One Thousand

One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”  Khaled Hosseini 

On the studio walls....

On the studio walls....

I have broken through to the other side and have a thousand followers on Instagram.  It seems like a pyrrhic achievement. What’s the big deal? It’s not the affirmation that people might think I’m cool, successful, hot, or hip. After all, there are plenty of Instagram stars. Taylor Swift probably has the same number of followers as Warren Buffet has dollars. I'm not interested in convincing anyone that my life is glamorous or that my thigh circumference is perfect. My feed is simply about my studio and the visual delights that I stumble into, and  inspire me, and my creative life.  And occasionally, something personal that intersects with my virtual visual cabinet of curiosities. So my pleasure in hitting 1K is about connection to, and with, a creative community  who want to swap images and ideas like baseball cards.

Here is what I’ve observed:

  1. I have discovered that there is a rich community of artists and visionaries that proliferate outside of the sanctioned art world who make exceptional work. Most of them have tidier studios than mine. There are many interesting voices out there that I would otherwise miss. 

  2. I can now toss around phrases like organic reach, influencer and audience engagement with impunity and earn eye rolls from my teenager.

  3. I'm still baffled by the “follow / unfollow” trend!

  4. I'm still baffled by all the thong selfies who follow me -- not a fit.

  5. I’m not sure it's such a good thing to have this quasi literacy, and not, say be fluent in Italian instead.  

  6. Launching on all of these social media platforms takes a great deal of time.

  7. To preserve your time as an artist, you need to consider hiring someone who is a professional in this world. I did this instead of buying likes. My words and images are my own of course, but I would never get anything done as a wife, mother, artist, gardener, advocate, farm manager, writer's residency host,  to name a few, if I had to market and post everything.  If you can afford it, do it. If you cannot, consider a trade or possibly using a virtual assistant! I found Maria Brannon--Lightning Flash Creative, through my friend Sissy Yates and never looked back! She's been my trustworthy spirit guide in this rather baffling social media universe. 

  8. I take the weekends off and observe an internet sabbatical. I found I was getting hooked on the endorphin of being "liked" and this was the remedy.

  9. I have results. I sell a great deal more work than I did out of my galleries or my studio, and so many of my family and friends now understand the extent to which I am a professional since they follow my narrative online.

  10. This process has reinforced my love of writing. I am now writing outside of my journals and have written a book.

  11. Finally, and most importantly, I feel gratitude to all you good people who are engaging with me in a sincere and thoughtful way. I am delighted by it. I really do feel that the world will be a better place if we all tend to a creative impulse. Truly.








November Giveaway:Bringing Potlatch Back

I have been rereading Lewis Hyde’s The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. It is so dense that I have to circle back every few years to refresh my memory. It takes some dedication, but the effort is worth it. In Hyde’s analysis of the currents surrounding creativity and art, he explores the notion of art as a form of gift giving.  He cites the Native American concept of a potlatch, where gift giving becomes a continual reciprocal exchange.  The giver and recipient switch roles, gifts moves back and forth without anxiety, ownership or one-upmanship.  According to Hyde, this approach deemphasizes commerce and preserves the original #generosity of spirit and #gratitude. To quote Walt Whitman: “The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him—it cannot fail..”

In this spirit, and as a feeble push against the commercial frenzy of the season, I am launching my own #bringingpotlatchback giveaway. At last count I have 33 small prints that are languishing in a drawer, ready to find new homes.  

Starting today, I will be posting an image, or a detail, of each available print.  If you like what you see, follow these steps TO ENTER:

1. 👉🏼Follow me on Instagram here:

2. 👉🏼Using the hashtag #bringingpotlatchback, share a source of inspiration (PG please) in the comments section: play/poem/ book/phrase/bon mot/photograph/song/painting/sculpture/movie/you name it .

3. 👉🏼Tag a friend to play along with us. (use the @ symbol before your friend’s user name to tag them in the same comment section as your inspiration)

You are contributing to an inspiration “collective” for others to enjoy, especially me, while helping me expand my online community in the process.

In turn, I will enlist the help of a hat and a set of hands, and choose the 🎉winners each Friday in November.

4. I will message the winners and all you have to do is remember to convo me your address.

5. Wait for the mail.  

6. As each print edition runs out, I will start with the next one, until they are all gone.  So as each new print appears just repeat steps 1-4.  So here is a detail of the second print……….  Good luck and Happy Holiday Season!

Win this print starting November 16th, 2015!

Win this print starting November 16th, 2015!