"Ridges #2", watercolor on paper, 2011
There is a conversation traveling around weblands about the
art of blogging. Terri Windling over at The Drawing Board
referred to it as the "moveable feast", and the name has stuck.
It has traveled winding paths from John Barleycorn Must Die to
The Drawing Board, to A Mermaid in the Attic in Australia.
It started with Howard and Rex of John Barleycorn Must Die
and their around the table interview with Rima Staines
of Into The Hermitage. I invite you to track back along
the path to find many morsels of inspiration.
March ninth marks my year anniversary of blogging, and I'm getting
in on the conversation and telling a bit of my story about how and
why I blog. Though I set up RavenWood Forest many months
before, I used it only once as an information board for a
Summer Solstice event here. It sat idle for a long time
until I had traveled around enough in the world of blogs
to see the potential.
When I discovered Rima Staines,Terri Windling, Midori Snyder,
and the Journal of Mythic Arts a few years ago while looking
for mythic artists to show my students, everything changed.
I was instantly inspired by the beautifully visual worlds
on each of their blogs, and began a journey down the
many paths they laid in their link lists. I became quite
obsessed, really, though it was exactly the traveling
I needed to do to offer my students rich and inspiring
resources for a new class I was teaching,
Myth & Symbol.
"Orange Evening Sky", watercolor on paper, 2011
I'm not sure how it happened, but one day I decided that it
was time to begin blogging in earnest, and I took the plunge.
As my one year anniversary approaches, I reflect back that
I had no idea how much this endeavor would gift me in
inspiration and connection and how it would support my
creative process. When I moved to RavenWood from
Providence in 2003, I left a vibrant arts community,
my 1100 sq. foot studio, and many, many circles
of professional artists like myself. Coming here,
I was making the choice to move close to my source, but
also to move away from conversations, critiques and a
community that very much understands creative process.
"Wet Sky", watercolor on paper, 2011
I've discovered that blogging is an important part of my
process. Christina over at A Mermaid in the Attic
writes "I do not live in a close-knit creative community,
and I can hardly accost a stranger in the street
and force them to listen to the song I've just
written or look at the painting I'm working on and expect
an intelligent coherent comment." Having left my creative
community behind, I have come to understand that
blogging, for me, provides a format to write about my
process and be witnessed. I have looked back at older
posts and my work and seen threads of connections
I might not have without the sequential
nature of blogging.
I find that seeing my artwork online, in a new format,
is a way of seeing it anew. Like the old trick we professors
often advise our students - if you have been working so long on
a painting and you no longer really SEE it, look at it in a mirror.
And, of course, as Christina says above, its also helpful to get
responses. When I started doing a series of spiral drawings,
I found the comments quite interesting. They continue
to give me insights into the spiral form - I love
the things that people see in them.
"Afternoon Mists", watercolor on paper, 2011
I'm participating in conversations in several overlapping
online circles. The mythic artists buzzing around the
artists and blogs mentioned above, and many of
you who follow here, and the stitching, dyeing
circles rippling out from Jude over at Spirit Cloth.
The richly inspiring communities which I now
touch into not only help me feel connected once
again to artists, but also continue to support me
to be a better teacher. I am continually pulling out
my laptop during class to show a student some
unusual use of materials. Blogs give my students
access to artists who are in the trenches and who
are talking about it and who might not yet
be published in a major catalog or book.
This is a gift and an invaluable resource.
There is much more to say, and I'll continue my musings
another time, as this post is reaching "mermaid proportions!"
(You'll need to follow the above links to get the reference...)
By the way the heater is working GREAT, I've never been
warmer in the studio in winter. All the paintings in this
post were made in the last two weeks,
I've been in there a LOT!
I'll leave you with some images from my afternoon walk
with Pasha. The first in many weeks since finally he
can walk on top of the frozen snow. I sounded like a
freight train walking in my snowshoes today on crusty,
icy snow, but it is still necessary as even with much
melting from last week we still have several feet.
Pasha was so excited, he raced WAY up these trees,
and down in a long, gentle slide all the way to
the ground. I've never seen him do that before!