make art. transform life.

thoughts about creativity and  art:   live your life as your work of art.

Behind The Scenes I Dared To Take The Challenge And Found Growth

I just had to reach out to you a quick note and some juicy fresh watercolors!

to touch base with you about the slight pause in my “seeking refuge” progress., what happened and how I am renegotiating my time and space to continue to work with this unexpected blessing.


 I had a special request from my hosts at Autentico,

to create a series of fresh fruits and veggie watercolors. They are so fresh and capture that delight when you see the summer harvest begin!  They are now up, so feel free to stop in, see them, and of course, they are available for purchase. Just contact me., here on Facebook or Instagram
I will continue the juicy watercolor series,  daily, in cadence my "seeking refuge" series.  for each
The juxtaposition of the two different mediums and subject matter surprisingly invites additional flexibility and creativity in my process and interpretation of each!

So I continue to work vigorously on

each project, using the large studio for oils in one part of the day and my smaller workspace for the smaller watercolor pieces. many times a sudden detour can open up new ways of thinking!

Thoughts, ideas, are always welcome! 

Warmly, 

Astonishing, how living in the now moment, simplifies life

 
 remember compassion  study       5' x 4"            pencil/ journal      beth vendryes williams

remember compassion  study       5' x 4"            pencil/ journal      beth vendryes williams

 

You would be amazed at how hard it was for me to pull myself together last week to balance creating with sharing my work, and all of my daily practices. I had been sick and exhausted and so had to allow myself a rest.

I was struggling to accomplish even the smallest thing, Everything was distracting me! I put one foot in front of the other, staying in the now moment. Eventually, I found this article about what to do each day to keep creating and sharing your work.. I put it into action.

 I remembered to keep it simple. And as my Dad used to say:

"As you travel on through life, brother, let this motto be your goal. Keep your eye upon the doughnut , and not upon the hole."       Optimist's Creed via  S. Keith Vendryes

In my case, the "doughnut" is first creating the work, documenting and sharing. Reviewing this list each day makes sure I stay on track and consistent.

  • Journal/sketch
  • Create art
  • Meet & record contacts
  • Do routine photoshoots, each upon completion of a body of work
  • Organize artist statement, bio, CV, press/ cloud-accessible
  • Create collections, categorize-type/subject/genre - send out
  • Research/document exhibits, residencies, grants past/future
  • Follow up on invoiced and customers.
  • Share inventory list with five potential outlets
  •  Update online presence with news, posts, social
  • Choose to view shows, openings, exhibits. Schedule.

The next step is to continue organizing my space. 
Knowing where to find my supplies and art labeling and updating contacts helps me to work more quickly and with greater focus. 

As life changes daily, these little guidelines serve as guideposts to refer to when I lose my way. What do you do to keep yourself on track? I am thrilled to hear suggestions that really work for you!

 

Notebook - 20150819_170041 - 60.jpg
 
 

When you see what happens when you "image" or reflect, you will find rich depth in your life.

Image.

 Journal image from the sheridan farm, , edited to add a..... reflection!  !  2017   beth vendryes williams

Journal image from the sheridan farm, , edited to add a..... reflection!  !  2017   beth vendryes williams

When you conceive of something in your mind, you are creating some  new possibilities !

 What channel of “seeing” are you using? I always thought of it as a visual image, but I was speaking with my friend, Peggy the other day, and since she has never had the sense of sight, I asked her how she visualizes or images things. She described remembering experiences of holding animals and remembering experiences by touch. 

You will have a greater understanding of a story you’ve read, experienced or viewed. You remember and review that memory and interpret it in a way only you can. I 

I also remember the intense fragrance of a small Italian store in little Italy, and the scents of Parmesan cheese and smoked sausages.       I never fail to retrieve memories of being carried in the arms of a loving Auntie Jo when I was two,. Tthe visual images of those delicious treats suspended from the ceiling are amazingly preserved in my mind!

 When the fragrance wafting by is from a gardenia plant, I visualize my Sicilian grandmother, Marianna who loved and nurtured them...and me! I found refuge in her arms, and have painted my memories of her.

Beethoven remembered music in his head

which enabled him to continue to compose long after he became severely deaf.
Musicians, athletes and dancer’s image body movements to remember their craft!

