Thursday, January 29, 2009

12 Secrets...Chapter 2

I am finding this book so inspiring. I spent a great deal of my life suppressing my feminine side, feeling that it wasn't valued or even necessary.
My creativity, my connection to nature and my sense of continuity took the form of breeding show dogs. I bred 7 generations of German Shepherds and traced their heritage as lovingly as any genealogist and treasured glimpses of previous generations in the newest one.
But other than that, I cultivated the skills that would let me 'get ahead' and 'be successful.' That was not a totally bad thing, I learned and taught and grew. But it is only now, in my late 50s that I have come to realize that I ignored my own yearnings and natural skills in favor of things that more obviously would contribute to making a living.
I envy those of you who listened to your internal voices earlier in life, but I am enjoying the path I am now exploring.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

CED, day 25

I have not kept up with scanning and posting in the way that I intended but I have been working...or should I say PLAYING...with what I intended and more.

The watercolors project became somewhat frustrating again and I was losing my focus on enjoying the process and beginning to stress about the end result. So I set it aside for a little while. I also purchased the book "Watercolor Basics, Let's Get Started" by Jack Reid. It is a series of exercises to help beginners learn and become comfortable in the medium. The author's enjoyment of the process and not just the result comes across very clearly. It was a good choice for me and I am enjoying it.

I also began writing everyday on
I made a commitment to average an article a day for the month just to see how it went and so far I am enjoying it. I was glad that I decided to do it that way because some days I am completely blank for a topic and other days several articles flow easily. I have posted a link in the sidebar if you care to read, and feel free to comment.
This has been a good way to do something I like doing in a more disciplined way. I am very excited to see that our thought for February in CED is "Words."

I am also taking part in the 12 Secrets group blog and it has become an important part of my CED process. The two tie together in just the right way for me.

I have taken a little time to surf around and see some of the other blogs of those who are taking part in both of these projects and I am in awe of the creative people that I visit.

Monday, January 12, 2009

12 Secrets...Chapter 1

favorite quote:
"What you love is a sign from your higher self of what you are to do." Sanaya Roman

I do wish that I had understood/listened to/been brave enough to live by this when I was younger. My consolation is that so many women I meet are in the same situation. Like many of them, I had a good career, made good money and called myself successful. But it had nothing to do with what I love or who I am. Who exactly were we listening to when we go so far off track in our youth? Better late than never. I shall just have to live a very long time to make up for it.

I just finished reading Chapter 1. I was relieved, intrigued and interested. Relieved because I was afraid it was going to be some chirpy, inane, you-can-do-it sort of tripe.
Instead I found myself wanting to learn more about the women who contributed to this book and very interested in what the author had to say. I felt involved in a conversation.
I am delighted by the beginning of this project and looking forward to Chapter 2.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I first posted this on another blog, but I wanted to share it here. I am in constant awe of the artwork of Nature....

The geese are on the move. The skies are full of noisy flocks.

The local flocks are flying in close formations from lake to lake, scoping out the best possible nesting sights.

The migrating flocks are flying high and hard and fast, heading for their temporary resting place a few hundred miles north. One stop on their long trek north.

South Platte, Nebraska, where the North Platte River and the South Platte River come together to form a large area of wetlands, is one of the largest layover spots for migrating birds in North America. Here in Denver we are not in the center of the path of migration, many birds fly too high and fast to be seen easily and some travel at night. So the main indicators for me of this activity are the flocks of geese.

I have traveled to South Platte a few times to see the migration. I don't do it often enough. The highways between here and there can turn in a heartbeat from clear and dry to dangerous blizzards with drifts higher than a car. But the main reason is that my sense of spring approaching doesn't really come alive until mid March and by then the birds are gone.

The largest part of the annual migration arrives in early February. The lakes are frozen here, the ground inhospitable. I have to wonder about the landscape that these birds are hurrying toward. It surely can't be any more welcoming the farther north they travel.

The resting area in the wetlands is unbelievable. I once counted 70+ golden eagles in a bare cottonwood tree. One of hundred of trees around the ponds, each full of eagles.

I saw snow geese and swans so crowded together on ponds that I was reminded of overcrowded knick knack shelves.

Five foot tall sandhill cranes, so many in a cornfield that they surpass any crowded mall at Christmas time. Thousands and thousands of birds, as far as the eye could see. As I approached them, even though their legs are as long as mine, they did not walk away. They would make a small jump into the air, spread their enormous wings and glide 50 feet away. Feet trailing a few inches above the ground, an apparently effortless change of position. Occasionally one would lift his enormous wings over his head in a beginning courtship display. The sound of the flock chattering to each other was deafening.

