Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Spiral Beginning


The time comes when one must begin - even when feeling resistance, 
uncertainty, lack of clarity - one simply must begin. 

For that to happen, I know by now, means I must go to the studio and do something. 
I know I've written about this before here. It almost doesn't matter what I do, but 
I must go and know that I am easing into something... I tell myself I can explore, 
write, look at books, arrange things on shelves, sit and drink tea... wait. 
This is my strategy and it works. Eventually I notice something, like a whisper, as 
little by little my work speaks to me, and I begin. 


I've fantasized about being a person who has a rigid routine, where month in and 
month out, I'd know where to be when. But there is an organic ebb and flow to my
art making as it is just one thread in a rich tapestry that is my work. Each thread contributes to the colorful whole, and there is cross-pollination - singing inspires a 
story, teaching inspires a painting, painting inspires a ritual, a walk inspires me to write. The stewarding of the forest and the growing of flowers provides the wind and the insects who, of course, are the main cross-pollinators. 



So I took myself to the studio, journal in hand, to begin. I swept fallen flower 
petals from the floor, re-arranged my inspiration shelves, looked at books and 
images pinned to boards. I sat and wrote in my lovely journal by Oberon Design
- a gift to myself at Christmas that I have been coveting for years. I'm glad I 
waited a few years as they now make a cover sized for Moleskins journals that 
suits me perfectly. 

 


 I spent a moment to admire the variation of zipper patterns on shells, 
and to listen to the conversations between things and in the wind. 
  




One day I started to draw. I played with spirals in atmospheres/ 
I don't much like the results, but something was learned, 
and, most importantly, a dialog has begun. 





Late one afternoon, I returned from the studio, to discover that a pair 
of juncos made a spiral piece of their own, much too close to the front 
door. I wasn't sure what to do about this as they were rather 
alarmed when I opened the door. After much delibration, 
and seeing that the basket was hanging by a thread, I quickly 
tied a new string loop and hung the basket higher and away from 
the door a tiny bit. But they haven't been back. Its late 
anyway, maybe they were just practicing their weaving?  




Pollen is bursting out of the helenium, and plenty of 
bugs are working hard to spread the bounty around. 



Though beautiful outside, last week was so hot that niether of us 
here - the two legged or the four legged - got much done except to find 
the places outside with the most shade and air movement for napping. We're 
both enjoying the cooler days now, but tomorrow I'll be doing a rain 
dance to attract the thunderstorms which are forecast to be traveling about.

Monday update: Rain last night throughout the night! More predicted here 
and there in the week. We need it. I guess I did a rain dance in my sleep, 
along with many others.  



43 comments:

  1. Thank you so very much for taking me along with you through your world...through your thoughts. I could feel myself floating along, drifting through routines and inspiration. Lovely.
    The journal (and the rest of their products) is gorgeous. The flowers a summer delight and the 11th & 12th photos are fantastic spiral expressions. Beautiful :)
    (((sigh)))

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    1. You're quite welcome - and I like the 11th spiral, but not a fan of the 12th. Much better spiral day today... tucked into my little studio during another intense thuderstorm and pouring rain.

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  2. Your description of beginning and cross pollination is so pat, and very very affirming, V. Hope your thunderstorms come with rain included! -sus

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    1. Oh yes.. we've had glorious rain for two nights and a day! And last night I couldn't sleep because the storms were so intense.

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  3. What beautiful images~ your stand of flowers looks so fiery,and I think the spirals are lovely
    xx
    julie

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    1. Hi Julie - I'm glad someone likes the spirals! I much prefer the ones I did today.... I'll post them soon. The flowers - Helenium Madi Gras are my favorite sneezeweeds... SUCH great colors! I just planted them last year for the first time, they've done so well, I think I can safely start investing in a few more to spread around. Its always hit and miss here in the forest, but these are great.

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  4. Beautiful spirals.

    I can empathise with your flat-out cat today!

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    1. Luckily, it wasn't a flat-out cat day here today.. just a lot of rain and thunder!

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  5. The first small step of actually going into the studio can be so powerful.

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    1. And once I'm in there I'm so happy to just BE there. I've been waiting months for it to feel relaxed enough in my life to hear the deep calling of my work!

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  6. you have expressed the creative paralysis well.
    startitus.
    and afterall the studio is THE place to spiral
    and open displaced energy.
    your dialogue is fabulous.

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  7. I so love when you share your inspirational vignettes in your studio...

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    1. I love seeing others, so I figure people like to see mine. You'll share yours someday soon might you???

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  8. thank you for the sharing your spirals help me settle into this next drawing... am feeling very flighty this morning, do a few lines then fiddle on the computer to see what's happening in the cyber sea then do a few more lines then write an e-mail then a few more lines & have another coffee... it's just on dawn at the edges of the morning, time to get back to it...

