A Creative Mess…

May 5, 2011

“A creative mess is better than idle tidiness.”      ~ Michael J. Fox

No idle tidiness on my beading table…I am and always will be a creative mess!

 

A Flood of Creativity…

April 26, 2011

 

For a long time I was really struggling with creativity – it was like pulling teeth trying to come up with new ideas.  The stream was dried to a trickle.  Between working full-time in a job that utitilized every brain cell I possessed, being a single mom to two busy teens, bills, laundry, cooking, groceries…well, the well had run dry.

Now, however, it is like a flood and I can’t get one thing done without a hundred other ideas crashing over me like waves! It’s awesome and overwhelming and I just love it…I just have to figure out a way to live without sleep, because my mind will not shut down at night. 

I think being laid off has been similar to a dam breaking for me.  I didn’t have time to pursue the creative side of me, so it got dammed up and now I’m experiencing the flooding of all that backed up inspiration.  Contrary to the damage when a flood occurs in nature, this flood  is re-creating me as an artist.  I am rejuvenated and filled with optimism I haven’t felt in a long time.

Although my studio does look like a natural disaster, that much I must admit.  It’s even messy by MY standards, and I like to work messy!

But I am enjoying the awesome force of my creative nature, and I am sure there will be times in the future when the well runs dry again.  So it is as an artist.  For now I will ride the force of the creativity flood while it roars – there will be time to sleep another day.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;

establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.”

   Psalm 90:17

Photo via http://www.geology.ar.gov/geohazards/othergeohaz_floods.htm

 

Sometimes I am blown away by other people’s creativity.  I am amazed when someone elevates a certain art to levels I never thought could be reached.  I feel that way about my fellow artist Laurie Ceesay.  She’s from my town, and we’ve gotten to know each other from The Old Church Gallery, where we both have our artwork.  I have a wall piece of hers I have previously written about that I absolutely love.  Laurie has taken the genre of art quilting to the most amazing level I could imagine.  Every time I see a new quilt of hers, I am in awe of her talent!  The quilt pictured above is entitled “Hera and Aphrodite” and won 2nd Place in the Marquette MI “Autumn Comforts” Quilt Show held in October of this year. You can read all about her inspiration for this piece and how she created it on her blog.

She has a new website I encourage you to visit.  It will inspire you!  Laurie’s website can be seen at http://www.laurieceesay.com/

I think I need to go make some jewelry now!

The Old Church Gallery…

August 20, 2009

old church 2

Once in awhile I get to have the pleasure of working at the Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, Michigan.  I love this gallery!  Last weekend was one of those rare occasions and I had an awesome, inspiring day there. The ladies who own it – Carlyn Lynch and Cindy Schmidt – are two of the sweetest ladies ever. 

These two women converted an old, unused church into an art gallery in a somewhat remote location and have turned it into a must-stop place on Hwy. M-35 between Escanaba and Menominee, Michigan.  It is primarily filled with art from local and regional artists.  There are so many talented artists represented here!

When I first met the ladies of the Old Church Gallery, I was newly divorced and lacking self-confidence.  My friend Karen encouraged (nagged) me into approaching them with my jewelry designs. I was so nervous!  But the ladies were fabulous and we have had a wonderful working relationship ever since.  Karen and I have done an artist-in-residence day,and this fall we are teaching classes.  It has been such a great relationship for me, and I know Karen feels the same.

During my hours there, my brain flooded with ideas!  I kept jotting things down in my notebook, barely able to keep up!  Creativity spurs creativity in me, and this place is SO inspiring!

If you’re ever in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, make it a point to stop in to see the ladies and their wonderful gallery.  You won’t be sorry!

100_1385c

Karen and I haven’t gotten together in awhile because I was so swamped with finishing school.  We had planned to do art together tonight, but I didn’t feel so good all day today, and I thought about cancelling.  A text from Karen told me how excited she was about tonight, so I thought I would just watch her or do something easy…

Karen showed up with some little accordion book kits she bought from Dick Blick Art Supplies (www.dickblick.com)  I put it together in a snap, and decided to do a glued/collage booklet.  Cutting out and sticking down seemed low effort enough for me!  I read about an idea recently where you make visual expressions about things you want in your life.  I loved the idea since I’m a very visual person.  Tonight I started with my first couple of goals, and the accordion book is perfect – I’m going to put it on the bookcase in my bedroom to remind me of my top dreams at this point in time.

I’m so glad Karen came over and was willing to have a laid back GNA tonight.  Even if it wasn’t our normal crazy evening, we still got to use that part of our brain that doesn’ t come out to play often enough.

