New Space

New Space
You will love the view!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cleaning In The Studio

                                          Classroom Studio

(Oct. 23, 2010, Jan Groenemann)

Saturday and feisty fall,
Outside my studio door
The wind blowing in with the leaves a fall thunderstorm
Forcing the chimes to scream more than sing
I find myself cleaning, clearing clutter
Pulling everything out, making it visible
Wrecking the order of my space
In order to discover and discard

Up on the top shelf in the far corner I find
Yellowed envelopes filled with written pages
I slide them out, taking a seat at an empty table
Here, reading from the mind of my much younger self
Young wife, mother of three small sons
One already diabetic
Trying desperately to keep a marriage together
That was destined to die

Hanging on, with my words
To a religion that ran low on regard
For a woman who needed strength
Who needed to know
It was OK to demand commitment
And respect and focus
Whose teachings of submission
Allowed for coping co-dependency

Even then I was optimistic
In my openly lonely situation
Learning to mother
Learning to give endlessly
Learning to love unconditionally
Learning to fly
Learning to let go
Let go, let go, let go

Filling black bulging bags
One after the other
Saying goodbye to the girl
The young mother
The submissive wife
The writer of religious themes
And stories, making space
Allowing for the changes that came

Giving birth to the woman
The mother of sons and grandsons
The friend to daughters-in-law
Loving unconditionally
Even the man whose side she left
So that the artist and poet
And mature spiritual being
Was allowed to emerge

I slide the writings back into the envelope
Even the one about “learning to fly”
And the poem titled “wife friend”
Even the girl, the young woman
Whose smile is still on my face
And whose belief that
In all things there is purpose
Still lives in my heart.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Leaves: A New Perspective

Leaves: A New Perspective

Spiraling downward on invisible currents,
Sailing on updrafts, leveling, landing
Gathering as a conference; colorful and individual
As members of a happy crowd
They dance and gossip
On the tarmac that is my drive
Moving in as close as possible to my door
Waiting there, quietly, out of the range of fall gusts
A steadily growing crowd of fall leaves
Their last wings
Final meeting

It has frustrated me in past falls
This constant gathering, whispering, waiting
That they do at my doorway
As if hoping to sneak in on sneakers
Or breeze in on boots
Keeping me sweeping, sweeping
No end it always seems to the
Trail of crumbled colors
Descending into dust
To be vacuumed up
Discarded and dumpstered
A constant chore

As they leave the classroom, the group of teens
Who have sat and shared
discussed and drawn characters from their imaginings
For the last hour and a half
A fasting from the fall fury of school
And homework, SAT’s, exams
I complain about the levee of leaves that blocks the door.
Hearing them crunch beneath Rebooks, Nikes,
My background chorus as I say,
“Goodnight, have a good week.”
“They are all gathering here,” they cheer
“They love your house!!!”

Leaves, gathering here in safe haven?
Nature’s palette of creative colors
Floating, hovering, piling one on another
Inviting games like dig potato
Or offering to model
For rubbings or paintings
Or even just reminders of the myriad of colors
That only fall can conjure
Leaves for lessons
In letting go or going with the flow
A new perspective:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Work Completed

"Doorway With Curtain"

                                       "Doors Bleeding Time"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sharing A Wonderful Fall Evening

Fall is my favorite time of year, and one of my favorite things to do is to sit outside with the smells and colors of fall, especially in early evening when there is that glow that only fall brings.  It is as if the colors from the leaves are rising like a fog and tinting the predusk light.  I swept my deck and cleaned the filters in the pond then decided to sit on the deck and sip a glass of iced water  The mood was so perfect that I came in and got my camera and did this shot.  I added a toss of leaves and and the wine  and glasses just because what adds most to such a perfect fall evening is great conversation with someone you love.

I had hoped to capture the glow, but my camera was just inadequate for that.  Still, I think you can get the idea.

When I came in to check my blog and prepare to do this post I noticed that there had been another comment to the IRISES blog.  It was my son, Garic, the one whose photography I have posted a few times.  This was his comment.  "This is officially my favorite blog entry. I love you, Mom."  Well, a beautiful fall evening cannot get any better than this.  Thank you, Garic.  You will know how it affected me when you get the message I left on your phone.

And so, this post turns out to be a tribute to a beautiful fall evening and to my three amazing sons.  They keep me believing in the male gender!  They are full of integrity, sensitivity and compassion.  Some of the best conversations I have ever had on any subject has been in a room with all three of them and my two daughters-in-law.  I am so grateful.

I hope you too are experiencing the joy of a wonderful fall evening.

