Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Creative Entrepreneur TM

Muse Victoria is not afraid to attempt anything. She is a good companion for Cre8Tiva for she encourages and challenges her. She is an award-winning ballroom dancer, an accomplished interior designer, and a triathlete. She does all things with verve and great flair. She is bold and aggressive and not afraid to ask for exactly what she wants, yet you can't help but be charmed by her passion.

Her personality traits are just right for a Creative Entrepreneur...are yours??? Do you have what it takes to be creatively self-employed?

When you make the decision to make a living at your artform, you will probably begin with talent and little else. There is no board of directors, no administrative help, no financial officer, no marketing and sales team, no agent, rep or venue, no deep financial resources...it's just you and your talent...and talent can only take you so far. If the world never knows you exist, you will be working for someone else and doing your art at night and on weekends...struggling to become what you know your can be...

Over the next two months I will be writing a new book for a workshop called...Creative Entrepreneur (TM) - How To Thrive as an Artist. I will be doing research here and sharing some chapters...I welcome any ideas, thoughts, questions, and comments about topics you would like to know more about...

What are the necessary characteristics of a Creative Entrepreneur? Passion for your art and artform is by far the most important trait you will need. It is that passion that will propel you forward when everything looks dim, people aren't buying, and you creative juices are low. Your passion to create because you must will carry you and create that passion in others - patrons, gallery owners, collectors, groupies... Your passion spreads and expands as you develop relationships and it is your passion that drives you.

You can see passion in someones eyes. You can hear passion in their voice when they talk about their work. You can feel passion in their body language as they show you their art. You can't help but catch the fever of a fervent artistic soul. Do you posses this passion for your artform?

Today's aMUSEment - Take this short Entrepreneur Test...
  1. Are you prepared to sacrifice time, family, money, sleep, relationships, etc.?
  2. Do you have financial stability and reserves?
  3. Do you enjoy working on a project that may take 5-10 years to see success?
  4. Can you solve problems quickly?
  5. Do you believe in yourself enough to persist when others tell you it can't be done?
  6. Can you accept failure without admitting defeat?
  7. Do you enjoy being responsible and in control of your future?
  8. Can you keep good records? Handle cash responsibly?
  9. Are you trustworthy? Can you trust yourself? Can you deliver?
  10. Are you a self-starter?
  11. Do you worry about what others think of you?
  12. Are you easily bored?
  13. Are you a risk taker?
  14. Did you start a business as a child?
  15. Are you a loner?

These are just a few things to ask yourself as you move forward. Take some time to know yourself and be honest about your business skills.


Another eye-opening test with explanations is here

U Be Creative Today!

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Muse Process

My muses are so named so because they inspire me to think or speak meditatively; to ponder; to meditate...I think of them as a source of this artist's inspiration...

In classical mythology the muses were sister goddesses, originally Aoede (song), Melete (meditation), and Mneme (memory)...more commonly, in ancient Greek mythology, muses are the 9 daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne who protected the arts: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry), Euterpe (music), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (religious music), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy)...

I have so many to share with you because this is my Year of the Muse...I am drawing one face/muse per day this year...I hope you enjoy them as much as I do...

Some of you have asked about my process for creation of the Muses...each original is 8" X 8". I draw late at night after I go to bed...I only have my journal, a graphite pencil, a stump and eraser...I allow the face to take shape on her own...they are drawn with graphite on heavy watercolor paper that has lots of texture...I then scan into PhotoShop CS2 and layer with a background I have painted...above is the untouched original sketch...below the CAA- Computer Aided Art...

At Prayer Muse is very spiritual and centered. She is called upon to bring me to my center prayerfully..as most of you know I consider all art is prayer...music, dance, visual art, writing, poetry, graphic design, etc.... all is prayer to me. I also feel that when I am lost in the flow, I am closest to God...absolutely in the moment, fully present in my life and in the universe...this is a deeply blessed time and my best work usually comes from these periods.

What is creative flow? Wikipedia defines creative flow as, "the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing, characterized by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. A Zen-like state of total oneness with the activity." You have at some time become so completely absorbed in a task that the world fades away, time flies, and your creativity flows freely. You experienced that magical, mystical space known as flow!! Ahhhhhhhh....

So, how do you get in the flow state where consciousness ceases to be and true art is happening?


Today's aMUSEment - I have a way to initiate and sustain creative periods because I have paid attention to the times they occurred. Here is my process:
  1. Set an intention - I am going to (write a short story, finish a
    painting, learn a dance) today.
  2. Make an environment conducive to creativity. Soft music, a humming fan, deep breathing, slow rhythmic movement, all work for me.
  3. Make sure that you are not interrupted or distracted. Turn off phone, ask you family to please leave you alone, put a Do Not Disturb sign on door, wear earphones or earplugs.
  4. Have all tools and materials ready and know how to use
    them.
  5. Resolve to let go of self-judgement. Don't be afraid to fail.
  6. Play. Play. Play.
  7. Practice. Practice. Practice. The most important step!
Thank God when you realize you have been there.
Have you been in that magical, mystical moment of creative flow? If so, what helps you get into flow? Share your experiences with us...a good article on flow is Mark McGuiness' Poetry in Practice: Creative Flow here.

U BE Creative Today!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Oh Lord, Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

Muse Syrjässä is very aloof...very reserved and reticent...she keeps you at a distance...although not indifferent or disinterested she may appear that way because of shyness...she has been described as cool, detached; distant, standoffish; snobbish, haughty, disdainful...none of which is true...she is just misread...

