Friday, March 31, 2017

Mindful, Day 88, Johnny Jump Ups

Sitting here this morning in the rain and gloom wishing for sunshine I look up and see my pot of Johnny Jump-ups sitting by the door waiting for a sunny, warmish day to get planted. They are the only bright, cheerful thing in sight! But at least the little faces ARE bright.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mindful, Day 87, The Straight Path

Another charming piece of 3rd grade artwork from the display at the library.  After wirting about the crooked path a couple of days ago this one struck me with its simple, direct path, straight to the mountains. That's the path I want to be on! Would love to be back in the mountains of southern California. Actually any mountains will do.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mindful, Day 86, Possibilities

A new tree ring shot. Thinking about all the ways to work with this. I could emphasize the cracks or  pattern or path, enlarge, reduce and repeat, so many ideas to explore. It's the possibilities that keep me working.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mindful, Day 85, The Path is Never Straight

 A photo from awhile ago expresses how I am feeling about direction of some new work. It is NEVER a straight path which is actually good because you see, learn and enjoy more along the way if it isn't. But sometimes...... it could be a little more straighforward to make something happen. The usual frustration before something good starts to happen. She says hopefully.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mindful, Day 84, Standing Water

This is a new sculptural piece, Standing Water, that I have been working on. The photos of water reflection patterns were taken last fall in the Aegean sea. Because all of the photos share the same characteristic black, blue, white moving pattern I wanted to create something that had a rhythm as well.  I don't think the concept is there yet but each time I work on something dimensional I learn a lot. In this case what understructure to create, how to stabilize the columns so they wouldn't get tipped over, how to weight them. All things that are new to my work. I need better skills or a handyman! Always something new to be learned.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mindful, Day 83, Simple Things

The 4th Friday event at the Starline Gallery where I have my studio featured this sculpture/light display. It was so simple and fun and reminded me that what is beautiful and appealing often IS simple and fun. It was created with white trash bags, filled with air (or maybe helium) with a string of colored lights woven between the bags. It looked like a marshmallow cloud! It would be fun to have this floating around at the gallery (or in my studio space) for awhile.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mindful, Day 82, Smiling Faces

A stop at the library yesterday to see the art exhibit by the kids from the local schools. I like to SEE how they see. I love the freedom and freshness of their visions. These faces just make me smile.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Mindful, Day 81, Spring Sign

Cornelian cherry tree is at it's best right now. Beautiful yellow puffy flowers against the dark limbs. Always an early mark of spring coming. I am more then ready to warm up again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mindful, Day 80, Sunshine

The sun came out late in the afternoon and was strong enough to show through the blinds! I even got little rainbows. A delight.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mindful, Day 79, Loving Memories

Today we were at the hospital for Larry's knee replacement surgery. He had to remove his wedding ring and I put it on my middle finger to keep it safe. This photo shows me wearing his ring, the diamond ring from my first marraige to Barry and the friendship ring that Barry gave me when we first starting dating long ago.  And on my left hand, MY wedding ring from Larry. I have been lucky to have so much love in my life and these wonderful reminders to look at every day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mindful, Day 78, Beautiful Faces

I spent Saturday, happily, at the studio getting ready for upcoming 4th Friday event. I am going to show a lot of the pieces from my new series, Beautiful Faces. They are based on photos of antique busts, often in their original settings (like a garden). I think the faces are beautiful with the marks created by weather and time and maybe even lichens or moss.  I have created 13 so far - I think I have two or three more that I want to finish to complete the series.  I have learned a lot from doing these - they are all thread painted and getting the right combination of color, thread weight, and movment to create the textured surfaces has taken some time. Each face needs something a little different depending on how strong or delicate it is.  Yesterday was about finishing - mats, wiring, labels, display. Satisfying to seem them all together, complete!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mindful, Day 77, Line Dance

