The word “homework” does not usually conjure up thoughts of beautiful paint, free-flowing colours or words, music improvisation and the like. Let’s face facts, it’s not a favourite pastime for most folks. But in order to take your flight of fancy higher, you need a depth of experience backing you up.
Am I saying that good work can’t come from a free fall of creativity? No way. I’ve had times when something wonderful surfaces from my jumping into the deep end. But I’ve also fallen flat on my face in sheer frustration because I could not express what was in my heart to say. In comes the homework. I posted some of mine last week: http://theartofencouragement.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/in-flight/ Below is the finished piece. I was able to start and finish the painting in a wonderful live art setting. Instead of struggling with unknown structures, I was able to relax and enjoy the process from a place of readiness…
Take the time to study line, words, notes, structure…get a grip on new products, tools, styles, compositions – write these things on the inside of you so that they can flow out easily as you engage with your creativity. Do your homework. You won’t regret it. Be encouraged today!
I am on the plane with my homework. I’ve just got the basics…pens, paper and 3 reference photos. I want to understand how an eagle’s feathers form, how and where they lay to make a wing, how they move in flight. And so I begin…head down, minding my own business…working it out.
During my hours of process, something extraordinary happens – I gain an audience. Truly, I am caught off guard as flight attendants cruise by to see my progress, as the lady two rows back leans in to ask me questions, as a shy little boy stands beside me instead of going to the toilet (which he so obviously needs to do). I even had one man voice his disappointment when I took a movie break. What was going on? I asked a fellow artist and his observation rang true:
The act of creating something is fresh, new and in the moment – very different from any form of entertainment or distraction found on a plane journey. Without realizing it, I literally drew them in.
You might keep your creative process private. I understand that. But maybe you have something to give by simply bringing your workings out into light. Go ahead, try a new venue and see who you can engage and encourage today.
Sometimes, you lose your place.
And it can take a while to realize it’s even happened. And then you have to decide to go find it again.
My “place” is on more than one continent. I call two countries Home – America and Great Britain. Maybe it would be better to say North Carolina and Scotland, because it is their distinct sounds and colours and people that make them home for me. I’ve not had the opportunity to share my Southern side here before, not in photographs, until now.
I found my place again. And now I feel more at home in my own skin. I hope this encourages you to do the same, should you find your heart wandering without good reason. Don’t lose your place.
A few weeks ago, I flew across the ocean towards my childhood home for the first time in almost 4 years. The trip was a gift of time, family, memory, words and beauty. The skies outside the planes’ windows seemed to speak of these things, so I recorded their part of the story with my camera.
This time away has refreshed my heart and inspired me to see differently all over again. Sometimes we can get so “in the middle” of everything around us that we lose something of our creative vision. Give yourself a break, take some time out and don’t feel guilty for doing so. It can give you a whole new perspective. Be encouraged.
To my kind followers: Thank you for sticking with me while I’ve been away! There’s lots of new work to post and I look forward to sharing it with you. – B
Spring has finally started to swirl in around our farm, bringing a breath of fresh winds and colour shifts to the countryside as well as to my heart. I had the opportunity (and honour) of painting live up North in Oban this weekend. I could feel Spring – and new beginnings – underneath my brush.
I used several reflective paints with my palette to put in as much light as I could. I also painted very bright colours into my first layers so that they could jump out later on in the painting. I’m sure those that were watching wondered what I was thinking!
Have you got some wild colours speaking to your heart? Add them into the mix. Let spring jump through your writing, sewing, music – creativity. Some people may not understand what you are doing, what you are seeing…and that’s okay. Let them wonder
Five kids, rare sunshine and the back porch…
There were blankets (because it was COLD!) and skateboards and balls and snacks and drinks. There were also paints and crayons and markers and paper which I still find irresistable even when frozen and covered with Easter chocolate. You’re never too old for crayons! May you find time to play today – be creative, be encouraged.
These are not typical Easter egg shots. There are so many beautiful things to observe: shape, pattern, contrast, colour…it’s good to step out of what we consider to be the main focus. No matter our passion or subject matter, by shifting our perspective (or routine or ritual) ever so slightly, we create the opportunity to capture something more…be encouraged today. Happy Spring & blessed Easter!