Collage by Lani, with elements from Gale Blair's Paper WhimsyMy first good thing is Gale Blair's blog. Gale owns Paper Whimsy, the most amazing source of collage material, but on her blog you will find blog challenges! She provides a photographic element for you to play with and then you post the results on your own blog. The above image is for her blog challenge. I'm filled with a sense of hope and joy when I look at it. Positive psychology at work here!
Positive psychologists suggest that if we are feeling slightly blue, that we should think of 3 good things. This may sound a bit like poor Pollyanna (the most misunderstood heroine of our culture) but the rational is that our minds often get locked into very negative cycles and we need to take drastic measures to unlock them. So thinking about, listing, or naming 3 good things is one way to unlock our minds. Now I'm not particularly blue but I have to admit I'm not feeling particularly jazzed up about the darkening days, impending snow and ice, and cold winds that are beginning to blow through Nova Scotia. So I thought it would be a good idea to practice a little bit of positive psychology and let you know about 3 good things that you can enjoy as well!
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.