Friday, August 27, 2010

Is your thinking cap on?

got my thinking cap on, 
now just need my 'doing' cap...
I am putting together cards, bookmark and notebook
with these guys on them...
5 different gnome poses and sayings...
all bundled in a packet
just in time for holiday giving.
and if I write it here I just might follow through and do it,
since I got my printer to work correctly
and I bought a new sewing machine...
so nothing is stopping me -
must find a 'doing' cap.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

got talent?

Talent, if it is anything, is a gift, and nothing of the artist's own making...
Even at best talent remains a constant, and those who rely upon that gift alone, 
                      without developing further, peak quickly and soon fade to obscurity... 
Talent is a snare and a delusion.  
In the end, the practical questions about talent come down to these:  
Who cares?  
Who would know?  
and What difference would it make?  
And the practical answers are:
    Nobody, Nobody and None.
Admittedly, artmaking probably does require something special, 
but just what that something might be has remained remarkedly elusive - 
elusive enough to suggest that it may be something particular to each artist, 
rather than universal to all of them.  
But the important point here is not that you have - or don't have - what other artists have,
 but rather that it doesn't matter.  
Whatever they have is something needed to do their work -
 it wouldn't help you in your work even if you had it.  
Their magic is theirs.  
You don't lack it.  
You don't need it.  
It has nothing to do with you.  
more gems from Art and Fear...
just love that book.
I've been back to work this week and off to Spokane this weekend to see friends.
House chores go undone, 
art lays in waiting, 
art lessons need to be prepared for kiddos.
C'est la vie!
Have a blessed weekend !

Sunday, August 22, 2010

a Sunday blessing - true success...

got this fortune the other day...
It's a great idea, but got me thinking about what success means to me.
Success by the world's standard involves recognition and lots of sales.  
If success is selling much of my art then I have failed,
but if it is painting my heart out 
when I don't have the faith that the finished piece will be any good,
well then that defines success for me today.
and that is enough for me...

I also don't see how visualizing your success,
 or making one of those boards Oprah recommends, 
or throwing good vibes about yourself into the universe
will necessarily bring you what you want.  
It may, but I don't want you to plan that it will.
You are not a failure if it does not work.
Please don't judge yourself by what others think.
We live in a fallen world and times are tough.
Our etsy stores may not be selling,
but that does not necessarily mean 
we have done something wrong or we are a failure.

love the way Madeleine L'Engle puts it:
If the work comes to the artist and says,"Here I am, serve me," then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve.  The amount of the artist's talent is not what it is about.  

Jean Rhys said to an interviewer in the Paris Review,
"Listen to me.  All writing is a huge lake.  There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.  And there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys.  All that matters is feeding the lake.  I don't matter.  The lake matters.  You must keep feeding the lake."

To feed the lake is to serve, to be a servant.  Servant is another unpopular word, a word we have derided by denigrating servants and service.  To serve should be a privilege, and it is to our shame that we tend to think of it as a burden, something to do if you're not fit for anything better or higher.

I have never served a work as it ought to be served; my little trickle adds hardly a drop of water to the lake, and yet it doesn't matter; there is no trickle too small...  The great artists, the rivers and tributaries, collaborate with the work, but for the most of us, it is our greatest privilege to be its servant.
Amen to that!

"...whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant...
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve..."
Mat 20:26-28

So I plan to keep feeding the lake...
How about you?
What defines success for you?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

a shopping we will go...

We fly home today,
but first I wanted to share 3 stores we visited this week.
First we were greeted and had a laugh...
Welcome to  Juxtaposition Home in Newport Coast.
It's filled with a balance of hard and soft, 
old and new,
and colorful and neutral just like the title describes.
Love this place.
They also sell decorating books to drool over!
As we were heading up the Coast Highway,
we spotted this gem out of the corner of our eyes 
and did a U turn to take a peak.
Just look at the entrance to Bliss Home Design in Corona Del Mar.
( I used to live in this beautiful city years ago.)
One of the most engaging displays I have seen...
all those yummy textures...
and lots of sea elements...
and I love this wall.
Finally we headed to Pasadena
(used to live here too).
Wouldn't it be fun to have company when you are working on sewing projects?
then look no further - just check out 
Bought these great towels there by skinny laminx.

