Tag Archives: cicada

A Need for Slowness

azalea

It’s a gloriously frosty morning down here in this Springvalley of ours.

frost

The cold seems to have settled in for the season and it all feels a bit early, though I suppose it is November.  This week I dug out the heated waterer for the girls so they have access to unfrozen water, and we are back to our morning ‘oatmealworm’ breakfasts to keep them warm, fed and with enough salt in their little systems.  chicksThis time of year always puts me in a bit of a hibernatory place, in spite of  our culture’s Countdown to Christmas mentality.  I find myself drawn to slower pursuits and am inspired by others seeking the same in their worlds.  Since it has been a little while since I have checked in here at my online home, I figured I’d share a a few things I’ve come across which consider a slower world-view, as well as a couple of updates in studio news.  

Brew a cup of tea, or pour a wee dram of something else to warm you…..

The title for this particular post came from a quote from the above video.  “What we have is a need for slowness.”  I couldn’t agree more.  This couple and their enchanting caravan lifestyle came across my path via the interweb-wanderings and sharings from a couple of artist/writer/performer types upon whom I have recently been keeping a close watch.

Rima Staines and Tom Hirons have crafted a world full of magic and old-world style mystery with their art work, poetry, puppetry and beyond and they are fixin’ to take it on the road.  To live a simpler life in general and to share their artful wares and wonders with folks farther afield than their current home in Devon, England.

Tom and Rima created their crowdfunding video with the help of their uber-creative community of fellow artists.  Their project harkens to a world just outside of the reach of modernity, at the edges of our imagination and land of dreaming.  Hence, their new collaboration has the perfect title, Hedgespoken.  I have made it a point to share their project here and there on my own tendrils of social media because I really believe in what they are doing.  I grew up on the move myself (which is a story for another time and a longer burning fire) and have vivid and beautiful memories of time spent in my grans’ airstream trailer each summer.  Nothing fancy or romantic really, but for me, it was life shaping.

grans

People like Tom and Rima are quietly rebelling against the things that rush our world into the Land of Too Much (be it stuff, to-do lists, etc.) Their theater and home on wheels could possibly slow things down a bit for just a few people along their path, and remind us of the magic to be found in all things, if we but take the time to listen and look more closely.  Hedgespoken is in it’s home stretch of fundraising and I wish them a firm breeze at their backs as they sail on home to port with it.  If you believe in this particular brand of magic, head on over and toss a few coins into their hat.  You’ll be glad you did, as their blogs (here, here, and here) are chock full of fascinating and shadowy paths down the proverbial rabbit hole.

Another delightful bit of sweetness that has come across my path this last week is an interview of a quiet gardener in Ireland named Eimear Moran.  I found her thoughts on finding beauty and synchronicity and yes, the Divine in her own humble back yard to be truly inspiring.  She is another quiet rebel walking the path of slowing down and waking up to things that are in our reach in the day to day.  If, again, we but take the time to listen.

Eimear’s book is nearly available and I look forward to getting my hands on it.  In the meantime, you can keep up with her daily garden thoughts and meanderings at her page on the Book of Faces (I have Rima to thank for coining that lovely phrase.)

With all of these beauty-full beacons to light my own path, I am truly sinking into the season here myself.  My own small crowd-funding project to shore up my residency plans this January in Taos, NM is going well.  I too have a few more weeks to get to my goal and am so grateful for all the support thus far.  Ginger Small and her adventures have gotten the bulk of the attention lately as she is really the sparkly one of the bunch.  But there are also sheep and rabbits coming along with me on this trip.

Mona Lisa 1

Cards are being made of a number of these images, should you be interested in counting a few sheep….foggy sheep sun on foggy sheep

Or channeling your inner rabbit….bunnies

 

bunny 2

I am having great fun with all of them with thanks especially to my friend Vanessa Sorensen at Nessy Designs. She recently gave me a few pointers in photoshop which has helped me turn some of the mere sketches in my journal into things I can work with in print.  Vanessa and I get together occasionally to sketch and sometimes even to collaborate on a craft project.  The most recent of which is this little wonder of fashion…..

Piqn1t1cZVfv19z2_91kydonKVITYqG3KmTPpVslURc

Part of this notion of slowing down in my life includes activities like knitting, embroidery, printing my own clothes.  Vanessa’s cicada print, my years old skirt and a bit of embroidery to bug out the eyes makes for a wonderful one-of-a-kind fun thing to wear.  And to top it all off, it meant an afternoon spent with a fellow artist, sipping tea and sharing bits of things that had set our minds to wander and our hearts to sing lately.  That is the true gift.  Time Well Spent.

46i7xA_WxwohYaBa5ZDscc7huV-Tl0_JOlXySZ2yKf4SVou0iDfyeXQSWc62ztj8a8_y6upMnMC6tiTMJ1lRokV87f_TLRTTE5f7cHYXv-LzLDbVB7mL5YPiPAXHgtcnw

 

Speaking of bits of embroidery…..

