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Everyone Is Creative

It’s the middle of October and Inktober is upon us. And just like most things I had all these grand intentions of drawing and posting everyday because pen and ink is one of my favorite mediums.

Inktober is a month long study using ink as your creative medium. Some use pens, some brushes, some colored inks and some in grayscale or even just good ole black ink. The only main rule is that you have to use ink. There are daily prompts that you can draw from for inspiration. Check the hashtag #Inktober 2017 for drawings and illustrations on Instagram.

But y’all, October has been crazy busy! Busy good. Full of shows and commissions and other projects making a drawing a day just not possible. So I decided to do one project and base it around the idea of creativity.

I believe creativity is for everyone. Many times when I am sketching in public or working my booth at an art show, I hear people put down their creative abilities. They say “Oh I could never do that,” or “I’m just not good at being creative.” Or the one that I hate the most is “Well, you just make me never want to even try.” I know they think it’s a compliment but it’s quite possibly the worst thing you could say to me. The last thing I want people to walk away from my art feeling is that they never even want to try.

I’m 42 and I’ve been drawing since age two. After forty years I better be good at it. That’s the key to creativity. You have to work at it. You have to study and develop skills. Yes, I was probably born with a certain skill set that pushed me in a more creative direction. But my drawing abilities would never be where they are now if I hadn’t taken the time to learn about shape and form and value.

So many people seem unhappy and lost these days. I have to wonder if it’s because they have removed the act of creating from their lives. I’s almost as if the act of creativity was reserved just for the young or for the old. Kids get to be creative (although with the cut backs in art education that is in danger) because kids get to play and have fun. And people who have retired and aren’t working a nine to five get to take classes or spend time in these areas that foster creativity. But it’s those of us in the middle that flounder. We aren’t continually growing creative habits throughout our life spans and it’s leaving a hole.

I am big fan for making and doing things yourself. Way back before everything was mass produced and done for us, people had to be creative if they wanted things.

“We need a table to eat at!” Ok go chop down the tree, plane some boards and let’s make one.

“I need a blanket because it’s getting cold!” Ok let’s sew these scraps of fabric together. And you know what! We can arrange them in a pretty design because we like to look at pretty things.

You may say that all of these activities were done just out of necessity but there was still an act of creating. It grew out of a need for tangible things. Once you start to grow that ability inside you, inspiration follows. You’ll start getting ideas but perfection does not happen overnight. You have to work at it and pour time into it if it’s something you want to have in your life. And believe me you need it. It doesn’t just have to be painting or drawing. It can be music or cooking or sewing or knitting and crochet, weaving, woodworking, gardening, or dance!
Creating in any form is a holy process. Every human is creative. Every religion has a creation belief of some sort. We were all fashioned by the Great Creator. How can we believe that same ability doesn’t reside with us? Some people just haven’t found their process yet.

So I encourage you to get out there and be creative! If you are still nervous about starting a project why not just start with the simple act of coloring. And if you sign up for my newsletter you’ll get a free coloring page ready to inspire your creative endeavors.

I hope you find your creative process or at least start testing out which one feels best to you. And remember it’s a process so you have to give it longer than just one go. Let me know in the comments below how you’re going to exercise your creative spirit.

Art as work

Art is work. Creativity takes as much out of you as any other job. Sometimes more.

You can buy my artwork online!

It’s been years but I am once again an Etsy seller.

In an effort to make my artwork accessable to more people than who i see on a daily basis I have opened and Etsy shop.  I figured this was the best way to handle online sales until I can figure out how to get it all set up here.  But I maybe probably will definitely be lazy about this so I foresee the Etsy shop hanging around for a while.

Creative work is the hardest work I’ve ever done.  It involves your heart and your head and your insecurities.  But I’m older these days than I was back then.  My skin is a little thicker and I’m not out to cover all the “in ideas” or “hot trends”.  I’ve found the focus in my creative work. In my art as work.

And after the longest egg strike ever

We are swimming in eggs!

It happens suddenly where you have to switch gears from rationing your egg usage to hurry fast eat all the eggs.

Eggs and edibles from the yard
Eggs and edibles from the yard

We are back to backing quiches filled with herbs and leftovers and putting a fried egg on everything.  Last night it was sauteed gnocchi.  Trust me it was pretty dang good.

I need to get some more root vegetables as mine still aren’t ready for picking.  I was late getting them in the ground.  I am craving my vegetable hash and soft boiled eggs.

Growing up I wouldn’t touch a runny egg.  Now I crave them.  They ooze and create a nature sauce or gravy for what ever dish I have deemed worthy enough to support my beautiful eggs.

I really have trouble making recipes that call for “only egg whites”  I can’t stand to waste the yoke. Usually I end up frying myself a double yoke egg if if its absolutely necessary.

