Saturday, June 15, 2013

To Love & Honor From This Day Forward

British photographer and creativity coach, Dan James, used an interesting word  in a discussion the other day. Regarding one's creative time, he said, "You have to honour it..." As so often happens, we creatives toss each other onto various tangents, so his phrase led me to the thought...
Perhaps that's the problem: Many of us live in denial of our creativity. Our minds are encumbered wtih myriad responsibilities. Any act of creating gets pushed down to the bottom of our To-Do List, since we think of making art as self-serving and something that doesn't serve others. Thus...
We don't honor our act of creating a ______________. We don't honor what we do or the process or the results.
Therefore, time, which is so precious, isn't allocated to something that is deemed as "unimportant" or simply a whim or something hidden and not esteemed by the world.
But that act of creating a ______________ is a part of us. And it is important to us, even if it's not originally important to anyone else. When we don't honor that part of us, something gets pushed down inside, denied, locked away, lost.
Tragedy ~
So, how do we honor our creative acts?
How can our creative endeavors be given a higher place on the Ever-Present To-Do List and be fit into our already over-packed schedules?
How can we prioritize that part of us which is truly important to our well-being and feeling of wholeness?

                              Honor Your Creative Work
  1. Create a READY WORKSPACE for one creative act.
  2. LEAVE OUT your tools.
  4. Keep GOING BACK to your creation.
  5. SHARE your product.
When I say "Stealth-Ninja-Monkey", it simply means that whenever I have a few minutes, I sneak/stride/run into the studio and paint for whatever time I can spare in the midst of a busy life, whether five minutes or an hour.
I enjoy those moments and concentrate with Joy on that next stroke.
No excuses. Tired? I paint a few strokes anyway before I fall into bed that night. It's easy because my tools are waiting and the canvas is on the easel.

So get your tools ready and honor your creativity.

Let me know how it goes for you.
Love & Laughter,


Friday, June 7, 2013

To Have & To Hold & To Protect

I tell my graduating students that,
even if they don't make a career of art,
they must hold onto their studio time and protect that time
both to alleviate work/life stress
and to stand against naysayers who might proclaim them selfish
or doing something that seems "unimportant" to folk who would rather have their attention.

People will attempt to make you feel as if you're doing something wrong by being alone to create. "She should be cleaning her house/cooking for her family/helping Aunt Posie instead of playing around with that stuff...! "

Um, NO.

There are other ways of bringing beauty into the world. And creating also meets a need in you that helps you be happy/contented while you're doing the other stuff, which includes not being crabby while you're taking care of Aunt Posie because you know you're valuable and beautiful, even if she's complaining about the food you just prepared for her.

So, make time for your creations. And smile to your-beautiful-self while you're doing other things.

Now, go make me some art...

Love & Laughter,

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Painter's Three

There are three cornerstones that will make or break a painting:

Color mixing

If you know what to do with these, all that is left is to show your work to someone.

Color theory is a life-long love affair. Don't miss the basics.
Application is a personal approach that should be comfortable to the artist.
Composition involves laws of eye movement and engages the audience.

Study these and enjoy the journey.

Love & Laughter,

Saturday, May 25, 2013

DJ's been Painting

If you read my last post, the title was:
"Simply Get On With It"

Well, I took my own advice:
I Simply Got On With It!

painted over fifty paintings in 2012.
submitted to a juried show and was accepted. whee.
had a solo exhibit in the Autumn of 2012 with 100 guests at the opening.

That's why I've been absent from the blogosphere.

Been busy in the school-house, teaching and mentoring and loving those teenagers.

Hope you have been busy producing, learning and teaching as well!
Please tell me about it.
I would like to hear what you've been up to ~

Love & Laughter,
Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Simply Get On With It

Since I've been reading a lot lately about narrowing focus and setting limits, my goals are simple:
1) Complete 50 oil paintings in 2012.
2) Use less-demanding smaller works, such as Art Journal play and CCS Swaps, to keep my creativity flowing through busy & stressful seasons.
My easel always has a canvas on it, so I can pop in and out of the studio and apply paint quickly amongst life's many demands. My art journal stays open on my worktable so I can add to it in five minutes or fifty minutes, as allowed.
If I set detailed expectations or wait for perfect conditions, I don't produce. If I free myself to do what I can, when I can, I get more done. Why wait for a free two hour block to paint, when I know that's unrealistic? Why wait for the skies to open with a blinding light and trumpets to announce the perfect, earth-shattering, attention-getting subject matter for DJ?
Ignore the mess on your worktable, put your paper on top of the pile, and just pour your chosen color on the surface for a few moments. Just slather on some glue and slap down a textured paper. Pick up the pen and write about how you're feeling NOW. Suddenly, a character develops. Suddenly, you see a rabbit/face/truck in the paint. Suddenly, you have a background for a collage or journal page. Suddenly, you're MAKING ART.

