Thursday, November 19, 2009

Choosing My Chair

Tonight I meet my chair. I enter into this relationship with trepidation since once again I am faced with having to creating it one handed. It is not the way I want it to be, yet it is what it is.................
"Problems are opportunities in disguise. If you did not face problems you would just drift through life, and you would not gain inner growth." Peace pilgrim

My Patience Continues To Be Challenged

Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional. - Buddhist proverb Pain is what the world inflicts upon us. Suffering is our emotional reaction when we fail to make the difficult conscious decision to choose Joy. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Year of Chairs Begins with Baby Steps

After our Gathering of Women Artists meeting last week, I have been inspired to think about what I can created that is large yet has small components. My friend and fellow artist HsinYi Huang is creating an installation with several hundred pod shapes that hang on the wall. With all the discussion with other fellow members, Nes, Katie, Renee and Alison, about "possibilities" for me and how to deal with my physical limitations of my wrist and mental limitations that I am imposing upon myself, I decided to move forward. Michael took me to Georgie's on Saturday where I bought 100 LB of clay, thanks in part to the generous gift certificate my beloved daughter Jenni gave me last year. I chose a very soft, non groggy clay that will be easy to handle. The Wonder White clay is so soft and supple, that I am forced to work small and slowly, since it takes time for the clay to firm up and hold it's shape. My thoughts, ironically yet totally uninfluenced by the upcoming Chair Affair, is multiples of very small chairs that will hang on the wall. I thought about what the image of the chair conjures up in my mind, and began to feel inspired. Some of my thoughts: The chair is a universal item that most people in the world have sat upon at some point in their lives. It is something that waits to be filled. It is empty and reminds us of someone's absence. We enjoy a wonderful dinner in restaurants, we wait in waiting rooms for help or anxiously waiting in a hospital praying for good news. We sit on it at happy occassions with our loved ones. We sit on chairs in jury duty, waiting rooms as our cars are worked on, waiting for doctor's appointments and waiting to pick up our prescriptions. We sit for hours at our desks or in our studios being productive or struggling to solve a problem. We wait at the airport happily awaiting a much anticipated visitor or tense about a delayed flight in bad weather. We sit for hours in school learning or daydreaming. We sun ourselves at the poolside and read books at the library.We laugh and cry at the movies............This is just the beginning of the interest I am having in the idea of chairs. I would like to have the goal, hand allowing, of creating a very small white chair a day, that will hang on the wall. Ideally 365 chairs but that remains to be seen. I will leave some chairs empty, while filling others with sometting that I have collected or will be collecting in the coming days that creates a narrative for me. I am very excited about the prospect of touching clay once again. I made my first chair yesterday. Did my wrist hurt, yes. Did my spirit come alive with the birth of a new creative venture, absolutely. The silky delicious clay on my fingertips, heavenly. Baby steps..........less can be more. Therein lies my challenge. Another opportunity to grow and learn.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Social Trash News

"Social Trash" News

The Leave No Plastic Behind NATIONAL PLASTIC QUILT PROJECT travels! Although it's called a Quilt, it's part of many important efforts to awaken the masses about the messes surrounding plastic dependence! You may see the new additions online here. Thanks to artists Amy, Claudia, Clare, Clay, Kelly, Staj, Daniella, Heather, Holly, Bryce, Brie, Vicky, Taylor, Jo and Bridget for all 18 square feet of thought-provoking works of art!

On the tour schedule so far is this year's Junk to Funk fashion show on November 14th, Century High School in Hillsboro during December and, in May, a likely trip to the snazzy Bay Area! If you have ideas for where the Quilt can go, please email

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Dance Continues

Last night I anxiously awaited the initiation of our new dance space. I left plenty of time to get there early enough to be able to savor the space before dancing in it. Well the world had other plans for me. As I drove around in circles trying to avoid all the traffic backups due to rain and construction on my regular route, I began to panic and stress that I would never make it to dance. What I had been awaiting for months, I feared might not come to fruition. After 45 minutes of driving, that should have taken 15, I ran into a room of dark quiet, beautiful bodies gathered, waiting to take the first step, waiting for the first note of music, from outside or from within, to move them. I tore off my rain gear and ran into the quiet. I left the traffic, the rain, the panic, the stress, outside. As I entered this room it felt like a somewhat familiar, dark peaceful womb, waiting to be filled with the presence of the dancers and their spirit of moving. I may not have begun the dance in the way that I had planned it, but such is the dance of life. The layers peeled away and I moved my first movement. My body stretched and reached up into the darkness and felt immediately at home in a new place, for the first time, as if I already knew this home. When I dance I feel home.

