Seth Godin~ be an artist

Artists express. Art can illuminate. I feel like there is a lot to express and understand right now. Lend your voice. Be an artist. Or, if you apsolutely cannot attempt that, then appreciate artists.

Here’s a favorite quote from Seth Godin. I love how he stretches the definition of artistry…

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“Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.

What makes someone an artist? I don’t think is has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren’t artists.

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On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artists who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances.

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An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally.

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That’s why Bob Dylan is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on the other side of the glass is merely a marketer. That’s why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artists, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam.
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Tom Peters, corporate gadfly and writer, is an artists, even though his readers are businesspeople. He’s an artists because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally, and he doesn’t care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it’s important, not because he expects you to pay him for it.

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Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.

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Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.”~SG

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Being Kinder

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-by Copper Wimmin

I’ve decided to be happy. I’ve decided to be glad

I’ve decided to be grateful for all I ever had

I’ve decided to let go of all this pain tonight

I’ve decided t let go of all these demons inside

 

I know…I am blessed

I know…all I ever wanted was this

I know…I don’t need more

I’ve got…what I came for

 

I’ve decided to be open for that little voice inside

Telling me I’m beautiful, it’s okay to be alive

I’ve decided to be kinder to myself when I am sad

I’ve decided to be grateful for all I ever had

Here is the Youtube musical version of this ABSOLUTELY gorgeous song. I’ll tell you how I learned about this song. I am a therapist and was counseling someone who had just recently been bedside, with 8 other women, while a longtime girlfriend layer on the bed dying from cancer. This is the song they sang to their dear, nearly departed friend. I ache thinking of it.

Retreat

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This piece was created over a couple of days, while I retreated to my summer getaway on Vashon Island. Its where I was born. This is the first year, since I had my son, that he did not come with me. I missed him so much–and all the rituals we usually share. Someday, when he’s not committing adolescence, and grown out of teenage hood, we’ll share our beach walks, our trips to the tea shop for reading & Majong, and our beach fires again.

This year, I truly did enjoy painting and breaking for beach walks. Eating minimally, journaling, reading Billy Collins’ poetry and laughing out loud with no one. Reading a whole biography of Annie Liebowitz.  Painting some more. Podcasts. Listening to the soft waves while going to sleep at night. Feeling the passage of time. So bittersweet.

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Who Said This?

“Something whispered,

something that wasn’t even a word.

It was more like a silence

that was understandable.

I was standing

at the edge of the pond.

Nothing living, what we call living,

was in sight.

And yet, the voice entered me,

my body-life,

with so much happiness.

And there was nothing there

but the water, the sky, the grass.”

by Mary Oliver

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Garland of Roses

  From my workshop #Entwined, #misty mawn. Portraits. Portraits. Portraits. How endlessly fun and challenging it is to draw and paint their moods. I love building up layers of skin tones, rubbing lines out with gauche, re-highlighting parts, etc. Its like a strange puzzle that I am drawn to doing over and over.

  
  
  
 
  

  

   

Experiments with portraits

“The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” ~Robert Henri

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I’ve been steadily working my way along in Misty Mawn’s online class. My favorite part is portraits. Portraits. Portraits. How endlessly fun and challenging it is to draw and paint their moods. I love building up layers of skin tones, rubbing lines out with gauche, re-highlighting parts, etc. Its like a strange puzzle that I am drawn to doing over and over.

As always, I like showing the process, just as I love seeing almost anything in a Before and After format. Here are the phases of a couple of older portraits. I started in one direction then veered away in another:

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This little piece belongs to a children’s story my mom wrote, that I’m working on illustrating. The story is about a little family of birds that forms, lives, dies, and learns to fly.

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Here’s a wonderful quote from Mary Oliver that feels reassuring to me these days.

“Creative work needs solitude. It needs
concentration, without
interruptions. It needs the whole sky to fly in,
and no eye watching until
it comes to that certainty which is aspires to,
but does not necessarily
have at once. Privacy, then. A place part- to
pace, to chew pencils, to
scribble and erase and scribble again.”

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Everyone an artist

Listening… a little to Bon Iver, Holocene & The Wolves so gorgeous…then made a little shift to Sigur Ros…& how easy it is to draw & paint listening to this music

it’s another overcast/rainy day here, perfect for lingering over a pot of coconut earl grey tea from Wonderland Tea & finishing my early portraits from Misty Mawn‘s workshop. I loved this project, I think I will do it again soon…started from magazine images, painted black background, on a Cigar Box lid.

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I’ve been thinking about who is living an artist’s life? Everyone of us. Since everyone is living a life, and the creative force of the universe is inside each of our nervous systems, our spirits, then no matter what life we’re leading, we are all artists. The cement layer with their trowel, the lawnmower with their rows, the long haul driver with wild mind full of paradise thoughts, the painter at their easel or house going for color, smoothness, lines, the doctor cross referencing a thousand remedies and wounds to apply the right salve. We’re all artists.

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“…so this this the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible.”

~from To The New Year, WS. Merwin

Renewal

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I’ve learned a lot while laying in bed off & on, fighting this cold, for over a week now. Each day, I soak in a mineral bath, listening to Tara Brach‘s calming meditations, and ponder this good life~watching the trees through the curtains. In the evening, H and I slowly walk through the woods around Lake Padden. Its the first few days of Spring. Mary Oliver’s words are ringing in my mind
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

For now, I’m shifting away from being a mom. I am still trying to get a grasp on how or what it means… it will come, I just need to let it ferment a little longer, while my heart & head are both swirling with feelings of change~ and renewal. About myself, about others, about life. I think this 10 days have been precious and that I am transforming in some great way.

“To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”

~Mary Oliver

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I’ve been working on this, while listening to Sigur Ros Radio on Pandora.

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“The risk it took to blossom”

Thank you from my heart to Misty Mawn. Her angel of inspiration has come my way. Anaïs Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

I’m bumbling through a painful transition these days. I’ve been laying in bed all week with the first bad cold in a few years, and thinking. My sweet son is growing up and away so fast….he got his license and a girlfriend in the same week. The center of my life has grown wings and is mostly out flying these days. Its all been so sudden and my heart has been aching. I’m nostalgic for his younger self, and want to go way, way back to the beginning– where I could smell his sweet hair and just hold him in my arms. Instead, I’ve been moody and listening to soulful music and painting.

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Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
by Dan Albergotti

Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days.
Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires
with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals.
Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices.
Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way
for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review
each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments
of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you.
Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound
of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart.
Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope,
where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all
the things you did and could have done. Remember
treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes
pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.

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ReMixed Media: Martian Girl

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This is a funny kind of other-worldly looking thing. It got left in the bin of unfinished pieces for a year.  I was learning from Mindy Lacefield about applying color and marks to create background elements.

A year went by. I pulled this out and added some hair and a body. I can’t believe how sweet she turned out! I really enjoy the freedom of mark-making in the background.

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Every weekend comes, and I’m so eager to get back into my art room and go deep, fast and find that perfect spot where every piece comes together. Its so hard when pieces don’t work out. I’ll feel mopey and go eat a lot of treats and make more early gray tea…that’s usually when something comes through.

Here’s a little quote I’ve been loving lately.
“She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful & life was so short.” ~ brian andreas