Friday, January 6, 2017

2017's Major Creative Goal Is ...

My mystery response to this prompt
will soon be revealed to... both of us!
"The major creative goal that I want to achieve in 2017 is..."

Last night, as I continued to formalize my goals and plans for the year, this prompt became part of the process.

I had no problem coming up with a lengthy list of creative goals for the year.  Big and small, my creative dreams are always on my mind.  The challenge enters the picture when I'm asked to narrow them down to one major goal.  I've always been a girl who wants it all.  I dream big, and so much of the wild and wonderful ride that is my life's adventure has been a direct result of that single trait.

As I reflect in midlife, with the hope of self improvement and new beginnings, I recognize that my capacity for considering and pursuing huge numbers of hopes and dreams during every minute of every day has left me exhausted.  My attention has been divided in ways that don't always serve me well.

I suppose that the solution lies in the balance of all of it.  I'll continue to dream big, often, and

sometimes crazily; it's too much a part of who I am to ever stop.  I'll also work toward narrowing my focus, in dreams and in life, so that I can give my full attention to accomplishing my most imminent goals while still moving toward those that are dancing enthusiastically in the background.

I'm going to contemplate my response a bit longer, and I'd love to know what's on your creative horizon too.


What is the one major goal that YOU want to accomplish in 2017?  


Please leave your response in the comments below or email me directly at jeanskipper@jeanskipper.com.


Look at all the bright shiny colors!
As Debbie Keen proves, a bit of order
doesn't diminish their beauty.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Good Kind of Uncomfortable - Let's Sing!

Let's Sing!
On Tuesday, January 17th, at 6:00 pm ,you'll find me at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina.  I'll be attending.  No.  I'll be *participatng* in a Pop Up Chorus event.  Somehow this small act thrills me and scares me at the same time.

When I was a kid, my extended family was like an Italian/German version of a Norman Rockwell Painting.  We gathered regularly at my Grandparent's House.  And while their kitchen tended to be the heart of their home, at the end of the hall in a room no larger than some closets today, there was a well loved upright piano; in their living room was an organ.

Music was always present there.  On holidays and throughout the year, it embraced us.  We sang.  We danced.  We made wonderful memories.  I never gave much thought as to whether I could or couldn't sing or dance.  In fact talent and ability never entered my mind.  Instead I immersed myself in the pure joy of the moments.  Somewhere along the way, that changed.  I recognized that singing wasn't my strong suit, and I started to listen to music instead of singing along.  Sensible?  Maybe.  Fun?  Not so much.

Well Friends, that's about to change!  2017 is going to be filled with the pleasure of things that make me uncomfortable, and Pop Up Chorus is where it all begins.  If you're within driving distance, I'd love to have company!  We can even have dinner before or after or along the way.  What can I say, I'm true to my roots.  Food and music go hand in hand!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Here's to a Heartfelt New Year!



New Year!


2017 is going to



filled with



I'm going to 
to the occasion.


Enjoy the


have
each step of the way.


and

Join me?

****************************************
Each of the pieces shown above is from 
an artistic collaboration between 

Watch for more collaborative efforts and exciting news and announcements from Jean, Jodi, and ReMe Retreats in 2017!




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Favorite Things - Places - Sandhills Horticultural Gardens

I captured the photos here at one of my favorite places in North Carolina, Sandhills Horticultural Gardens.  All were taken during two separate Springtime visits.  The first group were taken this year while visiting with one of my Besties from Pennsylvania, Mary.  The second group was taken last year during an Easter visit with my sister-Janet, my niece-Kate, and my nephew-Ben.
Inspirational garden art and sculpture is everywhere!





Individual gardens within the gardens provide surprises at every turn.




Our native Longleaf Pines are ever present.


How could we resist a respite in the Adirondack chairs?!?!?






Even the trees take on sculptural forms in the Spring.


  


"The Thinker" aka Ben


Family Love!




Stone Stacking is a favorite pastime when we're together.  Seeking Balance!







The Gardens are a place for all four seasons.  To just spend time there is pure bliss, and they also offer various educational programs, plant sales, and other special events too.

(For those who will be visiting the area during our ReMe Retreat - The Sandhills in October, you can look forward to blooming Fortunes Osmanthus, Holly Osmanthus, Loquat, Sasanqua Camellia, Thorny Elaeagnus, and Encore Azaleas.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Collections Make Me Happy

Collections of various things make me happy.  

Yes, there are those things that I collect with intention.   These include seashells, skeleton keys, photos, vintage tins, family recipes, handcrafted jewelry, original art, pottery, and so much more.  

Beyond these, I also try to take time to notice the collections that surround me every day.  Perhaps it's the sheer quantity of one item that draws my attention, or the repetition of a color, shape, or the function of a certain type of object.  Whatever it is, I often seek and find inspiration in the most random of collections.  A few examples follow:




Collections provide inspiration to me, and I'll continue to share photos of some of my favorites.  What inspires you?  Please share with us in the comments below, or email me directly at jeanskipper@jeanskipper.com .

Monday, July 11, 2016

Patience, Forgiveness, and The Art of Catching Up

 The past few weeks have been challenging for me on many levels.  Nothing worth talking about; but during this time, as I dealt with the in-person realities of my world, I fell out of touch with various electronic forms of contact.  These include phone calls, text messages, and social media of all kinds.

I'm happy to report that things are much improved here now, and today I find myself poised at my keyboard with my telephone at the ready as I stare at the backlog.

And...

I'm not sure where to start!

As with so many other areas of my life I suppose that the key lies in taking baby steps.  One message, one phone call, and one apology at a time; I'll work through this.  As I dig my way out, I ask for your continued patience and forgiveness for anything that I've missed in your corner of the world, and I promise to extend the same warmth and grace to you when you find yourself in a similar predicament.

Click here for a brief, four minute, podcast by Alyson Stanfield on the topic of Forgiveness.  It's an oldie but a goodie, and it spoke to me today.  I thought that you might benefit from it too.



Is it me or was the world a bit simpler before computers when we had only a land line that provided a busy signal to the caller when we were
otherwise occupied?!?!   :-)

  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

In Living Color

In my jewelry and in my mixed media assemblages, I tend to be drawn to the same colors again and again.  These include the raw colors of all types of metal, and of metal in various forms of decay.  This palette is comforting to my eye, and somehow it has a story to tell.


In my work, the exception to this includes any and all of the folk art pieces that I create.  In these, all bets are off!  Bright rules; more colors are a wonderful thing; and generally each piece is polka dotted to within an inch of its life.



While I adore both of these approaches to my art, for years I've challenged myself to "add more color to my jewelry".  This has come in the form of beads, enameling, fiber, and various patinas.

In January, I joined the talented Debbie Keen and Nikki Thornburg-Lanigan for a weekend of creative play.  During our time together, we experimented with metal etching, enameling, graphite, colored pencils, and alcohol inks.  We learned from the good , the bad, and the ugly... and we had a ball!


As I posted this photos to Facebook today, I realized that this process of adding color continues to evolve for me, and I love where it's going.



The journey continues...