art, artist, balance, Uncategorized

soulful art

20160609_122956 (1)Finding new pieces of art or the perfect place to showcase it can be tricky.

I have been searching for 3 months, on and off.  Looking for a calm, serene, quiet piece of balance for our new spa master bathroom.  I had a budget in mind and yet even when upping said budget, nothing spoke to me.

Searching in person didn’t work, on-line through several sources nothing really raised its hand and said PICK ME!!!

While organizing the sewing room, I came across a large, rather flat box I had been saving. That is the holding place for several  of drawings, etchings, special pieces we have purchased on our travels, art our kids had made, this and that……….all in the que to be framed and hung out in the light of day to enjoy.  someday.

As I flipped through the pieces I remembered several places we have visited.  A harbor scene, a path, a copy of a printed page, a castle, a fall scene……..all nice, yet not “the” one.  I dug a little deeper.  Oh wow, bright and colorful…might be perfect for the laundry room?

Without much fanfare, I went to the next piece.  I stopped.  I took it out.  I closed the lid and put the box away.  That calm, serene watercolor made by our son in 2003, quietly called my name.

The following day I was standing in the frame shop.

Today, I picked it up and brought it back home. 20160609_122943

I hung it in the place it was meant to hang.

It did my soul good.  The ideal place, a gentle reminder to wash away the dust.

Picasso said it perfectly. quote_picasso_art-washes-away-610x610

 

 

 

 

 

 

art, artist, good karma, goodness, grace, love, Uncategorized

abandoned (he)art

I can’t sugar coat it any longer, exhaustion has hit.  The feeling is as heavy as a sopping wet wool blanket draped over me.  It feels dark and ominous.  Just getting out of bed and doing the day’s chores has become monumental.

Packing and moving is tricky, frustrating, thrilling, happy and all whipped together it makes you dog tired. A bit over tired.  Once we spend a month or so back in a routine of exercise, good food and juicing, things will return to some sort of balance.

I caught myself sitting and staring at nothing.

Sewing or stitching calms my spirit and helps me breathe.  However, the thought of beginning a huge sewing project or quilt is just too much.  The things that normally tickle my fancy……..shopping for fabric, choosing colors, pinning the quilt together, well to tell the truth, are just too much for me right now.

I really felt the need to create something.  Maybe something small, easy, pretty.  Creating things help me get back in balance.

20160421_161033As so many times in life, the project “found” me.

Actually a California friend shared the idea (no, we have never met in person………..I think we found each other through a wellness group online)……..she seems like the kind of person I would want to hang out with.  Explore a cool outdoor museum and then have some really great fish tacos at a stand near the beach, all while talking about planting organic potatoes.

Side note:  Don’t you think it is wackadoodle how I imagine friendships?  I honestly don’t know if she plants potatoes or not.  Nor do I know if she eats fish tacos.  Just something about her slips through the computer screen.  Good, kind, funny, smarty pants, cool, lovely, a bit mischievous and inspiring. 

Anyway, she found a group giving away love.  Yes, love and goodness.  It is a group on Facebook called, I found a quilted heart  .  http://www.ifoundaquiltedheart.com/

She shared the idea and just like our imaginary organic potatoes, it took root.

The idea is simple.

20160421_152427Make a heart.  Give it away.  Spread some love and kindness.  The end.

Just a random act of making art and then abandoning it for some other soul to find & somehow magically bathing that person in love and grace.  Not through lots of chatter.  No names.  No sewing rules or skill level needed. No person to thank.  Pinned with a short note:  Take me Home.  (On the back the website to share if you found a heart.)

In case you have forgotten, there is good in the universe.  Between the bills, the sorrow, the hurt, the brutal actions of some, the loneliness, the poverty, the constant bad news and yes the exhaustion……..kindness and love slip through the cracks.

Like a perfect purple flower taking root in the crack of the sidewalk.20160421_161039

One  person, channeling the good in the universe and making a small heart for another human.  A gentle reminder that they are loved.  Both of the people.  One having a job to make the heart and the other person has the moment when they pick it up and gather all the good karma that was sewn into it.

Both equally healing.

Bits of fabric, ribbon, beads…..all threaded together to form a heartfelt act of random kindness.

BElieve THEre is GOOD in the world.

