For this year’s Poetry Month, I wrote and posted a micro poem every day on Twitter. It was a fun challenge to condense “the best words in the best order” into 140 characters or less. Less, really, since I tried to squeeze in the hastags #micropoetry and #PoetryMonth with each post, too!
Here are my five favorites. Enjoy….
Thick sleep, strong coffee—
the day’s armor donned,
I begin to write and find
there is no battle but a dance.
For wrists & knuckles, knees & hips,
for all the parts that twist & bend
with & without me thinking—thank you.
Between finger & thumb,
between river & shore,
between yes & no,
every “if” awaits.
Yesterday, a Machado poem fell
from my pocket. To you who
finds it—let the bees spin honey
from every marvelous error.
I opened an old set of drawers in my mind,
dumping out lists & grudges & desires.
So little to keep, I tossed
the dresser, too.
“Decay is a wonderful smith, who transfers one element to the other: it makes such changes without respite, until heaven and earth melt together into a glassy clump”
– A. Kirchweger
MICHELLE ANDERST: “Lunar Serpent”, oil and ink on wood, 18″x36″
The Serpent bathed in the light of Ganymede’s moon.
I’ve been having a fun time designing matching envelopes and stationery this month. I’ve been sending out at least one letter a day in a hand decorated envelope in honor of April being National Letter Writing Month. These are the envelopes I sent out last week.
I sent Lilli a paste paper envelope last year, so I wanted to send her a different type of envelope this year.
Shelly (above) and Leanne (below) are participants in the Letters of Joy Envelope Exchange. I like the way both of these envelopes and matching stationery came out.
It’s been fun to exchange envelopes with others around the country and sometimes around the world. I’ve been in numerous envelope exchanges and they really are lots of fun. I’ve made a number of new pen pals and friends.
Diane does the most wonderful iris folding using both oriental papers and old kimono fabric. I wanted to send her an envelope that had a Japanese feel to it. So I put her letter into an origami envelope and put the envelope into a translucent envelope so you could see the detail of the paste paper and the folded origami envelope inside. I used colors to go with the wonderful cherry blossoms on the stamp. I really like the way it came together. Sometimes my ideas work the first time around.
I have exchanged a number of pieces of mail art with Eric over the years. He lives in France and has pen pals all over the world. He has a blog: My Mail Art World. Check it out to see lots of creative envelopes and art.
My dear friend, Sharon, used to live just down the street from me. We would get together at least once a week. She moved to Portland nearly 4 years ago and I miss her dearly. We stay in touch via phone and snail mail, and an occasional visit. I sent her letter in this envelope made from one of my paste papers.
I have not yet met Susan, even though we’ve been exchanging decorated envelopes and calligraphy for some time. She’s on the East Coast and I’m on the West Coast. Maybe some day we’ll manage to meet in person. Meanwhile, our mail goes back and forth across the country.
Happy letter writing, Candy
I have a show up right now and I sold a painting. Scratch that. I sold three paintings. At the risk of tooting my horn or sounding immodest or any other thing we’re taught as good girls to not do, I am freaking happy, proud, elated and actually did a dance, and it was happy, in my kitchen. These paintings are hanging in a beautiful venue, South Stage Cellars, for 6 weeks and they have honest to goodness red dots beside the price.
Selling my art is one part of the artistic arc of living a creative life. It’s the one not many people talk about, they mumble, they ask polite questions, but we really want to know, do you make a living? Can you pay your bills? How does it all….work exactly? Because as working artists, small business owners, the road not taken path followers, we are, I am, still a little surprised that this gig is working out. There has not been one single Monday in three years that I have not woken up astounded, grateful and a little bit surprised, like forgetting you’re not at home when you’re traveling, that this Monday, this work week, is my play to direct.
But how exactly does it work? I am not kidding, it works on faith. I can only speak from my experience but based on the countless essays and books and ted talks and e-courses and and and….from what some pretty smart and experienced authors and artists are telling me, I’m not alone. It’s faith and action. Or action and faith. This is how it works for me. There is a whole lot of boring sitting, puttering, painting, prepping and doing before there is an art show. Or a card order. Or a gift fair. The one constant variable that leads to a sale or to any monetization of art, is doing the work. It has taken me several years to really believe as this philosophy can also feel like watching paint dry, really, ordering business cards is the only thing I need to do all day? Yup. It’s action. Do another thing the next day. More action. In one week you’ll have seven action steps that all together are kind of big. It might even be a whole painting or essay or business plan or art show application. I’m not the one who invented this. I’m just saying, it works.
Back to art. And selling. And red dots. And those questions. Can I pay my bills? Do you make a living? How does it all…work exactly? Yes (With some debt. Not lying. Working on improving that.) Yes, in a creative manner. Day to day. Week to week. It works by swinging arm to arm on the monkey bars. Card orders, paintings, commissions. It’s all momentum. Maybe there will come a day when I’ll re-read this post and think ah, that’s so sweet that I am so earnestly trying to make a go of this thing. I hope so. It will be worth it. I want to always know that happy dance red dot joy. I think maybe because it’s the joy behind the action that makes it work. Exactly. xo
“Still Life with Louis Sherry” 8×10″ SOLD
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