Wednesday, January 30, 2008
As artists, we need quiet to be able to hear what our hearts are saying. The more noise you let in, the less you are able to create. We need to train our friends and family to let us have that quiet time in our lives. No calls or interruptions after a certain time. Let them know when you will be available for them. Our society wants instant gratification. What it needs is a little patience. Patience creates endurance. Endurance creates quality of life.
Don’t confuse quiet and solitude with solemnity and isolation. Sometimes I yearn for isolation but we need people. People need us. We sometimes get our ideas from others and nature around us.
Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries. ~ Corita Kent
I didn’t particularly like reading this segment. It comes at a time when I’m quitting my “day job”. But I’m not quitting my job to become a full-time artist. So here goes.
Julia Cameron states, “If we do not limit our inflow, we become swamped by the life demands of others. If we practice too much solitude, we risk being flooded by stagnation and a moody narcissism as our life and our art become emptied of all but the big question “How am I doing?” What we are after is a balance, enough containment and autonomy to make our art, enough involvement and immersion in community to have someone and something to make art for.”
“Art thrives on life. Life feeds it, enriches it, enlarges it.”
“Day jobs help not only to pay the rent but also to build stamina and structure. Artists need both stamina and structure. Often, a day job provides both. We as artists need other points of reference to stay on course.”
“Chekhov advised young actors: ‘If you want to work on your art, work on yourself.’ He did not mean ‘Contemplate yourself.’ He meant we ought to do those things that develop in us creative sinew. A day job can do that. So can some committed community service. So can taking the time to practice the art of listening to something other than our own concerns. A day job requires that skill.”
“Our life is supposed to be our life and our art is supposed to be something we do in it and with it. Our life must be larger than our art. It must be the container that holds it.”
“Rather than yearning to be ‘full-time artists’, we might aspire to being full-time humans. When we do, art is the overflow of a heart filled with life.” I like what she had to say here. Aspire to be a full-time human. That takes skill that I need to work on.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I've been tagged by my Fine Art Friend, Rose.
FIVE RANDOM OR WEIRD THINGS ABOUT ME
- I am a Christian, saved by the grace of God.
- I am coffee-crazed. I like to frequent coffee shops and drink a lot of dark roast coffee. The beans have to be fresh-roasted for me to enjoy them to their fullest.
- I'm quiet and reserved until I get to know a person well. Then be careful!
- I like to do things on a whim.
- I sing on our church's worship team.
The other day I was craving chocolate really bad. Since I'm on a diet and can't have any, I decided to make this wonderful cake for the kids. The chocolate smell was heavenly and I did take a couple of finger licks. That's all, honest!
You can watch the video to make this cake here. Hot Fudge Pudding Cake video
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
From America’s Test Kitchen
1 cup coffee
½ cup water
Mix together. Set aside.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup cocoa
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
Slowly melt together in a bowl over 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside to cool.
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
Mix sugary topping together. Set aside.
¾ cup flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
Mix together. Set aside.
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
Mix together. Add cooled chocolate sauce. Add flour and baking powder. Pour into greased 8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle sugary topping over batter. Gently pour coffee mixture over top of sprinkles.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool for 20-25 minutes before serving.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I am excited. The Flylady and Friends is coming to my area the second weekend of February! I have two other committments on one of the days, so I'm hoping I can take off work on Friday to check them out. If you aren't familiar with Flylady, she's awesome! She takes boring household chores and makes them fun. Or as much fun as they can be. LOL
In the midst of my cold, I am trying a 10-day cleanse from Jordin Rubin's book, Perfect Weight America. I desperately need to lose some poundage, so I thought this would be a good start to a healthier body. What's great is that the food is a wonderful tasting homeade chicken soup. Best thing for a cold, in my opinion. This is day 2 of the cleanse. I lost two pounds yesterday. YAY!
I posted twice today, so make sure you read "Discovering a Sense of Boundaries." This is part one of a two or three part series.
Have a wonderful day!
My brain is fuzzy....I have a cold. So if something doesn't make sense here, ask away.
Week 6 - Discovering a Sense of Boundaries
As artists we must learn to keep our projects to ourselves. Sharing them with others can be hurtful. Julia Cameron says, “Talk uses creative power. Talk dilutes our feelings and passions. Not always, but usually. It is only talk with the right person and at the right time that is useful.”
