oh the deep deep love

the extraordinary view from the tenth floor of the volunteer building swallowed me whole. i cannot seem to put the words together and make sense of all the grace. grace is often overwhelming, unexplainable, but so needed. on tuesday i took the day off, took pleasure in celebrating my relationship and friendship with my mother. she called me early halloween morning to tell me that all of creation was declaring the glory of god! it was exhilarting to walk around my neighborhood with her and see all of the cool things going on. i am so privledged to be where i am at in life. it isn't always just about the blessings, because blessings come in different sorts of ways. blessings come whether good or bad surrounds you. lately, i have struggled with my perspective, focusing on the sour scenery around me. but the day before yesterday, and last week and all of these small moments combined have given me another chance to change.

i haven't been creative, i mean only a tad. i am working on my first christmas card exchange. the week after next-they've got to be finished. i am heading off to new york in five days, only five days! i think new york is going to be good for this mind of mine. these meaningless boxed up burden's, forget and surrender to a different city, another flow. i can't wait to see my friends, spend countless hours with two dear friends, my sister's and rediscover a place, a very cool, very hip place. last night mc and lc and i went to tony's for dinner. wine. pasta. yum. we're going to hit up the bodies exhibit on wednesday! and many thanks to shashi for the glorious amount of info sent my way. we plan to use much of your inspiration and direction shashi! i cannot wait to shop, and maybe for christmas. when i get back i'll have a ton of photos and a ton of work to catch you all up on. until then...


from where i sit as a dweller

last evening i was invited and attended the very first tenant association meeting for the residence of the building i live in. this month has been filled with several different apartment life duty's, including my apartment inspection, my recertification and now this, a meeting. i passed the inspection, i was recertified, and the meeting was well, interesting. evidentally cne (chattanooga neighborhood enterprise) is trying to consolidate some of their properties and management has changed inorder to collect. with all of the southside developement the area of downtown is changing rapidly and cne needs help holding on to the grand. it has a realm of potential but myself and other residents have got to take action, become one voice, one responsible living association. i have lived at the grand for five years and have had very few problems. i could tell that things were falling apart, until a couple of months ago when cosmetic renovations began to occur. the building seems to have grown in both security and tenancy, so i think i'll stay and feel good about it too.

i find my comfort in this large enough apartment. i have a ton of cabinet, counter and floor space. i myself am due for more of that sparsing down though, but have gotten really good feedback from the new management and from my fellow dwellers, that my apt is one of the nicer ones... my neighbors are kind and friendly and the bustling amounts of activity give me a feeling of well pleasant anxiety-thrill. come to think of it i haven't called the police in quite some time and i haven't observed or heard any major disturbances lately.

in the evenings when i'm not working i like to heat up some coffee and make a fresh pot of popcorn. i work on my paintings and collect ideas from fashion magazines, like delia's and urban outfitters (dorkiness). i like being at home, i feel fortunate and really apart of the cities population that cares. it's funny how much i felt like i was back at a dismas house meeting last night, back in the seat of a minority, back in the seat of a little white girl, attempting to figure out her place. times change quickly i often will think and over analyze my life to the point of self destruction, i feel that i might really be missing out on something big. but those feelings aren't true when you look around at my apartment. the truth is i am thriving, i am resting, i am working, i am living. my apartment is proof of my priorities, my place, my refuge. i dream of home owning and husband, and maybe children, i dream of publishing a book of my own art, i dream of parties and nieces and nephews, i dream of a faith that isn't as cowardly as i have become over the last couple of months. i dream of financial peace and in all these things i am challenged and might come back to anger to save me, but it won't, it can't.

i find myself always making "happy", "bright" art-paintings, collage, and doodles. it's funny because i'd define my personality in a fairly dark way, not so trendy to be dark anymore is it? i may go to the pallette and canvas in tears, but there's never a dark self portrait or a dark underlying tone. my hope is that i never stop, i'm always pushed and that i'm not seperated from my maker because of self pity or absorption. taking a real look around me, reminds me that i am apart and that i have nothing to fear. and i too may join my friend kate to fast once a week in an effort regain the practice of devotion, to letting go of frivilous obsessions, and faithless actions. that's alot for today.



each month the office manager gathers and creates the monthly schedule and calendar. i won't be participating in this years halloween events at the doctor's office. i'm taking the whole entire day off and i'm looking forward to it. in the last little while i have signed myself up for two very exciting swaps, both of which have everything to do with christmas. first is nikki's christmas postcard swap. my last postcard go around with nikki's swap turned out to be really quite fantastic! i started a large postcard-scrapebook soon after that swap, so that i could organize the beautiful cards and use them for inspiration. i've got a couple of ideas already and can't wait to start, so keep your eyes peeled. the second swap i am going to participate in is a little different but super cool. it is one that i just heard about today and thought i could manage a great big ornament idea! check it out here: cake+pie, it looks as though a ton of people are going to be participating, which makes the variety so much better, so much more interesting. see news here: freshly{blended}. what's better than a co-organized christmas ornament swap? i may actually make more christmas gifts this year if i'm already crafting for these swaps. i just thought and am completely inspired by jen's beautiful handcraft pieces. spy them here! anyway, i've got a whole lot to begin, but i'm up for the challenge. i'm working this weekend and have been working every night this week, so the energy has been on the low. have a brillant weekend fellow bloggers. and um i've got to shout out to my mom and dad, their 32nd wedding anniversary was yesterday, this is huge! amazing! my mom and i ate to "celebrate" at tony's. yum!



last night i took a break from the mailorder halloween decor projects to work on the pretending tree. as far as i can tell i'm getting closer to finishing it and feeling fairly good about the progress. i stayed up too late trying to get the very best photo, only to be disappointed and in the dark (literally, because it was indeed night time) about the lack of good daylight. i felt myself slipping into the black abyss of meaningless photo shooting. anyway this is what i've got along with a few more to go along with my efforts at or in my flickr account. feel free to comment. i'm looking for that constructive crit.


