Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hand-painted stool, ready to go!

OK, so my husband the professional photographer should have been the one to take this photo, but I could not wait one more day to put it up here on the blog. The nightstand is finally done, and looks way better in person. (It has a kitty scene on both sides)

This nightstand will hopefully soon be available at the colorful, whimsical gift shop called "Serendipity" in Hudson, Mass. I have an appointment there next week to show the owner some of my latest creations.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Recipe for peace - at least for today

I've been struggling lately, with the need to create art in order to earn money for my family, versus the fact that I am utterly devoid of inspiration at the moment. I'm floundering, also wondering what medium would help me express myself should anything worth expressing suddenly make itself known. Do I want to be using acrylics forever?

Sometimes the best thing to do is just back off it. I took out a few books about Buddhism from the library yesterday, as I knew this philosophy would contain just what I need right now. With the last several weeks careening from the economy, straight up to melting ice caps and down to swine flu, I needed a little coaching in the feet-on-the-ground here-and-now. A little advice on learning to live with the reality that I can't control a damn thing and no one gets out of here alive anyway. And I was so right! The Buddhist readings set me on a better path. Today I took the day off from worrying about income or art. I headed to the kitchen and cooked.

Now, if you know me, you know that the fact that I am opting to cook is really saying something. I am a person who always joked, "sure I can cook; I just follow the directions on the box." Though I am eating more healthily these days and avoiding boxed things bearing instructions nearly 100% of the time (mac & cheese being our downfall), it's still not often I spend more than a half hour in the kitchen. But today I decided to make Indian chapatis by hand (actually, is there any other way?). With the help of my wonderful Indian food adviser, Aastha (yes, she is really from India), I added a few ingredients to make them taste good. (Methi powder--aka fenugreek--fennel seeds, salt, pepper and sauteed minced onion, to be exact). Then I made tomato soup from scratch using vine tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and sauteed cumin seeds. I also made sugar roti--or at least one version of it--which is basically chapatis with sugar folded into them. My son, who benefited from my peaceful approach today by lolling about in his PJs till the afternoon and making molecules out of clay, enjoyed the sugar roti dipped in honey.

I was so pleased to offer these handmade foods to my family! I did a little laundry, too. All in all a wonderful day. If I keep this up, the art will be happening naturally in no time flat!