I walked everywhere today and I love being so much more flexible on foot to explore than when I am driving. NOT BIG NEWS I realize, but today what could’ve been a pretty ordinary day, running errands, meeting a friend for coffee, going to a meeting, dropping things off etc—turned into a pretty interesting visual experience. It’s out there everywhere, we just have to be paying attention I guess.
1. Brick on Maple Street in the sun in Burlington, Vermont.
2. A cool sticker on a sign in front of Art’s Riot, SEABA (south end arts and business association) and Speeder and Earl’s coffee shop on Pine Street.
3. An abstract painting by artist Steve Sharon at Maglianero cafe. I bought this painting yesterday while Steve was hanging the show. I stopped in to get a honey ginger latte (crazy good) with my daughter and was very drawn to the piece. It has “pasture” in the title and it instantly connected me to my roots in South Dakota. Go get a latte and check out Steve’s show. Cool work. Nice guy. http://thekarmabirdhouse.com/the-amenities/maglianero-cafe
4. A sculpture in front of The Space Gallery and Conant Metal and Light.
There wasn’t a sign about whose work this cat is. If someone knows please let me know and post a comment so the work is properly attributed.
5. I just thought this flora was cool. Bold. Interesting. This unknown flora is large tufts in groups. If anyone knows what it is please post a comment. It’s tragic to be called, “unknown flora”.
What a charming museum we have in Vermont. The Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design started by architect, David Sellers is in Waitsfield, Vermont and well worth the trip. My son is studying Industrial Design at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. I wish he had been with me yesterday to poke around this charming space. Everything is so entirely Vermonty too. There was a lovely and well-informed girl who came in from sitting in the sun when I entered the museum. It’s a loose, donation museum and you may put one amount in the clear donation box on your way in and another amount on your way out because of the gems you’ve witnessed. Now, I eat this sort of design up. It’s one of my passions and what one person might not think a second about keeps me up at night thinking about the shape, color, origin and how it might influence my work. It took me way to long time to finally visit—but perhaps precisely the right timing.
From the museum’s website: “David Sellers is an architect and designer living and working in Warren, Vermont. The Madsonian is the result of his lifelong dream to honor the world’s best in industrial design. Dave got his start in architecture at Yale University. He has since been designing and building in Vermont and around the world. Dave has been named one of Architectural Digest’s top 100 architects.”
This morning I found this beautiful cicada. I thought it was dead and I wanted to photograph it with various backgrounds. I lifted it up and it moved. I had to adapt to how I reacted to my discovery. As I got on the ground to take photographs I thought about how different it looks with slight shifts in my perspective. 1) I was close enough that I could see the intricate detail on the wings. 2) When I stood up and took photographs of it, suddenly it didn’t even seem very interesting to me. 3) When I walked across the yard it basically disappeared to me. This made me think.
In our lives when we’re so close to something we can lose perspective and get lost in whatever it is. It looms so large. Simply can’t be ignored. However, when we step back a little bit and try to look from slightly different angles, we can start seeing other possibilities. And when we pull our observation away even further we can get a greater understanding of what is happening all around us. Here’s an example.
1) Your teenager always leaves dishes in the living room. When you see them it really makes you angry. It feels disrespectful and you want to make your feelings known. Loudly.
2) Your kid then steps in the door—Hi Mom, I had a great day, X happened and I’m hungry and I have homework, (A step back. A different perspective.) OK, my child has a lot on their plate too.
3) Sitting at dinner your child shares something they are concerned about and you have a discussion. (A step even further back. Hummm, maybe in light of these other things happening in my teenager’s life, fighting about a glass or mug left in the living room has me focused on the wrong things right now.)
NOTE: I am not saying I am always good at this. However, for so many events in our lives, stepping back keeps us from taking things so personally. This can help us see events through a different lens and open us up to seeing other options.
I can’t believe I didn’t know about the Kansas City Library parking garage. I went to Kansas once for a baseball game in college and I don’t think I’ve been back. WOW. How unbelievably inspired. Here’s information about the design from collabcubed.
“Though the Kansas City Library Parking Garage in Kansas City, Missouri was completed in 2004, I had never seen it before. Designed by cdfm2 architects (now apparently 360 Architects), the book spines measure approximately 9 meters by 3 meters and are made of signboard mylar. The shelf showcases 22 titles reflecting a wide variety of reading interests suggested by Kansas City readers and then selected by The Kansas City Public Library Board of Trustees. Clever.”
This morning I went to an “innovation breakfast” in Burlington, Vermont. The speaker was Warren Berger talking about his book “A More Beautiful Question” inspired by e.e. cummings. “Always the beautiful answer / who asks a more beautiful question.”
I am looking forward to diving into Warren’s book. Everything he talked about had no parameters—this is applicable to all of our relationships-kids, partners, friends, family or business. Thematically I am a sucker for far reaching messages.
The discussion was great and it confirmed something I’ve been telling my kids, mostly my 14 year old daughters a lot lately. The smartest person in the room is always the person asking the most questions. Genuine inquiry is where true connection resides. I also remind them that a few of their favorite grown-up women in the entire universe ask questions all the time. These women don’t let things hang in a conversation that they are uncertain about. They ask. They don’t worry about looking foolish, or being too personal—they are genuinely inquisitive and interested in people. These remarkable women are storytellers and have taught me so much about drawing people out and allowing people to feel safe to open up or share information.
I think this is a very good question to ponder today:
My favorite days in my studio are the days that I let myself just follow and instinct to see how a process develops. I had a few orders to take care of and I wanted to do some experimenting. I completed the wallets for a charming shop in Barnstable, Mass called—Mosees. Sorry, Maura I have owed you these for a long time and I will ship today. But, then I looked at the pile of leathers all over my studio and wanted to find a way to play with the loads of browns I have. So, I started painting, distressing and sealing them. I love the architectural, archeological quality of how this bracelet turned out. It’s not a look for everyone. It’s a little brutal, which I happen to love. More to follow in this direction.