Sunday, June 30, 2013

She Held in Her Hand...

...the ticket to high-flying freedom.

best seat in the house, beautiful views from all angles...oh yes she did!
{her favorite ride as a child}
Some things never change.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Exploring Yoga and the Creative Process

the view from my yoga mat
Hello, Summer! Hello, Saturday morning oceanfront yoga!

I've been a wannabe yogini with a wavering practice for a couple years now, but today I think I can officially say, I'm hooked!

Stuffy yoga studios and my living room just weren't cutting it, so I decided to try a class outdoors. There happens to be a Meetup biking distance from my home at a place called Palisades Park on the grassy cliffs overlooking Pacific Beach. I've written about this sacred place before.There is a wonderful energy about it and it was especially strong today.

The park was covered with yoga mats and very bendy people. I did my wobbly best. I am getting better at conscious breathing, and that's big for me. Shavasana pose (picture sprawled out on your back) in the sea air and sunshine? What could be better than that? Yes, there were challenging parts. I'm going to be very sore tomorrow, but the level of relaxation and mental clarity I felt in the end were worth the hard bits. An amazing workout, plus a connection with nature and my soul- I know where I'll be spending my Saturday mornings from now on.

As an artist, I want to explore how spiritual practices (like yoga and meditation) can feed my creative practice. At this point I know that in both yoga and creation I must: show up, learn to be present, move past blocks, and mind my mind. By deepening my yoga practice, I hope to learn strategies for growing my creative practice and settle deeper into my creative process. The teacher who led us today said that we can apply what we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat to our day-to-day lives. How about transferring our learning from the yoga mat to the art studio?!

Now that I have this intention for my practice, I am motivated and very excited to move beyond child's pose!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Beach Journaling

The moment I sat down on the beach today, the roar of the ocean drowned out all of my mundane and unproductive thoughts. The salted air cleansed my stale energy. The sun kissed the top of my head until there was clarity. I was able to tune into the whispers of my heart. This is what happens every time. This is my best peaceful-thinking place. This is the place where writing is inevitable...

June 28, 5:15 p.m. 

The sun is still high in the sky. I sit on my beach towel, my back against a sun-baked rock, warm and relaxed to the core. The tide is high, the surfers are out. Finally, I breathe in summer. It's been a couple weeks in limbo, in "recovery." I'm pleased with myself for not getting too anxious about this ebb. 
That is all it is. 
This time I recognize it and I am patient with myself. I am gently easing into a new season, feeling the shift deep down to my bones. I am slowly, but surely, recalling the intentions in my heart and reconnecting with my creative spirit.

Time is on my side today. We sit together and look out at the wide open sea and even wider sky. My soul feels this wide openness. I am open to receiving messages and gifts form the Universe. The uncertainty and lack of action that usually bring so much discomfort are not getting me down. I am simply at peace with my feelings and my circumstances. I trust that what I need to know next will be revealed to me in a timely manner. I believe that something great is just around the next bend on my path. I have faith in my potential energy

Like the single sailboat on the horizon, my heart's desires are still off in the distance, but I can begin to make out their shape. This will be a summer of sailboats on the horizon, rolling on the waves, turning in the sun, making their way closer to my beach...until the time that I am ready to step on board with my dreams and sail off into that wide open sea. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Summer is For

It's here! My favorite season. It really snuck up on me this year as I'd been so preoccupied with the culmination of a certain epic project. The summer solstice ceremony earlier this week helped me reconnect with my hopeful self and my happy-go-lucky inner child. So even in my post-365 slump (yes the energy has been a little stuck this week), I just know that the flow of new ideas and happy projects is imminent. My muse is apparently just taking a well-deserved vacation. I really don't blame her. It's been a big year. But she'll be back. She always comes back.

With another school year finished, my routine is shifting I've been left to my own creative devices to plan my summer tutoring...and create my long summer days. I worried, at first, about losing momentum, about getting sucked back into the dizzying rush of everyday life and losing touch (again) with my creative spirit. A few days of going about my teaching work and trying to be patient with myself in regards to my creative output, and I'm beginning to realize, everything is just fine.

