Why Do I Have a Creative Practice?

Storm with Quote and Watermark

When have you practiced something? Like, did you ever learn to play an instrument, or learn to play soccer, or some such thing?

Childhood Practice

I learned to play the saxophone when I was a kid.

At first, I practiced a couple of times a week, and then that grew and eventually I practiced every day for several hours. I was disciplined about much of that practice. I started with a warm-up sequence and moved to short pieces of music that I already knew well, and then I would move on to new and more difficult pieces. I usually ended with playing along with ad-lib records to just jam a bit.

I also learned to become a super-fast swimmer. I swam every day and pushed myself to learn new strokes and to beat my times and hold my breath longer and do better dives. I worked to get better and better, ultimately to win races.

Making a Practice

I know how to set up and follow a practice. I can look into my past and see that I’ve done it. I’m sure most of you have done the same, built a practice and learned how to do something well.

It might take a bit of trial and error, but eventually, a routine develops. Going through that routine day after day develops into an actual habit. And then we get better at whatever it is we’re practicing.

So why does setting up a creative practice for arting seem so tedious??

Artistic Idealisms

I’m pretty sure that I have some barefoot-and-fancy-free-romanticized notion of the artist’s life. You know, like: 1. wake up and have coffee, 2. stare at the clouds, 3. listen to the birds, 4. eat something sweet and yummy, 5. ride my bike, 6. see some great colors on the trees, and finally, 7. paint.

Well. I actually do those things, although not always in that order. Of course, other stuff in my day gets mixed in there :) All the way up to number 7. At number 7, I lose my focus. I know, seems like I didn’t have much focus during the first 6 :)

At number 7…that’s where the practice becomes important. Some days, I look at the canvas (or the blank paper or the blank computer or whatever) and just sit there. Or maybe I don’t even get that far. Maybe I just think about getting in front of the canvas.

But it all happens at number 7. If I’m going to get off-track and NOT create anything, that’s where it’ll happen.

Then my whole gig is shot. Because if I don’t create, I lose my mind. If I don’t create, I’m not moving forward in my art. And if I don’t create, I don’t get better at creating. And I want to get better.

So what do you do at that point?

With my creative practice, I have built a similar style and sequence to follow as I once did for my saxophone practice.

My Practice Time

First, I warm-up. That’s right, I warm-up. I don’t just start painting directly on the canvas that I’ve been creating. If I did that, I’d screw it up. I’ve actually done that many, many times. It took me a while, but I did learn that I can’t just start with the big thing, I have to start with something not so important-seeming.

So I start with doodling or coloring a drawing or smearing paint on the background of a journal page. Just something to get my hand moving, and something to get me out of my head.

After warming up a bit, I’ll move on to adding layers to any of my several journals-in-progress. That can mean slapping some paint onto a blank page, or putting gesso on some pages, or drawing borders on existing backgrounds. Something that moves some of my work forward.

I’ll also glue tidbits into journals at this point also. Because adding glue means having to let stuff dry, it’s a great time to get stuff glued in to set aside while I work on another journal.

Typically, I’ll move onto text in at least one of my journals at this point. I try to keep up with writing of some kind every day.

Main Project Time

Then I’ll get into whatever my main creative project is at the current juncture. Canvas, wood, walls, sewing…it doesn’t really matter what’s next. It’s just that after the warm-up stuff I’ve stopped thinking so much, I’ve stopped being so caught up in what’s been going on in my day or in my life at the moment. I can get on to the act of really arting.

And here’s the crux of this biscuit: I have a creative practice because of the habits, the autonomy that I have taught myself. Even if I’m not sure that I feel so creative or inspired, if I just start the sequence, I will get into my zone.

My zone. That’s where I want to be so that I can create. My zone is where my magic happens, where my soul and my spirit talk and connect and center me. My zone is where I find my calm and peace. And I create stuff. What a nice product of soul work!

What you do in your own sequence isn’t nearly as important as just having a sequence. You can teach yourself to get there even when you think you’re too crabby or tired.

And don’t think just because you may not have a whole bunch of time that it’s not going to work.

