Entries Tagged as: introversion

Standing at Water’s Edge: An Interview with Anne Paris

November 3rd, 2009, Comments (3)


I'm so pleased to be sharing this interview I recorded last week with Anne Paris, author of Standing at Water's Edge: Moving Past Fear, Blocks, and Pitfalls to Discover the Power of Creative Immersion.

I read the book a few months ago, and as I told Anne, it's just filled with underlines, notes in the margin, and dog-eared pages - signs of a well-loved book. There's great discussion on how even the introverted among us, reach out for connection in our own ways. I could relate to that considering how much work I do to reach out and connect others here on this blog!

I hope this interview will provide some extra inspiration for those going through the Art Every Day Month process. (I love to listen to podcasts while I work!)

The conversation is about 20 minutes long. You can listen to it here, by clicking on the link below or you can save it to your computer to listen to later by right-clicking (or ctrl-click on a Mac) on the link.

Click here to listen.


Creating Your Dream Team

March 1st, 2009, Comments (3)

This week's chapter in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, which I'm reading with Jamie's book group, talks about creative alliances and partnerships. I liked how A Feminist Wife called it her "dream team." It fits perfectly with the (totally optional) dream theme this month for the Creative Every Day Challenge.

I have used the idea of an imagined dream team before (people living and dead that I could consider personal allies), but it's been awhile since I thought about who I would put on my team. Among those I don't know, I'd love to have SARK as an ally as well as Martha Beck. Both of these women are intelligent, funny, creative, down-to-earth go-getters, and totally inspiring. I admire their honesty and integrity in the telling of their stories, their energy, and their wild success!

Fortunately, I'm lucky to have some wonderful creative alliances with people I already know. I have an awesome coach, a sort of Mastermind group that I meet with regularly, and I enjoy taking classes where I meet other like-minded, creative souls. One of my greatest alliances is with the hubster who is a wonderful champion for me and my bff has always been incredibly supportive.

I've made many creative alliances online (one of the wonderful things about blogging!) and I'm extremely grateful for that. It's been so helpful for a super introverted person like myself, as I can feel connected and respond in a way that feels good to me, without feeling the energy drain that happens for me in crowds of people.

I've been working on asking for help lately and it's definitely been interesting. The act of asking makes me feel a bit vulnerable, but it also gives others the opportunity to help (and people generally love to help others, particularly when it's something they're passionate about.)

Along those lines, I've approached some people I admire about doing interviews for Creative Every Day this year and the response has been wonderful. I'll be posting one of these interviews this week! In the meantime, check out this fabulous interview that Jamie Ridler did with the lovely Goddess Leonie.

Soul Coaching Art

November 22nd, 2008, Comments (9)


Today's Soul Coaching exercises were so up my alley! I only had time to do the first level of exercises, which involved doing 3 drawings. For the first drawing, author, Denise Linn asks that you close your eyes, get a sense of the what you are feeling in that moment, reach for the color or colors that express that emotion, and then draw it out. I used caran d'ache, water soluble crayons to do these drawings. And the drawing above is what came out. I was feeling mainly soft blue mellowness with bits of a light green anxiety. The images developed as I drew. For the second drawing, we were asked to close our eyes, imagine the way we'd like to be feeling, and then draw that. What came from that is below. I was wishing for a bit more fire as perhaps you can gather. I'd like a bit more energy that's rooted in that blues I have much of already. But perhaps the it's like that expression, the grass is always greener. I just don't seem to be the high energy type and I am o.k. with that. I think I'm capable of more energy though and I'd like to work on that.


Then in the last drawing, we closed our eyes again, asked if our soul had a message for us, and then drew that. For this image, I saw in my mind a purple lotus flower and what I drew is below. I got the sense that my soul was saying, be still, be at peace. Everything is o.k. And it is! :-)


It was fun to do these drawings and just play intuitively. I think I'll do the other exercises another time. I've done something very similar to the other exercises Denise Linn shares, such as drawing with the non-dominant hand and drawing with both hands at once, last year during a class at Artfest. I loved the drawings that came from those experiences and highly recommend trying it out. You can read more about my experiences in that class and see what I drew here.

I went to a craft fair with my bff today and got totally wiped out. It was fun and inspirational (so much color! so many ideas!), but I tend to get overwhelmed in spaces like that and didn't buy anything. My bff bought the cutest hat for her lil girl and a couple other gifts.

I hope you're all enjoying the weekend and staying warm (it's freezing cold here in New England!)

