Crazy-wonderful thankfulness (with turkeys)

I'm thinking today of all I have to be grateful for and the list is long and crazy-wonderful, from great big things to fortuitous little details. There remain struggles and challenges but overall, wow, life is good.

High on my list is how thankful I am to be surrounded by a creative and supportive family of wonderful characters. Case in point: at Thanksgiving, the entire family looks forward to seeing the results of a turkey-themed watercolor tradition that my husband and stepdaughter have managed to keep alive through the years, and now, across the miles.

The turkey saga usually incorporates world or family events, particularly travel, and the potential subject matter is a much discussed topic. Last year the turkeys explored Costa Rica...

  2010 Thanksgiving WC

Thanksgiving watercolor: turkey zipline in Costa Rica. © 2010, Jim Leggitt and Gretchen Leggitt. 
The earlier series of 15 can be seen here. Or come by to see the watercolors festooned around the dining room! Can't wait to see what they'll come up with this year. An article from Jim's blog about the tradition and process is here: Thanksgiving Watercolors: A 15-year Family Tradition.

Hope you and yours will enjoy your Thanksgiving rituals and traditions, whatever they may be! 

Memory, story, and "Lineage"

After a recent foray into a box of family photos—aptly labelled "OLD-OLD PHOTOS" (among other boxes labelled "OLD PHOTOS!")—and holiday traditions that call to mind people who now exist only in memory... I thought back to my "Lineage" collage. Above is a corner detail from the larger piece which measures 12 x 12 x 1." (To see the entire collage, click here.)

As I worked on this piece, I was thinking of the stories we construct about our lineage, the parts we cherish and highlight, those we diminish or conveniently forget, and the influences that stay with us. At this time of year, I tend to look back with fondness as I also look forward with anticipation... that corner figure speaks to the dichotomy of shifting attention and emphasis that I experience at year end. 

I'm currently laying the groundwork for the story of my upcoming year... spending time reviewing notes from recent brainstorming, strategizing, and planning. I look forward to working the plan and seeing how my life as an artist will unfold in the coming year. Quite empowering to realize that I create and craft my story!

"Very few people know how to work. Inspiration, everybody has inspiration, that's just hot air." — Beatrice Wood