Friday, January 16, 2015

Artcraft Station

Clutter creep was getting in the way of my new watercolor obsession. I have a large board for 16x20 painting (with an amen to my therapist who asked "when are you going to work bigger?) and I had negative space to play in. What started as organizing the clutter into different clumps became a day-1/2 of doing a good job. Confession: I actually binned some books. For a reader who learned early not to bend corners or deface books I thought it'd be tougher. Threw away my father's massive collection of cords to unknown unowned tech. Relocated the ancient useless tools on the pegboard up and out of the way and moved my tools down and handy. When I was done tossing and stacking, I put stuff back saying out loud "related to jewelry, related to painting, related to tools, related to cleaning, related to bath." I bought online (!) a drafting stool. On the cement floor are two of my grandmother's handmade rugs which have been gathering dust in plastic bags under my bed. My grandmother and my mother are with me in this space - the Greenbrier bag I carry my watercolor supplies to class in was mom's. When I finished painting the particleboard surface, I remembered a piece of glass mom had made to fit her dining table. When the antique went away, the glass remained propped against a closet wall. It fits the work area perfectly. And wipes up with water! A little bit of heaven in the Artist's Dungeon. Maybe I need to start calling it the Artist's Retreat.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


At Crazy Wisdom Bookstore this afternoon, we will be talking and sharing stories about aging. I called this get-together Coming Down the Mountain with Grace. It's a phrase I liked from a philosophy bath product my sister got me years ago that had on its label how you come down the mountain is just as important as how you go up. This morning I've been thinking about the skills we need to go up the mountain. Agility, physical strength, tenacity, attention, care, planning. So do we need these to come down the mountain. Maybe we're missing the physical strength of youth, but we're wilier, better at navigating, and we know to duck and weave. The downhill slope is faster, and there are those pesky obstacles that remain from the ascent. The ascent is how we learn. The descent is how we apply the knowledge.