The Space Between Them

When you’re trail running, sometimes you don’t see people for a long time. It could be miles or an hour or two. And when you finally happen upon one or two, it’s almost shocking. Everything sense concentrated and every detail about this person or people in the landscape absorbed. When there’s more than one person, the space between people and what it might be saying is the most interesting part.

The Space Between by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

The Space Between by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

I happened upon these 2 men at the top of a steep mile-long climb up Rhus Ridge. Where they are standing marks the transition to the more gentle though exposed terrain of Chamise Trail from Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. They were so absorbed in conversation that they did not notice me or my huffing and puffing at all.

The space between them is too large for them to be friends. The fact that they are slightly facing each other means they met there and were not continuing on together. Each person’s physical stance frames the space between them. The expansive and earnest posture of the man on the right and the closed but comfortable posture of the man on the left means the flow of information is going one way and they are both okay with it.

When I ran by them while eating a pretzel, the one on the left asked me if I had enough to share. “Of course,” I offered. But he declined and I ran on and the space between us stayed the same.

 

When You Don’t Feel Like It

I really didn’t feel like going. Truth be told, I whined to myself on the 40 minute drive up to the top entrance to Wunderlich Park on Highway 35, though driving there was much easier than running up. I knew because I had done that before. 

On the topo map the Skyline Trail looked gently undulating, a great recovery terrain after last weekend’s monster tough Big Bear Trail 1/2 Marathon. Regardless, I was dreading hills of any kind. 

Chased along the highway by a pair of frantic mountain bikers in a truck desperate to get on their bikes, I pulled off and parked. My Nathan pack was ready.  Partly tensed against the run, I got out of the car, crossed the road and started down the path. At the first turn, I saw something so crazy beautiful that it stopped me in my tracks. 

Crazy Beautiful God Light by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Crazy Beautiful God Light by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

It was stunningly beautiful and a photo can only get so close. Later, when I got home, I tried some edits to convey more of the feeling of being in the place.

Crazy Beautiful God Light by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Golden Morning by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

The first 2 miles were awful and I didn’t warm up until about mile 8 of a 10 mile run. Despite that, seeing these 2 scenes and making these 2 images made every bit of it worthwhile. That’s not to say you should always do something when you don’t feel like it. If you do, once in awhile, you may be surprised by joy. 

Sketchnotes for NBCC Published

It’s great when you find a use for your gifts in service of others. Four of my sketchnotes of sermons at New Beginnings Community Church Bay Area have been published on the NBCC Facebook page. People seem to enjoy them so I am sharing them here also.

Habits for the Journey, Sermon by Pastor Hurmon Hamilton, Sketchnote by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson

Habits for the Journey, Sermon by Pastor Hurmon Hamilton, Sketchnote by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson

All of the sermons and sketchnotes relate to a seven week series called The Journey. This one you can find posted here. For the next week, I tried out some new Jelly Roll Soufflè Pens. They are opaque and made to look best on black paper

The Journey, Sermon by Pastor Hurmon Hamilton, Sketchnote by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson

The Journey, Sermon by Pastor Hurmon Hamilton, Sketchnote by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson

You can find this one here. The Souffle Pens are very large tipped so it’s hard to draw anything tight. Broad strokes only.

The Journey: Service, Sermon by Pastor Hurmon Hamilton, Sketchnote by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson

The Journey: Service, Sermon by Pastor Hurmon Hamilton, Sketchnote by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson

This was a good experiment but I went back to my usual pens and paper afterwards.

The Journey: Keep Both Eyes Open, Sermon by Pastor Hurmon Hamilton, Sketchnote by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson

The Journey: Keep Both Eyes Open, Sermon by Pastor Hurmon Hamilton, Sketchnote by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson

You can find this last one on the NBCC FB page.

You can see some of my other entries on sketchnotes:

Portrait of the Artist in Red Ink

Things change. Eleven years ago I created a body of work called Portrait of the Artist in Red Ink. Each of 16 digital paintings showed a financial portrait of the income and expense trajectory for an individual artist based on his or her goals and dreams. The results at that time were not encouraging.

Artist A by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Artist A by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Changes

However, since then, there have been a number of business model innovations that have both reduced the cost structure of being an artist and changed the channels by which artists reach potential buyers.

On the cost structure side of the business model canvas some examples of change include:

  • Captured Global curates and shows artists digitally removing the cost of maintaining a physical space called a “gallery”
  • Daniel Berman has removed the cost of having a fixed gallery space by having a traveling show for Mobile Photo Awards crème de la crème.
  • Digital submissions including those for MPA cut the cost for the artist to submit work. However, there is often a fee.
  • Digital display of images in galleries has removed the cost of printing and framing for both the artist and the gallery.

On the revenue side:BMC

  • Artist Kelly Rae Roberts has established direct relationships with customers through her blog, Instagram and classes thereby removing the need for a curator and galleries. She offers her work on Amazon.
  • Sites like Etsy allow artists to set up direct relationships with customers as well.
  • Sites like SmugMug and RedBubble allow artists to productize your images and get a greater revenue stream from each image.

In terms of the organizing center or value proposition, there’s also change. There’s a new group. While some consider owning art as an indicator of class, artists like Kelly Rae Roberts are offering it as everyday encouragement, something everyone could use.

Will these innovations lead to structural change?

Hans Abbing wrote a book called Why are Artists Poor: the Exceptional Economy of the Why are Artists Poor Book CoverArts (2002). In it he posits that as long as art is considered “sacred” it has to keep up a denial of economy. Exchanges are instead modeled on a gift economy. (Remind you of Open Source, Creative Commons?)

