Entries Tagged as: writing

Poems to Make Your Heart Sing

February 11th, 2009, Comments (15)

Poetry is much like painting with words. It stirs in me a sense of wonder and sparks my imagination. Sometimes I have trouble sitting still long enough to linger in it, but when I do, I'm almost always happy that I did.

dreaming of the 7 sisters

Today, my painting "Dreaming of the Seven Sisters" is featured in the sidebar of Breathing Poetry, a blog that features wonderful poems from a variety of poets.

What poems make your heart sing? We can all play with words and turn out poetry. It may not be perfect or beautiful, it may not rhyme or fit a particular style, but it will be your own unique expression. 

I recently discovered the work of Billy Collins. Delicious use of words. Check out his Introduction to Poetry or you can listen to him read some of his poems here. Rumi is another eternal favorite and then there's Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, and Margaret Atwood.


I've used poems as the source of inspiration for artwork, sometimes just a line of poetry will spark a painting idea (in the piece above the line became a main feature.) There are so many ways art and poetry can blend together.

Has poetry impacted your work? If you're a poet, do you ever use your poetry in other mediums? Is there a way you can incorporate poetry into your creative life this month? Or could you use a poem as the jumping off point for your next creation?

I'll close with a bit of Rumi to inspire you today:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want
Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

Needing Your Words

February 11th, 2009, Comments (15)

Hello All,

I'm working on a magazine article and I need your help! I need some feedback or testimonials about your experience with the Creative Every Day Challenge (either this year or last year). Any details about what the project has meant to you, what you've been working on, what you've learned, etc...

Of course, I'd love to hear any feedback you have any time, but for this project, I need the info as soon as possible! You can leave a comment on this post or email me at leah0776 at gmail dot com.

Thank you in advance!!

Art and Word Collaboration

February 6th, 2009, Comments (13)

lighthouse large

I love the many ways there are out there on the internet for collaborating between art and writing! Nancy, of Every Photo Tells a Story, contacted me recently to see if I'd be interested in submitting my art for her site. Another instance of perfect timing, considering the (totally optional) theme of words this month for the Creative Every Day Challenge!

The purpose of Every Photo Tells a Story is to provide photography or artwork as a prompt for writing (or other creative explorations.) You could use it to inspire a bit of fiction, poetry, or even another piece of artwork! The piece on Nancy chose for her site today is "Lighthouse" (one of my favorites), and while the original has sold, there are still prints available here.

book fly

I use a lot of material with words on it in my mixed-media artwork. Sometimes it's my own hand-writing, like I did in parts of Memory Cycles and sometimes printed material. Sometimes it has meaning related to the piece I'm working on and sometimes I'm just using it because I like the texture.

I love the way simple drawings look on an antique book page. Altering an old book is a great way to play with words. You could pick out words from the page that stand out to you, circle them, and paint out the rest. You could make your own pop-up book within the pages, cut windows into one page that leads to the next, cut out individual words from the pages to use in art (like my friend Jes does in some of her jewelry pieces), or paint a thin glaze over the page so that the words show through just slightly. Flea markets are a great place to hunt for old books that are just crying out for new life. Or you could re-purpose something like an old calendar like Rosa did!

p.s. I've been experiencing loads of synchronicity in the last 24 hours. I love it when that happens!

And I've got a link for you! The lovely Jennifer Lee is hosting a giveaway of the book, The Vision Board: The Secret to an Extraordinary Life on her blog! All you have to do is leave a comment sharing "What do you love about you?" It looks like a great book. I know I'll be entering the giveaway!

Pictures, Poetry, and Prose

February 2nd, 2009, Comments (8)

Write and you are a writer. - Laura Jayne

I came upon a fabulous site last month and immediately wrote to the blog owner, Laura Jayne, to tell her I'd love to feature her inspirational blog in February, when the Creative Every Day Challenge's (totally optional) theme is words. What a perfect fit!

Pictures, Poetry, and Prose is a blog that features a daily photo or piece of artwork as a writing prompt. Laura encourages leaving your written response to the artwork in the comments section. After a week, she selects one of the writing samples to feature beneath the artwork.

I love the way Laura encourages people to use the prompts in any way that is meaningful to them. She even has a neat little timer on the side of the blog which you can use to time your written response to just 5 minutes (only if you want to!) I like the idea of the timer because it limits the amount of time you spend on it and also breaks it down into a doable chunk of writing time. I've used time limits for writing exercises before and somehow it was helpful knowing there was an end and beginning to the free-form writing.

