The North Artists Studio Crawl occurs this weekend. I've wanted to be a part of it for years, and now I am, and I invite you to attend.
But I won't be displaying and sharing the kind of work I normally create. I'll be sharing something so close to my heart that I find it hard to talk about....
For at least a year I've felt 'called' upon to draw faces on leaves. It began not long ago when things like climate change and the current political administration began giving me anxiety attacks. Getting outside helped to calm me. And soon I was collecting leaves that 'spoke' to me and taking them home.
For weeks now, in preparation for the Art Crawl, I've been creating leaflings like crazy, and then trying hard not to let them go. I've also begun to frame them. (Have I told you that it's been suggested that I frame them?)
I love how they look framed, and I think others will love them, too. But it's not been easy for me. By putting them under glass I feel like I'm trapping them somehow! And I know it's silly for me to feel this way; well-meaning friends have assured me that their magick will still be free to escape to do its thing. Still, I'm not 100% convinced.
Up until this morning I was busy papering frames and adding little hangers. And now today I'm sort of anxious.... Maybe it's because for once I'm rather prepared instead of burning the midnight oil before a show. Whatever the reason, I feel like I'm circling a big old panic attack. Not about the crawl itself! I'm excited about the crawl! And right now I should be typing in all caps and exclamation points about how excited I am, seeing as how I've WISHED for this.
No, there's other stuff contributing today to my mood. Stuff that's out of my control. It's coming from all directions, and it's making me want to take the leaflings that I've worked so hard on and put so much magickal energy into, break their frames, and release them to the wind.
Which is why I'm at home today and not at the studio, vacuuming and organizing like I should be doing. It's the only way to keep them safe for the weekend....
Those leaflings have big jobs to do and they know it -- I've written before about why I now make them and what I think they're meant to accomplish -- and I swear I can hear them shouting to me all the way from their frames at the Rum River Art Center. They're reminding me of that creative soul in ICU right now, fighting for life. And the stranger battling deep depression. And the friend who just lost her son. And the loved one undergoing chemotherapy. And the people without hope, the butterflies fighting extinction, the bees wasting away, and the planet that's raging against the human inhabitants determined to harm it, and the fill-in-the-blank(s).... So, so, SO much healing work to do! And they want to get started....
It's a constant struggle for me to shut the door on all that breaks my heart. I know I have to. And some days are worse than others. Sadly, today is one of them, and it couldn't come at a worse time as I've got tons to do to prepare for this event. Yet, all I want to do right now is draw on leaves and let them go.... To feel like I'm helping somehow.
Perhaps that's why I'm typing this; sending out a silly distress signal in hopes that a few folks will see it, identify with me, and show up this weekend. Not to view my art, necessarily, or even see my corny little wonder-filled delightful sanctuary studio space. But to exchange a hug.
And to help share and spread the magick by taking home a leafling*.
Yes, I know they're just leaves. But they're magick. I know they are.
*Deep shaky breath*
What a tangent! Forgive me. This post was originally supposed to be about the Event, about how great it will be, and about how pleased I am to be a part of it.
That being said, here are some links to the North Artists Studio Crawl (HERE) and a map (HERE) so that you can either find me or avoid me (haha). Fourteen studios in the North Metro area (with 32 featured artists) will be open to the public both Saturday and Sunday, April 1st and 2nd, from 10AM to 6PM. All the artists are amazingly creative, talented, and WAY more emotionally stable than I am. I promise.
And I promise, too, that I'll get a dang grip by the time I see you there.
*P.S. My leaflings are available for adoption. YOU get to determine what one is worth to you. Don't worry; I won't put you on the spot. Instead, I will hand you a plain envelope. You are then welcome to put an amount you're comfortable with inside the envelope while I'm packaging up your leafling. It will all be anonymous. Unless you really want me to, I'll have no idea what's inside the envelope (or who's responsible for it) until after the day's over.... Fair? I think so. :)