January is a month that quietly whispers of dreams and new possibilities. They are lovely and enchanting but I hesitate to rush forward. Nature is taking the time to be still and rest. The bare branches and neutral landscape can coax bright-eyed imaginings. And this quiet is a beautiful space in which to dream. Yet, if I hurry forward and fail to savor nature’s merciful hush, I will do myself a disservice. Participating in this slow rhythm reminds me of my humanity and that I am not merely a machine of productivity.
With this in mind, I am entering the new year at a gentle pace. Giving myself ample space to dream without the pressure of hurrying off to accomplish them as soon as possible. I have many of them, as dreaming is one of my favorite pass times. But today I am sharing just three: integrating the garden into my artistic practice, focusing on fleeting beauty, and presenting simple accessible beauty.
Integrating the garden into my artistic practice
Each morning after reading and stretching, I grab what is left of my morning coffee and head out into the garden. The sun has just peeked over the horizon, and steam rises from my mug in the chilly winter air. I drift from one garden bed to the other, seeking out new sprouts and buds about to bloom. I pull out my phone, capturing this loveliness is another way to delight in it further. This takes mere minutes, as the space is quite small. I then set my almost empty mug down, balancing it on the corner of a garden bed, so my hands are free to tend to my little farmstead. Though there are many spots of bare soil, the subtle seasons of southern California allow me to grow flowers and vegetables all year round. It is not something I take for granted and soak it all in.
This is the first time in my life I have been able to have a proper garden, and I could not be more delighted. A year ago, while living in a place that has a real winter, Japan, I dreamt of the day I could have a garden and include it into my artistic practice. It seems that day is near at hand.
This year, I will be continuing my Botanical Studies with only fresh flowers from my garden. For previous collections, I was pressing wildflowers or blooms from my local florist which was lovely. But I am especially enchanted by this new method because it makes each piece more unique and beautiful. Unlike pressed flowers, fresh ones can only be used once. This presents an exciting challenge as well as a beautiful opportunity for me to be enchanted further by the beauty in nature.
A focus on fleeting beauty
This year I’ve come to savor fleeting moments of beauty more and more. Passing clouds in the sky. Morning dew on my flowers. Dancing shadows. A slower pace of life, living in Japan, and growing in contentment have been the main catalysts leading me to explore this concept. I won’t dive into this now, but I hope to share more of this inspiration as the concept and collection begin to take shape. But in one way or another, it will be the foundation of my large conceptual collection for this next year.
What I will say now is that this concept will push me creatively and be unlike anything I’ve made thus far. It will have echoes of my previous work, highlighting simple elegance, but it will be different. The technique for this collection will have its own wonderful complexities and I am eager to begin. But winter is not the season for so much newness and growth so I plan to begin in the spring.
Simple Accessible Beauty
The vision for my creative practice an invitation. Through my artwork, social media, and emails I am offering a simple invitation to slow down and see the beauty in everyday life. Welcoming you back to the present and connecting you with your humanity. My aim is that everything I put into the world, nudges you toward that truth.
This year I hope to do this in a handful of simple accessible ways. One way that I will share today is through the humble medium of words. My own and others. I am still working out what this will look like. But one thing I know for sure is that I will be blogging more. It was a weekly rhythm I was very fond of as a wedding photographer and after a year and a half break, I am excited to return to it. This kind of blogging will look very different but I am excited by the creative challenge it presents.
Thank you for reading about my gentle January dreams. I hope you are slowing down this season and allowing your January to be gentle too. I’ll leave you with these words by Atticus.