Thursday, March 26, 2015

Vibe Up!

In the past months, I have been more deeply exploring my spiritual life.  I have been making time for yoga and trying to develop a meditation habit.  I have been tuning in to Super Soul Sunday on OWN, falling in love all over again with Oprah and Deepak as they share free meditation experiences and in general trying to "vibe up" through food choices, making time for my own wellness and learning about radical acceptance.

Our family went on a wonderful get-away (a working vacation for me) that started at Maumee Bay State Park Lodge and ended up at our first Airbnb experience at an amazing Loft in downtown Chicago.  We were so lucky to meet Luke Jensen, the host who is a small business owner and visionary.  He started Selfless, which redefines charitable giving modern age and co-founded Vibe Up.  While in Chicago, I was so incredibly fortunate to get to go to one of the Vibe Up! events!  I discovered that I was stronger and have more stamina than I gave myself credit for as I did yoga in a group of 40 people (most of whom were 15-20 years younger than me) and kept up.  My family joined the fun afterwards to play vintage video games, eat delicious, nutritious foods and meet more people engaged with their own wellness.  Truly, it was inspiring.  Since we have returned home, we have "voted at the grocery store" through buying organic and in general connected more with our inner selves.

We are encouraging Luke and his business partners to bring Selfless and Vibe Up! to Columbus and around the country. For more information, visit I Am

Filling Books

I know that my life as a teacher is influenced by my life as an artist which in turn influences my life as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, human on the planet Earth.  I love this symbiotic relationship and realize that it makes me who I am.  I have worked in a Visual Journal for most of my adult life.  Lately, I have been inspired by The 2015 Art Project and how my visual journal allows me to develop The 16 Habits of Mind.  Here are a few recent 2-page spreads from my current journal:
Self Portrait

Self Portrait detail

When I Needed Wings

Let it Go!

Super liberating to take fodder that was generated around toxic people of my past, cut it into tiny shards and reassemble it into my "frozen fractal".  I was able to move on as I wrote out statements, "Just like me, the people who have hurt me are...
seeking happiness
trying to avoid suffering
have known sadness, loneliness and despair
they seek to fulfill their needs
Just like me they are learning about life.
I literally felt lighter after I finished the page!
Self Love (detail)

Self Love

I used quotes from Mother Teresa and Don Miguel Ruiz in this one, as I thought about embracing both my light side and my dark side.
 These were all inspired by journal prompts from 2015 Art Project.  So glad I signed up for this year long project!

 These are less finished but equally as functional pages from my current journal.  I use my journal to process my life.  One page bleeds to the next, influencing it and changing it forever, JUST LIKE LIFE!  I revisit each page 3 - 7 times, sometimes within hours, other times over a period of months.  I don't work in my journal everyday, but I do keep it close to me and close to my heart.  I truly live in my journals and work on filling them for 8 - 12 months each, a few minutes at a time.

Making Books

In the Spring of 2013, I had a message in my email inbox inviting me to enter an exhibition at the Columbus Metropolitan Library.  In my life as an artist, this is about the most exciting email possible!  The challenge was to take discarded books from the collection as an inspiration to make new art.  The show was called Art Unbound and featured 18 local artist (including myself!)  When I asked curator and artist Stephanie Rond how she decided to contact me, she said "I have been following your career and I thought your work would be a nice addition to the show".  Wow!  Somebody has been following my work???  I made a town of books for the project.  It includes books inspired by my house, my chicken coop and other personally important aspects of Columbus, Ohio such as my parents home, my neighbor and close friends' home, a school, a place of worship, the main library, city, hall, the zoo and more. I designed and made a large mixed media map to place the books upon and titled the collective work

A Sense of Place:

"New" Art and I love my pets

Well, my studio practice has certainly ratcheted down since grad school (full time jobs take up a lot of time!), but I feel more often than not that artmaking is a part of my daily (or at least weekly) life.  I have developed several bodies of work post MFA and I have filled five visual journals.  I have worked a lot with watercolor paint due to it's vibrant color potential and portability.  Here is a bit of an update:

Sacred Heart of Shelter Pets

This body of work was inspired by adopting two rabbits from Capital Area Humane Society, which led to volunteering there through their remarkable STEPS training program . My son and I learned so much about animal wellness and the work of this important organization through this 20 hour program.

Once we had our new pets (first Jasper, a male Holland Lop, selected us in June of 2012, followed by his life partner Kitty, a female Jersey Wooly and Lionhead mix -formerly known as Tulip-in October 2012), I thought deeply about the journey of animals towards finding a "forever home".  I wondered about why humans selected, then discarded animals and I wondered about what the transition full of foreign people, animals and spaces must be like for the tiny creatures who simply want to love and be loved.  Through making the paintings, I realized that I was just grateful that these two particular animals had endured the process so that they could find a home with our family.

Finding Home: