It's Spring Break at Spring Bird!!!! Are we headed to a fun in the sun vacation? Nope, we are staying home and prepping for a special guest coming in April. (More on special guest in future posts!) Today we hit the boundary to pick up trash, because some trashy human(s) keep tossing their Styrofoam drink containers, beer cans, and beer bottles into our property. What? How does this happen? I can understand some wayward pieces of garbage blowing in now and then, but there are repeat offenders tossing their same Styrofoam coffee cups over the fence. We filled two whole trash bags today, and are considering posting some "Do Not Litter" signs. Okay, my rant is over.
We then walked the trails making notes of where we need to make signs or mark things for clarity, and we found part of a deer antler. (Now, that is litter that I like!) Pat showed us where the fence is going to be installed around the nuttery and location of future gates. Woohoo! There is still more to chop down, but it's getting clearer and clearer!
We picked up more of our random stuff around the barn, and Penelope constructed walls around my new outdoor studio! She is a builder extraordinaire, works efficiently, and comes in under budget and on time! Thanks Penelope! Abe got to work in his wood shop, which is adjacent to my out door studio, making walking sticks. Abe makes the best walking sticks and will be selling them in the Spring Bird Shop very soon!!!
I completed some more commissions this week! Thank you to my patrons!!!! I hold you in my heart forever!!!!
1. a painting of falcons for a wedding gift
2. a custom namesake pillow for a baby nephew named Anthony
Let me know if you are interested in any custom gifts for weddings, new babies, graduations etc. !!!!!! firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, prints of the Sea Turtle painting our available in my Etsy shop here!
I was so honored to be asked by my sister-in-law to make a textile piece to hang in her entryway. Stephanie ordered fabric from South Africa and had it sent to me about a year ago, and I was finally able to make the piece and deliver it to her in person this week. It was a fun challenge to work with a limited amount of fabrics and color palette. As limitations do, they pushed me creatively. I found myself playing with applique, embroidery, and hand stitching--using heavy cotton thread, which I usually use as rug warp. I was hoping that the piece would look interesting from a distance and up close since it will be visible from a second floor staircase and by passing by it from the front door. I really can't wait to visit and see it installed in its place!!!!
Stephanie also asked me to make some watercolors for her upstairs hallway. She gave me a list of animals and plants that she admires. With these paintings, I decided to embrace my love of intense pattern and color. I seem to be asking myself, how far is too far -- how much is too much? I also keep thinking of Mondrian wanting to collapse the background into the foreground to create equanimity. I try to play with the "grounds", too, giving them equal attention and value. I think the spaces between things are just as important as the things, and I often imagine them talking to each other. I can feel their tensions, with which I try to play. I know this sounds silly or like I am talking out my ass. Maybe, I am, but it's incredibly difficult to write clearly about the process of making art. Suffice is to say, I feel like these seven pictures have solidified something in me. I'm excited to keep making more paintings in this vein --colorful collages that morph nature, pattern, objects, and color. AND, I'm really excited to begin to sell fine art watercolors in my Etsy shop (very soon). I'm making my first prints this week. So, I will be posting about those as they come to be. Woohoo! Happy Spring Everyone!!!!!
I woke up this morning with the word "Disarm" floating into my consciousness, and it wasn't in relation to ongoing concern of the militarization of civilians and mass shootings that continue to threaten and devastate our communities. (That's a whole other blog post). No, I was thinking about how people of privilege, power, and entitlement, myself included, need to disarm ourselves emotionally when we hear of people's experiences that may criticize, question, or threaten our unearned privilege. We need to listen, accept, and reflect on how we move through the world as white, heteronormative, cisgenered, male, or able bodied people. We need to listen and not clap back on someone's Facebook post or tweet just because we feel attacked--when we feel like someone is calling us racist, sexist, or homophobic. Because, chances are that if you have that urge to leave a comment that begins with "But", you are those things you fear. It's time to own it--to recognize how we have benefited from social constructions that are designed to benefit a few of us while causing pain, suffering, and death for everyone else. It's time to listen and recognize ourselves as oppressors and colonizers, and in truly recognizing ourselves, we can make changes in our thinking, our behavior, our interactions with others, and in creating new pathways of interaction, we can design new constructions or no constructions that humanize everyone. And if we do that, we just might earn our humanity back. So, next time you feel like someone is threatening your privilege, don't be a hedgehog and roll into a spiky ball. Put down your pokey barbs, make yourself vulnerable and own the suffering for which you are responsible. Disarm yourself.
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.