Spring Matures into Artful Activity

As spring slowly rolls into summer, the momentum of the bursting bud is subject to stagnation in the sudden, and this year early, heat. How do you keep things going around your studio as the long days approach?

Many things bring me inspiration in the studio for sustaining my own work, as well the work of groups, individuals, or my own work. With such a gentle and subtle seasons here in the sunny San Diego it might seem that seasons don’t make a big difference – But my nature still responds to the sun and the moon and the shift of seasons, and the poetic and metaphoric themes they imply:

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Buds and Bulbs into blooming. I see the fat bulbs pregnant, pushing forth new leaves, breaking ground literally. These inspire drawings and paintings of all the fecund stages of “new.” Dancers can also explore the stages, wrapped tightly in green crepe, wriggling laboriously out, like a living time lapse film of budding, blooming … What is waiting to burst in your life? What new thing is now coming into full bloom and shining?

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Lengthening days. In the early morning light I am called by birdsong from my bed.  The lengthening light is a kind of acknowledgement of ripening to come – and it is good to remember days of darkness and the fulfilment of that return. Create a space and time to remember: other happy Springs, or the losses of Winter. A ritual of remembrance seems right to me.  I like to include the elements of fire, water, air or earth. Candles, incense, stones, shells, flowers can all embody the connection with nature’s cycle and our own single lifetime. Arranging the elements you chose to work with on an altar can be sufficient preparation to writing – a memory of significance, or a letter to a loved one departed.

If early spring is the time for cleaning house, and mating, then late spring is the time for nurturing the newborn, be they nestlings or artistic ambitions. When love becomes labor, we must learn to love the job, if we are to sustain the work, and through it ourselves. In the beauty of warm, lengthening evenings, take the opportunity to work outside. Make dates away from television and the hearth, under the trees, or in the park. Look back a few pages in your journal, or flip through your portfolio. Revisit an old dance, and bring it back into life.

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If spring is the image of leaping forth, then the approaching summer finds us in midair, our foot extended towards the ground, eyes now forward. Where will we find purchase for our next step, the stride leading us across the equinox and into summer? What support do you need to carry your project forward? A coffee date with a fellow artist? A new brush or pen? A retreat? A class?

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Now is the time to find your ground, and support your next step. But don’t forget to smell the roses…

Artfully,

Judith

P.S. If your next step is a class, don’t forget Expression Express, our two day immersive introduction to Expressive Arts, (and Master’s Program prerequisite) June 7th and 8th. Click here for details.