1. Watched this Nanette https://www.netflix.com/title/80233611 last night and was deeply moved. It is a stand up comedy hour but it really becomes something else, it felt necessary for her, like air, she needed to say what she said and she managed to do it in such a way that to me it seemed to create a new art form, one that merges as well as dissects, comedy, storytelling, philosphy, culture, art history, and deep deep awareness energy and TRUTH. Hannah Gadsby says, “I don’t want to unite you with laughter or anger,” she says. “I just need my story heard.”
2. I have been a long time fan of the picture book maker Anne Herbauts. Last week I picked this one off my shelf and found myself pausing to touch all the beautiful textured pages. Love it!
3. In and of Itself: Saw this illusion show that plays with identity last weekend with my husband. Before you walk in there is a wall with hundreds of cards that all say I AM... You pick one.
yeah this morning as I was heading home from my morning walk with my dog Rufus, I put music on my headphones and noticed how my body turned on instantly----to move---in a different way. It became lit from within to move it groove it mooooove it. A little sway at first and then shoulders rolling hips too. And a bit later at home when I began to draw in my journal I was reminded that movement is necessary it is an expression it is creation. Mark making has an energy it's own. Like the body listening to music it wants to do it's own thing...so once again learning and giving space for that to happen.
Take a moment today, put on music, and let your body do what it wants
with crayon marker paint in hand or just a wave to the paper may be
enough to reignite that creative swirl inside you.
this sketch book page is from a brief drawing things from life practice...
my sister bought me these tiny votive buddha candles for the holidays
and I love lighting them and watching the buddha head melt.
it's true the deeper I focus the more I crave focus
which I feel lately is extra challenging.
need to bury my phone for a few days or months.
I'm always finding scraps of paper with notes or drawings in a pile I forgot about. It's like Forest Gump instead of life is a box of chocolates, it's piles....life is a pile of papers....you never know what your gonna get. Found this file yesterday in a.. yes... smallish pile, with these three words on it (below). Hmmmm-not really sure what I was going for. Perhaps when I label my files next time I shall be more specific. This file sounds like giving birth...
1. I don't remember how I discovered this weekly newsletter/ brain connection extraordinaire offering from the amazing Maria Popova in her labor of love called Brainpickings. But wow I'm glad I did. Last night I went to her Universe in Verse , a poetry reading but oh so much more then a poetry reading, and left filled with such awe and inspiration how this woman connects poetry and science and philosophy and art and everything.
I highly recommend signing up for Brainpickings and if you are in Brooklyn next year around earth day, attend Universe in Verse and or listen to it live streamed.
Love Maria Popova's definition of creativity on her about page.
"The core ethos behind Brain Pickings is that creativity is a
combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our mental pool of
resources — knowledge, insight, information, inspiration, and all the
fragments populating our minds — that we’ve accumulated over the years
just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine
them in extraordinary new ways. In order for us to truly create and
contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots,
to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and
recombine these pieces and build new ideas."
2. This book, The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer I read awhile ago but was reminded of it last night because she read at the Universe in Verse and did this awesome rendition of Joni Mitchell's song Big Yellow Taxi.
Recently I spent a few hours for some reason researching humming birds. I don't know how it started but once I began looking at pictures and then drawing them I became completely amazed. These creatures are truly WOW material. Little facts: like a humming bird flaps its wings 70 times per second, its heart beats OVER 1,200 times per minute and it visits 1000 flowers A DAY. Awesome!!!
When feeling stuck, be amazed by something, it will align you once again with wonder.
soooo, I feel since January I have been in a bit of a funk creatively. And the more I thought about being in a funk the more I felt I'm in a funk and I will never get out. And the more I thought I will never get out the more I felt in a funk. Well, this was not and is not productive. However now that I feel I'm movin on from funk town, I think maybe it was more me thinking I was in a funk then really being in one and that combined with feeling I had to DO more. For all I wanted and seemed to be able to consistlently do the last few months was spend open time in my mornin' messy sketchbook and allow myself to write, scribble, paint, do whatever and then close it and be in a state of oh but I really SHOULD be completing this project and trying to sell this art and market my art and illustration and where do I fit in and .....You get it..
too much thinking which it seems I'm not that great at.
How to get out of a funk that you may not even really be in.....accept that you are a bit crazy and then get moving again. Shake that winter energy. Move the body. Take a LONG walk and then Move those hands lady, move them, and make whatever, trust the ebb will lead into a flow, and that flow will move you to make what may or not be on your dream list to make,
trust the order to unfold as it will.
enjoy the day you know how in tiny moments
and go MAKE SOMETHING even if it is a piece of toast with pink swirls of jelly!
I have signed up several times for Lilla RogersMats Bootcamp class. I really enjoy it because it encourages and challenges me to create images I definitely would not do on my own and sometimes like recently gives me the opportunity to learn about something or someone new to me. This last assignment was to draw a portrait of a woman from the Suffragist Movement. Mine was Carrie Chapmann Catt who I'm embarrassed to say I didn't know about which is crazy because she was awesome and is one of the main efforts behind the 19th amendment which gave women the RIGHT to VOTE. Reading about her was truly inspiring.She also had some amazing quotes "Service to a just cause rewards the worker with more real happiness and satisfaction than any other venture of life." and "Roll up your sleeves, set your mind to making history, and wage such a fight for liberty that the whole world will respect our sex." Thank you Carrie Chapman Catt for all you did. WOW!
She made me want to learn how to go diving and or atleast draw some creatures from the deep ocean.Her story is inspiring and her passion for the ocean deeply apparent.
Sylvia Earle: That’s the joy of being a scientist and
explorer. You do what little children do. You ask questions like: Who?
What? Why? When? Where? How? [laughs] And you never stop, and you never cease being surprised. It’s just impossible to be bored.
these lines felt like a poem that flowed out of her-
"But the flash and sparkle and glow of bioluminescent creatures. There
were corals that just grow in a single stretch, no branches, like giant
bedsprings, from the ocean floor. And when I touched them, little rings
of blue fire pulsed all the way down, from where I touched to the base
of these spiraling creatures."
I often make these quick marker notes on bits of scrap papers hanging around while I am working on something else. Perhaps the thing I am working on is really only a way for me to get to these notes. They are a form of leaving a path of crumbs so I know what I was thinking or feeling or understanding in a glimmer of a moment. It feels like an insight I need to hear for the present and a future me. This one is about "The What", the WHAT I am creating, the WHAT I want to create, the WHAT i feel swirl around my heart and brain trying to shape it's way into existence. I have often beat myself up, not literally, but energetically, in that I feel I don't have a defined one thing, one WHAT. My WHAT shifts and changes. It has been a re-occcuring sense of frustration that I am learning to embrace and accept and celebrate. My WHAT takes many forms. Some days it is clear My WHAT declares it's shape early, some days it feels like my WHAT is stomping through some thick knee high sludge with duck tape over it's mouth. Some days my WHAT has multiple arms gifting multiple gifts. Some days it is one, something simple like noticing the way the birds this morning took to the sky together like they had a glorious plan to surprise a tree. Some days, I have to re-discover my WHAT, sit it down on a chair, give it hands some markers and an hour or two to play with what it wants.
There is more in this WHAT attempt, more to clarify, and share, and define as I go but today this is the WHAT i got.
