Time to Go to Art Full-time!

This last Thursday morning I signed early retirement papers. One more change in a year of changes. I’m so grateful that my friends and family haven’t changed and in some cases we’ve gotten closer.
Leaving the library will give me more time to follow the creative ideas I have for Debbie’s Home Studio. My last working day will be January 6, Epiphany for 2018.
I’ve worked in libraries since 1985. I am proud to work in one of society’s few institutions that allows everybody to use the bathroom. I ‘m glad I came to Grand Rapids over 23 years ago. I so love beautiful Michigan and feel at home here. I survived the renovation to GR’s Ryerson Library that reopened in 2003. They did a a good job before the economy tanked a little bit. I survived the lay-offs and massive restructuring of the downtown library a few years ago. It’s been time for me to go and it’s worked out that now I can.

New Studio

Pictures of the new studio. Finally can post my new environment
I am going to use the drawing table, so I can sit at it and know that I’m dedicating myself to “creating art” time. Most of the time though I prefer drawing on the bed and couch. Busy, busy, busy. Many changes. I’m glad to have the apartment set up. I didn’t like tripping over stuff. It’s nice to have more time to create and draw.

When Are You Procrastinating?

Do you meet your deadlines and obligations?
If no, this article will not help you. You probably do have a problem with procrastination.
If yes, you and I have a problem knowing when to push ourselves to do a task and when to let go and rest.
If something is scheduled or I said I would do something at a certain time, I have to make contact. Make arrangements for another time. For things I’m not sure of, I’m practicing saying “I may be able to do that,” “I’m thinking about it,” or “I’ll get back to you” instead of making a firm commitment.
Sometimes I refuse to do something. If you’re not going to do it. You’re not.
Beating yourself with a belt isn’t going to make you do it.
Last night after I pushed myself to work on my new phone. I wasn’t happy with the progress I made, but that’s all I could do. I was willing to listen to a podcast on organizing, which was on my list. I hadn’t done it yet, so I went for it.
Meditation is a good thing. If you’re not going to do something, meditate. I meditated on the deep, penetrating, glowing blue of twilight. Usually a good night’s sleep returns me to a state I’m more comfortable with.
If you’re in pea soup or anchored to the couch in grayness, you have to ask for help. This is not procrastination; it is mental illness. 10/2/17

Words: Reformation, Renewed, Faith, Grace…

I just got notice that these 2 pieces were accepted in a 6 Church “Reformation Art Show: Renewed in Word, Faith, and Grace” in Grand Rapids, MI. ArtPrize is going on at the same time and will end right after the pieces will start to be exhibited. My art is going to be shown at Faith Lutheran Church, right by my house. I am looking for a church home. I converted to Catholicism in 1996, but stopped going to the Catholic church 2 years ago. I was brought up Presbyterian, so this might be a good “fit” for me. I will go to their service and see what my heart thinks. If you have followed this blog or any of my social media, you will know how much I love words. I’m taking all the words involved in this show to mean something significant.

Action and Trust

The words for this week are “action” and “trust.” ” Action” is being done by making lists of what I want to do in my spiritual life; family and personal; artistic; and business. And then there’re the chores I don’t want to do but they gotta get done if I’m going to be responsible, maybe mature, and not deal with uncomfortable consequences.
“Trust” is a hard one. I sit on a beautiful Michigan day with a perfectly cool breeze, but not too cool, coming in the window. I’m in good health, so I “trust.” What if you are told you’re going to die, what if someone close to you dies or gets murdered, or what if you lose everything due to weather, fire, or other natural disaster. I like to think God is with us through the hard times and we can “trust”…

About Studios

The house is officially up for sale.
What’s my new studio going to look like? It reminds me of when I was pregnant with my son. What color eyes will he have? Will he be tall? What will be his special gifts?
The knowns I’m going to a one bedroom apartment on a lake. I want to make sure wherever I do most of my work I’ll have a view of the lake. There’s a small dining room that flows into the living area. On Pinterest I saw a living room that was basically a studio with bookshelves and filing cabinets around the walls and the couch and nice chairs in the center of the room.

I’ve been here 14 years. I had my drawing table in the family room because I liked to be around people when I work. When we moved here I thought the studio would primarily be in the basement. I kept supplies down there, but the cupboards were too narrow for big paper and the long haired cat used the art cupboards as his bed. Before 2010ish, I worked big and did some pieces down there and airbrushing. The last couple of years I was drawing and coloring primarily on the couch on pieces of heavy cardboard with paper clipped using orange and purple chip clips. I have smaller happy face clips in florescent colors.

