New Studio, Dedicated!
I basked in the company of family, friends and well-wishers who came out to celebrate the new studio last weekend. Thanks to all, including those of you who sent your blessings from afar!
No one actually demanded it, but I had the urge to give a short speech (voluntarily, which still astounds the mortally shy child within me). I shared two appreciations and two dedications—which I’m expanding to three here.
First, I expressed gratitude to the attendees, those present and those to come (including you!), for their support and collaboration. And I thanked my partner Mark for joining me on this journey, and for offering to store his camping gear elsewhere so that I can have the entire garage-turned-art-studio to myself. 🙂 Muchisimas gracias, mi amor!
I’d Like to Dedicate this Space...
To My Grandmas. I dedicate my beautiful studio space to the memory of my two grandmothers. One of them, Vera, I knew well. She and my grandpa Orrin were with us for nearly every holiday and celebration throughout my childhood. Grandma always had a project at her elbow: She crocheted afghans, knitted baby caps and booties for local maternity wards, and stitched holiday decorations for church bazaars. Arthritis slowed her hands in the later chunk of her 95 years, but it didn’t stop her. My kids and I still display her sweet little yarn ornaments each Christmas. I also inherited a slice of her love for poetry.
I had no relationship with my other grandmother. I'd forget about her existence for years and years at a time, I’m sorry to say. It was only about a month ago that I memorized her name for good (Doris Wog Gehri), discovered her date of birth, and learned that she’d been adopted by an aunt and uncle after her mother died during childbirth. The only things I really knew about Doris while growing up were: a) she had bad luck with husbands, and b) she was an artist.
I want to honor the memory and spirit of these two women—and all my female ancestors—partly because of the art connection, but mostly to acknowledge my privilege and mark the “progress” in our lineage. In their wildest dreams, my predecessors never could have imagined having a whole small building to themselves in which to teach and make things and operate an art business. Not many women in the entire history of humankind have had this opportunity. It’s a milestone. I’m eager to share this powerful feminine energy with you during your next visit, regardless of your gender. I’ve set up an altar in the space to honor and welcome this spirit.
To the Concept of Wabi-Sabi. The detached garage that houses my new art studio is over a hundred years old. There is nothing square or plumb about it—just ask our contractors! The joists were all different sizes, the walls are bowed in, the ceiling joints are wonky and uneven, and the floor is a bit wavy. Serious carpentry skills were required to get the doors to both hang right and open.
It’s beautiful and I love it!
We—the building and I—are ready for all of your imperfect attempts at making things. In fact, the tables are already covered with splatters of paint, so you don’t need to worry about leaving stray marks. Stray marks are the whole point.
Art is not about achieving perfection. Rather, it’s about telling the truth of who you are. Being honest with your ideas. Finding the uniqueness of you in your mark-making. Exploring what intrigues you. Showing your full messy complicated human self.
The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi captures this notion of finding beauty in what is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Sounds like real life, no? Cast your not-talented and not-creative and not-good-enough worries aside and let’s begin!
To Healing. Finally, as my chalkboard says, the studio space is dedicated to H E A L I N G —whatever kind you need: spiritual, relational, physical, emotional, generational, religious, political, societal… Art heals, period. Let’s get our hands to work crafting the wellness that our hearts and bodies crave. Peace be with us all on this journey toward heal-th.
Studio Photo Tour
See more studio photos here. **If you’re prone to Comparison-itis, note this: I staged these to look as impressive as possible! I scooted my stained teacup out of the frame, moved things that were distracting, and generally pretended to be a real photographer. But this is a hard-working space, which means its normal state will be “messy with a dose of chaos.” I’ll straighten the place up before we begin our class, and then we’ll cut loose together. An art studio is not meant to be tidy—what would be the point of that??
Sign Up for Spring Classes
I can’t wait to welcome you into this magical space!