New Order and Taking Stock

After reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, I have given myself permission to devote several months to the task of going through everything in my house that is mine. It is simple enough to ask the clarifying question of “Does this thing bring me joy?”, but after that it is steady work to remove stuff and bring order to what remains.

I was very excited about the idea of cleaning out the accumulation of stuff squirreled away in one house for 34 years.I have completed the first two categories of clothing and books. It does feel good to have fewer things. Less is more.Simplicity is beautiful.

However, I am also finding it difficult, and I don’t mean the work of it. It is also difficult to come to terms with how much our opinions, tools, faith, pleasures, and habits change over time. It goes way beyond some stuff being out of fashion and other things being irrelevant. I am also realizing that there are many things that I once loved and I no longer do. It feels like loosing oneself. The previous ME isn’t here any more and that is a loss that is depressing! I am hoping that by the time the process of tidying is completed I will feel less grief and more well being, joy, and peace.

So how does this topic relate to artwork? It relates to the collector and to the maker of art. Some forms of creativity have less of a pile accumulated – for example the choreographer, composer, chef, novelist, and designer. The visual artist must acknowledge that by making stuff we also create the burden of accumulation. I will be weeding through my supplies and my oldest pieces, and keeping only the best (that I love) When I create new artwork it will only be when I have something I want to say and there is joy in the process.

I still get a great deal of joy from cooking, gardening, singing, and making contemporary art quilts. Some day that will change, but I hope it is not too soon.

Inspiration from Photos

I am often inspired to create art quilts based on my own candid photos. Here are some examples of pieces that started out this way. I am drawn to photos that have good composition and strong contrast of light and dark. I sometimes combine multiple images of a subject to add impact. (Magic Wall also has… Read more »

Is it Good Artwork?

I was recently asked to judge an art show. The art was created by adults, in all media (including photography), from all over the state of Wyoming. The previous time I did this task was children’s art and County Fair. Thankfully in both instances there was a second person judging, making the decisions easier. It… Read more »

If the Power Goes Out

After a week of enjoying 2 hours a day of Spring garden cleanup, Winter has returned for a bit. The power is not likely to fail, but what if it did? Some artists work without power tools of any kind – colored pencil, paint, markers, etc. to render an image, as long as there is day light…. Read more »

Entering the Studio

This week it will be easy to descend into my basement studio, because I am enjoying hand stitching on a large abstract piece. It covers about 1/3 of a ping pong tale and I am exited about the process and the results. I can already see the piece complete, so I am excited to finish… Read more »

Repeating Myself – in a good way

I have recently chosen to create two art quilts comprised of multiple images of wonderful exciting shadows! How many times have I already been drawn to this subject matter? Cosmic Bicycle, Magic Wall, Purple Stroller. Only three times? It seems like way more than this. So… after reviewing my inventory list back to 2003 I… Read more »

Seasonal Artist and Late Bloomer

When are you most productive? I love to work in the garden, specializing in Xeric landscaping, but also growing food crops and tending public places that receive water. Each season has it’s own challenges and delights, that I find enormously and creatively entertaining. Thank goodness I live in Wyoming – a place that really does… Read more »

Creating Abstract Art

For several years now, I have been pushing my art in the abstract direction, even when the image is about a person (and possibly a dog). It is a challenge to retain just enough detail and definition in a snap shot story to give the viewer something to hang on to, and not give them… Read more »

Quilts are cozy

I am a contemporary artist that chooses to work with fabric and present my pieces as art quilts that are hung on the wall. Fabric is tactile, nurturing and comforting; it’s the perfect medium to express themes that are also tactile, nurturing and comforting. My representational pieces are often based around themes of being outside… Read more »