Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I was able to have some time last week to finally complete the commission of Muffy's portrait. Getting my boss's artwork ready for the big show it August took most of my time and desire to even work on art projects.

The happy news is that I was very happy with the finished painting. I was so glad that the cat's fur didn't look too "stiff". Also, my client was so happy she gave me a tip and sent me a thank you note. I am looking forward doing something else challenging of my own. Perhaps finishing a portrait that I started two years ago...painting people terrifies me, so I should try it, right?

Jeff's Corner:  "Absolutely!"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mental Gymnastics

I originally started this blog with the idea of testing what changing my thinking about my art making process might do to actually getting some art done. I think I have made some progress, but like anything, it takes practice. After reassessing what my mind set has been lately, I thought I could use a mini-workshop to get back on track.

I had purchased a set of cards called the "Creative Whack Pack" a few years ago. These were the invention of Roger Von Oech who is an author of several creativity books. The deck consists of 64 cards with each card having a different creativity strategy. There are four, sixteen card suits: Explorer, Artist, Judge, and Warrior. These represent four types of thinking involved in the creative process.

Anyway, I decided to get these cards out and try one of the suggested exercises to determine what type of creative style I have. My strongest suit turned out to be "Judge", which is evaluating an idea and deciding what to do with it. The next was "Warrior", this is the action suit for implementing ideas. (I thought that was good). "Explorer",which is for discovering resources to create new ideas and "Artist", transforming resources into new ideas were my least used strategies. No wonder I feel like my thinking is a bit stale! Obviously, all these strategies are good in their own way, but I can definitely see that I need to balance them out more evenly.

Now I am randomly choosing a card per day and applying that strategy to my day. So far, "Loosen Up" and "Asking, What IF?" were the most interesting and helpful. The "Experiment" is back on track!

Jeff's Corner: Suit yourself!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Putting first things first...

Last week I had a great comment on the blog that reminded me about doing what is most important to me first. I know that Eric Maisel suggested that in his book "Coaching the Artist Within". Lately, I have not been following through on that principle as far as my artwork goes. Consequently, my productivity has really suffered.

I did try put this concept back into play Saturday, and I succeeded in four and a half hours of blissful painting. It was a bit of a jolt to get back to the laundry, dealing with stacks of paper, etc. and I didn't get my floors swept or all the plants watered. I will admit I was a bit grumpy later when I was finishing dishes late at night. Jeff reminded me that I was just going to have to make up my mind about what I was going to be happier getting done, and quit trying to insist on doing it all. Blasphemy! I hate it when I can't be superwoman.

I spent a bit of time Sunday afternoon replaying some music for the piano I had written a couple of years ago. I have wanted to do this for a long time, but kept putting it off because I thought it would be such a disappointment. I had given it up in disgust at my lack of ability to write down all the music that I could hear in my head and I couldn't seem to get the music writing software, a computer and a keyboard that were all compatible at the same time to make up for my writing handicap. Amazingly, I could read and play what I wrote and got a great deal of enjoyment from hearing that music again. I would like to finish some of those compositions. Obviously, I am NOT superwoman and can't do everything, but I felt much happier this weekend actually doing more of what I like and less of what I "should" do.

Jeff's corner: My motto is - Don't "should" on yourself!