Mmmmmm, what a lusciously sweet day yesterday that is lingering & meandering into today. Our moms (aka the Grandmas), dad Pete, Larry’s boys, Zac, McKenzie & Ellie (McKenzie’s Ellie), Raine, Finnegan oh & our German friends, Soern & Tom( the baby -Judith is in Germany) all gathered together, for communing, typing, laughing, snoozing, sharing, creating & on & on (a lot of on & on). The food was fabulous, the drinks were flowing, Raine gave a sweet blessing & then we all crashed. I hope everyone had a magical, loving Thanksgiving as well. My cup runneth over for all of you as well & being able to share all this with you. Mwaaaaah!!!
I flew out to visit with my BFF, Ginger & attend the Annual Sophia Conference which she was hosting in her beautiful Yoga Studio & house. It was a fabulous event & after we were able to make some time to create in her art studio which is behind her yoga studio.
We warmed up with a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop & then headed home for some real “Dirty Laundry” creating.
We started our creations with pasting paper on wood plaques for our foundation. Then we painted over the paper, laid down our focal center, pasted it, painted more, added more, used pens, more paint, & on & on. It’s so hard to explain because it is just a process that is intuitive & very flowing. There really isn’t any rights or wrongs. I think it is a good idea to keep in mind composition principles & color but really there is no “right” way to get from A to B.
But it isn’t about the end product. It is really about the creating together, watching what evolves, experiencing the magic, connecting & tending to the conversation as it deepens, dips & meanders into places unexpected.
I have since worked on this one a little too much, seeing the first version reminds me to not work & re-work things too much. Instead just love what I make in the first place & allow it to stretch its legs a bit before I judge it too harshly & wish to redo it!
I figured it out. After a week of pondering the question of where do I feel most myself, while taking walks in the city, amongst the trees, hanging out in cafe’s, & so on. I finally realized where it is I feel most myself. It is somewhere close to me.
The archetypical urge to nest came to me later in life. I was 44 before I truly felt the desire to occupy a house, to make it my own, to make it a reflection of my creative expression. Even after having children I still didn’t feel the need. I heard about women who suddenly have the urge to create a home, redecorate, paint the walls while pregnant all in preparation for the baby’s arrival. That never happened to me.
But then after having my second child & moving to a new city into the first house that I bought with no furniture, just long dark wood floors I felt for the first time I had this need to live in this house & make it my home. I was no longer interested in travelling around the world or looking for the next adventure. My adventure became discovering a new way to cover my windows that was unique to me & my style. As I slowly created little altars throughout my house & picked out the perfect eclectic pieces of furniture I was able to witness my creative expression unfolding on a new, larger canvas, my house. What emerged over time were numerous installation pieces throughout my house. The installations keep changing, shifting with the seasons, but having a home as a canvas is a bit like living inside of myself.
THIS IS WHERE I FEEL MOST LIKE MYSELF because it is me.
I was told by a psychic a few years ago while living in Santa Fe, NM, that in my early 40s I would be overcome by an unexplainable desire to make roots in a home. At the time I was living in my RV (with wheels under it) and my daughter and I moved around to different campgrounds for a few weeks at a time, or sometimes we would house sit for others in some body else’s real house. We moved frequently. It seems whenever that clever North Wind picked up I would feel in my bones it was time to look for another adventure.
There are those places and things that inspire me; like trees, coffee houses, pubs, the ocean, but they don’t always make me feel myself, often I’m in their presence as an anthropologist, a visitor & stranger. It is not where I feel myself. I love being in their presence, I love watching the people, hearing the espresso machines do their thing, smelling pine needles, listening to crashing waves, smelling coffee, watching & soaking it all in but not to be myself. I can find peace & inspiration but I don’t always feel my true self in these places.
It is only in my home with my family that I can be mostly myself with unconditional acceptance.
Well in my home & in boots. I realized this today when I awoke to a sudden, unexpected cold front & had the first opportunity of the season to wear my boots. It was heaven, like coming home, that must be why I loved being in the Marine Corps all those years. I got to wear boots everyday.
Yesterday I had a very productively creative day. In the morning I had my Monotype class at the Art League of Houston where I made three new prints & started working on another.
