Entries Tagged as: Current Affairs

Soul Coaching Day 3

November 4th, 2008, Comments (9)

Suddenly I'm a bundle of emotions. My neck hurts, my head hurts, and my eyes are teary. My day, up til this point was fabulous. I took a long walk to the polls, cast my vote, walked to the post office, and then ate my lunch outside. The weather was simply gorgeous. I picked up some leaves on my way home, I breathed in the air, and relished this lovely November day. I got home and did my homework for the Soul Coaching group which involved doing some de-cluttering. I de-cluttered the bathroom hung up a new shower curtain liner while I was at it. It felt good to this. It did seem to bring a certain clarity to both the physical and mental space I hold. I felt myself releasing some of that mental clutter into the trash as I carried my clutter out of my home. Sometimes sweeping away mental clutter also releases emotions that have been building too. And I made a big realization today, I said something out loud that surprised me a bit, but also felt absolutely true. I realized that I am letting go of the identity I've had of myself as being a "depressed person." I'm not saying that I haven't been depressed. I most certainly have. But someone said to me today that there's a difference between having the symptoms of depression and being a depressed person. Just like having a broken arm doesn't make you a broken arm. It's subtle (to me), but profound to grasp that difference. And I'm slowly getting that.

I'm also feeling quite emotional about the election. All this anticipation and building up. I read this post earlier and got all teary. I've held off from watching the news as it's too early to know anything, but I'll turn it on soon I'm sure. Got to remember to breathe. O.k. I'm off to rest for a bit before making some dinner. Art for the day will be posted later tonight. Toodaloo for now!

Fall Forest Muses

November 3rd, 2008, Comments (17)

I'm so pumped up by all the wonderful creative energy around AEDM! Perhaps some of that is coming through in today's spontaneous piece of artwork. I used some paint, a bottle of sprayed water, a little container of water with a few drops of paint that had a tip (like a cake frosting tip) on it, and a bit of sparkly fabric paint while playing today on a piece of watercolor paper. I didn't have a plan in mind, just wanted to play and this is what came out. I believe I was also inspired by this podcast from Lori-Lyn in which she shares a meditation about meeting your muse. In my visualization, my muse was totally blue, go figure, so that's partly where these figures came from. I'm calling them the "Fall Forest Muses" and they seem to be having a fantabulous time. :-)

I've just updated the Art Every Day Month info page, to hopefully make the workings of the challenge more clear. It's tricky sometimes to make it super clear, when I want the challenge to be open to interpretation by anyone wanting to join in, but hopefully, the info page lays out the way it works as clearly as possible. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask! I think the widget (that little box below, where you can enter the url of your postings) is working well, so I'm planning to post a new one each day available for you to share your creations. It's not required, but it is fun and it's great for others to have an easy way to find your latest post!

As I've mentioned, I'm also doing the Soul Coaching group and today's work was around determining your values, examining what you've been putting off, and looking at your commitments. The author, Denise Linn, challenges the reader to commit to something for the next month, and well, that's quite simple since I've committed to making art for AEDM! I thought about adding something to that and then realized I might go bonkers trying to do too much, so I'm going to keep it at that. Committing to the book and the artwork and running this challenge is more than enough to keep me busy. For the part about values, I wrote out my values on a couple pieces of paper, cut them out and arranged them.

I wrote out values that came to mind, borrowing a bit from the author's list of suggestions and from Jenn's fabulous list that I've seen through her awesome value card creations that she's done for AEDM! Speaking of Jenn, you must check out her appearance on television talking about balance and her unique vision boards!! She talks about them in the context of being a busy mom, but this could easily apply to anyone. It was great making this list of my own values. Writing them out and making them into a visual statement gave me a better sense of where I'm living my values and where I could use some extra oomph.

Lastly, I looked at what I've been putting off. Oh so many things. I'm a big-time procrastinator I'm afraid. So I made a list and tackled one of them. I backed up my computer! Woohoo! It does feel good to do the things you've been putting off. I've got a whole lot more to tackle and hopefully, I'll be able to tick them off or at least get started on them all over the next month.

I'm getting very excited for the election tomorrow. I had to stop watching the coverage for awhile because I realized it was making me an anxious mess and that wasn't helping anything or anyone. I've avoided talking about politics directly on my blog as I want this space to be about creativity. But I want to encourage everyone (if you live in the U.S. or are a U.S. citizen) to vote tomorrow.

