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!
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.
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.