Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Artisans In Bloom

The Bolton Artisans Guild is hosting their third spring art show and sale this Saturday, May 30, 2009, 10 AM to 4 PM at First Parish of Bolton in Davis Hall. Admission is free. This is a great time to buy graduation gifts, wedding gifts, and gifts for Father’s Day.  Hope you can join us!

ArtInBloom09_small


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Putting It All In Perspective

First, I want to thank everyone for sending their well-wishes for a successful art show this past weekend. I do appreciate your thoughts.

And I know people are asking “how did it go?”  Well, it all depends on your perspective.

Prior to the show I set intentions to have a good show, to be a “rock star” artist, to have nice booth mates (the folks in the booths on either side and across the aisle) and to attain a certain financial goal.

The drive to the show was fine and the traffic was manageable. I got a kick out of using my Fast Lane transponder on the turnpike (simple things do bring pleasure.) Check-in went smoothly and I found a parking space not too far from my booth location. The artists on either side of me were pleasant and friendly, as were the artists across the aisle. I didn’t leave set-up till 6:00 pm as I was helping other artists set up their booths as well.  Everything was off to a great start.

Saturday came; I was pumped and ready to go. And people came (though not in the crowds of previous shows.) And the sales didn’t quite happen as I had hoped. This was pretty much the way of the weekend. People came in bunches at various times, sometimes for an hour or so. And usually by 4 or 5 PM the aisles got pretty quiet. (Which meant it was a good time for artists to mingle and shop!)

Financially I only covered about 1/3 of my costs. Not my best show financially in the three years I’ve been an exhibitor. All my sales were small items of $30 or less.  Some artists sold nothing the entire weekend. Some sold one or two large pieces or higher priced items. It seemed that clothing and jewelry were the better selling items; at least from my vantage point.  I know on Monday, the last day of the show, some artists were marking down their work in order to sell it. Personally, I don’t believe in this approach unless it is something I’m not making anymore. But, hey, everyone has to make these calls based on business.

The financial outcome, however, was not the worst part of the show. The worst part happened when my car died on the way back to my hotel on Saturday after the show closed.

As we were driving back to the hotel (about a 20 minute drive), I felt something stop working in the car. The RPM gauge dropped to zero and I quickly turned on the flashers, started honking my horn, and moved from the left lane into the breakdown lane.  I am thankful that Eric was behind me in his car. He quickly pulled over as well.

I turned off the car and then started it again. All the dashboard lights lit up but the engine would not catch. After a few more tries we called Saab roadside assistance, arranged for a tow, pulled stuff out of my car, and waited. Thankfully there was a Saab dealer a few miles from the hotel which is where we left my car. Unfortunately all the car rental places were closed (as it was well after 6pm when this happened.) This left me in a bit of a quandary.

And then I remembered a serendipitous moment from earlier in the day. I had met the mother of an artist in my aisle. She asked me if I was staying at the Hampton Inn because I had apparently talked with her over breakfast that day.  I looked up her daugher’s name on my show list, called the hotel, left a voice mail message explaining my situation, and asked if I might be able to share a ride with them for the remainder of the show. (Eric would return on Monday to help dismantle my booth.)

The universe was indeed looking out for me. I heard back from Lark and she graciously let me carpool with her and her mom for the remainder of the show.  We even went out together for dinner where I met another artist from the show and a friend of Lark’s. We had a great time. Check out Lark’s pottery here. And check out her friend Anne’s hats here.

On Monday morning, another artist stopped in my booth before the show started.  We talked about my work and she gave me some great advice on booth redesign and display. Linda paints and also creates some pieces with polymer clay. You can see her work here.  I even had my first show trade where I traded a pyramid vessel for a lovely hand dyed scarf made by Leni Hoch.

When I look back on this weekend, I am reminded of Byron Katie and a question posed in her book “Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life.” That question is “Is it true?”

I could say the weekend was lousy…but that isn’t true. I think of the the new people I met and the gratitude I felt in their support during my time of need.

I could say I didn’t sell anything this weekend…but that isn’t true. I did sell some items.

I could say I didn’t make any money…but that isn’t true. I did make some money and covered 1/3 of my expenses.

To some this may sound all polly-anna-ish. Believe me, I did have my moments of doubt, frustration, and wanting to throw in the towel. And when those feelings came up, I remembered all the good that did happen during the weekend.

