Thursday, January 31, 2008

finished?

a question to ponder: how do you know when a piece of art or creation is "finished?"

as i explore the world of collage and visual journaling i am learning lots about myself in the process. images will almost choose themselves to be placed on the canvas. other times, i am impatient and want the paint to dry faster so i can move through the process more quickly. some products smear. others become very permanent, very fast. it is an ever changing process that is so intriguing to me as a "new artist."

the images posted here are actually the first page of my new visual journal (started a couple of weeks ago.) i originally took the quote, "dance as though no one is watching you" and hand wrote it along the margins. something did not settle with me, however, and i continued to return to the page until i realized that the message "CREATE as though no one is watching you" was what i really needed to say. so, i did a little modification resulting in the second image. i think it's finished now. maybe...

i would love to know: How do you know when a piece of art or creation is 'finished'?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

fearing paris

For those of you who read my other blog, you probably know I have a potential trip to Paris on the horizon. It is quite an adventure for me and has stirred up lots of emotion: excitement mixed with a little fear mainly. Shortly, after I started pondering the trip, a dear friend sent me the poem shown below. I have periodically revisited it and knew that I wanted to do something creative with it.

Today, I was sorting through magazine clippings and came across this copy of Van Gogh's painting of the Saint-Remy asylum's garden. Somehow this painting seemed to be the perfect setting for the poem. So, I made a color copy, got out my metallic gel markers and started playing ☺. Obviously, the poem is a challenge to read on the painting unless you hold it just right in the light. Nevertheless, I know it is there and had fun making this symbolic piece.

FEARING PARIS

Suppose that what you fear
could be trapped,
and held in Paris.
Then you would have
the courage to go
everywhere in the world.
All the directions of the compass
open to you,
except the degrees east or west
of true north
that lead to Paris.
Still, you wouldn’t dare
put your toes
smack dab on the city limit line.
You’re not really willing
to stand on a mountainside
miles away,
and watch the Paris lights
come up at night.
Just to be on the safe side,
you decide to stay completely
out of France.
But then danger
seems too close
even to those boundaries,
and you feel
the timid part of you
covering the whole globe again.
You need the kind of friend
who learns your secret and says
“See Paris first.”

--M. Truman Cooper


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

blasted maze


endlessly climbing through a blasted maze
paint stripped from the façade of goodness
hanging on
chained. locked.
i want to scream and beat my chest
my head splits with pain

he hovers looking on
evil
arrogant & cunning
still, i hang on and climb
reaching for the light
inching forward & upward

Monday, January 28, 2008

snow in seattle

catching a snapshot of the wintery scene that greeted me this morning. it has disappeared now, but more is expected over night.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

flow


be different

"Don't go with the flow...you are the flow."

--Sugi Tanaka

Saturday, January 26, 2008

playing with color


be passionate.

"whatever comes from the heart carries the heat and color of its birthplace."

--oliver wendell holmes, sr.

posted on a rainy saturday in seattle

Friday, January 25, 2008

friday fancy

It’s Friday already? How does that happen so quickly? Well, it has been quite a week once again. This week contained some new fun experiences like my ‘timed writing’ for café writing as well as more play with soul collage and visual journaling and a poetic diddy for Christine's poetry party. It also included the hatching of my wonderful plan to travel to the City of Lights, gay Paris (see details here.) Along that vein, I have been creating travel plans, dreaming, and yesterday I picked up Drive Time French, so I will be “creating” a new language while I drive ☺.

Also, this week seemed to be a banner week for new friendships and deeper relationships—many coming through this blogging community for which I am so grateful! I was part of spreading the word of a wonderful photographer whose photographs capture the amazing beauty in ‘simple’ things. (Give yourself a treat and tour this beautiful gallery of images. I guarantee you will be inspired.)

Lastly, I began my “Introduction to Collage” class yesterday which is a whole story in itself. I felt like I had just been thrown into the deep end of the pool with the world-class swimmers and I was still attempting the dog paddle! I guess that means there is lots for me to learn. (Yippee! More growth ☺). My sweet husband asked if we would be seeing the 'fruits of my day' here this morning and I was gratefully able to say “no”. The piece stayed at class, so it will remain “unveiled” for now.

While I hyperventilated as I entered the new venue of “art class”, I took some deep breaths and began to consider it as an opportunity to stretch and play. (Sunrise Sister sheds great light on the topic of creative play at her post here.) After all, isn’t that what life (art) is all about? Playing. Reaching. Growing.

