Neighborhood Art and Walking

There are always so many wonderful activities in our neighborhood. Generally, I neglect to take advantage of any of them. Fortunately, one of my neighbor friends is good at making the most of these opportunities and she invited me along for an open studio tour in our neighborhood the other weekend.

I had no idea how many working artists there are in our neighborhood.  We visited just a few of those closest to us.  Our adventure was also a great chance to get my steps in for the day – bonus!

It was so neat to get to meet these neighbors, be welcomed into their home studios, and learn about their work.

One of the artists we visited is a well-known architect (I recognized his name, but I can’t remember it now of course) who is retired and now makes whimsical found-object art.  Many of his pieces incorporated beer bottle caps.  I told him about the beer bottle caps that I have been collecting for a project that I haven’t started yet. He was genuinely interested and made me promise to come back next year with photos.  So now I have a deadline (which is SO helpful for me).  Don’t worry, I will be blogging about this project once I get around to it.

At another stop the woman told us about how she decided to create “love” themed artwork in order to bring more love into the world. She decided that she would create one piece of “love” themed art every day. I thought that was a very nice idea.  Most of her pieces are fun hand lettering doodles, some more elaborate than others.  It was interesting to see the volume of work she created around just this one idea.  She told us that she found it also served as a mindfulness exercise to remind her to be loving in all her actions daily.  It served as a touchstone for her.

I thought it was very loving when she asked us both what kind of art we make.  Before, I would have muttered some lame excuse that I used to be a dancer, and draw and paint a long time ago, blah, blah, blah.  I have to tell you guys that I had a shiny feeling in my heart when I told her that these days, I was focusing on my writing and that I had started a blog.  It was special for me to be able to have a definite answer about how I’m directing my creative energy.  I still have too many ideas about things that I would like to be creating, but at least now, I have one thing that I have committed to doing regularly.

This woman also had a whole series that she had created on one-inch squares of different kinds of paper.  She said that it was inspired by a time that she didn’t feel like she had time to create art daily.  She decided that she always had at least enough time to create 1” square of art and that some days that would be enough.  When we were leaving, she gave us both a handful of squares and told us that we could also find enough time, energy, and motivation to make 1” of art.  I’m looking forward to designating a week to try it out and will be sure to share the results with you when I do.

I don’t know what the favorite part of this adventure was for me.  The top things that come to mind are:

  • Meeting new neighbors.
  • Looking at different, interesting artwork.
  • Being inspired and encouraged to create my own work.
  • Spending time walking/talking with my neighbor friend.

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