Good. Now, do it again.

And be sure to do it with lots of
Love & Laughter,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Reworking Work

Below are some snaps of re-worked pieces in the studio.
Hope everyone has a blessed Sunday, filled with lots of
Love & Laughter,

"Air Battle" oil on 10x8" canvas by DJ, reworked on 2-19-12.

"Memories of Summer" 2011 underwent a transformation...

to become this:
"Vision" oil on 20x16" canvas by DJ, reworked on 4-14-12.

"Splashing" oil on 10x8" canvas by DJ, a WIP, altered on 4-14-12.

"Sentry Duty" oil on 20x16" canvas by DJ, to which the figures were added on 4-14-12.

And for your enjoyment, my latest fave painting-while-listening song: "Changed Forever" by Toby Mac featuring Nirva Ready

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Blessings of His Closeness

Can you say kidney stones?
And, extra stress at work..
Nuff said about that.
Prayer can get a weary soul through anything, friend.
The Holy Trinity will let you know in no uncertain terms that they are with you always. Just ask them.
Because of all the stress I'd been through, I'd been praying all week for God to stay close and let me know He's near.
In the car, on Good Friday, hubby & I are talking about attending an Easter Sunrise Service by a nearby fledgling church, and I mention that wouldn't it be nice if someone just showed up with a guitar and sang one of our favorites: "In Christ Alone" as the sun was rising.
That night, on Good Friday, we read from a devotional book whose entries had no dates. Because of eleven-hour work days, we'd missed several nights of devotional time due to me crashing into bed exhausted. So, when my husband mentioned Isaiah as the book for Friday's devotion entry, I thought nothing of it, until I started reading. The specific verses for that day's entry described the scourging of Christ before His crucifixion. I asked my husband if he chose that entry on purpose, and he just grinned & shook his head, reassuring me that he'd just followed the sequence of pages up to that night. Me? I teared up and read the verses about my Savior again. A coincidence on Good Friday? No.
Let me note this: When the Holy Spirit shows up, two things usually happen: My husband smiles/giggles/laughs. I ...cry. We're quite a pair, obviously.
On Saturday, I worked in the backyard, turning/amending soil and getting 23 plants into the ground, wishing I'd purchased something to go into a large container which used to hold a lily bulb that the squirrels ate last year. But after two hours, I got what I call an instant garden into two beds, and was satisfied.
Easter Sunday morning, we dressed and drove to the Sunrise Service, listening to a wonderful preacher on the car stereo as we captured some joy even before getting to the little outside amphitheater at the park.
As the pastor made some opening remarks, I was taking in the surroundings of light coming over the treetops, the little creek below us, and the birds chirping a song of welcome. Suddenly, I focused on the little stage and realized a young man was playing a guitar and yes...the strains of "In Christ Alone" filled the air...I stared open-mouthed at my husband as his knowing grin almost split his face in two. I gulped hard, but couldn't sing along with the lump in my throat, so I praised the Risen Lord with my tears.
After the service, we grabbed some breakfast and returned home to rest before the eleven o'clock service at our own church. I saw the flowers I'd planted the day before and took my camera outside to snap them before the squirrels decided to have them for lunch. Walking around the yard, I enjoyed the lantana, coreopsis, and foxglove even though I had little to do with their appearance. Suddenly, I spied not one, but five long shoots moving upward in the pot where the lily had bloomed last year. I couldn't believe it; there had been a cave where the squirrels had gotten it last year. But it was a morning for celebrating resurrections, so who was I to argue?
We went to the eleven o'clock service where, at one point, our music director belted out the beautiful anthem "Arise, My Love" and, in an unusual display of worship for a baptist church, brought the congregation to their feet with many uplifted hands of adoration for Jesus, who loves us all so much that He would die for us.
Yes, my prayers were answered in no uncertain terms the entire Easter weekend. God is indeed close, and reminded me that I am never alone.
Oh, by the way...He will do the same for you. Just ask Him.
Love & Laughter,