Saturday, October 9, 2010



I’ve planted Irises in my garden
Old-fashioned purples with yellow centers
And blue
I recall them in Mom’s flower bedsAlong with the salmons and browns
And brilliant red Cannas
She weeded them, bent over
Her mind a million miles away in thought

My horse, Fanny, nipped her shoulder once
While she was weeding
Fanny, velvet nose, horsey smell that I love
My fantasy-come-true mare who
Flashed an angry look at those she did not trust
But she nipped my Mom playfully, innocently

Irises…my great aunt Sylvia grew them, too
And Grandma and Dad (we grandchildren called him)
Aunt Jean had them growing along the sidewalk
I can smell their heavy fragrance from memory
Bundled into a glass vase and placed on the dining room table

They lined the front porch where I stood
With broom handle microphone and sang at the top of my lungs
Where I pulled Fanny up close so that I could swing my leg
Across her broad back
Mom would bring iced lemonade and set us in front of the fan
On those summer-days, so humid it was difficult to breath….
Like sticking-your-head-in-the-oven hot

Mom was warmth and kindness and safety….
Does she know she still is?
She says, at 82 she is ready to go
But does she know my more-than-weekly phone calls are not just for her?
I need her still….to tell my stories to
And knowing she is OK and interested in scrap booking,
Reading, Days of Our Lives, life
Grounds me
Lets me keep believing in unconditional love, in God….
In miracles

I water the Irises, long past their spring blooms
It is fall and leaves are floating through the air
I think of Mom, go inside my studio that overlooks the garden
And pick up the phone

-Jan Groenemann
October 8, 2009


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Abundance At The Bounty

Sunday, Oct. 3, was an absolutely beautiful day, cool temps, severe clear, and brilliant sunshine.  The turnout for my opening in Washington was great.  The biggest surprise for me was that almost every person (well at least 3/4) of the 40 or so attending was someone special to me (friend/student/family).  The "Abundance" experienced was not what you might expect at an art opening, not crowds of buyers from the local area, but a crowd of those who love and support me.  I am so grateful to each of you who came to make it a special day.  I know it was a long drive for many of you.

For those of us in the arts we are often judged as successful (or not) by the crowds we draw or the sales we make.  But the truth is, what is really important is the joy we get from the process of creating and the love we get from our relationships.  This was the message I got from Sunday.....I am blessed with the greatest of Abundance!  A special thank you to each of you who came.

And thank you to Larry Pogue (a wonderful artist himself) who organized the event, helped me hang and missed the Rams game to be there.  Thank you, too, to the staff at American Bounty who served wonderful food and drinks and then set up a special table for 16 of us to share dinner together after the event. 

It was an absolutely wonderful day!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Creative Expression Can Break the Cycle of Chronic Pain

A few weeks ago I wrote about the "power of focused attention."  This
article, sent to me by my daughter-in-law, Renee Groenemann, comes from
the opposite direction but with the same message.  By allowing ourselves
to get in that place from where creative expression comes we can distract
ourselves from the pain of negative experiences.

We know that creative expression releases the same hormones as are
released in jogging.  According to the article below, it can also give relief
from chronic pain.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- There's more to the healing arts than just
medicine. Numerous studies show how creative expression through music,
writing or art work can break the cycle of chronic pain. The topic was
discussed at the For Grace's 3rd Annual Women in Pain Conference.

For Radene Marie Cook, chronic, intense pain from injuries she suffered
in a plane crash is a way of life.

"It means that with my pain, there are so many signals and it's at such a
severe level, that without treatment I'd have a heart attack or a
stroke," said Cook.

Cook finds some relief in art, poetry and music.

"There's something about getting inner conflict and inner feelings out
to where your eyes can see it," said Cook.

Artistic expression can be more than just a form of therapy. For patients who
have pain that's difficult to describe, art can help patients communicate with
their doctors.

"Some of the pain is indescribable when nerves are involved. It does
bizarre stuff," said Cook. "But I could show them a picture of something
being electrocuted and they could understand that."

Pain specialist Dr. David Bresler says art can be a distraction from the

"When they realize that they're becoming obsessed and concentrating way
too much on their pain, they need to break that cycle in some way, and
let their mind focus on other kinds of things," said Bresler.

One powerful prescription: focusing on the positive.

"One of the things that we've learned is that whatever you give
attention to, grows," said Bresler. "Whether it's your garden, your
children, or your worries, anxieties and fears. When people pay so much
attention to pain, the pain will grow."

It's that advice -- and art -- that keeps a smile on Cook's face.

"I wanted to put on the walls everything that I could look to and grab
immediately that told me I was going to make it," said Cook. "It's a
reminder to say, 'Yes, I can and it's going to be OK in the end.'"

                         "Tree Poem" is part of the Abundance Exhibit at
                          American Bounty TODAY in Washington, MO.
                          I'd love to see you there!