Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So here's a little mischief of an artistic and harmless variety which my friend Diane Cook invited me to participate in. Our splendid Visual Poetry teacher, Susan Tuttle, and her likewise talented friend, Chrysti Hydek, have begun a collaborative art challenge for each other which they then opened up for all of us (do take a look). They are creating bi-weekly prompts (every other Wednesday) like this first one that you can see here. Visit Chrysti's blog to see their second.
So here's how it worked, Diane sent me "Emerge: Beyond" to which I contributed the hanging squash and squash blossom, and I sent her "Emerge: Now" to which she contributed the spider web.
I love this. I can't wait to see the second prompt and what everyone comes up with! Visit Susan and Chrysti's blogs and see who else is playing and get inspired. (Emerge Now!)
Monday, October 26, 2009
My second good thing is Clarissa Pinkola Estés who is being inspiring in a very hopeful way just lately. Over at Sounds True, she's giving an on-line workshop, a kind of story-telling event which is unfolding around a virtual camp fire on Wednesday evenings. Lovely! Have you ever felt that as an artist you are often at odds with the dominant culture, that many of the values held by the dominant culture seem slightly irrelevant and even mind numbing? Well Clarissa Pinkola Estés has many words of comfort and encouragement. She believes that cultures need their artists to be there at the edge exploring new ideas and new ways of doing things, that without us doing just that, the culture will die. We shouldn't feel alone though, she suggests, because we actually belong to a very large tribe. (I imagine our culture as being a bit like an amoeba with us artists play at the edges. Being at the forefront like that we are unable to get a proper sense of the numbers in our tribe.) Well, sitting around this virtual camp fire at Sounds True on Wednesday nights has certainly made me very glad to be a part of this exciting and creative tribe!
My third good thing is the Mixed Media Art group, another great source for art challenges! I was a part of the Scavenger Hunt Challenge, we sent and received little bits of found stuff, and we were to find our own bits as well. The final piece came together seemingly all by itself. Here it is, Rust and Lace.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Unless it's art! Try combining the two and see what happens. Create a yahoo group for your art making buddies or join one of the many art exchange groups available on the internet! There's a lot of healing going on out there!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Digital collage of child in Prospect with Susan Tuttle's visual manipulation techniques.
One of the links I've been looking at for this idea of life manipulation is the UrbanMonk.Net website. The Oct. 10 posting is wonderful. I've always wondered why it is we can get so hooked into negative feelings about others against our own will and certainly against our better judgment. The urban monk has discovered the reason. There was a man who took up a lot of his mental space, he thought, because the man had persuaded him to do some free design work for him, and then proceeded to criticize him in a verbally abusive manner for this free work that had taken hours to do. The urban monk hated this man, constantly relived the abuse, and fantasized about revenge.
But he felt it made no sense. Others had done worse, and yet he was not stuck in this way by them. Why did he get stuck in his hatred for this man? After a lot of work over several years the urban monk was feeling a little relief, but still there were a lot of negative feelings remaining. The actual answer to the mystery was quite simple. He felt his hatred was actually inauthentic – the real hatred he had felt for this man had been healed a long time ago; what remained was a cover for a layer of hidden feelings underneath.
What the monk really had to heal was his own feeling of worthlessness. These thoughts had actually come into his head, but he found them too painful so he projected them onto the abusive man and proceeded to keep the hatred alive so that he wouldn't see that the feelings were coming from within himself. Brilliant! The trouble with this is that we become imprisoned in our negative feelings, we are trapped, unable to release the real feelings because we can't see them for all the bluster of the false,projected, negative feelings.
The urban monk has some good suggestions for further reading, and for my part, I'm going to play with some metaphoric layered photoshop imagery and see if I can't turn this idea into art.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Last year, researchers studied 34 students at the University of Virginia, taking them to the base of a steep hill and fitting them with a weighted backpack. They were then asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some participants stood next to friends during the exercise, while others were alone.
The students who stood with friends gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.
This idea about friendship making the "steepness of the hill" easier to bear is a wonderful idea. And the best part about this is that being a good friend has nothing to do with our social status, our education, or our abilities. We can all be good friends to each other, and make those uncertain and difficult roads a little easier. So over at 14 Secrets we're playing with an idea of an art swap based on this research but mean while we're playing with these questions:
1. What would you share with friends to make their climb easier?
2. What would you like folks to know about things you enjoy that would make YOUR climb easier?
For some of our answers please check our blog. The difficult journey has miraculously turned into a colorful celebration of the traveling band of gypsy artists! What a wonderful group of friends!