In the clouds

When you read children’s books, you are given the space to read again as a child: to find your way back, back to the time when new discoveries came daily and when the world was colossal, before your imagination was trimmed and neatened, as if it were an optional extra.

Remember those days? When the tallest trees of our imaginations touched the clouds. It might not feel like it, but our imaginations are probably rusty. I’m doing my best to keep up with my 4-year old’s imagination – and I’m definitely behind. Soon enough, I’ll be out of sight. However, it’s still there, if dusty and out of practice.

  • This week’s artist is – Maddy – a Fort Lewis College student who’s sharing some art and love. I saw her flyer downtown and thought that was gumption enough that I should share. For even more, check out her etsy store and instagram!
  • William Morris Hunt would have been 200 on Sunday!
  • As of 2024, Durango Creative District offers Durango Creates! grants for projects $5,000, with application deadlines of April 1, 2024 and July 15, 2024. Learn more and apply here.
  • I enjoyed reading this interview with David Hampton, a 98 year old artist. This quote jumped out at me, ““I think anyone who is creative is more likely to live longer. But I’m also interested in philosophy. And memorising poetry. You can’t carry a painting around with you, but if you’re feeling low you can always recite a Shakespeare sonnet.”
  • Video interview with Ali Cavanaugh – a watercolor portraitist.
  • An article on one way to get more out of viewing art (ie: the importance of time.)
  • This quote inspired a friend – “Present day communities under attack can now look at these Issei creators for inspiration and affirmation – a vivid reminder that, even under the most challenging conditions, it is possible, and necessary, to make art.” It came from this article.
  • I continue to be amazed when I stumble across the work – especially the intimate, behind-the-scenes portions – of artists of all calibers. The internet is amazing! Here’s one example.
  • Here’s a guide to creating dynamic sketchbook illustrations using paint and pencil.
  • 😎 Fun Fact: The first artist to conceptualize and construct a mobile was Alexander Calder, after being inspired by a visit to Piet Mondrian’s studio in 1930.
  • There’s a Grief Service with Stillwater Music Cello Ensemble at Durango Vineyard (1440 Florida Rd) tonight at 6. From the description “Grief is a normal and fundamental part of our lives. Unfortunately, much of our communal spiritual experiences do not give space to help people “sit” in these spaces of life. The Vineyard, accompanied by Stillwater’s cello ensemble, will take people through a journey of identifying with their hardship while still trusting that God is our shepherd.”
  • Head up to the Village Plaza at Purg on Friday from 6-7 for a Balloon Glow – up close and personal with the opportunity to take photos with the balloon. This is a great event for families!
  • There are Easter events this weekend. Saturday from 9:30-10:30 at Santa Rita Park, 10-1 at the Harley-Davidson dealer, 11-12 at Purgatory Resort, then Sunday from 10-10:30 at the Fort Lewis College Student Union Ballroom.
  • Sunday also has an Irish Jam session from 12:30-3 at the Durango Beer & Ice Company (3000 Main Ave).
  • Head to the Smiley Cafe Gallery where The Art Squirrels, a local art collective, are displaying their show “Emergence” from March 25 through mid-May. The show features colorful and diverse works in paint, chalk, fabric, glass, upcycled materials, and mixed media by Bethany Bachmann, Cindy Coleman, Janet Kenna, Amanda Preston Araujo, Jenny Treanor, and Amy Vaclav.
  • It’s been a few months since I mentioned the Slow Bluegrass Jam at the General Palmer on Tuesday from 5:30-7:30. If you know a beginner/intermediate acoustic music player looking to play more – this weekly jam is welcoming to all players, with a focus on slower tempo improvisation solos and chord changes. If they can play the I, IV and V chords in G, D and A then they know enough to play at this jam!
  • It’s the time of year when there are lots of live music events, open mics, live jam sessions, etc, scattered about the area throughout the week. There are too many to list here, so if you’re looking for such things, head over to
  • There are classes/workshops/projects available at the 4 Corners Gem and Mineral Club, the Bayfield Library, Create Art and Tea, the Dancing Spirit Center for the ArtsDurango Sustainable GoodsLet’s Letter Together, the MakerLab, the Scrapbook NookSeed Studio, and the Durango Arts Center. There are a lot more things happening that I don’t include – so if you’re ever looking for something to do, start at
  • Didja know we have branded sketch books? Kristen recently tested out the hard-bound one and was basically shocked at how good it is. So, these aren’t a new offering, but they’re definitely worth highlighting again. Of course, you’ll have to come get one so that you can test it out for yourself.

That rusty imagination can be called back into use. It’s not about shunning the complexity of adult life but about enriching it with the boundless imagination we once had. Think back to a moment in your childhood when everything felt magical. Was it lying on your back, watching clouds morph into fantastical shapes?

As adults, we’ve learned to trim and tidy our imaginations, often relegating our creative impulses to the category of ‘optional extras.’ But were they ever truly optional? Or were they the very essence of our ability to dream, to invent, to empathize, and to create change?

So – pick up a children’s book. Keep dreaming, creating, and wandering far beyond the trimmed paths of the everyday. The world needs your art!

Matthew & the Art Supply House crew

P.S. – March 30th is nearly upon us! That’s Customer appreciation day (the 5th Saturday of the month). Do you have your bag ready?

P.P.S – If you’re interested in getting a small, tiny bite of art-spiration in your morning email, check out Morning Muse, a short, daily email I started sending a few weeks ago.

P.P.P.S. – In case that wasn’t enough, our Spring Clean art supply drive is coming up next month.

P.P.P.P.S. – Nothing more to add – just wanted to throw in an additional post script to see if you were paying attention. 😉