Monday, September 27, 2010

New Ventures

Last week I heard about a juried photography exhibition taking place in October.  Submissions were due today.  I've never taken part in a juried show before, and I wasn't going to enter at first.  There was a $20 entry fee for 2 pieces, and I wasn't confident enough to try.  But my family convinced me, so I dropped off my pieces tonight.  Below are the raw photos -- they look a little better framed and matted.  I'll find out by Friday if they have been accepted, and then next Thursday the show opens.  So that means I have 3 calligraphy pieces at the local library in an open show and these two potentially at another show.  Wow -- I feel like a real artist!

 I titled the above piece "Waiting".  While in Rome two years ago, we were staying in an apartment on the 5th floor.  This woman was on the 4th floor across the street, and I happened to catch her in a very pensive pose.  (There are NO window screens in Rome!  It makes for easier picture taking.)
This one is called "Summer's Over".  I had a chance to play with some Photoshop filters to get that effect.  I hope they make it into the show.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Piece

Each October our library hosts a community art exhibit, and each resident/artist may show up to 3 pieces.  I was pleased to see that I had created two new pieces this year that I liked enough to exhibit, but I wanted to do another.  Sunday's sermon was the inspiration for this piece:
Our pastor was talking about the power of God's word in our lives and how important it is to take advantage of that source.  I know several individuals who are struggling with feeling really defeated lately, so the sermon inspired me to create this piece.  I know it helps me remember where I can go for power and strength.

The exhibit will be up during the month of October.  If you are in Woodridge, IL, feel free to stop by the library and see this and other pieces by talented artists in our community!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Look at the nerve of this little guy!  This is the first time all summer that he's tried this -- he's usually content to sit on the ground and clean up after the birds have dropped their little bits and pieces.
He's quite the gymnast.  And he didn't move a muscle when I opened the window and yelled at him.  So I did the next best thing -- I got my camera.  And THEN I let the dog out, and did Mr. Squirrel ever scramble in a big hurry.  Maybe he won't be quite as bold next time!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mining the past

One of my fellow bloggers (I think Laura from Lone Crow Art) mentioned that she was reading a book by Twyla Tharp, called The Creative Habit.  I immediately ordered it from the library, and I think I might buy my own copy - it's that good.  She shares a lot about her own creative journey (if you don't know -- she's a world-reknowned dance choreographer.)  And her book contains creativity challenges that are unlike anything I've done before.  The one I did yesterday was called "Mining for Memory in a Photograph".  She shares a photograph of herself when she was 3 or 4 years old, and then tells all that she learned about herself just from studying the photo and letting things spring to mind.  I was very surprised to read all that she learned about herself from her picture, and even moreso when I did the exercise.  Here's my pic:

It was the first one I came across in the drawer, so I tried it.  The first thing I noticed is that you could probably crop me out of the photo and still have a fairly decent picture of my parents.  Yet, there is no mistaking that I belong there -- smack dab in the center.  I wasn't going to let anyone leave me out.  And that has been my M.O. for my whole life.  If there was something I wanted to be a part of, no matter how improbable, I pushed for it.  And usually succeeded. 

Another key thing in this picture is the way my mom is holding my hand.  See how her hand is in front of mine -- almost pulling me forward in order to let me know that I could succeed.  Yet I also sense her holding me back a bit, as if saying, "don't try to conquer the world all at once."  That represents an emotional dance that she and I participated in until her death in 2003.  And I still carry that on inside me with new things -- wanting to push forward, yet having to deal with that internal voice telling me not to rush to try to do it all at once.   

Try this exercise, and see if you mine some nuggets that teach you about your creative journey!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Project

Transitioning from summer to fall is, for me, a bit like turning a big ship around.  I seem to have trouble getting moving on anything creative for a few weeks.  But I think I'm feeling motivated again.  I've been spending time at my sewing machine. 

Our youngest daughter headed off for her sophomore year of college, and she now has a small apartment on campus.  We bought her a black futon/couch for her living area.  To add some color, she asked me if she could take a very colorful lap quilt I made a few years ago.  I wish I had pictures of it to show you, but I did manage to find some strips of fabric that I had used for it.  So I sewed them into a couple of pillows, and I'll put them in the mail to her tomorrow.  I think she'll love them!  Here they are:
I made them as pillow covers, so they can be washed.  I found these sweet buttons in my button jar, and I think they make the back opening look really cute!
I feel very accomplished!  I didn't have to buy anything for this project -- I even had the pillow forms in the house.  And I can't wait to send them off.