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following one’s own advice?

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Today, September 10, has been spent clearing out boxes of papers, stored since my move 2+ years ago.  The good news: there’s very little “trash”. The good news? much of what had been stored may now be obsolete. The better news: this draft blog post is still relevant, if not quite so much. Written at the end of May, it was a reflection on being at Crossroads. I no longer feel quite like that. Several exhibitions have come and gone since then – there’s been a lot of new work made over the past two years. There are two invitationals to deliver work for in the next month.

memory-mont    meditation-map   moon-1_02

***

draft post

For nearly three decades (yikes!), in one format or another, I taught, coached, facilitated – whatever you choose to name it- I worked with creative people, individually, in classes and in small groups. Whether in a formal setting such as a University classroom or professional symposiums or more casual retreat environments, my basic task was to help folks make the next move or next jump in their creative process.  Along the way a lot of processes, techniques and possibilities were shared but the underlying focus was always on each individual’s journey.

Every person is unique and each set of circumstances is very particular. Still, the basics of creative work are consistent from my point of view: learn the required skills and language, master your tools, improve constantly and most important, show up! Make one decision and then the next. Then the next. Be true to your initial creative vision, each subsequent decision should match that.

Life: Circumstances change. We find ourselves, every so often, just moving with the currents, perhaps adrift. It can be difficult (and is certainly time/energy consuming) to re-orient. Having just come through one of those multi-year situations, here were major challenges: My studio discipline was shot. The daily work habit needed to be rebuilt. I went from a decades long consistent daily practice to not being in studio at all. Part of this had to do with all that accompanies a major loss, from coping to surviving to putting myself back together, and then to building a new life. What did/do I want that life to look like? what is an appropriate life/work balance, now? I used to know the answers to these questions, has that changed? Actually, lots has changed and I am adjusting and choosing and celebrating!

Confidence, well, where did it go, if it ever existed? (Is the work any good? what happens next? how should it look? why am I doing this?  In short, all the questions we ask ourselves as we build what is generally, a very solitary work life.)

Identity: Marge Piercy said: “every artist lacks a “license”. This is true. We can self describe, self identify as artists, with or without degrees, with or without an exhibition record, sales, awards and external acclaim, but many of us face a certain sense that the outside world places little or no value on what we do. A friend once told me that what people like me do is non-essential, therefore without value. Is this true? For that friend it was. I’ve almost always had a strong sense of self, of who I am in the world, but at times the self-doubts can be challenging. There’s no shortage of reinforcement for insecurity, is there.

***Now, on the other side of this reflection from late May, I am still not in studio daily, but am creating new gardens, new pollinator habitat, new community relationships. This matters. My little cottage in Billings is on the market and has required major work in the aftermath of a renter. sigh. There’s been a lot of work at the treehouse – hooray- and here at the StarHouse. This has been the season of paint on my shoes <G>.

Some decisions have been made in light of personal changes as well as the change in the “market”.

  • Travel for teaching is no longer in the template of my life. I will miss all of you whose relationships have been so important over the years. thank you for the gifts of your friendship and for how you allowed me to see through your eyes.
  • A greater focus on putting the work into the world is important. Perhaps (if there is something to say <G>) I will begin writing again.
  • Primarily, it has to be about what happens in the studio. Without that, there is nothing to share, nothing to say.

As we approach the Equinox, colors are shifting; the habits of birds and wild critters are changing, there’s a welcome chill in the dark hours and lovely warmth in the afternoons. The higher peaks behind the house have snow. The light is wonderful.

wishing you well.

Four Moons

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

 

moon-1_02

Sunday, September 27, brings us a whopping 4 moons at one time–the Blood Moon, the Harvest Moon, a Super Moon, and a Total Lunar Eclipse!  Of course, they all refer to the same moon but each has a special meaning.

The Blood Mood refers to the last total lunar eclipse in a tetrad of 4 total lunar eclipses.  This tetrad started on April 15, 2014 and includes the eclipses on October 8, 2014 and April 4, 2015. The next tetrad won’t begin until April, 2032.

The Harvest Moon refers to the full moon in September.  Folklore says that this is the Harvest Moon because farmers can work late into the night bringing in the harvest by the bright light of the full moon. Nowadays I’m pretty sure that headlights have taken over that duty!