Back from the Big Apple

October 20th, 2008, Comments (9)

We had a great weekend in NYC, visiting the hubster's family and then heading into the city to surprise my brother for his 29th birthday. I snapped this picture on the way into town with my iphone. Didn't quite work, but you'll have to trust me when I say that the city was looking spectacular all lit up. That green smudge up top is not a U.F.O., but the empire state building. Somewhere in the outskirts we saw a building that had "Vote Obama" in gigantic lit up letters taking up one entire side.That was cool.

After a weekend full of travel and socializing I was seriously exhausted when we got home last night and today felt like a day of introvert-style recovery. This evening I followed my urge to draw by sketching out faces I saw on television, in magazines and online for fun. Here's one of them (above.)

I used a new journal (decorated with kitty faces) to draw faces in. I plan to use this journal while reading Denise Linn's Soul Coaching which I'll be doing along with Jamie's online book group. If you're interested in joining in, you can check out all the details here. I think the book will be helpful as I do Art Every Day Month next month and I'm looking forward to both challenges!

Speaking of AEDM, I'm enjoying visiting the blogs of some of the folks who signed up to participate and wanted to share some of the fabulous things I found!

I'm off to relax and then catch some z's. Hope you had a wonderfully creative weekend!

be brave: gallery opening

July 19th, 2008, Comments (2)

lisa meet charlie
Originally uploaded by artstreamstudios

Yesterday I went to the art opening of Lisa Solomon & Lisa Congdon at Artstream Studios in New Hampshire. I saw some familiar faces, like Betsy, Jennifer, and Susan (owner of the gallery.) Met some new folks like Sarah. And I introduced myself to Lisa and Lisa, which took some bravery to walk up and do, but was glad I did. They were both so sweet, open, and gracious. It was a pleasure to meet them. And it was fabulous to see some artist friends too. The weather was wild and wooly on the drive up and back which wasn't so fun, but I was still glad I made the trip north. Susan's gallery space was freshly painted and totally gorgeous. In the picture above you can see the corner of my face on the far left, Lisa S., Lisa C. Charlie (Abby Glassenberg's husband), and Sarah. You can check out the show by clicking on the picture which will take you to the Artstream flickr account. The show was all about the history of pigments and was a fascinating and lovely exhibit.

Earlier in the day, I met my mom for some more b-day celebrating in the form of a pedicure and movie. My toes are so sparkly! Today was pretty quiet and very humid. It felt too hot to paint, although I'm itchin' to get back to Ophelia. Having a b-day lunch with my dad and step-mom tomorrow. Hopefully the afternoon will be a touch cooler and I can get back to the paint. Hope you're having a wonderfully creative weekend!

Juggling Acts

July 1st, 2008, Comments (10)

I had a lovely weekend in NYC (mainly in Queens) with the hubster's family and friends. Back at home, my introverted self is quite tuckered out and I've been whacked around by a nasty migraine. But I had a great day before the migraine attack. I went into Boston to drop off some more prints along with a bunch of originals at Oak. I shopped around in the store a bit and picked out a couple cute barrettes. Then since I had some extra time on the meter, I walked around for a bit and checked out the new Apple store. It's very pretty. I'm glad I don't have to drive down there everyday, but it wasn't too bad today. I found a kick-ass parking spot on my first try and didn't hit any traffic. Hooray for summer! Ack, it's July! I can hardly believe it! I've got a birthday coming up this month and a wedding to travel to and I'm hoping it will be a creative and fun-filled summer.

Before leaving for New York, I put some paint into a moleskine and smushed the pages together to make some inkblot art. I've done this before and enjoyed the results, but this particular journal is part of a sketchbook exchange that Jim put together. I've never done one of these before, but I think it will be very cool to see what everyone does. My first inkblot (really a paintblot, the paint is the orange and purple) suggested the form of swirly ponytails, which led to this image of a circus act, which I made into a poster of sorts. My sketchbooks tend to be kind of random, so who knows what will be next.

In my regular sketchbook, I'm filling page after page with images. I've got a painting idea (that I dreamed about) that involves a tattoo and I'm trying to figure out tattoo design. I know it's circular, but the rest is a mystery. I've got a commission that needs working on, some business to take care of, some art that wants to be created, and loads of cleaning that needs to get done. Such is the juggling act of life! It's a good juggling act though.

I know there were other things that I wanted to mention, but that's all I've got at the moment!

Memories and Other Business

June 4th, 2008, Comments (7)


Tonight I'm staying at my mom's and watching my youngest brother. It was weird driving back through the town I grew up in (my parents live in different, but close by towns now.) It sent me through a fast wave of memories: playing in that playground, first dates, the bar in next town, the woods that I trekked through so many times that I knew them like a second language. It was a weird sense of nostalgia along with a feeling of having moved on. Back at the house, little brother showed off his drumming skills, which I could hear quite well from the basement, where he played, to the kitchen where I cooked up some dinner.

