annual summer weaving

annual summer weaving

about once a year i get an urge to gather two unlike items of nature and weave them together. my artistic motivations are obscure, even to me. it just makes so much sense for some reason. and then i photograph it, and it always looks pretty great. so, there you go. happy weaving day to all of you. i’ll see you again in about a year.

woven tall grass stems and cattail leaves

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food safety

food safety

all bird eggs are edible. we don’t hear this much, and i assume it is sort of an unspoken agreement among those who talk about wild food, because so many birds are protected, and rightly so, and so few of us can identify the bird species by the bird’s egg, and so spending a lot of time talking about the edible quality of bird eggs might inadvertently turn a bunch of spring wilderness campers into bird-egg survivalists and might therefore make a number of threatened and endangered species even more so.  we can complain that the world has gotten too complicated. but it is we who have made it so.

assorted eggs

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the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy

the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy

i did not intend this association when i took this photo, but now that i see the unfurling spiral of these musk thistle flower heads, i can’t help but think of douglas adams, author of the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy and celebrant of the awe-inspiring beauty and diversity of the natural world. i think he would approve of my quoting him here: “far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”

musk thistle flowers

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emerging?

emerging?

really since last january, i have probably experienced my most frequent spells of what felt like artistic drought since i started this project. it’s not complicated or particularly enlightening. i got sick with the flu. i have too many non-art  projects on my plate. we just put a huge panel discussion behind us that steve hosted but that took two weeks out of both of us. i usually try to spin such stretches as positives when it comes to to STILL blog. i try to praise the virtue of the dailiness of this project as an antidote to those kinds of stretches, and find a way to look back on the fact that i still made art during that time as a minor triumph that wins out over the fatigue and lack of inspiration. but i also need to acknowledge the fatigue and lack of inspiration themselves, because during those times, i don’t feel any anticipatory satisfaction at how, several months from now, i’m going to feel great about how i kept making art. while it’s happening it’s really just fatigue and lack of inspiration. and hard work that is necessary to do at times of the day when i’d rather be doing something else. that’s a part of this too. slogging through. feeling a lunchbucket kind of dreariness at the prospect of one more day and one more post.  if that isn’t acknowledged as a kind of shitty place to be, then the pride that comes out of it later, not to mention the ecstasy of those periods of pure creative flow, mean less. a lot of what has gotten in my way is behind me now. i feel as if i am on the verge of emerging into a new energy level and a new creative focus. but before that happens, i want to say a brief fuck you to spring 2018.

pink cosmos bloom

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transition

transition

a symbolic end to our busy season.  @sjrhoffman and i have arranged our lives so that we make most of our household income in the first six months of the year, freeing us up to do mostly creative work for the last six months of the year. this was a conscious evolution, that took us quite a few years to finally achieve. it sounds rather luxurious, and in many ways it is. but the reality is that we pack a year’s worth of working hours into those first six months and that takes a toll, especially right now when we are at the end of that phase, and the two overlap for a short time. someday we may strive for a more balanced annual rhythm. but it is the best solution we have found that allows us to pay the mortgage, pay college tuitions, and still grow rewarding creative careers without the stress of having to be creative for profit. i’d love to hear what solutions you’ve come up with that work for you and your families.

round lake superior beach stone

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