 

 

 

art, artist, beauty, color, friendship, grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

ripples of kindness

When you plop a pebble into an undisturbed pond, you instantly get a circle, then another and so on.  The ripples spread in concentric circles quickly.  For some reason, you can’t take your eyes off the simplistic beauty.  That very first plop in the center.  You are in the moment. That center is where goodness begins.

This is a real life story about ripples.

You might remember the story I wrote about the planting kindness…the poinsettia?  Ring a bell?   It was just a couple of weeks ago.  Seems like gallons of water have gone under the bridge in a very short time.  Our gifts have been mailed, all the Christmas cards have been licked shut & sent on their way.  Even a couple of the candle bulbs in the window have already been replaced.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/planting-kindness/

I shared that story, having no idea who or how many would read it.

Sunday, we hosted a memorable dinner party.  You know the kind?  You make an extra pot of coffee during dessert, the conversation is so lively and uplifting.  You want the evening to last longer.  You think about moving everyone into the other room to more comfortable chairs…..then one story leads to another & another and the laugher rolls on.  Somehow the company & conversation is so delightful and smart and thundering forward it slips your mind to move.  You can’t wait to hear which direction the stories will twist. You want to listen & share & learn more of each person.  While the food is exceptional, it pales in comparison to the company around the table.

A dinner party so lively and interesting that you are able to take pictures of the food preparations before the guests arrive and then you quickly toss your phone in a drawer and never give it a second thought.  You have unplugged the telephone because you want your guest to feel that important. You honor yourself enough to turn off the distractions and be in the moment.

A gathering of such smart & sassy friends that it never once crosses your mind or anyone else for that matter,  to take pictures of the people or food to share on social media.

An evening so perfect, you become private and want to hold the moment dear. You don’t want to share.  It will be forever imprinted on the minds of those gathered.  Such a special moment in time, all else is secondary. Sometime during the evening, you have a warm feeling and you just know this is where you were meant to be. A moment marked in time.

One of the special guests, seated at our table,  is an artist.  An artist that just happened to read my post about poinsettias.

As artists will do, they seek and gather inspiration from everywhere.  One morning in the early hours prior to dawn, the artist had to get out of bed, to paint.  The painting was already in her head, she just needed to get it out & onto canvas.  The brush strokes were fast and furious.  The saturated color became more intense with each layer.  The inspiration was calling to be shared.

This particular artist & painting have grabbed the attention of several and marched on to already win several prestigious awards.

The painting has a name,  “Miss Daleen’s Poinsettia.” 

To say I was honored is an understatement.  Took my breath away faster than being on the downward track of a roller coaster.  Such a grand gesture along with my name given to such a work of beauty.  I have never ever, ever had a painting named after me.  Blushing just typing that.

When I think of my friend’s dad,  giving the poinsettias and my request for planting kindness in the month of December, I get all soft and gooey inside.   I know of FOUR poinsettias that have been given to others just for goodness sake.

The ripples in a pond.

The first pebble in this story was tossed by Craig.

The circles are growing,  kindness is spreading.

As dinner drew to a close, my friend got up and handed me a wrapped gift.  It was huge.  My Spidy sense told me to pay attention, this is one of those moments in life.  I carefully tore the paper.  I could feel the cold of the glass.  I felt the heft of the frame.  Mr. Right winked at me across the table.20151221_205454-1_resized

Miss Daleen’s Poinsettia was in my hands.

It took my breath away.  My eyes watered.  I stumbled with the only words I could say.

Thank you.

The ripples of kindness splashed all over me & colored me grateful.

Kindness is spreading.

 

art, artist, date night, dream, happy marriage

step into a dream

Sometimes it is easier for me to write with someone in mind. Today, I am writing to a beautiful, smarty pants, charming, “joyful” hair girl I know.

She has a dream of traveling to Paris.  Instead of being the weird wife of a fellow co-worker, I want to be an uplifting, encouraging, human being nudging her towards that goal.  I want to push her just far enough that she can actually see and feel her dream coming alive. I want to be part of that magic.

Yes, she has an envelope that she “feeds” when she can.  Yes, she has pictures of the Eifel tower to gently remind her.

I want her to buy a Barret, a stripy black and white shirt.  I want her to buy a loaf of really quality French bread and excellent cheese and go on a picnic with her boyfriend and dream about Paris.  I want her to bathe herself in the beautiful pieces of art that were created and shown in Paris.

