Thursday, December 30, 2010

And love you anyway

Written on the way back from wexford listening to James Horner's forest music and driving through the dark evening to home. 

Lets be snowflakes
intricately different,
perfectly the same
here for a day
or more.

Lets be light falling on Christmas day,
falling through on brightening day,
to the cold ground
that expects us.

If you like, we could even dance
in the dark cavern,
where winter's light shines
through the dusty space
in morning beams.

Lets flurry dance,
swirl in surrender to the season.

Lets be all in white then
like the snow falls in here
and out there too.
Out there on the craggy black mountain tops.

We could go as snow does?

We can Sing gentle songs up there
that would still echo
Echo across to the other side,
too and fro
in lullaby.

Ravens may lay on the drafts
and bring the black of the raveen up to white
they turn like autumn leaves
that escaped winter's hold
to listen

They call then
and our soft song is the same
not lost inside
Goodbye, hello they would say,
Lets be like the snow that comes and goes.
and love you anyway.

White light snow,
tarry though, just a little while before you go away.

Monday, December 20, 2010

In The Depth of Winter, I found within me an invincible summer - Albert Camus

As we approach the dawning of Solstice, of Christmas, of a new year, it seems the celestial light show shines ever brighter in the darkness. Here in Ireland we have the crispest nights with freezing zub zero temperatures. The most splendiferous exhibition sits above as I write, I know its up there.

Me and M, danced in the moonlight this evening as we returned from my Dads, having sadly said goodbye to my sister and her family who are returning to Sweden for the holidays.

I could see the reason for Madeleine's enthusiasm though, as we came into the garden, the moon shone right towards us, inviting us onto a sparkling lawn to play. I danced a little, but mostly watched the joy, in a swirling star child.

Given half a chance she is so fully happy, so fully alive. Half a chance, thats all she needs. And if she doesn't get it, how quickly she can find it.

In all this light talk it feels an excellent time to think of the darkness. After all, in just two days, the shortest day makes way for another year for us earth folks. How reassuring is that? Will we be glad of another year of free light: )
I remember distinctly the day I realized I am not 'doing time' anymore. Years, days, they could be one or none, it had become all the same to me. Somewhere between grief and joy, some subtle presence was becoming tangible suddenly in the realization that my sadness, my loss, was not a penance nor a sentence. A suffering yes, but a part of a life being lived and experienced fully. And, to fully experience this mysterious adventure, I was going to have to brace myself and get stuck into that suffering.

I have some good friends and guides and even tools with which to do that, Eft( emotional freedom techniques) being one, but my greatest help has been my heart. This big beating heart is showing me the way through the dark and the light.
It tells me now to open my heart to the possibility that Christmas is full of peace and thankfulness. Full of remembrance and not missing. That in the presence of Christmas is not dissatisfaction but richness. As I remember those I love, who are not here to see the sun rise, I can be glad of the knowing of them, and sad in their departure. Either is fine and neither wrong.

One is always free who stops to listen to the wild winds
One is always free who stands to feel rain knowing it will stop again
One is always free who opens the door when the sun shines in
 and keeps knocking on the door they cant get in. 

I read a wonderful article a few years ago by a writer called Jeannette Winterson. I love her writing. I am always sure to like it. She wrote that we were starved of darkness, not in her words now, as its been a while since I read it, but she more or less proposed that we were polluted by light. I loved it, the last thing you would think of really. But the darkness is so essential to being. Where would we be at all without the sunset, shadow, that blanket of rich velvet that coats us and allows us to rest. We must allow ourselves to close our eyes and let go so we can wake up again.

Winterson suggested that we, once a month turned off all electricity and allowed the darkness of an evening to creep in. Or is it settle in that it does? Settle around us and simply let the night be night.

I used to be afraid of the dark, and I still am in some ways. I don't like the garden shed on a particularly dark night. But I will happily close my eyes now and look into the deepest depths of myself even with the light off. Into every nook and cranny of myself I go. Because whenever I have and whenever I have been afraid of going in and allowed myself the opportunity to befriend that fear, I have found the brightest parts of myself I had not known, and therein was joy.

