My Dad’s hat…

July 30, 2010

I inherited a hat that my Dad used to own and it fits.  The Williams’ clan did not come into this world with wee heads, and what I lack in actual head matter, I make up for in hair.

Sometimes when I wear his hat, I wonder if I were to listen hard enough, might I be able to hear his thoughts from long ago??  Much like putting your ear up to a shell and hearing the ocean…

My sense is that he would have been in a good place while wearing this hat.  Out doing fieldwork, fishing, teaching, or the like.  His thoughts would be of the happy man I remember…  Full of wisdom, humor and insights…

Maybe I should wear it more often…

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Remember that movie, “Field of Dreams”??  I do.  I thought it was kind of dorky but sweet, and now I keep thinking about the relevance of the symbolism in that movie as it pertains to my current life situation(s).

“The main goal of this movie was to let people know to go for their dreams, even if they are way out there.”

Having faith and proceeding thusly.  In essence, seeing the end you desire, and letting the means roll out naturally in order to get where you want to go, however ‘out there” it may seem…

Perhaps this notion is kind of like, “The Secret”, but less hokey, for it’s about much more than just acquiring money or things.  I know what I want.  I’ve put it “out there”, and now I just need to get out of my own way and pay attention along the way so I don’t miss the signs on how to get where I want to be.

Lee and I recently had an opportunity to spend time with our friend, Amy, on a drive back from St. Louis.  We talked quite a bit about this theme, and though we come from different backgrounds (she is Catholic vs. our more esoteric bent), our belief in knowing that one can have dreams come true through magic, faith and trusting in the end result, were remarkably similar.  She is proof positive of this in her career success with Silpada, and practices what she preaches, indeed!  ~kudos, dear friend…  🙂 ~

I want to have my own salon some day where I can interact with groovy people while cutting hair, and share my artwork and my faces.  I see it so clearly, and I can’t wait to see how the journey unfolds as I make my way towards this dream.

The old Alison would be concerned with all the details on how to get “there”, and would fret incessantly about whether or not it would all work out.  This newer version of me is much more willing (most days!) to trust that the path will present itself as is required, and I’ll just keep on following it.  Starting school in September and having all those details fall into place, both literally and figuratively, is just the first step.

I believe.  I have faith for probably the first time in my life, and I’m on my way…

I wonder what it would be like to watch others through a one way mirror as they peruse your artwork at a show, rather than sitting awkwardly by in full view??  Before I started doing shows, whenever I went to an art fair, I would have empathy for the artists sitting there watching everyone look at their stuff.  I’m sure they were hopeful that a sale might be imminent, and also somewhat uncertain if the people moved on uninspired and uninterested.  I always tried to at least give everyone’s booth a ‘respectful’ amount of looking time, for I didn’t want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings.

But that’s me and my sensitive self.  I’m sure I projected how I would have felt as that artist, and now that I am that artist, it *is* hard to sit there and watch people look over little bits of your soul/personality/talent and either find it worth a look or a comment, or the opposite, which is utter lack of interest.

Obviously, my work will not appeal to everyone.  Not even most people, probably…  I don’t think I’m so thin skinned that I can’t understand this aspect of selling art, yet it is such a weird thing to do, really…these art shows.  You just splay yourself out there for critiques.  You offer up images of what it’s like to be you, living inside your head and heart, and others either like it or not.  And, if you sit there allowing this assessment to go on for hours upon end, it feels in the end much like having run a gauntlet.  I was bone tired yesterday after the weekend’s show, and yes, it was partly the heat, but it was also because I was trying all the time to be ‘fine’ with the ongoing ‘valuing’ of me via my art.

Just so you know, I realize I may be the most sensitive and overly analytical of souls on the planet…

Then, of course, there are those that pass by and find something of value on your table and it feels good to think that one of my cat cards might be sent to a friend of the person who bought it, and it might bring a smile to a person I don’t even know.  That’s the best part, truly.  Bringing enjoyment…

One young woman told me yesterday that when she looked at the face quilt hanging above my table, it made her “feel warm inside”.  I was touched and honored that an image I had produced could elicit such a feeling.

I guess it’s all relative…

I’m still going to make my art and try and get it ‘out there’ somehow, I’m just not so sure that art shows are that much fun…

Art Market…

July 22, 2010

Artrageous weekend is this Friday and Saturday in Columbia.  My participation in this event will be in the Catacombs Art Market.  The Catacombs are located underneath the Artlandish gallery on Walnut street just off of 10th, and the space really looks
like catacombs… (given my limited exposure to such things…)  🙂

I will have face jackets, vests, cat pillows,  jewelry boxes, matted prints, framed prints, cat cards, magnets, and painted wine glasses.  I’ll also have a couple of ‘older’ pieces, like a coiled wall hanging and the original face quilt on display (and for sale) to help decorate my area.