I have days where I just do one or two pieces of my sequence. Some days I do some of the pieces all timed throughout the day. But my mind and body knows what’s next.

Because I practice.

Prompt: Spend some time considering what you can do to up your game, i.e. put into practice to get really good at your craft, or something new!

And leave a comment here and tell us what kinds of things you do in your creative practice, we can all benefit from the ideas!!

Cool Resources, and Scrap Wood Art

With creative people, truly new horizons open up.

~ Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

I feel like my little universe has been expanding lately.

Artist’s dates at the Home Depot have been a regular occurrence for a really long time now.  Stretching my idea of where to find art supplies was a wonderful and exciting deal for me…

Since then, I’ve been reaching new heights in discovering alternative resources for all kinds of stuff.

Free at the Library

For instance, I can access digital downloads of ebooks through my library. I can check out a digital edition of a book, and it goes through my Amazon account and onto my device for two weeks. At the end of my loan time, I can renew the loan or let it end and leave my device.

We’ve been doing that for some time as well. But while I was perusing the library website the other day, I found that I can through my library membership, access Mango. Really??  Did you know that??

Learn a Foreign Language

I almost paid a fair amount of money to get a year’s subscription to Mango so that the hubs and I can learn Italian together. And the kids want to learn Spanish.

And through my library membership, I set up our profile and we can all learn any language we want and it keeps up with our progress and everything. Just like I bought our own program!!

Maybe I’m a bit late in this game, but I am truly filled with wonder and awe. I have been exploring the library website more now and have found several other very helpful resources for my kids’ schooling. For. Free.

Fun Live Shows

We’ve also been going to the library for super-fun and interesting live presentations.  We’ve seen live animals, including a giant tarantula and a kangaroo. We went and watched a live story teller. We just had a presentation all about local beekeeping.  Seriously. And all free.

Homeschool Co-Op, Not Just for Homeschoolers

The other amazing and free resource that we’ve been having tons of fun with is an ezine called Click Schooling, through Homeschool Buyers Co-Op. (Affiliate Link)

Some of you might not be homeschooling anyone. Maybe you know someone who is. Or maybe you have kids in brick-and-mortar school. Or you know other families with kids.

Let me tell you, it is really really cool. The Co-op is a great place to find information on educational material and curriculum. It’s a great place for people to connect and find fabulous pricing on all these materials, because the Co-op buys as a group, as a large body. Kind of like a school district. And with size comes better pricing. That better pricing is extended to all of its members. And joining is free. Following my link and joining for free does earn me smart points that my family can use towards educational materials.

But the part I seriously LOVE: the ClickSchooling e-zine. You can choose what subscriptions you want in your profile when you join.

A New Free Website Resource Every Day

ClickSchooling ezine comes out each day with whatever that day’s scheduled topic is.  Like Wednesday is language arts day.

And the email will have a link and some info to a free website to go and learn something. Free. Cool. Educational. Not just for the kids. I go to all of these sites and learn stuff. More than my kids.

I know, I know. I’m supposed to be schooling my kidlets. But I am having so much fun on these sites :) I have visited the live shark reef exhibit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and I went back to watch the live demonstration at feeding time last week.

I’ve watched how airplanes are made. I learned all about Alaska. I played with some art lessons on some of my fave artist and made art in their style! And I brushed up on my grammar, which is helpful for my writing. Sort of, lol.

I’m telling you, this cool resource is worth its price of admission. Or lack of price, really.

And Now for Some Art

I have a few other tidbits I’ve been learning about finding cool stuff and I’ll keep ’em coming. But for now, I’ll leave you with this: a couple of pics of three little canvases I made on some of my hubs’ scrap wood I found in the garage :)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a hubby that leaves his scraps lying around!!

Prompt: Do you use “trash” to make art??

Inspire Wood CanvasHappy Together wood canvasBlue Wood Canvas

Reinventing Myself

You go through phases.  You have to reinvent reasons for playing, and one year’s answer might not do for another.

~ Yo-Yo Ma

Have you ever reinvented yourself?

I realize, only after having a year of hindsight, that I have been doing exactly that.  Or, mostly exactly that.  I’ve also been reinventing my bubble, my environment, my world.

