focus…

I have a new book to read.  Its by Mary Pipher- she is the therapist who wrote Reviving Ophelia, and I loved her straightforward frank manner regarding what she really thinks about how we, as a society, raise girls.  So when I found this book- to new therapists- at the local library, I was excited to get home and check it out.

I came in the apartment, dropped my stuff and headed for my favorite chair to curl up with this new book…aahhnnn….trouble focusing…retrieved my reading glasses (yes, my perfect vision has failed me- I don’t want to talk about it) from the bedroom and sat down once more…seemed to be having difficulty getting started, couldn’t see the book- rearranged myself in the chair…moved again and realized that my focus was being interrupted by a 20 pound cat named Grisham who kept putting himself in my line of sight.  I moved the offending cat to the side of me, offering him the other half of the chair.  This was totally insufficient…he needed to be on my lap, “ok, be on my lap…but can you sit down on my lap?”…he couldn’t.  So I moved my book to the side and began to read with him standing on my lap, and the book propped on the arm of the chair.  Immediately there was a wall of cat hair in my mouth as he jumped to occupy the spot on the arm of the chair between me and the book.  He didn’t need my lap, he needed my attention…

who needs yours?

And yes, this has been written while looking between the four legs of my feline, who likes to sit on my chest…or my keyboard.

a break from the storm

i walked under an umbrella this week.  It was my first time.  I have owned many umbrellas in my life…decorative ones made of tissue paper that i hung in the corners of my apartment when i was in college, cheap vinyl ones i bought for my girls when they were young, itty bitty colorful ones from my drink that I took home in my pocket, a large lime green beach one that advertises a brand of liquor (i think it was pilfered from a business by an acquaintance)… umbrellas have always fascinated me, how they open so big, how Mary Poppins was able to fly with one, and how they fold up so tiny again… Last year I was given a purple and white one by a testing company as a promotional item which i have faithfully kept in my car …and have forgotten every time it rained.  But on Wednesday when I returned to work after lunch, it was raining.  I got my umbrella out of the car and opened it and walked into the building.

I cannot even describe how peaceful that was… the rain was pouring and I was walking under my umbrella.  I almost wanted to take a lap around the parking lot just to experience it a bit more.  It was like a forcefield around me, a protective bubble…i was safe and dry in the midst of the rain…and unless someone else wanted to step out into the downpour to get to me, i was isolated from interruption.

And really, i am not THAT important, am I?- that someone would come out in the pouring rain to get me………well, unless I was standing out there for an hour or more- like right in front of the school…and they could see me from the windows.  I tend to think they would come get me then…but it would be more because they thought i was a bit unbalanced, not because they needed me 🙂

Which brings me to my point.  The world does not stop without us.  Sometimes i am reluctant to take a break, a breath, a day off, a trip around the parking lot under an umbrella because I think life can’t move at a satisfactory pace without me at the helm…NEWSFLASH… people can cope without me for a bit…and unless I take a break, i won’t get one…and sometimes I really really need one.

So I am getting better.  I think i will get some of those pretty rainboots to match my umbrella…

selling on a street corner

selling stuff… i have said it a million times,

“I can make beautiful stuff, but i have no idea how to sell it…”

And I have thought to myself, ‘if my stuff is so great, then it should “sell itself”…it doesn’t.

and then we can visit the age-old argument about great art, and things that ‘sell’ are not necessarily great art…they are commercially created to please the public.

so i approached Etsy with some trepidation…some “geez, i should have thought of creating a site like this!”…some awe…some “how in the hell will anyone find my stuff in these millions of items??”

But after getting kicked out of the Farmers Market, ya gotta do something…find some type of outlet for your work…

I had an account years ago…etsy remembered me…she welcomed me in with a hug…saying “come in out of the hot sun and look around! We have everything here, everything you need for your creative soul…there are shops, and supplies, circles and treasuries and enough pretty pictures to keep you entertained for weeks…you can meet people here, and have coffee in handmade mugs…you can find your friends, have conversations, heart your favorites…etsy is all you need…just come in and set up shop”

and so i did.

who ya think ur talkin to?!

