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why I draw…and how it can transform your life

garden / bow journal, 2013

garden / bow journal, 2013

Putting a pencil to a pure white piece of paper has always been exciting and challenging at the same time.I can start and end anywhere. There is no one right way to make a mark.

Drawing makes who I am inside,  visible on a surface.

I take time to reflect, to observe my interior, to connect with my surroundings.

It is centering for me.

You can do this too!

How to start drawing..

  • Get a blank journal. A Moleskine is well crafted and a nice surface. If you prefer a wire binding, just get a substantial feeling paper surface and sturdy wire. Thai way, when you carry it in your back pack, briefcase or hand bag, it will stay together. Size is totally what feels practical and comfortable to you!
  • In fact,you can even use a tablet or iPad with a program such as Penultimate or Paper 54. For these you may use your finger or a stylus.
  • Have your favorite pen or pencil at hand.
  • Draw what you see or remember in your mind’s eye.

Or draw lines tat interest you. Or shapes

Perhaps write words to describe them…

Or not.

As with any healthy good habit, the practice of drawing, every day

allows you to observe and reflect on the world around and within you,

bringing inspiring connections

and quiet energy and joy at just being.


It is in this 30 minutes of active reflection that you will find your life transforming into the best of who you are. Interested in trying this simple habit?

Then subscribe to my blog and draw along with meI I will be posting once a week…..and I can’t wait to share my passion for mark making with YOU!  Oh and please post your questions and thoughts in comments!  I will be sharing my drawings.



Create like a marathon runner!


photo (1)

A mom, Kathy, running for a cure for her son!


And the race begins… courtesy of iNG

New York City was bursting with cheering, support and goodwill today. All of us in the crowds were rooting for each runner to finish. Determination was evident in each runner’s stride and face. I knew they would make it. Oh how inspiring it was to see so much camaraderie and strength of spirit! Participating in this amazing achievement requires not just physical strength but balance in other areas of life as well. Surely you need to have good form and running shoes. You also need to care for your body and get plenty of sleep. Months of regular discipline and practice culminate in the marathon. Eating the right foods is key and of course, drinking plenty of water. Most importantly, working with supportive partners who listen and inspire can help to keep you on track. And so it goes, also, with sustained creative work. Producing a series of art pieces that result in a strong body of work requires a similar practice to preparation for a marathon. It is a balance of physical strength and health, strong spirit, determination, knowledge of your best working practice and a good support network.

So if you ran a marathon today, congratulations!!

If you are not a runner but would like to create more and better work, a “creative marathon” –   don’t ignore the impulse! Follow the routines that help to make a runner strong. Make a goal of creating something each day. Keep a life balance. Keep in touch with friends that support your efforts!

Take the first step and subscribe to this blog.

Click here or on Kathy’s photo above to discover her motivation  that keeps her running running….

And I would love to hear how you motivate yourself to accomplish your creative goals!

Oh yeah… A 30 day challenge!

I am thrilled to be beginning this challenge offered by Artist Leslie Saeta . Three hundred artists are participating!
When I first saw this, I was afraid it would be too much at this time of year. Then I sat down and asked myself when would be a good time?

The answer? Painting every day is my meditation. Why not commit to it now? persistence, being consistent are keys to creating great art!

I have been sketching and painting the garden all summer and will be painting small in oil.

Can’t wait to start the process this morning when I get up and plan my day.

Check back! I am starting a new page in my portfolio  blog to which I will be  adding a painting each day. You can also go to Leslie’s site above to see 300 other paintings each day!

Create your life both on & off the canvas…like Eric Fischl

Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas  by Eric Fischl  and Michael Stone

Bad Boy:
My Life On and Off the Canvas
Eric Fischl
Michael Stone

Well, I certainly wasn’t prepared for the self introspection inspired by this book when I decided to read book “Bad Boy: My life on and off the canvas”, by Eric Fischl this summer. I chose to read it on the recommendation of Alyson Stanfield from ArtBiz, I should have known it was powerful because she has a passion for helping artists taking action at believing in the sustainablity of their own creativity. Thank you, Alyson!