With all challenges in life, your impression of things and how they affect you all depend upon your perspective.


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Monday Reflection

Today’s quote is provided by Lora Hart.

“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz.
“All you need is confidence in yourself.
There is no living thing that is not afraid  when it faces danger.
The true courage is in facing danger when you
are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”

-L. Frank Baum

Lora explains why this is her favorite quote:

As artists the most negative feedback we get, which seems to present  the greatest problems for us, is the feedback we give ourselves. The  stories we tell ourselves about how we’re not good enough, we’re not  as talented; innovative or skilled as our current creative crush. The  unhealthy stories we replay from childhood, stories that well meaning advisors repeat or stories that the unknown “they” tell which we give  credence to. The only thing that really holds us back is ourselves. I  know that that is true for me. Whether I call not  submitting for a publication or a teaching engagement or whatever laziness;  forgetfulness; disinterest; lack of time… the real excuse always  boils down to lack of confidence.

About Lora:  I’m a metal clay senior instructor who is trying to activate her creative side.

Lora’s website: Lora Hart

Lora’s blog: Such and Such

Lora Hart (1)


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The Dwellings Series: Emergence

The next piece in the Dwellings series is Emergence.

Dwellings: Emergence

Dwellings: Emergence

And a closer shot of the center talisman:

Emergence Talisman

Emergence Talisman

Emergence is made from polymer clay over a foil and clay armature. The talisman is faux bone polymer clay embellished with copper beads, pearls, and turquoise. The talisman is not removable. The petals that embrace the talisman are finished in 18 kt gold leafing. Emergence is hand-sanded and buffed to a smooth finish. The base is polyurethaned wood.

This symbols in this piece are numerous. The green and yellow/gold in the surface design means healing and balancing, wisdom, communication, and the light of the sun. The copper beads symbolize transformation; the pearls symbolize infinite compassion, protection, and spiritual attunement. Turquoise is for healing and balance.

It was during the creation of this piece that I realized the Dwellings series represents the birth of a new direction in my art. It is my emergence.

Height:8.75″

Price: $450.00


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The Dwelling(s) Series

A month or so back I listened to a “Dream Call” teleseminar on dream analysis. The teleseminar was hosted by Leah Piken Kolidas and featured guest speaker Lianne Raymond. I’ve always found dream analysis to be an interesting and sometimes silly venture. A good reason for that is my original explorations with dream analysis in high school and college. At that time every book I referenced considered various dream images to be sexual, phallic, or some other description that, to me, seemed way off the mark and irrelevant to what happened in the dream.

So I listened to the Dream Call with interest and a bit of skepticism until Lianne described the process she uses to analyze dreams. Her process incorporates the work of Martha Beck and asks the dreamer specific questions about what specific dream symbols mean to her. This was groundbreaking for me. Here was someone telling me that you can find your own symbolism in your dreams. That alone was a breakthrough.

That night, and for several consecutive nights, I set an intention to dream and to remember the dream upon waking. Using techniques to help me remember a dream or segments of a dream, I started to apply the process.

The majority of my dreams (at least those I remember) take place inside building like structures. It might be my home, or a less than realistic version of my home, a dorm room, the mall, an old home; always some sort of dwelling. And it was this recurrence of dwellings, of place, that inspired me to create my new series of work.

The Dwelling(s) series is inspired by dreams of home or home-like structures. In this series I contemplate what our dwellings mean to us. Are we boxed in? Constricted? Hemmed In? Secure? Are there aspects of ourselves that we dwell on?

Dwell (v): to live as a resident; reside. to exist in a given place or state. to fasten one’s attention; to treat at length.

Dwell (n): a place to live in; abode.

The first two pieces in this series are shown below:

Dwellings: Contemplation

Dwellings: Contemplation

Dwellings: Contemplation (Talisman Removed)

Dwellings: Contemplation (Talisman Removed)

Dwelling(s): Contemplation is made from polymer clay over a foil and clay armature. The surface design is created with alcohol inks and blended to imitate raku. The shape of the talisman was inspired by the dwelling space revealed in the armature. The talisman is gold polymer clay and features carved symbols and wire wrapping. The talisman is hand-sanded and buffed. The base is polyurethaned wood. The talisman is removable and can be used in meditation or placed on a home altar.

