Wednesday, January 30, 2008

creativity

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"Creativity is a lot like happiness. It shows up when you're thinking about something else."

I saw this book in Michael's last week. I didn't buy it. Kinda wish I would've but I will later when I'm actually ready to move on to something besides what I'm doing now (which is just doodling basic shapes and simple drawings of everyday objects). Keys To Drawing With Imagination by Bert Dodson looked so interesting though that I finally googled it so I could read more about it and see some of the pages. Realread.com has the introduction pages which I'd recommend reading even if you have no desire to get the book or ever learn more about drawing. Below is one paragraph from the introduction...

"Imagine you are sitting in a room with your sketchbook in hand. You have an urgent desire to create. Your pencil is poised. Your energy is focused. You are determined. But nothing happens. Why? Because wanting to be creative is all about you. It is a goal, not an action. Goals are about the future. Actions are about the present. Try picturing yourself differently. You have a definite project in mind. For instance, you might try combining two of your previous sketches into a single drawing. Now you have a specific task. While the rules may be simple, the possibilities are vast. The project is no longer about you but about solving a problem. Your creativity comes alive in the present instead of being stalled in the future."

I think he reveals my biggest obstacle in that one paragraph -- not only in art and creativity but in life. Heck, maybe it's everyone's biggest problem. A line from a Matchbox 20 song comes to mind... "
It's me, yeah well I can't get myself to go away." If we can just get over ourselves and get out of the way maybe something significant can be created or revealed through our lives. It's not all about me and I'd like not to take myself so seriously.

It is so true in so many applications, not just drawing. I think back to times of creativity and agree that they have been most productive when the focus was on solving the problem or completing a specific task rather than on my desire to be creative or come up with creative ideas (or my frustration in my own inabilities). Besides this nugget of a paragraph there are at least eight principles of creativity explained in the two introductory pages of this book. Very simple but very wise principles.
Friday, January 25, 2008

beginnings and endings

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(Readers consider yourselves forewarned...the following contains scriptural references.)

Appreciating God's artistry and creativity and honoring Him is meaningful to me as an artist because I know that I enjoy being appreciated and honored for the things I create.

I think it is amazing that The Source of all creativity has designed our day to begin and end in exactly the same way -- with spectacular beauty. (Represented in the above photo of today's sunrise in Denver, less spectacularly than I wish I were able to.) I find that encouraging somehow.

I've always loved sunrises and sunsets and I've never ceased to be awestruck by their intensely colorful beauty and God's endless variety in their presentation. I'll have to admit, I've seen more of the sunset variety but nevertheless, they are equally beautiful to me. For me it means the day begins and ends with hope and with promise. In the morning we are greeted with the splendor and warmth of the sun and light and then, as though God knew that we needed the sunset as reassurance of the return of light after darkness, in the evening the day closes in the same way. The Light separated from Darkness by Beauty.

"There was evening and morning, the first day." (Genesis 1) I also find it interesting that God's way of measuring the day is different from ours. He starts with the evening and we start with the morning. When I look at it His way, it means that each day begins with rest rather than ending that way and I find that encouraging as well.
Thursday, January 24, 2008

the view from here

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I'll admit there are much prettier pictures that I could have posted from here in Colorado but this is from Jon and Nic's upper deck. I think if you have to live in the Denver area, the Golden foothills are not a bad place to be.

I've lived through four of the six days that I get all by myself up here. What a luxury. I don't remember ever having six days all by myself, anywhere. Well, I'm not entirely alone. I'm dog sitting for my daughter and her husband while they travel to Jon's grandmother's funeral in Louisiana so my biggest responsibility is pottying dogs and making sure they don't tear up the house or run away. They are such pains but I find myself talking to them and liking them a bit better than ever before. That's what happens when you have no one else to talk to, I guess. I've been allowing them to sleep in the same room I'm in at night just so I know where they are and I'll admit, to feel a little more secure in a strange place. Woke up this morning with some of my clothes scattered about the room and Mocha sleeping in my suitcase and Brewster wearing my black bra. Well, not wearing it exactly but all tangled up in it. Funniest thing I've ever seen in my life. Guess I didn't think to take a picture because I was still half asleep and laughing hysterically. Outloud. All by myself here, laughing hysterically outloud. That in itself is funny. Actually, I can't seem to stop laughing outloud about it which feels kinda weird when you are completely alone. Maybe six days of being by myself is too much. I may have gone over the edge.

My biggest daily dilemma has been what I'm going to do with this totally blank canvas of a day which is also very strange for me because most days have something required of me. I've been blessed this week. Kinda bumped around the first couple days without any real sense of purpose but I've had some things sort of solidify in my thinking and understanding as I've prayed and reflected this week.

One thing I thought I'd be doing is spending some time in a couple of heavy-duty drawing books that I brought with me. I tried one morning and came to the realization that I really don't want to do heavy-duty drawing coursework at the moment. That was liberating. I've been feeling guilty that I haven't been doing that (because I have these great books) and now I know that it's ok.

I've discovered that I really just want to doodle and jot down thoughts and prayers on a blank piece of cheap copy paper. That is satisfying somehow. What is not satisfying is a lovely, empty journal filled with multiple blank, white sheets of quality drawing/watercolor paper sitting on the table waiting for me to create equally lovely journal entries. Intimidating and paralyzing, not liberating. And I'm way into freedom and liberation at the moment.

More later...right now I'm off to either the books stores, the galleries, the Denver Art Museum or Jerry's Artarama. So many choices, so little time left. So very, very blessed. Thank you, Lord!
Saturday, January 12, 2008

pirate ATCs for 1-12-08 trade

.I was planning on going to Albuquerque today for the ATC trade but couldn't get it together. I've been fighting a cold all week. It never has quite gotten me but every other day it feels like it is threatening again (sore throat, sniffles but not really sick, you know what I mean). Also, my granddaughter Haevyn is here for a few days (always fun) and so my productivity has been a bit hindered and that means only 3/4ths of the cards are actually ready to go. I finally gave up on the idea of making the two hour trip to Albuquerque this morning, 30 minutes past when I should've been leaving. I decided the stress wasn't going to help me conquer this cold once and for all.

What's up with me and time these days. Well, maybe it's not just these days. Someone gave me a sign about 20 years ago that read, "This is the earliest I've ever been late" so I guess this really isn't a new thing. I just thought I'd be better by now since all our kids are raised and all that time I thought it was their fault I was so often late.

I really try to be organized and have my act together and be on top of things and all that but I rarely seem to be able to pull it off. As I wrote a brief intro this morning for a yahoo group I was joining and read back through previous blog posts, I suddenly became aware of how often I'm pressed for time or mention time being a factor in my life. Hmmmm. Could SomeOne be trying to get my attention? Must be my 'Word' for the year. (see Leau's blog and Christine Kane's blog)

I'll have to ponder this to figure out what it all means when I get a little time to think it through. :)
Friday, January 11, 2008

little houses made of ticky-tacky

.Little houses made of gift cards, actually -- which is probably a lot like ticky-tacky. I submitted them for the "Le Chateau" challenge for Somerset Studio magazine but I found out just before Christmas that they'll be a technique article in the summer edition of their Gallery magazine. Yes, that was exciting news.

Now all I have to do is write the article and get it sent off before February 1. I've had it on my to-do list all week but do you think I made time? I hate that one of my favorite sayings is, "if it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done." Blah!