Thursday, February 4, 2016

Growing up with Art

The past few years has seen a decline in the amount that I blog about my kids.  I've noticed this happening on quite a few blogs as the genre has evolved over the past ten years.  As your children get older it seems a bit off to relay their day to day life.  It's as if the details are no longer yours to share but rather belong to the child.  Who knows if, as they age they will want every little detail of their childhood posted for the world to see.  So if I'm going to post something now, I think long and hard about it and I hope that when I do talk about our lives the boys will one day enjoy looking it over and not feel that I over-shared.

An opportunity presented itself last fall for the Garden Club of our school to participate in a public art project.  A new Whole Foods Market opened in our city and we painted the metal "birds" pictured here to be on permanent display in the Whole Foods Cafe.  Kyan has always loved making art and we were able to paint these two birds together.  He decided on the design of white with a grey circle and grey with a white circle.  I loved his graphic choice and simply helped him paint them.  

The influence of parents onto their kid's interests manifests itself in many different ways.  I look back on my own upbringing and see my mother's craft & design pursuits and my father's participation in community to have been influences on my personality.  I see art as part of my influence.  The boys have been to my art show openings, they see me sewing all the time.  We draw together, we see art exhibits together and they both state to who ever may ask them what I do that I am not only their mother but also an artist.  I have no idea how this will manifest later in their lives; if they will be art supporters, makers or enthusiasts, but I feel grateful that I can share my passion with them and that it is a part of our family life every day.

Monday, December 28, 2015

A December Collapse

Collapse is meant in a good way.  A crumple into sleep, the dark and rest.  After a busy first 3 weeks to the month is has been a nice change in these last few days of 2015 to revel in the longer mornings and extra sleep.

Our holidays have been nice, though I admit I was preoccupied by impending deadlines and keeping it all straight.  But as the year wanes it seems to make sense to have the good and stressful all mixed up since that was a theme of this year for me.

I don't feel that I have tons of observations other than the above at this point.  There is much I am looking forward in 2016.  One big thing is a gathering of ladies.  We are deciding to meet each full moon in a come as you are style.  These ladies are full of magic, we each come from different spiritual places but wish to share ritual and mark the passing of time.  This is a gift that my heart has longed for for some time.  I enter into it with no expectations other than a chance to acknowledge a part of me that has been dormant and needs some nurturing.

I send out many blessings to any who read this humble message for a happy new year, a year of discovery and growth.

Blessed Be.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

November Myth

When I contemplated what I would write about this month's word: Myth, I was baffled for quite some time.  So as we creep halfway through December I now feel ready to sort it out somewhat and lay it down for posterity.

Rather than using the "traditional story" definition of myth I am thinking of the "widely held but false belief or idea" version of the word.  And specifically I'm referring to the myth(s) we tell ourselves about ourselves.  We form stories from birth as our understanding increases.  Other people can break or contribute to the myths we create for ourselves.  These myths can often limit our capacity to change.  And I've held many that broke this year.

One such myth was that I lacked drive to pursue a career.  This year drive burst out if me with a vengeance  and I feel like I crushed several beliefs that I had created about how much time I actually have to make art.

I will hold this year as a marker, a place that revealed many ideas I had about my core that were false.  Perhaps they just could not emerge sooner than now.  37 was when they were supposed to become a part of me.  It certainly is true that age gives one the gift of understanding more about ourselves.  Or maybe it lets our constructed myths crack enough for us to consider other possible realities for who we are.

I have teachers around me, people that love me, who have helped these cracks open up as well.  Challenging me to let go of rigid ideas of myself that are outdated or that limit my growth as a human.  I am grateful for those lessons despite the fact that they can be painful to learn.

As I reach further than I ever have towards putting the pieces of my life puzzle together the coming year feels like a chance to push harder than before.  At this point I feel that I have to potentially overreach in order to understand where the balance or sweet spot is.  And the sweet spot will probably change more often than not but we will just have to adapt to that.

A human trait if ever there was one.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

October the Harbinger

(photo taken by Elliott)

As this year winds down; days getting shorter while the cold creeps closer, I try and hear the herald of winter and just be.
Today I put my small garden to rest, Kyan is home from school with his first cold of the season.  The sun was out and the crisp morning was perfect for trimming the raspberry canes and the stems of faded Lady's Mantle blossoms.   Our home is slowly coming back together after several room renovations.  The process of refreshing after 5 years in this home is fulfilling but made October far from stress free.

There were a few traditions missed, we picked no apples and put out minimal Halloween decorations.  But in the spirit of doing our best with the situation at hand we still made the most of the seasonal fun.

I look forward to the Yule season this year as a time to decorate and make the most of our inside space although living in such a temperate climate we are able to be outside all year (as long as we don't mind the rain)

Dancing the Spiral at Reclaiming's Samhain ritual felt like a complete renewal of my body at the cellular level.  I find that I have become more open to the energy raised each year.  When I leave the ritual space I feel new, almost reborn and that energy carries me through the darkening.  In fact I crave that renewal and look forward to immersing myself in the winter season to come.  Perhaps being an autumn baby adds to the power of this time.  38 bares little problem for me, unlike how I felt last year as my 37 birthday approached.  Looking back on the past 10 months I see why I felt so uneasy last year.  It was a year of change and lessons, a harbinger of growth and things I didn't want to accept.  It may be something I'll reflect more on next month.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Subvert September!

Oh, September you do it to me every year.  Sending me running around like a headless chicken as I naively say: "Sure we can fit in one more thing!"
But we can't.  And this lesson is one that I seem unable to remember as this tricky month rolls around.  So here I am on the other side of another 9th month, glad it's over but amazed that it is so crazy busy year after year.

There is an election coming up in Canada.  This has been the longest length of campaign time in the history of our country.  Facebook, radio, it doesn't matter where you look the quotes and promises, the anger and apathy is everywhere.  I have never felt so unwilling to engage in the debate and so pessimistic about the outcome.   While at the same time my urge to subvert our current government could not be greater.

Subvert, verb; to undermine the power and authority of (an established system or institution).

Every value that I hold dear has been subverted by our current government.  That is a hard pill to swallow and frankly it's been happening for almost a decade.  I don't expect perfection or even a government that aligns with my radical views, but I do expect much more.

The reality of our own making can be subverted.  I can choose to undermine my own penchant for putting too much on my plate.  Subverting the government....that is a bit trickier.  Of course it feels damn near impossible.  But I research, I vote and I count.  As small as that seems in the overwhelming odds against.

One of my favourite bands added a pebble to the stream of subversion.   And it gave me an uplifting feeling in a sea of doubt.  Enjoy.

Land You Love - Hey Rosetta! & Yukon Blonde from Phil Maloney on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Intuit August

A new word to me, intuit means: to understand or work out by instinct.  I think that may be an overall theme of my whole life as I rarely use other means of figuring out my days as a mom or as an artist.
I'm sure most of us do use our instinct often but it is just not articulated when we do.

August was full and the fall is shaping up to be busy.  Despite my resistance to a fast paced life it seems that with a family of four people making their best possible life it's just inevitable.  As the family manager so to speak I hover about co-ordinating schedules and making timetables, yesterday it left my head spinning. 

But as Dave is trying to keep his fitness up he suggested an after dinner walk.  I was resistant at first  because it's a bath night, we need to get the boys back on school bedtime routine, etc, etc, but instinct took over and told me that I needed that walk. The rain drenched paths, leaves strewn about by a weekend wind storm (fallen trees from that wind storm even) all of this would calm my mind and be good for us all.  It was more than pleasant, it was healing.

 So bedtime was a bit late, but we'll get back onto the routine eventually.  And the future renovations to our home, soccer schedules, work trips, art show exhibitions to apply for,  community plays to rehearse, all of it will fall into place or not.  Our health, our well-being and connection to nature, must have priority over all of the minutia that fills or days.  Our instinct tells us so. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday Around Here

 After some teasing from friends about my Instagram photos and the illusion that social media can convey about our lives being one lovely moment of leisure, I thought I'd do a photo post today sharing our Monday so far and describing the reality just outside the frame.

Our weekend was spent mostly going through our storage room and getting odd jobs finished around the house.  This process goes so much faster when Dave and I do it together.  But that left little time for some time in the studio.  This is a small glimpse at a section of my studio wall today.  It changes quite frequently, along with my mood and inspiration.


Looking out our bedroom window at the trees and my happy spider plant. This week promises some more hot days and I welcome that because I'm not ready for summer to slip away just yet.

 The boys had a laid back morning in their pj's, playing Lego.  Behind is an ice cream shop complete with a parking lot and bench, and the smaller front creation is one of Elliott's new "secret Lego sets"

In the kitchen there is little besides mess to show, but I focused on this bowl of peaches patiently waiting to become jam, and the very ripe Roma tomatoes the rest of which Dave and I enjoyed in a salad last night.

The living room as usual is full of toys in various states.  The easel was brought up from the storage room and quickly covered with art work and letter practicing.

And the balcony is all disheveled as I deal with the aftermath of a rat infestation (oh, please don't ask) so I focused on these lovely Calibrachoa Sweet Chimes which attract humming birds and are the sole surviving plant out there right now.  At the end of this week I hope to have taken back the patio and have it set up to enjoy the last few weeks of warm weather.

Monday, not manic just steady.  And always a little more going on than what the picture reveals.