Entries Tagged as: play

Sketches and Doodles

November 23rd, 2009, Comments (20)

Yesterday and today were consumed with working on a slideshow/movie for my Grandmother's wake tomorrow. Such a time consuming process, all the scanning and cropping and editing. But sorting through the old photos was fun. The picture above is of my Grandma and I. You can see she's working on a blanket in it. She was an amazing knitter and knit me everything from the coolest Christmas stocking you've ever seen, to beautiful sweaters (my favorite was blue with fuzzy white cats on it), to doll clothes.

My Grandma did have a beautiful life filled with 5 children and 15 grandchildren and a few great-grandchildren and a long, happy marraige. It was nice to go through these memories, remembering the better times before she got ill.

I'm exhausted, but I did manage to do a few little doodles in my moleskine-like sketchbook with watercolor pencils. They were fun to do and I appreciated the time to be playful.


November 20th, 2009, Comments (32)

Today I got to meet with the super sweet Gretchen Wegner, who was in town for a conference. I took her to a nearby art supply store to pick up some goodies and show her some non-intimidating art supplies to play with. One of the things I shared was these little moleskine-like sketchbooks and Golden fluid acrylics, two things that I love to use when making inkblots. I simply squirt some paint on one page, mush it around, then close the sketchbook to make my inkblot. I usually do a bunch at once, then keep the book open so the pages can dry. Later, I come back and see what images I can find in the inkblots or just play with them until an image appears using pens and colored pencils. Below you can see what the above inkblot looked like when I started to draw on it.

A few people have mentioned feeling stressed by keeping up with the challenge. I totally understand, it is challenging, but you're all doing so great! I really want to make this a low-pressure and no-guilt experience, but I know that most of the guilt/stress comes from the pressure we put on ourselves. So I'll say this: if you need to take a break and come back, do that! Or if you need to do something lighter and easier for a few days, something like these inkblots or doodling, do that. Mix it up and make it fun for yourself. Mixing it up makes it easier to stay with it and the variety will inspire you too! Here are some more inkblots I played with today.

Gray Skies

November 19th, 2009, Comments (41)

Today, in an attempt to clear up some majorly clogged ears, I took a decongestant and now I'm totally fuzzy headed and my ears are still clogged. Oy! lol. Perhaps the fuzzy headedness is where the gray came from today or perhaps it's the gray weather. I took a walk outside before I painted and the sky seemed so heavy with grayness.

I sat down with watercolor paper and a bottle of ink and began to play. I love dropping ink and drawing into little puddles of water on paper. The way the ink flows suggests shapes (today the trees, bird, and clouds.) It was relaxing.

Now, I'm off to take a hot shower, in another attempt to clear up my sinuses, before meeting up with some friends I met doing the Mondo Beyondo class this fall. We're to sit around, eat soup, and read to each other. How lovely is that? I only hope I'll be able to hear them. :-)

Interview with Chris Zydel about Intuitive Painting

November 18th, 2009, Comments (7)

I'm so excited to be able to share this interview with the fabulous Chris Zydel. Chris is an artist, writer, teacher of Intuitive Painting, and has so many insightful things to share about the process of creating from your intuition.

Click here to listen.

The recording is about 17 minutes long. You may also right-click (or ctrl-click on a Mac) to save this interview to your computer to listen to later. Perhaps you can listen in while you work on your art for the day today!

Chris is leading a 6 day Intuitive Painting Retreat in Northern California, January 16th - 22nd, 2010, which sounds simply amazing. You can find out all about the retreat here. You can learn more about Chris and her work on her website, Creative Juices Arts. Chris also has a blog and is on Twitter too!

Dragonfly Key, Work-In-Progress

November 10th, 2009, Comments (24)

dragonfly key wip

Today was a difficult one, and once again, making art was like therapy for me, helping me feel more grounded. Difficult days are no fun, but having Art Every Day Month to prompt me into doing art even when I'm having a tough day, has been a great lesson in how healing art-making can be.

I started out just playing with paint, laying down layers, drawing, covering things up, turning the paper this way and that. Most of the time I was working on it, it was horizontal, but at the very end, when I thought it was going nowhere and I'd just stop for the day, I turned it on its side and saw a figure. The dragonfly was already there, but it looked like the figure was using the dragonfly like a key. The dragonfly had appeared earlier and I'd almost covered it up because I thought it looked odd, this big dragonfly in the middle of a gold circle, but when the figure appeared, she knew just what do with the dragonfly. I love when things flow together like that.

I say this is a work in progress because it felt like it was time to stop for today, to let it breathe. I like that the figure is ghostly. I'm not sure if this piece will go any further or where it will go or if I'll just put a few finishing touches on it. But I know it was time to stop. (It can be tricky to know when to stop sometimes, but today I knew.) I need some time to reflect on it and sit with it. Do I want to keep the ruffled edge? Do I want a keyhole somewhere? Do I want to bring out the other dragonfly that's already there? Do I leave it alone? But there's no rush. I can let this sit and carry on with other art until I know what the next step is.