I am voting for Barack Obama. I think this post from Lori-Lyn describes much of my feelings behind the election. She says it in eloquent words that I haven't been able to find. I don't expect or want everyone who visits or participates in challenges here to agree with me or vote the same as I do. I want this space to be open to anyone without judgement. I mention that I'm voting for Obama because I'm proud to say that I am and I'm feeling oh so hopeful. O.k., now that I got that off my chest, I hope you all have a wonderfully creative evening. Sweet dreams!

Assorted Goods

October 17th, 2008, Comments (10)

Jenn has shared the link of my chat with the Co-Active coaches Creative Artists group and you can listen to it right here. I talk a bit about Art Every Day Month (AEDM), ways to get creative when you're feeling uninspired, and also lead an intuitive art exercise at the end of the call. I thoroughly enjoyed being on the call and chatting with like-minded souls about being creative every day.

One of the things that came up on the call was the difference between the Creative Every Day 2008 challenge (CED2008) and AEDM and I don't think I did a fabulous job at describing the difference then, so I wanted to address it quickly here.

CED2008 was born out of wanting to continue the sense of community and commitment to creativity that I felt with AEDM. Both challenges are very loose and flexible, so that anyone can feel good about joining in, so the two challenges really do overlap. If you're already doing CED2008, then technically you could be doing AEDM too. For me, because AEDM is a short-term challenge, just going for the month of November, I feel good about committing to creating and posting something every day (this is not required for folks doing AEDM, but it is what I commit to doing). I created CED2008 as a way to continue the commitment to creativity and for me that meant simply focusing in on my creativity and recognizing it without necessarily posting something every single day. That was how I approached the challenges, but I left it open for others to interpret however it felt good for them. Hopefully that makes the difference clear enough. Feel free to ask any questions though!

On to other things! I mentioned getting a sample of Golden's new Open Acrylics, three little tubes of titanium white, alazrin crimson, and blue. I'd turned off the Red Sox game because they were down 7-0 in the 7th and I just couldn't bear to watch anymore, well, go figure, they ended up coming back to with 8-7 in just two innings! I should know better than to count them out! So, I was all hyped up when I found out they won and decided to pull out those paints and just play while I watched highlights. I put out some red paint which turned into a mermaid (so many mermaids lately!) and later just started doodling what became two octopuses.

Open Acrylics are a new line of paints that are water-based, but have a much longer drying time. So, they're not like your typical acrylic paint. They stay open to manipulation longer, like oils. It was interesting to play with them. I'm used to the fast-dry of acrylic, so sometimes going back to paint over something was frustrating because the paint underneath wasn't totally dry. But being able to re-manipulate something with a bit of water was very cool. I'm kind of an impatient painter, so I'm not sure I'd use them on a regular basis, but I could see how they'd be very fun to play with.

Yesterday afternoon, I was feeling a bit rattled after reading far too many political articles about the weird and lame claims about voter fraud in Ohio and I needed some cheering up. This video totally did the trick for me. Thank you ninja cat! :-)

In the Garden and some Love and Light

March 12th, 2008, Comments (16)

I was thinking about Illustration Friday's theme of "Garden" when I sketched out the idea for this piece, "In the Garden", which is 8"x10" with rice paper, acrylic, and colored pencil on panel. I used damp rice paper that I had wrinkled up into a ball, then unfolded and glued to the panel to make interesting texture. I let that dry overnight and then started into it with layers of paint and colored pencil. I think I was also influenced by Eckhart Tolle's book "A New Earth" (see my sidebar for a link) which is helping me reconnect with my body and everyday moments. I've listened to the first two webcasts on the book and I'm enjoying the dialog. The discussion makes the information sink in a bit more and clarifies a lot of the muddy areas.

My poor laptop is in the computer hospital and hopefully it will return soon. In the meantime, I'm using my old iMac which is really slow and I'm unable to upload the pictures from my camera for some odd reason, but thankfully, it works, so I can still check my email even though I'm not on the computer quite as much without the laptop (which maybe is a good thing!)

I do have a minor build-up of linkage to share!!