Actually, I want to shove her to jump in with both feet. I want her to write down her goal/dream.  I want her to see it every single day on the refrigerator. See a note every day on her mirror.  I want her to plaster her desk area with beautiful lovely pictures of Paris.

I want to gently nudge her to take in the “intimate impressionism” exhibit that is now at the Seattle Art Museum.

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/impressionism

Last night was date night!!  I know, weird timing?  Smack dab in the middle of a work week.  Take time out, put on a cute sassy pencil skirt and head to the museum with Mr. Right.

This particular exhibit is on loan from the National Gallery of Art.  They call it “everyday moments of lasting beauty”.

We were treated to a selection of art on a personal and intimate scale.  Most often grand oversized paintings, painted to be seen at public exhibitions, these gems were on a smaller scale, yet the same breath-taking moments happened.  In the most lovely of ways. I giggled at one (and bought a post card to share) and slipped by one or two that were not to my liking.

We gazed upon works by Monet, Degas, Renior, Sisley, Vuillard, Van Gogh and more.

As you know, the first impressionist exhibition when the group was given this name, took place in 1874 and included 30 artists and 165 works of art.  For Sale!  They had to stay until the end of the exhibit, however, all were available.

This group of mostly friends, helped each other.  They encouraged one another.  They painted each others portraits, they painted out in the air, together.  They ate together, pooling what funds they had.  They shared and painted over canvases and when money was scarce, they painted on cardboard. They shared and lifted up each others dreams.

Instead of being hurt and crushed by a nasty and critical review meant to discredit their work, the critic Leroy, instead invented their identity. The Impressionists.

We each chose our favorite piece from this exhibition.picking flowers, RenoirIt was a surreal feeling of being surround with such treasures.  You could almost feel yourself silently slipping into their gardens and sitting behind artist as they created.  When you really paused a moment to look deep into the layers of paint, you could imagine the oil smell.  You could feel the draft in the room.

We chose postcards to send to our grands. flower beds by van gogh

We talked about places we had visited that were depicted in some of the paintings.

Over dinner, in the big city, we discussed the pieces even further.

Driving home we talked about brush strokes and some of the frames. We talked about color.

I talked about the “Porcelain” room at the Museum.  Bar none, my favorite room in the museum (permanent display).

This morning in our notes and card to each other, you guessed it, we discussed art.

Here’s the thing, art and artists have a way of evoking emotion.  Passion, dreams, hope, pure beauty.  This unique group of people helped each other thrive. At times, it was not easy.  It took years and years for some to sell their works.  However, there was strength in their coming together. Strength in all having a vision, a dream. There is great strength in others seeing your dream as something that is attainable.

Instead of being singled out for being wildly “independents” & “intransigents” they were a group with value.

One of my favorite pieces in this collection is “Argenteuil” by Claude Monet.  I adored the slips of light that filtered through the trees.  However this painting was extremely discomforting to many in 1872 , because it’s swiftly applied, visible brushstrokes made it seem unfinished to tradition-minded art critics.

After he had returned from the municipal exhibition in Rouen, and until the end of 1872, the most important part of Monet's artistic output took place in Argenteuil. Most of his work was done on the right bank of the Seine, the Argenteuil side, painted facing the setting sun beyond the trees of the promenade. The road and rail bridges, the Seine, the sky of Ile-de-France, and the promenade's trees would become the key subjects in Monet's work in Argenteuil, forming the most distinctive motifs of this highpoint of Impressionist painting. Here, the painter focuses his attention on the physical features, especially the promenade and the river, but typically at the same time he suggests a human presence through small details.

Instead of one person having a dream of travelling to Paris, collectively as kind humans we need to jump in and lift up that dream. Maybe skip a coffee drink and share the money for the dream envelope?  Maybe share a favorite artist that walked in the very city she wants to discover?  How about sending her a postcard with a stunning view of a landmark that she will one day explore.

Dreams and goals are attainable.  Dreaming together brings more strength to the goal.

“Paris is always a good idea”  ~ Audrey Hepburn

Here’s to you and your dream!  May you surround yourself with all that is Paris and by doing that, you are one step closer to being there.

I want to be part of the dream.  I look forward to the day, when you want to sit down with coffee and share pictures of your travels.

Have Dreams, Will Travel.

artist, friday, gratitude

flaming Friday

Fridays come with the light-hearted anticipation of the weekend.