It's like riding a bike. As soon as we decide to be brave and happy, despite uneven ground, we regain our balance. 

So now that it's officially summer, my motto is "Don't worry, be happy." I wholeheartedly believe that "every little thing is gonna be alright," even if I don't exactly know where my creative path will take me this summer. I'm going to go easy on the plans and schedules. I'm just going to roll with it and let my summer spirit lead the way.

Summer is for being wild and free, barefoot and brave.
Summer is for bike rides, trying new things and digging into the whole watermelon with a spoon.
Summer is for being a little more relaxed and a lot more spontaneous, in both art and life.
Summer is for finding balance and creating energy.
Summer is for me.

My daily commitment to create has evolved into a genuine need to stay connected to my creative spirit, as authentically and spontaneously as it began. I will continue to write, to play with color, to photograph my days...and to share the unfolding of my creative life in the hopes of stirring the creative spirit in others.

Hello, summer. Shall we keep on keepin' on?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Summer Solstice and the Super Moon

sea level at the summer solstice
To celebrate the summer solstice, I decided to join a friend of mine who was hosting a special gathering at the beach. It was one of those sweetly surprising events that turned out to be more meaningful that I could have imagined.

We did yoga in the late afternoon sun. (I'm still finding sand in odd places.) We learned about our chakras and practiced some energy healing. (I'm intrigued!) Best of all was the intention ceremony. We were told to find a rock on the beach with which to do a little guided visualization and meditation. We were asked to choose one meaningful intention for our life right now. (Oh man, was this hard! There was so much that I wanted to tell my rock!) Then we prayed our intentions into our rocks and tossed them far out into the tide. We were reminded to simply have faith that putting our intentions out into the universe would get the ball rolling on our heart's desires. I realize it may sound kooky to some, but at this point in my life, I'm doing what feels good to connect with my true self. And this felt good. Down on my knees in the sand, taking photos of the way the sun glimmered on the heads of the rocks good. {Mine's out there somewhere!}

A new season, I'm learning, is always a perfect time for letting go of that which no longer serves us, just as mother nature does during her yearly cycles. During my ceremony, I chose to let go of the limiting beliefs that keep me from showing up courageously in my creative life, along with unnecessary clutter that enters my mind. I chose to create a kind and peaceful place in my heart and mind to explore my creative process, free of guilt and negative self-talk. I intend to be kinder to myself and my creations.

This year, the coming of summer happened to coincide almost perfectly with the moon's perigee, the time that it is closest to the earth during it's orbit- the "Super Moon" it's been called. I think perhaps I had super-sized it a bit bigger in my mind, but it was still worth the drive to Torrey Pines State Beach to see it tonight.

With the roaring Pacific at our backs, we watched the full moon, in it's most golden glory, rise over the mountains to the east. A few attempts at photos that didn't do it justice, a hushed awe, strangers stopping to see what our group was gazing at...mere moments and the super moon had risen high enough to duck behind the clouds. I had just enough time to ask it for help in moving the tide. I stood there, picturing the sea churning my little rock, sending waves of intentions out into the universe.

I didn't know what I was in for today, but it was precisely what I needed: to reconnect with nature and my spiritual self. On the cusp of my favorite season, I needed a little ceremony to help me make the transition and honor my place on the path. A change of seasons, a full moon, a breathtaking sight, an honest intention...they all brought great energy today.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

In the Wake of Things

A week after completing my 365 Days of Creative, I feel like I finally have the time and energy to process it all. I was in a coma all last Sunday, sleeping off a year's worth of diligence, a week's worth of party planning, and an afternoon of the happiest of celebrations. Then I threw myself back into my teaching work, preparing for my summer of tutoring. I spent the better part of the week out of town visiting with old friends and young creative spirits. Now I am home by myself, sitting with all these strange and sudden feelings. I knew that they would come as soon as I slowed down and got quiet. They came today when I was lying on my back, taking more photos of the lanterns...

