Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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The Elderly Animal Project: Isa Leshko’s Photography

I recently came across the beautiful photography of Isa Leshko, in particular, her photography of elderly animals. These black and white images are stunning on their own. Then she added this short video explaining the elderly animal series. It brought tears to my eyes. Go grab a tissue before you watch this video.

As any animal lover will tell you, caring for an aging pet can be challenging & heartbreaking & rewarding. I’ve gone through it a few times myself. And we face it again with Woody our eldest cat. Woody is 12. In the past year he was diagnosed with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and high blood pressure. The trifecta of kitty diseases.

He’s currently doing well. He gets medication twice a day. Eats breakfast, dinner, and all the snacks he wants in between. (In fact, he just came up to the studio as I write this to let me know it is time for his mid-evening snack.) His weight is holding steady at around 10lbs plus or minus (down from a high of 12lbs.)

After looking at Isa’s photographs and hearing her explain the elderly animal series, I took a few pictures of Woody over several days. I thought it would be interesting to capture him at different times of the day. Several of these pictures were taken in natural light without a flash. I think they capture his true nature, for the most part. (And with cats much of that true nature involves lots of naps.)

Woody 12/17/11

Woody 12/18/11

Woody 12/19/11

Woody 12/19/11

Woody 12/20/11

Woody is a pretty regal cat. A little Zen master who fancies a well worn toy mouse named George, tummy rubs, and night time snuggles; the periodic hit of fresh catnip, chasing a bird feather on a stick, having a nutty, and chasing his little brother around the house. He inspired my first cat sculpture and an Ornimal. He’s a very special cat.

Grey Tabby Ornimal

Isa’s project has me contemplating something similar with Woody. If not a daily picture, certainly a weekly picture. After all, he is quite photogenic. But more than that, I think it would be interesting to capture his handsome nature as he ages.


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A Tiger Ornimal For Cathy

I received a special request from a friend. She asked if I could make an Ornimal for one of her friends. Her friend has a dog who is ill & she thought an Ornimal in the likeness of the dog would make a nice gift.

The little dog’s name is Tiger. He looks like a real sweetie. Here are two pictures of Tiger that were my source of inspiration.

And here is my interpretation of Tiger as an Ornimal.

Tiger Dog Ornimal, 2011, Amy A. Crawley

I’m happy with the way he turned out. I love his ears. And, as usual, the eyes complete the piece.

What do you think?


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Dr. Funk Meet Mr. Wall

Green Puffer Fish Ornimal, Amy A Crawley, 2011, Sold

Ever since the Artspace show wrapped up, I’ve been in a bit of a funk. The show was a huge success; best show I’ve done in a couple of years. Attendance appeared to be up. The Ornimals sold well. The functional art sold well. I added new people to my customer contact list. I came home tired from a job well done.

Riding the High

I was excited when I came home. The doom and gloom of the past year, in terms of the economy, seemed to be a distant memory. I even received a few last minute orders for more Ornimals. And then I sat.

I know from past experience that it can take me a couple of days to get back into the swing of things. It’s that time when you’re coming down from one event and preparing for the next event. Dr. Anne Paris, author of Standing at Water’s Edge refers to this period as “moving out of immersion.” Moving in and out of immersive states is a normal part of creation.

Yet that didn’t help me from feeling overwhelmed with filling the last few orders before the holidays. And then there were the other things on my to-do list that also needed to be addressed. Those things that I’d put off while getting ready for the ArtSpace show. And there were appointments that I’d made too.

I’d look at my to-do list, look at the clock, try to get myself out of my chair, and succumb to the computer instead. Funk had met the wall.

Resolution

Now this time wasn’t completely unproductive. Because of the success of the Ornimals, I started investigating new display options. I made notes about target markets & how to better market the Ornimals in 2012. And I did catch up on a couple things that I put on the back-burner in the run-up to the show.

But in my head, especially at night, I’d berate myself for not putting my hands back into the clay. The negative voice loomed large in my head. I questioned everything I was doing whether it was related to art, business or not. I felt like I’d run smack into a wall. Everything on my list seemed “too big” to accomplish and I was only destined to fail.

On Monday I decided to take a walk. It wasn’t exceptionally long (that is becoming a little less desirable as the temperature gets colder.) But it was enough to clear my head and improve my attitude.

It only took me a week to get there.

I spent this entire week working on the special orders. Two were shipped out today. I hope to have the last piece in a final order completed next week. I need to keep riding this wave of momentum and do the work. Resistance is futile.

Then it will be Christmas and New Years. Time for a welcome break…before it all starts up again.


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Monday Reflection: Growth is a Lifelong Process

There’s a concept often held
by people in the personal growth movement
that it’s all pretty simple-
all you have to do is change your thoughts,
use a certain technique,
and things should clear up.
People really believe that if they just were able to
follow this particular path
or do this method,
everything should work.
Then, when that turns out not to be the case,
they blame themselves.

That belief is simply extremely naive.

We are going through an amazing transformational process.
We are delving down through countless layers.
We’re transforming the ways people have lived
and behaved for centuries.
We can’t simply say a few affirmations
or do a simple technique
and have it all be done.
Growth is a lifelong process.

-Shakti Gawain
Awakening: A Daily Guide to Conscious Living


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Come to ArtSpace Maynard’s Holiday Art & Craft Show This Weekend

This weekend I’m participating in ArtSpace Maynard’s 11th Annual Holiday Art & Craft Show. This my last holiday art & craft show for 2011.

I’ll have new Ornimals (Animal Sculpted Ornaments), Pyramid Fortune Vessels, Soulful Sprites and Heart in Hand Talisman. The Sprites & Talisman make great stocking stuffer gifts! I’ll also have a selection of wine bottle stoppers, perfume pens, and business card cases if you’re looking for a more traditional holiday gift. And if you’re looking for wall art, I’ll have a small selection of artwork from my Languedoc-Roussillon series.

Here are three new Ornimals that are coming with me:

Clown Fish Ornimal

"Gwynnie" Dachshund Ornimal

Great Horned Owl Ornimal

Hope to see you this weekend at ArtSpace!

Happy Holidays.

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