Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Preview To A Kiss

I had the most wonderful, art filled, inspiring day. It was the first really warm 50 degree sun filled morning without wind, and the thought of sitting at my desk sending out bids and billing clients was reviling.

Reading a few of my last posts I realized that part of my unease is that I enjoy the "artful living" aspect of art; being out in the natural world, taking notes, photographing and collecting items for my art,  not necessarily the making of the art. So, I decided it was a day to do whatever I would do if I quit my regular job of custom art and faux finishes, and held the current "dream" job of being a fine artist, blogger, and naturalist.

I didn't even open email. I slurped two espressos down and felt a twinge of guilt as I left breakfast dishes on the counter, grabbed my camera and walked out the door.

I drove a mile up the road and pulled over at the Zintel Canyon Greenway. I have been working on a painting of a Red-Winged Blackbird nest nestled in cattails and needed a few cattails to paint from. I ended up spending a couple of hours taking photos, sitting by the pond edge observing and immersing my self into the natural world. Time seemed to completely stop.

Somehow I pulled myself away and went back home for a little brunch, blogging and painting. I felt so inspired I wrote a poem (see "The Short Walk"), edited photos, Facebooked, and then painted for about an hour.

The dogs were becoming restless so I said, "What the heck, let's go on another walk". We drove a couple miles out and took our regular walking route through sagebrush trails. The wild flowers are just starting and I spent my time taking photos and creating a wildflower a guide book in my head. After an hour and a half the dogs were hot and ready to head back. 

I spent a little more time painting and editing photos before the kids came home from school. After a trip to the grocery store I made dinner and decided to continue my "free day" into the eve. I edited a few more photos before and after dinner and researched a few native plants. 

I'm now in bed feeling very blissful and calm. I'm dreaming and planning for my new job...and dreading tomorrow as now I have twice as much to do! But today was a much needed peek into where my heart is calling me to go. It made my heart happy and my soul feels fulfilled. Yes, artful living is my compulsion, my passion. I just have to make it fit into what feels right for me, not just doing the art part without the living part.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Short Walk

The Short Walk

I only meant to go for a short walk

but the trees beckoned me to go a little deeper
the red-winged blackbird clicked at me to follow.

The wet smells of earth and compost wafted by
as dried stalks of last years cattails crunched under my feet.

The bullfrog tempted me over to the pond to find him
while I was waiting
a quail couple came for a drink.

As the veil of my own mind fell
reflections of trees opened to me
silky sunlit spider webs drifted by.

A robin took a bath in front of me
honeybees flitted across the mud bank
while invisible creatures underwater rippled the surface.

Small birds darted in and out
of the blackberry bushes taking sips of water
preening their wings.

Mating rituals and shrills of spring delight
surrounded me in stereophonic cacophony.

Eventually the shadows of morning grew short
 the air became dry and dusty.

The hours had passed so quickly.

A touch of melancholy caused my heart to skip a beat
when the bullfrog teased me to stay longer and find him.

"Another day!" I said to no one.
 With gratitude and renewed spirit
I took the short walk home.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

9 Years and New Beginnings

The last few months have been nothing short of transformative.  It's as though I've finally given myself permission to develop the fullness of who I am as an artist. Relinquishing the comfort of playing it safe with my creativity, letting go of expressing what is sanitized and commercially viable. Throughout my life I've dabbled in so many areas of art; photography, book arts, mixed media, poetry, prose, essays, acrylic painting, watercolor, graphite, but it's always been one thing at a time. I've never allowed myself the freedom until lately to bring any or all of these things together.  I suppose like many other artists, the mental scars of childhood mockery and ridicule for attempting to stand out still serve as reminders when one dares to express who they are. Or sharing your most private poetry with those who just didn't get it or didn't recognize your soul on paper. Maybe part of it was growing up in a community with very little art and art direction. The voices of expressed opinion were not often educated nor kind when it came to critiquing work. The reward of doing something technically "perfect" fed the ego often enough to make a habit of  pleasing other's tastes.

 It's not that what I've been doing is not of merit or value. I am celebrating nine years of being trusted to be the creative medium between people and their desires. I feel honored to leave my energy fingerprint in their lives. Of course I will continue with that work as well. This change is something for me and for those who also have struggled to share their voice. It is to finally realize that I have nothing to hide or fear.
 I hope you come along with me and share my ride.  Please share with me your stories, your fears and successes as we all try to make sense of creative source that is innate within us.