WordPress Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme- Doors

Blue Camino door“Windows open out onto the universe around you, but doors will take you to where your imagination lies.”
― Anthony T. Hincks

I have always been fascinated with doors, both literal and metaphorical.  What lies behind them?  Always I have found in my life when one door closes another one will open- often leading to a much better place.

All photos shot in 2013 along the Camino de Santiago with the exception of the yellow door which was shot in Ireland in 2017.

 

gOTHIC CAMINO DOORCamino door St. Jean

Old Green camino doorCamino cowboy doorIrish door
Variations on a Theme

 

Just for Play, Just for Fun

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“You could sell those”

a familiar phrase

then watch my passion

turn to drudgery

as I turn out clones of my art

for a few shekels in my pocket

or I could continue to create butterflies

just for the joy of watching them fly

setting them free

without attachment

savoring the delight

as they land

in another’s hands

 

It takes a certain amount of energy to sell ones work- at least as much as making it.  After the New Year, I have given up such notions to just play and experiment with printmaking,  clay, and mosaics. It’s liberating to just experience a process without attachment to profit or outcome.  Play is undervalued in our culture.  It is so rejuvenating.

 

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Courtesy Austin Kleons Blog, “In defense of Hobbies”

 

 

 

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

Todd lake 1

All I could hear

was the swoosh of my skis

and the sound of my breath.

When I stopped

I was wrapped in silence

Skiing today at Todd Lake near Mt. Bachelor, Oregon

Silence

Untold Stories

Upstairs in my studio is a jumble of old photographs and boxes of slides from my youth in shoe boxes beneath a work table.  Those of you from the “pre-digital” age might relate to this. When my son was born over thirty years ago I changed my ways and carefully IMG_0067documented his life and our life as a family in tidy photo albums- until he left home.  Currently, my photos are all on my cell phone or floating in “The Cloud.”  Now and again I think that I should go through and sort out my old photos into albums.  But then I ask “Why?” I’m not famous.  I have no grandchildren.

They have no meaning other to myself and will mostly be recycled as with my physical body.  Maybe if I’m lucky some will wind up in some artist’s collage.

Shoe Boxes

When I die he will find them

Decades of my life

Stored in shoe boxes upstairs

Hundreds of captionless photos tucked in envelopes

Slides stacked neatly in folding Kodak boxes

Captured by a cheap camera

In eager hands

They illustrate the stories

That have largely gone untold

The forces of my life

That sanded me smooth on the inside,

Carved on the surface

Experiences of a young woman

Seeking adventure

And a place at the world’s table

When he finds them

He will see a younger me

With unnamed friends and unnamed lovers

Unnamed mountains

Unnamed rivers

Smiling

He will see walruses basking on rocks,

But not hear their music

Cabins, but not feel their warmth

Trails, but not know their destinations

My stories will die with me

Melding into the ethos

He will never know my joy

My youthful dreams

My pain and disappointments

The person before Mother

The me before you

Feeding Wild Birds

I have been feeding the wild birds around my house for years.  In the morning I watch them  from my bed as I sip  my tea. There is also a feeder hanging in front of my kitchen window giving entertainment as I wash dishes.  It’s a meditation of sorts.  There are the usual year round residents and then the migratory birds as they make their way North or South in the Spring and Fall.  I never tire of watching them.

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BIRD FEEDER

The Chickadee stated its presence in the branches above

“Chicka-dee-dee-dee”

“Chicka-dee-dee-dee”

Impatient

I fill the old mossy wooden feeder that hangs from a tree limb

With an abundance of shiny, black, sunflower seeds

From the  bucket hanging on my arm.

 

The chickadee knows me

I am no stranger to the birds here

The nuthatches, jays, juncos, hummingbirds

We are neighbors, friends of sorts

They go about their business and I to mine

hanging laundry, working in the yard

 

As I gaze from my window

I delight in their flit and flutter about the feeder

And find peace in watching them

Losing track of time

Well worth the price

for a sack of bird seed

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The “Art” of Non-Judgement

mandalas-1485096In meditation the goal is to focus on the breath, observing thoughts with non judgement.  It is an exercise to become aware of one’s inner dialogue without criticism.  According to Yoga International….

” Meditation is a practical means for calming yourself, for letting go of your biases and seeing what is, openly and clearly. It is a way of training the mind so that you are not distracted and caught up in its endless churning. Meditation teaches you to systematically explore your inner dimensions.”

I decided to take the concept of meditation and apply it to my art making, meaning any creative task I undertake.  As a visual artist especially, I’ve noticed that I have a habit of letting a stream of negative judgement runs through my mind as I make art.  My inner critic tells me “this is not good enough” or “if I only I did this – or that” or some such chatter.  This is a perfect recipe for artistic block – and I have been there.

When toddlers begin to walk and fall down, they don’t give up.  They try and fail over and over again.   Parents cheer and don’t discourage.  It’s part of the process of learning. Too bad we give that child-like wonder as adults

As of the New Year I am making art with an attitude of play and experimentation rather than judgement of whether my work is good or bad.  If a piece doesn’t work, so be it.  I have learned from it.   I am mindful to my inner dialogue as I create.  When negative thinking enters my mind I say “You are not welcome here.  Let me play!”

This week I began an online class, Making Monotypes with a Gellatin Plate taught by Linda Germaine. it’s been the perfect opportunity to apply “The art of non-judgement.”

It’s so liberating.  I’m having fun.  I can hardly wait to get back to the studio…..

Experimenting….first try printing with a gelli-plate!

 

WP Photo Challenge- Weathered, the Stories of Rocks

“Rocks and minerals: the oldest storytellers.”
― A.D. Posey

I’ve always been fascinated by rock formations.  There is a story there if you pause to notice…..

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A drought in New Mexico?

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A volcano in Central Oregon?

DSC00196An uplift of an inland sea?

'11 ski, house, summer 049
An ancient sea bed?

Weathered