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious - C. G. Jung

Here in the middle of winter is this bright day. In the darkness there is light, Always.
Christmas is coming, the turn, the cusp, the edge, There is always more.

Do you know how many world religions all have the birth day of their prophet or leader on or around the Solstice/ Christmas? Its possible I imagine, that all religion has come from or been influenced by previous religions and come from something else before that, something perhaps less definable. What if it all began with some clear and universal truth, that this might be a very appropriate time to be very grateful for the sun that helps us all to be here and to remember most reverently the beautiful mysterious that some may call god, or the origin of being, or even light where life abounds. 

Time to be brave again and take another year I think. Be brave and enjoy it well.

To Celebrate; Christmas decorations here in our home

My tree is a live tree in a tub, a wonderful idea I think! My tree lives all year round at the home of Wandering Gardens  where it can be home and shelter to wildlife through the year. By having the same tree you are saving on masses of carbon from imported Christmas trees or just repeatedly buying a cut tree. This is the same tree we had last year, and was delivered to our door and will be picked up for us with its little tag with our name on it for next year. Madeleine has called it Lucy. And Lucy is allowed to mature and do her great job of cleansing the air as well as being our Christmas tree.

My needle felted santa is staying home with us for Christmas.
Madeleine and I made this decoration. Its a little hard to see, but is a banner that reads, REJOICE. She has made the paintings in between each letter, they are Christmas trees, stars and boys and girls.

Our growing crib.
Last year I made Mary and Joseph by needle felting. I was listening to a lot of music of Devendra Banhart  which may subconsciously have influenced Joseph's apearence; ) I intend to make figures each year to add to it. We put jesus in the crib on Christmas eve and add some more animals and other figures from Madeleine's playing. Its a lovely central point to our home at this time, and a story that Madeleine' really loves. Through her Steiner Waldorf schooling with its emphasis on Advent, this wonderful story has grown on me again too.

Its time now for snowglobes, Christmas trees, baking with cinnamon, cleaning house, frankincense and cards to make ( still not sent)  and to finish two crowns and two hats. I have been custom making lots of things, making them to suit a little character or a favorite color. Its been fun though my posture has taken on that of a crocheting grandmother, and I may finish up soon before I become a part of the arm chair in my living room . Its time for Madeleine too and her dreamy thoughts of Santa Claus coming with his generous spirit, and christmas fairies with their magic and happy surprises.

Happy Christmas dear Reader 
With lots of love xxx

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In the living of it

We have had a dear visitor come to stay with us, and took a little holiday ourselves, traveling with him to some rocky highlands of Dingle and then to some delights nearer to home. It's such a rich and rugged landscape here. Its all wildness around the edges and then its soaking, mossy, green gorgeousness in the middle. Ireland really is emerald and a jewel in many ways. I enjoyed so much to travel about in her graciousness again- hearing trad music in a pub in Dingle and watching this stormy drama of blue rolling heavily in over a low golden sun way out on the peninsula.

Its always good to travel with a loving friend of the spirit too, someone you can yap too all the way over the mountains and back, with a hearty laugh and a tear or two. Someone's hand to hold near the sea edge and share surprise smiles over the first snow of winter.

After all our excitement poor little Maddy was ill for a few days but has bounced back beautifully as she does. If only I could remember each time she is ill how strong she is and relieve myself of at least a little of the of the anxiety. Come to think of it I am more confident about my skills to nurse her, and in her own capacity to heal, its just been small steps. Ever vigilant regardless.

Today I found myself unusually alone and moongazing on a dusky walk. Its inspired me and woken up all my senses tonight.

