Learning to "See"


I make art. It feeds my soul, keeps me happy, grounded and visually stimulated. I do it for myself. It's about living in the moment, thinking in a visual way, meditative.

I don't remember where I found this, but a big shout out to Tama Kieves for writing it:

Poem About Creativity

Here’s the sexy white hot truth about creativity.
It’s a religious experience.
It’s a transcendental adventure.
It’s the losing of the daily self and entering the magic kingdom.
You come back bigger.
You come back satiated.
You come back sweeter.
You come back with wings and fins and new toes that seek for higher ground.
You never come back the same.

~Tama J. Kieves

Learning to "See"

After spending a day in my studio working on a painting,  I “see” things in a more critical way. I notice how light falls on an object. I look at how different elements affect one another… like dew pooling on leaves, or rain breaking the surface of a body of water,  or light laying down on rocks. Or the way a Heron cups its wings and brings its gangly body so gracefully to a perch, weightlessly. The glint of light in a Raven's eye.


Vision is an amazing gift we all take for granted. Mostly, we "look", but don't really "see".          We see everyday things that we really don’t give our attention to. Like a grand old tree on the side of a road we pass by on our way to some other place each day. Sometimes I stop and explore. I'm always glad I did, no matter how late it makes me for my destination. This is the kiss of life.

I've always looked at things up close. There are real worlds going on under rocks, out of sight! Wild magic. Nature is a mystery that inspires, soothes, heals. My school. It makes me travel slowly through life.  


Working at home is nourishing. I lose myself completely in creative explosions. Sometimes, though, working at home challenges my focus. My little studio space has windows. There is a Kestrel family that nests in the eaves of the roof over me and I witness the raising of the little ones. The parents bring mice and snakes and grasshoppers, and I hear the whole thing!  I am pulled away to watch. The witnessing of what goes on outside my window and the work I put on canvas or stone or bone or carve into metal, is delicious soul food! These sweet distractions are woven into each finished piece.... a Kestrel's call announcing food, a Bob Cat looking at my chickens, soup simmering on the stove, all are an invisible part of the creation.  My dance of sweet distraction, and creative focus.

This poem speaks to that sweet distraction I love so much:

I meant to do my work today,
but a brown bird sang in the old oak tree,
and crows were chasing an owl in the field,
and all the leaves were calling me…
and the wind sent sighing over the land,
tossing the grasses to and fro, and
the water in the lake held out its
shining hand, so what could I do
but laugh and go?

– Unknown