The Woman I Want To Be…

August 22, 2009

100_2083

Ever since I first saw this piece of fabric art collage by Laurie Ceesay at The Old Church Gallery, I have been drawn to it.  Laurie’s artwork is fantastic and I love her vibrant use of color.  She has recently started her own blog called Artsy Chick Quilts….check it out!

Laurie is an artist from Menominee, Michigan (where I live)  but she has submitted pieces nationally and gained recognition for her work.  One of her pieces was published in Quilting Arts Magazine in the April/May 2009 issue as a winner of their Rock On! Reader Challenge.  Her quilt featured Tina Turner and it really impressed the judges…and me!

Laurie began doing her art quilts several years ago after growing bored doing traditional quilting.  She likes to feature women in her work, specializing in faces.  This fits right in with Laurie’s other passion – she is a hairdresser and loves hairstyles, makeup and fashion!

The woman Laurie depicts in this piece is no doormat – she’s vibrant and she’s fantastic.  She is who I want to be!

“Fresh Picked Flowers” is coming home with me.  I just know we’ll be very happy together!

Advertisements

GNA – Girls Night Art!

March 20, 2009

trio-painting

Finally!  Karen and I finally got to squeeze in an Art Night!  We were both at rock bottom creatively, but our lives have been chaotic and haven’t allowed us time to get together.  Tonight that ended, and we had a good paint smearing session…hurray!

I love to smear paint.  I do mainly acrylics, and I do mostly abstracts.  I love the process more than anything…I love the feeling of using pallette knives to spread all the vibrant colors on canvas – it is inspiration at it’s best for me.

The lighting in my kitchen makes my painting look a little more washed out than it really is, but the end result isn’t nearly as satisfying to me as the process is.  What also is inspiring is to spend time creating with my friend and fellow artist, who always seems to bring out the artist in me.  We have been doing art together since high school, and we seem to do our best stuff together.  We play music, we goof off and even sometimes feel like those high schoolers again.  My son told us tonight that we were both “total dorks,” which I take as a high compliment!  I’m happy to be a dork because it means I was having fun!

On a previous post, I raved about my favorite magazine, Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion.  I had heard a rumor that it was going out of publication, but I thought I had debunked that rumor.

I’m sorry to report that I was wrong.  Today’s mail brought notice of the magazine ceasing publication.  What a sad note to wreck a Monday that was pretty bad to begin with.  I felt like I lost something precious. 

I spent many hours with this magazine, soaking up the inspiration and creativity of lots of other artsy types.  I will miss that.  I feel like I’ve lost a friend.

rocks

The following is a blog post from Zen Habits by Leo Babouta that I really enjoyed.  Check him out at http://zenhabits.net

What’s the secret to unleashing your creativity?

I’ll tell you, but it’s not what you think…

As an aspiring artist, I’ve spent a lot of time trying figure out how to be more creative. I’ve explored the traditional paths to creativity; painting, drawing, playing an instrument, creative writing, poetry, etc. I connected with creative souls; artists, and people living off the grid (away from the mainstream).

While I found this sparked my creative spirit, it only went so far. I was hacking at the branches rather than the root.

To truly tap into your creative nature, you only have to realize one thing…

You are already an artist.

You don’t have to create exquisite sculptures or breathtaking sonnets. You’re creating all the time simply by being alive. Every decision you make, every time you move, breathe, or speak you are creating. In fact, you couldn’t not create even if you wanted to. It’s simply impossible.

Just think about it: you’re the main character in your life story. Each day you develop and further the plot of your masterful performance. You interact with other secondary characters in your story that support your role. These are your friends, your lover, family and coworkers. They’re the supporting actors or actresses in your drama, and they also help mold your life’s narrative.

You can change the course of your story at any time by making new choices and walking down new paths. You can drop a secondary character and choose new ones, if they’re not supporting the story you’d like to create (except, perhaps, family members).

You constantly direct the play called your life; and that makes you a magnificent artist.  So if you’re creating your life all the time, wouldn’t it be more empowering to view yourself as an artist, rather than simply a passively living person?

I know you’re thinking, That really doesn’t help when I’m chopping celery or washing the cat… but it does. It makes all the difference.

See, when you know you’re creating artistically, you get more involved in your life. You start to live more deliberately. You wash your cat with love because deep down, you love him even if he smells terrible. You cut celery with joy, because you’re making the choice to put something healthy in your body.

