As we arrive at Imbolc, winter’s mid-season celebration, I encounter a realization about why this particular time is auspicious. Some of my most important family members celebrate their birthdays. In heaven my dad is ringing in 100 years; that rascal died on his birthday, just his style, as if I ever would forget my champion who still guides me. Then there’s grandpa who would be 132 years old. On the other end of the spectrum are my two grandsons, 3 and 11. It is in this beautiful Aquarian time that I display “Alexander’s Library”, named for my grandson, to the public.
Even though it is a bit difficult to awaken from the slower holiday Solstice time, and get back to business, it is made easier by the preparations undergone in December’s retreat. This is my sixth year doing the Lotus and Lily journaling process. I recommend you do yourself the favor of getting Janet Connor’s book, it’s not too late.
In the course of journaling for the month I dig to find what I most desire. Confidence, connection, peace, happiness, fulfillment, belonging are some of the values that are at the core of wanting things like new clothes, travel or more money. When my soul revealed through writing my deeper purpose, it was like winning the lottery. More than pursuing recognition by a museum, having gallery representation or a six-figure income, I want to create the most vibrant legacy that I can. Then I learned by staying centered in love and doing a few simple things each day I can stay on that path. Trusting, creating, laughing, walking, praying, and communicating all fit into the plan.
Creating art is my service. Period. The way I implement that is through communication in various ways. One important one is my correspondence with you. I strive to serve you with thoughts, images, experiences and events that might spark soulful conversation and interaction. What do you want to dialogue about? Because in the final analysis there is nothing more important than each other. Do you agree?
I am pleased that “Alexander’s Library” opens on this auspicious day at the Lexington Public Library, Eastside Branch. Like you, dear reader, it means being in the right place at the right time, in step with the season.
2022 ReView by Kathleen O’Brien
I imagine you have been using January to plan for the future by evaluating priorities (purpose) and how you use your time and energy. After reviewing the previous quarter, I have a pretty good idea of which personal, studio, and business tracks I’ll pursue. What are yours?
To start the year off, I recently offered a collection of rare bead jewelry for a Valentine Studio Special, open until February 14. The beads I use in my jewelry can date from 2650 BC to the present day. They embody history and the energy of human touch, having been traded through time from the far reaches of the world. They have intrinsic value, which makes them a worthy heirloom. I take great care in choosing and knotting them. Wear these talismans with confidence and appreciate the personal touch of history they hold—ancient, antique, vintage, and modern handmade beads. These necklaces and bracelets come wrapped with recycled Nepalese silk bags, a Valentine card, and free shipping. Such a deal!
Last season’s events
It was thrilling to be with wonderful art patrons at the 14th Annual Autumn Open Studio, it encourages me to continue and expand this event for 2023! I just like to be with folks, show them new art and hear about what is going on in their lives. Having this to look forward to gets me thinking about what to create in the studio. Hearing what people like in art and the questions they ask spark my imagination to new heights. It’s all about the need we all have for peaceful aesthetics in our environment. If you were not able to attend, please tell me now, what do you seek to surround you in your home and office? Nursery and family room?
Soon after, I announced this year’s annual small art Holiday Studio Special, “Journeys”, a collection of three series; Colorado Journey, Variations of Landscape Narratives and Phi. Additionally, it was fun to attend an in-person Holiday Market at EncaustiCastle featuring jewelry. On impulse, I celebrated the fourteen Halcyon Days with an online Studio Special of beaded bracelets.
The solstice season lifts my spirits; everything feels joyful and hopeful, a season of grace and socializing. Do you track the sun’s path? It’s one of our favorite things and the reason behind our home design. At the point of the lowest sun, it comes in the most powerfully, which we are grateful for; solar power. With so many days of sunshine and warmth, I kept myself busy in the studio by painting color graphs with the intention to learn more about colors.
I’d like to recommend a few books that I got for Christmas. To Paint is to Love Again by Henry Miller is a particularly special book. It’s a first edition sent to me by a dear friend who knows how much I love Miller from reading my emails and blogs. She discovered it as a library volunteer while preparing for a book sale in Rancho Palos Verdes. Was it there because it was close to his house? Chris Frantz, Talking Heads drummer and fellow Kentuckian, wrote Remain in Love, a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the band and his love for his wife and bassist Tina Weymouth. Because, unlike Miller, I am a slow reader, I hope to recommend others in the stack like Becoming O’Keefe and Durrell & Miller; a Private Correspondence in the future.
A Note to Collectors
Big news, the value of my art has increased dramatically from the beginning of my career! You can read the full story on my blog. I say this with humor as I think back to the many drawings made and sold from Boulder Arts and Crafts Co-Op, which is still in business today. Back then, it was easy to make a living as an artist.
The other day I received the kind of message all artists long to receive in the inbox, especially if it originated from the contact form on their website: “I have your pencil drawing from the Daily Camera in 1971 on my wall. I’d like to send you a photo for your enjoyment. You sold it to me for $5.00 back then!”
This began an enjoyable correspondence with a long-ago friend. He sent a photo of the drawing. I wrote: “…So may I correct your first email; you paid $8, not 5! Can you believe it? I’m smiling. Now it’s worth $230 at least by my current standard. Add irreplaceability + the best drawing of the era + the fact that you have cherished it for 50 years = in my opinion, is priceless. Thanks for the compliment.”
Here’s the best note: “You asked me whether I think your work has improved? I think this piece from 1971 is one of the loveliest pieces I’ve seen and it’s been on my wall for over 50 years. Nothing else comes close.”
The returning and increasing light is perceptible on a daily basis, and it is both welcome and uplifting. The transition to the new year has been peaceful personally. In the Celtic tradition, this Midwinter, Imbolc, and Candlemas season is associated with St. Bridgid, and it is a time to appreciate soft candlelight, rest and the birth of young animals. I send blessings to you.