The other day I went for a run around the green where my garden resides, safe from the deer and ready for this fall’s crop of greens and things. It was a beautiful, but still too warm, afternoon and I found my thoughts drifting to thoughts of gratitude and abundance.
I had just received my first batch of 100 postcards to continue spreading the word about the Taos trip. They came from my go-to deisgn/ print shop folks down in Newport, Kentucky, Otto Printing. (will link the website when they get it back up and running!!)
As luck would have it, my friend Kim Taylor, musician and actress, had just received her promotional posters for her CD release concert here in town and we spent the day painting the town with our adorable mugs.
It can be a bit disconcerting to do the whole self promotion thing, it always has been for me at least. And yet, with two artists doing it together, it wasn’t as bad. It’s just what we have to do if we want our work to succeed and see the light of day. It was a bit like throwing wildflower seeds to the wind. With a bit of that same wind in my sails, I then sent a few messages out onto the interwebs to see about getting the word out in other arenas I may not have tapped. And I was overjoyed at the “yes”‘s I received from my fellow bloggers and online sketch-community members.
So then I went on that run at the green and I began to hear a bit of manifesto-talk in my head based on my experiences that day….
I believe there is room for more and more art in the world; that there can never be enough creativity, no matter how seemingly small. I believe there is room in the world for more and more artists and their work, be they professionals or those who do it just for fun. I believe that each artist’s ‘voice’ (be it musical, visual or otherwise) is important and worth nurturing and sharing. Art is important.
These beliefs run as a current through my work with Illuminated Journaling. When I am working regularly in my own visual diary, things seem to make more sense to me. I see connections between things over time which might have gone unnoticed had they not been jotted down as a quote, a thought, a little drawing of something I found interesting or beautiful. My pages aren’t necessarily always pretty and even when they are pretty, they aren’t perfect. And I like that. I’ve learned so much in the pages of my own journals and that is why I began teaching the process (after many, many, many nudges from admirers of my years of doodling and collecting the evidence of my life’s journey.)
And as I ran, with my quiet snippets of manifesto rippling like waves through my mind, I was filled to the brim with gratitude. I’m thankful for Kim, who has taught me so much about just Doing the Work – no. matter. what. And for Danny Gregory, who along with Dan Price, was my first glimpse into what could be done in an illuminated journal outside of what I had been timidly accomplishing for years in my own little books. Their beautiful work opened my eyes and challenged me to learn more and push the boundaries of my own pages – and my life. I’m thankful for my port-in-the-storm husband Tony who offers me a different perspective on a daily basis and has become quite the sketch artist himself in recent years. For Julie, who along with Tony, is a crucial part of my Taos team, helping me make a go of next year’s trip grass-roots style!! For new friends and followers in the twitterverse, facebookland and beyond, particularly Maitri at Dragonfly Cottage who make the online world a better and brighter place with their artful approach to life and work. I could go on and on and on…..
My first batch of postcards didn’t last long. 30 of them are on route to Taos, being hand carried by Julie for delivery to Mabel’s and to Jody for distribution out there. I gave a handful to Jo Diamantes, a three year Taos trip participant, amazing book artist and all around wonderful gal when I met her at her most recent art show (more on that here in a bit…) And then the mail arrived with a small paycheck for the sale of this little lovely:
So I ordered a second batch of postcards which will find their way to California, Maine, Wisconsin, Washington and beyond. This has all felt like riding the perfect wave, a little dose of magic.
Artists need other artists. The world needs more artists. Everyone is some form of an artist. We should all take an opportunity to see more art, make more art, live more artfully.
I met up with Jo yesterday at Mount Saint Joseph’s beautiful gallery for the Cincinnati Book Arts Society fall show.
I only got a couple of snapshots of the show, so to get the full scope of it, you should just go see it if you are anywhere near this region. But here’s a little taste….
There were a few of what we consider ‘normal’ books….
Along with some more sculptural interpretations.
And even a throwback to the time of scroll keeping.
It was all very inspiring. As one who works in books as a primary chunk of my work, I have a fondness for the book arts.
Next up, I am off this weekend to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. A home away from home up on the inland sea of Lake Michigan. Here I will visit my dear friend and fellow artist Michelle Miller Jorgensen who is expanding her artfulness to the stage. Her most recent play is Steel Magnolias. I can’t wait to see it! LIke so many artists I know, Michelle is following her nose as to what the next creative act may be. This is how we artists stay awake and alive. If you are looking to expand your own creativity, if you need to spend a week in an inspiring place soaking up the inter-artist magic I’ve written about today, consider joining me next June in Taos New Mexico. I look forward to hearing from you!!