Have you ever been misunderstood... been guilty of poor communication... left off a key word from your blog message or comment...been judged harshly by someone who read a false motive into something you said or did?

When I first started e-mailing, I joined a list-serve stenciling group...one of the first posts I made...in response to an other's post about how many faux finishes she knew...I wrote, "I have forgotten more than that number"...I was trying to be funny about how old I was and how long I had been doing finishes...she thought I was insulting her knowledge and ability...Oh My...Luckily she is a beautifully forgiving person...and after a few mea culpa e-mails...the incident was dropped...and she is a dear friend to this day...but I learned that what I write can be taken many different ways than intended...

Sometimes, like the above, misunderstandings can be cleared up through fuller and better information...at other times, the person who misjudged a situation catches on, feels foolish, and takes the initiative to repair it...sometimes there is nothing that can be done...except try to go on with your life...hopefully without bitterness and/or regret...

Blogging and e-mail is a powerful and convenient medium...a way of moving words throughout the world in a mater of seconds...and once the send/publish button is pressed...reaction is out of our control...why do problems arise?

Researchers have identified three major problems...First and foremost, posts lack visual/auditory cues to a person's facial expression or tone of voice...that makes it difficult for recipients to decode meaning well... Second, the prospect of instantaneous communication creates an urgency that pressures us to think and write quickly...which can lead to carelessness...Finally, the inability to develop personal rapport over the Internet makes relationships fragile in the face of conflict.

Sarcasm and witty comments are the most often misunderstood for me...I think that everyone has the same dry sense of humor as I do...until something goes awry...and I am reminded that I have a different paradigm...I have learned that posts cannot always adequately convey emotion...so I try to be careful...but I know that I will be misunderstood again...

Today's aMUSEment - is there someone in your life that you have had a misunderstanding with? think about contacting them or forgiving them...forgiveness is for the forgiver not the forgiven...forgiving will free you from the pain that comes from holding on to resentment, bitterness, and hatred...

I offer you this exercise in forgiveness from enotalone.com. With your hand on your heart, take a deep breath and affirm:

I completely forgive myself for taking on this particular situation. (Name it.) I know I was only doing the best I could at the time. If I was in another state of mind, or if I had more information, I may have acted differently. (As you are ready…) I ask God/Spirit to help me reach the place of forgiveness for myself and for anyone involved in this situation.. I realize they were only doing the best they could also. I love and accept myself with all of my problems and perceived limitations. I don't need this (name negative emotion) any longer. I am now able to replace it with (positive emotion).

find several articles on forgiveness here...
a good article on this miscommunication can be found here...

U Be Creative Today!!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I Blog because I must...

Muse Deci helps me in times of decision making. She works through discernment methodically and with extra care. This is what I am doing this weekend.

Yesterday Nina Bagley posted "Every Cover has a Story" on her blog...she wrote about some of her readers who have been upset by some of her writings in her web journal...I was moved to respond:

i write because i must...our blogs are our journals...and they will lose their raw nakedness if we have to censor our feelings...your thoughts combine with mine and countless others to connect us deeply...unfathomably...in human family-like relationships...where we may like or dislike what you say...but we will always return for the connection...i do not have to agree with you to understand and care about you...keep writing just the way you do...you hurt no-one by saying your truth...i read because i must...

Today's aMUSEment - do you write what is on your mind on your blog or do you censor your thoughts to make them politically correct? think about something that really bothers you about our world today...write your thoughts or draw your thoughts... speak your truth...

U Be Creative Today!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Great Gobs of Confusion 2

Muse Perplexity is in a perpetual state of confusion. This is a very confusing time for me...I am reinventing myself and going through many changes...my artwork is also going through manic changes...

I am pleased with myself for taking the step forward in my art selling journey...it took an enormous amount of guts to walk into that gallery...it also took a lot of courage to ask for critiques...I would, however, have preferred some positive comments...

I am unsure which way to proceed...I will not let the cool reception stop my work...but I will make some adjustments...after all these were the first angel paintings...I did not expect them to soar...(some angel humor)...

Okay...where to go from here...I have a magazine to get published by next week...so I don't have time for a pity party...or to paint...but I can ask for guidance, go into discernment mode, and go to aerobics...water aerobics that is...

I have joined a water aerobics class at the local rec center...it is a hoot...I am probably the youngest...by 10 years or so...but it seems to be helping my spine...and that is worth it's weight in gold to me...walking like a weeble is not something I want to do...it is embarrassing because people think I do it because I am fat...when I am fat because I can barely move...but I feel some relief after two weeks in the pool...I really try to get a good workout...it's not easy doing water aerobics correctly...

Today's aMUSEment - get out of the house and get some exercise...go for a walk in your neighborhood...if it's too hot, go walk in the mall...just get your body moving somehow...
U Be Creative Today!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Grown Up Artist Decisions

Muse Aprille is inquisitive and always searching... her intense focus and ability to find the facts is very helpful when making important life decisions...this week is a time of fact gathering...

Good news is that I now have an Etsy shop...Cre8Tiva...to sell my art...now I have to be able to place pieces for sale...

Yesterday I made a pilgrimage into downtown Fernandina Beach...I went calling on galleries and artists...looking for a place to hang my work and glean some insight into studio space...I found both...

My first stop was Art 'n Antiques...I was not expecting to run into the gallery director...I was intending to make an appointment to see her...but she was there and saw me...I had a small book of snapshots of my murals, marbles, angels, assemblages...

