New Years resolutions? .. . or trying to create order in my chaotic studio.

The new year has begun. Usually my New Years resolution is not to make any resolutions. Resolutions are usually difficult goals, like lose weight, eat less sugar, eat less chocolate, eat less of all the things I enjoy that are bad for me. We’re talking deprivation here. So no, I don’t make resolutions. I don’t want to start the year thinking of LESS. I want to start the year thinking of MORE.

MORE happiness, health, wealth, laughter, creativity…..

Ah creativity, that brings me to my studio. Another area that I could use MORE in. As in more space, more time, more organization? Ah yes, perhaps since I don’t have more space, it’s time to get down to organizing all the stuff I’ve got in there. So many dishes, so many shards that I can’t throw out and have saved for future works.

So I’ve dragged out all the little pots and trays full of  broken dish shards left over from making Pique Assiette mosaics. I’ve  spread them out and started to reorganize them. It’s looking like chaos here.  But I’ve set myself to sorting, categorizing, creating piles and piles colors, textures, patterns and whatever, all the while taking lots of tea breaks to keep from being overwhelmed with the chaos I’m creating.

chaos-in-studiowmAnd hopefully, when I’m finally done, the shards, at least will be saved, sorted and ready to be used. Another recycled package put to good use. All those salad packages make the best transparent storage ever. These packages plus other smaller ones I save from where ever I can, go to good use here.

boxes-of-shardswmAh chaos to order….now that’s a start for the New Year.


A New Year Is Waiting…..


Our little house faces east, and in the morning, when there is sun on the wet coast, the light streams in. It was streaming in when I opened the studio door, lighting up the paints and brushes on the table.

The paints and brushes are waiting. The brushes, waiting to be used and the paint, waiting to be transformed, from color in a tube to color on canvas. I have left these paints and brushes here ready to use. There is a latency to this little tableau. There is also intent.

Now that all the holidays are done and the decorations put away, and we are making our way through the last of the baking and the eggnog, the plan is to work on painting again. Something I haven’t really done for years. But I’m feeling a need for a change from mosaics. I’m feeling a need for a change, period.

Is it the New Year syndrome? I don’t like to make resolutions, I rarely keep them. But this year, I don’t feel the need to make resolutions but to make changes. I hardly know what the changes will be yet. But I’m looking at what I need. One is more time for painting, artwork, writing. The other is more room, less luggage, less “stuff”. So today, the paints may be used or perhaps I’ll start looking at clearing out room for work, clearing spaces by getting rid of some “stuff”. Or who knows, I may start looking for a bigger place for all my stuff instead. I mean some of it is really good useful stuff. There are big work tables waiting in the basement for a bigger studio. There is a big table leaning on the bedroom wall, legs removed, waiting for a much larger dining room for big happy dinner parties.

My old dusty dictionary defines latent as ” hidden, dormant but capable of being developed, present but not seen until some change occurs”. It’s almost poetic. The online dictionary adds another dimension. Latent as potential. Like that too.

So my New Year, like the paints, has a latency to it. The Year and my time in it, is waiting to be used and transformed, waiting for all those changes to occur. All that time, all those decisions…..might be exciting.



Notes from the Fridge

New Years Eve is fast approaching and with that comes the idea of New Years resolutions. I don’t usually bother with admonishments like LOSE WEIGHT which is so negative. It’ll be more like I’ll eat less fattening goodies as soon as the Christmas goodies are all gone. Or GET MORE EXERCISE becomes something like go for more walks, notice things and take photos of them and do more walking meditations.

I don’t go in for hard rules to follow, knowing how soon I’d give up. No, I go for softer rules with some flexibility. My resolutions become more like reminders that can be summed up easily and posted in a good daily spot, like the Fridge for instance. So here it is, my “Notes from the Fridge”. It’s a bit chaotic, what with collaged magnets that we’ve made from magazine pages, and old postcards, but I like the collage aspect of my fridge  door.

First is a reminder to “Think Abundance!”  I need to remember that the world is full of abundance and that there is more than enough of what I need and want. Have faith that I can have what I want and remember that what you focus on tends to grow. So focus on abundance not scarcity.


Below that are the two questions to ask myself every morning. “What is good about my life? What needs to be Done?”  The first to remind myself to be grateful for what I have. The next , to remind me to focus on what I need to do to get what I want. It’s an old note, a little yellowed but still very relevant. Found probably in one of the many books I’ve read.  Couldn’t find the author. I’ve also read somewhere that the most important question is “What Do I Want?”  And each new years I try to make that list. I may even post it on the fridge, to help it come to fruition.

Next on the fridge, now very yellowed, is the quote by Thoreau. You know the one…”Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined”. It’s given me faith in bad moments. My new quote above it this year, all fresh and white, is to ask myself “What will you do for fun today?”   I’ve asked people this and most have never even given it a thought. But I really believe that life is to be enjoyed not suffered through. So this note will be to remind myself to build in fun (fun equals creativity to me) everyday.


Just below the freezer is a quote to which I cannot find the author. But I find it invaluable and tell it to worriers. “Worry is just being negative in advance.”   And below that, a latin quote that Will liked, Vivere ad Creare or Live to Create. Always a good reminder for us artsy types. BTW that little note you can’t make out next to the portrait magnet is from a fortune cookie.  It says..The world will soon be ready to receive your talent.. I sorta liked that one. And then there is the cut out from a Health mag cover ” Fight Aging Now”.  To remind myself to stop thinking “Old”.  worry-live-to-create

The next quote  is from a movie which always brings me a smile. It’s from “My House in Umbria” starring the inimitable Maggie Smith. It goes like this, “Gradually our anxieties began to recede and we surrendered ourselves to happiness”. There’s something so wonderful about the idea of surrendering myself to happiness.


Next, newly white on the fridge is some good advice which may be courtesy of Deepak Chopra. “Refuse Judgement.”  It is not easy to stop judging but when you can it gives you so much relief and is very good for the blood pressure. For example, refuse to judge the bad driver on the road, refuse to let him ruin your day, realize that everyone makes mistakes.

There is the quote by Socrates that the Unexamined life is not worth living, but I really enjoyed the rebuttal which was that the un-lived life was not worth examining and had to add that to the fridge one day.  And Will, on another  day, added this good quote:  “Life is too important to be taken seriously”  but we can’t remember the author. And best for last. I have no idea where I read this one but it’s been important to me for many years. “Accept and Enjoy.”  Accept yourself, accept others as they are and enjoy them as they are, no buts, or if onlies. Just enjoy and accept. Accept their fears and faults and enjoy their good points. Makes like so much better and fuller, really it does.


Do you have a good quote for the fridge that you’d like to share?