Why is it important?
If you can begin to image it, you can create it.

That image, sound, touch, smell, dimensional quality gives you the impetus to move forward, providing motivation and expanding the richness of your everyday life experience.

 Writers, scientists, mathematicians, architects, dancers, musicians, politicians, parents, teachers doctors, as well as artists begin with an image of what inspires them. You can image with a visual trigger, but also with tactile, hearing, movement, smell, talking to yourself, any sense!

How do you improve your ability to “image”?

You can improve your ability to image by practicing accessing it daily. Practice reading out loud, looking for creative metaphors that allow you to create visuals as you read. Understand with which senses you naturally tend image.
Play at imaging to strengthen your ability to deepen your memories and recognize connections. 
Make things. Pay attention to images that form when you listen to music. Write, draw, paint and bake those cookies your grandmother. of course, tasting them is a just another way of imaging

Let me know what you discover!

How keeping a journal focuses your life vision

 
 
 Fred's kitchen 2015/8, Journal    watercolor & pencil, beth vendryes williams

Fred's kitchen 2015/8, Journal    watercolor & pencil, beth vendryes williams

I think journalling found me.

Actually, I really liked the idea of drawing pictures in between writing, as it seemed to capture the essence of the moment better. I don’t remember ever having a rule about writing in my journal every day. And I felt no compunction to limit my page use if I had a particularly impressive, or failing day.

There has been some research done on the surprising value of making notes about your life in a dedicated way. The process of journaling benefits creativity as well as achieving your goals and strengthening your emotional resilience, according to 10 surprising benefits you will get from keeping a journal. To improve your health follow the tips in   "Why journaling is good for your health"

 Have you ever wanted to remember those shiny moments in between the ordinary chores, when you had tiny bits of inspiration?                                   beth vendryes williams

 

Me too! And how many journals did I fill?

  And a few months ago I reached up to clear out my journal shelf so we could renovate part of our home. Well, I thought I had about 40 journals , but I actually had about 130!  I cannot believe I wrote and drew that persistently…. but I did.

 

What to do with a journal? 

Having a treasure of reflections and memories can give you a perspective on your life. In my series of drawings and paintings and writings i now recognize repeating themes in my life and concurrently, in my artwork.  Journaling can give you a broader perspective on the each day. You will have a greater understanding of the moods and seasons of your life. You can plumb the depths of your journals to bring greater richness to the art of your masterpiece, your life.

Very exciting!

In my case, they have become a point of reference for reflecting on and transforming my life!

What could happen if you kept a record of your thoughts about your life with drawings or writing, photographs or  letters?
If you have ever kept a journal, what did you like about it? Did you stop finding time for it?

 

Let me know your thoughts in comments below, twitter or facebook .

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter which includes links to my most recent blogpost.

 

explore ripples of time, impressed in rocks... by water

Last week my family and I an hiked an extremely steep the 2.5 mile trail through the gorge at Watkins Glen near Ithaca, New York and followed it up two days later with a very rocky 5 mile hike through the Robert H. Tremain State Park. While hiking I found some time to draw, but not nearly enough to satisfy me, since I spent most of my time trying to keep up with my sons & friends and move faster than the thunderstorms. Apparently I need to upgrade my exercise routines!

Has this ever happened to you? No time to bask in the beauty of the environment because you were too busy beating traffic, avoiding bad weather, performing everyday survival tasks, meeting everyday needs?

My experience while hiking in Ithaca, may give you some ideas about how to savor  a unique and profound moment and then build on that memory. You can notice it, wonder,  allow it to motivate you to deepen your understanding beyond the surface.

While on both hikes, I observed the patterns of ripples in the water that were  duplicated in the sand and again, replicated in the rocks. It made me wonder how long it took for the ripples in the water to transpose themselves into the sand and rock. After doing some reading,I discovered that the water created patterns in the sand that were eventually transformed into rocks of alternating shale and sandstone. This began to occur in the Devonian period, 360 million years ago. Really? I am having trouble imagining that long ago! Glaciers cut through this layered rock. The splits in the rock or ‘gorge” are caused by streams that were cut off and needed to find new ways through the rock!