Visual Inspiration

April 14, 2009

blue-poppy-pods

While browsing around at Etsy recently, I was blown away by the photograph above.  I loved the poppy pods, and I LOVED the “shabby chic” or vintage look to the photo.

After clicking over to ScarletBeautiful’s Etsy store, I learned that this photo is part of her “Through the Viewfinder” series.  Basically, these photos are taken though the viewfinder of any camera with another camera.  Who would have thunk it?  Not me!  I can’t look at this enough. 

But was this the only thing I loved?  Not by a long shot.  There were many other beautiful shots using this technique, and tons of others that were such visual inspiration for me.  I just had to write ScarletBeautiful and ask permission to share this with my readers.

While Etsy is a great place to find cool stuff to buy, it is also like a virtual gallery, where every page brings more creativity right to your computer screen.  I encourage you to visit today and get inspired!

My Etsy site  is there, also, if you’re interested in taking a look…!

Studios Indulgence

April 2, 2009

studios

 I got my issue of the Cloth Paper Scissors special publication entitled “Studios” today.  I love this magazine.  I sit and savor every page.  I drool with envy over people with great studios. 

My workspace doesn’t look like these do.

I’ve embarrassed myself by publishing what my creative workspace looks like.  It doesn’t look like the pictures in this magazine.  (For my post about what my studio really looks like, go to this blog post.)  But I’m not going to let it bother me.  I am not anybody else, and I am coming to an acceptance of myself the way I am – warts and all.  It’s taken me this two years since my divorce to start to feel good about myself again, and I’m loving that I can feel that way again!

So I choose to love the studios in the magazine, but also to love my own little space in the world.  Could it be more organized?  Sure.  Could it be cleaner?  Definitely.  But at least I have a space and for now that’s good enough for me.  Studios Magazine just gives me inspiration to make it better.  But I’m afraid in order to make it a cleaner studio I would need a personality transplant!

Pictured Rocks, Munising, Michigan

Pictured Rocks, Munising, Michigan

Here’s a post from Leo Babauta  at Zen Habits that I wanted to share.  In difficult times, it’s easy for my focus to narrow and for discontent to set in.  Leo lays out some great ideas to widen our vision and improve the quality of our lives.

 

Do Something That Gives You Meaning

Often we feel dissatisfied with life because while we might have a good life — at least, all the comfort and leisure we need — we might not be doing anything that feels worthwhile. It might feel meaningless.

The cure: find meaning, do something meaningful. Just a few ways:

1. Spend time with loved ones. I love spending time with my wife and kids, with my sisters and parents, and other loved ones. It gives me joy. It feels more meaningful than most other things I do (besides writing). I recommend you take the time to do something with a loved one — just go for a walk, play a game together, have a conversation, it doesn’t matter what. Really be there — don’t be thinking of other things you need to do. Really listen. Really try to help the person if possible. It will make a difference in both your lives.

2. Volunteer. This is a common suggestion, but that’s because it’s so awesome. There is nothing like giving yourself — your time, you love — to something you feel is worthwhile. Make a call today to find out how to volunteer for an organization you like, and make an appointment on your calendar.

3. Create something meaningful. As I said above, writing is something that is very meaningful to me. Any kind of creating — whether it be writing, drawing, playing music, designing, building something — can bring meaning to your life. You’re creating something new, expressing yourself, sharing it with others so that it may enrich their lives and the world in general.

4. Make the lives of others better. Volunteering is just one way to accomplish this. But you could also think about your loved ones, your neighbors, others in the world around you, and think about how you can help them, make their lives better, even in a small way. That might mean baking them cookies, listening to them, cleaning for them, writing a kind letter, buying a nice gift, anything.

These are just a few ways, of course — there are lots of ways to do something meaningful. These have worked for me, but I’m sure you’ve found your own ways.

100_10981

 This is Karen’s painting in progress from our GNA…She has been saving a hornets nest for the longest time and finally used it in her acrylic painting for texture and fun.  She was delighted when the paint started coming through the nest in places and showed up a really cool pattern in the layers of the nest.  We thought it looked like seaweed when she was done…what do you think?

I was thinking more about how I just enjoy the the process of creating that I blogged about last night.  I think it’s a pretty good rule of life to live by, too – I want to really enjoy the process of living the days and not worry so much about the end result.  I want to enjoy the days of my life without wondering how it’s all going to turn out.  I never know with my paintings or my jewelry, why should I know with my life?  It always seems to turn out exactly the way it’s supposed to, even if I don’t know where I’m going ahead of time.

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!

%d bloggers like this: