From October 2015

IMG_7300

The Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours

Live long enough and you begin to understand what “lights you up”.  I know that a bit of “adventure” and the delight of seeing creative spaces both really do that for me!!  Combine the two?  Forgetaboutit!

A few days ago, I stumbled upon such an opportunity when a new art friend told me about the annual open studio tours in a nearby desert area we’d never visited.

 WHAT!  I JUMPED ON IT!

Road trip with hubby + artful spaces = BLISSFUL DAY!!

Considering there were 95 studios open, this would take some planning.  There was no way we could see that many.  So we grabbed their catalog and map and charted our course.

We began our adventure in the farthest area (29 Palms) and worked our way back closer (Joshua Tree) to home.

IMG_7214

Some studios were easy to get to – as in paved roads and close the highway.   Others were situated far into desert dirt roads.  My jeep was built for this adventure!

IMG_7250

Half the fun is not knowing what’s around the next bend.  We were so lucky to purchase an incredibly beautiful painted drum from a Native American living in this deep desert “ranch” below!

IMG_7252

My favorite stops were where several artists used a sprawling “communal” space.  The high desert has wide open spaces to spread out, ya know?  Artists sure know how to make ramshackle buildings fun!

IMG_7224

IMG_7272

IMG_7225

IMG_7220

IMG_7215

I love all sorts of art, but hardly ever do I get to see where it’s actually created.  It’s really interesting . . .  I mean the studios themselves often become a work of art.

IMG_7246

Anything can become a “canvas” – walls, tables, furniture, even large storage containers!

IMG_7244

IMG_7245

Look – this guy lays out a large stained glass installation.  Wow!  I never imagined that he would design and draw the piece first – of course he did.  Duh.  Then he makes, colors and cuts the glass!  Wow, that’s a lot of skill.

IMG_7218

IMG_7223

IMG_7237

IMG_7216

Such an artful adventure does require hearty sustenance.

We heard the best burger in town was here at the Joshua Tree Saloon.

IMG_7255

The place had been overtaken over by LOTS of women bikers!  Pretty fun people watching dontcha know.

IMG_7256

I can hardly wait until next year – there’s so many studios we weren’t able to visit.

IMG_7242

IMG_7280

IMG_7274

It all had me dreaming of the “compound” I would create (if I could).  Some day!

I hear that the real estate prices are pretty darn reasonable in this neck of the woods.  Hmmmmm.

IMG_7271

IMG_7270

BTW if YOU are up for an artful desert adventure of your own, there is 1 seat that has opened up for The Creative Nomad art journaling retreat I’m hosting in Palm Springs.

Print

Details are here.

Do join us!


"Under The Willow"

Under The Willow

together, my wild gang races through heavy southern heat

our games of chase and dirt clod battles disturb the quiet wood

birds take flight, bunnies scatter from our boisterous path

i’m the only one to see an ancient willow among the oaks

i part the shading curtain and disappear into its darkened circle

inside this secret fort, i stifle my giggles as you ask aloud where i’ve gone

a round of hide and seek begins as my hidden heart slows, my breath quiets down

under this willowed veil, a world of wonder and solitude unfolds

a floor of earth-scented-potpourri, a creeping tribe of rainbow caterpillars, empty nests of twig and straw await my departure, and the thick trailing leaves muffle your calls

when it’s safe at last, i reluctantly slip from under, unnoticed

some magic, one keeps to herself

detail from "Under The Willow"

My Sacred Vows (To The Creative Life)

I’ve find that insight and inspiration comes in waves.  I’m there right now – atop a monster wave!

I’m recently back from an indescribably-wonderful-5-day-retreat with Angi Sullins – in New Mexico – my “soul’s home” – the place I find MOST inspiring.  Angi is truly a MUSE!  Do attend one of her retreats if you can – I highly recommend it!  Afterwards, my husband and I took a beautiful road trip through the desert southwest.

The day I got home,  Elizabeth Gilbert‘s latest book was released.  It’s called “Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear” and it is so so rich!  I ripped through it!  

MUST. RE-READ. VERY. SOON.   

AND this week, I returned to the warehouse studio I share with my super-talented-artist-Mom.  We had a loooong hot summer’s break.  Woof.  

A day of cleaning the studio + a bit of reorganizing + a day of painting = CREATIVE BLISS!

All of this has sparked an urge to re-commit to my creative life – officially – like with a written contract.  Which admittedly, felt like a strange thing to do.  Then, my husband reminded me that we enter contracts with employers, spouses, landlords, etc.  Why not make an agreement with the way of life I MOST CRAVE?  (Yeah – I’m talking to you M.R. Bird.)

In Ms. Gilbert’s book, she writes of committing to the writing life at a very young age – her vows were concise and reasonable, and they still apply to her work today.

My call is towards a broader creative life . . . I write, I paint, I art journal, I now host art retreats, I sometimes teach, I love interior design and gardening and fashion…..all of it!  It’d be impossible to narrow it – but I suppose my emphasis is on painting and writing.

I thought I’d share my own creative commitments with you here – ya know, to make it officially official.  Here goes:

  • I will follow my truest curiosity – allowing it to lead me to MY most creative life.
  • I will honor my ideas – gathering, harvesting and acting on them regularly.
  • I will always make the physical space for my creative pursuits – whether that’s in a studio or a corner shelf!
  • I vow to never put pressure on my creativity with expectations of money or accolades.  I will do it for love and support it however is necessary.  Anything else is gravy.
  • I will wholeheartedly pursue my creative passions through near-daily-practice.  I will build my creative muscle.  I will show up.  I will remain teach-able.
  • I will nurture my creative soul through inspiring experiences, books, classes, people and more “just doing it”.
  • I will care for my “instrument” with proper self care.
  • I will share my process and results often – being brave on my creativity’s behalf.
  • I will do my best work without caving to rampant perfectionism – of which I am totally inclined towards!
  • I vow to be light with my process.  Serious art making seems joyless and is NOT the life I desire.  If serious art comes of a light process, then so be it – but it’s not my goal.

Well that’s it – for now . . . hahaha I hope there’s not more!  What do you think?  Is there some commitments you’d like to make for your creative life?  Do share……