A woman who works with her hands is a laborer;

A woman who works with her hands and her head is a craftsperson;

A woman who works with her hands, her head and her heart is an....


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Belly Art

In 1986, I was pregnant for the first time.
I was 23.
I gave birth that year to a beautiful baby girl.
That beautiful baby girl is now pregnant with her 2nd baby.

I remember when I was pregnant.
The enlarging belly was considered something that made us "glow" but was to be covered.
All of the choices for maternity clothes were large and tent-like -
billowing out just below the breast line.
And if we were lucky - you might be able to find something that did not include a large bow tied around the neck.
Maybe that was meant to "move the eye upward" so that the belly was not the focal point.
All I know is that our options were quite ugly.
Society had us thinking that our expanding belly was unattractive.
That we were fat.
That we were frumpy.
Or worse - that, although a baby was the ultimate reward, that belly was a reminder to all that we had engaged in ....dare I say it? ...sex.
I remember several years earlier, when I was a teenager -
my sister in law was pregnant.
She had the audacity (according to the older matrons of the family) to show up at a family function during a hot summer day and wear a bikini.
Now mind you - it was 90 degrees and we were by a large lake.
But how could any self-respecting woman put that large belly out there for everyone to see?
The whispers went on for days after.
When I was pregnant with my oldest, I was anxious to jump into the rite of passage and wear the obligatory maternity clothes.
The irony was - that until I was almost 7 months along,
you could barely tell that I was pregnant.
I was so disappointed that people weren't asking me when I was due.
But beneath the tent of fabric, my tight, compact belly was not even visible.
Oh how things have changed.
Thank goodness.
I have always thought that the female form, when filled with life, is exquisite.
To watch a belly grow.
To touch it.
To feel the life inside.
What is more miraculous and beautiful than that?
I am so happy that we no longer insist on it being hidden in the name of "dignity".
A few nights ago, my daughter came for a brief visit.
I had been working in the studio on "have-tos".
Orders and such.
I wasn't ready to put away the art supplies for the night,
but I was ready for a change.
Something free.
Something mindless.
I looked at my daughter and her growing tummy.
I had just been laying my hands on her to feel the movement of my granddaughter.
My box filled with markers were just a few feet away on the floor.
A smile began to emerge.
I asked her to lie down and pulled out the markers.
And I doodled.
It was quick.
It was mindless.
It was free.
And we marked the passage of this portion of her pregnancy.
Another art session will occur in late October as she nears her due date.
Perhaps with some henna next time so that it can be a part of her as she labors.
And I must say that this was truly the most beautiful canvas I have ever worked on.
Thank you JuJu for humoring this grandma.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Have You Seen This Artist?

I knew it had been a while since I had been on here.
In fact, I knew it had been so long, I was feeling embarassed at the thought of writing a post.
And then I realized that I was actually avoiding writing a post.
And then I realized that part of the reason I was avoiding writing a post is that my "writer brain" seems to have taken a vacation.
I don't know what to write about or where to even begin.
But - if there is one thing I have learned over the years it is this...
when you don't want to do something that you need to, the best approach is to just
I am.
But lest you think that I have been just lying around and eating bon bons for the last,
oh dare I say it...
six weeks!
A brief run-down of what has been occupying my time...
1. I have been attempting to stay cool in my new home. Although the incredible insulation served me well during the winter months - the lack of air conditioning has made for some very warm temperatures during the summer.
2. I came to the realization that I can't really call my "new" home my "new" home anymore since I have been there for 7 months. How did that happen???
3. I have been working on many art pieces including special orders, purchase orders for retails stores and inventory for summer art festivals.
Mirrors lined up and waiting for final touches - words and detailing.
4. I had my work move into a new location of the Made In Oregon Stores.

5. I've been trying to find ways to enjoy the days of summer.

Warm, fresh blackberries...just waiting for me to taste them.
6. I was a vendor in the Salem Art Festival - a large, wonder festival featuring the art of some amazingly talented people. I was humbled to have been juried in.
A new "old" chair . . .heading to a summer art festival. It found a new home that weekend.

I have attended some wonderful summer concerts -
including Prarie Home Companion, featuring Garrison Keillor.
We even got to enjoy him leading the audience in a sing-a-long. What a treat.

Garrison Keillor meandering through the audience and leading us all in a sing-a-long.
 My day job has kept me very busy with projects and meetings.
Meeting doodles - it was an all day meeting.

I took time to go "glamping" with friends for a weekend.
What defines "glamping"? Among other things - enjoying prime rib for dinner!
I promise I have been busy.
I promise I have been making art.
I promise I have been enjoying the company of friends and family.
And now - I have conquered the beast by writing a post on the blog.
Maybe not the most noteworthy post,
but it's done . . .
the dry spell has been broken.
You can stop looking for the lost artist -
Afterall -
summer isn't over yet and there are still more adventures to be enjoyed.