Entries from: January 2008

A Month of Inspiration

January 31st, 2008, Comments (15)

As promised, here are some views of my inspiration board:

inspiration board

Go to my the flickr pics (click on the pictures) to see all the notes about the individual items on it. Here are some details:

inspiration board close up

inspiration board close-up

What I'd like to have is some bigger boards and a magnet strip to collect inspiration and hang art from. But in the meantime, I'm happy with the board I've got!

My space is filling up with "Subway Stories" art and it's just about ready to be packed up so that I can drive it up to Nahcotta tomorrow.

I spent some time this morning writing out my creative acts of the last month. Yes, it's been a month, which is wild! Great work to all you amazing creative folks out there. I really appreciate all that you are doing and sharing and trying. It's awesome. I think next month, I'll try and keep track of all my activities as I go, instead of looking back through to see what I blogged about and trying to remember the days when I didn't mention something. I know I did something every day, but trying to remember the details is not going to work. Hah. So, while I didn't record every single creative thing I did and the list doesn't account for all the fun inspiration, synchronicity, and connections; I tried to make note of what I where I focused most of my creativity on each day. Here's my list:

January 2008's Creatactivities:

  1. painting in my art journal
  2. doodling and drawing in my sketchbook
  3. made an Amazon widget
  4. made a painting/collage called "Memory Cycles"
  5. drawing in oil pastels
  6. drawing in sketchbook with suggestions by my mother-in-law
  7. sketching, updating website
  8. creative thank you notes
  9. writing/designing newsletter, playing games with friend's kids
  10. making up a recipe for the first time, collaging, writing book
  11. painting with the power out
  12. working on subway art
  13. more subway art
  14. and more subway art
  15. even more subway art
  16. opened Etsy shop, made best friend's baby laugh while best friend got her haircut :-)
  17. drawing in sketchbook, subway art, wandering in library and pulling inspiring books.
  18. working on the subway art
  19. same as above
  20. doodling
  21. took pictures of my sparkly shoes and my big fuzz ball, Tabbers
  22. picking out flowers to decorate the house with, doodling over an old drawing
  23. working on subway art
  24. making soup and presenting it artistically. yum.
  25. subway art
  26. re-vamped my inspiration board
  27. subway art, mini-collages, drew in sketchbook
  28. subway art
  29. worked on book
  30. subway art
  31. subway art, bird drawing

I just love focusing on the creativity in my everyday life. And I wanted to mention that it's not too late to join in the Creative Every Day 2008 challenge! I think joining in anytime is perfectly o.k. So, if you've been thinking about jumping in, leave me a comment or shoot me an email.

Having the weekly post where people can leave a link to their creativity posts seems to be working well. Next month, I'd also like to focus some posts on what others are up to. If you have any other suggestions/ideas, feel free to let me know! Back to work for me.

A Place to Bark and Meow

January 31st, 2008, Comments (0)

I wanted to post about Bernie's cause one more time because the challenge her animal shelter is participating in ends today at 3 p.m. EST. So, if you haven't done so already and you can spare $10, please consider donating. The four charities with the most $10 donations at the end of this contest will win $50,000.  Imagine how many beautiful dogs and cats could be saved with that kind of help!

Bernie Berlin, is a fellow artist with a huge heart and I really would love to see this kind of help go her way. You can use the button above to donate or go here. Right now, Bernie's shelter, A Place to Bark and Meow is in fifth place. Please help her get back into the top four!

Update: Unfortunately, Bernie's shelter didn't win the challenge, BUT they have still won big, and I mean big!! Claudine Hellmuth wrote on Bernie's blog that even though they didn't win the challenge they raised over $42,000 and they received a matching grant of $35,000, which means they raised $77,000! That's amazing!! Thanks to everyone who pitched in. I know it will go to good use. Bernie is currently on the road bringing 41 dogs and 1 kitten to new homes. That in itself is awe-inspiring. Congrats, Bernie!

More Creativity Snapshots

January 30th, 2008, Comments (11)

Today was spent finishing up last touches on work that I'll take up to Nahcotta at the end of the week. You can see two of the latest pieces in process above. I've got some other ones in progress too, but I'm going to put them up at the coffee shop where I'll be hanging art at the end of February.

I was going to write about my inspiration board for Wellness Wednesday today, but my pictures came out too dark. So, I'm going to wait and get some daylight shots of it. Last Wednesday, the hubster said to me, "Isn't it Wellness Wednesday or something?" Haha, too funny. That cracked me up.

Yesterday was spent working on my book about creativity. As the Creative Every Day challenge has been developing, it has been giving me all kinds of ideas, which shifts around the direction of the book. I recently picked up Eric Maisel's The Art of the Book Proposal which has been helpful in getting me to think about the focus and framework of the book.

