New Beginnings

Would you like Spring to last just a bit longer? The charm of a fresh Spring flower never fades. Actually, my allure of flowers any time of the year hasn’t diminished. Here is my way of clinging to Spring. These are the first two watercolors in my Parrot Tulip series. In this newsletter, you are going to see new beginnings and read of a special kind of love.

New Beginnings

The Luscious Apricot Parrot Tulip

These flowers almost always show an extravagance of multiple colors and I have taken a few artistic liberties with them. In time the petals will open completely with a display of splendid curled and twisted edges. Spring in my studio won’t be over for a while. Next month it will be my pleasure to share more in this series with you.

A Special Kind of Love, Aichaku

A driving force behind creativity

In my mid-twenties, I discovered that if I didn’t create, symptoms of depression ensued. Some call them “the blues,” excessive tiredness, withdrawal from friends and relatives and a constant feeling of never getting enough sleep. For me, it was painting that changed my outlook on life. It has been years since those old feelings of my early twenties have crept in. Being unable to paint regularly for two years made me realize that those symptoms can reoccur. When I tell you I am grateful to be back in the studio, believe me. I am Blessed on so many levels. The book I talk about below shows us another reason why creativity is not only important to the artist but to others, as well.

The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda. Initially, I found this book difficult to get into but when I read Chapter 7 he got my total attention. My mind drifted to how I feel when I paint and I doubt I am alone in feeling this way. The following is quoted from Mr. Maeda’s book.

“Japan’s rich tradition of almost perfectly crafted artifacts of wood and clay seems built on the same design principles as Modernism. However, a hidden facet of Japanese design is this animistic theme. The precise lacquered surfaces of a bento box are more than just a fact of fine production; these surfaces–and the bento box that they comprise–are essentially alive. The inanimate box is accorded its own spiritual existence. There can be a natural emotional attachment to the object’s life force that is a kind of deep, hidden ornamentation known to only those who feel it.”

Aichaku (ahy-chaw-koo) is the Japanese term for the sense of attachment one can feel for an artifact. When written by its two kanji characters, you can see that the first character means “love” and the second one means “fit.” “Love-fit” describes a deeper kind of emotional attachment that a person can feel for an object. It is a kind of symbiotic love for an object that deserves affection not for what it does, but for what it is. Acknowledging the existence of aichaku in our built environment helps us to aspire to design artifacts that people will feel for, care for, and own for a lifetime.”

While designing a mural for someone, I learned about their lives, dislikes and things they loved. These were incorporated into their painting. The responses I most often received were, “It’s so much more than I anticipated, I love it.” and “ It makes me feel happy.” This is what I believe equates to Aichaku.

When we create, putting our heart and soul into what we’re doing we actually leave an essence that others can sense. Not to say that everyone will resonate with what you’ve done but some will. When asked what I feel when I paint my answer is, love, joy, and peacefulness. These feelings are always present when I paint, even during stressful times.

Transitions are constant in our lives and I’ve been guided (in a not so gentle way) to move from painting murals to focusing on fine art. I am finding it quite joyful with a lot of things to learn. Might I suggest to you . . .

GO, cook, sew, make jewelry, sing, write, teach, dance, paint, photograph, whatever it is for you –

WAIT! First, drop me a line in the comment box below. Let me know how/what you are creating. 


14 comments to New Beginnings

  • Cheryl Lansing

    Mickey I’m so happy for you that you’re able to paint once again and bring that wonderful happiness back into your life that you didn’t have for a few years.
    Love you and miss you!

    • Mickey

      Hi Cheryl, thank you for taking the time to drop me a line. I appreciate you so much. I hope Ron is closer to a full recovery soon and back on the golf course. Please tell me you’ve been taking some pampering time for yourself – you so deserve it.

      Lots of love and hugs, Mickey

  • Mickey

    Hi Mickey,

    Once again, beautiful art from the simplicity of a tulip! You must see so much beauty all around you, but do not have enough brushes or canvas to capture the subject.

    I have a cousin who has suffered throughout his life, but started to take scenery pix on his inexpensive and simple cell phone. Amazing! He chose the best time of day and angles to take the pix. All the while he had the worst cataracts the surgeons had ever seen. It took 2 surgeries to correct his vision, then, he had a heart attack! OMG! He is back to taking pix and enjoying a renewed life. Praise God.

    I appreciate your talent and love of life. Thanks, for sharing.


    Hi Susie, thanks for dropping me a line. It always warms my heart when you write. It also doesn’t hurt that you like my paintings. LOL Kidding aside, I appreciate you saying so.

    Your cousin sounds like a special guy and I’m sure you are right about him having a new lease on life. My older son had open heart surgery last year and now he has become quite a good cook of healthy food, he bought his first home, has been planting shrubs and flowers – it has been amazing to watch the transformation.

    Wishing you and your cousin all the best,


  • Mickey

    So good to hear from you again…

    Great articles, especially like the Japanese portion…very insightful.

    Kindest Regards,


    It wouldn’t surprise me if you were already familiar with Aichaku.
    Thanks so much, Mike. I always enjoy you stopping by!


  • Mickey

    Loving your progress photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Great stopover on this Artistic Voyage with you at the helm.


    Hey, Barb!!!! So nice that you’re a part of this artful journey, Happy Painting!

  • DeAnne Dingwall

    Mickey Mickelous,
    Always good to hear and ‘see’ from you. Everything you do is so lovely, an expression of you!
    Love & kisses,

    • Mickey

      Hellooooo DeAnne,

      So glad you popped in. Seeing your name always brings a smile. Thanks so much for your lovely comments. Hope to hear from you next month

      Lots of love and hugs coming your way!


  • Lina

    Beautiful work and a lovely article!

  • Mickey

    Hello Liina, thank you for stopping by and reading my newsletter. I appreciate your comments, I hope you will pop in again.


  • I loved this post. I never knew about the Japanese word for attachment to an object and I did my damn dissertation on our personal bonds with objects! You schooled me today, thanks as always!

    • Hi Thea, I am so flattered I could teach You, considering you write one of my favorite informative blogs (The Charmed Studio). Thank you for popping in and commenting. Looking forward to your next blog post.

  • […] 2018 Spring painting project of Parrot Tulips carried into Summer. Then the house hunting began, the move and the decorating continues along with […]

  • […] you love the art or art history of another culture share a tiny slice of it. I love this post written by artist Mickey Baxter Spade on the Japanese concept of Aichaku, which she explains is a term for the sense of attachment one can feel for an […]

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