She looked and advised me to do decor pieces...with my marbles and plasterwork...with a Tuscan influence...she said my angels were weak...my marbles strong...her words were, "If you can make them quickly, and keep the price down, you can sell a lot." She continued, "Go with what your strength is..."

Next I went to the Blue Door...this is where I want to have a studio...I spoke with one of the artists at length about how the Blue Door works...there are 8 artists studios...3 of them actually work there...4 of them just hang their work there...1 is the studio of a woman who has been dead for years and her husband keeps it as a shrine...he goes and sits with her paintings, but does not sell them...the people who actually work there, have to pick up the slack for those who don't, sell their work when someone wants it, and clean and pay for advertising, etc...so there are some operational problems they have not ironed out yet...I asked her to critique my angels...just for another opinion...she didn't like that they had no faces and she was bothered by them being in the center of the canvas...

Next I went to the studio of an artist I shared an upstairs over a gallery space with when I first moved to the island 6 years ago...Patricia......she had a studio/gallery room and I had a teaching studio room...she now has a gallery of her own...anyway she gave me some very good insight into having a studio/gallery space...her thoughts were:

  1. you need to be present to sell your art
  2. people buy more from an artist they meet and like
  3. you have to take credit cards
  4. you have insurance to pay for
  5. you have rent to pay
  6. you have security issues (theft, scary people, painting at night)
  7. you loose painting time schmoozing potential customers
  8. you have to collect/pay sales taxes
  9. you have to have occupancy/business licenses
  10. the slow times
She gave me a lot to consider...do I want a studio out of my home...or do I want to paint at home and have a gallery sell for me and pay them a commission to do the parts of the business I don't want to do...

I was a little bummed that my angels didn't impress anyone...I am so enamored with them...so my judgement could be clouded...to call them weak was a little much...it is difficult the tell from a small photo, I think...no faces lets you put your own expression on them...although some have faces, I prefer the blank ones...but I know that I can't take initial criticism to heart...art is subjective... (click to see more detail of face and faceless angels)

So I face the age old artist conundrum...do art quickly to sell a lot...or do my art my way...I think I would get very bored mass producing pieces of art with marble or plaster backgrounds...although I could do them since it is what I do best in my mural work...

I am also not sure I want to do decor pieces...I want to do fine art pieces...do I do what the gallery owner thinks will sell at low (under $500) prices...or do I make art that I love and feel creative and filled spiritually doing, that may not sell...

I am mixed in thinking...I have the facts now...I see the ups and downs selling art to earn a living...I know the sting of rejection...so now what???

Decisions need to be made...what type of decision maker are you? Impetuous - you act quickly without regard to consequences? Controller - you are a studied and rational person? Procrastinator - you delay the decision making process so long that the universe makes a decision for you? Rational - you are capable of reflecting correct and valid reasoning, sensible. Or are you a combination of these?

Today's aMUSEment - Let's look at a process for discernment I learned from The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola Get paper and pencil and write across the top of the page a decision you are trying make. Draw 4 lines from top to bottom of page. 1st column label For Doing It. 2nd column label Against Doing it. 3rd column label For Not Doing It. 4th Against Not Doing It. This gives you a lot to think about.

Example: Should I eat an apple?
1st - tastes good, healthy, keeps doctor away
2nd - not really hungry, may be grainy
3rd - don't need it, will save calories
4th - it might go to waste

The 3rd and 4th columns are always difficult for me, but they usually bring the most clarity to the issue. You get better at it the more you do it.

For a major life decision I take this a step further. I visualize myself as an old woman sitting on my front porch in a rocker. I really try to get into the place and feel the sensations - the smells, the sights, the noises, etc. from that porch. When I am ready and really present, from this vantage point of aged wisdom, I ask myself how I feel about this decision. I usually get the answer I need.
I hope this helps you as much as it does me.

There are many resources for The Spiritual Exercises on the Internet. Some of my favorite are:
An audio retreat by Fr. Larry Gillick, SJ at Creighton University
The Spiritual Exercises in Pictures for visual people
Spiritual Exercises for the Days of the Week simple meditations to live in a more spiritually-conscious way

U Be Creative Today!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Am Continued

Yesterday I made an amazing discovery...in the sand...was a shell...and on that shell was written...I M...

I knew immediately that it was a sign from God...letting me know that I Am...right here...right now...I am....I am able...I am ready...I am willing...I am capable...I can live in my truth...and be at peace...

That seems a lot of message from so small a found object...Right?? minutes later I found a second one...message loud and clear...

I have been asking for a sign that would lead me...show me...what I am supposed to do...and how I am supposed to do it...(I want a lot) and the universe answered big time....it is yelling today...

Rebecca, just go for it...already!!!!

OKay...OKay...I get it...

Please click on the photos to see these amazing message shells up close...

Today's aMUSEment - what is the universe trying to tell you...Sit quietly for a few moments today...connect with the universe...ask for a sign...then wait expectantly...

U Be Creative Today!

PS - on a mission for Leonie - she wants to gather 90 comments for her Gran's 90th birthday on Saturday...go here and leave a comment please...and have a peek at this magnificent spirited woman...spread the word...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Revel-ations List

Beneficent is a deeply thoughtful muse...magpie girl started me thinking yesterday by listing here some things to revel in this summer...

