Sunday, March 25, 2012

And now for something completely

So there are just some days when you need to reference Monty Python to get a fresh perspective.

My studio is a shambles…I hear snickers from family and friend because yes! When isn’t my studio in some form of chaos? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

So yes my studio is in disarray, a tad disheveled, a trifle congested, a wee bit messy… well here look at the picture.

Perhaps I misrepresented it …a tad?…a trifle…a wee bit?

Have you noticed how different things look in a picture? The depth is all out of whack. It’s like it doesn’t show space just things….I know there is floor in there somewhere…free unencumbered floor ….When last seen in it’s entirety it was wearing a dull braided rug. Damned if I get any feeling of it in the picture though!

Well this all just seems too overwhelming! Where do I start? How do I get any perspective about a jam packed bulging space? I feel so crowded by it all and not very motivated to deal with it. I mean really! am I ever going to get this dealt with when I can’t even imagine it being …..well I’m not so impractical to think it’s going to always be tidy but Useable would be a reasonable goal. Heck I’d be happy to just have it Mostly Accessible!

Where do I get the motivations to deal with this when it feels like it’s all oozing in on me? I’m getting stressed and panicky. I'm swamped. I need some distance!! Some space!!! Some inspiration!!!! (less punctuation?)
I think I’ll just stretch out on the couch and calm down….breath….close my eyes….Yeah that’s better. Just breath……
Ok, now I’m calmer….eyes open….?….? What the?…Hey you have to see this. I have space! Wonderful uncluttered space! See!

Look everything is off the floor. There’s no rug and it all looks spacious and clean and tidy….WOW! it’s magical! I could just look at this all day. It’s inspiring isn’t it. And it’s in my house...who knew!

But lying here upside-down staring at the ceiling all day isn’t going to get the studio beneath it clean is it?

Yes, it seem sometimes all you need is a fresh perspective.

Love ya,

Friday, December 2, 2011

Blessings in Small Spaces

So Count Gregoir here was the result of a challenge to blindly rip two pages out of a magazine and using whatever else you desire make something

Now I can say a lot about this experience as the exercise took me in several new directions and expanded my style and repertoire of skills. But that isn’t what I want to share. It’s the workspace in which Mr. Count-nose-in-the-air came into being.

It was very small – tiny – miniscule! Yes I have a studio and if I ever….that should be ‘when’ I dawn the pith helmet, hire sherpas and bravely forge my way back in that disaster I will have a space more conducive to creativity……or is it?

I’ve been artblog-serfing and peeking in on where the art happens for others. And it’s really. …well it’s really comforting in a bizarre small minded “look they’re as bad as me!” way. From the perilously poised breadboard on the edge of a much cluttered desk to the tv-table and Rubbermaid tub stuffed in a nook to the small square of floor in front of the vaguely couch-shaped lump of unfolded laundry to the arm of the one chair not filled with cats and kids we carve out our small refuge. Oblivious to the disarray and chaos we open up our arty souls and create.

Oh it’s not that we don’t think about the disaster or berate ourselves often and harshly it’s just that in spite of it we are drawn to create, whatever, wherever and however we can. That wee space, that precious space, that modest seemingly restrictive space is a monument to the undaunted spirit of the creative mind.

So here was my Count all spanking new and proud of himself and as I bought him to focus though the lens of my camera I was stilled. A little dumbfounded. Look! Look at this space! Look what happened here! I had to stop and just absorb this revelation and the power of the creative impulse to express itself regardless of the limitation.

So for all you angst ridden artist who struggle with the disarray and limits of your creative environment and for those of you who stop creating until you’ve organized your studio I invite you to take a moment to truly celebrate that small space and the amazing things that occur there!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are you a Dabbler?

In my cyber travels of late I’ve run across many women who refer to their creative pursuits as dabbing. "Dabbling!" they seem say in some self effacing way like “I’m not particularly good in any one thing” “ I just know a little about a lot but it’s of no consequence, you understand.” “ I’m an amateur…. a dilettante… Just passing through don’t mind me” “ I’m just all over the place and haven’t a clue what I’m doing or where I’m going with this.” “ I’m unfocused and can’t stick to anything!”
There appears to be this undercurrent of failure. A belief that success lies in a well-defined field such as "I am an oil painter!" "A Quilter!" " A Potter!" "A Specialist! Learned and committed to my area of expertise!"

Oh! I just got a chill from childhood. That chastising voice that always felt it was her place to set my standards and fit me to the label! Bad voice! GO! (I call her the Headbitch! And we have ways of dealing with her uppity little ass! But that’s for another day)

Where was I? Oh yes Dabbling. Well I wanted to share the liberating concept a girlfriend blessed me with decades ago when I was feeling frustrated and confused by the driving force to ardently pursue varied and multiple creative avenues. She told me I was a DABBLER! What!!!! A DABBLER!! I was hurt and insulted to the soft gooey centre of my creative ego!
My lips quivered as my eyes teard up and all the shelf doubt and insecurities rushed up to yell “I told you so... you're just a DABBLER!!!”

But then she explained to me the Art of Dabbling. It’s the ability to gobble up endless and varied skills. It’s the strength to not be limited by definitions or expectations or outwardly imposed restrictions. It’s the gift of the open mind, the creative heart and the welcoming soul. It’s the inclination to pursue knowledge and skill without expectation.

She gave me a very empowering view of my creative process and a deeper understanding of myself. It really changed and enriched my approach to learning. I still wondered where this would all lead and had my angsty times but as the years went by I came to be more comfortable with my creativity as a journey not in need of a destination or a label. I try to follow my compelling inclinations to explore anything and everything that calls to me. And I enjoy the Aberrant Muse as she flits about chattering wildly about all the possibilities.

So to all you uncertain Dabblers I say let curiosity and intrigue be your guide. Embrace your Dabbler-ness; shoulders back, heads up and tiaras on an angle. Off you go!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Good Company!

Wow! My first post!…………it seem a rather significant moment. I’ve been wondering all week, while I developed the look of my blog what will I say?… What am I doing here?…. Why blog? And just where is that persistent whisper “Karma, you need to blog” coming from.

So while I’ve been getting pictures uploaded to Flicker and thinking of something whimsically pithy that captures the true me for the About Me section I’ve rummage whilly-nilly though a lot of artist blogs. The blogs of woman like me…. you know . . .women of a certain age, who are inexorable moved to creatively translate some inner conception into the world.

My passion is fiber arts/mixed media and primarily needle felting. So basically anything I can shove my felting needles through I do and when a creation calls for other things (we like to call those Found Things in the art world but really isn’t everything? I mean I just found this 200 lb bag of wool at my girlfriends) they will be incorporated by whatever means necessary, and that’s really when the fun starts!

So off I went in search of woman of similar spirit and OMG there is a lush, vibrant, multi talented community of bloggers out there that speak to me on so many levels. I’ve been just struck dumb and that’s not a familiar state for me, as you may learn.

They share their thoughts, humour, talent, creative process and the results of their work.
They take classes, give classes, and share their skills. They sell their work in galleries, art museums, craft shows, and country fairs, on etsy and ebay and the restaurant that support local artist. They make videos how-to’s and host online art shows. They participate in challenges, collaborations and round robins. They contribute comfort dolls to children and battered woman, art works for fundraisers and give away goody-bags of art materials as they downsize their vast collections of supplies. They reach out to each other in support, encouragement and understanding of their creative lives, their personal lives and most of all of their changing lives.

So thanks to all of you for getting out here and living so creatively. You’re glorious and inspiring and I know this is the place for me!

Saturday, March 28, 2009