Monday, October 26, 2015

right before my eyes







The last leaf on our Maple tree has changed from green to red.  Autumn is here, and almost past. This tree always changes at the end of the season when many others have already lost their leaves and become bare.


Recently I found a photo taken the day we moved into our house, moving truck backed up to the garage, Maple tree bare.  It was the day before Thanksgiving seven years ago next month.  


Even though much has changed about our house in these seven years what stood out to me was the size of the Maple tree; at least half its present height, almost spindly.


How much this tree has grown right before my eyes.  How much shade it offers in summer. How much glory in fall.  How much promise in winter and spring.  


It is that time when autumn is no longer fresh, the fallen leaves are turning crispy and my perennials are starting to brown.  It is cooler more than it is warm now; we have had our first frost.  


Maybe I will be there to catch the last leaf from our Maple tree when it falls; still and watching as it floats toward me, maybe I will be there to see what is right before my eyes.  
With gratitude,
Joanna

Friday, October 16, 2015

Rockford! {free art friday}




So talk about art in discovery!  I was giddy excited this week when I discovered Free Art Friday while scrolling an Instagram feed. With no more information than a hashtag, I decided right then that I would make a piece and put it out today. 

In the meantime I did a little googling and discovered that this is a global activity that has been happening for more than a decade.  The premise is simple, make a piece of art or craft add a tag offering it as free and place it in a public place where someone is likely to find it.  

This idea appeals to me on so many levels, and really connected with something I have felt passionate about for a long time; art accessibility; accessibility not just for a general public audience, but for makers as well.  The concept of Free Art Friday connects the creativity of a maker with the interest of an audience in a spontaneous and playful way.  It eliminates the expectations of formal art viewing and allows the finder to ultimately participate in the work of art, find it and take it home.  There is no cloud of “museums are not for me” and “I am not a good enough artist”   

For years I have heard the same kind of comments from people of different ages and all walks of life…I am not creative, I am not creative enough, I don’t understand art, I am not an artist, I wish I could draw, I was told I could not draw well enough…always with a sense of melancholy over the loss of a wished for acknowledgement of personal creativity.  Free Art Friday is the kind of activity that opens up these doubts and expectations, there are no formal rules and therefore we can all be the artist and we can all be the participator.   
   
Now back to Rockford (the town nearest my rural home) and me totally excited.  As I looked through the Free Art Friday blog and Facebook page I found links to city groups all around the world, but none here.  So here it is!  Free Art Friday – Rockford!  I jumped in with two feet; I put out my first piece and started the local Facebook community on the same day!  So join me!  You do not have to be an ‘artist’ you can share anything you have made, maybe it’s a poem or a crocheted doily.  You can participate completely on your own, or connect with a local or national group.  The idea is to share, to connect, to believe in your own creativity and the power of sharing it with others.

The image above is the piece I put out in downtown Rockford, Illinois this morning.  It is actually left over bits of college work that I schlepped home from the west coast last winter.  Doing this was an awesome experience, I felt nervous and self-conscious walking around looking for a spot to leave it.  And as I walked away after selecting one I felt totally embowered and free.

The saying says, “The earth without art is just, eh…” lets help dress her up a little bit!



With gratitude,
Joanna

Thursday, October 15, 2015

grace



There is green where otherwise there would have been none because I was blessed  with a rainbow who has given me more Grace than I could ever hope to know -- and I will never tell her to color inside the lines.





With gratitude,
Joanna