I have always collected feathers, and was gifted a hawk feather a few years ago which is my pride and joy. I've also had these longer canvases sitting in my studio and though I painted patterns onto them I was uncertain as to what I would paint until suddenly, as I was sitting in my studio and looking at the feathers I painted on the walls.
I find that 'aha!' moment to be absolutely invigorating. And once it happens I can barely sleep for wanting to get to work. But I know I need the rest and the time for the idea to percolate.
Adding hanging hardware will be a challenge as I like the notion of hanging the pieces vertically or horizontally, and with the feather facing any direction as they would be a lovely grouping. Hmmmm....something else to ponder.
Earlier this week I taught an altered book workshop to 58 high school students and so I decided to create a sample out of a child's board book whose spine was broken. My theme was Gratitude...kind of a mini version of the Gratitude Project I'm currently working on.
Because ravens are a messenger, I thought they would be a nice addition to my cover, kind of nudging me to remember to focus on those things that give me utmost pleasure and are the most important things to me. The first page reminds me to breathe, dream, create, I was born a dreamer and am grateful to still be one now. The second is an ode to the value of home (and family) and to the mountains I am privileged to see daily. Page three is a favorite quote:
There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open...whether you choose to take an art class, keep a journal, record your dreams, dance your story or live each day from your own creative source. ~ Martha Graham
Page four includes one of my favorite things, to drink a cup of tea and enjoy the moment in rest, silence and peace. Page five includes a tag from my yogi tea which I saved months ago, 'I am beautiful, I am bountiful, I am blissful.' And finally, page six is my interpretation of faith and includes Mary Magdalene along with Aboriginal and Celtic symbols that have meant so much to me.
I enjoyed this project so much I can certainly envision creating more of these in the future.
Last summer when we spent time in Montana I came across the most amazing pinecones. I love pinecones in any case but these were larger than my hand and so beautiful. The thought that they are just seeds waiting to grow into large evergreen trees makes me happy. So on this autumn day I am grateful for pinecones.
Saturday was an exhausting but FANTASTIC day for me as it began at 11.30 in the morning and didn't end until 12.30 Sunday morning. But I am thrilled to share that we beat records for attendance, the highest bids on chairs and total funds raised, almost $30,000, almost triple our first year...all thanks to our fabulous Sponsors, Creative Airdrie, our supports and THE AMAZING ARTISTS, without whom we could not do this!!!
This year's AIRdirondack Art Project was especially meaningful to me as it was our fifth. It's amazing how a dream discussed between two people can grow to touch so many. This small beginning spawned Creative Airdrie and ARTember and who knows where it will lead?
I still have dreams of painted Adirondack chairs laced as public art throughout our community, and thanks to patrons who have donated their chairs to community groups it is beginning to happen. We have two at the Airdrie Public Library, there is one at Iron Horse Park and another heading to the Boys & Girls Club. Perhaps soon we will see them scattered throughout the parks.
There are only a few more ARTember events left and then I will be catching up on much needed sleep. Thank you to everyone who supports these initiatives, from the financial support, to donations of time and materials and talents, to the well wishers out there...it definitely takes a village.
I am so pleased to be included as a contributor to Stacy de la Rosa's Code of the Conscious Queen. Each week as I listen to the wisdom of other women, I am reminded that who I am is valuable in this life...that what I have to contribute is necessary, but also that I must use my own voice. In Stacy's words:
You have a Queen that lives within you. All women do. She might not be obvious or visible to you, but she’s always been there. She is not who you have grown up believing she is from fairy tales and royalty. She is born from love and truth. She is here to be of service, not of power. For many of us she has lie dormant while we continue to allow external voices of self-doubt and fear rule our lives. There is one thing you need to remember, those voices are not you, they don’t belong to you, they were given to you through external means. It is time to awaken and rise your inner Queen and allow your true voice – your intuition – to take reign and elevate your life. Are you ready to rediscover your Queen archetype and step into your personal sovereignty?
And because I love collaboration, I also wanted to share a few more amazing projects that I have had the honour of contributing to throughout the past few years:
I decided to challenge myself and use black and not Paynes Gray in this painting (Gasp! Black!) which was never accepted by my first art teacher but I'm really, really happy with how it turned out. To me this image symbolizes getting through dark and challenging times and staying focused on the light, because there is always light.
Blue symbolizes water and sky and is associated with harmony, faithfulness, confidence, infinity and sometimes sadness. Yellow symbolizes sunshine and happiness, warmth, friendliness, courage, peace and positive energy. The weather has reflected my life of late, fluctuating between rain, snow and sunshine and so has my art.
It's been a sunny week and reflects how I feel now during these days of ARTember. Days filled with art and culture and kids and community. It's perfect really. And I'm so glad for the light.
I have been blessed beyond measure. Thank you so much to everyone who supports this creative life that I am privileged to live. Thank you for your encouragement in kind words, in following this journey and in the purchase of my work. Thank you to the galleries who believe in what I do enough to share their valuable space and generous souls with me. And though it really doesn't feel like it's big enough to share the depth of how I feel...Thank You!
So we're right in the swing of things for ARTember which consists of seventeen days of art and culture throughout our community. I have ten different events to host and much more to coordinate so it's always busy but such a pleasure. It's wonderful hearing the feedback from people who take part and I'm looking forward to teaching the library's first ever adult art workshop on Saturday.
One of my favorite projects at the library every summer is creating a window display for ARTember. The Summer Reading Club directors organize the kids to create something based on my design, and this year they all contributed houses to represent our community. It's only one of the facets of my job as an Art Program Coordinator that I love. :)