studio

In my studio: Celebrating wellness

I have really grown to love New Years. I used to find the ritual of staying up late and making resolutions that I probably wouldn't keep to be a bit underwhelming, but now I see it as a great way to look back and celebrate the blessings of the year, and renew my commitments to various practices.

In my studio: Celebrating Wellness || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

With all that in mind, I got to spend much of New Years in my home studio working on collages. This mini-series is a celebration of the extra time we got to spend time together as a family and our hopes for the upcoming season! Hope you enjoy!

Celebrating wellness || an abstract collage mini-series || Rachel Loewens Fine Art
Celebrating wellness || an abstract collage mini-series || Rachel Loewens Fine Art
Celebrating wellness || an abstract collage mini-series || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

 
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Ordinary time in my studio

Ordinary time in my studio || Rachel Loewens

I just finished the book Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren, and it was really amazing. One of the moms at my daughter's school gave this whole presentation on establishing rhythms of liturgy in everyday life, and I felt like it brought deeper meaning to some of the practices my family tries to observe. Something that was new to me was this idea of Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time takes place two times a year, generally January-February and then again June-November (more info here and here).

The word "ordinary" is referring to both a counting of days (ordinal) and to a simpler season between times of the year filled with extraordinary amounts of celebration. The second meaning is what I'm taking comfort in right now. My summer was just so full of good, fun things that I feel like I'm trying to catch up with just ordinary time at home and in my studio. 

Road trip across Nebraska || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

 

The #PCJ30in30 challenge on Instagram by Amira Rahim is really helping me to get back in the swing of ordinary life practices. I'm aiming to have each piece tell something about the day that it was created: the weather, an experience, a memory with my family. 

Pulling and printing with ornamental grass || Ordinary Time in my studio || Rachel Loewens Fine Art
Raining sunshine || Ordinary Time in my studio || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

To stay up to date with this challenge, you can find me over on Instagram as RachelLoewens!



First lessons from my residency: choosing what I value

Sunday night we celebrated my oldest turning 6 at my mom's house. It was a lovely night full of good conversations, yummy food, and laughter. 

Dried hydrangea flower || Cyanotype in progress || Rachel Loewens

My mom's hydrangea bush had a few blooms leftover from last year so I snatched them up to do some sun printing. 

 
Outdoor studio || Omaha, NE || Rachel Loewens
 

While Omaha's forecast predicted 15 straight days of clouds and rain, we had plenty moments of sunshine for me to work in my "outdoor studio". 

Days later I set about mounting some of these prints because I hope to sell them as a means to fund my residency. The kids were all occupied and my supplies were at hand so I set forth to make a quick job of it. Of course, disaster quickly ensued.  Little ones offered to "help" me, I politely declined and in my haste to be as efficient as possible I ruined a print (my mom's favorite one, of course!). 

 
Mounting fail || Rachel Loewens
 

Of course I was immediately frustrated with what I did, but more so that I wasn't valuing my children's involvement with my work. Then I realized that I wasn't actually valuing my work either since I was in such a hurry to get it done. 

Studio mate || Rachel Loewens

A minute to slow down my breathing, a prayer asking for wisdom and grace, and we moved on to have a better day.  My daughter made flowers with her glue gun, and I returned to mounting the rest of my prints. 

Update: 

I have two 5x7" cyanotype prints available for instant digital down load here! Only $10 each! (they even will fit into standard frame)

Weekend work in progress

The past two weeks have allotted me so much time in my studio! I know it will be much more difficult for me to have that once school starts up this week so I'm really celebrating the time I did have.

Rachel Loewens || Fine Art

I've been trying to capture impressions of memories I have for each season of the year. This has really helped me appreciate all the color we still have outside during the bleaker months of the year!

Rachel Loewens || Fine Art

I'm not real bit on making resolutions, but I would love to use this pieces to make a calendar for 2018. What are some of your creative goals for the New Year?