make art. transform life.

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

Inspired by a goldfinch, Fabritius & Tartt

Mauritshuis_Fabritius_605Its been a long time since I sat down in my favorite chair and got cozy with a 771 page book!  I meet  with some  lovely ladies who have lively discussions about a chosen book. This   month it was "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt. I decided to see if I still enjoyed being totally ensconced in a long story, but was concerned that it would take time away from painting. Little did i know that it would prove to astonish and inspire me to paint MORE! Yes, it did take a week of reading 1-2 hours a day. I turned the pages without conscious noticing .The story, descriptions, characters and philosophy carried me along so that I continued  the daily habit of setting reading time aside.

This book is a story about a painting, a boy with a tragic event, and  the synchronicity of life.

I was reintroduced to the impact of a painting...about how it tells  a story. , The author herself  states:

 “I wrote books in this way, around images,” Ms. Tartt said, something that didn’t occur to her until “The Goldfinch” — a book that surrounds an image of a luminous yellow-tinged bird — was complete."

Reading little jewels like....

" There's a doubleness. You see the mark, you see the paint for the paint, and also the living bird." p. 579

"...connections missed, things lost and never found, and my painting swept away on that powerful current and drifting out there somewhere: a tiny fragment of spirit , faint spark bobbing on a dark sea."p.603

Reminded me of the how complex and full of grays life is.

Maybe sometimes-the wrong way is the right way? You can take the wrong path and it still comes out where you want it to be?"p. 745

A reminder that living a good and loving life does not guarantee that no bad things ever happen. And bad things can also be transformative , bringing us to  a good place. Keep on striving.

"And isn't that the whole  point of things--beautiful things--that they connect you to some larger beauty? p. 757

On the  question of why it is so important to make art.

"--if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see and think and feel, you don't think . 'oh I love this picture because its universal.  ...."

You feel that way because it speaks directly to you and where you are.

And that is why I, myself... choose to paint.

If this resonates with you, be sure to explore other posts here and read this book. It is well worth your time..... Why do you create? How important is creating to your life?  Have you seen a painting that has changed your life? 


Read the NY Times interview with Donna Tartt here.



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!!!!

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.