Saturday, March 29, 2008

Continuing to prepare for ArtFest

And continuing to be distracted with Photoshop. What fun.

So here's why I like ArtFest. The first reason is it's an amazing thing to give yourself a gift of time to learn new ways of doing things, particularly if they are related to making art. If making art is one of the things you love, but feel somehow that you should be doing something else more "serious" with your time, then doing an art retreat for yourself is perfect. You realize that your everyday world seems to get along without you, and that things don't fall apart because you aren't there to pick up after everyone. This is a delightful thing to learn. It's also a learning that you can use during the year.

Another reason I like ArtFest is that you can meet so many people who adore all things artistically altered as much as you do. It's very reassuring. So many good people in the world doing such wonderful things. Just keep your eyes open and be amazed!

Another reason I like ArtFest is that everyone is so generous, from Teesha and Tracy Moore and their extended family all helping out, to all the great teachers there and of course all the new best buddies you discover where ever you go. What a blast!

And there's the art asylum, where folks from the left coast unload stuff from their art rooms. Anybody can contribute to the asylum, but it's the left coasters that can drive with a full car. So the newbies (they are called vestal virgin's) come in and are amazed by mountains of stuff and so many tables to work on, you can always find a corner to work quietly or a group of folks trying out some new technique they just learned. This is definitely a cool place to explore.

Another great thing is it's on the left coast where the coffee is amazing!

But if I were to boil it down to what I took home with me last year, it was that there's a tremendous value in taking time for your inner artist. If you are careful and keep your eyes and ears open, you may just meet a most astonishing person, yourself! And that's what I liked so much about ArtFest!

So back to packing for now.

Friday, March 28, 2008

What are you doing Saturday Night at 8 p.m.?

Do you know about Earth Hour?

On March 29, 2008 at 8 p.m., join millions of people around the world in making a statement about climate change by turning off your lights for Earth Hour, an event created by the World Wildlife Fund.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Preparing for ARTFEST!!!

Getting ready for my second year at ArtFest! All my little charms and moo cards are in their bags, my metal objects are ready to go for Michael DeMeng's class, and I've got book boards and ephemera for L K Ludwig and Nina Bagley's classes. At some point the excitement becomes dizzying. Distractions rise up so I start packing and collecting what I need and then I have to finish something else (like the pink crown for 14 Secrets)and of course the cats want to help with everything but most especially with fluffy pink stuff and Edward whats to know about my bookkeeping practices right now (HA!), my photoshop upgrade to CS3, and so I need to stop and take a breath. "Just be with your breath," says Eckhart Tolle. "Am I still breathing?" I ask myself. "Give your mind a break!" says Eckhart. And my mind eases up.

Here's a suggestion from Eckhart, to help with the spinning, dizzying monkey mind activity (like when you are trying to pack for ArtFest while thinking about sixty other things you need to do all at once):

Try this outside in a quiet, natural setting. Sit with a rock, or watch some clouds, or watch water running over a stream bed. Ask yourself: Am I still breathing? What are the sounds around me? What do I see? What do I hear? What do I smell? What can I touch? Isn't that lovely? He says it can work with a flower or houseplant too. And Oprah described sitting under some trees with a quiet mind, just feeling the presence of the trees and herself with the trees.

Did I mention the distraction of the pink crown? Here it is and I promise it goes in the mail tomorrow:
Did I mention the distraction of Photoshop CS3? Here's the beginnings of a collage. I'll continue to play with layers and textures with this image and see what happens.

Adela, the one who has instigated my trip into all things flickr, photoshoped, layered, and textured, sent this wonderful poem from Sana Kaur.

A flickr inspired wish by Sana Kaur, Brampton, CANADA:

May the wondering never die
May I always marvel at the vastness of the sky
May the bewilderment always remain
Let the heart joy at every droplet of rain
May amazement keep its thrill forever
Let me have the zest to never pass an endeavour
To celebrate the plain joys of life
To smile and laugh with rife
May I never cease to admire
And never quit this passionate fire
Of inquiring into the complexity of the simply beautiful things
Let everything in this world inspire
Me to be ever so new to this world
Let this earth, its people leave me beguiled
May I always have the eyes of a child.

