Letting go of old stories.

I have a handwritten note taped to my office door alerting those passing by to be quiet when I’m in meditation. I thought it would be fun to make a more decorative sign that I could flip over when not in use so I pulled out the paints and collage elements and thought that would be a good project to acquaint me with the materials.

At this age in my life I hear the voices in my head telling me that I’ll never master a new medium, and they are discouraging. I know they are lying. While I crave the idea of mastering something I also know that I have to start somewhere. I fight back with the voices telling them that it’s not about mastery, or being good at something. It’s about having fun and indulging in something that is enjoyable to me.

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So, I sat down and I started. I have to keep reminding myself that it takes time, and layers, to get to an end product that I will like. As I pasted and painted I don’t see an end result but I keep going. It’s like life. You keep adding experiences along the way. If you keep trying to see the end result you miss what is happening in the moment. You are also spending your time trying to control things into a very narrow focus. If you do that, you don’t let yourself to see what could happen along the way. You let your brain tell you where to go instead of experiencing maybe something better that you’re not being open to.

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That all sounds pretty nebulous, but it resonates inside me. Where I am right now is a place of exploration. Of letting go of control. Following my heart rather than trying to limit and force things. Seeing what is there to come out. As with the paintings, they’re works in progress, as is  life. It might, probably, turn out to be something I would have never dreamt of or expected if I can just let it evolve naturally. I feel like I’ve dipped my toe in, and while it can be scary to think about plunging in fully, It’s exciting too.

It’s hard to let go of old habits but like I’ve heard, it’s just one decision away. Time to let go of old stories. Maybe putting them on the pages will release them.

Fiction Sketchbook Project

Between starting homeschooling last year, and the studio being under construction longer than expected, I’ve been remiss in creating visual art. Months ago I signed up for the Sketchbook Project and luckily, they just extended the deadline to February 5. This particular challenge is A Message From a Future Self. I started out with collage and drawing, planning to write notes from my future self best that I could.

After I started altering my pages I read the instructions in full. Oops. I got the gist that it was to be more focused on writing, and not as much visual art. But, what is being an artist anyway, if not to break rules?

Sketchbook project collage pagesI am more than halfway finished and working feverishly to meet the deadline. The book and pages will be digitized in the online library, and held in the physical collection in Brooklyn, NY. We visited there this summer and it was so fun to browse previous project books.

I’ve spent a lot of time creating these pages and it is going to be really really hard to let it go. I find myself thinking about all of the people who have done the other projects before me (33,000+) and how, if they put their heart into their creations as I’ve been doing, they must feel the same thing.

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I have been tempted to keep it. This will be the first sketchbook of this type that I’ve completed. I always have sketchbooks but they turn out to be mostly free association writing with some pages of sketches, but none ever just full of art like this. I’ve made lots of other art, and I’ve sold it. Something about letting that art go is different. For one, I know I can make more of the same (repeatable beads and jewelry). This is more freeform and from the subconscious. It captures moments that are fleeting. Also, when selling art, you get something in return. Cash. So it’s more of a transaction and what the art was made for. After years of being a working artist, it’s a strange feeling to spend so much time on something and just give it away. Actually, I paid to give this away, as you purchase the sketchbook and pay a fee for the digitizing. I’m ok with that because I think it’s a fantastic project and want to support them and the arts.

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Not being much of a flat art kind of person I’ve been enjoying working with different media. There is something to be gained by working outside of your comfort zone and in something totally new to you. I have also been enjoying creating just to create–not to sell. I’ll show you the other pages as I go along. I may even add more to these and they don’t all feel finished yet but I have that deadline. I have to get something on the pages!

Something is telling me to finish it and set it free. Put it out there. There is more going on here, and I don’t know what that is but I am trusting it.

Blown Glass Glasses

Another part of my relaxing weekend was exploring new places in Sedona.  It is amazing that, for such a small town, there is always something new to uncover.  This time it was the Sedona Arts Center.  They have a gallery, a sales gallery, ceramic studio, performing arts studio and more that we didn’t see.  Such variety in the work they sell, of local artists and of course, when it’s local artists I always have to get something to support the arts.  This was my find:

Blown drinking glasses by George Averbeck.  I want to use them but I also want them to be out for me to enjoy seeing as well.  I need to find a better light-catching area for display.

When we bought our house over 10 years ago I made a pledge that I would decorate with only pieces of art and objects that I/we love.  Things purchased from art shows, local galleries, things from travels, etc.  Many of our walls have remained bare because of this but it’s ok.  We’ve been filling the place slowly.  The problem with only having things around that you love is that you want to see them ALL, all of the time.  I don’t have enough room on my kitchen windowsill or on the wall across from my desk.  It’s a good problem to have.

In addition to these four glasses I picked up one that felt so good in my hand that I had to have it for my own everyday use.

I drink a lot of water and usually have a cup around that holds at least 24 oz.  This is much smaller but it feels so good and the colors make me feel more cheery so it is my new water glass.

It’s funny though that I can look at it and recognize the colors as frit that I have on my own supply shelf.  I don’t think I’d like blowing glass but I sure do like these simple glasses…at least I think they’re simple.