Showing posts with label Life as Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life as Art. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Lake Superior

Looking at Lake Superior out onto Artist's Point, Grand Marias, Minnesota.  A bit of fog in the  morning light.

   Taking a closer look that same morning.

   Sea gulls on shore

A solo gull

    The bay at Grand Marias

   Lots of sky and water

    Clouds and light

    Sheets of energy in the form of light

    The day is full of promise.  What will it bring?  What are your hopes and dreams?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Holiday of Love Valentine's Day 2016

February 14th--it may be my favorite day of the year. 

I appreciate a day dedicated to love. 

In my college days, when a sweetheart or lover was far from my life because I was too busy--my women friends were the sweetness of life.  We wrote each other notes of appreciation and cooked together and danced together and drank wine and contemplated life together.  These women friends were not my lovers; they were lovers of life.  

And we had a very good time together.

I feel glad to have a lover now.  We share many things together.  We have things that we enjoy separately too.  It makes a full life.  This year we celebrated at the Valentine's Bash at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum that was a benefit for the museum and the Great River Shakespeare Festival.  We strolled through the galleries looking at great art; we laughed with friends, ate some good food, and listened to some great music by Elsa Va and the Old Fashions.  

Life is good.

Thanks, Bob Stuber for sharing life with me and creating life as art.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day 2015

I woke up today with a heart filled with gratitude.  I made a list of all the people, things, loves of my life that fill me with joy and with gratitude.

Here's a poem by George Bernard Shaw that shines on how I want my life lived:

This is the true joy in life—that being used for 
a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.

That being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, 
selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining 
that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community 
and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. 
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work 
the more I live.

I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. 
It’s a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment 
and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it 
on to future generations.

— George Bernard Shaw 

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all.  It is good to have a day to give thanks.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Back in the Studio--Oh Yes!

Three Generations:  
Mary Catherine, Mary Rose, and Amaliya Rose

10" x 12.25" fabric, paper, photo transfer on fabric, yarn, button, cotton batting,  hand and machine stitching

This small art quilt had a beginning a very long time ago, and then the pause button was pushed.  I wasn't sure how to proceed--what was next?

I loved the two images of my daughter, Amaliya Rose at 3 years old in the bath tub.  She loved water and bath time was a treat--you can see the big smile.  The lower image is my grandmother, Mary Catherine.  She looks dressed up and ready to go some where.  She  was a dear woman and met Amaliya when she was a little baby before she passed away.

I looked for an image of my mother, Mary Rose to add to this collage piece--but I didn't have the image that completed this art quilt.  And then I found the word, Rose as part of a garment label.  It fit and connected.  So the energy of Amaliya Rose and Mary Rose is present in that small word.

The button was sewn up beside the Amaliya image and I had to move it to its current location. 

The antique button looks like a tree of life to me.

My dear Grandma Mary Catherine

Amaliya and showing the world her pleasure.

I finally found peace to complete this lovely little quilt.

See more art quilts in the Breeze on my Skin Gallery.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Messy Abundance: Wild Feminine Wisdom of this Earth

This is a repost from Chandra Sherin: Moon Muses

It is a lovely article and photos about nature, our place, messy and neat.  Oh, so lovely.  Check her out at Moon Muses.

Ash tree debris
Ash tree debris

On a walk with my dog, there is no way to avoid walking on the hackberries and then the debris from the ash tree along the sidewalk by our house. There they are all strewn out in hope and abundance. It is nature’s way, in the spring and the fall, to shower down an abundance of seeds, berries, blooms in order to ensure continuance. A beautiful symbol for us, really. Yet, mixed with that observation I remember the scorn, resentment and sometimes outright neurosis of people who saw or see this aspect of nature interfering with their sense of order, neatness, convenience and other structures of thought that have been built in opposition to what is natural.

Hackberries on the sidewalk.

Hackberries on the sidewalk.
The idea that a tree is messy comes to mind. That was a foreign concept when I first heard it. “I hate that tree. It is so messy! Cut it down!” I had not experienced that attitude in my own family and as an adult it was an abrupt introduction that came with home ownership. What I was hearing was that walnut trees were a nuisance because they get in the way of mowing, mulberries are weed trees because they grow so quickly, stain pavement and allow the birds to poop purple poop on freshly washed cars; that a person would love to have a flowering tree or a tree with berries but they are so messy! I had only ever known that trees are homes for many creatures, they help us breathe cleaner air, provide shade; walnut trees feed the squirrels in the winter, mulberries feed the birds and people. The “messiness” comes and goes in cycles and once was recognized and appreciated as food, fruit, harvest.

