Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Days, and Phone App Art

Oregon's High Deserts near Deschutes River
Since finishing a big move and getting my felting studio space set up. . .I have had absolutely no desire to continue my explorations of the Wooliverse for the moment.

I return to the topic repeatedly of creative play and recharging, and with that in mind, the glorious summer weather on the coast has pulled me out doors. I have a notebook over flowing with felting project ideas and sketches, but it has been so wonderful to play in the park and go to the beach, and soak up some sun and bird song.

Last week we celebrated a dear friend's big 30th birthday by joining him and his wife on the Deschutes River in Oregon for a boating, fly fishing, camping vacation.  I've never been anywhere in Oregon besides Portland and Eugene, so the "high desert" ecosystem was a treat. . .the big rugged landscapes reminded me, just a little, of Chilean Patagonia which was one of the inspirational cornerstone experiences for what I do with wool.  And though I couldn't tell you what kind of flora and fauna I was encountering, it smelled AMAZING!  What a great way to recharge and relax after a big move!

With our paints and canvases still packed, my wife found a wonderful creative outlet in making our Oregon friend a birthday present.  He shares our love of kumquats, and she made him an intensely tasty "kumquat cardamom marmalade."  Put this on a whole grain cracker with some Humboldt Fog chevre, and you are in heaven.

While I've put the felting projects on hold the last few weeks, I firmly believe that I'm healthier and happier if I can keep my sense of creative play flowing in whatever small ways I can.  Lately I have been hooked on using various phone apps to "finger paint" and sketch with, and it's the kind of creative play you can do anytime, anywhere.

Appropriate for Portland "put a bird on it."

The droid apps "Paint Joy" and "Sketch n Paint" have some impressive tool sets for sketching and painting, and it is very much like finger painting, though I almost prefer it on the phone because it is more like painting with light and you can get some really interesting and luminous images.

Since, to my knowledge, there are no really good comprehensive illustration and photoshop tools, what I do with my "phone app art" is to use multiple apps to open and work on the image, usually starting in Paint n Sketch, and moving back and forth between photo-editing and filter apps, then back to the drawing, painting and sketching apps, leaving behind a trail of up to eight saved versions of an image before the final, finished one. 

To the right, a little birdie, which goes nice with our Oregon trip (Just like on Portlandia, it's actually true, there are birds on everything there.)  Below is an abstract phone app painting I did called "Roots Unrooted." 

I hope to be back to posting soon about felting, but there's never an end to the opportunties for creative play, whatever the medium.

"Roots Unrooted" --a phone app painting

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"A Clean (ish) Well Lighted Place"

Here's a pic of the new work space, kind of a mess already but good to go.  It's nice to finally have a dedicated work room with a table and chair for felting, as opposed to hunching over the coffee table for endless back breaking hours.

And all the basic tools of the trade are right there.  A white felting pad, needles, a multi-needle tool, hand carding brushes that can be used to, among other things, blend colors.  Not shown in the picture are bins and bins of different types and colors of wool. 

What's cool is that even though it's fun to have a big stocked station with all kinds of extras, you can take an essential few things in a backpack for working in the park, or in coffee shops.   It's just fun to work out in public, and because needle felting is something many people haven't seen done, it's a great conversation starter.

Very excited to be done moving, unpacking, and setting up.  Time to get back to work!!!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Setting Intention

June 1 and the year is nearly half over.  Often at the beginning of the year people have goals or resolutions.   In yoga practice, "setting intention" is something you hear a lot, and it's somewhat different than setting a goal.  Rather than a goal to reach, it's an expression of how you intend to manifest your journey regardless of any goals you may or may not have.  Think of it perhaps, as how you want to go, rather than where.

  Recently, I have started doing an "intention setting" meditation before getting out of bed, often something as simple as an intention to manifest kindness to strangers, or feel myself smile as often as possible throughout the day, and always an intent to stay in the present moment as much as possible, because that is where joy and the creative spark reside.

I had one actual goal this year related to the Wooliverse, and that was to get at least one Wooliverse creation into a gallery show.  This goal was achieved, but for the second half of the year I feel a need to set an intention for my explorations of that intersection of art and consciousness I call "The Wooliverse," not really so much because it happens to be nearing the mid point in the year, but because yesterday my wife and I just finished a big move, and the wonderful new creative space we find ourselves blessed to be living in calls out for it. 

Light and Dark

--Simplify: Shed the unnecessary, let go, reduce ego attachments, grow stronger roots into the earth.

--Health:  In the present moment I can hear my body and better recognize its needs. Nourish and stoke the core passions.

--Flow: Like water, wear away the stones with effortless movement.  Bring this into my life and creativity.

--Love: Continue practices that open the heart, breath into my heart when I recognizing I'm not practicing loving kindness.

--Voice: Speak truth, be truth, banish fear and give voice to the entirety of my being.

--Beauty: See it, be it, bring it out in others, manifest beauty in my work and life, let it resonate in the visions of my inner eye and my hand's work.

--Light: Shine, not for vanity or self-glorification but in connection with the divine.  Don't fear the things in the darkness that the light makes visible.

With these intentions set, I have only one creative goal right now, and that is to find time to play joyously in my creative explorations, and to laugh, and to not take myself seriously (ok, that's three!) The Wooliverse is a fun and funny place full of all kinds of magic, and the point of going there and bringing things home is to share all that with as many people as I can.

Felted wool face "Four Elements, Four Directions" pocket watch.