I am the orange one...still twirling with excitement, dancing on the summer air and floating on the wake of things.

Now comes the patient reflection, the harvesting of lessons learned and the synthesizing of honest realizations. Now come the questions. How to hold on to the sweetness? How to keep the momentum going? How to stay connected to that creative spirit that saw me through such a life-affirming year?

Now comes the inevitable asking...
Now what?

Inside, I avoid the unpacking from my days away. I stare at the flowers my husband gave me in congratulations. They are beginning to wilt. I see my days beginning to fill up with things removed from my creative endeavors. How quickly I forget. How easily I lose touch. I feel an odd sense of loss, and burnout and accomplishment and urgency all at once.

I decide to give myself permission to take my time processing it all. It is all I know to do in the wake of things bigger than me.

Friday, June 21, 2013

REALM Creative Academy

I've just spent the last three days in serious play mode and I couldn't be happier. My brilliant teaching partners from my old life back in Santa Monica invited me to help out at their first week of summer camp at the R.E.A.L.M. Creative Academy. The theme for the week was "Imaginarium." We painted and crafted and constructed and read and laughed and swam in the sea and asked "What if?"

I am so uplifted by this magical learning environment, and by the community of grown-up children at heart and creative, curious and empowered kids who share their joyful spirits there. As a teacher, I am beyond inspired by the idea of Redesigning Education and Living Meaningfully.

What if we did?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Nature of My Creative Spirit

123 miles away from my art desk, I find myself barefoot in the grass, collecting inspirations and connecting with my creative spirit. She must have snuck into my suitcase. These colors and textures made her smile today...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Seeing a Year of Creativity

As I sit eating tasty leftovers and watching the slideshow of my art that my husband helped me create for yesterday's celebration, I can't help but feel an incredible sense of pride and accomplishment. I kind of figured I'd be wrapped in these feelings today, but the "big picture" that I'm seeing on the screen comes as a pleasant surprise.

For the iPhoto slideshow, we selected an option called "Scrapbook" that shows a color image in the foreground and random piles of scattered sepia tone photos in the background, giving it an overall collaged look. This was the perfect way to view my pieces from the year.

Canvas art, visual journal pages, sketches, photography, snippets of text and texture peeking through, the colors and images that made up my life this year collaged across the screen...I officially have a body of work, random as it may be. And a voice, my voice, is beginning to emerge from it all. It's whimsical and hopeful and bright, in a mix of medias.

Someday, I'd love to have a whole series of paintings or a filled art journal, but this flighty collection of pieces is the perfect expression of my creative soul this year.
It makes me feel

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The 366th Day: A Celebration of Creativity

Ridiculously blessed and utterly blissed-out...that is how I'm feeling on this most memorable of days. Twenty like-minded souls came together in playful spirit to share their creativity. You could feel the creative energy in the air. It was incredible! I can't stop smiling about the sheer joy of it all.  I couldn't have imagined a more perfect way to commemorate my year of creativity. Art, music, new and old muse had quite a time being the guest of honor. This was a celebration 365 days in the making!

My favorite photo from our magical day...who knew the creative spirit travels by bubble?!
Jess has no fear of the blank canvas
as she makes the first mark on the mural. 
Come on in! All creative souls welcome.
"L" adding bubble whimsy to Jessica's work...
"Make Your Mark": The 366th Day mural with everyone's contributions.
I am so grateful to all who shared in making it, and proud to have this spirited and spontaneous work of art
adorning my home. I love the mix of medias and everyone's individual creative spark!
My contribution to the mural (so far)...
These hands have created great and inspiring things this year,
so it seemed appropriate. There is a beautiful ripple effect
that occurs when we let go of what stops us and create from the soul.
I found high-flying freedom in the creative process. 
Muse Letters, Self Portrait Photo Booth, "Stuck Sticks" & Inspiration Station...
play time for creative souls
I wish I had taken more photos of my creative friends in action,
but alas, I was playing happy hostess. 
Lee's work at the magnet poetry station...We certainly "celebrated our magic" today!
Banjo, who was on gate patrol all day,
finds a sunny spot to nap as the party winds down.
words of en{courage}ment...
"Art" spilling the paint...that guy is even clumsier than I am!
"Arthur's" paint bucket makes a mess of the table. Good thing the food wasn't out yet. 
Cliff's view of the lanterns. 
It turns out my backyard is the perfect place for an art party!
An exhausted, giddy and proud work of art
on my 366th day of creativity.
Thank you to my guests! I will always remember this day
and the creative souls who came together to make it possible. 

