:: Ten Things ::

Ten things.  Right now.

1.  English Breakfast tea.  With maple syrup.  And a splash of cream.
2.  Takenobu on Pandora.
3.  Birds chirping.  Two cardinals hopping in the grass.
4.  A mist hanging over the backyard.  The sky, white.
5.  The birches dressed in green.  It happened seemingly overnight.
6.  Stretchy yoga pants.  Because Pilates will happen.
7.  Vague overwhelm.  Trying to talk myself back and down.  And center.
8.  Both kids still sleeping.
9.  The quiet.  The blessed quiet.
10. Wishing that cinnamon rolls were healthy.  Also wishing I had one.

 

What’s your right now like?

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

An Interview + A Giveaway {Lori Walters}

Today we continue our monthly interview series. A series in which I introduce you to some very special people…individuals who work equally hard at their craft and at living an intentional life. Someone new each month, sharing thoughts on creativity and discussing current work dear to his/her heart. Each individual who joins us will also generously offer some sort of giveaway. It could be a handmade item, a spot in a workshop, a collection of stones or crystals…anything that’s connected to the feature artist’s work and life. Their gift to you is of their choosing. This series will, I hope, create space to explore what creativity looks like to different people; I hope it will also create space to spread a little love through the gifts of our guests.

 

Today we’re visiting with Lori Walters.  When I first saw Lori’s work, I was smitten.  By her vibrancy, by her playfulness, by her heart. It doesn’t take long to feel Lori’s positive and uplifting energy.  It doesn’t take long to feel her genuine love and kind spirit.  It doesn’t take long to feel like she’s your friend. I’m so happy that Lori is joining us here today.  Are you ready for a sweet conversation?  Here we go…

 

Can you tell us about your creative work and business?

my creative work in this world is simple: to add my particular bits of love and light and goodness to the universe…with kindness being my guide. every single dot, line or stroke is filled with sparks of magic that comes from that special place ‘out there’ that flows through us…being creative truly feels magical to me.

happily, i’ve been fortunate that some lovely folks out there in the universe feel the bits of the magic that i feel when i’m being creative and making art, and they choose to purchase a piece of it. this allows me to keep putting those bits of magic together, and in turn allows my business to grow…color me grateful.

What does creativity mean to you?

one of my earliest memories is of holding a crayon, which i promptly put to use creating a ‘masterpiece’ on the dining room wall (another big dose of gratitude to my mom, who didn’t discourage my playing with crayons from that point on!). quite simply, my creative work is my life. whether i’m making a scribble, a painting, a meal or the bed (sometimes i leave it messy on purpose!), it’s all about the feel and the vibe of the thing or the act. i remember being introduced to the artist carol anthony many years ago, hearing her words and thinking “THIS…this is exactly how i feel, too! THIS is what being creative means!”… she said “true art to me is the art of just everydayness, surrounding yourself with the atmosphere of being. our creation of our particular beauty is our way of telling others to listen in their own lives, to breathe in a quiet moment. my work is only one piece of the larger magic show that we can listen to to help our lives be better.”

Do you have any rituals surrounding your creative work (do you play music, light a candle, take a walk)?

i have to say, i love rituals. i love the word, i love the acting out of them. my present ritual is to just be quiet. these words flowed through me a number of years ago, and these words define what ritual is to me presently:

there’s a story here     stop to listen     invisibles evident     what we hear in the silence

Have you always been a painter? Are there other media you’ve explored?

yes, painting is my true art-love. i do a lot of mixed media work, both on the canvas and sculptural type pieces. i explored pottery some years ago, and would love to revisit it sometime in the future!

I love the appearance of words in your paintings. Can you share with us why you choose to incorporate (so delightfully, I must say) the two?

first of all, thank you so very much! i’ve given this a lot of thought over the years. my grandfather (and best buddy) always encouraged me to express myself, to “say”…and when i thought of “saying”, both words and images formed in my mind (i’ve always been a very visual thinker). so when i began painting, i naturally took his sweet guidance quite literally…many of my very first paintings (and many subsequent ones) have the word “say” on them. it makes me smile when i do it, remembering how he always got a kick out of this story of mine!

Now some lighter questions…

What did you eat for breakfast?

a piece of skillet-toasted ‘hippie banana bread’ (banana bread with pumpkin+chia seeds, nuts and dried fruits)…yummmmmy!

Do you have a favorite day of the week?

it’s whatever day(s) sarah+i have off together…it usually involves a bike ride and/or a walk on the beach. then it’s time to gather in the kitchen to chop and cook and chat and sip on wine and share stories and a meal…one of my very favorite things to do!

Are you currently reading a book? If so, what is it?

yes, i’m always reading. and ironically, i have stacks and stacks that i’ve not gotten to yet, but i’m rereading two of my favorites: calder at home (the joyous environment of alexander calder) by pedro e. guerrero and the zuni cafe cookbook by judy rodgers. both books are very inspiring to me (so obviously i’ve been needing a little inspiration!).

What makes you smile?

so many things, but at the very top of the list is spending time with sarah and otis (mi pequeña familia dulce)! and kindness makes me smile…always kindness.

If you close your eyes right now, what word comes to mind?

sunshine.