 Today I will get to spend most of my time at the studio getting set up for the next 4th Friday at the Starline event which is Friday, March 24. This piece, Line Dance, Tree Ring Patterns, Cracked, var. 15 is one of the pieces that will be on display in the main art exhibit. Also there will 2 other peices in that exhibit and many more new works in my 205H studio space. I am always happy when I get to the studio - I like my space and the feeling of possibility when I am there working. And getting to show at 4th Friday is a good way to test the waters on reactions to new work.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mindful, Day 76, Deer Crossing

Coming home late yesterday afternoon I meet a group of 5 deer running down my street. Its the third time this week that I have seen large groups of deer nearby. I think they are really getting hungry at the end of winter and  bolder in search of food.  It was fun to sit and watch them decide which way they wanted to go, first in one direction, and then no, let's go back the other way instead. Reminded me of the big horn sheep when I was lucky enough to be close the them a month ago in Palm Desert.
A nice treat at the end of the day!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Mindful, Day 75, Joy in the New

To instruct myself over and over in joy.

Another grand nephew has been born in our family. That makes 15 with one more baby due in April. My Mom and Dad woudl be astonished - 5 children (all girls), 13 grandchildren, and soon to be 16 great grandchildren. And 2 of the grandchildren still to marry so probably even more to come.  I wonder about the world these children will grow up in. I am joyful and sad at the same time because none of those babies are born to my children. I am lucky to have inherited 4 grandchildren, who I love dearly, from Larry.  But that special new baby moment will never be. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mindful, Day 74, Reminder

I think I need a reminder of why I am doing this so I am re-reading the poem that inspired this year long project.. Because some days it is really hard to be open to finding that needle in the haystack. Not necessarily finding but being open to the possiblity. 

Mindful –
Every Day I see and hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for – to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant- but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these- the untrimmable light of the world, the oceans shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mindful, Day 73, Spring, Part 2

The snow has turned to rain and the raindrops on my car window create a beautiful mosaic of the windows and brick across from me.They look like diamonds. It's like one of those opitcal illusion  - look at the drops, look at the background!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Mindful, Day 72, Spring

Spring in Chicago is always filled with surprises. This morning's surprise is lots of new snow. Actually, it shouldn't be  a surprise as this is typical but somehow I forget that rather then a long, glorious warming, spring is a bunch of back and forths, ups and downs that eventually becomes summer. So, I will be like this bird on the feeder and just get on with it!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mindful, Day 71, Moonset

When I got up this morning the full moon was setting over the trees to the west. In the early morning dawn, in the gray sky, behind the bare branches, it glows. And I think it is such a contrast to the many mornings I got up in Palm Desert to the beautiful blue, orange and pink skies and palm trees and mountains. It is much harder for me to find beauty here right now. So for now I will be mindful that seasons change and the cycle turns and I will find a rhythm again.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mindful, Day 70, Return, Part 2

Birds are coming back to the feeder, birds are showing up on the mantle, birds are migrating.  All signs that spring MAY come though it is in the teens at the moment. The hand painted egg is part of a group of Easter eggs that my husband brought back home from a trip to Austria years ago. I like getting them out each year for Easter and looking at how beautifully they are painted. When I get them out I also remember my mother-in-law who collected all kinds of decorative eggs - they were our go-to item to bring her from a trip or just for fun. So I also
remember Ida as well as I look at these eggs.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mindful, Day 69, Return

Today the sandhill cranes returned! They were flying far up in the sky with that distinctive, harsh, clattery call that they have. For sure, spring is on the way, in spite of a long, cold patch coming up this weekend. I once hung an exhibit at the Arboretum in Madison, WI and 2 sandhill cranes were right outside the window the whole time.  I could watch them very closely without them noticing me. Such beautiful feathers and the grace of their movements.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Mindful, Day 68, Black and White

I have been working away on this piece, maybe to be called, Through a Glass Darkly, for awhile. It was a photo of a glass block window - the thick glass that bends light and creates all kinds of patterns. I enlarged it to about 40 inches which totally changed it from something light to something dark.  I am trying to stitch it to emphasize the larger patterns that swirl through it. Every time I look at it I see something different which I  like. On the other hand, maybe it is just too disorganized as it is. I don't want to add more for the sake of more, it needs to have a purpose. And right now I don't know what the purpose is - so I think it has to hang around in the studio for awhile and see what develops. Mindful=patience=solution, maybe?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mindful, Day 67, Making Progress