A Super Moon occurs when the full moon also happens when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth in its slightly elliptical orbit.  This Super Moon will be about 225,000 miles from the Earth won’t be this close again until November of 2016.  The difference is noticeable in both size and brightness but shouldn’t be confused with the “Moon Illusion” that makes a full moon near the horizon look massively huge.  The Moon Illusion really is an illusion–just bracket that huge full moon with two fingers–it will shrink right back to normal size.

Finally, this full moon with be a Total Lunar Eclipse.  For us, the eclipse will have already have started at moonrise but totality–when the moon enters the darkest central part of the Earth’s shadow–will begin with the moon nicely above the horizon and will last for an amazing 72 minutes!

To find the time of moonrise for your location, go to http://www.timeanddate.com/moon/ and enter your location.

Moon rise is always a magical moment, and watching one with intent makes it even better!

With clear skies, of course.

guest writer, Jeff Ross

Mare-Serenitatis

Mare Serenitatis

as we begin a new month

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

“Three Things to Remember”, Mary Oliver (from A Thousand Mornings)

As long as you’re dancing, you can

break the rules.

Sometimes breaking the rules is just

extending the rules.

 

Sometimes there are no rules.

***

sunfleur
It’s a new season in my  life. “Rules” in all variations of the term, are being considered and reconsidered.

At the beginning of August we are into full Summer. The garden is producing, the bees are happy and busy of course, birds come to the feeders. Decisions are being made in the studios – both the physical space and the more important “studio between the ears”.

My sabbatical is officially over.

 

 

the long weekend

Monday, October 13th, 2014

hh-2    Saturday morning at Hungry Horse for the Le Griz Ultra Run (50 miles). We were there to crew for a good friend. It was a long satisfying day in a gorgeous place.

HH-am The weather was variable, with everything except snow. Tamaracks and aspen have turned a burnished gold.

talltrees   fall

Later in the weekend we walked around Lion’s Lake. The trees are so tall. The climate there, near Glacier Park, is more like the Pacific NW than the part of the state where I live. It is semi-arid here.

backyard  west

the view from the house, looking west.

roadhome the road home, today at noon. That snow capped mountain is behind the house.

**
Years ago, in Houston, a random person gave me this quip as an early birthday gift.

It was a delight to see the words on a bumper sticker Sunday afternoon.

the edge

another poem fromMary Oliver, apt,this weekend

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

“to live in this world

you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
― Mary OliverNew and Selected Poems, Vol. 1

Happy Solstice!

Friday, December 21st, 2012

12/21/2012

Sounds yummy doesn’t it. Tomorrow the light begins returning, the days get longer and although, where I live, the coldest part of the year has yet to come, we will be moving toward warmth. I like warmth!

Please visit my Coaching Page for information on those services and for the limited time special offer!

To sign up for the Museletter go here.

(more…)

october textures

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

October 31’st. Warm and windy here but clear. The leaves are all down from the big trees out front but still hanging on out back. The lilacs will be the last to let go.

Our morning walks are beginning an hour later in the morning now, partly because daylight is slower to arrive, partly because the later it is, the fewer critters are out and about, tempting the dogs to run and chase. I’ve managed to find a walking route and routine that (for four days now) has kept Beau from collecting nasty burrs. This is important. He’s a wonderful companion but spending an hour and a half each day trying to comb him out gets frustrating. He doesn’t like it and it feels like a struggle. Saturday he had a serious grooming and “detailing”. That should help. Gracie has a smoother coat and is much easier to comb out.

A light snow, combined with heavy wind brought almost all the leaves down last weekend. What an interesting carpet texture.

Outside the studio door, the “Burning Bush” is in full glory. What astounding color. I hope it holds for a while.

***Most of my time the last two weeks has been directed to learning more about Social Media, rethinking the museletter and working with Coaching Clients. If you subscribe to the museletter, you can expect a new one in the next few days. (updated subscription information is not available yet. If you are not on the mailing list and would like to be, drop me a note and I will add you. You can opt out at any time).

I have room for two more Coaching Clients right now.

If you want more information, click here.

***

Of course, for the past several days, my thoughts have been with family and friends and everyone on the Eastern Seaboard who has been, and will be, dealing with the Storm and its aftermath. I am grateful that my nearest and dearest have come through, but heartbroken at the widespread devastation.

