It's been an overfull week, but I have been making things. Small things and listy things, things to give me small breaks during the busy days. Here are a few favorites.
I made this over the weekend from a Wanderlust lesson. I was really resistant to this lesson and kept letting myself get busy and not get to it, but finally I told myself to just do it so I could move on. I wanted to change the instructions, do some other things, do something easier than cutting out the fussy silhouettes... But I made myself follow the rules so I could learn the techniques.
I love this spread! A lot. I will probably do this again. I will probably add some of the things I was going to do in place of the stencil and mask to see what happens. But I wouldn't have that base to start from for experiments if I hadn't first followed the rules and learned the techniques.
So what are my takeaways here?
- If you're really resistant to something, you should do it to find out why. For me, I don't do silhouettes and I was uncertain of how to do the paint around the edge of the mask, and I wanted writing in the cat silhouette but don't like my handwriting, so I was avoiding all of it.
- Follow the steps. Learn the techniques the way they're laid out (like when you're learning to cook a new food), then you can change things up, experiment, make it your own.
- Try out things even if the final product looks like something you don't like. You still might find techniques that you can use to make things you do like.
That's all I have today. It's been a busy week, and I'm tired but want to spend some time reading some blogs before bed (it's such a great way to unwind!). What things might you stretch yourself by doing? I'd love to hear what you're trying out.
Until next time,
I'm behind on a bunch of things I wanted to get done this week (going back to work flattened me, and I hate that!). But today I really needed to play with some paint. So I caught up a little bit with my Wanderlust lessons. Played with alcohol inks mixed with my paints on the gel plate. Got one print I especially liked, but the edges didn't lift so the actual print area wasn't big enough for what I wanted to do. So I made another one (and a couple more because gel printing!) and got this, and I'm pretty satisfied with this. And feeling better after having some play time.
The takeaway--sometimes, even if you have a lot to do, you have to step back and get in some creative play time to lighten up and give yourself a boost so you can get on with all the other stuff.
I have been slowly working on this spread for almost two weeks. I realized it's because I was giving it a lot of weight in my head. The photo is my great-grandmother, and I think I was wanting to make this so very perfect because of that importance. Maybe I should have used a random photo from the internet!
Sometimes when something is important it freezes me up. That's another thing I think I need to spend more time with. There's a message there and some digging to do.
Things have been kind of busy around here what with the holidays coming up (Thanksgiving is already over!), the end of the year racing toward us, and lots of planning going on for noveling and coaching and classes.Â I haven't had nearly as much time as I'd like for creative projects outside of novel outlining, but I know keeping my hand in the creative ring is really important for my general outlook on life.Â So while I'm busy with a lot of in-my-head stuff right now, I've been making a point to do some photography.Â Lucky for me, Mother Nature has really been helping out with this fantastic, constantly changing fairy ring right next to where I park my car at work.
What about you?Â What do you do when you are busy but want to keep your hand in the creative game?Â Leave a note and let us know--we all like to add ideas to our stash.
"Your writing, your dream, your work needs space.Â You do not have to have the perfect space, just space. You can do one small thing and make just a little space for yourself and your dream and get started right there."
I haven't had much to share in the On My Table category lately with all the life happenings and the recent reconfiguring of what I do. I've been feeling the lack of making things, and it reminded me that for a long while I've been struggling with a lack of consistent journaling and writing in my life, too.
I started circling around the problem as I have umpteen times in the past couple of years. Years! (At some point I may write about how a teacher and coach falls into a trap she helps others escape, but not right now.)Â I threw myself back into the maelstrom of "I need space to set out my notebooks and have them close at hand but my house is too messy and I have no room and I just can't fix it!"Â And then I reminded myself that I am a Kaizen-Museâ„¢ Creativity Coach, for crying out loud!Â I know how to deal with this sort of overwhelm--it's what we do.Â We're overwhelm busters (among other things).Â I probably should have talked to one of my fellow coaches about my difficulties--we could have gotten to this conclusion ages ago!Â But, at least I'm there now.Â I found an inroad into getting where I want to go.
Last night, after reminding myself that all I need to do is take one Small Step, I had an epiphany. I would like to do some of my writing and journaling at the office, but I didn't have a good place there to set out my journal and pens and things to act as a visual reminder for me.Â My journal, pens, notebook, etc. do not take up that much space.Â Where could I put them?
I thought about what I needed from such a space.Â Accessibility from my chair, including visually because seeing my tools makes me reach for them more often.Â Enough space to open a notebook and write in it without having to move anything.Â That's pretty much it.Â Did I have anything like that in my office?Â Yes.Â How about that catch-all corner of my desk?Â It was home to random papers (hey, that's where that recipe got to!), bottles of vitamins, expired coupons, and my fingerless gloves.Â That space was plenty big enough for my writing and journaling tools.Â And it's behind me but off to the side so I see that corner in my peripheral vision every time I turn my head slightly.Â It's a perfect spot, and it was right there all along just waiting for me to look for something (some place) small.