Even here, in this pocket of light, a house amidst a dark garden, it is beautiful. I think about where we are right now, this moment, and its like a little tidal bay here too. I think I know just the one, somewhere off the coast of Connemarra ( Galway) with its white coral sand. A black rocky curve it is,  opening up to a great ocean with no means to know what will be and what will come. In and out this life goes on its strange and wonderful adventures. To be glad of the living of it, thats the trick it seems. Goodbyes and hellos.
I tell Madeleine who is often upset leaving a friends house that you have to say goodbye before you can say hello again. Sometimes she buys it, and maybe somewhere on some level she knows the truth, that we are all in ever changing cycles and tides. Impermanence is all that is certain. There is a lot of peace in accepting that.

Its three quarter moon and waxing its way to Solstice. The light comes back and the days grow longer, and everything will expand again. I have been finishing hats and arm warming cuffs today, three of them, and next I will make some more crowns. Creating, making, creating, making and staying warm for now. We will wait for our sun to get higher and brighter again and look back at this dark part called winter with its icy days and candle light and remember all this good busyness. 

Some cuffs/wrist warmers in a mixture of aran, donegal and handspun yarn from Italy.

A basket of work, hats crowns and ear warmers as in just below. With this, I feel like I should be off on my way with basket over my arm selling my wares.
There is something very ancient and kind of reassuring making handwork like this. It feels so right to do this work at this time of year.

Now its time to prepare for Solstice and Christmas. More work to do along the way, between baking and last bits of shopping, though we have hardly shopped at all and wont need to much, between handmade's and secret santa/kriskinlde in my family. And, did I mention there is a chocolate factory in my village. Wilde's irish chocolates- Me and M don't mind at all, another visit over there to the factory shop, if we have to.

Oh yes lists to be made..... and a blog in between, with a word or two on how Christmas is in this house and what me and Maddy have been up to with making Christmas decorations.... and our lovely live tree, that will need to be mentioned too, and the needle felted crib, my joseph that looks more like Devandra Barhardt........ and.......and that my work is selling...... and that this seems to be a good way to start being creative again.......and well......Happy Solstice..


Friday, December 17, 2010

view of the moon

Before the Snowman

I am walking to the woods and back before I go,
Three quarter moon, dusky clouds
snow laiden, ready
they flurry just a little now.

Every puddle is frozen and covered too,
I am cracking each in satisfying step as I go
but one
I am keeping this one for the way home.

White abounds
I am alone
just for today
I see up to the tops of trees, into skies, into pale light
a delicate sun sets behind.

I have remembered my mittens
my feet and hands, warm

I am alone in the dusk light
I am here in the moonlight
Just for now
Perfectly here
on this new earth.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Looking out for Storms.......

.....and seeing through some clouds

I had thought I would make a picture blog, a little story told through all the beautiful pictures made these last few weeks by Madeleine and me. We shall see where this brings me.
She has taken such wonderful photos of my working. Such a treat it is to see her with my big old camera and its enormous heavy lense. She can hardly hold it up, but does so carefully and with such determination to do it properly. I will have to find a way to take a photo of her while she is taking a photo. Will need some help with that: )
But until then here is her shadow.

Working on Madeleine's crown for Halloween in the mid morning light of my front door

I have always let her take photos with my camera for as long as she has asked. I try to keep track of them with the intention of making a book of them. I suppose its the delight I have experienced at seeing her view, her picture, her free unthoughtful picture of things, and of course her own delight of picture making thats allows me to let her hold this very expensive piece of equipment.
Like her drawings, her Madeleine'e eye view of the world fascinates me in the way folk art or outsider art does. Having been professionally trained as an artist, I feel both completely blessed and hindered by my appreciation of what is art.
As I watch her work I am a witness to unadulterated Inspiration. Every part of her being is completely involved in what she is doing, a zen master in my very home. I search for this apart from my training, and sometimes find it in my own work now. Madeleine is my measure and my guide to this mysterious 'Now' of art making, or in another way, this state of flow.

Madeleine's pictures of new crafts, hats and crowns!

