I was talking to a dear friend this week who is on sabbatical for three months from her highly demanding work as an episcopal parish priest in a large parish on the east coast. When I asked her what she was doing on her sabbatical she said jokingly but somewhat wistfully said “waiting for a vision”. She is ready for a change but not sure what or how or where. I know that feeling. We’ve all had it and always the question is what is the right next thing? I’ll tell you honestly I have never had a vision, I have never been totally clear of my next step, I have never been 100% confident that the path I’m on is the right one and yet I continue to wander on. I guess I’m comforted by the fact that every time a wander down an unknown path there is always another fork along the way. That this path I’ve chosen today has side paths and loops and other meanders. That’s all to say I just keep walking, sometimes it feels like I’m totally in the dark but I keep walking – vision or no vision.
I know I’ve talked to you all before about my rejection therapy approach to career development but it’s worth repeating here. I set a goal to be rejected every day in big ways and small ways. Start with the small ways like in the grocery store parking lot instead of walking the cart to the rack ask the person who just drove up if they want it… that doesn’t seem like much because it isn’t the worst thing that happen if they say no thanks or look at me weird and I have to walk the cart to the rack. But that little rejection therapy session just got me ready to submit an article to magazine for publication I ask myself “what is the worst thing that can happen?” well the answer of course is nothing happens -literally nothing- they don’t publish my article and guess what if I don’t send in the article they can’t publish the thing I didn’t do…. you get the idea it’s a bit of a “just do it” mantra. No visions required – say yes to yourself even if you don’t know how it will work out. Wander down a path even if you can’t see around the next bend, there is something there – just keep moving!
Here are a few rejection therapy things that have I’ve got in the works: continued freelance writing for Quilting Arts and Cloth,Paper, Scissors Magazines. I have a wonderful 5 page spread in the latest issue of Quilting Arts and an another article coming out in the Fall. I’ll be teaching at Craft Napa again in 2019, I’m in conversation with the Quilting Company to develop an online series of courses for them. I’m opening a gallery with three other women in Sebastopol, teaching at quilt guilds and retreat centers on and on…. I just keep moving I’m looking forward to seeing what is around the next bend.
Somehow I can’t keep up with my life these days; well that’s not quite true, I’m keeping up but just barely. Workshops are happening, my work at The Bishop’s Ranch is happening but I feel stuck in quick sand, I’m running but it feels more like slogging. I keep thinking I’ll get caught up – today is the day – and then the next day is the same. I’ll keep trying – I promised to blog more but bare with me. I want to keep you in the loop about what I’m up too so….
This weekend I taught this weekend at The Bishop’s Ranch my Winter Creative Workshop. It was all about making art papers and making personal, artful gifts and cards with the stenciled, stamped and sprayed papers, take a peek:
But wait there’s more! I’m having a Studio Sale December 1st-3rd, here is a preview and a link to details STUDIO SALE… PLEASE COME AND INVITE FRIENDS:
Still MORE! Commit to your creative self in 2017 come make art with ME! WORKSHOP INFO
The old proverb “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” took on new meaning for me this week. Typically the idiom is described as meaning its better to have something that is certain than take a risk to get more and lose everything. I’ve always thought of this phrase as having a bit of the coward in it, a fear of taking the leap into the unknown but this week I turned this little nugget upside down to find a deeper wisdom. You remember, dear reader, from last week’s post that I was kvetching about a challenge I’m doing for Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. I was given packet of Grafix materials and asked to feature them in a piece of art. For several days I was struggling “what to do, what to do?” pulling my hair out. So last Friday I decided to leave the slate blank and let it filter in. On Sunday I reread the email from Barbara Delany (assistant editor at CPS) in it she says “We are asking you to create artwork in your signature style, using the Grafix product”. Somehow this spoke to me in a different way. Use your signature style she said, be you, right then the phase a “bird in the hand” popped in my head. It came to me that there is no cowardice in digging down and doing what you know, there is wisdom in looking inward, taking stock and making something new out of what you have. This little fissure in my creative clog was all I needed to have productive, invigorating, satisfying studio day, a day unlike any I’ve had for months. And so I beseech you to turn inward when you find yourself flailing, grab hold of your greatest gifts, the birds flitting by are so bright and beguiling we forget we’ve been building a little nest in our hearts all along, each little stick of life experience tucked in to hold a rare and beautiful bird.
I got so inspired I made two very distinct pieces with the Grafix materials I’ll show the other one next week.