Tuesday, September 28, 2010

becoming a servant to your art

The duende is the Spirit of the Earth, and has been explained as a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought. An old maestro of the guitar said, "The duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet."

"For the first ten or fifteen years, you learn your craft, you learn to see, to respond to what you're seeing. Then as you mature, you're able to give yourself up to the notion of duende, to reverse the process. You reach a point where the picture begins to tell you what it needs. You, in a sense, become the servant to your art, and because of that, every single day, you will always be surprised at what you do."
--Nick Bantock

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Kashgar Sunday Market

Right now, exactly a I type these words, a lifelong dream of my Mom is coming true. She is at the Kashgar Sunday Market, deep in the Gobi Desert on the Karakoram Highway following the ancient Silk Road. Marco Polo visited this market, which has been in continuous operation for 1500 years, and marveled at it's riches, he said it was the starting point for merchants to take their silks to the West. She is closer to Kyrgyzstan and Dehli than to Beijing, where she started this trip a week ago.
and did I say she is 81 years old?
Why not dream big and make it happen? I have a great example in her and her amazing adventurous spirit, and I am so thrilled she is right now bartering for camels and donkeys, silks and costumes, rock sugar candy and colorful rugs, perhaps watching some jousting or horse racing, nibbling on a goat head or hoof, or hot Kashgari bread.
I can't wait to see the pictures.
Go Mom.

"I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world." --Mary Anne Radmacher Hershey

Friday, September 24, 2010

making magic

One of my favorite ideas is that imagination lays the tracks for the reality train to run on.
Why not imagine what might be, and see if it can come to pass, instead of being sad at what is?
If this is called magic, I will take it over "reality" any day.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man adapts to world to himself. All progress depends on the unreasonable man."
--George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Welcome, Autumn

Today, the cycle of the year moves toward darkness and cold, and we welcome the first day of Fall. This marks the beginning of the slow ending of the year, leaves falling, animals storing food for the winter, harvest celebrations, and anticipating the coming of the snow and cold.
For me, it is a time for gratitude for what we have sown this year, while also a time to reflect that things do end, nothing lasts forever. . .
Our lives have changed so much in 2010, a new state to live in, new jobs, new communities to join, new groups and friends and a whole new way of life here in Colorado. This is our first Fall here, and I am so eager to see what it brings. The apple tree in the front yard has had a overflow of apples, and we can them as fast as we are able, knowing this means applesauce for the whole year to come. and I am so eager to see what Fall is like here next to the mountains, and to greet the chill in the air knowing although it ends the cycle with dying, that new beginnings come when the void is created, and that focusing on the center allows the turning of the year to not leave our heads spinning.

“Have you ever watched birds soaring high up in the air without a beat of their wings, being carried along by the wind? How endlessly they seem to enjoy themselves! They are not concerned about death. If death comes, it is all right, they are finished. There is no concern about what is going to happen; they are living from moment to moment, are they not? It is we human beings who are always concerned about death - because we are not living. That is the trouble: we are dying, we are not living.” --J. Krishnamurti

Monday, September 20, 2010

what will you make today?

"The thought manifests as the word. The word manifests as the deed. The deed develops into habit. And the habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care. And let it spring from love, born out of concern for all beings." --Buddha

Saturday, September 18, 2010

patterns, cont.

Make a collage.
Scan it.
Print it.
In a few sizes.
Tear, cut, glue, play.
Add some ink.
layers, layers, and more layers.
pattern making makes great pages.
(and go look at the image posted on Wed. Sept 8 to see how it started out.)

"When you create art, you want to use yourself as an instrument to find out about things." --Kim Tran

Thursday, September 16, 2010

a pattern language

A book by that name was written by Christopher Alexander about architecture in the 70's -- before any of us had the idea that the internet would be this community of connection for the whole world.
Patterns really do create a sort of language - and we create patterns in our days that make our lives become what we want them to be.
In fact, creating the patterns is the beginning, designing with intention is the result.
I use my journal a lot to help me figure this out, being a visual thinker.
and besides, playing with patterns is just fun and satisfying.
There is such beauty in pattern; find them, and make them part of your art and part of your day; creating patterns in your journal, and thus in your life, you will add intention to the world.