November 4th, 2009, Comments (35)


I've been focusing on self-care a lot today, noticing when and how I can do those little things that make my day sweeter... like eating a warm lunch (instead of something cold and quick), getting some exercise, taking a break to drink hot chocolate and watch So You Think You Can Dance. It's all laying a good foundation to help carry me through Art Every Day Month

Last night I took some time to doodle in my sketchbook before going to sleep. This is one of my favorite idea-generating tools. In my sketchbook, I just let loose, playing and drawing whatever popped into my head, doodling, and having fun. One of the things I drew last night was this sleepwalker, I think she expresses some of the blah energy I was feeling yesterday. I really enjoyed bringing her to life in collage, paint, and ink. And thankfully, I'm feeling much more energetic today.

I used to sleepwalk as a kid occasionally. Once I woke up in the hallway with all my sheets and blankets in my arms. I'd stripped the bed in my sleep and carried them out to the hall before I woke up. But this sleepwalking woman is less about actually sleepwalking and more about feeling that sleepwalking feeling when you're awake, like you're there, but not. Not a fun feeling. When I was able to check-in, I realized I needed some rest, some time to doodle and play, and some good self-care. Being able to check-in with yourself, find out what you need, and get those things (or ask for help) is so important to maintaining a creative lifestyle.

I'm glad to be fully awake again today, enjoying the creating and the creativity that's surrounding me. It's a beautiful thing!

Connecting with Your Creativity

October 18th, 2009, Comments (17)

butterfly tree

This week's chapter of The Joy Diet, which I'm reading with Jamie Ridler's book group, was about creativity. Creativity! Yes, you think I'd be all over this like fudge on a sundae, right? Well, yes, I do love me some creativity talk, but his was a fairly quiet week for me.

It's interesting, but a lot of people reading the book are having strong reactions to it. While this has not been my favorite Martha Beck book, I'm still getting things out of it. I think for a lot of people, the book is going too fast, there's too much information, it's asking too much. And I do hear that. It is a lot to process and a lot to consider doing each and every day. I think part of the reason, I'm not having an adverse reaction to the book is because I'm holding it very lightly.

Perhaps I'll get less out of the process by doing this, but I've got a lot going on at the moment, and the only way I can do this book right now is to take on what's helpful and leave the rest. I play with the suggestions, incorporating them into my days as I see fit. If I don't do it perfectly, I'm not going to worry about it. Stress-free-book-clubbing.

There are books I've read where I've done every exercise and followed along with nearly every suggestion, as I've done in past readings of The Artist's Way, for example. And there are others that I've read without doing any of the exercises. This book is somewhere in the middle for me. I'm doing some exercises, leaving others behind without a second thought. It feels just right for me right now.

This week I've used the creativity prompts in small and subtle ways. Whenever I'd remember, I'd check in with myself about what I was desiring in that moment and then I'd think up a few creative ways to move in the direction of what I wanted. What I liked about doing this, was that it helped me to get playful with how I can get what I want and it helped me move from desire into action.

Ok, this is a super small example, but small is good too. I checked in with myself at one point this week about what I was desiring in that moment. What instantly came to mind was that I was super cold and I really wanted to be warmer. The funny thing is, that if I hadn't checked in, I might not have done much about the fact that I was cold. I might have just blown it off and kept going. Just checking in was a good thing for me. So then I thought, "Ok, I want to be warm. What are some creative ways I could get warm?" And I started to list off ideas in my head: I could put on fuzzy socks, I could put on an extra layer, I could do jumping jacks, I could drink hot chocolate, I could do some work around the house to get myself moving and feel warmer, I could take a hot shower, I could make soup or tea or hot cider, I could cuddle up with kitties under the blankets, I could turn up the heat, I could fly back to Florida, I could put on leg warmers and dance to 80's music, etc...

Beyond the fact that making this list was kinda fun and a bit silly at times, it did get me to to come up with some solid ideas to get warm and I acted on a few and felt much better. Was this desire a deep one? No. But it was great practice and I used the process later in the week to figure out how to take action on a deeper desire to work on a writing project that I was procrastinating on. By coming up with creative ways to get started, I found a fun way to get moving on it again.

How do you connect with your creativity? What creative ways can you move towards your desires, both small and large?

Connecting with Your Inner Child

October 15th, 2009, Comments (11)

connect child

Oh my goodness, there's nothing like Disney World to bring out your inner child! I've always loved roller coasters and other rides, but I got particularly giddy in all the parks we visited last weekend. Disney does such a great job with their parks.

The hubster got such a kick out of my reaction the rides. I'd laugh and scream louder than anybody, which is kinda funny considering how small and fairly quiet I am. I don't know what it is, but put me on a roller coaster and I go totally bonkers. It's awesome. Hehe.

