Los Angeles

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Here are a few of my photos from LA. It was remarkable to have even a little bit of time in The City of Angels and even more remarkable to come home to a blizzard in Vermont. Seeing dense, saturated color was truly inspiringand I am ready to get to work with this palette.

California umbrella color palette

California Textures

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I have had the good fortune of traveling in California with friends this week…heading home tonight. My bucket is absurdly full from my adventures and hijinx and all that I’ve experienced. I am so anxious to incorporate these California textures into my work. After traveling I always feel that I can see things through an altered perspective.

a little something/Shelburne, Vermont

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I created some new styles of pendants and different ways to manipulate the leather. As always, I love to play with color combinations. Creating something interesting out of my scrap—my favorite pastime. Deidre, at “a little something” in Shelburne, Vermont purchased these pendants for her fabulous shop. Here’s a link. Thanks Deidre.

No Longer Pliable

(the narrative for my new work)

I have three teenagers—an 18-year-old boy and twin 13-year-old girls. I find these ages remarkably interesting and truly exhausting. I’ve recently come to the realization that my job now is to be a loving witness to their struggles/successes and lend a sympathetic ear when there is an invitation to do so. They are indeed no longer pliable.

I feel like the world sees teenagers a certain way for a convenient narrative. I think we perceive young men as far less complex than their female counterparts because of their generally stoic nature. However, I would venture to say that the angst of this age knows no chromosomal boundaries.

I’ve been thinking about my own upbringing in South Dakota in the 70s and 80s. My parents were young and growing up with us. It seems to me that our generation is parenting quite differently since we are having our children later in our lives. I was 29 when my son was born and 33 (considered advanced maternal age) when my twin girls were born. Those extra years of living must have had some affect on my own parenting style.

Do we put more pressure on our children because we’re older and
further removed from our own teenage experience?

My parents were pretty involved—we had a lot of freedom and thankfully every test score or extracurricular activity wasn’t monitored with hawk-eyed precision. Looking back I think there was some benefit to more freedom. It seems like we took more risks. We weren’t focused on careers and the future so much. We just figured stuff out.

Do we really need College Fairs in 8th grade? Good grief.

By creating this new work, I realize I needed to honor the transitions happening in my family. This is my son’s last year at home before college and my girls will enter high school next year. I’m no longer the parent of young kids. The age in my eyes and the grey in my hair are constant reminders of these big transitions. I would enjoy hearing your observations about teenagers or the work.

WORK

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WORK
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
What is the job of a teenager? Is it to become a member of a civil, engaged society or become a receptacle for parent’s unrealized dreams? It bothers me that we pay so much attention to competition and not nearly as much effort into healthy relationships, caring for others and “soft skills” like empathy and being a good listener. I believe we should take the long view that “soft skills” have a lot more to do with a successful life than SAT scores, your alma mater, your GPA or your bank account.

Hanging Show Tomorrow. Pieces still drying.

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SEEK
Finding our place in the world.
This can take many shapes depending on what you or the teenagers in your life are looking for now. What we are seeking changes all the time…Love, Purpose, Comfort, Quiet, Wealth, Validation, Escape and so on. The challenge for me with the teenagers in my world is to let them do this on their own terms. It ain’t easy. But, it’s entirely necessary.

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The Unintended Purpose of Categorization

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GO GO GO
The impulsive nature of the frontal cortex.