Friday, January 30, 2009

The Everything Post

Lots of photos to share; first a few left over from the beach trip. It seems fitting since the beach trip is weaving in and out of my thoughts and dreams as I continue here at home.

The sounds, smells and flavor of the southern Oregon coast follow me and are just a memory away.

Oka, a root crop from the Andes that will be grown in a couple of gardens this coming season.

Gazing into 2009, wondering what the year will bring and feeling optimistic.

I'm working in the paper bag journal; writing my rusty poetry.

These pages were written at the beach amid the clamor and creativity.

Making marks, writing, painting, telling my little story. You'd think it was important.

It's a way of trying to celebrate every moment. I read about a poet recently who said, "I love life and I never want to die." and I nodded my agreement. Life good. Precious. Never want to leave.

Too much still to do. Still in love with every precious moment.

Journal page. The faces. Good friends who like to make things and play nice. Who also want to live deeply and share ideas.

So for 2 days now I've been working on collaged postcards for a poetry exchange I'll be participating at the beginning of the spring equinox.

One postcard a day for 3 months. That means I have to prepare approximately 90 postcards. This is a good exercise, actually.

And it's a boon for clearing out some of those images that have been cluttering up the studio.

When the time comes to start the exchange I can just shuffle through the cards until one strikes my fancy and then write my little poem on the back.

One woman in our group pointed out that a poem can be only one word if we wish it. That made it seem easier.

Because I can scratch my head for an hour over a single phrase.

As usual, once I get started on a project like this I like to keep going until I'm done.

But 90 4 x 6" collages are a lot, even if you tell yourself to relax and just let them happen.

When I recieve my postcards in return I plan to bind them all into a book.

And I plan to keep a record of the cards and poems I sent too, in another book.

So one thing about 2009 is this - I think I'm going to be a busy girl.

But oh, what delicious fun I'll have. I do look forward to it.

Almost finished now.

Whew! Hugs all around. Prayers for safety, for strength, for the wellness of all sentient beings.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Olga and Skylar

All week long Olga's been insufferable; bragging to the other dolls that she's getting a horse. Well, today her dream came true; Skylar arrived with a feather in his hat so to speak - meet the newest members of the doll menagerie.

Olga was born at the Bandon House where she promptly pushed one of the other dolls off the cupboard not once but several times. She is very firm about ruling the roost and Katie's doll had a beautiful necklace that made her jealous so it's easy to understand what went on once the lights went out.

The horse is held together by wires covered with plastic straws around the base that I painted black. That and bubble gum.

Skylar is what you'd call a one trick pony (how I love that song, concept and image) - he's ready to do his trick and only wonders when to start.

Olga loves having her picture taken. She twirled and preened for the camera.

I want to make a nurse, an Orvieto-bound doll, other circus performers. I want to but it's time to get back to work.

If this doll jones lasts much longer I'm going to have to get more supplies than wire and straws. Anyway, Olga says hello and ha ha I have a horse and you don't. Well, except some people I know. Some people have a new horse but not everybody. ;-)

Stay well.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Deep Bliss

There is new life in our neighborhood; it's the season of the baby goats. And really, there is not much in life more fun to watch than baby goats finding their sea legs and playing together.

They cry for their mamas if separated for long and they love to lounge in the warm sunshine beside the barn.

They are like fresh baby buddhas; wise and contented faces, happy and full of newborn innocence. It does lift one's heart and remind us that after 8 years of darkness life goes on.

This is my muddy but affectionate friend who asked if he/she couldn't be featured on my blog too. Of course, Mr. Pigasaurus. You too are beautiful and worthy of admiration.

I'm moving slowly through the waning days of January; actually working quite steadily designing new classes (printmaking!) and writing booklets for classes already on the schedule. Lots of new ideas and enthusiasm even in winter for what is coming very soon.

This is my latest art doll, a little pull toy of fabric and Sculpey that I named Igor. He is channeling my dark side I think in his rickety wheel chair and mask. I like him because he scares the rest of the girls and keeps them in line.

I made an acrobat too while I was at the beach but she is waiting for a horse to sit on before her unveiling. Her name is Olga and she is a fierce athlete. She emigrated from Russia in the 90's and is working in a circus in Canada while our economy recovers.

I think she is related to Igor; they have the same baleful expression and undercurrent of menace.

Okay, time to change the energy to something good; baby goat to say "bye" for now and come again as time allows. As for me, maybe I'll be making a white horse today. Chow.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Winter Renewal

Nine days at the beach with 10 women friends. All the women brought their art supplies, their good natures, cameras, food, equipment, books, journals and their dreams of renewal.

What met us there was 9 days of glorious sunny weather, lapping waves, a beautiful house to be comfortable in and the gentle nurturing spirit of others. We played nice and we made things together.

One of the women brought a candle for each person who attended. We let our lights shine together and we became quiet and humble.

We painted, sculpted, cut, pasted, wrote poetry, did Soul Collage, felting, book making, jewelry making, story telling, dream spinning and future planning.

We made amazing things and we felt our spirits being filled with the shared vision.

We agreed that on our return we would use our quiet moments to reflect on life's possibilities instead of life's limitations. That we would reach out to others in support and friendship instead of looking at the things that are disappointing. We returned home with full hearts and a deeper love of each other and of others too. It was good.

Friday, January 09, 2009

When I Should Be Packing

This is where I started my day; up early (for me), gulp coffee, drive in to Portland to help judge Portland's 4th Annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. We had 2560 pieces of art contributed from 7th to 12th Grades separated into 6 categories: Painting (my category), Drawing, Printmaking/Mixed Media, Photography and Video/Film/Animation. It was wonderful seeing the advanced work these high school students had produced.

I dug through several boxes to try and unearth the Gold Key I won back in my Freshman year. I wanted to photograph it for you and tell you how it built my confidence to have that encouragement. But alas, it must be buried in one of those boxes up in the barn that haven't seen daylight for eleven years since we moved here.

This is a shot of some of us enjoying lunch in the large atrium of the art school. I attended PNCA in the early 80's and loved my time as a student. We were located in a different building then. I think it's a wonderful art school.

It's always interesting to sit on a jury and compare opinions with your peers . I'd say the three of us agreed about 92% of the time.

It was the pieces that we didn't agree on that provided the most entertainment. My fellow jurors were terrific.

I've started a poetry journal in my paper bag journal. Right now I am putting in some of my favorite verses and using lots of appropriated images along with some of my own scribbles. Eventually I want to write my own poetry in it and use only my own photographs and painting.

I wrote a lot of poetry when I was in college but haven't done so in years. I miss that pleasure and I'm going to return to it. It's only for myself; I'm old enough to know my limitations but that isn't going to stop me.

John likes to say that it's a terrible loss if we only let others sing for us, make music for us, paint for us, write for us. These are things we can all do to some extent and it's really fun to try. It deepens our experience of being alive.

One announcement; at Squam in September, Elizabeth Tanner Boll will be in attendance to show her film "Who Does She Think She Is?" and to answer questions. If you are not familiar with the film, it was made by the same producing team that won an Academy Award for Born Into Brothels. "Who Does She Think She Is?" examines some of the most pressing issues of our time: parenting and work, partnering and independence, economics and art.

And now, my friends, I'm off to pack for Bandon. Dear Katie will arrive on a big silver bird at 9 am and we will join a pack of jolly girlfriends for a happy, silly week of revelry and art making. Of course girl reporter will be sticking her big camera in everybodys' faces so you can join the fun.

Whew! Surely that's all for now. Hold down the fort until I get back. xo