Saturday, June 11, 2016

Inspiration on two levels at Northampton

Balance - how does one maintain that in the world we live in?
Balance between fighting for important causes, being supportive
of your own family members, and keeping creative juices flowing
to have the energy for the rest of life.  For me, one way is to make
sure I get a regular dose of inspiration from other artists.

Originally my husband was scheduled for hip replacement surgery
the end of March. So after ACC Baltimore, I opted to take a break
from shows until the Northampton Paradise City Arts Festival
over Memorial Day weekend.  Then life threw a few
is often the case.  Some medical issues were picked up which had
to be dealt with before surgery so hip surgery was rescheduled for
May 18. I could have cancelled Northampton, but it still seemed
feasible with the usual hospital stay and my hubby encouraged me
to go forward.  Long story short, hospital stay was extended and
a couple complications, though nothing drastic, were added. So
I would have to  leave for show only three days after my hubby
was discharged.

Cancel at the last minute - or go forward? That's when other artists
and family kicked in and made us realize how excellent our life
choices have been all these years with respect to the communities
we have chosen to live in.Our close artist friend, feltmaker Miriam
Carter offered to drive down the 1 hour from New Hampshire to
work the show for me if I went, but then suddenly had to leave.
 Meanwhile two of our children living in Brooklyn said they would
 come up and  "cover" for me with their Dad.  So..taking a deep
breath, and knowing a couple days away would probably be good 
for me, I packed up and went off.

And who should be there to greet me but the dragon musician above
and these creatures below created by the talented wooden rocking
 horse/ carousel animal and polymer fantasy creature sculptor
Tracy Kochanski.

This was Tracy's first trip to the Paradise City Arts Festival. Her
 creatures lifted my spirits..(even the caged fairy in the back of the
 booth! -After  a few comments by attendees, she made sure the door
 to the cage was open. Though we all agreed, some fairies occasionally
 need to be contained..).

 Chris Willimas' dragon soared watching over us all...and his sea
creatures inspired me to push my new line of deep sea journal

The metal sculpture at the show always attracts me. I' look
forward to  seeing what Matt Evald Johnson will bring along -
I am usually astounded by his energy and creativity.  This year
was as true as ever.  How could I resist a piece like "Modern
Promethes"...A bookbinder stitching and stitching her/his torn
and needy books.....

Matt's chess table made me wish  I had paid
 attention when folks were trying to teach me chess. I  can just imagine a game played on this table in some awesome living room or castle dwelling or perhaps in  some Game of Thrones court scene?  Check out the dragon "knights" on the black side.  

Kimberly Willcox , one of my  favorite 
sculptors was also there.  Her variety,
sense of line, movement, and design
always encourages me to work harder 
and go for it with my own work.

At one point things became a little dicey back home, but
in the end resolved for the better.  Everyone at the show-
artists and promoters supported me and kept checking in 
and our kids on the homefront did beautifully problem 
solving  - a wake up call perhaps that we parents are 
aging and not  invulnerable...but also to their competence
..and our confidence in them. Other folks back home
 helped out as well with food and backup if needed.  

My husband I ended feeling extremely blessed. I have 
learned to savor each day (As Muhammad Ali used to
say "don't count the days, make the days count")...but
knowing we wake up to exist in such supportive and 
loving communities, reminds me to offer a gesture of
gratitude each morning.  

Adventure on.  Wendy