Enjoying positive response…

I admit, I am enjoying having people “like” my art on Facebook.  I am posting one small art piece a day (trying to limit myself) and I now see how satisfying it is to get “likes” for it.  Also interesting to me to see how the pieces I like the best are not always what other people like, and sometimes pieces I find less personally “resonant” get more compliments.  It reminds me of graduate school where I wrote a paper I thought was silly/ stupid, but my professor really like it.  I still don’t always know what seems obvious to me and so I think it’s stupid and obvious, but to others it apparently ISN’T obvious and so seems good.  It’s kind of being puzzled by things that seem easy–like “why do people like that so much?  It was so easy!”  Effort isn’t always rewarded and sometimes things seem easy and maybe it’s “the creative muse” that made it easy but people also like it.  I don’t entirely understand it…but then life can’t be reduced to an easy series of calculations, or it would be pretty dull.

Today’s notecard size small art, since it’s a dreary month and I’m grateful for a pleasant Thanksgiving with absolutely NO human family members with me, I am choosing this one.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Expecting a quiet day.  No family here, and while I may stop by friends, I may just have a quiet home day in my studio.  Maybe I will actually read a book of fiction, which I haven’t done in a while.  I read a lot, but not much fiction…and when I do it’s usually mysteries.  I think I can keep my emotional distance from them, while good complex fiction takes me on an emotional journey I feel TOO much, and I am currently not enjoying the lack of control….I need to control what I am exposed to and not get yanked into surprise emotions.  Mysteries have a fairly set format, and can interest/ inform me (I particularly like mysteries set in locations I am not knowledgable about) but are not graphic or manipulative.  Huh.  I guess that has helped me better understand my aversion to fiction lately…

Okay, today’s little art picture.

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Good studio day!

I had a really good afternoon of work in my studio, which I must at least partially attribute to a FB diet.  It has not been a full fast, because I use messenger for real communication needs, but I have consciously limited my FB intake.  It’s not that I compare myself to others and feel bad about my non-picture perfect life, because really that’s not the way FB functions for me.  But I have a lot of friends and family who are engaged in current events, and even though the posts I read are ones I tend to agree with, I need to reduce my exposure to aspects of life I cannot currently affect.  I’m going to work on saying “what could I DO about that” and if I can do something, DO it.  So yesterday I wrote the FCC chair about net neutrality.  I also need to reread some literature on choosing our own reactions/ thoughts.  If it helped Victor Frankel survive the Holocaust, I assume it can help me get through modern life.

So I finished 12 more small cards today!  Many were already close to finished, but were missing something.  I decided maybe I should look at putting some black to increase contrast on them–I love color, and tend to neglect black and white.  So for several of them I used India ink to darken places.  I also used some pearlescent white to add some highlights, and did some splattering with a variety of colors to pull together some of the little creations.  Some pieces did not yet have words because I hadn’t found the right ones, but I went through some magazines and catalogs earlier this week so had some more words to choose from, and I used some single word stickers from a mixed media artist’s line to fill in places when I didn’t have a magazine/ catalog word to fit.

Iphone pictures, so not as good as my other ones.  Will have to ask Howard to shoot pics of these cards when he is available and then I can upgrade to those.  Today I am featuring this card in honor of my daughter who is making a move and reassessing what she wants to do with her time and attention at this point in her life.  She has a chance to try some things out and see what she would enjoy doing and what she can earn money doing.  Definitely a time for exploration.

Going places

 

 

Fasting and Thanksgiving

No, I am not fasting for Thanksgiving.  I will have turkey and stuffing.  But I am going on a Facebook fast.  I may still use messenger, because I often communicate with my daughter and local friends that way, but need some time to re-center myself.  So I am taking a “staycation” and staying off FB for a few days…

And hopefully will have some more small art done before I post again.

Happiness do over

Sunday, all day

I am alone all day today (except for cat and dog), which is quite rare for me.  I need some sort of motivation for the day, however, as I am feeling disheartened by public news.  No bad news personally or with friends though, so I need to focus tighter on my personal life and take a break from politics and society.

I am close to finishing another pile of small art–need to add any final touches and then put a final layer of finish on them.  The small ones seem to look better to me with a gloss coat, maybe because their petite size means they can use a little shine to attract attention.  There might be one in that pile that better fits my mood today (if not, I should probably make one…) but I am limiting myself to ones that I already have pictures of in my computer…

Become Inspired

I can’t remember if I already used this one, but it fits for today because I watched a good video (link below) posted by a friend about not waiting for another time or place to work on your dreams/ goals, and it was done in a way that encouraged me rather than making me feel scolded.  So I’m working on being inspired today in this place where I am.

Start!

 

Today’s thoughts

Small art for the day–did not finish this yesterday, but did actually feel I reached some kind of flow/ meditation in my studio yesterday.  One of my favorite of my small art pieces.

Since my last work of art

This morning I have been working on genealogy.  Not actually searching for information, but working on uploading my 10,000 member family tree to the GEDCOM “master” family tree, which in theory could connect all genealogy/ past people.  About 2/3 of my tree has to be checked by a person to make sure there are not already matches on the tree, and if not to click the button that says “add this as a new person”.

So one of my many deep introspective questions for the day is “why do I like doing this?  And why do I care if the people on my list get integrated into this list?  Why am I spending time doing this?”

I like puzzles.  I like putting things in the “right place” and “solving” things, so that is part of it.  I feel a little victory when I go “Oh!  This person in my tree is the same person in that family!  It fits!”  But so what?  Much genealogy interest/ work is driven by the Mormon church, because they have a belief that you can retroactively benefit relatives who have already passed.  Their evangelism is not limited to people currently alive, and their spiritual interest in genealogy has become a financial benefit.  Many of us pay companies with Mormon ties for access to the infrastructure that allows us to pursue genealogy as a hobby.  The desire to “save” my ancestors is not part of MY belief system, so why do I do this?

