Tuesday, December 30, 2008


OK, so we all know about blogging ,Twitter, Facebook & Myspace…. but what about some of the internal issues we might share as artists or craftspersons?

INSPIRATION: Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level.
…and you feel like you are lacking it?

First of all, realize that you are sharing a common experience among many artists….
Really, you have a couple of choices here:
Wallow in the not so good feeling of lacking what you need to continue on your path as an artist OR
PAUSE….yes, pause. Give yourself permission to simply take a break. How long you might ask? Probably as long as it takes. Could be a short period of time, or maybe longer. During your pause, consider doing the following things:

Nurture yourself:

What inspires you?
How long has it been since you’ve allowed yourself time to look at, be around or consider those things which feed your artist’s/craftsperson’s soul?
I have posted four different things on my blog
from which I draw personal inspiration and I return to them time and again to
refuel myself (you’ll find them by scrolling down to the bottom of the blog)

Visit an Art Gallery or Your Favorite Gift Shop or Art & Design Mags:

How about a virtual walk through the Louvre?
Re-visit the works of a favorite artist.
Visit that fav Gift Shop just for the pleasure of looking
Go to your local Library & feast on the many magazines/books offered

Capture your Thoughts:

Could be on your blog? Write it out……many times, the simple act of getting in touch with your thoughts kindles a creative fire!
Take time to think about…..and reflect on…. your favorite things that you have created…..did those creations spark an idea for future works?

In Short….take a RETREAT:

Re-treat YOURSELF to the things you love, the things that awaken your very own visual & sensual delight…..INSPIRATION is sure to follow…….

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Story of the Guardian (Sentry) Horse

I just listed "The Guardian Horse Raku Vase" (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19070490) and here's the STORY:

When I was barely into my teenage years, a horse was on the top of my "want list". I worked at whatever jobs I could and saved every penny toward my goal until THE day came & a beautiful dapple gray mare became my own. Since all my savings went for the horse there was no money to buy a saddle for awhile, my first riding experiences were bareback.

This first horse of mine was a nurturing soul partial to women & girls (fortunate for me!). I wasn't a good rider yet & in one of my more serious tumbles from her back while cantering, my body slipped sideways & under her belly. I thought it was all over for me, but this wise old mare of mine came to a screecning halt and nearly sat down on her rump allowing me to crawl out from under her unscathed. Whenever I fell off of her, she'd stop and wait patiently and, if I could read her at all, I'd say she seemed concerned if I was ok or not....almost as if I was one of her very own offspring. In a sense, she was an incredible GUARDIAN of this young and often foolish girl.

So, any of my work having to do with "Sentry or Guardian" horses is in homage to my very special dapple gray horse "Blue".....I'd probably never have survived my early horse experiences without her!

Friday, December 26, 2008

What will your NEW year be?

Within us lies the power for the New Year to be anything we choose! If you've not seen the DVD "THE SECRET", I highly recommend it! http://www.thesecret.tv/ ....a wonderful compilation of some of the most powerful belief systems I have read about and studied all of my life.

I love the approach of a New Year.....
a time for re-assessment, reflection, reorganization and ultimately goal setting. For me, it's a time of looking back on the past year and allowing myself to feel good about things accomplished & it's also a time of taking a hard look at things I want to change in the future.

I believe we all, each and every one, have the ability to carve out the lives we choose for ourselves. When I taught Middle School some years back, I remember having a talk with my students about the fact that in life, we can either allow life to "happen to us" (as a "I'm along for the ride"), or we can CAUSE or CREATE the lives we want for ourselves......this talk was followed by "What will you choose for yourself?" Will you pick up the reins of your own life and give it direction or will you ride placidly along.....allowing life to do as it will WITH and TO you?

As for me, this is a time of reflection, ......giving the "horse" of life a brief pause before saddeling up, riding out & firmly reining toward my chosen path for the New Year.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

Here's wishing anyone reading this a wonder-FULL day!