Friday, June 14, 2013


I can hardly believe it...I MADE IT!!

I completed my epic project! I kept the commitment. I showed up...for myself. I have to admit, I am astonished at my own courage and perseverance.

I have a year's worth of creative explorations under my belt and much learning to reflect on, but I haven't been able to sit still long enough for it all to sink in. At the moment I am busy preparing for tomorrow's celebration...organizing art supplies, priming the mural board, hanging lanterns and adding more items to my darling husband's "honey-do" list.

But I had to pause for a moment to breath in the accomplishment. So this is what pride feels like? I have proven something big to myself. If I could do this, I can do just about anything I put my hands, heart and mind to. I am on top of the world today! Honestly, I feel like I reached the top of a very tall mountain. I'm a little sore, but a lot stronger.

The view from up here is pretty incredible. :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

364/365: The Door to Creativity

open the door...
My very own creativity...
It has caught me by surprise.
It has become so much more
Than making pretty things.
It has grown a life of it's own,
Sometimes in full view of others,
Sometimes for it's keeper's eyes only.
Like a secret garden
behind a rusty unassuming gate,
It grows uninhibited.
Wild, twisted vines
With gorgeous blooms flourish there.
All kinds of wondrous creatures
Make their homes there.

It is bigger than me,
But I am not afraid of it.
I welcome it.
I live for it.
This is my very own creativity
That I have cultivated.
It is my most prized possession,
My favorite character trait,
My most unsolvable mystery,
My burning question.
It will never leave me.
It is here always.

You have one too.
You just have to step into your courage
And open the door.

"Creative power is mightier than its possessor." ~Carl Jung

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

363/365: Honor the Work

art journal spread: acrylic, ink, water soluble oil pastel, found images, scrap paper

At Orly's art journaling workshop the other day, we were given a list of affirmations and asked to journal about the one or two that stood out to us. Even as I was writing the words, I was battling with an inner critic that would have me do exactly the opposite. Thank goodness for my art journal. The pages seem less precious, somehow, than a canvas. I feel more free to experiment and less attached to the end result. It is easier to show kindness here. But the old doubts still creep in. Even with my hands and heart experiencing such joy in the process, my brain feels the need to critique the work. I try to separate the act of making from my reaction to the piece. I have to remind myself, whether it's good or bad is beside the point...and it's not for me to decide that anyway.

I just have to make the art and honor the work that goes into it.

I will show kindness to myself and my creations because my creative process deserves my respect. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

362/365: Music Therapy

One of the greatest lessons I've learned this year is to admit when I need a break, both from my busy life and from my busy mind. With a list of to-dos a mile long for my impending celebration of creativity, I decided to practice a little self-care to ward off the burnout. Music was what my creative spirit needed today, so I gathered with like-minded souls on the beach cliffs in Bird Rock for the weekly summer jam.

I caught up with an old friend and met some new ones, banged on a drum, sang a little and let my worries float off into the evening sea. The to-do list is right where I left it, but my spirits are soaring a little higher.

the crew at "Bird Rock Summertime Healing Jam Band"

Monday, June 10, 2013

361/365: Creative Insomnia

I went ahead and got an early start on the day's creative...2:45 a.m. early.
It was an idea attack. 

