Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I counted this year and figure it has been 16 years since we started "doing ARTrails".  It is our annual pilgrimage, my once a year communion with Art (plus cheese, grapes, crackers) and nature.  Art, with a capital A.

When I was a small girl, one sure way to get my attention was to utter that word.  I knew I wanted to be an artist almost as soon as I could tell which was the front side of my underpants (which actually took a disturbingly long time).  In fact, for me, my only 'life mission' that predates that of Artist is that of Mother.  I have been blessed to become both.

I have always painted and sculpted -since high school, and on since Guy and I were married, now going on 20 years- but honestly, I have done more art in the past 2 years than in the prior 18 years combined.  Up till recently I had let myself believe that having children precluded me from doing much art, and to be sure, having SMALL children did, but now that the larger cretins can mostly wipe their own butts, and even help with the wiping of smaller butts in the vicinity, I have claimed a certain amount of midnight oil to grease my artistic wheels.

Going to ARTrails is my Mecca, it is my holy pilgrimage.  And I mean no blasphemy in saying that.  Art fills my soul the way music or nature do for other people.  I marvel at the scope of the human imagination and the skill of the human hand.  I am blown away at the things artists think of, and how they then execute those ideas.  I am inspired, I am in my temple, my chapel of candles and sweet bells.  I have, (I will say it) been moved to tears by art.  Not snot-dripping-down-my-chin tears, but more than misty eyed, for sure.  Because Art is the very act of creation.  It is the story of the universe, from the beginning of time, and it is the story of God.  From the first man that knew to  grab a cold coal from his spent fire to sketch a bison on a cave wall, to the child that is so bold as to try to capture his small human experience in a time capsule of paper and crayon, Art has brought people and cultures and time together.  It is for all who have eyes or hands to feel with.  And no matter what you say, no matter if you think you can't make art yourself, I think there is art out there somewhere that each person could see themselves or their lives reflected in.  Art imitates the very act of Divine creation, and as a child imitates his Father, the artist in a humble, hopeful act, echoes God.

And going to ARTrails, seeing the art an inch from my nose, laughing and talking with it's creators, is so moving and enriching for me.  It makes me believe I can become better; better at Art, and then, knowing that is true, I believe that I can simply become better at whatever life asks of me.  I come away filled with energy, ideas and resolve.  I am renewed.

Cheryl at Nichibe Pottery 

This year's pilgrimage was not without its less savory moments.  We took the Littles and the Middles, leaving the big boys at home.  That meant a whole day of telling Jonah all the things you tell a rambunctious 4 year old boy when in a studio full of blown glass.  It had its very stressful moments. On the flip side, we got to spend the entire day with Francine, which is like Christmas.  I got a private lesson from generous and kind Cheryl at Nichibe Pottery to help me with my first firing to take place this week (more to come on that!).  And just before driving home we saw sweet Willow, who is a woman that deserves a post all of her very own.  Our two baby girls played together, really played, and it felt like a full- and gorgeous -circle moment.  It was also the first time Willow had met Natalie, since Nat had been in the NICU when Willow was at the hospital as my doula, and out of respect she had decided she would not see my baby before I got to have her with me.  She said she wanted to meet Natalie with me holding her in my arms.

Well, that night she did.

Even though Jonah was a poop all day, Francine loved on him sweetly.

Hugs goodbye are always hard.

Tired baby, and full tummies at Jalisco's in Santa Rosa.  Yum.

 How I love this place.


Heidi Joy Mathews said...

I was so grumpy because I have been awake for two hours and couldn't fall back asleep. I opened your blog up and what a perfect thing for me to read! I remember our experience with ARTrails...My soul was greatly enriched. I get that feeling each time I visit your studio too..."It makes me believe I can become better, better at Art, and knowing that is true, I can believe that I can simply become better at whatever life asks of me. I come away filled with energy, ideas and resolve. I am renewed."

Jackie said...

Oh I love this post! The thought of our art being a humble hopeful attempt in relation to gods creating. Very cool!

Jackie said...

AND, I love the picture of Francine.and Jonah! And the one with Tessa is quite scrumptious. Oh! And the picture of the delicious babies! Nothing better!