Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vaclav Havel, "It is I who must begin.."

Once I begin, once I try
here and now,
right where I am,
not excusing myself
by saying that things
would be easier elsewhere,
without grand speeches and
ostentatious gestures,
but all the more persistently
-to live in harmony
with the "voice of Being," as I
understand it within myself
-as soon as I begin that,
I suddenly discover,
to my surprise, that
I am neither the only one,
nor the first,
nor the most important one
to have set out
upon that road. ...
Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost. ...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I believe I am worth the time it takes to create whatever I feel called to create.

I believe that my work is worthy of its own space, which is worthy of the name Sacred.

I believe that, when I enter this space, I have the right to work in silence, uninterrupted, for as long as I choose.

I believe that the moment I open myself to the gifts of the Muse, I open myself to the Source of All Creation and become One With the Mother of Life Itself.

I believe that my work is joyful, useful and constantly changing, flowing through me like a river with no beginning and no end.

I believe that what it is I am called to do will make itself known when I have made myself ready.

I believe that the time I spend creating my art is as precious as the time I spend giving to others.

I believe that what truly matters in the making of art is not what the final piece looks like or sounds like, not what it is worth or not worth, but what newness gets added to the universe in the process of the piece itself becoming.

I believe that I am not along in my attempts to create, and that once I begin the work, settle into the strangeness, the words will take shape, the form find life, and the spirit take flight.

I believe that as the Muse gives to me, so does she deserve from me: faith, mindfulness and enduring commitment.

Now, I, Marie believe that we can all write our own Artist's Creed. I plan on doing that, and publishing it here. I would challenge any reader to contribute their own artist's creed, and I will post a link to yours here, if you desire. And if you believe you are not an artist and don't need a creed, then add your LIFE PURPOSE creed. I'd love to see the blogging world be as inspirational in word and deed as it is in visual appeal.
Happy Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for a place that lets me enjoy my freedom of speech and my right to my opinions.
Love to all.

Jan Phillips is the author of 4 books: Marry Your Muse, The Art of Original Thinking, Divining the Body, and God is at Eye-Level.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

No visual images, just inspiring words

Being a lifelong reader, I have always loved beautiful language, so I collect quotes, passages and poems.
Here is food for thought.
May we all enjoy the gift of words.
Happy Thanksgiving!

An object made with love and care can be a thing of beauty, a whole, even when it is imperfect; by contrast, another one, although flawless, can leave us untouched and strike no sympathetic chord.

Is it not substance and meaning that we are longing for in our daily lives? The most wonderful result of our involvement in craft can be this: to stretch the boundaries of the ordinary and add a new colorful dimension to being alive.

True amateurism should not be looked down upon. In times like ours any manifestation of liveliness must be cherished.
all 3 quotes by Franz Zeier, in Books, Boxes and Portfolios

When we make things with our hands we put into them energy which comes from our innermost self. When we see and feel objects which were made by craftsmen long dead I believe we can still sense their energy lying beneath each brush-stroke or sweep of the pen, and we can respond to this energy as much as to the object's surface beauty or ingenuity of design. When we ourselves write we not only communicate information by the choice and sequence of the words; we also reveal something of our inner spirit with every tremor of the hand.
So those marks which remain to us from the very beginnings of man's experiments with the alphabet not only provide us with physical evidence of his ingenuity and skill, but like the handwriting of a friend they are an intimate link with his heart and mind.
Donald Jackson, The Story of Writing

I've been a hard worker all my life, but "most all my work has been the kind that perishes with the usin'," as the Bible says. That's the discouragin' thing about a woman's work...if a woman was to see all the dishes that she had to wash before she died, piled up before her in one pile, she'd lie down and die right then and there. I've always had the name o' bein' a good housekeeper, but when I'm dead and gone there ain't anybody goin' to think o' the floors I've swept, and the tables I've scrubbed, and the old clothes I've patched, and the stockin's I've darned....But when one of my grandchildren or great-grandchildren sees one o' these quilts, they'll think about Mama [or Grams], and wherever I am then, I'll know I ain't forgotten.
Mirra Bank, in Anonymous Was a Woman

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gabrielle Fox comes to town

I live in a wonderful place known as the "Crossroads of the West", where incredible international artists visit. This weekend was a book artist who has written a definitive guide for making books, but has a sub-specialty of miniature leather bindings. So, here is my meager attempt to create a miniature leather book. It's hard to tell the size of this, but it's 2 inches by 3 inches....teeny. The leather was pared to paper thinness, which took at least half of the workshop time. The book itself is not what I'm most proud of, but I leaped over a big hurdle and actually CUT UP AND USED my own hand-marbled paper for the end papers. I have hoarded these little marbled gems, afraid to use them up. What made me courageous to try it? The word miniature. I guess that qualifies as a baby step, one necessary to break out of a previous plateau that keeps one stuck. Fear is always a block to creativity. So, in a tiny way, I feel like I've taken one tiny step and one giant leap. Yea!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finally getting the hang of it: Zentangles

You may not know, but I went to the Zentangles "Teacher Certification" retreat, and that's another whole story, or three (i.e. why would anyone need to get certified to doodle? Exactly!)
But after practicing on these little puppies for a month, I'm starting to see some improvements.
It's about time, since I'm supposed to start "teaching" it on Friday. (7:00 p.m. Inner Light Center, Salt Lake City). Anyone who is a "real" artist could do this in her/his sleep, but for me this is a stretch....not the teaching part, but the idea that I could possibly offer an art form. I feel like such an impostor.
Well, here's the rest of the story. I was drawn (pun not intended, but enjoyed) to this particular form because of my background in meditation, relaxation and stress-reduction. This little doodle has the potential to lower blood pressure, calm the mind, remove one from the daily stresses, and increase creativity. There is something quite satisfying to see a design start to emerge. This is what real artists must feel when they see something born from their own imagination. Zentangles are making their way into the mainstream. This month's issue of Cloth Paper Scissors has an article in it, and the web abounds with examples, including YouTube instructions. Lori Vliegen has posted another idea on her fabulous blog here.
The official zentangle website is where you can find professional examples by the promoters of it. Check out the back issues of newsletters.
Try it out. You'll breathe deeper and slower, and move into your day a little calmer....until you get into your car. (smile)