After 30 minutes of listening to my husband's peaceful breathing and watching my dog chase possums in his sleep, the ideas kept coming thick and fast and my manic mind would not let me rest. So, I gave in to the creative insomnia and crawled out of bed. Sometimes I get up and paint in the dark, but early this morning, I just needed to get all those ideas out of my head.

I'm realizing that creative insomnia tends to strike after periods of intense creating, when I have too many loose ideas that haven't been contained or an epic project in the works that hasn't been fleshed out, say a big party I'm planning. That was it exactly. I'm days away from my 365 celebration and hadn't finalized many plans. I swear I wasn't procrastinating. I was simply waiting for flashes of brilliance to come to me so I could plan from a place of excitement. Those flashes arrived well before the sun rose this morning.

So I sat by the light of my computer screen dumping all the ideas out of my head: how to turn my back yard into a cozy creative space, all the random supplies I need to gather, and more art activities for my guests to partake in. After an hour or so, I returned to bed drowsy, happy and feeling very productive.

This morning was another story.

Why must my muse keep such odd hours? Am I doing the right thing by jumping up when inspiration strikes, or should I get a handle on my nocturnal brainstorm sessions before my creativity suffers due to sleep deprivation?

Have you experienced creative insomnia? How do you reason with your muse in the wee hours?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

360/365: Art Journaling from a Beginner's Mind

Art journeying...I've been playing with these words in my mind today.

For a year, I have been searching for a means of connecting with my own creative spirit, more consistently, more fully, more authentically (and with more paint being spilled). Five days before the anniversary of beginning my journey, I am coming to the conclusion that my art journal is the ideal place for that connection. And it's been under my nose all along.

mixed media journal spread: acrylic, water soluble oil pastels
found images, scrap paper, washi tape
I started playing in my art journals the summer of 2011, and during this year of my 365 project I've returned to them sporadically to record epiphanies, document my days or create "a piece of art." But my view of visual journaling is evolving. I began to give way to the unfolding earlier this spring at my first art journaling workshop taught by Orly Avineri. That is where I allowed myself to experience art journaling with a beginner's mind. Rather than being just a place to deposit my thoughts and feelings and document my experiences, I see that my art journal could very well be the place to have the experiences that I most crave: to be deep in the creative process and to honor that process over the product.

When I opened the pages of my art journal at the workshop today, I dusted off the welcome mat for all the uncomfortable feelings that can come up during the creative process. I willingly rubbed elbows with doubt, fear and frustration. I invited the burning questions. I came face to face with my own blocks. I reminded myself that it is normal to encounter these uncomfortable feelings when creating something new. It's part of the process that I choose to immerse myself in. Well now I am choosing to give those feelings a home.

Now I see my art journal to be a nonjudgmental safe haven for my expressions, where I can acknowledge and work through the rough parts and celebrate the discoveries. Yes! It works on both ends of the spectrum, from the uncomfortable to the delightfully rewarding. Today during my art journaling, I experienced great freedom. I showed up for myself and created without inhibition. I practiced trusting my instincts. I surrendered to pure joyful self-expression born out of the moment.

This is the playground for my inner child that I have been in search of. In the pages of my art journal, I can practice blending color, texture, images and words. It is my safe place to play, to explore and to grow as an artist. Here I am free to make mistakes and to release the limiting beliefs about myself and my art. It is a place where I can practice and learn to speak the visual language, to listen to my own artist's voice as it emerges.

Someday, my art may hang in a gallery. It may be sold to adorn the homes of others. For now, my creative expressions can evolve in my art journal. My journal is an essential piece of my personal journey as an artist. With this realization, I feel as if I've just renewed my license to create!

Today, my beginner's mind helped me to let go of what I thought I knew to make space for greater understanding. We must learn to release that shiny image, that perfect shape. If we are willing to allow our creative expressions to drift off and up, to get lost in the fog and meet with storms, they will find a buoyancy all their own. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

359/365: Joyful Purples and Melancholy Grays

Late spring in Pacific Beach is all ash and lavender- the colors of the sky and the blooms on jacaranda trees. The quaint little streets of my beach town are lined by the purple flowering trees, their blossoms carpeting the ground below. But the glory of summer at the sea is put on hold as the marine layer overstays its welcome into the afternoons.

