Yesterday I downloaded my friend Kim Taylor‘s latest EP, The Greatest Story. It’s 5 songs are soulful and playful and tearful and wonderful. Seems like the perfect music for this amazing season. Check out her website and get yourself a copy of her work. I think you’ll love it.
Meanwhile my own work is plugging right along. I have been teaching my Keeping a Journal Sketchbook class at the Art Academy in recent weeks and it is going extremely well. This being the second time I have presented this particular class, I am more relaxed and more creative in my approach to teaching. I think this may be rubbing off on to the students. They are so enthusiastic that a few of them want to keep the class going another couple of sessions. So the folks at the Art Academy have been gracious enough to let us officially extend the class for those who are able to keep meeting.
As I present this class to more and more students, it’s becoming clear to me that there is more to the process of keeping an artful life-chronicle than first meets the eye. We do more in this class than simply open our books to write, draw and glue stuff down. As happened in my spring class, friendships are being forged. Students are opening up to sides of their own creativity they never knew existed. They are commiting, or re-commiting, to making an artful way of life a priority. Surrounded by their enthusiasm and joyful art-making, my own making has received a shot in the arm. Work begets work. I know this, but it still amazes me when I see it and feel the phenomenon in action.
One of my former students, and now friend, introduced me to the work and writing of Jennifer Louden, the Comfort Queen. Her blog is delightful. Reading it I get the sense that I have sat down with a fellow artist to tackle the Fear-of-The-Unknown in our art process. I get the sense that she feels the same fear in her work everyday and simply does what we all must do; show up, feel the fear, and do it anyway. I encourage anyone needing an art nudge to check out her website.
One of the often discussed themes in my class at the Art Academy, as well as among my fellow artists and myself, is that of how to get started. The ol’ zero to 60 phenomenon. Most of us have other jobs (many cases multiple!), families who rely on us, households to run, lives to lead. Rare is the artist who wakes up and makes art, day in and day out without fail. Frankly, I don’t know anyone like that. How does one find the time, energy and inspiration to work on art at the end of a jam packed day or week? How do we get the art motor running anyway? I have my own answers to these questions and am always interested in hearing how other creatives get out of their own way.
Along with my ever present sketchbook and the act of walking my dogs, I have recently been writing letters and post cards to people I know will love to receive them. I get out the collagey materials and glue weird images to envelopes. I make little sketches and add them into letters. Sometimes I use a typewriter…. yep, a real old fashioned one that hiccups its way around the words giving the whole thing a whisical quality that I love. I slip in a little glitter now and then. None of this takes a terribly long time and the benefits are far reaching. The art supplies are coaxed out of stagnancy and ideas begin flowing. It’s a snowball sort of effect and I am rolling with it right now. This simple act of doing something remotely artful is the back door to the more “serious” work that may or may not be around the corner. The other day I had a fire going in the studio fire place, the wax table was on and I was mixing new colors, sticky things were drying on postcards and in my sketchbook. It all felt a bit like a complicated dance but there I was, just dancing.
Today my creativity finds itself mostly out in the kitchen where I am busy readying Chez Bogard for the annual Riley School of Irish Music Halloween Party. Chili, cider, mad amounts of chocolate chip cookies are in the works. I still need to get my new vampire teeth fitted. I shall be a Vampire, to suck the very marrow out of life…. mwa ha ha. But I digress….
Have a safe, happy, fun, CREATIVE Halloween.
Here’s the latest waxy work…