Revel means to take great pleasure or delight...Beneficent is helping me make my list ...there are so many things I take delight in....

here's my short list...

  1. being home
  2. the embrace of my friends
  3. my meditation fountain
  4. eating cherries
  5. red nail polish on my toes with toe ring
  6. the sound of the ocean
  7. walking in the warm surf looking for shark's teeth
  8. gin and tonic with lots of lime
  9. palm trees and banana trees
  10. decorating my home
Today's aMUSEment - make a list of all the things you want to revel in this summer
U Be Creative Today!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Yam What I Yam

"I yam what I yam," is a favorite statement of the one-eyed sailor Popeye...and he is correct...

Although Popeye is short, odd-looking, belligerent, and has only his left eye, his fundamental character trait is uncompromising moral standards. When he "can't stands no more" he pops open a can of spinach and turns into a superhero...

Perhaps we all need to be a superhero for ourselves...We all become what we think we are...if you think you can or you think you can't...you're right...

If you want to change your life you need to change how you think and say "I am"...

I am not smart enough...
I am not educated enough...
I am not rich enough...
I am not good enough...

If you use these "I am" statements long enough...you will eventually come to believe that "I am not enough..."

If the "I ams" you are using aren’t working out for you (see above)...you might need to change them...if you want to be a successful artist, it won’t happen until your neurology gets comfortable with the idea that you’re a successful artist....

The "I am" statement is a powerful one because it embodies your sense of self...and it emphasises the value of simply being who you are meant to be...we each exist as a person of value and worth in our own right...regardless of possessions or achievements...

Personal change is up to you...no one else...you decide who the big "I am" is...you decide to do something about your own self-beliefs...one of the quickest ways to increase what is possible for you is your ability to accept and reinforce this "I am" concept...retrain your brain to believe it...and create your big "I am" beliefs...so you must rephrase your "I am" statements...they are the key to successful life-change, achievement, contentment, and happiness...

Today'a aMUSEment - Schedule a time to create your power "I am" statements. Start with 1 or 2. Then become familiar with your positive "I am" statements as soon as possible. Say one of these affirmations aloud, notice whatever thoughts or feelings come up. For added impact, say them into a mirror or to another person. Say them often throughout the day. It will dramatically improve your mood, attitude, and approach to life, and therefore what you get from life...Always remember - today is practice for tomorrow!!!
"I am what I am", and I always have been!

U Be Creative Today!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger

My friend Angela gave me this award...and i am very humbled by her words...thank you... i will award others soon...

Beautiful Women

Women in Art is a beautiful gift. To watch the faces of women who flowed from the brushes of artists throughout history is a look into the connectedness we all share. It is not so much that every face has similarities as it is how art builds upon the art that precedes it. It is not a copy or a duplication, but a growing out of sameness that connects us all.




I hope you enjoy it as much as I do...I watch it often and find new ways of seeing...and nuances that I did not see before...Since this is my year of faces...I grow as an artist with each viewing...

Today's MUSEment - plan a visit to a gallery or art museum and really take the time to study the strokes...the colors...the feelings that speak to you...
U Be Creative Today!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Goal Setting Diversions

This is Tutkia...the investigator muse...she will examine every detail of an idea...break it down...until she learns all there is to learn....

One of the most exciting activities I get myself involved in is goal setting...it is a high energy time for me...I see the goal...write it down...visualize myself moving toward it...my vision expands...it is a heady experience...I have used it for years as a way of getting where I want to go...I formulate it in my mind...I set it down on paper...I am filled with unbridled enthusiasm...the future is bright and abounds with endless possibilities...and then I start to work....

I crank up Google...search...and search...and search...I begin a diligent and systematic inquiry into the subject in order to discover facts, theories, applications...I investigate...I examine... study...I research in detail all the particulars of...I strive to find something hidden or unique...I observe...I inquire into in detail...I buy every book and magazine on the subject I can find...I joyously gather all the tools/materials/supplies I will need...I spend hours/days/weeks/months/years planning a set of actions and milestones I can achieve... I commit myself fully...I make it complex....and this is where I often loose steam...get derailed...I face the inevitable unforeseen obstacle...ME!!!

I have come to realize that this stage is a diversion for me...it often gets me off track...I am so good at the investigation/research/planning phase that after I make the plan, I do one of two things...I loose interest because I have found out every detail...or worse, I create such fear within myself that I could never do it perfectly that I give up before I ever even try...

This is where I find myself this morning...so enmeshed in the planning and research stage of my current goal...supporting myself with my art this year...that I have overwhelmed myself with the details...the books and magazines...even the blogs of successful artists...that I am not doing the only thing that will make this goal a reality...creating art!!!

I look at those of you I visit regularly...and one common thread is present...you create almost every day...marita creates often and inspires much...vanessa blows me away...darla alters and inspires...constance makes a difference to my life every day...kim collages...angela creates every day...dj and kelly rae are master prolific creators...elizabeth flies free...tejae captures my heart...leoni produces and fills her shop......tara illustrates...carol never stops moving toward her goals...laura draws me in...britt fills my soul...while I spend my moments researching/avoiding/dreaming...

I am sure any psychiatrist worth a flip would say I am avoiding because I have a fear of failure...DUH!!!!...an admitted, self-imposed protective device...comparing my work with others...and somehow falling short...zorona commented yesterday, "I would live surrounded by my paintings if I painted like you. ."...

so why, oh why, can't I...open an Etsy shop???...take my art to the local galleries???...rent a space at a shop and hang my art???...Why???...I am afraid no one will buy it...there I said it/wrote it/felt it down to my toes...what if no one buys my art???

