Saturday, January 18, 2014

Why Do We Blog?

Mark Making #1
12 x 6 inches
Mixed Media on Chrome Substrate
Since I was a kid I've had a journal. I loved to write about "stuff". I still do. 
Today I make my own journals. I even learned coptic stitching so I could bind the papers together. Me, who hardly knows how to sew on a button. But I was drawn to coptic stitching due to its lovely, organic look and pages stitched together lie flat, so it's easier to fill them up without cramping into the margins.

Blogging is has become a natural extension of the diary. An unusual phenomenon that grew from the social media movement. Blogs have become cyber journals. They arch from political to personal. I would define mine as a goulash of information; social activism, art and biographical. 

On these cyber pages we are connecting with friends, family, acquaintances and also, total strangers. So how personal do you get? How much of your soul do you really reveal? How much do you want to reveal? How much should you reveal?

I believe there are three types of journals; the public blog, the journal or diary you write in with abandon, completely uncensored, pencil flying across the pages, recording your woes, your angers, your loves, your disappointments, your joys, because you believe no one will ever read those pages until after you're gone, and maybe not even then.

But where do we write our deepest, darkest secrets? I believe those are written on our hearts.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Gettin' The Joy Gene Back On

Out Of The Shadows
 Acrylic Collage
11" x 14"

I received an email from  a fellow artist  saying she was going through a creative withdrawal, wondering if her work was "good enough". I responded, "Is it in the air?" 

As flippant as this sounds, it made me reflect because I was also in a creative funk and emotionally detached. Where was this coming from and why?

 These feelings never just arrive, they sneak up and insidiously slither into your conscious.   It's not like flipping a switch from light to dark. It's more like going from clarity to fog, gradually realizing the landscape of your life is becoming more obscure. 

I began to think about what has been happening over the past months and
I realized the holidays were the catalyst. Christmas has always been a happy time for me, until this past  year. I just couldn't find the joy, which depressed me.  

Then I watched a  TED talk by psychologist Shawn Achor, 

This was the beginning of the healing.

For twelve insightful and funny minutes, he talked about how happiness leads to better productivity and, more importantly, how to get back to your natural, joyous state. 

He helped me remember, you don't find joy, you are the joy.

In my soul, I know this. And yet, because I am human, occasionally, I question my inner spiritual scout and stumble down an imposter's path. 

Perhaps this needs to happen. Perhaps we occasionally need to dig deep into the dungeons of our minds and excavate our emotional history, questioning it under the microscope of our sentient intelligence. Perhaps this is where the nebula of our future growth is born?

9 x 12
Mixed Media

Definition of a soul: a quintessential human organ whose purpose is to create meaning.

Dr. Seuss's definition of the authentic self:
Be who you are and say what you mean
because those that mind 
don't matter
and those that matter, 
don't mind.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ethical Eating

I made a resolution on the eve of the beginning of 2013, only I didn't realize I had made it until now, which is probably why, out of the thousands I have made, this one stuck.

The resolution was to no longer eat meat. That was a conscious choice, not really a resolution. The part of the resolution that dawned on me while having a conversation with my mom last night, was the crusade to eat ethically.

What I have learned over the past year by reading books like John Robbins; The Food Revolution; not everything that makes it on our plates had a happy life before it ended between our forks and knives. 

I understand some people will always eat meat. As my husband, a carnivore, has said many times, "We didn't design the system. Everything on this planet is consumed at the expense of something else. Be it plant or animal." True.

But we can decide to buy a steak from a happy cow, that got to live it's life naturally, grazing and contently munching on the fields instead of a cow that is born in a pen, and tied there for it's entire life until it's led or in many cases, pushed and kicked, into the slaughter house.

So now we ask the butchers where they get their meat. And we read the labels on the egg cartons and dairy products, and even though they cost more, eating organic, farm raised, truly free range meat and eggs, feeds our souls in an intangible way.

So I am happy to share that I recently found free range eggs at Whole Foods Market.
Vital Pasture Raised Eggs