June M.

Each lesson hits home with me. I am guilty of spending time on things that keep me away from my studio. Many are good things, family, friends, community. It's a balancing act and sometimes I need to tip the scales more in my favor.

I took a break from clearing out my studio to do the exercise. I wanted to do something different. I looked in my box of give away items and found a necklace of squarish glass beads from the dollar store. Since I was getting rid of it anyway, what did I have to lose? I counted out 100 beads. They looked like mosaic tiles. I played with them and glued them on a piece of cardboard with a design and created a tile. Flat. Boring. Expected. Unsatisfying.

So, I counted out 100 more beads. I played more. I kept asking “what if...”. Finally I started stacking them. Stacking in small groups made them more fun so I started gluing them together in funky shapes. I wanted each stack to stand on its own. I had to hold them while the glue set so they didn't topple over. Talk about obsessive! I lost track of time and I have no idea how long I spent making my bead stacks. I still didn't know what I was going to do with them, but they were more interesting and I was having fun.

I had to wait a few hours for them to dry, so I had to be patient. This was something I could not rush. When I returned I had many thoughts going through my mind about what they represented andhow to use them. I played with them for a while and I kept asking “what if...”. I tried many arrangements. They kept looking like a fortress or a wall and that's not what I wanted. I was in a good mood and I wanted that reflected in this piece.

As I worked and kept asking “what if I did this”. I was tapping into my curiosity. I have learned that if I can get to a curious state and ask questions then issues and frustrations aren't so scary. It works for business, life, and art. So, I made a question mark to remind me how important is is for me to be curious. At the end I added a few beads on the background to remind me where I started.

I'm going to keep it. It was trash and now it's something meaningful to me. It will serve as a visual reminder for me when I'm frustrated.