Artsy Business Growth

The hubs and I have continued learning all kinds of cool stuff, adding to our repertoire of painting and faux textures.  We started with cleaning up and re-coating cabinets, and we have gotten really good at re-coloring cabinets with stain and with paint.  We have re-done some cabinets in a distressed, shabby chic style.  We have even rebuilt cabinet doors with metal screens as the interior panel!

Recently we started working in concrete, making counter tops and awesome floors and oh, my gosh!  Talk about potential for all kinds of arting!  Concrete has so many possibilities, from texturing to a myriad of cool coloring techniques.  And smoothing it and forming it and playing in it is awesome.

Changes with the Kidlets

I’ve also taken over our kidlets’ education entirely.  We were previously schooling at home but following a program.  That program has changed so much in the past six years that it is almost unrecognizable compared to the original program.  The last school year I battled frustration and burn-out and in some cases, anger.  The kids were doing way too much busy work and had become tied to the stupid computers.

So we’ve left that program behind.  We’re now enjoying a much free-er, livelier, exciting learning adventure together!! :)

Personal and Artistic Growth

And I’ve also been plowing through some personal and artistic growth and expansion…and rebirth.  I’ve been getting into the groove of not being totally involved in the making money for the family.  Being a bit of a control freak, this part has been harder that I thought it would be.  But slowly I am letting go of thinking I have to be in charge of everything :)

That release has led to all kinds of stuff.  I feel more relaxed, and more peaceful.  I have stronger faith.  I have more inspiring energy to give to the kidlets and to making stuff and to my art.  Which has also expanded, way beyond my most common outlet of art journaling.  My projects are getting larger in scale and braver.

Overall, I have more courage and I feel more, well, more ME.  Which then turns around and make all of this bigger.

So where does that land the blog?  I’ve actually been missing posting here, and I’ve been amazed that my little corner of the blog-o-sphere still has a life of its own.  I still have traffic and activity and see my work show up in the strangest of places!

My goal is to connect the blog to my other online stuff, like our website and Pinterest and all of the fun and creative stuff we’ve been growing.  I’d like to include some of the family adventures in life and in learning.  Where it goes from there, who knows…but I’m coming out of the fog that’s been enveloping me.

I’m ready to share again, to look out here again, to see the world again!!

Rock Quote Pic

I Did It Again, 4 Month Hiatus!!

Wow, almost time for the holidays…just the other day I was posting during the summer time, thinking how I was totally going to stay on top of regular posting!!

I have no idea where the time goes, no idea how I go this long without stopping in the blog.

Well, I have some idea.

We have been working like mad, painting and refinishing cabinets and home-schooling the children and doing much re-decorating in our own home.  A lot of it is practicing and trying out new techniques on our own space…but it all amounts to good intentions to sit down and write but just not getting to it.

I have continued arting and journaling and practicing new techniques and thinking about things to bring to the blog.  It just seems that it has been an extremely introspective time in so many ways.  The priority of writing for the blog and sharing my thoughts with the world got stuffed into head as I pondered.  And didn’t write :)

I hope your art is going well, I imagine lots of cool new stuff is out and about…new techniques, new fads, new things emerging.  Seems my art life is getting simpler, in that I have gone smaller, more local, more in my books and less out and on the giant canvas.  And most of my regular supplies fit into a large shoe box.  And a bit spilling over onto the surrounding floor space.  And a bit on the dining table.  And in my art bag (but not all over the table and the living room floor!).

So.  Where now?  I’ll work to bring you some pics of cool art, some pdf’s of some word sheets I’ve created, and other goodies.

Have a great Thanksgiving, and hopefully I’ll be back soon with stuff!!


Breaking the Counting Habit and a DIY Art Journal

I have had a certain habit quirk neurosis.  Okay maybe not my only one, but my most serious.  Counting.

I don’t mean like normal counting that might come up in your regular daily life.  I mean, like, I count.  A lot.

What do I count?  Oh, I count how many days till this or that, kind of normal.  I count stairs, going up or going down, no matter how many times I’ve counted them before.  I learned a while back that lots of people count stairs.