Happy Friday to You and Happy Creating!!!

(friday fancy is a weekly journal recap of my personal creative ventures.) photo by lucy

Thursday, January 24, 2008

sharing


today i am turning the spotlight over to a fabulous artist who is near and dear to my heart. i hope you will stop over at abbey of the arts and check out the sacred artist interview with bill hughlett ☺.

photo © h3images

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

bon voyage…

I saw the boat and knew I had to go.
I could not decide if I would sail or row.

City of Lights, she called to me.
I said, “I’m here. I will come to thee.”

I held my breath and then exhaled.
I smiled at the rowboat and then I sailed.

The shores were far, but it was time
to hit the sea and meet the Seine.

This poem was inspired by the accompanying photo (among other things) and is part of Christine's Invitation to Poetry found here. I hope you will join in the fun!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

nine minutes of resolve

I resolve to sit here for nine minutes and allow whatever wants to come to the page come. I resolve that I will not be disappointed in what I have written and that it will be my choice to decide whether or not I share these nine minutes with anyone else.

I resolve that I really have no idea what nine minutes of writing looks like although I spend hours each day sitting, pondering, writing words into my journal. The timed aspect is something both confining and freeing. What will my words say? When will I start or shall I just ramble along for nine minutes without direction or discourse…that is much how I spent the first 40 plus years of my life. Wondering along. Allowing others to decide what was appropriate or inappropriate. Allowing them to set the time limit. This long to be a child. Now it’s time to grow up. Go to school. College. Get married. Have a career. Start a family. Where was I in the process? Waiting for the time to pass. Hoping that tomorrow would be better with the next achievement, the next goal met, the next decade.

Well, guess what? No more. I may not have more decades. I may not even have more hours. I only have moments and I resolve to use those moments as best I can. If that means sitting and writing for nine minutes so I can discover what I am resolved to then so be it. Cool, huh? I love the moment-to-moment thing and it scares the hell out of me. What if the string of moments does not amount to anything? What if no one finds my words interesting? What if…worse yet…no one finds me interesting? What if I find myself boring? If I find that my words have no soul or meaning. That my life has been a string of meaningless nine minutes…nine years or heaven forbid nine decades.

I resolve to change today. I resolve to listen to my heart. To follow my words. To use my voice. To be the artist that I am and that scares the hell out of me, for no one ever taught me how to be an artist like they taught me to tell time or add numbers or cook a meal. To be an artist, I must learn to play and listen and discern what wants to be sprung forth from the depths of my soul. Sometimes it is childish and other times it is mature beyond my wildest imagination.

I resolve to listen. Not only to myself, but also to others in a new way. Not letting them command me in what to do or say or write, but listening so I can really hear what they are asking for. So I can hear what I really am asking of myself. Just nine minutes!

from Cafe Writing: Option Six: Timed Writing

Take nine minutes (you have to use all nine, you can’t go over), and interpret the topic Resolution.

Any format (fiction, essay, verse) is acceptable; and it’s expected that your writing will be raw, so don’t stress about editing.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

shadow

"But when the shadow is given conscious recognition we will find that it has much of positive value to add to our personality, often giving us the earthiness, or instinctuality, or zest for living, or humility that is exactly what we need to complement our personality and become a complete human being." --John A. Sanford, Dreams: God's Forgotten Language




see related post here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

friday fancy

I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues. --Duke Ellington

This week's creative highlights ☺...

• Explored my new visual journaling book (Visual Chronicles) and had a wonderful trip to the art supply store (a very dangerous place indeed, but oh so fun!!!)
• Did more soul collaging. This week exploring a bit more ‘shadow’ work.
• Sunday, I got creative in the kitchen and made a spaghetti sauce reminiscent of my mother’s from childhood.
• Took pictures around the neighborhood on a glorious clear day.
• Tried out the Enchilada Casserole from The Crockpot Lady. (The family like it and following her tips is a great way to gain more time for other creative projects!)
• Used my professional training a bit and prepared a talk on depression for a group of young mothers.
• Combined soul collage work with visual journaling. Very fun (& therapeutic!)
• Self-care day: trip to chiropractor, led small group, went to a movie by myself (very indulgent) and shopping with my daughter (helping create her ensemble for “Winter Ball”, her first high school dance ☺)
“Day of the Stars”
• Brunch with my fabulously creative friend, Christine.
• New musical choices: “Say” by John Mayer; “We are all made of stars” by Moby; “Extraordinary” by Liz Phair
• 30 morning pages. (These have kept me rocking for nearly 4 years!!!)
• Lots of time cleaning and creating new spaces in the house while my internet was down ☺.

