Entries Tagged as: senses

Whale Dreams

April 30th, 2010, Comments (11)

My latest painting is called, "Whale Dreams" and somehow it feels just right for the transition into May's Creative Every Day Challenge theme of Intuition. I think it's because whales come up quite a bit in art that I do intuitively. I finished up this painting on the day of the full moon and although it wasn't originally going to have a moon in it, as it came to life, it definitely wanted a moon.

I hope you all have a beautifully creative weekend! I'm planning to enjoy the wish*full art retreat at wishstudio, where I'm leading a workshop, the gorgeous weather, and getting my toes painted with my bff.

If you're looking for more sensory inspiration before the month of Senses comes to an end, check out this post from last Spring about an Intuitive Painting class where I was led through an exercise using my sense of smell. Very cool.

And also be sure to put on your dancing shoes for Jamie's annual Shyne Like a Star Virtual Dance Party tomorrow!

One Theme Flows to the Next

April 28th, 2010, Comments (13)

Wow, what a fun time of year to focus on the senses. I think my senses are already on high alert in Spring, especially as I've gotten older. Summer has always been my favorite month (I love the warmer weather, my b-day is in July, and summer used to mean vacation!), but in the last few years, I've been especially enamored with Spring. I can't get enough of its young, green, flirty ways. I've been especially loving the flowering trees all around this new neighborhood I'm living in, the young birds visiting our yard (cardinals, blue jays, robins, and a woodpecker, among others), and just being outside. When I was feeling a bit funky on Monday, I took a long walk through the woods and snapped these pictures. Doesn't the path look mysterious? And then below, another mysterious looking picture of the sun reflected in a bog. It felt like I was looking into the moonlit sky, a through-the-looking-glass kind of image.

The senses theme this month also seems to lead perfectly into the theme of Intuition for May. A bunch of people mentioned Intuition or their sixth sense in the comments this month, so I sort of hinted about the upcoming theme here and there. I could barely contain myself from shouting, "Yes, you're right on the money, Intuition is next!" Hehe. I'm terrible at keeping secrets.

I love the way one theme has flowed seamlessly to the next this year. But really, getting in touch with your senses is a great way to tap into your intuition. And speaking of Intuition, today I have a guest post about creating sanctuary to help discover your purpose over at Intuitive Guide, Bridget Pilloud's fabulous blog. I've taken a Chakralicious class from Bridget and think she's just awesome. And I'll be sharing much more about Bridget next month, so stay tuned!

Bee Memories

April 20th, 2010, Comments (21)

This is where I took the collage that I began in the video I posted last week. Much of the collage is covered, but some of it peeks through and provides a cool texture and layered look to the piece, which is appropriate considering it's all about a memory.

I was inspired to paint this after re-connecting with someone I went to preschool with. She shared some super funny memories of our time together, including the time we dumped an entire bottle of her mom's perfume on ourselves and her doll carriage, and another time when we put my mom's lipstick all over her face (and it wouldn't come off!) But the most vivid memory I have of the two of us was when we sat on a bench in the preschool playground that was a bit too close to a beehive and we both got stung, her on the knee and me on the finger. I have a film-strip memory of the whole thing in my head as if it was happening in slow motion. Funny how the mind works, isn't it? It sounds like a scary memory, but it isn't, just a surprisingly vivid one, embroidered into my brain. And when I reconnected with my old friend, who is now a mom of a small child, I got the idea to paint an image of this little story that is so rich in sensory memory of sight, sound, scent, and touch for me.

What strong sensory memories do you hold in your body? In what ways could you express them?

Featuring Fabulous Creative Every Day Participants

April 16th, 2010, Comments (15)

Every so often I feature the work of some of the amazing Creative Every Day Challenge participants. There's so much great work happening out there and we may not have time to get around to see it all, so I hope to share with you some work you might not have seen. I love the way you're all being inspired by the senses theme and I hope this work will inspire you to play with it even more this month!

