Friday, July 8, 2016

Peace

Today we read about violence.  The world is hurting, and some are placing a call to arms to defend . . . what?





I am signing off FB for awhile. Too much ignorance and hate, not enough meaningful discussion. Cute animals and TGIF memes just aren't cutting it for me this afternoon, either.




Instead, I am taking care of my own little corner of the world.  A simple life.  House work.   loading up recycling -- since my tiny town just can't seem to embrace this concept, I have to drive elsewhere to drop it off myself for pete's sake.    


Meanwhile, here are some of my GORGEOUS day lilies; I went wandering among them, in the steamy heat, to refresh my soul. Stop over to enjoy them; coffee's on.


For the rest of the day, I'm just gonna hang out in my own little peaceful, air conditioned world.   A little sketching, reading, meditation.  






 The hot, humid air wreaks of violent storms building.  The atmosphere is heavy.  So is my heart.    .    .    .    .









Monday, March 21, 2016

Just a shade different from “the blues”!



What a curious winter/spring morning.  Awakened well before dawn.  Before 4 a.m, actually.  I HAD TO crawl out of bed.  There are colors swimming in my head!  I shuffled off with my first cup of steamy-hot coffee into the studio to put pigment to paper.  

My latest travel palette & some color mixing
I’m working on a beach-y watercolor for a dear friend, and hues of the ocean froth as it meets the beach are really captivating and enchanting me lately.  Blues, greens, sandy browns, and white foam.  But how, exactly, to mix them???  I left plenty of white paper when I started this painting, but the more closely I examine the reference photo, the more I realize just how many different shadows and lights there really are in the foreground.  I know a glaze is required, but where?  how? 
Fuzzy detail...work in progress


Spritzing my palette, I muddle around, splashing a test with all the blues I can use, until I can SEE the individual colors and where they need to appear on the painting.  I stop and walk away deliberately, to let the paint dry and fade before I make the commitment.  Besides, I need another cup of coffee!  
Testing some sea-water washes

So I warm up the car and trek out in my fleece warm-ups for some smokes and a drive-thru breakfast—something I very rarely do.  Ever.  By now, there are gentle little strokes of that funny, pre-dawn blue-ish gray and soft peachy color peeking out from beneath the usual dirty grey clouds in the Eastern sky.  (More color awareness flooding my brain!)

Back in my warmish kitchen, I pack hubby off to work, flip on the internet, and surf thru some of my favorite meditation and art posts while I munch on my breakfast sandwich.  Not as good as home-made, but warm.  And it doesn’t require any dish washing!

Splashing on a test page is almost as much fun as really being there on the beach.  Not as warm, even in my studio.  But then, nothing beats the heat of the sun on silky-soft sand between the toes, or the sounds of the waves and sea birds.   I think I’ll turn on my little space heater to trick my feet into believing that they are THERE while I lay on some thin, ocean-colored glazes.

Maybe, the “almost being there” will satisfy me for today.  In the meantime, I will continue to plot how to turn my living room into an “almost beach-y” retreat.  More color needed to compensate for the winter greys.  (Just a shade different from “the blues”!)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Musings with hot coffee on a chilly winter morning



One day this week, I woke up before dawn feeling stronger than I have in – well, I don’t know how long.  I got a REAL workout, not once but twice the day before--and I can feel a different energy today.

This winter in the northeast corner of Ohio has been unpredictable.  Lake Erie is only 1% frozen this year, compared to 97% on this date last year.  And that puts the snow machine in overdrive when an arctic front drops into the area.  So it’s about 10 degrees, and we got about a foot of snow yesterday.  Beautiful, but our little house hasn’t a garage.  What it DOES have is a knee-high drift at the end of the drive, up against an equally impassible mount of plowed crud from the street. 

Seems all the usual plow guys, who swarmed the neighborhood last winter due to record snowfall, have gone South this year in despair, thanks to very mild temps and very little snow.  Not a one to be seen all day.  So with some fear, thanks to media warnings about “older” people’s risks, I bundled up and shoveled.  In the morning, the deck, walk, and one side of the drive.   Later, so that my hardworking hubby could park in the drive, I shoveled his side.  It was even deeper and took a lot more effort.  Two 45-minute sessions in one day!

