Chasing Down The Muse: Finally seeing subtle signs of spring

Two little love birds sitting in a tree … k-i-s-s-i-n-g…


I had slept late. The golden morning light on the trees framed by the skylight was the first thing I saw when opening my eyes. Rolling over, I snuggled back down under the warm covers of my loft bed, part of me longing to hold onto that warmth.

No, no, no. The sun is out. Get up. Go for a walk. Write your column. The chattering of these head voices was not to let me languish abed, it was clear.

The chilly weather that has driven me to roll over that extra time each morning of late continues this week. Still, something has begun to tingle in my veins, telling me that change is coming.

Maybe it is all the happy chattering of birds. Maybe the deep blue lupin growing beside the road on my short walks around the canyon?

Perhaps that the film awards season finally seems to have drawn to a close with the awarding of Oscars? Or could it be the increased interest in art classes evidenced at Sawdust Art Festival's Spring Into Art and Sawdust Studio Art Classes?

Was it the fun time had on Sunday with a group of art junkies at the workshop Suzette Rosenthal and I led? So many possibilities exist for this surge inside me.

Peeling at the smidgens of acrylic gel that still cling in odd places on hands and forearms, I think the surge must have to do not only with springtime, but with rising creative energy. Myriad projects have been floating through my deep dreams lately, and I yearn to find the time to attack some of these "whispers" of longing.

While I know the fallow time of winter is a good thing in many ways, it is always in these moments before fallow time is over and the burgeoning blossoms of spring show themselves that the whispers begin. Soon they will shift to full voice, and before I know it, the yelling will begin. Why is it that I can hardly wait?

First of all, it is not as if I am not being creative at all during this time. I have been gifted with many opportunities to learn new things over the last few months that I have been managing the Sawdust Studio Art Classes program. I think the problem lies in that since I merely whisk in and out of the classes, it feels as if I am only dabbling … and I suppose that, in fact, I am.

The classes are wonderful, of course, but not in my own media. The workshops that Suzette and I teach together are a bit more, and I always feel I have received more than given in these fun times. Still, that in itself becomes problematic, I suppose, as I am titillated and filled with new directions to take. Patience and impatience collide and merge. I ask myself where I will find the time, even as I know I will — that it just takes starting.

So, as the chill continues to fill the air, birds raise their voices in song, the sun comes and goes, I notice two birds sitting together in a nearby elm tree. A childhood rhyme comes to mind at the same moment that I realize I have been noticing more bird pairings this past week. Small buds have also been showing on the branches of fruit trees. Signs of a coming spring are all around me. Creativity will soon blossom as well. It always does.

Spring and the springboard to broader creativity are coming! Soon. Soon. Meanwhile, I will finish the book I am reading. I will keep my eyes and ears and heart open to what is out there. I am ready.

(If you are ready, you might want to look at and check out the educational opportunities there. Fun classes in a variety of media abound.)

CHERRIL DOTY is an artist, writer, counselor and manager of the new Sawdust Studio Art Classes program …always fascinated, inspired, and titillated by the beauty and mysteries of life. She can be reached at or by phone at (714) 745-9973.

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