Then I drove home went straight to my studio & started painting. I haven’t done that in a while & before I knew it I was lost in the creativity & the love of my new palette of three colors (thanks Misty Mawn & mary beth). Quinacridone gold is currently the most magical color in the entire world – YES in the entire world, possibly the universe.
When I was all painted & done I realized I was sitting with a new girl. Where did she come from? It was a few serendipitous glances, connections with other’s art, stories of a monkey named cookie, softening, becoming less precious with my strokes, allowing, opening a little & there she was, “the new girl.” I’m not sure what her name is just yet. She looks a bit surprised to be here possibly just as much as I am surprised she showed up. I’m thinking she needs a crow or a fish or at least a few flowers to keep her company or perhaps another friend to sit next to her.
I also added some cool embellishments to my photo of three stuck leaves in Nosara, Costa Rica at the Nosara Retreat Center (that’s a nod to the fabulous Abbie who owns the property).
All in all, I would say it was a lusciously, creatively, productive day. But what is really cool is that I know I’m doing what I’m meant to do for now at least because I can so easily lose time when I’m painting or creating. It’s either that I lose time or I step into an alternative time sequence that measures time in a totally new way either way I love it.
The coolest, cheapest place to find amazing doo dads & doo hickeys to use in collages pieces, assemblage or whatever you like is at The Art Asylum on Houston Ave. If you are not careful you will miss it because from the outside it is just a plane white
building but inside is a whole other story. Inside there are shelves & shelves of about anything you can dream of have been donated by others for artists to use.
On this visit I found a little, string-less, cracked guitar that I’m going to decoupage for fun, a doll that I’m going to papier-mâché into a statue, and an amazing old photo
album – for a story to tell. And doilies of course, you can never have too many doilies.
Last Friday night my dear friend & fellow artist, Sara came over for a little art/craft playtime in my studio. It was our first creative get together (first of many) & we had so much fun (we hope to grow our gatherings to include others). I was feeling a bit melancholy that day for no reason other than the earth turned & I woke up feeling this way. But I was able to create through it & Sara was gentle & compassionate with me.
We drank banana smoothies with just bananas & a few cacao nibs and I showed her some of the ways that I create collages on wood with paper, paints, stencils, inks, stamps, words etc. Our rules were – Don’t be too precious & move quickly so as not to engage the brain.
We talked easily about ideas, thoughts & then a magical thing happened. While our fingers were busy painting, gluing, cutting we shifted into a place of creative flow &
started putting pieces of big dreams together. We talked of ideas of collaboration,
unique & different ways to exhibit. Then our biggest dreams swooped in from
those hidden places we barely allow ourselves to visit & it was this kaleidoscope
of exhilarating dream sharing.
We can’t wait to do this again. Next time Sara is going to show me how to make milk paints or encaustic painting.
Sara told me today that her creativity is buzzing to create more & ideas keep flowing it of other paintings she could do. We’ve continued our collaborative dream building these last two days through text messages back in forth.
It’s amazing how when we sit, create, share, witness, truly see, collaborate on ways to fully blossom together.
I recently learned that if the dream is big enough for me to carry out, it’s not BIG enough. We need each other.
So this is what I played with in the studio today. I bought a piece of vintage luggage last weekend at TExas Junk Store with the intent of painting it. I worked on one side today. I actually got this idea from a magazine that I can no longer find, but thank you for the inspiration who ever you are that was published in whatever magazine that was.
Also this painting has been hanging over our bed for quite sometime, but I haven’t really liked the color (it’s my mission to REALLY understand color) so I changed the color up a bit today. So a new take on an old piece.
Lastly this crow print/painting was created last week on a spur of the moment decision to create something that day & everyday for that matter. But this is what I came up with. Interesting stuff showed up in the scribbles. Like a black & white TV with the word “ouch” next to it. It’s an image from childhood. Crow is the protector of the castle. I am the castle. Hmmmmmmmm?
I went to Squam Art Workshops not knowing a lot about what was going to happen. It was my first time & I didn’t know anyone. I went with an open heart just to see what this would be & eager to learn all that I could. My creativity is still in a development stage & I’m just trying everything on to see how it fits, flows & brings joy. I keep reminding myself that I’m just playing, nothing serious is going on here.
