make art. transform life.

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

How to make a breakthrough by watching clouds

 let the clouds in              #953                          mixed media ( watercolor, Solarprint, acrylic, Japanese tissue collage   22' x 30"    

let the clouds in              #953                          mixed media ( watercolor, Solarprint, acrylic, Japanese tissue collage   22' x 30"    

Yes, I have been watching clouds all last year, imagining their magical  beauty

is not only their appearance but also in the way they recycle and process water on the earth! They also cleanse the air when the raindrops fall. 

They really do capture my imagination. So creating Solarplate images by using the sun to develop your image on a light-sensitive coating, and water to wash away the soft film water-soluble ink to print, made sense.

Looking and working on those clouds, made me think about how I could be more ecologically minded in my art. As I began to work on top of my first artist proof (a print that looks different from the original edition), I was using watercolor acrylic along with collaging Japanese rice paper, enlarging the image by breaking through the rectangle! 

Suddenly I realize the philosophical importance of the art I am making. 

❤️“Breaking through the boundaries of the rectangle with the softness of a cloud, is how life is. All change begins with a thought. My art is to make that “idea” visible. Once visible it insists on being looked at.”
Breaking through resistance does not require violence. When you pay attention to the visual, it can bring forth, metaphorically, another way of perceiving.

Through my work process, I understand that I need to explore this concept, of “breaking through boundaries" with clouds. So I ask myself what other artists, writers, directors, dancers, musicians have done that and what can I learn from them? Now i am asking you...

❤️ Have you ever asked yourself why you are so drawn to something, like the beach or the sun, asking yourself what about it attracts you?  I love to hear what breakthrough you have had so comment  on Instagram facebook Linked In or in the comment section here!

Choose to be artist of your life. Be present in the now.

Observe. 

All that you understand on this earth, is discovered through the senses. Today I will just ask you to take note of your ability to observe. Don’t judge, just notice what is going on around you.

 Hours series    terce (midmorning)  by   beth vendryes williams    

Hours series    terce (midmorning)  by   beth vendryes williams    

Thoughtful perception is important because it will give me source material to draw with focus and integrity.
— beth vendryes williams

Right now...

I can feel the gentle rhythm of my fingers on my laptop and smell the fragrance of the white jasmine flowering plant on my table. I hear the hum of the refrigerator.  I taste the green the and that almond cookie. I am seeing the snow melting from our nor’easter and holding an image in my mind off how beautiful it looked in the middle of the night when snow was painting each branch.

Thoughtful perception is important because it will give me source material to draw with focus and integrity.

Why is it important?  Picasso, Matisse, Delacroix and van Gogh were passionate about getting the essence of the gesture down on paper. They would practice gazing intently. It is essential that the act of drawing be a process of discovering communicates the veracity of what you observe with all senses. So it is not just an exercise of prowess, but a way to understand what you see more deeply. Scientists, inventors, mathematicians, writers, videographers, all continue to deepen their sense of observation.

I never read that quote before, but I recognize the sentiment because my drawing is a form of communication. In the process of creating, I use the senses of what I see, hear, feel, smell, taste and intuit.  

It is essential for writers...

to immerse themselves in the language and place about which they are writing. Scientists have discovered what they do by search by looking and observing patiently to gather subtle information.

Watching, listening, touching, smelling and sensing are all ways of observing what is going on in your life. Your life is your work of art. Embrace that!

How do you improve your ability to observe?

You can increase your powers of observation... 

by keeping a journal, collecting things, listening, to music, to another person or just noting the sounds and how your body feels as you walk through your day. Be present in the now moment

 I choose to focus on the ordinary everyday things in my work and delve deeper to find the beauty and truth in them.  Every day I see something that I never noticed before!

Choose to be the artist of your life.  Be present in the now moment.

If you would like to read the book that resonates with me and holds the research, you can access it through the link below

Sparks of Genius: 13 thinking tools of creative people. by Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein. Is is linked  in the reading section..

How to create, observe and transform art / life

eat your greens

 Why do I have an open studio each year? 

organize and work regularly

Ooh boy! I wondered if I would get the place cleaned up in time for you. Sometimes I do too much at once, or I don’t put things back where they belong! Recognizing this reminds me to save time and find tools and paints faster. A habit of maintaining a system of organizing and working allows me to share it with you!

observe and reflect

Seeing the work up and surrounding me, allows a chance for both of us to observe and reflect on what I have done. Many times, the simplest thing takes on much more status when I see it in the context of all of my recent work! I wonder if that happens to you also?

assess  & choose

The act of choosing what to leave in and what to withdraw is informative in itself. Making choices is part of creating. So pay attention to each piece; view it on its unique terms. Assess if you feel it adds to the overall strength of the whole exhibit.

ask for & accept help

Ask for and accept help from others. It takes a community to build a body of work.

invite & share

Invite people who care to see and talk about what you have done. Be inspired and informed by their insights. Share delicious bites of food, something refreshing to drink and great conversations.

feel & express gratefulness

Feel grateful for the privilege of having the ability to create work, show and sell it. Share your gratefulness with all who come or wish to come.

view from a new perspective

Take a step back to view the trajectory of where you are now and where you would like to go. 

rest

Rest.

begin work again, with new insights

Keep going in the direction of your freshly gained insights.

I’m on to something!  This list of how I transform my art by creating, then observing, could also be applied to the art of living! Thoughts?

 

Source: https://beth-vendryeswilliams-vexi.squares...

reflect remake, revise, onward!

