Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Things

Hello! I've got a quick question for you: What things make you Happy? Well, while going through the books and magazines to ready my parent’s home for an estate sale, I came upon an issue of Country Living where author Mary Randolph Carter had written an  article and within  was this marvelous snippet, “… I’ve learned not to let guilt or someone else’s taste overcome the pleasure of my desire. Let yourself fall in love with something that simply makes you happy.” What a wonderful statement. 

How often do we let something other than our heart dictate what we like? Glitter is tacky. Primary colors are for kids. Sweet is unsophisticated. Pastels are passé. Whatever. So many rules for what we are supposed to like.

Yes, as we become more educated and are exposed to new experiences, we are able to understand and appreciate items that at first don’t draw us in. In the realm of food, think coffee, red wind, and caviar. Rare is the person who adored any of those at first but then once the taste is developed … mmm! In art it is similar; some works become more amazing once the context and concepts are understood.

I remember the first time I read the book “Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees” by Robert Irwin. A light bulb went off and non-representational art suddenly became much more accessible and interesting. I could appreciate what before had seemed only simple, or ugly, or boring. Well, unless it had pretty bright colors then I'd probably liked it regardless -just call me MAGPIE.

Which brings me back to my original topic (yes, detours are the rule here in my blog, not the exception)  As new horizons open up before us, we shouldn’t let that child-like “gut” love be covered up. You know that almost instantaneous reaction to something that calls to you. Maybe it is cute, or nostalgic, or simply brings a smile to your face. That’s the beauty -it doesn’t matter what it is that makes it sing. That unconscious reaction is personal and unique, just like you.

A few of my own happy things :)
Indulge you inner self occasionally and sprinkle little things you love about your space: a tiny toy car tucked up on a shelf, a bouquet of bright paper flowers on the night stand, a quaint painted rock placed by the fireplace, a dried heart shaped leaf pinned to a bulletin board, a slightly rusted antique watering can nestled in the garden, a sweet little art print (yes, like any of mine -hint, hint) displayed beside your computer, whatever makes your heart fuzzy inside. Cost, importance, or permanence isn't important. Don't get caught up on whether your mother-in-law will approve or if it is going to match your sofa. 

For me, creating and viewing the etsy treasuries as well as pinterest boards is a digital way of collecting these "happys". While creating art, it is getting lost in decorative papers, swooshing creamy paints on with my fingers, and tweaking the tiny details to give just the right expression to one of my girl's faces. In life, it is spending time savouring special relationships and enjoying everyday moments: laughing, dreaming, dancing ... -but that is getting too broad for this little post to share tonight, but definitely something to ponder for another day though.

Ok now I am sort of jumping around in thoughts again but I've had a notion to set up a framed print in my hall and make a ritual of switching out the image with the seasons and holidays. (The connection: It makes me happy) I already kind of do this for Christmas as I have a couple favorite holiday prints from old calendars and small originals I've collected through the years that I bring out and display for the month of December then tuck back into storage the rest of the year. It's fun and I look forward to seeing them. But now I really think I will start a little collection of my own art as prints all the same size that I can switch out of a designated frame each month. Maybe it could be the beginning of a calendar set. Hmmmm -I'll have to think about this :)

Well good evening (or morning or afternoon depending on what time a day it is when you read this) I hope your week is full of happy surprises!

Music for tonight (an oldie): Gary Wright singing Dream Weaver

And below, the finished Ashton Artwork with collaged bits of Go Dog Go and Across the Universe Sheet Music. I posted progress pics in an earlier blog and figured it might be nice for folks to see the finished product (or almost finished as I did a little more but this is the last scan I made before sending it off)


  1. This was a very fun read. I love the thought of a changing library of seasonal themed artwork right at the entrance of your home.

  2. Thanks for the comment!
    This will be the year :)