Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I find this clip amazing in the connection of lights and the creativity that brought the array together. Once again, I find inspiration in the talent that put "Northern Exposure" together. I think this is a nice piece to put up before Christmas. It's community that holds us together!
Who is a light in your life? Have you told them?
With Light and Love,
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Everyone who deals with fear around their own creativity has to walk out in faith at some point. Whether that is about doing the work, showing your work, marketing your work...you name it. It's all about moving toward the light. I don't know who did this piece but I've always loved it!
$90 (12"X 12")
Silence by Josie Sullivan
$100 (w 9.5" X 37")
add shipping cost and it is yours!
I've discounted my prices in reflection of the economy.
Haven't we all?
Monday, November 10, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
It is time for our country to come together and support our new president so that he can do the work that will need to be done to heal our country.
I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.
We just made history.
And I don't want you to forget how we did it.
You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.
I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.
We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.
But I want to be very clear about one thing...
All of this happened because of you.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Here's another short clip from Northern Exposure. You may remember Ed (played by Darren Burrows), who worked in the shop with Ruth Anne( played by Peg Phillips) and longed to be a film maker. I loved both of these characters. I loved Ed for his simple tactless honesty and creativity. He was a soft spoken character that made me want to move closer to the TV to hear every word he was saying. Ruth Anne was a similar character in that way, but every now and then, she would surprise the audience in a elderly wise woman way. In this clip, Ed gives Ruth Anne a tiny piece of land, in view of the mountain for her birthday. His intention is to give her this spot for her grave. It's a humorous clip with a tender feel to it.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Chris on the Radio:
Link is 1 min. and 59 sec.
Today I picked a clip from Northern Exposure, a show that I wish was still running. I always loved what Chris had to say on the local radio station in the fictional town of Cicely Alaska. It was actually filmed in Rosalyn Washington and I had the good fortune to visit the town during that time. It was like walking into the twilight zone when I walked by the side of the building that the moose walks by in the opening of the show. Of course, we took photos and did the tourist thing with a flare.
When I walked in front of the radio window where the character of Chris did his show, I stopped...looked in and saw the set up...just like the show. What was missing? Well, Chris, played by John Corbett wasn't there. He made the KBHR station come alive with his presence. He read from many of the great thinkers and shared musings on the nature of life. He always gave me something to think about. I miss shows like that. There are a few for me, but this was one of my favorites. I think this clip, which is only 1 min. and 59 sec.s says it all for today.
We are all here for each other.
Have a fearless day,
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Today, I chose an image of "reaching out" through the cyber world. This can be challenging due to the fact that we can not see the other person's face, reactions, body language... but have you ever received an email and read it with your own spin on what you think it sounds like? My guess is yes, we all have done this if we are at all trying to communicate through email.
Cell phones and email have replaced the actual visit from a friend. It is a substitute for chatting and a poor one at that, but we continue to reach out without seeing the other person's eyes...which I believe tell the whole story.
I believe, like Rhonda and Marta taught me, assume innocence first. I have read an email this week and I am trying to assume innocence...and it is a challenge...without having that person in front of me to really look at while she is talking. Yes, I am a visual processor...imagine that!
I am also becoming aware of how I might sound in an email and have been really aware of what I write and how. I never intend to hurt another and I am working at believing that other people intend the same.
When my heart hurts, it is difficult to hear a raised voice or a raised email. So, what then?
What I know now is to practice breathing. I imagine the other person in warm light... the light of peace... the light of what I choose to call God...the light of kindness and wholeness. I do not choose the path of judgment for today...and tomorrow...well, that is left to be seen and I hope I make the same decision. The link is short and it is a song by John Hiatt that I have loved for years. I remember sitting in my car in Springfield Mo., about to go home and this song came on...well, I just started singing like nobody's business...you know.... the woman in the car rocking out to her song...LOL! ....I get kinda the same reaction when I hear RESPECT...I mean the singing wildly in the car thing... not anything about feelings like Have a Little Faith
Pardon my "...'s", that's when I take a breath.
