Monday, March 26, 2007

Welcome! Janet...Quinn...Brenda...Stacie...Eric and all the rest of my new visitors!
(Artwork: Macaw Mask)

It's a whole new blogsphere out there! In the past week or so, I've met and chatted with a wide range of creative bloggers from all over the world. Artists. Writers. Poets. Creativity Coaches. Graphic Artists. Singers and performers just to name a few. Whew!

As a studio artist, my work is mostly a solitary activity. I love my time in the studio working with my hands shaping metal, wood or clay. But over the years, I've wished for a few co-workers to chat with who could understand and appreciate the work of art as well as share a few tips or personal experiences over the 'water cooler' as I go about my work day. The kind of co-creative types who understand the need to work alone and the problem with feeling lonely.

A few months ago, in an effort to share my creative experiments and writing experiences with other creative types, I started this blog. It was a little scary at first, but after a while, I wondered if I was just talking to myself. That's ok. It can be valuable, too, but it wasn't what I was looking for.

But after several months feeling somewhat 'alone' in blogland, I find I'm not alone after all. There's a whole tribe of fellow bloggers out there who are generous, supportive and encouraging.

How did it all happen?

I gathered up my courage one day and signed up to be part of Eric Maisel's blog tour for his new book, Ten Zen Seconds. I'd been part of his 'test' group as he was writing the book and really felt his concept helped me alot. So when he announced he was marketing his book by blog tour, I signed up right away. I'm glad to support a book that supports other artists and I love the whole blog tour marketing idea. Very creative! He gets support for his new book and supports other artists by connecting them to one another. Just what this big, big blogworld needs!

I started out in this big, big, blogworld feeling like a munchkin in the great big land of Oz. Now, I feel more like Dorothy following the yellow brick road and finding new friends just around the bend. And all it took was a few clicks, not of ruby slippers, but my mouse to find my way to a new home.

So welcome, come on in and leave a comment, or just your name and blog. If you'd like to link here, let me know. Then, check out Eric's website as well as the new links to the left and meet some new friends, too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Winter to spring.
From death, dormancy and destruction
To rebirth, new blossoms and rebuilding.

It's been awhile. When Heather died, I not only lost my studio companion and muse, I lost my studio. In putting in a much needed new floor, a leak was found. There was dry rot down to the sub floor, through the wall, and even nasty critters crawling and flying all around. My studio had to be dismantled and closed off while a heater dried out the floor and chemicals killed the carpenter ants. Just a note, in case you didn't know this because I didn't, carpenter ants appear wherever there is rotten wood. That's what they eat, so if you see carpenter ants inside your home, as I did last fall, start looking for rotten wood.

After a month, the floor, wall and ceiling were fixed and repainted. The roof leak was sealed and repaired. And the floor was finally installed. Then I cleaned! The dust and dirt covered everything but I was so happy to be in the studio at last putting it back together. Well, I should say, actually, putting it together in a new way. In the month that I was forced out of the studio, I gained a new perspective. As I dusted, vacuumed and washed down furniture, windows, easel, cabinets, counter tops, I saw each element individually. Projects that I'd thought I wasn't finished with, I realized were finished. Pieces that I hadn't liked, now, I liked. Others that had been stationed in one place for years were moved to a new location and I see them now, in a new light. Some needed to be put away for another day, another time. And somethings just needed to go to the recycle bin, like the giant collage that used to hang on the wall above my desk.

Now, I sit here typing on my laptop, staring at a freshly painted blank wall and I am refreshed.
I put up new curtains. I have a new clean, white rug on a new black wood floor. My easel is cleared, dusted and ready for a blank canvas. My writing that had seemed so stuck and impossible in my old space is zipping along. The first day back in my new space, I had a copper mask due that very night. I had been thinking about it and sweating over the deadline but with my studio closed off to me I couldn't work on it at all except for some concept sketches. Sometimes, maybe less time is more than enough because I got the beautiful copper butterfly mask done in one day off to the client to wear to the masquerade ball that night!

Just like the butterfly mask that I created, I, too have gone through a metamorphosis. After Heather's death, I crawled into a cocoon of grief and loneliness. I lost my studio companion and my studio. But with time and hard work and the help of loving friends, all has been transformed. I walk into my studio and see the beautiful space and colors and I feel relieved and released and ready to let my imagination fly.

(I'd love to show you the butterfly mask I created in my new space but blogger won't let me upload any images. I'll get it up as soon as I can.)