I received great training in college. I was lucky to have wonderful tutors who offered so much of themselves as artists, teachers and friends. And as it turned out I became a sculptor. I had a lot of determination and I soared through my last couple of years of college. If I never make anything again that comes under the heading of Sculpture, I shouldn't regret a moment of that training.
But somewhere along the way I realized I wasn't happy making this art. I enjoyed the end result, the positive reaction and attention that followed. But where was the art-full part, my heart wasn't in it, much more my head. I didn't learn to be the artist I wanted to be. And maybe that is something you either are or evolve into. I am not sure. I wonder how it would be to try and teach art students to be artists from the inside out. But then there are all kinds of ways of being an artist.
Honestly this subject is an old obsession of mine. I have been trying to comprehend creative energy for years, similarly I suppose to my quest for an enlightened mind. I am quite certain now they go hand in hand.

One of my first artistic ventures beyond college was to Paris. I was asked to do a piece of performance art at the Centre de Culture Irlandais in the heart of the Latin quarter. You can imagine the sheer excitement. And in keeping with all things Paris, I attempted to do something very profound and perhaps impossible for me at the time. I decided to try to open the creativity of the artist and share it with the public and see if it could be really felt in some way.
How was I going to do this????
I drew sketches from dawn till dusk, in an open gallery space in the main square of the centre. I drew whatever came into my mind and encouraged the viewer to interact with me, as I would draw every thought and feeling that I could, including theirs as they arose within me. I covered the walls around us with the sketches.
As the day progressed, the exploration was to show that at some point or points, there would be inspired creativity from some well within me, that would then become a work of art. In whose mind? in whose perception?, mine I suppose.

mid- performance Paris 2003

Success, was that this was witnessed and shared, and even better understood. My viewers did interact and happily went along with my vague but spirited plan. At some point I did find myself in a creative zone of some sorts and full of enthusiasm. It was well received.
If I was to repeat this performance, I would try to draw what comes to my heart in the moment of being there, I would have sat down and drawn slowly; )
What I struggled to understand then, and what I realize simply now is that this energy or experience is in a constant state in every child under a certain age, probably about seven, and also to be seen in the untrained artist who has simply stumbled upon the joy of being creative. Without formal thoughts about how things should or shouldn't be, comes great freedom of expression.

Yes I am biased as Madeleine's mother to think all she creates is perfect, and perhaps drugged on love. But take away the conditioned perception that a child is naive and art something that is only refined and you have pure energy, captivating line, mark and expression that only the great Picasso can rival. Don't get me wrong, art history is a passion for me. It feels though as if in my studying it, it has separated the art from the artist and the experience of art making for me. I, at times have been so concerned with aesthetic results that I think frustrated me and took away the joy of process. I love performance art for this reason. Art, the artist, the experience and result are all so deeply connected, its much closer to something alive for me, as a viewer. Oh what a rich subject this can be.

The picture at the start of this blog is me making Madeleine's Rapunzel crown and braids for Halloween. I was utterly excited and joyful making this, and Madeleine too, but as one might imagine her patience for me to finish didn't last too long. At some point I had to put her outside in the garden to play and let me finish. As I sewed them then I pictured her the following day, ready for her Halloween party and trick- a- treating and wondered why it is so important to me to make this costume. Her enjoyment, yes and my satisfaction, yes, my need for creative expression, yes. The offering of a choice, she could be anything and I could help. This is what I can do for her, this is a magic Mommy moment.

Indeed, this is what I do. Making art is my way, my contact with the well, the source, the unknown, the place where stars must have been inspired, flowers, all life, all beauty, all children.

Madeleine returns with flowers to add to her crown!

Is it children's crowns I make, hats, paintings, .....Sculpture.......................... Its being in a graceful state of art making that I am after, not to capture now, but to experience and feel the aliveness of that and see what happens.

