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September 29, 2008

Been a while

NRV 2, originally uploaded by katiek2.

This Sunday I sang backup for the worship team at church. It's been a long time since I've done that. Not really for any good reason, just never seemed needed. And there was always someone more willing, more available, and more driven. I do love to sing, but I decided to pursue a different passion. The visual art variety. I said yes to Dave a few weeks ago with confidence that I would do it, but with a hesitation that it had been over ten years. With the distractions of the REVIVE fund raiser on Saturday night, and my husband's desire to see the Krystal Square Off on Sunday afternoon, I was completely unable to get nervous or think twice. I also reminded myself that this was my home church, my friends that I was singing with. I am not ignorant to the important aspects of worship. As far as back up singing goes, less is more sometimes. What's also nice is that our church's style of worship is very very easy for me to naturally sing along with, without feeling like I have to be a chameleon. The only thing I was worried about is that I would be all concerned about performing and I wouldn't worship, myself. But I was very wrong, and God is very good. I could barely hear myself in the monitor (and yes, I asked the sound guys to turn me up) so I just forgot about whether I sounded tired or flat. I just kept it safe and worshipped. To look over our intimate congregation from a different place I was so excited to see faces, new and old, worshipping. I always feel like Joel and I may be the only ones, but yesterday I saw everyone and it was wonderful. On top of that, the building we're using is ripping up old carpet and so the downstairs where the kids meet was pretty funky. All the kids were up for the whole service. This was neat since Josiah and Eden got to see me sing. I didn't think it would be that big of a deal for them, but Josiah can't stop talking about it. Funny. I couldn't watch Josiah because he was cracking me up, but Eden was dancing and running in the aisle. Gotta say, I've been running since Saturday evening and I still have to finish laundry, email absent students homework, and pack Josiah's lunch for tomorrow, but it was such a blessing to open up a part of me that I haven't shared for a long long time.

the spirit within | By katiek | 10:40 PM | Comments (3)

September 25, 2008

The Sky Woke Up

The Sky Woke Up., originally uploaded by katiek2.

Here's my humble piece for REVIVE. It'll be nice to help out a great cause and party a bit. As much as this creaky bod can party these days. I mean seriously, I bought myself a hot water bottle today *creak*. It was like over 10 bucks!
Anywho, this is acrylic on a bamboo plate.

community , fine art | By katiek | 3:57 PM | Comments (1)

September 24, 2008

No Mysteries

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This morning I was thinking about my past two pregnancies and I realized there has been a running theme. I have had a pretty heavy emotional period through each one. My first pregnancy started while we were in Norway and ended just a couple months out of living in my In-laws home, not knowing where we were going to live. I was a wreck! "When Lord, when would we have what we needed to be a family?" I spent almost every morning sleeping in late and every evening trying to make art and trying to get over little things that I experienced through the day with members of my family that were living so close in proximity to me. I did alot of crying, and praying. Poor Joel.
My pregnancy with Eden I had a friendship/mentorship totally fall apart. This relationship came to a blunt confrontation (which unfortunately happened over the phone) and then that was it. These friends got divorced and entered lives that are heart-breaking and difficult. I don't know if Joel and I are throughly over that experience. It definately has changed how we give ourselves to some folks. I cried alot, and blamed Joel for taking sides, and I could not shake the grief. This is not normal for me.
So since I blogged about my heaviness of spirit I have been working out step by step where this sadness come from. I have no large emotional trauma to pin it on, but life sure has changed alot. Some days I have to fight back tears I miss Josiah, and I want him home. And then I remember that I am still in charge of him and Joel and I are raising him up. He's being trained to be a student by those who are talented to do so. Just like I am training young artists to learn how to see all over again.

I am trying to kick myself in the pants and get motivated. Some motivation is important, like basic cleaning, nuturing, relating to the family. My hours are booked with daily tasks, from going to and from school to squeezing in an hour to make art while Eden puts eyes, carrots and fluffy tails on bunnies. Have I told you how much I love my daughter? She makes this pregnancy such a joy! She is patient, gentle, turns off the TV, and she has the funniest little conversations with me and with herself. Eden is a blessing, and she's beautiful. My stress level declines as I play with her hair.
My nesting intinct curbs the ambition I typically have to pursue bigger art opportunities right now. The sting I left Clothesline with has been shaken off and my confidence restored. But that sting does not give me any adrenaline to go shop myself. It takes an artsy neighborhood with a multitude of events to keep me off of the couch and a few feet over at the dining table painting something for the next event. I really should be doing that now. But I also should be cleaning my bathrooms. Time by myself at Niedlov's with a scone and some chai is so worth it.

