Thursday, October 29, 2015

Let's talk About Creativity Part 1

I've been hearing so much about Elizabeth Gilbert's book,(author of Eat, Love and Pray ) Big Magic that I had to read it myself.

I'm so thrilled to have a discussion about creativity.
It's about time...

I feel that I have a certain level of creativity that I have learned or inherited from my father, a scientist. Yes, science. You don't usually think of anything but "the arts" as being creative but it's just not true. (I saw a lot of creative people on last night's republican debate.)

Anyway, as a child I listened from my bed as my father paced the kitchen floor each night engaging in long problem solving discussions with himself. I see creativity a lot like that.

When I am doing a chore that is mundane and repetitious like brushing my teeth, showering, or driving a car for a long period of time my brain gets to a point of relaxation - it is there that I can hear ideas. Once an idea is heard you need to play with it, get acquainted with it, introduce yourself with it.

Elizabeth describes creativity as ideas floating around landing on someone for awhile like a butterfly. You engage that creativity or it will fly away and land on someone else. I'm okay with the idea that a thought comes to you but that it attaches to someone else if you don't engage it?  I don't buy that. I think that as people we are not as unique as we like to think we are. There are 7.3 billion people on the planet. You think no one else has had similar thoughts as yours?

Still, I'm enjoying the book and many of the points she makes. When talking about courage and fear she says;

" Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome."

Okay, I buy this. But not at first. At first, an idea is hypnotizing, exciting. It's a high, some wonderful drug that has no harmful effects - except that it uses time. Fear creeps in only when reality has once again settled back into your being and you ask yourself; am I crazy? Will this work?

I have two theme songs for my art. One is George Benson's On Broadway.  He talks about knowing that you can do your craft, "play this here guitar", paint your paintings, but it takes a lot more than that to make it in the business. George signs about not giving up. I've loved that song since it first came out about 35 years ago. It's my fight song.

But when I quit my job to devote my time to painting full time I was full of fear. It was then that I found Phillip Phillips song Home. I helps me to ignore those demons in my head that say I can't do it. This song seems to pop up on the radio at times when I need it the most to remind me to stay the course.

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home
Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home
More on Big Magic next week. Meanwhile, tell me about your creativity. Have your read the book?   What are your thoughts? 

Leave a comment.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Last Show of the Season

The basement of the Starline is very interesting  and has a lot of character.
Last Friday was the 4th Friday at the Starline Gallery in Harvard. It was my last show of the season.

I've learned a lot from this season of shows. First, that not all shows are the same. Some shows are better - they just are. Some shows spend a lot more time advertising to insure that buyers will show up at their event. They go out of their way to make sure their artists are taken care of and any questions are answered. Some shows seem to be more concerned with collecting a booth fee from artists as a fund raiser and don't seem to do much more. It sounds a little harsh but that's how it appears to me.

I also learned, that just because a show charges a hefty booth fee doesn't make it a good show.

My favorite show was Greenwich Village, right in my own backyard.
The quality of the art was high, the show was well established and well attended by buyers. And those organizing the event genuinely cared about making the event a positive experience for both artists and attendees.
             Honestly, Sam and I always found something to like at each and every  show.

I also loved Glen Ellyn Festival of the Arts for their incredible hospitality.
They had tractors and people available for loading and unloading booths and supplies. Each morning the show opened with a bagpiper walking through the isles. This is where the Art Life Gallery found me and I am thrilled to have work with them.

Probably the best quality of artists were seen at Art Fair on the Square
in Lake Forest.

 Although that was a difficult show because set up was done on the same day as the opening so our day started at 3AM. Sitting out in 93degrees for two days was trying - although I was in the shade. Those who attended the event had a much harder time at it.

Pamela Parkinson

Art in the Making was probably the most Fun show. Art, friends, wine... need I say more?

Having said all that, what a great time Samantha and I had staying at the homes of family and friends for these events. Living at someone's home for two nights just allows more time to visit. What a blast, thanks to all.

But now it's time to settle down a bit and get back into my studio. 

I can't wait! My alcohol Ink classes have really done well and they're filling quickly. Wow! Who'd a guessed? I'm hoping to develop more classes with the inks and eventually make my way into watercolors and batiks. I also want to work on launching my first workshop in Northern Wisconsin next summer (by Eagle River) and I have a lot of planning to do for that. Paint by day, dine,wine and laugh by night!

Did I mention Batiks? Well, yes. I've been trying to do batiks for two years now. I just found out that you use bee's wax.... Oh. So I'll be getting out my rice paper and painting away.

I also want to work BIG! Big alcohol inks, 
Big abstracts just BIG, BIG, BIG! 

So I have a lot to do. My work hangs in Katie's Cup in January and I want all new pieces. The next 30 in 30 challenge is in January.(It's always good to have a bit of a head start for that one.)  February will bring the Nicholas Conservatory Show. I want pieces from their conservatory - I already have many but more is always better. And what is the status of the Drive By series? Better get to it.

The fun never ends!

How lucky am I, to do what I love everyday?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

2016 Calendars are In!

This years calendars were designed by
graphic designer Samantha Golden. 

Great job Sam, thanks.

The 2016 calendars feature many of my alcohol ink paintings. I love the vividness of the colors and the freedom the medium allows.  May 2016 be one of your best years yet.


2016 Wall Calendars
8.6" x 11"
$16.95 + S & H

 2016 Desk Calendars
3.9" x 8.4"
$8.00 + S & H

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sunflower 3 Work in Progress

As I continue to work on another sunflower painting I am reminiscent about the great time had at the Art in the Making Event this last weekend. 

Sunflower III
 Alcohol Inks
11" x 17"
Work in Progress

I started my demo for the event with about 60% 
of this painting covered with it's first inking. 
I had so much fun talking with people that I'm afraid I didn't get much of the painting done. Luckily I had painting at Katie's Cup the following Monday. The first inking is done and most of the masking fluid is off- except the dots inside the flowers.

The Guild is filled with people who may be very different from each other - yet we all seem to like each other quite a bit.


  Happy 60th Rockford Art Guild.