I wonder at how creativity and especially creative people living in ways that are different (than the structures set in place by today’s institutions and “traditional” venues as THE way to be and work and live) are seen and treated so much like the critics I thought of who spoke of and treat certain trees that bear fruit, nuts and other debris with such animosity and disrespect.
The idea of the “nuisance” of these fruitful trees is created because of made up constructs that go unquestioned.
“If my cement is stained, I will not be liked or respected. If birds poop on my car it affects the value, the paint, my esteem and causes me to have to wash my car again. If there are walnuts in my yard I will have to do extra work because I need to mow my lawn. I need to have grass and mow my lawn because that is what everyone does. If I have debris from trees all over my yard it has to be cleaned up. I must keep my yard manicured like the aristocracy from England of old so as to denote my status, esteem and untouchableness. I must use pesticides to maintain a “perfect image”. ”

For me personally, if someone judges me or sees my property as less because there are some passing stains from nature on the cement, or clovers and violets growing more than grass, I see them as missing what is really important in life and forgetting the deeper harmony and appreciation for nature and what nature requires. I remember that the artificial constructs are constantly demanding us to be overly self-conscious, to the point of applying poisons to our own land and seeing nature as nuisance and even, sometimes, enemy to be homogenized.
Cement is there to help us to walk and drive more easily. That is all. It is utilitarian. Is it good to take care of what you have on the material level? Of course. And it can become a preoccupation and a distortion too.
Click and Clack from Car Talk (NPR) always suggested it is better to get a used car than a new one. They knew that then a person is less prone to becoming outrageously upset about every scratch, ding or smattering of bird poop and can relax about it. There are more important things in life than getting mad about bird poop on cars because of certain trees.

Some of this is about wanting control and order. Some of it is about stupid norms in our society that ignore and refuse to respect the wisdom and gifts of nature. And it has gotten to the point where this kind of mindset is threatening nature and her creatures in critical and serious ways. And it affects our health. In many ways. Our health and well-being is strengthened and enhanced by connecting with nature and her elements, by feeling a part of the natural world. When we respect and recognize the gifts and power of even the messiest parts of nature, we begin to allow that kind of wild messy abundance that exists within our own being as well.
So my shoes have berries pasted to the bottom of them by pine needles with sap and ash tree debris to boot. So my cement is stained for a while and my yard is unruly like a mini forest. So what? Am I less human? Is it less valuable?
I am a creative person who lives in a counter-cultural way. Not because I want to be different, but because that is how I am wired and who I am. I don’t seem to fit in with the Institutional, the highly organized and structured corporations, the mainstream “Traditional” structures….even if I want to, I have ended up feeling like those messy trees when I try. I am regularly told by those who know me how talented I am, how many gifts I have and such a great ability to teach, yet I don’t seem to fit anywhere. I don’t seem to have value in this monetarily centered world. I don’t believe that, but that is the message I have gotten overall from it.

I realize that the only way I am to hope to make a sustainable living is to jump through their hoops, which would be a death to my spirit at this point, OR make my own way, plodding along, throwing my fruit and seeds everywhere I can and further with the help of the wind (Spirit) in hopes of continuance via messy abundance in harmony with nature.
The concrete and the literal can always be symbolic of inner states of being and outer realities. There is always depth and purpose strewn out before us. Sometimes the people we love are messy and inconvenient. And when they are gone, that is often what we miss most. When the children are small the chaos and demand and mess can seem stressful. When they are older it is missed. When the dog destroyed beloved material objects or ripped up the garbage, it was outrageous and bad. When they are gone, that short life, that messiness is missed and thought of with humor and tenderness.
When we realize this, we raise our awareness to a level that embraces the wisdom of nature. Mother Nature, our Earth is ordered chaos, messy abundance, wild wisdom and beauty. As are we, when we free ourselves from the facades and constructs that have alienated our being from simple wisdom and simple truths.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gathering, Sharing, and Getting a Tree

We went to Bronk's to get our Christmas tree.  They're in our neighborhood--we picked a little Fraser tree and it fit in the corner quite well.

A few lights and looked at all the ornaments--new and old.  Some that Amaliya made, lots that we collected.   I gave her some to take home for her collection.  Bob and Dan we good sports with the decorating.    We threw out some lights that didn't work.  Oh, it was fun!