It's called "June gloom." It came promptly on the first of the month and doesn't seem to have any intentions of passing early this year. I'm beginning to feel the gloom from too many days without sunshine, and too much sad news trickling in from close friends this month. I'm trying to get excited for my celebration next week, but I'm finding it hard to feel happiness when people close to me are mourning great losses. I'm attempting to keep things in perspective.

mixed media art journal page: acrylic, colored pencil, photos

Today I was able to make peace with the feelings by taking a photo walk with my pup. I observed eerie calm, sprinkled with whimsical color. Such a bittersweet juxtaposition. The photo didn't do the color justice, so I decided to recreate it in my art journal. I want to remember the joyful purples and the melancholy grays. I think it's important for artists to capture both of these truths in life.

Friday, June 7, 2013

358/365: Playground for Your Inner Child

"Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up." ~Pablo Picasso

I got in touch with an old friend yesterday. Our conversation instantly brought me back to my 9 year-old days of running barefoot to her house for afternoons of giggly play. This got me thinking about my inner child.

I'm getting the urge to reconnect with my younger self. I think that would help my art immensely. I need a reunion with my sillier, messier, less serious self- the part of me that draws for the sake of drawing, or paints a flower over my mistake and keeps on going. When did I get so grown-up like and inhibited? Ugh! I miss little me.

Today was my husband's birthday, so play was on the agenda. We took a new bike route and found this deserted little playground. The swings looked lonely and we didn't have to sweet talk any six year-olds into sharing the equipment, so we decided to sit for a while. Sitting turned into swinging. Swinging turned into smiling. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to swing with a serious face. As I watched my feet rise over the horizon and felt flutters in my belly on the way down, I thought of how valuable play is in the creative process. How do I initiate that sense of playfulness in my art space?

When we are young, play is our job and our number one goal. Lighthearted curiosity and creative thinking come naturally. Certain fears have not set in yet. We are willing to take risks to understand new things. I have spent most of my adult life trying to get back to that place of child-like wonder and playful spirit. The creative process most definitely brings it out of me, but I have to get past my adult mind to get to that place.

How do we find that playground for our creative inner child?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

357/365: Stuffed Peppers for Stuffing Your Face

I wanted to treat my birthday boy to one last home-cooked meal before he turns another year older, so my creative act for the day took place in the kitchen.

A friend recommended this recipe for stuffed peppers from a cooking blog called Table for Two. (There are tons of great recipes with delicious photos, so I'll definitely be going back for ideas for my table for two.)

I love the healthy spin (ground turkey) and Mexican flair (black beans and corn). And it's easy, so this lazy chef was sold! Needless to say, we are stuffed. This one is going in my recipe collection, for sure!

Try Table for Two's recipe for stuffed peppers!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

356/365: Ride the Wondrous Whimsy

Today I'm cutting up old photos, painting watercolor clouds and contemplating winding roads- both in life and in the creative process. I am learning so much on this journey...

mixed media: watercolor & collage with found images, scrap paper & bike photo

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

355/365: Writing My Way Into Art

I called myself a writer long before I called myself an artist. Now I see that one form of communication is leading to another.

Documenting my creative acts has become just as meaningful as the acts themselves. Processing my experiences, preserving memories from my journey and sharing my learning have all been possible because of my choice to write it down. Writing has made it much more about the journey than the destination.

Among the artifacts of my creative life are the personal essays and journal entries that took my 365 project in a different direction. Looking back, there is less art than I envisioned there would be...but there is much, much more writing. I went into this project with an open mind, wanting it to evolve authentically. In my attempt to develop my artistic voice, I developed my writer's voice. I wrote myself into being a stronger writer and a more committed artist.

