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Friday, May 25, 2018

Note from Spring


I am happy to report I walked my way safely through winter
and now it is spring again, and it's wonderful. full stop.
Walking the dog around the property the other day
taking in the jungle sounds of these pacific foothills.
As she relieved herself, sniffed random leaves, and rolled in the cedar duff
an obstacle revealed itself, as well an opportunity
and a solution, to a practical problem, bumped into
each other, ostensibly it's a dog walk, that I take everyday
the practice that I have built my existence around protecting
the walk that enables the continued health of my body and mind
which I ask a lot of everyday to pursue all of the things that sustain me.
So what happens when the dog cannot take the walk
that walk, the just about 3 miles daily, the one where I can go
flat out fully striding with her at my side. It happened recently,
she cut her foot and was lame for a week. Without her
I felt off balance and down-right lonely. But I walked fast those days.
It will become too much for her, on hot days it's too much now.
So I resolve to walk her around the property, doing little circuits
in the meantime, we'll meander rather than march. I'll keep an eye on things
as the seasons change along with everything. Day by day,
give us this walk, our daily walk.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Peace Pigrim

https://www.npr.org/2013/01/01/168346591/peace-pilgrims-28-year-walk-for-a-meaningful-way-of-life

My new hero. Meet Peace Pilgrim who began walking January 1, 1953 and continued until her death in 1981.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Portrait of the Artist Series, 2011/2012

2011

















I  forget to be generous with myself about what I get done. I am just a messy bossy human hoping for a good kick at the can, I have a lot on my to-do list. Doing some reflecting this January, thought I'd revisit these paintings and prints after a trip to the Vancouver Art Gallery last week. I made the first one after watching The Royal Tennenbaums but then it became a little habit and selfies were huge suddenly as Facebook rose in popularity. I guess I was already feeling the ennui of social media. These represent my first step toward developing an art practice.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Smoke, real and imagined.



Family Portrait

This is my submission for 2017
a year in review
taken near the summer solstice
it represents my small family
my primary relationships
place, people, objects
she is hidden and emerging both
my best project nearing completion
he is not pictured but present
unconditionally
I am the smoke

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Why a Sewcialist?


It seems silly to stand on your back deck taking pictures of yourself, but there you go. We live in crazy times. I think slow fashion is a great mindset to cultivate so I thought I would chime in as I get so much inspiration throughout the year from all the talented makers out there on the internet.

I'm a tall active person, I need clothes that can really support all that I do in a day. I stopped looking at much retail fashion because very little of it really fits me properly and as a tall person there is nothing worse than wearing something that makes you feel like the Hulk. So I am cobbling together my own look and through the process learning a lot about my body and what makes it look and feel good.

Clothing should be comfortable but it can also be inspiring. I feel protected in my clothes and I also feel powerful. When I get this outfit on, on a crisp fall morning I feel ready to face the day.

This outfit is a mixture of me-made, custom made, and inherited. This corduroy Miette Skirt with me-made tights wants you to take it for a walk. When I was a kid I never had tights that were long enough, it was a humiliation. Sewing my own leggings is practically a healing act.

The hoodie and top both in Hemp are by Intertwined Designs customized for me. There are quite a few options for custom made stuff these days and whether you are supporting a small local business or a custom shop overseas, rest assured these pieces are going to be long lasting.

I knitted the kerchief scarf using Spincycle Yarns and my own whacky no pattern approach to things. The jade necklace was a gift from my lovely mother in law.

My shoes were previously owned by my brother in law who died in late February. I walk in these shoes most days and I think a bit about him when I lace them up. Walking is an essential daily activity. Some people pray, I walk.

The dog is a volunteer. The best kind.

Here's what I had to say two years ago about Slow Fashion October

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Labor Day


Jonathon Borofsky, Hammering Man outside SAM in Seattle Photo ©Rowan Moore-Seifred Feb 2015

Labor Day, Everson Wa.
The weather is hot and winds from the east are blowing wild fire smoke over us.  The weekend was full of traversing the border, visiting friends and laying around stunned by the heat and that feeling of summertime sadness. The beautiful season is winding down and I am looking forward to moving ahead but I must be present in this moment now and sit with the sadness. There is a lot to reflect upon.

Labor Day makes me think of the Hammering Man by Jonathon Borofsky. I saw his exhibit at MOCA  (Mar 17, 1986 – May 18, 1986) in Los Angeles when I was attending school there. My friend Mike and I went. I think we were both pretty impressed with it and reading about him now, I am struck by this:

CMM: When you stopped working and started counting, what prompted that?
JB: I had just left graduate school and moved to New York City [in 1966]. I was digesting the New York scene. There was Pop Art and Minimal Art. Both seemed very beautiful to me. Yet each had a weakness or flaw. I was a young artist, searching for his own uniqueness. I ended up in my studio a lot, thinking a lot, writing thoughts down. Less making of things and more thinking about things. I looked for a way to simplify the thought processes. I began to do little 1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3, 4; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5—writing of number sequences on paper almost as a way to pass the time and not have to think so deeply. Later, I made a decision to count from one to infinity and did write those numbers on paper. After about a year or two of doing that solely with nothing else, counting for a few hours a day as my art activity, I began to go to painting and sculpture again. I made this connection...instead of signing this painting I made today with my name, I'm going to sign it with the number I was on on this particular day when I stopped counting.