"I once saw a simple fish pond in a Japanese village which was perhaps eternal. A farmer made it for his farm. The pond was a simple rectangle, about 6 feet wide, and 8 feet long; opening off a little irrigation stream. At one end, a bush of flowers hung over the water. At the other end, under the water, was a circle of wood, its top perhaps 12 inches below the surface of the water. In the pond there were eight great ancient carp, each maybe 18 inches long, orange, gold, purple, and black: the oldest one had been there eighty years. The eight fish swam, slowly, slowly, in circles—often within the wooden circle. The whole world was in that pond. Every day the farmer sat by it for a few minutes. I was there only one day and I sat by it all afternoon. Even now, I cannot think about it without tears." -- Christopher Alexander

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

where does inspiration come from?

I find inspiration does start with a work ethic, but blossoms a bit with relaxing and not forcing any certain thing to happen.
If I get myself to the studio and just start, it comes.
Yesterday I had a long and slow day at the gallery, not many visitors were coming, so lots of time to "fiddle" around in my journal.
Just sitting there, a bit bored, I doodled and drew, and the ideas slowly formed.
Now and then, my time was punctuated with a conversation with a patron, or with a bit of wandering around and talking to Joan, the other artist working with me.
By the end of the day, I really liked what I had added to the journal pages.
Sometimes it is in the blur of non-directed thinking that gentle beauty can emerge. Our push push push culture of production has never encouraged us to work dreamily like this.
so wrong of it, and so counter-productive to creating something new and authentic.

"I learned... that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness." --Brenda Ueland

Sunday, September 12, 2010

some phrases that belong on t-shirts:

*I am an artist - there, I said it*

*e ART h*

*get yourself in the flow, and the paddles will appear*

"The fisherman knows that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reasons for staying ashore." --Vincent van Gogh

Saturday, September 11, 2010

today . . . .

just some doodles, some patterns and stamps, some bits of papers, some ink.
my brain unloading.
Each time you make something heart-felt, something pretty, something authentic, you add to peace in the world.
a good thing to do on today, of all days.

"Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison for drunks." --Rumi

Thursday, September 9, 2010

reach out to a new friend today

because it is our women connections that really empower and support us.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
--Anais Nin

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

get thee to the studio . . . .

Sometimes just getting yourself into the right space makes good things happen.
Since we are in the process of looking for a house, I know the studio in our new house is key for me. My intention is to end up with a space that is large enough for my stuff, inspiring enough to want me to be there, yet affordable.
It will happen.
We make the containers that make our lives work out.
Imagining it is the first step.
This morning I wasn't really in the mood to create.
So I sat at my desk, found some images and papers I liked, and tore up some bits.
Spread them on the scanner.
Then I found a face I liked and I scanned that.
Then photoshopped these two images into something interesting.
I printed the images and put them in my journal.
Played around some more.
In this process, I realized my creative slump had disappeared.
The container I put myself in had tricked me into working and creating something I liked.
Imagine the one that works for you.

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” --Brian Tracy

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Go For It

Fall is coming, the air is finally chilling out just a wee bit. I am setting up new Fall schedules, and they include a new women's circle which I am so thrilled to finally have happen. I've had that intention since moving here last January, and after 8 months, there are 8 women who will be joining me to create sacred space and support each other in our paths.
I find I really need this connection and the pooling of female energy, and I am so grateful it will happen this week.
Other good breakthroughs:
Our dog is learning not to bark all night.
My daughter is settling into her new high school.
My husband is settling into his new job.
and we are starting to look for a house of our own.
It's been a long hard haul, but I see light around us now.
The studio is there for me, and I am able to make art, how is life not pretty sweet?

"They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
But something's better
On the other side."
--John Mayer

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Labor Day Weekend . . . .

"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." --Walter Bagehot

Friday, September 3, 2010

where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration = breath . . . .
think about it.

"Think of your body as a musical instrument, a wind instrument. Your breath, accordingly, is the wind through the instrument. As such, it is the single most important aspect of yoga technique. Traditionally considered the primary carrier of prana - life force - your breathing originates deep inside you, radiates outward and then inward, providing a gentle and steady rhythm for movement, stretch and release. Sometimes you will breathe softly, other times with vigor, but the breathing itself will always be a central and governing focus. Proper breathing brings the poses to life, inspires every subtle shift and movement in every yoga posture, and can help center your awareness in your conscious experience of the now." --Erich Shiffman

Thursday, September 2, 2010


"I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating. I don't care if it's a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music. Anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us. This world would be unlivable without art. Thank you for inspiring me." --Steven Soderbergh