Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Smell the Roses

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Simplicity - Mixed media assemblage by Stacy Alexander

I've been thinking a lot about Jen Worden's last art challenge on the subject of simplicity. Finding simplicity may be one of the most complicated endeavors of my entire life, one that took a great deal of elbow grease to accomplish! As I worked through this challenge, I jotted down some notes that comprise today's post:

Roses 3

To See the World in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wildflower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour

William Blake

How many people do you know who find virtue in being busy every waking moment of their lives, who, in fact, are almost boastful about never having time to get out and enjoy life because they are so busy working? To me, this is not a good thing, and is certainly nothing to brag about.

Some days, life seems to be so in the moment, so busy that we are lucky to be able to see what the next hour will hold. Last November/December, I was one of those people... in school and working 12 hours a day and utterly exhausted by the time I got home at night so my art really suffered and I allowed myself to stress about this and that. I would leave our loft before the sun came up and get home after it had gone down. Art was still tugging at my brain, but it was very difficult to access.

Sometimes, it is best just to be still and look....to watch the common world that is familiar to us so that art can find its way into our minds again. Leonardo di Vinci used to encourage his students to sit still and stare at old, neglected walls. Before long, the patches of moss and mold would reveal the outlines of stories and scenes that were later transferred to onto their canvases. Sometimes being quiet and looking is all it takes to remind us what life actually is.

Now, whenever I am feeling stressed to the point that I can't make art, I make the time to venture out into nature and just sit, drinking in my surroundings until my inspiration returns. I usually take my camera along, too. I have managed to capture some places and moments in time that I found particularly inspirational and relaxing:

China Camp - The Grace Quan (2)
Last Great American Whale
Reaching for the Moon II.
Lotus blossom
Mt. Hood - Portland, Oregon

Albert Einstein said, "I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it”" I say we should stop and actually look at it.


My friend, Griselda made a wonderful little talisman/"spirit doll" that hangs on my wall as a spiritual healing element in my life. Today, in keeping with Gris' style, I created this little healing energy doll for my friend, Madeline, who will be going into the hospital in just a few days for surgery. It was my first attempt at this type of doll and was not as easy as it looked!


daydreamstudios said...

I love the title of your blog...very creative. Karla

You're invited!!!!

What: A Blog Party

Where: http://daydreamstudios.blogspot.com/2008/02/welcome-to-my-humble-blog.html

When: Now thru next Tuesday

Why: Becuase I made it to 100 posts (wasn't sure I'd make it past 3)

Time: My blog never sleeps, so come when you can.

Who: You of course, bring a friend too.

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Jessica said...

Thanks for posting this! It's always good to get a reminder to stop and actually enjoy life. Lately I have felt so overwhelmed with work and life obligations that I have felt creatively drained and unable to make anything. I'm slowly getting out of it, but it's been hard! The pictures are beautiful and I think I just might visit the botanical gardens this weekend to get relax and get inspired!

Jessica said...

Thanks for posting this! It's always good to get a reminder to stop and enjoy life. Lately I have felt overwhelmed with work and life obligations and it has left me creatively drained. I've been slowly pulling myself out of it, but it's been hard! The pictures are lovely and inspirational - I think I will visit the botanical gardens this weekend to relax and get inspired!

GraceBeading said...

Wonderful photos! There is much to be said about solitude and nature, I believe it rejuvenates the soul.

I really like your little doll too, and so nice that it is for your friend as she gets ready for surgery. I hope it all goes well for her.

I know they are much more difficult than they look (and how easy Gris makes it sound), I am fortunate enough to call Gris a friend as well and have one of her amazing dolls too.

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