I count how many songs on my playlist, I count how many people have looked at a particular blog post or how many followers I have.  I count pages left in my sketchbooks and art journals.  I count my art journals.  I count weeks till Christmas, how many nights’ dinners worth of groceries I have in the kitchen, and how many dollars I still need to earn to pay the rent and the electricity.  The hubs can look over at me and know when I’m counting something.  In fact, I didn’t realize how often I was counting before I spent many years with him asking me from time to time what I’m counting…

It may all sound innocent enough.  But I learned something.  Stick with me here, I do have a point.

My counting can get in the way.  It’s an old pattern that keeps me from realizing certain goals and dreams.

Here’s how it goes…when I’m feeling a bit anxious or a bit doubtful, usually about finances, I start counting.  Usually I’m counting time or money.  It’s like biting your fingernails as an outlet for the stress (although I have conquered that monkey through art journaling, you can read about that here).  But instead of biting my fingernails, I count.  I even use my fingers to do the counting :)

The big mistake here is that when I’m so focused on the counting of the money or the time, I’m focusing on the need.  How many dollars I still need to get something done.  Or how few days I have to get it done.

Seriously??  I have been totally focused on the lack, not on my God-given blessings and abundance!!  I couldn’t even see it, I thought that I was so optimistic and so good at being grateful and faithful and so focused on creating a life of abundance.  I couldn’t see what I was doing to get in my own way.

Crikey!  I really hadn’t looked at it that way until very recently.  And you know what happened next?  I started counting, way less.  I almost don’t count at all.  And next?  Well, next we started getting more calls for cool painting projects.  I started getting through some artist tantrums that I was having.  I started sleeping better.  I even got more patient with the kidlets.

The point in this little story is this:

Are your little quirks helpful or do they stunt your growth?  Do you even know what your little quirks are?  And if they are not so helpful, can you find another to replace it, that might help you on your chosen paths?

As artists, we have so many options to help us release and express our emotions and work through junk.  We have the opportunity to continue learning and growing and building our brain and our soul.  Whatever medium we choose at any given moment, we can receive messages from our souls, from our Creator, from our subconscious.

Prompt:  What’s your go-to activity to relieve stress?? 

*I needed a routine to help during my regular counting hours.  I’m exploring some options, but one that I’m trying to help with a daily routine is ROOT, Lisa Sonora’s 30 Day Journal Project.  It’s actually only day 2, so you can still jump in on this free journaling challenge.  For me, this is a great motivator to get past some old baggage I’ve been carrying that kept me from journaling, for about the past 12 years.  30 days seems like a huge commitment to me, so I’ll let you know how it goes :)  I did make my own art journal for this journaling and for another journaling project that I’m practicing.  This book has me inspired and makes me feel good.

Cover made of cardboard, gesso, spray ink, paint, glue, ink, stamped letters

Cover made of cardboard, gesso, spray ink, paint, glue, ink, stamped letters

DIY Book Back










DIY Book Pages 2

I used all kinds of papers, book pages, paper ream wrappers…

DIY Book Front Page




DIY Book patterned pages

Patterned papers…

DIY Book Pages 4

Old advertisements…



DIY Book Pages 3

Junk mail with gesso…

DIY Inside Cover

Music paper…




DIY Book Pages 1

Glossy picture book pages…

I think it has about 90 pages.

I think it has about 90 pages, including many blank pages of drawing paper. All cut to size and bound with the two rings…and I got to play with my crop-a-dile to punch all of the holes!


Art is My Job…Finally!

When I started blogging, my hope that was someday, somehow, I would figure out how to monetize the blog, or my art, or both.

The goal was simple: make art, post stuff, get subscribers, make money.

Have you ever seen the episode of South Park with the Underpants gnomes??  You know, they steal underpants, the kids follow them one night to figure out where all of the underpants were going…and the kids find the gnomes with enormous mountains of underpants.  They ask the gnomes what’s going on, and the gnomes tell them:

  • Phase 1: collect underpants.
  • Phase 2: ?
  • Phase 3: make profit.

The boys ask them, what about phase 2?  All of the gnomes stop and start mumbling and look around at each other, asking Phase 2???

