Friday, March 28, 2014

Attention Artistic Oklahoma Parents & Grandparents

When the sun shines long and hot over July days in Oklahoma, it will spotlight an amazing creative arts opportunity for 7th and 8th grade students at the SummerArts Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma.   

The line up of instructors beams with talent, experience, and accomplishments.  You can read about the instructors on the website. 

Scholarships are available for the one-week sessions in which students can begin to shine in one or more of the sessions including: drawing, sculpture, photography, film, and printmaking.   

The cost for each session is $250.  There will be 4 individual weeks of instruction.   Learn more about this bright, excellent, endeavor and the scholarships that are available here.
Classes will be held at the Hardesty Arts Center in the middle of downtown Tulsa’s Brady Arts District.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review of My New Kitty Fountain

Cats are finicky.  That is a well known fact.  And they can be a little quirky sometimes too.  My two are no different.  Water seems to be the place where finicky and quirky meet with my whiskered "kids".  Rose decided she didn't like water a few years ago and no tricky maneuvers on my part with her water bowl would dissuade her.  Finally, to her dismay, I had to start watering down her food to get enough fluids down her.

Kenya, on the other hand, has a bit of an obsession with water.   If Kenya does not have access to water for over an hour he begins to panic.  Before we adopted him from the Tulsa Humane Society, Kenya was living in a large discount store parking lot.  This was during a time when our state was experiencing a drought.  It is our assumption the scarcity of water during that time and at that location is the source of his emotional issues about water.  Also in recent years. he has developed some health issues related to his time on the streets that necessitate drinking lots of water.

It is Kenya's choice to share water with the dogs in the kitchen.   But he really feels the need to have a source of water in the bathroom too.  He expressed this need by chronically licking soapy drops of water off the shower floor.  It is this need that prompted me to look into a new cat fountain.   As I searched, I was delighted to find Thirsty Cat Fountains on EtsyThirsty Cat Fountains are designed and created with the artistic hands of Keith Davitt and Jackie McKannay.   Theses ceramic fountains are truly pieces of art for your home.  The fact that the cats can drink out of them is a bonus.  Each fountain is handcrafted and each one is unique.  They have a variety of colors and even several designs for the copper spouts. 

My fountain is this beautiful cobalt blue.  I was a little concerned about ordering something so fragile to be shipped from half way across the country.  But the fountain arrived quickly and in perfect condition as it had been packed quite thoroughly in an ocean of biodegradable packing materials.

I appreciate how much thought has gone into these fountains.  They are beautifully created with a nice smooth surface.  Even the bottom of the bowl is lovely.  Everywhere you look, from the placement of the cord, to the way the spout connects to the pump, there is proof of excellence and attention to detail.  And the pump is adjustable so you can create a vigorous flow or a smooth gentle stream.

The Thirsty Cat Fountains were the only fountains I found that claim absolutely zero lead in the glaze.  And the copper is the same type of copper used in the pipes of our homes.  Like I said, attention to every detail.

It was no surprise when Kenya fell in love with this gentle flow of water that matches his blue eyes.  But the wonderful delight is that even Rose thinks this fountain worthy to dip in her tiny pink tongue.   She is once again drinking plenty of water thanks our new Thirsty Cat Fountain.  Thank you Keith and Jackie for designing these beautiful fountains.

So Kenya is happy with his artistic bathroom water source and Rose is drinking again.  My only real problem now is that I keep finding more beautiful fountain colors and designs on the website.  I've started wondering if I need one in the living room too!

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I've shared this poem before but its been a long time.  It is my favorite.  It is by ee cummings.  May we all be filled with as much awe of what is around us as we await the changes of the seasons.  One of the things I love the most about cummings is his freedom to write in a unique way that goes against the grain of standard rules.  He makes his point by doing so.
i thank You God for most this amazing
day;for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing 
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being 
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
ee cummings

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Invitation to Artful Prayer

I would like to invite you to Artful Prayer, the Journaling workshop I will be teaching at The Graceful Artist. It is an ongoing video workshop blending art journaling and prayer.  We will have discussions and the opportunity to ask questions.

We will be looking at ways to enrich your prayer life and to create a mixed-media look with the simplicity of artist's pencils.