Eva, of the blog, To be determined, created this super cool zentangle featuring the 5 senses:

Kim Mailhot from Queen of Arts, created this hilarious and creative "Spring Walkabout" post, which I encourage you to read. Here's just one of the beautiful photos from her post.

Julie Engelhardt, who blogs at She Dreams of the Sea, posted a picture of luscious berries along with this delicious poem. Yum.



the taste

of berries







on your tongue

not mine

Painting "Rocks and Mussels," Terrill Welch of Creativepotager's blog, found herself remembering the "smell of seaweed, the salt air, and the roar of the surf." I feel like I can taste the salty ocean air when I look at it too!

On her blog, Bobbi's Art, Bobbi Lewin has created gorgeous pelican images that are delighting her sense of sight (and mine too!)

Susan Loughrin, from the blog Organicsyes, has been doing a project she calls, "A Melody a Day" and recording these melodies on video. Here's her most recent one, called River Song. Beautiful!

So much beauty! Thank you all for sharing your creations with the world. You inspire me and so many others!

Your Favorite Senses: A Guest Post by Kat Sloma

April 15th, 2010, Comments (12)

I am in the midst of an amazing, unique opportunity. I'm currently living and working in Italy with my family, our first year is coming to an end and we have one year yet to go. There is so much that is difficult but wonderful about living outside of your culture for a while. This has been an expansive adventure for me personally as well, I've been exploring my authentic self and my creativity in a way that I probably wouldn't if I were still in my normal life in the US. As part of this adventure, I have been toying with this idea that there is a "soul language" that each of us has, a language that is a shortcuts our brain circuitry to our heart and soul. It gets past all of our outer layers of shoulds and shouldn'ts, our learned responses and expectations from our family, our friends, our culture, whatever. To a place where your response is truly you. And that soul language is connected to one of the senses, a primary sense if you will.

My soul language is visual imagery. Whether it be color, composition, light... It's one of the reasons I love photography and painting and any other type of visual art. It speaks to me. For me, the loss of sight would be more than just the loss of a useful tool. It would be the loss of a deeper part of my connection to the world.

A while ago, I was reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and feeling guilty. I was nearing the end of my Italian language lessons and was just ready to be done, to have those 4 hours a week back for myself. I wasn't studying or practicing. And here I am readying about Elizabeth Gilbert, who loves the Italian language just for it's sound. She came to Italy to live and learn and experience the language (ok, and the food). There are many people who do this, so my brain was asking me, "Why aren't you so excited about learning Italian? Here you are in Italy for two years, every opportunity to immerse yourself, but you aren't taking advantage of it!" Complete guilt mode. Then I realized - that's not my soul language. Elizabeth Gilbert is a writer, sounds of words and language are probably her soul language, not mine.

I can immerse myself in the art and visual beauty of Italy and get just as much out of the experience, because it's my soul language. If I force myself to experience it in a way that does not ring true for me, it will be an empty experience. I will hate every minute of it. So I've shed the guilt and immersed myself in the art and beauty of this country, and I am much happier for it.
So, with this in mind, I have a couple of questions for you that tie the 5 senses in to the idea of soul language. Don't overthink these, the first answer that comes to you is usually the true one for you. My friend Jenny of Rising Sun Coaching and I came up with these a few months ago, and have been asking people to answer when we get the chance. They are fun and easy, but give you some insight into yourself:
1. What's your favorite sense? By this question, I don't mean the most useful sense to get around in day to day life. But the one that you feel like in your gut that you just can't live without. This probably ties in to your "soul language." (You already know my answer: Sight.)
2. What's your least favorite sense? What's the one you would give up without thinking too much about it? Why?

