Friday, December 30, 2005

What a Difference a Day Makes

The sun was shining when I awoke today. One of the pleasures of winter break is being able to sleep in and awaken to sunshine. I still didn't have a plan, but I was very optimistic today. As I went into the studio I though, "Why not just make some Fragments and get the flow going?" and then the damn broke. THe magic was in color. I was playing with some silk, some deeply saturated colors. This led me to saturating the color in my photos. I practically floated down to the computer to print rich, deep saturated color photos onto fabric. Still floating, chuckling inside at my secret (that I was ON to something, back up to the studio (ok, so it's my bedroom, but during the day, it's a studio). Anyway, I knocked out seven gorgeous Fragments....but that is only the beginning. These will be something more. I will stitch, embellish, add with abandon.

You see, it dawned on me that I didn't have to start from scratch. I could use what I knew (my Fragments) to create a bridge to where I wanted to be. These embellished Fragments will be my stepping stones. I already know that even if I don't know where I am going, that I have to take a step forward.
...if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. ~ Thoreau
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness hass genius, power and magic in it! ~ Goethe

These are two quotes I live by. Sometimes I forget. Yesterday I forgot. Today I went into the studio anyway because the one thing I have learned in this art life is to just make art ~ even if you don't know what you are doing, spirit does.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Week Between

The beauty of winter lies in its sunsets. The contrast of the bare black trees against a kaleidoscopic sky rekindles my sense of wonder as night falls.

I always look forward to the week between Christmas and New Years Day. It's unscheduled, do anything time. And yet, without my usual looming deadlines and tight schedule, I find myself floundering.

Weeks, months even before I anticipate all this free time and think of all the art I will be able to create. Yet during this unseasonable warm week I have been frozen. I feel at a crossroads, looking back and looking forward, not just because of the change in the calendar, but because I am aware of change developing in my art. There are things I want to express, new materials I want to use as my tools of expression, but what to do so eludes me right now.

It was seven years ago, January 4th, 1999, that my Fragments were born. They came about after a similar pregnant period of confusion and longing. I remember that day like I remember the birth of all my other children. I had finally found my voice. But just as children grow and change, so too must ones art.

Creating art causes growth in the artist. It is easy to keep creating the same thing - you know how, you know where you are headed, you know the result will be good but the thrill is gone. Finding a new path is scary. The woods are dark and deep and you do not have a map. I am reminded of Edward Bloom in the movie Big Fish. On his journey, he chooses the path through these same dark and scary woods and comes upon a magical world. That's why I am not afraid of the journey, as hard as it is. I know that I too will find magic. It will be as close as my own fingertips. In fact, I know it is almost within reach.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Spirit

Three days until Christmas. This is the first year that I find myself doing last-minute shopping. I don't know if it is age, or all the juggling I do these days, but I find that I can only concentrate on maybe three things at a time now, instead of the 5-10 that I did before. Finishing up the book, work, family, other art deadlines forced me to leave Christmas shopping until this week. I am actually enjoying it. People are happy. Excitement is in the air. Everyone is smiling. Carols are playing.

Adding to the Christmas spirit, there are still patchy areas of snow on the ground that have refused to melt...a green & white patchwork outside my window. The aroma of Christmas tree greets me every morning and the stocking are already hung by the chimney with care, thanks to Kelly. My family, house and home are awash in Christmas spirit.

Having an art spirit is like carrying Christmas in your heart all year round. The joy, the anticipation of something wonderful about to occur - the magic of it all. Right now, my husband is reading The Art Spiritby Robert Henri. It is required reading for the art lessons he is taking (a long time desire finally being nourished). It's the same copy that I read when I took those lessons. It has a place of honor on my bedside bookshelf so that I can thumb through it often or when I need an art spirit refill.

"After all, the object is not to make art but to be in the wonderful state which makes art inevitable." Robert Henri

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." Charles Dickens

Do you see (feel) the similarity? This is my Christmas message to you: Do whatever it takes to keep the spirit alive, whether you call it Christmas spirit, art spirit or the spirit of joy. Keep it in your heart and share it freely with others. The more you give away, the more it fills you. Magic is like that.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Heart of the Matter


I'm jumping in, feet first. I know how to swim but I haven't been in these waters before. Can I maintain a blog? Will I be able to post often enough? Is maintaining a blog easier than maintaining a website? The answers to these questions will only come if I take this leap into new waters.

It's not like me to sit on the sidelines and watch - I like to be a player, a participant, a creator. My friend and I have had a lot of discussions about blogs - should we, can we, will we? She is late for our morning chat, so here I am, writing my first post to my blog. Welcome everyone.

Why Art Heart? Well, LaLas Land was taken, but I think that was a good thing. I wanted to christen this blog with a name that was reflective of me, of what I do and how I feel. I have an Art Heart. Not only do I find solace and peace when I create, but I want to share with everyone the magic that comes when one creates, when one makes stuff. It never ceases to astound me, that feeling you get when you take raw materials and turn them into something of beauty...like spinning straw into gold. To me, that is the heart of the matter. It's no coincidence you find the word art in heart.