Monday, January 16, 2012

How and Why part 1

Winter has finally come to these woods. It has taken the long route getting here. An extended brown fall followed by a warm brown December followed by 2 weeks of cold brown January...but no snow here during the whole of it except for a few soggy inches back around Halloween. I've never seen the likes of this sort of strangeness. Everything feels wrong...but none of us here are complaining because we knew what it should be like and we are happy to have the cold and snow holding off a wee bit longer.
The long, extended dry spell gave us all a rare chance to take care of chores we don't often get to do in early winter. In my case it was to collect more Faerie house materials in the forests and along the river. Yes, it was cold sometimes but the lack of snow made the collecting very easy. It also made magic along the river.

I've been writing a lot lately. Mostly trying to find the right words for my book, which is in process. I've been trying to understand and then describe why I do what I do... it has been very challenging to find the words... any words to wrap around the waves that rise up and push me forward into the creative process.

It used to be that when I would look upon a scene such as this, a magical creation made by the river all by herself, it was enough to just drink it gaze in wonder and marvel at the magic. It was enough to just find such treasures, photograph them, perhaps try and paint them but mostly, it was a passive process of receiving the gift of the moment, straight from Nature Herself. And I always felt very grateful to be allowed to witness such Beauty.

But something mysterious happens when you take yourself and step into the frame, and begin to have a dialog directly with the landscape. When you start to co-create together WITH the landscape. That is another feeling altogether. That is the part I am having the most difficulty trying to describe. But I keep trying because I want to have an answer to the question : "Why do this work?"

I have come to realize that basically, for me, there seem to be 4 primary motivations:

1) Because sometimes, something in the landscape calls to me to come and work with it
2) Because sometimes, design elements in the materials themselves delight me so much that I want to play with the shapes and forms
3) Because sometimes I am given a vision and I feel the challenge to try and bring it into form
4) Because I know there are others who feel as I do and together we are keeping portals and doorways open between the Visible and the Invisible worlds... and when I am doing this work then I feel that I am part of that Tribe and I feel connected to a sense of purpose.

So when I finished with my bit of writing this morning, trying to wrestle the dragon of my creative impulses onto the page long enough to take form into words, I felt unsure about whether I would ever be able to put into words everything that I felt about what I do as a creative artist, making these little creations...and just then, I looked up to see a rainbow of magical Faerie Light dance across the Dragon House. And it made me smile because I had my answer in that moment.

I used to spend time with a very magical child named Ananda. He told me once that whenever you see a rainbow on something, it was the sign of a Faerie's Kiss... that the Faeries liked something so much that they covered it with kisses and that was where the rainbows came from. Even the very, very big rainbows that we see in the sky. His story came back to me in a flood when I saw this rainbow kiss this morning... and I felt very blessed and honoured once again.

Not long after that it was time to step away from the writing and go make some lunch, so I loaded a few more logs into the firebox of the trusty wood-stove and made some soup. When it is 8 degrees below zero, making soup on the wood-stove can also be a very creative and rewarding experience!! Yum!

Next up: we go into the studio and see what is lurking there!

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Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.