Curious Excursions from Original Impulse
You see inspiration for art in the world all around you, but you haven’t picked up a paintbrush or even a piece of sketching charcoal in months. You know that you want to be a writer – but you have pages of notebooks left unfilled. You’re starting to question your creative capabilities. Maybe you don’t really have the magic to create art inside you.Don’t despair. If you’ve lost your creative juju, we know the perfect way to gather more.
Florence is known for its beautiful paper. Marbelized, creamy paper adorns notebooks, makes notecards and incites one to abandon oneself to the art of the epistle.
But the paper products in most of the shops I saw in Florence were expensive. I don't tend toward parsimony when it comes to my precious paper products (Moleskines aren't cheap but I don't care!). But there is a limit.
Arti & Mestieri means arts and crafts in Italian.
I love all kinds of cards, and this shop specialized in them. I fell in love with the mini tarot deck and regret not buying it. I did buy a handful of cards, including the one below.
To reach papier arti & mesteieri:
Indirizzo: Piazza Di S. Maria Sopr'arno, 1
Comune: Firenze (FI)
Telefono: 055 2343670
I'll just have to go back to get those tarot cards!
Still, window displays in Europe are killingly tempting and it’s hard to resist the lure of a stunning garment artfully displayed. The clever and classy windows of Florence and Paris are part of the urban art and demand to be appreciated. It’s free to look and slowing down for leche-vitrine (window licking, in French) is part of slowing down to relish the city’s artfulness.
Boots and shoes in particular became the focus of our shopping. Florence, famous for leather goods, flaunted an abundance of footwear. I scanned shop after shop for boots because I’d decided that I could stand another pair of boots.
I'm supposed to come up with a word or phrase that best encapsulates this year. Much as I try to come up with something deep and meaningful, the phrase that insists on defining this year:
I haven't had the opportunity to post this image, but this seems like a good time. This piece of 'art' was in my first, bad apartment in Amsterdam. It was life-sized, so I couldn't even take it down or turn it away.
IMHO, not only is the rendering bad, the subject matter is a bit scary. Is she snarling or what? I wondered what kind of place I was staying in. I was sick and this made me feel even sicker. Luckily Brandy came to my rescue and had me house sit for her.
I love Retro 1951 pen packaging. Here's a photo of the tube and box the pen comes in.Read more about these amazing pens and my pen juju.
This year, I lived in Roquebrun, France, then became a creative nomad for five weeks. Then I moved to Denver after being in Europe for a year. So there’s been a lot of change on the home front.
Stopping being a nomad was the best change I made. I can’t tolerate a nomadic lifestyle for too long. As a nomad I spent a lot of time making travel arrangements. Much as I love movement and change, I came to loathe the act of packing and leaving.
And while I love the work of planning travel, I also have other things I want to create. I don’t want to spend a ton of extra energy finding the best way to get from Amsterdam to Carcasonne, and Carcasonne to Italy.
I love home: the rhythms of it, the way I can control my food, being near my friends, easier access to exercise and yoga. Home helps me create my art, writing and work.
Every trip should have a soundtrack, and mine for my trip with Mr. B was The Hazards of Love by The Decemberists.
The album and trip can be summed up in the same way: beautiful, violent, horrifying, hauntingly inescapable, throwback to the ‘70s, and deeply affecting.
which way to go?
To tell the truth, the whole year has been a big challenge. I have been trying to figure out where to go and what to do with the next phase of my life. I believe I've been in a sort of mid-life crisis, but my friends in their 50s assure me that worse mid-life hell is on the way.