Today, Laura is featuring one of my pieces (thank you, Laura!) and I'd love to see what kind of written response it inspires in you!

Images are a great jumping off point for creative writing. Try the Pictures, Poetry and Prose challenge or if you'd rather do something more private, paste a picture into your journal and use it as a prompt for a bit of poetry, fictional, or autobiographical prose.

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!

More Creativity Snapshots

January 30th, 2008, Comments (11)

Today was spent finishing up last touches on work that I'll take up to Nahcotta at the end of the week. You can see two of the latest pieces in process above. I've got some other ones in progress too, but I'm going to put them up at the coffee shop where I'll be hanging art at the end of February.

I was going to write about my inspiration board for Wellness Wednesday today, but my pictures came out too dark. So, I'm going to wait and get some daylight shots of it. Last Wednesday, the hubster said to me, "Isn't it Wellness Wednesday or something?" Haha, too funny. That cracked me up.

Yesterday was spent working on my book about creativity. As the Creative Every Day challenge has been developing, it has been giving me all kinds of ideas, which shifts around the direction of the book. I recently picked up Eric Maisel's The Art of the Book Proposal which has been helpful in getting me to think about the focus and framework of the book.

Ideas, the wording of a sentence for example, often come to me soon after I turn off the light and put my head to the pillow. Fortunately, I have a collection of pens, sticky notes and a blank journal, so I can pop up, turn on the light and scribble out my ideas. I'm always glad I write it or draw a little sketch because most of the time I won't be able to remember exactly what came in a flash right before I fell asleep the night before. I didn't realize this time between sleep and wakefulness had a name until recently. I was listening to NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" and their guest for the game "Not My Job" was James Lipton of "Inside the Actor's Studio." The hosts kind of made fun of his use of the word in the first chapter of his book, Inside Inside, but I thought it was really cool! The term used for this in between time is called "the hypnagogic state." Lipton suggested that creative artists, musicians, and writers were familiar with this "dream-like and sometimes fruitful state between wakefulness and sleep." Is everyone aware of this state? Does everyone experience it? I think the hubster, who is a musician and very creative, may fall asleep far too quickly to have any ideas come. But maybe he experiences that state when he wakes (between sleep and waking, it's called the hypnopompic state.) I'll have to ask him.

So, I'll make that my Wellness Wednesday tip for this week. Pay attention and see if ideas, answers to questions, or art compositions come to you in this hypnagogic state. And be sure to have some paper and writing tools tools by your bedside. If you can't turn on the light in the middle of the night, try keeping a flashlight or booklight that you can use without disturbing your bedmate. Or just write in the dark, which I do sometimes. :-)

That's it for tonight. See you tomorrow. And happy creating!

The Randomizer

January 12th, 2008, Comments (12)

Some of the Creative Every Day 2008 participants have been asking about a good way to share what they're doing for their everyday creativity. I want people to post about their creative activities in any way that feels good for them, but I understand the desire to find the posts that people are writing about it since there are so many participants. So, I'm thinking about making a weekly post where you can leave a comment with a link to your posts. That way, any time during the week you can have a place to leave a comment where people can go and find your links about what you're up to in your creative worlds. It won't be required, of course, but I can give it a try and see how it goes. What do you think?

For today's creative activity, I worked more on the subway pieces below. I wrote the thoughts within the figures and did some other work with ink. I don't have my camera tonight, so pics will have to wait. In the meantime, enjoy some randomness!

Gemma emailed me tonight about the 2nd annual Oneworld-Oneheart giveaway, which is set up to connect creative bloggers. It sounds like a really cool project! I won't be joining in this one because I recently gave away a bunch of items (which I haven't sent out yet! Sorry gals, they are coming soon!) But do check it out!

MakemydayawardI got a wonderful surprise today when I saw that Jaime had given me a "You Make My Day Award." Thanks so much, Jaime! You definitely made my day! Your blog is a constant source of inspiration and I admire your wonderful energy and zest for life.

The description of this award follows: Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times!

How in the world to choose 10 people? Well, all y'all make my day! Seriously! Here are ten people who made my day today: Bridgette, Tammy, Ellie, Jes, Jessie, Marilyn, Melba, Jenn, Kristen, and Tammi.

Did you say you wanted some more randomness? Well, o.k. then!

