Thursday, January 7, 2010

Imperfect Present

I gave myself a nice gift this holiday. I got to sit and make pomanders any time I wanted with no guilt. Poking dried cloves into plump oranges was heaven. Then when I gave them to friends it was a gift all over again. Such a simple thing to connect me to my senses and bring joy to my peeps. These are so easy I just winged which is why the lovely imperfection of mold appears on one of mine. I'm going to make some with Levi this weekend, my 6 year old grandson. If you don't want the mold click here for real directions. Your fingertips will smell so nice for hours.

"Just perfect"
-Marth Stewart
The "P" word. It has followed me all my life and here's the big confession- I really thought into my late 20's, somewhere down deep, it should be sought after and could possibly be obtained. I'm a graphic designer and my work is about moving things tiny itty moves to left or right. So it's a hard one to let go of "being right" personally when professionally I spend so much time making things "look right" Then about 10 years ago I decide to take it out of my vocabulary completely. I found if I don't say it it is less likely I'll strive for it. But what replaces it? "Oh that looks so... complete on you?" "Wow that is the most whole color with your eyes". "I found the most incredibly beautiful on the planet art today on etsy?" Makes you stop and think doesn't it? Perfection is hard to replace isn't it? I love that Japan elevates the mending of broken ceramics to an art form called kintsugi. Cracks in broken pottery are carefully mended with lacquer and fine gold powder. The tea-ceremony embraces the beauty of imperfection. I picked up a book about Wabi Sabi 10 years ago and fell in love with the concept but when I went to describe it to friends it was hard to find the right words to give it justice. Got lost in Americano world. I'm getting better.  Barbara Bloom's show on being broken helped. Mary Oliver helps with her poem Wild Geese. Any poem that starts with- "You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees" makes me stop. So rather than resolutions for the year I like the idea of observing my relationship with a word. A word I can include in my daily conversations and thinking more often. The "I" word. Imperfection. "That looks just so... imperfect on you".

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"In order to survive as an artist you must have three things- the skin of a rhino. the tenacity of a bulldog, and a nice home to come home to" -Stella Adler
I was tickled pink when I saw the nice posting Christine did on my house church on Etsy today. And really touched by the comments people made. The same with when Amy on Design Sponge posted us in a sneak peek last August. There's something about living in a church or school or firehouse that seems to appeal to many folks. It's been a gift having the church as a home and studio and gathering place for all the wonderful artists, writers, musicians, performers, and chefs in my life. It seems to be every artist's dream.  A dream that at times has made me cry, giggle, grow as an artist, get unbelievably frustrated and ready to scream uncle. Not for sissies. So I've been testing out an idea with friends and I think today is the official launch day of a new project. Church Membership. I hope this doesn't offend because I am really respectful and loving of all things spiritual. I know the difference between the Church and my church. The offer is, for the annual fee of $100 you can buy a membership to my church. The money will go towards, yup, keeping this place afloat and me making art. Each year it'll vary a little, but with your yearly membership you'll get A.) a fabulous paper hat made just for you that is guaranteed to change your thinking. Wearing it will make you a little happier and less serious. B.) A c.d. of sounds Paul's recorded here at the church that will do the same, crickets, the peepers out back, my chickens saying good morning, chopping wood, friend's laughing, growing grass... in a case with a few beautiful photos and original art tucked in. C.) An invite to a potluck church supper in the meadow behind the church. This event will happen annually in the back meadow with lots of art, poetry, puppets, idea swapping and most likely my friend, Morgan's hot air balloon tethered nearby. I'm shooting for 1000 members yearly. Think this is doable? Wanna be part of Alice's Restaurant?