This evening before I picked up Madeleine,who was playing with her cousins for the day, I took a detour. I drove up Tonn Tine, a mountain near here where I have walked a hundred times and more I am sure. I parked near to the top and walked the last of it with this chilling November wind at my cuffs and just beneath my scarf. The air was gorgeous. I had heard on the radio a big storm was coming in from the Atlantic and I wondered if I could see it coming in from up there.
I am a big cloud fan, these divine shapes with their silver and golden linings: ) I could see a bank of prussian blue on its way in and pink rays of sun sending its evening signals up from behind. I also saw myself standing there a hundred times or more in many different states of mind and many moments of art- wonder. I felt so peaceful about this history, not a hint of melancholy, just this lovely feeling that I am ever closer to being where I want to be and doing what I want to do. To watching storms roll in cause its beautiful, making crowns because its beautiful, with a wealth of old explorations and learning at hand, some kind of peace unfolds like a good tonic here.
To be an artist for me is a practice and I am in the midst.

Rapunzel/Madeleine in crown and braids

Mandala making:

In a mix of new painting territory ( making my cell trees as mentioned in my second blog) and deep intrigue and inquiry of old traditions of buddhist art making, I have begun a seasonal set of Mandala's. The first is Autumn and I think its finished. Here it is in parts and process. The finished work will be posted soon xx

Friday, October 8, 2010

Harvest- seeds and stitches and some painting

Its been enriching, these past few weeks-harvest time it is indeed! 

Sun, rain, cloud, wind, and all at once some days, with incredible shadows and a sun bringing every warm shade of yellow and white. The weather has been to die for, like all these leaves and fruits falling happily in their colored glory. I have been both a river of creativity and absolutely stuck in the mud at times too. 

The work is coming fast now though, after what seems a very long and pregnant pause of artistic activity. 

Within these five years, there has been trailer loads of good experience. I mean good in the sense that I have grown up and grown much closer to the quality of life I would like to be living. Little art though, but for what I have shared with M. Its her that has got me started on these hats. I made one for Madeleine on the plane back from the States this year. It had to be warm/wool and functional( not fall off when climbing trees) for kindergarten. Some simple criteria you might think but not always easy to find the right hat. I bought this great yarn in Asheville NC. It is a soft natural yarn with a rainbow effect that is in keeping with the colors of the forest. She loves it! Now I have made three more!!!! and practice does make perfect! These are becoming more and more beautiful and I am experimenting with different wools and ribbons now too.
Below is Maddy in the first hat- I love this picture. Busy she is, and all about her business of watering some sunflower seeds she planted a few days ago.

My father gave her a sunflower Sunday  last. He had bought it that morning at the Farmer's market. Completely enraptured he is at times with color and flowers. Madeleine was sad to be leaving his house and the play she was so enjoying with her cousins. The sunflower brightened tearful eyes, and she popped in her car seat without protest. I was relieved and it was late, too late in the day really, for us to finish our day gracefully. There seems a cut off point with little ones where they have played so much and for so long in a day, they just don't have another ounce of energy left for brushing teeth or listening to reason, especially about why one should brush teeth every night.

On route home, Madeleine pulled every petal from her flower. When we reached the house I turned around and shockingly saw what was left of this golden gift strewn about the back seat. I was aghast, and did I mention, I too have my cut off point; ) 
Having inherited my Dad's love of a beautiful flower, I was heart broken, and in that moment it felt like a very reprimandable act. How could you do such a thing, Grandad's gift, what a mess, how disrespectful- all words I may have used regretably. Madeleine was crying then, and I was close to it. But then I asked, Why ? 
And then the unexpected .........She told me, she wanted to see if Jordan, her good friend really loved her. She wanted to test it, by picking each petal, in 'he loves me, he loves me not' order. Oh.................I think I said.