Anyhow, Please enjoy!
Friday, October 3, 2008
Welcome! Lyda Phillips...applause.
Lyda- I changed the color but oddly, your writing changed into many colors despite my efforts to make it just one. LOL
The past year has been intense. I launched my son into college and put my house on the market, while living away from my husband, working full-time and still trying to keep up my writing. I have managed to keep picking at various novels-in-progress, but at my last literary brunch with my writing partner here in D.C. we confessed to each other (she's been going through the same kind of pressure--colicky baby, returning to work, husband diagnosed with liver disease) that we have just been sort of squinting and straining and flinging words onto the page that make some kind of vague sense and move the novels marginally forward without any real organic growth or creative essence.
So along about the time I got the boy off the college, I went down to Hardy, Arkansas, for the annual reunion at the camp where I spent my summers from age 10 to 18. I rented a little car and sped up to the Ozarks through the Arkansas Delta with a Memphis hip-hop radio station blasting out the windows, and I thought, "Yanno, this is the first time I have really felt like myself in a loooonnnngggg time."
It really does so often happen that you get what you need. Those sweet, short two days were just the plunge into a watery, emotional, natural world that I craved coming out of the desert I'd been crossing. An oasis centered at Josie's house, where I have always felt nurtured and nourished despite continually catching myself before I speak to her collection of mannequins. Whatever. It was just what I needed. The company of women, the friends (I almost typed fiends) of my childhood, a return to a place and a community where I felt stronger, bolder, more competent and more accepted than any other time in my life.
Josie gave me her blog address, and when I got home I found that she blogged about connecting, or reconnecting with our creativity. Once again, just what I needed, when I needed it. I tried Josie's left brain/right brain exercise with the names of colors in typeface of a different color than the word (wow, that's hard to describe succinctly, another limitation of language). I had such trouble doing that exercise that I realized I was brain-locked. I had been so focused on just getting through these transitions, day by day, that I had completely locked myself in my left brain--even to the point of spending inordinate amounts of time at work playing msn.games. I'm afraid I still have a lot more left-brain days ahead before I can get myself into the next stage of my life (freelancing part-time in Nashville and writing much more). I feel like one of those sci-fi movie images of emerging through a shining silver membrane.
So practically the next day after the color/word exercise, I got a forwarded e-mail from a dear friend in California. This was written to her by William Kennedy, one of her co-workers at the Equal Justice Society, after he had undergone brain surgery.
"I had an incredible experience in the few weeks after my surgery in which you played an important role. The tumor that was removed from my brain was the size of a mandarin orange according to my doctor. It grew from the mid line of the brain into the left hemisphere. To the extent that there was damage it was to the left hemisphere, the rational, linear part of the brain and residence of the ego and identity. Consequently, I retreated to the right hemisphere where the first thing that struck me was the silence from brain chatter. My experience of the right hemisphere was that people are not visualized or understood based upon their accomplishments or time and place of meeting, but instead are felt as part of a whole based upon their unique energy. IN this hemisphere all people are connected as 'one'. Each is a part though barely distinct from the whole. So, I saw you there, Eva. You and Kimberly along with other people with whom I have worked. It was strange and awe inspiring to experience people in their awesome fullness without filters."
So a few nights later, inspired by Josie's fearlessness and William Kennedy's poignant testimony to the power of stopping the left-brain chatter, I turned off the computer, turned off the TV, opened the windows on a late afternoon of pouring rain, turned on Bluesville on the XM radio, burrowed in my desk for an ancient box of Crapas. I had intended to continue drawing maps of an imaginary world I'm creating for one of my novels-in-progress, a middle-grade sci-fi novel. Instead, I picked up something I had been doing more than a year ago during boring meetings at work. Then I had drawn little pictures of my dogs. The humidity made the paper slightly damp and curly but that hardly mattered. This time I found myself starting with the fluffy tail I usually start with when I do the drawings of my dog Cid. But it turned into a little horse. And I looked upon the little horse and found it good. I colored it chestnut. I gave it a little grass and a fleck of sky. The little horse was pleasing to me, calming, curative. And I sat back, admired the horse, listened to the rain and the blues, and realized that I was more perfectly happy than I had been in a long time.
