Monday, December 29, 2008

Endings, Beginnings and Creative Freedom

Calendars are a way of marking time. It's the end of another year, which means it's the beginning of the next. Nothing ends without something else beginning. Seasons move from one to the next, rhythms and cycles of nature, day and night, and so forth.

So as this year comes to an end, I'm trying to look back at what I've accomplished this past year, and look forward to what I would like to do in the next. I didn't get some things done that I had hoped to in 2008, but I went in a different direction. After all, nothing in my plans is carved in stone. That's the beauty of setting my own goals. If I get distracted along the way, as I so frequently am, I just find myself moving in a different direction. Sometimes it's simply a distraction and I will eventually turn and find my way back, but other times, it's something new and exciting that I wasn't aware existed until I stumbled across it.

Creative freedom - to be able to move from one thing to another when the interest is there, or when something new is discovered, is such bliss.

I have an idea where I'd like to go in 2009, and I will head in that direction. There is no guarantee, I won't deviate from the path, however. I love that part of being an artist. There's always a surprise waiting.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Darkness and Quiet of Winter

Projects for Christmas are finished. Gifts are purchased, wrapped and shipped. I can finally relax and reflect.

There are more hours of darkness than light at this time of year. Snow blankets the ground and serves as an insulation for sound. In other words, it's dark and quiet. A good time for thinking, meditating, wondering. I think about the animals that hibernate through the winter months and at times, I wish I could do the same - when I'm cold and tired. Then I wonder about the order of nature - it's rhythm - pulse - cycles. Winter, in the dark and quiet, also holds the hope and expectation of warmth and growing things to come. Winter is a time to rest, to regain strength and build strong roots in order to emerge again in the light and warmth of Spring.

I would wish, with this holiday season upon us, that all of us could rest in the dark and quiet of winter. To reflect on the state of the world and all that has transpired in this last year. To find our own part in it, and to seek to be better persons in all that we do with hope for new opportunity and growth in the light of Spring.

Deep peace to all this holiday, with hopes for a brighter 2009.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sharks on the Wall

The sharks are finished and delivered. My customer was quite pleased, and so I am as well. I enjoyed this process. I will probably do more dye painting in the future.

It was a good learning experience to work with the thickening paste and the dyes, then to hoop it and work with the threads in the machine.

Now to focus on finishing other projects before Christmas. I do realize I'm running out of time, so I must get on with it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Does the Universe Breathe?

Watching the weather in Iowa is somewhat of a pasttime, but it's also necessary. Here in the heart of the US, we get weather extremes. It's also important for agriculture to know what's coming. Today, we're waiting for freezing rain and then snow, which is to begin this evening probably right around rush hour. We already have about four inches of snow left from the last one a week or so ago. Looks like this winter is going to be a bit like last year, where we had so much snow our driveway got narrower and narrower and the sides got higher and higher. In the heart of Iowa, winters aren't always the same. As a child I remember ice storms and skating down the middle of the streets. Then lots of snow. Then a period of relatively mild winters, some even warm days of 50 degrees (F) or more.

It's the sun spots, according to some scientists. When there is a great deal of solar activity, the earth gets warmer. The solar activity has been a great deal less this past year, according to these scientists, thus making winters more harsh. So what about global warming being caused by human pollution? I believe we have a hand in it, but I'm also coming to believe the universe has its seasons as well. Perhaps it's a little like breathing. On the inhale, fewer solar bursts. We may just want to watch out for the next exhale.