Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Too many projects, too little time...

Just when I thought I could enjoy a bit of downtime after the holidays and completing my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project, I'm surrounded by a bevy of art-FULL opportunities to participate in! I may not be able to join in them all, but I do hope YOU will consider participating in one of these fun art projects and get your work out in the public sphere...

From the fabulous folks that hosted The Sketchbook Project Tour:

Pockets - this is an on-going art installation and you can pay for a kit or submit your pocket contents on your own for free

The Fiction Project - a sister project to the Sketchbook Project, this is about writing and art combined. I found two different pages so you may want to contact them to find the actual due dates for sign-up and submission

A Million Little Pictures - this is one I really want to sign up for! For those of you that love to play with cameras, know that you will be sent a disposable camera with 27 exposures that you will need to have developed before submitting the final photos. I think this is a great project for those who are just starting to play with photography

Amelia Critchlow at 101 Bird Tales put out a call to artists last month on behalf of Big Kids Magazine for their "Bird Call" project last month - the due date to submit is February 14 and you can read about it on Amelia's blog

I've also received another invitation to participate in "MARCH - Women and Strength" hosted by Vita Arts Center in Ventura, which is the exhibit I participated in last year with my submission "Currency of Strength". I'm not sure if they are taking international submissions, but it's worth asking about. If you're local to California, I hope you'll consider submitting artwork - it's a great exhibition!

It's time to start creating!

I'm considering doing another round of the currency using different women and making a new wallet, but I'm concerned that they would prefer something different than what I created last year. I loved making the currency and I've been wanting to make more because I believe that highlighting the strengths of the women who have made great achievements in the past are great role models to motivate us for the future...

My original notes from last years currency - there are still some qualities such as "Grace" and "Intellect" that I'm sure a fabulous woman from the past embodied and deserves to have currency made for...

My only other concern is whether I'll have enough time to complete the work before I prepare for the Artful Journey retreat which happens next month! There's a lot to do so things may get quiet here at this blog as I fall into the "Vortex of Creativity"...

I hope you'll consider participating in one of the fun art projects I've listed - they are really fun to do and a great way to start getting YOUR art work seen by many.
Publish Post

What are some art-FULL projects you're up to this month?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why fear creativity??

Oops, I did it again...
I've gone over a week without a blog post...

I'm sorry! =-(

I've been recuperating from the hectic completion of my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project which was due last Saturday and I was determined to have it postmarked the day before the due date...until I found out they changed the date to accommodate what has been a lot of bad weather in New York!

Well, it's completed and submitted and that is the important thing!

 The back and front cover of my submitted sketchbook - my theme was "your name here"...

I've also been simmering over something I came across last week that I want to share with you here...

In a blog post from last week, Ari Seth Cohen of Advanced Style posed the question:

He posted videos on his blog and began a conversation with one of friends and cohorts in style, Debra Rapoports, to begin a discussion of this important question. Now, some of you might ask:

What do style and creativity have in common?

I'll tell you:


Debra really hit the mark with her statement that creativity is all about expression and I agree with it wholeheartedly. I also agree with her that this culture really does fear creativity and makes it hard for people to embrace their creative urges.

However, there is also a question that seems to stop people in their tracks on the path to creativity:

What if it's not good enough?

I'll tell you:


Okay, this is not much of an art page, but it says something true about me that others might relate to...and that was the beginning of how I approached my theme...

Honestly, where do you people get the notion that the first attempt at painting, writing, photography, dance, music, etc has to be "The Best Thing Ever Created in the Whole History of Creating"??!?

  • do you think the first paintings by Rembrandt were masterpieces?
  • do you think the first writings of Charles Dickens were superb?
  • do you think the first photos taken by Ansel Adams were breathtaking?
  • do you think the first dances choreographed by Martha Graham were stunning?
  • do you think the first compositions made by Mozart were brilliant?

Okay, maybe in the case of Mozart they may have been brilliant first compositions considering his genius, but you must know that he began to play piano at the tender age of FOUR YEARS and that is the missing piece of creative brilliance - many of the greats began creating at a young age and DID NOT STOP. This is the part of the creative equation that many people do not grasp because all we ever see is the final product...

A page with a fun fold out containing a thoughtful quote...

 Maya Angelou knows what she is talking about:
"We delight in the beauty of the Butterfly, but rarely admit the changes is has gone through to achieve that Beauty"

I do try to show projects in progress but when I'm in the thick of creating, it can be hard to remember to grab the camera and start documenting the process! But do not for one minute think that anything I make is an easy process, nor do I expect GREATNESS with everything I create...

I DO expect to get better and better with each and every creation since it always affords me the opportunity to practice and use skills I have honed over many years and I CAN expect to get better with more practice and experience...after all, the old riddle is true:

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, practice, PRACTICE!