As for me, I'm kind of filled with nostalgia this morning. Pleasant thoughts of Christmas's gone by. Thinking of my three brothers and me...the only girl..... when we were all younger (like......much!!) and still together on Timberview Rd. in Dallas. Remembering early morning paper routes which preceeded Christmas morning activities. Mischievous Michael, bouncing on my bed with a "get up!" "get up!"......it's morning! Charismatic Ray, whose very presence in a room commands attention and Tom.....oldest brother.....for as long as I can remember, being in love with High School sweetheart Betty who has been his wife now for so many years, I've lost count!

Our father was still alive then, witty and charming......loving music of all sorts....spontaneously dancing with either mother or me on a whim (strains of Tijuana Brass playing in my mind), punctuated by a loud "OLE!" from time to time. Always the major "toaster" at Christmas Dinner.....usually with the following:

"Here's to the two things I love most.......beautiful women and fine horses.....and when I die, may my hide be tanned into a side saddle so that I can always be near to the two things I love most.......beautiful women and fine horses."

And our mother.....always there creating all the things that made the holiday special for us.....the food, the decorations, the gifts and, as her manner was/is, making sure things ran smoothly as a well oiled machine!

Ahhh, the memories! A feast to dwell upon.....at least for a time before moving along into the present......being thankful for each and every loved one.......

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve Dawn...

Dawn breaks over the Cimarron Peaks on Christmas Eve Day....enjoy

...more on "Art & Fear"

For any artist visiting this site, and this particular post, if you have not read this book yet, do yourself a favor and gift yourself with it.

As a past college art instructor, I would hold class critique sessions at the completion of a new student project. Critiques were ongoing throughout the semester & I'll always remember the tension which had its roots in FEAR as students were facing their first critique session. Trying to help students get comfortable being UNcomfortable, I'd often liken the first critique to feeling "naked" before fellow students (to which they all related!).

Point being.......the making of art comes from a place deep within and the SHOWING of what's been made lays bare a very vulnerable core of the one who made it. At least in the beginning, I have seen this to be true. As an artist becomes more comfortable with the whole creative process, likewise, he/she becomes more comfortable with the "self" the art reveals.

This little (BIG) book "Art & Fear" by Bayles & Orland addresses so many things each and every artist grapples with in their individual life as an artist and in the identification of threads which are common to all of us who create art, I find it a validation as well as a comfort and an inspiration......it'd be a great one to add to your list!

Monday, December 22, 2008

One of Life's Little (big) Moments...

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, a small moment of visual pleasure unexpectedly arrives....just at dusk, this beauty along with her last summer's offspring, arrived just feet from our front door. She was unconcerned with our presence on the other side of the window......she was watching us as we were watching her.....

Nature and its creatures......one of the most restful things I know.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

When Life Gets Hectic...

"All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness". ~Eckhart Tolle

....and, for me, when life gets hectic and there's alot on my mind there's no greater place for me than my studio. More specifcally, there's no greater place than having my hands in clay. Something about the creative process is a soothing balm....very much like an ethereal connection outside of myself. Yesterday, I was in the studio throwing pots on the wheel and all of life's concerns were suspended for a time.....my awareness focused on the silky feel of the clay spinning on the wheel, the form that took shape under my hands. I am not a "production" potter.....I never try to produce the same thing twice.......rather, I set out to "throw a pot" and in the making of it, I simply allow it to "become" what it seems to want to BE......guess this is the reason I tell my hubby "I have 'new kids' in the studio"!

From a place of "inner stillness" emerges a new creation.....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ever Considered Your Life a "Work of Art"?

Your life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art. And you can change your life anytime if you aren't enjoying the dream. Dream masters create a masterpiece of life; they control the dream by making choices. ~Don Miguel Ruiz "The Four Agreements"

Another all time favorite book of mine....."The Four Agreements" http://www.amazon.com/Four-Agreements-Practical-Personal-Freedom/dp/B000K1P66W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229771181&sr=1-2

Waxing philosophical this morning. THIS IS A GREAT READ!! Small little book with big, big wisdom. Occassionally, I come across a book that I "re-visit" time and again to refresh the value I find in it and this is one of them. Guess this is an extension of an earlier blog on how an artist "re-charges".....

Wintertime....longer, dark hours.....a good cup of coffee.....fire in the fireplace and a little (BIG) book that opens the windows of your mind to your life being a "work of art".......