Thank you Adela! I am beguiled!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

I couldn't find any Easter eggs on our walk this morning so I had to make one. Happy Easter! It's a beautiful but very cold day in Prospect.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Playing With Layers

is a great pal to have! She sent me on an amazing visual adventure! So here's the little slide show results, just the beginning of playing with layers and textures. If you look at her images "textures for layers" you will see one called gauze. Now I'd imagined that wouldn't be too hard to create with my own color preferences and shapes... Un-huh! I've been playing for days now and I can't do it, yet. However I've been exploring flickr's wonderful groups of images. I got totally lost. So here are a few links for you to get lost in for a little while. Better set a timer!
Oh my word, I say!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A New Earth, A New Freedom

During a trip to the gulf coast of Mississippi after Katrina, I met a physician who had lost everything in the hurricane. Katrina had destroyed all his possessions, his home, cars, community - everything. I asked him how he survived. He was reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” at the time and he felt that it saved his life, teaching him that this loss of everything he thought he was (all his stuff) was really a radical new kind of freedom. He felt Tolle really helped him to understand that the ego’s clinging to stuff is really quite unnecessary. I’d heard of Tolle but only started reading his work after meeting with this physician. And he’s right. There’s a very real possibility to touch this freedom if you read the book.

Now Oprah’s “A New Earth” class is amazing. You can watch it live, while Oprah and Eckhart discuss the book in terms of real life questions that from class participants and from Oprah. Eckhart answers them all so easily. It’s like having the book come to life! Although I can’t stay up that late AND think at the same time, I find the watching the class the day after to be excellent.

If you are interested in joining the class,don’t worry don’t worry about what you missed, all the classes are kept on line so feel free to sign up today.

Here’s a clip for you from the first class.

On Oprah's website in the section for this class, you can meet Kim Eng who is Eckhart's partner. She's got a blog there that she writes after every class which is a delightful bonus.

Another amazing aspect to the class is the workbook concept. There are very thoughtful questions that appear each week for each chapter, so as you go along, reading your chapters and reading your questions, you can think about the material all week. Very helpful.

There is also a section of exercises to practice while you are taking this class and I'm assuming they will be helpful long after I've put the book down.

Join me over at Opra's if you can make it!

Friday, March 07, 2008

More for the sisters...

Sometimes if you're feeling blue, there's only one thing that helps and that's a few good tunes. This one is for all of us.

This one is for Lois.

And this one is for Lucia.

Lore sent me "On Children"
from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”
And he said:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

This must be true for parents too, their souls dwell elsewhere, we cannot visit...
Thank you Lore!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

For my sisters...

Because we are sad tonight... Remembering our father, Theodore Fonda Cole, 1923-2008.
Thank you, Ellen, for the angel and Lore for this Irish Blessing which I altered slightly:

My wish for us is:
that we might be brave in times of trial,
when others lay crosses upon our shoulders
when mountains must be climbed
and chasms are to be crossed
when hope scarce can shine through
that every gift God gave us
might grow along with us
And let us give the gift of joy
to all who care for us
that we may always have a friend
who is worth that name
whom we can trust
and who helps us in times of sadness
who will defy the storms of daily life at our side
One more wish I have for us:
That in every hour of joy and pain we may feel God close to us.

Sweet dreams, love you all!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

From SuziBluTube "Let Others Have Joy"

I just love SuziBlutube's little encouraging video's. In fact I would have loved to have her for an art teacher in primary school! Well maybe it's not too late to get some of that basic education, in fact it's probably a great idea! Love those puppets!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Some Fun and Links

Collage by Lani (background from Adela's textures for layers which she kindly shares under creative commons - Thank you Adela!!!)

Do you know about Thing-A-Day? This website is full of the creative efforts of artists and creators of all types and backgrounds who agreed to join in a collective creative sprint and create a thing-a-day. Everyone who signs up commits to making one thing (project, sketch, exercise) per day and shares it on this collective blog. They recommend that you should be spending an average of 20 minutes a day (which matches the psychoimmunologists recommendation for an adult daily requirement for creative time).

And if your creative juices need a little boost, there's something fun going on over at Paul Williams website. He's got an idea sandbox that you can dig in. He says if you are looking for a solution to a specific problem, go to his sand box and play. Click on the sandbox and you will find a suggestion. Try it or click again for another approach! Thank you Paul, very generous. If you want his not too frequent newsletter, it's really very clever, and won't fill up your in-box with annoyance.

So here's my background paper from Adela's textures for layers. Feel free to click on it, download, and play with it. And don't forget to show me what you do with it!

PS - Something jaihn reminded me, there's a free class going on over at Oprah's website! Oprah and Eckart Tolle are collaborating and working with his book A New Earth; Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. Read all about it on jaihn's blog and we'll see you there tonight!