Tag: watercolor

feeling like an artist again

This weekend we had an event at the studio.  My business sign went back up and we compensated for the fact that the studio is still in the chaos of change by putting up a tent and selling our wares from the front yard.  This involved both my art, and the art of my roommates – check out their work at Neko-Jin Designs and The Common Shaman.   (Their work is on the right and I can attest to the quality.  The jewelry is powerfully lovely and those pillows are freaking huggable.)

The experience has left me exhausted and in a lot of pain, but for the first time in ages I feel anchored in what I do – I am a maker to my core.  During the first day, Friday, I was able to make 60 wee watercolors and pen and inks. Although, insomnia did help with that glut of drawings.  Yesterday, I made about five slightly larger pen and inks.  Today, I was a poet.

Sitting in the sun with nothing to do other than create and sell art was a joy.

A lot of locals came by, pleased that I am not either dead or moved out of the area.  It let me know how far I have hunkered down during this past two years.  Oh, but the change in my circumstances brings up such optimism.  Life has gotten better.

This time in 2015, I could not move my left arm much at all, I could not throw, I lost nearly all my income for the full year. Surgery on the shoulder in October 2015, then a hysterectomy in February 2016.  But by June of that year, things began to change.

Even now, I am still struggling – my hips need to be replaced, I am in a cauldron of pain – and yet, I am still making art.  Somehow, I have survived all of the crap that came my way.  Even heartbroken, I made art.  Even when I can barely walk,  I am making and selling art.  I am working as hard as I can to keep my house and have been grounding myself in faith that I can do it.  There have been days that I had to dig deeper within for strength than I thought I went, but it worked!

I continue forward with both my regular job and the art that is my vocation.   The first has not dented my passion for the second.

I am so grateful for the friends who saw me through this weekend.  Perhaps I have been whining too much in these blogs, because what I should be shouting from the rooftops is how wonderful life can be when you have friends that have your back.  To be able to rely on people and know that they will be there for me, that is a priceless, beautiful thing.  They set up the tent, set up the products and then tore them down in the evening, three days in a row, all with out a stitch of help from me because I could not move any of those things. What a blessing it is to have people who do not just share your dreams but are willing to put their shoulders into fulfilling them.  This is a case of actions speaking so loudly, all words were drowned out.  Without their kindness, none of this could have been done.

Basically, this is a blog of thanks.  I am grounded in what I do again, which will help all things – the physical struggle, this financial difficulty, my regular job, my art.  If you were here, you would be able to see my smile, hear my loud, outrageous laugh and listen to me sing to my cats about the glories of life.

I have “all will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well” tattooed on my arm. Too often, I need the reminder. But, today, I did not read it.  Indeed, I did not even glance at it.  The next few months are going to be very hard, financially and physically, but good friends are teaching me that I can trust in the universe enough to reach out.  I am asking for help and receiving kindness.

This is the miracle of my life.

Because, I am talking about asking for help, I am compelled to say: you can make me $3 closer to being able to sustain myself while I am recuperating from surgery. My end of that deal will be to keep making art, even when I am flat on my ass in bed.

But for now, let not think of what could go wrong.  Instead, let’s sing songs of joy and thanksgiving!

By Maine Hands: a day off

Hatie ClingermanYesterday was the biggest day so far with the popup – we were interviewed by the Bangor Daily News, they filmed a commercial that the town of Bucksport is so generously using to advertise this endeavor, and we had customers braving the icy sidewalks and roads!

Three new artists have come on board in the past few days: Hatie, Jessi and Dawnella.  Hatie makes amazing felted scarves and hats.  As soon as they were displayed, people could not keep their hands off them.  And because we have made a point to include all price-points, Hatie also has other items like catnip balls and dryerballs and soap that are perfect small gifts.   Jessi makes the aHatie Clingermanmazing infinity scarves and the softest headbands I have ever encountered.  One scarf on her display was so lovely I determined to find a way to buy it for myself if it didn’t fly off the shelf – which, of course, it did.  Within five minutes it had been purchased and went to a new, loving home. Dawnella makes toys and finger-puppets and various other wonderful gifts as well.  The kids we had come in after she stocked up were all enchanted by her work!

We are so excited to have these wonderful people here at our popup!  I have bios that I’ll be printing out fJessi from FXDressedor some of the members, so you can know more about the people making the art that you are purchasing when you come into our store.

Now, to today.  Nominally, this was a day off – but of course that concept is really mythological at this point in my development.  Except for the spell of time when pneumonia had me complete knocked out, I have been working as best I can nearly every waking moment since we were given the opportunity to have this store.  Admittedly, it was not all heavy lifting – you can look to my twitter, facebook and google+ feeds to see some of the pen and ink work I have made since we started the popup.  However, those images count!Dawnella Sutton  They are beautiful and something I can do even when I am feeling weary and weak.

Still, this afternoon witnessed a bit of a miracle, interrupted by a blessing. Thanks to the help of a friend who carried over my big buckets of glaze from the house to the studio, I was able to glaze two sets of dishes and probably forty other pots, the first time I have touched clay in nearly a month.

It felt like I had come home.  I adore my time in the studio.  By the end of my evening, I was filthy with ifistopdrawingglaze and had a kiln full of pottery firing away.  Deep hope kindles inside of me when I can make art – even if it is simply finishing pieces that were thrown so long ago.

At 4:30 came the blessing – I was interviewed by WERU about the popups and Bucksport!  I was thrilled with a chance to let people know what is going on and how important it is to think about things like shopping local and buying handmade.  Through this program, we have an opportunity to put money back into the community when we shop for the holidays.  That is like giving two gifts in my mind: beautifulwoman2you are investing in your local economy in a way you cannot by shopping at a huge chain.  Thus, even on a “day off” my thoughts were all about popups!

I actually can’t wait to get back to it tomorrow.  I have had a thousand ideas for pen and inks floating through my mind today and look forward to showing you around the store when you come in!  I will open up tomorrow by 11 am – and just to remind you, we are in downtown Bucksport, across from the Alamo, 86 Maine Street – By Maine Hands.

 

By Maine Hands

logo7_sepiaBucksport has given artists and craftsmen a great opportunity – they are supporting Pop Up stores through the month of December.  There are a host of us that will be in one – called By Maine Hands – that will be directly across from the Alamo theater!

Right now there are fourteen different artist and craftsmen involved.  We are hoping to have our grand opening on Small Business Saturday, and we will be constantly adding stock throughout the month of December!  I am ridiculously excited and somewhat intimidated at the thought of getting a store together in days.

Keep posted for more information.  I’ll be giving lists of people involved – the hours of the store – and so much more.