An example: The commerce world of art asks us to “’write a quick proposal.’ The energy that belonged in the making of the project is wasted and diffused by the ‘selling’ of an idea that wasn’t yet in solid form.” They don’t realize that a project takes time to develop creatively. Have you ever had those moments where you don’t want to draw or paint because the “mood” isn’t there?
If someone offers to “help” you with a project, make sure that is at the right time and that it will be helpful to you. “One way to put it is: ‘Do they really know more about what I am doing than I do?’”
If you have a project that needs rescued, answer these helpful questions that Julia Cameron has people ask to themselves.
1. Have you ever spoiled a creative project by indiscriminate input too early?
2. What was the project?
3. What was the input?
4. What about that input especially confused or threw you?
5. How long did it take you to realize what had happened to you and your project?
6. Have you looked at the project again?
7. Can you commit to looking at the project again?
8. Choose a friend to whom you can commit that you will reexamine your project.
9. Reexamine your project. (Do this process as gently as you can.)
10.Call your friend and debrief your findings.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I'm here, really I am. My parents came for a few day visit, so I've been busy with them. I also started painting a mural for the children's area at our church. When I am done, I will post pictures. Most of the drawing plans came from a kit and others were freehand. I'm having fun with it. So, if you don't hear from me in a while, not to worry.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. ~ Lord Chesterfield
My mother used to always tell me, “If you are going to do something, do it right the first time.” I guess that is where my perfectionism came from. I hate doing a painting twice. I think I better get it right the first time, so it takes me forever to get it done.
As artists, we tend to be generous people; we don’t know when to say no. We need to learn what our true selves need and say no more often. We must feed our inner self so we will have a sense of well-being.
Julia Cameron says, “As people and as artists, we crave to be seen for who and what we really are. If we are in relationships where the dividends we need are never extended back to us, that is a bad investment….We must ask not only ‘Do I love this person?’ but ‘Is this relationship self-loving?’ Any relationship that risks your artist’s identity is not.”
Stay away from those who are needy, who think you are at their beck and call. They drain you physically and mentally. When it is time for us to create, there is nothing there…every creative thing has been drained from our being. I've been a victim to this and find it very true.
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. ~ William James
This doesn’t mean to stop being nice altogether. It means to know what things you can physically do for someone without draining your creative bucket. The other person needs to acknowledge you for who you are and what you are doing for them. Sometimes we are the one who needs nurtured instead of us always being the one who is nurturing.
Sometimes when I’ve been so busy helping others and not making room for art, I get grouchy. Not just a little grouchy, a lot grouchy. I begin to resent the people I love and the people I’m helping. I think that is true for a lot of us.
Julia states, “When we learn to set boundaries, we begin to experience a sense of faith. Why? Because we feel safe.” I love to feel safe, don't you?
Every exit is an entry somewhere else. ~ Tom Stoppard
I am experiencing an exit in my life right now....an exit from a job I've had for 15 yrs. It is definately scary and a choice I made on my own to quit. I'm excited to see what the entry to somewhere else will be!
You all are wonderful!
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Items in quotations come directly from Walking in This World author, Julia Cameron
Week 5 - Discovering a Sense of Personal Territory (Part 1 of 2)
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. ~ Antoine De Saint-Exupery
“Festivity breeds creativity. Rigidity breeds despair. Creativity responds to nourishment and warmth. If we are forbidden to be childlike – to perhaps that it is “childish” or “selfish” – if we are urged to be too sensible, we react as gifted students to an authoritarian teacher – we refuse to learn and grow. Our considerable energy is channeled into resistance and over time solidifies into a hard-to-penetrate shell of feigned indifference.” Have you ever had this happen in your life? I have, many, many, times. I just give up and quit the fight. My poor children – I’m teaching them the same values, to be sensible, act grown-up instead of being spontaneous, joyful, full of life. I truly hope that I can teach them to be festive in this life.
Stop Being “Nice,” Be Honest
When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. ~ Lao-Tzu
“Value systems are as individual as fingerprints. Each of us has a set of priorities that may be baffling to others but absolutely necessary to ourselves. Violating our true selves, we soon feel worthless and undeserving. This in turn prevents our acting on our own behalf, and so we suffer further.” I have been dealing with this very thing over the past week. My actions have baffled people but they are my true self. I’m tired of living up to others’ expectations of me.
