Looking at art can start a flow of thoughts and feelings that define a moment and begin an enquiry. We become curious about what inspired the artist and how they used their medium to make the artwork. A work of art, rare or ordinary, can be a portal for creative investigation when we are open to observing what we see, what we imagine, and what evolves in our internal and external observation. You may ask, why did the artist make the artwork and what is it that attracts your attention? What story does it tell? What conversation comes alive in you? Continue Reading
Indoor gardeners are a hopeful bunch. We keep the blossoms and greenery of our favorite house plants alive and lovely. Whatever the season, they bring color, texture, and freshness to the home or office. A common spider plant, philodendron, or orchid never ceases to surprise a humble gardener with their resilience, even when watering is neglected or it is left on a drafty window sill.
In the last frosty weeks of winter, my hands are longing for the feel of dirt. This is when I force spring bulbs. In the fall I buy a variety that I store in a cool spot until March, then I plant them in small decorative pots. Hyacinths are easy to force in soil or water, and within a few weeks, a fragrant, long-lasting bloom sweetens the air. I also start a mix of daffodils in larger pots that will go on the porch to be activated by the bright vernal light, once the nights warm. Forcing bulbs is a heartening ritual that brings strength to my bones and a feeling of being rooted and ready for a new season of growth. Continue Reading
Community arts matter to our personal and collective wellness. A creative community is happier, healthier, and more productive. Everyone at every age benefits when their local culture nurtures opportunities for creative engagement and learning. Cultivation of group expression is good for the individual and, like all aspects of a healthy community, what’s good for the individual is good for the whole.
The expressive arts connect people in a communal place and shared experience. Natural locations, cultural institutions, public spaces, festivals, fairs, and familiar surroundings can be local venues for art-making, art-taking, and art-giving. We can make art with community at classes or workshops, and in organized groups that focus on shared interests. We can take art with community at events or performances that feature visual art, theatre, music, or narrative mediums. We can give art with community through supporting local arts, joining a collaborative, and by volunteering for creative causes to help others. These activities build social capital and a commonwealth of interests within a population. Continue Reading