Oh sure, Friday’s come with a bucket full of chores.  I am good with that.  If I clean and do the linens and towels and fill the refrigerator full of great food (a full and appealing refrigerator is a thing of beauty)………….then the weekend can be spent more on having fun than doing household jobs.

I also fill my Fridays with beauty.

To start the day, I jumped into the world of Sir Fredric Leighton.  1830-1896  I try and expand my world on Friday mornings with an artist that I have not studied.  Sometimes I work off a list of artists I would like to explore.  Sometimes a friend mentions a name or a painting and off I go.

flaming-june-frick-frederic-lord-leightonA couple of days ago, a friend mentioned her favorite painting.  Flaming June  .  Oh my, I saw in an instant why she would say that. The painting (I viewed a photograph of it, through the computer) must be stunning and breathtaking in person.  It sort of grabbed my heart and soul and wouldn’t let go.  The saturated color, the sensuously draped girl……..the gauze folds of the fabric……..I need a bigger word than lovely.  I can’t really find great words.  The painting stands on its own. Yes, it takes your breath away.

Then again, Sir Leighton’s bronze statue , 1877, An Athlete Wresting with a Python is staggering.  It catches you, somehow by surprise.  The raw power and strength slaps you in the face the moment you gaze upon the work. athelete wrestling

Music Lessons is a painting that will capture your heart and soul.  This painting seems like one an art teacher would music-lesson-1884display and discuss and share.  Again, the fabric is so life-like you want to reach out and feel it.  The meaning behind the work is well……. charming and quietly powerful.

While I instantly fell head over heels in love with Flaming June,  I think I will choose The Fisherman and the Syren 1856-1858 as my favorite of the week.  My heart and soul were somehow awakened by the natural beauty.  The remarkable attention to detail almost has you believing it is a photograph and not a painting.

If you are so inclined, maybe on your lunch hour, you would be wise to fill your spirit with beautiful works of art.   Maybe you will find time to look up this painting, my favorite of the week.

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.  Friedrich Nietzsche

artist

Renoir

Dance-At-The-Moulin-De-La-Galette-largeMany moons ago, before the majority of my daily study time was devoted to healing………….

I used to study one artist a week.
One of my sincere favorites, Pierre Auguste Renoir
Limoges, France………..Impressionist, painter/sculptor
He was born, February 25, 1841.
I have been fortunate in my life to view some of his works in person.
Dance at the Moulin Dela Galette
The-Children-Of-Martial-CaillebotteThe children of Martial Caillebotte
The coast of Brittany Fishing Boats
I am quite sure you have your own favorites of his. The-Coast-Of-Brittany--Fishing-Boats-large
My list could go on and on…………….
so could my smile.
artist, haPPY, quilting

June, Block of the Month

This month’s Globe Trotting Block of the Month, is called St. Louis.  My favorite so far.

DSCN4693I wasn’t too hard on myself.  Three out of the four triangle points met up nicely.  I didn’t even want to rip out the third.  I was okay with it.  Close enough,  in the persnickety department,  that is a huge step for me.

I love the design.  I love the way the triangles meet up.  I loved fussy cutting the yellow fabric.  Each piece melded together beautifully.  It was a pleasure to create.  I chose great background music.  Actually, a spring day, I turned on the heat to take the chill out of the sewing room.  It was my own little cocoon.  A safe, cozy, happy cocoon for sewing and creating and smiling.  When I step into my space, I can forget about being sick.  I can forget to check email or run errands.  I can just be.  The dog comes in and circles and circles and finds the perfect spot for her.  It is all rather safe and lovely.

This is month six of the Globe Trotting project.  The final product is starting to show its true colors.  I “heart” the way it is taking shape.  I have chosen a bright and cheerful yellow stripe to tie all the pieces and parts together.  I think it will make these blocks sing together happily.DSCN4695

Yesterday, while sewing, I was sort of daydreaming.  (not during the measuring and cutting portion)  I have given several quilts and wall hangings away.  I counted 15 or so quilts still “hanging” around our home.    I was toying with the idea of taking them all outside and laying them in an organized manner on the grass.  Taking a ladder and climbing to the top and snapping some pictures.  Or I had another thought, hanging them all along our fence line.  Surrounding the back yard with quilts.  Just the thought of those photographs makes me smile.

creative daily