Thursday, January 29, 2009

Creative Risk-Taking

I have been mulling over what I wanted to write about regarding Chapter 3 of The Twelve Secrets of Highly Creative Women. This chapter is all about taking creative risks and following your intuition. A major risk for me was starting this blog to share my creative journey. Just a year ago, I would not have imagined posting online something I had drawn. It really started when I joined Art Every Day Month hosted by Leah Piken Kolidas of Creative Every Day this past November. I posted drawings in the flickr pool and was inspired by the kind comments others left for me. So in January I decided to try her Creative Every Day Challenge. She had suggested keeping a creativity log which I have done and for the month of January, I believe I only have two days where I didn't have anything creative to log! I feel pretty good about that.

Today I decided to challenge myself with one of those 25 Random Things About Me tags that are flying around facebook. At first I thought, "What could I write about that anyone would care to read?" I did make my list and even felt good about it. It was liberating for me to see in writing who I am, at least in bits and pieces, and in how I see myself. I decided to post the list here as well for my fellow book bloggers. I guess you can call it a first step in understanding the person I truly am.

1. I was born in California and grew up in Mississippi, so I consider myself a southern belle.
2. My favorite vacation was spent in Western Australia searching the forests for wildflowers and orchids.
3. Music has always been my preferred form of escape.
4. I grew up with a Chihuahua named Cisco and now I have a Greyhound named Belle Starr.
5. I have not gotten over the passing of certain pop/ rock singers like Andy Gibb, Michael Hutchence and Bradley Delp.
6. I have a thing for men with strong, beautiful voices, like Raul Julia.
7. I have a dream of singing in front of a crowd. Now if only I had a set of pipes to pull it off.
8. I am a nature girl at heart. I love wildlife, trees, flowers, babbling brooks, etc.
9. I am looking forward to the classes to become a Master Gardener for Loudoun County, which start next week.
10. I despise politics because everyone has their precious agenda and no one knows the meaning of compromise.
11. Even though I am fairly organized, detail-oriented and studied business in college, I am much more interested in artistic pursuits.
12. I don’t much care for amusement parks. Rollercoasters can be fun, but the rest of it bores me to tears.
13. I want to visit the town in Poland where my paternal grandmother was born.
14. My favorite city is Florence, Italy. Seeing Michelangelo’s David for the first time was an amazing moment in my life.
15. I felt in awe upon seeing the Venus de Milo at the Louvre, but not about Mona Lisa. I expected to have the opposite reaction.
16. I grew up water-skiing, so learning to lean forward to snow ski has been a real challenge for me.
17. I broke my arm snow skiing in 1996 and had to have the bone set with external fixation, meaning six screws sticking out of my right arm. I had to learn to write and eat with my left hand. And I was unable to drive the Thunderbird with the stick shift for quite awhile!
18. I swore I would never drive in Italy because it was such a scary experience with tiny vehicles and scooters zooming all around me. But somehow I learned to make that “too-narrow gap to get through” a lot smaller while I was there. My life did flash before my eyes more than once!
19. I didn’t think I would learn to drive on the LHS of the road in Australia. But I did, and even now I sometimes forget which side of the road I’m supposed to be on.
20. I am an introvert, but I am very compassionate about other people.
21. I can crochet, but have yet to master the art of knitting.
22. I love when synchronicity occurs. That’s why I named my blog “Artful Synchronicity”.
23. The most beautiful place I have ever been is the south island of New Zealand.
24. I despise clutter.
25. I am inspired by art, nature, soulful writing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Creative Style Inventory

I read Chapter 2 in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women about a week or so ago, but I am just now finding time to blog about it. I have been busy with home improvement projects. I covered our eat-in kitchen's dining chair seats with some remnant chenille fabric. They look sooo much better without nasty kiddo stains! We also stripped wallpaper and painted my son's room a luscious shade of green. We are going to order those large dinosaur stickers to mount on the walls. My favorite is the pterosaur, the flying dinosaur.

Anyway, back to the book! So when did my creative reawakening occur? I think it has happened in fits and starts. I have searched for the THING that inspired me most for about 15 years now. I guess it can be timed with getting married and getting out of my parents' house. The first beautiful place we lived was Monterey, California. The call of the ocean with its beauty and drama is forever etched in my memory. It was there that I painted scarves and ties for Christmas gifts. I had never painted anything, and it was one of those experiences where time had no meaning. I was so involved, as was my good friend, Susan. I also became more interested in photography, as well as relearning how to crochet. Since then I have continued to crochet, and finally learned how to read patterns, which is an art unto itself! I also continued to take many, many photos, especially during our time in Italy, as well as Australia. It was in Italy that I fell in love with Renaissance art, as if it were possible not to! Now I am finding myself interested in collage, as well as abstract art. I also enjoy digital scrapbooking to tell my story. As for my natural talents, I would say I am curious, fairly organized (I am working to improve this with a wonderful set of CD's titled Get Organized the Clear and Simple Way by Marla Dee), detail-oriented, intelligent, intuitive, and compassionate.