It will seem like a dream once I am gone.
Of course the heat is leaving Seattle just as we return,
and maybe rain on Saturday.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ahh the beach...

just for a moment,
take a mini holiday,
and pretend you are here...
let the sunlight warm your weary soul...
(not that mine is weary, but it does cause one to pause when one goes on a vacation and it is warmer in Seattle than where one is and the temperature in Seattle plans to return to luke warm the day one returns home...)
do you hear the surf?
can you smell the salty air?
want to go through here?
and meet this guy who watches over the cove?
and dig your toes in the squeaky sand
and study the seagulls and their feet prints?
and are you thirsty?
do you like dates (the kind to eat)?
then you must stop here...
to get these...
to drink here...
while viewing this...
was it only a dream?
( in case you wanted to know where you were - 
Laguna Beach and Crystal Cove for date shakes in southern California)

thanks to you all for your kind comments about the interview with Malia.
I will write to you when I return from visiting my parents.
Oh yes, next I will share two great stores I discovered here-
I am coveting again...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

art and fear

I am currently reading 
Art and fear - Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of ARTMAKING
by David Bayles and Ted Orland.
So far it hits home.
Here are some gems interspersed with my thoughts on current art work...
Artists don't get down to work 
until the pain of working is exceeded 
by the pain of not working.
-Stephen DeStaebler
At least for me that unfortunately can be too true.
Since painting is still near impossible because pressure on the scar 
(on 'that finger' as I am now calling it) sends me through the roof,
I decided to see if I could cut foam and carve some stamps.
gotta create somehow...
Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be.  For many people, that alone is enough to prevent their ever getting started at all - and for those who do, trouble isn't long in coming. Doubts, in fact soon rise in swarms...
This is a whole different type of art for me. 
I would like to sell something on etsy this fall and hope that notebooks, 
bookmarks and handmade cards 
might work for gift sales pre-Christmas.
Art is like beginning a sentence before you know its ending.  The risks are obvious:  you may never get to the end of the sentence at all - or having gotten there, you may not have said anything.  This is probably not a good idea in public speaking, but it's an excellent idea in making art.
Here is my stamp stash ready to go and 
here are my first attempts at cards.
having fun anywho :} (get it - the owl below will say 'who')
Ordinary art means something like:  all art not made by Mozart.  After all, art is rarely made by Mozart-like people - essentially (statistically speaking) there aren't any people like that.  But while geniuses may get made one-a-century or so, good art gets made all the time.  Making art is a common and intimately human activity filled with all the perils (and rewards) that accompany any worthwhile effort.  The difficulties artmakers face (I like that term - artmakers) are not remote and heroic, but universal and familiar.
I like owls and will have to do some crows of course.
Art is made by ordinary people.  Creatures having only virtues can hardly be imagined making art.  ...The flawless creature wouldn't need to make art.  And so, ironically, the ideal artist is scarcely a theoretical figure at all.  If art is made by ordinary people, then you'd have to allow that the ideal artist would be an ordinary person too, with the whole usual mixed bag of traits that real human beings possess.  This is a giant hint about art, because it suggests that our flaws and weaknesses, while often obstacles to our getting work done, are a source of strength as well.  Something about making art has to do with overcoming things, giving us a clear opportunity for doing things in ways we have always known we should do them.  
I blogged about this same idea here.
I think this one will be a 'Jack and the beanstalk' and say 'once upon a time'...
At least I am having fun and trying not to overanalyze.
How about you?  
What art are you doing for fun this week?
The last quote I will leave you with tonight -
All you can work on today is directly in front of you. 
 Your job is to develop an imagination of the possible.
Doesn't that simplify it a little?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

bonjour monsieur gnome...

Look what Nick found in Paris...
a little roof top gnome
watching over his beloved city of lights.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Paris in sepia

Let the fun begin...
Monsieur Nick returned from Paris with over 1000 photos for 'moi'.
So I experimented with Photoshop and Picnik 
and decided to take you along for the ride.
This is his arty shot of his empty coffee cup
with the Eiffel Tower made of coffee grounds.
See it?
This is my interpretation adding one of his sepia shots of the Eiffel Tower
along with vivid light and faded photo in Photoshop,
and vignette, orton-ish and cinemascope in Picnik.
Just having some fun...
love this old building...
and he brought me this card...
so I merged it with another coffee shot using pinlight in Photoshop,
then matte, orton-ish and cinemascope in Picnik.
Just his stellar photo at the Louvre with old photo in Photoshop.
and finally a cool cafe (definitely have a coffee theme going here)
in orton-ish and focal black and white in Picnik.
So now 994 pictures to go.  
Guess we will be seeing more of Paris for awhile - 
hope you don't mind.
a bientot...
merci Monsieur Nick

Monday, August 2, 2010


think I may be losing it...
don't know why my little gray cells (as Inspector Poirot calls our brains) 
went here today.
Hope this post at least gives you to chuckle!