Saturday, September 21, 2013

Prolific Art Making...and the spaces in Between

Nancy and Spouse

To one of my online classes: Speaking of prolific art-making times and the Spaces in Between: I'm happy to see that the classes are inspiring some Creative Bursts. I get very crabby when I'm not making Something, be it production or not...but I do have the luxury of living alone and not having to take care of anyone but myself...and my now three-day-a week health care job. I try to keep a mindless sewing job...on a sculpture, quilt, or production/gift dolls/angels, so when the light gets short, I can sew while I watch movies.

Emily at the Farmers' Market

In the studio I listen to kind of bland books on tape, mysteries or romances (guilty secret) but I think the stories help to distract the top level of my mind, the more critical part, so I can just go along and do the work, without getting so critical that I stop the process.

I'm giving myself permission to sit at my dining table and read art books and sketch and write...copying the drawings of others to learn for myself...I really am going to do either comix, graphic novels, or animations...or all of the above, planning on attending Comicon in Seattle as my 67th birthday treat, so I Must have something ready to show! 


Showing Up is the best way to get the work (Art Work) done, and Doing Work, is the best way to generate new ideas.

I've been stuck lately because of the stress of starting the new job, but with the help of friends and confidants, I'm working on unloading the stress--mostly self-imposed, and unrealistic expectations directed at my self, so as I unload the self-imposed stress, get back into the studio, do the work, and generate more ideas, I am a much happier and more productive person. Yesterday I gave myself til 9:30 with books and breakfast, went into the studio and painted a pretty good portrait, and improved one with which I was struggling, and now have time to write to you. This stuff makes me happier than Anything Else I can think of!...Now, Get Thee to the Studio!...if you don't have a specific place, just get to work.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Summer's End!

We've had an extra special summer here in the Northwest...I keep thinking it's ending, and the weather keeps surprising me with yet more sun and warmth. We were lucky to have all the siblings and two of the younger generation all together in one place several times over the summer...LOTS of great food, too!

Breakfast at Doug's with savory bread pudding, fried spam, fruit

All of us reading at Doug's

Hugh with his bald haircut and Steve

Dessert at a family party at David and Brian's

 A family picnic at Doug's--outside, the second family meal outdoors this summer...a record for the Peninsula.  A contingent: Hugh and Connie, Steve and Linda, came out to the Peninsula for a few days. Looking at cards at Lake Crescent Lodge. Hugh had the top of his hair shaved to play James Watt, the infamous Secretary of the Interior, in a very funny new musical we saw at Village Theater in Issequah

Connie and Hugh, Lake Crescent    

Steve and Linda on Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge, glacier way back 

I'm happy to be living in such a scenic area--makes family and friends want to come and visit. Hard to imagine a place with so many wonderful sights so close to home. The mile-high top of Hurricane Ridge is just 19 miles from my house...and now that Steve and I both have Golden Eagle passes, we can go any time. I was here with David, just a month ago and there was more snow on the mountains then.

The removal of one of the highest dams in the world here in my neighborhood has created a much wider beach at the end of Place Road, and we found some sculpture worthy of Andy Goldsworthy when we took a trip out there...and on to Rialto Beach on the big water (Pacific versus Strait of Juan de Fuca)

Hugh, Linda, Steve, Lake Crescent

The group out on the silt deposits at the end of the Elwah River

Very cool arrangements of beach sticks

This one rotates in the mild wind, on wooden pins, I think

Looking at sticks...One of my favorite things!

As you can see by the clothing, it was a typical Northwest Summer day. I think that night we went home and made pizza...after having a fried clam lunch at Between the Bridges, and a game of May I.

Next day, Rialto Beach and Sabai Thai on the way home...too busy eating to take pictures at dinner...great food!

Steve and Rialto

Connie, looking scenic

Fog bank reluctantly lifting

Rialto...gorgeous place! Sea Stacks behind a log of Cairns

It's tough to choose my favorite beach--so many great ones. Always Great to have the brothers in town...we're lucky to enjoy each others' company.

Me with pitcher plants in Seattle

Flash back to Seattle. Doug and Amal and I went to the Arboretum, with me practicing my Seattle driving, since the kids took both cars. What a beautiful place in the middle of a largish city! Amal says they like to go and hang out in the moist, warm arboretum in the winter. She misses the heat in Israel. I had another training about photography with Artist Trust for my Legacy Specialist future job.

Glass Cactii with real tropical plants, Arboretum

Seattle Arboretum--I can't remember the name

Glass and real plants

Amal and Doug at the Arboretum, on a hot day in Seattle

More Pitcher plants

The summer isn't officially over yet, and heaven knows who else may show up. It's certainly a lot darker at both ends of the day...I have my timer light coming on at 6am, so I can get ready in time for work...slowly, slowly learning the new job. I'm still working on portraits and some new sculpture, drawing. My show at the MAC is up for another two weeks, till the end of September.

The darker, rainier days here are ideal for getting back into a more serious studio routine, with my now 4 days a week for Art, 3 days work-for-money. I am studying ways to make more money on my art days...what a dream, but I've succeeded in the past. 

After teaching my stick doll class today at the MAC to 6 lovely and talented ladies, I see where some of my talents lie, as my web site states: to work with women and creativity. I will Never be bored...or run out of things to do!  Sandy Long and I agreed over almond lattes today. She volunteeree to provide a home for the Big Doll--remember her? in her living room, where she will be seen by many more people than she has a chance to experience while living in my garage.

Stay tuned for more adventures and Close up views. Please follow my other blog as well, and if you'd like to buy a book from my website or a painting or hire me to teach, you'd have the satisfaction of supporting a struggling Artist. I'm thinking that people who are making way too much money, but don't have time to enjoy life should each support an artist and we'll send you reports from the full, rich life in art.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Looking Closely...Small Purple Things...Practice

Examined closely, a cut purple cabbage resembles an Avatar (just saw the movie again) type tortured tree. I've been reading Natalie Goldberg's THE TRUE SECRET OF WRITING, and flash back to buying WRITING DOWN THE BONES at the Elliot Bay Bookstore, where my youngest brother decided to move to the Northwest twenty years before I did.

I have studied Buddhism, and writing, and image-making, and Practice since then, and maybe 30 years later, the Practice aspect is coming into focus.

Dead Kale, captured in the spring...often dead things are as interesting as those at their peak--or maybe richer. Perhaps I can apply that analogy to my own aging...the lines may not be as crisp, but perhaps there's more depth.

Bee in the flowering thyme in my back yard...please keep them alive! Our survival depends on theirs...we are all interconnected, people, plants, pollenating insects, and all water, rocks, and soil. 

When my house was being built, I studied the colors of the Northwest, to pick something that would speak of my new home. Purple and green are the colors I found...and deep connections tying me to the rocks and beaches.

As I create more time for myself to make art, or to be involved in Art, I am attracted to the idea of Practice... Putting structure into my days, asking myself to concentrate on focal areas and repetition with variations, instead of bouncing all around.


My portrait series, now in its third or fourth year, is a Practice, using the structure of the portrait as a way of going deeper into the topic, through repetition. I am painting more slowly since I hung my show of 70 portraits at the MAC for August and September, but I don't want to stop...I have heard in several contexts how many hours of practice are required to become proficient at Anything...and Art is the field that has chosen me, in ways I can't ignore.

At the base of the purple petunias, mushrooms are growing, the weather is changing, dark days approaching...few distractions from Art Making.