The next question to ponder is which elements (fire, water, wood, air) draw me to them. I love water, especially the sound of it trickling down a stream. I took my dog for a walk yesterday and saw that our creek was mostly frozen, with a thin layer of snow on top. It was beautiful with the shadows of the trees upon it, as well as the deer tracks crossing the creek. I am smiling right now thinking of the deer. I love the fresh air of being in nature; it is so good for my soul. I also love trees, so wood draws me in too. As for fire, not so much, unless it is the lava flows on the big island of Hawaii.

I usually create in the mornings or early evening, when my energy levels are high. I have a room for my studio, but I need to do some rearranging and organizing to make it more conducive to creativity. I made a mind map to help me plan my creative space:

I don't have any creative rituals, but I am going to incorporate some as I organize my studio. I wish I had more time to be creative. That is part of the reason that I want to get organized and do away with the clutter. I want less things taking up space in my day and in my life. I am ready to embrace simplicity. It is clutter of all forms that drains my creativity. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual forms of clutter just have a way of shutting me down. I have also noticed that mindless activity on the internet drains me as well. The things that activate my creativity include colors and combinations of colors, especially pure ones; reading inspiring stories, especially spiritual ones; being out in nature, marveling at everything; and seeing amazing displays of art.

I believe my greatest creative hurdle is probably that inner voice telling me that I don't have time to be creative, that I have too many responsibilities. Bah! I am ignoring that voice more and more. I am coming to believe that I need to be creative in order to have the motivation to take care of the mundane business of life. I can clean the toilet if I know that later I will be able to create! I tell myself over and over that I am a human being, not a human doing. I don't have to be doing something every minute of the day. I can sit quietly, I can reflect, I can imagine, I can dream, I can create.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women

Last week I joined The Next Chapter book blogging group for The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. Each week we read and write about a book chapter and what it means to us. The first chapter is titled, "Acknowledging Your Creative Self". My blog was created specifically to find my creative self. I have felt the pull toward art for many years, but it is just now that I am fully responding to that pull. I have been doing some mixed media art and have recently become interested in abstract art, which I wrote about in my previous post. I am at the beginning of my creative journey, and right now I am enjoying the process of learning. The scrapbook page I included here I did last year and it showcases my interests including art, travel, flowers, crochet and birds.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Abstract Creativity

I have become interested in abstract painting so I read Abstract and Colour Techniques in Painting by Claire Harrigan this week. It is not a step-by-step instruction book. Instead, it gives narrative on how the artist makes decisions about her paintings. All of the painting in the book are Claire Harrigan's work and they are gorgeous. I especially love her use of bright colors, reminiscent of Matisse. She inspired me to start sketching to get some ideas for an abstract painting of my own. I used a photo I had taken at Shenandoah of a leaf on a fallen log for my sketches:

In the first sketch, I tried to incorporate too much detail. So in the next two sketches, I tried to simplify. I like the last sketch the best. I also drew a sketch of Belle sleeping:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Virginia Wildflowers

Since I am starting the Master Gardener's Volunteer program next month, I put together this layout of wildflower photos I took last spring. I tried my hand at the layering of elements, but I'm not sure I completely like the result. So what, right? This is what creativity is all about. Trying new things!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Not much creativity today, unless you count wrapping and storing Christmas decorations. That is one joyless task, no doubt in my mind! I doodled last night with my girl. The result is Dream, something I try to remember to do. To hold onto my dreams of living a creative life.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Today's Creativity

I printed The Rules to put in my kitchen. Yeah, I'm a dreamer, aren't I?

I started another digital scrapbooking layout last night and finished it this afternoon. When I saw the background paper, I immediately thought of that photo of my children. It must have been the colors from the sunrise.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Angel in a Box

So it's another digital scrapbooking layout for today. I love this photo of our kitten, Angel. She likes to sleep on top of my printer in the box I keep my paper in. As you can see, she is getting way too big for the box!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Snow Play

Today begins the challenge to be Creative Every Day of 2009. The theme for January is "play". My first creative endeavor is a digital scrapbooking layout. I really had to be creative to find background papers to blend in with the pink and the red of the photos. I tried all kinds of colors and settled on a "pinkish red". (My blog post title is clickable and will take you to the gallery where my credits are listed.) The photos were taken last January as we have yet to have any snow.