For me, this second question has turned out to be just as important as the first one. My immediate answer was Touch. I'm just not a person that revels in the feel of things, of all of the senses that would be the least favorite for me. But since answering this question for myself, I've become more aware of how much I do appreciate Touch. How much I would miss the feel of a warm cup of tea in my hand, my cat's soft fur, my son snuggled up to me. I have become more aware of all of my senses. I still delight in sight the most, but I'm also more aware of the experiences and enjoyment of the rest of the senses. Now, I occasionally close my eyes and experience the world in different ways.
When you are experiencing the world around you with all of your senses, you are much more in the moment. You are aware and appreciative of the little things that you encounter throughout the day. I hope that you take a moment to answer these questions and think on them a little bit. I would love to hear the answers you find!


Kat Sloma is a creative soul with the brain of an engineer. She calls Oregon home but is currently living near Milan, Italy, with her 9-year-old son Brandon, husband Patrick, and skittish cat Stevie. She spends her free time with a camera in one hand and gelato in the other. She loves visual arts and is traveling like crazy all over Europe, making the most of every moment on their two-year adventure. You can find Kat's every day creative musings at http://www.kateyeview.com.

Lights. Camera. Collage.

April 13th, 2010, Comments (27)

Hey, everyone! I'm having fun with the senses theme and was inspired to make a little video, to play with the senses of sight and sound. In this video, I show a few details of how I begin a mixed-media piece, along with some of the techniques and materials I use. I was rambling on a bit and I don't know how interesting it will be to watch, but I know I get a kick out of seeing other artists at work, so perhaps you'll enjoy a peek into my creating world!

I've continued working on the collage since I finished the video, as you can see in the work-in-progress picture above, and will begin the painting part soon. I'm curious to see how much it will follow the original seed of an idea I had for it or if it will go in a new direction once I start painting!

Other items of note:

* Memory Walk: In November, I mentioned that my grandmother passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer's (that's her and I a long time ago...gotta love the footie pajamas.) This fall, I'm going to be walking in her memory to raise funds for Alzheimer's Disease research. It's a terrible disease and I hope to make a difference. If you feel moved to sponsor me on my walk, you can do so here. As a thank you to those who donate, I will be randomly selecting one sponsor to receive a special piece of my artwork!

* Kitty Art: I've got a couple new items in the shop, including some adorable Itty Bitty Kitty art pieces and brand new Itty Bitty Kitty Greeting cards!

* Spring Sale: Through the month of April, you can use the coupon code spring2010 to receive 20% off your order of prints, cards, and original pieces in my shop.

* UPDATE: The collage in the tutorial above, later became Bee Memories.

A Creative Dreaming Nook of My Own

April 7th, 2010, Comments (25)

When we moved into our home in September and I saw the beautiful room that would become my studio, I saw that there was a little spot against one wall that I thought would be perfect for a bench with a cushion. And yet, I waited and waited. I was hesitating about spending money on myself. Did I really need a window seat? Weren't there more important things to spend my money on? And yet, I kept thinking about it and wanting this little nook for myself.

With a little encouragement from friends, I moved beyond my initial discomfort and used the money I'd saved up for this purpose to buy a sweet white bench. It came yesterday and I spent part of the afternoon putting it together. And oh, I love it! I imagine this will be a special spot for me to daydream, sketch, read, snuggle cats, and dream up new ideas. And I have more plans for this spot too. It's already got a few small decorations on the windowsill...my cat clock, bird candle, and little spring painting. But perhaps you spotted the paint swatches up on the wall? Yes, I'll be painting that wall in a beautiful blue, hanging some things from the ceiling, and putting up some art. And I'm so excited about it! Sometimes, even when it seems frivolous at first glance, treating ourselves to something that delights our creativity is so worth it.

Do you have a little corner, a nook where you can go and dream? Could you add something to it that brings you delight and makes it a place you'll want to hang out in more often? Perhaps you could bring this month's theme into developing your space by imagining what elements you could bring in to delight your senses? What scents could you bring in? What colors? What textures? What sounds?