This makes me think about the power of time, and how, with enough time, water can slowly transform rock and even an entire landscape. I make this analogy. If the persistence of water can be so strong to shape and cut through rocks, then by applying this principle of  consistent intent in just living we can break through and transform relationships, habits and creative blocks will create a path towards your goal.And so I focus on my goal to visually represent the process of the patterns created over time.

Paying close attention to how transformation that occurs in nature can help you to transform paths in your life! When traveling through everyday life:

  • OBSERVE your environment carefully.
  • NOTICE patterns.
  • Allow yourself to IMAGINE
  •  MAKE AN ANALOGY between this physical beauty and your everyday life.
  • SYNTHESIZE by asking questions and make connections.

Oh yes, and please let me know about a time you gently persisted in your chosen path and then transformed your day, week or life,  as the water has. I absolutely love sharing this and even more, I look forward to your thoughts and ideas!

This makes me think about the power of time, and how, with enough time, water can slowly transform rock and even an entire landscape. I make this analogy. If the persistence of water can be so strong to shape and cut through rocks, then by applying this principle of consistent intent in just living we can break through and transform relationships, habits and creative blocks will create a path towards your goal.And so I focus on my goal to visually represent the process of the patterns created over time.
— beth vendryes williams
 

Don't worry. Be happy. Free to create on vacation!!

 oyster bay beach          09       oil          beth vendryes williams

oyster bay beach          09       oil          beth vendryes williams

Pulling into the long driveway of the refurbished farmhouse  in Ithaca New York, my husband and I eagerly look forward to the week to come. Our sons and friends will meet us here to relax  together. We put aside our work to make time for Scrabble games with Grandma, volleyball, croquet, hiking, and sharing stories with each other.

I am so happy to be together with everyone and I am also focused on continuing my daily creative habits throughout vacation. Vacations relieve stress and reenergize. They rejuvenate physical, spiritual, and mental health. However, they can often be perceived as an interruption in the progress of creative development.

Using the approach below, I have found a way for the “vacation state of mind” to actually jumpstart creative thinking.

  • I write a little each day in-between family activities to reflect on my passion and why I create.
  • I sketch or write down my observations of my new environment, imagining how perception is transformed by actively seeing.
  •  I delight in the creative understanding nurtured by a change of scenery and new conversations.

Using these habits, your vacation can also be used as a platform to further enrich your creative development and relationships as you share your fresh insights.

Qh yes, I absolutely  want to hear of any other creative ideas you use to expand your own creative thinking while on vacation!

How to leap into your next awesome big idea

 editing in the afternoon     0791                   watercolor & beeswax             20" x 30"  beth vendryes williams

editing in the afternoon     0791                   watercolor & beeswax             20" x 30"  beth vendryes williams

I will plan a structure for the day, so I have dedicated time to allow my imagination to follow its course, eat, exercise, nurture relationships, take care of my home environment and read.

The structure is not carved in stone, but is a flexible net which can catch me if I start to get distracted.

Then I will take action...drawing and painting as a way of discovering my next direction, allowing the action of creating to discover where I am heading.

If you try this, l would love to hear how it works for you! If you have other ways of jumpstarting yourself after a period of great exertion, p;ease share that! I would love to try different approaches!

The party is over, so what do I do next?

 

If you have ever had that ungrounded feeling, you know it encompasses both a sense of freedom and inertia. Try this next time you get into this tetherless situation. Below is my breakdown of what I try to do

I am up early sitting quietly and yet distracted by the lists of things I feel I have to accomplish and would like to experience,    I feel lured  by the call of the internet and the sight of little tumbleweeds of dog fur scooting under furniture in my house.

I meditate, accessing my deepest spirit self, asking for help from within, at the core of who I am.

Next I take care of my body, making sure I am getting the right food, sleep and exercise.

 

The structure is not carved in stone, but is a flexible net which can catch me if I start to get distracted.

4 Ways to Transform Your Vision on Life’s Journey

 beth vendryes williams

beth vendryes williams

I am awestruck that life has surprised me yet again! 

The remarkable thing is that

I knew in high school that the marks I created on paper revealed the invisible parts of me.

