As an artist, a lot of my time is spent creating in solitude. I distract easily, so I'm better off hunkered over my workbench, lost in musings of what-if-I-do-this.
I am kept company by little talismans that comfort me. I have some pebbles and shells from Birch Bay. I have a sterling silver cross that my younger son made eons ago when he was 12 or 13 and we took a beginning silversmith class together. He also made a sterling bug, which I cherished. I gifted it back to him a month or so ago, so he would have a memento of the fun we had together, and to look forward to the joy and satisfaction he'll have of working and creating with his children.
I also have a stone gifted to me by a dear artist friend. We met in a birthing class in Southern California when we were both preggies with our firstborn. Oh my goodness! That was over 36 years ago!
But back to the stone Karen gave me. I chose the stone. She had drawn a mermaid on it, which drew my eye. I've had it for about 7-8 years and I love picking it up and cradling it in the palm of my hand. It imparts a wonderful, loving energy. So, it, too, keeps me company at my workbench.
I was adding a chain to a neckpiece that's almost done, when Karen's stone caught my attention. I picked it up and turned it slowly. In addition to the mermaid, there are drawings of a mother with a babe in arms, an older woman's serene face, an angelic young face, and a face surprised or shocked.
My initial reaction was that they were all aspects of the roles I've played throughout my life. It made sense. But, another idea pushed its way to the front of my thoughts. I have created much with the support and comfort of friends all through my life.
Artists may create in solitude, but we're fed and buoyed up by our friends and family. Creativity, for me at least, would be impossible without interaction with other people. Interaction not only with friends and family, but with people who have purchased my jewelry and have become friends.
As I start life a-fresh here in Spokane, I need to reach out to others. Certainly this doesn't mean I'll turn my back on tried and true friendships of long duration. It means ever widening the circle of love and respect.
Just as a stone tossed into the lake creates ever widening circles in the water, so Karen's touch stone in my hand reminds me to welcome others into my circle.
If you want to learn more about Karen Williams Smith's Touch Stones, go to www.touchstoneartwork.com Touch Stones are her newest creations, I urge you to also look at her gallery of whimsical and fine art sculptures and bronzes. She'll be exhibiting at the 2011 Winterfest in Laguna Beach, CA.