Friday, July 22, 2011

Inspiration Picnic: Doors to Learning

Education is the key to unlocking the golden doors of freedom.

~ George Washington Carver

Here's my inspiration story for the week...

You know how much I love doors? Look at this immense door I found at a church we went to last weekend for an improv show of all things...

This door was huge. I mean really really huge! It looked probably 20 ft tall, but it was in hung from the ceiling of a huge atrium in one of Dallas's megachurches, Bent Tree.. You know Texas loves things big.

Then I ran across this postwith pics from Timbuktu found on a quirky, loveable blog, What Possessed Me. (Persephone is one of the wittiest blog writers I've come across and I enjoy her writing so much I'm reading it from when she first started a number of years ago.) Specifically, I was drawn to the lovely metal work found on doors in this picture:

Timbuktu is a town in the West African nation of Mali probably best known for the phrase "road to Timbuktu." It has a rich history of scholarship, being a world center for Islamic learning from the 13th to the 17th centuries.

Now let's open another door found over at artist Carol Carter's blog.

This is a picture she took while viewing the Art in the Streets exhibit at Geffen Contemporary at the MOCA in Los Angeles. (I've hunted desperately for the artist's name for this piece. If anyone by chance knows, please help me give due credit.)

Putting these photos together and playing around with their elements, thinking about doors and education, I was given pause to think about the biases we have towards learning and it's sources. For some, it's not real learning unless it's formal, found in books and universities, lectures, and papers. For others, true learning is "from the streets," through lived experience. I'm probably not alone having had some times when my academic learning and other times when my experiential learning has been scoffed. Irritating! I've worked hard for both! (I later resolved to understand that when people scoff it comes from their own need to be validated in their source of knowledge.)

So the piece I created is a blend of both worlds, inside the scholarly houses of learning and outside. Both are rich sources for ideas. Both can be sources for ties that bind, or freedom.

What is inspiring you this week? Now's your chance to link up an inspiration story from your website, or even something inspiring that you've found out there on the web...


Today's piece is acrylic painted on flocked fabric on a 7.5" square masonite frame. The attached butterfly is acrylic painted on heavy watercolor paper and the entire piece has been sprayed with an acrylic coating. It is available for purchase for $30. Please email your interest to


  1. I love doors and windows. So inspiring. And your painting is so vibrant and beautiful! I love your use of color~

  2. The colors on this are phenomenal! I absolutely LOVE the butterfly coming off the canvas. I'm rather fascinated with doors myself--I think it started when I read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time. You never know what you'll find on the other side of a curious door!
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  3. I too love doors and windows ~ you have shown some great ones ~ love your latest painting ~ am thinking about what inspired me this week ~ so will get back to you ~ thanks ~ namaste, Carol ~ what is happening with the painting I purchased from you ~ ?

  4. Very cool! I love doors too! There is one particular door in Scottsdale Arizona that I drive by each visit and stare at for awhile! :)

  5. Nice collection of inspiration. I love "seeing" what is in when you create something.


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