So, enough foreplay; here are some practical ways to embrace your inner artist:

  • Work. Are you making choices to further your deepest desires? Are you moving in the direction of your dreams? Much of our lives are spent working, so it makes sense to be conscious of the career we create. Find a career that pays you for being you. You may have to create one if it doesn’t exist.
  • Money. Take a close look at where your money is going. Are you spending your money unconsciously? Are buying lattes and chasing trends keeping you from those yoga classes you’ve been meaning to take? Reevaluate how you spend to live by your own design.
  • Goals. Are the goals you have ego driven, or heart centered? Are they furthering the life you’d love to create? See where you can simplify and remove the clutter to create room for authentic endeavors.
  • Relationships. Are your relationships assisting you in your desires, or holding you back? Or perhaps YOU are holding yourself back. Be honest with yourself and make the necessary changes to fearlessly go with yourself (instead of against).
  • Information. Are you addicted to info porn? Who’s dictating what you should think, you or the media? Consciously decide the input you accept and discard that which doesn’t serve you.
  • Routine. Most of our days we’d consider normal. A random Tuesday spent watching TV game shows is more eventful than the day your spouse proposed to you. If most of our days are common, it makes sense to make the most out of them. Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing. Be there completely. While doing this, you’ll find that you naturally enjoy those seemingly tedious tasks much more (like washing the dishes). It’s amazing how much non-resistance and presence changes everything.

All life really is, after all, is a collection of stories. But you’re the only one that can create the story of your dreams. It’s your story.

So what do you want to create? A film noir or a fairytale? You can choose a daring adventure or a comedy. It’s up to you as long as you accept that you’re the artist. You’ve got the brush, it’s up to you to put down the colors you like best.

The question is: What will you create?

This article was written by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead of Illuminated Mind. To learn more about how to reclaim your life, grab a subscription to Illuminated MInd

Life is Just So…

January 22, 2009

A Little Holiday Sparkle

A Little Holiday Sparkle

Years back there was a quote by Mary Engelbreit that said “Life is just so daily” and that just about sums up my life the past several months.  The essentials take over everything and crowd out creative time.  At our house it’s been sickness.  I had planned to use my January break to get caught up on things and have lots of unstructured creative time.  Ha!

I have had two -yes, two – bouts with the flu.  I am just feeling better, and this morning my son woke up sick.  January is nearly gone, and with February my final semester of college begins, meaning I will be buried in coursework.

Life is just so….daily!  Single motherhood is just so…intensely daily! 

Many hours while I lay sick, great ideas came to me.  The brain seems to go on being creative, even while the hands can’t.  I wrote things down, I made plans in my mind…all things I planned to do once I felt better.  But then life got “daily” again.

I miss the days when I could sit down and do art projects with the kids.  I didn’t even mind the messes so much because I could do something creative, not just the “daily” chores.  Now they are older, and while they still want me around, they want their cell-phones, iPods and xBox’s, not an afternoon of art.  They are intensely creative, just not in the same ways as me.  My daughter wants to be a graphic artist.  Making a video is her artistic outlet.  My son is talented also, but rarely wants to sit still long enough to paint.  Football beckons, electronic stimulation calls…

Life keeps on being “daily”.  How can I find time for the artist inside?

Amethyst

 

This week I was involved in an event called a Celebration of the Arts at Wausaukee High School in Wisconsin.  I was invited along with a group of other artists to give presentations throughout the day at their school, which includes all grade levels K-12.  The dance academy from my town was there, as was a professional musical piano team, paid for with multiple fund-raisers.  Class by class the kids came through and were shown by us what we do, how we started, and they were given an opportunity to ask questions and see us demonstrate what we do.

I was so pleased by the interest of the kids.  Girls, boys, younger, older…it didn’t matter, they were all great to spend time with.  I made tons of earrings and gave away a lot of beads!

At the end of the day, when I was hauling my stuff back to my van, a girl who had hung around with me during the afternoon offered to help carry things for me.  While we were walking out, she told me that the schools art and band program were both being cut for next year.  I shared that it is being considered at our school, also.

What is happening to our world when the arts don’t matter anymore?  I feel so badly for the students that will never know the fun of marching with the band during halftime, or having their artwork hanging on the walls of the art room at school.  What about the joy of smearing paint around?  I still love it – give me some acrylics and a pallette knife and I’m a happy woman!

I am sad for the kids who are currently in schools like these all over the country and for the ones who will never know these programs in our towns.  Being an artist is who I am, and learning to make music was one of the greatest gifts of my life.  I’ve been delighted to be able to allow my children to experience making music, also.  At least I have been up to now.  While my kids will still be in an artistic and musical home, what about the ones that don’t have exposure to things like this outside of the schools? 

 

%d bloggers like this: