Thursday, March 31, 2011

stop your complaining already (expletives included)

Often times when those bouts of insecurity hit when living your life as an artist, I always find it helpful to read this letter from Sol LeWitt to painter/sculptor Eva Hesse, in response to her letters discussing the uncertainty in her work. (and yes...there are a few expletives that follow...)

"You seem as always, and being you, hate every minute of it. Don't! Learn to say 'F*** You' to the world once in a while. You have every right to. Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder, wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, gasping, confusing, itching, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, rumbling, rambling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-sh**ing, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose-sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eying, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding grinding grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO"

"...You are not responsible for the world_you are only responsible for your work, so do it. And don't think that your work has to conform to any idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be. But if life would be easier if you stopped working then stop. Don't punish yourself. However, I think that it is so deeply engaged in you that it would be easier to DO."

{excerpt from book, Eva Hesse by Lucy Leppard}

...definitely something I need to hear every now and then...expletives included

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a moment of transition...



...I often view motherhood as a continuous series of transitions, and I am probably going through one of the bigger ones thus far. It's a transition that has been long coming, and one that both boys are now anxiously ready for. A combination of nerves and excitement meets me at this stage, as I ready myself to accept and appreciate this need to let go. They can most definitely play outside in the driveway alone now, and in all honesty do much better than if I were sitting outside watching. I resist the temptation to stare out the window like a hawk (which, if you know me, is taking a bit getting used to) and am starting to quite enjoy the motion of making dinner and telling them to stay outside until dinner is on the table.

...And, if your kids are anything like mine, they tend to play much better with each other when I am not in their space. The arguments are a lot less frequent (and much less dramatic...clearly a tactic to get me intervening more...man, they are good at that), and the play is more creative. They must have been out there for over two hours yesterday, and by the time we were reunited at dinner, I had the pleasure of listening to their made up games that had way more creativity than if I had taken part. "o.k. so you have to shoot the ball in the hoop three times while the other one sits in the chair. Then you grab your scooter and race around the driveway three times while the other guy counts. Grab the ball, put it in a bucket, and count how many steps it takes for you to walk up to the other guy. You get three points if you hit a crooked shot, ....."

...They were so full of excitement, and were anxious to get back out there as fast as they could.
While the oldest one has been going out on his own for quite some time, it took me until now before I was completely ready to let go with both boys being out alone. Sure, I still check out the window now and then, but instead of looking for potential feet darting to the street I am now just wanting a sneak peek at what I enjoyed so much about being a kid....just opening the door and running out to play.

...This transition definitely has taken some getting used to, and I have learned over the years that your kids will let you know when they are ready . My eldest one now takes such pride in the fact that he has the independence to go off in the bookstore to his own section while little M and I stay at the benches and read. If he has the money, he can then go wait in line and purchase a book on his own, with that sense of "awesomeness" that he feels when he gets change back.
He wants to do more things on his own, and it is time to let him do so.

...It feels good. It feels a little scary at times...and it feels right.

Friday, March 25, 2011

time to pre-order...




...I can't tell you how excited I was when the sample of this fabric finally arrived today!
It really is better than I thought possible, and cannot wait to see what you can do with it.



...Each figure measures roughly the size of my thumb (the first image is displayed with an espresso cup), and looks perfect. I will be setting up a pre-order in my shop today, as new fabric designs tend to work best if I can get a good sense for how much will need to be ordered. The pre-order ends next Wednesday, with an order being placed next Friday.

..after a few big "misses" with test patterns, it feels so good (and necessary) to receive a piece that turned out as well as it did. whew!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

fabric fun...


(watercolour sketch for fabric pattern)

...I must have a thing for beds today. Could it perhaps be the gloomy gray sky that seems to be working ever so hard to entice me back into bed? Perhaps, but I am determined to will the sun back out after a glorious tease of beautiful weather we had over the weekend. Granted, I do love the coziness that can come with such an overcast day, but I need some days of warmth first before I am ready to really take advantage of what those cloudy days can bring. I need some sun. I need some warmth....



(finished design for upcoming fabric for my shop)

...So Mr. Sky, your plan may work after all. I may indeed succumb to the warmth of those sheets yet again for a bit before the little feet come trampling in after school. But let me at least decorate the bed with colors and textures that remind you of my eagerness for spring to come.
(after I take a little nap)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

collection jars finished!



...I finally finished the collection! I am so thrilled with how this entire piece turned out.



... now I have to decide whether or not to sell them separately, or as a whole.



...by selling them individually, I would be able to reach more people who may find it too expensive to purchase it as one entire piece. hmmm....what to do...


...any thoughts?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

a jar to collect things....


hand built stoneware jar with paper clay houses, thread, and wax. Wall hanging piece

...there is something about a collection of objects that I find aesthetically wonderful. Whether you are a young child excitedly sifting through an odd assortment of bits and bobs from a shoe box that sits hidden under your bed, or an adult proudly displaying years worth of collecting in a favourite hutch for all to see, the tactile sensation that results from feeling those pieces results in am emotional connection that drives you to collect more.



...there are all types of collectors out there, with different passions for different objects. My tendency to shy away from clutter when it comes to furnishing my home is contrasted heavily by my desire to fill up my studio with drawers of old letter types, found pulleys, vintage stamp blocks, etc.



..the wonderment that comes from both boys when they open up their little boxes full of found objects is so fun to watch, and you can see the joy they feel when they pull each object out and carefully lay it out on the floor before the commencement of trading with each other.

..we all love to collect, don't you?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

mondays are for wristbands...



...thought I would attempt watercolour this morning



... a little documentation of the extremely "varied" wardrobe my son has.

...I swear any day child protection services will come knocking at the door...this kid literally wears only 2 different pants and 2 different shirts for school.


...except of course for that flashy red wristband for gym on Mondays.

...that's my risk-taker :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

and off he went...


red lunchbox...new fabric design inspired from today's post...

... I should have remembered, and then stopped before it was too late.

... I should have remembered those days my sister and I used to spend as professional hairdressers. Those days hidden in the basement with our barbie dolls , confident that we could give them fancy haircuts that looked exactly like the ones we often "oohed" over in the pages of Sassy magazine. (yes, that magazine should date me...). It always started innocently enough, with a few good snips here, and a few more good snips there. But we had one problem...we didn't know when to stop. And it is because of this minor fault that our barbies quickly went from red carpet appeal to a look of bitter despair. They were as close to as bald as you can get, with scattered chopped up remains of what once adorned their delicate heads.

...I should have remembered this as I sat my eldest son down for a long overdue haircut. Yes, the first few cuts went quite smoothly, and I must admit I was quite proud of the progress that was being made. And then it happened...I didn't know when to stop. I kept going, trying to correct all of the long bits that kept cropping up as I made my way from the front to the back.
The poor child went to school with a very strained "thumbs up" from his dad, wearing his hood over his head all the way to class. Oh dear.

..But next time, I swear i'll remember. I will remember to take him to someone that actually knows what he/she is doing. Someone that can cut, and most importantly knows when to stop.

...someone that probably still has a few dolls worthy of the red carpet...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

caught in the act...


photo courtesy of the amazing Thea Coughlin...


... I didn't even realize it had happened until my photographer friend showed me. During one of our photo sessions for an upcoming project, she managed to capture a moment that I failed to even remember occurring. It wasn't until I stepped away from my role as participant into one of an observer did I really get what she was saying, and the emotions it brought about allowed me to feel this moment from both perspectives. My eyes started to "sweat" ( a 5 year old's view on crying), as I found myself completely taken aback. The observer in me had never seen his grabby hands in action, and my role as participant had quickly forgotten it.

... His grabby hands are a part of who he is, and of his daily rhythm. Whether it's the inability to keeps his hands to himself at dinner, or the intense urge to touch every end cap in the store, his hands are forever moving. My role as a mum is to not only teach him how to re-direct/control his hands when necessary, but also steer him to activities that would satisfy his need to use them. It's a role that is new to me, as my initial reactions were more often based on frustration and exhaustion. I didn't understand it, and in the beginning found myself annoyed at his inability to stop.

...But now I get it. As both the observer and participant, I get it. As an observer, I
watch those hands create the most detailed and beautiful sketches in a matter of seconds. The confidence he has when moving the pen around the paper is brilliant, and I often find myself yearning to draw the way he does. If I am lucky, I can sit down with him and become the participant as we draw together. Yes, I may need to reach over and carefully re-direct a hand that may be losing it's way, but that's o.k. It's who he is, and he knows I am there for him.

..Both as and observer and participant.