Tuesday, September 29, 2009

French Post Card Girls

Here are three sweet faces for you to keep. I look at the hundred's of images of precious, exquisite faces of the French post card and flower girls in my digital collection and I realize they must all be gone now - these beautiful babies from the turn of the century. They most likely witnessed two world wars on their doorstep, and probably grew old watching their own beautiful babies, grandbabies and even great-grandbabies enter this world. And yet their sweet faces touch our souls! Truly a beautiful moment in time caught forever!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Meditation on Jack Kornfield's, The Wise Heart, Chapter 9

Albert Camus said, "We all carry within us our places of exile; our crimes, our ravages. Our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to transform them in ourselves and others."

Open your mind and heart
Ask why you are stuck in this place
Be brave, name the fear
Name the resistance.
Understand what it is, then
Step back, allow it the space it needs.

Little by little, feel it soften and dissolve.
Be courageous, greet your emotions
Each by name. Again
Step back, allow each the space
It requires to do what it will;
To expand, to intensify, or dissolve
To rise and fall again, and again.

Tears flow, honor them.
Pain comes in  waves,
Fear and resistance reappear
Swirling one into another, be brave.
Listen to your stories of sorrow and shame.
Hold them gently.
Hold your fragile self gently.

Be open to the waves, the tears.
Acknowledge your confusion and the grief.
Be fearless, do not lose your way.
Let go, accept your life,
Understand it is what it is.
Respect the history that is you.
Make peace with your life.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

WILD GEESE by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees,
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on,
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting...
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Studio Tour

Some of my Melange Team ETSY artist friends have been sharing their work spaces with their readers and eachother on their blogs, so I thought I would join in the fun. I am fortunate to have plenty of space that I can allot as I need  depending on the type of art project I am working on. My home is a split foyer style and I use the entire lower level as my work area. My actual studio space is what was meant to be a family room.  I knew as soon as I saw it almost four years ago that it would make the perfect studio. There is a door to the laundry room where the sink I use to clean paint brushes and other tools is handy, and a door to the attached two car garage where I have a separate work area for messier jobs. There I also have two large cupboards for additional art supply storage. I do not have a car so the extra space is all open and utilized although usually quite messy unfortunately. 

In my studio I have placed three large work tables in a "U" shape where my office chair can easily slide around to all three work areas very conveniently. I also have my drawing table and stool in another spot so I can have a fourth work station. This makes it easy to move from one project to another, so while one is drying I can be working on another piece. I often have three or four art pieces going at the same time. It allows me to keep my excitement and inspiration at a peak and not get tired of a piece before I finish it.  

I have lots of shelves that I installed in the studio that are stacked with many, many glass jars. I have collected apothecary and canning jars all my life and I use every one of them, and am still always looking for more. I have jars and jars of beautiful glass tiles, glass pieces for mosaics, sea shells, glass drops and beads, vintage shell buttons, marbles, stones, gemstone chips, and many more baubles I am always bringing home. It all at one time or another has found it's way into a collage of mine. I get immense inspiration just looking at the jars.

The hallway that leads to the back bedroom has become my gallery wall with more shelves I installed. The bedroom is my office with my computer and printer which I use daily for the images I combine in my collages. I have become addicted to searching the internet for public domain vintage images, always on the look out for that perfect vintage portrait. At the moment I have just over 3000 public domain images in my Macbook's iPhoto Library. I did choose to add a backup harddrive just in case! A year ago I was purchasing images online at my expense, but this past year I have discovered a multitude of sites online that offer free downloads of copyright free images, both new and vintage. I have been using more of my own digital photographs too.

I realize I am blessed with lots of space and I am grateful for every inch of it. It has become my sanctuary, my magical place, my home. My art saved me when everything else seemed lost to me with my divorce. Family and friends are there supportively but sporadically -  I wish it was more frequent but everyone has their responsibilities and families - I understand that. So my art is my mainstay, my touchstone, my joy. It's the reason I get up every morning, and the last thing I put down every night. So this is where I live, work and play! It is a good life when you can do them all at once!

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