Through college and then graduate school at the University of Iowa, I honed my 

skills, pursuing the vocation of making art the rest of my life.

And I have! 

 Amid caring for three little rapscallion sons, changing diapers, and

working at Ikea and teaching, I painted and drew my children and even painted freshly 

washed laundry. I was awed by the beauty in the haphazardness, shadows,  

and light that bright little faces and just washed laundry. And now after not being

able to exhibit for a shone from few years, I am having an Open Studio this weekend.

Was it in the way I expected? No, not at all! 

What about your life? 

Do you remember your initial vision of your life? Has it grown and transformed as you have?

Can you continue to find inspiration in the spaces and moments between the daily demands of life?

A few things I’ve learned about living my vision and what you can do to transform yours:

  1. Define your vision and then let it grow with you
  2. When difficulties throw you off course, explore the new path and reset your route, but be sure to retain your vision's essence
  3. Remember that the way your vision plays out will always be different from what you imagined
  4. Life, art, and work are a process, not a destination

This weekend, as I observe the results of my latest work, I am grateful to have this chance to reflect and to share my work through my Open Studio.

I will be posting online the work exhibiting at my

Open Studio

, so you can all see where I am in my journey!

Where are you in your journey? Where would you like to be?

Can teaching be a "work of art"?

 
 
 8" x 8" oil    beth vendryes williams

8" x 8" oil    beth vendryes williams

What makes teaching a collaborative work of art?...I recently taught art for many years at a school with  outstanding professionals who are passionate about teaching and children!  

We worked side by side, dedicated to  giving the children the  tools of literacy in all fields  and a deep  desire to learn to the best of their ability.  I honor and thank these teachers for being artists using the tools and skills of education to create classrooms that are bursting with creative thinkers !

Each year my students worked within the outdoor courtyard. It was surrounded by the huge windows of the building. The courtyard experience gave us all the opportunity to use our  creative thinking skills.  Defined by Michelle and Robert Root-Bernstein, who are scientists, creative thinking involves  the skills used by scientists, artists and those who have new ideas and  explore them. They are defined below, so  read on to discovery how creative thinking occurs when closing to make art. In our school they  are  organically integrated into this  school's curriculum.

Art is a way of looking at or doing things,

no matter which medium or substance you choose to use.

When you observe the world (like the courtyard,) with fresh eyes, it triggers within you a sense of wonderment...

as when you see the trees reaching into the sky while lying on your back or watch  a bird fly by,effortlessly.

If you can choose your tools of art from the places, people and moments each day,

then you can exercise your imagination. You are able to find the essence of what you see and abstract or edit the essential parts of it.  You start to recognize patternsaround you which helps you to see that all things are connected. Patterns abound in the flowers, birds, tree branches , leaves and even blades of grass!

Which brings me to the skill of making analogies.

How freeing it is to think of the courtyard as a microcosm of the world, and how we all need to work together to keep bunnies alive, make sure the birds get enough food and share our own earth responsibly. When you sit to draw, your body can sense when someone is behind you.This ability to body think allows you to place yourself in the best position for drawing, moving, playing and understanding instinctively how other people and objects exist  in relation to you.

You feel empathy and offer help

when you see others who are struggling with problems  and you rejoice with them when they are happy. Thinking in dimensions, or choosing the perspective from which you personally see the courtyard, is an important way to honor and accept your own point of view. You can model by making things larger or smaller than they really are so you can understand them better.

By playing

with your pencil and paints, you will be more carefree,  taking chances and, no doubt,

transform mistakes into opportunities!

Finally by combining or synthesizing your different ways of seeing, sensing, remembering, moving, knowing  and making connections, you will understand more deeply how we all are connected. I learned to articulate this way of looking,  from teaching in a school culture with  teachers who consistently teach encouraging  these skills.

Thank you to all who shared your art of teaching with me and the students at Searingtown School!

Do you think creativity is important in education?  I'd love to hear what you have to say .. just add your comment below! 

 

Thoughts to ponder...uncertainty

IMG_8240 - 2013-06-26 at 05-01-42Uncertainty is where things happen.