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Poem-"Ode to Flash"-Memories-Trailride

By Lynne Anderson

I surely don’t know
Whether or not
Reincarnation in horses
Is ever a thought

But when I learned
That Flash was mine
For hours and days
Of riding time

It seemed we caught
Each other’s eye
And recognition was there
From years gone by

A bay gelding he was
So fit and tall
With a gleam in his eye
Next to him I’d feel small

But on that horse
I felt I’d come “home”
More so than places
In the past I have roamed

I knew him
And I’d swear he knew me
He knew my touch
And I knew his key

His gait was the same
His interest was keen
He was light on the bit
He was muscled and lean

His ears flicked back
At the sound of my voice
Slower or faster
He responds to my choice

Certain mysteries of life
Can cause such wonder
And my time with Flash
Gave me thought to ponder

Can a horse of the past
Somehow be bound
In a new one today
And be the same all around?

I’ll never know
And I don’t much care
But I won’t forget Flash
And my memories so fair

O’er the trails of Custer
Through the rocks and the trees
Each step was a memory
Pine scent on the breeze

I’ll forever be grateful
For the imprint in my mind
Of a horse named Flash
No finer can you find

In him somehow
Was a horse I once knew
His name was Sienna
How’s this? I’ve not got a clue!

I only know
Without rhyme or reason
I rode them BOTH
At THE SAME TIME for a season!
More trailride pics

How an artist "re-charges" continued

On this four day trailride through Custer St. Park, we met the most wonderful people whose lives were intertwined in various ways with the Bison.

A few years ago, the National Bison Association commissioned me to make the Trophy Awards for their "Grand Champion Male, Female, etc" and that's how I came to be acquainted with the Bison folks.

Meeting new people, making great connections enriches my life as an artist and I gain great inspiration from each and every connection. Following is one such connection......1st evening of the Trailride.

If you'd like to see more pics of the trailride, go to

How does an artist "re-charge"?

"If we knock on the door until it opens, not taking no for an answer, our lives will be transformed as we step up into a higher awareness." – James Redfield

I wasn't sure how a four day trail ride would be possible both time-wise and financially, but I set my HEART and MIND on it knowing it would be the experience of a lifetime. At first, it was going to be just me going, then hubby joined in on the positive mind-set and, yes, we both attended!

This was a trailride through Custer State Park prior to exhibiting my raku artwork at the International Bison Conference in Rapid City, S.D.....filled with a huge sense of awe and inspiration...indeed life transforming....it was one way this artist "re-charged" & gained inspiration for artworks yet to be.......

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Artist's Impulse.....

"He can only obey the apparently alien impulse within him and follow where it leads, sensing that his work is greater than himself, and wields a power which is not his and which he cannot command." Carl Jung

I've been asked many times "where do you get your ideas?"

Call it impulse, call it revelation, call it dreaming, call it the artist's "BREATH"......it is as NATURAL to me as breathing....and I've often purposely used a double negative to describe this....."an artist can't NOT make art"....for, indeed, it does seem a work greater than oneself, it's on the inside and must come out. Perhaps a form of communication, expression and, for me, a path of supreme adventure. The making of art, the ideas,.... the conceptions transforming into reality bring a satisfaction deep and enduring.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Art of Architecture.....

....this one stopped me dead in my tracks and took my breath away.


  • 1% of the budget (7.5 mllion) of this project was spent on ART
  • Was the largest single facility Public Art program in the U.S. in 1995
  • It's still one of the largest Public Art programs in the world
  • Art is integrated in the architecture of this place

......and it's right here in Colorado!!

It was 1995 and I was picking up a friend who was flying into the then new Denver International Airport. Didn't know my way around the new flight digs, but when I walked into the Jeppesen Terminal for the first time, I was simply riveted by what I saw.....the interior space of the white multi peaked terminal whose vision was to "echo the mountains & commemorate the Arapaho & Cheyenne teepees pitched there long ago"......stunning!! In my opinion, BRILLIANT vision and interpretation of Colorado history and geography into a contemporary format.

Felt like I was on the inside of a large transluscent, glorious light filled sculpture and it literally took my breath away.

