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creative space ~ painting, writing, fiber art

Hi everyone, I’m moving over to my new website at Wandering Womb Studio. I hope you’ll join me there in my new online space! It’s gonna be awesome. See you there.

It seems the East coast is getting all our snow. It’s been sunny and in the 60s here for quite a while. (Hopefully we’ll have a super rainy spring to make up for it.) Since it feels like spring, today I opened all my windows to enjoy the fresh air and spent some time decluttering and cleaning. A friend told me about this thing called the Konmari method and I’ve been listening to the audiobook. The gist of it is that you take each item in your hands and ask yourself if it brings you joy. Yes – keep it. No – discard it. The thing about living in a small space like I do is that clutter doesn’t pile up too badly – there’s just no room. But I really love the idea of keeping only what brings you joy. I also love her way of folding clothes rather than piling them, which means you can store more in a drawer and also see everything you’ve got. It’s pretty awesome. My clothes are taking up half the space now since I got rid of some and refolded the rest. It feels good. My life feels somehow more spacious and open.

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We also made it through Valentine’s Day. Whew! It’s kind of weird but also fun to have a daughter old enough to commiserate with about being single. We got a sweet little card from my aunt in Colorado, who always sends it through Loveland for their special stamp. I just love that.

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And I splurged and bought us a dozen roses to share. Even with the decay they still look pretty today, I think. And for me there’s nothing that smells better than roses.

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Last weekend I also participated in Sue Ann Gleason’s Tea & Chocolate conference call where we talked about, what else, chocolate. It was fun and I won some really delicious chocolate which came in the mail yesterday. It was too spicy for my daughter  & her friend who was hanging out with us but I love a little hot chili pepper in my chocolate. So, more for me!

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I’ve been enjoying the pieces lately around how women make ends meet while pursuing their art. It started with  Ann Bauer’s Salon piece “Sponsored” by my husband, where she talks about how her husband’s hefty salary finally made it possible for her to write full time, and then a couple of responses to that – one from Libbie Hawker and another from Laura Bogart in Dame Magazine, The Price I Pay to Write, calling for more stories of women who do it that way, who have not been able or willing to pursue their art through opting out of life altogether or through being supported by marrying well.

I just want to say:  look around. We are here. We are everywhere. And we are telling our stories.

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And that’s my reading pile:  Awakening Shakti, by Sally Kempton (about the yoga goddesses like Durga), another Tana French mystery called Broken Harbor (my second favorite mystery writer after P.D. James), and Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, the second book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series which my daughter somehow hooked me into. And The Church of Old Mermaids, by Kim Antieau, which I saw something about over at Joanna Powell Colbert’s blog. It’s a beautiful book. I’m loving it and looking forward to diving into the rest.

if you want to explore Silver Reef too…

 

 

During the deep dark parts of winter, the tail end of last year and the beginning of this one, I was playing with cables. I put off learning how to knit them because they looked so scary and intimidating. But the truth is, they’re really damn easy. Deciphering the pattern charts is the hardest part. My first project was Cover Cowl by Vickie Howell, from Knit Simple Holiday Magazine 2011. I’ve lost the labels for the yarn of course, but it was this luxurious blend of silk and baby alpaca or something like that. Ridiculously soft. I could only afford one ball so it had to be a small project.

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Then I made a pair of opera-length long cabled fingerless mitts in ballet pink merino superwash for my daughter, which I completely forgot to photograph, but she loved them. And then I made 3 Irish hiking scarves for the Red Scarf Project, and because I kinda fell in love with that pattern, I made one more to keep for myself.

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Then I bought some more super soft luxury yarn on sale with the intention of making another cabled scarf for myself….but it became something else because I got tired of cables and decided to learn how to do yarn overs instead, so I could begin lace knitting. I’ve been putting off lace knitting for oh, years. But now that I know how to do cables I feel kinda invincible. Like I have a new superpower.

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But that’s another post for another day.

My life has never been one of those neat linear trajectories. Point A to point B in one clean line. It’s more like a circle. Or spiral. A big scribbly knotted one like a tangle of yarn or old bristlecone pine roots. A couple years ago when I started painting and writing and falling in love with making art again I had this vision of what my life might open up into – I saw myself living in a ranch style house with a sunlit painting studio, lots of open space, somewhere really anywhere outside of Utah where there’s no snow and the ocean is nearby…living there with a loving partner, my daughter grown up and stopping by from time to time…maybe I was still doing social work or maybe I’d stepped into art therapy or creative coaching, I don’t know, but I was painting. And writing. And working as an artist or creative. And my life was more lush and open and full somehow.

heatherlcoxart.comredbeadsIt was a gorgeous vision. And I’m circling back to it now after being distracted by suggestions and advice of all kinds (You should paint plein air! Do portraits! Why aren’t you using oils! You’ll never sell art online! Abstracts are not real art, do something representational!), and by trying to date (why am I trying to fall in love with someone whose roots are here and I’d end up being the bane of my Mormon in-laws again when my dream is to eventually move away?) and by just, you know, all the normal daily things – bills, car repairs, dirty dishes,  drama with friends and work and parenting, the occasional sick day. Or week.

heatherlcoxart.comcrystalandsilkThe important thing about this doesn’t seem to be whether or not the vision becomes real, but just the holding on to that gorgeous vision itself. Holding on to the center of who I am, of what I desire, of what I need. Holding on to the place in the inner landscape, in the imagination (and in the scattered places in my outward life) where it is already real.

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I’m still here. I inadvertently took a little blogging break. Oops. I’m really loving participating in Isabel Abbott’s Writing the Womb course now, so most of my writing lately has been old school style, scribbled in notebooks with pens. I realized the other day, looking at all my circles and spirals and mandalas, that I’ve been painting the womb for the last couple years. So it seems like a good time to see what words also want to be told. balsamic moon

{Balsamic Moon 16″x20″ acrylic on canvas/sold}

Anyway, I’m still here – writing, painting, knitting, trying really hard to believe that I have a child who is 17 now. Seventeen. How the hell did that happen? I remember when I could hold her entire body in both my small hands, and it doesn’t seem like that long ago. Now she’s six inches taller than me, driving, working, practically an adult. I’m still just making it up as I go along each day.  And you? How are you?