Where there’s art, there’s love! It is after all, the ultimate law of attraction. That infatuation with creativity rubbing off and one thing leads to another, you have a creative couple. Self expressive love birds living an artful life together. In the right hands art can be a playful dance of romance. No one quite understands an artist like another artist and so I went in search of a few creative couples to see what makes them tick. I had an advantage though, as I’m one half of a creative couple too!
Each of us has our own internal drum beat. It comes from our heart and it’s directly connected to life itself. If you layer that heartbeat with the finger styled voice of a rhythmic acoustic guitar, you have begun to scratch the surface of percussive instrumentalist Ian Ethan Case. Calling Case a guitar player is a bit like simply calling the Pope a man of religion. Case is an architect of rhythm, a soul searcher of sound. Not just any sound, the right sound, at the right moment, for the right duration, and I dare that right sound to be illusive. Because Case leaves no stone unturned in his journey of making the music in his head a vibe-al study for us. Trust me, your heartbeat will want follow his tempo!
With the closing of our gallery five months ago last December, social functions have had me sometimes confronted with these words, “How are you enjoying retirement?” The first time, it caught me completely off guard, because as busy as I am with painting, commissions and writing, and other new projects in the pipeline, retirement is not even a thought.
So far I’ve written these articles from my “Life Coach” hat but today I am writing from my Expressive Arts Therapist hat instead. The creative arts have been used for centuries in healing processes whether to invoke blessings from the gods through dance and song, creating a work of art such as the AIDS quilt in response to tragedy, music being played at a funeral, and so on.
Some forms of creativity can be a very solitary adventure. Often this can find the artist alone in his or her thoughts of how to express an idea, then executing it, contemplating the results and even then deciding what to do with it. It works for some, but not all and new worlds can open with a creative partner.
What is creativity and who determines whether you have it or not? Your first grade art teacher? Your high school creative writing teacher? The audience? You? Left to their own devices most people do not admit to being creative.
An extra dose of grace and goodness, not just 12 -- but 13! How does one get started on a series, blank journal or canvas? Being the visual person I am, one way I start is by creating boards in Pinterest to gather my ideas and inspiration.
Creativity. That one word, so intertwined in every artist’s life. The idea that an idea to make something original with your own two hands gets floating around in your head, should never be taken for granted. It is one of the greatest freedoms we know. Few things can be as expressive, freeing, recreational and rewarding, along with frustrating, and allowing us to see inner growth.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, as many as 40 million adults over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety disorders, or 18% of the population. While the statistics are startling, people who experience anxiety can adopt methods to better manage the disorder and even use it to their advantage.
The Artist's Perspective: Avoiding Creative Road Blocks
Written by Tom Neel
There you are, all ready to go and no idea where to go. Not a good place for an artist to be. You have all of the fixings for a creative masterpiece, but none of the creative concepts breaking through. Idealess, empty, energy-less, and confronted with a creative block. Holly crap, what do you do now? Some evil spell has come over you and robbed you of your mojo and it’s not funny. This is serious, an artist without ideas and a direction to go in, is technically not even still an artist at all. Artist’s make art and if no art can be made, an artist cannot exist. Right? Well let see if we can fix that.
Coaching is all about awareness and responsibility: the more awareness you have, the more responsibility you take for your life and consequently, the more exciting and purposeful your life can be. Most of us like to imagine that we are already aware and in control of our lives, yet we allow copious situations and excuses to keep us from what we want. We permit these circumstances (or people) to have power over us and we spend so much time focused here playing the blame game that it becomes a place of inertia. Sound familiar?
I’m writing The Artist’s Perspective on Valentine’s Day. The day when love is in the air, which considering the somewhat lack of it these days, it’s refreshing to see signs of the mighty heartbeat of passion. Ahhhh, passion. What would we do without our deepest desire to care about something in the most demanding and dedicated ways? To sacrifice. To be one with a someone or something, that you make your life about it. Loud and proud, or softly spoken, hardly a step is taken without considering how those steps may or may not affect that which you are passionate for.
During a recent trip to Abaco, part of the Bahamas, my endless photography once again doused me in the observation of my surroundings. I thought; this place sure has a pretty palette. Once again what was wonderful to see is how nature or natural color often deeply inspires our man made world. Here was a place of beautiful aqua water, soft sandy beaches, coral and palms. In turn, were homes and structures inspired by this tropical island palette. Step inside and tile, tables, upholstery, and cabinets were all part of the natural vibe.
Sometimes a goal looms on the horizon. From a distance, it may not have perfectly delineated lines, but it is still discernible. It could be a painting, a poem, a quilt block, or a personal goal. When inspiration feels just out of reach, it can become attainable through the use of a vision board.
Amidst the hubbub of my life, pots shake on top of the washer and drier and my three boys run by porcelain vases and platters headed for Germany and Tennessee. They shoot Nerf guns above my head as I paint at the kitchen table and somehow I manage to create. Twenty five years ago in the basement studio of Virginia Tech I found clay. I knew immediately that my life would revolve around this beautiful material. I imagined a simple, fulfilling, and wholesome life as an artist, wife, and mother. I imagined an old farm house, picket fence, studio, swollen belly, happy children, loving husband, grades, pots . . . . I finished my BFA in ceramics while newly married, pregnant, and commuting 2 hours to school.