The whole weekend made me realize that I want more of that kind of silly fun in my life. I've always been a big supporter of play when it comes to creativity. I think it's an important part of learning to let go, experiment, and have fun while you create. But sometimes, you can just go out and enjoy a playful good time.

Some of the ways I get connected with my inner child:

  • *Breaking out the crayons to color outside the lines.
  • *Dance around in my silly print pajamas.
  • *Wear kooky socks.
  • *Play with kids.
  • *Read children's books or see children's movies
  • *Go to amusement parks!
  • *Draw with chalk on the sidewalk
  • *Dress up for Halloween or for no reason at all.
  • *Make up silly songs with the hubster.
  • *Paint with my fingers
  • *Have breakfast for dinner
  • *Have an attack of the giggles
  • *Collect shiny rocks
  • *Wish on stars
  • *Make up bed time stories
  • *Roll around on the floor with the cats
  • *Cut peanut butter sandwiches in to triangle shapes

How bout you? What are some of the ways you connect with your inner child? How can you bring more of that childlike delight into your life? Where do you go to have a fun-goofy-totally-silly-good-time?

A Day of Creative Play

September 23rd, 2009, Comments (5)

picture by Mindy

I'm just beginning to unwind from the whirlwind of moving, unpacking, having the beautiful Jenn as our first house guest, and co-leading our fabulous Creative Play Workshop! Whew! I'm a bit pooped, but it was all so much fun! In the pic above, you can see me in the top left and then going clockwise, Jenn on my right, Kerry, Dana, Melba, Janet, Whitney, Carolyn, Julie, Margaret, and Judean. And Mindy got the shot (thanks, Mindy!)

pictures above by Jenn

The workshop was a blast and I felt so honored to be able to share it with a group of such fabulous, creative women. It was great to meet some new folks, some people I only knew online, and some old friends as we played, laughed, and created with our intuition.

creativeplay jennandleah
Jenn and Leah

And can I just say what a pleasure Jenn is to work with? She's super sweet, creative, fun, and I just loved the way she let go with her own collage work in the class. Jenn and I are already talking about doing a Creative Play workshop in the Bay Area next year! You can check out Jenn's post about the workshop here and stay tuned for a guest post from her right here tomorrow!

After class, Jenn and I had a bit of a road trip with the lovely Mindy and Melba up to the Squam art fair. I'm so glad we went as a group (and that Mindy was driving!) because it was scary-dark up there! But I'm also so glad we went because we got to meet some awesome creative women and see some gorgeous art. It was great fun seeing so many faces you know online, in person!

So much inspiration here and so much more to share. In the meantime, I also want to mention that I've just scheduled the next Art Picnic teleclass for Thursday, October 22nd, from 8-10 pm EST. You can sign up for that right here.

Links to Move You

August 26th, 2009, Comments (8)

ap birdcutout

So many fun links to share. Hopefully some of them will move you!

-Jamie Ridler has this great video and post about dancing in response to Gretchen Wegner's Muse Cubes. So fun and fabulous!

-If you want to see some more wonderful movement in action, head on over to Creative Every Day Challenge participant, Shamsi's blog, where she talks about her own movement practice, her work, and she's also got some wonderful videos of her belly dancing!

-Another beautiful belly dancer, Tatty Franey has some gorgeous pictures of her dancing on her site as well. The costumes and colors are so gorgeous, especially as they move! Oh my, super inspiring to me!

-Tammy Vitale has a wonderful discussion on her blog with Molly Gordon about how artist/entrepreneurs can set goals vs. expectations as you move towards your big dreams. If you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win a gold membership to the Self-Employment Summit.

-Vicki of Faint Heart Art is celebrating her 200th post with giveaway of a lovely travel art set. Great for art while you're on the move!

-Pema Chodron has a new book available for pre-order called, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. This looks like it would be a great book to continue playing the move theme of this month!

-For a completely different kind of movement inspiration, check out this time-lapse video of NYC that was tweeted by the lovely Kirstin Butler (she's @kirstinbutler on Twitter.)

-There's less than a week left to take advantage of early bird pricing for the Creative Play Workshop, happening in the Boston area on September 19th. Jenn and I would love to see you there. Spots are filling up, so grab yours soon!

-The art above was something I played with during the Art Picnic Workshop on Saturday. We had such a great group participating in this class! One of the participants was actually having her picnic in the backseat of her car while her husband drove. So cool! You can also check out Beckie's experience of the workshop here. The next Picnic will be in October and I'll announce the date soon.

-As I mentioned earlier, this month's theme was especially poignant to me as the hubster and I just purchased our first home. Well, the closing happened today and we are officially homeowners!! I'm super excited to share next month's theme with you, so look out for that announcement tomorrow. In the meantime, keep on movin'!