Partly I feel some kind of acknowledgement of a person’s life “means” something.  I like noticing what people did, even if they aren’t here for me to acknowledge in person.  When I see wonderful historical buildings or other creations, I think about who did that work and give them a silent nod of gratitude.  When I go through names of people who died years ago who I will never meet, I notice them.  One of my fun discoveries has been that my grandfather came to the US with his parents, two brothers and a sister, which WE NEVER KNEW!  I have pieced together a picture of their lives through documents and data points, through newspaper articles and passenger lists. Some of my investigation into my direct ancestors is a way of looking at whether their lives foreshadowed or have repeating themes in my family.

On a larger scale, beyond satisfying my curiosity, does it matter?  On a karmic, cosmic scale, does it matter?  Do they know that I “see” them?  Probably not.  There’s no reason to think that if souls exist on other plains that they have any more understanding of that concept—of what existence on another plane would be like—than we do.  There is really no reason to believe that souls that have completed their Earthly time and have gone elsewhere (assuming they even exist further and go ANYWHERE) know about life on Earth.  In fact, I hope they don’t.  I miss and love my parents terribly, but I know how horrible it is to feel helpless to protect your children even here on Earth.  My Mom would be completely distraught if she could really see what is going on the world since she left.  If they do have any memory or relationship to the people they left behind, I hope it is limited somehow.

So maybe people who claim to be able to see or remember lives in other dimensions really do, and in other planes there are people who have some knowledge or understanding of earth in the year we know as 2017.  Meanwhile, I keep organizing lists of people who once were here on earth, noticing where they lived, who they married, where they worked–piecing together their lives.  Which is certainly no less “productive” then other hobbies I have, and as far as I know doesn’t harm anyone.  Even if it doesn’t have a higher purpose than my interest.

Sunny Tuesday

Sunny but cold, and I am dragging today.  Finally getting my flu shot this afternoon–maybe it’s the anticipation of that, but I just want to stay still.

Worked on some more little cards last night but felt frustrated and uninspired–nothing was pleasing me or coming together.  Usually there’s a point where I know what to do, and it didn’t really happen last evening.  I felt like I was searching for something and didn’t find the right thing.

Ruffle some feathers

Drawn to this card today.  Not sure why.  The bird is on ribbon I bought at a great art/ craft supply shop in Massachusetts.  I loved the ribbon and bought some but haven’t done anything with it.  It amuses me with the “Ruffle some feathers” headline bc the bird looks like it’s heading somewhere with intent.  This bird has someplace to go.

Hmm….I was looking at “Ruffle some feathers” as a disruptive statement, but that means to disturb the birds, and this IS a bird, so maybe her feathers were already ruffled and she is off to fix the situation, and maybe ruffle some other feathers on the way.

Also interesting that I assumed this is a female bird, but it probably isn’t as female birds are more muted and not as brightly colored as male birds.  Which leads to all kinds of gender thoughts…I have been collecting interesting and bright bird pictures on Pinterest–I seem to be drawn to them–but those are probably all the MALE of the species.  Which leads me to another thought I have had–better to live in an ugly house and look out at beauty than live in the beautiful house and look out at ugly things you can’t change.

So many thoughts I can get to from one little card…

Friday…

Happiness do over

I need to finish more of these cards so that I can choose a different one every day that suits my mood.  Today Howard is home (federal holiday) but tonight we have a fancy occasion I need to dress up for, so that will be my focus.  I don’t dress up that often anymore, partly because, well, I don’t really LIKE dressing up!  But I have a new dress, and new shoes that felt comfortable when I tested them.  But I will take an emergency pair just in case it turns out that after 30 minutes I can no longer stand in my new shoes.  And I will allow time to shower, and spiff up my hair, and even put on make-up.  And I probably won’t paint today even though I want to because I will end up with paint all over my hands.  Or at least I will put a thick layer of hand lotion on first to make clean up easier…

So today is about rethinking choices I guess, and seeing if I can make choices that result in me being happier.  Like new shoes that I hope will be comfortable enough to wear all evening.

Thursday, feeling brighter than the weather

Creative Living

Slept well, and feeling perky at the moment even before my coffee is finished.  No time obligations today, and think I will spend time in my studio.  I have some new plants in my house, so I may do some drawing as an exercise.  I haven’t done any realistic pencil drawing in a while, and it would be a good art skill and meditation exercise.  At this house I have people who take care of my yard and also monitor my indoor plants.  I will miss this in my next house, but I DO like having the plants, so maybe I can learn not to kill them…

 

What do I need today?

Feeling unjustifiably stressed and frazzled today, and like I need to corral my mind into a more organized and productive form but have not figure out how yet.  Looking at my little cards from my recent creativity to see if any of them speak to me, and this one leapt out.

Passion is like having a coffee maker

My daughter thought this one was interestingly cryptic, but it didn’t seem so when I made it.  The line is from a Starbucks ad for instant coffee, but I was thinking about things that give you zest/ energy that AREN’T caffeinated drink products, and realized that when you are excited and passionate about something, you usually have energy and enthusiasm without chemical assistance.  This is something I feel is missing from my life at times, for complex reasons I won’t go on about here, but in some ways I feel like I have cushioned myself from feeling disappointment by dampening my emotions, but that also can stop me from feeling excited and enthused–or passionate–about things.  So I am thinking more about what makes me feel this way, and how I can spend more time on THOSE thoughts and activities.  Art is definitely related to that, but even within creativity there are times I have been more excited/ enthusiastic/ energetic and times I have not.  Why?  That’s what I am trying to figure out, so I can have more of it.