That’s kinda how I feel…I have no idea what happens in Phase 2.  I just know that I make art, I like to slap paint on stuff, and I want to get paid.  Then I have way more time to art.

Oh, and I also love to talk about what I love doing, and I love sharing fun tips and ideas and inspirations, I feel a NEED to give it back cuz that’s how I found this whole thing, by checking out other artists’ blogs and videos.  That’s how the blog really got going.

And I knew only that if I kept blogging, somebody would eventually look at it, and I might be able to build up the following from there.  Doesn’t that seem like what others do?  They blog a bunch, they get a bunch of regular readers, and somehow they get paid.  Advertisers just magically want to start paying them for space on the blog, I’m sure that’s exactly how it goes,right??

Okay, so I understand that’s not reality.  And I have found all kinds of other satisfaction from the blog.

So as we kept plugging along, praying for some opportunity to get paid to be artistic, I got more and more frustrated with “practical” jobs, “practical” choices and so on.  I was having more trouble smooshing myself into that mold.

Now, over the years, my hubs has painted houses, sometimes all white (boring) and sometimes with super-cool faux painting schemes.  He’s re-done cabinets and installed awesome wood-work and helped people with color schemes and decorating diy ideas.  We just hadn’t really pushed it to become a more consistent and financially supportive part of our lives.

But now we are doing just that. 

What I realized is that I want to get paid to paint.  Commissioned work is pretty cool because I know the piece is sold before I make it.  And the customer gives me the idea and the inspiration.

Painting a house is exactly that: a commissioned work. 

It’s not exactly what I was thinking I was working  towards, but it is so way much better than calling people all day long, looking to make a sale.  Stuck in a chair all day long, no sunshine, no exercise, and no painting.  That kind of day sucks for me.

And because I’m playing in paint and painting tools and Home Depot for jobs, I am thinking about other projects and inspirations while I’m working.  And while I’m working, I’m listening to music, chatting with the hubs, and finding new ways of doing things all of the time…

It’s taken a few jobs to get in the swing of the physical exertion part of my day, but I’m feeling stronger and more energetic and more excited all of the time.  In fact, I had a break because my oldest kiddo and babysitter was at camp.  I had to send the hubs to the job without me…and what did I do?  I painted the walls in my living room in between art projects at home!!

Here’s the point…

So often many of us pine for an artist’s life.  We ache for a way to make money arting so that we can spend all of our time arting.  We feel a pang of longing looking at the artful lives of those out there and feel like we’ll never get there ourselves.

If we can broaden our scope of possibility just a bit, we can find ways to live the life for which we’re pining.  We might be able to find other ways to explore our artistic selves and to financially support ourselves and our art supply habits! :)

And all we did was put up ads on craigslist, fairly often, and eventually built a free little website so that we could give that link on the ads.  People can go to our website and see explanations of what we do and see examples, as well as click over to our flickr page for more pics of our work.  We also believed in ourselves, that we could do it, and kept up our optimism.

And people do call us.  We do get work.  And I get lots of left-over supplies to play with!

pink room

Pink and white walls, black doors, and stencils and stickers to decorate.

Painted walls, trim, and stained and painted stair rails and posts.

Painted walls, trim, and stained and painted stair rails and posts.

 *Now I’m looking for someone to get brave and hire me to do a full-blown mural!  Then I’ll really be having some fun :)





How-to Make Your Own Stencil, the Easy Way

I have been making my own stamps for a while now.  I have made a few of my own masks as well.  And I have learned a lot from both, like which materials are easy to cut, which materials absorb too much product versus which ones don’t absorb enough, and so on.

What I haven’t done much is make my own stencils.  I’m not sure why, it seems like a natural next step, right?  I think that I had some crazy block, telling me that stencils are always made out of that plastic sheet stuff, and who can actually cut a neat, crisp stencil by hand out of that stuff??

Silly, I know.  That’s a look into my personal type of hangup.  I have a creative difficulty: I can’t always see the possibilities from my neatly-packaged black-and-white world.


