Category Archives: Thoughts

Happy New Year

wishing everyone a
Happy 2017
from Paige Bradley


JANUARY
comes with the promise of new things. Whether it is the personal resolutions, the clean sheet of new fallen snow blanketing my front yard, or the ever-changing global political landscape, I feel as if this is the time to recalibrate and set goals.

It is also in the month of January that I age another year and I have realized that I am not only mid-career, but I am mid-life. Time is precious. A hunter can’t stand with their bow drawn forever; timing is an integral part of life. I know my children are growing up every day, just as I know time with my parents is limited.  Every year speeds forward faster. I need to capture these precious moments of love and humanity in a static work of art, that even a camera cannot capture.

As an artist, it is important that my eye stays keen but my spirit and body remain youthful.  I still have much to do, in order to capture the human spirit in Art. In order to inspire, share, and create I must remain honest but humble. Productive but precise. Tenacious but tender.

So I picture myself like the hunter; I bend the bow with all the tension of worldly pressures upon me: time, accomplishments, money, status, expectation…but I don’t let it own me. I use the pressure to crystalize the sacred moment like a diamond. I breathe it all in, keeping my heartbeat calm and steady.  I set my intention on the center of my goal and finally, I release all my faith into that moment.

I share these thoughts with you so that we can connect in our similarities. This year, may we put down our smart phones a bit more often. Perhaps we may even pick up an arrow (of sorts), picturing intentions for our best life as our target. May we find time to breathe deeply, as we experience the present moment. May we truly BE with those we love and live to our fullest capacity.

Image:  Bow, bronze, 39 inches tall (shown in clay – available 2017)

Happy Autumn!

AutumnNow that I have relocated to Connecticut, I am beginning to understand the true love affair everyone has with Autumn. The technicolor trees seem almost unreal, while the skies remain true cerulean blue, the wind picks up and scatters oranges and reds on green lawns. The air changes and becomes crisp, like the apples we pick. Our neighbors have begun to put out wreaths made of autumn leaves. Though I loved my Summer, I am thoroughly excited about the coming Autumn. Already she does not disappoint. I am reminded why I sculpted the Four Seasons to begin with; each one is special and one is not better than another. It feels good to welcome changes and nature’s real gift is that nothing lasts forever.

Autumn, Bronze by Paige Bradley

Autumn, Bronze by Paige Bradley


Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Icing

I would like to share a recipe that celebrates the season and was the first time my two year old son tasted pumpkin (and like it!).

Click here to view this delicious and easy to make dessert.

Happy Women = A Happy and Harmonious World

I have been so lucky to grow up in this era and in this part of the world. But I am far from complacent. There is still a lot to accomplish for women to become equals. Gender equality has always been very important to me.

 

I am a sculptor, which happens to be a very male-dominated career, but I never shrugged off a challenge. I faced impossible tasks with more tenacity than my male counterparts. Even in athletics, I competed against men and women alike for I always worked hard to be strong, fast, adaptable, creative, and able to endure. I have found that my entire life I needed these skills in order to stay at the top of my field, treated as an equal.

 

Some days it was pure fight—but those were the most memorable and most rewarding. I especially loved the moments when, in the company of all men, they would choose me to lead, give advice, or make the final decision. In big factory-like settings where I was the only women with 30 + men, I wanted to make a difference. I was motivated to take on any challenge and I would never allow myself a lesser task or assignment than any of my male colleagues.

 

With my art, I try and empathize with people through honest experiences from my own life. I often focus on empowerment of the female in my sculptures. Life is not always easy, so I capture the struggle of the journey and simultaneously show the tenacity and strength when the binds finally break. My work is about the triumph of living life to the fullest. I feel successful when my sculptures connect with another person’s soul and lifts them to a higher and more powerful place.

 

It bothers me when I see a woman who thinks she is weaker, who is apologetic for the space she takes up, or the way she is in the world. Equally sad to me are women who feel they must be overly loud, dress or act a certain way to be seen and heard, as if being their own real selves is not enough. I try to find a middle ground and teach young women that they need not be apologetic and stand in shadows, nor be a spectacle of sex or brazen to gain attention. What I want every young girl to know is that they each have a special mark that needs to be made, a voice that needs to be heard, and we only have this one lifetime to do it in. We need to shrug off all oppression, stand up and deliver.

 

If professional men and women could listen and share more with the less fortunate girls and women in our communities, it will ensure that more children will be raised happier, better adapted, with their needs met. Women are linked to the planet in a unique way and our society will grow and flourish when women can hold equal chairs and ranks around the world. The next generation needs this shift just as much as out planet does. And it is urgent. It must happen NOW.

 

I have been so lucky to have a daughter of my own. I admire her as she makes her own choices and increases her sense of self. She is truly a miracle to me and I am baffled and angered at why she might not have the same choices for careers or why she might be paid 40% less than a male colleague. I know my daughter will also be responsible for creating and nurturing her family. I hope she finds a partner like I have; one that gives back support in equal measure, a partner who allows time and space for her to develop into the best woman she can be, and someone who simply loves her and thinks she is amazing.

 

I envision a world where each woman and girl can exercise their choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an (EQUAL!) income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination (PEACEFUL!). We are all human beings first, and we need to treat each other the way we all want to be treated. Gender does have its differences in the way we go about things, and a harmonious world is one where the gender differences are appreciated and valued equally.

 

We need to make each parent, government officer, and educator accountable to support gender equality; equal pay, equal access, equal choices. When a man steps up to help a woman or girl find their voice, it truly gives me a sense that not all is lost; and we may get beyond this someday. But women alone cannot make it happen, and the past 20 years have shown that. We need highly-evolved men to help the females move forward to find a fairer and more peaceful world for women.

 

Everyone has a social and moral responsibility by empowering women and empowering all of humanity. Picture It!

 

My Kite by Paige Bradley - Bronze

My Kite by Paige Bradley – Bronze

 

Women, the Sacred

As a young female born in the twentieth century, I have become more and more saddened by the loss of feminine power that generations have seen within the last thousand years.  I have grown up in a man’s world where women are finally coming to power so they can sit as equals with men.  Only to find out that long ago we once held that same seat; we were appreciated, empowered and even considered sacred.

The female body is a miraculous creator of life.  Even though the days of the red tents may be gone, we do not have to claim ignorance to our power to give life.  Growing up with dirty jokes, instead of wise women that share their own experiences, has taken its toll on many generations of women.

I know too many women who are shamed by their age; stretching out their wrinkles, injecting themselves with anti-age poisons, and squeezing out every bit of proof of the experiences and wisdom they have earned.

I have lost a history that I never knew.

I have lost a power that I could have had.

I have lost a family that I should have felt.

We have repressed a magic source of nature just because we could put no measure to it.  I hope we will become a society who no longer covers up who we are, but discovers who we were meant to be. We can learn to love our experiences and show them without shame.  Growing wise and understanding that beauty does not lay in an elixir, but rather tapping into the energy nature has gifted us.  It takes courage to be beautifully unique and powerfully real.

 

The Visionary, bronze by Paige Bradley

The Visionary, bronze by Paige Bradley