Entries Tagged as: night

Starry Night

February 18th, 2012, Comments (12)

For the night theme, get inspired by this interactive, animated version of one of my favorite paintings, Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. Here's more details on the animation. Beautiful!

Love and a Work in Progress

February 14th, 2012, Comments (6)

Happy Valentine's Day to all you creative souls!

I had a lot of fun making a little Valentine for the hubster with Miss Annabelle. I traced her hand and doodled some hearts on tracing paper. And she added her own touches with some dots and lines. So sweet! Later I took the tracing paper, taped it over some colored paper and wrote in a Valentine's Day message. Writing it out in chunky pastels, I unintentionally made it look like Annabelle wrote the message herself. haha! He loved it. :-)

This week, I've been working in bits in pieces on a larger piece that's been a work-in-progress for a long time. And it still is! It's been more challenging to work on larger pieces because I don't have big chunks of time right now, but it's coming along. I had the original idea back when Annabelle was a newborn. Up late at night, I had the image pop into my head of a woman nursing in the middle of the forest, surrounded by night animals and trees. In the summer, I started the collage background. During Art Every Day Month, I dove into it. And then I set it aside for a while. I'd love to finish it up during this month of Night! We'll see if I can wrap it up. I don't want to rush it either, but it's getting closer!

Mother Holle, Guest Post by Joel Le Blanc

February 8th, 2012, Comments (9)

Mother Holle

Sometimes it is really difficult to remember what ever bewitched me to begin on the creative road. Most people who attempt to turn their creative pursuits into their career know the feeling -- when maximum effort yields minimum rewards, and the numbers just don't ever seem to add up to more than a handful of small beans.

It's at these junctures that I slow down my troubled mind and return to the things that move and inspire me and make my spirit dance. Ever since childhood, that thing for me has been fairy-tales. Stories of myth and magic and dark forests and witches. Like a bramble of blackberries, fairy-tales wrap their way around my heart and mind, thorns and all, and perform the most important task -- they remind me about the things I care about.

One such story that has recently helped to inspire me to keeping going on my creative endeavors is the Grimm's brothers story of  "Mother Holle." This is a lesser known fairy-tale, but it is based on ancient Germanic folklore about a crone goddess known as Hulda -- a sort of patron spirit of children, the art of weaving, and the seasons.

In the Mother Holle story, we are introduced to a woman with one daughter and one step-daughter. As fairy-tale fate would have it, the daughter is lazy and selfish while the step daughter is hard working and kind. After a brief but painful encounter with a sharp spindle, the industrious step-daughter falls down a well by accident and finds herself in a strange meadow she does not recognize. While exploring the meadow she encounters a talking loaf of bread and a talking tree, and completes tasks for them both.

Lastly, she encounters a old house and an old woman with large, fearsome teeth. This is Mother Holle. The old woman puts the girl to work in her house -- but unlike many other stories of witches, this old woman treats the girl kindly, feeds her well, and asks the girl to shake out the feathers from her blanket each day. Whenever the feathers from the blanket are shaken out onto the breeze, it snows in the real world.

Finally the girl requests to go home, and Mother Holle guides her back -- but not before rewarding the girl's industrious efforts with piles of gold.

After the girl returns to her family, her step-mother sends the step-sister down the well to repeat the adventure, hoping to get even more money from Mother Holle. However, the lazy daughter is idle once she arrives, and refuses to do many of the tasks given to her by Mother Holle. In return, Mother Holle covers the girl with black soot and sends her back home.

Often stories and books come to me when I need them most; speaking in silent whispers, "Open and read me!" when there is something relevant in the pages within. That is what happened with the Mother Holle story just recently.

For the first time I am realizing, this story is more than just a moralistic tale about working hard. It's about being authentic and honest about who you are, and what are your reasons for doing what you do. Sometimes work is difficult. Sometimes being a creative professional is hard. Sometimes it really does feel like you are shaking out the feathers of a freaking heavy blanket.

But if I am just being a creative person (a writer and a poet and sometimes painter), for the money, then maybe my motivation is too shallow to carry me through the bad times. If I am writing and making art just because I love to write and make art, I will continue to do just that -- and whatever financial rewards come to me will be a wonderful and welcomed bonus; the icing on the cake to a flavorful and happy life.

And if I am steadfast and hardworking and honest with myself each step of the way, who knows what small beans might turn into?


1. Surlalune Fairytales; Frau Holle (Mother Holle) A German Tale; 2003

Joel Le Blanc is a freelance writer, poet and medical herbalist. He has published articles on health, alternative medicine, literature, art and food, and is currently completing a BA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Canterbury. Joel runs a blog for creative people wanting to learn more about natural and alternative medicine at The Wormwood Files.

She Carried the Night in Her Hair

February 4th, 2012, Comments (14)

I started this piece at the Intuitive Ink workshop I taught last weekend at the wish studio (so fun!) Today, I went back into it and saw a woman with stars in her hair and began to draw that out. Annabelle saw me drawing and wanted to take a closer look.

And here's a snapshot of the workshop in action. I'm going to be teaching something else at the wish studio, so if you're in the area, stay tuned And if you're not in the area, I am creating an online version of the workshop to release sometime this Spring!

Creative Every Day Theme for February: Night

January 26th, 2012, Comments (23)

At the end of each month I will announce the totally optional theme for the following month. For the month of February 2012, the theme will be Night. Thank you to Cat of sea.sky.stone for the theme idea!

As always, this month's theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge is totally optional. Use it if it inspires you, continue being creative every day in your own way if it doesn't, or do something in between. You can sign up for the 2012 Creative Every Day Challenge anytime. More info can be found here and the sign-up page is here.

I'll be posting about the theme throughout the month on the blog to help keep you inspired. You can use the posts here for jumping off points or interpret the theme in your own creative way. If you need some suggestions, here are a few ideas to get you started. You could:

  • *Reflect in writing about the darkness of this time of year.
  • *Make a garland of planets and stars.
  • *Research a constellation and make a creation based on the story around it.
  • *Make art by candlelight.
  • *Make a creation based on the dreams you dream at night.
  • *Create vision boards to honor the new and full moons.
  • *Take a walk in the evening and gather inspiration in the quiet.
  • *Do some creating in the wee hours. How is it different from daytime creating?

How to use the CED themes:

If you're feeling creatively stuck or blocked at any point during the month, use the theme as a source of inspiration to get you moving. Feel free to focus on the theme in your creative activities for the entire month or as much as you'd like.

Using the theme is entirely optional for CED participants. Use it if it inspires you, ignore it if it doesn't. I'll be sharing posts throughout the month around the theme (among other things) to get you thinking about how to incorporate it into your life. I'd love to hear how you use the theme in your creative world.

And have fun with it!

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.  ~Vincent Van Gogh

p.s. The art above is adapted from my piece, Fishing for the Moon, available here.