Thursday, February 21, 2013

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

As I sit here getting ready to type, I can hear the raindrops on the roof.  I love the sound of rain as it hits the window and the roof.  We used to rent a cottage at the beach and I loved to sit on the screened-in porch and look at the water and listen to the rain.  Add a good book and a cup of coffee or tea and it was the perfect afternoon.

Tonight at this minute I am grateful for the sound of raindrops on the window.  I am grateful for the laughter that my husband and I shared with friends over dinner.  I am grateful for the sounds of music that are coming from my husband's office.  I am grateful that the dogs are playing and not barking at the neightbors. I am grateful.

What simple pleasure did you enjoy this week?  What made you smile?  What are you grateful for at this very moment?  I'd love to know.

Please take a moment to visit the artists at Paint Party Friday and Creative Every Day.  I know they would love to meet you

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday's Walk

"Don't forget - no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell."
                                                                                                                Charles de Lint

On my walks I think about a lot of things.  I often think about how different we all are and at the same time no matter where we live in the world we can be very much the same.  That is one of the reasons I love to blog.  I meet people that I would never have the chance to meet otherwise and I learn so much from them.  It does not change my story but my life is enriched because they have shared their story.

The quote above is a great reminder why as artists we should share our story. You never know when your story will inspire someone else to share their work.  We are all creative beings but so often we are afraid to share our work.  We are afraid it is not good enough, not creative enough, not original enough.  But if it is your work and part of your story then it is enough.

Because others have shared their story and their knowledge, I am not afraid to share mine.  I will always have a lot to learn whether it is taking a better picture, writing an interesting blog post, or painting a picture.  But once I realized my work did not have to be perfect to share with others, it opened a whole new world to me.  Through my art I've learned so much about myself and others. Which is why I chose the picture above to share today. 

I took this picture through the hole in the gate in our backyard.  I was taking a class and I wanted to see what it would be like to take picture looking through something.  I liked the picture but it was just a picture.  When I looked at the picture for the 100th time today, I saw the red stop sign for the first time.  I have a habit of not seeing details.  Something that stands out to someone else in a picture or painting does not necessarily stand out to me.  So when I noticed the red stop sign today my first thought was,"How could I have not seen that before?"  But my second thought was, "Wow, I am started to look at more than the whole picture!"   In one of my painting classes the teacher has emphasized addding that surprise element of color somewhere in the picture.  Now, I am starting to see those special bursts of color wherever I look.  It makes the painting, the picture, the story and the world I live in just a little bit more exciting.  This is just one story I could tell about how allowing myself to express my creativity each day has enriched my life.  I see things I didn't see before.  The world is brighter and I see bursts of color that had always been there, but I just did notice them.

My creative story is different than yours. Your creativity story is different than mine.  But we all have them.  And we all can learn from one another and in doing so make the world a brighter more colorful place to live and work.  Won't you share a story today?  Tell us how expressing your creativity has changed your life.

Monday, February 18, 2013

When did you realize....?

I love reality shows.  I especially like shows like Project Runway and Top Chef where you can watch the creative process in action.  I realize that all that I see is not real but I still find the shows fun and sometimes inspiring.

Last night I was watching Top Chef.  The chefs had to create a meal based on the the first time they realized they wanted to be a chef.  Their stories were all different and very interesting.  I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher but when I retired I didn't know what to do next.  Since I always loved to write and draw, I took lots of classes that first year to see if there was something that really excited me.  I enjoyed all of my classes but as my husband would say, I was still searching for the right thing.  I took a class in pastels and it didn't feel right.  So for five years I kept searching.  Then in a class that used different mediums each week I again was introduced to pastels and this time it was like magic.  When I was using them I was having fun.  But I still didn't know that this was what I wanted to do.

