Creative Sanctuary

Original Date: Jan 30, 2018

Sometimes we make a decision, and the subsequent events from that decision create a new course for our lives. When we sold our second house almost one year ago, little did I realize the effect it would have on my creativity. Naturally, all art making was put on hold for many months as we moved all our belongings into storage and searched for our new home. I had a sketch book and some knitting supplies but found myself preoccupied with house hunting details. Once we finally purchased and moved into our new home, I spent the first few months preparing the new creative sanctuary. There was cleaning, painting, and designing to be done for the new studio spaces.

I made one decision during that whole process that seemed like a logical one at the time. I sold my Reina Hollander Beater. I remember dreaming of owning a Hollander Beater when I was inn my early 20’s. I was solely focused on making paper and exhibiting my paper art as a “papermaker”. To own a Hollander Beater was the mark of a “real papermaker”. As luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to purchase a second hand beater at a good price. It was my gem for many years. But as time went on, and I became a mom, and then added the title “yoga instructor” to my work, I found myself finding reasons to not make paper. I especially did not want to run that beater as it meant I would need to lug water into the machine, fill it with pulp, and then drain all the pulp and water and store the pulp somewhere. I always asked Josh to help me with it because I dreaded the work. It took a few hours of time to run the beater and was a big mess. Making the paper was also a time consuming and physically exhausting practice. As my time has been a more precious commodity as a now yoga instructor, teacher trainer, and mom of busy teens, I realized I only ran the beater once or twice a year at best. So when we needed a few thousand dollars to help us with a downpayment on our new home- the beater came to my mind as a source for the much needed cash. I told myself- “I can still make paper with my blender.”

But selling that beater was an admission of something I wasn’t able to admit to myself. It was time to move onto to a different art making methodology. I know that I need to make art regularly to feel happy and whole. But I didn’t have the time to spend making paper in order to prepare to make my art. I love the painting and collage components of what I do best. I also love Macrame’ – knotting soft cotton fibers is soothing and meditative. But it is easy to get stuck in the method of doing what we have always done. I made paper for 20 years! That was who I was and what I did! That identity was not so easily released. But the need to find a new home and make a new creative sanctuary pushed that decision.

So now that the yoga studio is all together, yoga classes and trainings are up and running, and life seems to have settled down just a touch- the deep inner longing to create is resurfaced. “Don’t forget about me!!!” The artist within has been screaming. During the month of January I decided to step away from all social media. It has been a most blessed time away. It made me think about my time and how I use it. Would I rather be remembered for that social media post? Or for my creative life? I re-focused my energy and decided I would make art making a priority. I purchased some pre-made paper, some new watercolor paints, and I got busy making art! I spend many hours each day in art making, and I have made about 50 paintings this month. Now, I have not made many paintings that I actually like, which is the eternal dilemma of the artist- always chasing the vision in the mind that never fully manifests… But it seems important to continue onward despite that dilemma. I promised my artist within I wouldn’t give up.

I hope this is the start of a new approach to sharing my passion here. I intend to share an image a week of what I have been working on in my studio space- which is a lovely wooden desk in the reading space of our living room! Putting my art studio in the middle of the house ensures I work at that desk every day. May you enjoy the journey with me.