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    1. Wonder how it went... did you find your flow?

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  9. I really enjoyed this post. I can't remember where exactly, but just the other day I was reading something which was talking about the extremely beneficial effects of having some time for boredom in the studio. They seemed to be of a mind that there was really nothing better one's for artwork than that. And now you are talking about this approach of sitting and waiting if need be. Must be good advice!
    Oh, and that leaf skeleton is gorgeous.

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    1. Hi Jodi - glad you enjoyed it... I think I might be back to regular blogging again now. Interesting... beneficial effects of boredom in the studio. I think I would call it something else - like stirring the imaginal soup-pot, stirring the energy, becoming available to the work. I often feel stirrings that feel inspiring, not really boring. But maybe we are speaking about the same thing in a different way. Curious where you saw that.

      I think you're looking at a sea fan - looks a bit like a leaf - isn't that cool?

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  10. VA - what a beautiful phrase "lie a whisper". It is so true - there are times I walk into my studio (garage) thinking what will I do? There are times I know what I need to do by way of creating enough stock for the Open Studio event - but then a fragment of metal whispers and says why not play with me and off I go testing a new idea - such as creating "tadpole" teaspoons. It is such a liberating feeling to be taken in a new direction or even an old one by a whisper. Go well and may the rain bring coolness and renewal. B

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    1. We've been having TONS of rain and thunderstorms. The garden is now quite replenished and renewed, as am I. Days in the studio have been glorious!

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  11. the studio - our sanctuary - where prejudices and self-criticisms need to stay outside the door - ah,,, that place where we can drink tea with calm, make marks, enjoy our journals (LOVE that journal V!), stare out the window, look into the window of our souls, rearrange a rock... touch papers and play. it's all wonderful and significant!

    love your spirals. and heleniums!!

    enjoy the rains, the storm,,,, the studio. :)

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    1. Yes! All of that... its been great. I've soooo needed it!

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  12. thanks so much for this post! i, too, need to remember to "just begin." excellent advice!

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    1. I have to push myself sometimes, but it does work.

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  13. so hard, sometimes, to settle in to work. the heat is hard for me that is to work through.

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    1. It was especially hard after a year plus of paperwork and construction and caretaking, but I'm happy to report that I am up and running and LOVING my studio!

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  14. I love the quiet, the settling in, the emergent way of living you embody in your writing, Valerianna. It reminds me that there is always a deeper dialogue going on. As always, your work refreshes and brings me back to this essential ground. Many thanks.

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    1. Love that "the emergent way of living you embody in your writing...", thanks!

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  15. it looks like you had a wonderful time in your studio. So lovely to feel into your journey. So lovely to see glimpses of your summer. And your journal cover is beautiful!

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    1. I really love this journal... feels sacred.

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  16. Lovely to visit here again and spend a short peaceful time in your beautiful forest surroundings. The studio looks wonderful filled with natures treasures. The journal is magnificent. How inspiring, I imagine it to be filled with secret forest spells. :) x

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    1. HA! Love that you imagine I'm recording my conjurings in my journal. I'm not that organized, I guess!

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  17. You have spoken well about creativity. Waiting is key...so many artists say that. But it is hard to do.

    Your spirals look wonderful to me.

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    1. I think of "sitting in the mystery" as one of the hardest things to do no matter where in our lives we try to. Like sitting for months before we know the answer to something big. Its not the usual way, and it is not comfortable, but sitting and waiting until one REALLY KNOWS is truly important I think!

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  18. I loved your spiral art, nice finding from nature. We also have the same maroon and yellow flowers in our garden.
    It is so great that you try to be close to nature and live in harmony with it. Keep it up!

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    1. Hi Hindustanka - thanks... I love those flowers!

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  19. I never heard the term Zipper patterns before. what do they allude to?

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    1. Hi Gwen - Ha, Zipper patterns is not an official term... its just what I see on those two shells! Both have a kind of z pattern and one looks like a bit like a zipper.

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    2. Oh dum-dum me.. They do have cool patterns..

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  20. Spirals do look good. Its a wonder why a simple thing can look spectacular. Job well done.
    financial advice melbourne

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  21. Love all your spirals and little tidbits of nature to inspire. Have you seen that YouTube video about spirals and Fibonacci? Fascinating!

    And casts covetous glances at your Oberon. That must be a new design? I've an older one, a gift many years ago - one of the Celtic designs.

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I love reading your comments and sometimes I'm good at responding right away, sometimes not! Glad you had a wander here, I hope you found the mossy path soft on your feet and heard the call of the Raven.