"Youexpected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. In those days, though, the spring always came finally; but it was frightening that it had nearly failed. " ~Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Unseasonably warm weather, beauty bursting forth, new juicy flavors (I'm quite done with winter fruits), choosing vegetable starts, garage saleing, planting, reading in the sun, ice cream, bare feet, cold soups, dreams of summer.
I'll be camping in the Redwoods and on the beach in California for nearly two weeks later this month. I'll need to bind a new journal for the trip. Wondering what form it will take. With a cover or without? Big or small? Pre-painted or not? Delicious decisions! The planning is one of my favorite parts. That and you know, actually vacating. This sweet little number was made in a Misty Mawn class at the last Artfest.
Sleeping in the Forest
by Mary Oliver
I thought the earth remembered me, she took me back so tenderly, arranging her dark skirts, her pockets full of lichens and seeds. I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed, nothing between me and the white fire of the stars but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths among the branches of the perfect trees. All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me, the insects, and the birds who do their work in the darkness. All night I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling with a luminous doom. By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times into something better.
In the book Art and Fear, the authors tell of a ceramics teacher who divided his class. Half the class would be graded on the quantity of pots they made. The other half would be graded on the quality of a single pot. In the end, the highest quality pots came from the group of students that had made in quantity. I'm in the middle of a project that requires I make in quantity.
I've been invited to hang my work at Annie's Art and Frame in Ballard for September. I couldn't pass up the opportunity but I didn't have enough work available. So, I've been painting every night. I couldn't sustain this for more than the 2 1/2 weeks that I have available but it is an amazing experience. I'm finding that the more work I do, the more ideas I have. An unexpected bonus is how much I'm learning.
Steven Pressfield writes in his book Do The Work! "The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can't/shouldn't/won't do what we know we need to do. Start before you're ready." If I had time to think about what I'm trying to do, I would have several reasons why I couldn't do it. I need to spend time with my family, I'm so tired when I get home from work, I have so much going on at work, I'm getting ready to leave town for an extended vacation... All true and all a reason why I couldn't meet my goal. I could find several people who would totally support me in my belief of not be able to do it. Fortunately, I didn't really even have time to consider all of that. The opportunity came up suddenly and while I would have like to be prepared for it, I opted to try to meet the challenge it brought. I set two art related goals this year. To have a show somewhere and to create 30 paintings. With this project I'll easily meet these goals this year. It's time to set a new goal.
One of my favorite past-times is reading cookbooks. Imagining the flavors, dreaming about selecting the produce, fantasizing about the delicious meals, planning the sweet picnics we'll go on. It's all part of the joy of a good cookbook. The reality is I rarely do the cooking around here. I'm great at the daydreaming, not so great on the follow though. I don't know why because I love cooking.
This weekend my family took advantage of the lovely weather and gathered at my brother's for a first day of spring BBQ. I decided to make ketchup to bring along. It's a crazy thing to bring to a potluck but man am I glad I did.
Homemade ketchup is crazy good. The flavor is complex, intense and addictive. Never will I go back to the pale imitation sold in the grocery. I may have to eat french fries every day.
Aren't they beautiful? Go ahead, try it. I guarantee you'll never go back. I can't wait to try it this summer with fresh roasted tomatoes. Or with a bit of chipotle. Mmmm...
I came across this book sculpture when I was Christmas shopping last month at one of my favorite bookstores, Third Place Books. It's such a fun piece, illustrating the way a good book can reach out and grab you. I always enjoy art that incorporates text and paper.
I didn't plan to taking a break. Not from blogging or making. I don't know what happens but somehow I get overwhelmed by all that I want to do and since I can't do it all, I end up doing nothing. I know this doesn't work. I can't do it all. But I must do something or I start to get sad and more unproductive. Once it starts it's hard to stop it.
Needing to make something for someone special is just to thing to break through.
Today we celebrate Debbie and this is the card I made for her. I stitched this piece last night and then stitched it onto a card that Tanner and I signed on the back.
The gifts have been opened and a most delicious breakfast has been devoured. Sadly, the birthday girl made her own breakfast. Pitiful I know but sometimes that's the way it goes.
We'll be heading to the beach for an afternoon of beachcombing and picnicing (or is that picnicking?). This evening will find us at Cafe Lago for a most scrumptuous dinner.
The weather has been gorgeous and requires time spent outdoors.
Like so many of you, we've been dealing with winter sicknesses in these parts. I must say, this has been the worst winter yet for us in terms of illness. We don't frequently get ill in this house but recent weeks has found all of us down for the count. Thankfully not all at once but one after the other isn't much fun either. Sunshine and fresh air are perfect after recent events.
Sometimes I treat my blog as a letter to my friends. Sometimes, like today, it's a note to myself. I found this video on Pia Jane Bijerk's blog. I enjoy Nathalie Lete's style so much and don't want to forget this lovely find. Pia's blog is fabulous as well. She's just published a book I spied at my local bookstore last week and can't wait to get. I made my way to Pia's blog via LeSophie. Another lovely place to while away a lazy Sunday morning. With that I leave you to enjoy a glorious day full of sunshine and making.
I'm back after an unplanned absence again. Since my return from Artfest I've been avoiding the computer. Part of it is, I'm spending more time making art. I haven't even been staying up on my email. I've also not been visiting other blogs. Besides not having the time, I don't want to be influenced by what others are doing.
The only thing I regret is not coming here. I actually like blogging but I feel like it's the journal I'd keep when I was young. If I skipped a day of writing, it was always harder to go back to it. Pretty soon I'd find months had gone by and there was no hope of getting caught up on all that had happened. Then I'd just not do it unable to face the failure. I've realized that I still do that with my blog. My expectations of myself are ridiculous. I'm going to once again, try to let them go. So here I am, starting fresh.
A few weeks ago I accompanied Tanner's class on the annual camp trip. That's him above on the mondo tree swing. It was the biggest, highest tree swing I've ever seen. There'a a high platform to get on it. It swings out high into the trees, over the cabins. Tanner said it made his legs all wobbly. Fortunately I didn't see him on it the first time he went or my legs might have been wobbly.
Our cabin was the main lodge right at the beach. The location was phenomenal. There was no hope for a decent nights sleep though. There were bonfires, s'mores, playing on the beach, a water balloon catching contest, tug-o-war, the mondo tree swing, fun classes, and relaxing. More relaxing than I'd imagined. And after dark, there was adult time around the bonfire, someone playing guitar and lots of grown-up treats.
I was a reluctant attendee but in the end was grateful I'd gone. It was a special three days with Tanner.
I taught art journaling classes. I'd limited my class to four students each day but for some reason I made 25 extra journals. It was a good thing I did. The kids enjoyed the free access to fun art supplies so much that I kept the materials out during free time and more children stopped by to make their own journal. In the end, I gave out more than 30 journals. Look what those amazing artists did. Some of them couldn't believe they were allowed to do whatever they wanted.
I'll be doing this again next year. I have to thank my friends for contributing supplies. Penelope (who needs to get a blog or at least a flickr account), Lelainia of Tattered Edge, Jonna of Just Jonna, and Dawn of Mother Rubber, all provided supplies for the kids to use. I really appreciate your generosity ladies! The kids loved the materials you sent. Aargh! Typepad won't let me link to their blogs.
I'm headed out for an extended camping trip on the Oregon coast tomorrow morning. I won't leave you without posts for the entire time though. Check back. I hope you have a fabulous first week of summer!