Santa Clause is coming to town

Art on the Green has a great display of Santa portraits up for the holidays.

“Santa Sips the Brew” Bob Snider

This is a right jolly ole elf for sure.  When I saw it in person it almost seem that he was inside a snow globe.  I love the excitement of this piece.

“Peace on Earth” Patricia W. Wilkes

I met Patricia the night we visited Art on the Green.  She was wonderful to talk to and I loved hearing her story about how her brother was the model for this painting.

Now for the Christmas surprise.  Another giveaway!

You can enter to win a signed and numbered copy of the work below, “Mr. Clause” by Kristen Vaughn.  Let me know what you would ask Santa for Christmas.

“Mr. Clause” Kristen Vaughn

Art on the Green

This past week Jerusalem, Renee, Kim and I were invited to visit a new gallery in town called Art on the Green.

Once you walk in you notice the space isn’t quite like most galleries with stark white walls and dramatic lighting.  Art on the Green’s concept is that rarely does one’s home have plain white walls devoid of color, texture, or personality.  We paint. We wallpaper.  We hang curtains.  So when we bring art into our homes it mingles with all of our other color and design choices.  Sometimes we view out homes and a giant work of art.  Constantly changing.  I seem to be constantly unearthing mine from mounds of laundry and dishes.

"River Valley Haystacks" Bob Snider; 3 works by Harold Krause; "Portal (3 of 3)" William M. McClanahan; "Swamp Moon" Linda Flake
“River Valley Haystacks” Bob Snider; 3 works by Harold Krause; “Portal (3 of 3)” William M. McClanahan; “Swamp Moon” Linda Flake

Art on the Green has a comfortable feeling inviting you to come in, look around, and sit a spell.  The art work is beautiful.  They have a great mix of styles, mediums, and subjects.  They also provide a wide variety of art classes.

Of course when you invite people into your home, you lay out quite a spread and they had many goodies for us from Julie’s Sweet Shoppe & Bakery.

dessert

We were asked to send in a favorite recipe.  Parilee Croft a local artist took our recipes and pictures and turned them into hand painted recipe cards.  I love this idea!  They were all so unique and I can’t wait to frame mine and hang it up in the kitchen.  And they make such great gifts.  I searching through old recipes for her to paint other cards for me.  You can contact  Art on the Green to get your own recipe cards commissioned.  At $25 they make a very special and affordable gift to give.

Confetti Pepper Jelly Hand Painted Recipe Card
Click here to read my original Confetti Pepper Jelly post.

We were also given a signed and numbered print of a painting to giveaway to out readers.  “Joy” by Nina Baker.

To find out more about the artist and the story behind the painting you can watch this short video.  And if you would like a chance to win “Joy” by Nina Baker leave a comment below letting me know how you use art in your home.

11-_Joy_8x16_large

Art on the Green Artists
Kristen Vaughn; Patricia W. Wilkes; Parilee Croft

I enjoyed meeting and talking to the artists.  I admire their diligence to complete works and actually having a place to show them.  Maybe it’s admiration mixed with a twinge of jealousy. LOL.  Every time after I attend some kind of art function I want to kick myself.  Why don’t you paint more?  Why don’t you take the time to finish those drawings instead of letting them sit around collecting wrinkles from piles of clothing and errant coffee ring stains.  Yes more evidence that the old drafting table has spent most of its time as a catch all.  Some day has to get here at some time, right?

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The season of the winter squash

It’s true I have thing for pumpkins.  It runs deep.  Some would call it a passion.  Others say it borders on crazy fanaticalism.  I feel it’s my mission in life to redirect the common opinion that they are for decoration only.  They are food.  You can eat them.

pumpkins

But they are just one of many varieties of winter squash that I love.  This year I can’t seem to consume enough butternut squash.  I’m loving it in the soups and pasta from Panera.  I even have them together on a Pick 2.

butternut soup and ravioli

Yes.  Set that plate of double squash right here!

I found a really good at home substitute for the pasta in the grocery store.  A bag of butternut squash ravioli and a jar of asiago cheese sauce made an excellent easy and healthy dinner that my family loved.  And it was fast which has been a real need recently.  Sometimes its like we are constantly going and coming and never here at the same time for great lengths of time.

One night I was home alone and craving a tasty healthy dinner.  When its just me I can get away with only fixing a vegetable.  I split a butternut in half making sure to scrap out the seeds and save them for planting next season.

butternut squash seeds

I placed the squash on a baking dish and popped it in the oven for 5 minutes.  Once it had cooled enough that I could hold it I scrapped the insides onto my plate and sprinkled the top with a healthy helping of shredded Italian cheese mix.  It was delicious and good for me and gone to fast for pictures.

I also bought a spaghetti squash and an acorn squash.  I’ll be on the winter squash recipes boards on Pinterest if you need me.