A couple of days later I was revising a chapter of one of my other novels-in-progress and for the first time in months, the words flowed from the creative well, unforced, unfiltered, taking an idea that had come to me in one of those moments when you're not trying, and letting it out onto the page. And for the first time in months, when I leaned back and looked up, hours had passed and I had been unaware of time or place. I had been in my book's world, in my character's head, again. Finally.
I am so grateful for this strange and wonderful chain of events, and meetings, and places, and people that helped me begin to push through that silvery fluid curtain into my new life.
Lyda Phillips: http://writerworking.blogspot.com
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Presently, I am preparing for a show that I do every year. It will be held at Tellers Restaurant/Bar/Gallery which is one of my favorite places to show here in Columbia. This year the show will open on my 45th birthday, so that makes it even more special.
If you live in the area, please come downtown and help Lisa and I celebrate. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 1st, 6-8pm. I hope to see you there!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
So, I saw this talk and connected to it spiritually, at a core level.This man brings up the idea of daily grace...actually he says, "the world is never saved by grand messianic gestures but rather by the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion".
It is a powerful combination to join creativity and compassion. I hope this man touches your heart as he did mine. Let me know what you think.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
A friend of mine sent this to me and it was one of those rare moments when I thought, "OMG!...I wish I had thought of that". The link above is a slide show of sorts that is absolutely clever and creative. I laughed so hard at the idea and the simplicity, that I raced to Miranda's site and signed up for any other website/performance art/silly brilliant marketing things she might do in the future. It takes about a minute or two to click through. At one point you can go to the link of her website directly or choose to stay with the little arrows at the bottom. I've done both and I recommend staying with the arrows until the end. Geez, I'd love to pick this woman's brain!
I'm going now to alert my favorite writer friend, Lyda Phillips, who also has a sly cleverness that seeps from her pores. Then, I may just go write all over my appliances in the kitchen...watch the link and you will understand!
Have fun in a fearless way!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
My Masters thesis was done on this topic.
This man started talking, and in one minute he had me.
He tells the truth about creativity and schools.
Please take a moment to enjoy him.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Carmen Agra Deedy has a story to tell. Her topic is about storytelling. She is delightful, poignant, and one not to be missed. As we hear all sorts of stories from political candidates, this was a nice break from having to determine which stories are true and which are false. At the end of Carmen's story, I dare you not to wipe a tear from your face and at the same time you may find yourself letting out a knowing chuckle.
I'd like to quote something that Ms. Deedy says here... "Good storytelling is crafting a story that someone wants to listen to. Great storytelling is the art of letting go!"
That's how it is with creativity. We all have our craft, our skills, our tools...and when we learn to use them it can be so much fun. When we learn the art of letting go in that process, we dare to jump off the creativity cliff only to find out we had wings all along.
Today, I am letting go. I am going into the studio and play with paint for a while and who knows...maybe I'll do another landscape. As some of you learned in a earlier post...I'm not a landscape kind of girl...or maybe I am. Yikes!
What will you do today to stretch your imagination? Is there an area of your life that "letting go" could be just the thing to transform you?
Friday, September 12, 2008
Here's a short clip, just to show you what it can and might do for you!
Creativity is the beginning of everything...from the chair you are sitting on to the little clip you are about to see. Creativity is life. Creativity is nature. Creativity is love. It's all around us and when it is not.....we are responsible to bring it there! GET IT! I mean it....it's time to stand up and think in a new way. That may be about recycling, to river clean up, to gas guzzling cars, to wars to paintings, to everything!
THINK A NEW!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I drove five hours today with many construction stops. I heard the memorial for 9/11 in every small Missouri town. So, when I got home, that was the last thing I wanted to talk about.
