No Bull, This Art Sparks Joy!

What does The Houston Rodeo and Marie Kondo’s Netflix show have in common? Nothing, but that’s not how my mind works. I can lasso a tangent faster than you can process my last sentence. Even though I read her book a couple of years ago, I’m still dealing with clutter and still wonder what brings me the most joy. I didn’t find the expression “spark joy” helpful when dealing with things like pots and pans, or cleaning supplies and many other things that I need and use. It doesn’t help when curating art work, either, because I just want more!

After watching “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” on Netflix the other day, I  turned on the news. They were covering the music line up for the upcoming Houston Rodeo. In addition to an excellent collection of country and western entertainment (if that’s your thing) there were also acts like Cardi-B, Zedd, Camilla Cabello and Santana. Music was sparking joy. It also makes me happy that I live in an area so diverse and inclusive that Cardi-B is performing at the rodeo.

In honor of this year’s rodeo, I’m presenting some paintings from Texas artists that spark joy in me. Full disclosure; I did not know until I drafted this piece, that males and females of some cattle breeds have horns. So, some of these longhorns are, in fact, not bulls. Read on…. Continue reading

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Just The Cats, Ma’am!

Its’ been over a month since I’ve written. I could say that I’ve been busy with the holidays and flipping a house, but the truth is I’ve set a goal to write about people and their art (rather than just art) and now find myself obsessing over details and what impression the subjects may have.

I wrote earlier about writing and what a relief it was to write about what I wanted, when I wanted. It’s as if things don’t seem normal without the self-imposed pressure we place upon ourselves to be more something, to write about something.

Like pets. Most people have them, but ours are somehow more special. We are quite sure of this. Why am I comfortable writing a blog about cats and not about someone who has impressed me? If I write from my point of view, then no one can argue. It’s mine. Writer and life coach Tania Carrierre told me to write about what I’ve fallen in love with – even if it’s just about a few moments, they are my moments and only I can know whether they are accurate.

For now, I’ll be paying attention to how my cats purr and play, then write about it because they are clearly cuter than yours! Then tomorrow, I will write about my impressions of someone I’ve met, or music, or old friends.  It might even be you.

 

IMG_7386 (1) Rocket

Rocket, Detective and Research Assistant

 

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Pebbles, Editor in Chief

A Bias for Street Art

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.” 

From “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

Last month I spent a week in Molokai, Hawaii at a women’s retreat called The Life Reimagined. Some of our workshop guidance on interaction was inspired by this poem. One of the rules was to get to know and support each other without talking about our “back-stories,” one of which is what one does for a living. Recently retired, I found not being able to talk about careers pretty challenging.  “What do you like most about your job, without telling me what it is? “What would you be doing more of if you got paid for it?” “What were you doing before you arrived here?” With some adjustment, my open-ended questions started to reveal the dreams and passions of my fellow retreat-mates. Continue reading

Artist on a Tear – Jacqueline Stubbs

Day light savings has ended and I have more time to write….or rearrange furniture because what I’m feeling is “ants-in-my-pants” instead of creativity. I was furniture shopping on-line yesterday. I imagined how a white leather sofa could brighten things up. How would my eclectic taste for Danish and Japanese furnishings, accented by large-scale cat castles, do with a high-tech, low profile leather sofa injected into it? Then I glanced up at one of my favorite paintings and started thinking of my Mom. She was a master at mixing things up; artwork, interior design, colors…I’ve been meaning to write more artist features. Why not start by covering my own Mom? This feature is about her. Continue reading

Frame Job – Vintage Framing

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Along with the love of art and photography comes my obsession with framing. Vintage framing. Growing up, I always had a large collection of frames in which placed photos of friends and family. I preferred antique or vintage frames, but any frame would do. In part, this was due to my military brat upbringing and the longing to hold on to memories of friends after multiple moves or family I rarely saw (and in some cases never knew.) But I also think I got this from my Mother,  Artist Jacqueline Stubbs. She was the same way. Every time I moved, one of her contributions to my unpacking would be the creation of a family wall. Here is one of her with me as an infant, on my current family wall. In this case the frame and the photo are vintage!! Continue reading

Women Are Persons – Go Girls!

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Today is International Day of the Girl. After so much political, partisan, media fueled conflict in recent days, I was happy to see positive things pop up in my news feeds this morning.

One year ago today, I visited Ottawa Parliament Hill. Les femmes sont des personnes! I posed for this “tongue in cheeky” photo. Pure Kismet that it popped up in my “Facebook memories” on the International Day of the Girl. I then started reading my news briefs and discovered the Obama Foundation had launched the Global Girls Alliance. Still feeling hopeful…….

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The Politics of Hopefulness

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This is me. Stepping out of my “political walk-in closet.” I need that much room for all my questions and concerns. I got so discouraged this week after seeing personal attacks on Facebook and NextDoor from people who are supposed to be friends and neighbors! I really didn’t want to write this blog. I write about art, travel and family. I’m writing it anyway because its out of my comfort zone – and all that. Continue reading

The Art of Trees – Orcas Island Madronas

I love trees and artful expression of trees. If I’ve had no recent revelations to blog about, I can always express myself through the art of trees. I was recently travelling with these arty folks again. We all love photography, painting and looking at art. Per chance, we rented a house on East Sound, right next door to Leo Lambiel’s home and art museum.

We arrived in time to experience our first sunset on the pines and madronas of our bluff. Even though my Mom’s family is from and still lives in Washington, I don’t recall noticing madronas on earlier visits. I wasn’t familiar with their curvy branches and stunningly red bark. They always look like the sun is setting on them. Here on Orcas Island, we were constantly reminded of their presence in natural settings as well as in the community’s artwork. Continue reading

Pottery on Orcas Island

 

 

IMG_5582 (1) berry bowls

I took one of these home.

I missed a prime whale photo op because I was looking at pottery. Berry bowls. I was taking pictures of berry bowls while Mark was watching a whale off Orcas Island, WA. When I planned my trip to Orcas Island, I dreamed of daily trail hikes to the beach and ocean kayaking amongst the whales. It was quite cool and windy = cold as heck, plus the whales aren’t too happy with humans right now. We decided to go look at pottery one day instead. Continue reading