This past weekend was absolutely lovely for two huge reasons....one of my oldest and dearest friends came to visit and my shoulder has begun to feel so much better. We spent time with my girls and laughed so hard that I was reminded of when we met many years ago in college. My daughters have always considered her a member of our family as she has been there for them from the beginning, encouraging and supporting them in all of their endeavors. After a long, hard year this time was like a breath of fresh air...the weather was amazing and I felt recharged. Love you Col!
My daughters and I watch the movie 'Little Women' starring Susan Sarandon every Christmas, and it is a novel that I have read several times. I love the relationship between the mother and her daughters and am blessed to experience something similar with my girls. I also appreciate that the author, Louisa May Alcott, was raised in a home with transcendentalist parents whose core beliefs were in the inherent goodness of nature and people. I love that Louisa was a feminist and abolitionist, attributes that I have always admired in others. She spent much time in the company of family friends, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne, where she received some of her early education. I also take heart in the fact that though she experienced absolute despair over not finding success in her work, she continued on and eventually created 'Little Women'. Something that I believe we can all hold on to.
Over the past eleven months I have slowly learned to request and accept help. It's not easy. And, yet, when I practice this simple form of self-care I end up experiencing the most enlightening conversations and enjoy wonderful relationships. I love collaboration and I have begun to realize that this, in itself, is a form of collaboration. It also invites humility and gratitude which are both necessary not only today but always. With these thoughts in mind, I will retire with my book again to rest and recuperate.
Yesterday I was supposed to be working on an essay for my English class and instead I worked on my diptych which has been very slow going. For my course, I recently read a short story by Dene author Richard Van Camp along with watching an interview where he discussed the challenges of writing, which I felt applied to any of the arts...and possibly anything that we apply ourselves to in this life. He referred to writing as 'planting the seeds of light' and suggested that comic books or graphic novels, which he also writes, were like holding a movie in the hands, that they were culturally relevant and great for reluctant readers. I think this also connects with the quote I posted by Kiki Smith yesterday....that we are just meant to do the work and it will be received how and when it is needed. And, more importantly, if there is someone out there who supports and encourages you, you are bound to succeed in whatever it is you choose to do. I believe it wholeheartedly.
I was originally introduced to the work of artist Kiki Smith in the 1980's and it resonated because of her focus on AIDS and the rights of women. She is an American artist who was born in Germany of artist parents (a sculptor and actor/musician) and has worked in a variety of media from printmaking to sculpture with current work focusing on the human relationship with nature. It was her installation work that I was drawn to initially as it featured bodily fluids in order to draw attention to subjects of social significance. I especially enjoy hearing her speak about her process and inspiration - view video here.
In order to help support arts + culture in my community, the Creative Airdrie Society along with the assistance of Muk-luk Magpies is hosting a fundraiser on November 10, 9am-9pm. As well well as glass fusing, wine glass painting and canvas painting workshops, there will be a silent auction which includes my painting 'Night's Watch', 28x22, acrylic on canvas. For more information, please call 403.948-0691.
Next week I go to the hospital for treatment on my right shoulder. Boy, it's been almost 12 months of specialists and pain management and so I'm looking forward to the appointment with excited trepidation. We're still trying to avoid surgery unless it's absolutely necessary...thank goodness for medical professionals who also believe in holistic healing. But I am happy to say that I have basically prepared my canvases for next year's 52 WEEKS project and I'm also looking forward to that with excited trepidation. These projects for me are a form of visual storytelling, which is wonderful as it allows me to combine my love of literature with my love of painting. As I do each year, I wonder about my choice, try to decide if it is the right one, will probably be extremely nervous to share the progress, and will learn and grow throughout the process. Art is definitely the best form of healing...I highly recommend it.