When I was working on my piece for the Trash Outside the Box Art-E-Zine swap, I was so focused on finishing it and sending it on its way to Canada, that I forgot that I'd get one in return. And, did I ever. This beautiful box was created by Pat MacMicken, who also hosted the swap. I'm amazed by the intricacy, detail, the sheer prettiness of this piece and I'm excited about adding it to my collection. A prize for sure!
That is the appeal of swaps, to me, being able to look around my studio and see fairy jars, ATCs, shrines and boxes, all made by women I've mostly never met in person, but with whom I feel connected through art. And, I suppose, knowing that my work is in studios across North America, hopefully emanating all the same good will, good vibes and sense of being in tune with artists working at all levels, with or without chronic illness, but all with our fair share of burdens, each translating those into meaningful, stunning, radiant art.
I've had to drop out more than once and always push the deadline to the wire; I blog hop and am constantly amazed by the volume of work some artists are able to produce. I work slowly and have energy restraints that leave me frustrated many a day. Right now I'm working on my first visual journal; incorporating pieces of writing from as long as 30-plus years ago. It hasn't been easy, since journaling has been a constant presence and it has been through the written word that I've grown, changed, learned, hurt, recovered and forged new paths. Maybe I'll work up the nerve to post it here when I'm done.
The lyrics I posted yesterday, about letting our gifts come through our hands, were written by my favorite singer-songwriter, with whom I can relate on so many levels. He spent much of his early career writing for other singers; it took well over a decade for him to hit the charts performing his own work. Reading through lyrics, it's obvious that his path hasn't always been easy. That he might even be considered a late bloomer, something I can definitely identify with - and has earned a sage wisdom that has encouraged me on many an occasion. I was listening to that song at a fairly 'teen-aged' volume the other day while working on my journal and those words inspired me to share the sentiment.
Thanks to Pat, and to every reader of these words, anonymous or not, for sharing in my journey.