looking back at my 2016 creative life…why does it feel like I never did enough?

The funny thing about being an artist—it just never feels like I’ve created enough. NEVER.  I needed to look back for some perspective if I’m going show some compassion toward myself and be my own best friend.  I went through my images month by month to remind myself that, although I can always create more—I’ve actually done a lot.

I think we all need to remind ourselves that we are enough…just as we are.

 

Here’s PART I: January to June 2016.

January: I painted this mural in the entryway of our home. It took me about 10 hours to paint it on New Year’s Day.  It brings me joy everyday as I walk into our home.  I’m eyeing other walls now and looking for some dates when no one is home for a long stretch.

February: These were a few of my favorite images from a trip to the Dominican Republic with my husband and daughters.  Oh, that blue…

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March: I shot this image of my husband with our cat, Karen.  It is one of my favorite images I’ve ever taken.  Our cozy family life wearing great socks surrounded by color.  I worked a lot layering my photos with images of my hometown and two-lane South Dakota roads.  I wrote about identity.  I worked on my positive psychology coursework.  I worked with artist, Elizabeth Bunsen ecodyeing textiles and learning about that process.  I made a handbag that referenced the South Dakota two-lane image I like to work with for a group show in April at SEABA.

April: I went with Elizabeth Bunsen to assist with an ecodyeing workshop in the magical encaustic castle—an art space in Lexington, Kentucky run by artist Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.  What a remarkable group of women!  We made beautiful things.  We laughed.  We cried.  My great nephew, Liam was born in South Dakota while I was in Kentucky.  My new creative friends celebrated with me.  What an experience.

Here’s the link to her space to see what other workshops are available.

http://www.pbsartist.com/pbsartistopenstudio/

May: My friend, Maggie and I took four teenage girls to Quebec City to see Justin Bieber as a 16th Birthday present to my twin daughters.  What a beautiful city and the false eyelashes looked amazing as they headed out to catch their Uber to the Videotron Centre.

June: I shot this image of Vergennes, Vermont that I love.  My husband and I traveled to Ireland for a friend’s 50th birthday. This photograph was taken in Innishmore.  I sold this painting “She Often had a Plan B” in the new shop below my studio: DEEP 6.  I found a group of amazing photos at a second hand shop.  I cleaned my studio.

 Next up, whenever I get to it—July-December.

Happy 2017 and I wish you a wonderfully creative year—whatever that is for you!

Can you imagine a world without contrast?

I wholeheartedly think true beauty exists in contrast.  Without light we’re unable to appreciate darkness?  Without weight, something delicate would be more difficult appreciate.  Without hunger, how do understand being satisfied?

Without sorrow how do we truly understand joy?

light dark delicate sturdy lillibridge

contrast weight light dark light lillibridge

Without contrast our world would be quite dull.  Imagine really trying to understand (or explain) cold without warmth, smooth without rough, delicious without disgusting or loss without discovery. It really can’t be done.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
       ―John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Social scientists (Sherif, Taub and Hovland 1958) studied how much we need contrast all the time to make decisions in or lives.  It’s so much a part of our everyday decision making we don’t really have to ever think about it.  Once I read more I became quite aware of how much contrast is used in retail shopping.

Here’s a link that explains Perceptual Contrast Effect further.

http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/perceptual_contrast.htm

con·trast noun

noun: contrast; plural noun: contrasts
ˈkänˌtrast/
  1. the state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association.
    “the day began cold and blustery, in contrast to almost two weeks of uninterrupted sunshine”

These images were shot in Lexington, Kentucky last week at PBS Artist Open Studio during an ecodyeing workshop with Elizabeth Bunsen.  While I was treating my photos I noticed that there was a lot of magnificent contrast. How could there not be when we’re working with rust, leaves and indigo?

Here’s the link to find out about future workshops.

http://www.pbsartist.com/pbsartistopenstudio/

 

My dreamlike experience in Lexington, Kentucky.

I just spent the better part of the week in Lexington, Kentucky helping Elizabeth Bunsen run an ecodyeing workshop with a remarkable group of women.  Our host most magnificent; Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, an encaustic artist has created a space for the magic of artist workshops to take place in an 1880s Victorian home being lovingly restored (encaustic castle).

Patricia (Trish) has remarkable vision for workshops and artists in residency programs of all creative stripes.  Sue Stover started a workshop the day I had to head back to Vermont.  My brood needed me or I would’ve loved to have stayed.  I’ll be back one day.

Here’s the link to Sue’s unique work. http://susanstover.com/

Magnificent sheets and comfortable beds were much welcomed after long days of creativity and laughter (and a few tears as well).  In the morning we gathered in the dining room and we were served homemade granola (ginger fetish), yogurt, fresh baked breads, coffee and spirited conversation.  Over breakfast one day we got to hear the low down from a couple who went to a Pearl Jam show the night before, they snuck in late and didn’t even wake any of us sleeping in the rooms next to theirs.

I can’t quite put into words yet what this experience entirely meant to me, so I thought I would layer some images that felt most “dreamlike” from my days in Kentucky.  There will be a lot more photographs to follow.

Here are the links to get on mailing lists and to check out the accommodations if you are ever planning a trip to Lexington (you really should, very cool city).

http://www.pbsartist.com/

https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/14472982 (login or create an airbnb profile to see more images)

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encaustic castle chandelier pbsartist lexington kentucky encaustic castle pbsartistopenstudio elizabeth bunsen lisa lillibridge pbsartist pbsartistopenstudio pbsartist encaustic castle elizabeth bunsen lillibridge