My best thinking understands the importance of exercise; I know the benefits of cardio for heart health; most days I eat healthy proteins, grains, veggies and fruit; and my arthritis screams back at me if I don’t MOVE.   My daily habits are often a lot more sedentary than my intentions, though.  

Funny how one big day of stretching my limits actually overcomes fear and produces the motivation to do more.  I’m auditioning simple movements—either at home or in the gym—to enhance that feeling of wellness I have.   Healthy habits start with repeating small actions every day.  

Creativity is the same.   I completed an online class assignment, thinking that one small sketch wasn’t anything that special.  It involved watercolor rendition of "lunch"... in this case, omelet ingredients.  I had a great time doing it, and I'm generally pleased with not only the learning that took place but also with my assessment of a “pretty good” result.   I posted the thing on the Facebook page for the class; and within 24 hours, got over 100 “likes”.   
  


Artists in social media are generous in their support of each other—especially in “closed” groups like the one associated with this class.  Seems our joy in creating makes us more inclined to offer positive, constructive feedback.  In this way, we celebrate our successes, share our struggles, and motivate each other to take another creative leap in our work.  Kind of like another fellowship I belong to.  It takes one with the experience to communicate effectively with others sharing similar situations.

So, on this frigid winter morning, I look out at the dark sky from every available window as I drink my morning coffee.  Stars are winking out everywhere, from behind scattered cotton-candy wisps of clouds blowing around off the lake.  Grandmother Moon shines brightly, setting to the West.   I am so grateful for the lessons learned when I stretch beyond my comfort zone and share in the encouragement of others.  

It’s always an “inside job” finding peace, happiness and love.  Why not share the heck out of that?!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Inspiration and procrastination

As you may know, I took an online Klass, "Beginnings", from Sketchbook Skool last year.  (Yes, everything is spelled with a "K"--artists tend to be kreative and kwerky LOL.)

I resisted the temptation to spend $$ on art this month, and postponed a decision to enroll in the new klass until the deadline passed.  But their persistence paid off...for Sketchbook Skool (SBS) and for me.  A couple days late, I started the new klass this week and am re-energized, once again.

There is just no substitute for being in the company of like-minded souls who support our passions, whether that be art, recovery, cooking, or the journey in search of self! 

Here's my first assignment:  hand-lettering a quote that has personal meaning.  Of course, it has bright colors.  They reflect my enthusiasm.






While on the topic of inspiration, music helps fuel my energy as well.  My brother, Roger Migchelbrink, and I shared lots and lots of music back in the day.  One of his "Throwback Thursday" posts on Facebook reminded me of some long-forgotten favorites.  Here's one of them that gave me a jolt of youth and energy yesterday.  Enjoy! 


Short post.  Off internet now; must go create something to start my day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Healing



I have been pretty much sleepless since the new moon.  Not painfully or in dis-ease.  Simply fully awake in the dark winter night.   Today, it was about three in the morning; the waxing crescent moon doesn't even rise until after 9 (I looked it up).  So, I have spent these early morning opportunities quietly, in pursuit of inspiration--reading and watching videos on painting techniques, native/natural ceremonies and healing practices, and looking up healthy veggie recipes.  Spending time in meditation.  Just looking for ways that I can be a little better person today than I was yesterday.


Meditation recently has guided me to learn to acknowledge and face the pain and demons of my past, so that they no longer have so much power to limit my experiences or misdirect my steps.  I have been studying The Untethered Soul --The journey beyond yourself by Michael A. Singer.  He teaches that one's Self, or Soul, is the only the observer of thoughts and emotions.  And that, through sitting in the seat of the Soul, we can live fully conscious in the present, free of the source of fluctuations in our inner energy. 
 
 
 
"Coincidentally" --  I heard from my son in a Facebook message last week, for the first time in months.  We are still trying to know and love and understand each other (he 'found' me just a few years ago, and it has not been a journey without stumbling for either of us). 
 
Today, morning meditative thoughts allowed me to be fully aware that this journey of loss has been my life's single greatest trauma.    Through heavy tears, I was led to this blog article, where the writer describes  "wearing the veil of a birth mother's grief".  
 
