Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Read all about these exciting opportunities to be inspired and find your inner artist on KC Willis' blog!
If you love vintage, you love paper, you love collage and western themes, and you love the cameraderie and inspiration of being with spirited women for an artmaking, soul-feeding, fabulous five days, hurry on over here and find out more from the links to these two great retreats (and guess what! Both are offered twice next year - so you'll have more opportunity to attend!)
Plus, KC and the visiting artists are offering an amazing goodie box for helping to spread the word! So check out KC's blog and the retreats and the fun and amazing art of KC Willis! (And learn how you, too, could be eligible for this great giveaway goodie box!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
What I've learned from visiting artists' studios this past weekend is that it really helps to see and hear the artist's process.
I've taken loads of classes and workshops, most of which are designed to give you a controlled art making experience. You're guided in a step by step process to success, with all the kinks ironed out.
Then you start out on your own, and WHOOOAAH! things don't run that smoothly. You may start to doubt yourself. And if you want to try something different, your self doubt can keep you in 'known' territory.
But visit some artists in their studios and you'll see just how gnarly the creative process can be. You'll see that it's messy (no, you're not the only one); it's filled with experimentation; flops; trial and error and, if you're persistant, success.
Look around a studio and you'll see beginnings of all kinds of projects. Talk with an artist in their working space and you'll hear about how many times they had to rework something to get it to turn out the way they wanted.
Yes, being an artist is about having ideas and making connections. It's about playing with materials and having fun. It's also about sticking with an idea through all of it's phases, including finding out what you tried just won't work, trying something else, learning a new technique, and voila! often many steps and missteps later, a finished show-ready piece emerges!
So go to your studio and make stuff and stick with it!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Last weekend I attended Boulder's Open Studios tour. One of my favorites was Caroline Douglas, a clay artist with a wonderful imagination. She had several small watercolor and pastel working sketches in her studio that reflected the way I long to play with pastels. I want to make imaginary pictures. Caroline's work showed me the way.
So last night I brought a box of pastels up to my art journaling area in an annex of our kitchen, and I restored my relationship with my pastels! How great to use them in my art journal, where pages are smaller and less 'special' than my pastel paper, so I feel free to experiment!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
- It frees me to become aware of my Higher Self - that spacious place of inner peace that is connected to the All
- There is room for other points of view, within me or outside of me, that have a different perspective on my dilemma, and
- It frees me to live in the moment, to enjoy the sunlight on my worktable, to appreciate my dog's easy presence, without being immersed in my overwhelming angst
Helene Brenner, in I Know I'm in There Somewhere, writes:
"Your Larger Self is bigger than all of your thoughts, feelings and life problems. Whenever you forget this and make something or someone else bigger than You are, you are out of touch with your Larger Self."
This Larger Self is is so much more than your thoughts and feelings. It is not necessarily God or a Higher Power, but is the wise inner knowing that whispers truth and freedom and compassion. How easily I can drown that voice, lose touch with it, by listening only to my problem.
My journey is, each time I find myself immersed in the experience of berating myself for not making art and buying yet more supplies, to repeat the mantra - "A Part of Me is feeling ashamed now." "A Part of Me is scared." "A Part of Me is upset."
Ahhh, then I have some room to breathe. Wishing you the same.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I'm reading a book called I Know I'm in There Somewhere: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner Voice and Living a Life of Authenticity by Helene G. Brenner, Ph. D. Brenner speaks to me so deeply. I've felt for most of my life, since jr. high, that I lost my voice. Reassuringly, it isn't lost, I just haven't attended to it. Brenner has many exercises in the book to recover one's capacity to 'hear' your voice.
Additionally, as a coach, I trained with Marlena Fields, who teaches bodymindspirit awareness, based on Hakomi psychotherapy, a body based therapy. In Marlena's class, I met a friend who has shared some focusing techniques with me, this based on the work of Eugene Gendlin and Ann Weiser Cornell, and teaches one to learn to read felt body sensations.
I mention all this as it is a significant part of my journey, and is helping me to let go of feeling that making art is just a self-serving activity, something not as important as coaching or working as an occupational therapist.
I am embracing the joy I feel when I play around with fabric, thread, stitiching, paints and natural dyes!
I've written a vision statement, and here it is:
My vision is to bring more creativity, joy, imagination and wonder into the world through the making and sharing of my art.
I'll be using my blog to give a running commentary on my process, learnings, experiments and healing. Indeed, it has been very healing already to make this commitment to the one thing in life that makes me so happy.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I find myself often caught in the bind of not wanting to try anything different on a piece I'm working on because I don't want to 'ruin' it. I want it to turn out looking perfect, and so I don't take chances on making different markings, or experiment with other colors.
I am trying to drop this perfectionist tendency. It stops me from experimenting and learning more about the medium. I lose my opportunity to see what's in front of me. And I'm more likely to continue my obsession with tiny details which feels stifling. Perfectionism also stops me from having fun and finding the joy in making art.
So this little guy inspires me in a couple of ways - first, to consider that my perfectionism is not all that fierce.
Second, next time it kicks in I'll just snarl back at it and keep on going my merry way!
Have fun creating this week!
Image from flikr, used with creative commons license.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I almost didn't go to my first class, even though I've wanted to use pastels for about 20 years! Fortunately, my husband helped me get through that barrier. He asked me what would be the worst that would happen. I said that I wanted to create a masterpiece. I wanted to make a picture that would knock everyone's socks off. The worst thing would be that I would make something reallyugly and disappointing.
Talk about crazy expectations. We all have them. Different flavors, such as 'I'll never be any good at that', or 'I have to be the best in the class' or 'I don't have any original ideas'. Whatever they are, they can stop us from ever starting. And they prevent us from learning and enjoying ourselves.
I was able to giggle a little bit about my big ole expectation, and decided to go into the class with the following guidelines:
- I want to have fun
- Let's just see what happens
Well, I got MY socks knocked off! I learned that like watercolors and oils, pastels are used in layers. You can even change the way something looks by coloring over it completely. So they have qualities of paints, without the water; and qualities of drawing, but with a looser approach. Is that why I have wanted to use them for years? Because they are just about the perfect medium for me?
I love drawing, but not in the painstakingly accurate way that pencils lend themseves to. I like painting but get frustrated with mixing color, only to have it run out. Pastels proved to be the best of both worlds - a medium for creating images, and COLOR!!!
If I had been stopped by my expectation that I had to create perfection from the get-go, I would never have discovered a medium that delights me, and, as long as I keep my pesky expectations in line, promises to be a fascinating teacher for me.
What might happen if you substituted an attitude of curiosity and a desire to have fun for your expectations? [Hint: Surprise!! Delight!!]
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
When everything gets crazy, you feel completely overwhelmed and like you don't have a minute to spare, that's when it's most important to carve out some time for yourself.
Jennifer Louden is running a contest on her ComfortQueen blog in which she's giving away a free pass to her February 2010 Virtual Retreat. You can get some bubble bath and retreat without ever having to leave home! Check out the information and entry requirements on the ComfortQueen blog
When I read about it, I thought, Oh no, I'm already overloaded with people wanting to tell me how to be happy, creative, successful. How can I possibly listen to 11 more lectures about it, in between everything else I've got scheduled? Then I listened to a short video from Jennifer and realized, (DUH!) it's a retreat! That's all you're supposed to do ALL DAY - is RETREAT!
Now I get it!
Enjoy the SLIDESHOW.