072270-grunge-icon-alphanumeric-quote-open1It is where the

opportunities 

for success, for happiness, for really living

— are waiting.

by Oliver Burkeman

What do you find happens to your perception when you are uncertain? I begin to get nervous and stop believing in my ability to create.       BUT,  if I am able to let go of trying to control the results, I am suddenly free to imagine and discover new ways to accomplish something. So, what about YOU?  

What if you try but fall short of the goal?

gardens: energetic Ah yes!

Early this morning, a very thoughtful friend inquired about my 30 day challenge... the 30 paintings in 30 days that wrote about a few posts ago.

"Did you actually finish 30 paintings?", she asked? I realized I never addressed the final outcome on this blog!  So thank you my dear friend, for asking.

So for those of you who were rooting for me.....NO, although I  did finish  7 paintings.

I am disappointed that I didn't get them all done and am happy with the series of 7 that I created.

I am also invigorated by the experience of carving out the time on a regular basis to paint in oil in a limited format.

It was a challenge that I don't regret because learned a lot from the experience. Pushing myself to produce the work has yielded a fresh and deep look at the ever-changing garden in our backyard. To see them all, take a look at my latest post fresh art post at my portfolio site and at the 30 in 30 post listed under fresh new  art blog!

Now 3 of them are for sale at the Oyster Bay Frame Shop right in time for the holidays.

I'd love to hear what you think.

How do you handle changing goals when you have not met them?

 

 

 

 

why I draw...and how it can transform your life

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Putting a pencil to a pure white piece of paper has always been exciting and challenging at the same time.I can start and end anywhere. There is no one right way to make a mark.

Drawing makes who I am inside,  visible on a surface.

I take time to reflect, to observe my interior, to connect with my surroundings.

It is centering for me.

You can do this too!

How to start drawing..

  • Get a blank journal. A Moleskine is well crafted and a nice surface. If you prefer a wire binding, just get a substantial feeling paper surface and sturdy wire. Thai way, when you carry it in your back pack, briefcase or hand bag, it will stay together. Size is totally what feels practical and comfortable to you!
  • In fact,you can even use a tablet or iPad with a program such as Penultimate or Paper 54. For these you may use your finger or a stylus.
  • Have your favorite pen or pencil at hand.
  • Draw what you see or remember in your mind's eye.

Or draw lines tat interest you. Or shapes

Perhaps write words to describe them...

Or not.

As with any healthy good habit, the practice of drawing, every day

allows you to observe and reflect on the world around and within you,

bringing inspiring connections

and quiet energy and joy at just being.

 

It is in this 30 minutes of active reflection that you will find your life transforming into the best of who you are. Interested in trying this simple habit?

Then subscribe to my blog and draw along with meI I will be posting once a week.....and I can't wait to share my passion for mark making with YOU!  Oh and please post your questions and thoughts in comments!  I will be sharing my drawings.

 

 

Create like a marathon runner!

  photo (1)

New-york-city-marathon-e1377962619965

New York City was bursting with cheering, support and goodwill today. All of us in the crowds were rooting for each runner to finish. Determination was evident in each runner’s stride and face. I knew they would make it. Oh how inspiring it was to see so much camaraderie and strength of spirit! Participating in this amazing achievement requires not just physical strength but balance in other areas of life as well. Surely you need to have good form and running shoes. You also need to care for your body and get plenty of sleep. Months of regular discipline and practice culminate in the marathon. Eating the right foods is key and of course, drinking plenty of water. Most importantly, working with supportive partners who listen and inspire can help to keep you on track. And so it goes, also, with sustained creative work. Producing a series of art pieces that result in a strong body of work requires a similar practice to preparation for a marathon. It is a balance of physical strength and health, strong spirit, determination, knowledge of your best working practice and a good support network.

So if you ran a marathon today, congratulations!!

If you are not a runner but would like to create more and better work, a "creative marathon" -   don’t ignore the impulse! Follow the routines that help to make a runner strong. Make a goal of creating something each day. Keep a life balance. Keep in touch with friends that support your efforts!

Take the first step and subscribe to this blog.

Click here or on Kathy's photo above to discover her motivation  that keeps her running running....

And I would love to hear how you motivate yourself to accomplish your creative goals!

Oh yeah... A 30 day challenge!

