Artful Simplicity… What is it? I have embarked on a path in my life that begs a few questions at every turn. 1.) How can I do more with less, in other words, do I need to buy that new thing, whatever it is, or do I have something that can serve that purpose? 2.) What can I do to get more use out of that which is around me… If I’m about to throw something out or recycle it, can I think of a way in which it my be re-conceived or re-purposed. 3.) How can this make my life more beautiful. And 4.) Am I being mindful and setting my intention with the words I use and the actions I take. These questions together bring the ideals of living simply and living artfully together into one simple mantra… Artful Simplicity.
When I started this blog I was toying with the question of what my life would be like if I threw out my assumptions about the world and the way in which I engaged with the day to day issues (i.e. going to the grocery store, hardware store, doing my laundry, making food). I had already embarked on a path that put me near my ideals, but there was a lot deeper I could delve.
Now we find ourselves in a new town, in a new state, with a new daily reality. While in San Diego, I worked most days, and Amy stayed home with Kieran. Now, I’m a stay at home Dad while Amy is in school, who gardens, cans tomatoes and peach jam, and looks for ways to really live the vision in my head of living each moment in concert with those questions above. Living Artful Simplicity.
I am about to embark on another new path. One where I try to live solely in that world of artful simplicity. It is my hope, now, to turn all of the artistic endeavors of my past toward a self-realized path of abundance. I have spent so much of my life concerned with making enough money to support what I love doing, instead of doing what I love to support my life. I offer some examples here of past work that serve as inspiration to move forward.
As I move in to this next phase of my life as an artist, I look forward to re-imagining my surroundings through the art I make. Art is life and life is art. Over the next few months, I will be launching two lines of goods made at home by me.
One I call “RE:designs”, the concept of which is a line of goods, not determined by their type, but by their philosophy. Anything made under this tag will have at its core an element of reuse, or reconstruction, or re-imagination. In sticking with my tendency to put the cart before the horse (thanks mom for the apt analogy), here is the imagined “label” or “logo” for anything made in that vein. I imagine anything made from recycled, found, or reclaimed materials fits the bill here. For example, I recently built a new compost bin out of reclaimed wood from an old barn. Where that is not necessarily a commodity that I can sell to the public, it is a reclamation of something old, employed with artful simplicity to serve the needs of my re-imagined life. Therefore, this project fits the philosophical model of RE:designs. Specific items potentially for sale would include the “Raglings” in the above slideshow which are made completely from reclaimed materials. I have also made prayer flags, blankets, and bags in the past, and have recently started reclaiming yarn from old sweaters to be knit or crocheted into new items.
The second will be focused on my love of clay and will be called FAi(e)rSAND Ceramics. The goal under this project is to bring my useful designs in clay (i.e. utilitarian, non-sculpture based pottery) to my local farmer’s markets, craft fairs, boutiques, and galleries. In the same spirit as the above, I have created this “label” or “logo” to help propel me toward the reality of this change in life.
It’s my hope that by harnessing my love of creating “things” with an artful eye, that I’ll be able to provide enough to sustain our basic needs as a family and allow me to stay at home with Kieran to share my love of those things with him.
It’s a new life! A new world in which artful simplicity reigns. At least in our home.