The book is well written and hard to put down. Eric writes about his life and how it expressed itself in his paintings. His honesty about both is clearly expressed and revealing. It was helpful for me to draw inspiration from his courage and persistence in the face of much adversity as he was growing up. It was also instructive for me to see how he continued to allow his work to be dictated by his intuitions, regardless of whether it was acceptable. He put his inner voice first and let it lead him.

He was fortunate to nurture some truly honest, supportive friends who support him, especially his wife, April Gornik, the esteemed American artist.If you are reading this blog, you are interested in how to access the creative process. The way Eric perseveres in his lifelong attempt to discover meaning from his life and transform it is truly inspiring! 
Reading his life and art story, will help you to see the artist in yourself and encourage you to listen to it, nurturing the creative abilities within YOU. I know it has done that for me.I will leave you with a link to Eric’s interview with Alec Baldwin, which summarizes much of the book very well.

Be sure to let me know here what you think of the book and what part of it or of this blog has helped you to trust your creative instincts!!!!

  • beth vendryes williamsSeptember 11, 2013 - 8:01 pm

    Thank you, Alyson, I was inspired to read it after you mentioned it in Artbiz. I had met April at an art education conference where she discussed her work. She was just as depicted in the book. Beautiful, thoughtful and very articulate about her work. I had fun reflecting on the book. I will be continuing to read and write about artists. it helps me articulate the art process more clearly. That helps my readers too.
    By the way, any more suggestions? ;) Thanks again!ReplyCancel

  • Alyson B. StanfieldSeptember 11, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    I’m really glad you liked the book, Beth!ReplyCancel

  • NinaAugust 28, 2013 - 7:25 am

    Always a pleasure and reminder to read about INSPIRATION and Passion.
    Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • adminSeptember 2, 2013 - 11:13 pm

      Why thank you for your encouragement , Nina! The book is an inspiring read. I think you would love it!ReplyCancel

How safe are you from losing your creativity?

find a place to work

Let’s take a good look at the amount of time dedicated to coming up with new ideas,sometimes by simply giving myself a moment to be still and listen. Being creative is a way of thinking, not just for painters and sculptors, but for any person who is making a mark on the world we live in.

If you are like me, time is increasingly sifting through my fingers as I ace to keep up with scheduled events. impetus to act is increasingly directed to me from outside of me, so little time is available for acting and thinking from within. My studio time is my time to “make things”, is in danger of being chipped away!
I’m not only talking about making a painting, but about any time I need to make something creative with my hands,
like sewing, making that delicious new salad (or cookie!), writing a note by hand to a friend, knitting,
taking a walk just tho think, reading a book…just add your own favorite use of time.

It takes great effort to fit time in for creativity today. And yet it is truly essential to our survival. Being creative

“make or cause something to become; to bring into existence.

In order to create new things, we must learn all we can by first, observing. Strengthen your observation by paying close attention to what you see, smell , taste, hear and touch or intuit or “feel in the pit of your stomach”. Then reduce that observation or abstract it down to its simplest and most crucial elements. Working on new ideas begins with these two actions, according to research by Robert and Michele Root Bernstein in their book called “Sparks of Genius”.

This thinking tool is incredibly important in any field or stage of life, wouldn’t you agree? You can make an investment in your creative output at no cost, right now!

Let me share two simple ways to begin to make room for expanding your ability to create what you imagine.:

1 View full post »

  • Karen RennaAugust 17, 2013 - 10:35 am

    AS for my own creativity when I am stuck with the dining room and living room as my studio space it is pretty comical and certainly different from when I expect to have my own private studio. Right now I am working on tons of sewing projects from personal clothing ( designing my own shirts and sewing them) to small table top quilts to big quilt tops for twin bed size (2 of them) to handbags. All of these are bing made out of repurposed silk fabric samples from a Friends daughter. This daughter has a high end interior design studio so the samples are delicious to touch the colors are sumptuous and the texture is a mix of rich taffetas to silk noille and woven plaids, to silk satins. Although it is not clay it is tactile and pliable and rich to the touch. Not a bad second to my personal loves. Besides rearranging the colors to make patterns is fun. Not bad for a second in creativity.
    I find that adjusting my projects to suit the space I have is not a bad idea for now. My next goal is to work on smaller calligraphy projects. They will fit the dining room table better than the silks and the sewing machine!ReplyCancel

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