it all started with..It all started with the book Secrets of 6 Figure Women, which I was connected with through the Think & Grow Chick Podcast, which I found in my search for women podcasters of color.. (do stories really have beginnings?)

In the book, Barbara Stanny shares tools for getting out of debt. I used to feel bad talking about being in debt. As I read through the book, she talked about her own struggles with debt and how unless you employ certain tools and have a certain relationship with money, debt is something many people are dealing with. Recently, I have been detaching debt from feelings of failure in my finances and character (these two often get wrapped up together). 

In her book, where she gives tips for getting out of debt, she says to stop buying books! I was a little taken aback when I read this. Stop buying books? But those are what feed me and help me to grow! By reading, I can expand my knowledge and experience things that didn't necessarily happen to me but feel compassion and understanding for someone else. Books are amazing! How could I possibly give up books?

The following statement (after I had mentally played through this mini episode on how much I love books) was to go to the library. There they have loads of books and they are free! (lol I know it's not new information but, up until now, I had just completely underutilized libraries). You can dive into all the stories and self- development books your heart desires guilt free of spending money.

I've since started going to the library... Now- if you have been to a library recently, then you know what this means. There are SOOOO many amazing books to choose from! Yesterday I spent an entire hour standing in 1 square foot of library carpeted floor looking through books on watercolor color mixing techniques. But the real beauty of being at the library is that books on similar topics are in the same section! So not only did I discover techniques for color mixing but I also came across a book on painting on location with watercolor! (Something I have been waiting but hesitant to try). Jumping into all these books on watercolors made me feel like I was walking through paintings, swimming in colors and choreographing a dance of textures. In doing so, I gathered a broader perspective on painting than if I had simply researched watercolor mixing techniques on the computer. 

I left the library with 2 books on painting (this was hard haha) and an armful of books on Native American history and culture in the North East which I am studying as a part of my project for my first artist residency at Glen Foerd! The concept for my project interrogates how, why and for what purpose are we preserving history. More specifically, why is Glen Ford being preserved and what other unsung histories existed prior to and during the construction of the estate. This idea is also reflected in my reinvigorated love for libraries- how are histories being told and preserved to paint the future? 

In looking past the present estate, I have been reflecting on what nature existed prior to and continues to exist in and around buildings we have erected. Often buildings are preserved and valued while nature is left to work it's way around cement slabs and pop up between cracks in the concrete. Below are a few pictures of pieces that carry the beauty, excitement, spontaneity and resiliency that nature holds even in cement covered cities.  

For some hands on nature inspiration, another local Philly artist is hosting workshop this Saturday reflecting on ways to incorporate aspects of nature into your paintings! Here are the details:
"Nature Inspired"
Hands-On Workshop w/ Laura Sallade
Saturday, June 16th // 2-5PM
Refreshments and all materials provided!

Reserve Your Seat!
It's going to be a great time! I will be vending this weekend for the 2nd Street Block Party. Come hang for a bit then head over to the workshop! In the meantime, if you are looking around for inspiration and curious about all topics, I recommend taking a stroll through the library.. ;)

Enjoy your wanderings!

Vessna Scheff