Friday, December 30, 2011

Resilience


A really thoughtful piece challenging us to think about what we will do individually to make the world better in 2012.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Artist Interview: Donna Wynn

Name:  Donna Wynn
Name of Business:  Yogiknitgirl Designs
Creative Influences:  Watercolor, Collage, Mixed Media and Knitting, Photography
Creative Artist Influences:  Definitely YOU!, Misty Mawn, Mondo Beyondo, Jen Lee,  Kelly Barton, Mindy Lacefield, Lisa Gonzalez, Cathy Bueti, Juliette Crane, Pixie Campbell, Danielle Daniel, Marisa of Creative Thursday,  Alisa Burke . . . so many along my creative way!
Preferred Medium of Creativity: Mixed Media (that way so much is included!) and Photography

Bio:  I try to live creatively everyday. I work full time as an Optician and Optical Manager for a high end optical practice and I say I get to play with creative eyewear everyday! I have to fit my time in my studio very selectively, It is my release from the demands of a busy "day Job" and I love it when I can spend time painting and creating whatever comes to mind and heart at the time! You will always find me behind a camera, trying to capture life moments and I practice hot yoga faithfully, love to knit . . . especially socks, that is why the name Yogiknitgirl came into being, and even though I am 54, I still consider myself a little girl!  I have been blessed with a 35 year marriage to a husband who supports me in every way, I have two adorable sons, 31 and 28, and they are each married and I have been blessed with two precious daughter n laws.  I believe in a powerful and loving God, who has blessed my life beyond words! I am truly living, right here and right now, the best time of my life.  I have discovered me and I like her!  

Links:



1- What is one of your earliest creative memories?
 Learning to knit with two very special little old ladies when I was seven years old!  Loving art classes in elementary school and all the way through high school.
2 - How did you find your creative voice? 
I think first by creating my personal blog, Gentle Threads.  I had always loved writing and wanted to get the nerve to put my words out there.  I (along with many) watched Julie and Julia about a woman creating a blog about cooking her way through Julia Child's cookbook.  It truly gave me the inspiration to get out there and learn my way through the blog world.  My first entry was in March 26, 2010, and I have been going ever since!  I have grown in knowledge, words and in confidence. I have learned to navigate a blog on my own, write about my innermost creative feelings and adventures, and share my latest activities and artwork with others.   I look forward to writing each week and it has become a strong part of who I am now! 
3- Did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life?  What did the evolution look like?  
Well, I think we tend to put our creative passions aside when we are building a life, for me marriage and raising two little boys, going to Opticianry school and working full time.  I always knitted, that was a given, then I purchased a weaving loom when my boys were little and piddled with it. I was a weaver, for a long time, but found for me, it just wasn't enough!  I was always fascinated with watercolor painting, but again, life just kept getting in the way to pursue anything.  It wasn't until my guys were in college and I was home without them, that I began to truly pursue artistic outlets.  I signed up for a watercolor painting class, took some workshops here and there, read anything I could get my hands on.    With the internet exploding, I was able to sign up for some amazing e-courses and learn in the comfort of my own home (and stay in my jammies!) I have attended Squam by the Sea, Serendipity Art Retreat and Art and Soul in the past few years and I found that through those experiences, my artistic life has exploded!  My children are married now and I have a beautiful studio to create in, more time to pursue my creative dreams.
 
4- If you had a creative hiatus, what event/circumstances brought you back to your creative lifestyle?  
This is an easy one for me to answer, I lost my father to Lung Cancer just four short years ago, and two years ago I lost my mom to the devastating disease of Dementia, I was a care-taker for quite awhile, fitting in some art whenever I could, but hardly ever. I felt as though my inner artist was drying up inside.  It is a time in my life I would do all over again, but yearned to find my creative little girl inside.  Just a month after losing my mom, I attended Squam by the Sea in the Outer Banks and my life was changed forever!  I met amazing women, took incredible art classes and mixed media opened up to me.  I came home full of creative ideas, new friendships and I have been going strong ever since.  I seek out creative time for myself and I even created my own Etsy shop for my creations.
 5-How has GOD been a part of your creative process/lifestyle?  
I have been a Christian for most of my life and am married to an incredibly strong and faithful man, I am very blessed.   I feel that I have learned to set priorities in my life, always doing what is right and what I must, before I can do what I want to.  That takes an enormous amount of energy.  I am balanced in my life, and I know that having a relationship with God, centers me.  It centers the way I live my daily life, my heart thoughts and my words and actions.  Because I am a truly centered and faithful person, God has blessed me with my talent and my strengths.


