Friday, January 27, 2012

War in the skies

When I was a little girl, on cloudy days I would imagine that there was a war going on in the skies.

Sun vs. Clouds

When the sun would come out from behind the clouds I would cheer and imagine the armies of the sun pushing back the armies of the clouds. When the clouds prevailed, I cheered for the sun's warriors to push back against the enemy.

Today, Sprecka and I sat on the front porch and basked in the winter sun. Every once in a while the sun would go behind a cloud and we would boo the cloud and cheer for the sun. Some things have not changed.
Fading from winter and spying the full sun, I grabbed a coat, gloves, and a couple of blankets. One for me and one for Sprecka. We sat there, drinking in the sun, eyes closed (at least mine were - Sprecka remained on guard duty, as always). I could feel the warmth on my face, and hear the wind in the pine trees, sounding like an ocean. The melting snow from the roof trickled down the drainpipe sounding like a fountain. The wind chimes added to the incredible symphony.

It was a crystalline moment.

Years ago, my husband, children, and I took a wonderful trip to Yellowstone. My favorite memory was at the end of a long hike. It was a hot day and we had come to a small waterfall and stream. We splashed cool water on our hot, sweaty faces. I remember experiencing that delicious sensation combined with the voices of my children and husband and I named that moment in time a crystalline moment - sharp, clear, almost achingly perfect. And like a crystal snowflake stands out for a moment in perfection, then melts away, so too do these standout, perfect moments in our lives.
What a blessing they are.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Meditation through speed drawing

Sounds pretty contradictory, doesn't it? Yet it's true. I find that I am transported to a lovely state of meditation when I do these little warm up exercises.

Want to try it? Here goes:

4 Minute Charcoal Contour Sketches

Vine Charcoal - snap off a small piece
Any kind of sketch paper - could even be computer paper if that's all you have

1. Find a couple of stuffed animals (this MUST be fun, and what is more fun than stuffed animals?)

2. Put one of your animals into a pose that you like. Look at it - I mean REALLY look at it. Take a deep breath.

3. Using your piece of charcoal begin recording the contours of your animal, spending most of the time looking at the animal, only looking at your paper to check way points. Use your finger to smudge shaded areas.

You only have 4 minutes and you're drawing with charcoal so the pressure is off to produce anything magnificent. Just get lost in the edges of the animal. The more you practice this, the more you will loose yourself in the process.

Give it a try.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finding the fun in the un-fun

I've been battling health issues which remain frustratingly present. Rather than spend day after day thinking about how uncomfortable I am and how I wish I would feel better, I decided to play around a little today. I figure I feel bad no matter what I do, so I may as well do something that takes my mind off my misery, at least for a little while.

I decided to take an online class called Imaginary Creatures. The goals of this class are to loosen up, have a little fun with drawing and painting, and sneak in some sound art principles.

These fun fellows showed up on my art table today as my first assignment.
They make me smile.

Which I could use right now.

I hope that your week goes well and that you can find the fun in wherever you might find yourself.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What a difference a year makes

I don't know if this is evidence of global warming or just a normal seasonal blip, but look at the difference in scenes from the Centennial Trail:

December 31, 2010:

December 31, 2011:

I can't help but say that I'm really enjoying it!!

This week I've enjoyed my first week teaching two 10 week art classes and spending time back in my art studio - a great start to 2012.

Enjoy the rest of your week.