I've seen posts about Andrea Scher's Mondo Beyondo on a few blogs now. I love the name of it, Mondo Beyondo...it rolls off the tongue so nice. Anyways, it's sort of a new year challenge. It starts with part 1:

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?
(What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?) Last year was a year of big changes. I'm proud that I followed through with massage school and finished the two year program even though I decided I didn't want to do it as a career. I got married this year, as did one of my brothers and my husband's brother. It was a year of weddings. I decided to leave my nanny job after 6 years and start working for myself full-time, pursuing my dream to be an artist and now a writer. Interestingly enough, I purchased one of Andrea's Superhero necklaces to celebrate my leap into my artistic career!

2. What is there to grieve about 2007?
(What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?) Transitions are hard. Even happy transitions. So, I found it to be a challenging year full of adjustments and re-finding myself and my sense of balance. I can forgive myself for not being perfect.

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?

I'm ready to let go and move into 2008. I declare 2007 complete!

The final step is to consider your primary focus for the year to come. What is your primary intention or theme for 2008? Is it the year of joy? the year of self-care? the year of partnership?

Stand up and say it proud, "2008 is my year of...."

Well, I already decided this one. 2008 is my year of now!

The second part of Mondo Beyondo is to declare what you want to bring into your life, the big something that you desire in your heart of hearts, but may be scary to say out loud. Well, I kind did this already too, by announcing that I'm working on a book about creativity. And the results already have been wonderful. Saying it out loud has made it that much more real. It's one of those things where it feels like once I took that first step, doors began to open up. You gotta love that. So, I share this to encourage anyone else who hasn't thought about what they're intending for the year, to make a bold declaration of their big dream! Perhaps I'll write up a longer list another time, but I think that's good enough for now. This post is getting ridiculously random and long! :-) So, toodaloo for now. And if that wasn't enough linkage for you, check out the magnificent list of creative souls (to the right) who have made it their intention to be Creative Every Day in 2008!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

January 11th, 2008, Comments (10)

I don't know. It rhymes. :-)

The power was out all day. I had to wait around for it to be fixed because the guys from the electric company needed to check in with someone, plus their trucks were blocking my driveway, so I stayed put. It worked out o.k. because I was up in the middle of the night feeling sick (more tummy trouble. I must have a bug) and so I slept late. But then all afternoon, it was dark and cold in the apartment. I bundled up and made the most of it though. I worked on some art. I brought it out to the front room to work in front of our sliding glass doors. Even though it was gray out, sitting there gave me enough light to work by. In some ways, it was nice to have some enforced non-computer time. I would have appreciated some light to work by, but, as Tim Gunn would say, I made it work. I tend to let the computer suck me in for far too long. The internet is a wonderful resource. I love the blogging world and all the inspiration there is to discover. But there's a point where I'm just distracting myself or procrastinating or mindlessly clicking. And I need to stop myself before that point.

Anyways, last night was creativity central in my house. There was art and cooking and writing, oh my! I made dinner for the hubster and I did something fairly unusual for me - I didn't follow a recipe. The hubster enjoys cooking far more than I do and he loves to experiment. No two meals are exactly the same. Ever. This can be good and bad. Sometimes the experiments go horribly wrong, but usually they're fun and interesting and delicious. I've always been a "follow directions" kind of girl, believe it or not. I like having a road-map for my food, so I know it will come out decently. And once I find a recipe I like, I'll repeat it over and over. I'm not comfortable enough with food to just make it up or so I thought. Well, last night, I was looking online for a recipe and I found one that sounded good except that I had none of the ingredients. Heh. So, I took the oven settings and idea behind it and made up the rest. And I have to tell you, it was delicious! I had already marinated two chicken breasts in a creole marinade. I then melted a few tablespoons of butter in a bowl and added about a teaspoon or two of chili powder. In another bowl I combined about a half cup of grated parmesan cheese with a cup of breadcrumbs. I dipped the chicken in the butter/chili powder mixture, rolled it in the breadcrumb/cheese mix and then put it in a buttered pan at 350 for about 35 minutes. I served it with brown rice and corn and it was so good! I was so pleased (and really relieved) that it came together. Phew!

Earlier in the night, I worked on these two panels. I had already gessoed them, so I simply tore and glued the paper in place. Today I worked on them more, drawing in the scene and then starting to paint in acrylics. I'll show pictures of them in progress and finished as I go along. After dinner, I sat in bed and did some writing for my book. Sometimes, I like to hand-write things out and then type them up later. There's something freeing about writing by hand in a journal. So, that's what I did. It was fun and productive.

This weekend, all the evenings this week, and next weekend, I'm helping out my old boss and working for them (by keeping an eye on their teenage daughter and their 2 dogs.) I'll still be posting though and creating though!

I hope your weekend is a wildly creative one!