Saturday, November 22, 2014

Abstraction Art Affair

The last couple of months, I found myself drawn to patches of painted colors, loose lines, and creative dark marks (like herehere, and always here).  It is becoming a full circle art journey.  Over ten years ago, I stumbled upon this beautiful book.  It has remained next to my bedside over the years, it has become worn well with coffee ring stains and crumpled corners with the author’s autographed inked message to “spill wide”.  I have always wondered, how did she create such abstract beauty from disconnected collage images and inked marks?  It has remained an elusive question that has haunted me.  I don’t aspire to have my pages to look like hers, their hers after all.  I just want to look at my journal pages and feel what I feel when I look at her art.  I feel something intangible, wonderment and passionate solace tangled together.  I often think, why do I art journal?  Do I want to continue?  It has been a 10 year love affair that finds me returning to the roots, to roots of what I loved in the beginning.  How did I miss that?  I’m starting to dance on the edge of abstraction, roots and wings intertwining, an old journey with a new purpose.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Comfort food

One week of winter and I already crave heavy, overflowing pasta dishes.  The chill of winter enters through the cracks in the windows and I feel it on every exposed part of my body.  I have begun digging through last year's winter gloves, scarves, and hats to enfold myself in layers of protection.  The winter to me symbolizes comfort from conditions that we have no control over, we are vulnerable to any winter pattern that cycles through our northern town.  Often in an unconscious state of entering the darkness at 5pm, my mind swirls around spaghetti, chop suey, boiled dinner, and lasagna.  Every dish that I think will provide warmth to the parts of my soul that craves the sunlight and the summer moments by the sea.  This year, this winter, I don't want to add the pounds of comfort to my body that already feels uncomfortable in ill-fitting pants.  I want to thrive in this cold season.  I want to make different choices.  So I pause and I think, what else is symbolic comfort food for me, what allows light to enter in the darken days?  Here's my "comfort food" list:

*Gilmore Girl reruns  *Frida Kahlo art journal & her string of disconnected, yet beautiful words  *Amy's morning texts  *McKenna's drawn heart on my Dunkin Donut cup  *Blue paint  *Sound of the typewriter   *My mom's tangible and intangible gifts  *A trip to the cold sea that still holds beauty  *Taylor Swift songs  *Fire in the woodstove  *Candles *Art journal books   *Nanette's Instagram feed  *Juicy novels  *Coffee & Chai  *My little girl's streak of fearless joy  *Perusing blogs  *Indie Movies  *Red Sweaters  *Dates with Friends  *Stabilo pencil lines

What's on your comfort food list?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Changing Patterns

The fall season in Maine makes me recall a little book, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf.  A children’s book about the natural rhythm of life, loss, and renewal.  Looking out the window, a little yellow leaf caught my eye.  It was the last leaf on the branch, quivering in the cold, rainy day.  Just as I began to look away, I saw the little leaf inevitably let go and dance melodically to the hard ground, awaiting to be covered by the dusting of white snow.

Over the last few months, I have experienced the sensation of winds changing directions.   Often trying to hold tightly to plans, to only watch them soar away with the unforeseen, new air currents.   I wish I could say that I let go with grace, but I didn’t.  I stomped, I screamed, and I even attempted to struggle to envelop myself into an invisibility cloak.  And when I learn of others’ current struggles, I am embarrassed that I didn’t take the route of the little yellow leaf.  The worst part is I’m aware to tug and pull against change only means struggle.  When I accept and let go that is when the trust allows for a new dance in any weather pattern.  I want to be more like the leaf.  I only hope by writing this, that I will remember next time not to struggle, to accept with compassion and dance in the winds of change.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Creative Manifesto

Through the month of September, I posted images on Instagram, responding to Flora Bowley’s prompts on her beautiful website,  One of my favorite prompts was to write a creative manifesto.  The idea is to write your creative intentions, Flora talks more about this here.  It was surprising what words and thoughts formed together when I put pen to paper.  Here is the result of that brainstorming:

To seek and capture the layers of wild and free.
Explore the beauty in the broken, rusted, and forgotten corners of the world.
Responding to the inner pull of spilling out across torn pages, splattering ink and colorful paints.
LETTING GO of needing a reason to create and embrace creating itself.

What would your creative manifesto look like?  What words would stand out amongst the rest?  For me, the words of letting go seemed to capture the entire essence of my manifesto.  Letting go allows for me to just be fully present and enjoy the creative time.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

An Open Heart

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely seek and find the barriers within that you have built against it" - Rumi

When I lose gratitude, I seem to lose sight of everything I love in my life.   A viewpoint that is cast in harsh gray across my everyday existence.  This past week I found myself returning to the basics, nightly gratitude list making.  My thoughts linking one small blessing to larger ones, forming a chain of beauty and light.  Tracing my life in a kaleidoscope of silver linings, fenced in barriers crumbling.  I hope wherever you are tonight, whatever the storm you may find that has rippled across your waters, that you will join me in finding the silver and golden linings of our “one and wild precious life” – Mary Oliver.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fearless Lines

The wound is the place where the Light enters you - Rumi

When we created the name for our collective website (found here), we played with so many words that it felt like treading water in a sea of synonyms.  We would feel surges of joy when words strung together communicated our intentions only to experience a crash of disappointment that a website or a company had the idea prior to our light bulb moment.  After numerous roller coaster experiences, we happen to land upon "Fearless Lines:  Journey of Inked Stories".  Personally I have never embraced the idea of being "fearless".  I'm not the girl that stands at an edge of an idea and takes a leap without trepidation.  I'm the girl that thinks, overthinks, analyzes, leaps, regrets, and thinks and analyzes the decision only to land on self criticism for the leap in the first place.  With this new endeavor, I want to leap creatively, fearlessly creating. connecting with gentle compassion. 

Prior to writing this blog post, I looked up synonyms for fearless only to find these string of words: bold, courageous, lionhearted, brave, audacious, plucky, and daring (love lionhearted!).  These beautiful words were followed by this statement, "a fearless defender of freedom".  I am learning to embrace this idea of fearlessness, to me fearless means to leap, to forgive the mistakes, to let go, and flourish in any present condition.   (By the way, synonyms for lines are very fitting - wrinkles, seams, pipeline, melody, connection, imprint, marks, road, and personal letter.)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Finding October Rhythym

Fall has arrived.  The chill swirling in the crisp air makes me want to curl up in the recliner with a soft, cozy blanket and devour a bowl of thick, hearty stew.  I feel myself resisting my running routine and creative art time.  As I slip into the daze of fall, I am aware that I need to find the rhythm of balance in this new season.   Comfort food with layers of fleece for outdoor physical activity.  Opening the pages of a well-loved, second hand novel ( is fabulous) alternating to paintbrushes dipped in colors of fall to grace the blank canvas.  Here’s to embracing October with open arms.