Monday, June 16, 2014

"Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film. Your bright eyes, your easy smile is your museum."  ~  Ansel Adams

I'm working hard today... I'm cleaning my back-room, otherwise known as my "studio." I only call it that if I'm intimidated and trying to sound better than I am! 

I just found this stuff that I wrote a few years ago when an old friend of mine asked me to be one of the artists to show several pieces of my work in a museum of art in the city where she lives. I guess that's one of the real benefits of deep cleaning... you just might come across something that you thought a while ago, and maybe need to remember now. I see I named it "Inspiration." Here goes...

"Creativity is the art of courage." I wish I'd have said this, but I'm glad Anne Michelle Johal did. Her statement is quick to read, but it takes years of living and constant looking to put into play. My story is about having the courage to show what I see, what I feel deeply about, and what I know is important.

For me, creativity and courage grow out of inspiration. Of course, I'm inspired by great things, like standing up for what you believe is right in the face of jeers and sneers. But the older I am, the more I know that inspiration is all around us every single day we are alive, and it comes through little things... tiny things... things that most people never notice in their hurry through this world of ours. It might be the shyest flower that is a part of a weed at the edge of a green lawn. Or it could be a vigorous dandelion growing from a crack in the curb of the street. Watching a dragonfly flit through my backyard with its face that seems only to be made of eyes is a revelation. When I realize that it could hover before helicopters were even imagined, I'm astounded!

It's simple, but very complex at the same time. Creativity and inspiration come from looking, really looking at the glories around us. In the United States everyone is looking for something all the time. But it seems most people are only looking straight ahead. The real beauties and peace, for me, come when I get down on the ground to see the teeming life all around. It's life-or-death down there, always, and it inspires me to create. And when I look up high where the birds swoop and Mount Baldy lords it over the other mountains around him, I am inspired to create. And when I look up higher than the mountains can reach, I am encouraged to show you what I don't have words to express. I will let three of my favorite word-artists do that for me as you look at my art: Stephen Crane, e e cummings, and Issa, the 17th century haiku master. Please enjoy what you see. (You'd have to go to my website to do that now, though, since you're not standing in an art musem!)

In my native place
There's this plant
As plain as grass
But blooms like heaven.    ~ Issa

The voice of God whispers in the heart
So softly
That the soul pauses,
Making no noise,
And strives for these melodies,
Distant, sighing, like the faintest breath,
And all being is still to hear.               ~  Stephen Crane

who were so dark of heart they might not speak,
a little innocence will make them sing;
teach them to see who could not learn to look
~ from the reality of all nothing

will actually lift a luminous whole       ~ e e cummings


  1. Love the quote of Stephen Crane. Perfection.

  2. He has always been one of my favorite authors. Did you ever read his "Maggie: Girl of the Streets"? It's a sort of novella and then his short stories. It's a treasure!