lesson from the tub


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

see that rust?
well, i love it.


my life is pretty unglamorous.
i spent yesterday scrubbing bathrooms,
cleaning porches,
raking leaves.

i wished i was painting

or browsing beauty,
or working on a few projects i need to get done.

but that rust.

as i gazed into the cold, clean tub,
the circle of rust
made me think of age.
and i, unlike many, like age.
i like what comes with it,
i like the look of it,
it makes things better,
in my eyes.

and i like the seaside.
the rust makes me think of that too.
and for these reasons
i like cleaning.
and if it weren't for the rust,
the beauty of it,
i might have missed 
being inspired
by what i am doing.

olivia, on beauty


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"because she looks prettier with a flower in her hair.

two thousand thirteen, get in here


two thousand thirteen,
i'm not feeling you

and january, 
you and i 
always struggle.

i guess i am a slow starter.
i've always struggled to create on demand.


inspiration needs to strike,
for me to move.

sure, i know how to lay the foundation
create the space
invite her in.

i gather images 
channel the look
play the soundtrack.
these things usually do it.

but like all things in life, 
it's unpredictable.

two thousand thirteen, 
my door is open,
i'm waiting. 



Saturday, January 26, 2013

"a portrait of my children's artwork, once a week, every week, in 2013."


s. sienna and I had a great day in the studio on friday. I hadn't worked since early december, so on the first day back I was picking up, rearranging, still lacking a bit of inspiration to get started. sienna, on the other hand, oohed over a flock of blues and got right to work. uninhibited and free. her six year old self is expressive without edit. she loves painting, choosing colors, and her work. this piece she calls, the night sky.

o. tucked into the corner of our chalkboard in the kitchen, this piece has taken what I foresee to be, permanent residence there. I love the colors, the composition. it feels both tested and assured. a beautiful work that I shall treasure forever. title unknown.

weekend inspiration


Friday, January 25, 2013

1 via la petite chat blanc. 2 landon metz

via ARH

3 scarf by cisthene via molly ruth. 4 via remain simple

a hat and a hand grenade

desktop arrangement, in my studio

friday is winding down and evening is approaching. it's raining here and I have a few minutes of quiet before the nightly chaos begins. I do herald weekends, but as someone with too many desires and not enough time, it means that another week has ticked by. luckily, it's still in january and I finally got back into the studio today after a long holiday absence. 

in order to work, I need to feel inspired. I usually need a launching bit of inspiration, unifying color, or collection to get me going. I often pull things together to create a mood board of sorts. my inspiration generally consist of collected images on my computer, printed or ripped pages from magazines, or scraps of nature and litter arranged artfully on my desk. 

this collection I pulled together today is what is going to move me this weekend. my girls are off tomorrow at parties and with dad, so it gives me a few hours alone in the studio to get painting again. 

how do you get {re}inspired each week? i'd love to hear.

make it a great few days. xx 

find your passion, quickly


Thursday, January 24, 2013

via andcuethemusic

source of inspiration


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

via clear north blog

via le dans la

One of the things that I always wonder about and often get asked is where inspiration comes from. What inspires me when I paint, for example. Throughout the years, I have read many books and interviews with artists, looked at my own creative process, and that of my friends to find out what the process is that proceeds a finished piece of work. 

I recently bought the book, Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon. It's a clever little book about the ten things that no one ever told you about being creative. It's full of good quotes and specific ideas for getting started and inspired to create. He uses the word stealing. I have to admit, it's a word that I don't like to use to describe my process, but after reading the book, call it what you may, it is often how creativity works. 

In a nutshell, artists collects things they love. They devour moments in films, photographs, architecture, sections of paintings, clouds, light on a hillside, shadows on the street, a few words on a page or notes of music. They collect, dissect, study them, take them in, and let them inspire their work.

This morning, I was looking through a file of images I have for a hit of daily inspiration to get started on a painting. I came across the two photographs above. I love the photo of the people on the water. The dark shadows, the composition; it could easily inspire an abstract painting for me. I then saw the image of the white lanterns. The two images together made me remember a picture I took this weekend at the beach. O was running by me with a face of delight. The image was in color and had all the details of the ocean and sand. But when I saw the images above, I was inspired to take my picture, play with some filters and create this blown out, black and white photo below. 

What will I do with this picture now? Maybe hang it, maybe nothing. That is a whole other topic to delve into, creative sidetracks, which I find myself distracted by all the time. Anyway, I have a beautiful shot of O that I love, and I've gotten clearer on my own creative process.

I'd love to hear how you create and what inspires you!



Sunday, January 20, 2013

"a portrait of my children's artwork, once a week, every week, in 2013."


s. after whale watching in mexico, sienna painted the spotted whale.
o. a spunky week for o. this is called slidey slide. 

in between


Friday, January 18, 2013

book as background: kinfolk.

I'm notorious slow to make my full list of resolutions each year. I ususally give myself to the end of January to get it all together. But then I start feeling anxious because it's now the end of January and I haven't gotten started on my year. 

This year, we are two weeks in and my list is complete. And I have actually begun living my goals, writing here being one of them.

As with all of my resolutions for the year, I commit, while remembering that I can't do it all and certainly not all at once. One of my resolutions is to remind myself that living- my home, my family, the normal constant stuff of life, is always accomplishment enough. 

