Three years ago, I decided to give the whole “word of the year” thing a try. In predictable Amelia fashion, I turned it into an art project. I started with “Listen” and then moved to “Trust” last year. I held fast to those ideas all year long and they deeply affected how I moved throughout the year because they created, in Melinda Gate’s words…”a gradual change in mindset.” I found myself being more open and curious as I learned to “listen” and more bold in action and faith as I learned to “trust.” So what is this year’s word?
Can a painting become a prayer? Or can a prayer become a painting? This is my challenge for the 2022 25 Days of Minis Collection. Why? In the last 2-3 years, my work has become more and more intertwined with my faith and I was curious what the next layer of growth and combination might be.
I've been in my new studio for about a month. The studio warming party was last weekend and we had a blast. I got to show people around. It felt like Christmas, a birthday party, and an open house all at the same time. While it's awesome to be in this new space, I've found the move to be more transformative than I expected. Folks had been telling me that moving out of my home studio would change things, but I had no idea how much.
I’m a complete and whole human being without the presence of tasks and work. I can joyfully and fearlessly lay down all the balls I’m juggling and nothing terrible happens.
This is something I never would have discovered or believed had I not removed work and tasks from my life for a 24-hour period of time, once a week. I’m so glad I did. In fact, I think it has changed me in the most profound way possible. And it continues to change me and shape me into a person that knows how to trust, rest, surrender and just be.
The words we use and focus on say a lot about what is going on in our minds and hearts. In my art, I’ve found myself focusing on a lot of kinder, quieter words, but also words that are more playful. Why? Because in the day to day, I’m fighting for my soul. It's funny, I say them to my sons all the time and my friends because I know they are so important, but I don't really speak them to my own heart. If I'm not paying attention, I will get to the end of the day feeling "soul-tired" from words I speak to myself like "not enough," "too much" or "if only." Creating art from the words that I want in my life is just one way I feed my soul and fight for it. It's how I lean in to grace and love.
What does a studio practice look like? Every artist has a different way of doing their regular creating and producing in their work space. So the answer is that it looks different for every artist and often, practices changes through time. An artist learns what works and what doesn’t. My studio practice has changed through the years as my schedule has changed (becoming a mom really changes your schedule!) and as my methods have changed.
As I run down our development sidewalks, I look at all the trees….some of them are small, some are large. There are bean trees, maples, aspens, cottonwoods, pear trees, etc. Each one is different and lovely. I’m drawn to trees. It’s taken me months of introspection and thought work to figure out why, and it has drawn me back to my childhood where my love for trees started.
I’ve had a box of early 1900s newspapers for several years. A large majority of it contains news and info about World War I. Every time I would use some of the papers for a piece, I would avoid those sections because I didn’t think they had anything to say for my work or anything to say to me or to people who view my work.
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