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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.

Week 1 - The Spark

List-maker, List-maker

Kelly Clark

"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web." - Pablo Picasso

Every so often, particularly when I'm feeling dry, especially quiet, or the other extreme, utterly overwhelmed by ideas, I'll make a list.  Not a list of all new ideas or brand new thoughts (because there are few faster ways to pull a mental blank than saying "ok! go! CREATE SOMETHING!"), but a list of the things I already know I'm inspired by.  These can be as broad as "the color blue," as highly specific as "the primary flight feathers of falcons," as conceptual as "collective consciousness" or as experiential "that day last week when I walked in the salt water up to my knees."  Inspiration comes from everywhere, so don't discount a single thought as you muse through your ideas.  


Today as I sat with tea and pencils, this was my list: 

  • Moon Phases (waxing contrasted with waning) 
  • Seed Pods (dried, rattling and full of seed) 
  • Wings (especially dragonflies, full of venation) 
  • Natural cellular structures (wasp nests, cambium layers, honeycomb, spider webs) 
  • Autumnal detritus (layers and layers deep) 
  • The open feeling of walking the wild fields around the base of Mt. Si
  • The quality of light when the temperature is cold vs. warm (seasonal change) 
  • Raw gemstones (especially pink tourmaline, turquoise and smokey quartz) 
  • Hawthorn trees (genus Crataegus) 
  • The concept of Wabi Sabi  (imperfection as art, as truth and wholeness)
  • Experiencing and offering Loving Kindness with strangers
  • Totem Animals (always, always), specifically Corvids (crows, stellar's jays, ravens), gray foxes, snakes and horses

Alright ladies!  It's time to bust out those sketchbooks!  I'd like you to begin writing out your list - and remember, all we're doing here is noting the inspiration that already exists.  Place no perimeters on yourself or this list, there are no judgements, no time or number limits, just let it roll.  

 If something pops up in your thoughts, write it down.  But give yourself some time and space with this; as you walk around your home, your work, your yard or neighborhood just notice what you are drawn to or reminded of.  You may have a flood of things to write down, you may have just two or three.  Either way, what we're doing here is tapping into the goodness, the beauty, the wildness, the spark that already surrounds your life.  The only important thing is that when you look at your list, you feel a "YES" in your soul, an "I do love these things" that bubbles up through your heart.  If you feel inspired, take a few photos of some specifics on your list - think of these as reference points.  They do not need to be photo-gallery-perfect; they are truly just there to add as visuals to your list of inspirations.



Take the next two days to work on your list, adding to it as it feels right.  On Friday we'll be diving in to this list, expanding and developing in a BIG way.   If you're in the Facebook group and feel inspired to share your list, please do!  Each of our experiences is so individual, and our collective experience grows richer by sharing!

Keep those eyes open and curious ladies! 

- K