30 April 2010

the importance of place

I'm trying something a bit different today and look forward to hearing what anyone thinks about my latest experiment.

This is a hot topic for me ... the importance of place, my surroundings, my 'hood'.  I've long been aware of just how important and what a strong influence my surrounding landscape has on my work and creative inspiration.  Imagined landscapes as well as the longed for landscapes - those of previous homes or places I hope to one day visit, or places where I've stopped along the way.  If you've been following this blog at all, you'll know that my years in Port Townsend, WA were a creative jack pot and that I've been struggling since moving to Asheville.

Joining the Arboretum in March was my turning point and has proved transformational.  These days, my goal is to walk there at least 2 or 3 times a week - this is as much for exercise as maintaining sanity (hmmmm probably heavier on psyche help).

So here goes the 'something different' part ...
I don't normally take my camera on my walks - I'm trying to keep up the old heart rate.  Yesterday morning I decided to go at a more leisurely pace and take my camera along.  Then, I thought it would be fun to try out the video function, upload the segments for more of a firsthand experience.  Then I got to thinking it might be interesting to include photos of the newest work that's been emerging right along with the dogwood and azaleas and ferns.  You know - that 'point / counterpoint' sort of thing.

It was downright chilly yesterday morning - mid 30's when I got up.  I wanted to get out for my walk so I could enjoy the morning's bird chorus, but I decided to not rush and hope the temperature would warm at least into the 40's when I headed out.  Turns out the birds slept in too.  Here's a sampling.......

Further along, one of my favorite sections.  The Owl Ridge Trail and the transition between mountain laurel and sort of a scrubby understory to a large stand of pines that never fails to fill me with awe and a sense of perfect well-being.

further still ... a rhododendron tunnel along Bent Creek is like stepping into the land of fairy.  These necklaces and earrings were inspired by the ferns and creek:

a bit more of the rhodo's and fast moving creek....

A little slice of heaven - the National Native Azalea Repository ... 7 acres of Mother Nature at her finest.  This is the longest segment with a bit of silliness thrown in.

The azaleas have been incredibly inspirational ... the spindly branches, lush colors and delicate blooms.  Here's the most recent fruits of my creative bursts......

I think this updated version of my Double Strand Coins is an absolute stunner:

This work is being added to my official 'line', so I need to design for a variety of price points.  Here's a scaled down version ...

And here's a 22" single strand that can be wrapped as a bracelet.  I love this color combination - all pale stones, labradorite, moss aquamarine, green amethyst, smoky quartz, moonstone - on ivory silk.

And this next group almost came out of nowhere.  I got a flash of an idea for the 'pod' shape and made up a few to play with and then had no idea what to do with them once the components were finished.  The next day came another flash of inspiration.  I'm thinking these are just some of the sweetest little earrings...

And here's a little fancier version ....

And of course, I'm saving the necklace for last.  I'll be doing this with 3, 5 or 7 pods in a variety of stones and colors of silk.  I'm pretty much smitten with this one.

I've had these tiny stones for over a year and have struggled and struggled with how to use them.  But, boy howdy, am I in a new groove.  Totally excited, totally buzzed, totally inspired.  Luckily for me, the gem show is next weekend.  Yep, it's going to be expensive........

So, I'm curious ...
How does your sense of place or your landscape play into your inspiration and influence your work?  What about imagined realms or cultural differences?  How important is the 'backstory' to what you do?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Thanks so much for taking the time to peruse my universe!
with so much gratitude and many blessings - kvk


  1. I loved watching and listening to those videos. thank you!!! I agree that your surroundings really do set the mood for creativity. After moving from WA to KS, I lost my creativity. After my husband passed away, I picked up my crafting again and found inspiration in my head, my imagination. With each stitch I think about places in WA or of Greg. I find my crafts very comforting now. I hope to find inspiration in KS someday, It just migh take some time.

  2. "Got to have moving water" : why is this strangely profound? !!!!

    I just mingled your bird sounds with the bird sounds here floating in my sunporch: some screaching Gulls and a few crazy Terns, bluebirds, a fish crow and other tweets. It made me smile.

    There is a beautiful dragonfly impression i get from your inspired by nature image top. Its lovely; as all of them are. I like the simplicity too of the Ivory thread on the ear ring.
    Very cold up there. Its going to be sultry today down here. I think "water" has always remained with me, even when i was landlocked between where i am now and where you are, water always plays in my psyche, because it is part of my origins.
    The other day I was on the beach for five hours walking and finding, it was warm enough to be barefoot in the water but cool enough for a sweatshirt too... almost nobody there. I didn't want to leave it was so amazingly beautiful. All i could think was Where is everyone and why isn't the whole world staring at the sea?

    (But i was glad they weren't all there)

  3. finally......
    mama - so glad you're working back to creating. My arboretum walks have been my salvation. Those restorative walks are translating into a new burst of creativity - blessed relief. I know you'll find your own path - just stop looking and it will no doubt appear.

    darling m - just thinking of your eastern NC birds listening to my western NC birds makes me smile and if you see a dragonfly (my chosen totem) in anything I do, that is a blessing indeed.
    Walking the beach for long hours in solitude - that is most assuredly heaven on this earth. Rediscovering and now acknowledging the effect of moving water on me is proving to be profound indeed.

    with enormous gratitude and many blessings

  4. i can't watch the videos. part of the package deal of living out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by incredible natural beauty but no access to a faster connection. if i have to choose, i go with natural beauty to surround me rather than bells and whistles, any old time.
    you know how i am affected and influenced and inspired by my surroundings; i've pulled you along with me on my river walks, used to have you go sit with me in the water and search for stones. the trees, the stones, the sky, the water all wrap into one great big dose of inspiration, each and every time.

  5. darling Nina - yep, you're one ... my 'darlings' go out to the beloved friends, on-line and off, that inspire and provoke and nudge and nurture my creativity and psyche and emotions ... which leads to waves of gratitude and feelings of being enormously blessed.


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