Morning Rituals: Art, Writing & Design Blogs

 Little Guru - Olaf Hajek

How do you start your morning? What are your morning rituals?

Before I take my dog for our early morning walk, I check my favorite blogs and sites to begin the day with art and ideas.  Later, on the trail, while my dog is sniffing and marking his tiny heart out, my imagination is sparking and I'm ready to work on my own art or writing.

Beginning the day this way always reminds me of line from Mary Oliver's poem, Wild Geese, "...the world offers itself to your imagination..."

Blogs are like friends, each one a new world, each offering itself up to the imagination. 

Here are a few of my favorite sites to get your day sparking:

The Jealous Curator 
Danielle Krysa's blog and Podcast showcase art and interviews with emerging and established artists. I lovelovelove the podcast and listen to it while I'm working in my studio.

This site is an incredible source for insightful, provocative, thoughtful, (choose your adjective and it will apply...), well-written & researched & linked articles, on a wide-ranging array of international art fairs, exhibitions, movements, and artists of note, from art history to contemporary, such as Marcel Duchamp and Mickalene Thomas, for instance. Start with two of my favorites: Art Genome Project case study and Big Art History and see where they lead.

You know when you were little and you had an ant farm terrarium and you watched in complete fascination  as the ants worked tirelessly clearing tunnels, going about their work for the common good? And then at some point, for some inexplicable reason, you moved on to another interest. Well, Brainpickings blog is like that ant farm, except, that unlike our former child selves, we won't ever lose interest in Maria Popova's tireless work of bringing all things interesting, thought provoking, dear and uncomfortable, to our attention.

Design Sponge
Grace Bonney's blog is so much more than the standard design or lifestyle blog. Her blog is an engaging perspective and important voice on diverse subjects and peoples. Check out her interviews with contemporary artists, writers, podcasts and travel guides.

Brown Paper Bag 
Sara Barnes has curated one of the sweetest art blogs with it's line-up of illustrators, paper, ceramic, and textile artists. Can you even believe that Queen Bey vase! Or the Olaf Hajek paintings?

Swiss Miss
You know that ant farm I was talking about earlier? Well, this is the ant farm on crack, except for all appearances & 99u talks,  Tina Roth Eisenberg is quite possibly the most chill, hip & balanced Type A over-achiever on the Internets. Get ready for the overuse of exclamation marks: She is the founder of Tattly (temporary tattoos by artists!), Creative Mornings (breakfast lecture series for creatives!), Teux Duex (a to-do app she designed!), and Friends (a Brooklyn based co-working space!) And she's a wife! And she's a mother! And she dances

Summer Reading List 2016

The Siren's Day Off - Marie Fox

I have read a few of the books listed below and have yet to write about them, but I included them for you to consider for your summer reading.

I am excited to read in the hammock, by the ocean, and hanging out in my new outside reading nook.

Summer is the best!

Check the following books out at your local library or independent book seller! (all links/book reviews are provided by Amazon)

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler
Oreo - Fran Ross
The Blazing World - Siri Hustvedt
Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert (yes, that Elizabeth Gilbert)
The Crossroads of Should and Must - Elle Luna
Man Alive - Mary Kay Zuravleff
The Secret Lives of Buildings - Edward Hollis
The Opposite of Loneliness - Marina Keegan
Life In, Life Out - Avital Gad-Cyckman
Intelligence in the Flesh - Guy Claxton
The Bricks That Built the Houses - Kate Tempest
Ms. Hempel Chronicles - Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
The Understory & The Virgins - Pamela Erens
Wizard of the Crow - Ngugi wa Thiong'o
The Empathy Exams - Leslie Jamison
The Buddha in the Attic - Julie Otsuka
Tales of a Female Nomad - Rita Golden Gelman
Phenomenal - Leigh Ann Henion
Invisible Cities - Italo Calvino
Forest of Fortune - Jim Ruland
Syllabus - Lynda Barry
Bright Lines - Tanwi Nandini Islam
On Gold Mountain - Lisa See
Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling - Ross King
A Brief History of Seven Killings - Marlon James
The Moor's Account - Laila Lalami
The Queen of the Night - Alexander Chee

Poem Therapy: Grief's Weird Sister, Gratitude - Jennifer Michael Hecht.

The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born - Njideka Akunyili Crosby

How to read a tome of Collected Poems?
Read one that pivotally changes you
and lose track of the page and title.
How to clean a house? Lose your ring in it.
Milosz not having to make peace one day
because the people are dead, nor revisit
some cities of his blood, because they are
razed. I’m still reading for that one.
If I wince that I got cuppy, said too much,
maybe years ago, sometimes the sudden
knowledge that my auditor is no longer
will come in as wistful relief, if with grief.
So I’d like to find it. This “how” isn’t
an engineering question, but angle,
here alchemically
translated to hope by way of loss.


Grief is a savage sister to Gratitude. The last few years have been lessons in loss. Loss of all kinds. I won't go into it, that's what poetry is for, to show rather than tell. What I will say is that I am grateful to be on this side of it.