I noticed today that the last few paintings I have worked on contain lots of turquoise and yellow, and since I haven't done a color mosaic in a while: some Turquoise .:. Yellow in honour of the spring and the first feel of summer.
Visit these lovelies directly in Flickr.
Sometimes it just takes sitting in a different chair at the kitchen table and drinking my morning cup of tea (or coffee). Sometimes it is just standing in a different spot to look at the hills just west of our house, to see the colours that have been there all week. Sometimes just being able to see the same things in a new way only takes stepping around and over the old perspective, tilting the head, maybe a little squint to create a nice blur, and suddenly, I have new eyes.
That, and painting, reading, listening - all day in my studio. No breaks to do the things I really "should". No distracting myself with other "stuff". I feel more complete, I feel more at peace inside, I feel more positive and I feel like I have more energy. Now, the real test is: how do I get myself to remember that the act of creating is what renews and energizes me, pulls me out of the doldrums, cleans the cobwebs out of my head. That is the hard part for me, I let myself forget what I really need.
I had several beautiful reminders this week, and want to pass them along to anyone who is interested:
This wonderful podcast from Marisa at Creative Thursday. A wonderfully candid and generous talk about making money as an artist, the risks, the perils and the joys and how it all came together for this artist.
This beautiful post about giving ourselves the gift of time to create.
This moment with an artist and her cello.
New artwork and exciting news about a forthcoming book from this artist.
And the painting, and working on a canvas instead of a monitor...
is pure joy. After days, and truth be told, weeks of feeling stuck and tired and completely uninterested in my own artwork, my own creativity, and then, just a small shift in perspective (very much helped by the list above) and the metaphorical faucet is opened.
The central piece on this canvas board is a photo I took of my sister
(standing) when she was about 10 or 11, and I was 15 or 16, on a beautiful summers day at Cranes Beach, looking for shells and the ever elusive blue sea glass, and I remember the thrill of learning and mastering my grandfather's old Leica SLR, printing this photo in the darkroom and feeling so completely happy and compelled to keep creating more, every free moment I had. That is the perspective from which I want to live, from which I want to experience this life, this moment.
Some altars from around Flickr.
I've always had a fascination with personal altars or shrines. The altars that people create for any number of reasons or purposes: for prayer, for remembrance, for growth, for change, for beauty, for collecting precious items, for anything.
If anyone has a personal altar or personal "sacred space" or special spot to share, I would love to see photos of it. E-mail or by comments.
You know how life takes you in different directions .:. down different path .:. sometimes meandering, sometimes u-turns, sometimes just a slight divergence from the trail you're on? For me, making jewelery was a path I was on, and then life took me in different directions, I sold my business and "moved on".
I still have a huge amount of beads and chain and wire and silk threads, all of which I use on the shadow boxes I make (I like to call it shadow jewelery) but I very rarely make an actual piece of jewelery, you know one that someone might wear, except for a few special occasions (and always for my mum cuz she asks, and she's my mum).
Today I made a quick piece for someone who works with me occasionally, and who I wanted to give a small token of thanks to. What says a small thanks better than some silver and pearls [I ask myself]. Now that I don't have to create jewelery for piles of orders, I find I enjoy it again. The colours, the shine, the depth of a fresh water pearl, the feel of the chain, the solid feel of the tools in my hands. All things that are a pleasure again, now that it is no longer a business.
Making jewelery was one of the first (and so far only) times in my life that making a creative endeavor into a business venture, killed the joy and the spirit of what had been blossoming for me. Making money from our creativity: it can be a risky thing. It can also be the best thing you've ever done.
But for today: I loved the sun slanting into my studio this afternoon, while I wired pearls and watched the silver chain wink and gleam. For today: Taking back the act of making a piece of jewelery, for the sheer pleasure and joy. What a lovely, lovely thing.
Do you have a spot where you have collected special trinkets? Do you have a spot where you pray or meditate or just think, where you have some sacred objects gathered? Do you collect things on walks .:. pine cones, rocks, a shell, some worn glass, a reflector light from a bike, a worn and scuffed Luke Skywalker action figure .:. bring them home and put them on a shelf or on a windowsill, together with other collected detritus and treasures?
I do. I have always had a fascination for collecting little "things" and I love to see the things other people collect and "arrange", whether for personal prayer, or personal amusement, or personal remembrances, or just because like a small child, or a beautiful ebony crow, we are distracted, beguiled and amused with shiny, precious, unusual, beautiful, pocket worthy objects.
I did not grow up in a deeply religious or worshipful family. My mother and my grandparents are Unitarian .:. on the the very philosophical, theoretical, humanitarian edge of Unitarianisim .:. not a lot of talk about God. Talk and thought about ideas, and feelings reigned. Energy put towards how we treat each other, what things we could do more for each other, and other beliefs that would probably be considered more Humanitarian than Spiritual in thought and motivation were the central ground of anything that could be thought of as spiritual. My mother's religion is her garden, my grandmother's was probably also her garden and her artwork, and my grandfather worshipped in his wood shop.
So, like many many others I have come to my own relationship with my own spirituality in a very hodge podge, step by step, and step away kind of fashion. God. Hmmm. Still don't feel cozy with the word or the image. Spirit. I can get much closer to that word, it has some curves and some mystery that I feel more comfortable with.
An alter: not something I think about in the context of a church, but more in the sense of what I value, what I gather, what things in my life fill me, ground me, bring me warmth and joy and remind me of my own humanity and relationship to a larger world.
Do you have any altars in your home? What kinds of things do you keep there? Do you have a designated mediation or prayer spot where you keep sacred and personal objects? What are your sacred objects?
Visit more Sacred Sunday posts here.