 667 thinking blue skies  journal, wc ©beth vendryes williams

667 thinking blue skies  journal, wc ©beth vendryes williams


So I noticed I had too many tasks to accomplish in one day, there were no time boundaries around daily tasks, and I was missing some of my physical exercises, like walking, dancing and organizing. Writing weekly posts are a habit that hasn’t easily kicked in yet. 

When I looked around for inspiration, I rediscovered the [SMART] acronym in Michael Hyatt’s post:
    •    Specific Have you been specific about what you want to achieve?
    •    Measurable How will you know if you’ve reached your goal?
    •    Achievable Is this a goal that you can make happen?
    •    Relevant Is this goal aligned with your mission, vision, and values?
    •    Time Specific When do you want to achieve this goal?
    
 After reflection I prioritized three items I then applied these with intent, using a timer to ascertain the reality, and time limits to set a maximum. I then planned physical breaks so I would feel the ned to move.
 
Specifically, I CHOSE this course of action!
1. 3- 5 hours in studio 10 -12 create work on sketches mind maps for refuge, time travel water, journals and how they interact.
2. Take breaks every 1.5 - 2 hours and do physical
3. Get post and social out in the morning by 10:30

Thus journaling helps before you go too far off course!
It just becomes a redirect; I don’t waste time/energy blaming anymore!

Tell me how you've resolved times like this, when your goals are far from what is actually happening!  How did you solve it? You could sign up for my journal workshop today!

2 compelling ways art can change you

 hidden oasis  #927  w/c                              599. framed                 ©bethvendryeswilliams

hidden oasis  #927  w/c                              599. framed                 ©bethvendryeswilliams

Believe it or not, whether you are creating or just looking, art, it can change you.

 I discovered this most recently when I was looking in my backyard for inspiration. There is always something outrageously interesting to paint, because my husband is an artist with gardens. 

while creating

I was  frustrated with a rather unappealing view of a neighboring yard. I suddenly noticed that when I looked at that section with new eyes, I found a splendid sunlit refuge. When I peaked through the foliage all I could see was sunshine glittering.  I started to notice the opportunity I had to transform old trucks and equipment into beautiful forms, colors and relationships. Later on I also began to compliment the owner on his efforts to plant tomatoes and flowers. Making this painting has transformed my ability to see the sacredness in things that have fallen into disuse, when their physicality begins to disintegrate, and is worn away by time.

This is an experience I often have when drawing or painting. As I  begin to observe more closely, I start to notice more striking connections in what before seemed uselessly ugly or nondescript. One just has to take the time to look. It is sort of like meditating.

 

Making this painting has transformed my ability to see the sacredness in things that have fallen into disuse, when their physicality begins to disintegrate, and is worn away by time.
— beth vendryes williams
 Pierre Bonnard  The Bathroom

Pierre Bonnard  The Bathroom

when observing

When observing a painting, it happens to me also.  I discover  inspiration when I see a painting that compels me from across the room. I see from the artist's perspective, and then I add my own..

 From Pierre Bonnard, I learned the beauty of bathrooms. Before that I thought the most exciting thing was a clean sink and commode. Since seeing his paintings, I consider my bathroom, my spa, and look forward to it as another beautiful room. to surround those who enter, with beauty.  Sparkling clean, of course!

I would love to know what art has transformed your ideas or perspective? Please share in the comments section, or click on the twitter, facebook, instagram icons below with your response, and if you have on a picture of the art! Oh yes and please subscribe to this site. You will get a newsletter once a month with links to the posts from  that month.          Looking forward,  beth
 

Awesome! Procrastination nurtures creative thinking?

  swaddling               # 0918                     interior              refuge          beth vendryes williams

swaddling               # 0918                     interior              refuge          beth vendryes williams

I got so excited when I read this headline and even mOre so while watching this TED video!  Oh my gosh, this is a natural for me!  My husband is a precrastinator, and yes, that is a word that means “the tendency to complete, or at least begin, tasks as soon as possible” from [science of us magazine]!

There is one caveat, though, that you ned to be careful of. Too much of it and the creative advantage disappears. Watch this to find out how and why being “late to the party” can allow you to be more creative. Why allowing yourself to doubt and feel fear can fuel your creative juices. How to increase your creative ideas even more! 

So stop apologizing and start allowing yourself the privilege of putting decisions “on the back burner”. 

Oh, and let me know if and how this works for you in comments or on social media!
One thing to do to learn more about being more creative is to sign up for my monthly newsletter which also includes links to my blog posts written weekly. Don’t miss another one! 

A sneak peak of my new exhibit!

 big old tree     watercolor         2016         beth vendryes williams

big old tree     watercolor         2016         beth vendryes williams

 

Come see my exhibit

"landscape, up close/ personal"

at

The Dolphin Bookshop Café

299 Main St.,  Port Washington, NY 11050

opening reception is Sunday, March 6th from 2 - 4 pm

on exhibit from March 1  thru March 31, 2016

 I  look so forward to you coming by to the reception. If you can't make it then, absolutely stop by anytime the bookshop is open ,  by the end of March.

The work reflects the kind of intimate and expansive views of the natural surroundings you see on Long Island's North Shore. A lot of my observations are from Oyster Bay , sometimes even in my backyard!  I hope it inspires you to see the beauty right in your own backyard!

Shhh...click here to see some of the work on display....

beth

 

 

 

Source: http://www.bethvendryeswilliams.com

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
 

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.