Ideas, the wording of a sentence for example, often come to me soon after I turn off the light and put my head to the pillow. Fortunately, I have a collection of pens, sticky notes and a blank journal, so I can pop up, turn on the light and scribble out my ideas. I'm always glad I write it or draw a little sketch because most of the time I won't be able to remember exactly what came in a flash right before I fell asleep the night before. I didn't realize this time between sleep and wakefulness had a name until recently. I was listening to NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" and their guest for the game "Not My Job" was James Lipton of "Inside the Actor's Studio." The hosts kind of made fun of his use of the word in the first chapter of his book, Inside Inside, but I thought it was really cool! The term used for this in between time is called "the hypnagogic state." Lipton suggested that creative artists, musicians, and writers were familiar with this "dream-like and sometimes fruitful state between wakefulness and sleep." Is everyone aware of this state? Does everyone experience it? I think the hubster, who is a musician and very creative, may fall asleep far too quickly to have any ideas come. But maybe he experiences that state when he wakes (between sleep and waking, it's called the hypnopompic state.) I'll have to ask him.

So, I'll make that my Wellness Wednesday tip for this week. Pay attention and see if ideas, answers to questions, or art compositions come to you in this hypnagogic state. And be sure to have some paper and writing tools tools by your bedside. If you can't turn on the light in the middle of the night, try keeping a flashlight or booklight that you can use without disturbing your bedmate. Or just write in the dark, which I do sometimes. :-)

That's it for tonight. See you tomorrow. And happy creating!

The Liar’s Diary Blog Day

January 29th, 2008, Comments (6)


Today is a special day in the blogoshpere because loads of bloggers are getting together to celebrate the release of Patry Francis's The Liar's Diary into paperback. I've known Patry through the blogosphere for a couple years because she joined in my annual "Art Every Day Month" back in November 2006. Last year her novel got published, which was wonderfully exciting to those of us who had been reading her blog. We all cheered for her. And then more recently, Patry shared on her blog that she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. And we've rallied around her to support her in her battle with cancer as well as helping to further boost the success of her book as it becomes a paperback.

So, go support Patry and pick up her excellent book, The Liar's Diary. (It's 20% off at Amazon!) You can read about other bloggers who are writing about Patry's book today here.

You've got to love the creative ways bloggers find to support one another. It's a wonderful thing.

Creativity Snapshot

January 28th, 2008, Comments (13)

Here's a look at the table I was working on today. You can see some of the "Subway Stories" pieces that I've been varnishing and painting the sides of, my sketchbook that contains a poem by Hafiz that has inspired two ideas for artwork, and a bunch of quickie collages done on gessoed postcards. I think I was starving for color after doing so many black and white pieces "Subway Stories" pieces in a row.

For the mini collages, I used scrap papers I had in my collection of random stuffs plus pieces of prints oopses. A print oops, is simply a printing mistake or experiment that happened when making my prints. Instead of just tossing the paper (which is expensive), I've saved it and today I put some into these little collages, which are 4"x6". I will probably paint, write, and or work on these collages some more, but I thought you might enjoy a little peek into what I've been up to today. I've felt in great creative spirits which is always nice.

And now, I've gotta go off and do some house chores...not exactly the most fun part of the day, but it's gotta get done. So, in the spirit of CED, I'm going to approach it with some fun and creativity in mind. It's funny how such a small shift in perspective can make it all seem like less of a chore and more of an experience. For example, I need to do some dishes. Not so exciting, I know. But if I shift my thinking, I remember my apple green dish washing gloves from Williams and Sonoma that make me smile, I consider lighting a candle, enjoying the tulips in the kitchen, listening to Yo Yo Ma as I work, and the yummy smell of soap bubbling up in warm water. Sounds lovely to me now. Ahh. Happy creating all y'alls!

Creative Every Day – January 28th – February 3rd

January 28th, 2008, Comments (16)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 1/28/08 - 2/3/08.

Happy creating!

Where’d it go?

January 27th, 2008, Comments (12)

Oh, that's frustrating! I wrote post yesterday with all these links and then last night I saw that it wasn't there. Where'd it go? I don't know! How frustrating! Anyways, I'll try and replicate it to a degree. I've got some new "Subway Stories" art to share with you. This first one (above) is 10"x10" and it's titled, "Kenmore." The father and son figures are thinking about the baseball game they're headed to. And the woman is a graduate student and is going through her to-do list.

