A miracle: art can create itself without me!!!!

A miracle: art can create itself without me!!!!

This happened today.  I did not make it. It made itself.  My yupo paper was tucked upright in the side of a container, along
with my alcohol inks. Today I got the container out and noticed the red alcohol ink container had leaked.

Imagine my astounded surprise when I pulled out the yupo paper and this is what I found.

I have no explanation for why the ink creeped UPwards on the paper, nor why it dried so beautifully, nor why it chose to create a series of dragons and other critters. I do know a book is going to happen from this!!

Ah, the miracle of it all.  I hope art creates itself for me more often.

 

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From Frustration to Magic – A Timely Reminder

From Frustration to Magic – A Timely Reminder

“Shit,” she barked, as the props securing the old fence gave way, causing it to fall awkwardly into the alley.  Walking inside, she acknowledged the grinding metal on metal drone of her furnace with a “Shut up. Just shut up.” The endless cycle of broken things, dust, and dog hair surrounding her were sucking the life right out of her. Aimlessly she paced the house, landing smack into her collection of paint.

        And so she immersed herself in senseless paint blotches and strokes and tantrums on paper.  She watched the paint flow, tilting and messing, and scowling at mud colours forming but mumbling, ”let it go” for, of course, the transition from pouty cranky fences, to bills that refused to fly to the neighbours, to dishes that have never been nor will ever be all clean at the same time…  and into the space where passion, and colours transport her to where she becomes an observer… admiring what her hands are producing but certain they are not her hands, in awe of the concepts and theories and wisdom that flow through her mind…


~~~~

2012 ~ Came across this as I work on my book during nanowrimo. It was written a few years ago. A good reminder now to ‘just go paint’ sometimes~

2017 I came across this post AGAIN on my Musing Along blog today. (Thanks, Fb memories) Though specifically fences haven’t fallen down, other stuff can weigh heavy.  I’ve found myself mucking about experimenting in paint mediums a lot lately! And it helps. It doesn’t matter what is produced. Its the magic, the flow, I’m happy with.  Results: Some good enough art and some-not-so-good-but-quite-fun art happening…

 

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My Greatest Inspirations…

My Greatest Inspirations…

 

There’d be no gold splatters in my paintings if not for the oldest teaching me this technique when she was just 2. Playing with, observing, being near these grandgirls… they will never let me forget the power of imagination, play, looking at things in new ways. I’m the luckiest Nana in the world.

 

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The first mail I’ve ever sent to a celebrity…

The first mail I’ve ever sent to a celebrity…

I did this today. Inside is Beyond All Imaginings and a very very heartfelt letter to thank the Rolling Stones for the role their music played (and still does) in the magical connections to my family on the otherside.

I don’t know if it will ever reach any members of the band. Finding potential mailing addresses wasn’t easy. I just know I had to try. If it were your music, wouldn’t you want to know that it has gone beyond time and space and the reality we know in this world?

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Beginner’s Mind, Creative Mind – Keeping that Door Open

Beginner’s Mind, Creative Mind – Keeping that Door Open

I’ve just posted a number of alcohol ink items I’ve recently made, to the photo gallery on this site. This is funnier than hell. Who posts beginner pieces of art on their website?  Me, apparently.

Maybe this can inspire you, and keep reminding me, to be okay with being a ‘janet of all trades.’ To be okay with experimenting in new mediums that may never make you money, that may never make you famous, that may never ever ever get posted on the Alcohol Ink community on Facebook. (Have you seen the extraordinary work of those people? Oh. My.)

There was no plan. Just pour and move inks. But, wait! There’s a ship! There’s legs!

(I know some of the pieces look decent in the photos. The pendants. But, trust me, they aren’t that great. This was one of those rare occasions where the artwork photographs better than in real life.)

But, oh my gom, the joys of beginners mind!  
“Have ink. Have paper. Have brass.
Pour.
Oh, look how that colour mixes.
Cool.
Oh my god, stop! Stop flowing that way!
Ugh!
Oh look at how beautiful areas are when they dry. So unexpected.
A little more gold. Oops.
Thank goodness nobody is ever going to see this.
This is fun!

No, no, don’t use your fingers.
No, don’t wipe them on your once favourite hoodie. (now officially ruined.)  
Oh, wait, this is beautiful.
I could pour a little alcohol here… cool!  It makes distinct lines… “

Okay, you know the routine. You’ve been there right? I got to escape into colour and flow and creative thinking. Just a break from the day. Wrong. This process does SO MUCH MORE than give you a break!
This process keeps the door open for our whole mind to function better.

First it lifts our spirits.
Often it lets in humour.
Then the naysayer steps aside, thinking: ‘Whatever – she’s just playing.”
Next our mind starts firing with all kinds of new connections and ideas.
All of that doesn’t stop when you stop creating.

Our logical mind is, well, logical. It is busy helping us make decisions that it thinks keeps us safe. It runs on what it knows from the past and will purr along repeating the same old shi.. stuff as we go through our day.
It needs reminders that we can think differently. That we can make new connections and find new ways. If it’s hard for you to justify creating, and especially justifying making stuff in new mediums, you could remind yourself that you are retraining your brain. Giving it a good ol’ workout. Building a stronger, braver, more fun brain. The logical brain likes that kind of talk and will be more supportive.

And for me, as per my memoir, Beyond All Imaginings, it keeps me open to the magic that exists in our world.

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Fall Pottery Courses at Kamloops Makerspace!

Fall Pottery Courses at Kamloops Makerspace!

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When Troll / Faerie / Creative Things take FOREVER…

When Troll / Faerie / Creative Things take FOREVER…

