Creativity is a precious gift that need not diminish as you grow older. Tap the picture below to see my complete Steller book.
My new stencils have launched--take a look on the StencilGirl site! The painting shown, which I call "She Rises From The City With The Moon In Her Hair," is part of the artwork I created using these stencils.
I am suddenly head over heels crazy about digital images.
They have been in my vision for a long time, and I admired many of them, but didn't think creating them was for me. That--has--changed.
I even have some new digital heroes, artists who create either almost, or exclusively on their digital devices.
This is a bit of a cheat, because I created the following pic over a year later!
It is obvious that large, dangerous fears must be overcome, or we will succumb. But what of the many small fears? They are like spiders--small, but ubiquitous. Many seem inconsequential, a mere nuisance, but their sheer numbers can overwhelm us, spreading their gossamer nets over our entire existence. When seen, we can try to work in spite of them but how much better to sweep them away, replacing them with thoughts that feed us instead of drain us. Otherwise, our lives will be caught in their nets--tangled, wrapped and eventually poisoned by the fears we have allowed to enthrall us.
Sometimes it feels as if we are not looking directly at what is in front of us. Instead, we are gazing through a window, from behind a curtain.
But I am not speaking about a real window or curtain, but something within our own minds that is only partially open. Part of us doesn't want to "see" the truth, but another part--the one that wants to understand, develop, grow--impels us to look. We do so, but only partially, because we are afraid.
I like to believe the truth sets us free. I want to be open to it, to face it bravely so I can integrate it, learn from it.
The thing is--I am not always sure what the truth is. People I respect, and even love, see things differently. Situations get confusing. How can I discern what the truth really is?
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
Tell me I'm clever,
Tell me I'm kind,
Tell me I'm talented,
Tell me I'm cute,
Tell me I'm sensitive,
Graceful and wise,
Tell me I'm perfect -
But tell me the truth.
This quote from Annie Dillard remains one of my favorites:
One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, everytime. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is a signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly is lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes. --Annie Dillard. The Writing Life.
Sharing all I can give is a demonstration of awe. It means I truly realize that my creativity is a gift that flows through me, not one I can hoard and prevent others from "stealing." Trying to control creative ideas and thoughts, doling them out at opportune moments or to the right people, "saving" them for better work than I am able to do now--all this can lead to finding ashes in your safe, as Dillard describes. She is partially referring to your own private, creative endeavors where you must be generous, psychologically and emotionally, to produce the best that is in you to give at the present moment. However, she also describes it as shameful to refuse to share the knowledge you have gained. Shameful and dangerous. That is a powerful warning.
In our modern consumer society, where everything seems to have a price attached, it is hard not to be "strategic" about the "products" of your imagination. I have even heard "perceived generosity" is a good PR tactic. I doubt that such self serving generosity would qualify for the "giving freely and abundantly" that Dillard espouses. It is true that win-win situations exist. However, erring on the side of generosity rather than mere self-interest seems, to me, to be a default route that provides true connection and prevents ash collection.
Three is an extremely important number.
Whether you consider the Trinity (and the many other threes in the Christian faith), the Triple Goddess, the Three Graces, or the fact that I am one of three sisters (arguably the least important of what I have mentioned here, but the most impactful for me), THREE is a powerful thing.
Don't let your fear decide your fate.
Step into the abyss, even if all you have is a wing and a prayer. Cowering on the edge is not an option.
I recently posted this iPad drawing to Facebook.
But I like this one better.
Wing up? Wing down? Wing dark or light? It is all play and challenge.
Creating on the iPad has become a new obsession on a fairly long obsession list.
Here is your chance to pick up fabulous stencils at sale prices. Perhaps you might like one or two of the stencils I designed? That would please me so very much!