In a room I rented ages ago, my favorite part of it was the built in window seat. Over the two years I lived there, I decorated it with curtains, a hanging plant, cushy pillows, wind chimes, and twinkling lights. It was awesome and I loved escaping to this dreamy hideaway. In another apartment I lived in, my nook consisted of a small table covered with items I loved, such as photos, bowls of shells, candles, etc...sort of like a little altar. When I was a kid, I loved making blanket forts under the kitchen table and pulling in books, the telephone, and snacks. I suppose I'm cat-like in my desire for cozy spots to curl up in! But I know from speaking with others that I'm far from alone.

I think these little safe spaces we create are a beautiful way to express ourselves creatively and also to honor our creative selves. It's a way of remembering that we need space not just for the doing, but also for the resting and dreaming and imagining and re-connecting.

If you could create your perfect nook, what would it look like? How can you create something like it in your life now?

Spring Birds

April 6th, 2010, Comments (9)

This weekend, I was out of town visiting with the hubster's family, and oh my, there was a lot of food! To counter balance the intake, we took a two hour walk through his old neighborhoods, walking by the water, admiring old homes, enjoying the beautiful weather. I had the theme in my mind as I walked, noticing the different ways my senses were inspired.

I had a break in the action to start a painting on Sunday evening, which I finished up today. I think it was inspired in part by Easter eggs, all the birds I saw everywhere, and the feeling of Spring.

Today, on a different walk, I was inspired by bumble bees, crunchy pine cones underfoot, the smell of sunscreen, and rushing water. What's been catching your eye and inspiring your senses lately

Hello April, Hello Senses

April 1st, 2010, Comments (7)

Happy April, everyone! And welcome to the month of the 5 senses here at Creative Every Day. Spring and the senses seem to go so well together, especially after a month of record rainfall here in New England. Signs of life and sun and Spring are like little espresso shots to my system.

I enjoyed a walk/jog this morning and used my phone as a combination of stopwatch, mp3 player, and camera. I had to stop a few times to capture the little signs of life I saw around me. I was especially excited by all the little buds on flowers, bushes, and trees. Life bursting into action.

When I took the time to pay attention to how all my senses were taking in my surroundings, I was delighted by color combinations, like the colors of bricks and shutters against great green bushes. I noticed the snailish, muddy smell in the air, I could taste water-logged smell of growth, feel the cool moisture on my skin, and hear the scratch of my sneakers on sandy pavement. And oh, I felt so very alive.

I'm noticing now, as I look back at my phone snapshots that I've captured different colors, blue and yellow flowers, white magnolia buds, green shoots, brown bark, orange bricks, a red garage door, and gray pavement. A lovely palette to play with. The next time you're outdoors, check in with your senses and see how they might inspire you. As I'm typing this, the sun just burst through the clouds! Yay!

Creative Every Day Theme for April: 5 Senses

March 27th, 2010, Comments (17)

At the end of each month I will announce the totally optional theme for the following month. April 2010's theme will be: The 5 Senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.)

As always, the themes for the Creative Every Day Challenge are totally optional. Use it if it sparks you, continue being creative every day in your own way if it doesn't, or do something in between.

I'm thinking of this theme in terms of telling exploring with our 5 senses, making art about them, creating art with them, and noticing how we use our senses to create. There are endless ways you can play with the theme and I'm open to any interpretation.

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:

  • *Create a poem from the perspective of one of your senses.
  • *Capture a representation of each sense in a photograph.
  • *Choose a favorite scent, and paint with a color that represents it.
  • *Make sculptural or textured art that's fun to touch.
  • *Get quiet to notice all the sounds around you, capture what you hear in writing or art.
  • *Create delicious food art!
  • *Train your power of observation with contour line drawings.
  • *Collage an homage to your senses.
  • *Try new flavors of teas, different spices, a new kind of chocolate: inspire your taste buds!

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 think this is true for all artists. My senses are very important to me. ~Sharon Olds