How can I possibly be an artist, you ask.  How can a creative type be stuck inside the proverbial box?  I dunno, but sometimes I find myself sitting in the middle of a really tiny box, and I never know what’s going to burn it up around me, freeing me out in to the world of fearlessness and color.

This time, it was making my own stencil.

I can’t tell you how joyful and good I feel to finally have gotten out of that stupid box!  I love stencils, love them so much!!  I fondle stencils at the store, I pine for them, I ooh and ahh over stencils I see other artists playing with in youtube videos…and I ache that I can’t just run out and buy every single one of them (I use my art supply monies on color, everything else I improvise, I have to have colors)…

I was just sitting here, pondering my next journal page, and I started pawing through the ole art cabinet.  I was actually thinking of cutting more shapes out for another stamp.  And that light bulb up above my head started to flicker and turn on.  Duh.

The easiest stencil ever.  Craft foam, if you haven’t ever played with it, is the greatest thing since, well, since bubble wrap and punchinella.

Craft foam is really does cut like butter, it’s fairly forgiving, you can draw on it, you can layer it, you can use it to make stamps and masks, and as it turns out, it makes great stencils!  AND, it’s cheap and commonly available!!

Stencil 3

Here’s the how-to part of this ramble:

1. Draw some shapes on the foam.  Start with something simple.  I used circles the first time.

2. Cut out the center of the shapes, in my case, the center of the circles.  Leave the outer parts in tact.

3. I went back and trimmed some of the outer edges so that the corners of the foam sheet didn’t show up in the stenciled images afterward.

Stencil 2

Ta-da, a stencil!

The trick really is to play and practice a bit.  After the simple design, you kind of get the feel for seeing the design that you’re leaving after you cut out the centers.  It took me a couple of tries before I figured it out.



The foam is also not absorbent, which I like.  When I use the stencils with sprays, the spray that collects on the stencil just kind of sits there, which makes for an awesome flip-side ghost print.  Just flip the stencil over and press.  Usually I can get a couple of presses out of it, depending on which sprays I’m using.

Stencil 1


And they also work great as caulk stencils because they have thickness.  The design comes out nice and deep or tall.  Or whatever you call that :)

Your Prompt??  Grab some foam, draw some designs, and give some stencils a try, let me know what you come up with, and have FUN!! 



Ink Sprays, My New Obsession

I have a new love, a new obsession…Dylusions Ink Sprays.

They are so very vibrant, so yummy, so colorful!  They blend wonderfully, you can use water to thin them out or to mix them together, and you can spray them directly onto your project or into a little puddle to then use with a brush.  I love using them on watercolor paper, canvas, gesso’d papers, book pages, cardboard, and muslin.

I love them!  I wish I had all of the colors, but for now, six colors is what I’ve got :)

I have also been playing around with making stencils out of foam sheets…and the sprays work great with them.  After spraying through the stencil, the ink sits on the foam and makes for an awesome ghost print after that, since the color doesn’t absorb into the foam.


And I do use them along with my very favorite versatile medium, NeoColors.  The spray inks have not usurped water color crayons from their number 1 spot, at least not yet!!

And here for your enjoyment, an example of sprays and color and foam stencils and watercolor paper…and yet another mash note to my hubby :)

And I’ll work on bringing pics of some of my fun foam stencils, coming soon!!

PROMPT: What’s your favorite new supply of the summer?  Have you tried the Dylusion Ink Sprays yet?? 

*On a side note, you can find them at JoAnn’s and usually you can find a 40-50% off single item coupon to go with your purchase :) 

Two HeartsTwo Hearts 1Two Hearts 2


Soundtrack of My Life

So, I have an ongoing interest thing obsession with paint chip cards.  You know, those sample cards that you can grab at any paint store.  I love all of the different colors, all of the different shapes of cards for different brands of paint, and the weight of the paper.  I love searching google looking for cool things people do with these little gems.

It just so happens, Christopher is always taking me to Home Depot and Lowe’s :) I am a lucky gal ~ I love the hardware store, it’s brillo for Art Fodder™!!!  Poor hubby, he has to deal with me smuggling out paint chips.  I feel a need to be super-nonchalant since I’m always there.

