Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Art and Liberation

(photo courtesy of Lora R Fisher)
An interview with artist, Jan vonBergen

By Susan Gallacher-Turner

“You can feel really good everyday of your life when you do what you love, whether it’s read or do art or walk or dance or whatever you love to do. It makes you feel alive, that feeds you and gives you what you need everyday.”

In the last 3 years, Jan’s life and art has changed. Her life used to revolve around full-time teaching and family with her art making fitting in whatever space was left. It was a fulfilling puzzle with many pieces. Retirement was a mystery at first and a word Jan dislikes, “It sounds deadening. I would call it liberation.”

You can hear the rest of the interview with Jan where she talks more about art, life and liberation on the website Voices of Living Creatively. Read more!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Back to School - Pass the freshly sharpened pencils

By Susan Gallacher-Turner
It's that time of year again, back to school ads with teary-eyed moms and excited little kids clamoring onto bright yellow school buses. Ah, it does bring back many, many memories, doesn't it? As the song says, "I've been on both sides now."

As a school girl, I wore a uniform to school. I got a new white blouse, new navy socks and new shoes. The new shoes were a really big deal, especially the year I got black velveteen saddle shoes. I know sounds weird, now, but then, I loved those shoes and couldn't wait to wear them to school. My other big thrill was new school supplies. New notebook, binder paper, dividers(at least these had colored tags), ruler, classic yellow pencils and crayola crayons.

As a mom, my budget was tight for back to school clothes and supplies. I shopped sales well before the 'big day', so my daughter and son could have as much as they needed and wanted. I loved the fact that they could wear 'regular' clothes. No uniforms for them! I let them pick out their new clothes and shoes within reason and budget, of course. Buying school supplies was fun, too, because their supply list included extras like colorful markers and watercolors.

Now that both my 'kids' have graduated from college, there's no back to school shopping for me to do. Ok, I miss it. I love that quote from the movie, 'You've Got Mail', when Tom Hanks(Joe Fox) says, "Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."

So, now, I ask you blogger friends out there, what would you buy yourself for back to school? You trade your list, I'll trade mine.

Here's a start...

Back To School List (for not going back to school)
Freshly sharpened pencils in a rainbow of colors
New pens - Pilot G-2's and Micron 005 with .2 mm line width in black
Black or Natural sketch book unlined recycled paper.
Something colorful, like crayons but not crayons. (Maybe it's time to try encaustic?)

Outfit...Hmm, something comfy, cool, and creative...but what?

Do I have to buy only traditional school supplies? No. So, let's all think outside the traditional school pencil box. If you could buy yourself a new 'school supply' what would it be? What bus would you catch and where would it be going?

If you'd like to see some of my art work, my website is Susan Gallacher-Turner Sculpture. And you can read more about my creative life on my blog, Sculpting A Life. Read more!

Friday, September 03, 2010

In the last few days, the phrase "Be in the moment" has come up all around me.
I hear it from the beautiful, swaying birch tree in the woods. It whispers, "Be. Just live here, now."

I hear it from the internet, other blogs like Susan Tweit's Walking Nature Home. She even reviewed this wonderful new children's book, "What does it mean to be present?" by Rana Diorio and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler that's all about teaching children to be in the moment.

I hear it in the interview I did yesterday with artist friend, Jan VonBergen who talked to me about her art, new show and life changes. (By the way, I'll have more of Jan's wise words coming up next week in a new interview.) Her message that life is too short to miss those moments, she wants be here now, with her granddaughter, her family, her art and herself.

It's even in the new movie, Eat, Pray, Love based on Elisabeth Gilbert's wonderful true story about finding herself by being in the moment. Whether that meant pasta in Italy, meditation in India or opening her heart in Bali, her body, soul and heart were only to be found in the moment.

Here's a cute quote from the book, 'What Does It Mean To Be Present' by Rana Diorio, "Being present means living in the moment.
It means realizing that...
Tomorrow is a mystery
Yesterday is history
Today is a gift--that's why we call it the present!"

So maybe being in the moment isn't always easy, all that mucky mind stuff and busy, busy gets in the way. But I see the value and want to be in the moment, really I do or rather, be.

To see some of my art, you can visit my website Susan Gallacher-Turner Sculpture. And to read more about my life, visit my other blog, Sculpting A Life. Read more!