Posts in Creative Space Design
The Key of Tea

  The other day a friend sent me a powerpoint presentation to cheer me up and help me to unplug.

The words went like this:

~ When the static of technology starts to wear us down ~ Press the TEA key ~ Fly away from the trappings of today ~ Sip a warm and sweet drink ~ Find the peace deep within us.

tea key on computer

Besides the fact that this did indeed cheer me up in a harried work week, it got me thinking about the quality of attention that not only nourishes our art making but also well being.

A few situations in which attention is awakened — the senses brought to a narrow point of view:

~ Travel to another country ~ Illness ~ The stress of change ~ Learning something new ~ Purchasing an expresso machine and learning to use it (my recent adventure) ~ Falling in love

To this last point, falling in love. I believe this is a necessary aspect of creation. A caring attention framed as small as a donut hole will do. Even if only for 30 seconds; and if simply a tree leaf, your child's hair, a ceramic cup.

I was watching a National Geographic short film called "Grand Canyon Gets Camera Obscura Treatment." To understand life, photographer Abelardo Morell wanted to look at the world in 'rooms' — photography tells him where to pay attention.

"One needs some hub in the world in which to look at things and understand." By giving the world a frame he pretends it's the whole world.

For me unplugging for a day ... listening to beautiful music, sipping tea narrowed the view into a Camera Obscura frame. It delighted me and rested the nervous system. I was more productive that day. In resting the multi-active action — the constant calls to action via devices into one frame of action (using hands and senses), it drew attention closer and I gained time.

In framing our world in smaller bits perhaps overwhelm fatigue can rest. Reflection kicks in, imagination has a bit of room to play - and we fall in love a little. Maybe the beauty of the moment filters out the unnecessary and non-urgent and things make sense again.

Enjoy your Sunday. And be sure to look inside the donut hole - the imagination of the world just might present itself to you.

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This article is dedicated to Denise. Thank you!!! You are great friend.

Welcome to the New Space

Oh gosh, there were so many reasons to upgrade this website. How do you like it? I'm personally tickled and delighted. I have a new remodeled house I get to play with. Additions and interior design are an open road. If you remember, the previous space was a simple blog. It contained a structure for blogging the paintings and stories in 2013 daily. It worked really well for that. But other functions like the store and image display for a gallery and general technology additions that required more juice just wasn't possible.

With new products, publications and events on the horizon this fall, I decided it was time for a full re-design. It's been in development for weeks now in between the stuff of life. I'm very pleased. Here are some of the new additions:

— You can order the softcover version of The Art of Daily Cultivation: A celebration of 365 story paintings

— I am now coaching in the area of creative practice. Crave Coaching will have a robust blog about creative process and will be a sister site to this one. This site is all about making, while Crave.Today is all about supporting others in their making.

— This platform also allows Gallery representatives to view new work in process. I am working in series mode now. Currently 2 series are in process and one is being photographed and will be published in the New Work gallery soon.

—I'm very excited about the 7 {squared} series. My goal is to create 1-2 per month between now and late spring. For the holidays 2 will be published and ready for purchase. See 7 {squared}.

The most exciting thing? This platform graduates us to a more robust, expansive and organized space to grow from the now archived 365 dailies {now archived but available for viewing}.

Welcome! enjoy it! and my gratitude to Jess Nunez, my partner in crime for all things technological. She's so great.

Brawling Night Cats

I have several processes in the works that are "oh so fun" - a series of animal collage murals, 7 small stack books for foodie and bunny lovers (3 nearly done), the paperback version of The Art of Daily Cultivation and more. So, here's the thing... Life keeps slowing down the kid who wants to stomp in puddles and get on with it. Sometimes life doesn't ring the door bell once, but in several succinct sonic booms.  This is when I need a hug a minute. What about you?

I found art during this time to be the thing — that beautiful daily apex between the life I own and the life I serve — that instantly relieved stress. Sometimes for just 5 or 10 minutes. But it calmed and restored without fail. Tickled again for this daily practice that continues to give (no matter what).

Elephant Mural in Progress

Next? An introduction between passion and patience -- time for that friendship to flourish. I did want to be introducing all kinds of new goodies by the end of Sept. to you. But October is more like it as the day job lightens and the night cats quiet down. Patience! Now there's a concept. I just want to play with my new toy—renewed passion through daily practice.

Thank you for your patience as well. And support as I've posted cakes on Facebook. ; D

Practice Makes Peace with Imperfect

When you do something over and over again - daily, weekly, monthly and the year, you tend to get pretty creative about the rules. Standards mean about as much as a cold bubble bath. Perfectionism, at least my 2nd grade version of it was a pain when cranking out a painting in a New Mexico lightening/hailstorm, no electricity or matches. I was stubbornly determined to prove that no matter what I had claim on at least 30 minutes of my day to paint. In this case I remembered that I had purchased some matches that day in the bookstore because they had a cool etching on the cover.

I lit a candle, calmed the bunnies and finger painted what I remembered of an image of O'Keeffe country in a magazine. I posted by iPhone before midnight and slept peacefully. I didn't really know what it looked like until the next day online. I remember working fast and feeling nervous. Electricity in the air, the unfamiliar earth trembling, my elderly rabbits freaked. It seemed a bit silly at the time to hold fast to such stubbornness. As I look back I feel a bit thrilled and romanced by the aliveness of the moment.

As I look back now on the project of painting daily as a whole, I realize practice gave me creative license to rewrite my relationship to perfectionism -- to make peace with it by practicing awkwardness daily. Perfection, it turns out has a lot of room for redefinition.