Maybe the paint section workers don’t think anything of it as we’re always actually buying paint…at least that’s what I hope…

Sometimes I just sit and flip through my collection of cards.  It is extensive and worthy of pondering.  Other times, I use the cards for making teaching aids for the kidlets.  We’ve made sight word flash cards, multiplication fact cards, vocabulary cards, Bingo cards (I’ll have to come back with some pics later, those turned out way cool!).  And I’ve made party invitations, Valentine cards, RAAK cards for art mail, Mother’s Day cards, and mini-books.  And I have a whole computer file of great ideas for the little boogers!

As I was reminiscing just now, I kind of forgot my whole point.  Those little cards do that to me, lol.

This particular journal page is not terribly ornate or anything, but I was experimenting with using the paint chips and silhouettes.  I think they’re pretty neat, and I thought you might like the idea:


Clearly I was also pondering some of my favorite Pandora lists at the same time :)

PROMPT:  How do you use paint chips or paint sample cards?

*On a side note, if you’d like to check out what we’re listening to on a regular basis (cuz wordpress doesn’t have a super-duper Pandora widget), you can check out our Pandora station: http://www.pandora.com/profile/stations/motherdana.  I’m not completely convinced that leaving this link here for you will work, but let me know.  My profile is Dana Saint John.  The harder rock stations belong to my teenager, so don’t think that’s my music, lol.  But DO check out the others, lots of good art music contained therein!!  Some of the stations I have actively spent tons of time cultivating, others are still needing my input…

I am currently, right at this very moment of typing these very words, listening to my Greenskeepers Radio station.  Enjoy :)



I Art Because I Must

More than two years ago, when I first started blogging, I tackled the topic of why I art.  And I asked my readers, Why do you art??

I don’t really think that the answer is totally different, exactly, but it is more.  Or more defined.  Or, hmm…the answer is more.  Full.  That’s it: more full. 

I understand why art is a discipline.  I understand why it’s a hobby.  And I understand why it’s a passion.  I think that art is all of that, for most of us that art.  Sometimes, we have to force ourselves to sit down and art.  We don’t feel like it…we don’t feel inspired…we don’t have a good idea

But if we can just do it anyway.  If we can just dominate our feelings and do something.  Anything.  We can overcome that inner critic that says we don’t have anything worthy of arting about right now.  We can own it.  We can ART.  We can art anyway, to spite all of the crap that tells us we’re not good enough, or our inspirations aren’t worthy of immortalizing, or that it’s only time to art when we are in the right place with the right materials and the right light and the right ambiance.

All of that is crap.  Total crap.

Sometimes we’re going to make something that’s a bit less than great.  That’s okay.  We have to get through those creations to learn something.  Maybe we have to learn a color combination that we love or that doesn’t work at all.  Maybe we have to try a new pen stroke or brush stroke to see if it works or not.  I know you get it.

Maybe we have some unspoken quota of garbage-to-fabulous-ratio, like 30:1 of crappy so-so creations to amazing creations.  Then we just have to get through the 30 less-than-stellar practice runs before we hit the home run, museum-worthy artistic wonders of the world.  We just have to get them done.  And that 31st creation will be the one we were waiting for all along.

I once heard a golfer explain the game of golf like this: Golf is a series of terrible shots that make you curse and hate the game and wonder why the hell you’re wasting your time.  And then suddenly, Whack!  You hit the perfect shot, the shot that you know will land you on the Pro Tour, the shot that just connects your club with your ball perfectly.  The Universe is in total alignment.  The sound, the feel of the club, the whisshing of the air as the ball goes flying, it’s all perfect.  And you’re like, Yeah, I love this freaking game!!

Art can be like that for me.  Sometimes I wonder why I even made that mess on the canvas in front of me.  But whether or not I get the perfect shot, the messy ones make me feel better.  I enjoy arting.  I feel more aligned, I feel more relaxed, and well, I just feel way COOLER when I art.

Yep, I’m an artist.  Just sounds cool, right?  Did you know you’re cool, too?  I always loved artists, you’re an interesting bunch, you have a lot of feelings and things to say.  Share them.  And don’t give up.

What about me??  It’s simple…

I art because I must.