Monday, January 27, 2014

1.27.14 ~ the hot eye of vision boards

I'm heading to Ojo today.  Ojo Caliente.
Ojo = Eye.
Caliente = Hot.

A friend gave me a free pass that I have to use within a few weeks, so, even though my head is  spinning with deadlines and a growing list of projects I need to tend to, I'm unplugging and retreating for a day. I'm hopeful that the thermal waters will
sharpen my mind's vision as well as ease some anxieties that have overwhelmed my sleep of late.

Friends will join me, and later in the day we'll gather over good food and drink and art supplies and create "Vision Boards" for the year ahead. We did this last year about this time and so delighted in the process that it seems to becoming an annual event.

What's a Vision Board? It's essentially a collage of images and words that you want to manifest in your life. Usually the images and phrases are cut from magazines, though they don't have to be. But magazines are handy and make for quick, easy and abundant visual fodder.

My vision board from last year got tucked away for a while when I moved my studio at the end of last summer, and when I found it again recently, I was taken aback by a small section of it. There in the upper left corner I had glued the words "ARTIST IN RESIDENCE." Being an artist in residence had not been even remotely on my radar for probably 20 years. It's a concept I had simply and completely forgotten about. Yet, flipping through magazine pages last January, my eye fell on those words and something inspired me to cut them out and paste them to my board.

What's even more interesting is that I glued those words "ARTIST IN RESIDENCE" plumb next to a photo of a bird sanctuary — a beautiful still body of blue water and blue sky, edged by auburn reeds and dotted with snow geese. And that's exactly where I ended up late last year: as an artist in residence at Playa, which is in the heart of an enormous bird sanctuary that looks exactly like that photo. And that experience has ended up being one of the most extraordinary, inspiring and uplifting experiences of my life. Yet when I cut those words and placed them next to that photo, I had hardly heard of Playa, let alone had hardly thought about being an artist in residence.

Did gluing these things down on my Vision Board have anything to do with my becoming an artist in residence at Playa? Who's to say? Certainly my father, I know, would flat out deny that. I can hear him now, "That's post hoc reasoning."

I know, Dad. I know.

And yet....

The purpose of a Vision Board is to get you centered on the positive life you want for yourself. It's a way of creating focus for your ambitions, your wants and your needs; all that you hope for. 

It's an alter to your dreams.
Place it somewhere where you will see it every day, and it becomes a powerful daily reminder of what you are striving for.

Gluing these things down did not, by themselves, cause them to happen. But adding them to my vision of what I want from life, and reminding myself daily of what I want, surely helped to put my own mind energy in motion. 

"Luck is nothing more than opportunity meeting preparation." 
Knowing what you want helps you prepare, and makes you attentive to and ready to grasp opportunity when it arises. A Vision Board helps clarify and energize your dreams...and your Life.

And besides if nothing else, creating a Vision Board is a great excuse to get together with friends over good food and drink and laughter, and immerse oneself in the creative ojo caliente.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

1.14.14 ~ burning paintings & the journey, iv ~ playa slideshow

A fireplace in the studio brings out the latent pyromaniac in many a de-cluttering artist....

Two weeks into the New Year and a huge chunk of me has lain dormant in the memory of my art residency at Playa. I've been distracted since returning home, hardly able to focus on any serious Art-making. Rather, my focus these five or six weeks has been on the mundane work of organizing stuff: filing paperwork and digital info, scrolling through spread sheets, tallying receipts, crunching numbers, tidying, cleaning, putting things away in my home, on my laptop and in my studio; distributing clutter to goodwill (happily), the landfill (reluctantly) and even my fireplace (demonically joyfully), where not a few paintings have been laid to burn. All of this with the goal of clearing clutter and creating space, physically and mentally. When my physical and mental space are decluttered, I seem to achieve a sort of spiritual and creative de-cluttering as well. The fact of that outcome makes the long days of not lifting a paintbrush just.............................barely................................tolerable.

By far the most pleasant project I've undertaken these first days of the new year has been to sift through my 2000+ (!!) photos I took at Playa. I wanted to select a few of the best to share with my fellow residents, and with Playa, too. Finally I culled the photos down to about 130, and decided — for fun — to create a slideshow of them. I share it here with apologies for some redundancies as well as the length — it's about 10 minutes, of mostly scenes of the land and the views from my cabin and walks. But it's 10 minutes that make my heart and muse and spirit soar. 

Not a bad way to start the new year. 

INDEED. Happy New Year, friends! Thank you for your interest in and support of my heart's work; I count you — my readers, followers, patrons, fans — ALL OF YOU — among my blessings. 
May the new year hold for each of us insightful journeys.

Click here for Dawn's Playa Slideshow