I put together the Angel Candles and brought out the Peace Snow Friend.  The flowers were from my birthday earlier this week.  Oh, so fun to be together and make cheer.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Meandering Up North

Shore pictures of Lake Superior

Summer traveler back to teaching Art to kindergarten through 5th Grade students at Ridgeway Community School and Dakota Area Community School.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Life as Art and Art Strong in our Lives

I’m a strong believer that art makes a difference in lives.  Humans have physical needs for food, shelter, and clothing; our spirits are supported through love and beauty and expression for our spirits is through the arts.  Arts feed our spirits.  A song can cheer our mood.  A color can lift our spirits.  We tap our toe or gently sway when a piece of music comes to our ears.  The written word in the form of a poem or piece of prose can open our thinking to different dimensions.

I experience this every day.  One of my mantras is ‘Create Every Day’.  I reflect that mantra through the clothing that I wear, the food that I eat, the music that I listen to, the way I move my body through space, and the books that I read.   I share that with my friends through theatre, dance, paintings, and music.  Life is a rich tapestry of art that goes on all around us.  What blessed creatures we are to be humans and have so many choices.

 Americans for the Arts has put some information together about the presidential candidates and their support of the arts.  Here’s how Obama and Romney are weighing in on support for the arts.


Barack Obama
Joe Biden
Democratic Nominees
Mitt Romney
Paul Ryan
Republican Nominees

Candidate would maintain or increase federal support of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.
Proposed increase of $9 million for National Endowment for the Arts.
-FY 13 NEA budget request, Rpt p.2 / PDF p. 6
-FY 13 NEH budget request, Rpt p.11/PDF p. 14
“Reduce subsidies for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.”
-Romney/Ryan website
-Los Angeles Times article
Candidate would maintain or increase federal support of museums and libraries.
Proposed increase of $9 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities and level funding of $232 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
-FY 13 IMLS budget request, Rpt/PDF p.12
Congressman Ryan’s House-passed budget calls for eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services, but it is unclear what Gov. Romney’s position is.
- Ryan’s FY2013 budget, Rpt p.88 / PDF p.96
Candidate would maintain or increase federal support for public broadcasting.
Proposed level funding of $445 million for Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
-FY 13 CPB budget request
“Reduce subsidies for…the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”
-Romney/Ryan website
-10/3/12 presidential debate transcript

 Candidate would maintain or increase Title I funding, which includes eligibility for arts education.
Proposed to reauthorize current Title I program, with level funding.
-FY13 budget request, Rpt p18 / PDF p 22
Proposes to change Title I funding by expanding choice for eligible students to use federal funds to pay for public, charter, or private schools. It is unclear what impact this would have on arts education Title I funding.
-Romney education plan, Rpt p.23 / PDF p. 24
Candidate would maintain support of national and community service, which includes eligibility for arts and music service.
Proposed increase of 1 percent to $1.1 billion for Corporation for National & Community Service agency budget.
-FY 13 CNCS budget request
Congressman Ryan’s House-passed budget calls for eliminating the Corporation for National and Community Service, but it is unclear what Gov. Romney’s position is.
- Ryan’s FY2013 budget, Rpt p.88 / PDF p.96
Candidate maintains current incentives for charitable giving to 501(c)(3) organizations, such as a local nonprofit arts institution.
The Obama plan maintains the ability for households to deduct charitable gifts, but he proposes reducing the value of the deduction from 35 percent to 28 percent for those households that make more than $250,000.
-FY 2010-13 budget request, blog statement
Gov. Romney has suggested maintaining a deduction for charitable gifts, but he has also proposed combining those charitable deductions with other tax deductions, such as mortgage interest, all of which would be limited by an overall cap that could jeopardize incentives to donate.
- 10/16/12 presidential debate transcript
National party platform includes a positive position on the arts & arts education.
“We will continue to support public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts… and for programs providing art and music education...”
- 9/4/12 DNC platform, p.16
GOP platform was silent on these issues.
- 8/28/12 GOP platform

Americans for the Arts Action Fund is a bipartisan national advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to appreciate, value, and participate in the arts. ArtsVote2012, a program of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, was created to secure policy proposals in support of the arts and arts education in America from candidates running for federal office in the 2012 election.
For further information, visit or call 202-371-2830.

Please take time on Tuesday to vote.  It’s really important to have all of our voices heard.   

Thank you.


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