Come on out if you are in the area…  It is to be the same ridiculously hot weather, so head down into the catacombs to cool off and see some groovy art!!  There will be lots of local artists, good music and good food.

Should be a great time!

Monday, Monday…

July 19, 2010

As I take this time off before I start school in September, I really am not paying much attention to the actual days like I used to whilst working.  This day, however, feels much like a Monday.  Kind of hard to get rolling again after a remarkably fun and exciting weekend (thanks again, Mags…), and I find myself starting several tasks and not completing many of them.  I did make it to the bank, and I’m in the middle (literally) of pinning three more face quilts, so I guess that’s something??  I also have cat pillows to ready for the art market this coming weekend, and I’d really like to get started on painting some more glass, as well.

I read once that our bodies are not on ‘perfect’ 24 hour cycles, so that when Monday actually rolls around, we are a bit behind the eight ball in terms of lack of sleep and/or our readiness to start anew.  I can dig it.

Maybe it’s partly the heat to blame for my lack of attention.  I feel quite sure that excessive heat and humidity simply must have an effect on one’s ability to focus.

I did three loads of laundry today (that is a completed task, isn’t it??  :-)), and every time I stuck my head in the dryer to retrieve clothes, I thought…”gads…that’s exactly what it feels like outside”.  Tired of this weather, for sure, and tired of not being able to be outside for more than a few minutes at a time…

So, yes.  Not much going on in my world save some restless, distractive attempts at getting some tasks scratched off my “to-do” list.  I have this feeling, however, that I should savor the quiet while I can.

Off to work on quilts…

Hair and art…

July 15, 2010

I was talking to my Mom today about being enrolled in hair design school, which will start in September.  One of the things I am grateful for at this juncture in my life is confidence.  Given what I know about sculpting, and the fact that I’ve been cutting other people’s hair (albeit without a license *and* at their consent) for years now, I would feel pretty confident in going up to someone’s head and just ‘giving it a go’.  I’m not saying this would be a huge success, yet I would not be afraid to try it…

Being back in art school in my 30’s garnered me not only visual and creative skills, but backbone and confidence.  When I first started, I was so remarkably concerned that what I was making was “art”, and that it was “good art”.   Terrible waste of energy, that.  I had a very critical sculpture and ceramics professor, and he intimidated the heck out of me.  I just wanted to please him with my work.  I wanted him to like what I did.  Again, waste of energy, for it wasn’t about that at all!  He just wanted me to soak up as much as I could in his studio classes.  I appreciate now what a gift he gave me (in addition to the profound understanding of *form*), and that was to have some hutzpah about what I was doing as an artist.  Thank you, Paul…

So, to make a long ditty short, I take this backbone and confidence with me into new territory.  I’m not going to posture being a hair stylist anymore than I posture being an artist.  I’m going to go and learn how to mess around with hair and I think it’s going to be a blast.

I doubt I will try to be “cutting edge” with hair anymore than I am with my art.  I just want to be a part of making lines, color, and form work…both visually and creatively.

I’m ready…

Probably not for this style, however….

Making books…

July 13, 2010

I made a wee envelope/accordian book this afternoon at a class held at Artlandish by Leandra Spangler.  It was wonderful, and I learned a lot.  It was also a nice reprieve from my recent attendance in “L’école des études intensives”  (a la Alison…)

Nice to be creating and nice to try something completely different.

I also got the material yesterday for six more cat pillows, and I need to figure out what all I am taking to St. Louis this weekend for the art and jewelry party; and of course…the following weekend is Artrageous in Columbia where I will have a booth in the Catacombs Art Market.

Love it!  Love art!!

Now if my silly sore-throat-that-is-trying-to-sneak-up-on-me will just go away…

Here’s a picture of my book.  I think it’s charming…  🙂

Self examination:  In the last few months, I have been under my own personal microscope.  I have gone digging in areas so sensitive and raw, that I probably should have used some type of emotional Novocaine. I think I may have been cavalier and overly confident in this endeavor.

I’ve always had a tendency to be self absorbed in this way.  Ever hopeful that if I shed light on every nook and cranny in my soul, the very luminance will erase that which had been tucked and hidden away.

Eventually, I’d be cleared, cleaned, and free.

The Japanese like to eat blowfish, which is a poisonous fish if not prepared properly.  It is my understanding that there is a delicacy to be had in the flesh of the fish, yet if the preparer is ignorant, the poisonous toxins from the offensive organs can be released into the surrounding flesh, and ingestion can be fatal.