CLICK HERE to purchase the e-book of this Interview series for $4.99

Monday, December 26, 2011

Murmuration


A beautiful post I saw a few weeks ago on Jenny Doh's wonderful blog Crescendoh.
A wonderful way to start the week...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Persevere


Here is a lovely candid video from a girl you have seen in this space before: Catina Jane

Check her interview here: CLICK HERE 


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fragile

“The question, then, is not only how to uncover our fundamental tenderness and warmth, but also how to abide there with the fragile, often bittersweet vulnerability. How can we relax and open to the uncertainty of it?”
-
Pema Chodron

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Artist Interview: Vanessa Renee

Name: Vanessa Renee
Name of Business: Gingerbloo
Shop Link: CLICK HERE
Creative Influences: The Holy Spirit, sculpture, trees, the sky, the sun, fabric, animals
Preferred Medium of Creativity: clay, paper, gemstones




Brief Bio:
Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved music. I remember times when I would grab the kitchen mop, close my eyes, tilt my head over my left shoulder and become Barbara Streisand or Diana Ross. I was sure that I was destined to be an entertainer.

I've spent many years since those early days, trying to discover, (like most people), what made me happy...really happy. I've had a few different careers(CPA, Project Manager, etc…), but with each change, the peace, calm and settled feeling I was looking for didn't come....until.... I walked into work one day and quit my job - with no plan for what I would do the next day, weeks or months.

During those stay at home years it was finally quiet enough to hear my heart beat again. I began using my hands to create custom crafted paper, dolls, wall murals, jewelry and music. On one of those days, I was called "artist".

It has been many years since my Barbara and Diana days, but I have discovered (much to the delight of all within earshot) that my vocal chords are not the instrument of my voice, but rather my hands are.

My epiphany has been in realizing that I was born to compose. My artwork pieces are the songs my hands sing.


  1. What is one of your earliest creative memories?
    1. The desire to do a great job on an art project for a middle school art class.  I did not think I had a creative bone in my body, but I desperately wanted to make something the teacher would think was a nice piece of art.
  2. How did you find your creative voice?
    1. A few years ago, I stopped working outside of the home to focus on the family – my husband and two daughters.  Work had tired me to the bone.  I needed a break and wanted to spend more time with my children.  During those days I started making hand made paper, clay dolls, journals, jewelry, and collages.  I wore one of my jewelry pieces into a museum shop one afternoon and the store purchaser bought several of my pieces to sell.  It was a real eye opener for me.
  3. Did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life?
      1. Yes.  In college my art was expressed through my clothes.  I put together outfits that always drew compliments and conversation.  
    1. What did the evolution look like?
      1. As an adult, I frequented fabric stores and extended my love of color and texture into various forms of art – jewelry, books, etc…  
  4. If you had a creative hiatus, what event/circumstance brought you back to your creative lifestyle?
    1. I stopped creating for over a year to focus on work (yes, I re-entered the work force) and major projects I was assigned to.  The drain of a day’s work and the lact of creativity I was able to include in my daily life, made me re-evaluate how I was spending my time.
  5. How has GOD been a part of your creative process/lifestyle?
    1. Everything I do, I do because of my love of God.  He is my everything.  He taught me what Love is and so everything that springs from my heart is due to Him allowing it to continue to beat.  I love Him with all that I am. 
    2.  
    3.  CLICK HERE to purchase the e-book of this Interview series for $4.99
    4.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Listen


"I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that
you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and
your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom."
- Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Awakening


In spiritual life there is no room for compromise. Awakening is not negotiable; we cannot bargain to hold on to things that please us while relinquishing things that do not matter to us. A lukewarm yearning for awakening is not enough to sustain us through the difficulties involved in letting go.
It is important to understand that anything that can be lost was never truly ours, anything that we deeply cling to only imprisons us.
-
Jack Kornfield

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Artist Interview: Beth Stone

Name: Beth Stone
Name of Business: Beth Stone Studio

Creative Influences:

There are so many… a few that come to mind are:
My family – I grew up in a creative environment. Both of my parents and my brother and I were always making something.
C.S. Lewis – his books sparked my imagination.
Francis Schaeffer – he made me realize the power of art to express ideas and worldview.
Ginny Wall (http://www.etsy.com/shop/AllNatureSings?ref=ss_profile) – a dear friend and the lady who introduced me to the wonderful world of watercolor.
Geninne Zlatkis (http://blogdelanine.blogspot.com/) – her work and blog have been a huge influence on my own work and business.

Preferred Medium of Creativity: At the moment, I'm really enjoying watercolors and collage. However, I also work in oils and acrylics. Each medium has its own strengths and weaknesses – I enjoy the variety and challenge of working with them all!


Brief Bio:
30-year-old wife to Josh, mom to a furry grouch named Harvey, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, artist, crafter and do-it-yourself-er, aspiring gardener, avid reader, collector-of-too-many-hobbies, photographer, neat-freak, blogger, lover of row boats and valiant mice, sinner saved by grace...