I would love for you to join me.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Friday, January 3, 2014

$50 ecard Prize A New Year Filled With New Art Supplies

 I wanted to be sure and let you all in on this opportunity for new art supplies.  Jerry's Artarama, is offering a $50 ecard in anticipation of the opening of the first  workshops at The Graceful Artist.  The gathering of names begins right now and ends on January 9, 2014.  The names will be taken from the comments on this Graceful Artist blog post.  Be sure and read the instructions so your entry counts. 

I'm sure you'll want to scurry over there and get your name in the hat to win the $50 ecard so you can buy lots of fun art supplies.

Hurry!  Don't wait!   You might forget.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Creative New Year, Living A More Creative Life Part 4

I thought the best way to start of a new year is with the final installment of my Living A More Creative Life Series.  What better way to plan ahead for a new year than to bring more creativity into your days.

We've talked about the need to live a more creative life.  We've talked about ways to bring creativity into our daily lives.  And we've talked about how we might bring creativity into the lives of others.  Today, in this final Living a More Creative Life post, I'd like to talk about how the artist might find more creativity even when it seems to allude them.

Sharon Bell is the East Texas artist that mentored me many years ago when I was discovering myself to be an artist. Once in a casual moment she made what seemed at the time to be simple comment.  Yet that comment, that she probably doesn't even remember saying, has helped me many times.  Sharon told me that every artist has times when they question themselves, when they doubt whether they can still "do" it, or if possibly they never really could.  When I am discouraged or worry that I've been off that horse for too long, I remember her statement.  In doing so, I know that I am not alone in my self doubts and that if I will just begin again, I will realize my gifts once more.  I will discover that my gifts were not fleeting fancies like a luna moth living but for a day.  Rather the gifts inside of me have been hibernating like a bear, simply sleeping for a season waiting for the warmth of Spring to reemerge.

As an artist, as an art teacher, I have made some observations of actions that can be helpful when our creative spirit seems to have slipped away into hibernation.  I hope some of you find these to be helpful.
First I would remind you that art, that is creativity, happens on the right side of our brains.  Also living on the right side of our brains are our feelings.  It is my opinion that when our creativity alludes us, there is a feeling connection present somewhere.  So my suggestions work in the direction of feeding and nurturing your soul and your feelings thereby restoring creativity to an active place in your days.

Many artists suggest going to a gallery to be inspired when their artist's self has moved into hibernation.  I would think this would be helpful if one is stifled and seeking new directions.  But if I am having trouble finding the right side of my brain, then going to a place to look at the abundant work that some prolific artist has produced will only make me feel more the failure.  I love appreciating the work of others.  But this would not be the moment for it.  I suggest, rather that we move in a completely different direction.

*Go outside!  Work in the flower bed, sit at the park and feed the ducks, drive a country road looking for abandoned farm houses, visit the beach, go camping in a tent, or walk the dog.  The point is to take yourself out of your normal environment.  Let the creativity and spontaneity of nature surround you and remind you of what you love about creating.

*Rest.  Simply rest.  Maybe you are behind on your sleep.  Maybe you just need to take a nap every day for a month.  Maybe you need to stop pushing yourself so hard and let your mind and soul be calm for a while.  Maybe you need to visit another place where you have no deadlines, no 'to do' lists, no oughta's or shoulda's looming over your heads.*Talk with a friend.  This doesn't have to be an artist friend.  But it does need to be a friend that understands who you are as a creative person.  It does need to be someone that appreciates what you have to offer.  It does need to be someone that appreciates your passion to create.  And the confidant does need to be a friend that will listen more than they will suggest solutions.  I've found that often my mind works best when my mouth is moving.  Sometimes we answer our own questions simply by hearing ourselves speak. *Try something new - a new medium, a new technique.  Revisit an old technique.  Do this in the privacy of your own space and your own moments, free to make a mess because no one else will see it.  I've found that may times when we are struggling, we've let performance worries creep into our thoughts.  Experiencing creativity with no intention that this piece will ever sell or maybe not even be seen can break us out of performance fear and blocks.

