I look at the world and wonder, are we the last generation, we Boomers here in the USA, 2012 AD, who can afford to be this self-indulgent? Except for the 1% and maybe not even them, the rest of the world is going to have to suffer the consequences of us taking too much, too fast, and the chain of what comes after.

I talked with the other half of the family today, celebrating our newest generation with an Iowa picnic.

Silver Collage, stage 2

My Advice, as always: Do the things you want to 
do NOW. More especially, tell the people who matter 
that you love them.

Make ART 
like there's no Tomorrow!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Still Painting...and making Dolls!

Barbara De Pirro
I'm still reading artist bios and books on brain function and creativity. Completing a painting...never as good as I would like, but good enough to stop, so I can start the next one, is like solving a do all the pieces go together, and how can I make it have some interest...and something of the character of the person I photographed originally. 

Brain Pickings is an extra treat on Sunday mornings, a treasure trove of thoughts about writing and creativity...and everything in the world. Milton Glaser (famous designer) talking about how exploring new ideas keeps him young.

Shiley and Johanna, owners of Akamai in Port Townsend
I decided I needed a long-term painting
project for the 5 years until I can afford 
to retire from my "regular" job at 70, and I find that there is a certain amount of 
freedom in setting parameters for myself in making art. I'm working on a series of 
100 portraits of Hot Flash (inspiring) women, planning to stage a large exhibition when the series is complete.
 For now the portraits lean against the walls in my home, but I probably have at least 40 paintings now, mostly from the 
last 2 years. 

Sculpture, too!
 I see other people my age (65) using their children or grandchildren as a focus to keep their lives vital, so this is my grand child equivalent...a reason to be excited about what may happen when I get to work.

“What I feel fortunate about is that I'm still astonished, that things still amaze me. And I think that that's the great benefit of being in the arts, where the possibility for learning never disappears, where you basically have to admit you never learn it."  Milton Glaser in Brain Pickings.

What gets you excited these days?