Beth Stone (specializing in watercolors, oils, acrylics, mixed media, and custom murals) was born in Johnson City, TN. She graduated valedictorian from Milligan College in ‘03 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and minors in photography and journalism. She is primarily self-taught in the arts, with the exception of a few college classes and independent workshops. She currently resides in Greeneville, TN with her husband, Josh. Her primary goal, both in her artwork and her life, is to glorify Her Creator by conveying His truth and beauty to a dark world.




Links
Blog:  http://www.bethstonestudio.com
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bethstonestudio
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/bethstonestudio
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/bethstonestudio

  1. What is one of your earliest creative memories?

Once when I was probably around 5 or 6 I spent the day writing my own newspaper and then making a newspaper stand for it out of a cardboard box. I decided that day that I should make something creative every single day. I haven't followed through quite every day since then, but I do make it a point to pursue creativity in my daily life.

  1. How did you find your creative voice?
Well, first of all, I try to stick to the guidelines in Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. After that, my goal is to create beautiful, inspiring, and thought-provoking work. I've gotten lots of inspiration from other wonderful artists and writers (like the ones I mentioned above), but I'm also inspired by nature, books I read, music, theology, people I know, etc. Inspiration is all around if you're looking for it. 


  1. Did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life?  What did the evolution look like?
Creativity has always been a big part of my life. My parents home schooled my brother and me, and that gave us the freedom to pursue a lot of different interests and hobbies while we were growing up. When I was in college, most of my time was taken up by my studies; however, I did manage to squeeze in a few art and photography classes, which were a nice creative outlet during that time. After graduating, I continued to pursue my interests in art. I discovered the blogosphere and created my first fledgling blog featuring some of my artwork. Then, I got a request to paint a mural for a friend's child's room, and suddenly, my business was born. Since then, I've branched out into a new blog, an Etsy shop, and the occasional art show. I have a small studio set up in our apartment, and I'm always in the middle of some project or other…


  1. If you had a creative hiatus, what event/circumstance brought you back to your creative lifestyle?

Like most artists, I do suffer from the occasional "dry spell." Last year was a very stressful period in our lives – my husband was gone for several months taking care of a very dear friend who was ill and eventually died of cancer, I was working at another job nearly full time, we were making some major life changes which involved my husband going back to school, etc. – it was a hard time personally, and that drained a lot of my creative energy. During times like that, I've learned it's best to just roll with it and wait it out. The inspiration returns eventually… In the meantime, I find other "creative" outlets, like knitting, sewing, gardening, reading/writing, or simply keeping my house presentable. :o) 

 How has GOD been a part of your creative process/lifestyle?

My faith is the foundation for my entire worldview, and thus, all of my work comes out of that influence. Because we are created in the image of God, and God is creative, we have the gift of creativity in ourselves, and we are to use it for His glory. That’s my goal in every piece I create…  


  1. Is there a particular moment where your creativity became infused into a spiritual practice?
I've always wanted my work to be used to glorify God…. However, writing a blog has really opened my eyes to the potential influence of both my artwork and my words. It's easy to feel like you're writing to a void when you write a post on the web, but when you start getting comments from complete strangers all over the world, it's a bit of a wake up call. I've been contacted by readers who are believers who have been encouraged and blessed by seeing my work, as well as by unbelievers who have stumbled across my site.

One reader (an unbeliever) wrote me and said, "Your work has a beauty and vibrancy to it that one doesn't often see in the art world these days. Does that come from your Christian faith?" That question opened the door for me to share the Gospel with that person and plant a seed…

Ever since that time, I've been much more aware that my work and words have the potential to influence people for eternity, and I am doing my best to take that responsibility seriously and represent Christ faithfully. We are all stewards of the gifts we have been given… that fact is both humbling and exciting….

 CLICK HERE to meet other creatives

 CLICK HERE to purchase the e-book of this Interview series for $4.99

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dawn


Yes, I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can find his way
by moonlight, and see the dawn before the rest of the world.
-
Oscar Wilde

Monday, December 12, 2011

No Boundaries


Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences,
penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope.
-
Maya Angelou

Friday, December 9, 2011

Artist Interview: Valerie Weller


Name: Valerie Weller
Name of Business: twig2nestStudio 


Creative Influences: Almighty GOD, many beautiful art friends, plants, leaves and organic
forms in nature, graphic patterns, and anything French! When I think of my favorite
ARTistes, I kind of have an “electic playlist” of sorts, ranging from Cezanne, Sorolla,
Sargent, Degas, Bonnard, to Richard Schmid, Michelle Dunaway, Jeremy Lipking, S.C.
Yuan, Madeline Fitzer, Jylian Gustlin, Hans Hoffman, KellyRae Roberts, Flora Bowley... I
could go on an on...