Last night I had a friend over for dinner and wine and we sat out on the porch with the hubster and chatted about weddings (mine, eight months ago now and I'm just getting around to picking the pictures for our album) and hers coming up in two months, old roommates, family, and life in general. It was lovely, but by the end of the night I was completely spent. This week is turning out to be fairly busy, one thing after another, and an exciting getaway weekend to visit a couple gal pals coming up. Life is good.

I forgot to bring my camera out here with me, so for now I've shared a picture of "Memory Cycles", which is on sale for the month of June. You can buy the original or prints right here. And while you're there, sign up for the newsletter and you'll be eligible to win a free print every month!

While I'm on the subject of business, I've started to delve into The Boss of You (great so far) and it has me thinking a lot about the direction of my art which is feeling a bit all over the place and unfocused at the moment. Or rather, it's not my art that is this way, but me. Doing the exercises in the book, and writing out my vision has been helpful, but I'm a bit unsure about where to direct my energies. So the book has me thinking and lots of questions are bubbling up: Should I focus my energy on one area? Do I need a niche? What would it be? Along with all this, I'm still working on the book on creativity that I began during the winter. It's been changing form slightly which has me writing a lot and re-thinking, but I've not yet developed how I want it to come together. It's progressing though.

Tomorrow I drop off some work at Oak in Boston and I'm very excited to see this new space. I've felt oddly nervous about dropping off my artwork there. Actually, whenever I drop off my work somewhere, I have this feeling of wanting to drop it and run for the hills. Need to take a breath and get past my introverted ways for things like this. Goodness, this is part of the reason I love blogging. Such a great thing for all the introverts of the world. But I really do need to find some way of networking/socializing with other creative types that feels good for me. Some kind of small support group for other women business owners would be fabulous. That might be a fabulous way to get some focus. I'll put the intention to find this group out there and see what comes.

Update: Forgot to mention, the authors of The Boss of You have a blog. And today they provided a link to the Trans-Canadian Etsy Team blog where they're hosting a giveaway of the book (for residents of Canada and the U.S. only.) Sweet deal!

A Studio in Progress

April 16th, 2008, Comments (6)

The last couple days the spring cleaning bug hit my studio. Wee! I decided to get rid of some of my old crappy plastic drawer units, in which I stored paint and all manner of odds and ends, that were falling apart and replace them with sturdier pieces. The hubster had a small bookshelf that he was throwing out and I found an ikea rolling cart (above) that I've had my eye on on craigslist for half the price (and I so love it!).

Granted, I still have *a lot* of work to do for this space to come together, but it's already feeling more open and inspiring. I rearranged the furniture, so my desk is closer to the window and the center of the room is more open. Ahh, a change as simple as that can make such a difference. I'm totally enjoying my space again. Above you can see part of my bookshelf (which was all organized until I started moving things around again, but it's getting there), my desk, and my inspiration area (it's crept off the inspiration board onto the wall.) Below you can see my mega scanner and the where the light comes in.

The hubster and I are in a bit of weird limbo as to when we'll buy a house, so it's been hard to know how much we wanted to fix up a space that wasn't ours. But I think we've both been feeling that our space, while not our own, can be fixed up a bit to make it a more pleasant place to live. Just a little shift in thinking made a big difference there.

Oh, and I wanted to mention that I everyone at Artfest was super nice! I didn't want anyone to get the wrong impression from my post. My ugly feelings were all my own doing...it stemmed from all those insecurities that can pop up in large groups and such that can throw you for a massive loop. Plus, I just hadn't prepared myself for the intensity of the experience, the sense of overwhelm, and the exhaustion I'd feel. But, on a good note, I did come home full to the brim with inspiration and now that I'm getting my energy back, I can start to put that into practice. Speaking of retreats, this one with Kelly Rae Roberts and Mati Rose in Italy sounds amazing!

The Not So Pretty Underbelly

April 14th, 2008, Comments (9)

Art journal page from when I got home. Girl in boat looks over the edge at all the layers concealed in the depths.

I haven't completely processed my time at Artfest, but I'm beginning to digest the good, the bad, and the ugly and I feel like I've learned quite a bit about myself in the process. I was hesitant to talk about any of the ugly stuff because well, everything you hear about Artfest is so sunshiney and I didn't want to be a wet blanket or sound whiney. But I was inspired today by this post (from Sera Beak which was all about wanting to be liked) and this post from Michelle (about the icky side of Artfest), to just be honest about the totality of my experience. And for the record, it wasn't anything about Artfest in particular that made parts of it difficult for me. Ha, it sounds like I'm breaking up with someone. It isn't you, it's me! But it's true, the difficulties were my own doing.

