In the Studio…& In Life~~Curing Spring Fever

I have had spring fever and very little has been accomplished in the studio!…Not that I have done nothing at all, because I have been gathering and thinking about new ideas–the incubation stage of the creative process.

North Carolina Azaleas, (c) 2012, Joni Beach.
North Carolina Azaleas, © 2012, Joni Beach.

While creative activities such as writing, painting, or quilting need this time, for me there can be a fine line between this stage and procrastination. I have a tendency to generate many ideas without moving on to the next steps of a) selecting one or two ideas, b) experimenting with new designs, techniques, and materials, in order to gradually follow through to c) a final design or piece of art.

As in art, in life we can do the same–think about ideas, research possibilities, and make lists but have trouble taking the next step of trying out one or two options. Our hesitation may be due to a busy schedule, low energy, or fear of past failures. Finding the right timing or motivation can prove to be a challenge. When creating art or writing, I may first put on music, grind coffee beans to make a pot of coffee, and find a comfortable spot. The rhythm and routine of these small actions move me forward…toward the task.

Perhaps in life, we also need some small steps of activity to bring us out of being in limbo. Finding the things which work for you as a unique individual can take some time,

But surely there has got to be a cure for this spring fever!  🙂

Rural Art~~Making Something Out of Nothing

A trip to the countryside can yield many rural art objects. These are visual delights, made from whatever is around…such as old tools, wood, flowers, or rocks. It is an informal process of taking ordinary items and giving them a new purpose or meaning.

Spring Blossoms and a Rusty Pump, (c)2012 Joni Beach.
Spring Blossoms & a Rusty Pump, (c)2012, Joni Beach.

Spring flowers + a rusty old pump…

Where's The Herbs?, (c)2012, Joni Beach.
Where's The Herbs?, (c)2012, Joni Beach.

A piece of wood with scratched on letters–on a fence…

Tree Limb Bench, (c)2012, Joni Beach.
Tree Limb Bench & Twig Basket, (c)2012, Joni Beach.

Limbs from a tree nailed together and twigs woven into a basket… And, scraps of wood, bolts, rod, and paint mounted on a post.

Flying With The Wind, (c)2012 Joni Beach.
Flying With The Wind, (c)2012, Joni Beach.

How many times in our lives and families are we required to do the same? Take what we have on hand…certain resources, opportunities, or situations…and improvise and adapt responses and ways of living to meet a challenge? For example, when a person’s dreams and job goals do not develop exactly as planned after school, a person may find creative ways to make a living, earn income, or begin a business. Or, when a loved one develops a chronic illness, families find new ways to meet the normal daily schedule, while at the same time adjusting to a “new normal”.

In life, as in rural art, creative solutions require improvising, adapting, and designing novel outcomes…

Out of seemingly ordinary things.

Making a Home

Making A Home, © 2012 Joni Beach.

Birdhouses dot the landscape of many people’s yards. The houses come in many shapes, colors, and sizes but share a common purpose—to provide a dry, cozy spot to sleep, get out of the rain, and build a nest for off-spring. In these small houses that birds “rent” for a season, they make a home.

Making A Home, © 2012 Joni Beach.
Making A Home, © 2012 Joni Beach.

Our homes, like the birds, may be housed in any number of styles, colors, and sizes, and also share a common purpose—to provide a safe, secure place to sleep, eat meals, and raise our children. But beyond the physical house, our homes can also be havens for a sense of belonging, protection, structure, and education.

Every family member has a need to belong to others in a group, while at the same time be accepted as a unique individual. A sense of belonging can be felt in a home with mutual respect and caring between everyone in the family.

A home provides protection against the risks in life that the family may face. There are family qualities that help each member meet and overcome the challenges they encounter.

Home gives a structure that can provide a foundation of positive values, love for one another, and a love of life itself.

Along with this structure, each individual in the family can be educated and challenged to grow and develop within their potential. And, growth and development does not end with childhood! Our homes can provide a sense of belonging, protection, structure, and education to the family living there. 

By observing the birdhouses in the backyard, I am reminded that while a house is safe shelter…We can make a home                                                                                                      


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