One of a series of statements or vows throughout my sketchbook - if you agree with the statement or take the vow, sign "your name here"...

If you are concerned that your first attempt at creativity will not be great, when can you expect it to be great if you don't even start, let alone start practicing??

Really, you have to start at the beginning, whether you like it or not, but the sooner you start and the more you practice, the better you will get, I promise you =-)

If you are reading this blog and you are keeping yourself from creating something because you are afraid that it won't be good enough, will you please ask yourself this question:

"Who am I making this for?"

I hope your answer will be:

"I'm making it for ME!"

Then, I hope you will please start creating that thing you have been dreaming of in your head, but if you need an extra nudge:

You have my permission to start creating and above all, to start PLAYING!

If you agree with anything I have written here today, sign "your name here"! ;)

If you'd like to see more images from my sketchbook, you can find them on my Flickr page with notes about several of the pages I created...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tidbits for a New Year...

Goodness! it's been over a whole week since my last blog post - where did the time go??!?

Well, I have been spending a lot of time working on my Sketchbook Project, which must be sent back by January 15, 2011 in order to be a part of the tour. Here's a little sneak peek at two pages I've been working on:

Okay, maybe this is really 6 pages in progress!

Of course there has to be a pink page in this sketchbook!

I've also been working on moving things around in my creative play-space and, with the help of a creative friend, a whole wall has been opened up! I've been taking photos of clothing that belonged to my Grandma Betty that I'll be loading at my Grandma Betty's Legacy etsy shop in the next week or two. Here's a peek at how that looks:

A whole wall and the hardwood floors look so clean and simple for a backdrop to vintage clothes...

I've been doing a lot of cleaning out of clothes and closets with an eye toward creating a great wardrobe of colorful, artful clothing to wear. So when I saw this blog post, the title of the post felt like a call to arms!

I'm also starting to prepare for the Artful Journey Retreat coming up in February and there will be a silent auction to bring in funds for the Presentation Center, where it's held. I'm donating an original artwork for the auction, in keeping with one of my Kwanzaa 'resolutions' to: 

"contribute my skills, time or money toward a worthwhile cause"

This is the piece that I'm donating:

My original drawing for Patti Digh's book "Four Word Self-Help" - I'm so happy to donate this for a good cause!

There's more for me to share but I've got to run and pick up a few items for working on the sketchbook! I'll be back with more news and pics soon...

How are you starting your New Year? slowly or with a BANG!??

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Seventh Night of Kwanzaa - Faith...for the New Decade

Happy New Year everyone!

Did anyone watch the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade?? I watch this parade every year and it's always a marvel of creativity. Each year has a theme and this years theme was "Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories". I love this theme and I think this theme goes nicely with my guiding words for 2011 "Amazing Opportunities". I am working on building dreams in 2011 and I look forward to building more friendships and memories with you all, which will definitely be creating some amazing opportunities for 2011!


This is quite an auspicious day! Not only is this the first day of a new decade for a new millennium, tonight is also the seventh and final night of Kwanzaa when seven principles are celebrated, one for each day of this African-American holiday. I'd like to thank those of you that have been following along and leaving messages and statements of Intent with the principles of Kwanzaa for 2011 - you folks have left some powerful intentions and I'm quite inspired by them!

As you know, I have been a burning a candle for each night and reflecting on each principle of Kwanzaa and how I can incorporate these important values in my life as I move forward in 2011. The seventh principle is Faith (Imani)...

Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. 

I know the wording of this principle is aimed toward the African American community, but it often feels to me that Artists are under-appreciated in society and it often feels like a struggle to be taken seriously as an Artist...and it takes a great deal of Faith to BE an Artist in the face of that.

My favorite quote about Faith comes from Dr. Martin Luther King, which I think may resonate for many of you:

FAITH is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase

It takes Faith to begin a new work of art - we often have an idea in our heads but our materials don't always cooperate with our vision!

It takes Faith to put ourselves and our work out into the world because we don't always know how it will be received and we need to have Faith that it will be well received by those who are open to it...

It takes Faith to live as an Artist and not worry about where our next meal will come from...

It takes Faith to trust that the Universe will provide what we need when we need it, but it always does if we ask for what we need...

It's not always easy to have that Faith when we can't see the outcomes of our efforts right away but I Believe with all my heart in Art and the power of creating with our hands and I Believe with all my heart that Creating is Healing...and I Believe the knowledge of all that can help me to "Keep the Faith*" in the face of the unknown...

How do you "Keep the Faith" to take steps when you can't see the whole staircase? What or Who do you Believe in with all your HeArt?

* - thanks to Tavis Smiley for this wonderful phrase! I often watch his show just to hear him speak that phrase at the end of it!! =-)