Spread from my art journal.

One thing I realized pretty quick, is that I don't do well in crowds. I knew this about myself already and yet I wasn't quite prepared for the whirlwind that was part of this retreat (stimulation overload!) I have a way of getting wide-eyed and withdrawn in situations like this. Now, if anyone talked to me, I would chat back. That's the funny thing about introverts, I can perform and talk up a storm, but then later I pay the price by being mentally and physically drained.

Page inspired by the shapes created by the bleed through of markers from the previous page. At the bottom is written, "learning to swim with whales."

I was very glad to have the chance to meet and chat with Bridget a couple times (a super cool girl and fellow introvert), and I made a brief introduction with Liz and Kelly Rae (both super sweet), but in general I had trouble making any solid connections. Some have related the feeling to high school and it did feel somewhat like that, maybe more like junior high...being in this crowd of peers and wanting to be liked, feeling alone in a crowd of people who all seem to know each other. Perhaps if I'd braved having roommates in one of the dorms, I'd have felt more connected. But at the same time, I appreciated having a quiet and separate space off campus to decompress and stretch out. At any rate, I never quite found my footing and ended up feeling like a more quiet, serious version of myself...

Art journal page from after Artfest.

So, what have I learned?

  • Well, I still care too much about what others think of me and I still seek approval. (Poo!)
  • I'm a brave solo adventurer.
  • Travel plus big groups can be especially exhausting.
  • It's lovely to see things with fresh eyes.
  • Exploring new cities and towns on foot is exhilarating.
  • Simple kindnesses can make someone's day.
  • And in the future, I'd probably enjoy a longer and smaller art retreat where I have more time to find my feet and sink in.

Those first bits are something I'm slowly, but steadily working on as I walk my path as a human being. And this all tied in quite well with A New Earth and occasionally, I was able to recognize my ego chattering away and get present, but it was no easy task.

Oh, and by the way, the mandala has grown on me a bit. I was surprised when the hubster really liked it. He liked all the details drawn in on top of everything. So, I'm glad I went through the trouble to cart it home and I think I've found a good spot for it.

At the end of my trip I used my rental car to drive from Port Townsend, Washington to Portland, Oregon...a 4 hour drive that was a bit long, but very pretty...but that's a story for another day.

p.s. I'm behind on email, so if you're waiting for an answer, I'm not ignoring you. I'm just slow. :-)


December 4th, 2007, Comments (9)

Today was busy, busy. Trying to ship art out this time of year is nutty! Everyone is sending out gifts or buy gifts and it feels super hectic every where. I also worked on putting together and figuring out a new mat cutting device I got recently, did a little bit of picking up, matted and framed a print, wrote some emails, prepped some new panels, and put two coats of matte varnish on the Subway Stories piece I was working on during Art Every Day Month. The pic isn't fantastic, but I can't scan it til it's completely dry. Here it is anyways. I'm calling it "South Station" and it's 1o"x10" with paper collage, ink and acrylic on panel.

I made a small change on the blog that I wanted to point out. I've made a new "page" on the blog for links. I realized my link list is not only not current with all the blogs I read (I use Bloglines to keep track of the far too many blogs that I keep track of), but it's also so long that it goes on way past the point of posts. So, I made a page which has a link called, "Links" (creative genius there, I know) up near the top of my sidebar. I've put a list of links there that used to be on the sidebar and I've also kept the list of the 2007 Art Every Day Month participants up there. I'd love for the link list to be organized in a different fashion, but it'll do for now.

So, I know I tend to slow down in the art production department after Art Every Day Month, but as many of you discovered, it is indeed a challenge to make and post something every day and I usually need a little break afterwards, not a long break mind you, but a break still. I can tell you that over the weekend, I enjoyed the luxury of lounging on the couch and reading a novel (which I haven't done much of lately) and it was wonderful. Sometimes, when you're doing a lot of output, it's good to take some time to fill the well. I've also done a little doodling in my sketchbook. Last night, I drew the girl in the scarf and the phoenix-like bird. And tonight while I waited for gesso to dry, I pulled out markers I'd bought for a photo album and drew a silly sketch of the cat on the bed with me at the time. It was fun to just play. 

I've been a bit anti-social in the last couple weeks (Thanksgiving gave me people overload) and I'm feeling the need to push myself out into society a little bit. Holing up like a bear during winter isn't good for me for very long. Even just going to the post office today was good for me. I'm also really needing to get my butt back in gear with some exercising. As unmotivated as I can feel about getting moving when the world gets colder and darker,  working to keep my winter blues to a minimum is so much better for my mind, body and soul. Self-care-city, here I come!