I saw every sort of hawk and falcon, crowded together in trees, motionless, silent, unmoved by my presence, photographed often and by better than me.

The birds arrive in February and by the first week in March they are gone. Some rest for weeks, pick mates, court and dance and eat. Others come in and rest motionless for days or weeks and move on. Some arrive in large noisy flocks. Some travel with a mate or last year's offspring. Some are flying totally alone.

I have been incredibly moved by this gathering since I first witnessed it. And humbled.

Long ago our first ancestors came down from the trees and moved into the caves. Found fire, art, community, tools, building, teaching and learning. Civilizations have been born, died and their remains have disappeared. Wars have been fought, won and lost. We have been proud of our learning, our building, our skyscrapers, our space shuttles, our 'power' over the earth.

And throughout all this time, the geese fly north every spring.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CED, day 6

Add ImagePlaying with color.

Finding things in colors.

Facing my fear of watercolor,
I am going to find a way to play with them.


Monday, January 5, 2009

CED, day 5

Since the first attempt with watercolors did not turn into a brown/green/yellow blob, I am going to try again. I took this photo a couple of months ago. It has an interesting amount of dark and light and I am going to use it for my next watercolor sketch.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

CED, day 4

I am going to call this one finished. My goal was to play with some color and NOT overwork it and end up with a muddy mess. This is probably the least muddy watercolor sketch that I have ever done.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

CED, day 3, a little more

I came back to this with the idea of adding a little more and quitting before I stopped enjoying it. Something verrrrry strange with the sky, but this is working better than anything else I have tried. All done for today, I will take it out tomorrow and look at it and see what I see.
I have started putting the scans in a folder and I think I am going to number them. In a few months I should be able to flip through them in order and make something of what is happening.

CED, day 3

My goal, working on this painting, is to NOT end up with a muddy mess. It has been my downfall with watercolor, obsessively overworking it. So I told myself to PLAY with color, don't worry about the end product. Thinking about my ultimate goal, that less is more, I have done just a preliminary wash of a few colors. I am happy with the sky and start of the treetops. I will think about it and play with it more later.

Friday, January 2, 2009

CED, day 2

Taking the plunge....watercolors.
Good watercolor paintings have always touched an emotional chord in me, more so than any other medium as a general rule. But the creation of good watercolor art has always eluded me. I have painted in oils and acrylics and while I am a fairly good technician, my work lacks emotion, which is at the core of art. There is no emotion in the finished product because the mediums do not conjure up emotion in me.
Watercolor does move me, but it goes against my ingrained control freak nature. I was the little girl who painted the little paint-by-number pictures with nary a mistake. I was the little girl who colored drawings with crayon and filled every molecule of space and obsessed over which color should cover the lines, perfectly.
A good watercolor painting makes natural flowing use of space and light, something I greatly admire but find alien when I try it myself.

But I am willing to try again, spurred on by this challenge and wanting to have fun with it instead of toiling in frustration. Above is a pencil sketch to work from, already I know that I have inserted too much detail but I am going to ignore it and carry on. I plan to work on this through the weekend and if at the end I have my usual muddy 'did you think you were working in oils, dear?' least I will have taken the first step.
Have fun, play, have fun, create, have

in the mood for onion

I haven't read The Onion in years. It just sorted drifted out of my life. I recently came across a quote from an article, looked it up online and started subscribing. I have spent the morning giggling at the news stories. You want creative, there are some hysterically creative people working there.
This one struck me today.
Dead ipod remembered
from The (already obsolete) Technology column.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Creative Every Day Challenge

My real goal this year is to work on watercolor painting, but this morning I decided to just make something pretty for myself. So I made these earrings and I like them. I am wearing them right now, with my pajamas...great outfit!
I think this Challenge is going to be wonderful!

For more info check here

it's happening again

The Winter Solstice brings a sense of relief that there is an end to the dark and cold days. But since the reality is that most of the winter weather happens after Solstice, there is always an inevitable letdown and that nagging feeling that....well, maybe this year spring isn't coming after all.

Driving to work yesterday I saw a mature Bald Eagle cruising in the 80mph windstorm we were having, flying effortlessly directly into the wind.

The Bald Eagles leave early in the fall, but some return as early as this.

So it is going to happen again. Only a few short days past Solstice and the birds are starting the new season even under cover of winter snow.

I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of my own of the eagle.
I found this picture here.


May the coming year bring you joy.

photo found here