What I know in my soul is that up until this moment, I have avoided really feeling the loss of my son for over 45 years.  Before and even after his birth, I had little experience to guide me on what feelings were, or how to express them.  And along the way, I discovered that alcohol and drugs could put the dreaded, painful feelings away for a time.   Although I know (through education) that sharing feelings and allowing your self to experience them is healthy, I don't have much actual personal experience in those practices.   
 

So, just for today, I am going to permit myself to feel all those years of secrets, loss, and grief.  Without blame, without judgment.  Just feeling.
 
I hope that sharing my journey will enhance my healing process; and I hope that it may help you, too.  
 
Peace, out.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

MOVEment in a New Year!

Winter days are good for reflection and redirection. And so, I blog.

Creatively, in 2015, I managed to:  use my studio often and make it into the sanctuary every artist needs. My space is my own.  And, it has become a central spot for organizing my thoughts, my time, and my meditations.   Ahhh.

I created and sold some recovery-themed earrings and journals.  I’m still completing some watercolor art for invitations, cards, and art pieces requested by customers.  Add the beginnings of some mentoring, and it has been an interesting year.   

Here are a few of the things I accomplished . . .

 

For this new year: my theme word, "MOVE", means stepping away from my comfort/center and stretching out. Moving toward the Light. Move my butt. Move out of my own way. Move the earth (literally. Digging in the garden.).

I’m looking forward to using the stash of found objects, artisan beads and components I’ve accumulated to create more unique jewelry. Here’s a recent acquisition from another artist’s ‘stash’:

I guess Part of this MOVEment involves seeking guidance and inspiration from others—both in person and on the internet.

One of my favorite muses said on her blog, Myth and Moor: “The paradox inherent in making art, of course, is that it's an act involving both giving and receiving. Like breathing, it requires both, the inhalation and the exhalation. We receive the gift of inspiration (inhale), give it shape and form and pass it on (exhale).”


And so, I will move on today. Healthy breakfast accomplished; cleaning up and caring for my plants, then sitting in my studio finishing a painting. It was drawn, inked, and color-studied yesterday.  Here's a sneak peak: 

Today’s brilliant, but cold, winter sunshine will illuminate my table and my soul.  Have a beautiful, warm winter day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

WHY DO WE SAY ‘PLAYING’ WHEN WE MEAN ‘CREATING’?!



Like other artists and craftspersons, I follow others’ blogs and belong to a bunch of social media groups where we share our work, challenge each other, and generally stay connected with the creative community worldwide.

I am struck by how often we diminish ourselves and the creative process by qualifying our posts by saying “just playing with . . . [color, media, paper, ideas—fill in your own here].”

 


I have come to realize that I am NOT JUST PLAYING.  In fact, I am engaging the Spirit within me.  I am giving expression to feelings, observations, and the impulse of creativity that has lain dormant for such long periods of my life.  I am fighting with letting go of the demons of my past, the voices that told me my work was not good enough, a pastime not worthy of responsible, mature attention.  The belief that art is a frivolous pursuit “just for fun”—the message that child’s PLAYTIME is over, that it’s time to get back to establishing a relationship and a home, making babies, learning a useful/productive/profitable trade, establishing a ‘legitimate’ career.  You name it; the message had been something like, “Put down your crayons, kid.  Playtime is over.”  No wonder I stomped my feet in frustration and resisted for so long.  Sadly, the resistance was mostly futile.


So I suppose that we do find some comfort—even triumph--in allowing ourselves to “play” now.  And, since we earned our money and love to spend it now, we buy tons of art supplies and books and courses and . . . well, we collect and “play” with lots of adult (that is, expensive) art supplies toys.  

To my fellow creators of all things whimsical, beautiful, imaginative, wondrous, colorful, personal, and inspired, I say this:  Let’s banish ‘just playing’ from our thoughts and especially from our posts!  Let’s stop diminishing the creative Spirit within and instead let’s celebrate our world, our uniqueness, our playfulness, our amazing expressions!





Whether great or small, every creative expression deserves our respect; especially by respecting ourselves and the time we spend documenting our observations of the world around us, our inspiration and imagination.  Our ART is a gift we give to ourselves and the world.  Give it proudly and often!

from IndiaMissions, etsy.com