Since I’m fond of analogies, especially those that are visual as well, I feel much like the chef who thought they had the skill to find and slice out the delicacy, while in reality I’ve bungled the job and the toxins are released into the surrounding flesh.  I’m lucky to recognize this…

So, as I sat with myself last night, in yet another version of my “dark night of the soul” series, I realized that the reason I didn’t sense anything on the other side of this dark place was that there is no other side.  This particular venture is over, and I’m at the end of that road.

I find myself, instead, plunked smack down in front of a sign that points in two different directions.  I don’t know that a single word would define what I “see” on those boards pointing in opposite directions…but I can tell you this.  I must pick one today.

Out of respect to the part of me that isn’t riddled with ugly bits and bad habits, and mean notions, I quit.  I give up.  Somehow, I’ve wounded her in this process of self discovery, and without sounding too much like someone out of  the movie, “Sybil”, I really do sense the parts of my psyche that make up the totality of Alison.

I’ve got some bad habits that need to be dropped.  I have written about some of them in this blog.  I have some good qualities that I would like to let flourish.  My art and my ability to love are just two of these things.  I’m done exorcising.  There aren’t any real demons in my closet, nor any real unknowns as to why I have some hitches in my get-along.  I guess I’m not any different than anyone else.  Warts and all, I am just a person trying to get along in this world.  I would like to think I have garnered a few skills here and there, and it is my intent to always be open to being a better person.

I stand at the crossroads I see, and I know which way I am to go.  I know how some of how this path may look, yet I don’t know all the details.

No matter…

I drop the knife and the mangled fish and begin walking…

Je suis ennui…

July 10, 2010

My brother once said to me that only boring people get bored.  I doubt he still believes this, yet it’s funny that I remember it now.

I’m actually really bored this morning.  I have things I could do, and projects on which I could continue to work, yet all of my ideas are kind of falling listlessly from my head.  Why does this happen some times??

When we were kids, we used to go to my mom and whinge, “Mom, I’m BORED…”.  (insert big, dramatic sigh here…).  She would usually have a list of suggestions for us as to what we could be doing, and I remember the *feeling* when none of them inspired me into action.  Was I just a whiny kid, or is boredom as much of a regular feeling as anything else??  It must have been quite frustrating for her, yet what I remember most was that listless feeling of disinterest.

Maybe we all have ‘boring thresholds’.  Even as adults, mayhaps??  Say, if there is a bit of boredom in your life consistently for a few days or weeks, then eventually you are truly bored.  You are maxed out on tolerance for this feeling and you’ve got that, “I can’t stand it” type of feeling bored.

The analogy that comes to mind is what it felt like for me to get a tattoo.  I have a high tolerance for pain, so that part of it didn’t bother me, per se, yet it was the consistency of the annoying ‘jabbing of pain’ that eventually got on my nerves…literally. So, perhaps it wasn’t really the pain that got to me, but the repetition of the pain??  And, today…maybe it’s not the feeling of boredom that has got me so down, but the repetition of the feeling of being bored??

I’m guessing this analogy may only make sense in my head...

Maybe I just need to distract myself enough that something may catch my interest.

Let’s hope.

Otherwise…I’m calling Mom.

Rave Reviews…

July 8, 2010

I’m always a bit confounded by customer reviews.  Whether it’s a stereo, a vacuum cleaner, a hair product, or a hair styling school, there is usually such a range of extreme comments, that I find it difficult to see them as helpful whatsoever.

Perhaps Hugh McLeod is right?  “Ignore Everybody”.  I’ve mentioned his book before in these blogs, and I’m really starting to think he is right.  He says you are better off to just keep on keeping on and not take others’ opinions too much to heart, for they will distract and confuse you and blur your focus.

I read some reviews of the hair design school I’m thinking about attending, and one stated that it was a ‘non-professional environment’, yet she couldn’t spell “professional”, and appeared to be upset that the students all passed the state boards with high grades.

Another one said that they had to ‘work in the spa all the time cutting hair, and didn’t get more than 2 hours of class time a day’…  Hmmm.  Wouldn’t it be helpful to get as much hands on experience (literally!) as possible ?

And yet another review was positive and said that the ‘instructors went out of their way for the students’.

She gave it 5 stars.

I’m older than a lot of those girls (and some guys) who are students at this design school, and I have worked in a variety of jobs throughout my adult life.  Maybe the real difference for me will be that I know what I want, and I will get as much out of the experience as I can.  When I went back to school in my 30’s to get the fine arts major, I was in the studio *all* the time.  I loved it.  I was a fiend and I created a lot of work.  But, I was also older and focused.

My best bet appears to be ready to glean as much as possible from the experience, and keep an open mind as to how I might most effectively get what I need…

I’ll be sure to give my review in about 12 months…  🙂

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