Bogard_Leviathan_1Leviathan will be on display at the Kennedy Heights Art Center’s upcoming show Imagine, featuring members of the KHAC’s Artist’s Collective.  The show opens November 22.  If you are local here in the Ohio River Valley, do stop by and see us.  Some of my recent skull studies will also be up for grabs…..

unnamed skull study oil 1

What do you do to stem the flow of time?  How do you bring a desired slowness to your everyday?  I’d love your thoughts and links to others who might be in this same camp of Time outside of Time.

Ci(r)cadian Rhythms

Here in the studio, I am listening to the sound of the millions of cicadas singing. In my experience, people either love or hate these little buggers; there seems to be no middle ground. I am in the love ’em camp, as are my dogs who continue to gobble them up like popcorn. There are not as many around as there were a few years ago but I am still hoping to pick up their cast off wings when their time is done. They are beautiful and who doesn’t love free art supplies laying around on the ground? Cicadas come every 17 years usually and there are two batches in our area, about 4 years apart. They are never around for long and I am enjoying their presence.

Last night I had a phone date with Chris, my brilliant web designer and great friend, so he could walk me through how to add images to my website. Since he built the website and knows how it is organized, he was able to show me how to cut and paste the code and add new stuff. What little HTML code reading and writing I had in school came in handy and soon I was off and running. Every gallery image I have stashed away since last fall needs to be added to the website so I have my work cut out for me, but I have to admit that I kind of enjoy it. I didn’t get to bed last night until almost 3 in the morning!… which leads me to this entry’s title.

What I love most about summer besides the travel and the soft warm weather, is the chance to settle back into my own circadian rhythm. I have friends who are up at the crack of dawn to seize each day. They don’t even need alarm clocks! For these people, the normal 8-5 work-a-day schedule to which most people in our society adhere works quite well. And I guess it works for us too as we adjust to what the school and work weeks need from us. But during the summer a strange thing happens. We begin to sleep late and over the course of a few days, we are staying up later as well.

I find I am most productive in the middle of the night. It is a time of day when time doesn’t matter and I can get lost in working. The trouble is, most of the time, I need to get to sleep at a fairly normal hour, to simply keep up with our “normal” life during the school year. Last night while working on the website additions, I had the first real night-owl experience of the summer when I glanced at the clock and it said 2:35 am. I am content to be back into this anything-goes mode and plan to milk it for all its worth… until “normal” catches up with me again.

In good company

lisa1.jpg

The past couple of days I have been delighted to experience some of the recent work by a couple of close friends and fellow artists. Friday night I visited Aisle Gallery, an interesting space in the same building as The Carl Solway Gallery (Aisle does not have a website, but Solway’s is worth a peek). On display was recent collaborative installation and video work by my good pal Lisa Siders and Artist Denise Burge. This Feeling of Nature is a show that features two videos plus sculptural and found objects that tie together the videos through the long space. Lisa and Denise have worked together before as part of the Dozens Project and I love seeing what videos they come up with. They are always familiar in a way, yet other-worldly at the same time. There is definite magic in their work and in the worlds portrayed by the videos.

In this particular installation, a line of lit-up white on white objects ran the length of the room between the two videos. The objects were from the homes, studios and collections of both artists and were a feast for the eyes. More of their work can be viewed later in the summer in Michigan at DeVos Art Museum in Marquette.   As usual, when these two get together, something great is bound to be created! Congratulations to both on a job well done.

lisa2.jpg

Last night my sister Darcy and I went to a concert at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton, Ohio. We were tired and dusty after a fun day of picnicking and softball at our little brother’s graduation party (Congratulations Little Dew!!!!) but we tidied ourselves up and went because our girlfriend Kim Taylor was playing with her new-ish band. As usual, it was worth the effort. Kim’s music has been an inspiration to me for years and her more recent material is as earthy and real as ever. Kim is never one to rest on her laurels and so is rather prolific in her songwriting. I never tire of hearing new work, or hanging out over a whiskey before the show!

kim2.jpg

kim1.jpg

Today the fam and I drove out to Batesville, Indiana to visit Pete and Marlene who operate The Stone Studio. We plan to get our new soapstone kitchen countertops from them and so we wanted to have a look in person at what soapstone has to offer. It is a beautiful substance that becomes more so with age and patina, a quality I really like.

I find that much of my creative efforts these days are being poured into the domestic end of my life versus the “Real Work” side of things. I struggle with what this means. Are the creative work and decisions I make to contribute to a “beautiful” home of less value than a “beautiful” piece of art work that might find it’s way into a gallery? Are 2 hours spent in the garden worth less than 2 hours at the wax table? These are questions that often plague my mind when I allow them space. But I am leaning toward the idea that any movement toward a creative act, whether it be to arrange a bowl of flowers or print a stack of handmade cards to sell, is a worthwhile move. In some small way, both things are artful and make the world a better place.

Meanwhile, my dogs don’t allow me to get too wrapped up in philosophical thinking. They have been busy lately supplementing their doggie diets with cicadas who are back in our area (though not nearly in the same numbers as a few years ago). Yet another talented friend of mine, Jeff Smith, took this picture of one of the little buggers when they were here last time. Frankly, I can’t see the culinary appeal.

cicada.jpg