Friday, March 29, 2013


This week I received the gift of getting sick.

For many years I was a left-brained professional organizer. I made a living keeping myself and others on task and productive. Nothing wrong with that. I still use those skills every day.

Then we sold it all and moved to Mexico. Living there was an opportunity to stop and breathe and see all the beauty in the details around me. It's where I picked up a camera again and began making art without a schedule or agenda.

Now that I'm doing my art business full-time, I've been grappling with walking between the right-brain world of artist, and the left-brain world of business owner. I make lists and put things on my schedule that feed my artistic soul, like going to the museum, or having coffee with another artist. I've been calling on my history about what it takes to make a business go to try to make my business go. (Make contacts! Reach at least ten people! Make art every week! Blog!) Again, nothing wrong with all of that. But I saw this week that my focus has been on a linear approach to time and results. As in, if I make ten calls, I'll make $x.

I believe getting sick is a communication from the body. Usually for me, it means slow the hell down. But I really haven't been working that hard. I have however, been feeling lots of guilt when I don't do what I think I should do.

So this week I used getting sick as an opportunity to release guilt and just do what was in front of me to do. If I felt like napping, I napped. If I felt like calling new art buyers, I did. I actually managed to create art this week, reach new art consultants, research and find several exhibition opportunities, and take care of myself. I read four books, took naps, and slept in so I could heal. All this without a list.

Below is an image I shot on my walk with Jake this morning after the rain cleared and the sun came out. I only had my camera with me because I felt moved to bring it.

I still love my lists and my calendar and will continue to use them. But I'm going to keep letting the guilt go and just do what I do, and not do what I don't do. It's what's going to happen anyway.

Friday, March 22, 2013


I woke up yesterday morning thinking about edges. (I swear this is true. My brain. Usually I wake up thinking about what's for breakfast.)

In honor of Easter, I just reread Christopher Moore's delightfully irreverent "Lamb:  The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal." It's a story about the missing growing up years of Jesus, where he and Biff went to China, Tibet and India to study with spiritual masters of all types. Great read. (And we learn why Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas.)

Somewhere along the line, one of their teachers asks them to consider that their skin is the not the barrier, not the edge between them and the rest of the world, but rather the place where they connect to it. (This is a quote by a famous thinker but I could not for the life of me find it again to credit it or quote it accurately.)

But the idea stuck with me as I've been contemplating the world, our connection to it, oneness, etc. I'm sure you've noticed that Oneness is a more and more common theme in art, music, Facebook posts, etc.

So it was with these ruminations in mind that I made images yesterday at my favorite conservatory/greenhouse here in Seattle. I ended up shooting familiar plants and succulents, but I attempted to approach them with this idea of edges as connection and not as separation.

I'm not sure how this image captures that for me, but I have to say that it does. It's a good inquiry. I'm not done with it yet. In fact I've got some ideas for more. Coming soon ...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What today looks like

Care for a tour of my desk and what I'm working on today? I'm putting the finishing touches of oil pastels on the canvas called "green after image." I printed it for a show last summer and now I'm playing up the patterns and softening the edges with the oils. The whole thing has this very painterly feel now, and other than the row of thorns up the right side, it doesn't look like a photograph at all. And I'm praying the fixative spray I ordered on Amazon gets here by Thursday, because I've promised this and five other pieces to a show that opens Friday. Fingers crossed.

On my monitor you'll see the latest email newsletter I'm getting ready to send out, and some notes in front of me on what I'm including.

I got this wireless mouse recently and I don't know if I'm supposed to get a mouse pad. (Have you noticed that when you get computer equipment nowadays they no longer include paper manuals? And yes, I could look it up online. I will at some point.)  Anyway, the mouse seems to work better on something, so there it sits on the Seattle Art Museum calendar, which is also reminding me to go see the new exhibition.

You can't see the wall to my right where I have a bulletin board with images I like, supportive notes, and my forms and charts and folders I use to keep my actions and projects organized. I haven't been an official professional organizer for about eight years, but I still love creating systems to keep me focused.

And that's what today looks like!