Beth Markel

Laumeier, Meijer and Yo-Yo Ma

Posted on September 9, 2013 by Beth Markel

It turns out that music moves me.  Art moves me.  Poetry touches me.  Sculpture speaks to me.  Walking through my first sculpture park must be what heaven looks like (  Walking through the next park in Grand Rapids ( must also be a slice of heaven.  Being exposed to new artists (Isaak Witkin – my new favorite sculptor) and new music (Attaboy – The Goat Rodeo) is taking me on new adventures.  While I am finishing a very “busy” new piece, I see the next quilt I want to make already in my head.  Do other artists work that way?  Did Monet see in his head what he wanted his finished canvas to look like…OR did he just continue painting until his eye was pleased?  Things that just make you go, “hmmmmm, I wish I could ask Monet that question!”

Still on my year-long quest to discover (every single day) something that I find inspiring, I seem to keep coming back to ordinary things – perhaps viewed as suddenly extraordinary.

Purple Allium, in my own backyard

Purple Allium, in my own backyard

To some, gardening is having to cut the grass every week (darling husband).  To others, (myself included) it’s using the dirt and area around your house as a canvas, and brining things to life and full bloom.  Flowers are remarkable in-and-of themselves, especially fragrant lilies, roses, and gardenias, whose fragrances can fill a room and lift my spirits.  When some of the sculptors represented in Laumeier & Meijer Gardens were working, did they think that someday their work would be seen by thousands of people every year?

Curly-Q Leaves

Curly-Q Leaves


Did they see it set out in the beautiful gardens where it now lives?  Would it have changed HOW they work, OR the final sculpture?  I’m guessing it would not have changed their voice or the final artwork, but I’m just guessing at that answer!  Do I create so that somebody will like what I’m sewing, or for praise?  Not really.  I create because it’s in me and I wish to express it!  Finding extraordinary things in the everyday is not really a challenge if I just open my eyes, pay attention to my surroundings, live life in the moment.

Finally, a common event at my house was my Dad telling stories to both my children, especially when they were little.  He thought nothing of stretching out on the floor with them, reading, telling stories, putting puzzles or Legos together, and this simple event played out thousands and thousands of times.  Talk about turning an everyday occurrence into something wonderful, here’s the sculpture by Victor Issa…

Grandpa, the Storyteller by Victor Issa Bronze, 1994

Grandpa, the Storyteller
by Victor Issa
Bronze, 1994

Explore the world! Beth<(((><


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