I was lucky enough to be in the airport shuttle to the camp with five amazing women who so funny & kind – we laughed the whole way there & I knew the weekend was going to wonderful. I can’t even begin to list all the things I learned & all the ways I was changed, but I am NOT the same woman who arrived that day.
If anyone is interested in expanding their world of creativity, no matter where you are today, I HIGHLy recommend you getting your butt up to New Hampshire (bring your winter clothes) and dive into this lake of beauty, community, creativity, laughter & color called the Squam Art Workshops. Join me next year!
Misty Mawn taught my first class on Painted Icons. I have been a fan of Misty’s work for some time now so I was a little star struck when I first met her. I was giddy to be able to play with paint with her & the amazing women in that class. The paintings that we created that day were all so gorgeous, emotive & unique in everyone’s own expression.
Here is what it looked like:
Then I learned how to crochet a necklace in a cold, dark room by the colorful Alix Bluh. Alix is an amazing jewelry artist (think blacksmith or smithy) in San Fransisco. The class ended up in front of a roaring fire crocheting, telling stories & feeling great. It was so old world (perhaps not the right term) but I loved it. I wish I had more of that.
On Saturday, I spent the morning mixing paint to create color pallets with Mary Beth Shaw. This class fit right into my desire to understand color better. Mary Beth cleared a lot of my confusion around color palettes. I still have some, but I think the more I play with it, I will gain an intuitive sense of works for me.
It’s hard being back & trying to get into the oh-so-different pace of this world with baby, teenager & husband all wanting my attention but it is also so nice – it’s always good to be home when home feels like home, & this home does.
Big Love, Katariina
Well after 5 months of work & I don’t even want to say how many thousands of dollars more than we budgeted (I hope Dave Ramsey doesn’t see this) we finally are almost, just about finished with our sanctuary backyard. We love to be outside. It doesn’t matter if it is 109 degrees or 40 degrees we are outside soaking in the fresh air, stretching, laughing, reading, meditating, cultivating our garden or what have you.
Our little cocktail pool works wonders in the hot months, but it will be our hot tub in the cold months. We love the water too. Being from the clan of original Selkes, I need to soak my flesh in water everyday or I feel all dried up inside, so this little dunking pool is the perfect medicine. The water should be preferrably cold water – Barton-Springs-cold, but Larry & Finnegan need it warmer.
I love how we were able to make the antique bricks look like they have been there forever. Here are some before & after photos of the transformation. It’s amazing how much bigger the backyard feels with the new look.
I signed up for a Mono-type class for this semester. It’s starts in a few weeks. I’m so excited. In fact so giddy about it that I had to make my own crow stamp now, before the class starts. I just got this stamping rubber stuff at the Texas Art Supply & drew a picture & started cutting away. It’s so fun that I can’t stop stamping everything!!!
I’ve had this idea for making an american flag to hang outside on our patio fence. I wanted it to look old & add my style to it. As I started working on it further I decided that it would be a painting about the Marine Corps & war, but a light one. Really maybe it is more about how I joined the wrong Corps. I should have been in the Peace Corps instead. but I don’t know, I was probably right where I needed to be and odd duck. No regrets, some sorrow, sadness, anger, but no regrets.
Everyday as I gain more insight into who I am, really am, without influence from others, I move further away from those things that hurt me more than bring me joy. I seek out those things, people, experiences that are in alignment with who I am. This lessons the dissonance & increases the resonance. I don’t resonate with dissonance.
I visited a gastro doctor last week who told me that my colon was like a jazz band all the parts doing their own thing, not playing the same tune together. I guess Jazz has its place just not in my gut & not in my relationships or work environments.
My stars are flowers. USMC is going off the canvas. 83 was the year I joined the Marine Corps. I wrote, “make art not war,” “all we need is love.” “love is all we need,” oh &
“war is never the answer.” Then of course, there is my crow.
Crow is the protector of the castle, the castle being your psyche. He also is a trickster & a shape shifter. Two aspects I love expressing. Tricksters make us think about things that are so firmly embedded in our beliefs that we don’t even think to question. I was a trickster in the Marine Corps.
This painting is about the healing & coming home to me, the me that was me before the Marine Corps.