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The Muse in the Kitchen

January 2, 2014

Make Art

Just for a brief time this past week, I experienced what Robert Henri was referring to in this quote. It doesn’t happen all the time, or even very often. But if I could bottle it, I would. Then I could go out into the studio and open the bottle every morning.

But something inexplicable happened on New Year’s Eve. I was working on some collages at my kitchen table, because I needed to stay near my little dog, who has to stay in her crate due to an injured leg.* The ideal place for her is in the kitchen, where she can see all the exciting things that are going on in her day. And she needs to be able to see her humans.

Suppertime was approaching, and that afternoon I had created three collages that made me pretty pleased with myself. No false starts, no frustrating blocks — just “flow.” Then, as I was reluctantly getting ready to pack it all up and quit for the day, I looked again at that “spread” of wonderful papers. Immediately I could see all kinds of possibilities for fun compositions, and knew I had to keep going. So I did.

I wasn’t in the studio. I wasn’t playing meditative or even stimulating music. I was just simply sitting at my kitchen table surrounded by household noise and activity, with the simple materials of my artmaking. It was just a small moment in time, of being in that wonderful state that makes art inevitable. Here is a peek at the results. Final orientations aren’t necessarily what you are seeing here. I’ll have these up on the blog individually as soon as I can get them scanned.

New Collages 1

May you have many moments of “flow” in this new year.

*Doggie Notes: Our little Abby girl ruptured the ACL in her left back leg a few days ago. We are keeping her on crate rest — and trips outside are on a leash only — until she can have surgery to repair it, which is scheduled for next week. Our vet was going out of town, and wanted to wait so he could be here for her after the surgery. We agreed that it was best to do that. Surgery is optional for this kind of injury in dogs, but the chances of complications are greater without it. She is on pain meds and seems to be in pretty good spirits under the circumstances. I feel so sad for her, but am optimistic about her eventual healing and rehab.

Abby in the Garden Sm
Here she is in the garden last summer. She’ll be out there again soon.


27 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2014 9:41 am

    Great quote, thank you! I read a book Henri wrote many years ago and was much inspired, still am.

    • January 2, 2014 10:07 am

      Gretchen, I had that one, I’ll bet. It’s The Art Spirit. Don’t know what happened to mine — probably lent it to another artist! 😉 Thanks so much for visiting. I love your blog and am now a follower. Take care, and have a great new year!

  2. January 2, 2014 9:48 am

    Love it when that happens Martha! Wishing your little dog a quick recovery and Happy New Year!

  3. patqu permalink
    January 2, 2014 10:26 am

    Your puppy will be up and about in no time I am sure wondering what all the fuss was about.
    Love the collages. I love it when art falls in place. What type of paper are they glued to?

    • January 2, 2014 3:14 pm

      Thanks, Pat — for the art feedback and for the positive vibes for the doggie. The backings for my collages are always acid free, and I like to use fairly heavy paper. It’s not always the same thing, but just regular good drawing or watercolor paper.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    January 2, 2014 10:40 am

    I love this quote, thank you. I brought an easel in the house because the studio is so cold and takes to long to heat up.
    My furry girl who is always by myside has had 2 acl surgeries (cronic squirrel chaser). She has never fully recovered and wonder if it would have been better NOT to have the surgeries.

    • January 2, 2014 3:19 pm

      Anonymous, I’m glad you liked that quote. As for the dog surgery, I’m not keen on surgery in general for anything. I just hope it helps her. I know that if we didn’t do it we’d always wonder if we did the right thing. But I know what you mean. You have the same situation in reverse. The dog next door is a squirrel chaser as well. She doesn’t get a lot of veterinary care. At some point a few years ago she injured her back leg, and the family doesn’t even know how it happened. Never had it looked at. But now she runs just as fast, and the only thing that holds her back is that in cold weather she holds her foot up. Sometimes I go over and gently massage her leg and she seems to love that. I feel sure she had the same thing happen.

  5. January 2, 2014 1:33 pm

    Such little gems…when we least expect it. Good luck with Abby…hope she’s soon A OK.

    • January 2, 2014 3:23 pm

      Thank you, Jo. I know, I love when it happens. I appreciate the good thoughts re Abby too.

  6. January 2, 2014 10:18 pm

    My dog was 10 when she ruptured her ACL, she had surgery and was back to new in no time. We didn’t go on quite as long walks after, but she wasn’t in pain any longer. They recover so quickly….best wishes to her for a quick recovery!

    • January 2, 2014 10:57 pm

      Thank you, artquiltgirl! That means a lot. Abby is 11 (give or take – a rescue) and yet she’s as energetic as a young dog. Crossing our fingers and hoping for the best.

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