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ragdale week 1 / day 2

 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer goauche paint

"The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation."  -- Auguste Rodin

Day 2 at Ragdale 

I am loving these little needle felted cell studies.

©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer cell studies 1 and 2

©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer cell study 1

The image on the far right is the latest addition to this series of gouache paintings.

©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer gouache paintings

The view from my studio is lovely.  Tomorrow, pictures of the prairie. 

©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Ragdale, barnhouse


mom 2009

 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Mom and Gam
A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us when adversity takes the place of prosperity when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."
    --Washington Irving

One year ago today Mom died.  When she died, the bottom of my world dropped out from under me.  She was my mom, but she was also my closest friend.  Her death was a double loss.  

A few months after Mom's death, a friend reassured me that the day would come when the crushing weight grief would suddenly lift.  Oddly, today was that day.  Initially it felt odd.  Shouldn't I be sad?  I thought I should feel sad given what day it is, but instead, I just feel a deep sense of love and gratitude. Mom taught me well.  Her wisdom lives on within me.    

I  am in a good place, a wonderful place, full of art and nature.  I'm doing something for myself that Mom had been encouraging me to do for years.  I am at an artist-in-residency focusing on just me and my art.  It's been well over a decade since I've had such a luxury.  I have spent the entire day painting with gouache, making little felt sculptures and sketching in my notebook.  I don't want to go to bed. Too many ideas are zooming through my head.

Thanks Mom.  Miss you.

©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer sculpture outside my studio door

a dog's life

 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer best friends

"My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet." 

-- Edith Wharton

Remember summer?  I returned from St. Louis to days of rain followed by a bone chilling blast of cold.  The dogs love it.  It gives them an excuse to curl up close, though truth be known, any excuse would do for them.   

Josie, the above featured pup, is tiny enough that she can run laps on my bed.  I don't have a huge mattress, just a full-sized one, but it's perfect for her ladyship.  She leaps over my chest, runs to the end, flips midair, jumps over Jack the Pomeranian, to land dead center on the pillow next to me, panting with a big ol' grin.   Jack rolls his eyes in disgust.  Mind you, he's a wise 10 year old to Josie's 3.

Josie's gal pal is Natalia, a neighbor of the same age.  All summer long they run, chase, and flop on the ground with happy exhaustion.   Jack sticks close to me, to oversee the serious business of my gardening.

With the early freeze the other night, I picked the last of the vegetables in the twilight.  The next morning Miss Josie looked befuddled.  Where was her squash fort and green bean teepee?  Jack was equally disconcerted.  He no longer had tomatoes to steal. He loves tomatoes and tulips.  He doesn't eat either, simply plucks them delicately to later deposit at my feet.  My little Casanova. ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Mr. Casanova

where to start?


”You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” -- Rabindranath Tagore.

Friday marks the one year anniversary of my mother's death.  Rather than return to St. Louis and attend a church service, I am honoring her by attending a two week residency at Ragdale that begins later this week.  It's been 15 years since I had uninterrupted time in the studio.  Mom knew how much I have been craving studio time.  She'd been encouraging me to take time off to focus, but I hadn't found the means or the way.  

I love my family and home, but I need to turn off the Mom Radar.  I need to walk away from my garden, the laundry, daily emails, and all the other little things that beg for my attention. I need the space to just think.  Ragdale is only an hour away, but for two weeks I will be able to let go of all the daily chores and just make.  The thought is exhilarating and incredibly daunting.   

I know it's time for my work to move in a new direction.  How radical a direction?  I don't know.  I have to find out.  I applied for the residency with a specific concept in mind which will be completed while there, but I am carving out time to experiment - hence the book on French beaded flowers.

Beaded flowers have been used since the Middle Ages to honor graves.  I have this desire to create a beaded installation of a garden in honor of my mother and all other family and friends I miss.  The word bead translates as prayer, so I guess you could say that I'd be saying a zillion little prayers for hope and peace as I string and twist each bead into place.  The book is to get me started.  The possibilities seem endless.  Ragdale itself has five acres of open prairie from which to sketch.  Do I include a bead embroidered backdrop?  

Time will only tell.

art as a positive force

 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer UCityLoop
 "Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy."  --  Leo F. Buscaglia

Once again my place was burgled.  That makes the 4th time at my current address.  Nothing was taken, but I was shaken to the core by the brute force and violence used to breakdown my garage door.  Did I mention that I was at home when it happened?  The lock was destroyed and the door frame lay in splinters.  And of course, it took the police 3 hours to arrive.  Sigh. This follows on top of two drive by shootings this summer and a slew of arsons.   

I don't want to live in a fortress with alarms, bars and quadruple locks, but I am being forced into such a position.  The alarm is now always active.  I'm reinforcing the door frames with steel.  I'm adding extra deadbolts.  Worst yet, I have to add tall wooden gates to both ends of my garden, separating me from the rest of the world.  I hate it.  It makes me so *!@&(*#@$ angry.  

Last night I couldn't sleep.  I woke to every sound.  I was so jumpy that my dogs were getting nervous.  I'm hoping the extra protective measures will give me some peace of mind.  

Meanwhile I seek refuge in art, my own and others.  Knitting works out the kinks and worries.

 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Artdaily
I loved this simple, graphic mural at the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC).  It says it all.  I think it should be the slogan for the National Endowment for the Arts, don't you?  

I returned with a splash to my home town of St. Louis last month.  The Red Thread Project occurred at the St. Louis Artists' Guild, as did the exhibition "Head to Toe" that I was asked to jury.  I also was in the group exhibition "Singing the Body Electric" at RAC.  What a show!   The space is incredible, filled with light.  I loved how my work was presented.

 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Racshow1
 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Racshow2

The exhibition was curated by Sara Colby and included work by Julia Karl and Jennifer Wilkey.  Jennifer's work is obviously medically related.  As she writes, "While enclosed in a hospital room, life in the outside world continues and, in a sense, passes the patient by." How true!

 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Jennifer Wilkey
 Julia's work addresses the ills of society, the daily dose of negative news.  She twisted and knotted the headlines into one beautiful installation.  I appreciate her work even more given yesterday's break in.  My stomach is in knots with worry.  I long ago stopped reading the newspaper as I couldn't take the constant telling of disfunction and violence.  I rarely even bother with the news on radio and television.  So much physical and psychological loss.

 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Julia Karl

So, I take my daily dose of art, hoping to create a better world.  Idealistic?  Sure.  But I can't let today's worry turn into tomorrow's sorrow as positive change would never occur.