Throwing Work Away

Bono in an eulogy (I think) for Leonard Cohen said that Leonard probably threw away work that most songwriters would have been proud to have written. This verified my thoughts that part of the creative process is editing your work by throwing it away.
In 2010ish I read that William Blake and the Desert Fathers threw away their artwork. At the time, I was like I could never do that. Now I’m feeling cleansed and proud that I have so much stuff I don’t mind getting rid of the stuff I don’t like.

Missing my Logistics Manager and Best Friend

May 4th, my baseball loving, funny, supportive husband and Debbie’s Home Studio’s Logistics Manager died. He kept me organized and did the business affairs of this little business. He is so missed.
I was told to do something regular I liked in the midst of addressing all the issues and organizing that comes along with a death. I still like to draw and color.

The End of Lent, 2017

And so we came to the end of Lent for 2017 last night on Holy Thursday.

The last stations are attached. If you want to see all of them go to: https://www.facebook.com/DebbiesHomeStudio.org/

I post weekly there, so come there and comment!!!

I’ll throw out some thoughts about Holy Thursday: Garden of Gethsemane. The Last Supper. Bringing the host down to the meeting room that is decorated all funeral-ly. The Priest wears this elaborate white thing, kind of like a short cloak and shrouds the vessel where the host is. We go clomping down the stairs hoping nobody falls. Is the Priest nervous that he’ll drop the host? [Since I’m kinda blasphemous anyway, I’m going to say that my husband calls it the cookie.] The choir follows singing an ancient chant. In the meeting room, the energy is very solemn like the cookie died. The heavy incense is used, which in our church just happens during Holy Week. One year the fire alarm went off.
For the Good Friday Mass the church is totally devoid of decoration. The host isn’t there. Remember it’s down in the meeting room. When Mass starts, they get one of the high school football players in the Parish, who is there, to carry the big wooden cross in the procession. He fumbles with something to make the cross stand in front of the altar. The priest comes last and he prostrates himself in front of the cross for about a minute. It’s so dramatic. (Hard to describe – I get the goosies?) Readings are read. Then instead of communion, we kiss the cross.
Saturday night Easter Vigil is one of my favorite masses. It’s real long though. Except they have lots to eat after we’re done. Stay tuned tomorrow. The picture I’m working on is in color!!!

The study statement for the thirteenth station is “Grant us trust in you that when our time on earth is ended our spirits may come to you without delay.”
We’re afraid of a lot of things, depending on your economic status, race, age, and whatever you’re going through that is painful.
Death will happen. We make our own choices on how we are going to handle this. I want to die in peace. I get peace through my faith. I hope those I love will be around me.

I prioritize my bucket list like I’m going to die today. When I don’t die, I get to add more adventures to it and the day to day routine…

The statement for the fourteenth station is “Grant us your compassion that we may always provide for those in need.” I always worry that I’m not doing enough for those in need. As I get older I realize that it’s ok to have experiences and possessions that cost money. Ten percent of income for tithing is a good start. But taxes and all the other expenses that go to others and the upkeep of our society and economy counts.
What about all the gifts and expenses of holidays, celebrations, and needs of friends and family? I also didn’t count this as tithing, but my financial/stock guy says we spend a lot on this. And is an area, we can look at for budgeting.
I hope it doesn’t always have to be about money. Does smiling, being kind, caring, responsive, listening, picking up the trash count?
If you are still reading, HAPPY SPRING!!! Big hugs. And it would be fun if you posted, so we could have a conversation.


Lent 2017, Stations of the Cross

Lent started for 2017 with Ash Wednesday on March 1st. I like to stay spiritual, not religious. But I can’t get away from the fact that the Stations of the Cross are religious and focus on Jesus. I am reflecting on how this story may be spiritually helpful to me and hopefully to you. I’ve started a little notebook and will draw each station through Lent. These Scriptural Stations of the Cross are based on those celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday, 1991. They are a little different from those used in many churches.

Christmas is about Birth. Lent is about Death. [Is Christianity a blood cult?]

First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
“Grant us strength and wisdom, that we may SEEK to follow your will in all things.”
Who are you in the Garden? What are you doing? How would you want to be?
Second Station: Jesus Betrayed by Judas is arrested.
“Grant us courage that our lives may reflect faith and truth.”
What does betrayal mean to you?