Yesterday I spent the entire day at the studio getting things put away, projects that need work sorted out, trial runs on solutions to problems, just enjoying being in my space doing my thing. I looked at all the Beautiful Faces series laid out together and feel pretty good about them as a series. I have done two of them twice already and I can see the improvement but I may decide to redo a third time. Thinking back to my Mindful poem - "to instruct myself over over again in joy".  I feel joy when I get it right so I think they need to be done once more with what I' ve learned. Which leads me to think on what other techniques might I use on the not quite right ones that could move them in some new direction? Working on new ideas is also a great joy.

Beautiful Face, var. 5

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Mindful, Day 66, Back to Work

Today I am going to go to the studio where I have not been since mid December! I worked on a number of new stitched pieces while in Palm Desert but nothing is complete. I envision a new series of framed textiles called (for the moment) Beautiful Faces. They are all based on photos of of statues in gardens or other places. I am still working out how to finish and frame them. So far nothing has seemed quite right. Sometimes I just need to wait and be open to possibility. When I push it through it never comes out right.  So today I am hoping to try out a bunch of ideas and see what happens. This is a detail from Beautiful Faces: Aphrodite.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Mindful, Day 65, Where to Start?

Walking into the house after two months I can see it with fresh eyes. It's clean, serene, uncluttered (until we unload the car). Mail to sort, messages to delete, bags to unpack, laundry, groceries, calendars!!!!!  Artwork, garden, people to see, events to attend!!!!! We are back. But first I am going to go WALK and try to uncrinkle from the days in the car and to see what there is to see.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mindful, Day 64, Almost Home

As we begin our last day on the road to home, my mind starts turning to all that faces us there - medical issues, family issues, home issues, committments of various sorts. Now all of these things existed while we were away for 2 months but somehow they were more .... away. It was easier to have some perspective, to say no, to be supportive but not as involved or stepping in to "fix". The question is how to do it when I get home?

But for today, more road ahead, flat, open, not quite spring prairie. And some more beautiful sky.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Mindful, Day 63, Clear Sailing

Down at the shore in Houston we see a man with a kite/sail/? who is being movin along on a surfboard at amazing speeds. First he is moving out to sea and then in an instant he is coming back. What a wonderful feeling it must be to move so easily with the power of the wind and water and to just let go! As I write that I also realize what strength he has to have through his whole body to hang on and let that happen. Be strong and let things happen is something to think on.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Mindful, Day 62, An Eight Year Old's World

Having never had a brother or a son, I am still bemused about the world of 8 year old boys. Visiting with our grandson I learn more in one day then I have ever known about superheros (especially the Silver Surfer) and how to really put all of yourself into beating the monsters at the arcades. He does NOT need to think aobut mindfulness - he is 120% there already.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Mindful, Day 61, Sometimes More IS More

After our travels today we stopped in San Antonio for the night and happened upon this Mexican restaurant with a ceiling entirely covered with sparkly pinatas and lights. It was dizzying and beautiful and made the whole space alight and fun. Sometimes more is MORE.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mindful, Day 60, On the Road Again

Today we drove from Palm Desert to Las Cruces, NM across what is some of the most beautiful and austere country. What I notice most as we go is the changing sky. There just seems to be more sky everywhere with beautiful cloud formations, rain showers, and three rainbows along the way. Lots more miles to go, looking forward to what else we will see along the way!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mindful, Day 59, Endings and Beginnings

We head toward home today. We ended as we started here with rain, cold, clouds and fog! A very different Palm Desert then we have experienced in previous years. Ending with it seems like the universe's way of reintroducing us to home where I am sure it will also be rainy, cold and probably snowy!  The mountains are still beautiful even if I can't see them very well this last day.