Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Sense of Fun

It's so easy to forget the golden rule of living.

Approach living as you would like to live.

I've been so busy fretting about all the stuff on my to do list (a quick top three: 1) get a job 2) Get a JOB 3) GET A JOB) that I forget that I am really extraordinarily lucky. I have a great family and a wonderful life. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I've also forgotten the first step to achieving the nirvana of the golden rule of living. Have fun.

Why am I starting out my blog post with this? It's circuitous but here it is. Last night my sister called. We talked about many things, but one of them was a new sister project we're starting with the new year. Our previous sister project was as follows:

Create a doll. Put it in a box and send it to the next sister up in birth order (except for me, as the oldest I sent mine to the youngest sister.) Once you get the box, open it, continue to work on the enclosed doll, add to the story of the doll, replace in the box and send to the next sister. Repeat until all sisters have had a chance to work on your doll and it comes back to you.

The outcome was unexpected in several ways. First of all, what we all thought would take, oh say nine months tops, (there are, after all, only four of us) took five years. Yeah, you heard me, FIVE YEARS. Second, the process was very revealing. We learned a lot about each other as we saw the changes and additions each sister made to the doll in their hands. Third, the product was unexpectedly meaningful. And I don't just mean the product of the dolls, which were all great, but the idea of having something that all my sisters contributed to made it mean that much more to me. And the stories...well, the stories were funny and weird and didn't always make a lot of sense, but they were really, in some ways the best part of the entire project.

I forget what incredibly creative sisters I have, and how extraordinary it is for us all to have the kind of relationship we do, living as far apart as we do. This project was a reminder that we always have each other.

So the new Sister Project? I can hear you wondering. It's altered books. We will each be creating an altered book and sending it around to be further altered by our sisters (and possibly others - this could become a different animal all together!) The theme is our family, so this ought to be wild.

As I was talking with my sister about this project, she told me about her friend, Robbye, who is also creative and who does a blog as well. This morning she sent me the link to Robbye's blog. I loved it. And what I loved about it? The sense of FUN! It reminded me that I am at my best when I approach life the way I want to live it. She seems to embrace life with a sense of creativity and vitality that I find very appealing and tend to forget to add to my own. So thanks Ame. Thanks Robbye. Ame posted pics of her doll on her site. I'll see if I can find some photos of the others.

So here's my one and only New Year's resolution. Approach living as you want to live it. Pretty simple huh?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

An Illustrated Life

As I mentioned before, I got An Illustrated Life for Christmas from my beautiful and psychic sons. How DO they know what I want? After having read it practically cover to cover on Christmas Day today I decided to go back in and check out each of the artists. So, first on the list, Mattias Adolfsson. He lives in Sweden and draws with grace and humor. Damn I'm jealous. But the best of all, he interacts with his blog so that we get to see a bit of his brain nearly every day. The thing I really recommend here, probably because I'm onto this sketchbook thing right now, are the videos of him just paging through his sketchbooks, but don't neglect the bot drawings.

At home, the geese have temporarily abandoned the Knucker Hole marsh. After yesterday's warm foggy bath, they are probably sleeping it off somewhere, unwilling to brave the returned cold weather. I know I am.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Excited about the prospects

It's the day after Christmas. It was a lovely holiday and quite nice to spend time with my loved ones and give and get presents. Now it's time to get back to work. I've been inspired. I got the book An Illustrated Life from my wonderful boys and spent a few hours looking at the sketchbooks of other very talented artists. Of course, this made me want to run right to my studio and start working, which wasn't exactly possible at the time, given that we had guests coming and still had house cleaning and cooking to do.

But today, ah, today, there is no one coming to see the dirty dishes in the sink or to complain at eating leftovers. I am free to create. And I consider this my fresh beginning, blog wise. School is over and I am free to pursue my chosen career. (There is some internal discussion as to what this career should actually entail, but I'm confident that those questions will work themselves out.) Part of the pursuit is the resolve to continue and improve my blogging efforts. To make connections. To become accustomed to the regular production and revelation of my work to the public.

I've been spoiled at school. Assignments assigned and time lines given. Having to do this for myself is much more difficult, and yet, much more exciting as well. Thus I am, and continue to be, excited about the prospects.