I haven't posted or shared much about my pursuit to create children's books. I'm not really sure why. It is something I have been working on for many many many years. Did I say many, well it has been. But it is also something that I work on for months and then put away and take out again and then put away. I think it is really hard to go at it alone, to maintain momentum without an outside commitment. To think that I could write and draw picture books without the assistance and support of others was stubborn and a bit foolish. Last year I joined a writing workshop and that was incredibly helpful to receive feedback. I also really enjoyed helping others develop their stories. Sharing the process with other like minded people is essential, this I am learning again and again. I don't have to wait for some golden day to share some end point, I can share the bits and bits along the way. That is all to say that I am very grateful to have signed with a children's book agent from Red Fox literary. I look forward to collaborating and receiving the support and guidance I need to get some picture books out into the world....xoxoxo
This little practice really can shift your mood, perspective, and invite new discovery. When I was in college I spent a semester in Florence. I made it a practice to walk home a new way, winding down new streets, getting lost sometimes, but always discovering and keeping my eyes fresh. I think I forgot how to do this as lately I have been very straight walking from here to there with not much wiggle room. I like to wiggle. My mind needs it sometimes. This morning in my yoga class the teacher mentioned this practice, that walking home or somewhere you often go try a new way, it helps with creativity. In hearing this I remembered and decided that today I would walk home differently. I wasn't sure which way but just something other then robot going. Well, i not only walked home a new way but that seed thought while in yoga opened up my morning not as planned. I ended up having tea with someone unexpectedly. When I returned home my energy and mind seemed more aligned then they have in weeks. So when feeling stuck, wander off your normal routine and turn on a new street. It may just shake things up.
I've begun a new practice, I'm drawing from life. It feels super grounding.
I mostly draw from my imagination or play with materials , so this is different, a little scary and yet exciting. So far in the morning I do a little drawing where my starting point is focusing on an object or picture taken from life. It's a practice in both looking and seeing what is there, not how I think it should be or how I think it would look better but what actually is before me. And then also, letting it be something else, something not exact, imperfect, something my hand finds. When I was little I learned to draw in my mom's friend's basement. She had an after school art class and I didn't know it at the time but I think it was the foundation for me as an artist. We got to create still lifes from all these objects she had piled on a shelf and tons of fabric. I remember how the hour and a half flew by as I sat with colored pencils and drew petals on a flower, reflections in a glass jar, and the pattern off a fabric. I wasn't thinking about if the drawing was good or bad, my focus was on seeing. I'm forever grateful to my teacher for holding that space and giving me tools that I forgot I had. I'm not sure how this return to drawing from life will develop or if it will influence my other art but
2. This is a great documentary and look into how David Hockney keeps creating his amazing paintings,,, really enjoyed it, called The Art of Seeing.
This is how I want to be as an artist when I'm 80. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO5rCS6G3XU
3. Don't usually use markers but bought these to play with- they are yum! Copic- Blue.
so it's 2018 and I'm feeling a slow move, a stroll, a pondering graze into the new year, a little hesitant, a bit uncertain, WHERE am I Going? WHAT do I want to Continue?....last year so many awesome creative new experiences happened, I galloped and NOW WHAT? what if it ends what if that was it.... see my thoughts have been creeping around my brain and tugging at my heart. Today I am back at home after a long 2 plus week break. I know from the past that when I am NOT practicing drawing, writing, making in some art form, that my thoughts have a tendency to generate doubt. My one remedy it to continue, get back in where I left off, start moving those hands. Splash some paint down, toss some words out, and shake it up. The only way to discover and reconnect with my WHAT and WHERE and WHY is to head semi-blindfolded in that direction with heart open to trust.. THE PROCESS will guide and help me.
The horse collage sketch book image and quote by George Saunders (great writer) above don't really have any correlation other then they were in a file on my computer called blog and I like both of them. Sometimes we just need to put something down to begin.....again.
This year I invite new creative collaborations, opportunities to share my art, writing, discoveries in any form they choose to take. However, picture books, sculptures, and prints are in my wide angled focus at the moment, we shall see how it evolves. Wishing the creative in you a delightful, fruitful, juicy journey in 2018! Whether you walk, gallop, stroll, or graze, may you discover your unique flavor of magic. If you want to collaborate on something,,,, send me a note, would love to see what we can make together!!!!