Life’s Distractions

What happened to the summer? to the spring, for that matter? Last time I wrote here was in March. Well, I’ve come to realize that one’s health can be one of the biggest distractions to creativity. Nothing life-threatening here, but definitely enough going on since April that I’ve had to totally shift my concentration to my physical self.

Creating got put to the back burner – at least as a major chunk of my daily thought of creating. I am grateful to have managed to experience some wonderful processes and play at not one but TWO Cheerio Calligraphy Retreats (thank you, Joyce Teta). And also…

In April, Julian Waters came to the Calligraphy Guild of Pittsburgh. We did lots of exploration and play with the ruling pen and the many similar ‘funky’ tools. The mark-making was fun and the possibilities endless, I’m sure!

In June Carrie Imai came to the Calligraphy Guild of Pittsburgh. I had attended another workshop of hers in DC. A true teacher. She explains things so well and is one of the sweetest people I know! One thing she offers her classes is a chance for her to write a word for you. You come up with a word – she writes the word and expresses what meaning/feeling it might give her in the creation of the word. This time – my word was “BALANCE”. It is becoming my mantra this year.

Play in Carrie’s class

In May, I was thrilled to re-activate my left brain and experience Pamela Paulsrud‘s workshop (at Cheerio). We ‘created the universe’ as we explored sacred geometry and nature and lines and spirals and numbers and…it was amazing! Pamela is a great teacher and a true inspiration. One of the ‘backgrounds’ I created in this class became a 50th wedding anniversary piece for my Aunt and Uncle. So that’s something completed!!

Constructing the Universe

In September, I was fortunate to be able to attend (at Cheerio again) Georgia Angelopolous‘ Greek and Gilded workshop. Talk about a rabbit hole…we discovered new worlds of pigments, gold, tooling, Greek inspiration in all of it. Beautiful workshop. Georgia is another great teacher, so generous, so talented, and funny!

In the mountains at Cheerio (and a little “Gratitude” for Georgia)

Also, another rabbit hole was opened up to me in a botanical printing/book workshop by the multi-talented Leslie Marsh (organized by the Pittsburgh Book Arts Collective). Potentially another whole lifetime of study there – really fascinating.

Botanical prints on paper: eucalyptus, oak leaves, onion skin, pine needles, etc. in an iron mordant.

I stopped (almost) beating myself up that I still can’t manage something EVERY day or FINISH things. I am learning to simply embrace the process and be grateful that I have the luxury to spend time creating (how ever ‘little’ time I think it is). If I get a finished piece out of it – great – but I am trying to be content with just having experienced the process.

I’m glad to get this list down (on paper?). It really has been a creative year so far despite the distractions – now that I look back.

Thanks for visiting. Until next time,


Next time…maybe a blog about decluttering – I created a piece in a workshop last year that was destined for a frame. Now? Gone. Can’t find it. It has to be in there somewhere!

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