Friday, October 25, 2013

Studio Visit Great Fun!

Nancy Minogue from Peppertree Visual Communications in Ottawa paid me a visit yesterday. We had great fun on Ned (My 1890's Challenge Gordon Press) printing a few things. Nancy learned a bit about how to lock up the chase, adjust the packing, and make a print.

Nancy feeding the press
It was so much fun to be back on press, and printing with a dear friend who is learning about letterpress printing! Her enthusiasm and interest really filled the studio with amazing energy.  Nancy (nickname Spike) traveled with me to The Printing Arts Fair at The Museum of Printing this past June. She jumped in, volunteering to help with all aspects of the fair.

Yesterday she jumped right in, with the same enthusiasm, learning a bit about locking up a chase, setting the guides, feeding the press, and the coordination necessary to print with a treadle drive platen press.

Nancy checking out her impression and the Two Nancy's, Tadaa!!!

Click on the image to enlarge
As I move back into being a studio artisan full time, my heart soars like a hawk! Having Nancy here yesterday for a studio visit just reinforced my passion for being here.  Today I will be back on press, printing cards for the coming Christmas season, bookmarks, and other holiday centered items.  My bench is also filled with work that needs to be completed by the end of the month for two shows I will be participating in this holiday season.

 On Saturday November 9 I will be traveling to  Kinburn, Ontatio for the 33rd Annual Christmas Kraft Fair. When Fran├žois and I were first married we lived in Fitzroy Harbour, quite close to Kinburn. It is going to be great fun for me to be back in what I consider to be my "Canada home" neighborhood.

I will be traveling to this show with my good friend from Valley Artisans' Co-op, Laura Mayo. We both will be selling new work perfect for holiday gift giving.

On November 23-24 Laura and I will be participating in the  Artisans @ the Archives Christmas Market in Ottawa. The premier fine crafts show is well  known for the high quality of work available as well as the impeccable organization of the group putting the show together.

Now as I prepare for these shows and also work at framing new work for Valley Artisans' Co-op Gallery, my creative soul trembles with excitement. I dream each night of pieces I wish to create, stone inscriptions I hope to cut, and artists' books that are waiting to be born.

The coldness of the air that has descended upon Deep River this week calls us to be aware that the season is about to change. My studio nesting is now done, and I am prepared to hunker down here as the first snowflakes fly, and work diligently to produce the work I have been dreaming about this past year.  I have been quiet, watched for the signs, and my heart has soared like a hawk as this next part of my journey begins.

In doing so I have developed an even more definite trust that with the grace and infinite wisdom of God in my life, that all will be well, and all will be well, and the joy of creating will carry me through, and all will be well.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Back in the Studio FULL TIME!

This past Friday was my final regular shift at Canadian Tire in Deep River. My blood pressure was not improving, and my doctor said to leave this high stress retail part time job for my health. I think the cognitive dissonance from working at minimum wage part time instead of following my passion of working in the studio full time finally got to my soul. I enjoyed seeing people, but the time it took away from my creative work was just too much.

Over the weeks leading up to my resignation, I had prayed for guidance and received amazing support from my husband for this decision. Even with all of his support and the word from the doctor, I was still second guessing my decision as I walked out the door at Canadian Tire for the last time as an employee. The bit of money I earned at the job really helped us financially, and I have been concerned about not having that regular paycheck.

"God of Hope"

On Saturday afternoon I was working my shift at Valley Artisans' Co-op Gallery, and a lovely woman stopped in to shop. She was on her way to visit her daughter in Petawawa.

As she walked around the gallery, she came to my display in the store, and I could hear crying. I walked over to ask her if she was ok and she told me she was extremely moved by one of my calligraphy broadsides on the wall, and asked who the artisan was. I smiled and said, "That would be me!"

She told me how much she loved the work, how it moved her soul, that she felt I was very gifted and should be doing this work full time!! Talk about affirmation, WOW!

We talked for over an hour, sharing our stories, and finding that we had much in common in our lives. She ended up purchasing this work and we plan to keep in touch in the weeks and months to come.  This morning she and her daughter joined us at St. Barnabas for worship. Amazing.

More important than the money I will earn from this sale, is the knowledge that God was speaking to me through this wonderful person. She encouraged all of my creative decisions and talked about the message that spoke to her through this work, "God of Hope."  She encouraged me to follow my heart, follow my creative passion, and continue making broadsides that pull my soul into the world.

Her visit to our artisans gallery brought home to me the amazing connection between the creative artisans, the work created, and the viewer. That conversation is one that sometimes get lost in all the intricately written art history and criticism writings that are out there. However, as an object oriented art historian, I have come to realize that the tangible and intangible ways that a work of art speaks to the viewer, that conversation, is the most important part of the creative experience for me. I love the "spirit of making" that comes over me, to be sure. But to be able to enter into a conversation with another soul, based on what comes out of my creative center, well there is nothing like it in the world.

I am firmly set on my path as a full-time studio artisan once again.

And I know with the grace and peace of God, and the wisdom of the earthly angels She sends to speak to us when our ears are filled with wax, that all will be well, and all will be well, and with the joy of creation in our soul and the willingness to start the conversation, all will be well.