“the work of art acts like another living person with whom we are conversing” ~ Anton Ehrenzweig

When was the last time you had a project so deep in your soul that it took on a life of its own?  I have had this happen to me a few times, the most notable being  several years ago.  Being a production potter for years- being used to making every piece look alike- it took some doing for me to get ‘looser’ in my throwing techniques.  Yet whenever I would go thru Ceramics Monthly or other art magazines, the pieces that i admired and even drooled over were pieces that had a gestural quality to them, pieces that had tension and edge…grit.  But looking at all of my little pitchers, lined up like nuns, in the studio…they were prim and proper, no edge…no grit.  And really, I myself am not a prim and proper sort (“omg,” you are saying,”…really!?”).  I was at a loss as to how to begin…how to give myself permission to not make every pot the same…tight and controlled…  but the beginning…it happened –in the most hilarious way…

when we lived on the farm, I used to throw pots in the basement of our house.  Dean, my husband, had put up concrete blocks and 2×10 boards and I would line up pot after pot on these boards as they were thrown.  We had a cat, Kadafy (named after the terrorist of the time), who liked to hang out with me walking the ledge above the pottery shelves, or sometimes sitting on the seat beside me.  Kadafy was a very good studio cat!  As you know, pots are very soft clay when they are first formed, and have to sit out and firm up a bit to handle, to cut off of bats, to trim and sign.  I had this bunch of lidded jars sitting on shelves, probably 3 or 4 dozen innocently waiting…I was off doing other things for the afternoon.  When i returned in the evening to trim these pots, i found a half dozen of them in various forms of mush.  On closer inspection, i spied kitty paws in the clay…it appeared that the cat had hopped down from the ledge and landed on a soft clay pot, and in an effort to recover her footing, had hopped to the next pot and the next and so on, squashing them as she went.  When semi-firm clay is squashed, it makes a farting noise as the air escapes and leaves a pretty good fingerprint impression.  As i stood there gazing at the pots, they told the story, and soon I was laughing so hard i was crying, imagining my poor self assured Kadafy, scrambling from pot to pot, as they disintegrated beneath her feet like landmines.

A seed of an idea began to grow(it took a few years to put this into words)…people go thru life encountering different experiences.  Some biblical references consider people as vessels…like pots.  Upon further spiritual investigation, I felt a divine leading- explaining that as people travel thru their lives, they are marked…marked by things that happen to them, by people that they meet along the way, both good and bad…and they are marked by things that they do to themselves…and they may be marked by their maker, if they choose that. Marks can be decorative, or scars…they can be internal or external…marks can hinder how you move-emotionally or physically, or they can make your moves appear lyrical and rhythmic…

This concept blew me away… helped me to look at imperfect pots in a whole new way….imperfect people too.

taking time to play

I have been making pots, and picking wool and soooo enjoying the sunshine!  You know, when its so warm that when you lay back in the sun and close your eyes, you can see the brightness on the inside of your eyelids…ahhhh! been waiting for that!

Yesterday i was putting handles on mugs and pitchers in the studio- hands happily in clay.  Journi had come with me- she is loving the warm weather too.  She had walked out of the studio and i didn’t hear her, so i ventured outside to look for her.  She had found some pans that i use at the edge of the roof to catch rainwater and was pouring water from one to the other.  She was so intent on her task that she didn’t hear me.  Pouring the water from one pot to another would make her giggle, and then she would take a second and just swish her hand in the water…and giggle some more- mutter to herself and then pour water from that pan to another and swish again.  What a good time she was having! 🙂

I paused to watch her, marveling at how entertained she was- but also reflecting that this was one of the first times, at her age, that she had been able to explore her surroundings and make her own discoveries.  It has been winter until just recently, and snowy.  She has needed supervision and a hand to hold in the slippery conditions.  But on this day, she could walk around a bit on her own…that made all the difference.

what do you love about the medium you work in? is it a tactile thing? a visual thing? is it how the words sound? what makes you giggle with delight about creating?

take time to play today…walk around a bit…make some discoveries on your own…

Testing….testing…is this thing on?

image

 

Tomorrow morning we head out to the cliff dwellings in colorado, but i don’t want to take my laptop since we are travelling light. So this post is my personal test that I can truly post from my droid. Being a digital immigrant (fabulous article by marc prensky, if u haven’t read it, google it & make time), I tend to be distrustful of new technology and reluctant to trust what they are hawking here in a foreign land…I just hope I find good coffee.

I put a wordpress app on my droid with high hopes. So far, I see my texting shorthand being the #1 issue…i forget..I’m 50 now, u know.

I’m going on a trip 🙂 Stay tuned for pictures from the road…

P.S. Here is a smile from journi 🙂

Top Clicks

  • None