Today's aMUSEment - what if no one buys my art??? how did you overcome that fear...stop that little voice that says, "What audacity to think people will want to buy this!!" As of today I am a recovering researcher...I am going to start a 12-step program of recovery...NO!!!! Not 12 steps....just one....I will secure an etsy shop today...I will make an appointment with a local gallery...I will secure a booth to sell my furniture...
U Be Creative Today!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Universe Helps

"I have found that you have only to take that one step towards the gods, and they will then take ten steps toward you. That step, the heroic first step of the journey, is out of, or over the edge of, your boundaries, and it often must be taken before you know that you will be supported."Joseph Campbell

My French Muse Sophie has much experience with life lessons....her life journey has been strewn with learning experiences, small and large and huge...she has taken many heroic first steps without support, a safety net, or even a firm plan...she just trusted that it was the right thing to do...

You can see the wisdom of the lessons learned written on her face...she has known, she has grown, she is wise...she knows for sure that, if you head in the direction you feel is right for you, even if it is impossible or you don't know if you can, the universe helps...

And the universe is screaming at me this week...I have been asking, waiting for some sign or hint to what I need to do next...it offered up that tiny push in Somerset Studio...which has become a giant jolt I needed for me, without knowing the outcome, to step out and put my art into the world...

I have to be willing to leap blindly forward, scared out of my wits, to move in the direction of my dream...making a living with my small art...I have to be willing to jump into muddy waters, get wet and dirty, and let the current take me where it may...let the miracles that lie within me will pour forth...unafraid to grab what is within my grasp...I must believe, as I float or swim or flounder along, that the way to proceed will become apparent...

Today's aMUSEment - Leap into the waters of your life...stop preparing for everything...stop waiting for the right moment...enough training...enough money...the sky to fall...just trust the universe to help...
U Be Creative Today

Thursday, July 19, 2007

First Gallery Showing


I know it was only three lines at the end of an article and my name was not used...just my e-mail address...and I know that I have been in magazines many, many times throughout my career as a muralist/decorative painter...I am a regular columnist...guest writer...have my own book, "Do What You Love, Love What You Do"...I even edit an industry magazine, "The Artistic Stenciler" for heavens sake...so why did the blurb in Somerset Studio excite me so???

I am trying to reinvent my career...do small art...make a place for my art and my self in this wide world of artists...so being in a well-respected magazine in a different genre is very exciting to me...and gave me much impetus to start sending articles to magazines in this field...

I also have another admission to make...I have painted murals and walls of my homes for many years...but only ever hung one canvas work of mine in my home...I was visiting a blog recently where the writer stated that her home is a revolving gallery for her art...and I wondered why don't/can't I hang my art in my home???...if I won't hang my art, why would a gallery or a buyer do so???

So I placed one small canvas work (12" X 12") on the display area above the kitchen cabinets...it peeks out from behind some roosters...and it belongs there...it feels right...my art...an angel looking out over the great room...you can see her better here (scroll down the post)...

I have made another small heroic step into my future...I plan to hang more work soon...this is my first gallery showing.

I found this at Celestine Musings yesterday: “I have found that you have only to take that one step towards the gods, and they will then take ten steps toward you. That step, the heroic first step of the journey, is out of, or over the edge of, your boundaries, and it often must be taken before you know that you will be supported." Joseph Campbell

Today's aMUSEment - find a new place in your home to hang some of your art...then hang it... take an heroic step out...beyond your boundaries...
U Be Creative Today!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

There I am in Somerset Studio

Last night I went to bed with Somerset Studio and Cloth, Paper, Scissors...I was interested in an article by Michael deMeng...who isn't?...so I am reading along...it is about a contest he held about appropriating words...and I think to myself, this sounds familiar...

Several months ago, before I even ventured into the blog world...I had stumbled upon MdM's website quite by accident...I have always been a fan of Joseph Cornell's work and somehow through a search for him I found Michael...so he was having a made-up word/definition contest that intrigued me greatly...so I set about creating a word to speak to what I do artistically...

....as looked at the winning entry...creatuitive...I glanced at the list of most imaginative entries above...and there it is...page 55.. at the bottom of the right column, is my word...vortigrapher...by RParsons12@aol.com....that's me!!!! I did the happy dance for three straight minutes...until I remembered how badly my back felt....

vor+ti+graph+er [vawr-tuh-graf-er] noun one who creates hard-edged imagery from discarded machine parts and urban junk

So how did I invent that word??? It sprang from a short-lived modernist English art movement called vorticism - founded in 1914 by painter Wyndam Lewis (English, 1882-1957), along with poet Ezra Pound (American, 1885-1972), who devised the group's name. To him the vortex represented "the point of maximum energy," which he saw as the essential characteristic of modern life. Vorticism was related to Cubism and Futurism, and like those movements, its momentum was greatly depleted by World War I (1914-1919). While Futurism's imagery typically involved blurred movement, Vorticism's centered on hard edges and angles, as seen in Cubism, here applied to powerful machinery and massive structures. by ARTLEX

grapher - is Latin based as one who draws, writes, creates as in photographer, calligrapher, etc...Since we both create hard-edged imagery from discarded machine parts and urban junk...it was a natural word!!!!

Thanks Michael for the nod!!! See pictures of my recent class with MdM here...

