Just Sayin’ Life, 101: Not an Impulse

Just Sayin’ Life:  Great things are not done by impulse, but by a small series of things brought together.

Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh regularly exchanged letters with his brother Theo, and this quote comes from one such letter from October 1882. The young Vincent had recently left his parents’ house and moved to The Hague in The Netherlands, where he was finally able to take daily drawing classes. In fact, Theo sent Vincent his first set of oil paints that summer, and Vincent fully dove into color. This quote applies to both painting and life. You can’t create something magnificent on a whim; great achievements are usually the result of working one step at a time.

For me as a clay artist, this quote and story resonated with me – a lot.  Every new skill takes time to learn, many hours.  After you have put in the time, you get to adjust the skill and create your own style.  I think as I write this blog, I am thinking about all of the pickleball clinic hours that I have put in during March.  I am hoping to become a decent player.  I need a new way to have fun, spend time, and meet people.  Pickleball is such a social sport.  I have made new friends in Florida from all over the country.  Just like potters, these players are helpful and kind.

How are you doing?  How am I doing?  Many of you know I am in my early 60’s.  Lately, it seems that every day I hear of another person managing radiation or chemotherapy.  We can’t take life for granted.  I continue to ask myself if I am spending my day in ways that are good for me, my family and my community. Oh, do you remember that I caught Covid in February (a first time for me)? I think I am back to my normal self.  What ever that is!  🤷‍♀️

Do you listen to podcasts?  I have been enjoying Julia Louis-Dreyfus’, “Wiser than me” podcast.  She interviews mature women talking about their lives and aging.  Julia’s sense of humor is reflected in her interviews.  Recently, Dreyfus talked with Sally Field.  Their conversation had me thinking about my mother.  Sally said, “Sometimes, I talk out loud to her and ask “where are you?”  Then, I realize that if she was here she might be judging me.  So, I say, I miss you but stay where ever you are.  I am doing ok.”   This comment made me laugh out loud.  At my mother’s celebration of life, we talked about how our mother never said a negative word about anyone.  My children and her friends believe this wholeheartedly.  BUT, my sisters and I have said many times in our lives that we needed to get our homes ready for mom’s visit.  So, how is it that we never heard our mother say a negative word but we felt judged?  I think mom would feel badly if she knew this.  I hope my children don’t feel this pressure about my visits and especially, not my daughter-in-laws.  Julia and Sally also talked about the concept of putting difficult issues into an imaginary box.  You put the lid on it until you feel ready to manage the issue.  This made me chuckle and also say to myself, “see other people do this and it’s healthy”.  I have tried to practice this skill all of my life.  Sometimes, we just don’t have the bandwidth or strength to process a difficult situation. It’s ok.  What skill works for you when you are challenged with very tough issues?

tea at the beach

What have you done fun recently?  I saw these young adults on the beach.  They made me smile enormously!  Check out the wood table, candles, cloth tablecloth and napkins, real dishes, and even a ceramic teapot.  My mom would drag our family out to the beach in the summer.  She, too, would have a similar set up.  Real dishes and cloth napkins.  We would groan.  I would give anything to surprise my mom with a “nice” picnic this summer.  It’s a bit chilly at Lake Michigan right now, though.

New Found Art:

I have been down in Naples, Florida for the month of March.  I discovered a new artist whose artwork I find so calming.  I think they would be fabulous in a bedroom or a living room.  Her name is Leslie Berenson. Here are two of my favorite paintings:

leslie berenson paintings
leslie berenson painting

New Recipes to Try:

A spinach and cheese frittatta using cottage cheese with a high protein content.  – Yummy.

Do you like roasted vegetables?  They are easy and good for you.  Check out Maria’s suggestions.

Even though I don’t eat chicken, I might make this for guests soon.  It sounds good.  Soy Glazed Chicken.


A few books I thought you would enjoy:

‘Doppelganger,’ by Naomi Klein

‘The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store’ by James McBride

‘The Magnificent lives of Marjorie Post’ by Allison Pataki

‘More than Just Talk’ by Patti DeNucci

In the Studio:

I am very ready to get back to work.  One of my electric kilns needs some repairs.  I have all of the supplies and will get to work on it next week.  I am so itchy to have my hands in clay.  New glaze colors, forms, and more are all bouncing around in my head.  Better yet, I have written the ideas in my journal.  Time to get to work.

Over the last 4 weeks, I have re-vamped the C2C Gallery website.  I would very much appreciate you taking a look at it.  More changes coming in the next few weeks, but I need to spend some time making new work.  Leo is ready to sit on his chair supervising my projects.

As I get settled and back to work, please take good care of yourself,


art FOR your daily life. we create beautiful things with our hands
platter with shino and brush marks
shino cup
dropped rim bowl

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