The Road Ahead

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Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest. The blessing is in the seed.
— Muriel Rukeyser

I'm always excited to start a new year. It appears as a straight shot down a tree lined street. I don't see any obstacles on the road ahead, the path is clear and I feel certain that my destination is right there in front of me. Everything I want to be, do, or have in the new year, waits for me. There. At the end.

In 2016, I committed to a daily creative practice that would leave me with several sketchbooks, filled with my art work. At the beginning of the year, I imagined holding those filled books. Although I missed more than a few days toward the end of the year, I now have three sketchbooks full of paintings and collages, as well as nearly a hundred postcard sized watercolor paintings. Next?

I'm ready for another Year of Creative Habits. At the end of this year, I'd like to hold a hardcover book with my favorite drawings, paintings and photographs from 2017. I'd like for those images to help tell the story of what it was like to live creatively and how it brought me everything I wanted to be, do or have.

That's what I see. There. At the end.

I'm still at the beginning though, and determined to observe and enjoy, each day. I've decided to start with a basic daily rhythm:

  • write a minimum of 750 words, every morning. The site I use keeps track of my habit for me and I also check off a goal tracker on my wall.  I can use a shot of endorphins in the morning.
  • take a picture of my creative piece for the day and post it to Instagram.

I have a trunk load of projects queued up and will share them here, as they get unpacked.  I'm trying to keep the beginning simple and coherent and not overwhelm myself with the promise of the entire year. The finish line is so enticing,  but I have a story to write that's all about getting there.

The blessing is in the seed.

 

Image: The road to The Club at Kukuiula, taken with an iPhone 5S, through the windshield.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 32: In Case I Forget

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This past week, I:

Finished a weekly spread in my first Midori Traveler's Notebook (above) after long admiring the notebooks of others on Instagram and Pinterest. I just simulated the pages I like, for now, and can't wait to see what appears for me in the weeks to come.

Ordered Getting There by Gillian Zoe Segal, after reading an excerpt: "Mad Men" Creator Matthew Weiner's Reassuring Life Advice For Struggling Artists.

Reflected on these words by Olympic runner and poet, Alexi Pappas: "...I like having absolute freedom within boundaries."

Adored Simon Helberg's portrayal of Cosme McMoon in Florence Foster Jenkins.

Watched Michael Phelps swim his way toward his 23rd Gold Medal and constantly referred to as "old", while thinking about a 98 year old runner who continues to break world records.

My thought for this week?

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.
— Mary Oliver

 

 

 

Lyrical Paintings

I wish I was a soft refrain
When the lights were out I’d play
And be your friend
— Harpo's Blues by Phoebe Snow

Many moons ago, before seventy-five percent of what now occupies my life was either made or invented, I listened to LP records and painted. I took watercolor classes and dabbled in oils and eventually, gave it up.  I often wonder how much better I'd be today, had I stuck with it. Yes, I get it: forget it.

I'm painting again. Now that I've let go of all that I went after when I gave it up, I'm painting again.

When I saw that Roxanne Coble was offering an art journalling course using song lyrics as creative inspiration, I couldn't resist. Songs were my main inspiration when I used to paint and I completely understood her concept and excitement.

I watched all of the course videos, selected an old favorite by Phoebe Snow and then played the videos again as I followed along. Technically, there are a few things I'd try to improve (like painting a straight line when needed) and materials I want to purchase. Emotionally, I can't wait to make another spread and see what memories my choices of music and images arouse.

It's like having a conversation with my younger self and listening to her statements of uncertainty and hopes for the future. I get to tell her that it all works out fine and that she'll be happy and in love. Would I tell her not to give up painting? Meh.

 

In case you're interested:

Harpo's Blues sung by Phoebe Snow.

More images from Roxanne's Lyrical course on Instagram.