She then went on to say, "Mommy look how beautiful the back seat looks and the floor too". I did look though reluctantly as I processed these thoughts, to see the yellow dashes of brightness about my car, each one having been imbued with the true love of a five year old girl for her dear friend. She was right, it was beautiful, and that sunflower had now gone above and beyond its duty to make seeds and attract bees. In its end I imagined its little life force delighting in this ritual, rather then on life support in a vase on my window sill. I still asked her to pick up the petals, and she then quite of her own will, suggested that she plant the seeds in the garden and then next year there will be lots of sunflowers for me to gaze at. I wondered which of us had learned something?

When Madeleine came five and a half years ago, the great gifter and teacher arrived too. Like a little buddha she is, no wonder I stopped making art, I had plenty to contend with as I learned this art of living through motherhood. I did have more on my plate other than that too of course. 
These mornings when she wakes up, she smiles over at me anticipating a warm morning cuddle in the womb of my bed. I hug her close beneath feather and wool and am glad of another opportunity to honor this gift of us. The fears of undoing good work and dishonoring such a gift are always set aside in that smile and that ever patient heart she has for this woman growing up. 

Those same fears raise themselves in my art, I had forgotten the sounds of those voices, each with its own presence. I may not have really listened or tried to understand why before , whilst doing something I love so much I would in the same breath critisize the very work. I mean beyond good quality control, but with that impatient part of me that judges my work as quick as a flash, the same part that sees destruction in a depetaled sunflower, has no patience for the process only the result which must be a resounding success or don't bother. Oh dear, what a kettle of fish or is it a can of worms that is. Still I am sure good grounds for discovering more of what I have to offer here. For now I am listening bravely to these voices as I embark on this path to do what I love and Love what I do. I have no idea where this path will lead but someone seems to have left the crumbs for me to follow or is it seeds? 

Stitches a little crown in the making and a 'bowl of delicious red apples'

Other than Hats, I am painting and making crowns!!!!!!!! Oh what joy it is to do these crowns. I have finished one and the other just needs its ribbons. I will have these for sale next week I imagine, and will begin Christmas ones then. Me and Madeleine love these. This one is a true gold glory crown, one for an autumn birthday or any kind of imaginative play or dress up. I imagined this one for a boy, but Madeleine thinks it would suit a girl too. And Yes Yes, what about those apples. When I went to take a picture of the process of making this crown that apple fruit bowl started to edge its way into the frame, I have others where you can hardly see the crown at all, just the most delicious red apples. In fact when I put this on the table Madeleine said to me with the widest eyes, "Is that a bowl of delicious red apples", "Yes it certainly is", I said. I might want to draw apple trees now or the inside of an apple.
But first a Forest in a Painting!

I made a little card like this painting for Madeleine's birthday last year. P.J., my boyfriend, is that a good way to introduce your boyfriend to your blog?... I shall find out. He loved it so much and asked me many times if I would make a larger one. 
Now come to think of it, his voice is one so far from anything to do with those fears I have just spoken about. In fact his voice comes somewhere around the opposite pole on my compass of encouragement. His support has been an immense part of my diving back into art.
He is living in the Gaia community in West Asheville NC where I started this. It was a perfect place to begin this, in the heart of the mountains, on the edge of Asheville, on a porch in the summer and in good company. 
I think its one of three, and this picture below is a detail. I have just sent  these off today to printers, to see how this will work as a print. I love this direction.

These strange trees, seeds and fruits come from last winters pursuits at drawing late in the evening. I happen to have some books here on anatomy and physiology. I was falling head over heals with the shapes of cells in the body, all kinds I was discovering, blood, bone and brain. The shapes were incredible and seemed like ready made drawings. I was drawing then and painting them, and then one day they became trees, just like these. 

The little girl here is inspired by Madeleine, she asked to be in this. Its such a meditation painting like this, time consuming but I love it. There is this combination happening here now between sewing, crocheting and painting that really appeals to my nature, to have a choice about what I want to work on each day. There are a couple more things in the works still, including an Autumn forest a little like this one.  

I am enjoying this and it feels so rich right now. This season, this life, these big hands of mine, doing what they were made for. I am tired at the end of each day and crawl under my covers at night with a lot of satisfaction and mostly with something resembling a smile. 

