March Rain

March 13, 2008

Have you ever felt as if the calendar is plain old kicking your ass? I can’t be the only one experiencing such beatings this winter. To date, the squares of my 2008 calendar have been paved with the best of intentions… unfortunately, intent isn’t always enough when life is treating your “to do list” and your “schedule” like mere scrap paper. The annual blissful realization that the long hard winter is finally turning to spring, has all but escaped me this year. The ice and snow of winter thoroughly enchanted me but the cold rains of March leave me longing for more blankets! I admit that I have toyed with the idea of diving back into my cave for a couple more weeks of hibernation.

Alas… I have no control over the coming of spring or any of the inevitable joys it brings. Ready or not, the rains will come, crocuses will bloom, birds will migrate, the grass will grow, and all will be alive and renewed. The truly amazing phenomenon is the transformation the changing of these seasons brings to the human psyche. Many of us will experience a true rebirth of the Creative Spirit in the coming weeks. The rains will stir our memories, only to wash them clean and leave us open to new growth. As we watch the earth around us spring back to life, so will our hopes, ambitions, and creative energies.

As the eternal optimist, I will hold tightly to my intent and carry it purposefully through the March rains. When they are over, I intend to throw the doors to my studio open, play my music good and loud, and create with a smile of joyful abandon that comes so naturally in Spring.

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Inspiring Your Creative Spirit

January 8, 2008

6378creeksm.jpgDuring the holiday season we find ourselves spending most of our time following schedules and rushing to meet deadlines. This rings especially true for artists and small business owners. I often find that my most brilliant ideas come to me when I can’t possibly spend even a moment making them a reality. Talk about creative frustration! We try to cram so much into one month of joyful chaos, that when it’s over, we’re spent and a little lost.

Each Winter, most of us need to restore our artistic senses to some degree. This quiet time of year is perfect to start anew and nurture your creative spirit. When the time comes to get back to work, there are a few scenarios that as artists, we know all too well. The ideas may pour out faster than one can actually create and at other times, a little prodding to rattle the imagination is necessary. In the worst case, nothing short of committing to guerrilla warfare will do.

6389frozenleafsm.jpgHere are a few inspiration seeking tricks that may come in handy when fighting off the winter chill. I always carry a small notebook with a fat rubber band around it so I can write down my ideas and refer back to them later. Along with my doodles and lists, I stick in swatches, sticky notes, clippings, leaves, and anything else that grabs my attention. I also use my camera phone as a “notebook”. The other night I saw tissue boxes with great color combinations in the grocery store. Yes, tissue boxes! I snapped a couple pics to peek at before my next torch session.

6459berriessm.jpgWalks in the frozen woods, bundled in boots and down, armed with my camera, always seem to help. I challenge myself to find color in the sleeping landscape. This should explain my affinity for snow covered berry bushes. Taking a class to learn a new technique is a tried and true tactic. Trying out a new tool or glass, a subtle change in your studio, a new scent, or different music while you work can help jump start new ideas too. Recently I’ve also discovered the value of the “inspirational blog collective”. It’s like having an artistic work out partner to get you moving and creating. Check out Modern Savages and Creative Every Day 2008.

6396cattailssm.jpgSometimes completely walking away from my normal discipline is what becomes necessary. *refer back to the camera in the woods scenario* I’ve even been known to pull out my book binding materials when I’m really stumped. Meticulously cutting and folding paper is something I can “zen out” on. That leads me to Yoga. Yoga is my quick fix for everything. Especially an achy back. When I honestly stop thinking about it and just relax, is when the amazing stuff really happens. The best idea I’ve had in a long time came to me the other day while baking cookies and dancing around the kitchen to Maroon 5 with my 2 & 5 year old sons. We LOVE dancing in the kitchen! It’s just a matter of time before we get caught doing it.

Go forth artists! Take a walk. Take a class. Buy some glass. Do a dance. Take acoustic guitar lessons. Shake those winter blues and find the inspiration your creative spirit craves! Have an amazing, creative, and productive New Year!!!