The Art of Creating

The art of creating for me is sometimes a fickle creature. Most of my art is created from memories, generally of my children or childhood. I have nights I cannot sleep because my mind decides to come alive and inspired. Creativity is not a forced action but rather a relaxed state of sorting through ideas and ways to make them work.

Family and nature are my main sources of inspiration. I wonder what inspires other artists in creating such beautiful masterpieces. To me it is quite interesting to learn the thought process behind the creation.

I remember a couple of years ago I attended the opening ceremony for the Sculpture Walk here in Peoria. It was fascinating and a dream come true kind of a day. All the artists in attendance with their work, sharing technique and ideas. It was an honor to be there and to be a docent for the walk. The artists were so welcoming and passionate about their work. We enjoyed learning and being able to touch the art.

One artist in particular shared his creation was inspired by balloons he saw floating through the sky. Another shared his idea came to him while driving by walls of rock. Still another stated that he saw a plant growing and thought it should be in metal.

It is amazing to me how we all create and what we see as individuals. I may not see the same thing others do when looking at the same object or scenery. The feelings may be different, the visual may be altered. The beauty of art is how it makes us feel as individuals, the thoughts it provokes.

I will share a recent relief I created over the summer last year. My oldest son was injured at work and was in ICU for several days. He had to have his forehead and the orbit of his eye rebuilt. His vision in that eye is lost but we didn’t lose him. Always look to the positive. During this time we spent alot of time holding his hand and praying, tears running down our faces. Once he was out of surgery and moved to a new unit we felt relief. This moment brought me to my knees.

Several days after my son was released home I needed to create. I had to have a release from all these feelings I had stirring inside me. This time in life magnified nearly everything. Clay would be my release, my way of dealing with this moment and helping with healing.

My mind went to a mother on a hill with arms and hands reaching up to the heavens. The figure soon became an angel, for I know we had a strong angel by our side through this time. The doctor telling us had the hit been one inch lower we may not be discussing treatment but planning a funeral. My emotions went into the clay.

The finished piece is titled “Nature’s Child” a water based clay relief, glazed and set in epoxy resin.

Until next time, keep being inspired and keep creating.

God bless.

The Happy Mileurs

The Art of Letting Go

This weekend we have the pleasure of watching our youngest graduate. My baby girl, the youngest of four. It is bittersweet for lack of a better word. Tomorrow is the last time I will watch one of my children graduate high school and no more picking her up from school and asking what adventure she would like to go on before heading home.

We are all so proud of her and her accomplishments. She will graduate with honors and was gifted her medallion and stole Thursday. Her next adventure is college several hours from home but near close family. I know she will be safe and thrive.

I was thinking the other day about how as a mom our child grows inside of us. We care for and nurture our body to provide a good home for our child before birth. Once our child is born that first sound is an awakening, the first touch is amazing. Here is this beautiful part of us we have felt all these months and now we can hold. The love we feel is like no other love. The “Mama Bear” is born to care, teach and protect.

When you think about it parenting is teaching our child to grow to thrive on his or her own. So as we hold on tight we soon have to let go just a little at a time. Milestones teach us we have to help our child learn to soar. Kindergarten is generally our first time we have to watch our child go away from us. I remember crying the first time I watched my children climb on the bus. Their little legs and feet disappearing from view, counting the hours until they would be home. I cannot say it got easier along the way.

Time moves so rapidly it seems weeks become years in the blink of an eye. I was talking to my Dad and told him I hope I have taught my children what they need to know to be an adult and a good person. I hope I have given them what they need to thrive and enjoy life. He told me the fact I wonder and worry says I most likely did. I’m thankful to be able to sit with him and speak openly.

Here we are in two blinks at High School Graduation. We will be loud and proud when she is announced. I mean seriously, is anyone going to wait to cheer once all graduates have been called. We will once more reach a milestone of letting go a little more. It is time to allow her more independence (if you know my youngest -she is the definition of independent and confident) and watch her spread her wings and soar.

Eighteen years just doesn’t seem long enough at times. Basically, we are teaching our children how to live on their own and hope we did it right so they come home. I know I look forward to Family Weekend and breaks so we can adventure and spend time. I know she will be “Homeward Bound” and I need not worry. Amazing our biggest gift is one we have to let go and allow to thrive and create a life of their own. I have to say it is all worth it and the pride when we see our children happy, enjoying life and thriving is a great gift. My cup runneth over.

God bless you, God keep you and God watch over you!

The Happy Mileurs

Weekend of Art

First we want to wish all the Mom’s a very Happy Mother’s Day – fur babies included. We hope your day has been filled with love and joy!In my world there is nothing like a weekend filled with family, friends and art! This weekend has been full of both and a lot of love! Lunch with the children and grandchildren to celebrate Mother’s Day. My oldest treated us to lunch out on Friday and my oldest daughter cooked a beautiful meal Saturday afternoon. Saturday was also art events and date night.We had the pleasure of attending the Fine Arts Fair in Peoria Heights and the Opening Reception for “Everchanging” at the Preston Jackson Gallery at the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois.The Fine Art Fair was filled with artwork. We met painters, photographers, jewelers, ceramic artists, sculptors, glass blowers and more. It was a wonderful stroll filled with tents of beautiful pieces and artists excited to share their work.Our evening was spent at CAC for the opening reception of “Everchanging” featuring artwork by Doug and Eileen Leunig and Gene Mialkowski on the second floor. The works complimented each other and are thought provoking.We took our time viewing the work and feeling our stress melt away as we viewed the Everchanging screens of nature caught in motion by the Leunigs. Imagine a screen with trees at sunset, slowly changing as new pieces come into view or the movement of water and all the images you can see as it moves.Gene-o brought relaxing pieces sculpted in metal. The pieces draw to mind the calmness of nature and the flow. The mini flow series created by Gene-o is fabulous. Gene’s home studio is at The Mill and is a great stop on First Friday. He enjoys sharing his work and teaching others how he creates.The third floor featured encaustic work created by Elizabeth Davis. Her work is incredible and shows depth. Elizabeth has a studio at CAC on the third floor and is very open to questions on how she creates such stunning works of art.Kevin and I enjoyed hearing the passion and love in each artist’s voice when speaking about their work. We agree it is important to think about our environment and how our own actions have an effect on the world. The exhibits are fantastic!Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We truly enjoy sharing our world with all of you.Until next time, God Bless.The Happy Mileurs

Artist Talk

It was an honor and a thrill to speak at the 4th Annual Tea Party in Alburnett, Iowa this weekend. The ladies came in dressed to the nines with fancy hats. We shared tea, snacks and conversation before my Artist Talk.

I discussed where I began and where I am now. It is humbling when you remember where you started and necessary so we do not forget the beginning. My table was set with a lovely lavender cloth covered in lace. Jewelry and tools set on display for our talk.

We had a wonderful time talking about art and that it is in my heart and feeds my soul. Several women asked questions during the talk. Several women came to the table after and we talked about the art they create. It was a great afternoon with these 24 women.

My heartfelt thank you to all who attended. I hope I was able to make you smile and inspire you to do what you love. Thank you for listening and giving me the opportunity to share my love of the arts with all of you!

Until next time. God Bless.

The Happy Mileurs