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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.



The studio has never looked brighter (or greener.  I can not stop purchasing house plants.  Today I stopped by the nursery for a bag of cactus potting soil and came home with a rex begonia in shades of fiery pomegranate and a fern whose tag said only "Mother").  My head has absolutely been brimming with new ideas, bubbling over faster than I can even record them.  However it's a funny space (my head, not the studio that is); my imagination is at a full gallop with imagery in paint, on stone, on leather, on canvas but as soon as I try to reach out and grab just one of those thoughts, the vision dissolves like a mirage.  I can no longer see the piece as a whole, just tiny details.  Random bits.  My pencil seems blindfolded when I set it to paper.  The concepts are so strong in my mouth, but translation falters before my eyes.

Yesterday I wanted to call out to the heavens:
"It's a sticky place to be in, my darling muse.
Sweep away the curtains!  Let me on with my business!
Chop chop now, quit your heartless teasing and give me my sights!"
(except insert a few saucier words of your choosing)

I've pressed on, but it's been one of those weeks where entire days in the studio are lost to a slip of the leather shears, or [multiple] two hour drives working out the details of what our future looks like, or kitty boys who teach a neighbor cat a lesson, resulting hours spent at the veterinary clinic (my Thai!  My little bruiser has a shaved neck and a drain that requires cleaning every so many hours but he is a trooper like none other, demanding food sacrifices for his valiant behavior.  Also, for the record, the other cat leapt into our yard - our boys are never allowed free wandering!).

At the same time, there has been writing, photographing, tooling, painting, drawing and all manner of just looking.  But as of this very second, nothing I'm ready to show.

Sometimes the ideas come so easily I forget about the struggle.
Sometimes I don't trust the fast ideas and often, when ship sails smoothly along I miss the struggle.  The wrestling with unpracticed imagery, the discomfort of stretching into a new concept, the ache of potential failure.  It's like the burn in your calves when the hill is steep, the fire in your lungs when the trail stretches farther than you've ever run before.

It hurts.

I feel as through I'm acquiring creative stretch marks.

But I asked for that growth, and I went after it with gumption.  So here's to believing with every fiber of my being that the struggle reveals the answers, that the pruned branch bears the sweetest fruit.

Here's to the struggle.