DEADLINE: Opening Sept. 12th in Allentown, PA

The contract is signed and we have our first Reassurances, 
Incantation Bowls Reimagined exhibit scheduled! It will
be up September 12th through October 17th, 2014 at the
Lachaise Gallery of Cedar Crest College in Allentown,
Pennsylvania. It is a great space with a lot of possibilities
and natural light, and I look forward to meeting the
students and staff of Cedar Crest College next Fall.

For a few years, I have had time to experiment, read,
write, and play, but deadlines are a great thing. Thirty
unfinished projects are awaiting completion. Lately, I've
been repeatedly saying, "It is a start, but it isn't Art yet."
The beauty of deadlines is that they force me to make
those final leaps, risks, and connections.

Below are some sketches that will soon be illustrations in
in the centers of small bowls for the Against Want bowl
series based on the incantation poem This is a talisman
against want by LouAnn Muhm.

"abacus clack, not enough, not enough, not enough"

"constant weighing, what is held against what is needed"



My recent bowl illustration has two crow forms
tessellated like twins, surrounded by a ribcage or shell
form and LouAnn's haunting and visceral words, "Always 
into the glare... banished from this place...through 
that bony canal... sob air into new lungs."

I have developed a fondness for crows. I meet them daily
on the winter drive to work. Their solid, shimmering, dark
bodies contrast the snowy roadsides. Scavengers, willing
to put themselves on the edge to survive--sometimes
haunting eyeless shadows in the periphery, other times,
graceful blue-black dancers. But scavengers, always
scavengers, and I am often amazed at how they not only
survive, but thrive into such large birds.

Scavenger was my nickname when I was a counselor
and the arts and crafts coordinator at a YMCA Summer
camp in college. I dug in the dumpsters for cardboard,
searched for rocks and sticks in the woods--whatever I
could find to make art with campers on a small budget.
The camp director gave me that nickname, but what he
didn't know is that I really didn't mind. Scavenging
energized me. I was not only surviving, but thriving and
learning how to make something out of next to nothing.


Avoiding Perfectionists and 4 Other Serenity Moves

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the
enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped 
and insane your whole life...  Perfectionism is a 
mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are 
the artist’s true friend. What people somehow 
(inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when 
we were children was that we need to make 
messes in order to find out who we are and why 
we are here...”  Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird.

Serenity Moves for Spring
  1. Keep remembering that perfectionism is the oppressor. As a recovering perfectionist, I avoid perfectionists who are in denial, or at least do my best to not allow that insanity to reinfect me. 
  2. Embrace temporary messes as necessary to progress. And of course, insist other people clean up their own messes and don't be a perfectionist freak about how they do it. As an Art teacher and a mother, this one has taken me quite a few years to embrace.
  3. Keep the focus on people, not things. One of the best moments with my 9-year-old daughter last Fall was right after she broke one of my favorite (and most expensive) coffee mugs. She looked at me in a panic, terrified. I walked over and didn't even look at the mug, just focused on her. I gave her a hug and said, "You are way more important than a coffee mug." (If only I could always keep my cool like that.)
  4. Mud is a necessary part of Spring. Embrace it. We live in a new home with a moat of mud all around. Mud means that Summer is coming. Mess = Progress.
  5. The surest path to serenity is gratitude. 
Serenity Deer is looking out for us. My oil pastel demo to students this week.