- Design*Sponge held a DIY contest and the 20 finalists are now on display. There are some super cool projects to see! I think my favorite is the tree mural with the painting of the owl with glow-in-the-dark eyes. But I have a thing for trees and owls, so there you go.

- The hubster sent me the link to this story today about a super cool dolphin that saved 2 whales who were stranded on a beach in New Zealand. It's nice to read some good news type stories isn't it?

- Speaking of good news types of stories, if you haven't heard of hopeREVO yet, definitely check it out. The idea, started by Krystyn Heide, is to leave messages of hope in public places. Love that. There's a flickr group for this movement here. The idea reminds me a bit of the guerilla art of Keri Smith and the found art project (Found Art Tuesday) that Rosa Murillo runs.

- Lia of Art Junk Girl recorded her first live blog radio show today, all about art journaling. I didn't hear about it in time to listen live, but you can listen to it anytime here. I think Lia plans to make this a regular thing. Way to go, Lia. I really enjoyed your first show!

I feel spring in the air (and in my step.) How bout you?

Videos to Inspire

February 5th, 2008, Comments (2)

First off, it's Super Tuesday. Have you voted? I watched this inspiring video on Marilyn's blog. It's a bit long, 25 minutes, but definitely worth watching. What an amazing story. Definitely inspirational.

Second, this video, which I first saw at 37 Days. Something about this just cracked me up and it goes along so well with my Subway Stories art series too. :-)

And lastly, for a bit of humor combined with art, there's this video, which I saw on the Foxy Art Studio blog.

Creativity Galore

January 14th, 2008, Comments (12)

I'm having so much fun with the CED project this year. I get so excited to see what everyone is up to, the new and wonderful ways you're being creative, and sharing my own creativity. What a great energy to start of the new year with!

We got blasted with snow here in New England. The world is covered in thick, white, fluffy stuff. The power was out most of the day today where I'm staying (at my old job) and I couldn't get home anyways because there's a big tree in our driveway. I feel SO lucky that my car wasn't there last night. A big tree fell right in the spots where my neighbor and I park our cars, both of which happen to be brand new. That would have been devastating - to come out and see my shiny new car crushed! So anyways, the landlord couldn't get any help to remove the tree til tomorrow, so I'll go back to the house for a bit then and then back to my supervising role at the old job.

The power being out wasn't too bad, but it was out for over 5 hours and it was starting to get really cold and it would have been dark shortly, so I'm glad that it has returned. While the power was out, I spent a lot of time reading. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman was excellent by the way. I highly recommend it. In the afternoon, I worked on "Subway Stories" pieces, finishing up the two I've been showing you and prepping and starting new ones. It was nice to have a bit more room to spread out in and I could work on more pieces at once, sanding and gessoing and gluing and painting. The hubster and I are trying to get rid of the extra stuff (we're both kinda messy, but we do better in a cleaner space) in our apartment and I'm trying to do the same in my studio. I would love some more space to work in, but I need this to work for now. In the meantime, I just droooool over the studio spaces I see in blogland sometimes. Karin of "Karins Kreativa 2008" joined the CED 2008 challenge today. Her blog is in Swedish and I haven't been able to find a good translator for Swedish to English, but I really have enjoyed her pictures including her amazingly organized studio space. Check it out here.  I've started doing some of this kind of organizing in my own space, but the way she's put her creative supplies together gives me so many ideas. I've included a few of the photos from Karin's studio below, but do go see the rest! Thanks for the inspiration, Karin!


I got an email from Becky of Quoth the Rav in which she shared a quote from her inspirational calendar:

"When looking for a new idea, thumb through a magazine on a subject of no interest to you."
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.-
from Life's Little Instruction calendar 2008

Becky took this inspiration and ran with it, using a medical supply catalog to get ideas  and material for collage. I love that!

Janet of The Lavendar Loft has shared a great list of creativity tips (the original list is here.) I love what Janet had to say about creativity when she shared the list. I totally agree with her when she says that people often shut themselves down thinking they can't be creative, when in fact we are all creative every day. And by bringing our focus to the many ways we are creative in our everyday lives we can only bring more inspiration and creative goodness flowing in.

O.k., I'm going to get back to working on some art. I'll get my camera back tomorrow, so you can expect some pics from me then!