Today's aMUSEment - go out on a limb and enter a contest about your art...
U Be Creative Today!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Homeward Unbound

Happy Birthday Chip!!!

Oh I had a wonderful day yesterday...I have finally relaxed...I am breathing...I am at peace...I feel homeward unbound...

The sun wakes me every morning...and that makes me smile...my feet face east...toward the ocean...so the first little rays of the day light up my room...good morning sunshine...

Being unbound from any self-imposed schedules and to-do lists is so freeing...I am just going to let it happen as it does...the unpacking...the decorating...

I am finally getting my body rhythm set to beach time...the slow pace with which people who live at the beach adopt...it is a different paradigm from the rest of the world...and it takes a while for your body to relax into it...I think this is why vacationers need at least two weeks at the beach...it takes a week to unwind from the franticness of their lives...the second week is then refreshing...

I like the idea of being unbound...free, with unlimited ability to be creative...and proactive with my life and my art...I intentionally have a causal arising...I gaze at the blue, sunlit sky from my bed...I arise with joy and saunter onto the lanai...turn on the fountain...hear the ocean in the background...begin my day with centering prayer...then I blog...this casual daily ritual offers me supportive solitude for creative reflection...

So am I moving closer to nirvana?...neither here..nor there...but somewhere in between...and for the time being...this is a wondrous place to be...nirvana is most emphatically not a place...it is realized only when the mind stops defining itself in terms of place and time...nirvana literally means "unbound' as in "Mind, like fire, unbound"...because fire was thought to be in a state of entrapment as it burned...both clinging to and trapped by the fuel on which it fed...its going out was seen as an unbinding...to go out was to be unbound...the person unbound would never again be trapped...this beautiful image is of a flame burning by itself...this sense of the flame being unbound has often been misunderstood to mean the flame is extinguished or blown out...this is completely opposite to the meaning of the symbol...the flame burns...and gives light but is no longer bound to any combustible material...the flame of our true nature, which is awakening, burns independently...


My tiny flame is burning unbound this morning...it is awakening to the path I am unbound to follow...homeward...


www.infinitezoom.com flame fractal


Today's aMUSEment - create a casual morning ritual for yourself that
will support creative reflection...

U Be Creative Today!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Even One Small Step

Taking even one small step toward something you desire is enormously powerful...Yikes...this is what I saw when I opened the garage from the outside yesterday morning...it was so overwhelming that I quickly shut the door and scurried back into the house...

The boxes are about 10 deep and stacked over my head...three to six high...on the left is my studio...see it behind the ladders...that's it...everything I need to create...

I was so undone when I opened the doors from this side that I just worked on the inside yesterday...

This morning when I started to work with this photo I noticed all the unpacked boxes in the middle...WOW...I have unpacked a lot of boxes...every box is a small step in the direction of my dream...

This beach house is my dream...a life dream...3 in a list of 5...YEAH!!!!! It is real...it is mine...boxes...paper...mess...and all....and I am making progress...

Although I didn't get any of the studio unpacked yesterday...I made great headway in other rooms...the library/music room is almost done....books are orderly on the shelves...family photographs proudly displayed on the piano...magazines situated...desk needs to be organized...

The great room is unpacked and the shelves filled...they will need to be decorated and arranged, but the things are on shelves...the furniture is in place...almost everything found a home...paintings are hung...dish network is running...

The dining room is unpacked...the Welsh dresser is displaying my blue and white collection...although I can't for the life of me remember how I had the things displayed in Georgia...why didn't I take a photo before it was packed???...

The kitchen and breakfast room are finished...even the curtains hung...the lanai is coming along...even though the movers managed to break my wrought iron chaise and loveseat...the fountain is most wonderful...

My bedroom/bath/closet are a mess...things everywhere...only the furniture is in the studio...the guest room is a mess also...and that garage!!!!!

It has suddenly become humorous to me...I have been running from one spot to another...working on this a little...working on that a little...I sort and shelve and stack and pitch...then I fall exhausted into bed...wake up and begin again...and slowly...very slowly...it is beginning to resemble a home...a cosy, French/Italian country home...ma petite maison...

Musette Giggles embraces the chuckles abounding in any situation...she sees the fun in the moment and expects good times ahead...that's why you never know what color her hair will be on any given day...she lives for the now...savors the fullness of every moment...and loves to recount the hilarity/ absurdity of even the smallest happening...She brings such life to the mundane...and she is very welcomed by me this week...

Today's aMUSEment - take a small step toward something you desire...look for the absurdity in your life today...find something to laugh about in even the most difficult moments...have a laugh for us both...
U Be Creative Today!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Art as Prayer

Muse Serenita is adapted from college self-portrait. The lips are a little puffed, but the eyes are mine. Serenita is contemplative and serene at peace with life at an early age. She calms the ever-frenzied Cre8Tiva. Everyone loves to spend time with her because she makes you feel acknowledged because she really listens to you.

I will admit, up front, that I have been negligent...I have broken a promise to myself to draw one face each day this year...I have broken my life-long sacred habit of journaling each day...I have not, as yet, even begun to unpack my studio...

I understand that most people would gently advise me to take it easy on myself during this overwhelming upheaval and transition period of my life...but I have committed a far greater act of negligence...my art...

Art is prayer for me...I was put on this earth to create...and to neglect that life task, even for one moment...does grievous harm to my sacred self and possibly the universe and my place in it....