And last, but certainly not least, sharing lots of wonderful conversations with other bloggers and seeing the amazingly creative things you have to say and do!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

magic stars

consider for a moment how "inspiration has rippled out to people and places that just needed that little spark to begin expressing themselves." these words come from leah @ creative every day. i read them just as i was preparing to write this post about three pieces of creativity--each one connected to the next in a serendipitous and circular way. the first piece was inspired by sue who wrote: ..."not only are we made of dust. We are also made of stars." i was so taken with those words that after pondering them for a few days, i designed and photographed "dust and stars" (on the right.)

which leads to the next photo and wonderful surprise that arrived today on my door step. sister kathryn at hearth talks saw the post and promptly responded with "i am sending you a surprise." [now, please understand that i only know sr. kathryn through this crazy blogosphere,] but she listened to her heart and sent me these "magic stars" (her own creation) arriving at just the perfect moment. a little later while catching up on some blog reading, i was back at sue's place reading her post "some good things." you can go read for yourself, but she was marveling over hearing a song in the grocery store called 'we are made of stars' by moby. i about fell out of my chair, but not before proceeding over to itunes to download the new song ☺. i was so delighted with all of this synchronicity that i had to create a new page in my visual journal here:

i call it "the day of the shining star." i want to remember this day and this beautiful stream of connectedness. it may seem small to some, but to me it is a wonderful reminder of how we never know when something we say, do, write or create may touch the heart of another in a very special way spreading out through the world like magic stars or as i like to call them 'diamonds in the sky.'


post script: one more piece of synchronicity...leah (who i referred to in the first paragraph) responded with a link to her piece of art created last year called "we are all made of stars." (i just 'met' leah in december of '07.) crazy, huh?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

art makes life better



when i opened my 'regular' journal this morning, i saw that the last words i wrote yesterday were "art makes life better." wouldn't you agree? i have been having lots of fun playing in my visual journal, experimenting with paint and new techniques while expressing my usually written words in a new format.

i started with the wonderful book "visual chronicles...the no-fear guide to creating art journals, creative manifestos and altered books" by linda woods and karen dinino. in their very first chapter, they practically scream, YOU are ART!! they also reinforce that there are no mistakes and our lives are the real inspiration of art. i am having a blast with it!!!

the pages shown here are from a dream i had the other night. i awoke and began to journal what had transpired and then decided to put a couple of scenes into living color in my 'visual' journal to help me remember in a new way. way fun!!!

i hope to make this a part of my creative adventure for the year...both in exploration and documentation. according to woods & dinino: "every day is an artful journey." i totally agree, don't you?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

sharing

Some days the most creative thing to do is to share another's work. I hope you enjoy this new painting by The Dream combined with words from Anam Cara by the late John O'Donohue.



I arise today
through the strength of heaven, light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

"The Deer's Cry" (Trans. Kuno Meyer)

Monday, January 14, 2008

mystery

"Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist." --Rene Francois Ghislain Magritte


more attempts at soulcollage by lucy. i'd love to know what these evoke in you.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

sunday quote













"It's all okay. It's gonna be alright. Because not only are we made of dust. We are also made of stars."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

friday fancy...on saturday

Week two of the new year has come and gone. I had a gloriously indulgent time of meditation and creativity this week. I am doing a pretty good job of relishing each moment before my schedule kicks back into a higher gear with commitments (i.e. more regular employment ☺.)

Here’s a recap of a bit of what transpired this week:

  1. 29 morning pages
  2. a self-care day for the "artist" (massage, afternoon date with hubby and an evening alone watching 3 episodes of Six Feet Under)
  3. created “space” by painting new room & sorting through old craft supplies
  4. attended the fabulous soul collage class on Saturday and a mini-workshop on Thursday evening
  5. purchased two new art books: Soul Collage by Seena B. Frost and Visual Chronicles by Linda Woods & Karen Dinino
  6. took my first café writing challenge and unintentionally explored my ‘romantic’ side through collage, poetry and scene writing
  7. had fun playing with haiku as I worked with a soul collage card
  8. discovered a new musical artist, Sia. my favorite tune so far is "Day Too Soon."
Ah yes, it was a great creative week ☺. How was yours?

image from Hallmark

Friday, January 11, 2008

new year haiku


she watches & waits
flight above & depths below
turning moving still

wisdom & courage
carefully slowly she waits
knee deep in this life

humility speaks
trust the instincts. do not ‘know’
waiting on the brink

stillness stealth quiet
thoughtful moving into year
focus on new sight

Thursday, January 10, 2008

a good reminder...

Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything. --Eugene Delacroix

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

whimsy & romance

There is definitely something romantic and whimsical stirring in my soul these days. Last week I created this image of pink and I have little idea where it came from or what it is trying to speak to me. Yesterday I was drawn to write a poem in Spanish principally because I liked the sound in my ear (more romantic methinks). And last night, I stumbled across a very cool blog called Cafe Writing. While there I decided to participate in the January Project to see where my creativity would go. I chose option #2 with the guidelines as follows:

Pick at least three of the following eight words, and write a paragraph, scene, flash-fic, essay, blog entry or poem using them. It’s fine to change tenses, or pluralize if you want to, but please bold the words you choose.

breathless, change, elusive, pensive, reflect, surge, tide, vibrant

As I read the list of words, a scene of romance and intrigue formed in my mind. The following paragraph is the result of this quickly captured image. Sappy? Perhaps. Predictable? Possibly. But who am I to squelch the romantic creative spirit when it comes knocking? ☺

I plan to spend a bit more time with my collage image and I invite you to stretch your own creativity and help me finish this story or at least let me know what direction you think it might take. Here goes:

Breathless following their brief exchange, the elusive woman turned her face once more toward the pensive stranger. Her image reflected in his vibrant blue eyes and her heart surged with a tide of emotion. She stood immobile, locked in the presence of his eyes until finally, she inhaled deeply and took the defining step, knowing her life would never be the same.


So..what stirs in you? Which way did she step? Toward the stranger or away from him? Why?

I hope you'll give it a try! And I highly recommend stopping by Cafe Writing for a visit and more creative writing prompts. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

de vuelo (in flight)

Here is my submission to Abbey of the Arts' Poetry Party. For some reason, when I saw this photo, I could only think of it in Spanish. This is quite curious, because I don't speak the language and the photo really looks nothing like Mexico. Go figure? So, my creativity for the day was to write this poem in Spanish. I was unable to figure out the appropriate accents and I am pretty sure the translation is not correct, but, hey...I tried something different and had fun doing it. If any of my readers are proficient in the language, I would love to know how close I got ☺. Buenos dias!

como se destino?
a cercano?
a lejano?
casa?
hacia dios?
quien sabe?

where are you going?
near?
far away?
home?
toward god?
who can tell?

photo from Abbey of the Arts. Go join the party here!

Monday, January 7, 2008

tools of the day...

a can of paint and an i-pod.

color: sunny days
music: john hiatt shuffle

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” --Thomas Merton

Sunday, January 6, 2008

sunday quote

be present.

in life, there are no ordinary moments. most of us never really recognize the most significant moments of our lives when they're happening.
--kathleen magee

Saturday, January 5, 2008

soul collage workshop

Today I met with four women I just met and our instructor, Maggie, a woman I admire and respect. We sat as children tearing pages out of magazines and gluing images to cardboard. We laughed with delight as we found the perfect picture and we groaned with frustration as we tired and could not convince the photos to come together. We had embarked on a journey in community, if only for a few hours of time.

Our group included the amazing teacher who is battling her third diagnosis of cancer, the painter who yearns to be more bold and paint from her heart, the mom approaching 50 with questions of ‘what now?’, the recently empty-nested single mom who wonders how the void left by her child will be filled, the former environmental lawyer-turned artist & me, lucy, wondering what a year of creativity will look like.

We were united to do SoulCollage—a technique described by Seena B Frost in her book SoulCollage as “a process that honors the transformative power of imagination. As you sit leafing through magazines your soul will gravitate to powerful pictures with symbolic meaning for you. When you tear one out you may not know why you are choosing this image. This will be revealed as you create the card, as you show it to others, and as you consult and work with it over time. You will join this sacred soul-tending work with other work you may be doing : psychotherapy, art, writing, spiritual guidance, prayer and meditation, breathwork, religious study.”

