Time…

Bathe me in light

It’s been some time since I visited here.

Back in August, the time of my last post, as I ran wild along the rugged and raw California coastline,  I had already been handed the diagnosis. I knew what was coming my way as a result and so that time away felt even more of a gift.

Mine was of the “good kind of cancer” variety. Not minimizing or mocking that phrase as those who said it, meant it to comfort.  But months later, it still sits wrong with me. In September, I had my thyroid removed. No surgery is ever a breeze and I have had my fair share, so I say that with knowing wisdom.  One tiny, delicate cut at the base of the throat…the location, unnerved me more than I expected.  They removed a small tumor that, I’m told, didn’t want to let go. It clung to my vocal chord, residually leaving me without voice for nearly two months. Well, that’s one way to quiet me, for sure…;)  Even without words,  the mind still spins, you know…

The Autumn months were quieter as I took the time I needed to recover. Not easy, to slow this girl down especially since my business/work is one of my passions…But, in the studio, we slowed down, yes… to an ever so slightly slower beat. That gave me time to think, to reflect, to analyze. New directions and new ideas often come from a place of quiet and I look back now in gratitude for that time as we are on course in new ways that feel very right.  At home, I was wrapped even tighter in light and love. Family and dear ones took very good care of me…fed me well and kept me in flowers.

It’s taken time…  for my body to regulate sans thyroid, for my energy levels to stabilize, for my voice to return (that one…still, a work in progress;) I almost feel like myself again. Getting there, day by day.

I’m not always one to share my deeply personal things in a public way and rarely open that side of myself beyond my images and art… My struggles are mine.  But I felt it was time to share a bit more.  Hoping my words enlighten. Thank you for reading …~

The other coast…

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“The sea can do craziness, it can do smooth, it can lie down like silk breathing or toss havoc shoreward; it can give gifts or withhold all; it can rise, ebb, froth like an incoming frenzy of fountains, or it can sweet-talk entirely. As I can too, and so, no doubt, can you, and you.”  ~Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings

Time spent on the other coast, the one I was born on but barely know. Here, the air is misty and the waves have their own unique rhythm.  The rocks, the colors, the sand, the rugged terrain…they are wildly alluring and moody…A mystery to discover. And yet, this coastal seascape also has elements that feel completely familiar and known…stunningly beautiful…home.

My first real day there, even without the sun on my skin, I felt the usual flood of joy and peaceful calm wash over me as I watched the water roll in and out while safely standing on sand. Not so, the next morning, when, feeling the jet lag, I woke ridiculously early and ran alone high up along the jagged coastline into the fog. The sea was fierce at 7am. Raging a bit and crashing loudly into exposed rock as the tide fought to roll back in. Misty sea spray on my face, from my safe perch I watched, predictably gleeful at the majesty of it all but notably nervous too, similar to how I often feel when summer storms roll in.  Yet, feeling brave and buoyed by the love around me, I stayed and smiled and I watched in awe and I listened to the sea song, tapping fingertips as my heart kept the beat. Nowhere else on earth that I can hear myself more clearly than when this close to the ocean I so love.

I slowly walked back through wet manicured lawns to the place where my sister and mother were sleeping. My jeans, soaked at the hem. Coastal sand and stones stuck in the tread of my boots. My hair a mass of tangled wet curls. Breathing deeper… Feeling calmer. Feeling sleepy. Feeling it all.

 

 

Afternoon Reverie

 

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I am noticing that I do my best painting in the late afternoon. The quality of light is really nice at that time of day and it’s usually much quieter in my studio. But I think more than both of those things, by afternoon, my internal rhythm, which can run a bit fast… has finally slowed enough to let me really relax into the painting. Breath is deeper, my hand a little looser… my mind clears and I get lost in gentle thoughts… it’s a state of complete ease. And it’s in these moments that I stray a little farther creatively and try new things, like painting with more water than usual, then letting the water pull the pigment from the brush rather than having my hand control it as I usually do. Results can be…surprising… but the name of this blog is appropriately titled, Risk Delight…  so there you go.  I do hope my artwork delights you from time to time.