It may seem melodramatic...but I have known for most of my life what I was supposed to do...my purpose on this planet...I believe that artists are blessed because most of us understand where our path leads at a young age...and, if in tune enough,we begin the journey early in life...some lose the way because of outside influences or pressures, but most eventually find their way back to their sacred art, whatever form...

To be away from my most connected form of communication...with God, with others, with myself...is too much to bear...no wonder I feel disconnected, unbalanced, alone...

Today I tackle the studio...I will paint even if I only can find one color and no brush...I will recapture the form of prayer that keeps me centered and my life complete... Serenita will listen as I return to my purpose....

I have a secret to share...I am developing a new series of workshops called Art as Prayer...I even have the website here...only the cover page is active...the workshops will focus on creating a visual vocabulary for personal centering prayer...the creation of intuitive art guided by the Holy Spirit...and much more...

I have many other secrets to share in the near future but, for now, they are too fragile to let into the world...I have a long to-do list...

Today's aMUSEment - Sit for a few minutes in prayer to your God...then pick up a brush and paint whatever feels right...let go...don't over think anything...paint intuitively...see what develops...and then share with us...
U Be Creative Today!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pink Flamingo Musings

As I was on a road trip to Jacksonville this week, I happened upon some flamingos **in my beloved marshes...flamingos are not often seen in north Florida...so I was very excited...

Flamingos are not native to North America. The flamingo has not been known to ever breed here, or to live here for extended periods of time, which are two of the requirements for a bird species to be considered a native species. The Caribbean, or American, flamingo may visit our area for a short time while searching for food, but this is rare.

The flamingos seen in Florida are generally ones which have been brought in by zoos. Their wings are generally pinned or trimmed to keep them within their areas. There have been a few "escapees" due to accidental release, or due to release because of natural disasters such as hurricanes. Generally these birds will stay only for a short while, but they migrate on to more suitable habitat areas and never seem to make us their permanent home. info from Dorothy Baldwin zoo educator Jacksonville Zoological Gardens

So you can imagine my glee when I saw these three...the marshes and estuaries surrounding Amelia Island are some of the most beautiful I have seen...the wildlife is plentiful and there is always a surprise photo op waiting... bay and estuarine systems are among the most productive ecosystems on earth; however, many estuarine systems are experiencing a decline in productivity because of global warming, land use, pollution.

It might surprise you to know that I once worked in a marine biology lab in South Carolina...I assisted the marine biologists and learned so much about the ecosystems within these marvelous places... it was located on the exact spot where the first shot of the Civil War was fired on Fort Sumpter in 1861...I loved to walk the grounds and feel the historic ambiance of the place...only a small marker tells of the events that happened here...

Today's AMUSEment - take a camera and get out into your environment today...see what Mother Nature has to offer you...
U Be Creative Today!

**ps - alas, after looking at the photos more closely, these are roseate spoonbills, not flamingos....but they are just as rare and beautiful...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Magazine Poor

Lisa shared her thoughts on magazine poor here...i am always reading...buying books and magazines in the name of research...i even use them as a business deduction...here are the piles i have in the library after the move...trust me many were thrown away in the last 2 moves...but many remain...and i have more in the studio that remain unpacked as yet...i have a problem...yes....

Lisa's post got me thinking about being my authentic me...doing by intuition...without looking elsewhere for inspiration...trusting me....

That trust thing again...i think i will call a moratorium on magazine/book buying for a while...i want to see if i can be and do and create without outside influence...is it possible?.?.?.

Of course all artists have resources...and this is fine as long as you do not infringe on an other's copyright...i am trying to simplify my life...and part of that is letting go of things i have held so tightly too for many years....

I was forced to buy some new shorts and tops yesterday...i can't seem to find my shorts in the unpacked boxes...so i am going to throw away equal amounts of clothing...if not more...i am trying to live the 'if something comes in, something else must go' lifestyle from now on...

Today's aMUSEment - set a time period where you will practice the 'if something comes in, something else must go' lifestyle. If only for a week or a month...
U Be Creative Today!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Opal the Magnificent Mermaid

Opal, the Magnificent Mermaid, is Muse Extraordinaire....She has been on this Florida adventure with me since the beginning back in 2001 when I first found this dream house...I found her in the most unlikely place...Dahlonega, GA...home of the first gold rush in the nation.

Yesterday, Constance at Rochambeau, shared a wonderful variety of mermaids...She prodded a much-needed visit through my memory bank...and transported me to a place and a time when I was so excited about manifesting one of my top five life goals...I had forgotten the feeling and the emotions...during this transitory period...Constance, you rekindled my excitement...and for this I am forever grateful!

Isn't it wondrous how this community of bloggers can come together and impact each other with their words...Maya Angelou says "Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning."

Our human blog voices sometimes shout, sometimes whisper, and most times touch one another...I feel words are our most powerful gift...a powerful form of energy...imagination is ignited by words...spoken or read...our own and those of countless others whose words enter our conscious mind throughout our lifetime...

Words form in our minds...are given voice...and flow out into the universe...to touch, to shape, to alter the world around us and beyond our borders...almost effortlessly thanks to the Internet...Your words are important...choose them wisely...use them with care...deliver them gently....and always share...

We exist in a web of relationships...links to God, nature, and other people...

Today's aMUSEment - Take time to trace the links that touch you, giving thanks for the life force that flows through them.
U Be Creative Today!