Height: 7.0″

Price: $300.00

Dwellings: Security

Dwellings: Security

Dwellings: Security (Talisman Removed)

Dwellings: Security (Talisman Removed)

Dwelling(s): Security is also made from polymer clay over a foil and clay armature. The surface design is created with alcohol inks and blended to imitate raku. The shape of the talisman was inspired by the dwelling space revealed in the armature. The talisman is faux bone polymer clay and has been impressed with various textures. She is lightly buffed to reveal a natural brightness. The base is polyurethaned wood. The talisman is removable and can be used in meditation or placed on a home altar.

Height: 6.5″

Price: $325.00

I’m quite excited about this theme and this new series of work. The possibilities are many and the interpretations numerous. Tomorrow I’ll post another piece in the Dwelling(s) series.


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The Yes Men

The blog has been quite lately while I prepare for my show this weekend at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton. I’ll be in booth #922 in the arena building. If you’re in the area, please stop by and say “hi.”

Now that I’ve finished a few new pieces for the show, it is time for them to make their debut. Today features the Yes Men, also known as being indecisive in your decisiveness.

First, a group shot: The decisive yes side

YesMenGrp

And a group shot of the back side:

YesManGrpBack

Each Yes Man is two-faced, uhm, I mean he has a face on both sides of his head, oh wait, that still didn’t sound right. The Yes Men feature heads with two expressions. On one side is a positive “yes” and on the other side is a firm “no.” You decide which expression you want to face outwards. Depending on your mood you might be switching sides several times throughout the day.

Here are full body shots of each one.

Yes Man with Hands: Front

YesManHandsfrontYes Man with Hands: Back

YesManHandsBack

Yes Man with Hands stands 9.5″ tall. Price: $225.00

Next up, Yes-Maybe Man viewed from the front:

YesMaybeManFrontYes-Maybe Man from the back:

YesMaybeManBackYes-Maybe Man is 7″ tall. Price: $150.00

Last is Yes Man in Green; Front:

YesManGrnFrontYes Man in Green, Back:

YesManGrnBackYes Man in Green is 8.5″ tall. Price: $180.00

Each Yes Man is made from polymer clay formed over a foil and clay armature. The heads are hand sculpted.  Additional materials include beads, mica powder, acrylic paint, chalk pastels, acrylic wash, and wire.


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Monday Reflection

Today’s quote is provided by Paula Hinkson.

Man’s greatest earthly possession is the undemanding love of a wonderful woman.
All men seek it, but only the fortunate find it.
Today, at this point in my life, I find myself amongst the fortunate.

-Author Unknown

Paula explains why this is her favorite quote:

My favorite quote has a story behind it and has been one of my favorites for 30 years. When Doug and I were dating, he wrote this for me on a small piece of paper and handed it to me after taking me home one night. It really touched my heart. I still have it put away somewhere.

Now thirty years later, thinking about what it means is a bit different than it was in 1979. For one, the word “possession” does not sit well with me. :)  I would guess that whoever wrote it had to be a man, since women used to be considered “possessions.” And I think the quote is a realization to never take love for granted. I loved it back then and I still do. By the way, I couldn’t remember it word for word so I told Doug about your contest and asked him if he remembered the quote. Even after all these years, he wrote it down for me again. Isn’t that sweet?


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I’d Like To Move Faster…But The Universe Is Giving Me A Wedgie

Have you ever had one of THOSE weeks? You know the ones where you try to accomplish tasks and the universe has something else in mind? That is what this week feels like to me…I’d like to move forward and the universe would rather give me a wedgie!

After a wonderful weekend spent in the presence of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama and basking in the afterglow, it appears that while I’m moving ahead on small tasks, the universe likes to throw a curve ball into my plans that stops me dead in my tracks.

It has been an interesting week with both of us experiencing muscle pain and discomfort that triggers at inopportune times…at least the timing seems pretty lousy to us. And then there is accompanying stomach bug that has gotten in on the act. Even our youngest cat was sick today.

These events have caused me to pause (both literally and figuratively) and ask myself what is my body trying to tell me? What is the universe trying to tell me?

Now I know this may seem all woo-woo to some people and that is okay. I sometimes think that way myself. Yet on the other hand, I do believe that sometimes our bodies react in certain ways as a means to get us to slow down and to listen. The problem is I don’t always know what to listen for. “What the bloody hell are you trying to tell me?” I want to ask.

