Welcome to 2nd Tuesday – October 2015

11147134_10204908432502730_6917913514992692505_nIt feels like – and according to the calendar it is, October. I was in several stores today however and wasn’t quite certain of the month. In one, near the hardware section, I activated the motion sensor decoration of a ghoul holding a knife. As I passed it mechanically growled, “Prepare to die. You have nowhere to run.” A few feet away and on the other side the aisle I walked past a plastic holly wreath which started singing, “There’s No Place like Home for the Holidays.” Really? Not according to the ghoul.  In another store and just past a table display boasting a bountiful Thanksgiving setting with raffia turkeys and gourds as a centerpiece a lighted Christmas tree was adorned with white-glittered spider decorations. Across from this ambivalent tree was a display of close-out-summer-patterned plastic dishes and a bundle of tiki torches boasting, “Stock Up and Save Big On End-of-Season Items for Next Summer’s Picnics.”

Once outside of the stores I felt strangely grounded and oriented. The temperatures have cooled, the leaves in the parking lot were turning, and as I was getting into my truck a large delta of Canada geese passed overhead. I looked up to their migration and the feelings of being afflicted with – what I’ve come to call – SDD (seasonal-decoration-disorder) began to pass. I knew once again it was October. We rush and blend the seasons.

We had an unusually long and beautiful summer here in Oregon. I was busy with the work of several shows, we had serious and concerning illnesses occurring with friends and a family member, the news of the world seemed worse by the day and here I fortunately find myself in another October, able to grouse about commercialism in one moment and in the next look up at the wonder of migrating birds.

The October issue of 2nd Tuesday has much to do with the things of life that personally help me wade through the challenges of the world and the crazy-making thrust of commercialism – gratitude, mindfulness, the seeking out of the positive that can be found in the unfortunate rubble of news, and the continued ability and opportunity to create visual objects.

There are several articles on finding gratitude in this month’s issue, one on the science and benefits of the practice of gratitude and another by Craig Fuller, a good friend who, despite the severest of challenges, wakes each day to identify the beauty in the world. And there is a video on gratitude that was made by another friend of mine, which after seeing will change the very way you view your next breath.

I’ve written a piece about signs, those symbols in life that inform us that we are in the midst of change, another article on the wonder of honeybees and how they transition into winter and serve as a metaphor of the way we ourselves should approach the changing of the season, and included in this issue is the beautiful artwork of Leslie Wood-Kamman.

There is a brief excerpt from my book that I can honestly own as my experience of a afterlife, a beautiful film on the gratitude and resiliency of elephants and their reverence for their ancestors, and a recipe for a delicious and easy to make fall soup to be served in those dishes that speak of the spirits of our parents and grandparents.

I am currently the artist in residence in the AIR Gallery through December. I’ve invited some of my favorite artists to join me during this experience to talk with you, demonstrate their skills and include you in some of their projects. A schedule of these events is included. I will be in the AIR Gallery every Friday 12 – 6 p.m. through December and hope to see many of you in the gallery’s upcoming shows.

….and what would a fall day be without some beautiful music and the antics of a squirrel?

Welcome to 2nd Tuesday. Welcome to an October moment devoid of dancing turkeys and singing Christmas wreaths.

Images  and artwork from the past month

Sunset off the deck October 10

Sunset off the deck October 10

Dragonfly that spent the night on our deck

Dragonfly that spent the night on our deck

Detail of 'Knight That Says Ni' helmet I've made for Rites of Fall Show

Detail of ‘Knight That Says Ni’ helmet I’ve made for Rites of Fall Show

Detail from 48" assemblage for the Rites of Fall show

Detail from 48″ assemblage for the Rites of Fall show

Detail of a gourd mask finished with encaustic medium

Detail of a gourd mask finished with encaustic medium