In the past year or so I’ve received a handful of emails and messages requesting images from my gratitude project as custom prints or cards. I was always happy to oblige, and at some point realized that this was a great way for people to connect with my work in a way that felt personal. So I’ve added a “Request Custom Work” option on my etsy shop, and wanted to welcome you all to use it! It’s right here, under the “Shop Owner” tab on etsy.
see! that button right there!
You can find the complete catalog of images from the gratitude project here, and you can see all of the card images here. One customer recently ordered these three illustrations (which were all originally cards) to hang in her nursery:
It isn’t often one can say something they made has been cataloged on another person’s skin (and not just any person, but the dearest of friends). Check out the beautiful handiwork of Noel’le Longhaul in conjunction with one of my images from the 365 days of gratitude project. Some of those images became cards, some became pages in the book, and some were part of the 2014 calendar, but this particular image was featured in all three! So here’s to Saint Francis de Sales; may we find the nourishment we need all around us this spring, and may we bloom right where we are planted in this moment!
Wise encouragement from 19th Century Irish poet and author Oscar Wilde. It’s a welcome reflection: BE YOURSELF. And as Wilde points to, with humor, who else could you possibly be? I once told a friend that there are many days I feel exhausted being ME. She responded with her steady wisdom, saying, “It sounds like you’re exhausted resisting who you are.” Yes. That’s it. I am often amazed at how much mental energy (thoughts, moods, emotions) go into comparing myself to others, falling short over and over again and solidifying the belief that I am not OK exactly as I am. If I could let go of this belief, BEING MYSELF would feel easy—-like lying back on the grass and yielding to something natural, familiar, safe; like being carried by the wind or the beauty of others, but feeling clear that my basket, my carrier, is a place where I can just be ME.
In the creative process, and in all kinds of work, we often overlook the importance of taking a break. This week, Aaron Becker, a local illustrator from the Pioneer Valley (who has relocated to Grenada, Spain for the year….) and winner of the 2014 Caldecott Honor Picture Book for his magical book Journey, wrote eloquently and honestly about reaching a momentary creative limit and the importance of finally take a break—maybe for just a few days or a week, but a break nonetheless.
In my experience, hitting a limit (thoughtfully, and with awareness…) can be as inspiring to our work (and the longevity of our creative life….) as finding those ‘terrific stories’ and ‘lovely brush strokes’ he writes about in his blog. Each time I take a break in the midst of working, especially when it’s a bit earlier than I think I need one, I’m always amazed at how refreshed and resilient my mind feels when I return to working.
Yep, it’s Heather Maloney in the house again! She’s running a KICKSTARTER campaign this month to raise funds for her next album and I’ve just donated FIVE 2015 calendars to her campaign rewards! For $55 dollars, you’ll get the NEW as-yet-unrecorded album (indie music at it’s poetic, mesmerizing best!) signed by Heather AND one of my 2015 calendars, signed by me! Woot! Heather is straight up A-MAY-zing. Check her music out HERE if you haven’t discovered her yet. Thanks for supporting local, home-grown art + music, folks. We can’t do it without you.
A late in the day celebration of coffee. And the 17th Century Japanese poet Basho who said, “Learn about the pine from the pines.” To learn more about coffee and the lives and history of the people who grow it, check out the documentary Connected By Coffee from Stone Hut Studios. #coffee #artpluswords
Kicking off my newly named ART + WORDS life and studio blog with the work of Amanda Blake, an artist based in Madison, WI. She paints portraits of people experiencing moments in time, alone and together, in nature or empty spaces. Her color use is what draws me most. All kinds of pink and blue and dark blue and green. She weaves flowers, patterns, stripes, and polka-dots into her figures, their clothes and the landscapes they inhabit (which are full of birds and blooms and wide, starry nights). There is something slow and quiet in these pieces, too. A sense of space. Her prints and original work are for sale in her Etsy shop: this is all i know.