Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Inspiration Celebration: No Regrets

painting inspired by the question: how my life would look if i had no regrets

Ten years ago, I quit my full time, going nowhere but the insane asylum job and took a month off to study yoga and earn my teaching certificate. Needing to cobble together an income, I re-entered the academic world and became an adjunct instructor in art history (another thing I "trained for" and then abandoned; a post for another day). I taught two sections of the survey course for two separate institutions. One semester I was teaching survey one (ancient through medieval art) at one university, an hour away from home and survey two (Renaissance through Modern) at the university here in town. My schedule was Monday & Wednesday, survey one; Tuesdays and Thursdays was survey two.

One class was 90 students and the other was 50. Not having taught for ten years, my brain and nerves were pretty wired. I recall one day standing in front of an image of Monet's Haystack paintings and for the life of me, I could not think of the word "haystack." I believe I called them "muffin-like objects" because that was the only thing that came to mind. After a few weeks, I was hopelessly confused. Am I in ancient Rome today? Or am I supposed to be talking about the French Revolution? When in doubt, I would just talk about contrapposto until I figured out which class I was in.

All of this ramble is my long-winded way of saying I am in a bit of a muddle not knowing if I am coming or going. But a good sort of muddle. A creative chaos if you will that has me excited to get up in the mornings and exhausted when I go to bed at night. I am a one woman band banging a drum, blowing a trumpet, smashing cymbals between my knees and following a monkey. I don't know if I will get to everything I have on my list, but I will make a racket and hope for some music in my attempt to dance forward.

So Cowgirl was getting dressed for school and her dad asked if she had a sweater to put on as it has gotten extremely cold here. I informed him she had none as she had outgrown them all and she turned to me and sweetly requested that I knit her a new sweater. So guess who went out that day and bought yarn?

The pattern is called Quicko Cheapo so I think I am perfectly sane in undertaking this project. I still have the yoke to knit and then the button band. Of course, there is extra yarn and someone needs a new hat ...

I am on a postcard/art card making frenzy (a True Renaissance if you will; the postcard IS my Sistine Ceiling I believe ...)

And then there is this proof that what we put out, we receive in spades:

an envelope filled with goodness! art work by Mel

Mail art from the amazing Mel for me!

art work by Mel

And equally inspiring, mail art from Mel's daughter Savannah for Cowgirl:

art work by Savannah

How adorable is this little critter with movable feet?

art work by Savannah

We were both smitten! Cowgirl's art for Savannah is ready to be mailed off once I find an envelope big enough (I have mentioned her passion for tape but not her favored format du jour, the scroll or portable mural. I also need to translate the stories behind the pieces. Be patient Savannah!)

I've started a journal for Cowgirl which will include art work and writing. This is one of those projects that has knocked about my brain for years now and it is time to just do it! (She has already made numerous requests for versions of my art to be included. Ah, the eternal struggle between an artist and her patron!)

in progress: the front page of the journal

Keeping me going are my daily card/pages for THIS Moment. We had another week with Moose dog at the vet's (poor guy - he had a 10 hour day when he went in for a barium swallow test and is being treated for gastritis. It has been a long and expensive week (yes, as I handed over my credit card to the vet's office I did think "there go my new black boots." Not that boots would love me as much ...)

i am loving the book Drawing Lab by Carla Sonheim for inspirational exercises. Thank you Bodhi Chicklet for the suggestion!

And because this is running on waayyyy too long, here are my December Views rounding out my week. Is it time to talk about groin vaulting and flying buttresses? Oops, sorry, we were discussing Chiaroscuro and Caravaggio ...

December 4

December 5

December 6

And honestly, I can say ... I regret none of this craziness. In fact, I am embracing it all!


  1. Wowza, Lis! This is just brimming with wonderful creative inspiration! Love it.

    My own Monday noodlings here:

    Have I told you how much I love this tradition?:)

  2. yipppeeeee!! it arrived safely!! (i've had a couple of mangled Chrimbly packages arriving am now uber-paranoid!!

    the moveable leg creatures are Savannah's 'specialty'...LOL...(i believe it's meant to be a bear) glad you like your little bits of things...((hugs))

    i can't believe you just whipped up a sweater?! i am IN AWE! i'm scrabbling my way through scarves and hats....

    poor mr.moose and his sore tummy...hope he's feeling better soon!

    loving these always...


  3. Love the top piece of art, Lis!

    This time of year is always so crazy busy, especially with kids in school. You'll get through it!

    I hope Moose is okay. xo

  4. so inspired by you creative energy Lisa, seriously I am moving at the pace of a snail.. I love hearing about all these parts of your life.

    Here is my Monday Inspiration.. short but sweet this week.

  5. Wow lots of creative energy going on here. You just whipped out a sweater just like that. You're my hero!

  6. i totally cracked up at "muffin-like objects" for haystack!! i have been there!!!

    i love your drawing at the top- nothing happier than turning cartwheels--


  7. Lis,
    I'm so glad to hear Moosie is doing better! I feel your vet pain by the way as I was at the vet with a different bunny today (Ulla, my little girl). She has head tilt, which can be a symptom of many bad things, but we are hoping it's just an ear infection. We actually brought her husbun, Hasi, in recently too, he has a cataract. Thinking of moving into the vet's office :p

    But in other news Blackadder is doing great! That's actually not him in the photo on my blog. Those were rescue bunnies spending the night at my place so I could take them to meet their new mom! Total sweethearts who got a great new home.

    Well I didn't mean to ramble so. Thanks for the bday wishes! Oh and I'm very impressed with your knitting skills as I have none! Lovely sweater!


  8. Sounds like you've tapped into a geyser and the creative energy is flying high. Keep going...who knows what will emerge tomorrow?