make art. transform life.

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

Simplify a moment to capture its essence

 sketch for finding refuge               ©beth vendryes williams

sketch for finding refuge               ©beth vendryes williams

At the beginning of his career, while a practicing artist, Berger drew his father in his coffin, he realized that, associated with each drawn line, he was also notating time with his pencil marks.

Drawing is a way to abstract or simplify an image to reveal its essence. When you draw, it can make time visible, revealing moments in your memory. Of course, drawing is always from memory because you need to remember what you see to draw it. Your hand is responding to how the head and heart interpret what the eye sees.

John Berger, who wrote the influential book “Ways of Seeing” died on January 2nd this year. He was an English art critic, novelist, painter, and poet. 
 
At the beginning of his career, while a practicing artist, Berger drew his father in his coffin, he realized that, associated with each drawn line, he was also notating time with his pencil marks.

  “each successive line on the page carries with it, its moment in time. A drawing is a summary of the acts of looking, and being with your subject. For Berger, the portrait offered “a door through which moments of a life” — his father’s — “could enter.” 

                                                                               beautifully written by Elisa Wouk Almino @


Think about that. Each mark can be a visceral,, visual response to what you see, remember and feel over time!   Making marks can communicate in a language that is universal.

Try it yourself. All it takes is a pencil and paper. You also need a nonjudgemental mind. Just rmake the marks.

Leave a comment on here or instagram , facebook, twitter below! Very exciting!

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.

 

How to find light in the darkness

 0910_waiting_char_fig_15©bvw.jpg

0910_waiting_char_fig_15©bvw.jpg

Then I begin to draw with an eraser to reveal the sparkling white shining through. From then on it is a dance, engaging black, gray and white, interacting with each other! Every mark I make changes the whole.
— beth vendryes williams

01.01.15 I am collecting my thoughts, reflecting on my incredible journey this year. Painting is my language, and now I am interpreting and responding to the world with visible gestural marks and colors. Now I see much darkness. Yes, physically, because it is near to the solstice, yet also spiritually because of the enormous suffering in our world. And emerging from this inkiness, I see beams of light. When I hear the beautiful music of Arvo Pärt when I see thoughtfulness in the subway, or encounter a very patient person, online or walking down the street, I am reminded that each person is a light. We are all in this world together.

So I thank you for shining your light! The darkness only makes your light more precious and visible.

When I create this charcoal drawing, I tone the paper deep gray and then draw into it with rich black charcoal, defining the darkest dense areas and joining small areas to create a connected form. Then I begin to draw with an eraser to reveal the sparkling white shining through. From then on it is a dance, engaging black, gray and white, interacting with each other! Every mark I make changes the whole.

So too, it is, with the darkness of night, when the moon and lights guide our way. Every change of light and shadow reveals another path of possibility and hope.

I just now found a very motivating and practical post that reframes “making a resolution” as if “creating a story”! Sara also includes precise steps to create the story that becomes a recipe for your desired resolution, and it sounds like fun!

Therefore, I will be in my studio creating a story for the next hour today! Want to join me in spirit?

If you are not signed up for my newsletter, oh please do so now, as I will be painting and exhibiting a lot this year. I am letting my heart light the way, and I want you to be to be a part of it! I also am working on a new and transformed website! Exhilarating! Coming soon!

new series: growing gardens

Gardens are ardent metaphors for the act of growing. As the impossibly petite seeds sprout into the abundance of summer and survive to provide beauty and food, there are also casualties. Some dry out, or get mildew and fungus from the dampness. Alpine strawberries get nibbled by our dogs. The abundance of growing and dying is so evident there. When Hydrangeas are blossoming in indigo blue and deep purple jewel tones, we cut them to bring that moment of beauty into our home. When they die, we compost them so that new plants will grow next year. When one row of lettuce becomes bitter and dies, we plant anew. when the stringbeans complete a bountiful harvest for the season, the plants die, their reason for being in the earth is done.

And so the process of life in the garden moves in cycles. The gate? It is important to celebrate the entrance to our garden with a sign of passage.

New art!

Hydrangea 0806This year has been a year of beginnings. I have travelled more than ever before. My sketch journal is my constant companion as I  document moments in a new place. Then I created this new website for my work. We repaired and painted my art studio so now I have an airy,  roomier and separate place to create and view my work!