The Gift Book Cover

The Gift Book Cover

Lewis Hyde in The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World (1979) says that “Any exchange, be it of ideas or of goats, will tend toward gift if it is intended to recognize, establish, and maintain community.” p. 101. When the arts are for establishing community, they will be given away.

This notion of artist skill as gift reminds me of Bezalel, gifted by God in the Old Testament to create the tabernacle in Exodus 31: The Lord said to Moses:

“See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze,to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, Eat Pray LoveIndia and Indonesia (2007) might agree. She gave a TED talk called “Your Elusive Creative Genius” (2009 – 19 mins) where she recounted several traditions that believe that the creative spirit is not something inside us but more like a spirit that has been appointed to us. We have a part to play but we need the other part too and we rejoice when it shows up to transform our best efforts into something more.

Conclusion

While many things have changed, as long as we believe that creativity is a gift, I don’t know that business model advances will help artists not need a second job. Regardless, for each gift, gratitude seems like the right joyous response.

 

Monte Bello Open Space Preserve

My visits to Monte Bello Open Space Preserve in the golden hills of the San Francisco Bay Area on two consecutive weekends couldn’t be more different. Whether walking or on a trail run like I was, both were intriguing.

The first weekend was cloud covered with low hanging fog that gave the golden grass at the preserve a unique look:

Foggy Path by jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Foggy Path by jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

The rising sun was beautifully veiled.

Around the Bend by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Around the Bend by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

And my favorite bench looked otherworldly.

A Place to Rest by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

A Place to Rest by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

The next weekend was sunny and gave the preserve the look that everyone thinks about when they hear the word California:

Hilltop View by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Hilltop View by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

The trails were cheerful and open:

On On by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

On On by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Grasses contrast nicely with the sky:

Blue Yellow by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Blue Yellow by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

And my favorite bench looked spritely:

Favorite Bench by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Favorite Bench by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

The critters were quite different from one weekend to the next. In the canyon, I found this 8″ to 10″ salamander in the middle of single track frequented by cyclists. He was unmoved when I let him know he was in danger from fat knobby tires:

Granddaddy Salamander by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Granddaddy Salamander by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

On the exposed hilltops I found centipedes hiding from the sun:

Centipede by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Centipede by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

In the tree covered areas, lizards raced me for short distances and usually won. This one was an extrovert and stayed long enough for me to snap a photo.

Extroverted Lizard by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Extroverted Lizard by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Here you can get high enough to clear the pollution in the valley below:

Above the Layer by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Above the Layer by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

The paths are very well-marked and sometimes customized with a feather:

Feather Marks the Way by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Feather Marks the Way by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

If you’ve read this far you totally deserve to see my favorite from both weekends:

Lichen and Flowers by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Lichen and Flowers by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Monte Bello Open Space Preserve is well worth the hike (with sunscreen) to experience some of Northern California’s true beauty. Enjoy!

 

Scenes from Lake Garda Italy Part 3

Lastly, we took a drive up the Lake Garda coast. The views of the water were gorgeous. We stopped in Gargnano to take in one of the beaches where a group of gonna-be wind surfers were learning to stand up for the first time:

Gargnano Beach by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Gargnano Beach by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

And we stopped in another town, quite possibly Toscolano Maderno, because of the beautiful church.

Arresting Church by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Arresting Church by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

And we took a walk by another beach:

Beach Umbrellas by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Beach Umbrellas by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

And the bay:

Lake Garda Bay by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Lake Garda Bay by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

…before hopping back in our blissfully air-conditioned Smart Car.

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Scenes from Lake Garda Italy Part 2

If you are a garden fan, (and I am) it is easy to spend 90 minutes even in 27C heat exploring the Heller Garden in Gardone Riviera on Lake Garda. If you are an art and garden fan it is easy to enjoy this garden for even longer.

Numbers painted in Venetian blue mark the spot for special plants. I was so charmed by the numbers that I forgot to look at the plants!

Venetian Blue Marks the Spot by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Venetian Blue Marks the Spot by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Narrow dirt and rock paths lead to a warren of semi-private spaces.  There are surprises in every nook.

Buddha at Heller Garden by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Buddha at Heller Garden by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Round a turn and you might find a Rodin.

Sculpture by Auguste Rodin in Heller Garden by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Sculpture by Auguste Rodin in Heller Garden by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Or a Keith Haring

Keith Haring in Heller Garden by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Keith Haring in Heller Garden by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Or a new artist. I found works in a similar style sprinkled throughout the garden but no listing on the map. These stylized human forms were throwing themselves into life with every ounce of their being. You round a corner on a narrow path and one jumps up at you.

Mariano Fuga in Heller Garden by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Mariano Fuga in Heller Garden by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

The scale varied but the energy and style of the form stayed constant.

Bamboo Striped Man by Mariano Fuga in Heller Garden, by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

Bamboo Striped Man by Mariano Fuga in Heller Garden, by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2014

I wanted to know whose work this was so when we left, I asked at the lady at the front desk. She opened a drawer, sorted through some things and pulled out the card of Mariano Fuga.

Fuga is a sculptor who lives and works around Lake Garda. His studio is just north of Gardone Riviera in Gargnano. His website includes some wonderful pictures of him working in the studio with clay that give insights into his process and how these lovely beings take shape.  Sadly, I missed visiting his studio by not putting 2 and 2 together.

In case you are wondering how this marvelous garden came to be… While Italy abounds in gardens very few are like this one. It was created by Dr. Arturo Hruska, Austrian dentist to the last tsar, in 1901.  Since 1988 Austrian artist Andrè Heller has owned it.  Heller coincidentally was also “responsible for the presentation of the Germany bid for the 2006 FIFA World Cup project” (Wikipedia) Heller’s private home is on the grounds.

Next up: Scenes from Lake Garda Italy Part 3

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