We camped at Alouette Lake with friends and witnessed the eclipse together. I am so grateful for my long and evolving friendships. It was our 16th trip this time.


The sky was clear and the sun felt altered, brighter but deeper. Then the moment of cool when the sun is blocked. All that energy stopped for a few seconds.
 
We waited and tried not to look at it. The lake glistened. My heart glistened.

I hoped the dog would not be blinded. I had no sunglasses for her. She seemed instinctively to know what to do.




Bringing old friends camping with us was my favorite activity of the summer. 


It was a great season in my garden, I learned so much and had many little successes. I visited this Bellingham Wa garden of my friend Binda Colebrook. A lovely place to walk around and muse about plants.

It's sad when summer comes to an end but there is an excitement about getting started again. I connected with quite a few people over the summer who expressed a lot of anguish about the American political situation. In fact it was impossible to avoid it at almost any gathering. I see that people are feeling angry and hopeless and it's all too bad I feel. All this wasted energy feeling fearful. It pulls us away from the real work at hand.

I think our real labor is to be human and to help one another, to lift one another up. I have felt the malaise of the times but I am working to reject it through my daily art making practice.

The Hammering Man photo up top reminds me to keep creating the reality I want to exist in. A notion lost to the young man in the photo who ended his life a few months after this was taken. Life is already a lottery win so why not experience every minute of it. There are no second helpings.

Happy fall, happy new year!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Reflection

Yellow Ceiling Reflection 2017 Digital Photograph © Rowan Moore Seifred

I am in between things and I don't know where it's all going to end up and I am cool with that. The intensity of motherhood is receding, beckoning my deeper self to emerge. There will never be an end to the job but the formative work has been done. I am freer now to be more deeply myself and to explore the things I have willingly put aside in favor of child rearing. Primarily art making.

Understanding who I might be as an artist has been my journey for the past decade. I have been quietly working away looking for signs, practicing just being with my thoughts and ideas as I marched up and down my rural road. I kept my mind open and paid attention to what stopped me and made me say yes.  The work above is a bi-product of that. Here is the first piece in this series.

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Social Media Again

For the past several months I have yet again begun to question the role of social media in my life and work. It started in August when I sat down to look at the influence of social media on my development as an artist for a Pecha Kucha presentation at MONA.

I started by looking back to 2007 when I started blogging.  The fact that a linear record existed was notable. With that in mind I admit to willingly playing  along with this social media experiment but now I am feeling a need to reassess what it's best role is for me. I embraced Facebook fully in the beginning, like I declared my LOVE for it shamelessly in a status update one day in 2009. It wasn't long before I was also ready to began changing my use of it when I could see how it was changing my behavior in relation to how I was marketing my business. In those days I spent hours uploading photos of every little thing I was doing, now I am tremendously selective about what I post. I have switched to mostly posting photos via Instagram with some sharing to Twitter. I sometimes engage with Twitter during a live event which is sort of informative and provocative at times, and I ask  myself again what am I getting if anything from these engagements with social media. I am not getting job leads, I am not making residuals. So why I am dedicating time to it?

When I look back at my blog now I can see myself emerging little by little. Did I have to write a blog about all that, could I have gone to a therapist instead? I wanted to work that out and the blog seemed like a reasonable way to do it. I participated. The blog format has been an equalizer for people. The ability to publish your story this way is of course a thing to behold and revere. And in the beginning blogs went crazy and it gave me a place to think more deeply about what I was feeling in order to write about it. And because the potential of an audience existed I strove to be a better writer and a less whiny human.

Out in the real world. Pathways and grasses at UBC
 
In the past year the blogging dropped right off. I became silent due to issues in my personal life that needed all my focus.  I tried to write about the big stuff that was happening as a way of processing it, but that became tedious. Just being, not talking was better. In the background I stayed true to my daily practice of journal writing but I missed the blog. The slow crafting of thoughts into sentences that some how exorcise the hard stuff and open up the possibility for greater creativity. I will keep at it.

I joined Instagram a few years ago and used it as the origin for the images I was sharing. Picking people to follow who I found inspiring to my practice felt useful in contrast to Facebook. Even though I know my list is ranked magically to match my usage, I do still spend more time staring at it than is productive but I am trying to quash the impulse to grab for my device and scroll. Too much checking-in takes me away from keeping my attention focused on my actual work and process. The best use of Instagram for me is that of a digital sketch book. So the audience I have to please is myself and I can get inspiration when I want it.

Obviously around the election Facebook was brutal and that was when I took my first steps away from it and lately it is off my radar all together, except to check in with clients pages. No scrolling, no sharing, no commenting. I see it as the most useless and potentially dangerous of the social media formats. To borrow from local indigenous tradition I think Facebook steals your soul in the form of the data you add and share. I refuse to give it my digital chi any longer.
Twitter is the third tier and I try to only broadcast there. Like Instagram I see it as an archival tool, only with Twitter I like to share in a more macro way, to release data into the larger internet.

I think I am graduating from the notion of social media to the reality of a digital footprint, a collection of materials that describe me, that I author and manage expressly for my own use. I miss the little endorphin hits random likes give me but I hope that the time I save I can dedicate to more meaningful activities that will easily replace that hollow gratification that masks a more sinister presence.
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