Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Basics

i’ve become kind of a quote nut in the last few years.  it seems wherever i turn there is some awesome piece of wisdom said just so perfectly that i want to mark it or highlight it or sticky note it or save it in some way.  and i often wonder: why didn’t i think of that??

 i worked with my girls this week on quotes in their art journals and they all had some that were meaningful to them to work with.  what speaks to one doesn’t necessarily speak to another so it’s a highly personal thing.  but we talked about how powerful  latching onto just a few words that have impact can be. 

 so i’ve been thinking about the ones that resonate with me and wondering if there is some common ground.  do i tend to gravitate toward the same ideas in just slightly different ways?   what ideas or concepts draw me in and prompt me to want to incorporate them into my daily life? 

 well… if i had to pick just 3…these are the ones that are my beacons… the lights that illuminate my way through the twists and turns of the creative life (not to mention life in general).


of course, there are many others… what about peace, love and joy?? or inspiration?  or courage?? or acceptance?? i could go on, but there is a lot of overlap and i feel that, at this particular time in my life, these 3 cover enough ground to keep me moving forward in a positive direction.  the basics.  simple.  what about you??

speaking of amazement, the light at the salton sea is something that amazes me no matter how many times i see it.  enjoy and have a wonderful easter!!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Art From Just About Anything - Slab City part 2

it's everywhere you know.  art.  oh, maybe not fine art like you find in museums... but art in some form.  creative expression.  doodling.  crafting.  gardening.  on and on.  making something from nothing.  or in this case, making something from trash.  east jesus (no idea where the name came from) has to be one of the world's most unique sculpture gardens!

In the middle of the desert, at the end of the road....

Nothing inside the hut but a mirror!

The grand entrance

Looking inside
i'm not quite sure why this place intrigues me so much and i'm not sure i would have had the same reaction to it a few years back before i became a "creativity junkie." but the fact that most of the folks that live out here do so without any regular utilities or services and very little financial means.... just shows that the human creative spirit is relentless and indomitable.  pretty impressive if you ask me!!

Nothing is wasted!

Entrance to the home of the (now deceased) founder Charles Russell

The tower

A little Slab City philosophy

No live people were present
But plenty of characters! 

Memorial to Charles Russell who died 2 years ago and left such an interesting legacy!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Art from just about Anything (Slab City part 1)

Salvation Mountain - the passion and life project of Leonard Knight

 the creative spirit is an amazing thing.  resilient.  unstoppable.  i’m not going to share the details about slab city itself.  you can google that if you’re interested.  my focus here is how you can put people out in the middle of the desert with hardly any belongings and – voila – creativity springs forth!  in a big way!

Entrance to the cave and all kinds of rooms

30 years and 100,000 gallons of donated paint
Sadly, Leonard is now in a nursing home with dementia.  Volunteers maintain the site.

 we had been here once years ago.  i think we just took a look at salvation mountain (which was much smaller then) and moved on.   we missed the very best part of all – the east jesus (no idea where the name comes from!) sculpture garden.  so much there that i’m saving that for the next post. 

The church of broken toys - so amazing! 
it all left me with a very strong urge to start going through the trash to see what i could recover and turn into something else!!

Like I said.... from just about anything!

Friday, March 15, 2013


are you familiar with the term?  i had heard of it but was thinking in terms of a japanese restaurant or something like that… the japanese part turns out to be correct but i was totally unfamiliar with the true meaning of this word until i encountered it in the creative photographer (love this book!)

here are some phrases from catherine  anderson’s description of the term:

aged things of overlooked and imperfect beauty
things that are on their journey to disintegration
things that have been weathered and worn
details in the grain of old wood, patterns of rust, veins on an autumn leaf

  intrigued (and feeling this was right up my alley!)  i did some more research.  the concept has a long and interesting  history and quite a few nuances of meaning:

accepting the natural cycle of birth, decay and death.
simple, slow and uncluttered – reveres authenticity above all
celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, 
weather  and loving use leave behind.
it’s a mind-set – living modestly, learning to be satisfied with life as it can be 
once we strip away the unnecessary, living in the moment.

 sounds good to me…hard to believe i haven’t discovered this before!

 so shortly after reading about all this, i found myself at the salton sea – pretty much wabi-sabi heaven!!  this place continues to attract all kinds of looky-loos and photographers.  it’s because the whole wabi-sabi nature of it is so fascinating!  history, decay, disintegration and lots of behind-the-scene stories… every time i come here i’m struck with it but now i actually know what to call it!

more salton sea here, here and here (yes, we go every year!)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Enriching the Experience

as i was exploring one of the decrepit relics of a home at the salton sea yesterday, i found a camera carrier… not a big deal except that it had 2 memory cards in it, one of them a very high capacity one.  no name or any other identifying characteristics…. so i left my contact info on a bulletin board at the local store and took it home with me, hoping that if i looked at the pics there would be some identity clues.

 as it turned out, both cards were empty and i breathed a sigh of relief.  i would not want to be holding on to someone else’s memories… but it did get me thinking about how much having my photos enriches the experience after the fact. 

 all great experiences are so fleeting… and i do firmly believe that staying in the present is the key to many of life’s difficulties, but for me, being able to revisit a good time through photos is very life-enhancing. 

 i’m always reorganizing, deleting, editing, looking through old files for particular images and seeing details of old pics with new eyes.  i have been doing this for several years now and am just starting to realize the power of it.  

 so many of my experiences of the last few years can be revisited.  sure, it’s fun to share the images with others, but when it comes down to it, i want those pics for me.  they bring me right back.  thoughts, feelings, emotions, all right there. 

 i can’t even imagine coming home from somewhere and not having the pics to emphasize, enrich and revisit.  it’s become a way of life and i like it.