For a large part of the year during my project, I felt guilty for doing more writing about art than actually making art, but I realize now that my creativity grew more freely when I acknowledged that writing was both a perfect vehicle for self-discovery and a powerful form of self-expression. Writing has been my way of making sense of the creative process. It is my left brain reflecting on the things that my right brain is attempting to take on. With inner critics and muses as my characters, settings depicting both rocky terrain and gorgeous views, problems, solutions and turning points, the story of my creative journey is beginning to flesh out. It's all here in my journal and I'm so thankful that it is.

No matter what comes of my art and regardless of where my creative life takes me, let it be known, I was a writer first. Now I embrace the writer in me. Never again will I make excuses for "only" doing a journal entry instead of a piece of art. Communication is an art, as is self-discovery. All of our creative acts are valid. Expressing our deepest thoughts and feelings- in whatever form inspires us in the moment- is the highest art.

Monday, June 3, 2013

354/365 In Celebration

Today I made:
an invitation...

Dear Friends,

For the last year, I have been working on a project that is very close to my heart- my 365 Days of Creative. It's been an incredible (and surprising) journey of learning, self-discovery and play. I'm nearing the one year anniversary of my epic adventure and celebrations are in order. So, I'm throwing my muse a party! She has been so obliging, it's the least I could do. I invite you and your muse to join us!

It will be an art party, a summer kick-off, a barbecue, a reunion, a festive celebration of creativity, a chance to connect with your own creative spirit and be inspired by others...and Rodney will probably dance on the table. Join me in creating something special on this 366th day of my more creative life. No art experience necessary. Everyone is welcome! Let us celebrate your creativity too! Feel free to bring a project you're working on, your camera, your art or writing to share, musical instruments (or your favorite tunes) to play, journals to scribble in, your famous dessert, your stories to tell, your appetite, the stress you need to release, your dancing feet or just your need to play like a child.

I'm spreading the word to all my nearest and dearest. If you live out of town and can't make it, but would like to contribute to my crazy mixed media mural, please get in touch and I'll send details of how you can participate. It would mean the world to me to have all your creative sparks come together, in person or in spirit, on this very special day.

Please join me on Saturday, June 15th at my home, from noon until our muses need naps.

Cheers to the creative spirit in all of us!
xo Mila

Sunday, June 2, 2013

353/365 You've Got Mail: A Letter From My Future Self

In all the hustle and bustle of planning my 365 celebration, preparing for summer teaching and trying to stay devoted to my daily creative (and the documenting that's become such a big part of the process), I nearly overlooked a big day! June 2nd was the "grand opening" date I set for my letter to my future self. To be honest, I didn't feel ready to open it today. The six months have flown by and I felt it would be a depressingly anticlimactic event. After some deliberating, I decided to trust the exercise, and at the very least, check on my progress. So I made myself a big mug of tea and settled in with an open mind.

Once the letter was opened, I knew it was exactly what I needed today. While I feel my creative goals need more time to brew, it was so good to reread my intentions and to find that I am knee deep in the work of growing my creative life. Though slow and steady, progress has been made. The happiest surprise was my tone in the letter. I had intentionally written it as if writing to a dear friend. It was SO positive and encouraging. Turns out I do know how to be nice to myself! It's like I'm always telling my students. When we use a kind tone of voice and choose our words carefully, people are more willing to listen. The theme of creating my happiness came through loud and clear.

So the letter has been resealed, stamped "return to sender" and postdated for another six months down the road. Thanks, Universe, for continuing to work your magic!

Perhaps it's because I'm nearing the end of my 365 project and beginning to see the bigger picture that my work is beginning to take on new meaning. This quote by Stephanie Vaughn is the second best thing I read today ;) Isn't it so true?...

"Sometimes an artist's first invention is herself."

Saturday, June 1, 2013

352/365: Why Do I Create?

mixed media art journal page: original photo, acrylic, ink, found paper and burlap

Through the creative process, I lose myself and find myself.
I commune with my creative spirit, and connect to a greater truth.
I offer up my hands, my heart, my mind.
I give thanks and rejoice.
It is through art that I acknowledge Divine Grace.

How do you choose to kneel and kiss the earth?