04 August 2015

MY ARTISTIC VISION Simplicity [Part Two]

Last week I mentioned I am reading Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh which is inspiring me to create a clear vision and core values for myself artistically. While reading the next chapter entitled "Channelled Whelk",  I started thinking about when I was a little girl and how I loved to visit my Grandmother's house. We lived quite far away so our visits were often extended trips bulging with many a slow, hot Alabama afternoon. In the quiet hours after lunch, I liked to explore her house. I'd pretend to type imaginary stories on her old typewriter, watch the dust specks float around the array of colored glass bottles in the windows, and run my hands along the pebbled surfaces of chenille and polyester. There were so many interesting things to look at and touch.

Now I have my own home with three young children, each with their own mountain of toys. The laundry is never ending and we have a full dishwasher to run each evening. As I decide how I want to spend my time each day, I am realizing I do not want to spend it cleaning, organizing, fixing, and picking up. I want to draw, paint, play, and read.

The wonder I felt as a girl looking at all of my Grandmother's things was replaced by a sense of burden after she passed away. Our family had to sort through all of those possessions and choose what was most precious. I realized that what we held most dear was our memories and our time with her, not her things.

I have known for a while now that simplicity is important in my family life and in my home, but I could not put my finger on why until I read this, "But I want first of all - in fact, as an end to these other desires - to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can." Does this ring as true with you as it does with me?

Lindbergh also discusses how we have a choice to live a simplified or a complicated life. I often forget that. It is a choice. Warning of fragmentation, she describes how each woman's life is like a bicycle wheel with spokes raying out in every direction, with every manner of interest pulling out from the central hub. Maintaining balance and proper tension is difficult, but simplification can help. Reading all of this I came upon my first core value: Simplicity.

What does simplicity mean to me? I am not entirely sure, but for now I know that whatever I create, I want it to be clear, direct, and concise. I will strive for my voice to be authentic. As Lindbergh says, "The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere." I will put forth my best effort and edit it with a critical eye, instead of retaining distracting elements. I will not take on work that destroys the simplicity of my home.

So here's where I stand so far:
1 --- Simplicity

I will keep thinking about my vision and update you on it next week. Thanks for taking this journey with me.


  1. Great read, thank you for the reminder :0) I found your website from your mountain goat fabric on Spoonflower and happy I did.

  2. Great read, thank you for the reminder :0) I found your website from your mountain goat fabric on Spoonflower and happy I did.