Had the priviledge to meet Curt Fentress, one of the architects for DIA, at a Colorado Art Educator's Conference several years later.....was a joy to relate to him the tremendous impact of this piece of architecture on me!

Other Art in DIA? Everywhere you look.....more on that later.

Traveling through DIA this Holiday Season? .......it's anything BUT just another airport!!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Early AM Thoughtstream

"Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact". William S. Burroughs

Does anyone really realize how the hand of the artist is ever present in their daily lives?
Who designed the car you drive?
How about the style of your home, your furniture, kitchenware....what about colors? Like, who is the driving force behind "popular color schemes" for the upcoming year?
How about clothing?....style/color? ad infinitum......

In the larger scheme of things, how about Leonardo daVinci sketching a flying machine?

Today, on the drawing boards of many an artist are the plans for what we'll experience in the future......

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snowy AM....quiet...beautiful...thoughts

"True art takes note not merely of form but also of what lies behind." Mahatma Gandhi

Thinking about the value of contemplation....not only of ART, but contemplation of life in general and, for me, the two things are combined. Viewing artwork allows us to see the world through another's eyes.....if not their heart....

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Favorite Quote......

"The need to make art may not stem solely from the need to express who you are, but from a need to complete a relationship with something outside yourself. As a maker of art you are custodian of issues larger than self."

....."Art & Fear" by Bayles & Orland

Clay.....a primordial medium

What is it about clay? What's the "hook"?

I've enjoyed expression in so many mediums in the past....first pencil drawings as a child and later paints: acrylic, watercolor and oil....then pastels. For a time I made jewelry pieces on a bead loom, made purses, belts and wallets from latigo leather and used a backstrap loom to make my own fiber wall pieces. But, quite later in life for me, about 14 years ago, I returned to college to get my Master's Degree in Art Education and I took a ceramics class as an elective my first semester.....

I knew......I knew the first moment on the wheel.....that I'd come "home" so to speak....to the medium of core passion for me. So much so that I immediately included Ceramics as a double emphasis in my Master's program.

Something about clay....the sensuous touch/feel of the malliable material.....the sense of awe and wonderment as I take "mud" and create a 3-dimensional object......it seems to stretch across time/space and connect me with peoples around the globe. Present cultures, past cultures......blend together as I'm in "the zone" with my hands in clay. For me, it is a very profound experience which nearly defys a complete definition......

I've had the priviledge of teaching ceramics at both High School and College levels and have witnessed the magic moment when some of my students are swept up in this same kind of inexplicable connection.....falling in love.....and making a life-long relationship with the medium of clay........

Friday, December 12, 2008

Early Morning Ponderings

Still thinking about alot of the wisdom found in book "Art & Fear".

Here's another of my favorite quotes that I recognize as truth to the artist involved in the creative process:

"..sing the song of your heart, and sooner or later the world will accept and reward the authentic voice."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

One of my favorite books.....

"Art & Fear" by Bayles & Orland. Many times, as I was teaching "Art Appreciation" and "Two Dimensional Design" for Mesa St. College, I recommended this book to my students. It's a small little book with some pretty profound thoughts. Here's one I love:

"Something about making art has to do with overcoming things, giving us a clear opportunity for doing things in ways we have always known we should do them."

A favorite quote......

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

-Pablo Picasso

One of life's treasures

So, I'm up at my usual while it's still dark out hour and when I looked out our window, there's this glorious golden full moon hovering above the horizon in the pre dawn hour. It's very cold out and, in Colorado on cold nights, there's an extra twinkle to every light in the sky....always such a visual treat!

The gorgeous moon and the sparkling stars & planets against a crystal dark sky......a moment of gratitude for being alive to see it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snowy Morning here in SW Colorado

.....and it is so pretty. I'm a notoriously early riser and I treasure the hours when it is still dark outside and all is quiet. Guess it's a genetic thing because my three brothers are likewise early morning people.
Am married to polar opposite! He has a hard time with mornings and loves staying up late at night....we have sometimes crossed paths in the wee hours of the morning....me just getting up and he just going to bed! Ships passing in the night......

New Beginnings

Another learning curve! Been wanting to set up blog for awhile and it's nice to have finally "gotten there".....feel sure there's much to learn yet, but, ahhhh......new beginnings!