Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Nourishing the Body and Soul in Winter

 Montessori education tells us to surround ourselves with all things beautiful, 
taking care with selecting our environment.
Since my move to the new studio (dining room), 
and since my increased museum attendance, 
I "curate" my shelves, making order, selecting, arranging, re-arranging.
(The book, top right, The Secret Lives of Color
Box of cards by a company called Retrospect.)

 Top, from the local Bright Bird Studio. Below, a shrine box by 
local artist Micaela Grasse. (I placed the little sign inside the window that says, "Good Health".) 
 Watercolor painting on my wall by local artist Ben Hall.
I love that it's a local scene, & love its abstract quality!
 Twinkle lights were up in November. 
They and Bright Birds, shiny baubles, cheer me. 
Colorful woven bowl by a local artist, 
& original illustrations by artist Melissa Sweet 
(also local though nationally known.)
   On a recent cold, gloomy, gray day I bought a sampler of glitter, 
to spark my spirit,
at the art shop on Main St. 
It worked, & I've used it on my latest coptic book 
which I stitched while sharing tea with a visiting friend.
She knit & I stitched in my sunny warm dining room.
And we chatted while the cold winds blew.

 Feeding my body (organic wild blueberries & organic rice cereal
feeding my soul, with color & art tools.

Since January 1, I read & copy passages from the book, Simple Abundance, into my morning diary, 
using the French translation. The author is all about
gratitude, appreciating life, inner happiness...
 The Library Sketchers group, which I have turned over to the group to lead now, 
still nourishes my love of drawing, 
& feeds me with inspiration & comaraderie. 
Artist Leslie gave us a presentation on paint brushes. 
She generously brought gazillions, & let us experiment with them!  
(the other page: sketching without my glasses 
at my local hair salon, looking into a big mirror.) 
 Leslie's brushes! Talk about abundance!
 Saturday morning, my body & soul get nourished at our indoor Farmer's Market. All local vendors & it has a European feel! This time of year, New Beat Farm had carrots, beets, rutabegas, and cabbage. I sketched, 
then bought a bunch of organic carrots, later made a vegetable soup.

My friend has a lemonade stand, adding hot chocolate & cider at this time of year! 
More to show in another post, but, in short, 
to be at her stand for me is like being in the film, Pollyanna, so much good feeling, color & prettiness!

Many older folks go to Florida in winter, but I love finding
sparkle, light, & color right here. All the more intense, perhaps, against the backdrop of neutral winter grays, umbers, siennas, and muted dark greens of the out of doors. 

Question: What do you surround yourself with? 


  1. What a pretty post and so you.
    The love of color.
    It is reflected in everything.
    And what a beautiful artist you are Rita.
    Your art moves..speaks..is joyful ..unique and colorful.

    I lust re open Simple Abundancce.
    You pretty much know what I surround myself with☺️

  2. I am in heaven when I look at this post. I love the thought of curating your work space. I guess I kind of do, in spots, but then there re the selves with boxes of ribbon, stacks of mediums, shelves with embellishments, open "mailbox" dividers of paper and matts and supplies, not to mention shelves of books and boxes with lino, stamping, silk painting, watercolor, acrylic. It's hard to see the pretty through the essentials. But the color! WOW! It's so beautiful.

    And I love your art, all you do, what you see and how you see it. Such a gift to share. I love that you love Simple Abundance too. Isn't it a little miracle of a book? I revisit it more often than I can say.

    Thank you for this! I needed your beautiful art and wonderful words today. And thanks, too, for popping over to the Gypsy recently. So behind catching up with the world. But I'm glad I caught up here.

  3. waking up to a snow brushed morning with all the branches heavy and white. rita i so admire the way you get out there and taste life every day. thank you for sharing some of the flavors you experience.
    among many things i'm surrounded by yarn and art and randy's furniture and tangible bits of your wonderful imagination and talent. come and see for yourself.

  4. Love this colorful post. It cheered ME!!

  5. I loved this delightful post with a look into your wintertime simple pleasures. So lovely to see your charming sketches, and how fun to be able to read Simple Abundance in French! I have its English sister on my bookshelf. I hope you enjoy all your winter pleasures until spring arrives with its own set.

    Oh, and those people who came to Florida for the winter? They're pretty cold, too--we've had a lot of cold weather, and tonight it's supposed to dip down into the 20s! I know that's nothing to Maine, but for Tampa Bay that is c-o-l-d.

  6. Wow Rita - this was such a delightful post. It just made me feel good to read it and to enjoy all the pretties you shared. What an uplift in the midst of winter. Thank you sweet friend for the "simple abundance" you gave us. Take care and have a wonderful day. Hugs!

  7. Love this idea!! I wonder if. I could do it in my 'bordel'... I need you to come over and help svp

  8. PS are those links under the books? They dont seem to go anywhere??

  9. Refreshing . . .
    Inspiring . . .
    Sketchbook Life

    Surrounding my days with
    Winter Walks
    Fresh Air
    January Color

  10. I agree that it's wonderful to have creativity in your life! Your studio and space looks very motivating. Happy Sketching! Nora

  11. Beautiful post (again)! These 'sessions' with you always inspire me. xx


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