Rumi - Guest House

This being human is a guest house Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

The best 37 years of my life

Today marks 37 years since I met my beloved Michael. That is when my life truly began and I am forever grateful. I await the next wonderful 37 years together!
"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LNPB Leave No Plastic Behind Update

How exciting to see the art blocks that have been created by the other artists joining in the LNPB project, so please be sure to check them out and read the artist's before and after statements. This is the "sixth chapter" of the project and my first. I will continue to be a part of LNPB.
MEET THE ARTISTS of the National Plastic Quilt Project August—October 2009 Leave No Plastic Behind, Portland’s 6th “Episode” (also known as an art exhibit), marks a collective eighteen months during which artist/participants lived creatively and plastic-free. The Quilt Project is a representation of artists, families and individuals aware of the depth to which plastic affects our shared earth. You may be a part of lucky episode number 7, which begins in March 2010. Sign up for our email list to keep apprised of the details. The Quilt thus far will be on display various locations throughout Portland during November and December 2009 beginning at the Junk to Funk Fashion show on November 14th at the Crystal Ballroom! Full schedule to be posted soon. Have a space? Book the quilt!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Great Article Featuring the Community Warehouse!

Check out the wonderful article on the Community Warehouse and their new location. I am delighted once again to be creating a chair for their annual auction fundraiser. I can't wait to meet my chair at the party on November 19 as well as check out the new Community Warehouse space.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dancing through the anger

Today I am dealing with an extreme increase of pain in my wrist and feeling very angry and resentful. I feel as though I have so many gifts to give and the pain of my wrist is standing in the way of my creative passions. This lesson is not an easy one for me to get. Why?? I am having trouble just being with what is................... It was almost a year ago that I created my chairs for The Chair Affair 2010 left handed. I am afraid I am faced with the same challenge once again. I anxiously await my new doctor's appointment trying to enter into it with a sense of renewed hope.

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say, "I used everything that you gave me."

- Erma Bombeck

A sense of global consciousness

The other day I received this e-mail from a like minded thinker. It never ceases to amaze me that the power of the collective consciousness is all around us if you live with eyes wide open and reach out with a positive energy. Life has a domino effect no doubt and each effort we put forth in the universe, no matter how small, has a ripple effect like a small stone tossed into a still pond. The ripples are far reaching.
"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." --Mother Teresa
Hi Jo.....Jambo?Thats Swahili for hallo..... i do hope that you dont mind me calling you you,well my names are Moses Akwiri Okoth.....from a part of the Earth called Kenya thats in Africa.....well actually thats NOT the whole of it BUT my Mum is from a country called Senegal.....welll thats still in Africa and well i am the 11th born of 12 Children....... i have been into art quite sometime.......BUT not that much since.....its NOT that part of me BUT oh......i do love art..... Well how did i get your address and what and why am i writing to you.....well i do have a great friend called Cheryly Lorhman and we have been friends for quite sometime and this year i decided that i think its time i put up her organization Leave No Plastic Behind (LNPB) here in Kenya.Kenya is actually home to the UNEP headquarters.......and i must say with alot of shame in me.....its got the worlds MOST irresponsible and NON environment friendly people.....and so thats why i need to start networking with people like help set up this organization in Kenya.I am on the part where we are planning to have an exhibition on LNPB and the Quilt project early next year and i am hoping that i can have as many artists as possible.....i do hope that i can get a few ideas from you or just words of though and wisdom on what you think.....hoping to hear from you soon..... Sincerely, Mo!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Consious Technique Dance Workshop

"Do or do not, there is no try." - Yoda (Star Wars)
So I dared to risk going to Conscious Technique with Meshi Chavez~~~~~~~~~~~~

butoh ~ improv ~ choreography ~ consciousness ~ form ~ dance

"Conscious Technique provides a fusion of organic movement and choreographed moments. Participants will hone in on the use of imagination to foster presence in their movement practice while sharpening performance skills. Each session is an exploration of the internal power potential we possess as mover and artists. Through sustained concentration we will engage our external surroundings while connecting it to our internal process and vice versa."
I did not let the fear of the unknown stand in my way and I dared to dance outside my comfort zone. Still suffering with headaches I pushed through it. If I am in pain I can still do something that fills my soul. I tried to dance through the pain. I am so glad I did. I carried the intent and awareness of "inside body" "outside body" and "social or collective body" with me as I left the class. I am excited to see how this all plays out in my "real world life?" I look forward to the next three sessions.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

thought for today

"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep." ~ Rumi