outflows and inflows of creativity

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Eye Thoughts

Had to take my hubby for same day cataract surgery a few days ago - really really early. The sheer volume of surgeries on any given day probably necessitates this, but it's rough getting up and around before the light of day, especially when the "to do" list for that day stretches into the evening hours. The nurses were very efficient and pleasant and I'm impressed when I think of how they have dedicated their lives to the service of others. I'm sure their days are long and strenuous, and at times very technical with all the paperwork they have to do. The definition of "unsung hero".

All went well for hubby, but I was very nervous about the thought of his surgery. To think something as important as eyesight could be lost, with one all too human slip, one meandering thought . . . put a few things in perspective. And it made me thankful - for the time we live in where such surgery has become commonplace; for a loving husband who sees my art and knows the heart it comes from; for the hope that he will be able to continue to see beauty and inspire me with his unique viewpoint.
(Image courtesy of Scott Robinson)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


As an artist, it is extremely important that you have confidence in your ability and vision. This confidence is something that must be acquired, over time. when you first sit or stand before the canvas you may feel nervous or afraid - but push through it. Making a mark, any mark, will speed you on your journey. With each successive piece, it will become easier and easier. Think how hard it must have been for Picasso to explore his unique vision - no one else had ever before done Cubism. Look how radically different it was (and still is!). He stirred the whole art world and became a household name because he had confidence in his own art and ability.

Confidence will enable you to march to your own beat, instead of following blindly what someone else thinks is art. It's important to look around at your environment and listen to what your inner voice is saying. What causes your eyes to well up? What image or thought robs you of sleep? Whatever "IT" is, that is what you must interpret for the world. You do have something someone in the world needs to see, read or hear - we are all waiting to experience it!
Photo courtesy of Kitten Betty.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Exercising Artist

How important is it for an artist to get regular exercise?

I got up this AM feeling a bit overwhelmed and sluggish. It's no secret if you regularly read this blog, or even if you happen to know me personally, that I have a lot on my plate. I'm not whining about it - it's just a fact of my existence. And I don't think I'm anything special when it comes to the degree of busyness - everyone I know is stretched to the limit.

Several years ago I made the commitment to myself to take care of myself. One of the things necessary in doing this is to get regular exercise. I walk almost every day, and the benefits are many. The first and most obvious reason is the physical benefit. Walking is the most natural movement of the human body - simply put, we were designed to walk. As we walk, our heart rate increases and blood is pumped through the veins and arteries. This "stretches" them a bit, and helps to break up plaque that can form on the artery walls. Walking increases blood flow to the brain - which leads me to the next benefit - greater mental acuity. As I said, I woke up a bit sluggish. But when I took my walk, my whole attitude changed in the space of about 10 minutes. I became more aware, and started thinking positively and creatively. Here's a picture I took while on my walk. I'm fortunate that I live in a somewhat rural setting, and some of our property has lots of trees. We had a refreshing rain last night - here is a pine branch still wet.

Now, that should inspire you to go for a walk. You never know what beauty is there, waiting for you to find it.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Oh Wilmington

Went to Wilmington for the Labor Day holiday with my bestest buddy. It was wonderful to get away, although I didn't get any art done. I guess sometimes you just need to get away from the daily grind and do something completely different than what your normal self would do. My normal self will tend to stay up late sketching or writing, and get up early with this idea or that idea jostling around in my head for attention. My abnormal Wilmington self seemed to want to go to bed early and read Kerouac's On The Road, and sleep late the next AM. Kerouac has an energy about his writing that takes hold of you. I found myself abuzz with excitement and creative energy, just lying there reading.
Went to the old section, funny how every Southern town I've visited has one - and poked around a bit in an antiques store. Saw these neat old chairs that reminded me of my childhood, when I would visit my grandparent's house in the summer and we would sit outside under the shade tree, in chairs like these. Life was unhurried then, time marked by the lazy flapping at flies with a flyswatter.
Well, back to the current state of things - deadlines, art, and other everyday concerns. But thank heavens for beautiful old cities like Wilmington - where we can still go to be transported back to the past.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Getting Away

One thing about this day and time we live in is how busy everyone is. I've said it here before, that it seems all the devices that were supposed to ease our lives have somehow complicated them and crunched our leisure time down to almost nothing. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm glad the days of outhouses and picking cotton are over, and I am ever so thankful for laptops, cell phones, and water based oil paints.
But instead of more leisure, we ( and I'm speaking of Americans, I have no knowledge of other countries' workaday habits) have much less.
That's why finding time-saving shortcuts of any kind is always "a good thing". I don't have the luxury of having much time off, but when I do have a chance to escape my everyday hum drum existence, I jump at it. And being the anal retentive mess that I can sometimes be, I prepare myself by checking out online travel sites. There is a neat site I came across, HotelReservations.com that has features and pricing that sets it apart. You can book a hotel, car, flight, cruise, or any combination thereof. You have many destinations to choose from internationally. There is also a cool feature where you can choose a day trip, an hour or six hour drive from the zip code of where you are. The site will find places that fit the bill. This is perfect if, like me, stress tends to sneak up on you, and before you know it you are so overwhelmed you are unable to function. Nothing helps me to de-stress like getting completely out of my environment, going away, and forgetting all my ties and obligations. With this site you can research places, and HotelReservations.com even has a handy button to take you to available hotels and bed and breakfasts, dining, everything you need to have a wonderful getaway.
How nice to be able to find attractions close to home, and very reasonably priced. This is a must in this economy.
I don't know of a better way to get the creative juices flowing. Give this site a look.