This next piece is 8"x8" and is titled, "Newton Center." The  man on the right has twin babies at home and he's exhausted. He keeps nodding in and out of sleep and hoping that he won't sleep through his stop like he did last week. The woman on the left has noticed the man behind her is snoring. She's thinking about her plans for the evening and a friend of hers she hasn't seen much of lately because she's tired of hearing about how her boyfriend is treating her like dirt when she won't do anything about it. Both pieces are on cradled wood panel with collaged papers (subway maps, phone book pages, train schedules), acrylic, and ink. These pieces will be available at the Nahcotta show in Portsmouth, N.H. next month. I'm so excited about this show and the opportunity to see the artwork of some truly awesome artists in person. You can check out the postcard for the show here and see the list of artists involved. All the artwork in the Tiny Enormous Show III, will be 10"x10" or smaller and affordable. If you can't go to the show, you can still contact Nahcotta directly and make a purchase through them. More about this later in the week.

It's snowing here and I'm feeling sleepy despite the yummy coffee that the hubster made for us. But I've got a soft kitty on my lap, so life is good! :-)

Yesterday, some of my creativactivities involved re-vamping my inspiration/cork board. I'll share some pictures of that later on. I'd actually love to get some new and bigger cork boards. There's actually a very cool flickr group of inspiration boards and a blog dedicated to them too! Do you keep an inspiration board?

Creative Cooking

January 24th, 2008, Comments (19)

Making a new recipe always feels creative to me. I traveled to a brand new grocery store in town and enjoyed the new signage and the fresh, clean feeling of it. Everything seemed so perfect! Every product was well stocked, all the produce looked spectacular, so much color! I enjoyed picking out fresh ingredients: cod and clams, parsley, potatoes, leeks, celery, and some pricey, but fun saffron threads. Chopping vedgies, smelling the stock cooking, tomatoes, chicken broth and clam juice. Toasting up crusty bread in the oven and hoping, hoping, hoping that it will taste good. Phew, it did! Then setting it up in the white bowls and plates, I felt like I'd made a bit of food art. Pretty enough to eat and warm-your-insides good.

Andrea mentioned today that she's enjoying the CED challenge and how it's really all about perspective. Opening our eyes to the endless ways there are to be creative, we see the opportunities every where and life becomes more rich and full. How lovely is that?

An artist I admire, Michelle Caplan, has joined in the CED challenge this week. She is doing this great collage-a-day project that she's chronicling on her blog, Collage Lab. Also be sure to check out her fantastic blog called, Creative Swoon (I love the name), which is overflowing with inspiration.

Flowers in the Winter

January 23rd, 2008, Comments (6)


Yesterday's creativity involved doodling on an old drawing, picking out colorful tulips at the store, and putting them in vases to brighten up a gray day. Flowers in your home are another super sweet and simple delight. You may think that you need a special occasion for flower buying. You don't. Treating yourself to a bright bunch of tulips is a wonderful way to take care of yourself and bring more color and creativity into your life. The pictures in this post are from my trip with the hubster to Seattle last summer. We were visiting the Pike Place Market and my mind exploded in color at the sight of the flowers they had for sale there. Gorgeous flowers in every shape and color. They seemed larger than life, so full and thick, almost surreal. Perhaps its the moist Seattle air that makes the flowers so gorgeous? And they were incredibly cheap too!


I mean,  look at those peonies!  I stuck my face in a few to take big whiffs and feel their soft petals. If I lived in Seattle, my home would be overflowing with flowers, I'm sure of it. Wintertime in New England, flowers are not so cheap and full, but I did find some cheery yellow tulips with reddish pink edges that look quite lovely in the blue vase I have in the window. And two extra tulips are in a little red vase in the kitchen too.

Brightening your space in small and large ways can be a wonderful way to express yourself creatively. Simply changing the arrangement of your furniture can give such a fantastic change of perspective and new energy to a space. I'm trying to figure out how to rearrange my studio right now.

Here's some more juicy inspiration for you:

- The blog housemartin is all about home decor and floral design. If you're needing some floral inspiration, do check out all the gorgeous pictures there!

- Kara of Mother Henna has a cool online exhibit of art relating to Peace on her website A Peace Of... Check out the cool art there and maybe submit something you've created!

- The website Normal Room shows pictures of interiors from around the world. Loads of fun interior spaces to see there!

- Lastly, from one of my favorite websites, decor8, check out Holly's flickr group of Creative Collections. I love the cool and quirky collections there.


January 23rd, 2008, Comments (5)

I just found a lot of emails in my spam folder from people wanting to join in CED. Sorry about that! I will get those up on the list later today. Sorry for the delay and sorry if you felt like I was ignoring you. I need to check my spam folder more often apparently!

Update: O.k. I've cleared out my spam folder and I believe I have responded to everyone who as asked to be added to the list as of today at 3:30 p.m. EST. So, if you don't see your name up there and it should be, please let me know!