Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Inspiration -- Day 3

More from Julia Cameron, March 19th entry:

Gentleness, enouragement, safety -- these are the watchwords to be put in place for criticism.  I have been writing for thirty years.  I have seen more good writing destroyed by bad criticism than I have ever seen bad writing helped by good criticism. . . . I have watched plays start to find their feet, only to be tripped up by too many people contributing fixes. . .

I am fortunate to belong to an art community in my area as well as this larger community of art-bloggers.  Both of them have provided ample opportunities to give and receive rich encouragement for those artistic endeavors we might be hesitant to share.  In light of these words on criticism, I'd like to say "thank you" to my artist friends for input, encouragement and guidance.  It's great to be able to share positively in each other's artistic journeys.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Inspiration

Continuing in The Artist's Way Every Day, I came upon this for March 9th:

Art is not linear.  Neither is the artist's life, but we forget that.  We try to "plan" our life and "plan" our career -- as if we could.  We also try to plan our growth.  This means transformation catches us by surprise. . . experience teaches that life, and especially life in the arts, is as much about mystery as it is about mastery. . . "Something" is telling us to make art.  We must trust that something.

This picture reminds me of this.  Yes, I took it because of the cute little squirrel.  But the path below is one that we followed all over the cliff.  And it was so much better for all its twists and turns and surprising vistas.  Linear is nice and predictable, but don't we love the breathtaking "aha" of sudden inspiration?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Inspiration for Today

I got the book The Artist's Way Every Day by Julia Cameron from the library, so I'm reading more than one entry per day.  It's great inspiration in small snippets, so I thought maybe this week I could post some entries that I find inspirational.  Today's is from March 5:

Doubt is a signal of the creative process.  It is a signal that you are doing something right -- not that you are doing something wrong or crazy or stupid.  The sickening chasm of fear that doubt triggers to yawn open beneath you is not a huge abyss into which you are going to tumble, spiraling downward like you are falling through the circles of hell.  No, doubt is most often a signal you are doing something and doing it right.

Sitting in the studio with my supplies as companions, it's easy to doubt:  "this isn't good enough", "other artists are better than me", "what am I thinking?!?!".  It's nice to know that Julia says doubts aren't just normal, they're good. 

How about you?  What doubts plague you in your creative process?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Signs of Spring

No pictures today but, just two weeks past the Blizzard of 2011, we are having a lovely thaw.  The huge snowbanks have all but disappeared, the geese are flying high overhead in "V" formation, and I've seen several robins in my neighborhood.  I know it's too early to hope that this is the real thing, but it's a great respite from winter.  And I found a very appropriate quote on another blog to share with you:
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.  --Eleonora Duse

I'll let you know when the first tiny flowers appear in the yard!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I've been away

Last week I was blessed to be able to get away from the dreary Chicago winter and spend a week in a condo on the beach in southern California.  I can't even express how soul enriching it was to experience the warm sun and beauty of the ocean every day.  And I even missed the Great Chicago Blizzard of 2011.  (Although I am living with the effects of it every day now that I'm home.) 

Here's a few images to share with my winter weary friends:

Special thanks to my "twin" cousin for suggesting the trip and my family back home for holding down the fort while I was gone.