Flash Forward~~~ Two hours....
I'm sitting on the porch with Rena and Jann, watching the hummingbirds and laughing like we hadn't seen each other in months.
All of this on a day when I left my river and my cabin...I left my friends from years gone by... I left so much of my heart...and yet, I find that my heart continues to grow large enough for all of these friends and places.
One of our topics tonight on the porch was the color of Jann's Pillar's. She lives across the street and she has been sanding and prepping those things forever. She finally painted the Kilz on and now is ready for the color. Rena and I are challenging her to put up something bold...like brick red ( > ; You would have to see it.
Porch Talk...it's something that fills our inner reservoir.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Some of the greatest leaders could imagine things that few others could comprehend. The names that immediately come to mind are people like Gandhi, Einstein, Picasso, Martin L. King Jr., Edison, Abe Lincoln...and the list goes on. They all had visions of something new, something better, something that served humanity in a unique way.
In the short clip at the top, I am reminded to exercise my imagination by spending time living life creatively. For me, that entails getting messy with my artwork, letting go of the tightness in my brush strokes, continuing to sketch, writing on my blog. Sometimes I just want to sit in front of the tv and let someone else take care of the creating, but that does not feed me. I want to sit with a book and not think about writing the children's book that I've always dreamt about since I was a little girl.
I believe we must stand up and take action...even a small one. Each day we can choose to do something differently and stretch our imaginations. I have a good friend named Rena and when she comes over to my house, we laugh, cry, cook, play, paint,sing, and think up ridiculous stories. I sometimes tell her that she is my muse. My imagination gets sparked around her and all of a sudden, like taking blinders off, I can see. I see new paintings, new methods, new objects. We all need a "Rena" who, just by their presence, opens hearts.
Who is that person for you?
Here's to a fearless imagination!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The above link is of Deepak Chopra who, in one minute, gives 7 steps to releasing toxic emotions....one of the enemies to creativity.
Monday, September 8, 2008
When I spend time with old friends from my childhood, I find that the childlike spirit inside comes out to play quite easily. Part II of my weekend was spent with women from Camp Miramichee. This was a camp that started in 1916. A place where girls gathered and made friends of all kinds. I myself attended from 1970-1983, as camper, junior staff and finally Canoeing Director.
The women in the top photo are (from left to right), Gayden, Chi Chi, Suzanne, Jeri Lynn. They like to be called the "Class of 1964". They went to Miramichee much earlier than I did, but I have found that every Miramichee "girl" grew up with the same songs and rituals. Even though we didn't go to Miramichee at the same time, we all have the same Miramichee core. We were all taught to respect the river, fire, snakes, paddles and canoes. We were also taught the importance of loyalty, devotion and spirit. There is nothing like getting together with the spirit of my childhood.
The women in the second photo are some of the girls I grew up with and then had the good fortune to be their camp counselor. I could tell you a story involving each that could make you laugh a sweet tearful laugh. The kind that makes your sides hurt!
The third photo is during our church service on Sunday morning...just before everyone had to get back on the road and go back to their "adult" lives...their families, careers, students, companies, books, artwork....you name it, these women do it! We were standing on the land where the original camp was located. A sacred place for many of us. Miramichee also taught us reverence.
I chose the last photo which was taken at "After Camp". A few of us stayed and played on the river. More laughter....more memories that I store for creative juice. Never doubt the power of childhood friends joining together, even if it's only one time a year!
Have a fearlessly fun day,
This weekend I had a wonderful opportunity to fill my "internal reservoir". I attended a camp reunion in the foot hills of Arkansas, near the beautiful Spring River where great blue herons nest and dragonflies play. I realized all over again, how important nature is to feeding my creativity. When I watch the herons fly by my dock in the morning, I feel an ancient connection with them. I've watched them on this river every summer of my life. The connection is about more than that though. They seem somewhat prehistoric to me with their extending necks and huge wingspans.