I'm telling myself that that lack of ambition is totally ok. Giving time to myself to sleep before 11:30pm is very unusual, but my body just says STOP. Meet the deadlines. Clean the bathroom in little sections. Twist my fingers through my daughter's hair. Hug on Josiah a little bit longer every afternoon. Be glamorous and social when it's convenient, not when it's available. And say "no" and "it's Ok" to more things than my non-pregnant nature will allow. After all, I'm almost 32, and I got a lot more life to work, live and be ambitious. Let those folks who aren't Tessa, Eden and Josiah's mama have a turn. I'm going to enjoy this time that I can move slowly. Thanks for loving on me everyone.

mommy time , the spirit within | By katiek | 9:21 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2008


This photo is the opposite of heaviness. My 27lb girl soaring as high as I feel comfy pushing her on our neighborhood swings. Princess dress soaring in the breeze. What wonderful fall breezes we've had in the evenings! It also has made the walks to school at 7:30am much nicer too.

But for some reason my heart has felt so heavy this week. I cannot shake it. I try to drown the feeling with special outtings, dolling myself up nice, giving "helpful" advice, pouring myself into projects with my kids, hugging on them longer, sleeping more, nothing really works. I realize that God is trying to tell me something. I really have been trying to deal with different emotions by myself and have not been seeking him for the comfort and release I need. I have felt incredibly overwhelmed by not only the everyday, but large looming future things that I typically do not let bother me. Yes, I am pregnant, I cry a lot more often, but this feeling of heaviness is more than just Tessa wobbling around. In fact, her moving distracts me and reminds me of the joyful future event I have to look forward too. Maybe I'm lonely? Maybe I'm a smidge sleep deprived? Maybe the excitement of the school year has worn off and now it's just annoying. I have just felt so weary, so inadequate, so cluttery, so impatient. I have begun pining for time to stand still a little bit.

I found a picture of Josiah and I when he was just under a year old. The smiles were so bright. Of course I got some of Josiah's first day of school pictures printed yesterday and those smiles bring me just as much joy. I can't rewind anything, and I wouldn't for a second. My kids have not been the cause of my heaviness, even when I had to take Josiah, with newly skinned elbows, to school this morning and all I wanted to do was take him home with me and bandage him up. Or suffer through writing letters with him, and crying with joy because he's improving so much. I am so thankful and full of a sense of blessing seeing my little copper-tops run down the sidewalk roaring and having adventures. Spending every day with just Eden is a blessing and a break that God knew I needed. She's my prettiest accessory and the best snuggling partner.

I don't like being transparent sometimes, and I definately have the choice to NOT share these feelings on my blog. But I feel that this is important for me to remember.When the Lord shows me the next path that leads to more and more blessing and joy I will look back and say that He was teaching me simple things. Just like me sitting with Josiah patiently talking him through making S's. It seems so hard for a child. And I have to remember that's what I am too.

the spirit within | By katiek | 9:05 AM | Comments (4)

September 17, 2008

My comments work now

So you can leave equally heavy comments to may latest heavy postings. Thanks.

community | By katiek | 6:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2008

The Wrap Up


After a good 24 hours I have regained my composure after the weekend of Our Clothesline Art Show. What a crazy weekend of events! Thanks to all of you that came out to view and celebrate with us our hardwork and our individual methods of communication! We always feel so loved and encouraged by your presence and your reactions to our work. Yet, I could contemplate longer about why I feel things were different this time. I could mope about how I didn't sell what or as much as I wanted to. But in the end I came home from this weekend with good memories. Memories of hanging out with women that I admire for more than their ability to make great art. They are warm, funny, beautiful, versatile, encouraging, and hospitable. I wish that I had more energy and more selflessness to not think about the circumstances and just "be" with this great group.

We had a tremendous group on Friday night. And there are mutterings that the mayor and some big-wig from the Hunter Museum was there. Can someone tell me for sure? Maybe the tragic flaw was we forgot that guestbook on Friday night to keep track? We had a steady flow of patrons on Saturday. But after the day was wrapping up and we saw a few Gallery Hoppers trail in, we started to discuss, like we always do, about "next time". When will "next time" be? What will we change? What circumstances will we overcome? Where is the clientelle we want?

So with a bittersweetness I ended this Clothesline Show. I love showing art to those who might not feel so comfortable walking into galleries around town, but I long to reach out and have perfect strangers by my art time and time again. I long to find new earth to tread. Are our friends pockets only so deep?



I cannot say I am discouraged. I am thoughtful to a painful degree. Thinking not only about the future of my art, but the future that God has laid out for all of us. I find myself wrapped up in thoughts that are too complex and too scary sometimes. I may sound ridiculous, but I am too comfortable. Is it time to acknowledge that in a bad economy my skill is utterly disposable? Gas is $5 a gallon, no money to buy art. Kids are too overwhelmed with other classes, yank them out of art class. I can't afford the future either.

But honestly, a day out of my thoughts is like great cleansing massage or steam facial. Joel, my wonderful, beautiful husband, gave me the gift of time. Time that I could use fresh energy to write my lesson plans Sunday morning. So today I got myself ready for a day of teaching at a slower pace. I had a clear head, and an organized slide show for each class. So from 9am to 3pm I could think about something else, someone else, another generation, another clientelle that I can inspire to use their creativity. And you know, even though I pull my "mommy voice" out for this group, I am equally honored and inspired by these young artists. How hardworking and talented they are. How hard they work for the simple task of pleasing the creative process. They use me up every Monday, but they bring me back to a place of thankfulness where I can have dinner with my family, laugh with my children, and not feel sad or discouraged. Not one bit.

community , family , fine art , the spirit within | By katiek | 8:56 PM | Comments (3)

September 11, 2008

Our Clothesline Art Show

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There is alot going on this weekend here in Chattanooga TN. A lot revolving around the city wide Gallery Hop. That's what we've planned! So if you're already on the Southside of Chattanooga for any reason, come by and see us. We're gonna try and top our 200-300 opening reception crowd. Well, not really, but it'd be great to see all of you anytime this weekend.

The Artists:
Maria Cardillo, Amber Cooley, Cat Collier, Ellen Franklin, Valerie Gibson, Elizabeth Gray-Earl, Katie Ward Knutson, Lauren Leutwiler, Sarah Nichols, Carrie Pendergrass, Laura Pettit, Kristine Simpson, Linda Thomas, Heidi Vasterling.

Opening Reception is Friday at 6pm. Saturday we're open from 11am-5pm and Sunday from 1pm-4pm.
There will be many different varieties of art, come check it out!

fine art | By katiek | 8:34 AM | Comments (0)

September 8, 2008

Hero WIP

Hero WIP, originally uploaded by katiek2.

I'm working on a few watercolor pieces to round out my Clothesline selections. I don't really care how sellable these are, I just have to celebrate the beautiful colors of my kids faces sometimes. This photo is of my Hero piece in process. I've painted a little more on it, and I hope to wrap it up really soon. Rosey cheeks and watercolors are heaven to work with.

| By katiek | 5:47 PM | Comments (0)

September 5, 2008

I could go for this kinda homeschooling!

Eden is definately less of a "action" kid than Josiah. She still gets stir-crazy and loopy when she's bored, but I can accomplish some wonderful homespun fun with Eden. Josiah was never into projects that much, even though I tried over and over. Of course I am so proud of Josiah's latest family portraits. Go take a look at how much hair I have, kinda close to life!

I have been trying to finish up a small portrait of Eden for Clothesline. Dunno how sellable that is, but...Anyway the full portrait turned out bad and I cropped it, we'll see if I use it. So Eden paints Hello Kitty (thanks again for that birthday present Amber) and I am painting Eden!
Our fun craft today (since the Prev's battery is dead) was to make peg dolls. I bought these this summer but I knew that the only time I could truly use them was when I had Eden alone. I mixed skin tones and Eden painted the heads. I put faces on and Eden decided what color and style hair each doll got. We used wool felt odd scraps. I bet other people actually have yarn, but since I'm not a knitter...I cut out odd pieces of fabric and Eden glued on most of the dresses. While she was gluing, I took a little Micron Pen and drew shoes on the stands. My favorites are the fat little feet with flip-flops.

We quickly found a little house and bed for them. Eden took off all their shoes for "quiet time" and squeaked the highest squeaks ever for the dolls voices. Little girls are so comical that way. I had a nice piece of board that looked like a mini dance floor and Eden proceeded to have them dance all around. Looked like a regular "It's a Small World".

Eden is very proud of them, and yeah, so am I.

family , fine art , mommy time | By katiek | 1:37 PM | Comments (1)

September 3, 2008

24 weeks

24 weeks, originally uploaded by katiek2.

Seems the belly popped out all of a sudden. Just so you know, I didn't assemble the IKEA bed in this picture after I snapped the shot, I thought it had really cool lines. Neat composition. And really there is bad lighting in my house. Not a great thing for a "work at home" artist. So those of you who have been asking for a picture, here you go!

| By katiek | 1:40 PM | Comments (5)

September 2, 2008

Calm and Big

This piece is called "Sage and Empty". It's the sixth new piece I've created for Clothesline and I have at least 2 more pieces in my mind that I want to create. But after my midwife appointment today I realize why it's been so hard to be motivated and even get up and around. I guess Tessa (and I) have hit a growth spurt. My pound or two between appoinments was upped to 5 pounds today. Boy I've felt it. I can't complain, even though pregnancy is really easy to complain about. I've developed a hearty appetite and a bad peanut M&M habit these days. I feel better walking Josiah to school, with Eden on my back in a sling. I get a pretty decent work out. It's no bootcamp, but it's good for me. If you happen to catch a glimpse of me during that jaunt to school I'm a lovely sight to see. Usually in just a little bit more than my PJ's, unwashed face, sneakers, pregnant belly and a 27lb Eden on my back. She loves it! She'll hug me like a little koala bear on and off through the walk. And my back is soaked when by the time we get home. Needless to say, I have kinda given up the walk to pick him up from school, it's a bit much for my day. My midwife Laure asked me today if we're going to go with the Dec 18th due date, or the Dec 26th. I am planning for a Christmas baby. Merry Christmas to me!

We got the kids bunkbeds yesterday at IKEA. So we're now somewhat set up for 3 little monkeys jumping on the bed. Yeah, I don't think they're totally asleep yet. Eden has been in a crib until tonight and maybe she's exploring her freedom. Well, I'll just say extra prayers that they will not be little terrors at school tomorrow.

family , fine art | By katiek | 9:32 PM | Comments (2)