“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
I am coming alive! From my very first memories, I’ve always had a passion for creativity. From coloring to being totally absorbed by the details of green beans growing around the door of my childhood home, their color, smell and the curly vines; I have always felt connected to light and color, motion and feeling. But in the past year, something entirely new has emerged. I no longer feel like an outside witness to what is around me or to what I am creating. Lately I feel…”in it”. A part of the actual energy of where I am, what I am seeing, experiencing, creating. It’s different, it’s amazing, it’s energizing….I feel alive!
For me, being intentionally creative breeds more creativity. Basically, a body in motion, stays in motion. With each photo I take or painting I work on new ideas flood my head. The more I write during the day, the more vividly I seem to remember my dreams each morning, and when I write them down, more ideas for paintings and stories pop into my head all day and night. It feels like the water valve has been cranked entirely open and the flow of ideas and creative energy abounds.
A few weeks ago I signed up for an e-course with artist Flora Bowley. Her “Bloom True” course encourages us to play, let go of control, tune into our intuition, be brave and find our own way of blooming true. This has been an amazing class and exactly what I needed in this moment to step even deeper into my true self. Practicing creating, without knowing the outcome, has further freed my energy and unleashed a creative river of ideas.
A couple of weeks before the class started I went on a weekend retreat to a local island for some solo time. I spent four days writing, painting, thinking and breathing in the ocean air. While in town one day I saw this tile made by a local artist. It now hangs by the light switch in my art studio. Each day I am reminded to continue to bloom toward my true self. Because what the world needs, what “I” need, is to “come alive”.
Here are a few close up photos from my “bloom true” paintings. I am about 12 layers in on what may be 20… who knows. I have no idea yet where these paintings are heading. The goal is to keep intuitively and joyfully adding in layers. It has been incredible fun letting go. You can see more process photos from the class here on my circlesaregood Facebook page.
This weekend I surged into printmaking. I’d done it a few times before. At friend’s studios or on a small-scale at home. This time I went out and bought a few additional helpful items such as a “bench hook”, to place the lino block on while carving, and a “baren” to help press the paper onto the inked surface and ensure all the areas make contact. I also bought a few more ink colors beyond black. I was originally inspired by two books I recently purchased. Print Workshop and Block Printing. Worth checking out.
My first carving was of this whale. It’s titled “this whale has something to say”. I see creating more in this series. When I asked around to friends what this whale might have to say my favorite response was “Stop those loud sonar booms. They hurt.” I carved this on a thin piece of linoleum. Not an easy surface. I did try microwaving it for a few seconds and then also put my carving blade over a candle flame at times to soften the linoleum. It helped a little.
Here is a collection of my wood and linoleum carving scraps.
My next piece was carved from a piece of lino mounted to a wood block. I almost forgot to carve the letters backwards. Almost… This piece ended up being a birthday gift for my guy.
My last piece was carved from a very soft rubber print block. It has the texture of a soft eraser. It’s was so nice to cut so easily but you can’t get fine details with this product. It becomes a little crumbly with over use.I ended up making 35 pod prints/cards in varying shades of orange to brown.
My next project is inspired by my “Bloom True” class and the flowers that are starting an early bloom here in Seattle. For this method, instead of drawing freehand, I traced a photograph of a cherry blossom and then transferred the drawing to the block. I haven’t started carving yet. I plan to have it carved and printed later in the week.
I also prepped a couple of wood panels with acrylic. I used a palette knife to spread on the paint. Once dry, I will paint on top. I love the texture and depth of buttery thick acrylic. I love the second panel so much, I may just leave it the way it is.
Another project over by the sofa is this red scarf. I’m almost done.
Another project in the works is to add to our terrarium family. We already have three but I’m going to add two more. These two books below have been inspiring.
I am going to create a succulent terrarium in a round fish bowl I picked up at Goodwill the other day. And with these glass items below, I’m going to grow a bed of moss.
What is it that makes YOU come alive? What do you daydream about doing? What did you love to do when you were a kid? What do you long to do? What do you keep promising your self that you will do once you have some free time? Do it now! Come alive. The world needs you~
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