PS - visit WOW Words of Women for more inspiration...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

R E B E C C A

R E
">B
E C C A

Rebecca
[Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably]
by Hilaire Belloc

A Trick that everyone abhors
In little girls is slamming Doors

A wealthy banker's little daughter
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater,
[By name Rebecca Offendort],
Was given to the furious sport.

She would deliberately go
And slam the door like Billy-Ho!
To make her Uncle Jacob start.
[She was not really bad at heart.]

It happened that a marble bust
Of Abraham was standing just
Above the door the little lamb
Had carefully prepared to slam.
And down it came! It knocked her flat!
It laid her out! She looked like that!

Her funeral sermon (which was long
And followed by a sacred song)
Mentioned her virtues, it is true,
But dwelt upon her vices too,
And showed the dreadful end of one
Who goes and slams the door for fun!

the last post on the late Daisy Lupin's Poetry Fest

Not slamming doors today, just a little antsy...it is at times like these when one wishes to have powers to twist your nose or wave a wand and make everything fall into place...patience, Rebecca...it will come together...and I know that it will, but the messy interim period is crummy.

I am covered with bruises, scratches, cuts, scrapes...this is hard physical labor...and I long to be in my tiny studio with all my supplies within arms reach...creating...

Today's aMUSEment - write a poem about your name...

U Be Creative Today!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bend with the Wind...

I took it a little easier yesterday...just did a few boxes...arranged a few books...finished the proof of the catalog I design each quarter...went to the beach...

Here are the amazing sea oats that protect the dunes from erosion...they are standing proud like sentinels at their post...against the early evening sky...how strong and free they are...bending with the wind, but firmly planted in the sand...

I am beginning to see some progress and have sheets on the bed...things are looking up...I had a long talk with myself about expectations...sometimes getting the kitchen counter cleared and the dishwasher loaded is good enough...

I am determined to be gentle with myself from this moment...I can set small, achievable goals each day...I can unpack one box day...arrange one shelf or cabinet or complete one section of clothing...it does not have to be done this week...or even this month...my health and sanity are more important than perfect order...

So there you have it...I am free of unrealistic goals for the time being...I am freely blowing in the wind but firmly planted in the sand...


Today's aMUSEment - Do you have unrealistic goals or expectations?
U Be Creative today!

Monday, July 9, 2007

What a Week...

What a week it has been... the more I unpack the more mess I seem to have...I keep telling myself every box unpacked brings me closer to the end...it is a time-consuming job and I am impatient for it to be done...I long to feel settled...at home...it seems a long way off right now!

The great room looking into the library/music room at right...books everywhere...the floors are littered with stuff...gee I have too much...

I still do not have all my strength back from the kidney infection...I can only work in spurts...if I sit down to rest, I drift into a fitful sleep...I fall into bed before dark every night...I am weary...

This is my fountain area of the lanai...
I needed to have some little place of quiet and calm...I took this shot the night before the moving truck came...it does not look like this today...but I can still hear the water fall and that always refreshes my soul...

It will become more permanent once I find all my garden pots...no idea where things are...the boxes are so mixed up...the labels were not very descriptive..

So I am creating my environs this week...I think I will take a break today and go shopping for garage shelving and baskets for storage...I need to get away from the boxes...I promise not to neglect my blog and stay in touch with everyone...when I find my teapot...we'll have a housewarming tea party...

U Be Creative Today!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Waiting for My Stuff

Empty rooms will soon be filled with my stuff...someday soon all will be normal again. This past few weeks has passed in a blur...my being ill somehow made it move quickly by...living in Georgia June 1...woosh...living in Florida July 1....how I managed it I don't know...it was a marathon packing adventure I hope never to repeat...only the waiting and the unpacking remain....

This is the mountain of paper and boxes unpacked...every one brings me closer to the finish line...YIPPEE!!!!
I am painting the guest bedroom and decorating my studio this week while waiting...patience is not my strong suit...

The movers are coming on Thursday instead of Friday...everything is good...

This is my kitchen almost unpacked...still looking for best way to arrange...any suggestions would be welcomed...

Looking back over these past two weeks, I know I am very blessed...this move although very quick and stressful went really well...I am amazed at how the universe took over and brought me back to my dream...from having my Florida home not sell so I would have a place to move...from finding people to pack...from finding a moving company able to move me in two weeks...from finding a way to get rid of my excess things...having family and friends come to my rescue, again and again...from the trip home...everything fell into place perfectly without my control because I was so sick. I am truly blessed...

What I know for sure is there is a lesson for me to learn that I can let go and let God...TRUST...TRUST...TRUST...I do not have to be in control ALL of the time...because when I get out of the way, I will receive exactly what I need exactly when I need it...how powerful...

Today's aMUSEment - What can you let go of in your life...what do you have tight control over that you could let go and let the universe take over...
U Be Creative Today!!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Down to the beach to play...

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach to play one day

ee cummings


Down to the beach to play...well maybe not play...more often than not I go down to the beach to pray...

I am home...I am safe...I am becoming peaceful...what a journey this has been...moving in two weeks was a feat of overwhelming proportions...

I am unpacking the boxes that came down last week on the rental van...I almost have the kitchen boxes unpacked, but it is a BIG job to set-up a kitchen...well...but it is coming together...now what do I do with all that extra stuff?!?!?

My dsl finally is restored but I lost all my e-mail accounts...including my editor account that has all the information for the magazine...I am on the phone with AT&T-Bellsouth attempting to recover the files...please pray that they can be restored...

I thank you for checking in on me while I have been unable to post...

U Be Creative Today!

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