The sun just burst through the grey cloud cover, and the landscape is illuminated with the fresh snow that fell overnight. What a difference a little sunshine will make to anyone’s creativity!
I was already in the studio following through on day 11 of the #28 To Make Challenge through CreativeLive. The challenges this week started out a little heavy with filling in 30 circles. This of course was impossible in the 20 minutes I had allotted… it took me 45 minutes and I was about to abandon the challenge altogether when it became a whole lot of fun on Tuesday, Wednesday and today. The exercises these days are much shorter and more spontaneous. (If anyone has signed up for the challenge, I created a sheet with 30 circles as I could not find the downloadable version on the website despite a mention. Just email me and I will send the PDF <firstname.lastname@example.org> )
On the agenda for today is finalizing my presentation for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. With Mark Lipinski’s serious sudden illness late last year he had to back out of several teaching commitments. At the time Mancuso Show Management approached me and asked if I would fill one of the lecture spots and I happily agreed. The idea to focus on my renewed enthusiasm in handwork quickly has formed the foundation for this lecture. I am now pulling together images and examples to create the final version of the presentation. Wish me luck!
Since I am revisiting my roots and my passion for handwork and embroidery I also reached for one of my favorite books. I purchased it so long ago, in fact I believe I bought it right around the time I decided to commit time and energy to become a full time artist. That goes back 15 years now. The book is always within reach, it title “The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women – a Portable Mentor” by Gail McMeekin.
The book features interviews with 45 creative women from all walks of life, countless quotes and sound advice from accomplished artists. Every time I open it randomly it lights a fire under me and pushes me forward into exploration and experimentation.
I just opened the book to page 102 and the bold line “Overcoming the Fear of Criticism” jumps out at me. Next to this chapter heading is a quote by the singer Peggy Lee: “Some of us just go along… until that marvelous day people stop intimidating us – or should I say we refuse to let them intimidate us.” This quote doesn’t just apply to artists. It applies to all walks of life, any personal situation we have had to face in the past that might have put us in a position of intimidation.
The quote on page 119 by Clarissa Pinkola Estes is poignant and should be printed out boldly to be placed over my work station. “Being with real people who warm us, who endorse and exhault our creativity, is essential to the flow of the creative life. Otherwise we freeze… When women are out in the cold, they tend to live on fantasies instead of action.”
On the other hand, the book is far from a collection of stories and quotes. It is in also a work book to boost one’s creative thinking and practice. For those interested in checking out one of my favorite books, I did a quick google search with just the title and author’s name. The book has been republished in 2011 and is available in paperback and Kindle editions. There are also interviews with the author and reviews on GoodReads.
OK, time to get to work. The sun has found a hiding place behind the clouds once again but that won’t affect my day as I have full spectrum lighting in the studio. No sun means no distraction and urge to venture outside with the camera right this minute. Enjoy your day and stay creative!