Thank you dear reader. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Will I ever clean my house again if I am a practicing artist?

When I found myself becoming nocturnal in the Spring of this year, I knew something was going on. I was waking up all owl eyed and quietly making breakfast for Madeleine as I recalled blissfully the midnight hour, the color, the line, the feeling in my fingers as they connected with paper so confidently and happily. There was a  feeling in my heart as something started to emerge that was completely different from what I had made before, and I loved it.

The Winter before this, Madeleine grew up some more. Of course she is always growing, but perhaps there was more to it, a sense of independence she had found in the way she was playing. I had realized too she was happy to see me making and crafting, it seemed I was doing something so very natural to her and completely acceptable. She had found contentedness in her own play and creation, and we began to work along side each other.
The intention of each thing I made then, was that it for our home, for her or a Christmas present. This naturally excited her and she happily awaited the result in what felt like such a harmonious time.

 It crossed my mind then that maybe I could really think about making art again. That I could have the space to do it, and that Madeleine was old enough now for me to have some time to focus, and that she might understand that.

That thought twinkled about a bit under those icy winter skies with Sirius flashing on the evening horizon, inspiring me as it does. I attempted to make a kind of studio in my spare room then. But no matter how hard I tried, I kept throwing the clean laundry exactly in that spot. Every time I went to make something there I found a mountain to climb first. At least it was a clean one.

I did continue on though little by little. One day my yearning for large sheets of crisp white watercolor paper and some new jars of my favorite colored inks was just too much for me. I got on Cork Art Supplies online and ordered. Did I hug the postman when he came knocking? Well not quite, but I may have been a little overly enthusiastic about it.

This is one of the first paintings I began in the Spring. I have called it Winter Bright, it is 56cm x 76cm.
This mighty tree sits in real time at Ashley park // near Nenagh in Co.Tipperary. Its a wonderful place, it was old estate and now a B&B. I did my EFT // here over a series of residential weekends.

 I sat on the roots of this tree in four seasons, each as brilliant as the last. Three of which were training weekends and once a return trip just to go and see.
It was in the winter before last though sitting there, that I had such a wonderful set of thoughts about trees. You will see, if you follow along with me here, that there are trees, trees and more trees in my work. This is the first of many more to come.

This painting is those thoughts. A winters day, a delicate white sun shining through bare branches and upon rotting leaves that sparkled with due, above a welcoming ground resting for winter's reprieve. As I looked about at these limbs, the inky shadows of the branches and all the fallen leaves, I felt such a peace about change and the impermanence of everything, of beginnings and endings. I felt maybe for the first time in my life that even in the sadness of letting go there was beauty, like this tree and these leaves. That thought made me feel very alive and bright. I was having such a zen moment, but had no idea at that time.

A tree like this one reminds me of years passing and even lifetimes, unlike flowers which remind me of days. It feels far more human for me to measure life by trees, seasons and flowers rather than calenders and ages. A forest seems the ideal place to learn about most things and to wait in one has been a great practice of mine. Wait for an answer, wait for a breeze that just carries you.

I enjoyed very much working on this and only finished it recently, it seemed so appropriate to make marks about this tree somewhere, and here they are.
It is a bare tree, but the light underneath promises new growth and new life, and an ever changing light.

Here is my first post, How exciting. I intend soon to make prints of my work and have an etsy shop  to sell them on soon. The originals will all be for sale too. I am also making crowns and embroidering them, because  Madeleine and I decided in America this past summer that " everyone deserves a crown". There will also be other imaginative play toys and felted items. My daughter attends a Steiner School, where there is great emphasis on play and imagination and nature. You will find in my other work how deeply influenced I have been by these fundamentals of childhood development. And how Madeleine has helped to shape my life and my art today.

Thanks dear reader, I am beginning right HERE. I will not put laundry here, but I cannot promise that the rest of the house will stay in good order as we undertake to make and create and inspire and give a lot.