I am at age where my body is going through some changes that I don’t necessarily enjoy. You know how it is; there are some things you can control and some things you can’t. So I’m trying to understand and accept this stage in my life. That is one reason why my creativity is so important to me. It is a form of release and during this phase of my life a lot of stuff is coming to the surface.

So what does this have to do with the universe? Well, I believe that much like our bodies tell us to slow down and listen, so does the universe. At first it is subtle, like a gentle tap. Eventually, if you don’t pay attention, you get smacked upside the head (or, in this case, a wedgie.)

I’m trying to pay more attention to my life and my environment. As I’m working on my intention and clearing out more clutter, I received an unexpected consignment check.  Life is good and I am grateful. And then I get an email which takes my focus away from where I want to be and where I’m going, and I have to learn to say “no” in a loving way.  Time to be decisive and clear.

Several Daily OM horoscopes this week have been eerily timely as have their daily inspiration posts. The same can be said about the daily Course in Miracles podcasts I receive from Marianne Williamson. This is the universe sending subtle signals. Pay attention. Listen. Be open to possibilities.

Follow where your attention goes; Is it in aligned with your intention?

Or beware another wedgie!


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The 37th Day

37-1

It seems hard to believe that I have finally reached Day 37 of the 37 Day Challenge. I awoke this morning asking myself “Is this really Day 37?” What seemed like such a long slog when I started the challenge really has flown by.

So what have I learned about myself during this time?  I’ve learned that

  • when my will is weak it is okay to forgive myself and start over again the next day or even the next hour.
  • when you state your intention to people, you’re more likely to stick with it because you know someone else has your back.
  • inhaling the scent of chocolate is oddly satisfying in order to rein in a craving.
  • deprivation doesn’t make this any easier.
  • I can set a small goal, achieve it, and manifest other improvements along the way.
  • berating myself doesn’t accomplish anything…except perhaps a desire to eat more chocolate!

I want to thank Patti Digh for presenting this challenge to her blog readers. During this time I’ve become more aware of other opportunities to be healthy such as new recipes, cooking shows, and exercise plans. I still love my chocolate and find myself being more selective about eating it. I don’t miss it as much as I did early-on and because of that I can enjoy it much more when I do eat it.

AFTERGLOW

Several days after spending the day with the Dalai Lama, I find that I continue to absorb his words and feel a slight shift in my attitude toward life and other people. I returned to meditation on Monday and am setting an intention to return to meditation on a regular basis, even if it is only for 5 minutes. (Hey, there’s another challenge for the next 37 Days.) The simple act of calming the mind and breathing does wonders for preparing me for the day ahead.

If you missed it in the previous post, you can view a report on the Dalai Lama’s visit here.


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Monday Reflection

Beginning today, and for several consecutive Mondays, I will post a favorite quote by a guest artist. Included will be an explanation of why this quote is a favorite and also some information about the guest artist.

Today’s quote is provided by Karen Park.

Don’t be right, be kind

-Dr. Wayne Dyer

Karen explains why this is her favorite quote:

Several years ago, I was listening to a PBS special with Dr. Wayne Dyer.  When he uttered those 5 words during the course of his lecture, it made me stop suddenly and look up.  “Don’t be right, be kind”.  How simple but oh so very profound, I thought.  So many conflicts may be caused by people attaching themselves to being “right” about something, conflicts with others and also conflicts with themselves.  It is allowing the ego to lead and our true nature to recede.  Because I believe that it is in our true nature to be kind.  To embrace the full diversity of life and know that there will be many differences amongst us and that it is ok if someone looks different or thinks differently from you.  To have compassion for your fellow human beings and not be so quick to convince them of your way, the “right” way.  I think that the core of this statement is to accept and love others for who they truly are because in accepting others, we also accept ourselves.  We are all connected in our humanity and our capacity to love.  Thinking about this statement everyday has helped me to listen closely, open my heart to others and to tap into my compassionate side more often.

About Karen: I am a mixed media jewelry artist living in Massachusetts, USA. I love writing and creating with beads, wire, polymer clay, fabric and paint. I also work for a tea company and love all different kinds of tea.

Blog: http://artandtea.wordpress.com/

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