One day back in August my husband was working on his model boats and I joined him in the basement.  In about an hour I had painted the above picture.  When I looked at the finished picture, I knew.  I knew that I had found what I was looking for.  I knew I had found what I wanted to do.   It is really a good feeling to know what you love and to be able to spend time doing it. Sometimes that knowledge comes easily and we follow the right path immediately.  Sometimes our journey takes lots of twists and turns.  Sometimes we take this journey alone and sometimes we need the help of others to find what it is we really love to do.  But when you find it nothing feels better!  What is it that you love to do?  Was there a moment when you realized this is what I love to do or have you always known?  I find the stories of other artists very inspiring.  I would love to know yours. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I hope that no matter what you are doing it is special.  Today was a beautiful day.  The sun was shining and the air was crisp and cold.  When I stood outside and looked up at the sky it was bright blue with not even one cloud.  It made start to think about spring and how I wanted to create a new space in the backyard to draw and read and to just be quiet each day.  I recreate this space each year and it is always something that I look forward to doing.  I keep it small and easy to maintain.  That way I can enjoy it more.  For some gardening is the fun part, for me it is looking at the results.  So I am a person who loves plants in pots. 

If you have been here before, you know that it is my practice to reflect on what I am grateful for at the end of each week.  Today it is something that I have no control over. Today I am very grateful for the blue skies that I was able to enjoy this morning.  Looking at the deep blue sky was like visiting a lovely gallery that had been created just for me. What was really awesome was that I didn't even  have to get dressed up to go.  They allowed me in - pajamas and all.  Learning to take a moment each day to appreciate something in nature and then combining that with a deep breath or two is something else that I am grateful for this week.  I hope that you too will take a moment today to look up at the sky and take a deep breath.  It is truly a Valentine's gift you can give yourself all year long.

Please take a moment to visit all of the wonderful artists at Paint Party Friday and Creative Everyday.  It is wonderful way to start the weekend.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday's Walk

Wednesday's Walk is a time that I spend reflecting on things that are important to me.  Since it is the day before Valentine's Day many of the blogs are talking about the importance of self-care. I know that whether I am being coached or coaching someone else self-care is something we always discuss.  This can be a very simple topic or a very complicated one.  We are all different and our life styles and situations are very different. For some, they change from day to day or even hour to hour depending upon the health and needs of those around us.  So I don't want to presume what is best for anyone since I am not always sure what is the best for me.  But I do know that it is important to take care of yourself. 

I think that self-care begins with self-awareness.  You can begin by asking yourself, "Am I taking care of myself in the best way that I can?  Is there something that I would like to change?  How can I make that change in the simplest way possible?  What very small step can I make today to begin taking care of myself in the way that is best for me? 

One of the ways that I take care of myself is to go to a yoga class once a week.  Yesterday, I realized that this not enough but right now that is all that I can schedule.  But I can begin a home yoga practice something that I have talked alot about but have never done.  So my small step this week is to add one at home ten minute yoga session to my week.  If I happen to go longer or add more sessions, then that is wonderful.  But if I add just one ten minute session I have met my goal. 

Is there something that you have wanted to do to take care of yourself?  Is there a small step you would like to take today.  I invite you to join me on this journey of self-care.  We all have responsibilities that we have to take care of.  But we also need to be sure that we are taking care of ourself.  I would love to have you join me on this year of self-care which can begin today one small step at a time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday's Walk - Wishcasting Wednesday

One of the first people I met when I began blogging was Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler's Studio.  Each Wednesday I took part in Wishcasting Wednesday and eventually I worked with Jamie one-on-one and then joined Circe's Circle.  I still have Creative Breakthrough Sessions with Jamie quarterly.  Although we have never met, I consider Jamie not only a great inspiration but a friend as well.  I haven't visited Wishcasting Wednesday for awhile but today it seemed just like the place to be.

 In the past, Jamie's question often seemed like it was written just for me.  Today was no different. Today Jamie asked, "What do you wish to work on?"  I've been working on many things over the past year and all of them have been worthwhile and interesting.  My interests change and vary but right now I am in love with painting with pastels.  I love the way they look, I love the way they feel when I use my fingers to paint, and I love the emotions they bring forth when a painting is complete.  Painting is something I do for myself but I always hope that something I create will inspire someone else to use their unique gifts and talents to create what makes them feel happy.  So my wish today is that I will continue to work on my paintings.  My wish is to learn and grow as an artist and to be able to use my gifts and talents to inspire others just as Jamie has inspired me.  What do you wish to work on?