Here’s how to help:

http://t.news.msn.com/us/heres-how-to-help-sandys-victims

I hope you are well and safe and if the storm impacted you and yours, I wish a speedy return to “normal”.

all best, laura

a much delayed update

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

The new roof is on, complete, lovely. It took only two and one half days, a crew of five, working 7 a.m. to 9 pm. and they were wonderful. Yes, it was a dirty, noisy and messy process, but it is finished.

It was pretty cool to see the bare bones of the house from inside the crawl space:

  The roofers took off three layers of old roofing, started from scratch and now, everything is to code. What is charming is the grace curve of the roof line, invisible with all those heavy layers. My house is breathing more easily.

 

 

 

Our weather has continued to be brutally hot with brief respites here and there. Today is in the 80s, a welcome change from triple digits. The sunflowers and cosmos, vines, weeds and grasses are thriving. My tactic this years is to let it be. I’ll water just enough to prevent crisp grasses. In the Fall, when it cools down, I will dig our the perennial beds and replant, once again thinking about xeriscaping: minimal maintenance, minimal water requirements. It seems to me that these new weather patterns will be with us a while.

Right now the goldfinches and chic-a-dees are loving the holly hocks and cosmos.

 

In other news, I am renewing my coaching practice, after a long hiatus, Details here.

Spaces are limited so don’t delay!

It is also possible that a group of “Women in Transition” will be forming soon. if this interests you, send a note.

To subscribe to my Museletter click here.

My wish for you as August matures is that you are enjoying the Summer, exercising your creativity, relaxing and making stuff!

 

Mid June news

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

This afternoon was spent with more cleaning and sorting in the studio. Will it ever end? I’ve uploaded some small, older pieces to Gallery 4. They are more in keeping with the work in fiber that most of you know me for.  As a reminder, my MayDazed Sale ends on the 15th. On the 16th, things go back up to their retail value. If you are in a location other than the US and want something, let me know and we will work out the Customs/shipping issues!

I’m about at the point of stuffing things in boxes and participating in a Flea Market Sale. This sorting, ironing and so forth is taking time away from the gardens and from the new work I need to be doing.

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. I am missing Michael. All this clearing out has been therapeutic, if time consuming but it does seem to go on and on. I am finding wonderful stuff in the tool shed now that the major clearing has been done: wooden boxes, rusty keys, interesting bits of who knows what… All vintage, all probably updated with electronic tools by now – but aesthetically lovely. What to do with these things?.

Let’s get the clearing out done with, fix what needs fixing and get on with the outdoor work! There are shrubs to prune, weeds to pull and perennials that did not survive 2011 to replace.

 

 

 

 

 

My walking buddy, Ken, keeps a blog about the island and our dogs. His writing is as good as his photos. You might enjoy seeing some of Beau’s buddies, and a very good picture of  Beau as well.

This morning, Beau, Karen and I walked in a different area along the river. It was quiet, no other dogs or people.  Neiki and Beau are a good match and quiet friends, but likely to burst into wild running at any given moment. Fortunately they both have “off buttons”.  Along the way Karen and I cleaned up fishing line (dangerous to the birds as well as the dogs) and a mile into the walk found a still smouldering campfire, complete with beer cans: emptied, half emptied and full. We cleaned it all up but I must admit to being irritated at the disrespect for the Park.

The River is still running high but it was a lovely morning and Beau had good opportunities to swim. Neiki wades.

Tomorrow I will upload a memorial song for Michael on our anniversary, have a quiet day with my dog and dinner with a friend. Friday is the beginning of my new year.

Please join me in marking a significant new beginning.

all best, laura

 

 

May Dazed!

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Thank you all for your comments and inquiries. There were some glitches, but for right now the “may dazed sale” pieces are on Gallery 4.  We all know the old adage about the last minute don’t we?

Prices will fluctuate and new things will be added from now until the June 15, after that, I am hoping to get back to a regular listing of new work. Right now, these things need new homes. Maybe you will find something you like and snatch it up before someone else does <G>.

The Museletter is back, let me know if you’d like to subscribe. It may be a few days before the proper links are on my Home page and elsewhere.

I hope that May has been good to you and that June is even better.