Thursday, November 26, 2015

Grateful and Thankful.

Breath and birth. 

Savors and sighs.

Health and humor.

Clay and creativity.

Kindness and my kiln and a gentleman's generosity.

Fun and friendliness from my pottery wheel and potter friends.

Love and laughter and the life I get to live here and now.

I am so grateful for so many things in my life and my world. Everyday is a day for thanks giving.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fall and Faith.

Fall is not my favorite season.  At first, I deny the end of summer, the loss of blooms and ripe red tomatoes and roses. I leave out my porch furniture and flower-filled patio pots as long as possible. I'm not sure why but it always takes me a while to embrace it.  

It's not the falling leaves, because I love to collect my favorites on my morning walks. I take them back to my studio, roll out some clay, press the leaves into it and form some plates.

It's not the rain, because I love the puddle reflections the changing autumn light creates.

It's not the fog either, because I love the shadows and softness created around the trees and sun and the whispers of mystery flowing across the lake in the park.

It's not the colors, because I love all those bright yellow and crimson leaves against the bare black branches and the gray siding of my house.

It's the fear of change. It's the loss of blooms and growing fruits and sunshine and warmth. I know I'm not alone, it's a deep-seated animalistic survival instinct we all share whether or not we want to admit it. I didn't. I hid my 'silly' fears from myself for years. But not this year.

I'm going to see not just the beauty and inspiration and celebration in the season.  I'm going to trust it. Let the loss of leaves help me see the beauty of the structure beneath.  Feel the cold outside as I wrap myself up in layers of soft sweaters.

I'm going to embrace Fall with faith.  

Ah, there it is again, that word of the year: Faith.  Who knew?

Social Media: Losing Interest in Pinterest.

According to social media site rankings, Pinterest is right up there with Facebook and Linked In. One of the top five social media sites, it's got huge demographic numbers and, the most surprising to me, was the large upper income female demographic that supposedly 'shops' Pinterest for goods to purchase.  

I'd never heard of Pinterest until 3 years ago.  I wasn't sure I was interested but my daughter loved it and so did many of my artist friends.  I didn't know about the demographics or social media site ranking. Once I checked it out, I have to say I was hooked.  

It was like a wonderland of pretty, cute, fun and funny.

I used to save old magazines.  Piles and piles of magazines.  Because I loved to cut out the pictures and words and glue them together making my own collage for fun and inspiration. It was quick and easy and fun.  I could keep it for as long as it inspired me, then throw it away and create a new one.  

That's how Pinterest first felt to one big, inspiration collage.

Until I started getting those 'push' notifications.  The new 'Pins For You' emails.  Try these quotes like the ones you's more cute puppies, adorable kitties, salsa recipes, exotic location photos, kitchen designs, clothes, furniture, beads galore!  Or many other emails telling me that one of the millions of people out there 'Pinned' the same cup, quote and/or painting?  

I don't care who 'Pinned' what.  I don't want 'Pins for me' suggestions.  And it's especially dispiriting to me that I'm told my most 'popular' Pin is someone else's recipe for bacon wrapped whatever.  Really.

I was having fun picking out fun things without paper and scissors. I was inspired by the quotes I dragged and dropped. Occasionally, I've gone there to look at my boards, and add a picture or two.  I added boards of my own art, hoping to interest some of those supposedly upper income women to purchase art.  It hasn't led to purchases for anyone I know.  But, even without that, I just feel I'm seeing and reading the same old stuff.  Do I take my Pinterest site down?  Do I leave it up? I don't know and frankly, I don't care.

Sorry, Pinterest, I've just lost interest. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

As The Wheel Turns: Turning it back on.

I sat down at the wheel yesterday and threw. It's the first time I've sat there in almost two months. It seems crazy that I haven't thrown in that long, because I love to throw. So why would I stay away from the wheel for so long?

Because other wheels were turning in my life.

One wheel was the promotional wheel. As the pr and media person for my open studio tour group, I've spent many, many long hours on my computer spinning out blogs, pitching stories and posting on social media.  The reward was seeing so many artists on the tour get covered in a variety of local media and social media.  They had a busy tour weekend with lots of visitors.  I'm so glad for everyone on the tour!

Another wheel was the exhibition wheel. In addition to my own open studios, I had three gallery shows in the last two months. Two shows go through December, and I'm very glad to be a part of it.  A new goal I've had for my work was to add a holiday/gallery show.  And this year, it seems the universe has delivered!

Yet another wheel was the family wheel. In September, a new child entered the world and became part of my family.  This sweet, little baby girl is my first grandchild. I can't believe how wonderful it is to hold her in my arms. Watch her yawn and smile and, yes, frown.

Even with all these wonderful things spinning through my life, I knew it was time to throw some clay on the bat and get my hands dirty. And I loved it. What's even better, I think, is I'd been away long enough that I'd forgotten some of my old throwing blocks and re-discovered just how much I love it. 

I threw a few mugs. Then I took out the last chunk of a new clay I've been trying out and threw it on the wheel.  It had bubbles and wobbles and bumps but I threw it anyway. Instead of getting frustrated with it, I found myself laughing.

If the mugs and bowl turn out well. Great. If they don't, I still had a great time.  

And that's really the point, and one, I tend to forget time and time again. It's the process of throwing and rolling and painting and forming and seeing and feeling that really gets my creative wheels turning.  On and on and on.