Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Two Alternative Views

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

Shared Humanity: Chris Abani from Ted.com

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

Website Creativity and Marketing...Miranda July is the Queen for the day!


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

Education and Creativity...a clip from TED.com

I taught art in Kansas City Mo...
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

The Art of Storytelling

Here's another Gem from the archives of Ted.com

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

What Can Creativity Do?

What can creativity do?

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!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Evening Porch Talk

Back to the porch, summer's waning, the tree is full and green with the ever occasional leaf falling. After a week away, I settled back into my porch talk with Rena, Jann and Scoutie. So here we are with the topics of the day.

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

Leadership and Imagination


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

Emotional Toxicity


The above link is of Deepak Chopra who, in one minute, gives 7 steps to releasing toxic emotions....one of the enemies to creativity.

Be fearless,

Monday, September 8, 2008

Filling the Internal Reservoir Part II

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,

Filling the Internal Reservoir

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

Left Brain/ Right Brain

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

Showing Art Work

Risking It All!

In the past week, I have risked it all again. Like the many times before, I surprise myself when I let go of the outcome and dive into the process. My church has a beautiful gallery and for the month of September, my work adorns the walls. It was a risk to let those in my spiritual home see my work. The window piece that you see above (full and close up), is close to my heart in that it signifies my strength in a time when life has been challenging. I was diagnosed a year and a half ago with a brain tumor, a thyroid tumor, and a rare disease called myasthenia gravis. I knew something was going on when my vision doubled but I never imagined that the doctor would find these things. On the days when I thought I just could not go on, I went to my basement and worked on this window piece. It is filled with images that represent power to me. The close up is of my take on a phoenix breaking out of the fire to fly. This work is titled "The Phoenix Flies at Midnight". You will see at the top that the clock is about to tick it's way to 12 am.

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!