We have had turbulent weather lately. Lots of rainy storms. Last night a big one blew through. I had never heard such strange howling of the wind. I sat up watching the trees sway in the flashes of light from the electrical storm. We had trees down over the driveway this morning. Lots to clean up.
As I was walking around town this morning I came upon this sad bird's nest. It had obviously blown out of the tree during the storm. Poor little birds must wonder where their nest and lovely eggs went.
The storms have washed out quite a few of the girls' softball practices and games. I have to admit that I have enjoyed watching the games that have been played. I also enjoy watching my daughter learn something new.
The Green River runs through the length of our town. Here is a view I had of it today. It flows into the Hoosic River, which then dumps right into the Hudson River. The water has been running high all spring. This has been a boon to kayakers and other boaters.
Lastly is a photo of a shelf on my work table. (The photo on the middle shelf is of my parents, me, and two of my siblings. We are all just a year apart in age.) I have been so engrossed in activity that I have had very little quiet time working there. I awoke at 5AM this morning, restless, so I was able to creep quietly to my work room to paint before anyone woke up and demanded my attention.
Have a nice long weekend. We have some travel and some celebrations ahead of us.
The 48 illustrations are photographs of birds on a painted background. I think some of the photographs are hand painted as well. It was published in 1902.
On a completely different note, here is a video of David Bowie's "Modern Love." I saw his "Serious Moonlight" tour with a friend when I was in high school. We were so excited we could barely contain ourselves. As I watched this video, it reminded me that back in the 1980s we had no cell phones, iphones, ipods, digital cameras, or video cameras. But, we did have big hair and interesting clothes. (If this doesn't play right here- just click the link to youtube)
I'm spending very little time online lately. Instead, I'm finding myself outside as much as possible. Gardening, hiking, watching softball practice and games. This has been a good break away from screens for me. When I'm outside, I see the long distance, the big picture. When online, I can develop tunnel vision. Does anyone else feel that way too?
The top photo is my lawn. I love that it is an incredibly weedy lawn because we get blankets of dandelions, violets, thyme, and moss.
The two middle photos are of a recent hike on Pine Cobble. The top of the Cobble is a jumble of stone. I love the cairns that have been built out of this jumble. Nature's altars.
The bottom photo is of the little parade that opened the Little League season. My daughter marched with the band. I realize that I am thankful to live in a town that closes a main street so that baseball players and the school band can march to the ball park.
(This is an amazing book - science and storytelling woven into a gripping read. It is long - 470 pages - but a page turner.)
I bought this early reader at the library book sale a few weeks ago. It is a graphically-striking mid 20th century Russian or other slavic language book. Perhaps one of you dear readers recognizes the language?
I spent time thoroughly cleaning my work room over the weekend. It was very satisfying to clear the decks for new ideas.
Have a nice Tuesday. The sun is shining here, and we finally have a decent canopy of foliage developing on the trees. This is my favorite time of year.
Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there!
My family made me a mother's day perennial garden over the last couple of days. I'm a lucky mother! The bleeding hearts and violets are already beginning to bloom.
I have a table at the Twist Craft Fair this Friday and Saturday. Twist is held at the Northampton Center for the Arts in downtown Northampton, MA. I enjoyed the fair when I participated last November, and look forward to seeing the other crafters who will be there this weekend. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by!
Thanks to all who left such thoughtful comments on my last post. I really appreciate them!
I finished the flamingo over the weekend. This burst of pink is now sitting on a shelf in my work room and I am enjoying it very much. It is made from hand-dyed wool, linen, and cotton and stands about a foot tall.
The process of designing and making this bird was a pleasure. I would say that I was in my creative "zone," that place in which my creative spirit is made manifest in the piece I am creating. The experience of making something that truly expresses me - my style and vision - is powerful.
I see so many beautiful, creative, and clever things online. At times I have wondered how I could ever find my own unique style with so many images of other people's work clouding my mind. Because I am self-taught in my craft, the internet (as well as art and craft books) have become my school. I have had to learn to take from what I see: technique, use of color, thematic ideas, materials, and meld it all into an expression of my own. My craft is what emerges after and apart from the inspiration I find online and in books.
In making my soft sculpture, I have been inspired by these artists: Lemmikkiapina, Abby Glassenberg, Jennifer Muskopf, Abigail Brown, Ann Wood, Stephanie Congdon Barnes, Tamar Mogendorff, Mimi Kirchner, and many others I'm sure. I honor their work and thank them for their inspiration. But, I need to do the hard work of making my own craft.
If you have a reasonable level of skill, it is easy to copy someone else. But, is that honest? Does that ultimately feed and satisfy your creative soul? Does it make you feel joyful? Having a creative vision and manifesting it is hard work. It does not happen overnight. You have to practice, make mistakes, rethink your ideas. You have to try and try again. The work is worth the effort - as you begin to see yourself in the pieces you create.
I have been sewing and painting this year. I paint a little each day (on my calendar) and sew on and off throughout the week. I can see many connections forming between my paintings and my sewn sculpture. The way I relate to color, shape, texture. I can see hints of this cohesive style as well when I embroider or crochet or make a collage. It is through repetition and everyday practice that I learn about myself and experience the joy of being in the moment of creation.
I am thankful for the opportunity to make things. My life is so much richer for it.