Backyard Sunday

IMG_3531I lay flat in my small, urban yard and heard the cheering fans at Camden Stadium, the young urbanites at the bar at the end of the block, and the occasional radio rolling by in a car. I sank my body into the slate footstones, trying to unfurl the tightness stored in large quantities, imagining the Earth’s warm core seeping into me. Listened. The chorus of birds sang to their young, caught in the interstices of the cacophony of the city. The new leaves and pink and white buds on the crab apple tree were splayed with sunshine. I sat up and dipped my brush into amber, sapphire and emerald watercolors. The paper was fresh and white.

Buddy, my black and white cat, meowed to come join me and I opened the door. He settled comfortably under the tree, hoping the birds wouldn’t notice him. Suddenly, Buddy decided it was his chance to jump into the neighbors yard and try to find that orange tabby that lives somewhere in the alley. Yikes! Buddy is a rescue, with no claws and two teeth. The tabby outweighs him by at least 10 pounds. The orange tabby probably eats rats bigger than my cat. I ran out the gate, captured Buddy, and threw him back inside. He was indignant, but saved from his own intentions, as we all need to be at times. I went back and completed my painting. It was a glorious Sunday.

The Creative Process on Tuesday

Tuesdays are my off-from-work day.  I love them because most people (including my husband) are at work and I get to slack off all by myself.  So I putz around the house, clean a bit, read a bit, and then make it to the pottery studio for a few hours.  Then home again, where I eat a decently cooked meal for once. Perhaps I read some more or … whatever.  It it my day of no-plan.  Next I’m likely to fuss at my small garden and do other creative projects which are at hand.  Today, it is framing a beautiful picture of Ganesha and writing this blog entry.  Somehow the solitude and time to wander around the neighborhood or just wander through my small home is highly conducive to creativity.  The gentle act of moving and observing everything outside, or wandering inside and randomly picking up a poetry book, or pulling out construction paper and scissors generates spontaneous ideas.  Years ago, a friend told me that even if I didn’t have time to execute all my ideas, I could write them down and maybe get back to them later.  It was excellent advice.  Not only does it stop me from despairing that I will never get to any of my ideas, but it empties my head so that I can concentrate on the one idea I wish to act on now.  Which happens to be…writing this blog.  Right now.  In short, what I need most to be creative is lots of time.  It is not necessarily time directly related to creating.  There must be some time to let the ideas naturally germinate and grow, away from the pressure to be or do something.  It is time to absorb other people’s ideas, which naturally leads to my own creative process.  Some ideas of projects for today (only one or two of which I will get to) are:

finish sewing alterations of clothing

executing several pottery designs that I’ve been mulling over since Sunday, when I went to the Walters Museum’s Japanese pottery show

some sketching ideas I’ve been thinking about, such as another self portrait (haven’t done one in a while) or I might just sketch the cat

I’ve also been thinking about doing some really large painting projects to just play with large brush strokes

cutting out  colored construction paper to tape onto the front door as a precursor to painting an abstract design on it

starting another short story from the several ideas written in my notebook

trying to sound out one of the Child Ballads I’ve recently heard on the guitar

Ahh, or I could just stare out the window at the crab apple tree blossoms that are just opening, turning from bright pink buds to 5-petaled white flowers.  Or I could paint them….

Tuesdays are really good.



(stoneware plate created in 2013 and painted last Tuesday)