Thursday, January 29, 2009

Amaryllis Ambiance Redux

"We all live under the same sky, but don't all have the same horizon"
Konrad Adenauer

This is the blooming amaryllis previously posted while in bud on January 10th. It was just too lovely to keep at home where only two people would see it, so the plant took a trip to the clinic where I work.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

The fragrance of Memorial Day

As a baby blogger, I am unreasonably proud of my silly self with this post. It is the first one wholly and entirely completed by me. The preceding six posts were the results of collaboration at various levels between my daughter and/or friends and myself. Moving pictures from either the web or personal files was the most challenging component and one that is not yet, I suspect, fully mastered.

The flowers above are peonies, one of my favorite perennials. Growing up in Wisconsin, peonies were just starting to bloom on Memorial Day and their wonderful aroma speaks to me of the promise of long childhood summers. Where I live now, in the hills and mountains of southwestern Virginia, summer arrives a little earlier and stays a little longer. Peonies are just finishing up their bloom come Memorial Day.

In middle adulthood, though summer weather lasts longer on the calendar where I live, summers seem ever so much more fleeting. The fragrances are different too. Now, the smell of buddleia or butterfly bush says summer to me.

Here in the heart of winter, the gardener in my soul has been spending time with the seed catalogues and plotting another season.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

The colors of Art Every Day - January 2009

Here are two of the posts up on the Flickr group Misty Mawn started for the folks that were participating in her challenge to work in your journal every day during January. The challenge of that week past was to work on a specific color on a particular day. The green page above was created for the Wednesday challenge and the white below was Thursday's creation.

This white project was created from a worn bed sheet, interfacing from a deconstructed silk tie and white buttons. I am planning on sewing it over the store logo of one of those reusable grocery shopping bags, thereby advertising art instead of the local grocery chain.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Postmen Bearing Gifts

The letter carrier (not necessarily a post-MAN) brings gorgeous gifts when a completed collaborative project arrives with the day's mail. It always arrives in a deceptively plain envelope, but its appearance marks a celebration of the creativity and generosity of like-minded souls. The goodies pictured here are part of a Yahoo swap involving 19 participants making cocoon beads. Our instructions were: "Start the new year with a new necklace of beautiful, one-of-a-kind cocoon beads! Swappers can knit, crochet, or wrap their color choice of bits of fabric, ribbon, or lace, plus beads, to create 2-inch cocoons."

Not only do I love the variety and the beauty of the beads; I also admire the artistic and imaginative packaging. My kudos to Maureen for organzing and hosting this fabulous swap. What an excellent way to begin 2009.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tiger, tiger burning bright

This self-portrait is in response to Misty Mawn's invitation to join her in working her art journal every day during the month of January. Somehow, because Misty started her entries with self-potraits, I overgeneralized and thought this was a significant component of the challenge. Going back and rereading her prompt, I see that "there are no rules".....all you need is basic art supplies....."and a little time for yourself to play."

I am a photography, scissors and glue kind of an artist, so collage was of course my designated mode of play. A headshot of Lindsay Benner, a juggler and street performer, inspired the photo I composed for the collage.

A flaming teacup visually spoke of ideas that just seem to erupt out of nowhere and demand to find an outlet. The William Blake poem (Tiger, tiger burning bright) reinforced that theme.

Julie Cameron says that the creative process is a process of surrender, not control. That seems right. Last spring, I enjoyed a class with Anahata Katkin. She paced the day-long class to emphasize doing. "Stop living in your head and just create" was a clear message. Don't overthink the process!

This collage represents my latest attempt to do just that. The work of other challenge participants is on a Flickr site linked to Misty's blog. (You can find her blog on my left sidebar). It is a visual treat to visit. You may wish to indulge youself.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Amaryllis Ambiance

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
- Maori Proverb

"Amaryllis Ambiance"
(currently turning its face to the sun in my living room)

These strong-reaching flower buds summon such a sense of potential beauty that I'm invoking their symbolism to represent my hopes for this fledgling blog. My art journey is in flux. I've completed smaller projects and feel ready to tackle bigger and more complex efforts. The plan is to accept some challenges and showcase the results here... whether they're good, bad, or ugly. Expect a few warty toads and hopefully some beauty, too. My hope is that the blog will enhance my ability to focus, as well as to rein in my truancy in regard to task completion.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Good Things Come in Small Packages

The postman brought me a lovely little package today, but 'little' is an operative word. I have the privilege to be involved in a small, 5-artist round robin through a yahoo group. We are adding charms to each other's necklaces or bracelets and then writing journal entries about our addition to each other's projects. This project moves on a monthly basis.
Ilene's bracelet came with today's mail. Her introduction reads: As a young child, I was usually the smallest in my class. Often being the target of teasing by my classmates, I would complain to my mother, who always said, "Good things come in small packages." It was a comfort to me then and I used it when my own children were little and also of short stature. As a teacher of primary kids, I often passed along the saying to all of my students. I often hear them repeating it to those who choose to be the teasers.
And now I am a grandmother for the very first time. Although my granddaughter is tall for her age (thanks to her father's gene pool), I am grateful to have a very good thing in a small package.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Year, a New Adventure...

At the urging of a few friends, I'm making a large leap into technology-- and another blog is born. With the capable assistance of my daughter, Andrenne, the blog has achieved the form you see here. My goal is to blog frequently enough to make it worth your while to visit.