Thankful Thursday - Pets, Poetry, and Human Kindness

For as long as I can recall, there has been a dog in my life…  As a child, we often had more than one.  During my late teens and early 20s, I was often the “god mother” of a friend or family member’s dog(s) when I was not able to have my own.  There has been the odd cat (or three), a handful of gold fish/betas, and the errant rodent (hamster, gerbil, etc.) over the years; my heart has always gravitated toward the canine, though…  Last week was a particularly difficult one, as I said good by to my latest canine campanion – the lovely Wito left this world on 6/12/18.  She adopted us over 11 years ago, and it seems a great deal more still in this place since she took her leave.

   RIP Lady Wito Marie Arrowood -- You were dearly loved and will be sorely missed

RIP Lady Wito Marie Arrowood -- You were dearly loved and will be sorely missed

Grief has an inimitable way of staunching the flow of creativity.  It mutes the stimulation of the larger world – blocking things, as though in a cocoon – sounds are muffled, colors dimmed, and joys diminished.  I find that turning to the creative works of others is both comforting and inspiring at such times.  A long-time admirer of the poet Mary Oliver, I immediately recalled this gem in the days that followed Wito’s last.

As grateful as I am for the privilege of having had this dearest of dogs in my life for over a decade, and for the means with which I have found solace in her absence, I am fully amazed and so mightily thankful for the kindness of my various circles of humans.  My spirits have been repeatedly lifted in the past week by words of comfort from friends far and near.  I have said often that I am so, so very lucky.

   A sentiment to treasure from a precious friend (the art and words of  Brian Andreas ):  comfort and inspiration, hand in hand.

A sentiment to treasure from a precious friend (the art and words of Brian Andreas):  comfort and inspiration, hand in hand.

It seems that Life holds no shortage of reminders of this fact.

…and that only gives me all the more for which to be thankful!

Until next time,
 ~ PLA

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Thankful Thursday - Natural Beauties

Lately I find that the natural world is informing my creative work more and more.  While I cannot clearly express the ‘why’ of this, I am immensely grateful for these ongoing occurrences.  It is interesting to me that there doesn’t seem to be a singular theme to this trend – it’s not only references to trees, or water, or birds – it’s the whole of it:  the grimy inconveniences and unfortunate turns of the weather along with the Magritte-esque skies and Monet-like moments among the lily pads.

I just love the reflection of the trees and sky in the water, here...

Whether I am capturing the essence of a place, as in my Oceansong series, or jotting a quick Haiku to remember a moment:  it is increasingly the beauties of nature that appear – again and again.  One might argue that perhaps I am a bit more aware and therefore more receptive to these cues; however, it seems ‘bigger’ than that (?)  Whatever the impetus, I am loving the outcome!

Oceansong I -- an ode to the colors and songs of the sea

My latest workshop offering also takes a turn on the carousel of loveliness provided by the profundity of this time of year.  Print Naturally is a fun-filled look at nature printing with the GELLI Plate (a synthetic gelatin plate for monoprinting).  I absolutely love the riotous merging of Spring into Summer – everything is so fresh and lush and GREEN.  Trees, vines, shrubbery, and agricultural endeavors blend harmoniously into the most amazing assortment of hues – it can be somewhat overwhelming!?  Later in the Summer, everything gets so bedraggled from the heat and battering of summer storms.  But now, NOW things are at their verdant peak!  *sw00n!*

Print Naturally -- a workshop that focuses on capturing the beauties of nature

An added bonus to the Your Creative Connection experience is the copious beauty of the locations for each of our events.  All of the photos on our website were taken at the Haw River State Park, where we will convene for four glorious days of creative exploration in October.  The play of light through the trees, the gentle breeze whispering its secrets to the Long Leaf Pines, and the twinkle of stars in a clear night sky…  We can hardly wait to revel in this hide-away of natural inspiration with you!  Registration is quick and easy – you can reserve your seat today with the payment of your deposit ($150).  Please note:  today (05/31) is the last day to take advantage of our 3-payment option.  Take a look around, and please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Until next time!
 ~PLA