Friday, May 31, 2013

What do you look at?

What do you put into you imagination? I don't watch the news, I surf (mostly) uplifting places on the internet, because why fill your head with pictures of sadness, violence, evil, anger? Oh, that means the news! I read some headlines and listen to NPR a bit so I am informed, but most of the other news is either misplaced sensationalism, or silly celebrity gossip. None of that helps me to be a better human on the planet.

There is so much beauty out there, let's look at that, and make more of it.
"The practice of imagination, on an everyday basis, involves clearing unhelpful images that block or misdirect our energies, and choosing to focus on positive, mobilizing imagery that gives us courage and confidence." - Robert Moss, The Three 'Only' Things

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

All working together:

"You're a star -- and so am I. I'm a genius -- and so are you. Your success encourages my brilliance, and my charisma enhances your power. Your victory doesn't require my defeat, and vice versa.
Those are the rules in the New World -- quite unlike the rules in the Old World, where zero-sum games are the norm, and only one of us can win each time we play.
In the New World, you don't have to tone down or apologize for your prowess, because you love it when other people shine. You exult in your own excellence without regarding it as a sign of inherent superiority. As you ripen more and more of your latent aptitude, you inspire the rest of us to claim our own idiosyncratic magnificence.

"Tibetan Buddhist teacher Geshe Chekawa (1220-1295) specialized in bodhicitta, seeking enlightenment not for personal gain but as a way to serve others. On his deathbed, he prayed to be sent to hell so that he might alleviate the suffering of the lost souls there.
As you explore pronoia, you will discover that like Chekawa, you have a huge capacity to help people. Unlike him, you'll find that expressing your benevolence doesn't require you to go to hell. It may even be unnecessary for you to sacrifice your own joy or to practice self-denial. Just the opposite: Being in service to humanity and celebrating your unique power will be synergistic. They will need each other to thrive."

--Rob Brezsny

Friday, May 24, 2013


I have just returned from a visit to New York to attend the Surtex Trade Show, an event that lets reps show their artists' work to people who buy licenses for things like fabrics, wrapping paper, calenders, paper goods, cards, and all that fun stuff. My reps had a booth, and a banner with my work, and ipads set up with portfolios. (They put one of my designs as the ipad skin!)

All of this was very exciting and inspiring, but most of all, I enjoyed the conversations with various other artists who do what I do. Some of them have been doing it for decades, and I met several who were just so generous and open with their ideas. Others were cute young things, right out of school, who had invested someone's life savings to start up a design business, and it was super fun to chat with them, too, to see their fresh work and starry eyes. (and creative displays!)

The world of licensing is new for me. Rather than being out selling my work, I have been here on-line, showing the world my journal pages, and making collages for I think over ten years. I was selling cards and originals in galleries and craft fairs, on-line, and certainly to friends and family. Little local things that made a few hundred dollars, and involved me hand making all my own inventory. I knew the world of licensing existed, I just had no clue how to break in. The funny thing is, this timing is now perfect for me. I think if it had happened earlier, my work would not have been ready. For better or worse, maybe I have a slow learning curve, but it really did take me the last ten years of journaling and making collages to find my own style, and develop my own voice as an artist. Now, I feel ready. At Surtex, I had so much positive feedback, it was one of the more uplifting four days of my life.

and I must mention my amazing reps at Parcai, Teresa and Lainey.  They are simply such classy ladies, smart, professional, hard working, and deeply kind.

Usually gallery shows leave me exhausted, depressed, and wanting to quit selling art. This left me eager to get back to the studio and get to work! I have a few calender requests I am putting together right now, and other ideas in the making. So, I guess I am sharing all this here to say, thank you to my art journaling, a slow turtle like me is actually hitting the design world with my own style, personal and unique, and coming straight from my heart. Who knew at age 51, I would figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up?! Passion, maybe is a key to success, and I think I have that. I love what I am doing, and I am happy with my art.

What a blessing to be doing this work with such great people.
 "The road to success is not a path you find but a trail you blaze." --Robert Brault

Sunday, May 12, 2013

reading . . . .

For Mother's Day, I think I will go to Tattered Cover (best independent book store in Denver) and enlarge my to-read pile.
Suggestions welcomed!
“He took up books as if they were people and welcomed them into his family.”    --Michel de la Montaigne

Friday, May 10, 2013


 “The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up & get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part & a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you."  --Chuck Close.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


"Perfectionists live lives of sameness, wondering why new things never come. Perfectionism is the enemy of good, and good enough. But in an elemental way, perfectionism is the galactic enemy of action itself."  --Bob Sullivan

Monday, May 6, 2013

my studio

What are you working on today?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Where to start.

How do you get yourself to start creative work?  If you work at home, it is really hard.  There is laundry to do, dishes that need putting away, and that recipe you wanted to test.  There are errands, phone calls, e-mails, the cursed internet to browse (and blog posts to write!)
There are a million distractions, some important ones, not to mention family and social obligations.
It is so very very easy to take care of all these needs, then to address the creative urge.
I have learned, over many years of NOT getting to my work, that if I don't make it a priority, if I don't value it beyond a clean house, lengthy communication, new movies to watch, the garden to work in, I will never get to it.
Another way to get to prioritize your creative work is to do it somewhere else.  Travel to give yourself time and space to work is a great idea -- I love this little book: A Writer's Paris, by Eric Maisel.   I might not ever get back to Paris, and the chances that I can be there alone for 2 months just to work?  Very slim.  But reading this book reminds me that I CAN make my work a priority here.
I can say "no" to committees and projects and a very clean house.
I can say "no" to all those interesting social networking sites that beckon.
So here I am, typing this.
Right now I will cut this short, and get back to my work.
Now you go do the same.
"I tamed my personal art demon – the tendency to think about painting rather than actually painting – by throwing the stuff on the blank paper and telling myself I didn't care about the end result. I believed it and was saved."   --Rich Hawk