On my studio table…and floor

I have been on break from my studio since late June, but have had to find some time to get on to work on a couple of projects. Two of the projects involve an ongoing collaboration with the wonderful artists I met at the Forager’s Retreat I went to back in May in Washington. I have to say I feel so completely stretched by this group as most everyone involved is either a sculptor, weaver or assemblage artist….all of which I am not! But being uncomfortable is a good thing.

I had received a beautiful woven gourd vessel atop a grid of black sticks from Shannon Weber. To me, it was already wonderful as is, what on earth could I do with it? I ended up on the floor surrounded by different materials to jump start any kind of inspiration. By moving things around and asking myself “What if…” it came together in the end and I created this little vignette below. It has already been sent on to a third artist in Washington



I had received these clay cogs/wheels/buttons from Randi Harper and again, I was like, um…..what am I going to do with this?! Do I make a painting and add them to my painting? Do I attach them to each other somehow?


In the end, I painted them and embellished with waxed linen thread. It was fun. Again, pushed out of my comfort zone, but the experience has me thinking about future applications. hmmmm. I have sent these on to a third artist back in Washington.


This past weekend I got a few hours to paint. I have a couple of commissions that I need to get going on. I have to admit that I was feeling extremely rusty. It’s like if you play the piano and an extended break makes your fingers feel clumsy. I prepped a very large panel, a small panel, and then took three older paintings and stared at them for a bit, took a deep breath, and then started painting over them. I wish I could say I felt reinvigorated Saturday with this time in the studio….but I actually felt awful. Nothing felt right. Doubt. Doubt. Doubt.


detail of a work in progress


detail of a work in progress

But I came back in Sunday morning, and just kept at it. And at a certain point, the struggle stopped, the doubt quieted down. I got into the zone where it was just me and the surface. The thinking stopped and my intuition led me. I let it all go and just let myself explore.

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” – Erich Fromm


  1. I totally get that too. the more I work the less the doubts/inner monkey brain bothers me. but stop for a bit? and wow! nag! nag! nag! lol

    I LOVE what you did with the first piece. totally swoonworthy!
    And the second piece … did you attach the “wheels” to the board?

    1. That’s exactly it Jen! It’s when there’s that lull, that the voices creep in. But amazingly when you just keep working, they aren’t as powerful.
      No, the wheels/cogs are still separate. They are just sitting on my coffee table.

    1. I was completely stumped Mary! I should be receiving the next round soon and I am sure I’ll be scratching my head again. ha!

  2. I’ve been in a rut lately & out of my studio for over a month. Deadlines are looming & still I can’t get motivated to go in.
    Checking in this morning & there you are…first thing I see. I always find your work inspiring. Collaborations can be difficult but it does take us away from our comfort zone which can result in wonderful pieces….just like in your case.

    1. Leah- I hope you are able to get in there soon and just get at it. I actually was dragging my feet a bit on Sunday since Saturday was not easy. But so glad I went in. sometimes just moving things around will get things going. Good luck!! We’ve all been there and it sucks.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Icon Site Search Close Site Search
0 results
Text Newsletter