Done. Done. Done. Took two years. Sitting mostly on back burners, haunting me because there’s a point where the grandgirls might get too ‘old’ to want to finish them – perhaps not appreciating the work they put into the creatures’ faces when we started two years ago.

The enchanted things are really quite trollish and more adorable than they look in the photo. Gold flickery stains did not photo well. Originally  we thought they were ‘faeries’,  but I inadvertently kept calling them trolls while the older two grandgirls were in the final finishing phases.

 

One child (9) thinks hers a gypsy faerie.  Another (6) thinks hers is ‘sort of faerie-ish’. They are happy with them. They each did all the work to create their faerie/troll plus help with the other two. The littlest grandgirls weren’t in town, or old enough, to make clay faces, hands and feet (2 years ago), paint clay parts(1.5 years ago), wire bodies, add hair (8 months ago), wrap with stuffing (6 months ago), and needle felt the clothing (last week!). But they were gifted theirs a couple of days ago! Me? I am so hugely relieved that this ongoing very thoughtful and magical project involving the grandgirls was not going to get stuffed in a shed and never finished. Also me… delighted to finally present these treasures to the youngest children. The two year old thought it curious. The four year old wondered why hers doesn’t have a darker green face. Ha!

“BECAUSE YOUR FAIRIE INSISTED ON THE COLOUR IT IS!”  I announced gently with the loud voice only yelling in my head.

At my writer’s group recently I reported that I have been very focussed on 400 different projects.  “Eventually they will start to pull together,”  I insisted. Well, one is done. I might nearly be as excited as when my book Beyond All Imaginings was finished. (Okay. No.)

So, the enchanted creatures will not get stuffed in a closet to haunt me.  Pleased because I know how much unfinished projects can haunt me.  And can haunt most all creative folks.

It can go like this…

1. You are creative. You will get inspired and start a project. The initial adrenalin-creative rush will fade. You will get another idea. You will head that way. You will need storage space for the one left behind. It will haunt you. But at least you are creating something sometimes, if not that particular project.
2. Or WORSE... you will not create because you ‘are one of those people who never finishes anything, or gets all involved in some new art and craft idea, buys lots of stuff, and then loses interest.’  So, then you think, “Best not to start anything.”
3. ALSO WORSE, you have a precious project you want to complete. Like, maybe a novel or a fantastic quilt. You are not getting to it, but you think you must finish it before starting something else. Oh, the weight of it all!  And stuff keeps getting in the way! Like doing dishes.  Or feeding the children. Or a new season of Dr. Who. Or you should get a blog post written.

Ringing bells, I bet. It’s just not easy to be a creative sort, is it? (Believe me, I know some of you are thinking, “it only took her two  years… what’s she whining about?” I get it. These would have taken much longer if not for feeling accountable to four grandchildren.)

But at least the troll.. er.. faeries are done.

And I’m going to just press publish on this post. Finished or not. I’m calling it done.

 

(The lucky thing for me is being a creativity coach and life coach; sometimes I use those magical methods for getting things done for myself! Other times, I’m like the plumber whose own pipes leaks, but, that’s okay, too)

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Im·ag·i·na·tion: Maybe it doesn’t want to play with crayons anymore

Im·ag·i·na·tion: Maybe it doesn’t want to play with crayons anymore

Oh, how the imagination has been discredited. But why? Look at the official definition…

im·ag·i·na·tion:

A. – the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.
– creative power, fancy, vision; informalmind’s eye, “a vivid imagination”
– interest, fascination, attention, passion, curiosity, “the album captured the public’s imagination”

B. – the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.
“technology gives workers the chance to use their imagination”,
– creativity, imaginativeness, creativeness;
vision, inspiration, inventiveness, invention, resourcefulness, ingenuity;
originality, innovation, innovativeness
– “you need imagination in dealing with these problems”

C. – the part of the mind that imagines things.
– “a girl who existed only in my imagination.”

These are decent definitions. Then, why, why, why has it taken such a beating?

You’ve heard it all: “It’s only her imagination.”  “He’s imagining things.” “You have an overactive imagination.” (Ya, that one. The method of dismissing an opinion.) “It’s just your imagination.” yada yada yada.

Why are things like visualizations, day dreaming, and inspirations from ‘who knows where’ still generally considered the stuff of flakey people?  There’s no simple answer. But part of the reason is that a larger percentage of the population don’t get it. And it’s easier for the masses to act like imagination belongs with a box of crayons, than to even begin to look at it’s huge potential.

The writers of the definitions get it. The innovative business people get it.The olympic athletes and elite musicians get it. They know, and science has proved, that visualizing a practise not only inspires, but actually builds muscle and increases heart strength. The brain can make the same connections during an imagined sport training or musical performance as a physical one. Yet, they, too, have to confront being dismissed constantly – that their ideas are outrageous, that they should be living a normal life. They, too, can succumb to the pressure of those outside, and to the voices in their heads, and not get to those dreams.

A lot of creative folks get it… but often not without some of those limiting beliefs and negative comments sneaking in, nagging.  Even the most imaginative might find themselves lost in a world of day dreaming, and beat themselves up for not getting the other stuff done. You know, the dishes and things.

A lot of adventurous people get it … they can imagine stepping beyond normal boundaries, and past fears, and they curiously explore life in a big way.

Maybe… we could print the definitions listed above. And paste them all over the place – throughout our journals, sketchbooks, on mirrors, on the vacuum, on our climbing equipment. Or maybe the crayon image suits you. Or maybe you have your own idea.

(PS. We get to do a lot with our imaginations at Novel Minds.  Please stop by. Your imagination deserves all the compassion and support it can get.

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