Preferred Medium of Creativity: My top three are watercolor, oil and mixed media (or as I
think of it... mixed-up media- because I tend to use all of these in different combinations
with acrylic, paper & decoupage) Lately I’ve been juggling between decoupage on glass &
wood for my etsy shop, while exploring mixed media. But watercolor and oil always make my heart skip a beat.

Links:
www.twig2neststudio.blogspot.com
www.twig2neststudio.etsy.com


What is one of your earliest creative memories?
My earliest creative memory was that wonderful box of 64 crayola crayons! I remember
feeling as if I died and went to heaven when I received that box of crayons. I remember
looking at all of the colors... not just red, blue and yellow, but periwinkle, salmon, sea green, carnation pink & cornflower blue- the smell of those crayons, the nifty sharpener, and the beginning of endless possibilities in color.

How did you find your creative voice?
I remember always doing creative things... from making paper cut-outs, sewing my barbie
clothes, making shoe box houses for my dolls, sewing my own clothes in high school, and
painting on canvas from photo’s. In retrospect...I think my creative voice really started to
scream out, in high school. I was blessed to be in a school district that had an art depart-
ment with a printmaking class, a photo lab, a portfolio class, drawing, painting etc. A place
where teaches took us into NYC to museums, and our group met on the weekends to discuss
art history. The exposure this kind of program in high school, opened up a vision, that made me feel that “being an artist was POSSIBLE.” Although, I’ve worked as a graphic designer most of my life, the painter in me has been quietly emerging. I’ve always been working on that “voice”... I may know it’s present, but it’s slowly becoming less fearful, and willing to show itself a bit louder than it used to.

Did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life?  What did the evolution look like?
I think the creative habits that GOD gifted me with, were a constant since I was young. I
guess, high school may have been the transitional point into believing I had some valued
creative ability. I do see that my parents nurtured those gifts in me, big time, through the
years. They encouraged my artistic expression, my artsy independence, and my artistic paths.  They provided me with a college education where I majored in art, minored in education... all of which were the seeds that brought me to this artistic path that I am on now. I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t taking a class, or exploring another artistic expression. I did creative projects with my children through the years, participated in the schools as an art teacher, room mom and creative project coordinator. I guess I’ve been ARTSY-ING even when I wasn’t thinking about it.

How has GOD been a part of your creative process/lifestyle?
When I think about it- GOD’s spirit was putting the pieces together from the beginning, but I didn’t really begin to “SEE” until I was in my thirties. I had a religious upbringing, which I
know gave me a foundation and core belief system, but it wasn’t until I was in my thirties,
did I come to know “TRUE BELIEF” and understand the depth of what GOD had done for
me. WOW- did that impact my artistic process... from that point on, every brush stroke had a purpose, every creative expression had a depth to it that I hadn’t known before, and more importantly, I began to learn that this gift of creativity was given to be shared with others, to lift others, to show GOD’s expression. And from that, came the ultimate joy in the creative work that I am doing.



Is there a particular moment where your creativity became infused into a spiritual practice?
Actually, about 10 years ago, I had the pleasure of doing freelance graphic design projects
for the church I attended at the time. Working with a believing group of creative people,
taught me more about purpose, prayer, and the gift of creating. And boy was that a fun timeof life! My most fulfilling graphic work happened then.

Today, I am blessed to be part of a fabulous ministry that feeds the homeless. Before the
meal is served, the children of the families, come to my art table and do an art project.
GOD has been true in providing for this ministry with creativity, supplies and spirit. I
experience pure joy with these kids, and receive so much back, compared to what I feel
I am giving.

 Click HERE to meet other lovely artists

 CLICK HERE to purchase the e-book of this Interview series for $4.99

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tapping into Creativity


Holly Chastain of DrKennedyJones offers the world some incredible collage work.  Take a peek into her process and take a bit of inspiration for yourself

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Begin


Wherever you are is always the right place. There is never a
need to fix anything, to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul
and start at some higher place. Start right where you are.
-
Julia Cameron

Monday, December 5, 2011

Writing Cloth


I came across this website searching the archives of one of my favorite blogs "Root of She" and came across this intriguing proposal.  Jeanne of Writing Cloth is offering the reader the opportunity to buy her book before it is written and then follow along with her writing process.  I have to admit I am constantly amazed by the innovation of artistic people.

Friday, December 2, 2011

No Hurry


I don’t want to hurry it. That itself is a poisonous twentieth-century attitude. When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things.
-
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Love


I was introduced to Suzi Blu's mixed media work through my friend Melissa AND now I am determined to bring art to my journals. Lovely techniques here and makes you feel like YES YOU CAN give it a try.