I am thrilled to be beginning this challenge offered by Artist Leslie Saeta . Three hundred artists are participating! When I first saw this, I was afraid it would be too much at this time of year. Then I sat down and asked myself when would be a good time?

The answer? Painting every day is my meditation. Why not commit to it now? persistence, being consistent are keys to creating great art!

I have been sketching and painting the garden all summer and will be painting small in oil.

Can't wait to start the process this morning when I get up and plan my day.

Check back! I am starting a new page in my portfolio  blog to which I will be  adding a painting each day. You can also go to Leslie's site above to see 300 other paintings each day!

Create your life both on & off the canvas…like Eric Fischl

Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas  by Eric Fischl  and Michael Stone Well, I certainly wasn't prepared for the self introspection inspired by this book when I decided to read book “Bad Boy: My life on and off the canvas”, by Eric Fischl this summer. I chose to read it on the recommendation of Alyson Stanfield from ArtBiz, I should have known it was powerful because she has a passion for helping artists taking action at believing in the sustainablity of their own creativity. Thank you, Alyson!


The book is well written and hard to put down. Eric writes about his life and how it expressed itself in his paintings. His honesty about both is clearly expressed and revealing. It was helpful for me to draw inspiration from his courage and persistence in the face of much adversity as he was growing up. It was also instructive for me to see how he continued to allow his work to be dictated by his intuitions, regardless of whether it was acceptable. He put his inner voice first and let it lead him.

He was fortunate to nurture some truly honest, supportive friends who support him, especially his wife, April Gornik, the esteemed American artist.If you are reading this blog, you are interested in how to access the creative process. The way Eric perseveres in his lifelong attempt to discover meaning from his life and transform it is truly inspiring! 
Reading his life and art story, will help you to see the artist in yourself and encourage you to listen to it, nurturing the creative abilities within YOU. I know it has done that for me.I will leave you with a link to Eric's interview with Alec Baldwin, which summarizes much of the book very well.

Be sure to let me know here what you think of the book and what part of it or of this blog has helped you to trust your creative instincts!!!!

How safe are you from losing your creativity?

Let's take a good look at the amount of time dedicated to coming up with new ideas,sometimes by simply giving myself a moment to be still and listen. Being creative is a way of thinking, not just for painters and sculptors, but for any person who is making a mark on the world we live in.

If you are like me, time is increasingly sifting through my fingers as I ace to keep up with scheduled events. impetus to act is increasingly directed to me from outside of me, so little time is available for acting and thinking from within. My studio time is my time to "make things", is in danger of being chipped away! I'm not only talking about making a painting, but about any time I need to make something creative with my hands, like sewing, making that delicious new salad (or cookie!), writing a note by hand to a friend, knitting, taking a walk just tho think, reading a book...just add your own favorite use of time.

It takes great effort to fit time in for creativity today. And yet it is truly essential to our survival. Being creative

"make or cause something to become; to bring into existence.

In order to create new things, we must learn all we can by first, observing. Strengthen your observation by paying close attention to what you see, smell , taste, hear and touch or intuit or "feel in the pit of your stomach". Then reduce that observation or abstract it down to its simplest and most crucial elements. Working on new ideas begins with these two actions, according to research by Robert and Michele Root Bernstein in their book called "Sparks of Genius".

This thinking tool is incredibly important in any field or stage of life, wouldn't you agree? You can make an investment in your creative output at no cost, right now!

Let me share two simple ways to begin to make room for expanding your ability to create what you imagine.:

1 Decide what you want to create. 2 Find the best time available for that project 3 Finally, Choose a place to work.

Try this with one small thing you would like to initiate! I would love to hear how it works and if you discover other ways of discovering ang expanding the creative impulse in your life.

For instance, I love to read in the late afternoon,before I prepare dinner. I prefer painting in the early morning and drawing wherever I am in my sketchbook. I like to write in the evening as well, or in the early morning. Taking a walk is crucial for stirring up ideas when I can't seem to find a solution to a problem.

Be creative about losing an hour

Art making is not as idyllic as it may appear. Sure, you are your own boss, but ordinary life interferes.There is always something more impending to do.