 

And now for the giveaway…

Lori is generously offering a painting in today’s giveaway. It’s ‘a love revival’ mixed media painting (acrylic+oil+crayon+pencil+collage) and measures 4″x4″x1.5″.  In Lori’s words, it’s: a love note to love…it shares big love wherever it goes!  It’s painted on all four sides with fun colors+markings+such, making it all kinds of extra-special lovely!  I should say so!  Extra-special lovely indeed.
*shipping will be continental US only

To enter the giveaway, here’s what you need to do:
Leave a comment below.  In honor of Lori’s grandfather, maybe think about what it is you’d like to say today.  Then say it; express yourself.  Or just say hi. It’s all good (and it all counts towards your giveaway entry).  
Comments will close at midnight PST on Monday, April 24 , 2017. The randomly-selected winner will be announced here in this post on Tuesday, April 25.  Comments are now closed.  

And the randomly selected winner is…Heloise! {Heloise, an email is coming your way shortly}  Thank you to everyone who visited and shared in the conversation with Lori. The comments were heartfelt and full of love.  How fitting.

And…Thank you, Lori, for being here with us.

Sending a little love your way, m

***

i was born with a crayon in my hand+i like to share art full of goodness+fun+love+such. i paint+make art every day. happily so. gratefully so. inspiration comes from  everything around me…there are so very many beautiful things in this world. it brings me great joy to share this magic with you.

 

 

 

Here’s where you can find Lori:
Website
Store
Instagram
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter

:: Randoming ::

Some random things.

Food is a complicated issue (though, maybe, it doesn’t need to be). These are two recent reads that I found interesting:  here and here.

This poem.  Yes,  let’s be kind.

As is true with much of life, there’s a line of moderation to toe.  Sometimes, sadness and anxiety are natural.

Have time for a run?  Doesn’t have to be fast.

Also…maybe stop running.  (the metaphorical running)

This motherhood mantra.  Hell yes.  Though it’s a mantra that could work for those who aren’t mothers too.

Stir fry noodles?  Yes, please.

There are so many small pleasures in life.  Are you taking note?  The small stuff is really the big stuff.

Enjoy the clicks and
sending a little love your way, m

 

p.s. Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

Who Knew a Duster Could Be So Pretty?

656dust

Sometimes I’m inspired when I think about showing up.  Other times, it feels like such a drag.  But it’s the way to go.  The only way, really.

Whether it’s commuting to the office or stepping into the studio, we make a choice. We make a choice to walk the (literal) steps which take us to the car, the bus, the train.  We make a choice to walk the (literal) steps which take us into the studio, the kitchen, the laundry room.  And then…we do our thing.

If we make a choice not to show up (literally or metaphorically) (because once we’re physically somewhere, if we’re not there mentally, it’s a very different energy), that’s still a choice.  And we might need a mental health day every now and then…hell yes, I’m all for that.  In that case, make the choice not to show up to work.  Make the choice not to paint. Make the choice not to cook dinner.  But it’s a still a choice.  It’s just a choice in a different direction.  It’s simply a choice to do other.

And, so really, you’re still showing up.  Which is kind of cool.  The trick (if there is a trick) is to be intentional in the choice-making.  Be considerate, thoughtful, deliberate.  And, once you make a choice, embrace it and live it.  Fully.

Go to work, even when you’re tired and the commute is hellish…and do your best job while there.  Get into the studio (be it an actual studio or the kitchen table), even when you’re tired and the steps to your drawing table feel so many…and do your best job.  Get the dirty clothes into the washing machine, even when you’re tired and you’re sure you will go insane with yet another load of laundry…and do your best job.

For me, the dusting was a hurdle choice this week.  Show up and get it done. Make a pretty picture of the duster somewhere along the line; keep going.  Choices made.

And if it all starts feeling like Too Much, consider your options.  Can you take a day off from work?  Can you make some photographs today, instead of painting?  Can you slather some peanut butter and jelly on bread and call it a meal?  Can you show up in a different way?

Yes, you can.  You really, really can.  Make the choice.  Then show up for that choice.

sending a little love your way, m

 

I Call It Amazing

I love when a message appears at the perfect moment.

Case in point…
I was having trouble with my camera the last few days.  Focusing was impossible unless I used my LCD panel (which I don’t generally like to use) (I prefer the EVF).  So, super frustrating.  I fiddled with settings and knobs.  Nothing.  I googled, to no avail.  I posted in an online Fuji forum. Nothing.  (if LCD and EVF mean nothing to you, don’t worry) (read on).

And then…yesterday morning I had an email from a private Facebook group. Now, I’m one of the few remaining people on this planet not to use Facebook. If I’m there, it’s basically for a private group.  I find the space noisy and overwhelming, so I stay away.  But the email I got yesterday was a notification from one of the groups to which I belong.

And guess what?  It’s a group that focuses (ha!  pun not intended, but I’ll keep it) on mirrorless cameras.

Seriously?  (the camera I was struggling with is mirrorless!)

I immediately clicked over to the group and explained my problem.  And, even though I haven’t posted in that group since I first joined (which was when??), I had responses almost immediately.  And my problem was fixed.

Seriously?

I’d forgotten about this gem of a group because I’m just not on Facebook.  And this isn’t a pitch for Facebook (I still don’t like it) (though I do see its strengths) (um…very nice people answered my question quickly).  It’s really a story about messages coming at exactly the right moment.

In this case, it was a literal message in my inbox, which reminded me of this particular Facebook group.  This group that could – and did – help me. Coincidence that the notice showed up in my inbox yesterday?  I think not.

Call it divine intervention.  Call it synchronicity.  Call it whatever you like.  I call it amazing.  My message was perfectly timed and exactly what I needed.

Uncanny.  Not uncanny.

When we’re open, when we’re in a state of flow, when we listen…the messages appear.  I think the messages are often (always?) there, regardless of openness or flow…it’s a question of whether or not we’re listening.

And so my question to you (and to me) is:  are you listening?

sending a little love your way, m