rounding the bend

eventually i will paint this boy again and when i do he maybe in blue.
or he may not be. right now i'm concentrating on other things. halloween mailorder projects, the pretending tree and yellow paint. and up and coming umbrella tree's. first i'll need more canvas and secondly i'll need well more modpodge. i am also counting down the days until my super nyc trip. working every night except for thursday this week. wish me luck. all of this work will help in funding the nyc trip. i do not have much more to say...


bitter water & other

***you may think i'm not making anything or that little progress has been made, but the reality is quite the contrary. i am taking a brief break from the r0b0t, paper quilt collage, and paint-markers to advance upon my bitter water-posturing/pretending tree. i've taken so much time with this painting, enjoying every minute of it really. i usually work between several projects anyway. it's not so much attention defecit, as the balance between paper and paint. i love both in very specific ways but can't always combine them to create a successful piece. so it's back to the bitter water. painting, for me takes a little bit more concentration as well and i'm focused on the line quality in this piece. i'm really going for the style/refined imagery. plus the background has to be just right, perfect. and i'm not always satisfied with my initial ideas. for instance i wasn't sure if the water was going to work, but i'm pleased and won't turn back now. once the water stage is completed i plan on "bubbles" and some sort of sunny-orange, red and yellow behind the tree branches. in the end i think the canvas will be completely covered. i also plan to experiment with more of my sanding technique and hope the underpainting parts(initial yellow) will appear. cross your fingers.

in other art-e news, i began the process of reinventing the bicycle painting i once was working on. i did get tired of the yellow bike and have got this incredible stash of old movie stubs, japanese receipts, and stamps of james dean, and pieces of twenty bucks. i finally made the move, really i thought i had more movie stubs, i think they've been packed away for safe keeping. my next tree-the umbrella tree. so keep your eyes out.

i'm so excited about this new process of making collage with modpodge and then painting over it. the poison tree has been my first success with this process so again cross those fingers.

i plan to keep you all informed as i continue to make and create.

i wanted to share this one other little snippet. just the other day i was listening to npr and a beautiful sounding musician was being interviewed. at the end of the segment she was asked to sing, her husband and sweet baby daughter sang along with her. it was absolutely delightful, it's a must listen. here it is: you are my little bird. also if you're out there and as interested in great emerging artists, go see kate's art. it'll be gone before you know it. the rest of my week looks good, hoping to see my dear friends this coming weekend. peace.



okay so this is as far as i've gotten and yes yes my robot is blue. i have only a small selection of paint markers, and plus i don't know if i would have liked a red robot so much on a red background. although my plan is to add more detail and silver silver silver. again my apologies for photo quality. i can't say that this week has been one of great artistic motion. i should be showing you all the things i'm giving away. only because it has felt so good, so freeing to create large piles of things i've not touched in oh so many ages. someone is really going to enjoy the clothing, someone will surely beable to use the shoes, and of course there's the huge bag of gift bags and handled bags from department stores to give away. i mean, what does one need all these bags for? i cannot think of one creative thing to do with all of them. from holiday to brown blueskies bags it's all too much and should be reused or recycled by someone other than myself.


farming a good life

i should have been here yesterday, but i just couldn't quite gather all my thoughts together. plus i was out of the office in franklin on friday, needed to catch up with the paper trails, post.its and social piles leftover from last week. i needed this past weekend like any plant needs water. the sun was hot, the wind cool, and the company a pleasure. i had been so exhausted, but i couldn't miss a saturday with jen, nor an opportunity to see all of her hard work, and the work of other local artists. the feelings i had while sitting with lavendar, jen and susan are unexplainable. i have been trying to think of way to eloquently express the way, as if a spirit moves between us, our words, and movements. i love how conversation came easily and the white church tent went up without a hitch. i love how kate was there in spirit and all our friends and jen's family came by to see her. can i see myself with my own work at one bridge next year? umm maybe. for now i'm most definitely more interested in farming this sort of good life.

i started reading wendell berry's, the gift of the good earth, hence my post-title, a week ago or so. boy oh boy it is has been one of the best things i've read in, wow! sometime. i had just finished the kiterunner, which received public accolades, but i wasn't well impressed. before that, dan brown's angels and demons-not that impressed. but the gift of the good earth, my word. written in the mid-late 70's, his travels from peru to papago to mexico to the amish country. what brillant imagery, what food for thought, so spirited and comfort-gentle. and we're here as he has predicted, not exactly predicted but shows by example, and expresses as stupidity, these last twenty years.

i'm not scared, just wondering about becoming a farmer. or at least farming my relationships in a different way. sometimes i think i let my emotions, fears, and insecurities rain on relationships in a way that washes away the deep dark, warm and moist topsoil-the stuff that makes relationships rich and wealthy. it so happens expensive fertilizers get in the way, when simply turning the friendships over to expose only that which needs to be cooled by the air-like a confrontation, a fresh approach, is sufficient and healthier. and certain weeds, if i knew how to look for them, might actually be advantageous, the natural way i'd be led to fertilize, instead of my self made contributions. i love what this book is making me feel and think. i love how it has tied itself into the conversations i've had with say, kate and my dear mother. and jen she sent me flowers, which i have yet to photograph because i am pleased to say i'm cleaning up my apartment's act. it's been four whole years and some things have got to go. so i am working on the revitalization of my apt life. i want a near perfect shot of the bright flower display, cross your fingers, tomorrow(?) and i should have a pic of the complete robot-red paper quilt collage. i should write more about these things but diagnosis coding is really really calling my name.

gosh i'm grateful for such a sweet weekend.