fountain stones by Serendipity Artist
fountain stones, a photo by Serendipity Artist on Flickr.

People are always talking about the importance of gratitude. How you should count your blessings. This approach never worked for me. I appreciate the blessings in my life, but my frustrations would still take hold. This weekend I tried something different that seems to work for me. It isn’t a new idea even to me, but I seemed to be able to get it this time around.

I was folding laundry and thinking about how I never have time to work on my art and even when I make time to do art, I am frustrated because I can’t get into a rhythm. At one point my poor unsuspecting husband wandered by and asked how I was doing and I snapped, “I feel like housework and chores are sucking the life out of me.” As my words slapped him in the face I suddenly realized that folding laundry wasn’t so awful. In fact I had failed to notice that it felt kind of good getting things in order for the start of the school year. I apologized to my husband. Then I spent the rest of the day playing a kind of game with myself – seeing if I could notice something positive in any frustrating situation. Like when I discovered mosquito larvae in the fountain, instead of focusing on how annoyed I felt about draining and cleaning it, I took the opportunity to look at each of the pretty stones as I cleaned them off and put them back in the water.

I know this won’t work for every tough situation I encounter, but I’m looking forward to the challenge – especially in the studio.

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One of challenges of being a field librarian at the School of Art & Design is getting to know everyone in this constantly changing sea of creativity. Librarians, like most business people, typically hand out business cards as a way to leave their mark, but in a school where the students, faculty and staff do the mark-making, this just didn’t seem like quite the right approach. I started handing out my business cards and asking people to use the card to create a drawing or some type of artwork that I could include in an artist book. This usually led to a longer conversation and later, when the card was returned, I felt like we had started to know one another. I handed out many more cards than I got back, but the ones that did come back were fabulous expressions that wove their way nicely into this book. I am a librarian, so what better way to document this interaction?

This book is currently being exhibited at the Work Gallery in Ann Arbor. The Exhibition runs from August 12 through September 2, 2011.
Closing Reception: Friday, September 2 from 6 – 9 pm.


A walk with Henry

Originally uploaded by Serendipity Artist

When I started this print in the summer, I wasn’t really ready for fall. Now that it’s done we are at peak fall season here in Michigan!

A special shout out to David Bull and his amazing “My First Print” video. He turned my total frustration with this project into sheer excitement. Thank you David for going to Japan, soaking up this craft and translating it into clear and joyful multimedia!


Dream

Originally uploaded by Serendipity Artist

This is a variation on a previous print. It was created using two blocks and two impressions and then hand tinted with watercolor. This print will be at the upcoming show at the Work Gallery in Ann Arbor running August 13-September 4, 2010. See: http://art-design.umich.edu/exhibitions/detail/not_just_work.

After making the Birches print, I got inspired to change it up a bit with a night sky and a bit more detail. The image is based loosely on a photo, with a lot of imagination thrown in. I also checked a star chart to get the stars more or less correctly placed. I was happy to see the wood grain coming through as it gives it a sort of Aurora Borealis look.


rose sketch

Originally uploaded by Serendipity Artist

A watercolor sketch of roses from my garden.


Birches

Originally uploaded by Serendipity Artist

I’m trying to get back into the art making groove. I’m not sure why I got out of the groove to begin with – I guess these things happen. Anyway, summer is here and I have a little more time to create. I wanted to make a small quick print to get the juices flowing. This image depicts some trees that I saw on the Canada Lakes trail up in Newberry, MI.