Today I made three cards. I have an idea of what each of them represent and yet I know they have much more to say to me. The card I am sharing today spoke to me deeply and I shed tears as I attempted to articulate her wisdom. In brief, she speaks to me of life. I pray that I will honor her and listen to more of what she has to say over time.

I would love to know what she speaks to you and how you would respond to the statement: “If this were my card...”

Friday, January 4, 2008

friday's fancy

Today being Friday, it somehow seems appropriate to post a brief synopsis of what I have “created” this week. I have decided to christen it "friday's fancy." Who knows…this may become a regular feature for me to keep track of my endeavors for the year…or not. I guess, I’ll just have to see which way the creative winds blow ☺. This week I...

1) Designed and launched lucy creates!!!
2) Created a welcoming space for friends to begin the year 2008.
3) Spent a full day dreaming and brainstorming with blogging pals, C & A.
4) Downloaded and viewed my pictures from Christmas vacation in Bermuda. (If you look closely at this one, you'll see a baby chameleon ☺.)
5) Signed up for An Introduction to Collage here. It begins on January 24.
6) Made plans to attend a Soul Collage workshop tomorrow.
7) Kept two blogs operational, read & commented on many others.
8) Took a walk in the rain and snapped a few photos along the way.

I imagine I could 'creatively' extend this list, but I am happy with it for today. It has been a good week and a great beginning to the new year! I’d love to know what creativity looked like for you this week ☺!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

creative thoughts

So, if I awaken thinking of creativity, I am making something in my mind.

I have caused something to happen as a result of deliberately acknowledging creativity. I may think thoughts without this deliberate act and the creation—the imagination—may skip by unnoticed and thus I have missed the opportunity. But, by bringing the thought more fully into existence—by listening to the words in my head or watching the colors of the landscape or by consciously hearing the symphony of nature—I have created something new and unique—no matter how brief—if only in my mind. They were thoughts and images that did not exist until I gave them the space and opportunity to be acknowledged and to come into existence.

...and that's my creative thought of the day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

welcoming space

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." Carl Jung

The word ‘welcome’ rings in my ears. Welcome the New Year. Welcome creativity. Welcome old & new friends. Welcome the stranger on the street. Welcome wholeness. Life. Rain & sunshine. Warmth & cold. Open your arms and welcome the world. Do your little part to co-create.

Co-create—for I do not do anything alone and it is not a puppeteer God who pulls the strings and says, “Do this or do that.” It is fully me and yet it is bigger than me—this wholeness of which I speak.

With the face of another, we create ‘welcome.’ One offers. One receives. The circle broadens. Preparing space. Setting the mood. Cleaning the house. Preparing the food. Lighting the candles. Pouring the wine. Breaking the bread. Welcoming friends. Welcoming conversation. Welcoming the New Year. Creating space to be together. To create conversation. Relationship. Renewal. Something that did not exist before.

Welcoming creativity in old & new ways this New Year.

This post is dedicated to A & C…I hope you recognize your part in this creation ☺.

photo by lucy

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

welcome

Welcome to lucy creates 2008!

“To create” has been defined as bringing something into existence or causing something to happen as a result of one’s actions. To be “creative” involves the imagination and/or original ideas. And, “ the creator” is a person or thing that brings something into existence.

There is a great quote by Carl Sagan that says, “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” Well, “creating the universe” is a high standard to uphold, but I believe being original is fully within our grasp. So on this new and hopefully wonderful blog site dedicated to creativity, I will use the terms “create,” “creative” and “creator” quite loosely & broadly!


Here I hope to create space. To offer an invitation to witness something we may not have recognized before. To freeze moments of time. Clear a brief space out of a busy schedule. Use the imagination. Consider the possibilities.

I would pose that we are all creative. Creators made in the image of a magnificent Creator unique to each of us. We are co-creators. My distinctive life influences what I bring to the page or the easel or the kitchen, as does yours. So let us create—bring into existence new thoughts, words, deeds, and art (from our own unique perspective, of course). For the New Year of 2008, I am committing to at least be aware of the possibility of creation every day.

Pretty cool, huh? Dreaming dreams, playing with words, splashing a little paint here and there. Listening to the call of the great Creator. Will you choose to allow it to happen? Will you set aside your predefined notions of what being creative means? I am excited for this venture. I have broadened my scope and alleviated the pressure. I am simply creating space to be creative. Will you join me? Imagine the possibilities!

photo by lucy