You know how long it took me to clear the space?Â Three minutes.Â No, really.Â Three minutes.Â The recipes went into a folder of recipes I had already set up, the vitamins went into a drawer, the coupons went into the garbage, and the gloves went to the opposite corner of the desk.Â Then I set my tools in the cleared space, and I was done.
Is this the perfect, end-all-be-all solution to my problem?Â No.Â But it's a good start.Â It's going to make picking up my journal or notebook and writing a bit much easier.Â And you know what happens when you make your work easier and do a little bit of it?Â It gets even easier to do more.
The take-aways from all of this?Â Your writing, your dream, your work needs space.Â You do not have to have the perfect space, just space. You can do one small thing and make just a little space for yourself and your dream and get started right there.
Okay, it's not really on my table, but it's what I was working on this past week (and some paintings, of course), so I thought I'd stick with the normal Monday routine a little and use my usual title.
So, about that blog tour...I was invited to join in on the tour by TheresaÂ of Indigene Art Forms. Â This blog tour has been going on for a while, and everyone who participates gets to invite others, so there are lots of links to follow back through the tour. Â Give yourself a little gift and follow the link path--there's lots of great stuff to discover!
For the tour, I'm answering four questions about myself:
What am I working on?
Right now possibly the biggest thing is my 100 Paintings Project.Â I have always considered myself a writer who dabbles in art, but I am wanting to claim that title of "artist" for myself, and I'm starting with a big pile of paintings!
I'm also working on a really fun coaching circle (MuseCraftâ„¢ Explorers' Circle) that will be starting in July--I'm really excited about this--it's going to be a creative adventure!Â What could be better than that?Â Info and sign-ups are almost ready to fly out into the world--I'll keep you posted.
What else am I working on? (Because I'm always doing bunches of things, it's just in my nature.)Â Working on a new blog posting schedule and a couple of cool ideas for blog challenges for late summer and fall.Â Working on some downloadables that I think are going to be great fun.Â And working on, or at least thinking about, restarting my newsletter.
Things are going to be really exciting around here starting in the next couple of weeks, and I am thrilled that some of my ideas are going to get out into the world to share with everyone!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I'm still in the fairly early stages of my visual art work, but I think that some of my creativity coaching experience and my writing experience are making their way into my art and helping to put my own personal stamp on it.Â In coaching I work with making small changes a lot, and I find that I approach my paintings that way, adding a few dots here or lines there and then letting it be until the next idea comes.Â And from my writing I seem to have brought the idea of leaving some things to the viewer's imagination--I'm finding that I really like a small amount of detail and a lot of hints of things.Â I may branch out and do things like more shaded and detailed faces, etc., but right now I'm really enjoying what I'm doing.
Why do I write/create what I do?
My writing and painting tends to be about mysterious things--fairies and magic and secret things that are hard to see.Â I like to explore the ideas of hidden realms and magic in our own world in my writing, and this is starting to emerge in my painting as well.Â I don't have an explanation for why I love these things, though.Â I always have (my mother will tell you that by the age of two I had to watch every monster movie that came on, and I never missed a showing of Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz.)
I think we are born with a pull toward certain things.Â We often learn to cover it up, ignore it, pretend it isn't there, but our hearts have things they gravitate toward, and mine loves all things strange and weird and inexplicable.Â And I think it's very important to listen to what pulls your heart, and if you can't hear it or feel it any more, I think it's incredibly important to excavate for it.Â As Rumi said, â€œLet yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.â€
How does your writing/creating process work?
It works best in small bursts.Â I am rarely the sort who sits down to work and stays there for six hours.Â I lay down a layer of paint then wander off to do other things while it dries, then I come back and do the next bit--sometimes that means painting for ten minutes, other times I might be there an hour depending on what I'm doing.Â But bits and pieces and spurts work best for me.Â For writing, too--I write best when I set a time for ten or fifteen minutes and then sit back for a minute or two (or five if I need more coffee or tea), and then do it again.Â I guess I'm a sprinter rather than a marathoner.
So there's a little bit about me.Â Now the super-exciting part of the tour! Â I get to introduce you to some great fellow creatives who agreed to join in on this journey. Â Go visit their blogs and see what they're up to, and make sure to check in next Monday (June 9) for their blog tour posts.
Adriane is a creative human living in BC, who has on occasion been called a Renaissance Woman. Ever delving into the mysteries of the life of art and the art of living & sharing the journey via the interwebz.
You can find Adriane online at http://adriane745.wix.com/theartsyfartsychick
Paula is a memory keeper, making time and space for her creativity in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
You can find Paula online at http://keepitsimplemakeitgreat.blogspot.com/
Barbara is a writer, artist, and all-around creative making lots art and hosting meetings and workshops for fellow creatives in Oregon.
You can find Barbara online at http://www.barbaramartinart.com/