Friday, December 2, 2011

sounds of the surf

Up in the wee hours to write, draw and generally sneak in a little ME time before the workday begins.  I have my alarm (clock) set to go off around 5:30 but always seem to wake up before it goes off - just enough that it is too late to go back to sleep and get another good rem cycle in, but too early to actually get UP.  But today I got up anyway...remnants of daylight savings time (by which it is 5:30).  
My alarm is actually the sound of the surf.  It is a gentle and very soothing sound that I sometimes use to go to sleep by, too. I live nowhere near surf of any kind so I chose it to connect with the sea. I am not sure why. It is a gut thing. I have never lived near the ocean and have visited it only a few times in my life (I prefer mountains). Yet I LOVE the sound of the surf, and find myself frequently creating abstract seascapes in both fiber art and collages.  I do know that my ancestors were seafarers.  My ggggrandfather owned a shipyard in PEI and I believe his father owned either the yard or a ship in England, and his father before that, and so on.  And, obviously, all of my Euro ancestors crossed the pond at some point, since I am a north American several generations deep.  I fantasize that the lure of the sea is something like a genetic memory, a siren song from deep in my soul.  Not that I have any desire to sail on the sea, but I do enjoy recreating its colors and essence through art.  
The sound of the pounding surf waking me from sleep seems gentle and nurturing. Admittedly it does wake me slowly and there have been occasions when that was not a good thing (like when I have to race around like a madwoman to catch an early flight). But usually, I do better during the day if I am not jolted out of sleep by a jarring and abrasive clanging or buzzing of some sort.  My surf alarm is one of the things I do for myself, I guess. Since I have to get up by a certain time to make it to my day job, I choose to be pulled into the day with the soothing sounds of the surf.  Like my collages, my morning is embellished by contrasts - sounds of the surf, frequent dry dusty winds and either brutal heat or bone-chilling wind-chills.  Gotta love it!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

where have the words gone?

it is a breath-takingly beautiful morning here in the middle of the record-breaking heat of summer.  the sun is just beginning to rise and a cool breeze provides just enough fresh air to keep the birds singing, the cats content, and me parked in a chair on the back porch.  it has been months since i could sit out here in the morning and enjoy my coffee.  it is bliss! so is the coffee!

i've been working on building up my blogging skills and creating more posts, but for a person that always has something to say, when i am faced with the blank white block of the posting screen, all of the sudden my brain dries up. as a lifetime journaler (pen to paper), word-flow has never really been a problem, and while there are times in my life when i just don't feel like 'writing,' at the times when i am driven to write, the words come. until i open up my blog to create a new post. i type a few words, backspace, type a few more, delete the whole line, get a fresh cup of coffee, type a whole sentence, backspace over half of it to correct the spelling of one word, and on it goes until frustration sets in and i decide that maybe today is the day to just work on the layout of the blog or the banner, or i know!...i need more photos, so i get my camera and go off to take pictures only to be side-tracked by the laundry, grocery list, you get the idea.

so, my flying friends, what do you do to keep the words coming and the blog posts flowing?

Monday, August 29, 2011

what i learned's OK to play with your blog

Fears. Overwhelm. Yikes-what have i gotten myself into! It is incredibly scary to actually have traffic - i.e. visitors, like real live people - coming to my blog. Since its creation, my blog has been like my secret hideout - no one new about it but me and what I posted on it was for my eyes only.  No risk there, right?

Then I started an online class that challenged me to "go public" with my blog. So I did. And some of my online classmates visited my blog! (Thank you!) And some even left comments! (You are forever my angels!) What a rush! It felt so awesome to have real visitors and real comments. I reveled in the euphoric feelings of accomplishment. Ahhh.

Then, whammie!

fabricBeadsI committed myself to posting more often than a couple of times a year, sat down to create a new post and ...FROZE. What should I say?  What pearls of wisdom or gems of amusement will my 'followers' most love to read? For a person who always has something to say, I had nothing to say.  So I told myself that the 'look' of my blog was boring and needed to be refreshed. After all, taking care of the technical stuff was .... safe.  I could handle the judgement (self) there. So I tweaked this and bolded that and changed a few colors, created a background image.  I wasn't totally satisfied with the end result - my blog needs to be the perfect reflection of my artistic self, right?  But, I was still "involved" with my blog and thinking that the 'look' is a work in progress so it is OK to try out a few things.

However, I still faced a sense of frozen nothingness whenever my eyes roamed past the Create New Post tab. I slept on it, argued with myself about it and prayed about it.  Then, I woke up today hearing the whisper - "it's ok to play with your blog." I sat down, opened the editor and fiddled with the look and layout again.  Hmm.

I went to the online class topic for the day, it was about playing.  The whisper seemed to be more insistent, "It's OK to PLAY with your blog... ALL of it!" (divine intervention?)

....Oh, I get it!  Play with the posts!  Of course!

So I actually clicked the Create New Post tab I go!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

waves of ideas

I am so grateful today for a day free of any obligations or responsibilities which made it possible to spend the whole long lazy morning in my studio with paint up to my elbows creating away!  Those hours will make the coming week feel much more balanced somehow.  

A year or so ago, I came to realize that the daily "fight" to find time to get into the studio and paint/stitch/glue was sucking an incredible amount of joy and energy out of my life.  My corporate day job often felt like a big hole of emptiness right smack in the middle of my creativity.  All day, everyday, in the back of my mind was the mantra "when I get ....... done, then I can get into the studio..." only there was always something else that just had to get done.  

One day, I woke up more than an hour before the alarm went off, wide awake, and the desire to get on up and get into the studio was so strong that I just did it.  And it changed everything!  That hour of creative immersion in the studio before I started my "day" energized me more than a pot of coffee. I was so infused with positive energy that day, that I did the same thing the next day, and then the next and the next.  

Several weeks after this new routine, I realized that I was no longer spending the day swimming upstream manipulating a 'current' of responsibilities trying to get into my studio. Starting my day in the studio, even if it is just for 20 or 30 minutes, takes the "fight" out of the day and has given me a tremendous sense of accomplishment and peace.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I am so full of new information and ideas this week that I think my brain is going to explode! It seems like just when I think I have a moment to gather my thoughts and maybe even sit down to create some art, whoosh! - life rushes in and sweeps me off into my day.  What an exciting adventure it all is.  But I am thinking maybe I need to MAKE time for a few quiet moments - like lunch hour by the pond to watch the ducks and birds ...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

what i learned today...flying lessons

For the last few days I have been blissfully immersed in Flying Lessons, an online class I am taking that is so phenomenally awesome I have become literally obsessed with it. The focus of the course is building your online artsy business and I find myself using every possible free moment to read the posts and all the comments.  I am wondering how much sleep I can give up to follow up on all the ideas that are taking root and still maintain the appearance of a sane person!  I enrolled in the class hoping to find inspiration and new energy for starting yet another business project, and WOW, have I found inspiration and energy. Now the challenge is to make time for the rest of my life!
Interestingly, as an individual who feel intimately connected to nature and the weather, after a summer of brutal heat and drought, I have noticed that as I have begun to open up and move past fears of inadequacy and vulnerability as an artist, cooling showers and summer thunderstorms have moved into the area, providing both relief and energy.  I just love flying!!!!

Stay tuned, my art will magically find its way to this site soon!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

what i learned today...color outside the lines

As a child, one of my favorite activities was coloring. I loved new crayons (the smell of a new box STILL thrills me) and, well, there was no such thing as too many coloring books!

Sometimes I used as many colors on a page as possible; sometimes I opted for several shades of just one color (back then I had yet to learn about ‘monochromatic’); sometimes I outlined everything on the page, sometimes I did not.  However I filled up the page, staying inside the lines was a Prime DIrective (for non-Trekkers/trekkies: the Prime Directive was the one absolute, no exceptions law while exploring the universe).  For some reason, as kids, we equated skill and talent with how well one stayed in the lines.

Today as a writer and an artist, I often mentally bump up against some imagined 'Prime Directive.'  When some radically new (to me) idea pops into my head, my first thought is likely to be “is-that-allowed” or “that’s-not-the-way-its-done-no-one-does-it-that-way.”  It is a stretch for me both mentally and emotionally to allow myself the creative space to “color outside the lines,” or try new ideas, experiment with new combinations.  What I realized today is that, as an artist and writer, it is not only OK to “color outside the lines,” it is expected! Yee-haa!!'

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

what i learned today...creative flow

Sometimes I have a hard time honoring my own creative  process. Sometimes I want to just write the thought floating around in my head.  Sometimes I want to just paint backgrounds. Sometime I want to just draw or just write story beginnings or just knit shapes and textures, or just stitch. 
More often than not, I forget to go with the flow and I get all worked up over needing to finish or follow through with just one project. I tell myself that I need to be more disciplined, more responsible (i.e. mature) more professional. But the truth is that I don’t paint, draw, stitch or write to be mature and responsible. I paint, draw, stitch and write to play and create and explore!  
I am way, way more productive when I honor my own process. I may paint 20 backgrounds, draw all kinds of designs, stitch all kinds of embellishments, knit all kinds of shapes, write all kinds of snippets not finishing any one project for weeks.  Then one day, I walk into the studio and just know that it is time is now, and I will finish 10 projects or put together several stories in just a day or two. 

What I learned today is the way the Divine Creator creates through me.  And together we have all kinds of fun!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

what i learned today...

It rained sometime during the night.  I remember coming to and realizing that lights outside were flashing.  I went to the front door to investigate and discovered that there was a light rain falling; the street was wet and reflecting the light from the neighbor’s lamppost.  Though there was no thunder, there was a LOT of lightening. Returning to my bed I felt snug and grateful for the much needed rain.  

When I woke this morning, the sky was a clear cloudless blue, the air clean, fresh and cool.  I settled down for a lazy Saturday morning coffee time, reflecting yet again on the direction and purpose of my writing life, such as it is.  And today I learned that it doesn’t matter.  

If I go back to the roots of what drives me to write down what is rolling around in my head, it is just that I just HAVE to write. It is pretty simple.  If I don’t write, I am not me.  When I think about putting my writing away forever, I get depressed, despondent, lethargic, LOST.  I am a writer. I write. I honestly have no idea why.  But unlike my art (where the joy is in the doing and I have no emotional stake in getting it “out there” and seen by others), I write in the belief and hope that I will be READ.  

When I write, I am communicating with someone - an unknown someone - but someone just the same. And that drive, that motivation to write and keep writing comes from so deep within me, that it must come from without - that part of my energy self that is connected to the grand, great universal energy: God.  And with that realization, comes acceptance.  I write because I write.  

Suddenly all the books on the subject that are littering my coffee table seem useless.  I was searching really, for answers - what to write, why write, what next… but I learned this morning that the answers are not found in the books.  The answers are only found if I write.  Not read. Write.  So I write. And when I am stumped, blocked, confused, frustrated, happy, sad, blessed-out or pissed off, I write.  I don’t know what God, the Almighty Creator of the Universe has in mind to do with all this writing, but here it is.  And it is “out there” for all to see. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


i am so loving how GREEN everything is.  yes it is hot, very hot for june, but it is not blowing snow and ice, so i am a seriously happy camper!  last night i was outside just as it was getting dark, watering the flower boxes and then i saw it - a tiny flash. was that a firefly? i have been watching for them.  i looked intently into the darkest places in the yard, and there was another tiny blink! as it got darker, more tiny flashes! fireflies everywhere!  summer has officially arrived when the fireflies appear.  and i am a "summer" person - i prefer hot and sweaty to cold and icy.  there just seems to be so much more time and energy for living and doing creatively when the days are long and warm and dressing involves only one layer and flip-flops.  in my heart i am dancing in the dew kissed grass laughing and rejoicing in joyful celebration of summer and the arrival of fireflies!


Friday, April 15, 2011

cloudy with wind

The wind is angry today. It is a chilly, blustery wind, and even in these early hours, howling through the trees and battering against the walls of my house, it seems conflicted by spring’s effort to nudge out winter. Or is it that I am the one conflicted, trying to decide what to write, when to write and if I should even write at all.

In looking over past journal notebooks, I notice that I usually begin all my reflections with some description of the weather. Which seems to me to be a bit odd, because, although I prefer the outdoors and nature to about anything, I spend most of my days inside climate-controlled environments - the car, the house, the office. I wonder why the first thing I do each morning is look out both the front and back windows to see what the weather is doing. I live smack in the middle of the southern plains, so it is a pretty good bet that the weather is going to be doing today what it did yesterday. I mean it’s not like I live somewhere that has constantly ever-changing weather. True we have spells of unpredictable weather, but on the whole the weather is pretty much the same all the time - sunny, clear and windy. Sometimes cold, sometimes hot, but that’s about it.

If I dig really deep into my psyche, I think my obsession with the weather comes from a childhood spent playing and living exuberantly outdoors. Growing up in northern Texas, the opportunity to live and play outdoors existed nearly every day save for a few weeks in the winter. So I did. My most vivid and happy childhood memories are ones of playing elaborate fantasy games with friends in my yard or theirs, exploring the wooded creek near my home, riding horseback with my dad around the lake, or swimming in whatever pool was closest available. So I guess that each morning when I peek out the windows to check the weather, my gypsy wild child spirit is reaching out to reclaim some of that childhood anticipation of “what adventures await?!” What adventures do await? It seems like lately the perception is not so much of adventures as of chores (the dreaded time-stealer of children everywhere). I mean who wants to do chores when there are imaginary jungles to explore, fantasy castles to build, adventurous books to write or passionate pictures to paint? For me, ‘real’ life was all the spicy adventures in the world of play and free time that existed outside of school, chores and homework. When I peek out the windows in the morning, I think I am still hoping to light an excited fire in my soul that will propel me through a day filled with chores to those stolen moments when I can escape into the spicy adventure of ‘real’ life.