28 December 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert on TED

I've blogged about this before, but Jamie Ridler recently reminded me how important and delicious it is when she recently mentioned it. Elizabeth Gilbert communicates some amazing ideas, and they are important to remember for those of us struggling to live a creative life. It's a reminder for me to show up and do my work.

27 December 2009


I got an email today notifying me that I was the winner of "A Basic Guide to Pinhole Photography" that was given away by Artist-How-To.com. I'm so excited! I've been wanting to learn more about pinhole photography since I heard of it a couple of years ago. Can't wait to get my book and get started!

Thanks Diane!

26 December 2009

New Art

Did I mention that I was taking Carmen Torbus' online workshop, Spill It!? I think I did ... Anyway, here are my efforts at Lesson Four. The point wasn't to copy her painting, but to let our own style shine through. Unfortunately, I don't yet know what my style is. What I do know is that I love the way Carmen paints; her style really resonates with me, so she really influenced what I came up with.

Carmen writes with lots of "inky drippy goodness" on her paintings and I love it! But when I tried it, I didn't like it as well on my painting. In the second one, I left the canvas flat while I wrote to minimize the drips. I love the look of writing with a dip pen -- I'll definitely be working with my dip pens to "perfect" this technique!

This painting is still very much in Carmen's style, but I felt a bit more free as I worked on it. It was inspired by an Untitled painting of Carmen's (Sorry, I couldn't get a direct link to it). I had more fun with this one than I did with the previous two, so I think I may be edging more into my own style here. I'll definitely be working on more paintings like this one.

24 December 2009

I've Signed Up! (Giveaway Alert!)

For A Limited Time At Artist-How-To.Com Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter and Get a Free Christmas Image Collection Download! Pass It On! http://artist-how-to.com/freeoffer.html

I signed up for this newsletter last week and  received my first copy. I'm so glad I did, because the pictured book (The Craft of Planning Your Art Business) is on sale! I'll definitely be picking it up, as that's part of my Grand Plan for 2010!

18 December 2009

In Sickness and In Health ...

Just a short note to stay in touch. John and I have both been sicker than dogs for the past two weeks. We are both finally getting better, but it's been slow going. This has been a rough several weeks for us -- I'm ready for a new year and some fresh days!

It's time to stop focusing on where I'm at, and look toward where I'm going. 2010 promises to be a big year for me. Not because I'm doing anything that other people would consider grand, but because I plan on living more of my True Life. It's not something that I plan to just start doing on January 1st; it's something that I'm easing my way into. Tonight I'm cleaning up my studio a bit, so that I can begin to make art again. John and I are talking about developing some kind of mutual writing project (that's a tough one, because we do very different kinds of writing.). I'm carving time out of each day to spend doing the things I truly love, to spend time with those I love.

For the past couple of years, I've had fun with an exercise I call My Grand Plan. I divide my life into eight areas (Career, Family, Financial, Spiritual, Health, Social, Intellectual, Home) and come up with a document that expresses my dreams for each area. For a few days, I work on it earnestly; I struggle to express my desires in the most concrete form possible. I polish my sentences. I dig deep to figure out what it is that I really want with my life. It's a great exercise that gives me vision and guidance for the rest of the year. Usually I do this some time between January and April. I did my 2010 Grand Plan in October this year. It was exciting to see what things changed and what remained the same. And it was interesting to see how many desires on my 2009 Grand Plan had been attained, seemingly without me even trying.

This year, I did two other exercises to get me focused for 2010. Paraphrasing a set of questions sent to me by a life coach (sorry, Amy! You're last name escapes me right now, and I'm not at the computer where I could easily find the information), I set about determining what really needed to happen in 2010 for it to be considered a successful year. I need to revisit that document before I start talking specifically about my focus for 2010, so I'll share that in another blog post.

The second additional exercise -- which I am still working on -- is something I call What? Why? What? What do I want? Why do I want it? What is keeping me from having it? The idea is two-fold. By thinking about why I want something, I'm able to sometimes see that the true, underlying desire can be met in some other way. The other idea is that by examining what is keeping me from having what I want, obstacles that can be addressed can be identified. Those obstacles can then be worked on, or worked around. Patterns of thought have emerged that were quite interesting. For example, even though I don't feel particularly old most of the time, it seems that I feel too old to accomplish certain goals. I am too old to be a child prodigy, but certainly I'm not too old to do something I love on a regular basis just because I love it! And who knows where that can lead!

How are you feeling about 2010? I hope you are as excited about it as I am!