A Formidable List of Attainments


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

For some time now, I've been intrigued by homeschooling curriculum. This curiousity began shortly after S started Kindergarten and left the nest of her Reggio preschool behind. I'm very happy with her school, but at the same time feel drawn to the type of environment that Waldorf or homeschooling provides. Since she is in a language immersion school, it is up to us to teach her english at home, which naturally provides some room for homeschooling. It has also contributed to my many late nights researching curriculum.

One of the sites that I was most intrigued by was Ambleside Online. When I saw this Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six, I must say I swooned a bit. It is a reprint of a curriculum outline from a Charlotte Mason school in the 1890′s. The full list is at the link above, we have adapted it a bit. We talked about what she wanted to learn while she was six and I made a few suggestions. We kept most of the original items since they were so beautiful, and she added a few of the fun things like learning to do a really good cartwheel, sew more, and sell her artwork.

A Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six

• To recite, beautifully, three easy poems.
• To add and subtract numbers up to ten.
• To develop the love of reading. Learn to read to the best of your ability. 
• To know the points of the compass with relation to your own home, where the sun rises and sets, and the way the wind blows.
• To describe the boundaries of your home.
• To describe a lake, river, pond or ocean within easy reach.
• To be able to describe three walks and three views.
• To mount in a scrapbook a dozen common wildflowers and leaves. to name these, describe them in your own words, and say where they found them.
• To know six birds, by song, color and shape.
• To create a piece of handiwork from knitting, cross-stitch and sewing.
• To create a collection of artwork using different mediums. 
• To go through the process of selling something. (art & girl scout cookies)
• To tell three family stories and one about your pet. 
• To use juicy & creative language. Idioms, metaphors, and made-up words that become part of your lexicon.
• To be able to name a handful of common objects and say little sentences in another language.
• To sing one song in another language, and one English song.
• To start & keep a collection.
• To be able to do a good cartwheel, skip on the monkey bars and ride your bike on a trail.
• To tell time.
• To pick a cause that you would like to contribute to and contribute in a way of your choosing.
• To watch the sunrise in nature. 

There are so many things that could go on a list like this. And it's interesting to see what they deemed essential to teach in the 1890's. I love the focus of it and feel it still so relevant today. Many of these things she is learning naturally in the course of life, but some we would need to put effort into. What I loved most about finding this was the inspiration to get into nature, slow down, focus on the beauty of your surroundings and the stories in your life. 

Who knows if we will attempt everything on the list, I would wager we won't. And since I am not going to homeschool, this formidable list will remain kind of a dream list that in moments we pull from to enrich life. I think I will even work on some of the items myself, I love a nature journal! Any gems that you would add? Love to hear! 



Sunday, January 13, 2013

"a portrait of my children's artwork, once a week, every week, in 2013."


it's been cold here and we're just settling back into the routine. the girls took a look at themselves this week.
s. a self portrait

o. me

learning compassion through metrics


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The girls are always playing, "I'm her." If we are reading a book, each girl picks out who they are. If they are watching a show, Sienna secures her girl, usually the IT girl, within the first few seconds. This means that Olivia is stuck with a lesser character, which Sienna tries to build up to be a good one before sweet O cries and tells me that Sienna is taking Doc McStuffins again.

Maybe my continuous pleads with Sienna for a bit of compassion during this game has paid off. The other day I overheard this gem:

S: "Olivia, do you know that song, the one with the calculator and the ruler? (Stars by Au Revoir Simone)

Liv: "No."

S: "Well, I am the the ruler and the calculator."

Liv: "Who can I be?"

S: "You can be the ladder. Even though they don't talk about you in the song, you're still important because we'll need one to climb up to the sky and measure all the stars."

on the seventh day


Monday, January 7, 2013

Cy Twombly's studio via 2or3things I know

my winter driveway

via magic surrounds

cool weather hunting.
for ideas. 



Sunday, January 6, 2013

"a portrait of my children's artwork, once a week, every week, in 2013."

One of my continuous sources of inspiration online is the lovely blog Che and Fidel.  Aside from her kids sweet names, which I love, her aesthetic, photographs and thoughtful content are so beautiful and always brighten my day. I have followed Jodi along last year watching her 52 project and was so happy to see that she was inviting others to join in.

I have been fledgeling to start a blog for the last few months and to try and figure out what my voice will be here. Since art and creativity are kind of my thing, I thought it would be fun to follow my kids along artistically throughout the year. This project is just what I needed to get organized and jump start the year!


artwork this week
s. at home. 
o. puddles. 

along for the ride


Friday, January 4, 2013

Life is ours to be spent. 
D.H. Lawrence

the last bits of living, 2012


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

We're still down in mexico living the last few days out of the year. We had friends come to spend new years and my birthday with us, which has been so much fun. And we went zip lining! 

We've spent so much time down here exploring what we thought was every nook of the place. Apparently we had missed this magical zip lining adventure tucked away in a little valley south of ensenada. With six zip lines, five wobbly bridges and two brave six year olds, we had such an amazing time! 

The rest of the week we watched movies, played games, took an impromptu group dive in the cold ocean and just hung out. Nothing better than family, friends and a getting out of our comfort zone, to wrap up the year. Wishing you all a good end and a new, fresh beginning. xx