Finally, after over a month of waiting, the studio
heater was delivered to my front doorstep on Wednesday.
I arrived home from school, hoping and hoping that it had.
Yesterday, I spent my first full day in the studio since December!
But it was far from warm. The nights have been frigid, so the studio
was below freezing when I started work installing the heater,
putting plastic on windows, weatherstripping the door
and caulking cracks. I was cold, but inspired. I could
feel the heat coming on and watched as,
degree by degree,
the temperature rose.
After a session with a student this morning,
the wonderful Kim, I stuffed the stove
with wood and headed out to the studio.
Sometimes leaving this scene - warm fire,
snoozing Pasha cat - is challenging, but
today the call to work was greater than
the call of fur and fire.
I packed my basket with water, music, and tea.
I was greeted with a warm-ish studio. I figured
it needed a long time to heat up the whole space,
and considering the overnight temperature was -6, the
45 degrees at 11:30 am seemed reasonable!
A bit of the morning was spent cleaning,
clearing and organizing.
In a corner of the studio, the new heater
sits tucked underneath the old, retired one.
Tables were organized and dusted, a slow
and deliberate re-entering of my creative
process. After being away from work for
so long, I needed time for re-rooting
I remember a wonderful class called, Finding Form & Inspiration
I took in graduate school with a special professor and mentor,
Chris Bertoni. She spoke about cleaning and organizing
as way of easing back into work and that the simple act
of entering the studio, even just to move things around,
was a part of the working process. If you were really
stuck, she advised just showing up to the studio daily,
even for only a few minutes, until something
happened. I know how wise this advice is,
it has worked for me many times.
For resistance is real. No matter that I was
bursting at the seams with visual stories,
connections, inspirations, images and
ideas about materials to explore, I hit
a moment of resistance at the moment I
sat down to begin. But I do have
strategies now, after so many
years of cyclical creating.
"Root Person", clay & mixed-media, with bones on shelf.
I sat at my work table, and looked at
the things that inspire me.
I began by writing in my journal. And looking
back at some quick sketches of ravens on a branch
as I imagined them in the early morning as I lay in bed
and heard them calling off in the forest.
Above me on a shelf, more inspiration
from my grandfather. A striking red
coral encased in lucite, an octopus
and a snake. Branching systems and
spirals... hmmm, familiar.
So it seemed that to begin with spirals
was the thing. I begin where I had
ended, to find a continuum,
and take off from there.
I feel I know these spirals better now.
Much musing about them, and seeing them
in the details of nature through my camera
lens, has deepened my knowing of them.
And here we find ourselves tonight,
Pasha cat and I, much like we were this morning.
Sitting by a warm fire, a bit more wood in the bin,
and a few more spirals drying in the studio.
Some days are really quite perfect,
here in the snowy white