It’s natural for me to emphasize the smaller, delicate details…maybe the ones that are a little off the beaten path that you wouldn’t first notice…like the crevice between the rocks or the shadows of the shells that lay just below water’s surface. Or maybe I will choose to highlight the edge of a cloud rather than the cloud itself. Or that mysterious sliver of light where sky meets the sea… it always seems so elusive. My seascapes attempt to honor those details and those less travelled/less seen places that I am so drawn to. How to show you what I see and feel? I continue to try to find new ways of bringing my vision uniquely to life.

All Original artwork ©Michelle Rummel/ Shell Artistree LLC ~

Waiting for Sun

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Quite over the endless rain, I am really feeling the missing today, so in an attempt at self soothing I have opened up my stash of ocean treasure and chosen a few beauties from my collection to keep me company as I wait for a glimmer of sun.  As I turn them over in my hand, some grains of sand fall from between my fingers. Amazing. Here I sit, landlocked and yet instantly…shoreline at my fingertips. Which leads to a smile at the knowing that the light always returns and summer will soon be here.

And… surprise…They still smell of the sea!  This discovery alone delights me… beyond words.

Collaboration #11

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Topographical coastline with pebbles and shimmering tidal pools…or …Butterfly in flight? The ultimate Rorschach test;)

Collaboration #11… something a little different for the latest, in an ongoing collaborative series with Paul Henderson, titled ‘Wave After Wave’ where I add my touches of watercolor to Paul’s flowing ink on paper. Paul’s ink was more splatter than line on this particular piece and I was well aware that I kept shying away from it as I sifted through his pile of beautiful ink work in choosing which would become my next canvas. In the end, I believe it was the seemingly randomness of the ink that called out to me to try and leave my creative mark.  I used an iridescent paint to highlight some of the ink marks…it shimmers quite beautifully in the light. Unique as it was from the start, the finished art feels inherently connected to this most special collaborative series. A new personal favorite, perhaps…

 

Hold onto your vision, trust the process…

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A little design news:)

For over two years, my design team and I have been working and waiting on the launch of my first collection with industry giant, Surya. A dream of mine, to design a line of rugs that feature my natural, organic art. The Natural Affinity rug collection will launch at High Point Market next month. The collection features an assortment of abstract organic wool rugs, all with my signature design aesthetic. A lovely collection of silk pillows will also be available to the trade.

Surya’s Press Release has been distributed to over 300 Media outlets this week.  It was picked up by several of the Trade Magazines including Home & Textiles Today,  HFN, RugNews,  Home Accents Today and Furniture Today. I am overwhelmed (in the best possible way) and simply so grateful.

There is much to be said for being patient, holding onto your vision, trusting the process, believing in your own talents and having faith that it will all come together as it is meant to. A very proud moment for me and my design team. Enjoying the feeling…

Underwater Shimmer

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It’s finally Spring. I always breathe better once we begin to turn the corner from colder air. And although March always feels like an in between kind of month,  the slow but sure return of the light fills me with a certain peace. No one anticipates the bloom of Spring’s blossoms more than me.

It’s been a while since I have visited here. Fine art has taken a back seat to current design work, studio organization, product launches and family life but I have managed to find a little time here and there to create a few new pieces that I am proud of, so I will begin to share them along again.

Some paintings really need to be seen with your own eyes or held in hand to truly feel their subtle magic. Underwater Shimmer is that kind of painting. What doesn’t come across here on the page is the iridescent accents of gold throughout the watercolor. The ink work also has a really beautiful delicate quality that somehow feels flat to me when I view it here. So you’ll have to take my word for it that this one is special.

A lot to share… gently encouraged to do so… lovely to float back in ~

Original watercolor and Ink ©Michelle Rummel / Shell Artistree LLC / Shellrummel.com