And then again, I feel that same connection to the dragonflies as they land on my arms while I'm in the canoe. I love looking into their big round eyeballs and their prehistoric tiny faces. Over the years, the dragonfly has appeared in my artwork which came directly from the time I gave myself time to play in nature...paying attention to their every move. I choose to spend time like this to recharge my battery...fill up my soul.
Time in nature is just part of what filled my reservoir this weekend. Being in community or "communion" with others also helped open my creative soul. That story will be in part two, which will be posted later today. Until then, find a window and crawl out of it to see the wonderful things that await you in nature.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Here's an exercise for your brain. This one is good to do before diving into your creative project. It forces the brain to use both sides at one time. Remember to say the colours aloud.
Today, I'm at the river and it's rained all day. I love the sound of rain on the water and trees! I will be attending a camp reunion starting tomorrow. We have the women who taught the women who taught me and then the women I taught...canoeing, swimming...etc. I guess that's four generations. It's fun to get together once a year and see the friends of my childhood. If you really want to get in touch with your inner-child, find a bunch of camp buddies and act like kids for three days. Guaranteed to pull you out of any tight panty left brain thinking!
Monday, September 1, 2008
The other piece that you see above is a painting titled, "The Giving Tree". The risk here is in the fact that this is a landscape and I am not known for that type of work. It has been 20 years since I attempted to do something more representational like this artwork. I felt really uneasy putting it out there! And guess what? Yesterday, at the opening, I sold one of my pieces and this was it! Wow! I never thought that my little house and tree would be a top pick. Out of the 25 pieces showing, the two above by far got the most compliments. Ya never know!
Where in your life are you risking? When the world gets dark, how do you turn on your spiritual lights? How willing are you to explore your creativity by creating something completely different?
Have a creatively fearless day!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
What do you do to "get grateful"?
Is there one friend that you haven't talked to lately that you would be willing to call in the next 24 hours?
What is one thing you are grateful for right this second?
Enjoy the site link above!
Have a creatively fearless day!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Then, while working with Marta Weiskopf through my connection to Fearless Living (fearlessliving.org), I found ways to start risking again. I got back into my art studio and produced some of the best work of my life. I will always be grateful to Marta for her support! She has, over the years, encouraged me to finish a children's book that I started in 1994. This is on my "bucket list" of things to do before I die. So many things are on that list. Here's the key: Risk, Do, Create, Move Forward.
My biggest challenges as an artist have always been wound up with fear in some way. The absolute biggest challenge was the first day I walked into a local restaurant and asked the owner to show my work. I didn't even have enough work for a show, but I knew if she said yes, I was on my way. Well, she did say yes and I worked for three months to get a good show together. It was the first time in ten years that anyone had seen my work. Since then, I have had many shows and continue to risk and create to move myself forward.
So, what will you do today that makes you take a risk? What small step will you take that will move you past your fears? What is a dream you've had that you've never acted upon?
Monday, August 11, 2008
JK Rowling on the Importance of Failure and Imagination
My name is Josie Sullivan and I am an artist and creativity coach. My dream is to create a space here, where others in the arts can come and discuss all sorts of creativity. As a Fearless Living Life coach (fearlessliving.org) I'm here to tell you, that when that same old fear of failure jumps in the room, that's when it's time to get busy. I'm grateful today that I know what to do when this happens...face it and do the dream anyhow. That's what I help others to do who are paralyzed by fear and want to walk forward through all of the risks to achieve their dreams.
I found a lovely speech that I will be featuring today by J.K. Rowling. She was giving the commencement speech to Harvard this June and she talks about the importance of failure and imagination. I am including the links (it's in 3 short parts) and I invite you to enjoy her amazing way of expressing herself and her ideas. You may want to grab a notepad and some tissues.
Please come back and feel free to comment on it! What do you think about failure? Imagination? Creativity? Fear? Did parts of her talk raise the hairs on your arm?
Did part three bring up any emotions? If so, why?
Here's to Fearless Creativity and beyond!