“When we are too nice for too long, we stop being nice at all.” Exactly. When we hide our true feelings by being “Mister Nice Guy”, it all comes back to haunt us in the form of negativity. Our negativity and stewing hinders our creativity. We aren’t free to truly express ourselves.
We must train ourselves, yes train, to know what keeps us from our creativity. Once we know what is keeping us from creating, we must let go of it. People might not view this as being nice, as being selfish, but at least we are learning to be honest.
“When we stop playing God, God can play through us.” I love this quote. So true.
Knowing what you can not do is more important than knowing what you can do. In fact, that’s good taste. ~ Lucille Ball
“People do not mean us harm, but they do harm us when they ask for more than we can give. When we go ahead and give it to them, we are harming ourselves as well.”
“It is never too late to start over. It is never past the point of no return for our artist to recover. We can heap years, decades, a lifetime of insult upon our artist and it is so resilient, so powerful, and so stubborn that it will come back to life when we give it the smallest opportunity.” I think this applies to everyone, not just artists. It is never too late to start a new lease on life.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I just came back from going to the Olinka Hrdy art exhibit at one of our local galleries. What an experience! Her oil work looks like watercolor. Her colored pencil and graphite work are very smooth and light to the touch. Her illustrations have lots of color and hard lines. She had quite a contrast in her works. If you ever get a chance to see her work, go and see it. Very inspiring!
Friday, January 4, 2008
Invention vs. Convention
“As artists, we are most often innovators. Those who work with our work – agents, managers, publishers, gallery owners, curators, producers – are most often conservers.”
“Conservers focus on ‘how it’s done’.” They think they know what art is going to sell. They want us as artists to create what they want created, what the “market” is going to purchase. It does not allow us to create what our inner-self is guiding us to create. This leads to unhappiness and unrest. Create what you are guided by God to create anyway! He is the Great Creator, not the conservers.
“Well-meaning advisers can advise us straight into a creative slump, straight into a fallow period, straight into a wall of inner resistance. They forget that they cannot sell what we do not make and so often urge us to make what they know they can sell, forgetting that if they deaden our spirits too often and too much, the work will deaden as well and there will be nothing to sell.”
“As artists, we have a form of inner power the advisers can never extinguish or ultimately thwart. And this is always the key.”
“Since each of us in one-of-a-kind, the market, for all its supposed predictability, is actually vulnerable to falling in love with any of us at any time.” I love this!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Week 4 - Discovering a Sense of Adventure (Part 2 of 3)
The Verb “To Be”
“The time of the singing of birds is come.” ~ Song of Solomon
What do I want in life? To be admired or happy? Happy, of course!
“’Art’ is less about what we could be and more about what we are than we normally acknowledge” When we are so worried and overcome about becoming successful, admired, etc. we miss what we really are. “We are the origin of our art. If we are always striving to be something more and something different, we dilute the power of what it is we actually are. Doing that, we dilute our art.”
“One of the things we should let ourselves do is what comes naturally and easily.” Follow that inner-guiding. Let God guide your actions, your creativity.
“Picasso remarked, ‘We are all born children. The trick is how to remain one.’ Mozart, we are told, remained one.” Why don’t we become less adult?
“If we stop trying to improve ourselves and start trying to delight ourselves, we get further as artists. If we lean into what we love instead of soldiering toward what we ‘should’, our pace quickens, our energy rises, optimism sets in. What we love is nutritious for us.”
“Instead of resisting yourself, try finding yourself irresistible.”
Watch a child as he/she learns. They move from one thing to another in minutes, sometimes seconds. We, as adults and artists, set a curriculum for learning. We go, step by step. Instead of being curious like a child, we become trapped in “how it should be done.” PLAY!
“To be an artist you must learn to let yourself be. Stop getting better. Start appreciating what you are. Do something that simply delights you for no apparent reason. Give in to a little temptation, poke into a strange doorway, buy the weird scrap of silk in a color you never wear.” I did! I bought the tray!
“It is the addition of strangeness to beauty that constitutes the romantic character of art.” ~ Walter Pater
“Sometimes we get a lot further in our art and in our lives when we let ourselves do a little of what comes easily and naturally. It is self-expression, not self-scrutiny and ‘correction,’ that brings healing and happiness.”
“Today isn’t any other day, you know.” ~ Lewis Carroll