*Take an honest look at what you've been making in the last year or two.  Have you gradually slipped into performing for the market?  Maybe you liked the projects at first.  Maybe they seemed fun and easy to produce.  But at some point, you moved beyond that level.  The art that really comes from within you is something else.  But you continue in the other direction because you think it will sell.  That is a sure way to find your creativity to have grown stale.  Find your heart, your creative soul.  Producing what comes from within you rather than for the market is what people will be drawn to in your art - that something special that only you can add.

*Clean up your space!  If its junky in your studio, if its crowded, you'll have too many visual messages coming into your mind.  If its disorganized, the frustration and lost time spent searching for that special object or tool or image will quickly disintegrate any right brained thoughts you may have been having.  The bonus of cleaning and organizing is that sometimes in the process you will find objects or images that you've forgotten you had.  Inspiration will come sweeping in like a fresh wind with those now refound items.

*Most of all don't panic and be kind and patient with yourself.  Life runs in seasons.  This too will pass.  If you are an artist, your creativity is still there whether you feel it right now or not.  Know that it will return.  It is a part of who you are.  It IS who you are.  YOU ARE AN ARTIST.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Living A More Creative Life, Part 3

We've talked about ways to bring creativity into our daily life by taking the time to use more soulful objects in our activities.  Now let's look at ways to bring creativity into our lives and the lives of others around you on a broader scale.  What are ways that we can reach out beyond our own experiences and make a difference for those around us?  Studies have shown that one of the strongest things we can do to lift our own days is to make an effort to lift the days of others.  I find, as a teacher, that the creativity I watch in my students is contagious. Let's look at some ideas for how we can develop creatively contagious moments.

What is it that you enjoy doing?  It doesn't have to be obviously creative.  
Perhaps you are a seamstress, perhaps a cook.  Maybe you are an organizer or communication is your gift.  Maybe you are naturally inclined toward hospitality. How can these gifts be used in a more creative way?

I know of a woman that taught sewing classes to young girls.  She taught 4 at a time with 2 at the sewing machines and 2 sitting on the couch doing handwork.  The teacher would sit on the couch with the ones doing handwork.  As they stitched, she would talk with them about what it meant to grow up to be strong and gracious women.  She found a creative solution to her own need and changed the lives of her students at the same time.  

What if a gifted cook invited 3 or 4 different children (or maybe even adults) over to their kitchen once every couple of months for a cooking lesson?  Many young mothers are swamped and tired from working and don't have time to teach their children and maybe don't even have time to cook.  What a gift of creativity to teach them to make a great pie crust. They would never forget it.

What if a beautician invited young girls over for a day of spa treatments. We live in a time when young girls are struggling to understand what true beauty is.  The spa instructions could be laced with talk about true inner beauty that reaches out to others.

I have a friend who is a very organized person and she has a heart for homeless families.  Determined to find a way to help, she began working with the administration end of a ministry to homeless families.  She not only uses her organizational skills to help make the ministry function, she uses her creativity for 'outside the box' ideas that help the ministry to soar.  She is able to use her creativity to help the people she cares for.  That is creative thinking!

I have another friend who started a ministry in her church based on a creative way of using her gifts.  This woman is a shopper.  She can find a bargain!  And she can talk people into giving her an even better bargain like no one else I know.  A few years back this friend became aware of a need at the local women's shelter in the town where she lived.  The women were only allowed to stay for 30 days at the shelter.  Most of the time they had left home in a hurry and with only what they could carry.  So when the women who had sought refuge in the shelter had completed their time they had nothing to begin setting up a new home.  My friend began going regularly to garage sales and buying furniture and housewares.  She then got permission to store these things in an unused room at her church. She also discovered that if she explained her mission to the garage sale owners, that often they would simply donate their items.  Then as the time comes for each shelter guest, she is invited to the church to "shop" for items needed for her new household and for her children.  And its all free.

Creativity can enrich both our lives and the lives of those around us.  And really, what good is a gift if it can not bless those around us?

So I don't know what your gifts are.  They may not look like the examples I've given.  But maybe these ideas have sparked some thoughts for you.  I don't know what your creativity looks like.  But you can be sure, its there somewhere.  My challenge to you today is to dare to look for it.  Dare to give it some time to develop in you.  And then to dare to step out with creative action to enrich both your life and your world.

Next time we'll look at this more from the perspective of those already living their lives as artists.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons
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