Thursday, April 24, 2014


Making Quilt Blocks gives me daily play with color, form, texture

  You are not struggling to embody a delusional state of perfection as it is imagined by other people. Rather, you are becoming an ever-more soulful version of your idiosyncratic self, evolving slowly but surely. You are not dazedly trudging along a narrow track laid down by thousands of sheep. Instead, you are lively and creative as you bushwhack a path for yourself through the wilderness. To celebrate this ongoing success, Pisces, I suggest you get yourself a new power object that symbolizes your inventive devotion. 

This was my last-week’s horoscope, and I take them seriously--only when they resonate with what I’m already thinking. I continue to stubbornly follow my own instincts about what projects to complete, what people and organizations to put my energy to. I’m tasting and testing all sorts of directions this year.

Collage in my Graphic Grannies book

After seeing a wonderful wall quilt a friend had made, using Southwestern Native motifs and reading a book about the work of SW native artists, AND being offered two library opportunities to exhibit, I am thinking about doing a series of paper and fabric collages with images from my very own history. A journal with writing and drawings that I kept while traveling apart from my over-bearing husband in 1980 and all my writing from 1969-today…the images and words that have made me who I am. I have one or two boxes of memorabilia that I have been hauling around through various moves, and haven’t opened for the almost 9 years I’ve been here on the west edge of the country. I am tempted to open them and look, drift through layers of memory…but I’m holding out for winter, knowing how badly I will need projects during the dark days.

My Latest portrait: Jon and Clarence,more abstract

As I was growing up, we moved every year for my father’s medical training in the army. My brothers and I found cancelled checks from his college years when we moved Mom into her current apartment. I feel the need to be somewhat more discriminating in my home, but there is the urge to keep it all…maybe hoping that by saving our traces, I save the whole family and all our history…until humans become extinct and our dust drifts across the universe.

I found a sort of poem I wrote when I drove from VT to Iowa and back in 1980…or took the train…one of my solo trips. Dad reached up to clean off my car window…we didn’t know he would be dead in seven years. My power object is a bit of shell or bone from the beach. I put it out in my yard, but re-discovered it, along with a fragment of pottery, a piece of one of my Great Grandmother's plates, rusty metal from Ediz Hook. 

Visions, a paper collage in the works

I always wanted to live near salt water, and now I do, with many lowly-populated beaches to roam. On Friday at Ediz, I met a couple from LaConner, avoiding the tulip-gazing swarms…Interstate 5 at a standstill. She said I could see good pictures online and not have to experience it first hand.

I know that I’m more likely to write poetry by hand than computer. I realized long ago that my life would furnish plenty of raw material for a lifetime of Art Work…

Today began the next piece in my series of paper and fiber memoir…Talisman and Power Object: How I Got to Where I Am.

Today's Quilt block...Using the Good Stuff!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Time in Between: Only we can live our own lives

Blue holes, like the Georgia O'Keefe painting at Art Institute of Chicago


My recent change from working stiff to retired person/All Art, All the Time is yielding unexpected benefits…the richness of TIME…I never realized before to what extent I had to ignore the subtleties of life, the crumbs on the floor under my table, the lack of variety in my meals, the many sunny breaks that I just totally missed, the side trips to books and internet information that enrich my learning.

Karla Chamberlin Hot Flash Woman #91

Carla Murray

  I’ve just discovered Raymond Carver, after living in one of his home bases for almost 9 years now…a book of his short stories and poetry. He grew up in Western Washington with scoured low rolling hills, spare poetry and writing, forcing the reader to participate by filling in blanks, like Alice Munroe. I started keeping a list of the books I read since I stopped my Regular Job, but there were too many to keep track.

Back to Graphic Grannies

I watched a video on Toulouse Lautrec, whose colorful paintings and drawings, and energetic line, I’ve loved since high school. I took the time to watch it again, loving his line, the colors, the way the foreground figures are detailed, and the background blurred, then a marvelous movie production of Romeo and Juliet in garish colors and style. Today I even got myself back to drawing the comics…The lesson to keep bringing myself back to the Work….and rejecting the work that doesn’t resonate enough to continue. Therefore it takes more of my day now to just live my life…I think about it as immersing myself IN the water, instead of trying to skip along the surface of the waves. This new attitude will improve my health…enjoying life!

Ally helps David on Family Card Night

I have rejected numerous Possibilities, but am tasting others. I find that I am perfectly happy staying home and switching among projects, reading, being outside, exercising, enjoying meals. This morning I got myself back to my magnificent eight-foot drafting table, despaired of becoming a cartoonist, and then got down to drawing. Returning myself gently to the Work that is important to me, again and again without beating myself up for time away, is my current path--being kind to myself in spite of my slowness.

I waited a few minutes too long to go and get the mail and heard the rain start. I don’t think I ever noted the exact moment of rain starting or looked out the bay window over my computer and saw an eagle flying in my line of vision, before this time of living deliberately.

Goodies from Stash Fest in LaConner. Attended with David, many, many projects cooking.

Wild clouds over Ediz Hook

Spending Time is a apt phrase...I am spending mine freely on the moments in between.