It’s been a great summer for adventures! Wonderful small “a” adventures. Rather than fretting about the unattainability of big “A” Adventures, it’s way more fun to jump in the car and go do some fun local-ish thing. Like actually going to Palouse Falls instead of always saying “we should go to Palouse Falls sometime.” (Ohmigosh, Palouse Falls is incredible!!!)
Mom and I continued our vintage-sale-going ways with trips to Foxwood and Pickin’ on the Prairie. On our Foxwood trip we wandered in to Newport for lunch and discovered a wonderful old soda fountain as well as some great little shops.
For Mom’s birthday trip we went to Walla Walla for antique shopping, wine tasting and sight seeing. The Whitman Mission and Oregon Trail were very cool! Walla Walla is a great town and we’re already planning our next trip.
And finally, the event we waited for all summer, the nationally televised very first college football game of the season was in Cheney this year! It was a beautiful warm day and our EWU Eagles finally beat Sam Houston State and we had SO much fun!
Have you gone on any small “a” adventures this year? I’d love to hear about it!
I made the mistake of going to the basement yesterday. No, not the part with the laundry and the cat boxes and the beer fridge where I go all the time. I went to the giant mess of a room where the years of accumulated art stuff lives. To the place where all the old projects and ideas and possibilities lurk.
It’s perfectly ok to go there in search of a specific object. But yesterday I went there in search of an old idea, a collection of objects pulled together for a purpose. And while I was on this fool’s errand for something I could not find, I naturally turned up other ideas and collections and half-finished bits of magic. My mind started churning with the possibilities. I felt myself getting sucked into the whirlpool of overwhelm. I hightailed it out of there!
Back upstairs to the relative calm of the couple of projects I’ve been steadily working on. Back to a place where I’m completing my thoughts and following through with my ideas. Back to my own work.
There’s a lot of beauty down there, and a lot of value in those starts and stops and experiments. If not for all of that practice and play and figuring stuff out, I never would have made it to this point where I am doing my own work, telling my own story.
It would be so easy to wander down that road, distracted by all those shiny thoughts, puttering here and there at this or that. But I’m learning that if I want to accomplish my work, I have to concentrate on doing my work. Focus is what keeps a project moving along. Playing with too many ideas means nothing gets done, work doesn’t develop.
Happily, there is joy and contentment in doing the work that is my work. And happily, yesterday I figured that out in time.
Ooh, I love it when an idea starts to come together! I’ve been puttering around with art making all summer, knowing that it’s when I work on things that I get ideas for new things. And it worked! I figured out a way to combine a style that I really love (but it never quite felt like it fit me) with my style of work. In the process I feel like this method I’ve been playing with for a couple of years is suddenly expanding like crazy.
So yeah, this is making me really happy right now! What’s making you happy these days?
Oh my goodness! I need a day off to recover from my long weekend off!
The final tally was: Loon Lake, Spokane Indians baseball, Coeur d’ Alene Lake for a reunion of dad’s cousins, the Color Run and a last minute invite to an outdoor show featuring Loverboy, Foeigner and Styx. That’s a heck of a lot of fun in 3 days!
It’s August and time for August Break with Susannah Conway. I love August Break because it’s so simple and it makes me savor the everyday pleasures of the month.
I kicked off August Break with a real August break, a vacation day at Loon Lake. Floating in the lake is the best form of meditation I’ve found. Here’s a bonus photo from the baseball game:
Reading: Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King. This is a well written, fascinating story of Thurgood Marshall’s legal work as an NAACP lawyer in the South during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. I’m pretty familiar with the history of the Civil Rights movement in American history, but the inhumanity of the individual stories told here is horrifying. And not that far in the past.
Feeling: like I need to grab hold of summer and ride it for all it’s worth.
Smelling: basil and tomatoes and squash and all the deliciousness of the garden. Going out to water early every morning is a sensory delight!
Tasting: this cherry pie I made for mom’s birthday may not be the prettiest, but OMG, it tasted insanely good. I was totally impressed with myself!
Listening: guilty pleasure confession time. About a week ago I tuned my car radio to the local current pop hits station. I haven’t listened to this kind of stuff in years but I’m loving it. Iggy Azalea is my favorite.
Creating: I’ve been toying with stitched collage for a couple of years now. I had a major brainstorm about it a few weeks ago and I am hooked!
Wanting: beach time. Planning to remedy that 2 out of the next 4 days!
Pondering: what I want more of in my life and what I want less of in my life, with an assist from Selina Barker’s Project You course.
Definitely want more time outside with these little monkeys, even if they are plotting against me!
*the cherries were so thick on the trees at Cherry Hill this year that they looked like clusters of grapes. Mom and I picked over 20 pounds of pie cherries from one tree.
Last month I wrote about how I started using cheap substrates to trick myself into trying more things and making more art. I’m happy to report that it’s working!
With the cheap materials there is no fear of messing things up. I’m free to try out lots of ideas because it’s all an experiment. If an experiment turns out bad, then I’ve learned something useful. With this piece I learned that I liked it best when it was just a black outline drawing. Those white background lines that I love so much in the dreamy pastel works of other artists do not translate to the bold blacks and brights I’m pulled to in my own work.
I’m doing a lot of quick drawings on index cards as well, inspired by the Index-Card-A-Day Challenge. Index cards are perfect for working out the realities of an idea.
I’ve been doing a little something creative every day. And the more ideas I experiment with, the more ideas I have!
Doing a little something every day means I have a couple of things in various stages all the time. And that in turn makes it easy to do something every day because there is always something that needs easy finishing work for those times when I don’t have the creative energy to work out a new idea or project.
Each experiment also builds my confidence for the next project. These roses were an experiment for something I want to try on a bigger piece.
And the best benefit of all this experimenting? It’s slowly bringing me back to my own work, to the work that is uniquely me. And that is really exciting!