Like what, you ask? Well, first of all, family, job, daily necessities, all require energy and time. Without balancing basic needs such as hugs, communication, making good nutritious food, exercise and a good night’s sleep and cleaning and organizing a house, a person wouldn’t be able to find their art supplies or his clothes.

I started to get a little suspicious of my intentions when I found myself searching for golden retriever fur tumbleweeds under my furniture and thinking about lining my shoes up differently. These are good cleaning practices. Not necessary to spend priority time on them though. I faced up to the fact that I could make better use of my time and was perhaps in need of a different approach.

There are only 24 hours in a day, right? I realize that for a while now, I have been having trouble achieving that very crucial balance between living life fully and making time to be creative. Understanding that time crunch is currently viral,, I scoured my bookcase and internet for suggestions...yes, I know... chewed up more time...!

How to make more time? I incorporate these changes and it seems to be helping: Think of life in the center with several different radiating threads representing whole areas of your life. The number is variable. I chose; A rt S piritual P hysical I ntellectual R elationships E nvironment R iches

Decide what needs to be done daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Prioritize my time. Limit my time for each item, including creative time. This sounds counterintuitive, but it works! Use an organizer to remind me of my goals. Either computer or paper will work. I use both. Allow for adjustments when needed.

Right now, my biggest problem is that in “springing ahead” to daylight savings time, we have lost an hour! looking at the bright side, we'll get it back in the fall. I’ve made time for writing and reviewing my blogs tomorrow after drawing and meditating!

Send your comments suggestions, aha moments my way. love to hear the way you balance the life.

How an unplanned storm can foster creativity

It’s Sunday eve on Long Island and we are anticipating the storm that has been traveling from the Caribbean up the coast. I checked with the older people and singles in my neighborhood to make sure that they had food and shelter. I made the run for groceries, nuts and fruits and water and we put away anything outside that could become a projectile in the fierce winds.

Now we am tucked in our home, hopefully safe and sound.

My mind begins to think of all of the things I could do with this unstructured time???

This is my list. I have done some, but not all. It is the process of exploring my options. Choosing is by its nature, creative, because it shapes who you are becoming and how you are getting there.

With electricity

Seed, cut and roast the fresh pie pumpkin that is waiting on my table Roast a whole chicken. Make pumpkin muffins Make chocolate chip cookies. Vacuum up the dog fur before we lose power. Take photos of the beautiful leaves that fell. Write this post on my computer. Make delicious leftovers with left chicken & the last Italian green beans from our garden. Check in with my strong and handsome sons in various east coast hurricane affected locations. Catch up with my two lovely sisters and feisty mom on the phone. Speak with my wonderful fiend, artist & mentor, Ben Frank Moss on the phone. Answer my cousin, Marie’s email from France, wondering if we are ok. Listening to Dave Matthews, Mumford & Sons and Jeff Buckley singing Halleluja

Without electricity

Meditate. OBSERVE the changes in atmosphere and the way things look Read Steve Jobs. Read Gerhardt Richter’s writings. Read an article in Image, journal of art, faith & mystery. Do yoga. Study my french verbs. Walk the dogs before the winds and rain get stronger. Sketch in my art journal. Draw interiors of the rooms in my house. Paint the interiors, as I meditate on rooms as physical symbols of how life is organized. Write a note to cousin Stephanie, also in France. Design my Christmas cards. Plan Thanksgiving dinner. IMAGINE myself participating in the great privilege of voting next week. Spend time just being with my dear one.

Can’t wait to hear how you decided to spend that valuable time!

Discover the creativity within you...

Waking up each day has always been a gift and an adventure for me! I find joy in the possibilities of the minutes and hours I have been given. Although each day brings with it changes and detours, the most amazing journeys that I never imagined reveal themselves. Like magic, I can change the day by changing my perspective. What was a deficit before can become an opportunity.

Being an artist, and practicing daily with pencils and paint has given me to the skills and courage to create with the material available to me each day. It can be as simple as finding something in a refrigerator or pantry that previously appeared uninspiring a moment before. Or it can be the incredible journey of creating a painting or discovering a solution to a problem that will change life for the better for many people.

Creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson recently spoke at a Zeitgeist Conference about the far reaching importance of creativity on education and on our future.